Archive for Personal Development

5 Ways to Achieve Neglected Resolutions

The year is now half way over, and if you’re like me or the majority of people, you’ve likely given up on a few of those New Year’s Resolutions by this point.

Research tells us that, on average, only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. But even though the year is inching towards a close, there is still time to rack up some accomplishments.

Here are five ways to do just that…

1. Understand you still have time

I’m not a hockey fan, but I love this quote by famous player, Wayne Gretzky:

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Even if you abandoned your resolutions somewhere around February or March, there is still time to make progress towards your goals. After all, accomplishing something is better than not accomplishing anything.

2. Make a revised plan

If your goal was to get abs by summer, I hate to break it to you, but summer is just about over. The good news is, however, that you can still get those abs (or close to it), but you need an updated plan.

Take some time to reassess your resolutions and pick the most important ones. From there, turn them into S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound.

  • Specific: Define the What, Why, and How by writing your desired outcomes down simply and clearly.
  • Measurable: What variable can you measure to show real evidence that you’re achieving your goal?
  • Achievable: Do you have the time and skills needed to achieve this goal?
  • Results-oriented: Your goals should be about achieving a certain outcome, not doing the activities that lead to the outcome.
  • Time-bound: You need a specific due-date for yourself and, if applicable, mini-due dates to stay on track.

3. Get an accountability partner

One of the best ways to achieve a goal is to have someone by your side encouraging and motivating you. This method works even better if that person is also working on a goal of their own, and you can serve as their encourager and motivator.

4. Use tracking tools and strategies

There are a number of ways to track your goals. Whether you use a goal-tracking app like Stride, a habit tracker in your journal, or a huge wall calendar that stares at you every day, use something that will visualize and record your progress.

5. Stay motivated!

Ponder this recent Monday Motivation from TRI: “If you try, you risk failure. If you don’t, you ensure it.”

It’s easy to give up on goals, especially the really tough ones. Keep thinking about the finish line and stay focused on how you’ll feel once you’re successful.


There is still time to achieve your resolutions! Make a new plan, get a buddy, track your progress, and stay motivated towards your goals. You just might impress yourself! And when next year rolls around, you’ll be ready to take on a new set of challenges with awesome confidence.

Rise Up from “We the People” to “We The Leaders”

Ryan Underwood is the CEO and Chief Leadership Officer of TEAMTRI and a Sector Partner of GiANT Worldwide. Ryan helps multiply leaders to serve and create awesome futures. Ryan and his wife Carrie Underwood attended the Presidential Inauguration and share with us lessons from this unique experience. Email: ryan@teamtri.com   Twitter: @TEAMTRI_CEO

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We recently had the opportunity to attend the 58th Inauguration of the President of the United States as guests of Congress. Our home, like all of our Team at TRI, split our votes in a number of ways for a number of candidates just like America did.

The point of this reflection is not to call out a party or politics, but, to call up all of you to reach for a higher level of leadership, service, and love from yourself, for one another, and for our nation.

In the video I shot on my phone from my vantage point on the inaugural platform, you’ll experience what we experienced during the swearing in ceremony. Listen closely. This is what most of the world didn’t hear if you watched it on TV.

Listen past the Supreme Court Chief Justice trying to conduct the ceremony. Listen past the pledge of the President. Listen for the voices in the crowd SHOUTING the Preamble to the Constitution over the top of the ceremony to try and distract, disrupt, and derail the proceeding. They are not hard to miss.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

Did you hear “WE THE PEOPLE…?!”

Did you hear some of the audience trying to disrupt the swearing in ceremony?

There was nothing wrong with the inaugural platform, speakers or AV. There were speakers placed throughout the platform and we all heard every speech, presentation, and prayer clearly during the ceremony—until this moment.

The Preamble was being SHOUTED in a rehearsed, choregraphed, and orchestrated fashion right over the top of the swearing in ceremony. How the Chief Justice and President got through this moment without error still amazes me. It was the exercise of the First Amendment guaranteeing FREE SPEECH at full volume carelessly attempting to interrupt the first part of the Constitution that makes possible that very same right.

And while inauguration week ended with the transition of power, my lesson on that day comes from the beginning of the week when we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Day.  Dr. King famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

As I’ve reflected on inauguration day and Dr. King, it occurred to me that, “Drama cannot drive out drama, only leadership can do that.”

In a democracy, we choose officials who represent us. They do more than represent our perspective, issue, or opinion—they represent our current collective level of leadership.

If we want better leadership, we’re not going to get it by SHOUTING at officials rudely as that is exactly what our leaders are going to do back to us. We’re going to get great leadership when “we the people” become “we the leaders.”  When we use our voices as leaders in the right time and the right space with the right message not to “call out” others but to “call them up” to the higher level of leadership we as citizens exhibit and expect.

A clear example of using your voice the right way, at the right time, with the right message can be learned from Dr. King.  And, I’m not talking about Martin Luther, I’m talking about another Dr. King—his youngest daughter Reverend Dr. Bernice King.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

I loved her message, especially at the 12:55 mark when she said, “People no longer care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, they are looking for leaders willing to serve humanity at all costs.”

When we limit our view to seeing ourselves as just people, then we the people disrupt and shout. And we get people at all levels who disrupt our lives and shout at us.

But when we see ourselves as leaders serving humanity at all costs, we are going to get leaders who serve us and humanity at all costs.

The best the laws of man can do is create a Constitution for we the people. But, the laws of humanity call us to stand on the foundation of the Constitution and rise and reach to become we the leaders.

Rising up happens in your house…in my house…before it happens in The White House. Rising up means we can do better than shouting. Rising up means realizing actions do indeed speak louder than words. Rising up means we serve. And when we rise, we the leaders will raise up true leaders to serve humanity and the shouts we hear will be shouts of joy!

BOSS or LEADER?

Today’s TEAMTRI Guest Blog is from Dr. Jim Lemoine. Dr. Lemoine is on the research faculty at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo as part of their Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness. He is an Assistant Professor of Organizations and Human Resources; a Trustee of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership; a past local, state, and national Career Technical Student Organization officer for FFA, FBLA, and PBL; and a TEAMTRI Alumnus. His research on organizational management has been published in several outlets including the Harvard Business Review. As a researcher, Dr. Lemoine is always looking for organizational partners to study leadership behavior and determine effective approaches to improve outcomes. His email address is jlemoine@buffalo.edu.

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We all know that leadership is important. It’s the primary topic of countless books, speeches, and classes. It’s the focal concern of thousands, maybe millions, of organizational managers. It’s a development area for most every employee in the world, and the one thing we believe can make or break a business, a sports team, or a country. We talk about the need for better leaders, we hear how great leadership can make great differences, and we lament that so many of our institutional leaders do a poor job of leading us.

We know that leadership is important. But something I often wonder is whether we could ever agree on what it actually is.

Imagine you were working with an exchange student from a deeply solitary culture, where people work alone for most of their lives as hermits, without any managers or hierarchy or even teams. He is confused by this word, “leadership,” and asks you what it means. How would you describe it?

A government official once answered that question by saying that leadership is power. I noted that this was a pleasingly simple and easy-to-understand definition, and he nodded agreement. Then I brought up the possibility that a robber might hold him at gunpoint, forcing him to hand over his wallet.

The robber would certainly have power over him, but it would be difficult to argue that the robber was actually ‘leading’ anyone. In the end, we agreed that there was likely more to leadership than just power.

A manager I worked with answered that question by saying that leadership is exhibited when your employees respect you, so they get things done. I told her that I liked the sound of it, but wondered whether this was really leadership itself, or the outcome of leadership? Was it possible that respect and effectiveness were the things that resulted from good leadership, rather than the leadership itself? What, then, are the actual leadership behaviors that would result in these good outcomes?

A senior corporate executive in a training seminar answered that question by saying that leadership is just treating people well. Everyone in attendance liked this definition, but I had to wonder: was that really all leadership was? Surely you could argue that treating people well is part of leadership, but is treating people well really enough to lead them? What about holding them accountable? What about getting things done, as the manager had suggested? The last time I ate at Wendy’s, the salesperson behind the counter treated me very well. Was he leading me?

A janitor at a company I used to work at answered that question by saying that leaders are servants. This was a very different answer than I was used to hearing, so I asked him to tell me more. He told me that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that serving others is the most important definition of greatness, and that by serving others, we teach them to care about us, each other, and the world around them. Through that care, they would be motivated to go forth and accomplish great things.

Personally, I like the janitor’s answer the best. He taught me something that day.

Former U.S. President and World War II General Dwight D. Eisenhower (the first American general to eat meals with his enlisted men, rather than in the officer’s tent) once said that leadership was the art of getting people to do what you want them to do, because they want to do it. And how do you make them want to do, what you want them to do? You don’t coerce, you don’t order, and you don’t merely treat them well: you ask questions, you listen, you help, and you persuade. You learn what their goals are, and you find alignment in how working toward the organization’s goals, or the community’s goals, or even society’s goals, can help you both. You provide them with the training and resources to succeed in your new mutual goals. You push them to ever-higher levels, believing in them and ensuring they have all of the skills and knowledge they need to reach their potentials. You learn from them by listening, and try to teach them what you can in turn. You build their self-confidence, and motivate them to help others just the way you, hopefully, are helping them.

Many have said that there is a leadership crisis in the world. It is difficult to argue with this statement, although this crisis is not a new problem. It is possible that the reason we can’t seem to find good leaders, is that we have not yet agreed on what a good leader is. We are drawn to charismatic and sometimes narcissistic individuals, assuming that their smooth speeches and visionary talking points are the marks of a leader, without thinking through what it is we really want from a leader. We are conditioned to see leadership as a position of power, a title to be held or an honor to be bestowed, rather than something that any of us could do, at any time, from any job. We unfortunately view leadership as something on a pedestal, something distant, rather than something that could be practiced by anyone – like a janitor.

Leadership is about putting the people around you first – being a servant – such that they collectively are able to accomplish goals that they previously could never have attempted. Leaders point the way to those ambitious goals, and help their colleagues find ways to reach them together.

The mark of a great leader is not accolades and awards, but rather that the people around her have grown and succeeded. The great leader is not necessarily the person who is elected to a political post, or the manager who skyrockets up a company’s chain of command: it’s the team member who constantly has to replace his team, because they keep growing and getting promoted.

The boss asks, “What are you going to do today? How are you going to hit your goals? How is the company going to be better, because you were a part of it?” The leader asks, “How can I help you accomplish our goals today?”

Being a boss is as simple as giving orders, promising raises and promotions, and threatening punishments. Being a leader is much more difficult, as you have to be humble, you have to listen, and you have to put your team first.

You have to learn about them, develop them, and show them how they can be even more than what they are.

Would you rather work for a boss or a leader? Would you rather be a boss or a leader?

TEAMTRI Thankful Holiday Recipes, Part 4

During this holiday season, our TEAMTRI family is looking forward to connecting with friends, family and loved ones to enjoy the season. To celebrate this time of year, we’ve asked some of our teammates to share their favorite holiday recipes and for whom they are thankful. Enjoy this final installment of our multi-part series and feel free to share these recipes with your own loved ones!

Teammates: Ryan and Carrie Underwood

TEAMTRI Titles: CEO and President

Twitter Handles: @TEAMTRI_CEO and @TEAMTRI_Carrie

Thankful Recipe: Breakfast!

Breakfast Casserole with Champagne (or Sparkling Cider) and Peaches

Part 1 – Breakfast Casserole
1 lbs low fat sausage browned (and drained well)
8 eggs slightly beaten
6 slices of white bread slightly cubed
1 cup grated cheese (Ryan suggests Tillamook cheddar and to use more than a cup if you like!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard

Process: Mix all together in big bowl. Pour into greased 9×13″ dish. Refrigerate overnight. Bake 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy (Carrie’s father “Big Daddy” spiced it up a bit with Cholula!)

Part 2 – Champagne and Peaches
Add half a peach (we used canned peaches in light syrup) in a champagne glass. Add champagne (your choice or substitute Sparkling Cider). Enjoy while you’re awaiting Breakfast Casserole!

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

These two recipe traditions come from our Mom’s. When Ryan and Carrie first got married they each got to learn and enjoy each other’s family traditions. Carrie’s Mom always make’s her famous Breakfast Casserole for Holidays like the morning after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ryan who is known to be an aspiring but not very talented chef wanted to contribute something from his family and went for a sure and simple win…Champaign and Peaches. Whenever Breakfast Casserole and Champaign and Peaches are served…our families all remember happy memories we’ve made together and know that we’re about to make some more!

And here’s a bonus recipe from Carrie!

Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup

6 lbs fresh sweet potatoes (scrubbed and clean)
1/3 to 1/2 cup of good quality maple syrup
4 tsp pureed canned chipotle chiles (adjust for desired heat)
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt to taste

Process: Cook sweet potatoes until soft in a microwave, by boiling, or by baking at 375 dgrees for up to one hour. Combine syrup, sour cream, chipotle puree, cinnamon and salt ina small bowl. Whisk until smooth. After potatoes are cooked ans soft, remove the peel and pass through a potato ricer, food mill or potato masher. Blend in other ingredients with a rubber spatula to combine. Taste for seasoning and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Serve immediately.

This recipe came to me when I worked for First Lady Laura Bush. My office was right next to Mrs. Bush’s office in the East Wing and I learned a lot from her about hospitality, service, love for your country and how much the details really matter. Mrs. Bush and I enjoyed many things in common especially our fondness for sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. Every time I have sweet potatoes whether this recipe or any others, I think about this wonderful woman who wasn’t just a boss or a First Lady…but…really had the job of First Volunteer for our nation and who always placed her husband, daughters, and family first and has served as a role model for me in raising my own girls. I’m truly thankful for Mrs. Bush’s friendship and servant leadership.

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Teammate: Ashley Brinton

TEAMTRI Title: Senior Leadership Specialist

Thankful Recipe: Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

Ingredients:

4 pounds slender sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Directions:

1. Place sweet potatoes in a 5- to 6-qt. slow cooker. Stir together orange juice concentrate and next 4 igredients in a small bowl. Pour over sweet potatoes, tossing to coat.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 1/2 to 6 hours or until potatoes are tender.

3. Transfer potatoes to a serving dish, using a slotted spoon. Increase slow cooker to HIGH. Whisk together cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. cold water until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into cooking liquid in slow cooker. Cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Spoon sauce over potatoes.

4. Stir together parsley, orange zest, and garlic. Sprinkle potatoes with parsley mixture and crumbled bacon.Holiday Raspberry Jello Salad:

Crust:
3/4 Cup Butter
1 1/2 Crushed Pretzels
4 Tbsp. Sugar

Jello:
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip (Pre thaw in fridge for 4 hours)
1 lg pkg Raspberry Jello
2 Cups Boiling Water
12 oz. Frozen Raspberries

Melt butter. Add pretzels and sugar. Mix well. Spread in 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 10 mins at 350 degrees. Let it cool. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and pre-thawed cool whip. Spread on top of pretzels. Let set up in fridge for at least 1 hour. Mix jello in water. Cool. Add raspberries to jello. Pour on top of cream cheese mixture. Let set up in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

This is the best Jello meal in the WHOLE world! It is so good that I rather have this meal than cookies or cake. However, mommy told us that it is only okay to eat this meal around holidays. I never understood why this was a thing, but we only eat this for holidays! My husband also loves this Jello recipe. He has only had it once (Thanksgiving last year) and he has talked about it at least twice a month since. Although I know I could easily make this meal any day of the week, it is special to eat this meal only around the holidays! What also makes this Jello recipe so special is the title. It is called a salad…but let me tell you, it is the sweetest salad I have ever had! My family and I love that we eat this as salad around the holidays and there is still desert!

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Teammate: Jonie Ternes

TEAMTRI Title: Director of Training Services

Thankful Recipe: Cherry Almond Coffee Squares

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
3 eggs
1 package Betty Crocker SuperMoist sour cream white cake mix
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and flour jelly roll pan. 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch
Mix sour cream, water and eggs; stir in cake mix (dry) until moistened. (Batter will be slightly lumpy.) Spread in pan. Drop pie filling by generous spoonsfuls onto batter. Bake until cake springs back when touched lightly, 25 to 30 minutes; cool. Sprinkle with almonds; drizzle with Glaze.

Glaze: Mix powdered sugar and milk together. Stir in few drops of additional milk, if necessary, until smooth and of desired consistency. Or heat ½ cup Betty Crocker Creamy Deluxe vanilla ready to spread frosting and 2 teaspoons water in 1 quart saucepan over medium heat until smooth and of desired consistency.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

Growing up as a kid this was one of my favorite dishes. Whenever we had a church potluck or school event that we had to bring a dish for I always begged my Mom to make this. I can still remember making it with her! I loved it when she let me put the spoonful’s of cherries on. This dish reminds me of my Mom and how selfless she is.

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Teammate: Ryan Underwood

TEAMTRI Title: CEO

Thankful Recipe: Banana Bread

2 or 3 ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine or shortening
2 eggs, unbeaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add to margarine, eggs, nuts and one cup mashed bananas. Lori’s tip: I use all of the mashed banana and add about a tablespoon of water. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Makes one regular size loaf.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

This recipe comes from Lori Pankratz. Lori was my first officer coordinator as a student CTSO officer when she was a young alumnus herself. She helped me grow into a leader. Then, 25 years ago she helped me found a company whose purpose was to grow leaders. Lori got this recipe from her Mom that got it from a cookbook gift from when she got married some 60 years ago. Lori would make this and send it to me when I was first starting out in Grandma’s Garage to encourage me and remind me that careful ingredients and love make great things like Banana Bread or leaders.

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Teammate: Dawne Schmidt

TEAMTRI Title: Association Services Manager

Thankful Recipe: STARLIGHT SURPRISE COOKIES

Submitted by Dawne Schmidt as passed down from my mother, Wilma Thompson. This has been a favorite holiday cookie for many decades in my family!

Sift together . . .
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
Set this mixture aside.

Cream together . . .
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup firm packed brown sugar

Blend in to the creamed mixture . . .
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat well.

Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Open 1 package (9 ounces) solid chocolate mint candy wafers. Enclose 1 wafer in about 1 Tablespoon of chilled dough. Can add more flour if dough is sticky and chill a good length of time.

Place formed cookie on greased backing sheet 2 inches apart.

Top each cookie with one walnut half.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes 4½ dozen cookies.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

No matter how many other things my mom had to get done around the holidays, she always found time to make these cookies for us! It was her very special gift to all of us! We thought it was such a fun treat because we would take the walnut off of the top and eat around the outside of the cookie trying to save the hidden chocolate mint wafer in the middle for last!

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Teammate: Paige Gutierrez

TEAMTRI Title: Logistics Specialist

Thankful Recipe: Holiday Baked Beans!

1 large can pork and beans
1 can kidney beans drained
1 can Lima beans drained
1 can garbonza beans drained
1 can chili beans
1 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix and bake at 350* for an hour

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

The beans complete my holiday meals. We have them every year and they remind me of family and my grandmother.

TEAMTRI Thankful Holiday Recipes, Part 3

During this holiday season, our TEAMTRI family is looking forward to connecting with friends, family and loved ones to enjoy the season. To celebrate this time of year, we’ve asked some of our teammates to share their favorite holiday recipes and for whom they are thankful. Enjoy this multi-part series and feel free to share these recipes with your own loved ones!

Teammate: Sarah Magney

TEAMTRI Title: Association Management Specialist

Twitter Handle: @TEAMTRI_Sarah

Thankful Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls!

Ingredients

Rolls:

1 cup mashed potatoes

1 cup reserved potato water

3/4 cup butter OR margarine

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup hot water

2 envelopes Fleischmann’s(R) Active Dry Yeast

1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)

2 eggs

8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed

Filling:

1/2 cup butter OR margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Spice Islands(R) Ground Saigon Cinnamon

Icing:

3 cups powdered sugar

6 tablespoons butter OR margarine, softened

1 teaspoon Spice Islands(R) 100% Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract

5 tablespoons milk, or more as needed

Directions

1. Combine potatoes, potato water, butter, sugar, salt and hot water in large mixing bowl. Stir until butter melts; set aside and let cool. Combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water in small bowl. Let rest 5 minutes. Add eggs, 2 cups flour and yeast mixture to potato mixture. Beat until well mixed. Continue adding flour, 1 cup at a time until soft dough forms.

2. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 4 to 6 minutes), OR knead with electric mixer using dough hook. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover.

3. Let rise in a warm, draft free area about 1 hour, until doubled in size. Punch dough down; divide in half.

4. Roll one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Spread with half the butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half of the mixture over surface. Roll up tightly lengthwise, sealing edges. Cut into 12 slices. Place in greased 13 x 9-inch pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover.

5. Let rise 30 to 45 minutes until nearly doubled.

6. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

7. Cool for 15 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over rolls.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

We always used to travel to Montana to spend Thanksgiving with family. We would drive over on Wednesday morning, and then wake excitedly at our cousin’s house Thursday morning to the smell of my mom’s cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. She made them every year for us to eat on Thanksgiving morning, and now I make them every year for my kids as well. This recipe reminds me of my family!

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Teammate: Trevor Mullholland

TEAMTRI Title: Event Services Manager

Thankful Recipe: Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

Ingredients:

4 pounds slender sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Directions:

1. Place sweet potatoes in a 5- to 6-qt. slow cooker. Stir together orange juice concentrate and next 4 igredients in a small bowl. Pour over sweet potatoes, tossing to coat.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 1/2 to 6 hours or until potatoes are tender.

3. Transfer potatoes to a serving dish, using a slotted spoon. Increase slow cooker to HIGH. Whisk together cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. cold water until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture into cooking liquid in slow cooker. Cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Spoon sauce over potatoes.

4. Stir together parsley, orange zest, and garlic. Sprinkle potatoes with parsley mixture and crumbled bacon.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

I grew up in a very large family, so holidays have always been less about the food, and more about the company! A typical Thanksgiving for myself consists of 4-5 different meals in different locations. Throughout my childhood, our last stop was always a large hall with my father’s extended family. This dinner was always one where everyone was welcome, and each family member typically invited a few people who they knew were alone over the holiday. Because every year this group was drastically different, the dishes were also always different, and the dish I shared is a random recipe that I found online, because you never know what you would get when you showed up to this dinner (and that was the best part!)

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Teammate: Danielle Tolentino Tuason

TEAMTRI Title: Associate Vice President of Training and Leadership Innovations

Twitter Handle: @TEAMTRI_DTT

Thankful Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes Supreme

Ingredients:

2.25 lbs of Beef, slice into bite size pieces
1/2 cup tomato sauce
½ small cabbage, quartered
1.5 cup of garbanzo beans
5 bananas, sliced
2 medium size potatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, chopped
½ garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
Sugar

Directions:

Boil the beef in a pot with water, salt and pepper until tender.
You can use a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking time. In a deep pan, heat oil and saute garlic and onion. Put the boiled beef and include about 1 to 1 & ½ cups of the broth. Then add the bananas and potatoes, cover and simmer at least 5 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce and cover again an simmer or a few minutes. Add the garbonzo beans and let it cook for a while then follow the cabbage. Season with salt, pepper and sugar according to your preferred taste. Serve hot and with steamed rice!

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

This dish was always prepared by my beloved grandmother “Grandma Inay”. I love this delicious Filipino dish and remember the day when I was able to watch her cook it. She never used exact measurements…she just instinctly knew what to do. And she added extra cabbage for me because that’s the way I like it! Cooking was one of the ways she shared her love with us.

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Teammate: Chris Tuason

TEAMTRI Title: Director of Technology

Thankful Recipe: Potato Dinner Rolls

Persimmon Bread
Use very soft, ripe, heart-shaped Hachiya persimmons rather than the smaller, firmer Fuyu variety. If you can’t find Hachiyas, substitute 1 cup of canned pumpkin. Stir any leftover purée into yogurt for a sweet breakfast.

Ingredients
SERVINGS: 8
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more for pan
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large, very ripe Hachiya persimmons
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Tap out excess flour.

Combine raisins and 2 Tbsp. hot water in a small heatproof bowl. Let steep for 20 minutes to plump raisins (or microwave for 15 seconds).

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Scoop persimmon flesh from skins into a blender. Purée until smooth. Transfer 1 cup purée to a medium bowl (reserve any remaining purée for another use). Whisk in buttermilk and orange zest. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter in a medium bowl until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixture is well combined. Gradually add persimmon mixture; beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, beating just until incorporated. Fold in strained raisins.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Let bread cool in pan for 20 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely on a wire rack.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

We purchased our first home together at the end of September 2016. Our home is filled with about 12 fruit trees, we believe the previous owner was a farmer. One of the trees that produces a large amount of fruits is the hachiya persimmon. We had so many of them, we did not know what to do with them.

After some research, we decided to make persimmon bread for the holidays. It was an instant hit and we made it for all of our family holiday gatherings.

For me, the dish is special because it reminds when we first moved into the house and our first Tuason family holiday celebration!