Bites of My Life

Late night bites, but bites none the less. Happily jumping back into bed tonight after my lack of sleep from the weekend. All worth it though after being reunited with all of my best friends to celebrate our Madeline before she gets hitched this summer. The first to go in our nitch, so we had to celebrate accordingly. 

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-Scrambled with a side of matcha. 
-More Jones Assembly menu tastings last week and I single handily took down this whole jar of candied bacon. 
-Our chefs have been cranking out the most delicious eats, like this blood orange and burrata dish with lavender infused olive oil. On the menu this summer at The Jones
-When your friend texts you to simply come over to teach her how to make a moscow mule, but then your night turns into a quest around town to find the best moscow mule in the city. Stay tuned for more reviews, but Sidecar is already impressing us. 
-Because I can't drink alcohol and not munch on something. And because Sidecar get's all of their food from their sister restaurant Broadway 10, you know anything on their menu will be delish. 
-The week continued with brunch tastings for The Jones. Wood fired frittata, yes please!
-Wheels down in Scottsdale and first stop was for brunch and multiple mimosas. 
-First day in the sun in about 8 months and in traditional Annie fashioned, got fried to a crisp...
-#madsbach had all the views in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ
-I fell in love with the frozen mojito at Sumo Maya a year ago and have been counting down the days until I knew I would be reunited with it again. 
-All reunited for our gal!
-Serious restaurant crush at The Henry before heading out of town. 

Annie

Beauty Bites

When it comes to beauty and skincare, I am not a "product person." I'm a drug store mascara, forget to wash my face, sometimes my teeth, never get facials kind of person. As I'm getting more into my 20's, I'm trying my best to change my old ways. Every article I read turns into some rant about how important your skin regimen is, or "what I would have told my 23 year old self" turns into a lesson on taking care of your skin. I don't want wrinkles by the time I'm 30, so looks like it is time to grow up. at

Like I said, I've really been trying to invest in better products, take more time with my skin regimen and care more about what I'm putting on my face and body. Below is a list of my current "beauty bites." While I'm still a girl on a budget, one product is a pantry staple and nothing is over $30. 

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LAZY DRY SHAMPOO
I am new to the dry shampoo world. I always swore it didn't work for me. My hair gets greasy after 24 hours, and have always washed my hair everyday if I want it to look decent. Once I joined the working world, washing and drying my hair everyday became a long and daunting task. Enter dry shampoo. It took a few weeks to get my hair used to every other day washes, but with some trial and error I've found some dry shampoos that actually work and help prolong the washing process. My current obsession is Lazy Dry Shampoo. It's all natural ingredients and locally made in OKC! You apply the powder with a soft brush at night, then you wake up and voila, non-greasy hair! It comes in two versions for light and dark hair. Lazy Dry Shampoo can be ordered here

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RODAN + FIELDS FOAMING TANNER
I get pale in the winter, like sickly pale. When spring hits I get eager to add some color to my washed out winter skin, but it's not that easy. It takes weeks in the summer to get a tan. With my roommate's bachelorette trip in Scottsdale this weekend, I am in desperate need for some base color before being fully exposed to the sun. My good friend Bailey recently started selling R+F and raved about this tanner. I love that is is a foam, making it so easier to apply. The color shows up almost instantly giving me the color I dreadfully need.  Shop from Bailey directly here

COCONUT OIL
You've probably seen a million articles about all the benefits and ways you can use coconut oil, well it's true. I've recently started using coconut oil outside of just cooking with and more for topical use. Coconut oil has replaced my old make up remover. I have a jar in my bathroom that I use every night to wipe away my make up. It works better than any bottle remover you can buy at the store.  I have really dry skin so something that gently removes my makeup and moisturizes at the same time is a win win. I also apply a little extra on my lips and sometimes use it on my cuticles and elbows. 

DIY LAVENDER BODY SCRUB
My other roommate gifted me some lavender body scrub for Valentine's Day. Made from just coconut oil, sugar and lavender oil. My dry skin was obsessed. It became my ritual to go to hot yoga, come home light a candle in the bathroom, and use my lavender body scrub in a long hot steamy shower. A little home spa action. I found my skin not needing as much lotion post-shower because the scrub helped get off dead skin and moisturize with the coconut oil base. I ran out fast, but plan on using this recipe to make more on my own!

Annie

Bites of My Life

Nothing better than a holiday weekend, nothing worse than the end of a holiday weekend. It was so nice to just hang out with my family, enjoy the springy weather, and eat some delicious food. It was a relaxing weekend, but I'm tired just thinking about having to start a new week. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. 

-I've been so inspired by the dishes and ingredients in my new cookbook, I used them to create last week's dinner.  Sumac chicken thighs with garlicky broccoli topped with pomegranate molasses and tahini.
-So much hype for the gummy bears from Sprouts, I had to check it them out for myself. My opinion is still on the fence. Haven't had that "life changing" moment yet that everyone claims. 
-With this being the week leading up to Easter, I was surrounded with candy. And I gave in...
-Fried okra tasting at The Jones Assembly!
-Friday night flight. 
-#TABturns4
-Plants that don't succ. 
-"So urban" walking to dinner with these goons. 
-Sunday best. 
-Mom sets the best table!
-Jesus washed away our sins, so I didn't regret any of this sinfully delicious spread.
-Couldn't stop snacking on this combo of salty cashews and m&m's. No doubt Easter m&m's are the cutest.

Annie

Happy 4th Take A Bite

Four years later and I'm still annoying you with my recipes, grammatical errors and obsession with food. Take A Bite has gone through many phases of it's life as well as many phases of my life. From terrible Photoshop collages, to dim lit food pictures, from sophomore year of college, to graduation, to my first job, to my second and now we are here. Four years later and I'm prouder than ever of my sweet little TAB. 

Take A Bite has brought me incredible friends and incredible opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise. It has allowed me to share my passions for cooking, baking, being creative and sharing with others. Nothing fills me up more than when someone tells me they tried one of my recipes. I write these posts, and sometimes wonder if anyone is reading them. Your comments, pictures, #takeabite hashtags etc. showing that you do, means everything. So thank you.

I didn't mean to get so gushy in this post... Let's eat instead1 In typical Take A Bite I'm celebrating with Birthday Toast. I have a traditional breakfast every year on own birthday (Belgium waffles with strawberries and whipped cream), so I thought TAB deserved the same. I've been making this almond butter and sprinkle toast the past four years, from the Kappa house, to rent house, to OKC house. Make you some birthday toast and let's take a look back at some favorite bites.

My first post...omg.

Favorite posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Most popular posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

I've written 198 recipes and 198 Bites of My Life. (my OCD loves that)

TAB's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd birthday. 

Here's to many more blog birthdays!

Annie

Lemon Loaf

About two weeks ago an old co-worker/work bff sent me a food video of a riff on Starbuck's Lemon Loaf, with the message "I love their lemon loaf, but I don't think I could handle buying all of those ingredients and doing a million steps..." I easily took this as a challenge to recreate the recipe in a more approachable manor.

Side note really quick. The word "approachable" keeps following me around. I've really honed in on realizing my style of cooking and baking is "approachable." I work to create recipes that any one can make and enjoy. I hope you agree. 

When my friend plotted the idea in me for this lemon loaf I was more than happy to follow through. I love a good banana or pumpkin bread, but this lemon version is just what my spring taste buds were craving.

If you are planning an Easter brunch for this weekend or have any spring baking to-do's, add this to your list. It is friends and family taste tested approved! I love leaving my bake goods out on the counter, to come back to find only a plate of crumbs. This is the best compliment in my opinion.

Lemon Loaf
yields 8-9 pieces, 1-9x5 loaf

Ingredients:
3 eggs
8 oz sour cream or greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Icing:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1 Tbsp. of butter, very soft

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan and set aside. 

In an electric mixer, cream eggs, sour cream (or greek yogurt) and sugar. Mix in oil. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides then add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix until fully combined. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire wrack for at least 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place back on wire rack until completely cool (or for the impatient like myself, throw it in the freezer for a bit). While cooling, make your icing.

You want really soft butter, but not fully melted. Whisk soft butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice until the consistency of thick glue. Pour over the top of your cool loaf and let it drip down the sides. Garnish with lemon zest. Once the icing is set, slice into pieces!

Similar to Starbucks-yes? Better than Starbucks-yes. Make/bake and you will see. Happy Spring!

Take a lick?

Annie