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Hosting a Dinner Party for People with Food Allergies and a Menu to Get You Started

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Küchenstück mit Köchin und Küchenmagd by Joachim BeuckelaerAt least 15 million Americans suffer from known food allergies. Many more have food sensitivities they may not even be aware of.

I hesitate to invite over friends with food allergies. It can be a lot of trouble to go on a special shopping trip or buy expensive special ingredients. Plus, making food for friends with food allergies puts their health in my kitchen. That’s a big responsibility!
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Better Understand Your Man

Adam and I have only been married three years, but we’ve known each other for a long time. (A third of my life!) I’ve always thought about him first as a man who is analytical and thoughtful, a sort of absent-minded-professor character. But when some of my own self-explorations showed me parts of me I didn’t know were there, I began to wonder: What if there is more to Adam than I am allowing myself to see? An exercise on a recent couple’s retreat helped me see past my preconceptions about Adam and accept him for all of who he really is. Read the rest of this entry

How and Why to Subscribe to an Arts Venue

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If you’ve ever read a book set in turn-of-the-last century in London or New York, you’ve probably read about characters who spend the summer on their country estates and return to the city for “the season.” (The Age of Innocence is just such a book and a great read!) These wealthy characters wanted to be in town for all of the great operas, ballets, and concerts that their city had to offer. And they had bought their tickets in advance through a subscription. Read the rest of this entry

How to View and Appreciate Art at a Gallery

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You don’t have to be an art expert to comment on how you feel about a piece of art. If it helps, try to think of the work of art as something that you appreciate from your other interests such as a beautiful car or dress design.  The same beauty that you appreciate in these everyday objects are things you can appreciate and discuss in art: shape, color, materials and the technical skill executed in making the art. Read the rest of this entry

How to Present Food That Looks as Good as It Tastes

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If you’ve ever eaten at a really nice restaurant, you’ve probably noticed something different about the food. It’s not just the way the food tastes—it’s the way the food looks. Nice restaurants plate, or artistically arrange, food on a plate so dishes are as much of a treat for the eye as for the tongue. Plating is one of those extra little touches that makes eating out at a nice restaurant such a special experience. And it’s a surprisingly easy extra touch to add to the food you serve in your home. Read the rest of this entry

How to Memorize a Poem

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When my son was a newborn, he loved it when we sang him songs. He loved it so much, in fact, that all those cherished lullabies I’d painstakingly memorized didn’t lull him to sleep at all—they kept him rapt with attention. So I fell back on reciting him poetry.

Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky” was Thomas’ favorite. It made me so happy to talk to my “beamish boy” as I gently rocked him to sleep. With the perfect poem in mind, I was able to share the gift of poetry with someone I cared about at just the right moment. Read the rest of this entry

How to Be a Perfect Houseguest

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If being able to play hostess is one of the greatest pleasures of being a woman, being an excellent guest comes in close behind it. Hospitality is supposed to be a reciprocal relationship—a thing you sometimes give, and sometimes receive. When you act the part of a perfect overnight guest, you’re graciously accepting your host or hostess’ generous gift. Here are a few guidelines for being a perfect houseguest. Read the rest of this entry