Thursday, July 30, 2009


This week I received an email from someone who is going to be speaking to a group of minister's wives on the subject of Hospitality. The writer asked for input from me. I thought I would open this site to help with this endeavor.

First, if you were a participant in this great seminar what would be an area that would be truly beneficial to you in the interest of hospitality? Please don't include what you think others would need to hear rather something you would like discussed. Second, if you were teaching this session what would be your primary point you would endeavor to cover?

Will you be kind enough to leave input in the comment section of the blog? Come on, help a sister! From time to time each of us needs help from others.

Gracias my dear friends!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dream, Think, Plan

My wonderful sister-in-law, Courtney, is the inspiration to this post. Courtney and I share ideas often. I enjoy bouncing mine off her and she does likewise. Today she called and asked me my favorite time of the year to decorate. I immediately said Fall. Then I said, "Well". Before I could say more she said, "No you already said Fall so Fall it is!"

Courtney is an amazing floral designer. In fact she won first place at a Houston competition, first place at a regional competition, and I believe honorable mention at the state level. She is totally amazing. She has been asked to decorate a mock dinner table for very upscale elaborate event. She was given a choice of spring, summer, or fall. After our conversation she decided on fall. She will create table settings, an arrangement, place cards, and a party favor.

I immediately realized it is almost that time of the year. Fall and Christmas merchandise is making its grand appearance in many stores. Ladies, it time to start dreaming, thinking, and planning for all of your holiday events.

Many people seem to jump straight to Christmas. I on the other hand LOVE Fall. I have beautiful plates with brown turkeys. Of course I pull out the pumpkins and fall leaves. Girls, your Fall decorations can actually be displayed longer than any other season. Put it out in September and leave it through Thanksgiving.

Plan to share your holiday decor and foods with friends and family. If you prepare ahead of time entertaining is easy! Once you've made your fall plans immediately begin making your Christmas plans.

Sketch your decorating ideas, create sample menus, and put dates on the calendar to entertain those you love.

DREAM...THINK...PLAN....these are just reasons to share your love with others! Hopefully, I can be an inspiration to you. Use the sidebar and scroll thru past posts for recipes. I will do my best to update with many new ones, too.

Blessings from our home to yours.....

Monday, July 20, 2009

13 Basic Table Manners

1. Electronic devices. Turn off or silence all electronic devices before entering the restaurant. If you forgot to turn off your cell phone, and it rings, immediately turn it off. Do not answer the call. Do not text, and if you have a Blackberry or iphone, do not browse the Internet at the table.

2. Napkin. Place the napkin on your lap after being seated. As needed, use it to gently wipe or dab your mouth. Before drinking from a glass, dab your mouth. During a restroom break, place the napkin to the left of the plate. At the end of the meal, the napkin is placed neatly to the right of the plate (not refolded, but not crumpled either).

3. Wait until everyone is served before eating. If you are a guest, wait for the host to begin.

4. Utensils. If unsure which utensil to use, remember "outside in." The outer most utensil is used first. Once used, the utensil does not go back on the table, but is placed on the plate. When finished, the knife and fork are place side by side (parallel) on the plate with handles at the 3 or 4 o'clock position. Soup spoons are placed on bowl's service plate when finished; teaspoons placed on the saucer.

5. Bread or rolls: Place your bread and some butter on the bread plate. Tear off a bite-size piece of bread before buttering.

6. Sit up straight, do not hunch over your plate.

7. Hands. You can place your wrists or forearms on the table, or hands on your lap.

8. Legs. Keep legs next to your chair. Do not stretch legs out or cross your legs as they may bump others under the table.

9. Chew with your mouth closed. Do not overfill your mouth with food. Wait several seconds before taking the next bite.

10. Removing items from your mouth. If you need to remove gristle, bone, or an olive pit from your mouth, then remove it the way it had entered (i.e. fork or fingers), and place it discreetly on your plate.

11. Avoid uncouth conduct such as talking with mouth full, burping, nose blowing, picking at teeth, grooming or putting on makeup at the table. Instead, excuse yourself from the table and go to the restroom.

12. Courtesy. Always say thank you when served something.

13. Relax, dine slowly, and enjoy the meal and your company

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Maple Pecan Ice Cream Topping

3/4 c Firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 c Water
3 tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons Butter or margarine
1/2 c Chopped Pecans
1/4p c Whipping Cream

Cook first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6-8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 234 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from heat; stir in butter. Cool. Stir in pecans and whipping cream. Store in refrigerator up to three weeks. Serve warm over ice cream.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Joy Stone's Easy Pie Recipes

Fresh Peach Pie

1 baked pie crust or Graham Cracker Crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
5 – 6 Peaches, sliced
Cool Whip

Combine lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk. Stir until thickened. Arrange sliced peaches in crust. Pour milk mixture over fruit. Top with Cool Whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Easy Pineapple Pie

1 baked pie crust or Graham Cracker Crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 small canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut
1 small container Cool Whip

Mix condensed milk and lemon juice, stirring well. Then add pineapple, pecans, and coconut. Stir until well blended. Then stir in Cool Whip. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Strawberry Sherbet

2 cups fresh strawberries*
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Process strawberries in a food processor or blender 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Pour strawberry puree through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing with back of a spoon. Discard solids. Add buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla to puree; stir until well blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Pour strawberry mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Garnish, if desired.

*1 (16-oz.) package frozen strawberries, thawed, may be substituted.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.

In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping