September 14, 2016
Daydreaming break: take a second, close your eyes, and think back to the best meal you've eaten recently. My sincere apologies if you haven't had lunch yet.
I'm willing to bet my favorite kitchen knife - a Masanobu VG-10 gyutou - that you remember more than just the food you ate. Likely, you also remember the occasion, the location, and the people you shared the meal with.
I'm now well into my twenty-fifth year conducting an in-depth longitudinal study on the connection between food and memory. Or, more accurately, I grew up in a large Italian family that loves food. But setting the methodology aside, I think it's indisputable that food builds bonds, enhances memories, and accelerates relationships.
But why am I touting the power of food on the Contactually blog?
As a service professional, you win business when the right person thinks of you at the right time. I contend that food provides an underutilized opportunity to make that lasting impression with all of those right people.
The next time you prepare food for a function or your open house, print off cards with the recipe on one side and your contact information on the other, and leave them next to your dish! You never know - a hungry mind and a tasty dish could provide you with your next business opportunity from an inspired snacker.
In my 9-5, I'm the Inbound Sales Manager at Contactually. But behind the scenes, I moonlight as a passionate home chef and dinner-party-thrower. So without further ado, I'd like to share with you a few simple go-to hors d'oeuvre recipes that may prove memorable at your next open house, networking event, or meetup.
On a cookie sheet, roll out crescent rolls, all in one slab. Pinch together perforations (so jam doesn't leak). In shape of brie, spread jam in middle of dough. Sprinkle liberally with almonds. Lay brie on top of this. Wrap completely in dough, pinching edges closed and trimming excess dough as necessary. Turn cheese over (so jam and almonds are on top side). Brush top of dough with egg white, sprinkle with almonds (or make them into a flower shape). Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown (about 12 minutes). Serve warm with crackers and apple slices.
Slice the dates down the middle nearly in half, and open them up. Fill each date with a generous pinch of blue cheese. Close the date to secure the blue cheese, and wrap each date in a half piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick and arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp, flipping halfway through.
Cook and drain spinach. Saute onions in butter until transparent. Add to stuffing mix, then combine with eggs, spinach, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Roll into walnut size balls and freeze on cookie sheets. Keep frozen in plastic bag.Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Watch carefully - they should be firm - not mushy.
Makes about 40 balls
Nothing brings people together more than the power food. Think about it, how many times have you bonded with a co-worker or stranger over the food table at an awkward work or networking event? It's probably safe to say that you remember them, the conversation, and definitely the food you shared more so than anything else at the event. The same goes for inspiring your potential leads as soon as they walk into your next open house. While not everyone who walks in the door is ready to make the big home purchase, you should still make it a memorable experience for when they are well and truly ready. Make the memorable impression with food!
Let us know if you try out the recipes and how they go over with your next open house crowd. We'll hedge a bet that they might just make the experience all the better!