Boursin Crostini with Apple & Caramelized Onions

Of course I love dips, but some parties, or layouts for that matter, call for crostini. They’re also helpful to incorporate a few flavors annnnnd a plate/tray of crostini mean a few people aren’t stationed in front of the dip all night. Note, I’m one of those who can’t separate from the dip! :-) This seems like the season of get-togethers, family meals, and having company which these are perfect for!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions

I prepped the boursin & the caramelized onions in advance. Then it took 5 minutes for assembly! I wanted it to be with pear, but mine weren’t ripe enough.

Crostini with Boursin, Apple, & Caramelized Onions

Ingredients: (Serves 8ish)

4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs (I used a dip mix, or have used Italian Seasoning before)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt & cracked pepper
splash of milk or cream
1 onion, caramelized
1 baguette, slices of Italian bread, or melba toasts
2 apples or pears, sliced thinly
~6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Directions:

In advance, caramelize the onions & refrigerate or freeze until using.
In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, garlic, dried herbs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add in a splash of milk to thin a bit to your preference.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
Refrigerate until using.
To assemble, toast the bread on a pan in the oven for just a few minutes. Then spread on the boursin, spoon on a some onions, lay on some apple slices, and sprinkle with thyme.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
Enjoy!

Loooove that this can be mostly made in advance, but also that the leftover boursin is so great for crackers, on bagels, etc. I made a big batch of caramelized onions the last time and froze them. That was a huge time & prep savor for these. Hey, this is a busy season – buy some boursin from the dairy section of the grocery store- that’ll speed you up even more!

My test one became lunch but I intended these as an app and I’d love these alongside soup for dinner too!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
I have a quick & healthy soup and a cocktail coming up next week! Stay tuned!

Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Quiche

Most quiches I’ve made seem to nicely straddle the line of brunch/breakfast/light lunch. This one takes a firm stand at lunch/dinner. Maybe it is the lack of bacon I often/always add into quiche, but the sun dried tomatoes seem to take it away from breakfast to lunch/dinner for me. I made this to be lunch for a few days but I froze a serving so I don’t over-do it with the same thing on repeat. More on my new lunch tactics to come!

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche

Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche (serves 4-5)

Ingredients:

1 pie crust, defrosted
1 teaspoon butter
~1 1/2 cups mushrooms (I mixed crimini, portabello, shiitake)
1 tablespoon cooking Sherry
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk/cream
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Par-bake the crust in a 9″ pie pan, with a few fork holes poked into it, according to package directions.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, melt butter and add in the mushrooms to cook for ~3 minutes. Add salt & pepper and stir well. Add in the sherry to deglaze and cook for 2 more minutes. Then remove from the heat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream of tartar, and salt & pepper.
Layer cheeses, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and repeat so everything will be evenly distributed.
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche
Then pour the egg mixture into the crust – mine had so much filling that I had a little egg mixture leftover.
Bake at 350-degrees for 35 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato QuicheAllow to fully cool before slicing.
Enjoy!

The cheeses & mushrooms could have been in any format for me to love them, but paired with egg was spot on. I went full-in on the filling- just how I like it. It wasn’t dainty, but I cut into 4ths to be very solid lunch meals at work then I froze one to pull out another time when I’m out of ideas.

Another perk of any quiche, is that much can be prepped in advance! I baked the crust, sauteed the mushrooms, shredded the cheeses and literally assembled- without the egg mixture, the night before. I was too tired to do the whole she-bang. In the morning, I whisked the eggs mixture, poured it in, and baked while our normal getting-ready things happened. Ohh, and I snapped a few pictures for you!
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche
This quiche is my reminder that any fillings or flavors can go in a quiche, it makes a quick dinner during this busy season, and that it is so pack-able for lunch!

Veggie Calzone with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

I saw some really delicious sounding stuffed shells by How Sweet Eats and decided to turn them into a calzone. I loved the idea of fire-roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and veggies so I put ‘em into a calzone since I haven’t made one in awhile. I’d love these in a baked pasta with penne, or on a pizza, or for a panini! There’s lots of room here for any veggies. Artichokes, mushrooms, and eggplant would be good too!
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone

Fire Roasted Tomato & Veggie Calzone

adapted from How Sweet Eats Vegetable Stuffed Shells
Ingredients:

pizza dough, at room temperature
1/2  yellow onion
1 zucchini
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup fontina, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
sprinkle of wheat germ/semolina/corn meal

Directions:

Caramelize the onions: chop and cook in a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil on low, for about 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly.
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees, and a pizza stone- if using one.
Chop the zucchini into 1/2-inch disks then into quarters. Roast in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.
Roll out the dough, or manually stretch it out between 2 hands working it into a big circle.
Sprinkle some wheat germ/semolina/corn meal onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Next lay the dough out off center, so what will become the bottom is centered.
Assemble with shredded cheese, caramelized onions, ricotta dollops, fire roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and fontina are all spread out, then repeat. Fill it all the way getting close to the edges, and with toppings piled high.
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
Fold the dough that will become the top over the insides. Pinch the edge closed, or roll it under the bottom. Poke a knife into the top to create some air vents.
Bake 30 minutes and check the dough has puffed and become golden brown. Then bake 10-15 minutes more, as needed. (Parbake just until set- 20 minutes and then refrigerate or freeze until serving. Then bake remaining 20 minutes until heated through).
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
Slice & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
I loved this one. Ricotta and multiple other cheeses is right up my ally. I don’t often use fire roasted tomato sauce because I’m so obsessed with Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes instead of sauce that I never even think twice, but I loved the smokey flavor in here! Canned tomatoes like my fav, and the fire roasted ones, are so great for pizza or pasta because they’re not loaded up with sugar- like jarred sauce. The tomato flavor is much better and was just like I had on pizza in Naples, Italy. The birthplace of pizza knows a thing or two! For this, I spooned out the tomato chunks so the calzone filling wouldn’t be too watery.

This was also great to prep in advance. I made the caramelized onions and roasted the zucchini first, then later I assembled and par-baked during nap time. That meant just popping it into the oven for dinner. Voila!

Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Appetizers make the world go ’round. I whipped up a few stuffed mushrooms and was reminded that the beauty of stuffed mushrooms are that a batch can be a ton or just a few. Make 4 or 40.

The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

8 portabello mushrooms
2 strips of bacon
4 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon parmesan, grated
pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parmesan, shaved

Directions:

Pan fry the bacon until crisp. Lay the bacon onto paper towel to drain but leave a teaspoon in the pan. Chop the bacon.
Pull the stems out of the mushrooms and chop. Add to the pan with the bacon drippings, bacon, breadcrumbs, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and parmesan. Taste, and add in cracked pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
Add in a teaspoon of butter and cook 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with shaved parmesan.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed MushroomsEnjoy!

I love the salty bacon in there with buttery toasted breadcrumbs. I made ~10 mushrooms for Thanksgiving since there were only a few mushroom-eaters.

I have a few holiday-ish inspired recipes coming and a few recipes I hope will provide balance & speedy meals for those un-ceremonial Tuesday nights! Stay tuned!

November 2017 Recap

November was full of all the fall flavors: sweet potato; sage; thyme; maple; and dijon! It was a busy month, but also so different than Novembers had been in recent years. I’m loving my new job and have been so appreciative of the chance to do this work. It feels weird to be new and not have all the answers or know style preferences. My team has had successes and I’m so glad to be busy. November wasn’t my healthiest month – separately having strep and a stomach bug put some dampers into my weekend plans twice! I blame the dentist for the stomach bug – prob not their fault, but it was the same day and I hate going so why not?!

#GrilledCheesePlease was a series for November with some of the most fun grilled cheeses! 
Turkey & Pear Grilled Cheese

Sweet Potato & Sage
Pancetta & Cheddar in Truffle Butter
Grilled Cheese Lorraine
The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese

My fav dish this month, maybe this season, is Fall Fettuccine- with butternut squash, alfredo, and sage. I need to make this again.
The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine
Burger season isn’t over here – this Asian-Inspired Burger had flavors of teriyaki, sesame, pineapple, and sriracha with crunch from wonton strips and cucumber!
The Three Bite Rule - Asian Burger

The Little One:

He was so good when Mr. J was gone. Also, while I had strep at the same time. Ugg. No fun, but he was very well behaved and we ate toddler greatest hits so I didn’t have to extend too much energy: spaghetti; quesadillas; and leftovers. He and I are each struggling with how early it gets dark, but I’m loving how much pretend play he’s into- especially with toy animals, dinosaurs, and dress up. He got to watch TV for the first time to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade! He loooved it. I never noticed how many interviews there are until I watched with a toddler who just wanted to see marching bands and balloons. Every long stick he finds outside becomes a leaf blower so that’s been a lot of our November play! We’re getting into the holiday spirit – I’m all in, 98% of my spirit is already there! It makes me smile every time he refers to “Santa Closet”.

This year’s goals: 

Year of the candle: I had some spruce/tree scented ones with a bit of life but got a cinnamon-y candle that seems festive!
Grocery store re-invention: 
Ehh. Not so much in November. 
Cook more appetizers/snacks:
I made one that I’ll blog in December. Stay tuned! 
Taking time to blog thoughtfully:
I squeezed a photo into the morning, aka daylight so bam. Done!
Journal the cute moments of my little one: I justttt started. Mostly because I want to always remember him saying “Santa Closet”.
What I’m reading: 
I finished When Breath Becomes Air & Small Great Things 
What I’m watching:
the Law & Order True Crime series about the Menendez Brothers was soooo good. Also, This is Us. I miiiiight have gotten suckered into a Gilmore Girls replaying of all the episodes, in order- perfect on some sick days.

#grilledcheeseplease Grilled Cheese Lorraine

#grilledcheeseplease series comes to a close with an inspiration of flavors from what’s usually quiche! Quiche Lorraine with bacon, swiss, gruyere, and thyme seemed like perfect flavors for a grilled cheese!

The Three Bite Rule - Lorraine Grilled Cheese
Grilled Cheese Lorraine

Ingredients:

2 slices wheat bread
3 strips bacon
3 slices gruyere
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup shredded swiss
2 teaspoons butter

Directions:

In a large pan, fry the bacon. Then drain onto paper towel.
Assemble on top of one slice of bread with cheese, bacon, thyme, other cheese, and close with the bread.
The Three Bite Rule - Lorraine Grilled CheeseBring the pan from the bacon to medium heat.
Spread 1/2 of the butter onto the bread and lay into the hot pan. Cook for 4 minutes. Spread the rest of the butter onto the other slice of bread. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes.
Slice & enjoy!

I loved the thyme in this sandwich! The 2 cheeses were great. Now I’m thinking the “lorraine” flavors need to become risotto!
The Three Bite Rule - Lorraine Grilled Cheese

Roasted Kale Pesto

I’m not 100% on the raw kale bandwagon. I feel like my age & blog means I’m supposed to like it, but I do not enjoy it raw. I think it is a texture thing – and maybe the amount of chewing required for something that doesn’t taste like, I don’t know, bacon. I’ll finely dice and cook it into soups or whatever.

It is a great choice for a woodsy tasting pesto! It won’t make you think you’re eating peak-of-summer-basil, but it is good, and you can feeeeel good about it. I first mixed it into gnocchi then I added some with penne to pack for a work lunch.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Pesto

Roasted Kale Pesto

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale
olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons ricotta
1/4 cup toasted nuts
salt and pepper

Directions:

Roast the kale in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Add the kale into the food processor, with the garlic, parmesan, ricotta, nuts, salt & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Pesto
Blend while streaming in olive oil.
Refrigerate until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale PestoEnjoy!

Toss with hot pasta or add a dollop onto chicken or pork chops, or spread onto a panini! Yum! It doesn’t get perfectly smooth like basil pesto does, but it is really good. Throw in any fresh spinach you have or arugula.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Pesto

#grilledcheeseplease Pancetta & Cheddah in Truffle Butter

More #grilledcheeseplease continues! I was inspired by a pear-picking-party back in October. My bestie made a grilled cheese with tellagio cheese, pancetta, pear, and truffle butter. Ohh yeah. I made a variation with what happened I had around: pancetta; 2 cheeses; and truffle oil into butter.

The Three Bite Rule - Pancetta & Truffle Butter Grilled Cheese

Pancetta & Cheddar Grilled Cheese in Truffle Butter

Ingredients:

2 slices of French bread
3 tablespoons diced pancetta
1-2 slices white cheddar
1-2 slices gouda (not smoked gouda)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon truffle oil

Directions:

Pan fry the diced pancetta until crisp, then drain on paper towel.
Slice the french bread into thick slices.
Assemble the grilled cheese with cheese, pancetta, and more cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Pancetta & Truffle Butter Grilled Cheese
Whip the butter and truffle oil together and spread half onto the outside, and lay into a medium pan or a griddle on medium heat. Cook for 4 minutes.
Spread the rest of the truffle oil onto the top half.
Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Slice & enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Pancetta & Truffle Butter Grilled Cheese
This grilled cheese is a testament to a few ingredients packing tons of flavor. This isn’t as dainty a grilled cheese as it appears! I’ll be back after Thanksgiving with the opposite of turkey…in case you need that.

Fall Fettuccine

Fettuccine with alfredo, sage, and butternut squash. This felt like a the dinner equivalent of warm socks and a cozy blanket on a brisk evening. I roasted the butternut squash and infused the sage into the alfredo sauce.  It was so fast, and SO addicting! Psssst. It was so fast also because I roasted the squash in advance, and used jarred alfredo sauce. Both made life easier and got dinner on the table ohh-so-fast.

The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine

Fall Fettuccine

Ingredients:

2 cups butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
2 cups alfredo sauce (use a jar, I won’t tell)
4-6 sage leaves (3 to cook in the sauce & 2-3 chopped)
1/2 pound of fettuccine pasta

Directions:

Roast the butternut squash in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400-degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once.
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta.
Warm the alfredo sauce in a large pot over low heat and drop in 1/2 the sage leaves. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, then remove the wilty sage.
The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine
Cook the fettuccine to al dente.
Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce.
Mix in the remaining chopped sage and the squash.
The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine
Enjoy!

This is such a great weeknight meal. I’d totally serve this to a dinner party, my toddler, or anyone. Somehow this week was brought to you by the herb sage. I love it in small amounts but feel like it has serious flavor. Here’s a good use if you bought some for Thanksgiving and need a very different feeling meal before or after turkey day!

#grilledcheeseplease Sweet Potato & Sage Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese series continues! This grilled cheese has some legit Thanksgiving flavors. They’re healthy, cheap, and quite filling. Win. Win. Win. This is what you need on Black Friday! Forget that 3am shopping shenanigans. Mash up some of those leftover sweet potatoes, chop the sage from the stuffing, and pillage those cheese plate leftovers!

The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese

Sweet Potato & Sage Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

2 slices sourdough bread
1/4 of a sweet potato, cooked and fork mashed
2 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
~3 leaves of sage, chopped chiffonade
2 teaspoons butter

Directions:

Assemble the ingredients and heat a large pan to medium-low heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese
Layer the sandwich with a slice of bread, 1/2 the cheese, the sweet potato, and sage, then the rest of the cheese and the other slice of bread.
Spread a little butter on the bread and turn the sandwich into the pan. Cover and cook for ~3 minutes. Spread the remaining butter onto the other slice of the bread.
Flip and cook for another ~3 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese
I love the sweetness of the sweet potato with the sharp cheddar and the sourdough bread. My sage plant is going strong so this came locally!