Colorful Cupcakes

Yes… I’ve been living under a rock!

Recently a friend, Kate Lewis, posted this fun tip over on her blog about tie-dye cupcakes

So I shared her post on Facebook and received many comments… apparently this is something many of you already do!

Well, this past weekend, Billy and I decided to give it a shot.

With it being the 4th of July, we decided to go with Red, White and Blue.

 

It’s amazing what a little food coloring can do!

Wa-la….

Billy had a blast making them.

He’s already asking “when can we make them again?!?!?!”

And to think… I’ve been under a rock - Wonder what else I’m missing out on!?!?!?

 

 

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Family, Family Dinner, Recipes

Manner Monday: Salt is Pepper’s Friend

You may have heard some of the following sayings when it comes to the two most famous spices you’ll find at the dinner table:

  • “Salt is Pepper’s friend”
  • “The Salt and Pepper are married”
  • “Don’t divorce the Salt and Pepper”

So remember; when passing the Salt and Pepper, please keep them together … that way Sugar can’t slip in and start a rumor.

What phrase do you use, to help remember, to keep the happy couple together?

 

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

On another note… Are you short on personalized stationery?  If so, please visit:  www.MannerMonday.PaperConcierge.com we have hundreds of styles and designs available.  We also have darling place mats that help the little ones in your life get a jump start on their table manners and make dining more fun.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

 

 

 

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: Technology at the Table

This past week we went out for pizza with two other families. I was absolutely shocked at the family who sat down next to us. So shocked, that I was trying to figure out how to take a picture to post with this but could not figure out how to do it without offending. So, let me describe the picture for you: Mom, Dad and their two children, who I would have guessed to be 2nd and 4th graders. As soon as they sat down in the booth, they all immediately pulled out their devices: Mom = Kindle, Dad = iphone, both children = DS playstations. All four appeared happily captivated by the technology in their hands.

My heart was hurting for this family: what a great opportunity the mom and dad had to look into the eyes of their children and learn about their day, to show how much they are loved and appreciated by just listening and talking with one another. Instead, they chose to spend that precious time with their technology.

I have NO idea what goes on in the life of this family on a regular basis, but I’m seeing this scenario play out more and more than I care to actually think about. How are these children going to learn to carry on a conversation at the dinner table? When these children have a problem how are they going to know how to talk about it? Down the road, how are they going to be able to communicate with a potential spouse, or even in the world of business? I’m not saying communication at the dinner table solves all of these issues, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts on “technology at the table”.

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

On another ‘note’, if you would like to order personalized stationery please visit:  www.MannerMonday.PaperConcierge.com There are hundreds of styles and designs from which to choose.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: Wait Staff

Eating out in restaurants seems to be a weekly, sometimes daily, occurrence for many.  Here are some tips to make your next restaurant experience more pleasant.

  • As the wait staff approaches your table, take a break from your conversation.  Many times, I’ve seen a waiter stand at a table awkwardly; trying to take an order or share the specials as the customers at the table continue conversing.
  • In a formal dining atmosphere, food will be served from the left and removed from the right.  An easy way to remember this is “L” – Leave it from the Left, “R” – Remove it from the Right.
  • A good waiter also knows the etiquette Silverware Sign LanguageTM.  When you are finished with your meal, place your silverware in the ‘finished’ position by positioning the handles of your silverware at 4 o’clock on your plate.  This also helps to alleviate silverware falling on the floor, or down your back, as the waiter can secure the silverware with his or her thumb when they “Remove it from the Right”.
  • And don’t forget to look your waitperson in the eye and say “Thank you”.

Enjoy your next meal out … Bon Appétit

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

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Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: Finger Food?

The topic this week is courtesy of a curious Manner Monday reader who emailed their question:

“I was recently at a Sunday Brunch and confronted yet again: bacon!  Like fried chicken, is bacon a “finger food”?   Or should I be teaching my teenagers how to use a knife and fork on the bacon?  For that matter, can fried chicken be eaten with your fingers in a restaurant?”

Finger food… many welcome the opportunity to toss the cutlery and dig in (literally), but sometimes grappling with your grub can be a bit puzzling.  Here are some tips for the next time you’re confronted with the question “fingers?” or “fork?”:

Bacon – if it’s “limp”, use a fork… if it’s crispy, fingers are perfectly acceptable.

Fried chicken – usually this is found in a “casual” dining atmosphere, so fingers are fine…just no “licking” of the digits …  If the environment is a bit more “formal”, then steady the chicken with your fork while using the knife to cut portions away.

Asparagus – It is permissible to eat lightly steamed asparagus with your fingers.  If the asparagus is thoroughly cooked, or is covered with sauce, use your fork.

CheesePieces of hard cheese may be picked up and eaten with either fingers or fork.  Soft cheese is to be spread on bread or crackers with knife.

So when confronted with the question “fingers?” or “fork?”; keep your surroundings in mind, a napkin handy, and if you don’t know what to do, you can never err with cutlery…or watch and follow the lead of your host/hostess.

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

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Etiquette, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: Dinner Table ‘Right-of-Way’

Have you ever felt the need for a bit of air traffic control at the dinner table?  When something needs to be passed around the table, food, salt and pepper, sweetener, etc., always remember to ‘Pass to the Right’.  This will keep minor collisions at bay during your meal.

A couple of fun and easy ways to remember this rule of thumb are:

  • ‘Right-of-way’, just as it sounds, keep items traveling to the right.
  • If you pass to the left, you will be left behind… not really, but it’s a fun way to remember the rule.

This rule does have an exception; if the person seated to your left, or across from you, asks for seconds…the most direct route possible is preferred (sans tossing the item across the table).

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

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Etiquette, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Tomato Pie

The other day the Food Network was on in the background as we were getting dinner ready and we caught the tail end of Neely Brown creating some sort of Tomato Pie concoction.  I could not stop thinking about it….so we whipped up something similar.  And I do have to say, it was every bit as good as I had imagined.

We’re already planning our next tomato pie and have a long list of variations we plan to try.

Here is how we tackled our first one:

Tomatoes (we had grape tomatoes on hand, she used a red and yellow tomato for color)

Mozzarella Cheese

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Crushed Red Pepper

Pie Crust

Start by rolling out the pie crust

Next, slice tomatoes and mozzarella and place in a circle around pie crust about 2-3 inches from the edge.

Sprinkle salt and pepper and add red pepper flakes.

Fold edges of pie crust over to hold in all of the yummy goodness.

Brush edges of piecrust with olive oil, drizzle a bit of olive oil over tomatoes and bake for 35 minutes at 375.

We’re thinking about adding garlic and basil to the next one.  Maybe even some balsamic vinegar.  Perhaps some parmesan as it comes out of the oven.  The possibilities are endless!!!

…I think I’m in love!!!

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Family, Family Dinner, Recipes

Creative ‘re-purposing’: Cake Carrier and Wet Wipes

When I find something I ‘love’, ‘can’t live without’, ‘have to have’, I try to figure out how I can use it creatively… for something more than it’s original purpose.

Such as this adorable Mackenzie-Childs cake carrier…

which doubles has a secret hide-away for wet-wipes…

which come in handy for Guapito…

when eating ribs. :-)

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Creative Re-Purposing, Family Dinner

Cider-Glazed Salmon

I’m a huge fan of the family dinner.  What a great opportunity to enjoy your family and visit about the day.  And of course it gives us the chance to work on a little cutlery civility with Guapito!

I’ve been reading “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg… I love how she sets up her recipes with great stories!

When I read the recipe for ‘Cider-Glazed Salmon, or Saumon Gelee A La Louis XIV’, I couldn’t stand it…I had to fix it.

I have to say, it does not disappoint.  I, by no means, am a pro in the kitchen… this recipe was very easy to do.  I fixed spaghetti squash as our side… probably not everyone’s first choice to go with salmon, but it sounded good to me.

If you don’t have Molly’s book, it’s a great read.  Maybe you could add it to your Christmas wish list?

salmon

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Family Dinner