The Daily Cup – My Day Without U

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Ha! This is not what you think. While it is a good thing to tell a loved one you had a long day filled with thoughts of reuniting for dinner, this Daily Cup is about sharing your day, with a twist. We invite you to play a dinner-time game. By the way, it’s even more fun if you make it a slightly festive or different dinner. It could be pizza night, or if you have children perhaps you can let them pick sandwiches, or play this game while sharing a creamee after dinner. Here’s how to play: You’re going to talk about your day, but first randomly select one letter of the alphabet that cannot be in any of the words you use to describe an event that took place today. As an alternative, you can draw from a pouch filled with Scrabble letters. Each person takes a turn and a different letter is chosen for each one. If you want to get creative and substitute funny words to avoid the chosen letter, go for it. This requires some thinking. For school-age children it offers great spelling practice while being totally relaxed, even silly. As they get better at this, they can actually develop more confidence in their use of language in general, and a new appreciation for it. Have fun!

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Food & Drink 101 – Choosing

In the previous Food & Drink 101 article, we reviewed two practical ways to serve beverages. Today, we focus on a few time-honored tricks to choose like a pro when ordering at the deli counter, and also to help little children make their selection.

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Ordering sandwiches, wraps and salads for several people at the deli counter can be a challenge. The sight of fresh-made food immediately makes the mind jump from one favorite to another. Whether you are ordering with young children or with a group of friends, if you are on your way to a picnic or gathering you might feel like you just want to get it done and get on the road. And who could blame you?

Here is a simple strategy to turn your stop at the deli into a breeze, as much as possible. Not only this, but if you happen to stop during a busy time, this simple strategy can help the counter crew deliver your order in less time than you’d expect. One note: Wherever you shop for your deli food and baked goods, if there is a line, that is often a sign that this place is worth the wait. Now, here are a few tricks.

1 – Review the menu ahead of time – It helps to have a printed menu on hand, specifically for these occasions. Keep a few in the car and the kitchen.

2 – Decide – Have each person decide on a couple of selections. Having actually looked at the menu will help you recall what you wanted once you get to the counter, so you can shoot straight for the goal, so to speak.

3 –  And Children – For young children who might have a hard time making up their minds, verbally give them 2 choices for 2 different scenarios. Do this before entering the deli and place their order for them. For example: Do you like a chicken sandwich, or ham? (choice #1) and do you like a tuna sandwich or cheese? (choice #2). When  you get there, order choice #1. If the deli is out of certain ingredients, go for #2. And you already have enough info to improvise if need be.

Trick: When helping children make a selection, ask, do you LIKE…? Not do you WANT…? For many children, “wanting” does not connect well with envisioning a food experience. “Liking,” however, immediately awakens the senses.

Food & Drink 101 – Drinks in a Wagon

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The Daily Cup – Pizzazz For Dinner

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Once in a while, we have family over for dinner for an occasion we feel worthy of our finest dishes and behavior. When gathering with friends, the atmosphere is usually more casual and when eating with immediate family, with a spouse or partner, or by ourselves, it is yet more relaxed, outside of those times when there is cause for celebration. This week, dress up the table out of the blue. This does not have to be anything extravagant. You can get colorful party napkins, make easy appetizers (sliced wrap sandwiches for example), add a cherry to beverages, adorn the table with a variety of salads in colorful bowls… in a word, make it noticeably festive for no reason at all. Let’s just say that you are celebrating your hard work and perseverance and all the ways in which you make a darn decent life for yourself just by virtue of your daily choices. Last but not least, place a bouquet of flowers on the table. Ho! There is one more thing: be sure to make a toast.

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