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Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

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.

  • Alina Gersib

Honey Poached Pears with Dark Chocolate Sauce Taste Test


Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe 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 dessert is absolutely spectacular. The poached pear and chocolate blend together in a marvelous way to create a dish that pairs perfectly with the Sauvignon Blanc. The wine adds a crisp balance to the sweetness of the dish. On the more decadent side, my fiancé and I split one pear, and it was the perfect amount.


Make sure you read through the recipe before you begin as there are a few steps you will want to complete before starting. The pears need to chill for 2 hours before topping with chocolate so account for this extra sitting time. When it comes to making a double boiler one website suggested you can use two pots stacked, however, I would recommend a glass bowl on top of a pot so you can see how hot the water is below. I used a pot and my chocolate got a bit too hot and overly thick.



Honey Poached Pears with Dark Chocolate
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Download • 2.42MB

Makes 6 servings

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes + 2 Hours for chilling

Cook Time: 45 Minutes


Ingredients for Pears:

*6 Bosc pears, firm, with stem still attached (buy these firm and 3 days before you need them so they can ripen during this time).

*1 (750-ml) bottle dry vermouth

*1 cup water

*6 tablespoons honey

*1 pinch flaky salt, plus more to finish (Flaky salt is different than regular salt. You need flaky. Maldon is a good brand.)


Preparation for Pears:

*Find a pot that comfortably fits the 6 pears in a standing position (3-quart saucepan). Don’t add the pears, yet.

*Add the vermouth, water, honey and a pinch of salt to the pot.

*Set on the stove over medium heat to bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey dissolves.

*Peel the pears in big, long strips from the top to almost the bottom. Stem stays attached to the pear.

*Carefully add the pears to the simmering poaching liquid. Cover the pears with a lid that’s one size too small for the pot, so it helps to keep the pears submerged.

*Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer (boiling is too harsh for the fragile fruit).

*Simmer the pears, covered, for 10 to 25 minutes. (Mine took about 20 minutes)

*Turn them every so often so they cook evenly.

*After 10 minutes, start checking them often so they don’t overcook.

*To check: Pierce the bottom of the pear with a cake tester or toothpick; it should meet little resistance. Since the pears will continue to cook off the heat (thanks to carry-over cooking), you want them slightly less tender than you’d like to serve them.

*After you’ve removed the pears, raise the heat under the pot and bring sauce to a boil.

*Boil for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened into a syrupy consistency.

*Pour the syrup over the pears.

*Refrigerate until totally chilled, at least 2 hours.


Ingredients for Chocolate Sauce:

*8 ounces chopped dark semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

*7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

*1/2 cup sugar

*1/2 cup almond milk

*1/4 cup hot water

*1 teaspoon vanilla

*1 pinch salt


Preparation for Chocolate Sauce:

*Combine the first five ingredients in the top of a double boiler.

*Simmer on a medium low heat and stir until chocolate is smooth, about 5 minutes.

*Remove from heat and add vanilla and pinch of salt.


To Serve the Pears:

*Add each whole pear to a shallow bowl.

*Pour an even amount of syrup on top of each pear.



Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib

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