Bites of My Life

One of my favorite weekends of the year…check! I grew up heading to Dallas for OU/Texas weekend, obviously attended in college and now love the reunion with friends year after year. But, getting to host this year took the cake. Now I’m finishing up this post from my parents house for a quick trip back to OKC for work, then a chill weekend ahead.

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-Easiest go-to meal = spaghetti squash, marinara with wilted spinach and call it a day. Serve your kombucha out of a wine glass and suddenly Monday isn’t so hard!
-When your juice matches your skirt >
-Kicked off the big weekend with my guy Robert Earl Keen Thursday night benefiting the Rise School of Dallas. This marks #6 seeing REK!
-Mom and dad in town for OU/Texas so we indulged in fried shrimp and gumbo at S&D to celebrate.
-Really love getting to play hostess. My little 1 bedroom became a 5 bed bunkhouse for the weekend and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
-THE best part of OU/Texas weekend is the reunion. One weekend we can always count on to get everyone in the same place.
-Retweet the sentiments from above.
-Hotel Annie had an early morning check-out. After cleaning up the place, I had breakfast on my couch and proceeded to stay there for the following 3 hours.
-Had no choice but to be outside Sunday afternoon. Dallas welcomes you fall with open arms.

Annie

Verde Turkey Chili (updated) and Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies hit the blog last week. Two recipes about to fall into serious rotation this season.

My 6 Favorite Dallas Spots 3 Months In

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Three months in Dallas? Hi? How? But also I feel like I’ve been here forever! I Three months seemed pivotal enough to document some of my favorite spots thus far. There are a couple repeats from this and this post that I wrote just one and two weeks in. Now three months later, many more places visited, still some of the same faves and still so many places to keep exploring.

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Louie’s
If you live in Dallas, this probably wasn’t the first place you’d think would be on my list, but on the flipside, if you’ve been to Louie’s then you understand. Louie’s is a complete hole in the wall on Henderson known for their pizza and martinis. They are more than just a pizza place, with salmon, a burger, sandwiches, and a filet on the menu, but word from the wise don’t stray from the thin crust build-your-own pizza, big salads, meatballs and crab claws to start! As for the martini’s, they were so hyped up and I thought they would convert me, but even dirty I just can’t sip on gin and pretend like I like it. Louie’s has been on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so I’ll just leave you with that. Post-September Whole 30, I’m coming for ya Louie’s!

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Central Market
One of my favorite past times is wandering the aisles at a grocery store. No really. If I need to kill some time or if I’m bored, or if I should be doing a million other things, I’ll often find a reason to end up at the grocery store. I love to do my big shopping on Sundays, but about mid-week I need a pick-me-up and will go stroll down aisles to pick up a little something-something. This is a long way of saying now that Central Market is in my life, this grocery store meandering has heightened. I still love TJ’s, Whole Foods and Sprouts, but Central Market has s a m p l e s. And I mean samples. The bakery section is 100% my weakness and just gosh awful temptation while on Whole30 right now. They have bread of plenty to sample with this whipped butter that should just be sued it’s so good.

My Central Market faves are their fresh verde salsa, homemade tortillas, these crispbreads, the crazy selection of bulk bin items and winding through their maze of a produce section.

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Bishop Arts District
Bishop Arts is tucked away west of downtown and coins the phrase “the most independent neighborhood.” It is quint and has this little mountain town feel to it, reminds me of Colorado. Cute shops (hi All Good Things), and new restaurants are popping up left and right. I got to go to Paradiso last night and everything about it from the design, to the menu to the atmosphere was on point. Some other BA faves and places on my list are Melt Ice Cream, Tribal All Day Cafe, Serve, Lucia, Eno’s Pizza, Coco’s, Botanist and Good Companions. If you have a free Saturday or Sunday, spend it wandering around Bishop Arts!

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photo via Katy Trail

Katy Trail Ice House
I know Katy Trail is a little cliche Dallas, but it truly is my favorite spot in the city. I already wrote about it here! It’s great in the evening, its great during the day on the weekends, fun for watching games, great drinks (Summer Beer) and good food. It’s all outdoors, but you’ll see people in workout clothes just coming off running the Katy Trail, people with their dogs, people dressed up having come straight for work. It’s really great for any time of day or event.

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Honor Bar
Another cliche Dallas spot that I’ve mentioned before, but it’s just flat out good. The vibes, the food, the experiences I’ve had there have all been great. It’s in this corner spot of Highland Park Village with a patio that expands out a bit. It’s always crowded, but for good reason. The ahi tuna, the macho salad and their version of a ranch water make me drool just thinking about them. Props to the Hillstone restaurant group for finding what they are good at and sticking to it. Being in restaurants makes you really appreciate how others do it.

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Royal Blue Grocery
No one should be surprised that two grocery stores made it on this list. Royal Blue is the most charming little grocery and specialty food store, one location in Highland Park Village and one downtown. If you didn’t know, my end goal in life is to open something similar. Think Barefoot Contessa or the bakery Meryl Streep owns in It’s Complicated. Catch me in my 40s or 50s and hopefully that’s where you will find me.

Royal Blue is my current fix to fill my daydreams. Their groceries are wildly overpriced, well everything in there is, but since it’s not my everyday spot (unlike the yuppie Highland Park moms) I feel ok treating myself to a Royal Blue visit every once and a while. My recent Royal Blue crush is their turmeric latte. Just turmeric, ginger, cinnamon (hold the honey #whole30) and steamed almond milk! They also have a vegan cookie butter gelato that is, well, I think you can imagine how amazing it is.

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Honorable Mentions: Oishii, The Pilates Barre, Sachet, Parkhouse, Up On Knox, Javier’s, Highland Park Presbyterian, Eatzi’s, and Terelli’s.

It’s been a stellar 3 months in Dally. Here’s to the next however many months. ILY big D!

Annie

Bites of My Life

Hey September, I said heyyyyyy Septemberrrrrr. Beyonce reference to Hey Mrs. Carter anyone? That was so bad, OK moving on.

Labor Day how was it? I was back in Oklahoma City after my mom, middle sis and the babies came to visit me in Dallas. I wish I had video of me squeezed between two car seats with two crying babies in the pouring rain on our drive back to Oklahoma… I was home for the first OU home game, but got to sneak in good family time, good food, so many walks and prepped 150 Perfect CCCs that I’m making for my friend Chloe’s wedding this weekend! Got back in town yesterday and went into full on #SeptemberWhole30 prep mode. Let the games begin.

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-A taste of fall, but also full on basic white girl move by trying the new Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Verdict it’s delicious if you like pumpkin things, but you can’t modify it so it’s a niiiice sugar dose in your morning coffee. Still worth ordering at least one this season.
-I joined a volleyball league with some friends here in Dallas. Thankfully we were friends first so they don’t drop me because of my poor athleticism and weak contribution…
-Was on a kick last week of pilates, Royal Blue and then a neighborhood stroll. These were good mornings.
-Favorite new TJ’s find is this Suja celery juice. Just celery and lemon and only $2.99. Only a little more than a stalk of organic celery that you’d juice yourself.
-PizZA with my pizza loving mini me at True Food Kitchen. Loved having them in town for a couple days.
-We picked up Bird Bakery for our lunch on the road. This was my first BB experience and the chicken salad is truly out of this world.
-Got to my parents and did what I did best, cleaned out their fridge. The results were this yummy thai inspired cauliflower fried rice with curry and turmeric seasonings in it and thai curry cashews on top!
-Another parent fridge raid meal. Chicken salad, mismatched veggies, cottage cheese (are you yay or nay?) over mixed greens.
-A true depiction of gameday, inside Seven47 and my relationship with my sis and BIL.
-Back in Dallas after a packed weekend. Had to take a breather before heading to the grocery store, so my Whole 30 Day 1 lunch was an apple and almond butter because it was legit the only food I had.
-I’m getting wildly obsessed with sharing my grocery hauls, but y’all are into them, so I’m into them to. I save them all to a highlight on my instagram.
-First official whole 30 meal was this 5-ingredient sausage and peppers with marinara that The Defined Dish did on her instagram last week!

Annie

3-Bean Salad

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One of my best friends has been following a vegan diet for the past few months and claims she has never felt better. I eat vegetarian accidentally all the time and have tried eating vegan once before. There is a ton of information out there about the benefits of veganism, so I thought I’d challenge my self to eat plant based last week. I prepped some delicious overnight oats, and this delicious 3-bean salad, but dinner got away from me when I ended up at a new Dallas hot spot and dove into enchiladas completely forgetting about my “vegan” diet. OOPS!

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Anyway, back to this salad. I love beans, but I feel like they can get a bad rap. For vegans and vegetarians, beans are an incredible source of protein. Even for meat eaters, I think we should all love a bean now and then. There was a little sandwich spot at OU that my friends and I loved to go to. I’d almost always order a 1/2 sandwich and salad combo with my salad choice being their 3-bean salad. It wasn’t a popular opinion amongst my fellow 20 year olds, but I loved the kidney bean, green bean and chickpea salad they served.

I’m going down a rabbit hole and I’m not surprised if I lost you, but if you are still here, I’m basically just here to tell you that this 3-bean salad is great. Great for lunch balanced with some berries or apple on the side, would be great as a side at a barbecue or could even make a great dip with Fritos or tortilla chips kind of like a Texas Caviar situation.

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3-Bean Salad
yields about 4, 1 cup servings

Ingredients:
1 -15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, cubed
2-3 Tbsps. olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste (I use a decent amount)

In a large mixing bowl add first six ingredients. If serving immediately add avocado. If serving later, wait to add avocado until time to eat. Add in olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve as an entree with fruit, a side dish or with chips for a dip!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will stay good for 5-7 days (without avocado). I take this salad as lunch and divide amongst 4 of my favorite jars and take 1/4 of an avocado with me to add day of right before I eat.

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Annie

Bites of My Life

I had the realization that I’m going to be away from Dallas the next four weekends. After a sheer panic I calmed down knowing it’s all for good reasons. This weekend is Maddie’s bachelorette, followed by Labor Day/first OU game, a wedding and a work event. I honestly just love my time in Dallas and don’t like the idea of being gone so much. Just when I thought summer was the busy season and ready for the structure of fall, the new season hit me with it’s craziness.

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-First visit to Flower Child and I’m hooked. Mother Earth bowl because it’s what you do.
-Cheers to two full months in Dallas and having these friends to eat my way through the city with. We went to the hot new Te Deseo on Tuesday. We loved it, but pro-tip: sit in the bar or courtyard if you can.
-3-Bean salad packed with vegan protein was prepped for lunches last week and is coming to the blog tomorrow!
-Pressed Juicery had it’s grand opening last week and I shamelessly waited in line at 7AM to claim my free item. I have bought their juices before (which are great), but had never tried a “freeze” until now. Being that the ingredients are so minimal I didn’t even feel weird eating it for breakfast. It 100% lives up to the hype.
-I had big plans to make this for dinners last week. After busy work days I had zero energy to even boil water so a big salad using the pasta’s ingredients did the job.
-Working on my matcha guide for Dallas. I’ve heard great things about Drip, but there matcha didn’t stand up…
-I was co-maid of honor for both of my sisters, but being maid of honor for one of my best friends is really special. Maddie was in Dallas this weekend to wedding dress shop and invited me along. I feel incredibly honored to have been part of the process. Seeing her firsthand in the dress (she said yes!!!) is something I’ll never forget. It’s a stunner. Celebratory sparklers at lunch to honor the day!
-Followed by rounds and rounds of ranch waters with her dress shopping squad.
-My contribution to Hatch Chili “fam” dinner. A group of some new friends here in Dallas got together Sunday night to cook up as many Central Market Hatch Chili items as we could. There were hatch chili tortilla chips with hatch chili guac and hatch chili sausage for appetizers, hatch chili burgers with hatch chili pepper jack, hatch chili marinated beer can chicken, my hatch chili corn succotash and broccolini grilled with hatch chilis. Finished off with cheesecake…no hatch chilis involved there.

Annie