Six Lists that Make You More Productive

moms-to-do-list-no-do-listHere is some great advice from Fast Company on making those all-important To Do Lists.

Your brain is for thinking, not for storing a long list of random things you need to do.

“When you’re juggling a lot of tasks, things will fall through the cracks, and lists are amazing for keeping yourself on target and getting things done,” says Paula Rizzo, author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful, and Less Stressed.

As senior health producer at Fox News, Rizzo was used to creating checklists of questions and shots to get. When she started to look for an apartment in New York, she realized how important lists can be in all situations—but only if they’re used correctly.

“A lot of people want to be list makers, but they aren’t sure how to create lists that actually help,” she says. “The key is making the right lists and being strategic in how they’re used.”

Here are six lists that Rizzo says are helpful to business leaders, and how you can use them to be more productive:

While a to-do list seems like a no-brainer, Rizzo says too many people fail to set theirs up for success: “A daily to-do list needs to be specific and targeted,” she says. “You should only put things on a to-do list that you have the time and resources to achieve. And big goals and projects should be broken down into actionable tasks.”

The first step is to pay attention to timing: Write your list at the end of the day before you leave your desk. “Look ahead to following day and determine everything that needs to happen,” she says. “Identify phone calls to make, emails to send, and appointments you have. When you come to work in the morning, you’ll have a road map and can hit the ground running.”

When tackling the tasks on your to-do list, it helps to match the action with your productivity levels, says Rizzo. She takes care of tasks that require more focus, such as writing, at the beginning of the day when she’s fresh. Smaller things, like phone calls or emails, are put at the bottom of the list, to be completed after lunch when her mind is more fatigued. When distractions pop up during the day that could throw you off of your game, refer to your to-do list, and reset your intention for day.

If something doesn’t get done, reevaluate the task at the end of the day. “Ask yourself, ‘Did that belong on the list for today? Do I have the appropriate time and resources? Or can I give the task somebody else?’” Rizzo says. “Leaving items undone can feel like you failed, but don’t be too hard on yourself. If it’s still important, put the task on tomorrow’s list.”

Successful leaders and entrepreneurs often complete tasks they could have delegated because it will just take a minute, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, says Rizzo.

“Menial tasks, such as uploading a blog post to WordPress or making travel arrangements, aren’t always the best use of your time and talent,” she says. “Look at everything on your to-do list and ask yourself, ‘Am I the only person who can do this?’”

Anything that can be given to someone else should be put on an outsource list. While outsourcing takes extra time upfront to train someone else on the task, it saves you time later, which can be used to focus on the things you do have to do. The outsource list will become someone else’s to-do list.


Writing a list of long-term goals and dreams can help you achieve more, says Rizzo. “Even if you think it’s too big of a dream but it’s something you want, write it down anyway,” she says. “When you write something down, studies say you’ll be 33% more likely to do it because it sets an intention and puts a goal into action.  Create a long-term goals list for yourself and your company. Then create a reminder to review and re-evaluate it periodically.

“I set a recurring meeting on the calendar in my phone and review my list,” says Rizzo. “I cross off the things that have happened, add new goals, or delete things I no longer want to do. It’s a good exercise for achieving the things you want.”


When you’re making an important decision, such as forming a partnership or entering a new business venture, create a list of pros and cons. “This list makes you dig down deep,” says Rizzo. “And just because there are more pros than cons, it doesn’t mean your decision should be a definite yes.”

The best way to use this list is to write it down and leave it alone. “Come back to it the next day when your perspective is fresh,” says Rizzo. “It can also help to share your list with someone else or ask a friend or partner to help brainstorm more pros and cons. This list gives you the clarity you need to make good decisions.”

When you are working on a project with others, create project lists that detail tasks and assign responsibilities.

“This helps you avoid micromanaging,” says Rizzo, who suggests using online project management software, such as Asana or Basecamp. Projects can be broken down into actionable tasks and assigned to team members. Everyone can view everyone else’s progress, as everyone has access to all team members’ to-do lists.

“This eliminates the need for numerous emails that can become confusing, and everything about a project is contained in one location,” says Rizzo.

If you have an upcoming meeting or important phone call, create a list of things you want to discuss, so you don’t risk forgetting something. Keep this list handy on your desk, so when things pop in your mind you can jot them down.

“A talking points list makes meetings more efficient, because you can be sure to address everything you need at once,” says Rizzo.



Don’t Just Wear a Designer Brand, Be One

Google's Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo CEOWomen have been slow to recognize the importance of personal branding.  But not Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo.  The 40-year-old executive was the 20th employee of Google and the first female engineer.   She quickly became known as the woman who made Google successful.  Not everyone has worked as hard to develop their brand.

According to a Forbes survey, only 15% of employees have truly defined their brand, and only 5% are living their brand every day at the workplace.

Why is that important, you might ask?  Well, having a personal brand has become essential for most people today because of new trends in the workforce.  The average tenure of a U. S. employee is 4.6 years and for those aged 25-34, it is only three years.  And now one out of three U. S. workers are now freelancers. 

A more flexible workforce has been created out of the recession with companies seeking to lower their employee costs.  Additionally the online marketplace created by companies like TaskRabbit and Get A Guru and the rise of shared economy employers like Uber and AirBnB have allowed workers more flexibility for employment.   Added on top of these trends, mobile technology now allows more people to work when and where they choose.

These factors set up an environment where we are constantly preparing for our next role, whether in our current company, at our next employer or possibly as a freelancer or an entrepreneur.  And we need a personal brand.

A personal brand allows us to stand out from the crowd and to create mindshare for ourselves.  Some of the benefits of a personal brand include new business introductions, rewarding partnerships, leadership opportunities, recognition, added credibility and a higher perceived value.

Is building a personal brand shameless self-promotion?  It isn’t but some women may feel challenged in creating a personal brand.  Psychologists say men are encouraged from childhood to talk about their accomplishments, while women learn self-deprecation.  However, true personal branding is about authenticity and values.  Women with positive brands are giving value, sharing knowledge, acknowledging others, nurturing relationships, showering praise and expressing gratitude.  There are even professionals today helping women learn to talk about themselves.  One leadership coach hosts “Brag Parties” where women practice talking about themselves.

It’s not to late to start working on your brand.  Start working on your differentiation and elevator speech today.



A Conference to Teach Agencies How to Brand Themselves?

Michael-Gass-Portrait-325x400Fuel Lines New Business Conference, a new business conference for advertising, digital, media and PR agencies is coming to Nashville October 8-9. The conference will shake up some pre-conceived notions about agencies in today’s world.  Most agencies sell brand positioning to their clients but have none themselves.  Michael Gass, leading new business consultant, has put together some great thinkers on the subject.  We will be speaking there and we even have a discount for you.

New business has historically been a problem for agencies.

Most small to midsize agencies have no positioning and no point of differentiation. They look and sound the same.
They are often treated as vendors because they lack a positioning of expertise.
Most don’t have a target audience thus, no focus for business development efforts.
They are their own worst clients, the cobbler’s children with no shoes.
No appeal beyond their local market.
Forced to use interruption tactics to build awareness.
But, with all of these problems, new business is now much more difficult. It’s made worse by the paradigm shift in business development due to The Great Recession and the empowerment of prospects through social media. Interruptive type tactics such as cold calls, email blasts and direct mail have become ineffective and inefficient. Rainmakers who were good at new business in the past are struggling today.The Fuel Lines New Business Conference will provide 20 top-notch sessions, with inspiring insights from the best and brightest new business thought leaders, who will provide their expertise on the new drivers of business development.  To find out more, click here.  If you are interested in a early bird discount for Brand Wise friends, email us at

Video is the NOW of Brand Marketing

The past week we have been completing online video campaigns for clients and somewhere along the week, we hit pause to better understand how video is changing marketing.  YouTube reports that the number of hours that people are watching on YouTube is up 50% year over year.

In 2013 video consumed 66% of internet traffic and by 2017, video is estimated by Cisco to account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.   Looking at the marketing side of the equation, 64% of marketers told Nielsen they expected video to dominate their strategies in the near future.

The real strength of video is the ability to capture the emotional resonance of a brand.  Axonn Research found seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them.  Examples like Chipotle’s Farm Campaign, Kmart “Ship My Pants” and Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches all appeal to our emotional side, whether it is our social consciousness, our funny bone or our self-esteem.

Probably the most interesting example of the power of emotion is the most viewed video advertising campaign from 2014 that racked up 156 million views.  The black and white First Kiss video by LA fashion house Wren showed twenty complete strangers kissing.  The fact that it was wasn’t obviously a video advertising campaign may have contributed to its 77.8 million views, 1,392,296 Facebook shares, and 68,740 Twitter shares in just 31 days.   The brand reports the video amassed 14,000% more web traffic for the brand and increased sales 13,000%.    Of course, it didn’t hurt that the people were pretty cool and attractive.

Another type of brand video from Johnnie Walker video clearly sets the tone for the brand relevance of enjoying the finer things in life.

We all love video.  We remember it because of those emotional triggers and because we choose to click to play for subjects that have meaning for us.  In a sea of advertising, we still get some control.  In an Online Publishers Association report, 80% of Internet users remember watching a video ad in the past 30 days, with 46% of viewers taking some action after viewing the ad.

So is video just for consumer brands like fashion, entertainment, beauty products and restaurants?  No, in the B2B world,  Forbes says 75% of executives will watch work-related videos at least once a week.   And, 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing the video. Additionally, the 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey by Software Advice (a company that gives free advice on marketing software), revealed that not only are videos the most-used type of content, they also produce the highest volume of leads.

All videos should employ the best in storytelling.  Research has shown that your audience is 69% more likely to remember a story over anything else you communicate because stories put their brain to work and connect on an emotional level. Beyond brand videos like Johnnie Walker, marketers need to look into the following types of videos:

About Videos.  Short 60-90 second videos that explain who, what and how.  These may tell what your company does or explain how to use your product.

Case Studies.  Short introductions to your real-life customers telling their impression of your company or product are genuine and relate to your target audience.

Demonstrations.  These little videos are life-savers.  They can show you how to do something quicker than you can read the instructions.

Slice of Life.  These videos help impart something of your culture, your customers, your management.  These slice of life at your company help viewers relate to your company and give a preview of it.

Video doesn’t have to be expensive or involve complex production.  We all walk around with video recorders in our pockets today.

Pandora is the World’s Most Popular Radio Station

While we weren’t watching, radio has come out of the box – the Pandora box.  Pandora has become the world’s most popular radio station, and the most popular local station competing with powerhouse local stations.   With its 82 million listeners, traditional terrestrial radio isn’t even close.  According to Pandora Chief Financial Officer Mike Herring, the Pandora online brand is now #1 in 14 of the top 15 radio markets.

In the Top Most Downloaded Apps

#2 total time spent on mobileFurther proof of Pandora’s popularity is its place as the 2nd most downloaded iPhone app.  And that’s what has changed the landscape – iPhones first and then smartphones in general.  In the U.S., 73% of smartphone users listen to online radio on their smartphone.  Pandora is also #2 in total time spent on mobile devices, behind Facebook.

Persons listening to online radio has soared from 5% in 2000 to 53% in 2015.  We are all listening on mobile, web, tablet, in-car and consumer electronics.

The Connected Audience We All Want

That type of connected audience is a dream for marketers.  Pandora provides an uncluttered environment where advertisers can actually stand out.  There are less than four commercial messages in the typical hour.  And the ability to not only fit into their lifestyle but their music preferences is a boon for advertisers.

The targeting capability for Pandora is limitless – by age, by gender, by market, by zip code, by music, by station, by platform.  Location targeted campaigns are on the rise because of the ability to target more efficiently.  The ability to cross analyze data can provide information as granular as what stations Republicans and Democrats listen to.  And as Eric Bieschke, Pandora’s Chief Scientist, told the New York Times, “It’s becoming quite apparent to us that the world of playing the perfect music to people and the world of playing perfect advertising to them are strikingly similar.”

A recent national study from Edison Research and Triton Digital called “The Infinite Dial 2015” says that 119 million people listen to online radio weekly for an average of 12 hours and 53 minutes, primarily using Pandora (45 percent of users).  When asked what medium was the most important to them, 54% of respondents rated the internet versus 9% for terrestrial radio.   Pandora is the most recognizable brand in music online with 75% awareness and ranking as the most used.

AM/FM radio still dominates in-car usage but online radio in-car usage has more than doubled in the past two years.   That’s because sites like Pandora are becoming embedded in our vehicles.  Pandora is now in ten of the top ten cars introduced this year.

The new frontier that will push online radio to even great usage is the ability to easily access online music from your car audio system.   While 73 percent of users listen to online radio on their smartphone, only 35 percent of users listen to online radio in their car.  But the shift has begun.

Radio has been such an essential part of music discovery.  And it still will fill that role, just online.

Pandora is expanding their local rep market to better serve local and national advertisers.  Our new rep in Nashville is Cathy Sewell (  Her favorite Pandora stations are FooFighters, Bruno Mars and Maroon 5.  What are yours?

Jamie Dunham Recognized in NBJ Women of Influence Awards

58900855-20150225_nmWOI_0167We got all dressed up on February 25 to attend the Nashville Business Journal 2015 Women of Influence awards at the Omni Nashville Hotel.  What an amazing event with amazing women from a cross-section of the greater Nashville community.

Each woman had been videotaped talking about strength.  The videos were powerful.  And the three words that represented their source of strength were little glimpses into their nature.  Some brought a smile like Christie Wilson who included a great hairstylist in her three!
dunhamjamie*304xx6016-4011-0-3According to the Nashville Business Journal, the Women of Influence Awards honor women who are making a positive impact in Middle Tennessee. Nominations are received from the public and an independent panel of judges consisting of previous Women of Influence award winners select the finalists in 10 categories.

Thanks to the Nashville Business Journal for honoring strong women!

Adventure-loving Paula Froelich, Editor of Yahoo Travel, Talks Women Traveling Solo

paula1-200x300Paula Froelich knows a thing or two about women traveling solo. You might find Paula riding camels in Egypt, skiing in Afghanistan, or behind the scenes at the Miss Universe pageant. Paula is the free-spirited editor-in-chief of Yahoo Travel.  She is a travel writer with a video series based on her blog A Broad Abroad and an award-winning journalist writing about politics, travel and pop culture.

1. Statistics say that the 32 million single women are traveling solo, and that number exceeds men traveling solo. Why are more women traveling alone?

There are a bunch of stats out there – according to  32 % of women said they travel alone to “give myself the chance to truly relax and unwind, while 30% said they do it to “escape my every day life.”  Forty-four percent (44%) said they would travel alone to truly get time to themselves.

But I  also think that – 1. women get more independent as they get older, 2. with technology it is safer and easier to feel more connected while you travel, and 3. solo travel allows women – who are usually the caretakers – to truly relax and not have to worry about anyone else. It’s a rare opportunity to be alone and enjoy something you like to do – where and when you want to do it without feeling guilty or stressing over someone else’s good time.

2. What is the most fascinating learning you have gleaned about women traveling solo? 

I thinks it’s interesting that women, as they get older, are more fearless. I’ve traveled a lot for my blog A Broad Abroad, Yahoo Travel and my show, A Broad Abroad, and the majority of people traveling right now are women of a certain age… and it’s not to all the usual places like Europe or Canada… they are taking trips to Timbuktu, skiing in Afghanistan, trekking through Vietnam, you name it. A huge part of it is the feeling of “Well – I did what I was supposed to do. I got married, had kids, worked at the right job and now.. I want to do something for me.”

3. What kind of female-friendly amenities do women look for when they travel? What do they expect in technology?

I know what I look for: hotels with women only floors, or at the very least, hotels that won’t stick me on a ground floor. WiFi is also VERY important – and it really irks me when hotels charge for it. If Howard Johnson’s ain’t charging, why are you?

4. Are there certain countries that women are not accepted as solo travelers?

I wouldn’t say not accepted but some countries are more difficult than others. Traveling solo in parts of the Middle East can be challenging, but then again, so can traveling in Italy, where it’s very traditional and men are aggressive. I had a friend who looooves Paris and goes several times a year, but this last trip really upset her – traveling alone she was beset by unwanted offers and even went so far as to post this quote from Rhian Sasseen’s essay in Aeon magazine to her Facebook timeline: “A woman alone, unwatched, unchaperoned and without children is impossible for us to process.” When I asked her about it she said, “women in France aren’t able to ever be alone. Even if they are, it’s considered an invitation for a man to come up to her. Incredible.” So, yeah. There’s the obvious (Middle East) but also, frankly, many places in Europe and the West are still annoying. You just have to be able to go with the flow.

5. What are some fascinating travel trends for 2015 that women travelers have embraced?

Just the super uber trend of solo and adventure.  The average adventure traveler is a 47 year old woman, not a Red Bull swigging 27-year-old dude – and women are all about culture and experience. And again, women are traveling either alone or in small groups where they don’t know anyone in advance of the trip.

6. Where in the world does Paula want to travel this year?

Oh I am hyped up about going to Mongolia, Japan and hiking the Ho Chi Min trail in Vietnam.

Destination Marketing is Changing – And Here’s How

Joanie Flynn, a true travel professional, helps us understand the new challenges of consumer behavior, the sharing economy, review sites and the growing number of marketing channels.  Joanie, Vice President of Marketing for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism along the Alabama Gulf Coast, has spent her entire career working in all phases of travel and tourism marketing with major players Hilton, Four Seasons, Resort Quest, and Gaylord. 
1.      How has destination marketing changed in the past five years?  
There are a myriad of ways that destination marketing has changed in the past five years.  Some of the changes include the behavioral changes consumers are undertaking by searching travel topics and destinations online, visiting review sites and blogs as well as being more active in social media, and valuing family and friend travel recommendations on sites like TripAdvisor.  Our destination is dominated by vacation rentals even as our hotel offerings expand, so we are facing the need to educate customers about our lodging inventory while also learning to deal with changing dynamics of social sharing economy companies like HomeAway and AirBnB. 
Our world is more data driven than it was before.  We communicate with our past visitors and potential visitors in a host of ways.  We serve a different customer each season, so our communications are segmented too.  As a result the marketing approach has to be more integrated and cut across all the distribution options and channels where a potential customer might be active and engaged.  We spend time creating and re-purposing content, striving to always be relevant to our customer’s needs. So our team and its skill sets have broadened.  We still do print, TV and radio advertising plus produce both print and digital vacation guides annually in addition to all the social, email, content and digital marketing we carry out.  We have content calendars, send emails, create banner ads and content campaigns, and search for new ways to present our 32 miles of sugar white sand and turquoise water in appealing and engaging ways.
So it used to be an EITHER/OR world – run an ad or send a direct mail piece.  Now it’s become a BOTH/& world where we have to undertake all of the above to service our guests and meet our destination marketing needs.

 2.      Tell us about your target audiences.  Are women still making the travel decisions in their households?

Our audience is primarily families based on what our destination offers – a great and safe beach experience with a host of lodging choices, lots of restaurants and attractions to help families relax, reconnect and make wonderful vacation memories.  Families make more joint vacation decisions today – the kids definitely have an influence on the WHERE and WHAT decisions.  We find that the woman brings up the WHO, WHEN and HOW issues of trip planning, while the men often have concerns to be addressed about COST.  Many of our families that travel here are multi-generational, pursuing a host of activities and interests.  The extended family will break up to sample activities and then come back together for beach time, swimming, meals and evening activities.  Mom or the baby boomer grandmother usually is the research gatherer, and then everyone gets together and gives their input.  The female is still our influencer.

This is still true too for couples get-aways and girlfriend getaways.  And the wife in our many snow bird couples figures prominently in the winter stay visitors that we host, though her husband wants to know there will be plenty of activities to please him too.  The guys tend to research and plan their fishing and golf getaways, but often deputize one of the guys to do the research and serve as the booking coordinator.

We have a few new segments, namely home-schooled families and nature travelers.  The former finds all the nature, history, cultural and arts activities in our area make for a great edutainment vacation where some curriculum goals can be met while the family still finds time to relax.  The latter group is discovering our bike and hiking trails, our canoe and kayak blueways as well as our fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving attractions.  Increasingly we see all visitors making decisions based on the broad roster of events that happen throughout the year in our destination, from culture, arts, music concerts and live music venues, culinary, shopping, sports events, history and nature events – there is something to draw interested parties every month of the year.  So one of the biggest changes is that, while summer is still our biggest season, we are becoming more of a year-round destination over time as we showcase and draw people based on their needs and interests.

3.  What is the most interesting marketing initiative you have implemented recently?

In 2014 we undertook a special content distribution campaign with several content distributors that helped underscore the value of content – articles, blogs, photography and video.  With some we created the content, while with others we worked

with some of their writers to create the articles that were placed.  The articles were made visible based on the search terms that people used.  Our articles would appear next to their normal search results in a “you might also be interested in these” 
section.  That drove a lot of new qualified visitors to our brand new responsive design website.  Once there, people explored and found out more about what we have to offer; many decided to book a visit!  Once these people visited our website, we also re-
targeted them with special ads to bring them back to our website to explore more.

At the heart of making this a successful venture was relevant, engaging, interesting content that met a host of audience needs and interests.  We have also learned how to take content that has proven itself and to push it out via promoted posts on Facebook or on different of our social media platforms, of course, adjusting and making it appealing and engaging for each platform’s audience.  All of these strategies and tactics have pulled our entire team into becoming content creators and specialists in repurposed content.  To accomplish this we had to be highly focused; we had to understand our customers wants and needs, and many on our team had to become better at understanding website flows, consumption and metrics.

4.  How does storytelling become part of marketing a destination?

Storytelling has become the price of admission to interacting with a potential visitor.  We truly became convinced of this once we integrated our library of blogs, that had lived on a separate site, into our new website.  The organic search traffic from that step alone has driven an incredible rise in our destination site visits.  In many ways it is how people find us now, and once they do, we can retarget them.  And each time they come back, they can engage in great content, view a digital version of our vacation guide or register to receive a mailed printed copy.  Some people decide to subscribe to our monthly email newsletter with the inside scoop on events, seasonal offerings and great things to do.  It doesn’t hurt that at every touch point, they can see beautiful, scenic photos, watch a short video, or maybe share a blog post or a social media post with anticipated travel companions.  Once you create the stories, you will figure out ways to weave it all together in a unique tapestry of discovery,  If you do it right, you will be creating a customer for life. 

5.  What are you still learning in your career?

 I learn every day and always will.  Marketing changes all the time; the skill set has to expand.  I learn about my destination and what our visitors appreciate about our destination.  Media and technology habits are changing all the time. The audiences we serve are changing all the time too.  It is a lot to keep up with, so it is important to invest in reading – newsletters, blogs, books – and attending conferences and professional development seminars to network, see what’s working for others and what is on the horizon.  You have to sharpen your toolset continuously or you will get rusty and out-of-date.  And you have to remain inquisitive in every definition of that word.  It energizes me because travel is my personal passion, and helping visitors have a wonderful, relaxing and memorable vacation is my professional passion!

 6.  Is a Monday at the beach still better than a Monday anywhere else?

Definitely!  Even it is raining or cold, the beach and its many moods will never disappoint.  There is always a new sunrise or sunset to savor.  Or a new walk to take.  Layer in the nature interactions that help to bring the beach alive, and there is nothing that compares.  Hurry on down for a visit; we would love to show you around our little corner of paradise!

A Recipe for Food & Travel: Chef Paulette Licitra

IMG_0288Some say the food can teach you everything you need to know about a culture.

Research shows that 39% of travelers say the key reason they recently took one or more trips was the availability of culinary activities. Chef Paulette Licitra, an Italian cooking instructor in Nashville, has combined that special love for food and travel by leading “live like the locals” Italian cooking adventures.  Paulette’s trips take small groups to experience Italy as an Italian.

She has taken women to Rome, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast.  The groups stay in apartments, shop outdoor food markets, visit butcher and produce stores, and then bring it back to their local kitchen to try their hand at local specialties.  Beyond cooking, they visit popular attractions and go on wine tours.

She shares a recipe with us that she found in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast from a local chef.  Buon Viaggio & Buon Appetito!


Simmered Cod in Acqua Pazza (Crazy Water) with Tomatoes, Garlic & Parsley.

2-3 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

A pinch of hot pepper

1/4 cup minced parsley

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups water

4 Cod fillets

1/2 loaf baguette, sliced

In a large sauté pan, with a cover, add all the ingredients, except the fish. Cover and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes. Take the cover off and let liquid reduce to at least half. Add the cod fillets. Season fish with salt. Cover partially (askew), and cook until fillets are done and cooked through — about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the bread slices. Serve a toasted bread slice to each person with a cod fillet and juices.

Paulette Licitra teaches cooking classes, and leads food-focused tours in Italy, Nashville & New York. Paulette completed her professional culinary studies at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in NYC. She was Chef at Rustico Cooking in New York, cooked in Mario Batali’s restaurant Lupa, and her catering company Chez Paulette specialized in appetizer parties for private and corporate events. Paulette has traveled extensively in Italy for culinary research, and studied with home cooks in Lazio, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Piemonte, Campania, and the Veneto. She can be seen on Nashville’s Channel 4 WSMV’s “More at Midday.” Paulette is also the publisher of the online food journal, Alimentum.