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A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition. Toasting to someone’s health or honor goes back to biblical times and can be found in most cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians.

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. 

  • 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