Have you been to Clyde’s Barbeque yet? Madison’s newest barbeque restaurant offers a wide variety of smoked meats, decadent sides, and sweet southern treats! Sorry vegan’s this one isn’t for you. If you’re a fan of pork, turkey, beef, lamb Cylde’s has you covered. They smoke their meats with actually wood, something that isn’t often found. The bbq joint is named after a stray (well former stray) dog-Clyde. Owner Stan Stinson was out barbequing, when a scruffy mutt smelled the smoking meats and came trotting up. And he came back the next day and the day after that and the day after that. Soon Stan took the pup in and when it was time to name the restaurant he knew who his mascot would be. That have delicious sides and a massive stuffed baked potato with lamb bacon and all the fix-ins. They support local food purveyors such as Pablo’s Pickles and The Dessert Fork. I love foodies supporting foodies! And for dessert make sure you get one of their smoked cookies. My photo does not do it justice. Southern style, Clyde’s has a revolving menu, offering different dishes on different days, including smoked meatloaf. The savory hand-pies are especially popular.
Several months ago I had the opportunity to photograph Ms. Lacey, a sweet dog with lots of energy. The shoot was for an article about homemade dog treats for the magazine Rocket City Pets. So my plan was to create mini scenes, dress my friends dogs in costumes, place the treats on the plate in front of the dog and effortlessly get amazing photographs. Sometimes I can be really naive.The idea for the shoot was a good one. I wanted to create a birthday scene, with the pup cakes front and center, candles lit, and Lacey dressed in her birthday finest complete with a tiara and tutu. I bought a tiara and custom fit it with elastic to stay on Lacey’s head. I converted a tutu with a tie on the front so it would be easier to fit onto a dog. I even got tissue paper balls to create a nice birthday feel. But alas, “the best-laid plans of mice and men, often goes awry” to paraphrase Robert Burns. This quote is nearly always true when it comes to photographing children or animals… and sometimes awkward adults. Lacey was surprisingly blasé about wearing the tutu, but the tiara was really asking a lot. Every time we would get the tiara on her she would shake it off and then we would put it on her again and she would shake it off. We played this game for quite a while until Lacey gave up and let the tiara stay, but she wasn’t happy about it. She turned her back to the camera, laid on the ground and sulked. Her owner and I thought she might cheer up with a pupcake, and she did, immensely. The problem was she LOVED them and every time her owner (human mother) would place one on the plate she would gobble it up before I could snap the shutter. I got shot after shot of a blurry Lacey licking her lips after inhaling the treat. There was also an alarming moment when we thought she had eaten the candle, which I at least had the foresight to not light. I began to worry she would get sick after eating so many treats, and yet I didn’t have a usable image. At this point I opted to photograph Lacey in front of an empty plate and Photoshop the cake into the image later.Here is the before and after shots. I don’t usually do this much post-production work, but this just goes to show you even dogs get unrealistic makeovers for their cover shoots.
Below is the recipe to make your own peanut butter banana pupcakes. I can’t speak for all dogs, but Lacey is a HUGE fan.
Also I wanted to give a shout out to Lacey’s adoption agency Two by Two Rescue in Helena, Alabama. I don’t currently own a dog, but I am a big advocate for adopting rescue and shelter dogs. If you get one half as sweet as Lacey you have hit the jackpot.
Peanut Butter Banana Pupcakes
1 cup peanut butter, divided
1 ¾ cups brown rice flour (for gluten-free) or whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
½ cup mashed ripe banana
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350◦F. Lightly grease 12 regular-sized muffin tins or 36 mini muffin tins.
2. Combine ½ cup peanut butter and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; stir 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins, filling cups almost full. Bake 18-20 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes; 12-15 minutes for minis. Remove from pans and cool completely. Frost with remaining ½ cup peanut butter.
A couple of months ago I wrote and photographed a story for Rocket City Pets about Homemade Pet Treats. I don’t own a dog, but I am a dog aunt (as in my brother has a dog, not that I am secretly a dog with a niece/nephew that also writes this blog, which would be impressive).
I was surprised to learn that you need to be very careful about what to feed your pups. Of course I knew about chocolate, but there were plenty of other foods that I may have given a dog without thinking. Who knew grapes were bad for our canine friends.
7 Human Foods Dogs Should NEVER Eat
Caffeine-(I could never be a dog if it meant I had to give up coffee)
Furthermore pet owners have to be careful about what store-bought treats they feed their dogs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, since 2007 as many as 3600 dogs have reportedly gotten sick, and close to 600 dogs actually have died from eating contaminated chicken jerky treats imported from China.
Therefore it is much safer to use this recipe. Gus, the dog in the photos and my dog nephew, LOVED the treats. It was pretty hard to get a photo of him without him gobbling up the pumpkin goodies.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Biscuits
1 cup puree pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup water
½ cup coconut oil
4 cups brown rice flour
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, adding more water or flour as necessary. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350◦F. Roll dough out onto a surface sprinkled with brown rice flour. Roll or pat to ¼- inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Store covered, at room temperature.
For other Doggie Treats checkout this blog post.
For many of us our pets are our four-legged furry children, and for some of us they are better than children. They love you unconditionally (like your kids should), you can leave them home alone and child services won’t show up to your house and they are smart, but not too smart so you don’t have to shell out big bucks for an Ivy League School.
Because of this you want to treat your pets (for being better than a terrible two-year old), and you can do this with homemade treats.
These are Oatmeal-Cinnamon Biscuits and they were a huge success with our dog models. In fact, some of the hungrier dogs were gobbling up the treats before I could get a photo on them. There were a lot of photos of blurred, happy-looking dogs sitting behind empty plates.
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
⅓ cup peanut butter
½ cup hot water
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1. Preheat oven to 350◦F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, kneading with hands until smooth. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Store at room temperature.
For other Homemade Dog Treat recipes check out this blog post.
If you want to see more adorable dogs and recipes and you live in North Alabama the winter issue of Rocket City Pet will be on stands soon.