‘All Stories’

Stop Focusing on the Actual Goal

For a company that is wild about wildly important goals…say what?!?
 
You need a goal (or two, but not more than 3!) and it needs to be measurable. The process of identifying and agreeing upon a goal (what can be even better, cleaner, tastier, safer) brings focus…to everyone. And, by the way…”focus” is the single word to which both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates attribute their success — not determination, not smarts, not courage, not creativity — but focus.
 
BUT, to achieve your goal? Spend your time focusing on your “systems”.
 
“If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day…When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time. None of this is to say that goals are useless…goals are good for planning your progress, while systems are good for actually making progress.”
 
So, you have a goal…pulse-check…what are your systems for achieving it and maintaining the desired result? Focus, focus and refocus on that.

A Twist on Tradition

Before Valentines, take time to read “True love starts in the kitchen“… with Chef Anne from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, highlighted in Richmond Times-Dispatch! Sink your teeth into these Valentines Day foods with a makeover.

Salty Caramel & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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Yields (about) 48 cookies

1c butter, softened

1c granulated sugar

1c packed dark brown sugar

1t salt

1t baking powder

½t baking soda

2 eggs

2t vanilla

1½c all-purpose flour

3c rolled oats

11oz package caramel baking

1c pecans, coarsely chopped

coarse sea salt

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. In mixer, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds

3. Add both sugars, 1t salt, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda; beat until combined

4. Beat in eggs & vanilla; then flour

5. Stir in oats, caramel bits, & pecans

6. Using small scoop, drop 1½” mounds of dough, 2″ apart on parchment lined cookie sheet

7. Sprinkle “sparingly” with sea salt

8. Bake for 11-12 mins, until edges light brown

Pumpkin Muffins

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Yields (about) 12 muffins

2ea large eggs

1¼c sugar

6t vegetable oil

¾c canned pumpkin, mashed

1c+6T all purpose flour

¼t salt

1t baking soda

1t ground cinnamon

⅓t ground nutmeg

⅓t ground cloves

1 pinch ground allspice

 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F

2. Combine eggs, sugar, oil, & pumpkin; mix well

3. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda & spices

4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture

5. Pour into well sprayed muffin tins

6. Bake for 15-20 mins

note: can add white or dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or pecans

Sweet Potato & Apple Soup

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Serves 4

1 small onion, small dice

1 stalk celery, small dice

1 med carrot, small dice

1t chopped garlic

1T finely chopped or grated ginger

2c vegetable stock

½c dry white wine

2 granny smith apples, peeled, seeded,  ½” dice

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, ½” dice

1 cinnamon stick

1 fresh bay leaf

½c unsweetened coconut milk

 

1. Sauté onions, celery & carrots over med heat 6-8 mins

2. Add garlic & ginger, cook 1 minute

3. Add stock, wine, apples, sweet potatoes, cinnamon & bay leaf

4. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 10-12 mins, until potatoes are soft

5. Remove cinnamon stick & bay leaf

6. Pureé until smooth; season with sea salt & pepper, Add coconut milk or extra stock to desired consistency

 

Start cool, stay cool

breakfast flatbread time

As we go from zero (or slow-ish) to full speed ahead, everywhere (yay, back to school!), your time is at a premium and time management is critical. So, before you lose your cool (and who wants to spend time looking for that), here are some tips:

1. Preventative maintenance.
Fuel up with the right stuff. Eat a real breakfast…one with nutritional value. You’re in the food business, you KNOW what that looks like. Just do it.

2. Take 5.
Commit to taking mental breaks. Step outside, take three deep breaths, look at the horizon – the sky – anything growing from the earth, close your eyes, stretch, re-center. And then get back in there…they need your energy and your leadership!

3. Know your hot buttons and manage them.
What really sets you off? Guess what…it might happen today! What are you going to do when it does? Remember, you are in control of how you react. Spare yourself (and those around you) the stress and breathe through the things that push your buttons.

Deviled Egg Salad

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Serves 6

15ea hard cooked eggs, peeled

6T good quality mayo

1T dijon

½t sea salt

¼t black pepper

splash tabasco

 

1. Chop egg (cheese grater, coarse slide, works great!)

2. Combine with remaining ingredients. Mix well. Keep chilled

3. Garnish with fresh parsely

Belgian Chocolate Greek Yogurt

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Serves 6

⅓c cocoa powder

⅔c heavy cream

6oz 60% semi-sweet belgian chocolate chips

32oz plain greek yogurt

 

1. In saucepan, mix cream & cocoa; heat to a simmer

2. In a heatproof bowl, pour hot cream over chocolate chips, whisk until melted & smooth; cool 10 mins

3. Stir in yogurt in very small amts, blend well

4. Garnish with fresh mint

Poached Salmon Salad

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Serves 6

1lb fresh salmon

½c ea white wine & water

few slices of onion & sprigs of parsley

1T butter

1c white wine vinegar

1T fresh lemon juice

½t lemon zest, grated

½t sea salt

½t white pepper

½c mayo

1T dill

4c mixed greens

1c cucumbers, seeded, half moon slices

½c tomatoes, diced

 

To Poach Salmon

1. Lightly salt salmon fillets

2. Combine water, wine, onion & parsley in shallow pan. Bring to simmer over medium high heat

3. Slide salmon pieces into poaching liquid and dot with butter

4. Bring to slow boil, reduce heat to medium, poach 10 to 15 mins

5. Chill & flake into large pieces

 

For Salad

1. Combine vinegar, lemon juice, zest, s&p; whisk in mayo & dill

2. Lay greens, cucumber, tomatoes & salmon; drizzle with dressing

Poached Salmon Salad

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Serves 6

1lb fresh salmon

½c ea white wine & water

few slices of onion & sprigs of parsley

1T butter

1c white wine vinegar

1T fresh lemon juice

½t lemon zest, grated

½t sea salt

½t white pepper

½c mayo

1T dill

4c mixed greens

1c cucumbers, seeded, half moon slices

½c tomatoes, diced

 

To Poach Salmon

1. Lightly salt salmon fillets

2. Combine water, wine, onion & parsley in shallow pan. Bring to simmer over medium high heat

3. Slide salmon pieces into poaching liquid and dot with butter

4. Bring to slow boil, reduce heat to medium, poach 10 to 15 mins

5. Chill & flake into large pieces

 

For Salad

1. Combine vinegar, lemon juice, zest, s&p; whisk in mayo & dill

2. Lay greens, cucumber, tomatoes & salmon; drizzle with dressing

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