Vegan Apple Cobbler

Apple Cobbler Filling

  • 6-7 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 3 tbs. vegan butter

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate over night

Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) vegan butter, earth balance brand preferred, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) vegetable shortening, cold and into a few pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

Simply whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the cold butter and shortening. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut it in, then drizzle in the ice water and stir until dough comes together.

Form the Apple Cobbler.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the apple pie filling to a 9’11 baking dish. Lay the crust over the filling. Using a fork, prick holes in the crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove baking dish from the oven. Spread a tablespoon of vegan butter over the crust and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake another 5-10 minutes. Serve warm, with vegan cool whip or vegan vanilla ice cream.

Are You Running Your Business or Is Your Business Running You?

Many business owners are being run by their business without knowing it.

I know when my business is running me (or it doesn’t feel quite right) because it feels unorganized and I feel stressed!

So when you see the signs, consider getting professional help in areas where you can identify these failings. But identifying the signs is the first step in accepting that your business isn’t going the way you want. Here are some common signs that you are losing grip on your business:

Constant state of being overwhelmed

When you are simply going through the motions with your business activities without actually getting work done, then there is a strong chance that you are losing grip of your business. This includes doing too much without any real results.

Failing systems and processes

This is where we are working at the moment – lots of work around systems and processes. Are your team and customers complaining about your business being unorganized? Are you feeling it? Are you running behind schedule all the time? Are you working until midnight and on weekends? At this time “YES” your system/processes are failing.

More expenses than revenue

The purpose of running a business or working is to make money and be productive. If you are doing everything and your accounts are in red, it means you are not managing your finances properly or under-utilizing your revenue streams.

Team cannot function without you

You are either micromanaging people too much or not giving your team good or enough direction. It’s a fine line, but as a business owner, we need to be awesome at this – and sometimes you have to learn how to be a better leader and manager.

Get a grip of your business and put the proper steps in place to make sure that you are being productive without being too busy. Also build your team’s capacity to function in your absence so that your business can run itself.

Becoming a Better Communicator in Your Business

1. Develop an elevator pitch

A concise description of what your company does and the value it adds. You should be able to explain that in one sentence.

You should use this description across all mediums—not just in the elevator, but also in marketing and online.

2. Know your audience

Research ahead of time the background and needs of your audience. Then, tailor the message and style of your communications. Talking with one or two people is different from addressing 30 or 300. A customer isn’t the same as a supplier.

When addressing a large group, for example, you should focus on common concerns, not the issues of a select group of audience members. Body language should also change. Before a group, you need to be more expressive to hold attention, moving around, using bigger hand gestures and varying your tone. But the same theatrics would be silly and off-putting before just one or two people.

3. Be attentive

Pay attention to your audience’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Have you lost them, or are they still listening and engaged? It’s important to be aware of such signs. If you sense attention is waning, you can ask your audience questions as a way to bring them back into the conversation.

It also helps to be a good listener. Most conversations become easier if you switch to listening. Anybody who spends time talking to you wants to know you are listening.

4. Prepare beforehand

A little preparation can improve communication a lot. Make notes ahead of time about your speaking points. Ask employees or associates to suggest tips for addressing a specific audience.

If you put some effort into preparation, it will always go smoother and you’ll relay information more clearly. If you don’t pre-plan, you may forget things.

“All skills improve with practice, including communication.”