cookbooksWe checked out Amazon for Texas (or Texas-inspired) cookbooks perfect for the person who loves hitting the kitchen. Note: may collect a small commission or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are priced correctly and in stock at the time of publication.

Whether it’s a new kitchen (or new to them) kitchen, one of the best housewarming gifts you can give the person whose eyes glaze over when they hit Sur le Table and can’t pass a Wusthof display without slowing to a stop is a cookbook. And when that kitchen is in Texas, what better way to say welcome than a cookbook conceived in the Lone Star State?

While there are many, we found a few that are already on our bookshelves. Do you own any of these? If not, it might just be time to treat yourself, too. (more…)

Chef Nikky Phinyawatana of EnjoyMint baking cookies in her new SKS Pro Range at home. (Photos: Lisa Stewart Photography)

As a Lifestylist®, I’m always curious about what appliances chefs and celebrities have in their own homes. Do they really cook, or is take-out or a personal chef their lifestyle choice?

I was recently having lunch at EnjoyMint — the newest concept for restauranteur Nikky Phinyawanta — and discovered that she was one of the first people in the country to be cooking on the new Signature Kitchen Suite Pro Range. She shared that it’s the only consumer range that has built-in sous vide. I couldn’t wait to see it in person and discover how it works.

Catching Phinyawatana at home isn’t an easy task. Between running EnjoyMint, and her two Asian Mint restaurant locations, teaching cooking classes, and keeping up with her two children, this Dallas dynamo is always on the move. She just launched Nikky Feeding Souls — a YouTube journey of Thai culture, food, and travel that will use the kitchen in her new home as its hub.

One of the fresh Thai fusion offerings at EnjoyMint.

Should I stay or should I go?

Phinyawanta was living in a home that she and her husband had remodeled, and it was just what they wanted. When their family and business was outgrowing the space that they had, it was time to make a hard decision. With as busy as this family is, they didn’t have time for another remodel or to build, but kismet stepped in, and they found the perfect new home that was ready to move in.


thanksgivingLast week, we asked Realtors to pitch us listings that addressed a common Thanksgiving conundrum — space to serve many, and space to cook it in.

Our Tuesday Two Hundred is a great example of a home where that was taken into consideration — a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bath Traditional in Lavon that was built three years ago, with tons of attention to detail, including that kitchen.

And if listing agent Natalie Swanson with Coldwell Banker Apex-Frisco is excited about this home at 291 Orbit Dr., she has a good reason — it’s her brother’s home.

“He built it three years ago and has put so much work and upgrades into the home,” she told us. “It is spotless, and the only elevation of it’s kind in the whole neighborhood.”

“The new builds in the area start at $292,000, and they don’t have wood floors or the huge lot he has!” she added.

And about that kitchen: Swanson said that she knows that much of modern Thanksgiving traditions are unchanged — like going to “grandma’s house with the whole family, football games, and sometimes escaping outdoors to catch a breath of cool, fresh air.”

“The problem is that the chefs were isolated from all the festivities in the kitchen — but not in this house!” she said.


san franciscoSo, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the market in San Francisco is hot. And I also don’t know if you’ve heard, but the ground in San Francisco can move a lot in a geological phenomenon called a mother-lovin’ earthquake.

Why are we talking about this? Because we over at the Wednesday WTF found this listing that brings both of those points to home in spectacular fashion.

san Francisco

Now, you might look at these photos and think, “What is your beef, Wednesday WTF lady? This is a pretty nice place. I approve.” (more…)

Coastal Shower Doors 1

Last week, Orlando played host to thousands of design professionals as they gathered under one roof to check out all the new doodads in kitchens and bathrooms. Against last week’s backdrop of certain presidential revelations, a shower seemed a good place to begin …

Gridscape is a new collection of shower doors and panels from Coastal Shower Doors. Mimicking the au courant steel frame Crittall windows, Gridscape extends the 1940s industrial factory look into the home.  There are multiple options in glass … clear, frosted and smoke … and two metal finishes … brown-black and chrome (chrome is the classic-modern look many strive for).  Mullions are customizable as well.  Seen above are boxes, but there are horizontal-only in a variety of glass widths as well as large-scale geometrics with colored glass.  There are also exterior patterned screens to enhance the industrial look.  I would say the variety is endless … a little trite for me … but there are quite a lot of configurations.


The Troupe bathroom 3D Printed faucet by DXV. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

So far, 2016 is promising to be a record-setting year for builders and buyers. So many great new innovations make it an exciting time to build and buy a new home. As a Lifestylist I’m always on the road looking for new trends, and we found some great ones at The International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. The one I’m most excited about though was 3D printing and how this can be used to build and design products for the home. (more…)