Many times a representative from a company will call us and request a cooking team building just to get the “troops” out of the office or out of their multi-day conference meeting, just to get together and do something different.
Of course I’ll continue to ask them is there anything else I can help them with, say, project planning, communication skills or strategic planning, but they usually decline and say, “just an opportunity to get together and do something different will be fine.”
Because of our preparedness in making the Corporate Culinary Challenge a training program that uses cooking and food preparation as a metaphor in teaching , sometimes a simple request of just an opportunity to get together stops us in our tracks.
Its not until we actually do the program with the group do we really understand the value of what we give the group. We provide the opportunity for these groups to recharge their collective batteries. Much like sleep is to exercise, where the real growth in the muscles is in the sleep/rest cycle and not just in the exercise/active cycle. We are the cooking team experience cycle to work/production cycle. We are the “ying” to the work/production “yang” of life.
When I would hear that from our culinary participants, I got it! Even though they would appreciate the fact that we still set up the culinary team experience as a challenging team building opportunity, the act of simply cooking and sharing a meal together heals the most rigorous workday or conference schedule, re-igniting everyone to continue on.
So that “just to get together to do something different”, means so much more than face value and creating those team moments are priceless!
“Here is something you can do to take a moment and do something different, put together a batch of these biscotti cookies and take a few collegues out for coffee or better yet, have them make the biscotti with you then you can really begin to create a priceless moment!”
“Priceless” Almond Biscotti
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 whole eggs
½ teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces whole almonds
Preheat oven at 350° F
In a mixer bowl, cream together the sweet butter and sugar on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the almond and vanilla extracts.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Turn the mixer speed down to low and add the dry ingredients approximately ½ cup at a time until the dough is just formed. Be careful not to over mix and create a tough dough. Add the whole almond to the mixture and work the almonds in by hand mixing.
Divide the dough into two equal balls. With your hands lightly floured, roll the dough into a loaf shape approximately 14 inches long. Place on a cookie sheet pan lined with parchment paper and press the dough down on the edges leaving a hump along the back of the cylinder of the dough. Bake for about 30 minutes until the loaf is brown and firm. Remove from the oven and cut the loaf on a diagonal approximately ½ inches thick. Place them back onto the baking sheet pans and toast them until they golden brown on one side, then turn the individual slices over and toast them on the other side until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve on the side of a foamy double espresso and get wired!