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With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

  • Alina Gersib

Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms



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!


These stuffed mushrooms are an absolute delight. The parmesan, Italian sausage, and cream cheese make a delicious filling. These mushrooms are so tasty I recommend making extra to have some as leftovers. Each step of the recipe is easy to follow. Once you have all of your ingredients cut up and ready to go things will come together quickly. Enjoy this wonderful dish!



Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
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Makes 24 Mushrooms

Preparation Time: 35 minutes + 30 minutes in the fridge

Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients:

*24 ounces white button mushrooms

*1/3 pound Italian sausage, ground (spicy is best, but use what you like)

*1/2 yellow onion finely diced

*6 cloves garlic finely minced

*1/3 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio preferred)

*1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

*8 ounce cream cheese

*1 egg yolk

*3/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

*Salt and pepper, to taste


Preparation:

*Wipe off mushrooms with a damp paper towel.

*Twist stems of mushrooms to remove (or use a paring knife).

*Chop mushroom stems, finely, and set aside.

*Cook sausage in a skillet and finely crumble the sausage and remove to a plate to cool.

*In same skillet, reduce heat to MED-LOW and add onions and garlic with sausage grease.

*Sauté for 3 minutes.

*Pour in wine to deglaze pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape the pan to release the brown sausage bits, and allow most of the liquid to cook off.

*Stir in chopped mushroom stems and thyme and saute for 2 minutes.

*Add salt and pepper, to taste.

*Set mixture aside on a plate to cool.

*In a bowl, combine softened cream cheese, egg yolk, and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine well.

*Add cooled, cooked sausage and cooled onion mixture and stir well.

*Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.

*Preheat oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

*Using a spoon add mixture to the top of the mushrooms, pressing slightly to fill the cavity. *Add a little extra to create a mound on top of the mushroom.

*Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

*Broil for the last minute if you want a more golden brown topping.

*Let cool a few minutes, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, and serve.



Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib