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!

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-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.


Bites of My Life

Such a good week and kick off to summer. Two straight days of food photoshoots means a very happy Annie. I love when I get to pause from answer emails to help style food to show off to our guests. Quick/long story...

Then I celebrated my birthday a few days early. Pro tip: don't have your birthday at the restaurant you work at unless you want to be highly embarrassed. Or do..cause it was totally with it. My birthday falls at a busy time of year, growing up it was often the last day of school and now it always falls on Memorial Weekend. No complaints really, but my mom was feeling guilty and had some ideas up her sleeve to make it special. To note, I also hate surprises and no one typically tries to surprise me. Upon arriving to dinner there were extremely large 2-5 mylar balloons attached to my chair. Then instead of a simple dessert, our pastry chefs at The Jones completely outdid themselves creating the most gorgeous three layer cake adorned with flowers and berries. All to be delivered by just about every hostess and server and manager singing happy birthday for the whole restaurant to hear. I was 50 shades of red, but felt extremely loved and celebrate. 

Then it was lake bound for "LAKE RATZ PART II." My friends and I started this tradition last year of renting a big house on Grand Lake for a whole crew of us to stay in. I left the weekend never wanting to eat another potato chip, but realizing how many great friends I have to spend a whole weekend with 15 of still love them all by the end. 

Okay this is literally the longest bites recap ever, but I guess being 25 is making me feel old and sentimental. 

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-Food photoshoot days are my favorite!! The summer menu at The Jones Assembly is officially here!
-New favorite drink aka the Fire Emoji (yes that is the name and couldn't be more accurate)
-Best birthday c/o my real fam and my Jones fam. 
-Last week's recipe post: 3-Ingredient Individual Strawberry Trifles
-baby backs on the dock. 
-OG Lake Ratz. Been doing Memorial Day at the lake with them since freshman year of college. 
-it's not summer until...
-pretties birthday flowers to come home to from my roommates. 
-Bowl for the week: grilled chicken, sauerkraut, roasted sweet potatoes, vine ripened tomatoes, avocado, fresh basil, green onions on a bed of spinach topped with Malden salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 


Bites of My Life

Taking my first bite of 24! I mentioned a few weeks ago that this month was treating me too well and I was pointing fingers at the reason being because it was my birthday month. Yes, I think that did play a roll, but with everything going on right now, I think it's more just timing that is making May the month of the year! I have been extremely busy with both work and play. Baby showers, wedding showers, work events, a lake trip, two restaurant openings, looking for new house...I'll stop now. Hence the lack of any kind of post this last week. Keep reading for the short version recap of the past two weeks! 

-Last time with all 3 at Mahler Pl. before we go our separate ways. Couldn't ask for better people to live under the same roof with in these pivotal past two years. 
-When food like this is pumping out of the kitchen at work, it's hard to not go on a complete carb only diet. I suddenly want/need all the breads, biscuits and baked goods. 
-Every day I'm continually validated by my job and the people I work with. Want to join the crew? Apply here
-Typical Oklahoma storm watch. Feet up, wine poured. Twisters shmisters.
-Kitten is leaving us to be a big cat in Chi town! A proper adios fiesta was in order before she departed! 
-A big night for The Jones Assembly two Saturday's ago. Can't wait to open our doors to the public at the end of June!
-When I volunteered to help throw a shower for sis, I obvi took over the food task. It was a very What's Gaby Cooking inspired spread. 
-I clearly didn't wear the right foot wear for futbol. I'm just going to leave this picture right here and not get into the weird details of why I was kicking around a soccer ball last week. 
-Like, so, #ontrend. Scarf found here.
-Breakfast//lake edition//birthday edition.
-Move over LeCroix, there's a new basic betch in townl
-Hot dogs, baked beans, and patriotic berries. All the eats for this holiday Monday!


P.S. Make sure and hop over to The Well Today for my guest post from yesterday!

Bites of My Life

So many great moments over the last week. There was the big monumental thing, like turning 23, but my favorite moments from the past few days are all "little things." Small simple pleasures such as the getting to fill my house Monday night to welcome the return of The Bachelorette, having my first s'more of the season, giving my house a good deep clean (it really is the little things), finding my fitbit after it's two month hiatus, and being gifted the most thoughtful cookies decorated to look like some of my favorite things!

I spent my Memorial Day weekend getting in a few birthday celebrations, spending a couple days at the lake with friends and family, stuffing my face with two many chips and crackers and handfuls of snack mix to even count, a swell little dinner with mom and dad, taking a swing at my golf game and some more Monday night Bachelorette (Thunder games need not be mentioned).

-My green tea latte obsession is getting extreme, yet I have no problem with it whatsoever.
-The Bachelorette is back and we are more than ready. Brackets and boy board in tow. 
-Wine down Wednesday.
-Hushpuppies and seafood to celebrate 23.
-Kathleen tried to tell me the cake she made me turned out ugly...I'm still trying to figure that one out too. 
-It was even better on the inside-lavender and blueberry with buttercream!
-A special birthday lunch with my girl Lindz at one of my favorite spots!
-The mix got gobbled up in less than 12 hours at the lake. Catch the recipe from last week's post.
-If only our pregame juju helped the Thunder win Saturday night.
-Doing our best to make it to the lake as many times possible this summer.
-Complete amateurs, but at least we're trying!
-The sweetest and tastiest final birthday surprise! Gingersnaps kills the cookie game! 


The Mix

I apologize in advance. This snack mix is highly addicting. So addicting that I had to go brush my teeth in the middle of making it so I would stop eating it all. At the same time I kind of want to say you're welcome, because it's so good. 

My sorority chapter advisor used to make us a similar mix when we would have long chapter meetings or during rush week. I had her send me the recipe forever ago and I've been making my version ever since. I would make it as a study snack, party food and it's also great for a road trip treat. I bring you this mix just in time for Memorial Day. Perfect to bring to barbecues or to shovel down while stuck in a cabin at the lake!

No boring chex or weird breadstick things in this mix. The wheat thins and oatmeal squares are my favorite! Feel free to swap out or add any ingredients. Cheez-its are a great addition, I also think popcorn or cheerios would be good. The mix requires no baking either. Once you pour on the seasoning it's ready to eat!

The Mix
yields a lot

1 box wheat thins
1 box Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal
1 bag pretzels
1 bag Bugels
1 bag oyster crackers

1 pkg. dry Ranch Dressing seasoning packet
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. dried dill
1 cup vegetable oil

Pour the bags and boxes of mix ingredients into a large paper grocery bag, roll down the top and shake to combine. Mix seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl or shake together in a mason jar. Pour over dry mix. Close up paper bag and shake shake shake! Store in an airtight tupperware or large plastic bag.

Note: this is easy to half! I typically make a 1/2 batch at a time and keep the remaining ingredients to make a second batch soon after!

I have a huge bowlful packed and ready to head to the lake with me this weekend. That is if I can refrain from eating it all before we leave...