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!

Bites of My Life

Thanksgiving week is hereeeeee! Mentally and physically preparing myself for all of the "bites" that are about to happen this week. Thanksgiving is hands down the best holiday, who else agrees? Spending my Thanksgiving a leetle different this year do to my growing family, but as the baby of the fam I've gotten pretty good at adapting to traditions. Except when it comes to real vs. fake Christmas trees. I won't even get into it because I've already exhausted my parents on the situation and to my dismay lost the battle. Anyway, I'm eager to get to Thursday to spend the day around a full table and end the day with a full belly. 

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-Gingerbread protein shake on the go, but first a picture to prove it. P.S. mules are from Target, my best kept secret that now every single one of you know... 
-So if you haven't noticed I've been making protein shakes like crazy. Well my sweet friend Madison got me hooked on Arbonne's vanilla protein powder and I'm having so much fun coming up with creative shake recipes. I've always been on the lookout for a protein powder to add to my morning smoothies and this one is ittttttt! 
-Another day another shake. Peppermint mocha shake to be exact. 
-Showed up to bible study to see my cookie pizza there! Not made by me. SO COOL when people make your recipes, thanks Paige!
-Do yourself a favor and try the new maple rosemary matcha latte at The Jones. I can't get enough, and I loved getting to introduce Annie #2 to her first matcha with this one!
-Blogging tips and tricks workshop with a side of black coffee and pastries. 
-Behind the scenes of the most epic and easy holiday cheese board. One of my contributions to friendsgiving thanks to the help from Hickory Farms!
-When Friday goes from work, to a glass of wine, to a salmon board, to a basket of chips and salsa, to a margarita, to an early bedtime!
-If you know me, you know how happy this little drink makes me. 
-Making my food as festive as possible is a guilt pleasure of mine. Exhibit A. Pumpkin protein shake recipe here
-Perfect homemade pie crust was prepped yesterday and being stored in the freezer until it gets baked into pumpkin and pecan pie on Thursday. Recipe is here and here
-Loaves on loaves on loaves of pumpkin bread for our Jones Assembly staff Thanksgiving lunch today! P.S. pumpkin bread is the perfect t-giving breakfast w/ some AB spread on a slice and bananas layered on top. Perfect fuel for cooking all morning!  

Annie 

Bites of My Life

Lots of fall cooking and recipes and an uninvited kitchen injury to pair. Last week was busy yet passed by slow. With this being the last week of the month I have an inkling it will buzz by. Here's to hoping so, yet also holding on to time as the best time of the year arrives. 

-Love my days when I work from home. I get my space all set up with work materials, drink essentials (TJ's matcha mix), and visual inspiration like The Scout Guide that just made it's launch in OKC.
-It's pumpkin bread season and I shared my family's recipe last week.
-Also shared this family favorite of Sausage Tortellini Soup which I happily enjoyed all week!
-Fig jam, prosciutto, parmesan and apple open face sammy. Unfortunately this lunch turned into this...
-One swipe of the apple on the mandoline, led to a swipe of my thumb on the mandoline. It was a bloody Thursday to say the least. 
-Picked this seasoning up on a whim and I'm putting it on everything!
-My dad and I have been going to a local chili cook-off together for the past 3 years. It's one of my favorite events of the fall. We decided next year is the year I enter!
-Cheers to brandy ices and being the youngest at the bar by 40 years.
-Dressed like a pig and ran (walked) a 5K. Just your average Saturday.
-Sunday got off to a lazy start while staying in bed then enjoying a pumpkin green smoothie bowl for a late breakfast. 
-Sunday prep for this week's dinner. Keeping on my soup game with this butternut squash soup. 
-When dad smokes ribs, I (and Gabe) come running. 

Annie

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread, there's nothing better. Pumpkin bread is the quintessential pumpkin food. It's been around waaaaay longer than PSLs, pumpkin spice puppy chow, pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin spice cookie butter and all the other commercialized pumpkin foods. 

This time of year makes me nostalgic for old family recipes. With the holidays coming up, I've been digging through my mom's recipe binder to resurface some of my favorites like her ginger cookies, sausage tortellini soup (more on that later this week) and this pumpkin bread. It's the best darn pumpkin bread around and deserves to be shared. 

I baked up eight, count 'em, eight loaves this weekend. Six of them were sent off to be used as gifts, but two are taking home in my freezer to be pulled out when the pumpkin bread hunger strikes! It took a few loads into my KitchenAid to complete all the bowls of batter, but well worth it, that is my kind of therapy. Follow below to snatch this family tested, Annie trusted and fall approved recipe!

Pumpkin Bread
yields 2, 9 inch loaves or 3, 8 inch loves

Ingredients:
2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1, 15oz can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsps. baking soda
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Generously grease and flour 2, 9 inch or 3, 8 inch loaf pans and set aside.

Cream shortening, gradually add sugar beating well. Add eggs, mix well. Stir in pumpkin and water.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in nuts, reserving a few. Spoon into loaf pans. Top with extra pecans. If using 8 inch pans bake for 55 minutes, 9 inch pans will bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the toothpick trick comes out clean.

What's your favorite pumpkin recipe? Mine 100% is this bread!

Annie