Say Cheese! Pepperoni Pops

Tailgating season is definitely here, and it’s hard to believe, but today is the last day of the State Fair of Texas. I love entering the cooking contests and seeing what I can come up with. This year I was on the road a lot, but I did manage to tweak a few recipes and enter them.

I’ve seen variations of this recipe, but I wanted to come up with something that could either be super fast and easy, or a more healthy version that might take a little more cooking skills – that’s what the Lifestylist® philosophy is all about. This one definitely worked for that – it can be easy enough for a younger child with assistance, or with dough and a marinara sauce from scratch it can be a healthier version.

Here’s the basic recipe – you can customize it to your taste and skill levels.

It’s definitely one of my new favorites, and I can’t wait to share it with my Jr Lifestylists®!

Bringing in a New Year

Happy New Year from the Lifestylist® family! We are really excited about 2012 and the opportunities that will come with it.

A lot of being a Lifestylist® is about being a trend tracker and doing research. Today I read something that was written by someone else titled “Social Media Lifestylist Guidelines for 2012” – boy does that sound dull! The first thing that comes to mind is a big dusty manual full of rules and regulations, and that is exactly what social media (and being a Lifestylist®) is not about.

The tag line I have always used for my Lifestylist® brand is “It’s All About You”. I didn’t want the brand to be about me telling people what to do – I wanted to listen to people’s wants, needs, and dreams, and help them achieve those even when they didn’t know that’s what they were really searching for. I don’t want to dictate, I want to educate. I’ve learned that listening is so much more important than anything I will ever have to say, because sometimes if you let people express their thoughts they will find their answers.

Social media is such an exciting new frontier because it gives everyone the chance to tell their story to the universe. It’s become a great equalizer because almost anyone  on any budget can get access to a computer and a free site and share their thoughts.

There’s a down side to this though as well -there’s not as much editing as we’ve seen in the past. We have to learn that even though someone may have written it, there is the possibility it might not be true. Before we share or depend on information we find we have to be sure and check the facts. As the guardian of the Lifestylist® trademark for almost 10 years now I’ve seen how many people want to tie into my brand but aren’t willing to go through the legal process to acquire a brand of their own.

So what are the real Lifestylist’s guidelines for 2012? Never call them guidelines, live your life to the fullest, listen to those around you and you can never laugh too much or have too much great food and wine!

Here’s to a boisterous 2012!

Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! This holiday is about food and family, but even more than that I like to use it to remind me how thankful I am for what I have, and for those around me.


For over 25 years my parents were very active doing disaster relief with The Salvation Army, and even raised the money for a state of the art canteen for the Tyler Texas location. Whenever there was a disaster or need and my parents got a call they dropped everything and hit the road. One of the most memorable phone calls I ever received was when Hurricane Katrina hit and my parents answered the call. They called me when they were outside the Super Dome not having a clue what was going on inside. For six weeks they were in the French Quarter feeding the volunteers – my Dad always joked he always wanted to have a restaurant in the French Quarter and he finally got his wish!


Whenever this Lifestylist® could I joined them on the road helping my Mom cook up to 2,000 hot meals a day and seeing first hand what mother nature can dish out. People were so sweet and hospitable, even though many had lost everything that they had. It was always hard to leave – I wanted to stay there and help rebuild.


This year I have been blessed to be involved with three amazing organizations – Shared Housing, Genesis Women’s Shelter and HomeAid/Homebuilders Care. I am always so drawn to the kids – many of them have seen things we can’t even imagine, but they always have the best manners, always say please, thank-you and give the best hugs :)


It’s harder than ever to make a living, but even if you can’t make a donation to a worthwhile charity think about donating your time -you’ll be very thankful that you did.






The Perfect Pairing – Sur La Table and Thermador

It’s hard to believe that this Lifestylist® made it  through another year of The State Fair of Texas cooking contests! I am thrilled with the ribbons I won, and even though I missed a few of the contests I usually enter so I could take part in the Thermador Design Council, the information I received (as well as being pampered and having a chef cook almost every meal for us) was better than any ribbon.

When I’m thinking about what I want to enter and I’m looking for those special tools, Sur La Table is always my first stop. After I bought a digital candy thermometer there I started winning in the candy contests and now I can’t imagine life without it. I also know they will always have the perfect pan, cruet, or sea salt to make my entries stand out.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to get to photograph an event at the Dallas Sur La Table that was a book signing with Martha Stewart! For three hours I had a chance to see this icon in person, and for the record she could not have been more gracious. The Sur La Table team made the event go seamlessly, and everyone had a wonderful time.

When I was at the Thermador Culinary Center last week I heard great news – Sur La Table is now featuring Thermador appliances in many of their kitchens! Now you have the opportunity to take some of their cooking classes and be able to try out the steam oven and many of the other innovations that Thermador offers.

Thermador and Sur la Table – I can’t think of a better pairing!

It’s a Great Day for a Fair

Today was one of those perfect days to visit the great State Fair of Texas. It’s something we look forward to every year – we even get season passes!


I’ve been entering the cooking contests for over 5 years now, and I’m proud to say I’ve gotten my share of blue ribbons. It has been so busy around here I haven’t had a chance to enter yet, but I think there are some categories that are calling my name. Last year I won in the Tricks with Mix Category, and I’m thinking I may have to see if I can get Best of Show this year. Be sure to check out some of our award winning (and not award winning) entries on our Fair Foodies site.


Because of our love of the State Fair of Texas, we have collected some really unusual items from the fair. This is what makes the Lifestylist® touch so unique – not only great items, but items with a story and history.

The Lifestylist® Shares her Adventures as a Fair Foodie