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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Asparagus Fixing Tips

I think I’ve eaten more asparagus this spring than I’ve ever eaten in my life combined.  I’ve fallen in love with this vegetable. 

Big surprise since I fall in love with every vegetable.

It occurred to me the other day, that instead of fumbling with each stalk of asparagus, snapping off one stalk and then trying to line up each of the other stalks to chop them off with my knife evenly, that there might be a better way.

I guess for those of you who haven’t fixed asparagus, I should explain. 

The bottom part of the stalk is usually tough and becomes hard to chew if left on for cooking.  Some people peel it with a peeler, but I usually just snap them off.  When you bend them, wherever they break down at that end is usually the perfect spot to trim them at.

So on to the better way.

Enter the blue rubber bands that bind my asparagus together.

I thought to myself, why not just leave them on to trim my asparagus?

So I snapped off one lone stalk to see where it snapped at.

And then I just chopped the rest of the stalks off at the same point, with my asparagus still bound up in the rubber bands.

Then I removed the bands and tossed them all in a colander to give them a quick rinse.

In honor of the A-Team movie coming out this week….

“I just love it when a plan comes together”.

P.S. My favorite way to cook asparagus is to drizzle a little olive oil over it, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Put it in a 400º oven for 10-15 minutes. 

 I like mine with some snap to them.  It seems, the longer you cook asparagus, the more chance of stringiness you get. 

View a couple of my recipes using asparagus by clicking on the links below:

Roasted Asparagus with Ginger-Soy-Sesame Dressing

Chicken Cutlets in Asparagus Pesto Cream Sauce (One of my personal favs)

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The Gift of Mr. Wonderful

The ladies over at the RHOK are doing McLinky Monday again..this time the question is….

How did you meet your husband?

Well, I know it was a God thing so first I must tell you about that.

Our pastor was teaching on a series about “praying for specifics” and expecting more than you can even imagine to be blessed with.  One day, he specifically mentioned something about “You single ladies, make a list and present it to God, and be specific, don’t settle for less”.

I went home that day and thought, “Well, so far I haven’t done a great job of finding Mr. Right by myself, so maybe I’ll try this list thing”.

SO, I made this list, with many qualities, and right up at the top I put:

#1 MUST attend my church.

I love my church and I was pretty certain that there wasn’t a guy there that I was interested in, so this was really testing my faith bigtime.

Two weeks later, I was on the treadmill at my gym. My girlfriend Kim was on the next treadmill.  In walked this guy, who was drop-dead gorgeous and dressed in a Lucky t-shirt with the best bulging biceps and triceps I’d seen in awhile.

Kim and I were talking to Carl, a sometimes preacher friend of ours.  Carl looked up and saw the guy and said “HEY, have you met Katie? She goes to your church!”

I didn’t think I had a shot at this guy..he was out of my league.

But Kim asked Glen, one of the trainers to discreetly ask the guy if he was married. Apparently, Glen had gone to etiquette school with Carl because he hollered across the room “HEY, are you married or straight or what?”

I don’t know how I recovered from that one, but slowly over the next couple of weeks, we began to work out together.  Working out together was “safe” and we weren’t really dating so we met each day after work and lingered for hours talking and getting to know each other.

After months of this (or else it seemed like months), Carl finally walked up to us as we stood on the gym stairs holding our gym bags and talking…and talking…and talking.And in his usual “tactful” way, he hollered as he strode by, “HEY, why don’t you two just get on with it and go out to dinner or something?”

So we looked at each other and headed off to Subway where we stayed until they closed, and then moved out to the patio table and talked until 2 a.m.

We continued to go eat after workouts, for another month or two.  I think we were both scared to death to admit that we were officially “dating” again.  “Dating” is a very awkward term when you are in your close-to-forty and are out of practice, if you know what I mean.  The great thing about this was, that we truly became friends and got to know each other, which was what we both needed at that time in our lives.

And the other great thing was, that God had provided for me not just Mr. Right, but Mr. Wonderful.

What a great gift.

Hey, I think that list idea really worked.

And I thank Him every day 🙂

Want to read more great stories of how ladies met their husbands? Head on over to the RHOK by clicking below.

The RHOK

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Southern Fried Okra

I have a confession to make.

When I first moved to Oklahoma (from Michigan) 20 years ago, I didn’t know what “okra” was.  I didn’t know what “brisket” was.  I’d never had beans- n-ham or country fried steak.  I was a  Northern girl and hadn’t yet been “southernized”.

And can I just add that I weighed about 50 pounds less?

This is another dish that Mamoo used to make for the kids.

Southern Fried Okra.   She didn’t use that frozen stuff that you buy at the grocery store either.  She trekked off to the farmers market and bought it and chunked it up herself.  Dredged in a light coating of cornmeal, this was better than any okra I’d had anywhere.

And it’s very simple to make.

Take your okra.  See this end?

That end is the “pod end” and needs to be cut off.  The other end is perfectly edible, but it is thin so it will fry into little crispies.  You can toss out the tiny end too, but they’re kind of fun to eat.

Take 3 or 4 okra and line them up and cut off the pod end.

Then sliced the rest into 1/2 inch pieces.  Look at the little flowery pieces…ain’t they cute?

I didn’t say things like “ain’t they cute” either till I started eating okra and living in Oklahoma.  I also say “ya’ll” now.

But I draw the line at “fixin to”!

Anyway, get a large skillet and pour at least an inch of vegetable or canola oil into it.  You want this really hot and you don’t want to add your okra until it will really bubble over the pieces. I always fry (which isn’t often) outside on our side burner of our grill so as to not smell up the house with hot oil.  Thus, the reflection in the pan of trees and clouds.

Slice up all your okra (I had one pound) and put them in a colander and give them a good rinse under running water.

In a large bowl, measure in one cup of cornmeal.  Get the self-rising kind if you can.  Add one-fourth of a cup of flour.    Also add in 1 teaspoon of salt and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Or you could just add some black pepper.

Dump your wet okra pieces right into the cornmeal mixture.

Now take some tongs or just use your hands, if you’re that type to live dangerously, and really toss them around and get them well-coated with the cornmeal.

Take a large slotted spoon or a spider spoon and scoop up several of the okra pieces.  Kind of shake them on the spoon to get rid of the excess cornmeal.  Then drop them right into your hot oil.

Let them bubble and fry, turning them occasionally with your big spoon or spider.

After about 5-6 minutes and when they feel crisp when you touch them with the spoon, remove them to a paper towel lined plate or bowl.

Hurry up and sprinkle a little salt over them while they’re hot.

And then transfer them to a serving basket or dish.  But first, you might want to cheat and just pop one of these crispy beautiful babies into your mouth.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Southern Fried Okra

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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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Tomato Cucumber Salad (Saratov)

My mom has made this salad for us in the summer for as long as I can remember.   My German Grandpa Alex, who came home each day from work (he walked!) and headed straight to tend his back-yard garden, called this salad “Saratuv”. And instead of making it with cucumbers, he made it with fresh dill pickles, chunked and tossed into the salad.  You may think that’s odd, but I challenge you to try it sometime instead of cucumbers.  It’s wonderful.  It also makes me remember sitting down to dinner at our cabin in Northern Michigan for “dinner”.

Dinner to my Grandpa was at lunchtime. Often we had our big meal for lunch.  But for our evening meal or what most people call dinner, we had cold cuts, and a variety of cheeses sliced up on a platter along with summer fruits of melon and berries.  Grandpa Alex was also responsible for my horrible habit of eating fresh-from-the-garden green onions dipped in a little pile of salt, which made my breath smell for days.

He also served this salad.

I crave this salad during the hot summer now.  While, I don’t have it with my Grandpa or my Mom’s pickles, it’s especially wonderful with home-grown tomatoes and cucumbers and so refreshing on a hot summer day.

Start by making the dressing in the bottom of a medium serving bowl.

As the basis for this dressing, I used white balsamic vinegar, which is a sweet lighter version of red balsamic vinegar.  If you can’t find it, you can certainly substitute apple cider, plain ol’ white, or even white wine vinegar, but you may need to add a little more sugar, as balsamic is known for its sweetness.

Add 1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.  Whisk this together and then start drizzling in about 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Most people like to use a ratio of more olive oil to their vinegar, but I don’t.  If you want your salad less-vinegary, then add a bit more.  It’s all about personal taste.

Because my herb garden is overflowing, I also chopped up a tablespoon each of fresh chives and basil, because to me, tomatoes beg for the bold and wonderful partner of basil in the summer.

Now chop up 2 good-size ripe tomatoes and also 2 cucumbers.  Also mince finely 1/4 of a white onion.  I used Vidalia, and I urge you to find one right now as they’re in season.  You can substitute red onion or even some chopped green onion if necessary.  This is really a versatile salad.

Dump your veggies right on top of your dressing.  Take a large spoon and mix it all up, making sure to coat all your veggies with the yummy dressing.


Let it rest in the refrigerator, if you can stand to wait (I usually can’t) for thirty minutes or so to let the dressing marry with the vegetables.

I could seriously eat this entire bowl in the summer.  I don’t care about anything warm, like meat or potatoes.

Just give me this salad, and I’ll be cool and happy and content.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Tomato Cucumber Salad


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Filed under Soups and Salads