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I’m an undercover dog lover.  Why am I undercover you ask? 

Well, unfortunately, I discovered at nine years old I was allergic to dogs and cats.   But the country girl in me has never been able to resist owning one.  Dogs fall in love with me.  I don’t know if it’s a scent I give off, hopefully it’s pleasant, but they apparently feel a sense of calm in my presence.  At the moment, it seems my allergy towards dogs has not improved, but become progressively worse.  But when I was presented with this opportunity, I still could not say no.

Last week, I had the pleasure of being one of many chefs showcasing at the Sugar & Champagne Affair in Washington, DC.  The Washington Humane Society spearheads the event in the distinguished Ronald Reagan Building.  Let me first say, that the Ronald Reagan Building is phenomenal!  A colossal, landmark building situated in the heart of DC.  The atmosphere was simply engaging….low lighting, music playing…a very mellow ambiance.  Even as the dogs strutted alongside their owner….the ambiance still remained mellow. 

My table, alongside fellow Next Great Baker castmates from Season 1 & 2 (Dana Herbert, Pamela Ahn, Jasmine Frank, and Jay Qualls), featured three flavors: Sweet Potato, Chocolate Nut Sundae, and Menage a Trois (a Red Velvet, Vanilla, & Strawberry cream threesome). 

Let me tell you, these dogs had personality like I’d never seen before.  I was super-excited to see Lassie…I haven’t seen a Collie in a long time.  It brought back memories of my grandmother, who had a Collie and I loved watching Lassie as a little girl.  But then there was the tutu-wearing dog. Wagging, not her tail, but her derriere, as she trotted through with her owner.  But no one could compare to the multi-colored dog named Chilli, who posed for photos like she was Top Model worthy!

My daughter absolutely loves dogs.  But since I’m allergic and haven’t quite found a breed yet that suits my immune system, I decided to at least show my love for dogs with a new dog cookie line called, PuppyLove.  Of course I had to do my research and find out which ingredients were dog-friendly.   And after trying a few recipes, and customizing it to what I think a dog would like, I began kneading my dough!  I tried them out at the Sugar & Champagne Affair and to my surprise, there were dogs who would not move from my table until they got another treat!  I was so excited and figured this would be a great time to make them available with Valentine’s Day right around the corner.   These heart-shaped cookies are sized in small for your tiny, tea-cup toy dogs, to medium and bigger hearts that I’m sure will make your canine friend love you even more!

With love (sneezing),