Bites of My Life

This week I was reminded of how much can change in a year, or really more of how different things can be at one point in time, just a year apart. Thank you Timehop for always reminding me of these moments. This week last year, the restaurant group I work for was opening our biggest undertaking to date. I was working around the clock, I hadn't seen my friends in weeks, I was pale from not seeing the sun, there was no time for blogging, reading, watching TV, seeing movies, but I was still loving every minute of it. And have never been apart of something more rewarding. If you are in town this weekend, help us celebrate!

This week, this year, things are relatively slow work wise (a nice break from the hustle that was april-may-june), I'm loving all the time I'm getting with friends and family and yes I'm tanner than I've ever been in my life (LOL). I have time to bake (cue campfire cookies), binge on TV (currently: Southern Charm), saw a movie for the first time in forever (got the invite to an early screening for Crazy Rich Asians: it's so good!!!) and reading. Yes, reading. I finished my 6th book of the year this weekend. 

It's nice to have the change from last summer. This summer has been really "summer-filled" if that makes sense. Lot's of time to enjoy the things you can only really do in the summer. This weekend was spent at the lake with my fam. It was a relaxing, fun and the perfect summer weekend.

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-#NationalPinaColadaDay celebrated a bit more healthy in the form of a protein shake, but it still took me back to Waikiki Beach!
-Princess Elsa at your service! Hilarious but cutest way to start my Tuesday after being asked to dress up as Elsa from Frozen to surprise a bunch of 4-year-old girls while they enjoyed "Princess Camp."
-Trader Joe's Frozen Chicken Tikka Masala doctored up with some peas for color and greens. What is your favorite TJ's frozen meal?
-Got to put my flavor input on this weekends featured drink at The Jones. Included my current favorite things: blackberry, ginger, lemon, gin and tonic.
-I just really love this picture, that is all.
-Campfire Cookies! I mean JK's Campfire Cookies, renamed by my brother-in-law. Get the recipe here for these s'more/Perfect CCC hybrid cookies.
-#LakeBaby
-My favorite breakfast casserole courtesy of one of my besties family recipes! Perfect lake breakfast or breakfast for a crowd.
-Chips in your sandwich or you're doing it wrong.
-Book #6 finished! The goal is 12 in 12 months. 
-Waterloooooooo!!! Who else has tried the new sparkling water craze? I bought the black cherry flavor and I'm loving it. 
-Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto made for the best veggie filled dinner after the all-carb diet at the lake.

Annie

Campfire Cookies

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I'm heading to the lake with my family later today and I was tasked with bringing the "treats." Do I go with the classic Perfect CCC's? I could. Do I take the easy way out and just buy s'more ingredients? No, because it's 100+ in Oklahoma right now and the last thing I want to do is stand around a fire. 

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So instead, I will combine the two. As if my Perfect CCC's and a s'more had a baby, I give you Campfire Cookies. The ultimate summer lake trip treat.

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They are everything you love in a Perfect CCC (hello flaky Maldon Salt) mixed with graham crackers, marshmallows, and a Hershey's chocolate bar. I can think of nothing better right now. I will also take this moment to profess my love affair with Graham Crackers. The most underrated cookie/cracker. They are the perfect after dinner snack. Shmear on a little Cookie Butter or almond butter and you are golden. Graham Crackers I love you. Campfire Cookies, I love you too!

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Campfire Cookies
yields 32-36 cookies

Ingredients:
1  cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed*
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped
1 Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, chopped
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 sleeve Graham Crackers (9 crackers total)
Maldon Salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

Divide your graham crackers into stacks of 4 and 5. Take the 5 graham crackers and place in a large ziplock bag. Using a rolling pin crush the crackers into fine crumbs. This mixture will be added to the dry ingredients, so you want them to be very fine. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Then, take the 4 graham crackers and break them up into small pieces. Small enough to be mixed into the dough, but still in chunks. *see photo above for reference.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, fine graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix both sugars. *You can use light or dark brown sugar. I like a dark cookie so I prefer dark brown sugar, but I switch off depending on what I have on hand. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the sugars and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. I found a wooden spoon to be the easiest for this job. Once the dough has almost come together, add the chocolate chips, marshmallows, graham cracker chunks and 3/4 of the chopped Hershey's bar.
Reserve a few marshmallows, graham cracker chunks and 1/4 of the chopped Hershey bar for topping the balls of cookie dough.

Form 2-3 tablespoon size balls. I used a standard size cookie scoop, but overload the scoop getting a larger ball of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 10 balls of dough on a pan. Take your reserved chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows and top each ball of dough with a little of each. Then sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt. 

Bake for 9-11 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just slightly golden. 

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Annie

Bites of My Life

4th of July, please don't ever fall on a Wednesday again. I beg of you. Weirdest week ever. Not a bad week in hindsight, just weird. I know most of you can agree. The double two day week wasn't the worst either. 

Lot's of festive food, summer food, breakfast food and all around delicious food last week. As you can see more of below. This week is looking like a birthday celebration, taco tuesday, VIP movie screening and then off to the lake. Chat next Monday! 

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-Eat the rainbow. My favorite way to eat. Ingredient details including a killer dressing recipe in my post here.
-Breakfast with mom at our favorite, EnCroute.
-All the office vibes in our new workspace. More pictures to come I'm sure, but for now, back to Kathy Lee and Hoda.
-Y'all know me and my love for festive food. So festive fruit to start the 4th was a must.
-4th of July, please don't ever fall on a Wednesday again. All smiles despite.
-Celebrating America and my girl Maddie's bday!
-Breakfast with dad, trying out Buttermilk. A biscuit breakfast spot but couldn't resist the smoothie bowl!
-Sunday spin with my girl. 
-Little fish is almost a year old!

Annie

Bites of My Life

July you came too soon! Summer is slipping by FAST. Last week was full of delicious eats, getting settled into my new office space and precious last moments with one of my best friends before her move. There was also a pool party, an A list party per-se, rounded out by a killer Sunday dinner at mom and dad's. 

Now for the awkward 2-day week, twice in one week...

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-Loving my morning matcha. Look forward to it each day. Using the new Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen currently. 
-Becoming a pro at cleaning out my fridge meals. AKA ballin' on a budget and won't let myself go to the grocery store as much as I normally do. 
-Healthy snack hack/dessert for The Bachelorette viewing. 50 cal Lesser Evil popcorn back with a tablespoon of cookie butter for dipping and Arbonne detox tea. 
-Got to help with a catered dinner in the park through work last week. Despite the 95 degree temperatures it ended up being the dreamiest setting for a dinner.
-Hello, I work here. Loving my new cube at our recently finished headquarters!
-The most fun giveaway last week with Made by Maddie. AKA one of my besties new biz!
-Said bye to my bestie/roomie Lindz last Friday. We became quick friends and after 3 years under the same roof, and I suddenly had to say bye too quick as she headed west for her next adventure in LA.
-I dub these my prettiest batch of perfect CCCs. The diff; semi-sweet chocolate bar chopped instead of chopped chips. So many chocolate flakes. 
-Snacking on Lesser Evil's new Paleo Puffs with my little crew. Use code ANNIELE10 in check out at lesserevil.com for 10% off your order!
-EnR0ute to Russell Westbrook's hype house. #workperks
-Thanks for the party invite Russell Westbrook!
-Summer food = best food. 

Annie

Bites of My Life

Last week was great with several reasons leading to why, but the cherry on top was Stacia and Sage's wedding weekend. The two are some of my best friends and Stacia has been waiting for this day for forever. Seeing it all come together, and be perfect, was the best for her. Not to mention having all my best friends who live near and far all in one place made it the best best. Exhausted and hoarse, but well worth it for the best dance floor party and for the now Mr. and Mrs. Ranallo!

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-Matcha is back in heavy rotation. It has been the best energy source to get me through the day after my early early morning bootcamp workouts.
-Healthy easy chicken burrito bowl situation over cauliflower rice I was able to throw together with things from my fridge! 
-#TargetDoesItAgain. and again, and again and again. 
-Obsessed with my new Who What Wear collection sandals
-Peep my insta highlights for the run down on this easy egg/avocado salad. Will work on getting the recipe up on TAB soon!
-Tuesday morning brewery tour for a special project The Jones Assembly + Prairie Artisan Ales are teaming up on! Pictured here: me learning the "grain out" techniques. 
-The SO team finally got to let the cat out of the bag. We are so excited to operate the cafe space in the new Scissortail Park coming to west downtown!
-Unexpected surprise goodie package from Arbonne for hitting my district manager status.
-Wedding weekend for Stacia and Sage finally kicking off!
-HP for the win!
-No doubt Stacia would make a gorgeous bride, but still got chills seeing her look come together on the big day. 
-Sunday sushi made healthier and so good courtesy of Whole Foods. 

Don't miss last week's lite bite posts: mayo-less tuna salad and watermelon & heirloom tomato salad.
Current songs on repeat: Tequila by Dan + Shay and Finest Hour by Cash Cash.

Annie