Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quick and Easy Bean Soup

On the menu this week!

I have a very fond memory of the first time I had this delicious soup. I was on a business trip to the mountains of Southern California with my pal Wanda. We were able to fly in the evening before to squeeze a quick visit with my mom. She picked us up from the airport and when we got to her house she whipped up this delicious soup. The melty parm and the crusty bread dipped into the soup, oh so good!

3/4 lb mild Italian sausage
1 small onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 14 oz can black beans (strained)
1 15 oz can butter beans (strained)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can low sodium beef broth
1 small can tomato sauce
1 small can water
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano

Saute first three ingredients until sausage is browned and done. Drain grease. In soup pot mix all ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with hot crusty bread and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Setting Expectations

Setting expectations is the best way to get what you want. Ok its not a surefire solution, but it sure does help. You know how sometimes you get your hopes up for something. Then that something isn’t really all it was cracked up to be. Next time you find yourself doing that, make sure to set some expectations around what you are hoping for. And then, you may have to readjust your expectations a few times in order to avoid the disappointment and get what you want.

Expectation setting is a really good daily practice. I try to spend a few minutes each day doing that. I have found that days when I don’t are the ones that tend to be the most disappointing. OK, enough said about that. Flip it. Focus on what you want to get out of the day. Done and done.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Seven Habits - Practice makes perfect

The theories behind Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People are fairly basic.


We all follow some of these some of the time. What if you practiced all of these all of the time? And I mean practice. People say it takes a month to form a pattern and three months to make it a habit. I'm challenging myself for the next month to keep these principles close at hand and to practice each and every one of them. Hopefully starting a pattern which will then turn into a habit. You should try it too. You'll be amazed at how much more effective you will be. Put these habits in your wallet, next to your computer, somewhere that you'll see them regularly. Then practice.

If you've not read or listened to this book, I highly recommend it. Here is a link to Powell's where you can find it.

Good luck!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Goals

Goals are an interesting thing. There are short-term and long-term goals. Goals you know you will reach and goals you may never reach. One of my new goals is to spend time articulating them. You will find that you hold yourself more accountable when you do that.

I'm very lucky to have started attending a weekly breakfast club with some lovely, smart ladies that have similar long-term goals in mind. The whole point of getting together is to talk about what we want to accomplish and what we have accomplished. Its so empowering. Jodi, Heather, Martha, Jen, there's nothing we can't do if we set our minds to it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pause for thought - common sense

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can't think of a better way to bring people together than with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. This recipe is my Grandma's, she always made the flat, yet super chewy type of cookies. I hope you enjoy baking them as much as I do. Here's the recipe:

1 cup butter
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp water
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter, brown sugar and sugar together. Add vanilla, water and eggs, mix thoroughly. Slowly add baking soda, flour and salt. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pause for thought - Establish trust.

It is difficult and rarely appropriate to try to persuade another person to do what we want; instead we must understand what the other person wants, and then try to help them achieve it, which often includes helping them see the way to do it.

We must work with people collaboratively, to enable them to see what they want, then help them to see the ways to achieve it.

The act of doing this establishes trust.

I got this from a great article on empathy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Evolving Conversations

I met a fantastic group of people last night. The gang of smart, creative people are putting together a "Convergence" at the end of October. Its a gathering of conversations that are intended to help with the evolution of communication. Check out their website for a more detailed description. www.thenewcommunicators.com

This is of great interest to me as the whole premise of Peach Cheesecake is to bring people together with food. And the backbone of that togetherness is communication. The whole point to help people communicate better and work together better. I'm hoping through this gathering I'll learn some new ways to communicate and in the mix, perhaps teach others a little about communication as well.

Look for more posts on how Peach Cheesecake and The New Communicators go together.