Bites of My Life

Downhill to the holidays, who’s ready?

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-Friends who fall.
-Cauliflower Soup that is Whole 30 and tastes like potato soup!
-Frenchie lunch with maman at the delightful Cafe Cuvee located inside the Ambassador Hotel in Midtown, Oklahoma City.
-Birthday brandy ices for Lele!
-Celery juice on brand for Halloween. My friend Chloe and I have been consistently juicing every weekday morning for the past few weeks. My skin has been so clear and soft with this new routine.
-Because every sugar filled Halloween needs a little salt! Morton Salt Girl stole the show!
-Will we get the final rose? I’ve been saving this costume idea for awhile and I think we pulled off our Bachelor contestant costumes off quite well.
-Fun fact: I have never used Postmates or any delivery service, except maybe pizza back in 2007. But I was feeling tired and lazy to another level on Saturday and had a completely empty fridge. Panera delivery to the rescue (and it won’t be the last time)
-Cauliflower Soup still going strong.

Annie

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Cauliflower Soup (Whole 30)

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Hello soup season! This time of year, if it’s served in a bowl, I’m game. Some of my favorite soups include this one, this one and this one. This cauliflower soup is simple, but real good. It resembles potato soup, but a little healthier for you. Not to mention whole 30 compliant and vegan depending what type of broth you use!

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Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
32 oz cups of chicken, veggie or brone broth (TJ’s is now selling this and I love it)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
*½ cup coconut cream from coconut milk (the thick stuff from the top of the coconut milk can - do not shake!)
chopped green onions, cayenne and olive oil for garnish

Directions:
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Sauté until the onions are cooked down and translucent. 

Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and pour in the broth. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pot. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s done when the cauliflower is fork tender. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until very smooth. An immersion blender is ideal, but if you are using a food processor, puree in 2 to 3 batches to avoid an extreme mess. (I know this because I do not have an immersion blender, and while the processor worked, it was messy).

After pureed, pour back into your soup pot unless you used an immersion blender. Whisk in the coconut cream. Add a pinch more of salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick you can add a bit more broth. 

Serve with a garnish of chopped green onions, a pinch of cayenne and a fancy drizzle of olive oil. A little cheddar cheese or crispy bacon bits would be great too to resemble potato soup! Great by itself but would also be great with a piece of crusty bread or a kale salad on the side. 

*Grocery stores sell "coconut cream," DON'T buy that. Buy regular coconut milk in a can. Do not shake the can of coconut milk. Open with a can opener and scoop out the thick cream from the top. Discard the rest. 

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Annie

OKC Staycation with Avid Hotels

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Have you ever taken a staycation? A one-night stay in the city you live in. A night away from your normal routine. I have never officially stay-cayed before, so I was very excited when Avid asked me to come for a night and check out their new hotel.

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Since my 2018 resolution was to travel more, this seemed like a the perfect trip to add into my mix. I was only traveling about 15 minutes away, but a trip none the less. I grabbed my bff and best travel buddy, Taylor, and we were off! You may remember Taylor and my’s spontaneous trip to Hawaii back in April.

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Avid is a new kind of hotel. They made it their goal to listen to avid travelers, and give them what they need, not what they don’t. The rooms are simple but inviting. Have ample storage and not cluttered. As a pro traveler these days (ha!), I can appreciate this. I just need a comfy bed and a place to store my bag. Bonus points for the great bath products too. Avid got a check mark in this area.

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We checked-in and immediately checked out the grab-and-go snack selection. Kudos for the chocolate bar in our room upon arrival too! Snacks, TV, a few jumps on the bed (seen here) and a glass of wine was the perfect way to wind down from the week. (We brought the wine, but each room does have a mini fridge for guests to stock with their choosing. WIN! I hate when hotels have a mini bar full of $15 Redbull and mini bottles of champagne. You aren’t tricking me with that).

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After relaxing in the room, we headed down the road a bit to meet friends for dinner. Avid is located near Quail Springs area and the new Chisholm Creek district. We did sushi at Yokozuna, drinks at Sidecar, then back to Avid to pass out. Cue the black out shades and pajamas. Pillows could be a little firmer IMO, but really those black out shades were everything.

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Despite the killer black out shades I woke up promptly Saturday morning at 6:00 am. I don’t sleep in. It’s not an admirable trait, but something I’ve done my whole life. I took this time to check out the rest of the hotel and the fitness center (Annie approved!). Nothing like a little cardio and Kardashians first thing in the morning - ha!

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After the elliptical, I grabbed some hot tea and waited for Taylor to wake up. This allowed plenty of time to scope out Avid’s complimentary breakfast. They serve breakfast every morning 7:00 — 10:00 am. Oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit. Annie approved x2.

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Thank you Avid for the opportunity to come stay at the your first Avid on earth! Yes that’s right. Avid chose Oklahoma as their first of many locations. Go go OKC! But be on the look out for more Avid’s popping up soon.

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If you are avid about traveling, the Avid is for you. Sorry I had to ;) More info or to book your next stay at AVID, click here.

Annie

Thank you Avid for letting me work with you. While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and words are 100% my own.

Bites of My Life

Read, eat, workout, work, more work, staycation post-vacation, and the first of the Halloween celebrations. Keep reading if you want the details of my lazy recap sentence.

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-My current lineup. Boom Town, Hey Ladies, and Bread & Wine (for the second time). I’m struggling to get through Boom Town and Hey Ladies so I added in one of my faves to help re-inspire my reading.
-This healthy little tostada stack was actually the victim of a clean out the fridge meal. Crisp 2 Siete tortillas in a little coconut oil. Top each with smashed black beans and some almond milk cheese. Stack the two tortillas and heat in the oven to melt the cheese. Top with tomato, chopped bell pepper, some lettuce, more cheese and salsa.
-After work walk with my best girl!
-One of my favorite events of the year is the chili cook-off that happens downtown OKC every year. Haggled The Jones Assembly into participating this year. We didn’t take a win, but getting to sample multiple chilis for lunch was worth it!
-Checked-in to the Avid and immediately checked out the snack selection. Props to Avid for the great snack options and complimentary chocolate bar.
-Fun little staycation Friday night. More on this coming later this week.
-French toast!
-A batch of Pumpkin Bread to kick off the holiday baking season.

Annie

Web bite: Need a last minute Halloween costume idea? Here’s three!

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Halloween. I love it. I always have. I used to plan my Halloween costumes a year in advanced. I wish I were kidding. Some of my costume claims to fame include when I was a cup of hot chocolate, a present, a flower in a flower pot, candy corn…I clearly have a thing for inanimate objects as costumes. See a few more here.

Inspired by the past few years, I’m giving you three ideas for last minute costumes. Because yes, all three costumes shown below came together in about a day. They are also all food related. No surprise here.

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French Toast

How to:
Black and white striped shirt
Red silk neck scarf
Black felt beret
Bread
String

Toast one or a couple pieces of toast. Let sit out for a few hours to get stale. Using a hot glue gun, glue the toast to a long piece of string. Let dry then tie behind your neck to act as a necklace.

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Pig in a Blanket

How to:
Pink dress
Pig ears, nose and tail (buy this one today to have it in time for halloween!)
Blanket

Put on your dress, ears, tail and nose, wrap your self up in a blanket and enjoy the most comfortable costume ever. Optional, but suggested, make actual pigs in a blanket and bring to whatever halloween party you are headed to!

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Cookie Monster

How to:
Blue dress
Blue skinny feather boa
Light brown and dark brown felt
safety pins
Headband
1, medium size foam ball
Hot glue
Black paint

Cut big circles from the light brown felt to act as the cookies. Cut small odd shaped circles from the dark brown to act as the chocolate chips. Hot glue the “chocolate chips” to the “cookies.” Safety pin the cookies to your blue dress. Using a serrated knife, cut your foam ball in half. Paint cookie monster shaped eyes onto the foam ball halves. Hot glue blue boa to your headband. Once the eyes have dried. hot glue them to your boa headband. Use the remaining boa to tie around your wrists. Put it all together and you have yourself a cookie monster! Optional, carry around a jar of Perfect CCCs!

If you take a bite of any of these costumes, tag me on social media so I can see!

Annie