VFS Cookbook

It’s almost Thanksgiving! 

Get your ovens (or deep fryer- but please be careful!) warmed up before Thursday. It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year. Families come together and sit around a table full of delicious food to reflect on what they’re thankful for. And what brings people together better than food? 

Delicious dishes have the ability to bring back memories, to take you back in time to some of your favorite moments. In an effort to get in the spirit of Thanksgiving, our team put together a few of their favorite family recipes that they make with their families.

Read on for the recipes and ideas, and let us know if you try them!

Blueberry Pomegranate Mule 

Blueberry Mule

Starting off with one of the most important food groups on Thanksgiving- booze! Hear from our CEO, Randy Nelson, on his favorite cocktail recipe below:

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

The ingredients are: 2oz Vodka, 1oz blueberry liqueur, 1oz pomegranate juice, 1oz lime juice, and 2oz ginger beer. 

Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer, in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a mint sprig

What does this dish mean to you? 

This is a great holiday drink to share with family and friends. 

– Randy Nelson, VFS Fire & Security Services President

Pasta Siciliano

While this may seem un-traditional for Thanksgiving, who doesn’t like to spice it up a bit. Italy here we come!

Pasta Thanksgiving dish

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

Ingredients 

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked farfalle pasta 

 ¼ cup olive oil 

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup pine nuts

1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced kalamata olives

½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place farfalle pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, and then drain the pasta. 

Step 2:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the garlic until lightly browned. Mix in red pepper and lemon juice. Stir in the pine nuts, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss in the cooked pasta and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper

What does this dish mean to you? 

It’s a simple meal anyone can make, and who doesn’t love pasta? 

Bacon Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Bacon loaded mashed potatoes

This one is bound to get your mouth watering!

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

You need potatoes, bacon, mascarpone or cream cheese, and fresh parmesan.  You can prepare the night before and bake before dinner.

What does this dish mean to you? 

Since I made this the first time for my family, they ask for it every year so I’m happy to oblige and make them happy! 

Candied Yams

Candied yams

Something a little sweet to balance out all the savory flavors on your plate.

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

The main ingredients are brown sugar and maple syrup. And yams of course. Yum! 

What does this dish mean to you? 

Sweet goodness! 

Vanilla Bean Sage Blackberry Galette

blackberry pastry

Delicious freshly baked vegan almond berry galette on wooden rustic background, from above. Sweet food, summer dessert.

Sprinkle a little love and happiness into your holiday dish!

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

Ingredients include: Love, happiness, vanilla beans, blackberries, and sage. 

What does this dish mean to you? 

The dish reminds me of amazing memories from a long time ago.

– Elizabeth Ziebell, Director of HR

Honey Ham, Turkey, and Stuffing

Thanksgiving stuffing

A special take on the traditional dishes. Butter makes everything better, right?

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

It needs to be cooked with plenty of spices and butter. 

What does this dish mean to you? 

A time of giving and fellowship. 

Broccoli and Rice Casserole

rice thanksgiving dish

While broccoli isn’t always the first on people’s favorite food list, we’re excited to try this delicious take on it.

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

Ingredients: 

1 Cup Margarine or butter

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Chopped Celery

 2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup

 1 Large Jar of Cheese Whiz

 2- 10 or 12 ounces of frozen chopped broccoli (thawed)

1 Cup Minute Rice

Bread Crumbs

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a large pan saute’ onion and celery in margarine or butter. Add soups, cheese whiz, thawed broccoli and rice. Stir all the ingredients together.

Pour in a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with bread crumbs.  You can make your bread crumbs from day old bread or buy bread crumbs. 

Bake for 45 minutes.

What does this dish mean to you? 

My family always requests I bring this dish to the Thanksgiving meal. 

– Brenda Harrelson

Spinach Salad

spinach salad

It’s always good to have some greens added into the mix, but of course, add some bacon to make it better.

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal?

Ingredients: 

1 pack of bacon (center cut)

Mustard

Salt &  pepper

Splash of apple cider vinegar

Spinach

1 or 2 Shallot cut up

Directions:

Cut bacon into pieces and fry. Remove bacon from grease and place on paper towel. Add the cut-up shallots to the bacon grease for maybe 1 minute (don’t brown it). Add splash of apple cider vinegar, about 3 tablespoons of mustard, salt and pepper to the grease. This is your dressing for the salad.

Place spinach in a bowl with stems removed and pour grease (dressing lol) over it and toss the salad. This should be done right before you sit down to eat otherwise the spinach will wilt if it sits for too long.  

What does this dish mean to you? 

My aunt always made it for Thanksgiving and I enjoy it now.

– Michelle Day 

Turkey Pizza

turkey pizza

Who doesn’t like pizza on Thanksgiving?! It has turkey on it, right?

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

It’s like pepperoni pizza, but with turkey instead. 

What does this dish mean to you? 

It means I’m having pizza on Thanksgiving! 

Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey VFS Cookbook

As we said above, butter makes everything better- don’t limit yourself during the holidays!

What are some ingredients & tips on making this meal? 

Use a LOT of butter! 

What does this dish mean to you? 

It reminds me of family. 

As you head into the holiday season, we hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and are reminded of all of the areas in your life of which you are grateful. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with yummy food and even better company (and don’t light anything on fire while you’re at it!) 

Let us know what your favorite dishes are to try during the holiday season. Connect with us on our social media pages!

VFS is your partner from start to finish: A walk through the onboarding process

Maybe you’re on the fence about hiring VFS. Maybe even wondering, “How would VFS go about onboarding my company into fire protection services?”

We offer a wide variety of services, so here’s a timeline of our involvement, and remember, we partner with you from START TO FINISH (not an exaggeration). 

Since you’re on our website, odds are you need help with fire protection services. This is a smart move for you as we approach fire season. Great news, you’ve already completed the first step! By simply showing interest in protecting your commercial property and employees. 

Free Consultation

Yes, you read that right. A FREE consultation, a hard offer to pass up. Click here to schedule your consultation today. It’s as simple as having a quick conversation with one of our fire protection experts to identify your unique needs.  

Who We Serve 

No matter the industry, VFS has you covered. From our dispatch team to our field technicians we are equipped with a full staff of fire protection experts and a robust knowledge of each specialized environment. We are constantly staying up to date on emerging trends in technology as well as new requirements and code changes to keep you informed and in compliance. Here are some of the markets we help to protect: 

  • Property Management 
  • Industrial & Manufacturing 
  • Oil & Gas
  • Transportation 
  • Retail 
  • Education 
  • Data Centers
  • Hospitality 
  • Healthcare 

The Specifics

Once we’ve decided that our companies will be a great fit as partners, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. We offer a variety of services for all of your fire protection systems including the following: 

  • Service & Repair 
  • Testing & Inspection
  • Design/Build 
  • Retrofits
  • System Upgrades 

Just to name a few. 

How We Help 

At VFS we believe in a proactive business model. We manage the who, what, why and where of your fire protection assets and their inspection and maintenance schedule. It is essential to stay on top of your fire protection systems to prevent any potential accidents or costly repairs. 

Our advanced platforms and highly trained dispatch team allow us to manage inspections and testing from inception to execution. We tell you what’s due, when it’s due and why it’s due, and are constantly communicating to your team to keep you up-to-date on the latest information within your facilities. Fortify your building with reliable fire protection systems inspected and maintained by the experts at VFS

Once we help you decide which of our services are right for you, it’s go time. Visit the VFS website today for more information on becoming a partner. 

Get to Know CEO Randy Nelson

At VFS one of our core values is to remain transparent with our clients. In an effort to live by this value, we want to give you a look inside the early life of our CEO, Randy Nelson. We sat down with Randy to see what most people may not know about his upbringing. Get to know our CEO, Randy Nelson…

Q: What are a few things people don’t know about your upbringing?

A: A lot of people know my story, I don’t hide much. A few things that might surprise some people…

  • I grew up on a small farm in Minnesota. Two older sisters and 3 younger brothers, 6 kids total. My father worked the farm and was a full-time maintenance man at the local Municipal Airport (for 35 years). My mother was a stay at home mom until she took up real estate once all the kids were out of grade school. We were by definition, poor… but I didn’t know it at the time.
  • Farm life was great but hard work. Twelve-hour days were not uncommon. The whole family pitched in and we did our ‘chores’ without the thought of getting paid. This instilled a work ethic and an appreciation of the team concept that I have to this day.
  • We were primarily a cattle farm, we also grew corn and soybeans. One of my more vivid memories of the farm was helping with the ‘delivery’ of calves in the wintertime (the usual time for the cows to calve). Sometimes my father would still be at work and I had to do it myself. An unpleasant, messy, and sobering thing to do for a teenager at age 14, but necessary.
  • Courage has always been a ‘core value’ for me, both within myself and what I like to see in others.  Throughout my life, I have put myself in situations to help conquer fears. In grade school, I was petrified to speak in front of groups, so in the 7th grade, I joined the Competitive Speaking Team in High School. Three years later, as a freshman, I became the first person in my high school to go to the State Championships of Competitive Speaking. 
  • As graduating from high school approached, I was contemplating my future. I thought farm life was very respectable and a great way to raise a family… Plan A. I told my father that I wanted to be a farmer and that was one of the very few times I heard him use the ‘F’ word, he was not supportive of Plan A.  He said, ‘You are going to get an education and be able to provide for your family better than I did’.  Time for Plan B, I went to college and got a degree in Engineering.
VFS SUPPORTS SANTA COP PROGRAM

The employees of VFS Fire & Security Services have made a big commitment to a local program that provides toys to low-income families during the holidays to help them celebrate the holiday season.  This program was developed 19 years ago by the South Gate Police Department — in partnership with the Police Officers’ Association and Police Explorers.  “Our officers donate their time and money every year to this program as it is a special one to our hearts,” stated Officer Christian Perez.  The program started out by helping four families and today helps more than 100 families.

The Santa Cop program is funded entirely through local donations and it is organized and implemented by South Gate Police Officers and their families and community volunteers. Every year the program receives donations from city and police employees as well as the local community.

The South Gate Police Department does a great job of identifying those families that have the greatest need in the community.  Each family must submit an application in order to be accepted by this program.  VFS selected this program because of this application process and because they wanted to help as many families as possible.

The City of South Gate Police Department sent this note to VFS: “We want to send a very special thank you to Mr. Rudy Garcia and VFS Fire & Security Services who generously donated toys for our South Gate Police Department Santa Cop program.  It’s because of businesses like VFS that we are able to reach as many families as we can during this time of year.  Partnerships truly work”

VFS ANNOUNCES NEW OFFERING DATA CABLING AND COMMUNICATION

VFS Fire & Security Services is excited to announce the launch of our new offering in Data Cabling and Communications – featuring the Leviton Certified Cabling System products. Leviton is the first company to offer a lifetime extended warranty against defects in material and workmanship for all certified cabling system products, as long as the product is installed by a certified Leviton distributor.   Leviton produces the highest quality products in the industry and backs this with one of the strongest warranties industry-wide. The new cutting-edge voice & data product line allows VFS to offer our clients a complete total low voltage offering, adding to our breadth of services currently provided to clients.   This new offering is a natural extension of our low voltage offerings which already include nurse call and departure alert systems.

“VFS is always challenging the status quo and we continue to look for innovative solutions to better service our clients”, says Mario Lopez, VFS Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Adding Voice and Data to our exiting low voltage business (that already includes Fire Alarm, Mass-Notification and Security) offers peace of mind to our clients.  Our clients know that one team is designing and coordinating in-house all the components and infrastructure of their entire low voltage system.”

VFS is also pleased to announce that Chris Ward has joined our team to head the low voltage division. Chris has over 20 years of experience and brings a wealth of knowledge to the business. As president of WardCom Systems Inc. which he co-founded in 1999, Chris used his strong operational and project management skills to build a company known for customer service and quality. Prior to that he held management positions with low voltage firms and has in-depth experience with voice and data cabling, fiber optics, telecommunications and wireless solutions for computer networks as well as Fire Alarm, Security and PA systems.

VFS puts our client’s needs at the forefront of every project. VFS offers and provides support services and can assist organizations with pre-planning, value engineering and budgets for projects in the pre-planning stages. VFS has the experience, expertise and people to provide organizations with the best solutions for their unique needs.

For more information on all of the services provided by VFS, please visit: http://vfsfire.com

VFS Fire & Security Services Communication and Sound

John Deutsch who sits on the NFPA 13 committee with Randy Nelson, CEO of VFS Fire & Security Services, has joined the VFS team. John draws on over 28 years of experience in fire sprinkler design for industrial, commercial, mixed-used occupancies, public works and special hazards industries.

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