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Fancy Pants Foodie’s 2012 in Review

2 Jan

Hey, it’s 2013…when did that happen?!?

In 2012, I graduated from culinary school, volunteered for Share Our Strength/Cooking Matters, started teaching cooking independently, then got a job with the Arkansas Department of Human Services as a chef instructor.

That last bit is a grant-funded, most likely temporary gig, but while it’s here, I’ve been traveling from one city to the next in Arkansas like a mad woman, again teaching Cooking Matters. I’m teaching with a fantastic group of nutritionists from DHS who give me hope for the future of eating right. For as long as the grants hold out, I’m sticking with a great team.

My other, more ambitious goal for 2013? I’m not sure I can share it just yet. Let’s just say there are a few influential people in town who happen to have some of the same dreams I have had for a while. And a goal is just a dream with a deadline, right?

Oh, and I will eat better, too. Even those of us preaching the gospel of whole-food eating can re-learn a lesson or two. I desperately need to cut down on sugar and add some superfoods and extra nutrients back in. (New thing I just read and will try: L-glutamine may help reduce sugar cravings.) I may post my routine once I get it down; it’s mostly the same as what pulled me out of MS/lupus-like symptoms about 15 years ago. Ugh, and I still have loads of my homemade marshmallows and gluten-free Christmas cookies to finish off!

I’m not really big on resolutions, but I do aim to be the absolutely best me I can be this year. Less coasting. More reading, planning, dreaming, taking action. And I must let myself rest, too. I still crash when I push too hard.

How about you? Any food- or cooking-related resolutions or goals for this year? Put them in the comments below, please and thank you. (Under the ad, if you’re having trouble finding them.)

Meanwhile, here’s a useless but fun wrap-up of all that went on here at Fancy Pants Foodie in 2012. See if you or your favorite chef or event were one of the things that brought people here!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 21,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


These boots are made for…Cooking! ($150 BOOT GIVEAWAY)

18 Sep

My Ariat Brown Oiled Rowdy boots from Country Outfitter.

Update: Entries are closed! Will update soon with the winner. Good luck!

Howdy, folks.

You may have recently noticed, if you’re a follower of blogs, that all the coolest Arkansas bloggers seem to be giving away boots these days.

The reason is, this awesome northwest Arkansas company called Country Outfitter sponsored a bunch of us to give away their cowboy boots. We got a free pair, I admit. And they’re awesome. And they’re letting us give you a pair, too.

So yes, this is a sponsored post, as the vernacular goes. I don’t do many of these, and never for a company or product I don’t like. But…until I got these, I’d never, ever had a for-real pair of boots.

Continue reading

Seeking Hosts for Fancy Pants Foodie Culinary Classes

8 Aug

My last batch of risotto, with a summer twist: sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and fresh Arkansas heirloom tomatoes.

I’m probably not completely prepared to put this all out there, but I’ll never be ready unless I start sometime. So here goes.

My awesome hubs and I have been remodeling our house in a way that would allow me to teach cooking classes. But, it’s not ready yet, and I’ve got some teaching to get out of my system!

Therefore, I’m currently seeking hosts for some classes to help me get this part of my vision for Fancy Pants Foodie off the ground. Classes will start very small and in the Little Rock metro while we figure out possible capacities, maybe four or five people.

A couple questions for you:

  1. Would you be interested in classes in your home or mine? In your church, activity center or the like?
  2. What kind of skills would you like to learn? What kind of dishes? (I’ll work to incorporate knife skills and other basics into each dish.)

Leave me a comment below with your thoughts. If you’re seriously interested in hosting a class, say so in the message and I’ll get back to you. I’m planning on the first classes being about risotto, depending on burner capacity at each location. Yummmm!

Fleur Delicious Weekend 2102 Kicks off in Eureka Springs

12 Jul

An extended weekend of food, drink, music and art began today (Thursday, July 12) in the pleasantly beatnik town of Eureka Springs for the second annual Fleur Delicious Weekend. The event continues through Sunday, July 15.

The city, already known for its narrow streets, Victorian architecture and carefree attitude, has added several degrees of French-themed fun. Several area restaurants will feature French food and specials, and the streets will be active with live music, shopping and activities.

Some related events have already taken place, including one I wish I could have attended: “Uniquely Edible Arkansas” at the Dairy Hollow Writers Colony on Tuesday featured fellow blogger Kat Robinson, my former chef instructor Andre Poirot of the Peabody Hotel, and Margie Roelands of Raimondo Family Winery.

I’ll be participating by cooking — or getting in the way, depending on how things go — alongside the more experienced KJ Zumwalt and crew at Caribe Restaurant y Cantina (link is a fantastic story by the aforementioned Kat Robinson) on Saturday night. So if you’re in town, come have dinner with us and see how it goes.

Several hotels are offering specials for the weekend, so be sure to ask. And check the event’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute photos and information.

Food Blogger Bake Sale is Saturday!

21 Apr

Arkansas Food Bloggers, Professionals Bake and Sell Goodies to End Hunger
100% of Sales to Benefit Share Our Strength  

(North Little Rock, Ark.) – April 20, 2012 – This Saturday, April 28, Arkansas food bloggers will join others across the country in the third annual Food Blogger Bake Sale, raising funds for Share Our Strength in the organization’s fight against childhood hunger. The Arkansas event, hosted by Christie Ison of Fancy Pants Foodie, will be held adjacent to the Argenta Certified Arkansas Farmers’ Market in North Little Rock, 6th and Main Streets, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Offerings will include items made by local bloggers, including: Hillary Kleck of Sensory Sun; Lisa Mullis of Arkansas Outside; Heather Nabers West of Bake Create Love; Sunshine Crawford of Make Life Delicious; Julie Kohl of Eggs and Herbs; Stephanie Hamling of Proactive Bridesmaid; Kelli Reep of What Have You Heard; Gina Knuppenburg of Desperately Seeking Gina; and Paige Burkham of Approaching Joy. Professional offerings will include gluten-free items by Dempsey Bakery, and other treats from the Peabody Hotel, Argenta Market, Brown Sugar Bakeshop, Whole Foods, Blue Cake Company, Sweet Love Bakes and Gigi’s Cake Boutique.

Last year, the Arkansas team raised over $1,000 with its first sale, and all proceeds went to support Share Our Strength programs such as No Kid Hungry and Cooking Matters. Ison, a graduate this May of Pulaski Technical College’s Arkansas Culinary School, will be a volunteer chef with the Cooking Matters program in Little Rock this summer.

Organized in 2010 by Gaby Dalkin of, the national Food Blogger Bake Sale features food bloggers from across the country who unite to support the cause by holding bake sales in their states on the same day.

Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, connects children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry® campaign – a national effort to end childhood hunger in America – Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs; invests in community organizations fighting hunger; teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and builds public-private partnerships to end childhood hunger, at the state and city level. Working closely with the culinary industry and relying on the strength of its volunteers, Share Our Strength hosts innovative culinary fundraising events and develops pioneering cause marketing campaigns that support No Kid Hungry. Visit


An attempt at gratuitous self promotion, at your benefit.

19 Jan

This is one of those things I probably should have given more thought before throwing it all out there on Twitter, but so be it.

I’ve decided to cook personally for the 500th person who email subscribes to this blog. Just type in your email addy and click the button under “Email Foodie Alerts,” minion.  And just to keep the quick-starters motivated, I’ll also choose one randomly from the earlier numbers.

Also, as indicated on the Twitters, I’ll have to have control of the details. If you live in another state, well, you’ll have to settle for something I can ship to you. If you only eat raw unicorn spleens, then you may want to go elsewhere. And if you’re a stalker wanting to kill me and eat my flesh for the meal, please, don’t. I’m awfully bitter.

I will come to your reasonably nearby home, or a place of business, within the state of Arkansas. And I can cater to special needs such as allergies, gluten intolerance, and a kryptonite-like reaction to bananas. Believe me, I can relate.

So, join on, foodies. There are big things to come, currently in the works, and you want them in your inbox.

2011 in review

3 Jan

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for us here at Fancy Pants Foodie. We know we’re still pretty small potatoes, but still not too shabby! Here’s to an even greater year with more posts, more interactivity and more feedback from you!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.