Bites of My Life

I started last week with the mindset to be more intentional. More intentional with constant friendships, reconnecting distant friendships, intention with work, creativity and personal life. "An intention synchronistically organizes its own fulfillment." - Deepak Chopra. I'm not one for quotes, but with more intention, I was so easily more fulfilled.

Starting the week out with a positive mindset led to spending quality time with friends I see every week, haven't seen in weeks, those that live down the street and those that live in different states. A lunch date, a workout date,  a new recipe, celebrating The Scout Guide OKC's vol. 2 launch, celebrating the start of fall with OKC KKG alum, celebrating one of my favorite local non-profits, and the grand finale celebrating Lauren getting married with all of my best friends. Live with intention and you will be fulfilled. 

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-Everyone needs an Alexis in their life. A friend that radiates positivity into your life everyday. 
-Kicking whole 30 snacks butt with this Banana Chip Savory Snack Mix. First batch is gone and I'm quickly planning when I'm making my next batch. 
-Reality is dragging your coffee table into your kitchen to get the best natural light for your food photography. 
-The best intentions to have a fun workout together, ended as more of a near death experience. But being with Katie and Annie felt like sophomore year in the Kappa house all over. 
-Pumpkins in their prime.
-Spontaneous Tucker girl lunch with mom, sis and Elle.
-On my coffee table: Vol. 2 of The Scout Guide and The Jones Assembly on the cover of Edible OKC
-When you rent a lake house with 18 of your closest friends and top it off with one of the funnest weddings, it's a sure combo for a perfect weekend. 
-Unapologetically caught in the act of capturing precious moments.

Annie

Banana Chip Savory Snack Mix (Whole 30)

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Whole 30 snacks are hard. I had this conversation with my sister last week and a friend who is also doing whole 30 right now. Meals are easy, but sometimes you just get a big craving for a handful of crackers or pretzels or some kind of carby snack. This whole 30 approved savory snack mix is so satisfy for someone on whole 30 and for the average joe. Just be careful, it's highly addictive. 

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My good friend Chelsea, who actually got married this past weekend, first introduced me to Bubba's Fine Foods Snack Mix. She is a trainer, so I'm always so interested in what she is eating or snacking on. One day at the gym she was eating out of a Bubba's Snack Mix bag. When I read the ingredients I was shocked at how simple and healthy they were. Just banana chips, cashews, pecans, with spices like turmeric, paprika, apple cider vinegar etc. I was sold, but also sold on recreating the mix on my own. Because let's be honest, the bag you buy at the store is $7 for a bag of air...

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Savory Snack Mix (Whole 30) 
yields 4 cups

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup raw pecans
1 1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cup banana chips (unsweetened)* 
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Onion powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. liquid aminos**
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil 

Directions:

Preheat over to 325 degrees. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Toss and mix until nuts and banana chips are all evenly coated. 

Bake 15-20 minutes, toss halfway through. Let sit to to dry out a bit and cool before eating. Store in a Ziplock or air tight container. 

*Most banana chips you find at the store are sweetened (you don't want that for this recipe). I ordered a bag of unsweetened from nuts.com. If you can't find unsweetened, plantain chips would be a good replacement. 

**Liquid aminos are a whole 30 approved version of soy sauce or tamari. You can use either in place of the aminos, but I suggest picking up a bottle! Keep some in your pantry and you'll never need soy sauce again!

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You can buy Bubba's Fine Foods online or locally at Uptown Grocery. But, I urge you to try my recipe! It's identical (and you get more!!). Perfect snack for traveling, the 3PM slump, watch parties or game nights!

Annie 

Bites of My Life

A good friend of mine posted on social media how she is trying to be more intentional with friendships. Not just sending a text message to check in, but finding ways to spend quality time to keep the friendship strong. I have incredible friends. Close friends, distant friends, work friends, blog friends, family friends etc. Regardless I am adopting her act to be more intentional with those friendships. A coffee and lunch date last week, a wedding this weekend, another lunch date this week, and two workout dates. I'm already feeling more filled!  I used to find it easier to not take the time to spend quality time and just let time with friends happen naturally, but in hindsight that is just time wasted. 

Okay friendship talk aside. I did my best to stay busy last week and succeeded. Work took me all around Oklahoma, free time was spent with friends, at yoga or celebrating birthdays, marriage and everyday life. 

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-Chocolate chips three ways...stay tuned.
-The seasonal turmeric latte at Clarity Coffee. Run don't walk, I highly recommend. 
-Bought the largest spaghetti squash I have ever laid eyes on last week. Instead of eating it right away, I stored the roasted and shredded squash in the fridge to make this cold spaghetti squash salad for lunches. Cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, red onion, parsley, capers, drizzle of olive oil, s&p and some pumpkin seeds for crunch!
-The best part of mom and dad's is having a homemade latte accessible at my finger tips. *Cough* I'd love a Nespresso for Christmas, *Cough*
-Wigging out seeing The Jones on the cover of Edible OKC. Pick up a copy today and see our cocktail feature.
-Maranatha with the hook up. How great is their new packaging?
-The maple and the coconut are for sure my favorite Maranatha flavor they sent me. Added a tropical twist to my standard banana and AB breakfast. 
-Work is so tasty sometimes! 
-HBD MK! Love you more than you love country concerts!
-KissTheCooke
-I LOVE my Pumpkin Green Smoothie, but I was out of spinach yesterday morning so I had to switch up my usual recipe. The results may have been better than the original. Recipe --> almond milk, pumpkin puree, avocado, lots of pumpkin pie spice, frozen mango, Nutvia High Fiber hemp protein, and 4 walnuts (KEY ingredient).
-Rainy Sunday and signs of fall called for a batch of my Whole 30 Butternut Squash Soup. This is a personal top 5 recipe of mine!

Annie

Bites of My Life

My favorite part of early fall is when the afternoon stays warm, but the mornings and evenings are slightly chilly. Perfect early morning walking weather, preferably with a cup of coffee in hand. A walk a day keeps the doctor away!

Last week/weekend was spent snuggling with my niece, embracing football games and food ;), unapologetically getting my first pumpkin spice latte (almond milk + 1 pump PS), seeing Home Again (HIGHLY recommend) and then followed by a Miss America watch party. 

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-Officially Pumpkin Green Smoothie time! One of my favorite smoothie recipes ever. 
-A version of my go to "loaded salad." Apple, rotisserie chicken, roasted sweet potato, red onion, mix of lettuce and homemade balsamic dressing. 
-Still working on my spaghetti squash 4-ways post. This week was shrimp scampi spaghetti squash!
-One with the weights and a new personal record!
-Gabe and I still aren't besties but we are pretty good at taking pictures together!
-Mom and dad's equals unlimited homemade lattes with their Nespresso and my new favorite Milkadamia nut milk. 
-A Mexican spread for the OU vs. Ohio State game. Made a big batch of my Crock-Pot Carnitas with all the fixings and tons of chips and dips. 
-Sister Sunday at Midtown's Commonplace Books
-A throw whatever is in the fridge into a bowl kind of lunch. Results = leftover cold spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, parsley, red onion, capers and a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper!

Annie

p.s. don't miss last week's recipe post for my Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies

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Forget September 22, the day after Labor Day marks the start of fall in mine and most people's minds. I was at Whole Foods the other night and pumpkins are already out, the PSL made it's seasonal debut, and I am unapologetically sharing my first pumpkin recipe of the fall!

This recipe doesn't scream pumpkin but it does scream fall. Pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and the secret ingredient, paprika, makes for a kickin' cookie (I had to). I originally made these a few weeks ago and everyone who tried them deemed that they must be remade once cooler weather crept in. Hello cooler weather, hello double chocolate pumpkin seed cookies!

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Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies
yields about 32 medium cookies or 18 large cookies, adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. paprika
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup dark chocolate (you can use chips or buy a bar of dark chocolate and chop it up)
Maldon salt

Directions:
Place your pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and place on the upper rack of the oven. Then heat your oven to 350°. This is the best trick my mom taught me. Nuts and seeds brown perfectly in the same amount it takes for your oven to preheat. (About  8–10 minutes). Toss occasionally until golden. Let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and paprika in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing until well blended after each. Stir in chocolate and pumpkin seeds.

If you want medium cookies use a cookie scoop (about 2 Tbsp.) if you want large cookies use an ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup). Large cookies will be more bakery style, but for portion control reasons I go medium size. You can see both sizes pictured below. Place large cookies 3" apart and medium cookies 2" apart. Sprinkle with flakey Maldon salt and bake, rotating pans halfway through. 17–20 minutes for large cookies, 9-11 minutes for medium cookies. 

Happy pumpkin baking!

Annie