Fun Monday!

When the boss is away, the workstudies will play; at least, that was my thought process heading into work last Monday.  Although I currently work full time (Tuesdays-Saturdays) at North Shore Animal League America, on Monday evenings you can find me behind the desk at HotYoga4You Rockville Centre.

I fell in love with the practice back in 2012, but living the life of a part time retail worker and full time graduate student eventually led me to take quite the hiatus.  There wasn’t a day that I did not miss that studio, the classes or my favorite instructor (HI CHRIS!)  At the start of 2016, I was determined to return.  Fast forward one year later and now you’ll find me working behind the desk and spending just as much time at the studio as you would at my regular job.  To be honest, I was shocked when I was asked to be a workstudy; I was simply that quiet introvert who checked into class and went straight into the room. To be honest (and in an attempt to not sound like a Debby Downer), I didn’t think anyone noticed me.  I’m used to being unseen, whether through my own actions or life’s natural occurrences.  Now, not only do I love the studio for the practice, but becoming a workstudy has allowed me to open up with the students and instructors around me, creating a few really great friendships.



Although I have grown close to several people at the studio, I have probably grown closest with fellow workstudies (now instructors) Michelle and Stephanie.  Seeing the three of us slotted to work together, I knew it was going to be an awesome shift.  For the past few months, my fellow workstudies and instructors have been wonderful taste-testers for all of my baked treats; so, I promised Michelle that this batch would be on the healthy-ish side.


These flourless, peanut butter chunk cookies proved that if at first you do not succeed, try and try again! While baking these cookies, it seemed that fun Monday was turning into everything but that.  I was your regular bull in a china shop: tripping over the kitchen rug, nearly dropping my mixer bowl, tearing aluminum foil like a spazz, and finally, burning my first batch.


These soft and chewy cookies quickly turned into bricks with every minute of cooling.  I am all for learning how to make a crunchy cookie, but not if the trade off is serving someone a hockey puck instead of a treat.  So what is a girl to do?  Simple: scrap it and try again.  I’m sure if my mother was home, she would have protested and said they were fine.

When it comes to baking, though, I am quite the perfectionist.


Round two was a success: a healthy(ish) peanut buttery cookie!  Fun Monday proved to be a lesson in patience and perseverance, but overall, it was definitely worth it.



Sundays in the Park with Peanut

For me, Sundays are made for hot yoga, baking and Breakfast with the Beatles.  However, who doesn’t mind a break from routine every now and then?  Yesterday, there was no better way for me to spend my Sunday than driving with the windows down, blasting Eights Days a Week, and on my way to see Peanut (aka my niece, Liv).

I could not believe how incredibly amazing the weather was; it was certainly a day that I feel many of us craved: a chance for us to get out of hibernation mode, to shake those muscles that have frozen over and just be at ease.

And yesterday was definitely a much needed at ease day, especially when you get to visit this little peanut!


And of course, you have to love it when ZoZo girl gets in on the action.


Although Zoey and Toby stayed behind, Liv definitely enjoyed her first trip to the park (at least for the parts that she was awake for).


Naturally, I could not visit my brother and sister-in-law empty handed; it goes against every Italian bone in my body.  So, in honor of visiting Peanut, I baked sugar cookies shaped in her likeness (sort of).


About a week ago, I finally decided to be brave and play around with cookie cutters.  After finally nailing down my sugar cookie recipe, the idea of rolling out dough and cutting it still seemed quite daunting.  Although I use a wine bottle as my rolling pin, I think I am finally getting the hang of it.  The decorating can still use a little work, but I suppose that’s an adventure for another day.


Welcome to Cafe for Strays, how may I help you?

What is Cafe for Strays exactly?

I am glad you asked!

As a lover of all things baking and helping animals in need, Cafe for Strays is the name of my imaginary dessert (cat) cafe; however, as I have yet to win the lottery, I have decided to do what I do best and throw all of my ingredients into the mixer and see what happens.

Hence, Cafe for Strays: the blog is born!

Here, I hope to document my misadventures in life and baking to share with my family and friends.  I am quite excited about this venture, and I hope you enjoy yourself as well.