Tour of Bob’s Red Mill

by Mindy Lockard on March 24, 2015

In the spirit of today’s #FamilyRecipe

Family Recipe Graphic

I’d love you to join me on a behind the scenes tour of Bob’s Red Mill…


















So, cover your hair and put on those protective goggles.


I think you’ll be impressed with not only the size of production, but the cleanliness of the facility {spotless} …


the milling technology…



the testing to ensure the product is safe for consumers…



the quantity of grain produced for all over the world…



and Bob’s musical ability



Are you ready? Let’s go!


Hop on Over for an #EasterBrunch #GF Popover

by Mindy Lockard on March 23, 2015

This week I have Easter brunch on my mind!

So, I have teamed up with my friends at Bob’s Red Mill to bring you a most delicious #FamilyRecipe chat and there will be goodies to be won too!

Family Recipe Graphic
So, while I’m thinking about it. Let’s talk #EasterBrunch!

When it comes to entertaining, I have two general philosophies that I try to stick to:

1. When you serve beautiful food you don’t need other decorations.

2. Your guests want something to do, so get them involved.

So for this year’s #EasterBrunch, how about serve popovers with a spread of amazing, and some out of the box, filling ideas. Not only will this create a beautiful table scape, your guests will be so hoppy to fill these buttery rolls with their favorites, both sweet and savory.

Bob's Red Mill #EasterBrunch Pop-Over Bar!

Let’s get started!  As a hostess, popovers will be your best friend. They are simple and delicious… and did I mention #GlutenFree?

The real star of this recipe is the Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour. I have baked with a lot of GF flours or combinations of flours and this is the best!


Here’s our Easy Popover Recipe:

How to: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 12 slices of butter into each of the  12 popover cups. Pop into the oven. While the butter is melting put all of the ingredients into the blender and blend on medium for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy. Pour the mixture into the hot tins with melted butter. Bake the popovers for 25 minutes. With a sharp knife cut a small hole (making room for the filling) at the top of each of the popovers and return to the oven to bake for 10-15 more minutes.


Next, gather your favorite filling fixings. Be bold and out of the box. Choosing different cheese, fruit, nut, yogurt, eggs and meats. Your guests both young and old will love it!


Here are a few of our favorite combinations. But of course not limited to…

Starting savory, with sausage and mushroom, egg and fresh herbs.


Or walk on the wild side with pear, brie and bits of maple glazed bacon crumbles.

That’s right, bacon!


And then there’s always coconut cream, mango and Bob’s Red Mill date crumbles


And my family’s favorite. Homemade whipped cream, berries (strawberries cut into a heart) and Bob’s Red Mill Shredded Coconut


Wishing you and your family a wonderful Easter holiday full of family, friends and wonderful popover fillings!


*This post was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill but the opinions, recipe and love of popovers are my own!



#BerryBestSpringBreak Tips

by Mindy Lockard on March 18, 2015


Family Vacations are amazing… that is… if we all get along.

So to keep us all on our most Gracious behavior, today I’m teaming up with California Giant for a #FamilyRecipe #BerryBestSpringBreak chat!





Gracious Grab Bags


We find that behavior incentives work like a charm! We fill these goodie bags with anything that will keep our girls occupied on the trip: movies, sketch pads, conversation starters etc. We also add a few fun activities for our destination such as pool toys, flip flops and games. When we stop or have a layover, we recap the behavior and if the girls have been respectful to the space around them (picking up garbage etc., respectful to each other and not complained about being “bored”… they get a trip to the goodie bag. After 6 years or Road Trips, this trick is an oldie but always a GOODIE!
Rules of the Road:
- Keep your space clean
- Don’t
- Lunch
Meals On The Go! 
Taking our show on the road requires thought and planning. Especially where food and good manners are concerned. What does food have to do with good manners?


Protein stabilizes our blood sugar and keeps us from random episodes of weeping uncontrollably. Protein, also helps our children stay happy and agreeable. Which is a good thing when we’re on the open road with hundreds of miles on the horizon.

When we travel by road, I have a few food must-haves.

  • Ham and Cheese Sammmies — sandwich slims (easier to stack than regular bread), ham slices and cheese
  • Pre-made bagels and cream cheese
  • Pre-sliced oranges
  • Apples
  • Frozen berries
  • Grapes
  • Baked chips
  • String Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts

Gracious Tips for Home Away From Home!

1. Oh, Bellman! When staying at a luxury hotel, allow the bellman to assist you with your bags. It’s his job! Don’t try to save a buck by carrying your own luggage. Cut the kid some slack and do the right thing. (See Toolbox for Tipping chart)

2. Respect the facility. If you break something, make sure you admit to it. Under no circumstances ever leave with an item that belongs to the hotel. This is not about being square, it’s about being honest.

3. Plan ahead! It’s okay to contact the front desk, the concierge, the bellman, or the porter for help when you need assistance. Just remember they are at the beck and “call” literally of every other guest. Be patient; don’t expect the porter to show up at your door the second you call.

4. T$Ps on T$pping keeping cash on hand will help you say thank you to those you are at your service. One of the benefits of getting away is to not have the same everyday pressures and to be taken care of.

Opening the door of the car $2.00 to $3.00
Hailing a cab $1.00 to $2.00
Hailing a cab in extreme weather conditions $5.00 to $10.00

Hotel, Inn, Bed and Breakfast
Helping you from your car to the door $1.00 to $2.00

Bringing a piece of luggage to your room $5.00
Bringing multiple pieces of luggage to your room $10.00 to $15.00
Extra service $5.00 to $10.00
Bringing an extra item to the room $2.00 to $4.00

Hotel, Inn, Bed and Breakfast
Bringing a piece of luggage to your room $2.00 to $3.00 per item
Extra Service $2.00 to $3.00
Bringing an extra item to the room $1.00 to $2.00

$5.00 for getting reservations
$10.00 to 15.00 for difficult tickets or reservations
$15.00 to $20.00 for going over and beyond

Hotel, Inn, Bed and Breakfast
$1.00 – Front desk assistance

$2.00 to $3.00 per person per day and leave in an area where the housekeeping staff will clearly know it’s for them. I often leave a note written on hotel stationery with a short note of thanks.

Hotel, Inn, Bed and Breakfast
$1.00 per person per day

Room Service:
Food Luxury Hotel
20% of the bill

Food Hotel, Inn, Bed and Breakfast
15% of the bill

5. Say “thank you” when you receive excellent service. Make sure to communicate it in a written note or tip accordingly. (See toolbox for tipping chart.) Exceptional service should be recognized, just as poor service should be reported. Take a couple of moments to figure out the employee’s name and where to send a quick card. And your message doesn’t have to be lengthy, just specific yet courteous. We all enjoy kudos. A manager or owner will appreciate knowing that an employee provided noteworthy service, and the employee will be thankful for the pat on the back.


KICKING OFF #MarchMadness with #Sheaffer200

by Mindy Lockard on March 17, 2015

In our house March is a Holiday.  Yes, nearly the entire month.

And we’re not talking about my birthday, which DOES fall in March. We are talking about two action packed words.

Say it with me…



Over the past 17 years of marriage I’ve learned of the importance of March Madness in the life of my husband. So as they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

I hope you’ll join me and Sheaffer Pen this month for a SLAM DUNK of a good time.


Our STARTING LINE-UP is this Fun #Sheaffer200 Bracket and Giveaway Series!

Download the bracket here and follow the giveaway instructions to WIN a fabulous new #Sheaffer200 pen



  • Weekly March Madness FUN facts on Sheaffer’s Facebook Page
  • Tuesday, March 17th: Sheaffer Brackets Made Available on Sheaffer Pen’s Facebook Page & The Gracious Girl’s Site
  • Week of March 30th- April 3rd ROAD to FINAL FOUR | Daily Party Tips, Tricks & Recipes!
  • April 2nd #SheafferLiving #MarchMadness Twitter Chat!

Get your Dancin’ Shoes on, the next 3 weeks are going to be very exciting! 









TGIF | Battle of the Burger

by Mindy Lockard on February 27, 2015

Yesterday I enjoyed a great burger from one of my favorite family owned burger joints, Dicky Jo’s Burgers!



In the spirit of truth it was vegetarian gluten free burger, on a gluten free bun with all of the fixings and extra jalapeños.

Hey, I own my crunchy side.

Back to the burger at hand… Sometimes it’s easy to avoid or not enjoy a burger because of the mess.  But let’s be honest the best burgers are the messiest burgers. Can I get an amen?!

Here are a few Gracious tips for beating the burger mess and enjoying every bit!
1. Choose a good quality burger!

2. Request a steak knife and cut the burger, for medium sized cut in-half & monster burgers cut in-quarters. Note that the bottom bun can be tricky, so make sure to cut it all of the way through.

3. Release the burger between bites. Often times the faster our burger falls apart the faster we eat it. And then it’s gone and we are left with only indigestion, sauce all over our hands and the loss of a dream.

4. Have plenty of napkins available and avoid the five finger lick. It’s gross.

5. Think about it fondly. Because that’s what happens after a really good burger. Right? Or maybe that’s just me!

Happy weekend friends! Here’s to enjoying great food and the company we keep.