Category Archives: Oklahoma

Join Me on Rise and Shine Oklahoma Each Week!

I have just been busting to tell you guys this for quite some time, but I wanted to make sure details were finalized, and plans were drawn out before I made it public. 

It’s official folks!  I have business cards, and a keycard to the door!   I’m excited.  Keep reading to find out why!

Beginning in July (slated for Wednesday, July 14th right now), I will be doing a weekly segment on Rise and Shine Oklahoma on KAUT43, an affiliate of KFOR News.  My segment will be featuring restaurant reviews, and maybe even a little of my kitchen Tips & Tricks that you’ve seen on Dishin & Dishes.  Here is how it will happen…

Each week, Mr. Wonderful and I will dine out at a great Oklahoma City (or surrounding metro area) restaurant.  The night will be filled with photographing the great food we are served, much like I do on my blog posts.  We’ll probably talk to the chef and/or owner and maybe even get to visit inside the kitchen to see where all great cuisine begins.

Then I’ll do a live spot with Lance West on Wednesdays and we’ll discuss the restaurant and our experience.  Sometimes, the chef or owner will join us, which will be great fun!

There will be a page dedicated to this on the News Station’s website .  It’s going to be called…Dishin & Dishes with Katie or something like that!  I saw a little bit of the mockup when I visited the station. Past reviews will be archived here and can be watched anytime!

Lance and I will “dish” about the restaurant for a bit, and then people will have the opportunity to go to the page and order a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant we reviewed.  But here’s the kicker!  You’ll only have to pay $25 for the $50 gift certificate!

My segment is set to air weekly on Wednesdays at 7:15 a.m. (I’ll let you know for sure closer to first air date) so I hope if you live in the Oklahoma City area, you’ll join me for a fun restaurant review each week!

I am so looking forward to how fun this is going to be!  Can you imagine? I’m getting paid to eat out at great Oklahoma City restaurants, and then have fun by telling you, the viewers about spots you may not have tried!

I hope you join me in July!  It’d be a great thing to do in the morning and I’d sure love having you with me 🙂

Did you know us bloggers love to get comments? Please let me know your thoughts below on this article! 

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Would Someone Bring Me an Ark Please?

As if we don’t have to worry about enough around here with tornadoes, we can now add flooding to the list.

Today I headed off to work not realizing that in a few short hours, Oklahoma City would look like this.

And this.

And oh boy…this.

I am now at work, wondering what I’ll eat for lunch (I have nothing here!), how and if  I’ll get home.  I drove our little car today to work instead of my SUV as Mr. Wonderful was having some car issues checked out today on mine.

I can’t resist posting this one, cuz it just cracks me up.

People from all over the city are being sent home from their jobs.  Others have been trying to get to their jobs and have been trying for 2 hours.

The latest Twitter update from the City is telling people to “STAY HOME”! 

If this doesn’t stop, would someone please send me an Ark?

I’d most appreciate it.

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Festival Market Place – Edmond’s Farmers Market

City of Edmond Festival Market Place
Parks and Recreation Dept.
2733 Marilyn Williams Drive
Phone:  (405) 359-4630
***  Note:  Bring cash or check only!!!
Wednesdays & Saturdays, June 9 – Sept 29
8-1pm; also April, May, & Oct on Sat from 9-1pm Rain or Shine
Free Admission

Welcome to the Edmond Farmers Market.

Welcome to pure, local-grown bliss.

I headed out to the Festival Market Place Saturday morning.  I was scheduled to meet Summer, the Special Venues Coordinator.  My GPS wouldn’t take the address, so I had to call her cell phone and ask where in the world to go.  I had been to the Edmond Farmers Market years ago, when it was a small affair and really didn’t know what to expect.  She told me to take Broadway Extension to 2nd Street and drive to the next stop light and hang a left.  After that she said, “you’ll be able to see us from there”.

Oh, was she correct on that one.

As I approached the 1st and Broadway light, I was caught up in a traffic jam in old downtown Edmond the likes of which I’d never seen there before.  And everyone was turning left onto 1st Street.

I dialed Summer again..”I’m here”, I said, “but where in the world do I park?”  There were cars filling the small lot and lining the streets west toward the railroad tracks.  I ended up parking across the tracks.

I approached a bustling scene of families and farmers that thoroughly stirred my excitement.

This was the first booth I saw.

I smiled in anticipation at the jewel-toned produce lined up in baskets being monitored by a ZZ-Top-style bearded man in overalls. I half expected him to bust out in a rendition of “Gimme All Your Loving”.

Is he adorable or what? ( Mr. Wonderful would sternly tell me “adorable” is not a ZZ-Top descriptive word.)  I also call big lifted-up trucks “cute”, which drives him crazy.

Now this is what a Farmer’s Market should be.  I was looking for Summer, so I headed towards the craziness.  I loved the next thing I saw…

A man perched atop a trailer of fresh corn.  Sweet! (No pun intended!)

I found Summer, and she briefed me a little on the Festival Market Place.  Apparently several years back, the small farmers market began to grow.  Eventually, Edmond decided they would give it a place to really shine, and they built this site with its permanent structure of metal canopies and it is a great setup.

See those craft booths?  They are only there on the second Saturday of each month and they are strictly regulated to stay in front of the yellow curb.

That booth was particularly popular with it’s cute little Thunder and college logo minis!  I totally would have bought one, if only I were 19… and had a perky, sun- tanned body like those cute girls in the booth!

And I’m sorry, but these just cracked me up.

Other craft booths housed things like jewelry, pillows, garden ornaments and various other fun things.

But I was eager to move on to the produce.  Everything under the metal awning is reserved for local farmers.  There are many local farms that participate from all over Oklahoma.

The vendors are required to clearly mark whether their produce is locally grown and if not , they must mark it also.

And the produce was fine.  So fine!

There were baskets of fresh green beans.

Would someone please tell me how I’m supposed to decide between these?

And then there were berries.

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries.

I was in awe.

They were plump, juicy and ripe and I wanted to take a handful and pop them into my mouth right then and there.

There were squash, and red potatoes.

And now I’m craving making red potatoes with green beans.  Recipe coming shortly my friends.

Tomatoes were everywhere.

On tables and in baskets.

As were watermelons.  This table even let you have a taste-test to see how good they actually were.

Want some herbs?  These herbs weren’t packaged up in little plastic boxes.  These herbs encouraged you (for the same price) to go home and dig up soil and plant them for a summer of enjoyment.

How about some locally made wine?

I had no idea there was a winery near Stroud called Sparks Vineyard and Winery.  They have Blueberry wine…interesting!

This guy was popular…and he was selling honey.  Local honey. Honey is very near and dear to my heart.

And then I rounded the corner and I found Urban Agrarians.

This group is going to be a blog post later, all by themselves.  From the truck the owner drives that is fueled by vegetable oil, to the homemade peanut butter you see on the top shelf, they intrigue me.  I wanted to just dive, face-first right into the coolers of fresh lettuce I saw.

And their table of produce?

And as I peeked into another cooler, I saw, fresh-baked, wheat flatbread and pizza crust and many more intriguing selections.

Another things worth mentioning.  There are free range eggs and meat available.

I saw families with children and strollers.  It’s a fair-type atmosphere and there are even some food vendors there to make it fun.

There was even a table with locally made hand-made soap.

I encourage you, if you live in the OKC metro area, try out Edmond’s Festival Market soon.  It’s a great experience.  Just make sure you bring along cash or your checkbook, because they don’t take credit cards.

I’ll be back next Saturday with cash.

And bring along the kids.  It’s a family friendly environment.


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Oklahoma and Tornados…Always Hand in Hand

In Oklahoma, we are used to seeing things like this….

We are used to seeing things like this on our TV screen for an entire evening.

I mean, all progamming is pre-empted.  You’ll miss your weekly show for sure. 

We’re used to that.

You probably saw on the news last night that we had tornadoes everywhere around us.  I think 31 were reported, and so that probably means there were really 20 or so.  If you consider that several of them were probably the same tornado reported, there is no telling how many actually occurred. 

Oklahoma City, which is where I live, has an official reporting of 6 I think.

This is the part we never get used to…

Or this…


We don’t like to see any of these sites…

Here are a few pictures that my sister-in-law Cheryl took from her house in South Oklahoma City.  She got hammered by hail in the 4 inch range (baseball size).

Five casualties were reported in the metro area as of this  morning.  Many people (I’ve heard 30,000) are still out of power.  Fifty some dwellings were destroyed.

No, we really never get used to us.  Say a prayer for Oklahoma today.

There are those who need it.

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Allied Arts ARTini Time!

 

Coming soon to an incredible town near you – namely Oklahoma City.

ARTini!

What is ARTini you say?  In short, it’s going to be a night filled with amazing food , drinks and art auction!  It’ll be one heck of a party!  But let me just share with you a bit of Allied Arts press release.

 The Young Patrons – Allied Arts’ young professionals group – will shake up some fun (and funds) for the arts on May 15 at its annual ARTini fundraiser. With record attendance expected, the event will gather more than 500 guests for martini tastings and appetizers from 11 of Oklahoma City’s top restaurants.Held at the Oklahoma City Public Farmers Market from 7 to 11 p.m., ARTini will also include live entertainment, dancing and a silent art auction featuring original work by local artists. All event proceeds benefit Allied Arts and the 20 local arts groups it supports.

“ARTini is the premier arts event for young professionals in the Oklahoma City area,” said Misty Garrett, 2010 ARTini co-chair. “As Young Patrons, we’re proud to host this event and play such an important role in raising awareness and critical funds for the arts in Central Oklahoma.”

ARTini will feature 11 Oklahoma City restaurants, including: 1492: New World Latin Cuisine, Bin 73, Deep Fork Grill, Iguana Mexican Grill, Museum Café, Paseo Grill, Picasso Cafe, Prohibition Room, Rococo Restaurant and Fine Wine, Trattoria Il Centro and Western Concepts Restaurant Group.

True to the artistic nature of the event, participating restaurants will create and serve original martini recipes with the goal of winning the coveted “Best ARTini” award or “People’s Choice.” Local celebrity judges will crown the “Best ARTini,” while guests will select “People’s Choice.” Each restaurant will reflect this year’s theme “ARTini Time,” through descriptive drink names, creative staff dress and relevant table decorations.

“ARTini allows guests to get both a taste of the arts and a taste of Oklahoma City’s finest restaurants – all while raising support for our arts community.” said Darren Holland, 2010 ARTini co-chair.

ARTini tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door and dress is “urban chic.” To purchase tickets, visit www.alliedartini.com, call Allied Arts at (405) 278-8944 or stop by the organization’s office at 1015 N. Broadway, Suite 200 in Oklahoma City.

Mr. Wonderful and I will be attending this event and super excited that almost all of our favorite restaurants are featured and competing. It’s also such a great way to support your local community and also supporting our local art groups here in Oklahoma.  I mean, we’re talking the best of the best here folks.  Those appetizers will be amazing!

Founded in 1971, Allied Arts raises awareness of the arts, supports over 20 organizations of the arts,  and helps promote local art groups and this is going to be a bang-up, Urban-chic affair you won’t want to miss. You can visit their website to read more, and I encourage you to do so!

Get involved!

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How to Survive in an Asian Market When You’re Not Asian

Here in Oklahoma City, we have an incredible Asian District.  Mr. Wonderful and I venture off to it often to eat at some great restaurants where we indulge in Pho, Thai, Dim-Sum, Bánh mì, and more great food. 

What I really, truly love in the Asian District, however, is our Asian market.  Specifically, Super Cao Nguyen.

You know those cooking shows you watch?  They use things like watercress, garlic chili sauce or pomengrate syrup?  You may write off those recipes because you think to yourself, “OK, Wal-Mart is not going to have that one!”

Ahhhh, but Cao Nguyen does.

It’s important to realize when you go to an Asian market, that you’re not going to be able to read a lot of the stuff. The first time I went to our huge Asian market, I was overwhelmed. Many of the items are imported from other countries and the labels aren’t in English.  In the same regard, many of the shelf tags aren’t either. 

For instance, when browsing through the produce, many of the herbs and such are in the language of those who use them most.  You might see Cilantro, but it will be labeled “Ngò”. 

So what to do when you’re looking for something specific?

#1  Ask for help if possible..  This doesn’t always work in our market, as there aren’t often workers in the aisles.  I have, however, asked a learned-looking Asian shopper for help, and they usually will point you in the right direction.

#2  Do some research in advance.  For example, when I started making Pad Thai, I needed tamarind pulp.  I Googled it, and then clicked on Google images which gave me lots of pictures of different brands.  I had an idea of what it would look like when I got to the market.

#3 Make your first trip when you have plenty of time.  Browse through the market slowly and acquaint yourself with the various aisles, meat, produce and other sections.  Once you have a clear concept of the layout of the store, you can then make a rough guess as to where something will be.  For example, once I found the sauce aisle, I knew I could find dark soy sauce,  sambal oelek, fish sauce and other sauces I needed.  Once I figured out that one aisle housed Japanese food, I knew to get my sushi nori there, which reminds me to tell you that usually, the aisles are also broken down into ethnicity, so depending on what you’re cooking, you can look for signs for that.

 Now, me take you on a brief tour of this market.

Upon entering, you will be greeted by the smells of fresh churros being made. They are hot and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and the smell just kills you!

So, if you can struggle past that smell without stopping to buy one, you’ll see an entire section to your right of Asian candies, dried fruits and cookies.

Just past the sweets sections lies the ..umm…deli?  But it’s not like any deli you’re used to.  Here you can buy cooked food, dried salted plums (Mr. Wonderful loves these!), and fresh whole deep-fried tilapia.

Walk a little further and you can buy freshly baked buns for Bánh mi.

And you can find Korean kimchi, in a variety of styles and flavors.

Or perhaps you want some sushi or seaweed salad to take-out for lunch?   Yes, there’s an ap for that as well Ladies and Gentlemen. 

Continuing on, to your left you will see some things you might not recognize.  Like duck eggs, large packages of pickled ginger,  and large bins with fresh rice noodles in them. 

Next, you’ll arrive at the produce section. 

 I love the produce section. 

 Things are very inexpensive here and you can find some super great things that you won’t find in your ordinary stores.

Things like daikon, kohlrabi and Chinese garlic chives. 

 Things like watercress, chinese spinach, a variety of baby bok choy, mint and other things I have yet to discover.

I love to pick up the large bags of shallots in this next section.  It also houses taro root, different types of sweet potatoes, green papaya, yucca, and lemongrass.

As you turn the corner, you will see an entire section filled with peppers, jalepenos, thai style, red pepers and green peppers.  These are cheap my friends…way cheaper than my grocery store.  You will also see about 10 varieties of mushrooms, which makes me very happy, being a mushroom fan.

Another cooler section nearby contains eggs and tofu.  You can even get already fried tofu, and …look way up in the top corner of this picture – quail eggs!

There is a whole other long aisle of refrigerated stuff as well. Stuff like dried shrimp and anchovies.

And there are an endless supply of choices of miso and fresh packaged rice noodles.

There are also a million different kinds of exotic drinks, none of which I know anything about…sorry.  Anyone know about these?

And I always have to get some yummy edamame.  There is also an entire row of frozen steamed buns with various fillings and potstickers.

Or perhaps you want a whole frozen duck or some frog legs?  Yep, they have them at Cao Nguyen.

This is the other hidden gem of the Asian Market.  The meat department.

I mean, this sucker is LONG.

The closer end holds every kind of beef, pork and chicken that you can think of.  And I mean every kind!  You will find everything here from finely ground or coarsely ground pork, pork belly, flank steak and, yes, even oxtails.

You’ll also find a few other things, like fresh pig snout. ears and feet and chicken feet.  I don’t typically get those, but they sure are fun to look at!

The other end of the meat counter is the exciting end.  Want fresh fish?  The best sushi grade tuna you can find? There is even whole red snapper and striped bass today.  Sometimes you can get Dover sole or even Chilean sea bass. Nice!

And it doesn’t get much fresher, or scarier than this.

Live blue crab and crawfish!  (Yes they were moving!)

Or how about some , snails or Manilla Clams?   Yep you’ll find those too!

The meat counter also has several varieties of fresh shrimp, from head-on, to prawns and also shrimp and lobster balls for soups. There is also  a huge frozen section of just shrimp and fish.

And I haven’t even made it to the other end of the market.  I”ll try to shorten the trip by giving you some collages to look at.

There are plenty of housewares, including chinese dishes, sushi sets, steamers, mortars and pestles and cookware.

Need rice? You have a huge selection of choices and these large bags will last you forever in your favorite variety.  We usually get the jasmine rice in  a 30 pound bag for around $12.00.  There is also an entire aisle for tea and coffee.

That coffee on the end? You have to try it if you see it!  More on that on a future post!

One of my favorite aisles holds at least 10 different kinds of curry pastes.  Another aisle ….rice noodles and sushi wraps in every size, even these cute little squares for when you eat Korean bulgogi.  Another aisle….rice paper for making egg rolls and spring rolls.

And before I leave, I have to visit the “snack” aisle and get Mr. Wonderful some of these asian cracker packages.  He loves the hot variety.

I would be remiss in this post, as a non-asian person if I didn’t tell you that you are going to see some things that aren’t “normal” to you.  You will experience new smells, mostly because of the fresh fish in the back.  You will see things like duck eggs with partially formed ducks inside.  You will see chicken feet, intestines and even possibly a 6-pack of duck heads. 

 It’s important for you to remember that while this is not your culture, it is someone elses and not to make a big deal in public, for risk of offending the culture.  Some of these things are delicacies in another culture.

Remember, Asian people  probably want to oink when they see you consuming things like super-size french fries, but they don’t.  So be respectful.  And don’t let something “different” scare you off from what can be a new culinary adventure for you.

Do you have a local Asian market? I challenge you today to venture forth, and experience the magic of finding exotic ingredients, trying new recipes and submersing yourself into a different culture. 

The foods you make bring new flavors to your palette and a smile to your face.

Want to read about more interesting Oklahoma stories? Head over to Cheryl’s site at The Prarie Maid to read more where other Oklahomans are posting memories, and stories about Oklahoma you may not have heard!

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What We Do Around Here for Fun

If you’ve never been to Oklahoma City, we have some pretty neat stuff. 

Seriously!  Why are you laughing?

We have a lake that sits in Northwest Oklahoma City called Lake Hefner.

The great thing about this is, if you have a boat, you can go to the lake any night of the week without having to wait for the weekend.

So this is a favorite thing for us to do for a little “getaway feeling” on a work-night.

We hook up our boat.

Sometimes we go out alone for a romantic date night.  We pack a picnic, go float, and watch the sun go down.  More recently though, I read a book while Mr. Wonderful fishes.  HEY!  Someone tell the man this isn’t “date night activity”!

Sometimes, though, we grab some good friends like Rick and Nancy.

You might remember Nancy from my earring giveaway she sponsored.  She is an awesome jewelry designer. Check out her website at Dragonfly In Amber Design. 

***Bonus for you!  Nancy has offered to anyone reading this that if you go to her site and leave a comment on the guestbook saying that you visited  because of reading my blog, she will send you a 50% off coupon code for any one of her items!  COOL!  Click here!

We pull up to the docks and we climb into the boat while Mr. Wonderful backs the trailer down into the water.

Then he goes and parks the SUV and the trailer while I pull the boat up to the dock and wait for him to jump in.

Then we head off across the lake, leaving only our wake behind us.

After we tool around a bit on the water, we head over to The East Wharf, where there are some great restaurants.

Along the way, there are some beautiful sights.

And we wave at some friends.

Nope, we didn’t know that guy, but boat people and Oklahoma people are just friendly to each other.

Pretty soon we see the lighthouse.

And we head for the cove, just to the right of the lighthouse.  We pass Louie’s, a great burger joint, and home of some really good fried green beans.

**Mental note to self – I am definitely going to try to re-create those fried green beans.

Next we pass Mama Rojas, which was our destination, but we were headed to the docks to park the boat, so se kept going.

See those giant garage door looking things? They’ll put those up on a super nice night on their glassed-in porch.

We kept on going and soon you’ll see Red Rock Canyon Grill, who has undoubtably the best Stuffed Pablano I’ve ever had in my life.

Also, the screens you see on the far side of the building?  At sundown, bells and whistles sound and those screens are raised which causes a big ruckus for a minute.  That walkway you see to the right goes down to the docks. If you call ahead and order, someone will bring your order right down to your boat from Red Rock.  That’s what I call curb dock side service.

You can’t see the other restaurant, Lakeside Bar & Grill from the cove, as it actually fronts out on the lake, but it would be two buildings past Red Rock.  All of the restaurants have glassed-in and regular patios, and Red Rock has an awesome fire pit you can lounge around on their porch.

We pull into the docks.  There are two courtesy slips for the East Wharf restaurant-goers to pull into.   We pull in, disrupting that poor fisherman and climb out of the boat.

The guys hop out and then help us.  Nancy hands me my purse  Unlike a car, there is no locked trunk in a boat.

Rick took a cute shot of Mr. Wonderful and I.

And then we trekked on up to Mama Roja’s.  I tasted a tomatillo avocado salsa that made me swoon.

And when we came out a little while later, we saw a beautiful site.

We jumped into the boat and headed back down the cove.

The sky was magnificent in shades of blues, pinks and purples.

The lighthouse….gorgeous.

Look real close and you can see the young couple making out behind the lighthouse.  They thought they were safe from prying eyes!

And this, my friends, is what we do around here for fun.

What do you do where you live for fun?

**Thanks to Rick for most of these pictures.  My camera stunk last night!

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