Pre-Adoptathon Bakeathon

What a blur. This past weekend was our Annual Global Pet Adoptathon at North Shore Animal League America; hundreds of puppies, dogs, kittens and cats were rescued and brought to our adoption center in hopes of finding a potential home.  This weekend is the biggest and busiest adoption event of the year.

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Beginning at 9am on Saturday, May 6th, our adoption center was open for 36 hours straight as we hoped to find homes for our puppies, dogs, kittens and cats.

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People lined up all throughout our campus for the chance to adopt one of these little guys.  Naturally, on a busy weekend like this one, we wanted to be on our A-game.  At our adoption center our kennel associates and managers work diligently to make sure our animals are going home to the right match; on a weekend like Adoptathon, that rule is not any different.

If we were going to make it through the weekend, I thought that the volunteers and associates could use some sustenance.

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Enter Bakeathon.

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I hoped that a few batches of chocolate chip cookies and Nutella brownies would help boost morale.

36 hours later, we are happy to announce that over 440 puppies, dogs, kittens and cats found a home during our Adoptathon weekend.  It was an incredibly busy weekend, but certainly a wonderful one as well.

When life hands you lemons, eat peanut butter

I have to admit, it was a quiet week on the western front, one where I was simply trying to keep my head low and get through the week.  Motivation has been hard to come by, often feeling stuck and scattered instead of secure and inspired.  I guess this is where I need to take a step back and tell myself it’s okay to stand still, to stay rooted where I am and strive for growth.  An overwhelming feeling of impulsiveness and anxiousness does not help that though.  In times like these, it is no surprise that I turn to my baking to ease my troubles, unless of course I am baking with the one ingredient that causes me to throw all forms of common sense out of the window: peanut butter. 

This week, my attempt to bake treats for others did not go according to plan.  Normally, I am pretty good at abstaining from tasting my baked treats; however, all bets are off when peanut butter is involved.  As much as I enjoy experimenting with different recipes, and attempting to make “healthy” treats, that is when I begin to bargain with myself and convince myself that it is okay to try them: Oh, it’s peanut butter, there’s no added sugar or flour, this recipe is healthy!  And more often than not, once I try one that is when I eat half of the tray (as I have absolutely zero self-control when it comes to all things peanut butter).

IMG_1230  Although these make look odd, and similar to last week’s PB banana treats, these came out so much butter than I could have imagined!  In addition to peanut butter and bananas, these squares also contained mini chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, oats and shredded coconut. (Almost healthy!)

Waking up this morning, I could definitely feel the after effects of my peanut butter tray binge, but sometimes, I guess you need to fall off of the wagon in order to jump back on with a new vigor.

This weekend, I have quite a bit of baking to do to; luckily, all of my upcoming treats will be peanut butter free (and temptation free)!

 

Feel Good Friday

Although it may not feel like it yet, we have finally turned a corner in the seasons.  The days are longer, the chill is starting to leave the air and the sound of birds chirping are serving as my alarm clock.  With March almost behind us, I am more excited than ever to jump into Spring; everything begins to stir again, as I look to the upcoming days with a new focus.

This week has been pretty wavy, rocking from mundane and uneventful, to emotional and stirring, to enlightening and empowering; but honestly, I am okay with that!  Sometimes that feeling of just getting through the week, successfully sailing through the different waves of emotions, is enough to revitalize you; it also helps you focus on the little things that make you happy, such as the changing seasons or new recipes.

At work, though, I have been excited to explore new projects; this week, we borrowed a camera from our social media department in hopes of collecting portraits for our upcoming Volunteer Appreciation Brunch.  Of course, having the camera has offered me the opportunity to capture more than just volunteer portraits.

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(This is Lootah! A new friend I met in our cat habitat.)

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(And this is Miss Maggie! A sweet little lady who loves going for walks, and is also available for adoption.)

I love playing around with photography, and the fact that I get to explore this passion at work has been amazing!  Things have begun to settle back into a routine at work, a busy routine but one with a good flow.  As I jumped back into the swing of things, I realized that I haven’t spoiled my fellow workers with treats for some time now; I decided that maybe a small pick-me-up was needed to help get us through the week.

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One of my favorite ingredients to bake with is oats.  Not only is oatmeal utterly delicious (and good for you!), but I love the consistency when added to a baked treat.  It adds a smooth yet heartier taste.  For these cookies, I found a new oatmeal chocolate chunk recipe and was excited to try it out.  The recipe called for all of the basic cookie ingredients, but I was intrigued to see cinnamon thrown into the mix.  I had never thought to add cinnamon to an oatmeal cookie before!  I’m glad that I did, as many of my taste-testers commented that the hint of cinnamon was quite enjoyable.

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Overall, what may have started as a temperamental week certainly settled into an amazing Friday feeling.  Sometimes, you just need a week to go through the motions and clear away the cobwebs of the mundane.  In the end, you’ll find yourself springing into the weekend with feel-good vibes and a clear mind.

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