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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

Chicken Kabobs



Happy Foodie Friday! These recipes come 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!


Oh my!!! These chicken kabobs and the accompanying sauce are absolutely delectable. Each bite of chicken provides a tasty combination of southeast asian flavors. When you prep the kabobs, just be sure to leave at least two hours for the marinade to soak into the chicken and you will be set.


I had never made peanut sauce before and was surprised by how simple it was to create. Once you have combined the initial ingredients for the sauce, take a taste and see if you want to add anything else! I opted for a splash of rice vinegar and lime juice. In the future I think I will try throwing in a bunch of cilantro. The sauce base is yummy and easy to tweak to your personal preferences. Packed with incredible flavor, this dish is deceptively simple to make and sure to impress anyone that you serve it to!


Chicken Kabobs
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Makes 12 Servings

Preparation Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients for the Kabobs:

*1/4 cup coconut milk

*2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

*2 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

*1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

*3/8 teaspoon garlic powder

*1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

*1 tablespoon brown sugar

*1 tablespoon fish sauce

*2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into

*1 inch chunks

*1 tablespoon canola oil

*Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preparation for the Kabobs:

*In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce.

*In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and coconut milk mixture. *Marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

*Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.

*Preheat grill to medium high heat.

*Thread chicken onto skewers.

*Brush with canola oil, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

*Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 12-15 minutes.



Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce:

*2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

*1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

*1/2 cup pineapple juice

*1/4 cup soy sauce

*1 tablespoon brown sugar

*1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger

*1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

*2 cloves garlic, chopped

*3 tablespoons scallions, minced

*1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


Preparation for the Dipping Sauce:

*In blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. (I recommend making the base then tasting and adjusting to your taste from there. I like my sauces tangy so I added 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar to the rest of the ingredients.)

*Set aside at room temperature until needed.

*Serve with chicken kabobs.


Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib