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degustation gone to the dogs

Have you ever heard of degustation? a tasting menu? I had no idea what it was until I got an email from a stranger one day… she said she liked my web pages and had I ever dined at The Flagstaff House in Boulder? She lives in Sydney, but had been there the year prior and enjoyed the 9-course degustation. Needless to say, today Kell is one of my best pals and I even had the pleasure of visiting her in lovely Sydney earlier this year (and we had a great degustation at Restaurant Balzac).

So yes, a degustation is something to pace yourself through. Tiny plates. Many tiny courses that the chef has prepared for you to experience on your culinary journey. Seems that every time I am within 2 plates of the finish, I feel like I am going to burst, to die right there at the table (just one after dinner mint?). But if you ever get the opportunity – go for the degustation. It is so much fun.

And fun is what Kaweah is all about. Today it is her 9th birthday! I know what you’re thinking… “too much spare time?” Well yes. Doc’s instructions were to “take it easy” after surgery. Gawd – take it easy?! Not in my vocabulary, really. I’ve been chomping at the bit for a week, so grant me this diversion and I won’t make a rude gesture with my good arm…


happy birthday puppy girl!



Dog menus tend to be a little more bland than what we are used to. I don’t feed my girl too many sugary and salty foods, and I certainly don’t feed her anything spicy (thoughts of a dog butt-dragging across my rug don’t appeal). No onions, grapes, mac nuts, chocolate, and other things that are harmful to dogs. So how could I make this interesting? Okay, who am I kidding… Anything remotely edible is going to interest Kaweah, but what about for my own shits and giggles? I present the menu.

woof: dog beef jerky strip with peanut butter smear and iams lamb and rice kibble

egg on egg: egg sheet round with dollop of plain yogurt topped with masago

what’s up doc?: shredded carrot salad on celery slices topped with almond slivers

iron pup: beef flank carpaccio with baby spinach

sprout wrap: shredded boiled chicken, egg sheet, parsley, in a brussels sprout leaf sprinkled with a ground peanut

jamon empanadas: honey ham whole wheat empanadas with plain yogurt

cheese plate: cheddar hearts and gruyère stars

apple stack: honeycrisp apple slices layered with peanut butter

homemade ice cream: plum ice cream on crisped rice cereal



It looks like a lot of food, doesn’t it? In volume, it probably equals just a little more than her normal morning bowl of dog kibbles. She got this instead of the kibbles this morning. She ate it just as fast.

for scale

the layout (sans ice cream finale)



Well! That was fun, wasn’t it?

31 nibbles at “degustation gone to the dogs”

  1. Amy says:

    You are too funny. Kaweah isn’t spoiled one bit:) I suppose it is along the same line as me dressing up my 2 Shih tzu’s in Santa suits for the holidays. They are my babies afterall :)

  2. Kari says:

    Wow, that is so awesome! My pug saw me reading this and wants to know if she could come home with you? Lol :)

  3. Bridget says:

    Well now you’re just showing off! That is just ridiculously cute.

  4. Graeme says:

    That’s amazing. Very funny too.

    Happy Birthday, Kaweah.

  5. Cindy says:

    How adorable!
    I love everything here!
    I love your post, I love your dog, I love the food, I love the pictures,
    It’s…..it’s just awesome!

  6. Kirby! says:

    Um, this is pretty much off the chain. What a lucky pooch!

  7. Christine says:

    Jen – so much fun! I loved all the dishes, especially the apple slices layered and with sprinkles. I’m glad you made such a nice birthday for your pup. Though, I hope this doesn’t mean you might one day pull a “Helmsley” and leave your $12 million trust fund to Kaweah :)

  8. Anh says:

    Your dog is surely lucky! I would love to have a pet (dog/cat or both) but I am not allowed to have pets in my rented flat. Plus with my student life-style, it may not the best for the pet either. I will wait though :D

  9. Amy says:

    AWwwww too cute! I would probably eat everything on that menu (minus the kibble and jerky ;D). Now I’m thinking I should do this for my bunny. :)

  10. brad says:

    awwww you have the cutest dog EVER.

  11. Rasa Malaysia says:

    OK, I read through the post two times and thought I was missing out something very important, but you made all those food for your dog? WOW, I am floored and just fell out of my chair. ;)

  12. Jamie in Las Vegas says:

    Jen-

    This might be the coolest food blog post I’ve ever seen. In fact, I wrote about it on my woodworking blog: http://wooditis.blogspot.com/

    Your photos are awesome, the love you put into your food prep shows in every frame.

    Kaweah is one lucky dog!

    Jamie in Las Vegas
    http://www.wooditis.com

  13. Wendy says:

    Speechless.

  14. Francesco says:

    Cool! I guess somebody must be envying the dog.
    Overall one of the funniest food post this year.

  15. Tian says:

    Did Kaweah like the carrots? [ :

    My golden retriever goes crazy over bread. Without looking, he knows how the bread box and wrapper sound

  16. peabody says:

    LOL! I love this…I so want to do it for my dog now. Her birthday is in March so I am thinking this is the way to go!

  17. Judy says:

    Terrific! Now I know what to give my poochie for Christmas. Although she might not want to return to just dog food afterwards…..

  18. DianaBanana says:

    so cute! i’m amazed that you can get her to pose sniffing the first dish. it’s like how you got her to pose with the squirrel cookie on her nose!

  19. Ashley says:

    Wow that is one spoiled dog. :) Everything looks great!

  20. Curt says:

    You should never say you’re too busy to spoil your lab… I only wish I’d had even more time with mine! :) Great shot of the bowl with the lab behind. I’ll never forget the first time I gave him some bark from pulled pork… He looked like the world had just become complete in his eyes.

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  22. hilda says:

    I have to keep my bf away from this post or he may plead with me to do this for our puppies, particularly the 12 year-old.
    This is totally awesome, no other way to say it.

  23. jenyu says:

    Amy – ha ha! She *is* spoiled, like a brat. But I don’t dress her up in anything because she’s just not going to have it, you know :)

    Kari – we love all pups here!

    Bridget – it’s really a sign of boredom ;)

    Graeme – ah thanks. She sends her wags and wants to know when you’re going to take her on the next walkie.

    Cindy – oh, that’s so sweet. Next time she’s a bad girl, I’ll ship her to your house!

    Kirby – spoiled rotten. But typically she gets her bowl of dog kibbles and believe it or not, she’s equally as excited about THAT!

    Christine – ha ha ha! Oh, no, I’m not that wacked. Consider it practice for the one day I lose my mind and decide to try a degustation for people. It’s easy for my dog – no spices or flavors required. She will literally eat anything.

    Anh – I can only imagine the delicacies your lucky pet will get to eat :)

    Amy – let me know if you do – I’d love to see it!

    Brad – thanks. She’s very sweet and pretty not so smart.

    RM – really now, I don’t do this often ;)

    Jamie – thanks, hon. Good to hear from you and glad you enjoyed the post. If you can’t make it pretty then… where is the beauty in the world? :)

    Wendy – I was laughing so hard while she scarfed it down… this dog rolls in poop, you know.

    Francesco – glad it brought you a laugh. When all was said and done, she was just as happy to get a dry dog treat.

    Tian – how funny! They tune into their favorite sounds, for sure. Kaweah loved everything. I don’t think there is a food (or rock, or stick or dead thing) that she wouldn’t love to eat.

    Peabody – I’d love to see what you whip up for your pooch. She’s one cutie.

    Judy – if your dog is a lab, then I wouldn’t worry ;)

    DianaBanana – ah ha ha, she wasn’t posing, she was coming in for the kill!

    Ashley – yup, spoiled is right. At least she didn’t puke it up (as far as I know).

    Curt – oh, I’m sorry about your pup. Labs are great, aren’t they? I hope you have another pup, or are thinking of it. They make life so much better.

    hilda – thanks :)

  24. Jennyfer says:

    What a cute pup! Looks just like the dog I used to have. I miss her now. :(

  25. Georgia says:

    That was, by far, one of the cutest entries I’ve ever seen on a blog.

  26. jenyu says:

    Jennyfer – oh, I’m sorry. Aren’t black labs just the sweetest (and goofiest) dogs ever? My girl is nine, so I am grateful for every day I have with her. I hope you can make room for another pup to wiggle its way into your heart and home again. *hugs*

    Georgia – ha ha, thanks! It’s probably one of my more ridiculous entries I’ve ever posted… no wait… yeah, I think it is ;)

  27. Karen says:

    What a fabulous deustacion for a dog. My cats weren’t interested but I’d have participated if invited!!

  28. jenyu says:

    Karen – oh, it was great fun to do. The only thing I would have avoided were the dog-treat based dishes ;)

  29. Rachel says:

    Wow, looks so good it’s making ME hungry! Kaweah is one lucky gal!

  30. jenyu says:

    Rachel – thanks :)

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