Annette’s Creamy Roasted Garlic Hummus (Secret Ingredient Revealed)

Written by Annette. Posted in Social Media & Business

 

Okay so this post is not about social or online marketing but it will improve your social life if you make it! When you have your own website – you can put whatevah you want so here goes. After years of experimenting with hummus recipes and refusing to purchase the crap in the stores, I finally HIT THE HUMMUS JACKPOT! There is a secret in the method AND in the madness of making it and I’m going to reveal it all to you today!

Roast Your Own Garlic

Roast Your Cloves of Garlic

Roast Your Cloves of Garlic

The first thing you want to do is roast your garlic in the oven while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients. To do this line a mini cupcake pan with cupcake liners and drizzle a high quality olive oil in the bottom of the cupcake liners. Cut the bottom and tops off the cloves of garlic and insert into the liners. Drizzle a moderate amount of olive oil over the top of the cloves of garlic and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and pink Himalayan sea salt. Cover with foil and bake at 350C for 45 minutes. Your house is going to smell ahhhhh-mazing!

Remove the Skins from the Chickpeas

You are going to love me for this tip. It takes about 15 minutes (which is nothing while you’re listening to your favourite music). I danced while I disposed. It was perfect!

How to remove the skins of the chickpeas

How to remove the skins of the chickpeas

Squeeze the chickpeas between your index finger and thumb as if they will magically “slide” out of the skin – and they will! Put the chickpeas aside and once you’ve finished them all, rinse them in a colander and put aside to do some air-drying. See all of the skins in this photo? Can you see now how keeping the skins on contribute to a coarse, dry hummus? Of coarse! 😉

Juice 2 Lemons

Juice the lemons!

Lemon Lusciousness

I used my handy dandy Breville Professional Juicer  (Juice fountain Elite 800JEXL) to juice 2 lemons with the peel removed but pith intact. If you have to hand-juice your lemons, use 3 to get a sufficient amount of lemony lusciousness.

Time to Blend!

Unlike most hummus recipes, for this recipe you don’t blend the chickpeas first (in fact you do that LAST). In a Vitamix (which is what I used), blender or food processor place the following ingredients:

  • 1/4C plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4C high quality olive oil
  • 1/4C tahini
  • juice of 2-3 lemons
Blend the wet ingredients

Blend the wet ingredients

On a constant medium speed blend the tahini, greek yogurt and olive oil. This step requires patience. Rather than hurry the process and put your blender or food processor on a high speed, take the time to do it right. Think…… flavour! 🙂

The final step is to add the chickpeas a few tablespoons at a time, alternately adding the roasted cloves of garlic. I added a total of 12 cloves of garlic and ate the rest – SOOO DEELISH! You will want to add somewhere between 1/3 to 1/4C of filtered water as well otherwise it will be way too thick and we’re going for tasty and creamy here! Once you have it out of the blender and into a bowl, sprinkle and mix some pink Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in and drizzle with olive oil. If you have company coming over, take a few of the left over cloves of roasted garlic and place gently on top of the hummus. It will look great! Here’s mine ready for the fridge…

 

 

My Christmas Miracle for 2015

Written by Annette. Posted in Social Media & Business

My Christmas Miracle 2015

My Christmas Miracle 2015

Anybody who knows me understands that I have SEVERE allergies to dogs. I don’t get runny eyes and sneeze. I have ended up at the hospital on oxygen because of “allergy-induced” asthma attacks. Some breeds are worse than others for me and Labradors are among of the worst. Around 8 or 9 weeks ago I decided it was time to remove sugar from my diet completely. From there I dropped dairy, added more fruit, more vegetables, removed grains, lowered my intake of animal products, and started juicing. I felt better, but I couldn’t have known how my body was healing itself on the inside. 

Here’s where my Christmas Miracle story begins

On my way to Newfoundland this week, my sister Cheryl and I had a delay due to mechanical failure. This meant we were stuck in Halifax overnight. What to do what to do. We drove back to my other sister Cynthia‘s house 45 minutes away not expecting to stay, but rather to have a short visit. Cynthia has 3 full-grown labs, 3 puppy labs, and a German Shepherd in her house. NO WAY could I ever withstand this kind of exposure without experiencing a full-blown asthma attack. Not only did I stay at her house, I slept on the main floor where there is the most dog hair, and all of the following day I cleaned my sister’s house which meant inhaling tons of dog dander while cleaning up dog hair (hour after hour). I survived it. Actually, I did better than survive it. I ran later that day with Jazzy (the GSD) and my lungs didn’t feel bad at all.

What can this mean for YOU?

If you have ANY health concerns at all, I urge you to utilize the natural means that God gave us to heal ourselves: good clean food packed full of nutrients. You can create the internal environment to allow your body (and mind) to heal itself.

This is MY Christmas Miracle this year. What’s your story?

How to Create an Online Marketing Strategy

Written by Annette. Posted in Social Media & Business

This week I spoke with Ryan from Simple Biz Support in California. We were discussing the importance of having a strategy for your online marketing as well as how to go about finding just the right social media company to help you in your area. Listen in – it will only take 15 minutes of your time and you will be entertained and learn something new!

 

Social Media Marketing 101: Keeping it Real to Get REAL Results

Written by Annette. Posted in Inbound Marketing, Metrics and Analytics, Social Media for Business

If you market your products today like you always have, you can miss huge portions of your intended audience, because purchasing behavior has changed considerably with the rise of the internet and social media. It’s great to have a website, but your customers also spend time on blogs, watching YouTube videos, and on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You need to place your company where your customers are, and that means social media.

Your customers use social media, and so should you.

Your customers use social media, and so should you.

When implementing social media marketing Ontario businesses must do far more than setting up Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Social media real estate has to be tended regularly, and must be incorporated into an overall online marketing strategy. This includes an optimized website and regular interaction with customers online. Furthermore, treating social media as a free soapbox from which to pitch products is counterproductive. You have to make the effort to engage with people on social media, whether you’re selling concrete or hair products.

The 80/20 Rule in Social Media Marketing

After committing to use social media marketing Waterloo and other Ontario businesses should utilize about 80% of their social media presence for information and interaction, and only 20% for selling products and services. Social media’s strength is creating awareness of engaging content created by (or on behalf of) companies. It’s the perfect way to build authority in a niche, which ultimately leads to sales. It also builds a network of loyalty that is extremely valuable for your promotional activities.

Honesty Is Non-Negotiable

Trying to sneak questionable “facts” by your audience simply doesn’t work in the internet age. Consumers today expect facts and honesty. That doesn’t mean they expect perfection, but they expect brands to be genuine. The online marketing that Ontario companies need to build their brands may be quirky or humorous at times, but it must always be honest. In many ways social media is like real life; you get more response when you’re friendly and helpful than when you’re pontificating. Doing it well takes time but the result is a higher brand profile, more click-throughs, and more conversions.

Calls to Action Are Appropriate

While social media followers don’t want to be sold to with every Tweet, Pin, or Facebook post, there’s nothing wrong with directing followers to your website. This can be done in a friendly, non-pushy way. For example, you could share a short video with information about how your product or service benefits customers and include a brief statement such as, “Click here to learn more” that takes people to the appropriate page on your website. You also need to provide valuable information on your website that addresses a customer’s pain point and leads naturally to the next step of making a purchase.

Maintain a Cohesive Brand Message Across All Platforms

The messages you present on different social media platforms should not be identical, but should fit together to create a cohesive message and clarify your brand. The images you use should fit with the text content, and your call to action should follow naturally and not appear forced. Your social media marketing strategy should include time spent studying analytics (such as your Facebook Insights) to learn which messages get the most positive responses. Each social platform will differ somewhat in terms of what works, but all should be part of a cohesive message that is authentic and honest.

Listen and Respond

Keeping it real on social media requires paying attention to how followers engage with you. You have to listen to them and respond honestly and candidly. Your follower or fan count is not as important as how engaged you are with social media followers. When a fan asks a question about your product and you answer directly in a friendly, conversational manner, you strengthen your bond with that person, and influence the opinions of others who see the interaction. When fans and followers know there are real people behind the products and services, they are more engaged than if a company is remote, tone deaf, or unresponsive.

Conclusion

The ultimate goal of online marketing in Ontario is to sell products and services. Social media channels are powerful, essential communication tools in the world of today’s consumer. Your social media accounts aren’t there for their own sake, but so you can build relationships with customers and potential customers. A thoughtful social media approach that engages directly and honestly with followers, is heavy on information and light on direct selling, and that supports a consistent brand message is one of the most powerful marketing strategies you can have today. And at Inspire and Acquire, we help you successfully achieve that.