New On The Blog

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.

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.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

  • Cecelia Zook

Rosemary Crusted Filet of Beef and Asparagus


Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe comes 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!


As soon as I read this delicious recipe I was sold! Between the colorful and flavorful herbs and the butter-soaked filet, it was definitely a dinner to remember. My husband and I love cooking filets and always enjoy trying something new. We had never covered our filets in a buttery herb spread, but we will from now on! The red wine sauce really brought everything together. It was rich, creamy, flavorful, and simple. The recipe had all the steps clearly laid out so it was very easy to follow. The asparagus was the cherry on top because it only took minutes to make while the tenderloin was resting. We decided to add mashed potatoes to our meal, but it also would have paired nicely with some mac and cheese, roasted potatoes, or grain rice. 


Rosemary Crusted Filet of Beef
.pdf
PDF • 1.59MB


Makes 6 Servings

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Cost: About $45, depending on the size and price of the beef tenderloin


Ingredients for Filet:

*8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

*2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced

*2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced

*2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced

*2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced

*2 garlic cloves

*Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

*1 beef tenderloin, about 4 pounds


Preparation for Filet:

*Preheat oven to 450°F.

*Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

*In a food processor combine the butter, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, garlic and a large pinch each of salt and pepper.

*Pulse until the mixture is creamy and the garlic is minced and blended into the butter.

*Place the beef tenderloin on the prepared baking sheet.

*Rub the herb butter over the entire surface of the meat (silicone spatula works best).

*Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 130F for medium-rare, 40 to 45 minutes (or until done to your liking).

*Transfer the tenderloin to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

*Cut the tenderloin into 1/2 inch thick slices and arrange on a platter. Place 3 slices on each plate.


Ingredients for the Red Wine Sauce:

*1 bottle of your favorite California red wine (preferably a Cabernet)

*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

*1 sprig rosemary

*1 cup beef stock

*1 tablespoon butter

*Salt and pepper, to taste


Preparation for the Red Wine Sauce:

*For the red wine sauce, reserve 1 tablespoon of the steak drippings and place in a pot over medium heat.

*Add red wine, balsamic vinegar, rosemary sprig and thyme sprigs, bring mixture to a rapid bowl.

*Allow wine mixture to reduce until thickened, about 1/4 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.

*Add in beef stock and bring to a rapid boil until the sauce is reduced and thickened to about 1/2 cup, about 4 to 5 minutes.

*Remove rosemary and thyme, discard.

*Turn off heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter.

*Taste the red wine sauce and season with more salt and pepper as desired.

*Garnish steaks with chopped thyme, rosemary and parsley a few minutes before serving.

*Place red wine sauce in separate bowl for guests to use as they wish.



Aspargus
.pdf
PDF • 1.58MB

Ingredients:

*Thick asparagus (you choose quantity of spears)

*Oil, as needed

*Salt and black pepper, to taste

*1 teaspoon garlic powder


Preparation:

*Trim 1 inch off the asparagus from the root side.

*Peel the asparagus and coat with remainder of ingredients (easiest to do this on a sheet pan.)

*Stir well and cook on the grill for 3 to 5 minutes. (Can be cooked in the oven under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes.)


Recipe and Taste Tester - Cecelia Zook