#FamilyRecipe Oyster Etiquettes

by Mindy Lockard on December 29, 2014

Oysters are sometimes intimidating.


But knowing (or let’s be honest… looking like you know) how to eat oysters will make you feel more confident and comfortable in social and professional situations. Here are a few etiquettes to know if your eating or serving oysters this New Year or anytime…

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photo credit www.inahalfshell.com

How to Eat an Oyster… 

1. Don’t over think it. Pause and look around you. Do others know how? If so watch and learn. If not…

2. Relax. There’s no right way to eat an oyster.

3. Take your tiny fork and move the oyster around in its liquid-filled half shell to help detach the meat from the shell.

4. Put down your fork, pick up the shell, and slurp down the oyster from the wide end—it’s much easier that way. When I say slurp, I mean with the least amount of noise.

5. Chew the fish one or twice before you swallow it. It’s an urban legend that you are supposed to let it slide down your throat… urban meaning you won’t nearly enjoy the flavor as much if you don’t chew it.

I was recently invited to an oyster event at Whole Foods in Portland’s Pearl district store and learned so much. Here are some great tips if you’re looking to serve oysters this New Year!

How to Serve…

  • The smaller they are, the sweeter they are
  • Shucking is about finesse, not power
  • The Sweet Spot – There’s an open area in the back of the shell when the knife stops turning, twist the knife and pop the shell open
  • Protection – Wear a thick glove to protect your hand and use a rag to hold the oyster for leverage
  • History – Find out where the oyster is coming from. They should always have a tag. If they don’t have a tag, you don’t want that oyster!
  • If you’re hosting an event or just craving oysters, Whole Foods Market can shuck them in-house for you!
  • Oysters are best 2-3 hours after being shucked
  • Prime time for oysters is now through February; the colder the weather, the better the oyster!

Top with cucumber and caviar, garlic or a splash of Tobasco…




Wine Pairings

  • Pizzolato Pinot Grigio – Stone fruit aromas give way to an enticing minerality and vibrant acidity in this organically grown Italian wine.
  • Globerati Sauvignon Blanc – This fresh white has lemon and grapefruit aromas with a hint of honeysuckle.
  • Louis Latour Duet Chardonnay-Viognier – A French blend showcasing round, fruity softness with earthly notes and a hint of smoke.
  • Sea Pines Russian River Chardonnay – Subtle aromas belie big flavors of green apple, lemon and vanilla bean.
  • Coppola Sonoma County Pinot Noir – A classic see-through, fruit forward ruby red with a tartness of dried cherry, strawberry and subtle floral jasmine notes.
  • Bodegas Belgrano Malbec – Aromas of warm spices and stewed blueberry flavors that mingle with woodsy hints of smoke.
  • Leyenda del Castillo Rioja – Mineral, earthy aromas are found in this deep garnet Spanish red.
  • Bubo Cabernet Sauvignon – Surprisingly fruity, pleasant and approachable with a touch of green pepper aroma.
  • H&G Priorat – Earthy, herbaceous aromas in this brick red wine lead to a refined minerality and complex dark fruit flavors.
  • Charles and Charles Merlot – There is an attractive baked biscuit aroma in this inky, hearty red.
  • Gaston Chiquet Champagne – Rose gold in color with persistent foamy bubbles, delicate peach and golden delicious apple notes lead to a lovely lengthy finish.


Gracious New Year #Giveaway

by Mindy Lockard on December 29, 2014

I’m thrilled to be partnering with a group of fabulous ladies to bring you inspirations for a mindful, gracious New Year with a fabulous giveaway that is sure to help one lucky winner kick off the year in organizational style…

(ipad mini, $100.00 to Container Store, Day Designer by Whitney English, stationery from Egg Press, Pen set from Sheaffer Pen & goodies from Ban.do)

New Year Giveaway_Blog Graphic


Blue-Eyed Bride | Lil Luna | Tom Kat Studio | Hi Sugarplum | Jenny Collier

My Sweet Savannah | The Tiny Twig | Love, Sarah Schneider | Whitney English | Mindy Lockard

click here for giveaway details: a Rafflecopter giveaway

For me, my resolution is to stay better connected to those I love. And to drink more of this liquid, called water. Part of my resolution to stay connected is to continue to pass in the legacy of staying connected through the handwritten word by encourage my girls to write, and write often. And one perfect way to do that is with Christmas thank-you notes…

here’s a guide to helping your little ones know what to say…

Start with a greeting: Dear Nana and Papa,

Enter with gratitude for the gift or act of kindness: Christmas with you was so wonderful. Our dinner you made was delicious, I always look forward to your famous whipped potatoes. Thank you for the rain boots, they will be perfect for recess at school.

Close with something kind about the person(s): I am so thankful to have you both in my life and will always remember the special time at your house on Christmas.

Aside from the BIG giveaway… drop a note below and let me know your resolution and enter to win a set of Egg Press stationery and Sheaffer Pen!


The Gracious Girl’s Guide to Preparing Kids for the Digital Age…

This program is designed to get kids started on the right digital foot. Whether they have already tiptoed into the cell phone waters or not this class is designed to help kids and families make mindful decisions. With so much information at our fingertips, it’s hard to know how to guide your children. This class is designed to take the fear out of technology by educating kids on how to use technology to establish a positive reputation, good communication habits and mindful social behavior.


Week One: Leadership: Personal Reputation and Responsibility

Week Two: Pictures, Posts and Privacy Settings & Why Face-to-Face Still Matters

Week Three: Texting Dos and Taboos

Week Four: Social Media Platforms & Family Contract

Program Details

  • Day: January 8th, January 22nd, February 5th & February 19th (Early Release Thursdays – Graduation Ceremony on 19th)
  • Time: 1:45 – 2:45 (from 2:45 to 3:00 each class parents are invited for a review of the day’s topic and to ask questions)
  • Location: TBD

Register for a Class!


#FamilyRecipe | GF Stuffin’ Muffins

by Mindy Lockard on November 26, 2014

I love Thanksgiving! It’s my most favorite holiday. But I’ll be honest, I don’t always feel great the day after since I often fudge a bit (don’t get me started on fudge) on foods that I have a sensitivities to. So I’ve been on a quest to love Thanksgiving and feel good the day after!

This is what I’ve come up with for delicious and gluten free stuffing. Because this girl LOVES some stuffing.

It starts here…


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 6 ribs celery
  • 2 medium to large yellow skinned onion, chopped
  • 4 McIntosh apples cored and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons muchi curry (or another spicy curry)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 8 cups cooked quinoa


Step 1: Start by adding 2 tbs of extra-virgin olive oil to the pan. Add bay leaf, celery, curry and poultry seasoning. Cook until translucent.

Step 2: Add apples and cook until they are soft.

Step 3: Mix in Quinoa and parsley, continuing to add olive oil to keep the grain moist and from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Step 4: Once mixed let cool.

Step 5: Oil a muffin tin and fill with the cooled quinoa mixture.

- put in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve or cook right away

Step 6: Bake the muffin tins on 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is crunchy.

Serve (makes 12 muffins)


this recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray’s Stuffin’ Muffins. They are TO DIE FOR!


KING 5 Seattle | Kick Start Your Thanksgiving Conversation

by Mindy Lockard on November 17, 2014

Back in Seattle to see my friends at the KING 5 studio and chat about Thanksgiving table conversations and tradition.

Here’s a sneak peek at what we will be DIYing…




Check back tomorrow for the post!

And don’t forget to enter our #FamilyRecipe Giveaway and join our #FamilyRecipe Twitter Party, Wednesday noon ET