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We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

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!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“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. 

  • Cecelia Zook

Lemon and Basil Crème Brulee Tart Taste Test



Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe review and taste test 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!


There's nothing I love more than a tangy, sweet treat at the end of a fantastic meal. I am very rarely someone to skip dessert after dinner. As my husband and his family always say, "There's always room in the hotel for dessert!" I truly do not remember the last time I baked before trying out this recipe. My sister turned out to be the baker of the family, so when I'm with her, I never have to worry about one of the rooms in my hotel being vacant. After baking the Lemon and Basil Creme Brulee Tart, I have realized she might have some competition! This recipe was a breeze to make using two ingredients I have never tried together before: lemon and basil. They compliment each other beautifully to create a fluffy, tangy, creamy treat. In the beginning I found myself a bit intimidated since I have mostly only baked brownies out of a box, but then I realized how simple it really was. If you are an inexperienced baker like I am, I would recommend going over the recipe a few times to understand the steps so you can execute it without a hitch.



Lemon_and_Basil_Crème_Brulee_Tart
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Makes 8 Servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake/Cool Time: 35 minutes

Cost: About $15.00


Ingredients:

*Pre-baked graham cracker pie crust/shell

*1 1/2 cups heavy cream

*1 bunch of basil, chopped

*4 egg yolks, plus one whole egg

*Zest of two lemons

*Pinch of salt

*3 lemons, juiced

*1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons sugar


Preparation:

*Heat the cream with the basil over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

*Let the basil steep in the cream for 20 minutes, then discard basil and set aside to cool.

*Meanwhile, whisk together yolks, whole egg, 1/2 cup of sugar, then lemon zest and salt in a quart measuring cup.

*Whisk the mixture from the quart measuring cup into the basil cream until smooth.

*Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps.

*Place tart shell in a 4 sided sheet pan. Then pour custard into shell. Now add water to the sheet pan (1 inch high).

*Bake until just set but still slightly wobbly in center, 30 to 35 minutes. (I baked it at 350F for 35 minutes)

*Remove tart from sheet pan and set aside to cool.

*Prior to serving, sprinkle 3 remaining tablespoons sugar evenly over top of tart.

*With a culinary torch, evenly distribute heat until sugar is caramelized. (If you do not have a torch, you can broil in oven or just skip this step).


Recipe and Taste Tester - Cecelia Zook