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Always be prepared for the unexpected guest. Whether it is a friend stopping by after work or neighbors gathering on the front porch for an impromptu drink, here are a few tips so you are always party ready.

Whether you are entertaining overnight guests or friends just dropping by, the powder room is the one area all will ask to visit. Have you taken inventory of this part of your home lately? Make your bathroom boutique beautiful by implementing our top points below. 

May can be a crazy month with the chaos of end of school activities, home projects, and travel plans. But we need to hit pause for one day to celebrate the special mom in our life. With hearts of gold and putting others before themselves, we have gathered a list of ideas to help you honor the special lady in your life.

A few years back my husband and I attended a play that was an adaptation of the classical movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which originally starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy. It was a beautifully written, and quite comical, story based on the difficulties families faced in the 1960s with inter-racial marriage. The scene that stood out the most to me was when the son was trying to bring both families together for dinner. In the last line of the last act, he turns to his father and says, “Dad, we need you at the table.” With that, the father joined the others, and the audience was left with the understanding that healing had begun.

Giving a party requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost anywhere from $15-$100. What you spend will be determined by your relationship and the type of event. Is it a formal dinner? A backyard BBQ? Also, when possible, know the likes and dislikes of your hostess. If she is allergic to flowers, you probably will not arrive with a bouquet in hand.

1. Choose the table. Will you use a round that seats four or a rectangle that seats twelve? This decision will determine your centerpiece.

Warmer weather will be arriving soon, and I am seeing more of our four-legged members making an appearance in the dog parks and on walking trails. With pets taking more prominent roles in our lives, I thought it would be good to brush up on basic dog etiquette and ownership responsibilities.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

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.

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

  • Writer's pictureAlina Gersib

Easy Birria Beef Quesadillas

Tangy, salty, and a good amount of spice, these Birria beef quesadillas are a treat! Frying the tortillas in a bit of fat from the stew brings a beautiful orange hue to the presentation. A great mixture of flavors, when you add a squeeze of lime lime, a sprinkle of chopped white onion, and some fresh cilantro, the dish is taken to a whole new level. Enjoy!

Birria Beef Quesadillas
Download PDF • 518KB

Makes 6 servings

Preparation Time: 15 minutes + 2 hours to marinade

Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for meat:

*1/2 pound of sirloin

*2 pounds of chuck roast

*1 tablespoon salt

*2 teaspoons pepper

*1/2 teaspoon cumin

Ingredients for the marinade:

*1 tablespoon oil

*1/2 large white onion, sliced

*3 tomatoes, roughly chopped

*5 cloves of garlic, diced

*1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*1 teaspoon dried oregano

*1/2 teaspoon chili powder

*1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (can sub smoked paprika)

*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

*1 teaspoon ground cumin

*1/4 teaspoon ginger

*1 can chipotle peppers in adobe (7 ounces)

*1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

*3 cups of water

Ingredients for stew:

*2 bay leaves

*1/2 cinnamon stick

*2 cloves

For serving:

*White onion, chopped


*Queso fresco



*Season the meat with salt, pepper, and cumin.

*In a frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the onion and tomatoes until they are browned. Next, add the garlic, black pepper, oregano, ancho chili powder, chili powder, and thyme, stirring for 3 additional minutes.

*In a blender combine the onion and spice mixture, cumin, ginger, chipotle peppers in adobe, apple cider vinegar, and water. Blend until smooth.

*Place meat in a large bowl and cover with the sauce. Marinate for anywhere from 2 hours-overnight.

*After the meat is marinated, place it and all of the marinade into the pot of the pressure cooker. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cloves.

*Set to high pressure for 45 minutes then allow to release pressure naturally for 5 minutes, followed by the quick pressure release. Spoon some of the fat off of the top of the stew and place in a frying pan.

*Shred meat and remove any bones.

*Rotate a tortilla through the fat and place some of the beef and Queso Fresco inside. Fry until crispy.

*Top with cilantro, onion, and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

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