We live on the rocky southern coast of Maine. My dog’s favorite walk is along the beach. My favorite walk is along Ocean Avenue by the rocky coast past a beautiful stone church called St. Ann’s, which is the location of the annual Blessing of the Animals service.
Every weekend, Beckham and I head out in our car for a walk and breakfast. Fortunately, there are two weekend days, Saturday for the beach and Sunday for Ocean Avenue. We pack up homemade blueberry muffins, a bottle of water, and a thermos of Blueberry Lemon Spritz cocktails and head out to walk.
Today the weather was glorious. A perfect way to start our day.
I hope that you have somewhere close to your home where you love to go for walks with your dog. In this Party Blog post, we are sharing our recipes for all of the elements you will need to make that walk fun and delicious!
Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins: A Recipe from Ina Garten (for Pet Parents)
Ina Garten’s recipes are always delicious and usually very cook-friendly, so I always turn to her cookbooks first for inspiration. She didn’t fail me this time. Here is her recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins.
Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins (from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 half-pints fresh blueberries, picked through for stems
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Place 16 regular-sized paper liners in muffin pans.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed.
- Fold in the blueberries with a spatula.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup just over the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Makes 16 muffins.
Blueberries for Your Pup
My dog’s favorite food is always whatever I am eating. It’s pretty hard to resist those big puppy eyes, so I confess he usually gets a few tiny nibbles of my homemade blueberry muffins, but it’s the blueberries that I slip to him most often as I know they are fine for him to eat.
Blueberries have cancer-fighting antioxidants and contain important vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin K, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They are low in calories, but because they are high in fiber, you should treat your dog in moderation with them. Only give him fresh, washed blueberries, not frozen which could be a choking hazard.
Dog Blueberry Muffins
Beckham found a recipe for Dog Blueberry Muffins that he convinced me to try. Yes, he has very good taste and a great eye for excellent dog treats. Here is the recipe so you can spoil your dog.
Dog Blueberry Muffins
- 1 banana
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Line a 12 muffin pan with muffin papers. You can also use a 24 mini muffin pan.
- Mash the banana in a bowl.
- Add the eggs and applesauce. Mix well.
- In a blender or food processor, pulverize the rolled oats to a flour consistency.
- Stir in the rice flour and rolled oat flour. Add the water.
- Stir in the fresh blueberries.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin pans, filling the muffin papers half full.
- Bake regular-sized muffins for 20-25 minutes and mini muffins to 15-20 minutes.
- Makes 12 regular-sized muffins or 24 mini muffins.
Beckham and I have a favorite stone bench that we stop at every time we take the ocean walk. The view of the ocean and the boats is amazing, and the sound of the waves is mesmerizing. He is fascinated by the seagulls who visit the rocks nearby where we are sitting. They will find the crumbs we left once we vacate the bench – I am sure of it.
A Blueberry Lemon Spritz – the Perfect Portable Cocktail
A walk with my dog is just a walk unless we have a special cocktail – and then the walk becomes a party! When we are both feeling like it’s a good day for celebrating, I make a small batch of blueberry spritzers to enjoy with our muffins.
Blueberry Lemon Spritz
- 2 ounces vodka
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ¼ cup fresh blueberries
- 2 slices of lemon, de-seeded (plus another slice for garnish)
- 4 ounces sparkling lemon water
- Sprig of mint for garnish
- Muddle the blueberries, lemons, and simple syrup until half of the blueberries are smashed.
- Stir in the vodka.
- Fill the glass with ice.
- Top with the sparkling lemon water.
- Garnish with lemon slice and sprig of mint.
An Ocean Walk with a Blueberry Muffin
Whether we are walking on the beach or by the ocean coast, the time I spend with my dog on an early Saturday morning walk is magical and priceless. Muffins in the morning with the seagulls and the waves.
We will be there again next weekend. Maybe we will invite Beckham’s friend, Skooter, to join us for a Muffin Pup Party.