I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year. This came as a shock to me—totally unexpected—but it’s my favorite holiday and I can handle it. My mom mistakenly decided to Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.29.32 AMvolunteer my house without checking her yoga schedule first. Then she discovered, a little too late, that she’s teaching Thanksgiving morning. Determined to turn crisis into opportunity, I told her to take a deep breath and relax. I may not be Martha Stewart, but I’m a foodie with a refined palate—I have lamb and bison kibble for breakfast and lunch every wooffin’ day. If anything, I’m overqualified.

My mom seemed skeptical but quickly realized I was her only option.  My dad was banned from the kitchen years ago when he tried to make a strawberry and cream omelet. That’s a whole other story. Even I wouldn’t eat it.

Friday afternoons at the office are always a little slow. The deadline for Droolitzer stories is 11 a.m. and most dogs are already snoozing in preparation for the weekend. I used the downtime to search for recipes that didn’t require too many ingredients. Truth is, I’m a purest. I’d managed to winnow down our Thanksgiving Day menu to pork chops, New York strip, ham, bacon, burgers, fried Robert T.R. Chicken and pumpkin and beef pie with fresh whipped cream when my email dinged with a message from my boss.  

A last minute story had come up and Charlene the Chihuahua was unable to cover it for dietary reasons. I wasn’t even sure what that meant but, cleverly deducing that food was involved, decided to accept the assignment. I was told to leave for Oregon that evening. All my boss said was, “bring some Rolaids just in case.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.32.22 AMOn my way home to pack, I stopped by the West Hollywood library to pick up an impressive collection of BBQ cookbooks. I was really getting into the holiday spirit. When I got home my mom was cooking some sort of vegetable something. “To each their own,” I thought and told her I was headed up north for a few days. She gave me a pat on the head and insisted I take my rain boots.  

Upstairs, I grabbed my duffle and stuffed my favorite turtleneck sweater inside.  I fished around my closet for a knit cap, mittens, umbrella, and my green goulashes—Oregon in November isn’t sunny and 70.  I put on my puffer vest, wool socks and sharpened a few pencils. I tossed my notepad in the bag last for easy access.  

On my way out the door I kissed my mom goodnight and headed to LAX for the redeye to Bend, Oregon. The nap was a short one and when we landed I hopped into a cab. “The Cake Lady Shoppe on Dekalb Avenue please,” I told the driver. The name alone had me excited! I wondered if they specialized in hamburger cakes?  

When the cab pulled up I could smell cookies wafting through the early morning air.  I looked down at my watch. It was 6 a.m. and I was right on time. As I walked up to the front door something came over me and I began to drool uncontrollably.  “Get it together,” I told myself as I rang theScreen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.35.36 AM bell. Almost instantly, a beautiful bully answered the door.  I blinked a couple of times because, for a second, I thought I was staring straight at my twin sister.

Bogie: Hello Lola, my name is Bogart but you can call me Bogie if you’d like.  It smells delicious in here.  Too delicious in fact!  Apologies for the drool.  We aren’t actually related, but you look just like my long lost sister that I didn’t know I had. Tell me Lola, where are you from originally and where do you live now?

Lola: We sure do look like sibs but in fact I was born in Washington state. It was a humble beginning really, like most I suppose. After having my fill of the rain I moved to the more-often-than-not sunny state of Oregon in the little town of Bend.

Bogie: It’s chilly, but beautiful here. I was born in Indiana so I guess we’re not related. That’s kind of a bummer but my notes and my nose tell me that you’re a baker. Is this true? Give me the scoop on how you came to be the first bully baker…ever.

Lola: It’s true! I am a baker and I love sweets. I guess it started when I realized I just wasn’t satisfied with my everyday kibble. I knew I needed to do something to spice things up. I got out an apron, a bowl and a few ingredients (mostly bacon, which no Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.29.53 AMkitchen should be without). It was then that I knew my life would never be the same. Now I bake delicious treats every chance I get.

Bogie:  Wow, you’ve got my dream job!  With the holidays right around the corner, what would you say is your favorite dessert of choice?

Lola: Cake!  Of any variety really.

Bogie: Oh I absolutely love cake.  My favorite is duck liver with whipped pate frosting. It’s hard to find this in most bakeries, but I’m sure you have it here.  What is the most popular sweet you sell?

Lola: Cupcakes, paws down!

Bogie: Before I forget, do you have any bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting?  I’m thinking of having them as hors d’ourves at my Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all on me this year, no big deal. I’d be happy to get the recipe from you before I leave. So, everybully knows a baker’s life requires early mornings and a lot of hard work—two things a bulldog isn’t known to enjoy.  How do you do it?Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.31.55 AM

Lola: Well it’s true, I’m not usually an early riser but I find motivation in knowing I will also be taste testing the treats. It puts a little spring in my step and helps me power though the day…with a few naps of course.

Bogie:  Naps are crucial! Is there a dog cookie recipe you could recommend to us foodies?

Lola: I do have a cookie recipe I like to bake for my fiancé, Bruce. It’s a Grain Free treat with Carrot, Apple & Peanut Butter which is just delicious!

Bogie: Perhaps you have some samples around I could taste test?  You know…to help out… It’s almost breakfast time and I know you have some cakes to frost, but do you think you can squeeze in a lightening round?

Lola: Yes! Fire away Boges!

Bogie: Sweet cherry or pecan pie?

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.34.27 AMLola: Sweet Cherry.

Bogie: Sprinkle doughnut or cream filled glaze?

Lola: Cream filled glaze is my weakness.

Bogie: Isn’t it everybullies? Confectioners or toaster oven?

Lola: Confectioners.

Bogie: White flour or whole wheat?

Lola: White. We aren’t in LA anymore, Bogie.

Bogie: Fair enough. Butter or margarine?

Lola: Butter makes everything better!

Bogie: You’re telling me! Eagles or Steelers?Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.51.20 AM

Lola: Eagles!!! I bleed green!!

Bogie: East Coast or West?

Lola: West of course!

Bogie: Pizza or pasta?

Lola: Pizza.

Bogie: Sundress or leggings and a hoodie?

Lola: I’m a lady and I do enjoy a beautiful sundress.

Bogie: Lolita or Lola Monroe?

Lola: Oh Lola Monroe for sure!

Bogie: Now about those cookies???

Lola: Oh yes, here it is!

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