Charred Corn Salad with Feta, Basil and Jalapeño

My parents love to do family dinners at their house as many Sundays as we can all get together. I love helping plan the menu and going out for a grocery shop after church. Once summer hits it's usually some kind of grilled or smoked meat by my dad, summer veggies as sides and a fruity cobbler, pie or ice cream for dessert. When it comes to sides I want corn corn corn. Give me all the corn.

My dad and I have been into this skillet corn where we basically just shuck a bunch of corn and sauté it with butter in a skillet with onions, peppers and a jalapeño. I came up with this charred corn salad based on a recipe from Bon Appétit. I haven't been able to make it for the fam yet, but I think after posting this they may be requesting it. That was kind of conceited of me...it's okay if y'all don't want me to make it. But for all you readers, it's delish, and you should make it!

Charred Corn Salad with Feta, Basil and Jalapeño
serves 2 (because I only cook for myself, but can easily be doubled)

Ingredients:
2 ears of corn
1/2 of a shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeño, sliced thin on a mandoline (you can use less if you can't handle the heat)
1-2 Tbsps. lime juice
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 oz feta cheese
a few basil leaves, chifonnade

Directions:
Place a grill pan over medium heat. Cut kernels from one ear of corn. Combine in a large bowl with shallot, jalapeño, lime juice and s&p.

Brush your other ear of corn with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Char the corn on the grill by rotating it so all sides get some heat, 10-12 minutes.  

Cut the kernels from the grilled piece of corn and add to the bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil, feta cheese and basil. Season with more s&p if needed and serve while still warm. 

Annie

Bites of My Life

Work, work, work, work. All about the hustle this past week and weekend. All work and a little play, but I'm loving it. Just like my blog keeps me creatively stimulated, my day job has been doing the same. 

-Perfecting my poach, one farm fresh egg at a time.
-J.R. Designs made an appearance on the blog last week as well as killing it at her first trunk show. Check out her stuff now, if you haven't. 
-Fun to find out there are a bunch of matcha maniacs out there like myself. Glad I'm not alone. This post stimulated another matcha project I have up my sleeve.
-Working for a restaurant group has seeeeeerious perks. 
-Don't knock it till you try it. Almond butter, avocado slices, drizzle of honey and salt. So darn good I can't even.
-That matcha project I mentioned earlier. Here is a sneak peek. 
-When it's 103 outside, smoothie bowls for dinner are just about the best thing ever. 
-Texas and Oklahoma shaped sugar cookies for sweet Lauren as she makes her exit from OKC to Dallas, we'll miss you!
-Visually stimulating Mexican sodas. Come see them for yourself, starting August 1st ;)

Annie

Matcha Mint Smoothie

When biggest sis Claire was home back in April, we tried to balance our huge dinners with lots of smoothies and morning workouts. I made her my Perfect Green Smoothie, because, well it's perfect. She agreed. Ww also made a stop at Organic Squeeze for CB&J smoothies. You can find my recreation here

A few weeks later I got this snapchat from sis insisting that I needed to recreate a smoothie she had. I go weak for green smoothies, so I was game. Claire mentioned how the lady making her smoothie suggested she add matcha next time. Matcha is easily my favorite flavor right now, so that was a given addition when I was to recreate. 

After some trial and error, I give you this tasty matcha mint smoothie recipe! New to matcha? Jump on board. It's the purest form of green tea leaves, giving you so many more nutrients. It has magical energy, detox, and calming powers. Great for weight management,  your skin, combating aging and helps to build immunity. It has a crazy amount of antioxidants and just 1 cup of matcha is the equivalent to 10 cups of green tea. Combine it with warm or cold almond milk for a latte, use it in baking, turn it into ice cream, shake it up with ice water, or mix it into a smoothie!

Matcha Smoothie
serves 1

Ingredients:
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 avocado (if you aren't into the avocado thing, use a full banana)
a huge handful or two of spinach
a few mint leaves
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tsp. matcha powder (I use this brand, you can find it at Whole Foods or online)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. almond butter

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until thick and smooth. Slurp up every last drop and thank me later. 
 

Annie

J.R. Designs + Giveaway

I've think I've mentioned before how I'm not a huge jewelry person. Not because I don't want to be, I'm just worlds worst at buying jewelry. My mom and sister on the other hand; the best. I think I've asked Kathleen to buy me jewelry for the last several holidays and birthdays. Outside of my everyday pearl studs, watch and tiny gold rings, I rarely stray away. I've been pushing my limits recently and totally jumped on the tassel earring game (way out of my comfort zone). I now have a new jewelry brand that is getting me away from my everyday teeny cross necklace.

I'm so excited to share J.R. Designs with you today. These chic and stylish necklaces are perfect for any outfit, occasion, day or night. I've been throwing mine on with basically everything. Look at me go wearing big jewelry (small applause)!!!

Jordan Richardson, the master designer behind these creations, grew up in OKC and attends SMU for college. I got to meet Jordan last week to chat about her business and all things necklaces.

Jordan started J.R. Designs about a year ago right after she started her freshman year at Southern Methodist University. How she balanced a new business and school is beyond me, but bravo to you girlfriend! After coveting similar necklaces in high end boutiques, Jordan looked past their high end price tags and went to making her own version. 

She didn't start with the intention of it becoming a business, but after wearing her first necklace around campus, girls were flocking toward her design asking for their own. The business formed right in front of her and she ran with it!   

Jordan now makes necklaces in all different shapes, sizes and designs. She is locally based in OKC and Dallas but ships nationwide. The best part of J.R. Designs is the price. The whole reason she started was to avoid dropping $150+ on a necklace, so you can find all of her pieces typically under $50. Music to my ears!!

Now for the part that is probably music to your ears. Jordan was sweet enough to give away one of her unique designs to one lucky Take A Bite reader! Head over to my Instagram to see how to enter!

If you are located in OKC make sure you stop into Gretta Sloane this Thursday, July 21st for a J.R. Designs Trunk Show! Jordan will be selling a slew of necklaces that you won't want to miss. Open from 10am-7pm on Thursday, Gretta will be celebrating their anniversary with food trucks, sales and of course, J.R. Designs!

And now to get to know Jordan and J.R. Designs a little better...

A: How did J.R. Designs get started? Give me some background on your biz?
JR: I started J.R. Designs my first semester of my freshman year at SMU. Because we don't rush at SMU until second semester, I needed a hobby to keep me busy. I have always loved these kinds of necklaces but they were well out of my price range. I searched on Etsy for fun, beaded necklaces but could never find exactly what I wanted. Therefore, I got creative and made my own (the first one being in SMU colors, of course). I wore it to a Boulevard (our version of a tailgate) and received lots of compliments and so many people asking me where I bought it. From there, a business was born! 

I wanted to start selling these necklaces at affordable prices to girls around my age. I originally imagined mostly college girls buying my necklaces, but now my audience includes not only them, but also lots of younger and older girls. People ask me why I don't raise the price of my necklaces, but that is not the reason I make them. By raising the prices, I lose my target audience. My goal was to sell affordable jewelry for people who don't necessarily want to pay $100+ for fashion jewelry, and that is just what I am doing. I love being able to sell people necklaces that they may not have been able to afford otherwise. The best part is hearing feedback from my customers telling me about all of the compliments they get.

A: What does an average jewelry making day look like?
JR: It's not every day that I get to just sit down and make necklaces. Unfortunately, everyday life gets in the way, but I do set aside "necklace making days." I generally buy my beads in bulk and once I have them in my hands, I start making them right away. I sit at my workstation, turn on Netflix, and begin make necklaces for hours. I'm fortunate because I never get bored of it. I enjoy being creative to come up with original pieces, no necklace is ever the same.

A: Had you ever made jewelry before you started JRD?
JR: When I was little I used to make friendship bracelets out of string if you want to count that. Otherwise, no, it is new to me!
(Hello embroidery floss bracelets-my life when I was younger!)

A: What is your favorite J.R. Design you have made? 
JR: I can't pick one necklace in specific, but I love the arrowhead ones. I didn't originally buy the arrowhead stones because my mom didn't like them and told me people would not buy them. Well, this goes to show you that mother doesn't always know best because the arrowheads have ended up being my best sellers! 

A: Starbucks order?
JR: Call me crazy, but I am not a Starbucks fan. In fact, I have never even tried coffee! I know that if I try it once I may get addicted so I'm better off sparing my wallet and not trying it at all.

A: Sweet or salty?
JR: Salty. Don't get me wrong, I love sweets, but I generally find myself craving salty foods. My mom bakes all of the time so I am constantly surrounded by sweets which, oddly enough, makes me crave them less.

A: Favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?
JR: The Office and Gossip Girl...hellooo Chuck Bass and Jim Halpert. Just don't ask me to choose between those two shows, both are addicting! 

A: Favorite bite?
JR: This is a hard one because I love food so much. For the most part I am a healthy eater but all bets are off when it comes to pizza. Also, add this to your list next time you go to Trader Joe's, "Reduced Guilt Guacamole." I can easily go through one a day. Luckily there is a Trader Joe's right by me in Dallas, but for now Tulsa is the closest option. Honestly, the 1.5 hour drive may be worth it.
(I'm impatiently waiting for the OKC location to open in September. Reduced Guilt Guacamole is at the top of my list to purchase once it does!)
 

To order your own J.R. Design you can contact Jordan by email jmrich2010@gmail.com or phone 405-250-7866 (ships nationwide). Make sure to follow her Instagram @j.r.designs for new designs and styles!

Annie

Bites of My Life

Summer well spent this past week. It was just the right amount of getting things done to then enjoy the off time over the weekend. Lots of summer eats and sips and recipes and other creations. Time was spent by the pool, at new workout classes, catching up with friends, deep cleaning and a combo of hustling while also relaxing. 

-Mushroom tacos being continued from the week before.
-I used a lot of words and barely mentioned foods in last week's Sit Still post. Kind of nice to lay it all out there sometimes.
-The sweetest and tastiest delivery showed up on my doorstep last week from Tiny Boxwoods c/o BB Molly!
-Loved seeing last week's Sugar Cookie Pizza with Strawberry Icing already being made. Thank you @annmariedaniel!
-If you have a recent copy of Edible OKC, do yourself a favor and make the Strawberry Tahini smoothie bowl recipe!
-Smoothie bowl after smoothie bowl this week. So good on these 100+ days.
-A trip to a local farmers market called for picking up only local goods, like this Big Oak Blueberry Lavender Kombucha.
-Fresh farm tomatoes and eggs from the farmers market! I was on a quest to perfect a poached egg. I think I did by following these instructions.
-What summer Saturdays are made for.
-An afternoon poolside and a few too many club specials, led to a table full of burgers and fries to cap it off.
-Cooked, recipe tested and meal prepped all day on Sunday. One creation included this homemade jalapeño hummus!
-Easy way to drink more water: keep pitcher of fruit infused water in the fridge. This has been amazing this summer. My go-to is lemon and mint, but this week I have cucumber strawberry ready for me in the fridge.

Annie