Thanksgiving means PIE! And pie for DOGS!

The turkeys are being bought, the stuffing stuffed, the cranberries are singing, being de-canned or compoted, while potatoes prepare to be mashed and smothered in matching turkey gravy. The end of the meal has released the belt at least two notches,  a statisfied sign, a burp then the wafting goodness as the last element of classic Thanksgiving is pulled from the oven.

PIE!

Around here pumpkin pie with an over generous heaping of whipped cream caps off the meal.

Which got us thinking, could dogs delight in the same pie goods as us humans? In a way yes.

Traditionally pumpkin pie is made with nutmeg which very very BAD for dogs! Which means dogs can’t eat our pumpkin pie, but we can always MAKE them their own pies!

Here’s a handy recipe to make your dog his own pumpkin pies!


Pumpkin Pie For Dogs

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Mini Pies
  • Category: Special Occasion

Ingredients

  • Oat flour (pulse rolled oats in a food processor to a floury consistency)
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Banana
  • Unsweetened pureed pumpkin
  • OPTIONAL: Low-fat plain yogurt for topping

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º

For the topping:

You can thicken the yogurt by placing it in a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a large coffee filter,

Set the strainer over a bowl to catch the whey.

For the crust:

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and applesauce until a nice dough ball forms.

Divide the dough into 24 equal sized pieces

Place a ball in each well of a mini muffin tin and press to flatten.

Bake the crust for 8 min or until just starting to color

Let cool before removing from pan.

For the filling:

Peel and mash the banana in a large bowl.

Add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine.

Divide the filling among the pie crusts and top with yogurt.

(Found on Rover.com)


Want to try a different type of pie? Substitute out the pumpkin and whip up:

  • an apple pie
  • a banana pie (mix in some peanut butter for an Elvis vibe)
  • a blueberry pie
  • a cranberry pie
  • a peach pie
  • a pear pie
  • a raspberry pie
  • a strawberry pie (or mix all the berries!)

All the fruits listed above are dog edible. If you make any of them just be aware of too much added sugars that could upset your pup’s tummy. 

If we were crafting a dog pie, we’d aim towards a blueberry or peach (perhaps a blueberry peach one!).  What kind of pup pie will you create for your dog this Thanksgiving?

Our Favorite Things – Dogs of Minneapolis (the book)

The turkeys are harvesting, beginning their defrost to thawdom and epic feasts abounding with foods of the stuffed, canned, baked and freshly cut varieties, Thanksgiving is nearing, to be followed by naps and frantic shopping for THE deal of the year. 

Onward we continue with our favorite things series, this time we feature ourselves, About A Dog Photography. Not just photography sessions with your dog (which are always our FAVORITE thing) but something else solidly awesome. 


Our favorite things: Dogs of Minneapolis book

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! We have WRITTEN A BOOK!!! And…… its REAL!!! Snag one and get your hands all over this hunk of 11×8 awesomeness! Ooooo la la! A book by us! SWOON!!!


And take a breath…. (can you tell its one of our favorite things?)

This was an epic adventure full of amazing dogs and their people (18 sets of dogs including a dynamic duo and a quad with squad goals down) paired with those iconic locations found around Minneapolis. They helped raise: $1620+ for Secondhand Hounds, Ruff Start Rescue & Great Dane Rescue of MN & WI! (You can help raise even more! 10% of each Dogs of Minneapolis book purchase will be given to one of the three rescues!).

A few snafoos (overly bouncy pups, overly shy pups, permits and weather oh my!) didn’t keep this idea from growing into a tangible touchable book. We learned, we grew and we’ve got approx 500 more ideas for books to come. (Want to be part of the next one? Drop us a line at & we’ll get you on the waitlist! BTW the North Shore will be in the near future…)


A HUGE thank you for all the dogs who are part of the Dogs of Minneapolis. Without you, there would merely be pictures of murals, sculptures and buildings. Thank you a bazillion!

Show them the love:
– Ruby
– Bailey
– Murphy
– Kaiser
– Armani
– Luna & Zoey
– Austen
– Owen
– Panda
– Shanook & Shiloh
– Rocky, Arlee, Gemma & Mortie
– Nessa
– Sherman
– Jax
– Zuzu
– Bo
Kona
– Diamond

This little hunk is Armani! He had his session at the Walker Sculpture Garden!

This is part of our blog series “Our Favorite Things”. Did you miss the previous interviews? Find the CuddleMutt one here, and the Val’s Brew Treats one here

Our Favorite Things – Val’s Brew Treats Interview

Winter has arrived, full frozen force like Elsa tossing a pout in a dusting of snow, the coverage give or take your location. Couldn’t we ease into this a bit more?

On your quest to stay warm and cozy today, tip your hat to our veterans (thank you everyone who has served in the military, we appreciate it to the highest degree) and snuggle in for another addition our favorite things.

Today’s feature is Val’s Brew Treats. Kattie (pronounced Katie for those unsure) is a spunky, sweet, awesome woman doing epic things with… spent grains!


Our Favorite Things: Val’s Brew Treats!

Hello Kattie!

How did you get started?
It all started as most endeavors start: over a few beers at a brewery. We realized that after the brewing process, the spent grain is usually just thrown away despite the fact that it can still be used for baking. We took the spent grain, incorporated other natural ingredients, and baked a small batch of treats. Val readily volunteered to be our taste tester. Spoiler alert: he loved them!

Where did you get the idea for Val’s Brew Treats?
From our dog Val and the brewing community we love!

What’s unique about Val’s Brew Treats? (And do you only offer dog treats?)
Our dog treats are made with the leftover beer grain from the brewing process. We work directly with Twin Cities breweries. We are passionate about reusing and recycling to create a more sustainable way of living. 

We also make high quality pet products such as bandanas and bow ties. We even make paw & nose balm to help your pet in the winter.

We are a zero waste company. 

What is something that surprised you about owning a business? 
How much I enjoy it. I love being able to work from home and spend time doing what I love. And of course spending time with my dog. 

Did you have any early challenges? If so how did you overcome them? If not, what is something you’ve accomplished with Val’s Brew Treats that makes you mega proud?
How long it actually took to get the treats approved and ready to sell. I spent months working with the Department of Agriculture making sure my labels were correct. 

What is some advice you’d give someone just starting out? 
It’s hard work. Be prepared to work 16+ hours a day. But being your own boss is awesome!

What is you most popular product?
Buffalo plaid anything. 

Do you have any pets?
Val. He’s 6.5 yes lab/shepherd mix. We adopted him 4.5 years ago. He’s a wonderful dog who brings us joy daily. 

Val has many jobs at Val’s Brew Treats. His titles include: quality control, taste tester, model, and snuggler.

Tell us about the humans behind Val’s Brew Treats:
I’m Kattie and my boyfriend/partner is Ben. We are both originally from New Jersey and moved to Minneapolis almost 5 years ago. 

I grew up in my grandmothers sewing room. She is the most talented women I’ve ever met and I’m blessed to have 1/10 of the talent and skill she has. I’ve always been passionate about design/sewing. I also enjoying working with leather, watercolor, sculpture, and cooking. I love working with my hands and being able to create. 

Ben is my behind the scenes operations. He does labeling, social media, and booth helper am heavy aka heavy lifter.

Where can we find Val’s Brew Treats?
At one of the many markets we do each month (follow us on Facebook and Instagram to know where we’ll be) and our website https://www.valsbrewtreats.com/

Thank you a ton Kattie! Head over and snag some of those famous treats (Bender rather enjoyed his peanut butter ones) as well as some dapper accessories perfect for the holiday season!


Did you miss the CuddleMutt interview? Find it here: CuddleMutt

Our Favorite Things – CuddleMutt Interview

We have made it past the ghoulish fun of Halloween, traipsing right into the oncoming holiday season. (Egads, there’s a smidge over 7 weeks until we are merrily gathered around the Christmas tree, yule log ablaze, our spirits warmed by frothy spiked eggnog!)

Inspired by the Holiday Gift Guide featuring the season’s must haves and a few of our favorite things (find the guide here:) we thought it would be awesome to get to know the people behind the businesses!


Our Favorite Things – CuddleMutt!

Kristen of CuddleMutt is AMAZING! She’s sweet, kind, brimming with personality and a HUGE heart (her business is built on giving back to shelter dogs). AND…. CuddleMutt just turned 2 in September!

Hello Kristen!

How did you get started?

As the daughter of two entrepreneurial parents, I was drawn to the idea of starting my own company. But I was also drawn to the idea of making a difference. I was brainstorming different ideas that would make an impact. But as I was picking up foster dog #12, the idea for CuddleMutt hit me (more on that with question #2).

Where did you get the idea for CuddleMutt?

As a dog foster mom, I saw the need for soft blankets firsthand as well as the need for monetary donations. An old towel is not the same as a soft blanket. And I saw organizations holding back their impact due to lack of funding. CuddleMutt’s buy a blanket, give a blanket model + 20% of profit donation for all other accessories helps address both of these needs.

What’s unique about CuddleMutt? What sets you apart from others in your industry?

CuddleMutt was founded on the concept of providing beautifully designed, high quality accessories that make a difference. Our unique give back model of a tangible item (blanket for blanket) and 20% of profit for all other accessories sets us apart.

What is something that surprised you about owning a business?

The amount of groundwork you need to do, and the structure that has to be built. As a one-person company, you are everything. The director of IT, HR, sales, operations, design etc. But luckily, there is always google to help!

Did you have any early challenges? If so how did you overcome them? If not, what is something you’ve accomplished with CuddleMutt that makes you the proudest?

Finding a manufacturer to work with a small business was one of my biggest challenges. After no luck with any manufacturers found via google, I sent out emails to other small businesses asking if they had any recommendations, which led me to the manufacturer I have now and have had since the beginning based locally in Maplewood, MN! 

What is some advice you’d give someone just starting out? 

Network! Reach out and meet with other small business owners. The entrepreneurial journey is full of bumps along the way and having other entrepreneurs in your network is helpful!

What is you most popular product?

The CuddleMutt signature blanket, but the buffalo plaid bandana is a close second!

Do you have any pets?

Yes! We adopted our Louie (Terrier/Maltese mix- best guess) from Secondhand Hounds last December. He is also CuddleMutt’s Chief Dog Officer!

Tell us about the humans behind CuddleMutt:

This is Kristen typing- hi! I’m the founder of CuddleMutt. I run the company, but I have an amazing support system of family and friends that help out. I couldn’t do it without them!

Where can we find CuddleMutt? 

You can always find us online- www.cuddlemutt.com. We just redid our website! But you can also find us at these two MN malls over the holidays:

— Southdale (Edina, MN)- Nov 1st – Dec. 31st- Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

— Ridgedale (Minnetonka, MN)- Nov 23rd – Dec 22nd- Saturdays and Sundays + Black Friday

And social media of course- give us a follow on Facebook or Instagram!

Thank you Kristen!

Give her some love, whether in snagging one of the blankets (they are SUPER soft & Bender loves his – he’s tucked in every night with it!), a collar or bandana. Have all your gifts already (overachiever!) then give her some love via a like & follow on Facebook & Instagram!

More of our favorite things to come, plus some tasty treat recipes (we found a gingerbread recipe for dogs!) and some tricks to teach your pup so she’s the star of your holiday party!

Mr. Blue Sky | 52 Weeks

Minnesota dog photographer About A Dog Photography |  52 Weeks is a blog circle with a theme for every week (which means we all link to each other, links are found at the end of the post).


Oh Mr. Blue Sky, how welcome you are, especially when you blanket us with those lovely warm temps and dapple with poofy white clouds akin to drawings of children. Granted, those clouds often congregate, sewn together like a lumpy quilt to hide the blue or become whirling dervishes of teenagers full of thunder and deep greys, peeing everything in their path. Ah the bipolarness of early summer in Minnesota.

Blue skies in the morning, the early sun heading into the upward crest of day. We considered, strolled out to the peonies, considered further. The neighboring park was neatly trimmed, set with a smattering of trees, two playgrounds on each end. Too flat. Nothing exciting. A glance out the front door after an inspection of Bender barking sparked an idea. We’ll use the front yard.

A white not wood picket fence tucks a corner, skips over the sidewalk, then strolls the rest of the length of the lot, ending at a row of bushes horizontal to it.

Previous owners have developed the garden nestled in front of the fence to be a display. Currently the flowers are tones of purples and pinks, roses, poppies and peonies (and purple flowers that we haven’t the clue as to their lineage). In the corner tuck, on the backside are irises in purples and yellows.

This corner area is on the corner of the yard as well as the street, the park residing kitty corner, a main artery of street the separation. The openness of the street lends to a perfect little cutout of sky above the white picket fence. Charming indeed!

The newest of the strobes was put into employment, (this in itself is a minor battle of just lug it vs not lug it out, end result is always good but getting to just lug it out is still a push to create the habit), Bender was suited up with a collar and we began. 

Ugh! 
Not quite the “oomph” we were looking for…

Alright, this resembles where we want the end result to be…

Drat, the camera battery is dead. Swap to spare, hope the whole rig of lighting isn’t spontaneously inspired to take flight in the manner of a kite. 

It stays.

We resume.

Right handed key light worked, but didn’t quite carry the “look” that we were aiming for. The strobe was moved, the sun scuttled behind the clouds, manipulating the exposure of this chunk of the world.

We waited. Reloaded on treats, allowing the clouds to make their passes at the sun. (Can you tell when we had full sun?)

Note that little touch of odd blur on the catching images – ambient light! Since there was full sun it added extra light, so while the image is frozen by the strobe, the sun “stayed on” when the movement happened. An interesting effect indeed.

Next visit Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati, the San Francisco Bay Area, and destinations nationwide to see if they’ve had blue skies!