Recipes

OK….so what do recipes have to do with being a virtual assistant?

Nothing.

But in my research as I’m getting my business ramped up, I kept hearing, “Find a way to differentiate yourself.” So, in addition to the usual website pages, I figured I’d be whimsical and add a page for recipes.

You were curious and you looked. So my strategy worked!

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SOUP (I invented this one)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Medium Vidalia onion, diced

2-3 Cloves garlic, minced

1 Package chicken or turkey sausage of your choice (I use Stop ‘n Shop Nature’s Promise; they have a nice variety)

1 1/2 Quarts chicken broth (I love Kitchen Basics; their broths are richly flavored)

1 Cup tortellini of your choice

1 Can chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 Bag baby spinach

In Dutch oven, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and saute’ until fragrant and onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spatula, until the sausage is about 80% cooked. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Add tortellini and cook until done. Add chick peas and heat through. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Serve immediately and top with grated cheese if desired. Makes about 5 servings.

Can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage.

 

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BLUEBERRY BAKED OATMEAL

I found this via Wall St. Cheat Sheet. It’s become my favorite breakfast. I love that it’s not sweet. Perfect for a weekend brunch served with fresh whipped cream and a side of turkey breakfast sausage for a complete meal. 6 generous servings.

2 Cups rolled oats

1 Cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1 Tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 Tsp. cinnamon

1/2 Tsp. salt – I like Pink Himalayan

2 Cups milk or milk alternative – I used 1 cup half and half and 1 cup Trader Joe’s Coconut drink; worked well

1/3 Cup maple syrup

1 Large egg

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted then cooled slightly

2 Tsp. vanilla extract

2 Bananas, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds

1 1/2 Cups blueberries – I used Trader Joe’s frozen berry blend that had been thawed; worked well

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Butter the inside of a square 8 inch baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, combine the oats, half of the walnuts, the baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, half the butter and vanilla.
  5. Spread a single layer of bananas across the bottom  of the buttered baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the berries on top. Cover that with the oat mixture and then pour the milk mixture over the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and walnuts on top.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden and the oats are set. Let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle with the remaining butter and serve, topped with whipped cream if desired.

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With the warm weather soon upon us, I start to crave chilled soups. Don’t underestimate your need for sodium and potassium during the hot summer months; as you sweat, you lose these vital minerals making you lethargic, unable to think straight, and just overall wonky. Hence, below is my recipe for gazpacho. My friend Susan is a very bland eater and loves this. You can leave it chunky – as I prefer – or you can blend it for a smoother texture.

1 32 oz Bottle of tomato or vegetable juice, chilled (Trader Joe’s has one that’s fabulous for this recipe)

2-3 Large tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 Stalks celery, chopped

2 Scallions, diced

2 Cloves garlic, minced

1 Small cucumber, seeded and diced

1 Small green bell pepper, seeds and inner membranes discarded, diced

1/2 Cup cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Dash of salt – I like pink Himalayan, or use any sea salt

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until well chilled and flavors have blended. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days.

For extra zing, use Spicy V-8.

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My secret to yummy, gooey, grilled cheese:

Bread of your choice – I usually use a gluten-free such as Udi’s; pumpernickel or rye is also great

3 slices of cheese, room temperature; best cheeses are Havarti or Muenster because they’re soft and they get all melty

Butter – use the real stuff

  1. Preheat grill pan or skillet on medium heat. Add butter.
  2. Place a slice of bread onto heated skillet. Add 2-3 slices of cheese onto the bread.
  3. Top with second slice of bread.
  4. Add more butter if necessary. Cover sandwich with lid and cook until golden brown, lowering heat. Turn sandwich over, add more butter if necessary, cover with lid and cook second side until golden brown. Serve with gazpacho (recipe above) or tomato soup.

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FUDGY FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE – found this in Women’s World magazine. Rich and healthful!

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup egg whites, about 3 large

1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. mini (or chopped) semisweet chocolate chips

Fresh raspberries, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9″ round cake pan with foil; generously coat with cooking spray. Place all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips and optional raspberries in blender or food processor. Puree’ until smooth and uniform. Fold in 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips. Spread mixture in cake pan; smooth top. Evenly top with remaining chocolate chips, lightly pressing them into batter. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick (or knife) inserted into center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve with raspberries and/or homemade whipped cream.

 

 

 

 

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