Family & Friends

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In my backyard, Gigi & Lulu – Dallas, Texas – September 1960

What would we do without family and friends? They are what it’s all about! They’re the reason we share our stories and recipes; the reason we get together; and (most importantly) the reason we cook! Here are a few of my family and friends and how cooking brings us together.

This is my best-friend, Cindy Hays Beatty, but everybody calls her ‘Mama Lulu.’ From the pictures you can tell that we have been friends for a very long time, and have remained good friends for more than 50 years. We have experienced life, love, marriages, children, divorces, death and a whole lot o’ cookin’!

Gigi & Lulu, Tex-Mex friends for life – March 2006

Cindy still lives in Texas. Now that I live in New Mexico, we make it a point to visit often. When we get together, we bring her Texas cooking with my flavors of New Mexico together for our family and friends!

Cub ‘Cubby’ Dillard – Summer 2011

This is my husband Cub, but his close friends and family still call him Cubby. Little known fact—he’s actually a gourmet cook that taught me everything I know about combining flavors and textures! “I’ve cooked ever since I could remember… love it! You can always find me at my local grocery store in the mountains every evening, looking for different things,” he says.


Ryan & Gina with Harley – Summer 2011

Here is my older son, Ryan, with his wife, Gina. Both love to cook and are nice enough to share many of their favorite recipes. Gina grew up in a large family in Deming, New Mexico (a small southern town near the Mexican border).  A few hundred miles to the east and at the other end of the spectrum, Ryan was a big-city boy growing up in Dallas. They both had very different upbringings and certainly ate very different food growing up, which might just be why their recipes are so delicious! The flavors and styles from the two cultures just seem to combine perfectly when these two cook together.

Austen & Harley – Summer 2011

This is my younger son, Austen, with his daughter, Harley. Even though he lives and works in New Mexico in the family business, you can tell he’s still a true Dallas fan. Harley (who now calls me Gigi) is becoming quite the little cook herself and is always eager to help her Gigi and Mama Lulu in the kitchen.

Harley in my kitchen – Christmas 2011

At four, she’s becoming a real cook, wearing her favorite apron from Jen Rosie of Hot Mama Aprons Designs:

Harley and I were featured in a recent issue of Albuquerque The Magazine for my green chile cheese and corn chowder recipe. The photographer did a great job creating a portrait of us that is already one of my favorites.

Sharon and Harley in ABQ the Mag

Albuquerque The Magazine – May 2013