Bites of My Life

Last week I played babysitter, fashion blogger, travel blogger, food blogger, dog watcher, house-sitter, on top of my everyday marketer, foodie and friend. I’m not tooting my own horn, just acknowledging the many hats I’ve been wearing lately. And let me be honest, I’m really trying to hone in on how I can take off a few hats.

My motto for the last 3 months of the year is no. YUP. I’m saying no, no, no to anything extra I don’t need to add to my plate. More on all of this at another time, but even though I thought I loved being busy and multi-tasking. I don’t. What do you say more often? Yes or no?

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-Halloween vibes for breakfast. Last year, I wasn’t so keen on the pumpkin RXbars. This year they seem more pumpkin-y and more delicious. Anyone else?
-Little reading date with my girl! We sat like this and read about 15 books for an hour. She must of heard about my reading goal for 2018;)
-Got to play fashion blogger for the night at a Lululemon event promoting their extensive outerwear this season. We got personal shopping attention and got to go home with our favorite piece we tried on. This bomber is now my second skin.
-The first Avid Hotel in the entire world - in OKC! Fun morning last week at the grand opening for this new business concept hotel. More to come with Avid in a couple weeks.
-There has been quite a bit of love around my Perfect CCC’s recently. I’m so glad people beside myself are enjoying making them, but you really don’t know how cool it is to see other’s making a recipe you came up with and loving them as much as you. If you happen to make a batch of Perfect CCC’s, post them on instagram and tag me in it to see!
-Eggs and greens in bed for a restful start to Saturday. Photo bomb by my roommate for the week.
-Prettiest wedding for The Lemon’s inside the most epic wedding tent.
-I think we danced for 4 hours straight at #WhenLifeGivesYouLemons.
-Stuffed sweet potatoes on deck for the last week of the Fall Reset. My week is short and busy so for dinners I’m trying to clean out the fridge, but focusing on good and prepared lunches!

Annie

Extra bite: I’ve been listening to the Girls Night podcast by Stephanie May Wilson this past week. Stephanie and a girlfriend cover topics like dating, friendships, well-being and Jesus. I find myself saying YES! and PREACH IT GIRL, so many times while listening. SMayWilson is bringing the truth and I want you to hear it!

Okie Southern Salad

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Disclosure: I'm totally ripping off a salad I had recently. The idea of roasted okra in a salad had me anxious to recreate. This salad takes the flavors and ingredients of Oklahoma in the summer. I guess Oklahoma is technically the "midwest" but Okie Midwest Salad doesn't have the same ring to it. My current binge of Bravo's Southern Charm must have me feelin' southn'.

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Corn, okra, pecans, black eye peas, all the goods make it in here! And it all comes together with a grainy mustard vinaigrette. I prep all the ingredeints and eat on it for a week, but it also makes for a great entree salad for about 4 people. 

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Okie Southern Salad
yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
2-3 romaine hearts, depending on size (i buy the 3 pack from Trader Joe's)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled
1, 15 oz can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion
1 lb. fresh okra
1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn (2 cobs)
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
chive, small chop
olive oil
salt and pepper

Mustard Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. honey, agave or maple syrup
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash and pat dry your okra. Trim the ends off and slice about 3/4 of an inch thick. Place on a roasting sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing half way through. 

While the okra is roasting, time to make the dressing. In a mason jar combine all ingredients. Twist on the lid and shake to combine. A small bowl and whisk will work fine I just prefer the jar method!

Slice the ends off your romaine hearts. Chop into big shreds and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse your black eyed peas and set aside. Slice your small red onion in half and finely dice 1/2 of it, set aside. Slice your grilled chicken breasts into thin slices, set aside.

Your okra should be finishing up. Once out of the oven, transfer the okra to a plate and set aside. Using the same roasting sheet add your fresh off the cob or frozen corn. Turn the oven up to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes watching it the whole time. This is my longtime method of getting that grilled corn taste without having to deal with the hassle of a grill. You don't even have to thaw the frozen corn. 

Time to assemble. Over the chopped romaine, add in black eyed peas (you can heat in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute or leave them room temp), roasted corn, diced red onion, roasted okra, chopped pecans and chicken. Drizzle over as much or as little dressing as you like. Toss to combine. Garnish with chopped chive and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

*This salad is really just a process of prepping ingredients and then tossing all together. When I make this for one person (moi), I prep each ingredient then store separately in the fridge. To make, just reheat the chicken, okra and corn. Then toss with remaining ingredients, portioned out for one serving. 

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Annie

Why You Should Join StudioHop

photo cred  KGC Photography

photo cred KGC Photography

If you follow me anywhere on social media then you have probably seen me hopping around town taking full advantage of my new obsession StudioHop. What's StudioHop you ask? It's a monthly membership to the best of best fitness classes in the city. Say you like spin but love to get your flow on in a hot yoga class. Tired of paying for two memberships or drop-in classes here there and all over. Ya, me too. Welllll, now that StudioHop has touched down in OKC you can get all the benefits of different studios with only paying one price. SIGN. ME. UP. 

StudioHop hand selects their favorite studios so you know you are getting the best of the best. Take a look here, to see the studios Oklahoma City has to offer. In the past month I have been hopping back and forth from Beyond Studios to Soul Yoga and Union Performance to Yoga at Tiffany's. I love getting my cardio in at the Beyond 500 classes, but love nothing more than a 6am sweat sesh in hot yoga. Union Performance is new to me, but I try to fit in their bootcamp class at lunchtime for a mid day pick me up. My girl Chelsea gives you a full body workout that you will be feeling the next day! 

I read an article a few weeks ago about how switching up your workout routine is the ticket to start seeing results. In a study done on people performing the same exercise day in and day out, individuals bodies simply stopped responding. When they were then exposed to different exercises, their fitness only improved!

I had been in a rut lately of doing the same thing, barre mixed with moderate cardio. I enjoyed my workout regime and could go on about my love for barre workouts for hours, but it was getting a little boring as well as results become stagnant. My favorite part of StudioHop and the #1 reason why I think you should join, is the change! The ability to change up your workout everyday, every week. Spin on Monday followed by a hot yoga flow on Tuesday. Bootcamp Wednesday and pilates Thursday. Your body will love you for keeping it challenged and never getting settled into one form of exercise. The most economical way to make this changing routine happen is by joining StudioHop. One price, once a month, but instead of one workout class you get a multitude of different workout options! Join me, you won't regret it. 

Photo Cred  KGC Photography

Photo Cred KGC Photography

StudioHop offers a monthly unlimited package for $135 as well as a 4 class bundle and 8 class bundle package. More info about pricing can be found here. If you have any questions about how the packages work or what studios have limitations, you can get answers in their FAQ or feel free to ask me in the comments below!

StudioHop is like the gift that keeps on giving! And to keep the giving going, use my code anniehopokc in checkout to get $20 off your first month! This code can be used for class bundles or the monthly unlimited package. That means access to the best studios all about town for $115, WIN! (Hurry and sign up, code expires 3/6). Give StudioHop a follow on insta and a like on Facebook, and make sure to sign up for their newsletter (just scroll to the bottom of the page)!

Now, hop to it!

Annie

Copycat Republic's Grilled Shrimp Salad

Yesterday I got to share my talented friend Katie and her budding photography business, KGC Photography. A few weeks ago Katie and I got together to play around in my kitchen and with her camera. I made lunch and she photographed. It was too fun. I felt like a celeb chef for like 5 seconds!!!

At the time, I had recently shared this blog post on the Best Salads in OKC. With the post on my brain, I thought it would be fun to recreate one of my faves, the Grilled Shrimp Salad from Republic Gastropub

I recommend this salad to evvvvvveryone! It is filled with eclectic ingredients but they make it work. Components are: spinach, grilled shrimp, spaghetti squash, roasted brussels sprouts, crispy salami, smoked gouda cheese, red onion and tossed with a horseradish dressing. 

I was on Whole 30 at the time so I modified a bit, eliminating the gouda and swapping the dressing for my favorite balsamic dressing. With so many ingredients the salad takes some time, but if you pre-prep this salad it can easily be thrown together. I had already roasted my spaghetti squash and brussels and made the dressing. When it came to lunch time I just had to sautee the shrimp and toss it all together. 

Copycat Republic's Grilled Shrimp Salad
yields 2-3 servings for an entree salad

Ingredients:
8 oz baby Spinach
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 spaghetti squash, forked into strands
2 oz sliced salami
1 lb. brussel sprouts, halved
~5 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided (or whatever oil you prefer)
1 tsp. Pink Himalayan sea salt (or regular kosher salt)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (10-12 shrimp)
1 clove of garlic minced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. butter or ghee
salt and pepper

Dressing: yields a little extra, but this is a great balsamic dressing to have on hand!
1/4 cup balsamic
1/2 cup oil
1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
*I suggest doing some prep for this salad. Pre-roast your squash and brussels and make your dressing ahead. This way everything can easily be thrown together.

Preheat your over to 425 degrees. You will use the same oven temperature to roast your spaghetti squash and brussels sprouts.

Slice your spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Season with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper.  Place in a baking dish and roast cut side up for 45 to 50 minutes, until fork tender. Now prep your sprouts. Cut the bottoms off your brussels sprouts then slice them in half. Place on a roasting sheet and generously coat them in oil, salt and pepper. Once there are 25 minutes left of the squash, pop your sprouts into the same oven. Roast for 25 minutes until browned and crispy. 

Heat a pan over medium heat. No need to oil the pan, your salami has enough fat in it. Cook your salami in a pan for about 3 minutes on both side, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the grease. Keep the pan, we will use it in a bit to cook the shrimp. Cut the crispy salami into long strips and set aside.

Now time to make the dressing. In a small mason jar or in a small bowl combine the mustard, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if you are using them.  Shake or whisk to combine. 

Once your squash, brussels and salami are all done, it’s time to prep the salad. In a large bowl place your spinach, sliced red onion, sliced salami, and brussels. Fork one half of spaghetti squash to create strands. Fork them right into the salad ingredients. Give the salad a good drizzle of dressing and toss. Final touch is the shrimp. 

Over low-medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan with the salami drippings. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, being careful it doesn't burn. Add shrimp to the pan then sprinkle over salt and pepper over the top. Cooking for 2 minutes on both sides, until pale pink. Increase the heat to medium high and add 1 tablespoon butter or ghee. When the butter starts to foam add your chopped parsley. Stir the shrimp around until it is all coated in the buttery parsley. Immediatly plate, adding 4 pieces to each salad. 

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All photos by KGC photography, see more of her work here.

Annie

Restaurant Review: The Pritchard

Snuggled in the heart of the Plaza District, The Pritchard unifies upscale and casual to create a concept with delicious craft cocktails, wines from all over the world, and locally-sourced dishes being served for dinner, late night and brunch. 

The moment you walk in you can't help but be grabbed by the thoughtfully curated decor and ambience of the space. The well stocked bar is paired with marble countertops, adorable bar stools (that I want to steal for my own home) and an epic gallery wall at the focal point. Across the way a deep green tufted velvet booth runs from the front to the back of the restaurant. They really took the time with the design of the space and it doesn't go unnoticed. I'm a sucker for restaurant ambience and they do it well. 

I came for brunch last Sunday and could not wait to write this post to tell you all about it. Everything from the service, to the food, to being able to doodle on the table had me swooning. 

The Pritchard is open Tues-Sun. During the week they focus on dinner, but add in brunch starting at 10 a.m on Saturday and Sunday. 

The whole menu is set up tapas/small plate style. When I heard this I was slightly skeptical because I'm not usually a fan of this set up. In my past tapas experience things get expensive quick and it's always hard to guage how much to order for whatever size group. I'm not sure how they do it, but The Pritchard just makes it work. 

I arrived Sunday morning ready to put their menu to the test. It is split up into brunch small plates, charcuterie, cheeses and proteins. Our waiter did an excellent job helping describe the menu as well as guide us on what and how many of each to order. We wanted all the brunch food so we stuck to the small plates column. I can't wait to come back for the cheese and charcuterie! 

After gazing the menu we settled on four plates for the two of us to share. That was easily the Johnny Cakes, Spanish Baked Egg, Popcorn Grits and Fruit Plate. The Johnny Cakes were unreal and a must order if you go for brunch. The plate comes with three cornmeal cakes, topped with homemade hazelnut spread, bananas and chopped hazelnuts. The cakes were thin yet fluffy and the hazelnut spread. I can't even. Think Nutella minus the chocolate, but better!

The popcorn grits shown above got the award for "favorite thing we ordered." There is no popcorn in the grits, but the name comes from the way they prepare the corn to become grits. They are cooked up with some pancetta inside and big shavings of grana padano on top, very similar to parmesan. People are skeptics of grits, but I grew up eating them on the reg, so I will always love them in any form.

The Spanish Baked Egg is a tomato ragu made of tomatoes, onions and spices topped with an egg. They use a unique method for cooking the egg that was new to me, but explained as very similar to a poached egg. This dish was great, it really was but everything else upstaged it a bit.

We were feeling great about what and how much we ordered, but head chef Shelby Sieg, sent out a few complimentary dishes she didn't want us to miss. Thank you Shelby!! We willing unbuttoned our top buttons to make room for her delicious concoctions. First up the Fried Chicken Biscuits with housemade pickle and hot sauce. The biscuits were fluffy yet crispy, just how they should be.

She also brought out their brussels sprouts with spanish chorizo. Simply roasted but paired with salty chorizo. They were a good offset to the grits, Johnny Cakes and biscuits!

Now who wants to go back with me for brunch round two? I have to get back to try their delicata squash, housemade kolaches and cocktails. Follow The Pritchard on instagram and bookmark them on Yelp, where you can also read another version of this review.

Annie

Let's work together! I'd love to review your restaurant. Email me annie@takeabiteblog.com so we can chat!
*Disclaimer: This is not a paid promoted post but I was partially paid in kind for compensation.