Keep Austin Dog Friendly

Through Responsible Dog Ownership.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Keep Austin Dog Friendly's Cupcake Smackdown1.0

The next official Keep Austin Dog Friendly event is Cupcake Smackdown1.0 (Sat. August 1st, 4-7 pm at One2One Bar @ 5th& Brazos). It will include a blind tasting judging of nearly 760 cupcakes, cutest cupcake voting contest, human eating cupcake contest, and canine eating pupcake contest. The panel of judges include yours truly, local chefs, pastry chefs, and food bloggers. Proceeds will go to the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas.

The canine eating contest is for SPEED, not quantity. The dog that can finish 5 pupcakes in the least amount of time wins (max time is 60 seconds) The pupcakes will be donated by Grand Dog Bakery located in Austin,TX. They will either be carrot and ginger or banana and carob. Mouse can down 7 of them in a less than 15 seconds.

Additionally, Town Lake Animal Shelter representatives may be there to take donations at the event to raise money for parvo treatments. Participation still pending.

Deets below.

Are you ready? Get Set! and BAKE! It is time for Austin to have a Cupcake Smackdown1.0, pitting icing against icing, pitting cake against cake. we'll see whose cupcakes reign supreme. Cupcake Smackdown will be held on August 1, 4-7 pm at One-2-One Bar. The tentative activities for Cupcake Smackdown 1.0 are a blind tasting contest of all the store front bakeries, an amateur baking contest, a cupcake silent auction, the people's popular vote, and a cupcake eating contest for both dogs and humans! Live music will be performed by Arielle Nicole.

For the blind tasting, a panel of local chefs and foodies will be chowing down on vanilla, chocolate, and a baker's choice cupcake from each of the eight store front shops. Each cupcake will be judged on the flavor, texture, and aroma.

Other activities include a bake off in which amateur bakers can enter either the vanilla, chocolate, or freestyle cupcake competition. There will be two categories for the cupcake eating contest: one for human participants and one for canine participants. Canines will be eating pupcakes for speed (not quantity). Ginger carrot pupcakes provided by Grand Dog Bakery. Spectators will also be invited to vote for the People's Choice award for any of the store front bakeries, vote for the cutest cupcake at the smackdown, and also participate in a cupcake silent auction. Proceeds to go to Wine and Food Foundation of Texas.

The event is kid and dog friendly. The last day to submit entry forms for amateur bakers' class is July 22nd. Pre-entries for the cupcake eating contest are being accepted and will be accepted until the day of the event pending space. Entry forms for the eating contests are available at All-In-One Bakeshop on 183. Each entry for the eating contests costs $10. Entries for the amateur baking contest is free. Please bring water and a spray bottle to keep your dog cool. It will be hot. Admission to the event is free. Please tip your bartender.

Email to participate, enter yourself or your dog, enter your cupcakes, or to sponsor the event.


4:00 - 6:30 - Live Music, People's Popular Vote, Cutest Cupcake Vote, Silent Auction

4:00 - 5:00 - 1st round blind tasting of cupcake entries

5:30 - 6:00 - Final round of blind cupcake tasting

6:00 - 6:30 - Canine eating cupcake contest - pupcakes provided by Grand Dog Bakery

6:30 - 7:00 - Human eating cupcake contest - cupcakes provided by All-In-One Bakeshop

Here's the list of judges for Cupcake Smackdown1.0. I will be tasting, but not judging.

Jennie Chen - & - Will shake my cupcakes for frosting.
Nataya Anderson – -The REAL Everyday Foodie
Michelle Cheng – - Attorney and Cupcake at Law
Jessica Maher – Spoon & Co. - Eats cupcakes in a single bite
Peter Tsai – - the Foodingblog photographer \ writer with a taste for fun
Lisa Lawless – -Red head with a palate for red velvets
Todd Duclephan – Executive Chef at Trio/Four Seasons - I could judge cupcakes in my sleep.
Chris Palomares - Chow Chow Connoisseur - Opa to cupcakes!
Paloma Efron– Paloma Custom Cakes - Cake decorating goddess. And damn fine baker, too.
Ryan Snedgar - "Ryan, Chief Arbiter of Cupcakes"
Phillip Speer – Pastry Chef at Uchi -Want some Uni on your cupcake?
Jodi Bart – Tasty Touring and KGSR - Has anyone invented a cupcake top?
Devrah Otten - winner of the tasting competition portion of That Takes The Cake(2008 and 2009) - Cupcake Mistress of the Delicious.
Kristin - Do512 - It's not the size of the Cup it's the shake of the Cake
Jenna Noel – Associate Publisher of Edible Austin - I drink frosting for breakfast.
Chris Speyer - Chief taster of the Speyer Ranch - Will judge for booze
Kristen Speyer - Betty Crocker in disguise - Are you looking at my cupcakes?
Marshall Wright - - food writer/photographer
Darrell Joseph – BellaVerdiFarms - I grow cupcake farms.
Cecilia Nasti - KUT Growing Concerns - She eats from the garden and savors life (and would grow cupcakes if she could find some seeds).
Penny De Los Santos - Senior contributing photographer 4 Saveur Magazine - Travel & Food Photographer

Sponsors include:
Rise and Shine Bakery
Sugar Mama's
Polka Dots Bakery
Mad Cakes
Luxe Sweets
L's Cupcakes
The Cupcake Bar
Hill Country Bakery
Wicked Cakes
Grand Dog Bakery
Danger Cakes
Austin Urban Gardens
All in One Bakeshop
Growing Concerns on KUT
Bella Cupcake Couture
Walton's Fancy and Staple

Friday, July 24, 2009

Money runs out to save puppies.

Austin, TX – July 17, 2009 – Animal Trustees of Austin has helped save over 100 puppies infected with the deadly Parvovirus. Thanks to collaboration between Town Lake Animal Center, Animal Trustees of Austin and Dr. Farmer at the Animal Medical Center.

Donations to the Town Lake Animal Center Donation Fund have been maximized. All the money dedicated for Parvo treatment has run out but there are still puppies coming to Town Lake Animal Center and the Animal Trustees clinics every day, desperately needing treatment to survive.

Animal Trustees of Austin hopes to continue to fight this painful and devastating disease. One puppy treatment costs $650.00. For more information contact Kevin Farr.

Press Contact:
Kevin Farr
Communications Manager
Animal Trustees of Austin

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Want to really spoil your pet (and yourself)?! Two words: Four Seasons.

Photo courtesy of Kerri at the Four Seasons

It is no secret that I love Trio at the Four Seasons (@FSAustin on Twitter). It would not be inaccurate to say that I broadcast my love for them freely. They are the second business in the "Inside Austin Businesses" series. I have posts reviews about them, here, and update here, and here. If you love food and want to feel like royalty, read my posts, find Susie behind the bar and Mark holding a bottle of wine during Happy Hour, and get ready for the time of your life. Here are some pictures from Trio, just because I like posting food pictures.

Cheese Plate

To die for Chocolate Flourless Cake

Beef Sashimi

One of the things that I love about Trio is that they are psychic. Yes, I said it. They are like the Miss Cleo of service. They know what you want, before you know it. Trio's staff is literally 5 steps ahead of you. If you need more wine in 5 minutes, Mark already has a selection of different wines at the table based on your preferences before you can ask. This hasn't happened yet, but I'm guessing that if you're going to propose to your beloved at Trio, you probably just need to call Kerri, and they'll have something fabulous planned and the perfect ring sitting at the bottom of a glass of wine. Based on what I've seen Kerri do, that's my guess if you pop the question at Trio. Men, do you hear me? Don't screw up your proposal. Let Trio take care of it. They are masters at orchestrating the perfect evening.

Now onto the dog friendly part. The Four Seasons is dog friendly. The only down side in this for me is that I live in Austin, so I'll probably never find an excuse to stay in a room at the Four Seasons with my puppies. But for those of you out of town folks who are tired of Motel 6 or La Quinta (most economical choice on the dog show circuits), try the Four Seasons. Not only do they have a doggie menu, their staff has also been known to save some treats for my Mouse and Beez. We've gone home with a gigantic sized pork chop that was going to get thrown out. :o)
Photo courtesy of Kerri at the Four Seasons

A few administrative points though:

*While the hotel is dog friendly, no dogs in Trio (restaurant) or on the terrace outside. No dogs are allowed where food is prepared or being served, per health codes. You can order off the doggie menu from your room or from the large grassy lawn just outside the hotel. Let me tell ya, it's a perfect place for a picnic. No puppies in the spa or pool area. We need those places to be mostly hair free. No hair in my cucumber water please.
*Only pets the size of a beagle or smaller (in general, smaller than 16 inches and fewer than 25 pounds) are allowed.
*While in the hotel, pets must be kept on a leash when not in the guest's room.
*Pets may not be left in guest rooms unattended and must be well-trained.
*With advance notice, pet sitting services may be arranged through the Concierge at 512-685-8130.
*Owners are responsible for any property damage and personal injury their pet may cause while in the Hotel.

If you hadn't noticed, there are two picture on this post of how your puppy or kitty will be greeted. Oh yes. We're talking about being pampered. Imagine being you being spoiled after a dog show. that's talking. Don't forget about your manners when stay at a hotel with your pet. Read them here: Pick up after your pet, and make sure your dogs aren't doing too much talking or singing. Enjoy your stay!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Closing Bull Creek District Park OLA (Off leash area)



Due to the continued levels of e-coli in the creek, Bull Creek District Park is in danger of losing the off leash area (ola). The water quality testing and e-coli problem has been going on for over a year but the City of Austin has recently escalated its actions.

Several City of Austin departments are currently conducting meetings to review the water quality data and are making decisions on the future of this park and its off leash area with out including YOU, the stakeholders and users of the park!

This is a public park and the possibility of closing the off leash area should involve the public. Bull Creek Dog Off Leash Group-BCDOG asks that you take a moment and email or call the following people to ask for public involvement in the review of this park and the off leash area. We are asking for public involvement thru a taskforce so that the source of the e-coli can be determined and find possible solutions.

Parks & Recreation Department Director

Sara Hensley

City Council Members

Lee Leffingwell-Mayor 974-2250

Chris Riley-Place 1 974-2260

Mike Martinez-Place 2 & Mayor Pro Tem 974-2264

Randi Shade-Place 3 974-2255

Laura Morrison-Place 4 974-2258

Bill Spelman-Place 5 974-2256

Sheryl Cole-Place 6 974-2266

*city of austin website

*group email

Watershed Protection Department Asst. Director

-Nancy McClintock 974-2652

Parks & Recreation Board

Linda Guerrero-Chair

Danette Chimenti-Vice Chair

Marilyn Bostick-Board Member

Jeff Francell-Board Member

Sara Hatfield Marler-Board Member

Mark Vane-Board Member

*board meetings are generally held the 4th Tuesday of every month, check city of austin calendar for changes

Don’t let decisions be made behind closed doors about your park, get involved. Stay up to date by becoming a fan of Bull Creek Dog Off Leash Group-BCDOG on Facebook or sign up for our Yahoo group.

We need volunteers to help spread the word about the OLA. If interested please email Debra at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

LovePuppies Brownies and Puppy Breakfast at Austin Java City Hall and Lofty Dog

LovePuppies Brownies gets the proud honor of being the first business featured on Keep Austin Dog Friendly's "Inside Austin Businesses" series. I'm pretty happy to announce that as a food blogger and avid baker, LovePuppies brownies are amazingly awesome. I should know. I just ate 4 of them in the last 2 days. My favorite so far is the "You Mocha Me Crazy" which is rich dark chocolate with ground espresso beans. It is sinfully delicious with the scent of coffee and a little crunch. I'll also add that I am not a coffee drinker. I personally find plain coffee to be disgusting, but I love the smell.

Also, I wish I had pictures of the brownies to post. But I ate them all. Oops. My bad.

LovePuppies Brownies, owned by Chef Joel Haro, is a branch of his catering business. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Chef Haro began a catering company that included these brownies. Since 2007, the demand for these brownies led to increased flavors, website, and a business plan just for the brownies. In 2009, La Dee Dah Treat at the South Austin Trailer Park (next to Shuggies and Torchys- LOVE Torchy's BTW - and dog friendly) began to carry the brownies.

LovePuppies currently carries six flavors: Make Mine a Double Chocolate, Peanut Butter Nutcase, You Mocha Me Crazy, Hunka Hunka Burning Love, Forget about Dinner Mint, and Trailer Park Chic. They also develop signature flavors or house brand flavors for a business or event. You can order them via their website or by phone. Give them a try. They might Mocha you crazy! 512-507-9526 Did I mention that Joel Haro loves his puppies?


Also, Austin Java at City Hall at 301 W 2nd St has some new specials. Every Saturday morning from 8-11, they're having "puppy breakfast" where you get 10% off if you bring your dog or a Lofty Dog receipt. They will have treats and water bowls available all the time. On July 18th, the puppy breakfast will be "breakfast is going to the dogs", and Lofty Dog at 403 W. 2nd Street will have goodie bags with coupons and treats in them as well.