Bites of My Life

AUUUGGGUUUSSSTTT HOW? July you speed demon! Anyway, I’m fine with it, I guess…Perks of adult life is not having the return of the school year looming over you.

This past week was a standard week. Just working in anticipation of the first annual BBR (big blue reunion) with my college besties at Lake LBJ! It was a perfect weekend of junk food, time on the lake, girl talk, catching up and just getting to all be back together now that we are strewn across Oklahoma and Texas. The weekend came and went wayyyy to soon.

bites+312.jpg

-With a lake trip in sight, Perfect CCCs and Banana Bread were my contributions. TBH I forget how good my banana bread is until I make it. It seriously is the best! I love making two loaves and freezing one for a rainy day.
-A very Dallas night out at the swanky Park House deserved to be documented. However their no social media ruled, resulted in a shameless bathroom selfie.
-Easily my favorite easy week night meal.
-I loved opening my door and sharing my apartment tour last week. Thank you for the overwhelming response to my little oasis.
-Big ups to Marge for the custom visors. Sucker for a party favor!
-Love being with my health food freak Claire! She served us Siete chips, cashew queso and gluten free waffles all weekend!
-First and not last Big Blue Reunion! Got all of our college best friends together for a lake weekend to reunite.
-Sun setting on Lake LBJ!
-Got home from the lake and needed some serious greens after all the tortilla chips and White Claws consumed. I tried the Mint Chip smoothie from Brewed + Pressed and now I have to figure out how I can budget an $11 smoothie because that will not be the last time I order it.

Annie

Bite of toast: A bop for your first full week of August!

Bites of My Life

It’s always hard to jump back into the week after a really great weekend. This weekend was a really great one. I spent the past three days at the lake with some of my best college friends. We’ve been "lake ratz” for the past three years, with confident plans to resume next year as well. It’s one of my favorite traditions as well as the perfect way to kick off summer. The weekend has consistently fallen on my birthday which is just an added bonus.

Spent the first day of my 26th year, starting to pack and prep for my move and ended with an impromptu birthday dinner with mom and dad (we are celebrating Friday!). Mom made two of my favorites. This salmon and this salad. Finished the day with The Bachelorette because I am unashamedly loving Alabama Hannah’s season!

bites 302.jpg

-Last Monday was the epitome of living in Oklahoma. The day went something like this: weathermen predicting severe weather, the entire state cleaning out their storm shelters and parking their cars in every open garage, businesses shutting down, all for nothing to happen. Yes after staying home from work and “taking shelter” at my parents, all we got was rain…
-Can’t wait to start Save the Plums. Thanks to Ellen for the early bday gift!
-Shared how I prep then freeze Perfect CCCs when I’m making cookies in advance on instagram stories last week. All the tips are saved in my highlights!
-The Best Breakfast Casserole made it’s appearance at the lake this weekend. Always a crowd pleaser and always great for a bigger crowd.
-Oklahoma has been dumped on the past few weeks. We rolled up to our rental to find a foot of water covering the road leading up to the house and the ramp to the dock halfway under water. Don’t think for a minute this stopped us from wading through it to enjoy time on the dock.
-Coffee (tea) and cards before the days got started.
-Lake food is the best food, but it also makes me not want to eat it for another year. So many chips and beers consumed….
-We had a table on the deck of our rental that fit all 14 of us around it. We spent each night after dinner circled around this table playing rounds of picolo and playing song after song.
-The packing has begun, but first I’m having a garage sale to purge my belongings.

Annie

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.

bites 261.jpg

-#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

fullsizeoutput_4fd1.jpeg

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. 

fullsizeoutput_4fcd.jpeg

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.

fullsizeoutput_4fce.jpeg

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!

fullsizeoutput_4fcb.jpeg

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. 

Don't fear, the marshmallows will ooze out and go all over the pan.  For a prettier cookie, take the cookies while they are still warm and using either you fingers or a knife, pull off and trim away the oozy marshmallow.You are simply just cleaning up your cookies. 

IMG_9458.JPG

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...

bites 259.jpg

-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