Bites of My Life

Full in more ways than one. Thankful for so much delicious food over the past few days, thankful for a few days off, thankful for the joy this time of year brings, and thankful for QT with my family and good friends.

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-Work Thanksgiving was a success! Fun afternoon getting our employees out of the restaurants and having our managers cook lunch for them. My sweet potatoes were on point, but apparently no one likes sweet potatoes but me…
-New traditions getting instilled and I love it. Sis and sister’s soon to be sis-in-law/our good friend Chloe and I all got together Wednesday to have a pie baking party.
-The Best Breakfast Casserole and our Tucker Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition of OJ with raspberries is how we started our turkey day. Not pictured: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
-Our family does Thanksgiving as a late lunch around 2pm, so appetizers are v important.
-Chloe, our stand-in brunette sister, missed you Claire!
-The fruits of our pie baking labor. There may still be leftovers in the fridge, but 5 pies seemed necessary at the time. Chocolate, cherry, pecan, pumpkin and apple!
-L E F T O V E R S (with some celery on the side to try to be healthy. Don’t be fooled though, this was only 1 of 3 servings of leftovers).
-Take a bite of my 1am nachos. I did a poor job documenting my Friday and Saturday nights, but they involved some really good friends and really good times. Hence the late night nachos ;)
-My beautiful Gaga went to heaven Sunday morning. She instilled my love for dressing up and costumes and helped my sisters and I develop the best imagination. I hope I have half her beauty at her age, and her fashion sense!

Annie

Bite of encouragement: There has been an influx of bad news being spread in my little community. Deaths, illness, cancer, you name it. However, there is something about this time of year that puts it all in perspective. This time of year also lends to extra time with family and friends when you need them most.

Bites of My Life

Snow, snow, snow, snowwwwww! I won’t put up the Christmas decorations yet, but after waking up to an unexpected snow this Monday morning, I want all the Christmas music, movies and a fire in the fireplace. The most wonderful time of the year is here, but already flying by.

Most all is good in my hood, but my heart is going out to two friends who had extreme loss in their families last week. Squeeze your loved ones tight and actually tell your friends and family you love them. Don’t just think it.

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-A delicious recipe from the “Fall Reset” program I did a month ago. I didn’t get to making the Maple Glazed Chicken during the reset, but I held on to it to make down the road.
-A simple breakfast I can’t quit. Cinnamon Spice Tazo tea and Better Oats 100 cal instant oats, amped up with cinnamon, chia seeds and almond butter!
-I think I’ve had soup for lunch the past three weeks. Kept the train going with The Jones seasonal soup, Kabocha Squash + Apple Soup.
-I haven’t had a protein shake in a hot minute. I still love the Arbonne nutrition and beauty products, but I have toned down my selling a bit to focus on other areas of my life. However, I woke up last week craving this seasonal shake. I have now had it 3 times since. Catch the recipe for this Peppermint Mocha Protein shake here.
-A Friday night at home with nothing to do in what seemed like f o r e v e r. My end of the week dinner was a clean out the fridge meal, made with leftover vegetable soup (from a box), amped up with Banza chickpea pasta to make it a riff on my childhood favorite - minestrone!
-My reading took a bit of a curve after getting stumped by two books I was recently reading, but couldn’t power through to finish. I deterred and decided to reread my favorite book of all time.
-With permission, the best breakfast casserole is coming to the blog this week. Recipe kudos of the O’Connors!
-I’ve mentioned Stephanie May Wilson’s podcast before, but I just purchased her 90 Day Devotional and Prayer Journal. SMW has been so relatable to my life recently, and I think could be for many of you too.
-Woke up this morning to the first snow of the season. Not.Mad.About.It!

Annie

Snow Day Bite: In honor of the snow day we are having in OKC today, this Snow Day Soup (aka White Chicken Chili) from my 2014 archives is getting brought back into circulation.

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

Extra bite: If you need a little positivity in your feed, give this account a follow.

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

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!