The 13 Best Kept Secrets In Norman, Oklahoma

The 13 Best Kept Secrets In Norman, Oklahoma

The best places to hangout both on and off campus.

Spending four years in any one place can be challenging when you're a creative twenty-something looking for adventure. For many of us, when we aren't studying for exams or writing papers, we're sleeping or taking a Netflix binge for a moment of rest, but there are so many interesting places waiting right outside our apartment doors! While Norman, Oklahoma may seem like a small, uneventful town, there are many hidden gems both on and off campus. So, next time you're looking for a good, quiet place to study or to grab a quick bite to eat, or even just take a break from life for a moment, check out one of Norman's best kept secrets.

1. The Earth Café and Deli

Located a quick bike ride from campus on flood ave, the Earth is home to some of the best vegetarian and organic friendly meals as well as an assortment of smoothies and fresh juices. With the goal "to serve our community and our planet to the best of our ability by offering clean food, minimal waste, and a home away from home for folks to gather while nourishing their bodies and souls," The Earth is unlike any place in town.

2. Oklahoma Canyon Garden

Located on the west end of the Bizzell, near the clock tower, the Oklahoma Canyon Garden may look like an accident of overgrown vegetation, but is actually home to local boulders and trees. Funded by President Boren and First Lady Molly Shi, this garden is a perfect place for a quiet study session or simply enjoy nature amidst a crowded campus.

3. Kaufman Lounge

Renovated this fall, the second floor lounge of Kaufman Hall is a convenient and comfy place to study or catch up with friends on campus. With a coffee corner near by, get ready to snuggle up in the window seats and settle in for a good episode of netflix or a quick cram before an exam.

4. Stash

Secluded on Main Street, Stash is often overlooked for local shopping, yet it's home to many of Norman's best gifts and stationary. Ranging from candles to rope swings and baby toys to old photographs, Stash has something stashed away for every gift opportunity you'll ever encounter.

5. Sarkey's Rooftop Garden


Home to many energy and engineering majors, Sarkey's is a dreaded walk from the dorms and a confusing building when attempting to find a class, yet amid this catastrophe sits the beautiful rooftop garden. Grab your puppy and take a quick walk through the gardens this spring, or pick up a textbook and study amidst some floral beauty.

6. Lightwell Gallery

Found on the second floor of the school of art and art history, the Lightwell Gallery is a three story tall space of uninterrupted natural lighting. Often featuring student's works as well as guest artists, the Lightwell Gallery showcases much of the talent within the art school. Check it out during one of your awkward in-between-class hours!

7. Il Dolce Gelato


Just off Interstate Drive, Il Dolce Gelato is home to Norman's most authentic Italian gelato. With a range of flavors as well as Lavazza coffee and other goodies, this gelateria is ready to celebrate you with the best of flavors. Treat yourself after midterms!

8. Burton Hall Lounge


Tucked away far from the South Oval, the lounge within Burton Hall is a forgotten gem. Resting cozily near the Goddard Health Center, Burton is home to many communication and literature classes. With giant windows, comfortable seating, and few inhabitants, Burton's lounge is a must for lazy reading or intense studying.

9. Couch Practice Center


Newly renovated this summer, the Couch Practice Center on the first floor of Couch Tower is quickly becoming a fun and different way of studying. Much like the Collaboration Center within Bizzell, the Couch Center offers group study and individual study spaces. One fun and interesting thing about Couch Practice: there are treadmill desks! Next time you're up well into the night cramming, think about working your body as well as your mind and study while you tread!

10. Midway Deli


Just off Eufaula Street, Midway will transport you back in time with its signs of life before the turn of the century. Still home to some of the best food in Norman, Midway is an easy walk from campus and full of food for any picky eater! Take your books for a study lunch or grab some friends for a fun lunch on the patio...and don't forget to get an icebox selfie!


11. Devon Hall Outdoor Terrace

Climb your way to the fifth floor of OU's engineering building Devon Hall for a spectacular view of campus and the perfect quiet spot on a spring afternoon. Whether you need a moment of thought and contemplation to yourself or a time of studying and writing, the outdoor terrace is the perfect place. Grab a cup of coffee from the nearby Bedrock Café and settle in.

12. Fine Arts Library

Tucked away on the first floor of the Catlett Music Center, the Fine Arts Library is home to a vast collection of scholarly books on art and art history, music, sculpture, photography, and so much more. Take a trip to see and learn about some of the world's greatest artists, and, if you're lucky, perhaps some student art will also be featured!

13. Firehouse Arts Center

Whether you're looking to take a class on ceramics or guitar lessons, the Firehouse Arts Center offers everything you're looking for. On Flood Avenue, near The Earth, Firehouse not only offers classes, but also after school programs, community collaboration projects, and puts on Norman's Chocolate and Midsummer Nights' Festivals! Look into becoming a member or just stop in the gift shop to see the great things taking places within.

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9 Foods That Make Ranch The Ultimate Dressing

Don't knock it till you try it.

It's no secret that ranch is the best of all dipping sauces and salad dressings. From the basics, like carrots, to the odds, like chips, ranch goes with everything. I, personally, am a ranch fanatic, so I decided to put together a list of all things you can eat with ranch.

1. Salad

Of course, first and foremost, we have a salad. Ranch is without a doubt the salad dressing of all salad dressings.

2. Chicken fingers/nuggets

Not as uncommon as it used to be, ranch has become a dipping sauce for chicken fingers and chicken nuggets at almost every restaurant. To me, a certain restaurants' ranch matches their chicken and no where else.

3. Vegetables

Although it was one of ranch's first intended uses, I probably use ranch for vegetables the very least. I mean, come one, who wants to snack on carrots and celery when there are french fries?

4. Hot wings

Whether it's to cool the heat or give it a little more flavor, ranch with a hot wing is a MUST! Beware, it may get a little messy... or a lot.

5. French fries

In my opinion, this is the best way to eat ranch. Nothing beats a beer battered french fry with cheese on top smothered in ranch, or a french fry from McDonald's dipped in ranch; either way, fries and ranch are the perfect pair.

6. Potato chips

I was skeptical about this one, but don't knock it until you try it! Dipping a ruffle potato chip in ranch is to die for! You'll never eat them without it again.

7. CLUB crackers

If you've never had CLUB crackers dipped in ranch, or any salad dressing for that matter, you need to reevaluate the way you're living you're life. You are seriously missing out.

8. Pizza

Another one of those that will change your life if you ever eat them together. Ranch and pizza go together like bacon and eggs.

9. Baked potatoes

Whether you're into ranch powder or ranch dressing, you can't go wrong with adding a little to your baked potato.

Although these are all ways to use ranch as a dip or dressing, there are so many ways to use it; seasoning on meat, crust on pizza, store-bought dip for potato chips. You name it, you can eat it with ranch.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Best Cappuccino: Frothing Milk with Steam Nozzle in Simple Clear Steps

Frothing Milk Coffee!

What is the difference between cappuccino and latte macchiato?

The difference between cappuccino and latte macchiato is very simple. Both coffee preparations are based on espresso with whipped hot milk. Only the proportions and order of preparation are slightly different.


Difference between cappuccino and latte macchiato Cappuccino

• A Cappuccino consists of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 warm milk, and 1/3 milk foam. With a Cappuccino, the milk and then the foam is poured onto a freshly brewed espresso. The milk should be mixed with the espresso so that an attractive and tasty mixture is created, in which the cream combines with the foam into a beautiful mocha-colored paste. Espresso puts you with dark roast coffee beans and an espresso machine. This machine must be equipped with a steam nozzle, with which you can froth the milk. I will explain this at the end of the article: How can you froth milk? 


• A Latte Macchiato is also made with espresso and hot milk. A Latte Macchiato has proportionately more milk than a Cappuccino. The milk is heated with steam and often served in a large glass, where the freshly brewed espresso is slowly poured through the milk foam and floats on the hot milk. This gives you an excellent separation of the warm milk at the bottom, the espresso on top of that, topped with the layer of milk foam.


Both coffee preparations are similar and have the same basis: milk foam, hot milk, and a single espresso. But, if properly prepared, the difference between Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato is the proportions of these ingredients and the different way of serving. Both coffee preparations have one thing in common: pure enjoyment!


How can You Froth Milk? 

If milk frothing with steam succeeds, you will be able to make the best cappuccino and latte macchiato!

Usually, there is a little problem about frothing milk with the steam nozzle in the manual of your espresso coffee makers. Experimenting yourself often leads to overheated milk and a failed foam layer. From now on we will do it differently:


What do you need?

Before you start with milk foaming, you need at least the following:

• Well preheated espresso machine with steam pipe

• ice cold milk

• milk jug made of stainless steel

• clean cloth

• possibly a special milk thermometer

Preparation

• fill your milk jug with ice-cold milk just below the pouring spout

• make your espresso, and place it on the hot plate

• blow your steam pipe through until only steam comes out


Frothing milk with the steam nozzle simple steps

1. keep the milk jug diagonally underneath the steam pipe. Let the milk jug drop slightly so that the milk starts to rotate. The valve must remain below the milk edge!

2. let the steam pipe 'disappear' 1 to 2 cm below the milk edge

3. turn the tap for the steam open

4. Then lower the milk jug slightly so that the milk starts to rotate. The valve must remain below the milk edge! If the milk does not turn, adjust the angle of the steam nozzle.

5. You should now hear a slight hissing sound, if not then adjust the height of the steam pipe, go down with the jug slowly. This is the so-called stretching

6. As soon as the milk jug is getting hot, you go with the valve halfway through the jug

7. just a little further to warm up all the milk

8. as soon as the milk jug becomes too hot to hold (about 70 degrees) shut off the steam tap

9. tap the counter with the milk jug. So, you get the big air bubbles out and compact the milk foam

10. then you 'roll' the frothed milk until it starts to shine.

11. You can easily do the rolling in your hand or on the worktop with the milk jug

12. You can now make a cappuccino or latte macchiato from the frothed milk

13. finally blow the steam pipe through well

14. clean the steam nozzle with a clean cloth and blow through again!

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