‘Blog’

Brand Intelligence

We talk a lot about “brand” at MG. Lately, we’ve put even more focus on what that means because it’s way more than chef dude or interesting composed salads or signs on kraft paper. Yes, those are things we hope people recognize us for, but it’s way more. This article – What does your corporate brand stand for – reinforces why this is so important. Our brand is what we stand for and how others perceive we are doing with that (our reputation!). It’s critical that a company know their “brand core”:  what do we promise and how do we express that?

We have ten core values, but they are all summed up in our overarching goal:  to make a difference every day. From how we appreciate people to how we love food and our planet…this will never go out of style.

Leslie Phillips
CEO

Pink Lady

Makes 8 drinks

1/2 c cranberry juice
1/2 c fresh lime juice
3 c ginger ale or sparkling water, chilled
8 thin strips of lime peel

Procedure

1. cranberry juice & lime juice, chill.
2. Divide cranberry lime mixture between 8 stemmed glasses, top with ginger ale or sparkling water.
3. Garnish with lime peel.

Note: for adult beverage, can substitute 2 c of vodka & 1 c cointreau or triple sec for the ginger ale

Pink Lady

Makes 8 drinks

1/2 c cranberry juice
1/2 c fresh lime juice
3 c ginger ale or sparkling water, chilled
8 thin strips of lime peel

Procedure

1. cranberry juice & lime juice, chill.
2. Divide cranberry lime mixture between 8 stemmed glasses, top with ginger ale or sparkling water.
3. Garnish with lime peel.

Note: for adult beverage, can substitute 2 c of vodka & 1 c cointreau or triple sec for the ginger ale

Be Curious

As the holidays approach, friends begin to share pictures of their young children with Santa. These pictures are often touching and humorous, all at the same time. Their faces. Some scared, some excited, some curious. Children are curious. They ask a lot of questions like, “how does Santa fly around the world delivering all those presents with just a sleigh pulled by 8 reindeer?”

“Questions ‘ignite curiosity” (see my last post). And this article echoes that point.
When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are wrong) and to stereotyping people.

The research maintains that if you start your day asking yourself, what is one topic I am curious about today vs. what is one thing I’ll complete today…you will be more innovative. So go ahead, be curious. Challenge YOUR status quo and invite your team to do the same.

Leslie Phillips, ESQ
CEO

Pimento Cheese Biscuits

Makes Approx. 24, 2″ biscuits

2 c AP flour
1 t sugar
1 T baking powder
8 T cold butter, cubed
3/4 c milk
1/3 c pimentos, drained, diced
1 1/2 C sharp cheddar, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
3. Cut in butter until pea size.
4. Add pimentos & cheese.
5. Make a well, slowly add milk.
6. Knead dough with fingers, add more milk if needed.
7. Roll & cut desired size.
8. Bake 8-12 minutes, until golden.
9. Brush with melted butter, serve warm.

Mock Chocolate Truffles

Serves 6

Cookies:
8 oz oreos
2 T rum
1 3/4 c Confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 c orange juice
6 oz chocolate chips, melted
1 c pecans, finely chopped

Glaze:
1 c confectioners sugar
2 T rum, more or less

1. Crush cookies into fine crumbs
2. Blend sugar, liquids, melted chocolate
3. Stir in cookie crumbs & pecans
4. Chill dough until stiff, about 1 hr
5. Form into 1″ balls & chill
6. Dip into glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa

What’s Your Question?

We are taught at a very young age that having the right answers is really, really important. Since 1984, Alex Trebek (of Jeopardy!) has entertained millions of viewers who love hearing him ask questions for which there is a right answer. But life and work? Not so much. Both are full of….gray. Possible solutions, different approaches, and very little pure right or wrong.

So then, how do we let loose of having to have the answers? We ask questions.
Questions “ignite curiosity, which comes before solutions…The rehashing of old ideas produces stability at first and stagnation in the end.”
Use questions to share ideas and values. Questions like: what makes this important to you, what would you like to do about that, how can I help you?

Yes, leaders help solve problems. But more importantly, leaders explore possibilities.

Leslie Phillips, ESQ
CEO

Metabolize This

According to the latest editorials in lay papers, the puzzle of weight loss is one step closer to being solved. A new, complex research study has lead to promising headlines such as “A low carbohydrate diets leads to greater weight loss.”

Before you clear your pantry of carbohydrates, you may want to rethink your strategy. First, this was a study about body metabolism, not weight loss. Second, study participants dietary intake was carefully controlled & monitored, certainly not an accurate depiction of our westernized lifestyle.

Bottom line, more research still needs to be done to truly determine if we metabolize calories differently from fat, carbohydrates or protein. And as Dr. Katz so bluntly puts it “If you are a seeker of dietary magic, you aren’t going to like the answer: the people most successful at maintaining weight loss for the long haul eat sensible, balanced, carefully portion-controlled diets, and exercise routinely. “

Some food for thought editorial:

Carbs, Calories, Weight, and Diet Quality: What A New Study Really Means

Food Police

Last month’s blog discussed how Intuitive Eating has completely changed the way I approach nutrition education with clients. Intuitive eating features 10 principles. I was reminded of Principle # 4 (Challenge the Food Police) when I came across this article titled “Guilt Free Foods are a Lie”. It’s no secret that food advertisers manipulate our emotions when selling their products: ‘”eat this, not that” “guilt free indulgence” the list is exhaustive. Advertisers have taught us to believe that food is a moral choice and sadly we have fallen for it. Many of my client session’s focus on the intense guilt felt when a “bad” food choice is made & how they want “do better next time.” We should nourish our bodies with good food because it makes us feel good, guilt should never be a motivator for healthy eating (and exercise). Food is essential for life; lets make peace it & enjoy every bite.

* Intuitive Eating Principle # 4 Challenge the Food Police. Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

Spicy Maple Popcorn

3 T canola oil
1 c unpopped popcorn
1 c dry roasted cashews
1 c sugar
1 1/3 c maple syrup
1/4 c butter
1 t cayenne pepper

1. Pop corn in canola oil, stir in cashews
2. Combine remaining ingredients, bring to boil
3. Cook 1 min, stir constantly, remove from heat
4. Pour hot mixture over popcorn & cashews, toss to coat
5. Immediately spread mixture in jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper
6. Cool & serve

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