You can donate HERE. Please put your address in the “Personal Note to Walk Participant” field if you want dog treats. If you’re in LA or SD, I can probably just meet up with you :)
I battle my obvious love of dogs on a daily basis.
I can’t watch a cute puppy video on youtube without clicking on all the related videos. Next thing I know, I’ve lost three hours of my life watching 103 videos in a puppy surprise playlist and have been crying for at least two of those hours. Just kidding. (I cried for all three.)
When Pammie asked if I wanted to do a walk for animals, I immediately said yes without knowing any details other than dogs were somehow involved. Her office organizes this huge fundraiser that includes a bake sale where homemade dog treats are sold for donations, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to combine my love for dogs with my love for baking and get involved.
I reached out to some local LA craft breweries, and Progress Brewing in El Monte was generous enough to donate some spent brewing grain towards my cause. I drove out to what the dude described as “east of east los” with nothing but a 5-gallon bucket and a friend to witness my death in case the dude chopped me up into little pieces and dumped my body in the mash tun (I did meet him on the internet, after all).
Kevin, the co-owner of Progress Brewing, was actually a really nice guy. He asked if I preferred “Black IPA” or “American Red” doggy biscuits! Ha. I went with American Red, obvi, since I’m not a fan of IPAs. Dogs are also allergic to hops, so if you’re going to repurpose spent grain, make sure the brewery didn’t mash hop the batch you’re getting.
It’s best to use the spent grains within the first few days after brewing, otherwise they’ll go bad. I used a FoodSaver and froze them in portion-sized bags for storing and later use, since they gave me around 40 pounds of grain.
Here’s a simple, all-natural recipe if you want to try making these at home:
4 cups spent grain
2 cups organic barley flour
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 organic eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients and mix with your hands until a thick dough forms. Roll out the dough on a generously floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutters like this cute dog bone.
Line the biscuits on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 225 degrees and continue baking for 2 hours. Cooking them the additional time at the lower temperature will help ensure they dry completely, extending their shelf life.
The dried biscuits will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container and even longer if you freeze them in zipper bags. You can give them to your dogs straight from the freezer as a cool summer treat, or, if you’re in LA, in the dead of winter when it’s 90 degrees out!
Six of us were supposed to vacation in Portland, but new jobs, broken water heaters, half marathons and trips to Japan got in the way. Anthony and I obviously have nothing else going on in our lives, so the two of us spent our birthday weekend traveling the pacific northwest without those clowns!
One thing I love about Portland (and pretty much any other city besides LA) is the public transit system. You can get anywhere by light rail, street car, train or bus! The light rail took us straight from the airport to our hotel downtown for $2.50 (I’ve paid nearly $40 for a cab ride to LAX, and I only live 5 miles away!). What I also love about Portland is the food. OMG, the food. They are known for their food trucks, and our hotel was a couple blocks away from a group of like 20 or so of them at Alder Food Carts. I’ve been wanting to eat at Nong’s ever since I saw her on Chopped, and it was the first of many good meals we had that weekend.
Friday was Anthony’s birthday, and he wanted to go to McMenamins Kennedy School for drinks. It used to be an elementary school, but they converted it into a hotel/brewery. We had drinks in the boiler room, and I got sloppy hoping Jordan Catalano would show up to no avail.
Our friend Mark lives in Portland, and we met up with him for some late night eats at Biwa. He took us to some hipster bar called Bar Bar afterwards where we met some of his designer friends. Apparently, there’s a lot of job opportunities up there! Something to consider while I’m sitting in LA traffic…
Saturday was for snoozing. We slept in and hit up the farmer’s market around noon. When we couldn’t find the Pine State Biscuits booth, we decided to have lunch at Lardo, but not before having some pre-meal crepes at C’est Si Bon. The crepes were a mistake. And so were the donuts that followed at Blue Star. We somehow rolled ourselves back to the hotel and were in a food coma for the rest of the rainy afternoon. Everyone in Portland was watching the Seahawks playoff game, and we slept through half of it.
When we woke up, Anthony left to work out at the hotel gym, and I ventured out on my own to see the Portland Stag Sign without telling him. It’s no secret that I get lost easily, so he decided early on that he would navigate and I was to stay at his 8 o’clock at all times. I tried to take the bus by myself, got off at the wrong stop and found myself in BUMSVILLE. I eventually found my way back to the hotel, but not before Anthony returned from the gym. He was just coming to terms with the idea that I had been abducted when I walked through the door with a bag of hot cheetos and this photo. He was not amused.
I passed by Voodoo Doughnut on my way back. This bum in front threw his half eaten donut on the ground and started following me! I barely escaped with my life.
We had drinks at Whiskey Soda Lounge while we waited for our table at Pok Pok that night. FYI if you’re only going to Pok Pok for their famous wings, you can skip the wait and get them at Whiskey Soda Lounge instead. Or if Portland is too far, you can come visit me when they open a Pok Pok LA this spring ;) It definitely was everything the internet promised it would be.
Sunday was probably my favorite day, and we didn’t even spend it in Portland! We took an impromptu trip to Seattle and did every touristy thing we could fit into five hours. We ate the best clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder (and pre-meal empanadas at El Mercado Latino), dodged fish at Pike Place Fish Market, visited the first Starbucks, tested our gag reflex at the Gum Wall in Post Alley, went to the top of the Space Needle, and rode the Great Wheel. And this is where I found out this foolio is afraid of heights. The proof is in the video.
After spending six hours on the train that day, I showered back at the hotel before we met up with Mark and his friends for drinks at Dig a Pony. If I knew we were going to end up at a strip club later that night, I would have waited to shower afterwards! Ha. Apparently, Portland is the strip club capital of America, and no trip is complete without visiting one. Anyway, here are some dollars that Anthony let some girl pick up with her tits while we ate tater tots. No bigs!
Monday was my birthday and our last day in Portland. We had a bloody mary brunch at Tasty ‘n’ Sons, beers at Hopworks Bike Bar, doughnuts at Voodoo Doughnut, and coffee at Stumptown. I was really sick that day (Was it all the public transportation or was it the strip club? Who really is to blame???). I’m still sick two weeks later, so it’s taken me a while to get my life together and update this thing.
When we got back to Anthony’s house that night, Pammie and Christine came over with birthday burritos from Lolita’s! It was a great end to what Anthony refers to as “the time of my life.” He wishes!
My favorite place in LA is closing for good this weekend, so I had to go there one last time before I went home for the holidays. Deane and I cried into our last chocolate bread puddings ever, and then we ate our tears (@ Ramekin)
I suggested we have our first friendsgiving this year, partly because I wanted an excuse to make dessert, but mostly because Anthony owed me smoked wings for telling me he was gonna come up for the Rose Bowl flea market the other weekend, having me drive back up to LA at 2am, and canceling via text at six in the morning!
There were no smoked wings (he made a pot roast instead), but there were tons of laughs and surprisingly delicious healthy food from Shi. Haha. Till next year, clowns!
My sister just accepted a job offer back home in SD, and I couldn’t be happier for her (or sadder for me!). The best part about living in LA is that it’s only an hour away from my sister’s condo in the OC and a few hours away from home. With my sister and brother-in-law moving back to SD, I won’t be able to just drop by whenever I’m feeling homesick anymore. I’ll also have to find someone else’s husband to cook me breakfast on Sunday mornings! Ha.
Unsolicited fact about me: I’ve never owned a bike until today.
Thanks to Pinterest, I finally have my first bike at 32 years young! I always had roller skates when I was a kid, but I never had a bike (which probably explains my bike-riding skills, or lack thereof). I’ve also never ridden a horse, but I have ridden an elephant. This post could get lengthy if I keep listing all the things I’ve ridden, so I’ll move along…
Inhabitat chose my Going (Mint) Green in Style pinterest board as the grand prize winner of their Back-to-School contest! It’s been years since I’ve actually been in school, but my time at the Art Institute sure taught me how to design a pretty pinterest board.
I won this Public Bike plus a brass bell, rear rack, and the bike basket I put on my wish list earlier this year before I had a bike to attach it to! They even sent me a tube of turquoise touch up paint for when I inevitably eat shit and scuff up that beautiful paint job. I considered getting the cream bike instead since it seemed like a safer color choice, but my sister said, “Since when do you make safe choices?” Touché. I am reckless as fuck.
I asked my friend if there were any lakes to go riding around up here, and she was all like, “THIS IS LA.” So I guess I’m riding my free bike at the beach then??? What a rough life.