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How to Stop Selling and Start Building a Business

Originally published on Aug 26, 2021

By Paul Cowan


The Day I Stopped Selling and Built a Business

The advertising agency I’d joined was the most competitive and ambitious in London. Building business was hardwired into every one of us. Competition with other internal teams as part of the process. Jumping to the top of the queue above other teams for the next new business prospect gave us more opportunities for winning new business. We were trained to present, to sell, and sell again and again. And I was desperate to succeed.

Failure could be challenging. Our creative teams could be fearsome to deal with. Emotions ran high — sometimes way too high, with unpleasant consequences. I planned to stay for a year or so. But twelve years passed quickly, and I ended up running a big group. The rewards for those of us who succeeded were good, but I wanted more.

I took a big, big risk and started a breakaway agency with seven colleagues. With a full team and a great office in the center of London, we had a stupidly large overhead from Day One. We also had no client and no income. We had to sell to survive. Every single opportunity, every new business prospect, however small, was critical. Our family houses, the school fees, the grocery bills, and everything we owned depended on winning business.

We were good — mostly, very good. Even if we lost a new business pitch, we didn’t give up. Sure, this irritated some prospects, but mostly they appreciated our hunger.

Every idea had to be sold and nurtured. Every opportunity, however small, is exploited. Our lives and our families depended on it. And at the end of the first year, we broke even. Our bankers were so amazed they threw us a private lunch to celebrate.

Then times got edgy. We had big debts. We restructured, redoubled our efforts, and focused harder on winning business. We survived — and produced some outstanding work.

After years and years of selling the agency to prospects, to staff, stakeholders, and selling work to clients, I realized something. I was dog-tired. I was exhausted from filling the leaky bucket of revenue over and over again. I knew it was time to merge my agency and get out. I stopped selling.

New Business. No Selling

After a stint at business school, I was back in business, but this time, on my own. I had no website and no nameplate in my office. I was invisible, and I didn’t sell. I just told past clients and colleagues what I was planning and doing.

For four months, the phone was quiet. Then it rang. I met with the prospect — and instead of selling and telling him about my offer, I just asked questions about his company and what problems required attention. I checked the size, importance, and cost of those problems.

He was interested in working with me, and I was interested in working with him. I wrote a two-paragraph summary of how to tackle the issues and added a price range. It was large and provided good value.

And the phone continued to ring, despite no website, no marketing, no sales activity, and no long submissions. I refused to write submissions – only one-page outlines. I just asked questions.

“Telling is not selling. Only asking questions is selling.” – Brian Tracy

Really. No Selling.

A few years later I co-founded The Client Relationship Consultancy. Again: no website, no marketing, no selling. I met with past colleagues and explained our philosophy. We made them sign a two-way NDA — we would never talk about them, and they would never talk about us.

But they wanted to work with us. As clients moved to new agencies, the word spread and we got more calls. These new prospects wanted credentials presentations. I explained that I would tell them about our business for less than sixty seconds, and about our philosophy and approach for four minutes. At that point, if they did not agree with our approach, we could cut short the meeting and I might be able to suggest others who could be a better fit for them. But no one ever said that. And we still had a two-way NDA.

We never chased after a meeting. If I thought a prospect would not be right for us, I would decline their business. Occasionally, existing clients wanted to do things differently. If whatever they suggested failed to meet our philosophy, we refused to work with them.

I loved this new way of carrying out business. I felt re-energized. And our clients stuck.

To my business partners’ intense irritation, I refused to set annual targets. I did not want to feel that I needed to sell. But over sixteen years, our business grew and grew — to offices and consultants in London, Windsor, Boston, Mexico, Munich, Singapore, and Sydney. Still no website. Still no new business or marketing activity. Still a two-way NDA.

Why It Worked

Why did this approach work? Not having objectives for sales, and not selling, meant that I had a powerful position, equal to that of a prospective client. I could relax. As a result, so could the client. We were able to have adult-to-adult conversations. The prospective clients became less defensive, and more open to me. They were comfortable disclosing deeper, underlying issues.

Both parties had the opportunity to ensure that the ‘fit’ between was tight. Both sides had the chance to ensure that our beliefs were in synch. The result: long-term, enduring relationships, and no leaky buckets anywhere.

RELATED:

How to Sell Anything to Anybody – business.com


How To Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

Originally Published on Aug 4, 2021

By Saaradha Kumar


There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something.

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided.

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

Saaradha Kumar is an enthusiastic writer and has immense love for books. She works as a Digital Marketer at RentALLScript. RentALLScript (the one who designed Wooberly, an Uber clone app) gives out creative web and mobile app solutions for entrepreneurs to enhance their business. 


How To Improve Your Life With Massage Therapy

The Benefits of Massage Therapy Can Improve Your Life In a Variety of Ways.

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA/April 27th, 2021/By: Jeffrey L. Klump


Massage therapy is part of the healing arts and some say it has been around for thousands of years in one form or another.

The Healing Arts are generally thought of as healing, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, to include wellness, coping with life challenges, and personal change.

The Healing Arts is a variety of complementary and alternative medicine including holistic healing, Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy.

A practitioner in the healing art of massage therapy is license & certified with the local community or state in which they conduct business.

You do not want to visit someone who is not certified.

Those are the types you hear about that make headlines with professional athletes.

This is something completely different.

The best massage therapist in the Saint Louis, Missouri area is Elsa Deen with True Touch Massage.

Deen is a native of Cebu, Philippines.

Filipino women are taught at an early age the value of hard work from their parents.

Deen is attentive to detail and puts every effort into the entire time that you are there. She also has some of the strongest hands this writer has ever experienced.

She is a true professional in the Healing Arts.

Massage Therapy has many benefits that can help improve your life, including:

  • Detoxifies your body and squeezes out all of the impurities that your body builds up from stress and anxiety.
  • Reduces muscle tension.
  • Helps manage lower back pain including pain from degenerative disc disease.
  • Helps promote relaxation to help you get a better night’s sleep.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Effective for anyone who has Post Traumatic Stress or Grief.
  • Enhances exercise performance.
  • Improves cardiovascular health.
  • Reduces migraines.
  • Helps with pain management including Osteoarthritis.
  • Lowers stress for people with life-threatening diseases like cancer.
  • Helps strengthen your immune system.
  • And much more!

Massage Therapy isn’t for everyone especially if you have Deep Vein Thrombosis, Bleeding Disorders, or a Low Platelet count.

There are several different types of massage that a licensed practitioner can give, and they include:

  • Deep Tissue MassageThis massage technique uses slower and more forceful strokes to target deep layers of muscle tissue. This type of massage is perfect for anyone who has had an injury or is experiencing disc problems with the lower back area including the sciatic nerve. This type of massage will make you worn out at the end like you had an intense weight training session.
  • Swedish MassageA Swedish massage is not for people who live in Sweden. This is a gentle type of massage compared to Deep Tissue and the strokes are longer using deep circular movements and tapping. This type of massage helps you feel relaxed and energized.
  • Trigger Point MassageTrigger points are those areas of your body with really tight muscle fibers. These are specific areas where your practitioner can target and they can incorporate Deep Tissue Massage, as well.
  • ReflexologyThis is also known as Zone Therapy and is similar to Acupuncture but without the needles. This is the application of using pressure to specific areas of your hands and feet. You can feel pain when this is applied, but it is meant to relieve stress and pressure that is built up in other areas of your body.

The human body experiences stress every day and most people associate that with mental or emotional stress.

Did you know that sitting down for a prolonged period of time, causes stress on your lower back, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings?

Think about how long people sit every day whether it be for work or pleasure like gaming or going onto social media.

The human body was not meant to be sitting on our posterior for most of our lives.

Our bodies are meant to be moving. Bodies in motion.

You are much more likely to develop Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Arthritis, and problems with your Sciatica if you do not make changes to the way you live and work.

Try getting up and stretching after about 20 minutes of sitting down either at work or home.

Stretching is critically important for your body especially the older you get.

Massage is just one more way to improve your life and overall health without using “Big Pharma” drugs which have all kinds of side effects.

Go see a certified massage therapist today!

Your body will thank you.

Jeffrey L. Klump is a writer, blogger, digital marketer, work from home business opportunity specialist, and an Enigma.

RELATED:

Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits – Mayo Clinic

Massage Therapy: What You Need To Know | NCCIH (nih.gov)


How To Make Romeo Salta’s Easter Salad

Romeo Salta’s Easter Salad

Frank Originally Published On 27 March 2021antipasti38 Comments

Romeo Salta's Easter Salad

Romeo Salta was a renowned restauranteur back in the 1950s through the 1980s. His swank namesake Manhattan restaurant attracted luminaries from the worlds of business, politics, and entertainment.

My father, who was quite the buongustaio back in the day, used to take our family there from time to time when I was a kid. It was a thrill to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. But Romeo Salta was also my first introduction to Italian food other than Angelina’s Neapolitan cookery. Salta served what was at the time called “Northern Italian” food. That was the rather ludicrous catch-all phrase used at the time for any regional Italian cuisine besides the ones from Naples and points south brought to America by the mass immigration of the early 20th century. These cuisines from central and northern Italy were new and different and became very fashionable. So-called northern Italian food was considered “lighter”, and certainly more “sophisticated”, than the southern Italian cookery Americans were familiar with, although that wasn’t really the case.

In 1962, Romeo Salta wrote a cookbook for anyone who wanted to try recreating the dishes he served up at his restaurant. The book, called The Pleasures of Italian Cooking, didn’t have much of an impact on the way Americans actually cooked. For that, we would have to wait another 11 years, for Marcella Hazan’s landmark Classic Italian Cookbook, published in 1973. Still, Salta’s cookbook is a piece of culinary history, the first cookbook published in America to present “real” Italian cookery. (The first such book in the English language had probably been Elizabeth David’s Italian Food, published in the UK about eight years before Salta’s book.)

I recently inherited my mother’s copy of The Pleasures of Italian Cooking. What surprised me the most, given Romeo Salta’s glamorous reputation, was just how homey most of the recipes are. Antipasti like mozzarella in carrozza and fagioli e tonno. First courses like zuppa di scarola e fagiolignocchispaghetti aglio e oliocarbonarapolenta pasticciata, and risotto alla milanese. Second courses like saltimboccabollito mistopollo e peperonifrittata… In other words, everyday home cooking—and from all corners of Italy, not just the center and north.

I did find one recipe that appears to be Romeo’s own creation. Dubbed Insalata di Pasqua or Easter Salad, it’s lightly blanched green peas, garnished with ham, anchovies, and olives, and dressed with a citronette enriched with hard-boiled egg yolk. It sounded intriguing and certainly seasonal, so I gave it a go, playing with the recipe a bit to suit my own tastes.

I was well pleased with the results. Other than a Russian Salad, I’d never tried using green peas in a salad, and never with a simple oil-based dressing. It worked beautifully. The fresh taste of the peas was complemented by the savory ham and other garnishes. The salad was filling yet light. And it was rather pretty to look at, too. All in all, a fitting antipasto to begin Easter dinner.

So if you feel like a little bit of nostalgia this Easter, why not give Romeo Salta’s Easter Salad a try?

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb (500 grams) frozen peas, blanched, drained, and cooled
  • 1/4 lb (150 grams) cooked ham, cut into cubes
  • One head of Boston lettuce

For the garnish:

  • A few anchovy fillets
  • Olives, green and black
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • The juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Blanch the peas in boiling water. Just let the water come back to the boil and let it simmer for perhaps a minute, then drain in a large colander. Rinse the peas in cold water to stop the cooking, then let them drain until they are perfectly dry.

Line a salad bowl with the Boston lettuce leaves, using as many as you need to line your bowl.

In a separate mixing bowl, mix the drained peas and cubed ham together, then pile the mixture on top of the salad leaves.

Arrange the anchovy fillets, olives and, if using, wedges of hard-boiled egg on top of the peas and ham.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients until they are perfectly emulsified. Taste and adjust for seasoning, then pour over the salad.

Serve immediately.

Romeo Salta's Easter Salad

Notes on Romeo Salta’s Easter Salad

Truth be told, as fascinating as it is as a piece of culinary history, The Pleasures of Italian Cooking is not always a pleasure to cook from. Salta’s instructions are fairly telegraphic, typical of many Italian cookbooks. But more to the point, a good number of his recipes, such as the one for peperoni alla piemontese, simply do not work. (Yes, I tried.) In others, the measurements seem off, such as his recipe for sedani alla parmigiana, which calls for braising three bunches of celery in a half-cup of stock. I wonder if he tested—or even proofread—his recipes?

Salta’s Original Recipe

This Easter Salad recipe also needed some interpretation. Here are his verbatim instructions:

Put peas on the bottom of a salad bowl. Arrange the anchovies and ham over them, then lettuce wedges around the edge of the bowl. Beat together the oil, [hard boiled] egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in the bowl. Garnish with olives.

Good luck with that! If you followed these cryptic instructions to the letter you would wind up with something rather odd. So as you can see, I played around. For one thing, I used the lettuce as a bed rather than an edging. Salta doesn’t specify the type of lettuce, but given the period and his instruction to cut it into wedges, I’m guessing iceberg. I used whole leaves of Boston lettuce instead.

And then I mixed the ham, cut into cubes with the peas rather than laying slices of it on top. Rather than using a whole can of anchovies as Salta calls for, I used enough to make a cross on top, symbolic of Easter. And rather than adding hard-boiled egg yolks to the dressing, which struck me as probably unsightly, I used whole hard-boiled eggs—also an Easter tradition—cut into wedges, as part of the garnish.

On Romeo Salta and his restaurant

Romeo Salta himself was born a southerner, in Puglia in 1904. After his father died when he was six, Salta was raised in a state-run orphanage in Florence. He had no formal culinary training, learning his trade working as a kitchen boy on several Italian cruise lines. Arriving penniless in New York in 1924, he made his living for a few years doing menial work at various hotels around town. After a stint in the midwest, he moved to Los Angeles in 1933, founding a restaurant called Chianti in 1938. After a low start, Ed Sullivan stopped for dinner one night and wrote about it in his newspaper column. Chianti soon began to attract celebrities like Lucille Ball and Errol Flynn. Salta’s career finally took off.

Returning to New York in 1951, Salta opened a place called Mercurio with a partner, then branched out on his own in 1953 with his storied namesake restaurant on West 56th Street. At a time when Italian restaurants were synonymous with red-checkered tablecloths with candles stuck in straw-covered Chianti bottles, his elegant ambiance and offerings of Italian food as it was and is cooked in its native land were a revelation.

You can read more about Romeo Salta in his 1998 New York Times obituary.

A funny story…

A great part of the fun going to Romeo Salta was the chance to catch a glimpse of its rich and famous patrons. I remember, for instance, we once sat next to an elderly James Farley, who had been FDR’s campaign director, Postmaster General, and later head of Coca-Cola International. Since the tables were close together, he and Dad struck up a conversation, and we got to hear a few of his fascinating reminiscences.

But the most memorable moment from our visits to Romeo Salta was seeing Raymond Burr. He was an actor best known for playing Perry Mason in the eponymous 1960s TV series and later “Ironside”, a wheelchair-bound detective for the San Francisco police force, in the 1970s. We happened to be seated near the entrance to the restaurant. From our table, we could see the patrons coming in and out. Well, in saunters Mr. Burr. One of my sisters, who was a big fan of Ironside at the time, blurts out—well within earshot mind you—” Look, it’s Ironsides! It’s Ironsides!” We all squirmed in embarrassment, trying to look as nonchalant as possible. As soon as he was out of sight, I turned and replied: “Yeah, and it must be a miracle, ’cause he’s walking!”

Romeo Salta's Easter Salad

 Print Recipe

Romeo Salta’s Easter Salad

Course: AntipastoCuisine: Italian, Italian-AmericanKeyword: salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 500g frozen peas blanched, drained, and cooled
  • 1/4 lb 150 g cooked ham cut into cubes
  • 1 head Boston lettuce

For the garnish:

  • A few anchovy fillets
  • Olives green and/or black
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup 125 ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Blanch the peas in boiling water. Just let the water come back to the boil and let it simmer for perhaps a minute, then drain in a large colander. Rinse the peas in cold water to stop the cooking, then let them drain until they are perfectly dry.
  • Line a salad bowl with the Boston lettuce leaves, using as much as you need to line your bowl.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix the drained peas and cubed ham together, then pile the mixture on top of the salad leaves.
  • Arrange the anchovy fillets, olives and, if using, wedges of hard-boiled egg on top of the peas and ham.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients until they are perfectly emulsified. Taste and adjust for seasoning, then pour over the salad.
  • Serve immediately.

Related:

Romeo Salta, Dining Pioneer In Manhattan, Is Dead at 93 – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

The Pleasures of Italian Cooking: Romeo Salta, Roberto Caramico, Myra Waldo: 9780026067904: Amazon.com: Books


What is the Best Black Diesel Coffee?

Review: Black Diesel Coffee Guatemala Huehuetenango

Originally Posted on March 7, 2021by Margaret


This is the second bag of coffee I received from Black Diesel Coffee. Black Diesel is a craft coffee company dedicated to quality, community, and coffee education. I haven’t had a chance to visit their shop in person yet (not surprising, since I live in Texas and the global pandemic is still going on!) but I would really like to go the next time I am in Michigan if nothing else to see their cozy outdoor igloos available for rent!

Whole bean: A wonderfully decadent aroma of dark chocolate and malt wafted from this bag as soon as I opened it. Very sweet!

French press: This coffee strongly reminds me of hot cocoa. It struck me as a little under-sweet – I normally don’t add sugar or milk to my coffee but I almost feel like this particular preparation could use just a touch of sugar to round out the chocolaty flavor. I enjoyed the smooth mouthfeel.

Chemex: I miscalculated my grind size and the total brew time was a little longer than I intended (close to 5 minutes). The result wasn’t bitter but it was probably a little stronger than it would have been otherwise. Still, the coffee was heavy with dark chocolate flavor, and it got fudgier as the coffee cooled.

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V60: This wasn’t my favorite preparation method for these beans. It’s possible my extraction time was too long (my total time was 3:10), but I think something about the pour-over method brings out slightly more bitter, harsher flavors from these beans than the immersion methods do. These harsher notes faded some as the coffee cooled, but it was noticeably unbalanced to my palate, especially given what I had next…

AeroPress: Wow. This cup was creamy and sweet, full-bodied and decadent. At the time of writing this review, I have been setting up and experimenting with a new microphone for music/Zoom calls, and while I thought my old mic was decent, hearing the result from my new mic is just staggering in how much more beautiful the sound is. That’s kind of how I feel drinking thus Guatemala Huehuetenango made with the other brewing methods, and then from the AeroPress! Hands down, my favorite way of preparing these beans.

I didn’t try these beans brewed as espresso, but I did pull a shot of this via my AeroPress plus the Prismo attachment, to get an idea of the flavor notes that might come out when ground and brewed closer to espresso-style. I didn’t like the result as much vs. when brewed in the “traditional” AeroPress method, so I’d recommend not using the Prismo for this.

Summary: In my opinion, it’s a little harder to get optimum results for these beans in pour-over methods. Stick with immersion methods like the French press and the AeroPress. The AeroPress in particular resulted in coffee that was an incredible treat to drink. I felt like I was getting away with something!

From the roaster: melon, creamy, chocolate

Black Diesel Coffee Guatemala Huehuetenango

Review conducted 12-14 days post-roast.

Disclaimer: I received this product gratis in exchange for a fair and honest review. Even though I received this for free, I treat and test it the same way as if I had paid for it out of my own pocket.

Related:

Coffee blog from baristas to coffee lovers (baristainstitute.com)

Like this:

Review: Square Mile Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Mormora (London, England)August 29, 2018In “Africa”

Review: Case Coffee Roasters Guatemala Bella Carmona Antigua (Ashland, Oregon)October 31, 2015In “AeroPress”

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Your Dream of Working from Home and Enjoying the Good Life Is Here!

How To Make Seafood Lasagna with Lemon Cream Sauce

Seafood Freeform Lasagna with Lemon Cream Sauce

FEBRUARY 5, 2021 BY MARIE3 (Originally Posted on 02/05/21)

 

seafood lasagna

 

 


If you’re looking for a special date night dinner, something a little fancy but not so hard to make try this seafood freeform lasagna, what makes it even more special is the subtle lemon cream sauce that’s spooned all over.

This is the perfect dinner to have on Valentine’s Day which is coming up soon and I’m quite sure many of us will be dining at home. This is meant for two people but you can certainly double the recipe for more to enjoy if need be.

I used a mix of scallops and shrimp in this easy freeform lasagna, which is highlighted with a touch of Limoncello for a smack of bright lemon flavor! 

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chopped shrimp and scallops

The prep work is all done in advance so when it’s time to eat all you have to do is pop your dish into the oven, warm it up and get that golden top.

You’ll be spending all your time with your date instead of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen all night, and that’s a good thing!

filling ramekins

The lemon sauce is very light, you can use half lemon juice and half Limoncello or just all lemon juice. I wouldn’t do all Limoncello because that would be too sweet tasting and overpower the seafood.

If lemon is not your thing, you can make a nice white sauce to top it off like a béchamel, that would be equally as delicious and creamy to top it off.

Cut your lasagna noodles to fit into individual ramekins if using or if you end up using a bigger dish,  it doesn’t have to fit perfectly.

seafood filled ramekins

Then you’re going to layer all that amazing seafood on top. It’s a delicious mix of chopped scallops, shrimp, garlic, shallots with a little ricotta and mascarpone for creaminess and to help bind it all.

shrimp and scallop lasagna

Save some whole shrimp for garnish it makes a striking presentation. This can be served alongside a beautiful salad or if you really want to go all out, a steak for some surf and turf!

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Print A date night or Valentine’s Day dinner for you and your special someone.

Author: Marie

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. seafood, I used a combo of ½ lb. shrimp and ½ lb. scallops, you can also use all shrimp or any combo of your choice, peeled and deveined leaving a couple of whole shrimp or scallops for garnish
  • 6 lasagna sheets, pre-boiled
  • SEAFOOD MIXTURE INGREDIENTS
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, small dice
  • 2 large garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped parsley, extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup of ricotta
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mascarpone cream
  • 1 tablespoon, limoncello in the seafood mix or use 1 tablespoon, lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE LEMON CREAM SAUCE
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter and extra to butter your ramekins
  • 2 Tablespoons, Limoncello ( or use all lemon juice to make up the 4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Pre-boil your lasagne noodles, according to the time directions on the box, cool them down, and set them aside.
  2. Chop up your seafood into bite-size pieces, making sure to clean your shrimp beforehand, and setting aside 1 or 2 for garnish.
  3. For the whole shrimp garnish, season them and stick into a 420F oven until cooked through, then set aside.
  4. Butter 2 -6 inch” ramekins or 1- 12 inch”
  5. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a sauté pan, add the shallot and garlic till soft then toss in the chopped seafood, tossing gently till cooked. Don’t overcook!
  6. Add 1 Tablespoon of Limoncello to the mix or lemon juice as well as the parsley.
  7. Let the mixture cool down then add the ricotta and mascarpone, folding it in and mixing it till incorporated.
  8. Make your lemon cream sauce by placing both Limoncello, ( 2 tablespoons) and lemon juice( 2 tablespoons) in a small saucepan together ( or use all lemon juice( 4 tablespoons).
  9. Once warm whisk in your butter.
  10. When the butter melts in add the heavy cream gently stirring on low heat until the cream thickens.
  11. NOW FOR ASSEMBLY
  12. Line the bottom of your ramekins with a few cooked lasagna noodles, cutting them if need be to fit.
  13. Spread a little of the lemon cream sauce on the noodles.
  14. Divide your seafood mix between the two ramekins and spread on top of the pasta.
  15. Use the remaining lasagna noodles to fit over the top of the seafood mixture.
  16. Spoon some of the lemon sauce all around.
  17. This all can be prepped ahead of time.
  18. When you’re ready to serve you can place the ramekins under your broiler to warm it up and get some golden color on top, but if you do you can’t walk away!
  19. Stay near the oven broiler and keep checking to make sure it doesn’t burn,.
  20. You can also heat them in the oven at 375 just til heated through, ovens vary so keep checking, it won’t take too long, and remember everything is cooked already.
  21. If you want a little more golden on top, stick it under the broiler for that, but again do not walk away!
  22. Spoon some of the lemon cream on top to finish, garnish with chopped parsley and top it off with the whole cooked shrimp.
  23. Enjoy!
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How To Make Carpaccio Smoked Salmon

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

Originally Published by Frank 27 December 2020antipastiVeneto37 Comments

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

Here’s an elegant yet quick and easy starter that would fit perfectly into just about any menu: Carpaccio di salmone affumicato, or Smoked Salmon Carpaccio.

Classic carpaccio, of course, is made with thinly sliced beef. But the term carpaccio has evolved into a kind of passepartout for any number of dishes featuring thin slices of meat or fish, typically dressed with a light vinaigrette and perhaps some aromatic herbs. In this incarnation, thin slices of smoked salmon are dressed simply with an emulsion of oil and lemon, to which I like to add just a pinch of finely minced parsley. If you like, you can gussy up your carpaccio with all sorts of garnishes: a few capers, shaved fennel, arugula, even pomegranate seeds. Whatever strikes your fancy, really.

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio is simple itself to make, but it makes quite the impression, so it’s apt for a special occasion. To me, it’s an ideal way to begin a cenone di san Silvestro, or New Year’s Eve dinner on a simple but elegant note. That means less time in the kitchen, and more time sipping champagne and enjoying the evening with your loved ones. I call that a win-win.

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Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 500g (1 lb) smoked salmon, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • A few leaves of fresh parsley, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 dl (1 cup) olive oil

For garnish (optional):

  • Capers
  • Shavings of fresh fennel
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Arugula
  • Avocado wedges
  • Pomegranate seeds

Directions

Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).

Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.

Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.

Notes on Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

As we’ve pointed out on this blog, the original carpaccio, as invented by Giuseppe Cipriani for his renowned Venice bar, was made with sliced beef fillets, pounded paper-thin then dressed with a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce.  The charm of using smoked salmon, of course, is that you can buy it pre-sliced, which eliminates an awful lot of work. And the resulting contrast of orange and green, while not true to Carpaccio’s style of contrasting reds and whites, is lovely to behold all the same.

The choice of smoked salmon is up to you, but I particularly like Nova Scotia, the kind used for lox and bagels, as it’s only lightly smoked. For a more decisive smokiness, you could opt for Scottish smoked salmon. Personally, I find sockeye salmon’s darker color and fishier flavor less appealing as a carpaccio, but if you like it don’t let me stop you.

And obviously, you want to best quality olive oil you can manage to find, although I would opt for a lighter one, perhaps one from Liguria. Those very fruity and green olive oils, as wonderful as they are, could overwhelm the flavor of the fish.

And speaking of which, go light on the lemon juice. You want just enough to brighten the olive oil but no more. Since lemons vary in size and acidity, you may want to start with a few drops and add more to dressing until you’re pleased with the results. Also true for the salt. It may come as a surprise that you’d need any, but a small pinch, just enough to enhance the other flavors without drawing attention to itself, is what you want.

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Variations

As mentioned above, the basic recipe for Smoked Salmon Carpaccio lends itself to a huge variety of garnishes. I’m partial to either laying my carpaccio on a bed of tender greens or else topping it with arugula leaves, which pairs particularly nicely with smoked salmon, I think. But the list given in the ingredients list is really just examples. Let your imagination run wild!

Besides its usual role as a starter, Smoked Salmon Carpaccio can double as a light pescatarian main course as well.

Making Ahead

You can plate the salmon well ahead, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re almost ready to serve. The dressing, too, can be made ahead. Let the salmon come back to room temperature, then nap it with the dressing and top with any garnishes. What I wouldn’t do, however, is dress the salmon too far ahead of time as the dressing will become overwhelming if the salmon is left to macerate too long.

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

 Print Recipe

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato

Smoked Salmon CarpaccioTotal Time15 mins Course: AntipastoCuisine: ItalianKeyword: raw, seafood

Ingredients

  • 500g 1 lb smoked salmon thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 small lemon, juice of freshly squeezed
  • A few leaves of fresh parsley, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250ml 1 cup olive oil

For the garnish (optional):

  • Capers
  • Shavings of fresh fennel
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Arugula
  • Avocado wedges
  • Pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  • Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).
  • Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.
  • Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.

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How Restaurants Are Being Used To Spy On The American People

How Restaurants Are Being Used To Spy On The American People

Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page Is Once Again Abusing His Power By Using Local Businesses To Snitch On Their Own Customers!

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA/Friday, January 01, 2021
By : Jeffrey L. Klump

Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page is no stranger to controversy or corruption allegations in his short stint in politics for a little over a year.

Saint Louis County is the largest…

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How Restaurants Are Being Used To Spy On The American People

Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page Is Once Again Abusing His Power By Using Local Businesses To Snitch On Their Own Customers!

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA/Friday, January 01, 2021

By : Jeffrey L. Klump


Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page is no stranger to controversy or corruption allegations in his short stint in politics for a little over a year.

Saint Louis County is the largest county in the state of Missouri by population.

County Executive Sam Page took office on April 29, 2019, after the previous county executive, Steve Stenger, was sentenced to prison for corruption.

Page vowed to clean up the county government and many believed him since his previous profession was a physician.

It did not take long for Page to be one of the most divisive and hated politicians in recent memory.

Business owners, in particular, have attacked Page for illegally shutting down their place of business for “safety concerns” over the Coronavirus, even though the death rate is less than .05%.

A few days before Thanksgiving 2020, Page again showed his total disrespect for Constitutional Law and forced all of the restaurants and bars to shut down, again, in Saint Louis County.

Page threw thousands of Saint Louis County residents out of work right before the holidays.

Messing with someone’s paycheck is almost as bad as doing something to their child.

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The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is clear when it comes to the right to earn a living. It has been ruled by a federal judge as early as 2012, that the right to earn a living is protected under the “Immunities & Privileges’ clause in the 14th Amendment.

Aside from Constitutional Law, Page is forcing privately owned businesses to comply with whatever he deems necessary to “protect” the public from the big bad Covid 19, Coronavirus that is lurking under ever bed and wreaking havoc through neighborhoods across the United States.

The Italian Mafia could never get away with the type of Racketeering & Extortion, that Saint Louis County Sam Page is exhorting.

Page has been the subject of two recent scandals that have made local media headlines, just to eventually fade away.

The first is regarding a special app called Signal that can be downloaded to your phone and not only can you text and receive encrypted messages, but the app also automatically deletes text messages.

Why on earth would Sam Page need to send and receive secretive messages that can automatically be deleted, and from whom?

Former Governor of Missouri Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace after numerous charges of corruption in 2018, also had the app, Signal on his cell phone.

Is that just a coincidence?

You can read the full story here. (Secretive text-deleting app Signal appears on some local leader’s phones despite expert’s repeated warnings | News Headlines | kmov.com)

The second recent scandal involving Sam Page is information obtained that a medical firm partly owned by Page received millions in government funds under the PPP act to help small businesses, and get this, $5000 of those funds were directed to Page’s political campaign via a PAC(Political Action Committee).

Go here to read the full story. (Firm part-owned by Sam Page made political donations | ksdk.com)

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Now the latest on the growing abuse of power by Sam Page.

A few days ago, Page announced that he would reopen Saint Louis County to indoor dining at restaurants.

That’s great, especially when he had no legal right to close private businesses whether they be restaurants or anything else.

There is a catch, however.

One of the new ‘protocols” is that restaurants will be required to obtain personal information on their customers that dine-in, including their name.

You heard that right.

Go here to read the full story. (St. Louis County restaurants can reopen Monday with restrictions | ksdk.com)

Page is using restaurants to collect personal information on all those who dine in, and is using the excuse of “contact tracing” to implement it.

When you hear of “contact tracing” think of government surveillance program or spy program.

Contact tracing is just another word for neighborhood snitches.

Many people in the West are not familiar with the East German Stasi.

The Stasi in many ways made Hitler’s SS look like choir boys.

The Stasi, from 1950 to 1989, had the most advanced and invasive program for spying on its citizens down to the local level, and in many cases using bribes and bounties to pay fellow citizens for snitching on each other.

It was elaborate and advanced especially for a nation that was not apart of Western economies.

Sam Page is doing something similar and although he is using the terms “contact tracing” and says this is to keep people safe, a much more nefarious agenda is at work.

Page is a “reputed” member of the Masonic Lodge of Creve Coeur, MO.

Those of you who are not familiar with Freemasonry, let me school you.

Freemasonry is a satanic cult and has been around for more than 300 years and their goals are to destroy the Catholic Church and also to set up a One World Socialist Republic.

Freemasonry has been behind two of the greatest revolutions in human history.

The French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917.

It is hard to see how most restaurant owners would comply and take down personal information on their customers and then hand it over to Page or the County Health Department.

There are so many violations of privacy laws by what Page is trying to do and these restaurants would be opening themselves up to all sorts of litigation.

January 4th, 2021 is the day that indoor dining resumes in Saint Louis County.

It will be interesting to see how many business owners comply with Sam Page’s latest abuse of power.

Again, the Italian Mafia could never get away with the level of Racketeering & Extortion that Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page is getting away with when it comes to privately owned businesses and will continue to do so until he is stopped.

Related: Missouri Republicans trying to wrest pandemic power from local health officials | Politics | stltoday.com


 

Jeffrey L. Klump is a writer, blogger, work from home business opportunity specialist and former member of the Guardian Angels Saint Louis Chapter. 

 




 

 

How To Protect Your Immune System From The Onslaught of Chronic Fear

Tips That You Can Use Right Now To Strengthen Your Immune System

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA 12/15/20

By: Jeffrey L. Klump


Our planet is in a constant state of “fear”. You hear it continually like a broken record on national and local media. Social media is no different. It is as if there is nothing else going on in the world other than Covid 19. The fear pornographers are out in force and are trying to create reality for you based upon their own narrative.

Don’t let them!

Chronic fear can have long-term effects on your emotional, mental, and physical health.

Your emotional health is intricately linked to your immune system.  Your immune system is a collection of billions of cells, and some target organs that have the primary job of keeping you healthy and fighting off disease.  Your immune system cells travel throughout your body and defend it against antigens, such as viruses.  Unrelenting cortisol, your primary stress hormone, suppresses your immune system by reducing the number of its virus-fighting cells.  

Some of the best ways to reduce your cortisol levels are drinking black tea and taking an incredible herb called Ashwagandha Root Extract. Both of these bring down your cortisol levels and have a relaxative effect on the brain. Prolonged high cortisol levels is consistent with weight gain, low testosterone levels, diabetes, heart disease, and many other health issues. Ashwagandha Root is also great for adrenal gland burn out.

To make matters worse, ‘low-grade cortisol baths’ seem to be the biggest immune system culprit of all.  These ‘baths’ are smaller influxes of cortisol all day long, primarily due to a stress dominated thought process.  It is estimated that we have 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day, primarily repetitive, and primarily negative.  When added to the concept that your brain, in many ways, doesn’t know the difference between what you vividly imagine (or worry about) and what is real, you can see the damage your panic may be wreaking on your risk of contracting a circulating virus

The number one way to strengthen not only your immune system but also your mental health is from high intensity cardio and weight training. High intensity cardio for me is getting on an Eliptical and going no more than 20 minutes doing intermittent sprinting. Winds sprints are one of the best ways to burn fat. Walking or running on a tread mill for more than ten minutes is not only bad for your knees, but, does nothing to burn fat. Take a look at the body of a sprinter compared to that of a long distance runner. You can see that the sprinter has nothing but muscle on their frame and the long distance runner looks like a malnourished child in the 3rd world. High intensity weight training by far, exceeds everything when it comes to turbo charging your immune system. The older you get, the more weight training you need. Why? When we age, our bones become weaker, and we need to pack on more muscle to support those bones. The most efficient way to pack on muscle is high intensity weight training. Some may have their own definition of high intensity weight training, but for me, it is using weights in a slow, controlled manner and pushing yourself to failure with a short rest period in between each set. This helps me burn fat and also increase my metabolic rate. High intensity weight training is also the number one way to increase your testosterone levels which is key to overall good health especially for men over 40. These types of exercises also increase your serotonin levels which is important for healthy moods and brain function. If you are concerned about Covid 19, this is the absolute best way to combat that virus or any other disease.

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Another way to help you cope with fear and panic is doing deep breathing exercises. I like doing these exercises when I am on the floor with my legs straight up next to my bed. Since most people sit all day, the blood flow is being cut off to your lower body. By raising your legs while on your back, straight up, the blood flow is coming back into your upper body and this is great for your heart as well your lower body. It also helps tremendously if you have any sort of back problems. Try doing this at least once a day for 10 to 15 minutes and doing your deep breathing exercises while in that position.

Finally, if Covid 19 has you down, even though the death rate is less than .05 percent, here are a few more great ideas for you.

  1. Vitamin D Is the Key to Good HealthCovid 19, aka, “the Rona”, is a virus developed in a lab designed to mimic the flu and is a targeted virus. Who are the targets? The targets are those with low levels of Vitamin D. This is why very few young people are getting the Rona since they typically have high levels of Vitamin D. Regardless, the reason people get sick more in the winter time is? Because we have less sunlight. And you know what sunlight gives us? Yep! Vitamin D. You need to supplement with Vitamin D3 especially if you are over 40 and in particular during the winter months. Don’t be afraid to jack up your amounts of D3 to 40,000IU’s especially if you have the Rona or something worse like cancer.
  2. Liposomal C – Use as much as you want. This type of vitamin C is without a doubt, the most absorbable C out there. Go nuts with C!
  3. Become a CHAGA GangsterChaga mushrooms are freaking awesome. There were reports that both China and Russia were stock piling CHAGA back in March. These mushrooms are not only good if you have the Rona, or don’t want to get it, but they are also incredible for anyone that has cancer. These are not your typical mushrooms. Unless you get them in powdered form or supplements, they are very hard. They are not meant to be chewed. Steam hot water and pour over them in a tea cup and also add some black tea and you have a one-two punch combination.
  4. Brahmi PowderThis herb is one that I have been taking because of a series of strokes that I had in 2019. This is another awesome herb! It is great for anyone who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, Grief, Depression, High Anxiety, or all of the above. Brahmi aids in brain repair, is a memory enhancer, and studies have shown that it also helps people with Autism. Brahmi is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, and potassium. It is also considered an anti-anxiety herb.

These are tips that you can use right now to help you deal with all of the chronic fear being pushed upon us all on a daily basis.

These tips are the true way to good mental, emotional, and physical health and unlike Big Pharma drugs and vaccines, No Side Effects.

Related: Your Panic Is Increasing Your Risk | Psychology Today

Anxiety about coronavirus can increase the risk of infection — but exercise can help (theconversation.com)

The Effects of Chronic Fear on a Person’s Health | AJMC