Sprouted Panzanella Salad

This might be one of my favorite times of the year because I get to eat fresh tomatoes from my garden! Ths year I grew Sungold cherry tomatoes and they are so sweet and flavorful! I overwatered my tomatoes last year and they had very little flavor, so this year I droughted my plants a bit and it really paid off. (I learned this from my Dad.)

So, naturally I wanted to make a salad with them and you can’t have fresh summer tomatoes without basil. Normally, I love to make Caprese but I wanted to make something my dairy-free Joe could eat so I decided to make a Panzanella salad. The only problem is I ended up eating it all by myself. Whoops!

The sprouted sourdough from Alvarado Street Bakery is my favorite sliced bread and it toasts up so nicely with butter and garlic. Enjoy!

IMG_2402

Sprouted Panzanella Salad

Serves 4 people

Prep Time 10 min

Cook Time 20 min

Ingredients

6 slices of Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted sourdough bread

2 cups of cherry and Sungold tomatoes

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup of olive oil, for the bread

4 tablespoons of dairy-free butter

1/2 cup of freshly chopped parsley

8 basil leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, for the dressing

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat 1/2 cup of olive oil with butter together in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat
  3. When butter has melted, add garlic and bread and mix well.
  4. Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the bread is golden brown, let it cool. Prepare the remaining ingredients as directed above.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together, tomatoes, onions, and herbs.
  6. Combine vinegar with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour over the salad. Mix well.
  7. Add bread and toss everything together.

 

Sponsored Post, recipe developed for Alvarado Street Bakery. 

Spirit of Summer with Malibu Rum

While it might not be warm enough for beach days and fruity cocktails yet, I’m already in a summer state of mind.

Try my latest cocktail recipe featuring Malibu Rum! #sponsoredpost

“Morning Walk On The Beach”

1 oz Malibu Rum

2 oz coconut milk

2 oz cold brew

1 cup of ice

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Visit my blog for more recipes and articles at emilysomple.com/blog

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: Video Dominates Marketing

Your story is key.

Your story is why you started your business, why you’re passionate about what you do, and the reason why you believe a customer should buy your product or service over another. 

So how do you plan to share your story? Sure, you’ve got the “About” section on your website. You’ve probably got a bit of copy right at the top of your home page; a one-liner that perfectly encompasses your brand culture. 

No one is reading it. I know, it’s hard to hear, but no one is reading it. Why? 

People are lazy and distracted and it’s only getting worse.

They don’t have time to read descriptions and product services.

Show your ideal customer why they love your brand. Don’t make them read about it because they won’t. 

5 Reasons Video Content Marketing Dominates in 2017:

  1. Video consumption accounts for more than 70% of internet traffic and is projected to reach 80% by 2018. Can your brand afford not to be a part of that 70%? Can your brand compete with the level of quality production being shared? 
  2. Having product/brand video on your website can increase conversion by 80%. Studies show that 74% of users who watched an explainer-video about a product bought it.
  3. Trust is the foundation of conversion and sales, and trust between a brand and a consumer is built through provoking emotion in a well-crafted video. 57% of consumers say they are more confident and more likely to make a purchase online after seeing video content marketing from that brand.
  4. Videos improve your SEO. Google loves video. Video content ensures consumers will spend more time on your site. The longer one spends on your site, the more Google likes your site. We all want Google to like our site. You are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of a relevant search if you have a video embossed on your site. 
  5. Quality beats quantity. Why hire a production company when the guy who works in accounting makes YouTube videos on the side and is “really good!”? Hiring a professional production company instead of a one man show is like hiring a butcher over the meat clerk. You get what you pay for, and in 2017 your are competing for people’s attention like never before. 

TAR Productions does an excellent job of explaining why hiring a production company is the smart decision HERE

Looking for a Production Company in Sonoma County? Contact me at emmysomple@gmail.com.

Social Media Content For Realtors

If you’re in real estate, you ‘re engaged on social media.  However, coming up with original content ideas for your editorial calendar can be challenging and time-consuming. There are many online sources for sharing content that is available to you, but there is no substitute for sharing original content.

Here are a few ideas to keep on hand for those rare moments when you have time to fill your bank of content.

 

  • Selling Tips: Provide your followers with tips on how to improve their home before they put it on the market. You can also share ideas on how to style during open houses. “Showing your home this weekend? Improve your aesthetics by hiding everyday items like remotes, litter boxes, and toys. Add houseplants and fold blankets neatly to make your home feel welcoming.”table-white-home-interior

 

  • Tour the Area: Help showcase the city you live in to entice buyers. Show them the lifestyle of your town using video and photos. Take a flattering foodie photo while you’re at your favorite restaurant in the area or talk about the school districts. “Just one of the perks of living in the Napa Valley: gourmet food on every block!”pexels-photo-64208

 

  • Welcome Newcomers: Congratulate new buyers on their purchase and welcome them to the community (with their permission of course). “John and Terri just got the keys to their new house. Welcome to town, we’re glad you’re here!” pexels-photo-173430

 

  • Be a Community Leader: Did something exciting or important happen in town? Let your followers know. Notify the community of a new local business opening or a local school’s achievement. “Have you been down to Contemporary Clothing, the newest shop in town? The owners are big city fashion designers turned small town business owners. Come support local business this weekend!”  pexels-photo-26549

 

  • Share Homeowners’ Tips, DIY project ideas, and Pinterest hacks: Provide your followers with useful tips on how to improve their home. “Add a few teaspoons of vanilla extract and a cinnamon stick to an oven safe dish and heat on low for a couple hours. It will fill your home with a delicious fragrance!”  pexels-photo-213162

 

  • Share Local History: Give your followers a quick history lesson about your area. You might even provide locals with something they didn’t know! “Did you know that the first business to open on Main Street was a seamstress shop in 1902?” pexels-photo-111147

*Use your own images and video content, unless you are sharing and giving credit to someone else’s work. If you are in need of a stock photo, make sure to check the licensing on the photo for permissions.

Amanda Freitag at CIA Copia | Napa Valley

On Tuesday, September 22nd, The Culinary Institute of America at Copia, in Napa, CA, christened their kitchen demo theater with a demo and book signing with Amanda Freitag. I was fortunate to score an invite, meet Amanda and take some behind the scenes photos. It took all my self-control not to completely fan out! I think celebrity chefs are so much cooler than other celebrities and it was a bucket list honor to watch her cook and to eat her food! 

dsc_0666

For those non-foodies, Amanda Freitag is an award-winning New York chef, a celebrity chef on several Food Network shows including my person favorite, Chopped, and now a cookbook author. 

Freitag was introduced at the event by Traci Dutton, the CIA’s Sommelier, who gave us some insight into what’s to come at their new downtown Napa location. The stunning building will host a full restaurant, with head chef Sandy Sauter, a retail shop with cookware and linens, cooking classes, an amphitheater for private events, public concerts, and weddings. The retail shop and restaurant will feature products made, grown, and produced by locals. 

dsc_0608

Chef Freitag is a CIA Hyde Park graduate and was sincerely enthusiastic about being the christening chef in the new kitchen theater. Freitag is hands down, the nicest, most humble food celebrity I have ever met. And her teaching methods are so approachable and she puts beginners like me at ease much like Remy, the rat in Ratatouille who learns from Chef Gusteau that “anyone can cook!” She began her presentation by leveling the field, stating that cooking at home is hard and admitted it can be intimidating: “You have to shop, schlep, prep, cook, clean and serve! It’s a lot of work!” She also encouraged us not to shy away from foods that are ‘scary that you may not bring home from the grocery store. 

dsc_0766

Chef prepared one of her favorite recipes from her book, The Chef Next Door; ‘Duck Breast with Pint Nut Relish’. I consider myself a brave home chef, yet I’ve never cooked with duck before, I was eager to observe and learn a duck recipe to try. I couldn’t believe how easy she made it seem! Needless to say, Amanda’s demonstration inspired me to go to my local fine foods grocer and find some really nice cuts of duck breast for some home experimentation. One of the coolest things I learned from Amanda was her tip on cooking protein. She showed us how to score the fat on the breast, the importance of starting with a hot pan, and the discipline to LEAVE IT ALONE! For some reason, many home cooks have a habit of shaking the pan around, stirring the sauce constantly, and flipping the meat on the grill over and over. According to Chef Freitag, this isn’t benefiting us in any way! Amanda told us to “use your senses for everything.” Your nose will smell when the fat is rendering, your ears will hear the sizzle calm down when it’s about time to flip and your eyes will see the edges begin to lift. 

dsc_0757

I was relieved to discover that Chef Amanda eats throughout her whole cooking process like I do. And not just to taste test, but because we love to eat! Yes, tasting as you go is so important, but so is snacking. In fact, she even mentioned she used to eat straight mirepoix during her CIA classes because she was working so hard and starving! It is these personal human experiences she shares that puts her audience at ease.

After cooking the duck, Freitag invited her guest, Chef Vera Eisenberg to show the audience how to make her famous strudel dough. Eisenberg is the queen of strudel and even joked that on the cover of her first cookbook she wants to be “naked and wrapped in a strudel dough.” Her personality was magnetic and her sense of humor was well-developed. Eisenberg decided to change career paths later in life and went back to school to study Culinary Arts in 1999, where she interned with Freitag and the two became great friends.



dsc_0703

dsc_0763

I was able to sit front row and shoot some footage of Amanda and Vera stretching the dough paper thin “until you can read your recipe through it.” Everyone in the audience got to taste the Roasted Duck and Vera’s Hungarian Cabbage & Apple Strudel. There was a short question and answer portion at the end where audience members asked Amanda about tips on purchasing high-quality kitchenware that won’t leave you broke, and about her favorite moments from being a judge on Chopped. 

Everyone was able to purchase a copy of Amanda’s book and get it signed at the end. As the first event in the new location, it was a huge success. The lighting, acoustics, and seating are ideal for this kind of intimate food demonstration and it allows the audience to connect with the professionals. Personally, I cannot wait to attend another class at the new CIA Copia.

The Best Quinoa Salad Ever!

The Best Quinoa Salad ever!

My dear friend Monica introduced me to cold quinoa salad recently, and I’ve spent the last four months or so trying to create the ultimate recipe. I’ve come a long way from just tossing a couple veggies and whatever quinoa was on sale with some apple cider vin and olive oil.

My final recipe is a masterpiece. This is by far the best quinoa salad I have ever had, and possibly one of the best salad’s I’ve ever had.

The magic is in the dressing, which I can’t take total credit for. Jennifer Harris, local queen of fermentation and pickling, showed me how to make dressing with sauerkraut. The recipe here is my edited version.

The latest edit to this dish is the roasted brussels sprouts. It’s my go-to veggie that always pleases my household and takes 5 seconds to make. (That’s not true it takes like 20 min, but it can be done while multitasking.)

DSC_0087

DSC_0112

I started with roasting the brussels and letting them cool. Then I made the quinoa, transferred to a large bowl and then stuck in the fridge to chill. This recipe is NOT good if the quinoa hasn’t completely chilled so be patient.

DSC_0117

DSC_0150

While all be chillin’, make your dressing and chop your veggies.

DSC_0102

This recipe makes A LOT of food so use your biggest bowl to mix. Toss all your ingredients and enjoy! This recipe is easily made vegan if you sub vegetable stock for the chicken stock when making the quinoa.

To make a meal out of it, cook up some chicken sausage on the side, and bam, happy and full household!

DSC_0154

DSC_0167

Ingredients:

For The Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

-Approx. 20 Brussels sprouts

-1 TBSP olive oil

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp salt

dash of pepper

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Peel and quarter the sprouts, toss sprouts in oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for approx. 12-15 min or until golden brown around the edges. Set aside.

 

For the Quinoa:

-3 cups of quinoa ( I used 1.5 cups of sprouted quinoa because its easier to digest and 1.5 cups of red quinoa, strictly because it looks cool.)

-1.5 cups of chicken stock and 1.5 cups of filtered water. (sub vegetable stock to make this recipe vegan.)

Lightly toast the dry quinoa in a large skillet, stirring frequently so they don’t burn. You will start to smell a toasted, nutty aroma and eventually hear a bit of crackling. That’s when you know its time to add the liquid. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 15 min. Do not over-cook. Al dente quinoa is better than mushy, especially for this dish. Put in fridge to chill.

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup of Bubbies Sauerkraut ( I only use traditional, fermented sauerkraut.)
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp mustard (Any kind will work, but I like to use Dijon.)
  • 1 TBSP local honey
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Blend dressing ingredients in a magic bullet or food processor until most of the kraut chunks are blended thoroughly.

For the Salad:

  • 1 small stalk of broccoli , chopped
  • 1/2 of a small head of purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • a handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • avocado, sliced to your preference

Throw it all together and toss well with a little S & P to taste! Test out the recipe and let me know how it turns out!

 

 

Social Media Tips & Tricks

emmyworld blog title card

As a social media coordinator, specializing in small business, I’ve learned a few things. I am still learning something new every day. I supposed that, considering my industry, I will never stop learning because social media is ever-changing.

Here’s a list of a few tips & tricks I’ve learned along the way, ranging from general best practices to technical tricks to optimize your accounts:

person-apple-laptop-notebook-large

  1. Never EVER “Brand Bash”! This seems like an obvious one but you would be surprised how many brands still do this, both outright and passive aggressively. Do not review competitors’ products, or make subtle jokes towards them. Keep all your posts positive and light-hearted, even if that’s not how you’re feeling. That’s what personal accounts and Reddit is for.
  2. Have Fun! Make Jokes! Now I know I just said not to make jokes, but   you know what I mean. Be funny, but be smart. Don’t make the insensitive mistakes these companies did: Check out these social media fails from Social Media Week.
  3. Show Some Love! If you have a strict set of hours to spend on social media, don’t use it all up posting your own content and self-promoting. Set some time aside to interact with your community and your friendships with other brands. Take the time to like and comment and even share, if the content is relevant to your brand and your followers. You can’t expect to get all the love if you don’t give some in return right??
  4. Don’t Cross-Post! It’s just lazy people. Don’t do it. Everyone can tell.
  5. Let The People Decide! Ever watch a YouTube video about cats and then it ends and YouTube leaves you with a matrix of suggested videos about skateboarding and making beer? Get rid of that! When embedding videos, use this quick little trick and add ?rel=0 to the end of the YouTube URL. Here’s an example. Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 7.27.53 PM
  6. Analytics Tools Are Your Friends! Take time to check out the analytics on your social networks. Find out what’s working for you and what’s not. Find out what your most popular Instagram filter is or your best time to post.

If this all seems confusing or too time-consuming, then you need to hire a social media coordinator. Contact me today!

 

Spoiled In Sonoma: Vlogs

Photo Courtesy Of Spoiled To Perfection 1

I am learning new things everyday, and I’m pretty excited about the filming and editing that I’ve done so far for Spoiled To Perfection! Here is a collection of videos that I have directed, shot and edited so far this year. They are getting better as I go, and I know I have a long way to go but I’m proud of what I’ve learned in the last 2 months.

Spoiled to Perfection™

summer-sunshine-alcohol-drink

Spoiled to Perfection™ is a new, Sonoma County based web series, and my most recent social media project. The show is all about the fermentation industry in Sonoma County. When I first got involved with this project, I was really unaware of how massive and popular this industry really is, and how Sonoma County is a mecca for food and beverage preservation.


I was originally brought on to manage social media, but my role has developed into something much bigger. In addition to managing the online promotion of the show, I am blogging and producing video for our website. My blog is all about my journey of discovery. I am tasting foods I’ve never had before and learning how my favorite drinks are made, like craft beer and kombucha. I am lucky enough to wander through the most beautiful county in all of California to interview and hang out with some of the coolest, creative and innovative people who are doing some pretty amazing things with food alchemy, with my trusty videographer by my side capturing it all.
Stay tuned for new videos and blogs!