BIG Bites of My Life

I blame the holidays for this, but I’m combing three bites posts in one. Lot’s to read, so I won’t bore you here. If you are willing to take an extra big bite, carry on, if you give up before the end I understand.

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Week leading up to Christmas…

-Easily one of my favorite recipes, and I love that it is many of y’alls too. This Crock-Pot Verde Turkey Chili is best in the winter and can be made Whole 30.
-Trying ashwaganda for the first time. I’ve been hearing of it’s many benefits to combat stress, but hadn’t tried it until recently. It tastes pretty earthy and I am still looking for the best way to mask that, but I will let you know when I do. Picked up this golden milk mix before the holidays too. The perfect drink to wind down with during the chaotic season.
-Worked/ing on eating more veggie friendly breakfasts instead of oatmeal and smoothies during the sugar filled holidays. Hooked on a version of this sweet potato hash inspired by my friend Lauren.
-Collagen hot cocoa swept insta before Christmas and I happily jumped on the train. Posted my recipe here.
-2nd Annual Cookie Decorating Party! A fun new tradition my best girls and I started last year.
-Sucker for a good snack spread. Hummus and cucumbers, salami and olives and baked brie for my girlfriends to counteract all the icing and cookies we ate…
-If you know you know. And if you’re night ends here, you know it was a good one.
-Here we go a wassailinggggg! Mom’s wassail is a staple at the holidays!
-Christmas Eve Eve traditions run deep with this group!

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Christmas Week…

-More cookie decorating because that’s what you do at the holidays. Used my Signature Sugar Cookie recipe which is the OG recipe Santa asks for every year.
-Dad and I always on the puzzle grind come the holiday season.
-As our family grows, it also get’s small in some instances. Just me, mom and dad this Christmas Eve, but celebrated the night with church, spaghetti and meatballs (we used this recipe for the sauce and it was perfect) and a late night walk through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, just the three of us!
-Tucker tradition of OJ/mimosas with raspberries on Christmas morning. Served along side our traditional sausage crescents and new tradition of this cranberry orange bread.
-Our littlest family member was so sick, but powered through Christmas. And loved her kitchen gadgets gift from Aunt Annie :) Toast and coffee anyone?
-It’s a GRIL!! We found out back in September that Kathleen and John were pregnant with their second baby. We anxiously had to wait until Christmas to find out the sex. Best news ever that Elle is getting a little sister.
-CopperBoom! Never taking this sweatshirt off. Thank you Kathleen!
-I love for Tucker holiday meals. Beef tenderloin, twice bakes, glazed carrots and our family Christmas salad.
-Remember that golden milk mix I mentioned earlier? I used it to flavor this smoothie bowl and I highly recommend. Frozen cauliflower, some ice, vanilla Arbonne protein powder, oat milk, little almond butter, topped with chia seeds, cacao nibs and pecans.
-2018 was the year of reading. And I blogged about it.
-My London girl is back in the USA, better yet Fort Worth (for now, but hopefully for longer coming soon)!!
-We’ve been coming to Fort Worth for OU weekends since our freshman year of college thanks to The Felton’s! Glad that some things never change!

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First week of 2019…

-Balloons ready to DROP for NYE at The Jones.
-Who else has to eat black eyes on New Year’s Day? BEP or no luck for the year!
-All the groceries to get back in the swing of things post holidays.
-Celery juice trend ain't stopping anytime soon. Clear skin, smooth skin, look and feel of hair, reduced eczema, less bloat it helps it all!
-S N O W. We got about 3 inches unexpectedly this week. And funny thing about this picture is I took it at about 10pm, but it looks so bright from all the white!
-Snow day lunch at home consisting of my Spicy Red Pepper and Tomato soup, gala apple and rosemary Flackers (my new obsession).
-The Defined Dish’s Hibachi Chicken with Magic Mustard sauce lived up to the hype~~
-My favorite part of my job is when I get to taste all the fun concoctions our bartenders and chefs come up with. Exhibit A, this Oreo inspired beer cocktail.
-Always love a quick Dallas trip.

Annie

Bites of My Life

“Now it’s your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.”

“Happy, Thanksgiving, back.”

anyone?

Thanksgiving week is here and I’m giddy. After a weekend of no plans (hallelujah), I’m feeling recharged and ready for the holiday week. We are having a big all-restaurant group Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow and made 3 lbs. of sweet potatoes yesterday to contribute. Hoping the first half of the week goes by quick, so we can skip to the big day!

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-Almond Nog > Regular Nog, especially this brand. Packaging on point too.
-Trying to step away from gray and black everyday this time of year, this hot pink sweater is helping!
-Tuesday started off stressful and uneasy. Did my best to take initiative of the day and opted out of going int the office (thankful I have this luxury, I know it’s rare) and working from a cute coffee shop instead. My stress levels have been a bit all over the place lately, but I’m working on managing them. I knew going into my office wouldn’t help, so I chose to work in a peaceful surrounding and with my favorite drink.
-Pie and dressing transporting to Friendsgiving in style. This piece from Scout is one of my favorites. I use mine all the time and I’ve gifted it 3 times!
-I used this recipe for the pie and this one for the dressing, would recommend both.
-Friendsgiving was a raging success. Bonus points to all my friends after tasting their cooking abilities.
-Oklahoma City people, OSO on Paseo is o so delicious! Order the taco salad.
-Welcome Sur la Table, welcome. Kathleen and I, bought our mom a cooking class for her birthday and I literally can’t wait.
-If you like peppermint bark you MUST go but this peppermint bark popcorn from Trader Joe’s ASAP.

Annie

Breakfast bite: Did you miss last week’s recipe post? It’s the perfect thing to make for your family to eat on for breakfast over the holiday. I am!

Bites of My Life

Merry Christmas my friends! I say this every year, but I hate how fast Christmas comes and goes. My family had a quaint little gathering of our immediate family, minus Claire :( It was simple, but so nice. We ate fabulous food, baked lots of treats, stayed in pjs all day and listened to Christmas music on repeat. There were shrieks and squeals over gifts received and some tears of joy over things like a purse-Kathleen, and me-new dishes. The things I get excited about...

-On a Siggi's kick last week.
-Chick-Fil-A hack turning my spicy chicken sandwich into a spicy chicken salad.
-The best salad in town! Get it here.
-A festive look through my lens at work
-Last minute Christmas treats made the blog in time for the big day. 
-New brekkie obsession, loaded sweet potato with berries, AB and granola.
-Phobulous pho with pops!
-Holiday's are a non-stop eating fest, so a counter of apps is needed. Cheese ball, olives and cranberry pomegranate salsa.
-Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters, White Christmas style.
-Pioneer Women cinnamon rolls took the cake on Christmas morning!
-Nothing beats a big holiday meal.
-An Ina inspired dessert. Scoops of ice cream with Christmas cookies.

Annie

Last Minute Holiday Treats

I love my job, but if I could quit my job and just stay home and bake all day, I'd be the happiest. And probably the fattest. This time of year especially, all I want to do is bake.

I'm a little down to the wire, but I still had a few special people I wanted to gift with a little something. I made up a batch of my peppermint bark and cookie butter rice krispie treats, with festive sprinkles, of course. Packaged them up and I'm getting them delivered today. Below I have rounded up tasty holiday treats, some made by me, the rest inspired by others.  Co-workers, neighbors, classmates, instructors, yourself ;), anyone who is still left on your list would love one of these treats! Just click on any picture above for it to take you to the recipe. 

The first few recipes are pulled from the TAB archives, but these other gorgeous recipes are from the gals below! 

Baked by Rachel's Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

Sally's Baking Addiction's Peppermint Mocha Cookies

Cookie + Kate's Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Local Roots Dietitian's Healthy Holiday Peppermint Brownies

And Ina's Spicy Hermit Bars

And because it's the season of giving, I'm giving you a few more ideas that could easily be transformed Christmasy with a few sprinkles or red & green colored candies like my Signature Sugar Cookies (we make these for santa every year), Cookie Butter Rice Krispies, Cookie Butter Popcorn, M&M Cookie Pizza, Homemade Pop Tarts and Slutty Brownies.

I'm spicing my sugar cookies up a bit this year and adding crystallized ginger in them. Inspired by Ina of course. Because WWTBCD? Add crystallized ginger to her sugar cookies! I'll keep you posted on how they turn out. 

Annie

White Chocolate Dipped Oatmeal Ginger Cookies

National Cookie Day was Monday and I missed it. Sighhh. I'm a sucker for food holidays. The second December hit I got a bug for baking. I wish someone would just pay me to stay home and bake cookies all day leading up to Christmas. Unfortunately that is not my reality, so I saved up some time after work to bake up these cookies and cure my baking bug.  

These cookies are kind of like a gingersnap meets an oatmeal cream pie. They aren't yelling Christmas with red and green sprinkles or peppermint candies adorning them, but the flavor is sure holiday! They have three different spices in them and molasses-my fav. If you have a cookie exchange on your holiday party agenda, you're welcome. These cookies are perfect. They are extremely easy too, so no fret.

White Chocolate Dipped Oatmeal Ginger Cookies
yields 20 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
1½ cup flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 cup old-fashioned oats

*8-10 oz vanilla almond bark or 1½ cup white chocolate chips
cinnamon and gold sprinkles, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and molasses for one more minute. Scrape the bowl, making sure to get the molasses completely incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg salt, baking soda, baking powder, and oats. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until almost combined. Remove from mixer and give the bowl a good scrape. 

Scoop about 2 tablespoons or golf ball size pieces of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just beginning to brown around the edges. Let cool completely before dipping in white chocolate.

In a microwave safe bowl melt 3/4 of the chocolate in 30 minute increments. Once completely melted stir in the remaining 1/4 of the chocolate out of the microwave. The hot melted chocolate will melt the additional as you stir it! *I use almond bark because it melts much easier than white chocolate. White chocolate tends to burn easily. Both will work just keep a close eye if using white chocolate. 

Dip the cookies halfway into the bowl of white chocolate, using a spoon or small spatula to help guide it onto the cookie. Place dipped cookies on parchment paper and sprinkle with cinnamon and festive sprinkles. Let the chocolate harden then eat, share and enjoy!

Annie