Bites of My Life

Back to school for some, back to the same for me. Adult life is slightly depressing this time of year without the excitement of back to school shopping, new teachers and the first day of school. But them I'm reminded that summer doesn't end so abruptly, I'm getting paid for how I spend my day instead of having to study and I love what I do, and let's be honest, I didn't love school. So all is still right in the world. 

Bites last week consisted of chili, a steak (YUM <--especially from this veggie loving gal), toast ;), salmon, breakfast foods, a grill out and ice cream! Non edible bites included finishing another book and starting a new one (follow me on goodreads!!), rain, and more rain and one last pool day of the season.

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-It's been raining cats and dogs in Oklahoma (which I've been loooooving). It's giving us a taste of fall and cooler wedding, which quickly meant chili night in our house! P.S. top your chili with a dollop of guacamole instead of sour cream and thank me later. 
-Morning mirror selfie to show off my new Made By Maddie earrings. Loving this red and turquoise combo! 
-If you follow @themorningtoast on instagram, this was my picture they reposted. If you know you know, if you don't, don't worry. 
-Spent too much on this salmon. Baked it, made a mustard sauce, roasted asparagus, got real excited... only to be let down real quick. It tasted fishy and gross and now I probably won't eat salmon for at least 3 months. Let alone buy it. 
-Book 11 out of my 12 in a year goal! I'm crazy! PSA: this book will make some heads turn if you read in public. I had too many people comment on it while I was reading on the elliptical. All boys too on that note. Just beware you will have to explain yourself if caught in public reading Lauren Weisberger's new book aka the author of The Devil Wears Prada.
-This mix >>>> almonds, pistachios and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Killer afternoon slump snack. 
-This muffin mix has been sitting in my pantry for too long. Woke up Saturday morning with an itch to bake and I was very pleased with how these Gluten Free Blueberry muffins from Brandless turned out. I'm also nostalgic to muffins from a box. That's how it was done when I was little, and sometimes food from a box just needs to happen.
-My first attempt at protein pancakes. Look amaze tasted ehhhh. I got some tips after sharing this photo on social media, so another go will be happening soon.
-A ice cream craving cured with the OG. Frozen yogurt twist on a cone from Braum's. My order since I was little. 

Annie

Bites of My Life

This time of year, and especially this past week, had me thinking back to college and school in general. My roommate is a teacher and has her "first day of school" on Wednesday. I've been out of school for three years now (mind-blowing), but I still feel a sense of back-to-school, come early fall. 

With three trips to Norman, OK in the past week and a trip to Dallas to celebrate my first college friend, those four wild years seem to be heavy on my brain recently. Something I wouldn't want to go back to, but and crazy thankful for all the memories, lessons and friendships made. Anyone else reminisce this time of year?

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-Back at Commonplace for a lunch with my oldest friend while she's in town post- Bar exam and pre- DC living! 
-Read this one in 3 days. If you went through recruitment, this book is a hilarious dramaticized, yet accurate depiction of what goes on in the greek system.
-Lunch board is B A C K! couldn't find figs in the store yet, so opted for these cherry plums from TJ's. Taste like a plum but have the pit and similar size of a cherry.
-KKG till we DIE. Back at our favorite house for Alumni Night!
-Okie Southern Salad recipe got posted last week. Loved how this summer salad turned out.
-Popped up and ready to shop! Check out these two entrepreneur friends of mine! Earrings and orchids, take your pick.
-Detox tea, sleep well spray and my book of the week. Sleeping gooood these days.
-Always thankful when we get the group back together! Especially when we get to celebrate our Marge!
-Cutest two, soon to say I Do!

Annie

P.S. In the midst of my reading frenzy, I created a Goodreads account, follow me!

Okie Southern Salad

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Disclosure: I'm totally ripping off a salad I had recently. The idea of roasted okra in a salad had me anxious to recreate. This salad takes the flavors and ingredients of Oklahoma in the summer. I guess Oklahoma is technically the "midwest" but Okie Midwest Salad doesn't have the same ring to it. My current binge of Bravo's Southern Charm must have me feelin' southn'.

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Corn, okra, pecans, black eye peas, all the goods make it in here! And it all comes together with a grainy mustard vinaigrette. I prep all the ingredeints and eat on it for a week, but it also makes for a great entree salad for about 4 people. 

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Okie Southern Salad
yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
2-3 romaine hearts, depending on size (i buy the 3 pack from Trader Joe's)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled
1, 15 oz can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion
1 lb. fresh okra
1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn (2 cobs)
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
chive, small chop
olive oil
salt and pepper

Mustard Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1/2 olive oil
2 tbsp. honey, agave or maple syrup
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash and pat dry your okra. Trim the ends off and slice about 3/4 of an inch thick. Place on a roasting sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing half way through. 

While the okra is roasting, time to make the dressing. In a mason jar combine all ingredients. Twist on the lid and shake to combine. A small bowl and whisk will work fine I just prefer the jar method!

Slice the ends off your romaine hearts. Chop into big shreds and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse your black eyed peas and set aside. Slice your small red onion in half and finely dice 1/2 of it, set aside. Slice your grilled chicken breasts into thin slices, set aside.

Your okra should be finishing up. Once out of the oven, transfer the okra to a plate and set aside. Using the same roasting sheet add your fresh off the cob or frozen corn. Turn the oven up to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes watching it the whole time. This is my longtime method of getting that grilled corn taste without having to deal with the hassle of a grill. You don't even have to thaw the frozen corn. 

Time to assemble. Over the chopped romaine, add in black eyed peas (you can heat in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute or leave them room temp), roasted corn, diced red onion, roasted okra, chopped pecans and chicken. Drizzle over as much or as little dressing as you like. Toss to combine. Garnish with chopped chive and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

*This salad is really just a process of prepping ingredients and then tossing all together. When I make this for one person (moi), I prep each ingredient then store separately in the fridge. To make, just reheat the chicken, okra and corn. Then toss with remaining ingredients, portioned out for one serving. 

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Annie

Bites of My Life

Finished all of Southern Charm in 3 weeks, anyone else a SC fan? Finished another book. I'm crazy! Public scooters are in OKC. Celebrated National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and enjoyed a weekend with zero plans. Great first week August, good job.

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-Quinoa Taco Salad updated a bit and on repeat for dinner all last week. Left our the beans and cheese and added sliced radish!
-When in Norman, must make a stop at Midway. It tasted better than I remembered. 
-Popped up at the ole KKG house last week to help Maddie sell her designs to the cute current Kappas. Oh the mems that house holds!
-Any Gilmore Girl needs to read Lauren Graham's "Talking As Fast As I Can."
-BIRD landed in OKC last week and we are all geeking out over these trendy public scooters.
-Haven't had a good Italian meal in a hot minute. Good wine, better pasta, tons of bread and great friends was the recipe for a great Friday night.
-Perfect CCCs packaged and delivered to friends, family and co-workers to celebrate #NationalChocolateChipCookieDay!
-Still reading. Still can't believe myself. Still have taste in books equivalent to an 18 year old. 
-Miss Chloe --> Aunt Chloe. So excited Chlo and Joe are engaged!

Annie

Bites of My Life

Really, crazy, super #blessed. A weekend full of tons of family and friend time can make you feel that way. My little niece turned one this weekend and the whole fam damily rolled out for the occasion. In addition, an influx of friends from college were in town and it was the icing on the cake getting to see old friends in addition to the fam time. 

Weekend aside, last week had some seriously good eats like my Quinoa Fried Rice on repeat, killer smoothies/smoothie bowls, and insane overnight oats recipe, my favorite chips and salsa/guac in the city, pizza, burger, biscuits and my first taste at an oat milk latte. Verdict: amazing.

I also finished book #7 of the year and I'm officially turning into a book warm. How I turned into a reader you ask? Yes I still watch TV before bed every night, but almost every morning I start my workout with 28 minutes exactly on the elliptical and crush a couple chapters.

I also went to a casting call for The Bachelor.... anyway...!

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-A staple in my single-girl meals. Quinoa Fried Rice, archived recipe can be found here.
-Headache healer smoothie: use frozen veggies like cauliflower, spinach and lots of ginger!
-Another book down. On to #8.
-3rd time in one week to the Kitchen at Commonplace.
-An overnight oats recipe that will make you love overnight oats. Recipe here. Made better with this insanely good almond butter by Betsy's Best.
-Will we get the final rose? The Bachelor came to town and we went to the open casting call. Sorry mom and dad!
-Big bad one year old, Elle Frances.
-The whole crew in one place for Elle's pool party!
-Tucker Time Eats: burgers, grilled pineapple with hot honey, grilled cabbage salad with goat cheese raita, cucumbers and hazelnuts from Bon Appetit.

Annie