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When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force 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.”

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.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

Decor Ideas:
1. Use a decorative wine bucket filled with flowers as your table centerpiece. This works if you have a separate table where you will place the food. If the wine tasting is conducted at one table where your guests are sitting, then you need lower height decorations where everyone can see over the arrangements. Use wine glasses randomly placed down the table with sprigs of flowers in them. 

  • Alina Gersib

BBQ Chicken Taste Test

Updated: Jul 10



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

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