5 Habits to Help Your Kids Love to Cook

Studies show that children who help with cooking and meal preparation go on to lead healthier lives and consume more fruits and vegetables than kids who do not.

Cooking with your children is a romantic ideal conjuring up images of smiling children with their hands in a pristine bowl of baking dough. In reality, it’s often kitchen floors covered in unrecognizable goo, hand mixer mishaps, and high blood pressure.

Here are a 5 cooking habits that will make the culinary experiences with your child more enjoyable with effects that ripple long after the memory fades.

Engage with Your Child at the Grocery Store

The earliest and often the best places to start a love of cooking and good food is at the grocery store.

Even one way conversations about what makes one bundle of tomatoes more desirable than another, how delicious properly cooked asparagus is, or having them help to decide whether to have chicken or pork on Wednesday all sets the stage for them making the same decisions for themselves later in life.

Find the Time to Take the Time

If your families are anything like ours, the hurdles to having your children cook with you often start and end with our hectic schedules.

A busy evening where dinner is being squeezed in between homework, soccer, and dance lessons is probably not the best time to teach your 10 year old the difference between crushed and minced garlic. Instead, try setting one night a week that the entire family cooks dinner together and use that time to cook and reinforce new skills and knowledge.

Teach Kids The Tools of the Culinary Trade

A significant obstacle to learning to do anything is being intimidated by the tools that it takes to be successful. No one is going to build a house if someone doesn’t teach them to operate a circular saw. The kitchen has its own tools.

Take the time to teach kids how to use the hand mixer. Teach the difference between the oven and the broiler. Kids as young as 6 or 7 are old enough to begin using proper knife skills. Things like terminology, measurement conversion, and choosing the right pots and pans are all basic knowledge that has to be taught in order for them to feel comfortable doing it for themselves later.

Focus on a Signature Dish

This is our favorite tip because it’s so much fun for everyone involved. Is there anything better than being known for a particular dish and asked to bring it to every party?

Give your kids the same ownership. Teach them how to make an omelette, loaded nachos, or cheeseburgers. The dish itself doesn’t matter other than it should be something they love themselves and have fun making. Help them to perfect the dish to the point where they can do it without supervision. Once they own it, encourage them to experiment with new flavors and ingredients, and then stand back and watch the magic and creativity they’re capable of.

Give Them the Chance to Shine

Lastly, it is important that your kids feel acknowledged for their culinary successes.

As they feel more comfortable around the kitchen, give them complete ownership over some part of the meal. Maybe it’s the dessert course or just the garlic potatoes. Whatever it is that they prepare, make sure to comment during the meal how delicious it is and some specific thing you like.

For example, “Seth, I really love how you were able to keep the outside of these roasted potatoes crispy while the insides are still perfectly cooked. How did you do that?” Giving them credit and the voice of a master chef will give them the confidence and positive associations to keep them coming back to the stove over and over again.

What About You?

How do you teach your children to love good food and the process of preparing it? Leave a few of your own tips in the comments section below or on our social media. Share this article and ask your friends and family for their tips and experiences. Make sure to tag us so that we can follow along.

The Most Important Gift for Real Estate Agents Is NOT the Closing Gift

Almost every successful real estate agent that I know gives a closing gift. It’s almost expected at this point. Do you know what happens when something is expected? It becomes a commodity instead of a brand builder. The question then becomes, how do you raise the bar on client gifting without finding ways to outspend your competition?

Let me start with a couple of facts:

Around 21% of your real estate clients will be repeat clients. Another 21% will come from client referrals. That means that approximately 42% of real estate business is directly tied to client relationships. That’s for an average agent. In reality, it’s much higher for rock star agents.

Investing in client relationships is playing the long game, but it’s the smart play. The most important date to give a gift to your client is NOT the day they sell or purchase their home. It is one year later.

Your clients will probably not be surprised or moved by your closing gift unless it is extravagant or exceptionally thoughtful. However, receiving a gift on the anniversary of their purchase is sure to make an impression.

What Does a Gift on the Closing Date Anniversary Accomplish?

It Reminds Them That It’s Been a Year.

This might sound silly, but it’s crazy how fast time flies, and sending a gift to help celebrate the first year in their new property is a great way to conjure up all the positive feelings they had dealing with you as well as the memories they’ve made in the past twelve months.

It Reminds Them That You Exist.

Hey, you had a great run together. For the time they were house hunting, you were probably always near the top of their list of recent calls. But after closing, that relationship probably fell off almost immediately. A closing gift on their anniversary means that they’re going to be talking to their friends and family about you all over again and move you to top-of-mind when someone talks about needing to buy or sell a house.

It Builds Your Brand.

If you want to stand out, you need to beat or set the trends in your region. Even though this is still low-hanging fruit, we’re always surprised at how few agents are organized enough to execute this strategy. But for those who adopt this strategy now, the positive effects on their brand, reputation, and revenue will be exponential to their marginal investment.

Automate Your Real Estate Gifting Strategy

One increasing trend is to find a gifting partner that will work with your client database to make sure that anniversaries and other important dates are utilized to strengthen your relationships and to make sure your gifts are shipped and received in a timely fashion while still staying within your budget.

Here at Pasolivo, we work with Real Estate Agents all the time and understand all the work and careful considerations that need to be made to ensure that you continue to leave a positive impression long after closing. If you’d like to talk to one of our corporate concierges, click below, and we’d be happy to talk about some different options that will help you grow your business and build stronger relationships.

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4 Items Every Financial Firm’s Gift Policy Should Include

Gifts are a tricky part of any financial agent or adviser’s practice. On one hand, the giving and receiving of gifts is SEC regulated. On the other hand, it’s a key part of growing and nurturing a financial practice but ruled by words like excessive and extravagant that are highly subjective.

That is why every financial firm should have its own gift policy that it follows so that during even routine audits, it is able to produce written evidence of its commitment to being compliant as well as being a benchmark to check for disparities in practice.

While these gift policies will vary from firm to firm, each and every one should include some version of the following items to ensure that all of its financial advisers are clear about what is acceptable or inappropriate.

The Foundational Pieces of an Effective Financial Firm’s Gifts Policy


Clear Definitions

Every financial firm should define clearly what it considers a gift or entertainment.

Generally, a gift will be defined as something that is tangible, something that can be touched and taken possession of—golf clubs, cigars, a vintage bottle of wine, or a collection of small batch olive oils.

Entertainment on the other hand is an experience that is attended with the person providing the gift.

In other words, if you gave a client tickets to a sporting event that you attended with them, it would be entertainment. If you gave that client the same tickets and told them to take whoever they wanted, it would be a gift.

Clear Limits

Once we know what is considered a gift and what is considered entertainment, it is a good idea to outline what is acceptable to your financial firm. This includes outlining what your firm will consider a nominal gift and what might need prior approval.

A nominal gift is normally given a prescribed dollar amount that serves as a maximum threshold before needing authorization. Because of the wording in FINRA Rule 3220, this amount is often set at $100 though recent rulings may see financial firms increasing that cap to $175.

Most entertainment limits are unfortunately forced to use vague language given the broad nature of entertaining clients. What is excessive in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania might seem less so in a market like Los Angeles, California. In general, common sense should rule. Dinner, a round of golf, or a sporting event where you are also present are usually safe forms of entertainment.

Approval Procedure

There will be times where it is necessary or appropriate to exceed nominal gifts or entertainment amounts set by the firm. In these cases a firm’s gift policy should clearly lay out the steps for quick approval or denial of requests.

Procedures should include who requests should be sent to, what information should be included, and the expected lead time needed to ensure requests are processed in a timely manner.

Entertainment approval policies often outline specific dollar limits and categories for various items involved—travel, hotels, alcohol purchases, etc.

Education Programs

It is important that financial firms take the time to educate their agents, advisers, and financial planners on their current gift policy as well as any changes that take place. This should include more than an inter-office memo or email.

Firms often include this in continuing education credits, code of ethics training, or even informal role-playing during staff meetings. There are also a variety of third party training services if your firm has the budget set aside to utilize.

Finding a Client Gift Partner to Match Your Policy

One increasing trend is to find a gift partner that is approved by your firm to be used by your agents, advisers, and planners. This partner will be well-versed in your firm’s gift policy and thresholds and be able to gain any necessary approvals that are needed to make sure that your gifts are shipped and received in a timely fashion while still staying within your budget.

Here at Pasolivo, we work with professionals in the insurance and finance industries all the time and understand all the work and careful considerations that need to be made to ensure that you are both remembered and industry compliant. If you’d like to talk to one of our corporate concierges, click below, and we’d be happy to talk about some different options that may be exactly what your firm has been looking for.


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Here Is the One Simple Fix to Making Your Client Gifting More Effective

The task of client gifting is often relegated to executive assistants or office managers, but in reality, their jobs are the most hectic in your organization. The best person to manage your client gifting is probably not in your office at all.

There is perhaps no harder decision in business than to know what to own and what to delegate. Knowing which tasks to outsource might be just as challenging.

Partnering with a third-party vendor to manage and execute your client gifting strategy ensures that your gifts are strategically thought out, timely, and above all, given the proper attention to make them unique and memorable experiences.

Here are some of the questions you should ask a potential vendor when choosing a client gifting concierge to help you develop and execute a more effective gifting strategy.

3 Questions to Ask a Potential Client Gifting Vendor

What is your process for working with your partners’ client list?

This is probably the most important aspect of figuring out if a particular vendor is going to make your life a lot easier. Ideally, try to find a partner who will take your client list and organize data like purchasing anniversaries, implemented buying cycle reminders, birthdays, and other important dates into segments that inform a strategy at several price points and creative gift options that takes your unique brand, process, and industry regulatory constraints into account. You want to be able to sign off and step away to grow your business. If you can’t, why use them?

Will you handle all the shipping and provide tracking links?

This question is about how hands-off you’ll be able to be through the process. If you provide addresses, will your corporate gifting concierge take care of the rest including links with all the tracking codes in case something goes wrong? It’s the execution after the gifts are chosen that take the most time-sucking attention to detail. You need to be able to trust that your partner has the ability to not only plan a strategy but also consistently execute that strategy without the need for constant guidance and hand-holding while still being available for updates and reporting.

What levels of customization do you offer?

Levels of customization does not mean the amount of products available to choose from, nor does it necessarily mean the ability to make each gift customized to individual clients. However, it is good to know whether the client gifting concierge service is willing to place additional inserts into the package for you. Will they write small personal notes using your letterhead or stationary? What is their willingness to truly become a partner with your business instead of treating your business transactionally?

Going Above and Beyond

Finding the right client gifting service offered by a company that shares your insistence on excellence might seem challenging. Finding a client gifting service that you trust to take care of your clients might seem impossible.

It doesn’t have to be.

Here at Pasolivo, we work especially hard to be whatever our corporate partners need us to be. We have some clients who call in with their specific one-time gifting needs. For others, we are a dedicated partner they trust to develop a yearly gifting strategy for all of their clients or a specific segment of clients while abiding to an annual budget.

We’re happy to serve and go above and beyond to exceed the expectations of both.

If you’re looking for a client gifting partner, or you’re just looking for options to streamline your gifting process, please click below to talk to someone from our corporate concierge team. We’re confident that we can find a quality solution that is both effective and efficient while providing your treasured clients with gifts that they will remember long after the day they land on their front porch.

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Usher in the Spring with This Multi-Course Easter Feast

Whether you’re celebrating Easter with your family, or you just want to usher in spring with a feast for your closest friends, this menu provides the perfect blend of the savory flavors associated with colder weather and the subtle zing and freshness that come with warmer temperatures.

Hors d’Oeuvres

becdfe3131b5ba71c9057462e8226793--olive-oil-bread-dip-italian-restaurantsTuscan Dipping Blend

A dipping blend served with bread or crostinies is a great way to encourage conversation while opening your guests palates for the main dishes being prepared in the kitchen.

spring_herb_lrg_1Spring Herb Dip

This hors d’oeuvre is a great compliment to the Tuscan Dipping blend. This dip has a clean, fresh finish and is perfect when served with a veggie plate and can also be served up as a dip for the entree.


625x625chickenItalian Chicken

This is your centerpiece and the foundation of your feast. While everyone else goes for the Easter ham, you’re going to switch it up by serving up a healthier alternative that packs more taste into every mouthful.


mushrooms_lr-732_cnvPasolivo Roasted Mushrooms

Serve these separate or as a garnish to your moist, golden-brown chicken. These mushrooms will make even your pickiest eaters rave by adding a complimenting texture to your other dishes.

roasted_vegetables_with_maple_fig_and_caper_vinaigrette_lrgRoasted Vegetables with Maple, Fig, and Caper Vinaigrette

Lots of tables will have a plate of roasted vegetables, but few will have a flavor profile highlighted by the subtle sweetness of Pasolivo Maple, Fig and Caper Vinaigrette. Deliciousness is in the details.

roasted_lavender_potatoes_lrgRoasted Potatoes with Herbs de Provence

Our roasted potatoes will tie the meal together by using the same Herbs de Provence as the Italian Chicken. They will not only tie the flavors and colors of the meal together, but will add a great texture, flavor, and hearty substance to each plate.


625x625tuscancakeTuscan Tangerine Cake

We can think of no greater way to finish off your meal than with our Tuscan Tangerine Cake. The fresh, subtle sweetness is an excellent finish to the complex tastes of your spring feast. Serve it with after-dinner coffee or tea for the perfect culinary closing ceremonies.

Luck Has Nothing to Do with This Pasolivo St. Patrick’s Day Menu

St. Patrick’s Day Appetizer – Potato Pancakes with Spiced Applesauce

Blog Body Sub Photo - Potato PancakeThe Irish eat Boxty en mass. Potato pancakes actually have cultural variations all over the world with each region putting its own spin on the dish. In Germany, they are Kartoffelpuffer. The British eat Tattie Fish. The Jewish celebrate with Latke during Hanukkah.

St. Patrick’s Day Side – Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Blog Body Sub Photo - Cabbage Salad

There are few foods that feel as Irish as cabbage. In this case, we’re going to use it as our salad and side. Cabbage is great to add texture and crunch to your meal. It’s one of our favorite food textures.

St. Patrick’s Day Entree – Rosemary Pork Loin with Boozy Cran-Cherry Chutney

Blog Body Sub Photo - Pork Loin

There are few meals on a rainy March evening like a savory rosemary pork loin. Add the words “boozy cran-cherry cutney” and you’ve just made it a party. This entree will be the star of the evening and all those good feelings are sure to pave the way to stories, laughs, and more than a few memories.

St. Patrick’s Day Dessert – Citrus Carrot Cake


Okay, maybe carrot cake isn’t the most exciting dessert choice for most, but it’s subtle savory-sweet finish will finish off your St. Patrick’s Day meal with just the right amount of energy and appetite for adventure.

The rest of the evening is up to you to create. Slàinte!

Lemon Madeleines | Bebe Black Carminito

This recipe was submitted by one of our brand ambassadors, Bebe Black Carminito. You can find her work at Champagne and Cookies. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.


1/2 c All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Pasolivo Pacific Blue Kosher Sea Salt
2 Eggs at Room Temperature
1/4 c Sugar
5 T Melted and Cooled butter (extra butter to grease pan)
2 tsp Brown Sugar
1 1/4 tsp Pasolivo Orange Blossom Honey
1/2 teaspoon Pasolivo Lemon Olive Oil
Zest from 1 Lemon
Powdered Sugar to decorate


  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk flour/ Baking Powder and Salt – Set Aside
  2. Whisk the Eggs and granulated Sugar in electric stand mixer. Mix on medium-high speed for 1 – 2 minutes. For 2 more minutes whisk on high and until the pale & doubles in volume approximately for 4 minutes.
  3. Melt Butter with Brown Sugar, Honey and Lemon Olive Oil in a small saucepan over medium till Sugar is dissolved and is homogeneous then remove from heat.
  4. Add warmed Butter mixture into batter then fold in dry ingredients in two batches into batter until everything is completely blended.
  5. Cover Batter with plastic wrap and and refrigerate overnight.
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Brush the Madeleine pan with butter. Freeze the pan to harden the butter.
  7. Pipe or spoon the batter into the Madeleine molds.
  8. Bake 8-9 minutes… After 5 minutes remove Madeleines from the pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  9. Decorate with powdered sugar
  10. Madeleines are best the day they are baked, but can be stored in a covered container for up to 1 day.