Southern Manners and Etiquette, Part I

Anyone who grew up below the Mason Dixon line probably has memories of going to cotillion classes. At these classes, we learned how to be proper Southern belles and Southern gentleman. We learned how to eat properly, talk properly, and how to present ourselves in public. Well, if you are like me, most of those manners and etiquette tips need a refresher.

Today’s post begins our four part series of “Southern Manners and Etiquette.” For the next four days, I will be giving y’all some hints and tips on how you can  become the best Southern belle or Southern gentleman possible. For starters, let’s talk about being a great guest and how to keep a conversation going.

To be a great guest at a party, friend’s house, or other outing, there are a few things to remember:

  • Be punctual, but not early.
  • Cancel only if there is an emergency.
  • Make it a point to speak with the other guests.
  • Offer to help the hostess.
  • Wear appropriate attire–if you are unsure, ask the hostess.
  • Do not go anywhere ill.
  • Don’t be the last to leave.
  • Always tell your hostess you enjoyed the evening when you leave.
  • Call your hostess the next day to tell her you enjoyed the evening and write a thank you note immediately.

As for keeping a good conversation going, remember: 

  • Don’t hog the conversation; give everyone a turn to speak. 
  • Keep the talk interesting and light.
  • Never embarrass your hostess.
  • Never ask what something costs.
  • Never use rude or shocking language.
  • Keep personal problems private, especially at another’s expense.
  • Be sincere with your compliments.
  • Correct your spouse’s etiquette, grammar, or behavior in private.
  • Talk with the people on your left and on your right when dining.
  • Be honest.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Be respectful.
  • Learn to compromise.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow! 

Source: Southern-Style.com

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Who is hungry? Hopefully this recipe for Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake will make it to your table as dessert tonight! 

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 1/4 cups  sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray three 9×2 inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Using a  mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined. Set aside.

In a large sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Mix the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter.

Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. 

Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.

Enjoy! 

Source: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/02/09/lemon-blueberry-layer-cake/

Throwback Thursday

Happy Throwback Thursday! With the help of some photoshop magic, country superstar Blake Shelton is pictured with his younger self from 2004. As the “God Gave Me You” singer changed much?

Source: People

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Country singer welcomes baby girl

Congratulations to country singer Kelly Clarkson and husband, Brandon Blackstock, on the birth of their new baby girl! The couple welcomed River Rose Blackstock on Thursday, June 12.

The baby is Clarkson’s first child. Blackstock has two children from a previous marriage.