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The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Alina Gersib

BBQ Chicken Taste Test



Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe review and taste test comes courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

www.thefrankincensetree.com

info@thefrankincensetree.com

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!


This Barbeque Chicken was seriously flavor-packed. Between the Texas Rub and the BBQ sauce you’re in for a real treat. When you’re seasoning the meat, if you intend to let it sit and marinate for a bit, lower the amount of rub you add. The Salt-Grass Steakhouse seasoning we used called for a 30-minute marinade, however with the full amount added the chicken ended up quite a bit on the salty side. In fact, if you use a rub with salt, it is best to put it on right before cooking. Salt can dry out your meat. So, either pop the chicken on to the grill really quickly or lower the amount of seasoning if you’re going to let it sit and marinade.



We bought a full chicken to be able to try a variety of cuts. Both of us liked the chicken breast and drumsticks the most. The wings and thighs ended up so salty from the marinade that we’re thinking they’ll make a great addition to a big salad later this week! If you buy a pack of either thighs or wings to cook, we recommend lowering the amount of seasoning that you apply. If you buy a full chicken, when you’re washing the chicken be sure to have paper towels near you and already ripped off the roll as you don’t want to drip any chicken juice on the floor. Second, after cutting it up, instead of throwing away the scraps like the ribs and bottom you can freeze these to use as a base for stock in the future.



Make sure the grill temperature is around 400-450F before putting the chicken on or else it will cook too slowly. It will get tough on the outside while the inside is left undone. We let the meat sizzle for 6 minutes and 30 seconds on each side before checking the internal temperature. The wings and thighs hit 165F quickly, but the breasts and drumsticks took a little bit longer. Keep monitoring the chicken until it hits that magic number. Make sure you check each piece of meat at the thickest point and right next to a bone as this area takes longer to cook. After you pull them off, try them before adding BBQ sauce and then enjoy!



BBQ Chicken - July 4th Outdoor Party
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Serves 12

Preparation: 45 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


Ingredients

4 pounds, 8 pieces cut chicken on the bone (Whole chicken cut up, or your favorite cut of bone-in chicken)

1 cup Texas-Rub spice (Recommend halfling this amount)

1 cup olive oil

Kansas City BBQ sauce (or your favorite brand)

Salt and pepper, to taste (Check your dry rub flavor before adding extra)

Cilantro or Parsley for garnish

Preparation

Wash your chicken under running water, pat dry and place in a large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and mix all together until chicken is coated.

Cook the chicken on a hot grill (At least 400F) or in an oven at 375F for 30 minutes, or until chicken pieces reach internal temperature of 165F. (If grilling, let sit 6 minutes 30 seconds before flipping to the second side for the same amount of time. Then check the internal temperature)

Place cooked chicken in a clean, large mixing bowl and pour BBQ sauce to taste.

Toss well until chicken is nicely coated.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.




Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib