The Mix

I apologize in advance. This snack mix is highly addicting. So addicting that I had to go brush my teeth in the middle of making it so I would stop eating it all. At the same time I kind of want to say you're welcome, because it's so good. 

My sorority chapter advisor used to make us a similar mix when we would have long chapter meetings or during rush week. I had her send me the recipe forever ago and I've been making my version ever since. I would make it as a study snack, party food and it's also great for a road trip treat. I bring you this mix just in time for Memorial Day. Perfect to bring to barbecues or to shovel down while stuck in a cabin at the lake!

No boring chex or weird breadstick things in this mix. The wheat thins and oatmeal squares are my favorite! Feel free to swap out or add any ingredients. Cheez-its are a great addition, I also think popcorn or cheerios would be good. The mix requires no baking either. Once you pour on the seasoning it's ready to eat!

The Mix
yields a lot

Ingredients:
1 box wheat thins
1 box Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal
1 bag pretzels
1 bag Bugels
1 bag oyster crackers

Seasoning:
1 pkg. dry Ranch Dressing seasoning packet
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. dried dill
1 cup vegetable oil

Directions:
Pour the bags and boxes of mix ingredients into a large paper grocery bag, roll down the top and shake to combine. Mix seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl or shake together in a mason jar. Pour over dry mix. Close up paper bag and shake shake shake! Store in an airtight tupperware or large plastic bag.

Note: this is easy to half! I typically make a 1/2 batch at a time and keep the remaining ingredients to make a second batch soon after!

I have a huge bowlful packed and ready to head to the lake with me this weekend. That is if I can refrain from eating it all before we leave...

Annie

Bites of My Life

I'm not a birthday brat, but it's birthday week!! Ok, maybe I am...This Friday is my 23rd birthday. Despite a year older, 23 sounds so young to me. Nothing cool happens when you are 23, that I know of. It's that sandwich age between 21 and 25, where you sort of just feel like an awkward 20 something still trying to figure ish out and get people to take you seriously in the real world. This is all relative though. I'm not complaining. I'd rather turn 23 year after year than slip into my 40s.

With a fun week ahead, I love looking back at last week. A pretty simple work week, but a productive one at that. Got my stuff done to head to Dallas for the weekend for golf, friends and too much fun! Nothing beats a great weekend high! I don't even have the Sunday scaries it was so good!

-Polenta huevos rancheros is my go-to when I have no food in the house. Sprucing up the recipe so I can post it soon!
-Pocky and RHONY make for an ulti night plopped on the couch!
-Made the bold statement last week that granola is my favorite food when I posted my basic granola recipe. Not coming down on that statement. 
-Seriously so stinking fun to see people trying my perfect CCC recipe!! My favorite gals from Vim+Vigor killed it with their cookies.
-I came to Dallas bearing banana bread as a way to say thank you to my favorite host!
-Any right trip down I-35 deserves a stop at Robertson's for roadie ham sammies!
-Only slightly Spieth obsessed. Thankful the Bryon Nelson fed my obsession.
-Free Spieth bobbleheads? I'd take 10 if I could. 
-Can't golf to save our lives, but we are great at drinking beer and making heart eyes at Jordan.
-Breakfast at EatZi's. Not pictured-our breakfast here from the day before. We couldn't stay away!
-Happiest human when I get the chance to go to Trader Joe's. Loaded up before exiting Dallas.
-Started my weekend detox Sunday night with a version of Georgie's Green Goodness Salad, threw a fried egg on it for good measure! 

Annie

Basic Granola

Granola could possibly be my favorite food. Actually I'm going to go as far and say it is. Probably not what you would expect to be a food obsessed's favorite food, but sorry it is. I eat it day and night, any time of day. My sister got me hooked on granola a while ago when she started making her own. I've been an addict ever since. 

I love granola so much I'm that lame-o that will order the granola and milk or yogurt and granola on brunch menus. Typically the menu item everyone skips over. I love trying out new brands of granola and picking up a bag at local bakeries while I'm on vacations. I eat it by the handful, bagful, on top of smoothies, in yogurt, with almond milk and frozen berries, sprinkled in salads, I even eat it with cooked sweet potatoes. I'm actually planning on having that for dinner tonight. 

Some of my favorite granolas include Purely Elizabeth, Michele's Granola (lemon pistachio flavor), and Hippie Crack from Baked and Wired. There are some great brands out there, but nothing beats making your own. I've waited forever to post this recipe because in all honesty I used to be the worst granola maker ever. I would burn it every time.

After a few years of practice I have finally mastered it. It's important to use the right measurement of every ingredient and make sure and stir your granola throughout baking. This isn't something you can put in the oven and walk away from. Granola is sacred in my world and burnt granola doesn't belong. Keep reading to see how to make your own!

Basic Granola adapted from A Peony For Your Thoughts

Ingredients:
3 cups of oats
1/2 cup cashews, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg white

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a roasting pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix the first six ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the extract, olive oil and maple syrup. In a small bowl whisk the egg white until frothy. Pour into the granola and mix until combined. 

Spread the granola into an even layer on a parchment lined roasting pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stopping halfway through to stir the granola. Be very careful not to burn your granola. Mine cooks perfectly for 35 minutes. Stopping to stir after the first 20 minutes then baking the additional 15. 

Feel free to use any nuts or seeds you want! Coconut and lavender are great additions. If you like dried fruit in your granola feel free to add it! Just make sure you stir it in once the granola is done baking. 

I hope you love this recipe as much as me. Nothing beats the smell of homemade granola! If you make your own batch make sure and show me by tagging @_annietucker on instagram and using the hashtag #takeabite!

Annie

Guest Post: How to Stay Healthy in Your Everyday Life

via Birdie

via Birdie

Today's post is full of knowledge on how to stay healthy and active in your daily life through exercise. The knowledge in this post is better than anything I could try to make up for you-keep reading to see why! Jennifer McGregor and her classmate are both pre-med students and created PublicHealthLibrary.org as part of a class project.  They enjoyed developing the website so much that they decided to keep it running and continue to develop it. They are hoping for the site to become a go-to health and wellness resource online. 

Make a Schedule and Stick to It
Busy work schedules and personal life make it difficult to exercise. The truth, however, is that it is easier to make excuses than it is to make a commitment to an exercise schedule. By making fitness a priority in your life, you will find that it is much easier to create a schedule for daily exercise and to stick to it. Sometimes simply penciling this into your regular schedule makes it become an automatic part of your day.

Become a Morning Person (#teammorning-AT)
Okay, so being a morning person may not fit into your current routine. In getting up earlier, committed to exercising, your morning workout will soon become part of your routine. You can get your workout off your to-do list first thing in the morning, and not have to worry about squeezing it in later in the day. People who exercise in the morning often say that it energizes them and enhances their mood. That’s a great trade-off for getting up earlier!

via barre3

via barre3

Get Paid to Exercise
Money is a great motivator. If you think that making a little extra cash while exercising sounds like a good idea, there are several options available. One option is to become a dog walker and/or pet sitter. Not only do you get the benefit of hanging out with some awesome dogs, but you get paid to exercise in a fun way. Other great ways to work exercise into your day while getting paid include becoming a mail carrier, guiding walking tours in your area, teaching fitness classes, becoming a ski instructor, or volunteering as a coach or referee.

via birdie

Put Down Your Phone
You may be surprised by just how much time you spend on social media, e-mail, or playing games on your phone. If you put down your phone and devote that down time to working out instead of vegging out, you will soon find that exercising can easily become part of your daily life. When you’re done, hop back onto social media and tell the world about your physical conquests!

Move Every Time You Have the Chance
It may not be as structured as thirty minutes on the treadmill, but moving every chance you get will help work physical activity into your day. For example, instead of sitting on the couch while you watch your favorite show, do some squats, pushups, or lunges while you watch. If you keep a jump rope or weights nearby, you may get even more motivated to be active in that down time. Other ways to get active during the day include running in place while cooking, doing squats while folding laundry, or doing pushups with your kids.

Practice High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a quick way to work exercise into your daily routine. When you choose an activity, put full effort into it for 10-20 seconds, and then follow with 40-50 seconds of recovery time. You’ll want to include a 5-10 minute warmup, followed by 10-15 rounds of the activity, and then 5-10 minute cool down. You’ll find that you are burning loads of calories in a short amount of time with HIIT.

Once you start to really look for the time in your day, you’ll find that there are several options for working exercise in. You don’t have to drive to the gym and take an hour-long class to get active and fit. Simply choose some of these suggestions, and you’ll find that exercise quickly becomes a normal part of your day.

Jennifer

Jennifer McGregor has wanted to be a doctor since she was little. Now, as a pre-med student, she’s well on her way to achieving that dream. She helped create PublicHealthLibrary.org with a friend as part of a class project. With it, she hopes to provide access to trustworthy health and medical resources. When Jennifer isn’t working on the site, you can usually find her hitting the books in the campus library or spending some downtime with her dog at the local park.

It is so important for me to stay active and healthy, especially as I translate back onto the working grind. I sit most hours of the day. Waking up early and getting in meaningful workouts (barre3, HITT or cardio) is super important to me. If I don't do it in the morning the chances are slim I'll be motivated to by the end of the day. I'm also on my phone/computer allllll day (life of a social media job), so taking those breaks to get up and stretch, focus on something else, and rest my eyes is more and more apparent. Thank you for your knowledge Jennifer and for contributing to Take A Bite!

Annie

Bites of My Life

It's mind boggling to me to think this time last year I was graduating from college. This past year has flown by. It's scary to think that time is going to keep getting faster and faster. Thinking back on the past year has me slow down and process all that I've accomplished, overcome, experienced, seen, eaten, etc. It may be bold, but this past year ranks as one of my favorites.

-Using the crock-pot makes me feel like a 40 year old woman, but it's kind of awesome coming home to an amazing dinner waiting for you. Used this recipe and then had dinner made all week!
-Three years at Barre3 for my favorite sister/instructor! 
-One of my favorite recipes I've shared in a while! Thank you to everyone who has already made my Avocado Toast Grilled Cheese, especially this OKC local food truck!!
-The puppies just keep popping up!
-Squeezing in some greens between the weekend carbs and sweets.
-Here's to their graduation and me getting the best neighbors in a few weeks!
-A fun (long) night out in my college town called for a lazy morning and awesome Sunday breakfast.
-Dad has been wanting to try his hand at recreating Bibimbap inspired from one of our favorite restaurants. He asked me to be his sous chef, and I think we agreed we made for a winning team. 
-Picked up dessert for our Korean meal after a stop at the asian supermarket!

Annie