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It is summer in Houston, and last night our bedroom A/C went kaput! My first reaction was to grumble, but then I reminded myself to “choose happiness!” I was thankful we had a guestroom to sleep in that had cool air and a fan. As we crawled into an unfamiliar bed, I was quickly reminded of the times I preached to others: “Every good hostess should sleep in her own guestroom for one full night. You will immediately see what is missing!”

Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Alina Gersib

Blueberry Plum Galette



If you are looking for an easy dessert recipe that doesn't take too long to throw together and is very forgiving, a galette could be your perfect dish! The term "galette" is French in origin and means a flat round cake. These cakes can be made with an assortment of fillings both savory and sweet. When cooking as a dessert, this dish is easy to customize depending on what fruit you have on hand. Berries, stone fruit - like peaches and nectaries, and pears all make a great sweet filling.


It's never fun to start a recipe and realize you are missing an ingredient. If you only have salted butter on hand as you begin this recipe, do not worry, a simple rule of thumb is 1 stick of salted butter = 1/4 teaspoon of salt. So for this recipe instead of adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt, use a stick of salted butter and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.


I find myself coming back to this recipe frequently and changing the filling up to fit what fruits are freshest in the current season. When I saw plums at my local co-op I grabbed a few with this pastry in mind. Work with the fruits that are available to you locally and if possible shop at a farmers market or co-op for extra fresh ingredients that will make the flavors in this galette pop even more!


Blueberry Plum Galette
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Makes 10 servings

Preparation Time: 25 minutes (plus a minimum of 1 hour to chill dough)

Cook Time: 45 minutes


Ingredients for dough:

*1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

*1/2 cup pecans

*2 teaspoons sugar

*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (Or 1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter)

*1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

*4 tablespoons of ice water



Ingredients for filling:

*2 plums, sliced

*2 cups fresh blueberries

*1 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

*1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons cornstarch

*1/4 cup sugar, plus a bit more for sprinkling

*1 tablespoon heavy cream



Preparation of dough:

*Preheat oven to 350F. Place pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant. For about 5-10 minutes, tossing once half way through. Let cool.

*Add pecans to food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of a course meal.

*Add in the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until just combined.

*Place butter in processor and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse mix with a few tiny pieces.

*Move dough to a large bowl.

*Drizzle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the dough and mix until it first starts to stick together. Add a bit more water slowly if needed.

*Pat the dough into a round disc and cover in plastic. Let chill for a minimum of 1 hour. Dough will keep in fridge for 2 days.



Preparation of pastry:

*Preheat oven to 375F.

*Place blueberries, plum slices, lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar in a large bowl, toss to coat evenly.

*Roll out the dough to a 12" round on a lightly floured surface.

*Transfer dough carefully to a parchment (or silicon protector) lined baking sheet.

*Fill the center of the dough with the plum slices and berries, leaving a 2" boarder of crust.

*Fold the boarder up over the fruit. Brush the dough with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

*Bake the galette for about 45 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is a nice dark golden brown.

*Allow to cool before serving and enjoy!



Recipe Creator - Alina Gersib