It Takes a Gingerbread Village

GBH Village  1288GBH Cat Detail  1287GBH Judging  1290GBH Details  1291Builders, chefs, and community members teamed up today to start the “Home Sweet Gingerbread Home” competitions at NorthPark Center. Lifestylist® Suzanne chaired the event which looks like it will become an annual favorite.Chef and cookbook author Karel Ann Tieszen teamed up with Shared Housing board member Mona Lincoln and TX State Fair Celebri-chef Peter Clarac (he was a winner in the Oprah cook-off) to decide which of the houses would be awarded the coveted blue ribbon. Pastry Chef Instructor at the Art Institute of Dallas Nina Hunter amazed the judges with her beautiful victorian home complete with playful penguins enjoying the pool in the backyard and was awarded first place.

Thursday the “Builders and Bakers” competition will be taking place from 12pm to 4pm also at NorthPark. Teams comprised of members from the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas will be creating homes on-site with celebrity chefs from Stephan Pyles, Sambuca, Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan, DC’s Catering and The Cupcakery. They will then be judged and awarded various prizes in different categories.

The competitions will benefit two great organizations – Shared Housing Center and HomeAid / Homebuilders Care, both which break the cycle of homelessness and abuse in the Dallas area.It Takes a Gingerbread ViI

James Beard Dinner

There are a few things that I love and live for – my family, my animals,friends, the Great State Fair of Texas and food. When the great chef Joanne Bondy – Executive Chef at the Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan told us that she was being honored by being asked to do a dinner at the James Beard House we immediately booked our flights. We were able to go to the previous dinner she did a few years ago and it was one of the highlights of my culinary education. This year I’m hoping to get a peek behind the scenes and learn what goes into a special evening like this will be.
I’ll be twittering live from New York at TheLifestylist and Chef Joanne will be be live at JoanneBondy. I will also share photos on my Lifestylist Design Facebook page. Be sure to “tune in” and share a very special weekend with us!JBF Dessert  1261JBF Joy  1264JBF Soup  1266

I Almost Met Oprah at the State Fair of Texas

Oprah at Fair 6Oprah at Fair 10Fair Ribbons 11Fair Ribbons 5Today was a very exciting day. One of the ways as a Lifestylist I search out trends and try to understand what today’s buyer is looking for is by being a part of the Great State Fair of Texas. Some years I enter the Creative Arts contests – especially cooking. You’d be amazed how much you can learn about people and their lifestyles by sitting with them and chatting while we wait for the judging to be over and those coveted ribbons to be handed out. This was a great day – my second red ribbon and a blue! I love giving back and sharing, so when my competitions are over I share my remaining goodies with the parking lot attendants, ticket takers and fair workers. Ribbon or not, they are always very appreciative of what I make.

This year has been more exciting than most because Oprah is taping at the State Fair and they have been doing a lot of taping in the Creative Arts Building which is where we hang out. We saw a lot of people walking around with crew passes today and I asked someone if I could take a photo of theirs – they actually let me hold it! Why was that important to me? I have so much respect and admiration for Oprah – I can’t think of anyone who gives back as much as she does, and we have the connection of rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Katrina – I worked on over 2,500 Katrina Cottages and she made a huge personal investment of getting people back into homes after the storms. If you have spent any time there you know how important that work still is.

So as we were walking out of the building getting ready to pass out my remaining entries who should be in front of us but Oprah and Company! It was so exciting, and I ran up to her car to try to get a better look – she looks AMAZING in person by the way – I saw someone in her car so asked if I could give her my blue ribbon. They said that was very sweet but I should keep it, but I gave them some of my caramels. I believe in sharing with everyone. I was honored that they were so excited about my goodies, and now can’t wait to see the show after they tape it. I didn’t get to meet her, but you just never know what tomorrow might bring.

The Lifestylist® Shares her Adventures as a Fair Foodie