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

Campfire Cookies

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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. 

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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Annie

Bites of My Life

Last week was great with several reasons leading to why, but the cherry on top was Stacia and Sage's wedding weekend. The two are some of my best friends and Stacia has been waiting for this day for forever. Seeing it all come together, and be perfect, was the best for her. Not to mention having all my best friends who live near and far all in one place made it the best best. Exhausted and hoarse, but well worth it for the best dance floor party and for the now Mr. and Mrs. Ranallo!

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-Matcha is back in heavy rotation. It has been the best energy source to get me through the day after my early early morning bootcamp workouts.
-Healthy easy chicken burrito bowl situation over cauliflower rice I was able to throw together with things from my fridge! 
-#TargetDoesItAgain. and again, and again and again. 
-Obsessed with my new Who What Wear collection sandals
-Peep my insta highlights for the run down on this easy egg/avocado salad. Will work on getting the recipe up on TAB soon!
-Tuesday morning brewery tour for a special project The Jones Assembly + Prairie Artisan Ales are teaming up on! Pictured here: me learning the "grain out" techniques. 
-The SO team finally got to let the cat out of the bag. We are so excited to operate the cafe space in the new Scissortail Park coming to west downtown!
-Unexpected surprise goodie package from Arbonne for hitting my district manager status.
-Wedding weekend for Stacia and Sage finally kicking off!
-HP for the win!
-No doubt Stacia would make a gorgeous bride, but still got chills seeing her look come together on the big day. 
-Sunday sushi made healthier and so good courtesy of Whole Foods. 

Don't miss last week's lite bite posts: mayo-less tuna salad and watermelon & heirloom tomato salad.
Current songs on repeat: Tequila by Dan + Shay and Finest Hour by Cash Cash.

Annie