Saturday, September 29, 2012

You CAN Teach an Old Dog

Today we spent the day at a SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) seminar on Business Start Up Basics.  Lots of valuable advice and handouts.  Probably the biggest leap for us today was to publicly admit that we were looking at starting our own business.  This was particularly risky since we were right in our own back yard for the seminar...and running the risk of seeing someone we knew since we haven't made this too public yet, but there wasn't anyone there who would've questioned our participation, so no worries.  There were a couple dozen folks like ourselves there looking to start (or grow) a variety of small businesses, including housekeeping services, aromatherapy business, a couple of engineer consultants, a family focused gym and a conceal-to-carry instructor.  No other pet sitters, though.  :)

So, we're on track to start our pet sitting business next year.  Earlier this month, we took the first real step and registered the business name with the state.  Sit. Stay. Fetch. LLC  How's that?  

Next we need to organize some banking and apply for a tax id.  And then join one of the two available pet sitting organizations - or maybe both - not sure on that one yet.  I've also dabbled in a design for our business card, which was a lot of fun one rainy Saturday.

I did buy Angela Duea's book, How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Pet Sitting Business, while we were on vacation this summer, and as I'm reading it, I am making notes about what we need to think about and/or do along the way.  It's pretty informative, and it also comes with a CD that's  preloaded with all sorts of business forms.

On another note, I tried a new recipe today - it's one that uses some of that abundant zucchini that you might have from your (or a friend's) garden to make hummus.  Here goes:


Start to finish: 20 minutes Makes about 2 cups 

1 large zucchini (about 1 pound) 
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed butter) 
3 to 4 cloves garlic 
juice of 1/2 lemon 
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

Heat a grill to high. Use an oil soaked paper towel held with tongs to lightly oil the grill grates. 

Trim the ends from the zucchini, then slice it in half lengthwise, not necessary to peel. 

If the seeds are large and watery, use a melon baller or small spoon to scrape out and discard most of the seeds from the center of each half. It’s not critical to get them all. If the inside of the zucchini appears firm and the seeds small, you don’t need to scrape them out.

Place the zucchini on the grill, cut side up, then reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, or until just lightly browned and starting to get tender. Set aside to cool. 

When the zucchini has cooled enough to handle, place it in a food processor. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Process until very smooth. 

The hummus can be served immediately, or chilled. The hummus will thicken slightly as it chills.  I might add that it's pretty tasty.  It'll be my snack for the upcoming week.  

Nutrition information per 1/4 cup: 45 calories; 30 calories from fat (67 percent of total calories); 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrate; 1 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 2 g protein; 110 mg sodium.