Cream of Asparagus Soup

Recipe Testing in The Home Idea Factory (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)
Recipe Testing in The Home Idea Factory (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

New year, new opportunities and tons of cleaning up of files, recipes, and closets to do!

As a Lifestylist® I spend a lot of time on the road searching for what’s new, but when I’m home I love spending time in the kitchen working on comfort food recipes that are so easy anyone can make them.

Cream of Asparagus Soup Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography
Cream of Asparagus Soup Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

I love Cream of Asparagus soup and I spend a fortune buying it so I decided it was time to come up with a recipe I can make at home. This recipe is so easy and by using vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock most recipes call for it keeps it vegetarian and reduces the sodium levels.

Fresh Asparagus from Dallas Farmers Market Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography
Fresh Asparagus from Dallas Farmers Market Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Fresh Asparagus is already showing up in the grocery stores and farmers markets – give it a try and see what you think.

Celebrating 2013

SE R R Models Dec 13 212013 was a great year for the Lifestylist Brands. We were honored to be asked to speak at some large national conferences, new clients joined our family and we continued to be more active in social media.

Flipagram is an app that lets you choose photos that you used in Instargam and make a flip book movie out of them.

Take a look at our Flipagram movie and see some of the people, events and places that made 2013 a year to remember.

The Martha Stewart American Made Contest

Babette
It’s so hard to find companies that only make American Made products these days, but what’s even rarer than that is a woman owned company that is over 20 years old and only sells American Made products.

Babette Holland was making beautiful furniture, vases, mirrors, and accessories in her Tribeca NY studio when the World Trade Center was hit only blocks from her. She has always been an advocate for animals and was a huge influence before and after for getting animals off the streets and into loving homes.

Shortly after that she was diagnosed with MS, but was worried about what the effect would be on her business if her clients and others knew she was struggling with this disease. She shared in her own words on our Lifestylist page what she has been going through, and how she has decided it is time for her to come forward and educate people about MS.

She has been honored by having her company included in the Martha Stewart American Made contest, and is close to winning but needs everyone’s help to help her over the finish line.

Please visit the Martha Stewart page, enroll then you can vote up to 6 times a day until Sept. 22nd.

Someone like Babette never asks for help, so I’m thrilled for a change I can be the one to help her dreams come true!

Spicing Things Up

Spices throwaway 12Spices throwaway 3The Lifestylist test kitchen is almost complete! As I was taking everything out of drawers and my old pantry I realized now is the perfect time to check expiration dates on everything and get rid of things that aren’t as fresh as the rest of the ingredients I use in my dishes.

I was amazed that most spices didn’t have expiration dates on them, but here are a few simple tips that can help you decide whether to keep or trash you pantry inventory.

* Smell – always the easiest. If something smells “off” or in the case of spices has no scent at all it’s time to replace.

* Appearance – if something looks off as far as color or texture get rid of it immediately! The last thing you want to do is make yourself or your guests sick. Faded spices can mean that their strength isn’t what it should be and will throw off the taste of your dish.

* Expiration Dates – I do trust these and if somethings past that date will get rid of it. It just isn’t worth ruining a dish of dinner party to save a few dollars.

* Moisture – if something get introduced to an outside moisture source I would get rid of it instead of having to worry about mold or having it compromised.

My sweet contractor made me a spice rack and I can’t wait to start filling it. My favorite source for the freshest spices is Penzeys. They have opened quite a few stores and they also can be purchased online.

My new absolute spicy find though is Tabasco Spicy Salt. I’ve never found it in the stores but you can but it at their online store. It’s a blend of their very own slat that is mined on Avery Island, Louisiana and ground red pepper. It has quite a kick and a little goes a long way. I use it on everything!

Sweet Snacks

Cookie Chips 15
I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but regret the calories that most of my favorites have as soon as I eat them.

Cookie Chips are my new favorite snack – sweet, crunchy and only around 20 calories each! These great bites are made by HannahMax Baking and are all natural, no artificial flavors or colors and no trans fats!

My favorite is the original which tastes like an old fashioned homemade butter cookie. They are also available in Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Chip and Sea Salted Peanut Butter.

It’s been really hard to get in the kitchen these days with the Lifestylist® Brands being so successful, so discovering these treats is almost as good as making them myself.

Super Bowl Party Recipes

Pepperoni Pops8
The Super Bowl isn’t only about football – it’s also about getting together with family and friends and having a great time.

Being a Lifestylist® is all about Life Celebrating Style, and we’ve put together some quick and easy recipes that will make any gathering an event to remember.

Our Pepperoni Pops are one of our favorites, but you can find all of them on our Lifestylist Recipe page.