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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

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