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The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want 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.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, 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. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! 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. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Alina Gersib

Pecan Pie Taste Test

Updated: Dec 7, 2020



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!


A Thanksgiving classic, this pecan pie should not be missed! Never having made a pie from scratch, I was a bit nervous before beginning. But the straightforward recipe was simple to follow and made baking the pie a breeze. One important tip is to read the recipe a few times before you begin and ensure you start preparing everything early enough to chill the crust in the freezer for at least an hour before filling and baking the pie.


Overall, the flavor of this pecan pie is delicious. This filling was one of the tastiest I have ever had; the addition of brown sugar gave it more of a mapley flavor which I loved. This pie will be a hit wherever you serve it!


Pecan Pie
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Makes 8 servings (1 pie)

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


Ingredients for 1 pie crust (or buy already made):

*1 cup all-purpose flour

*2 teaspoons sugar

*1/4 teaspoon salt

*6 tablespoons unsalted cold butter and cut into 12 pieces

*1/4 cup sour cream


Preparation for crust:

*Make the crust first by combining flour, sugar and salt in the canister of a food processor.

*Pulse to combine.

*Sprinkle butter pieces over the mixture and pulse again until coarse crumbs form.

*Add sour cream and pulse again until mixture begins to clump together.

*Carefully remove the dough from the food processor and use your hands to shape it into a ball.

*Flatten slightly into a disc and wrap in cling wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

*Remove chilled pie dough from refrigerator and transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface.

*Allow dough to sit for about 5 minutes and then roll dough out into a 12 inch circle.

*Gently lay the pie crust into a 10 inch pie pan, folding the excess dough over and under the pan’s edge, then crimp the edges with a fork.

*Put crust into freezer until it’s ready to fill. (My mom taught me to always chill the crust for at least an hour)


Ingredients for pie filling:

*2 1/4 cups pecan halves or coarsely chopped pecans

*3 large eggs, room temperature

*2/3 cup dark corn syrup

*1 cup light brown sugar tightly packed

*1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

*1/4 teaspoon salt

*1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for several minutes (shouldn't be hot when you add it to your ingredients!)



Preparation for pie filling:

*Preheat oven to 350F.

*Once oven is preheated, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and scatter pecan halves evenly over the surface.

*Transfer to 350F preheated oven and toast for 3-5 minutes.

*Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of your pecan pie filling.

*In a large bowl, whisk your eggs until pale yellow and foamy (about 30 seconds).

*Add your corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt, and whisk until combined.

*Add melted, slightly cooled butter and whisk to combine.

*Add cooled pecan halves into mixture and stir until completely coated in syrup mixture.

*Pour pecan mixture into your prepared pie plate and transfer to 350F oven.

*Bake 40-50 minutes or until pie is set (the center should not be jiggly). Be sure to check your pie 25 minutes into baking and check periodically after that. If the crust is beginning to brown too quickly, cover your pie with foil to prevent over-browning.

*Allow to cool completely (at least 2 hours) before cutting.

*Cover pecan pie and store leftovers for up to 3 days. I usually keep mine in the refrigerator just to be safe, but this pie tastes best when it’s warm so I recommend reheating it in your microwave!


Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib