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Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Strawberries & Cream Dessert Cups #RBFM

By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Strawberries & Cream Dessert Cups!

    This is certainly an interesting recipe. As always with our RBFM series, we search for outstanding and unique recipes that shock & awe with flavors, textures and visual appeal. The goal is to wow clients, partners and/or co-workers at your next meeting with a dessert that is so amazing (and sugary) that it actually improves their moods and nudges their opinions in your favor. Hunger is your enemy in the meeting room, so come prepared!

Step 1: The Grocery List

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+ Heavy whipping cream, (non-GMO) Chunks ‘O Fruit bars (available at Sam’s Club), strawberries, mini phyllo cups, vanilla, sugar, love. 

Step 2: Beat that Cream

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+ Beat the whipping cream, sugar, vanilla until you get some soft peaks. Mix in a melted Strawberry fruit bar for extra flavor.

Step 3: Fill ‘Em Up

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+ Fill the mini phyllo cups with the cream mix.

+ Cut some strawberries into little squares.

+ Cut some fruit bars into little squares. If you’re serving these at work (or away from where you’re preparing the dessert), you should dice the fruit bar at your destination. Obviously, ice cream melts, so you should refreeze the fruit bar at the destination, and then, cut the bar and add it to the cups. 

+ Next, add the squares of fruit bars, and finally top it all off with the strawberries. Serve ‘em quick; I imagine these would lose their visual appeal as they warm up to room temperature. 

+ Finally, thank The Gunny Sack for the original recipe and the gorgeous photos. 

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Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Slutty Brownies #RBFM

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By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Slutty Brownies!

    Who doesn’t love a well-made dessert smashed into some Oreos, which is then smashed into another delicious, delicious dessert? If you don’t love that, I suggest you leave now because we’re about Frakenstein a brownie, a blondie and some Oreos into one amazing concoction, otherwise known as the “Slutty Brownie.” Let’s start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 0 - What You’ll Need for 15 to 20 Slutty Brownies

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+ The blondie mix: 8 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (add more chocolate chips, if you want). 

+ The brownie mix: 1 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2/3 cup butter, 1/2 boiling water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 eggs, 1 cup flour, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (add more chocolate chips, if you want). 

+ One package of Oreo cookies

+ One 9” x 9” brownie pan

Step 1 -  Make the Blondie and Brownie Layers (No Baking Yet)

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+ The Blondie mix: Add melted butter and brown sugar into a bowl. Beat that mix until she’s smooth and ready. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat some more. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Next, mix both mixtures together. Stir in your chocolate chips. 

+ The brownie mix: Add sugar, cocoa, baking soda to a clean, empty bowl. Then, slowly mix in the melted butter. Add the boiling water. Stir, stir, stir. Next, add the vanilla and eggs. Stir some more. Add the flour and salt. Keep stirring. Finally, add the chocolate mix.

Step 2 - Stack the Layers in the Baking Pan

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+ Line the baking pan with aluminum foil, which you’ll grease with baking spray.

+ Slutty brownies are, of course, made of three layers. Start with the blondie mix at the bottom of the baking pan. The middle layer is just cracked and broken Oreos, and you can use as many cookies as you prefer. The top layer is the brownie batter. If you’re feeling extra sinful, add another layer of Oreos at the top of the brownie batter. 

Step 3 - Let’s Get Baked

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+ Bake the dessert for 35 minutes. The key is underbaking in order to achieve a soft, almost gooey texture, so be careful not to overbake. 

+ Eat your masterpiece. Then, take a nap. Wake up. Repeat until all Slutty Brownies have been vanquished. 

+ I conveniently forgot that we made these brownies for an upcoming meeting or pitch. You may need to make another batch if you took my above advice to eat all the brownies. 

+ Thank Julia’s Album for the original recipe!

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Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Easy S’mores Crescent Turnovers #RBFM

By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting or pitch. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Easy S’mores Crescent Turnovers!

    S’mores are one of the most universally beloved desserts, but they’re messy. What’s worse is they require real fire to prepare, but these S’mores Pocket Turnovers are perfect for an office environment, where fire, long sticks and sticky hands are frowned upon. To reheat, a typical office toaster oven does the trick, though a very, very short microwave session works as well. 

    To actually make the S’mores Crescent Turnovers, it’s a rather simple job, but you should make these at home if you plan to bring them into the office because you will need a full-scale oven and a muffin tin. Lay the flat crescent dough over the muffin tin, and fill each tin with crushed graham crackers, marshmallows and your favorite chocolate. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than fifteen minutes. I’d break it down into steps, but I think the above photo covers all the bases.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: “Ooey-Gooey” Butter Cookies #RBFM

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By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting or pitch. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: “Ooey-Gooey” Butter Cookies. 

    Our favorite and most popular #RBFM recipes often mash up two different deserts into one delicious concoction that most people don’t even realize is possible, and this week’s treat follows that tradition closely by combining cake and cookies. You can thank Lil Luna for the original “Ooey-Gooey” recipe, which we summarize down to the short-and-sweet version below. Let’s start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 0 - Gather Your Ingredients

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+ One box of Yellow Cake Mix

+ Half cup butter

+ Half teaspoon vanilla

+ One 8 oz. cream cheese bar

+ 1 Egg

+ Powdered Sugar

Step 1 - Beat the vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy.

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Step 2 - Add the cake mix.

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Step 3 - Let it chill for 30 min. Roll into balls. Dip in sugar. Eat leftovers.

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Step 4 - Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. Drizzle sugar.

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Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Bacon-Strip Pancakes #RBFM

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By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting or pitch. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Bacon Stuffed Pancakes. 

    I’m not the first person to stuff bacon into pancakes, but this recipe is actually mine, though I don’t think I can call it a “recipe”. I was merely making pancakes one late morning, and I laid some bacon strips into the batter on the grill. I usually eat bacon with my pancakes, so it was certainly the logical thing to do.

    It’s a greasy, delicious idea, and it seems to have been around for a while now (see the above image from an old school Aunt Jemima ad), but the concept is rather simple. You just take any pancake recipe, like one of these 21 pancake recipes, and you make the batter in a bowl. Next, you start cooking some bacon on a larger skillet. When the bacon is almost done, you pour some batter over the strips. Alternatively, you can cut the bacon into bits, but I prefer the entire strip. 

    Of course, this recipe is probably more relevant for morning meetings, but I’m sure most bacon fanatics wouldn’t mind a mid-day bacon-strip pancake at the start of another mundane meeting or pitch.

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Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Peach Wontons #RBFM

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By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting or pitch. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: peach wontons.

    Last week, we combined a cheesecake with a cinnamon roll to make a tasteful absurdity I sometimes call a cinnamon-roll cheesecake, but this week, the American South meets the Asian East as we turn wontons into a delightful peach desert. Surprisingly, peach wontons are pretty easy to make. Now, let’s stop talking about it, and let’s get to cookin’ - I’m hungry!

Step 0 - Gather Your Materials

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+ Two pounds of RIPE, sweet peaches

+ Two tablespoons of all-purpose flour

+ Three tablespoons of brown sugar

+ Wonton wraps

+ Canola or vegetable oil

+ Powdered sugar

Step 1 - Prepare the Delicious Peaches

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+ Cut up the peaches into small slices. Grab a big bowl, and toss the peaches with some flour and brown sugar. 

Step 2 - Wrap the Delicious Peaches

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+ Lay down the wontons on a flat surface. Place a small pile of sliced peaches on each wrap. When you run out of peaches, it’s a good idea to drop a little bit of the leftover peach juice in the center of each pile.

+ Next, wrap the peaches by rubbing a tiny amount of water to the edges of the wonton wraps; then, fold them into any shape you want. For more intricate folds, you might need to apply more water as you do more and more folds.

Step 3 - Fry the Delicious Peaches

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+ Heat about one-inch of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. The temperature  of the oil should reach about 375°F. 

+ Dry each wonton with a dry paper towel before frying. Fry them in small batches for about two or three minutes. Turn the wontons as they cook for best results. Once they appear golden brown, they are done. 

+ Lay them on some paper towels to absorb some of the excess oil; then, sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

+ Now, eat ‘em up! And take a few seconds to thank She Wears Many Hats for the original recipe, and these beautiful pics. Check her page for more delicious photos.

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Recipes to Boost Focus in Meetings: Cinnamon-Roll Cheesecake #RBFM

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By Fausto Mendez

    Pitching to a hungry audience is shooting yourself in the foot, so bring along some tasty treats - preferably sugary stuff - to boost client focus and mood. It WILL make a significant difference in the success or productivity of your meeting. This week’s #RBFM sugar spell: Cinnamon-Roll Cheesecake (with Cream-Cheese Frosting).

    What happens when you combine two of the most amazing deserts into one concoction? You get something like a cinnamon-roll-cheesecake absurdity. Though it might shave off a few minutes from your lifespan, it’s worth more than its weight in gold (at least to your taste buds). In an nutshell, it’s a cheesecake stuffed with cinnamon rolls. Delicious.

    Now, let’s get to work. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease a 9-inch Springform pan to get started. Next, search your house or the local supermarket for the following ingredients.

Step 0 - Gather Your Ingredients

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+ Cinnamon Roll Batter: 2/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup butter (room temp.), 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt

+ Cinnamon Filling: 3tbsp cinnamon, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter (melted)

+ Cheesecake Filling: 16 oz. cream cheese (room temp.), 1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 3 eggs, 2 tbsp flour

Step 1 - Start the Cinnamon Roll Batter

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+ Cream together the butter and sugar. 

+ Add the egg, milk and vanilla to the bown. Beat for a minute or so; scrape down the bowl.

+ Mix in some flour. Throw in some baking powder. Toss in a little bit of salt. Mix at a slow speed until thoroughly combined.

Step 2 - Start the Cinnamon Filling

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+ Grab another bowl. Mix together the melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. 

Step 3 - Start the Cheesecake Filling

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+ Grab a third bow. Fill i up with cream cheese and sugar. Beat it for two minutes at medium-high speed.

+ Crack some eggs. Don’t add them all at the same time. Mix in each egg before you add the next one. Scrape down the bowl.

+ Add vanilla and flour. Beat for minute or so.

Step 4 - Bake Your Cinnamon-Roll Cheesecake

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+ Spread half of the cinnamon-roll batter onto the bottom of the Springform pan. Press it down. Make sure you spray your hands with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to your hands.

+ Next, add all of the cheesecake batter into the Springform pan.

+ Drop spoonfuls of cinnamon filling over the top of the cheesecake batter. When you’re done with the cinnamon filling, drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon-roll batter over everything.

+ Gently swirl your mess of ingredients together. How much you swirl is up to you, but you don’t want to mix it all together. The goal of the swirl is for all of the different batters and fillings to not be so separated but to leave enough separation so you can experience different textures and flavors with each bite.

+ Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let it cool for 20 minutes at room temperature. Move it to the fridge for 4 hours or so. Take it out and let it warm up back to room temperature.

Step 6 - Now, Let’s Make Some Cream-Cheese Frosting

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+ Beat some cream cheese and butter in a bowl for two minutes or so.

+ Add the other ingredients into the bowl; mix it together until you’re satisfied with the consistency of the frosting. If you feel that your frosting is too thick, thin it out with a splash of milk.

+ Pour the frosting over the top of the cake.

Step 7 - Consume

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+ First, thank Culinary Concoctions for posting the original recipe.

+ This next step is arguably the easiest part of the recipe. You’ll need: a plate, a fork, some friends (or a lover), and either some good music or a few episodes of your favorite TV show. Eat.

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