Ultimate BLT Panini

There are only so many variations on a BLT that I can share (like this Avocado BLT, or this BLT Burger, or this BLT Scallop Pizza, or this BLT Pasta Salad, or Bacon Jam BLT Pizza) but I panini-ified my BLT and splurged on good ingredients to make it a dinner. I went all out on thickcut, pepper-crusted bacon. Think expensive bacon. I mean, it was dinner, so the pricey stuff was worth it.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Panini

Ingredients:

thick cut bacon, 3 slices per sandwich
oatmeal or sourdough bread
arugula
tomato
colby jack or sharp cheddar cheese
aoli/mayo (I used this!)/parmesan peppercorn dressing/honey mustard

Directions:

Bake the bacon slices in a 400-degree oven for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack ontop of a baking sheet.
While the bacon is baking, spread the bread with mayo. Top the bread with the bacon. Load it up, this is a dinner sandwich.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Panini
Layer the sandwiches with arugula, and tomato.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Panini
Top with cheese and 2nd slice of bread. Preheat the panini press, a grill pan, or a griddle.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Panini
Brush the bread/griddle/press with olive oil and grill the sandwiches until crisp and melted.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Panini
I liked this one a lot. I think the arugula and the peppery bacon were great touches to elevate this to a more special sandwich.  The greens need to be one that can stand getting warmed, like arugula or spinach. Regular lettuces would just get wilty. I liked this sandwich grilled. Toasty bread is my favorite and those grill lines are the best but melting the cheese and warming everything through took it from a toasted sandwich to a panini.

Do you ever bake your bacon? It keeps it flat, you don’t have spatters of bacon grease, and you don’t have to flip & babysit it. I don’t always bake it, but it is such a great method. Anytime I’m going to chop the bacon I do that before cooking it and then I can push it around the pan and just scoop with a slotted spoon instead of trying to keep it from curling up and cooking unevenly.

Food & Meals to Bring a New Parent

When I was thinking of what nobody/no books told me about being a first time parent, I learned a lot about what foods I’d recommend. I never really knew what to bring new parents but now I have better ideas. On the first night home, my parents gave us a roast chicken, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole (a fav of mine!) and cookies. It was ahh-mazing to have a real meal and to have leftovers to eat the next day. Some of the other foods they gave were equally appreciated (specifically grapes, salad stuff, and eggs).

Suggested new parent meals/foods:

  • food for their freezer: things they can pull out to defrost or that can go right into the oven. Maybe you don’t know what they’ll have or when they’ll need a meal. Here are some freezer-friendly foods I like. Include reheating instructions & ingredients, just in case.
    The Three Bite Rule - Traditional Lasagna
  • snacks/sides: munchies they can turn into a lunch or for whenever the hunger strikes. My first trip out of the house was for this stuff. Healthy and fresh foods are greatly appreciated after freezer meals. Suggestions: hummus, veggies & pita chips; guacamole and chips; crackers & presliced cheese; salads, fruit, etc. Seasonal items would be fun too. Lemonade & popsicles in the summer or hot chocolate mix and some cookies for the winter, etc.
  • single serve foods: I made some of these and found them helpful when just one of us was hungry, or as lunch, etc. Individual burritos, sandwiches ready to become a panini, or individual muffin-tin servings of food work great.
    muff_tin_spinach_590_390
  • ready made foods are great too. You don’t even have to cook, just buy stuff that goes together to be a themed gift: a “pasta pack” of fun shaped noodles with a jar of pesto, frozen garlic bread; or “bfast bag” with yogurts, granola, orange juice, & some fruit; or a “lunch box” with chicken salad, pita pockets, apples, and chips; or “snack time” with pudding cups, fancy trail mix, goldfish, and a bottle of lemonade. You get the idea. Dress it up with a stick-on bow. Tell them what it is, and then put it away for them if anything needs to be refrigerated/frozen.
  • treats: it doesn’t have to be a meal. A crate of clementines or some cider donuts or whatever is seasonal would be great. Ice cream bars? Yes, please. Something the new parent doesn’t neeeed but would like is fun to have. Trader Joe’s has fun sodas or a neighborhood bakery might have great treats.
    The Three Bite Rule - Cranberry Soda Cocktail

My other suggestions:

  • don’t give them a dish you need back unless you’re family and will be there often. It is easy to give my mom’s dishes back because she can take them on her next visit. From anyone else it’d be annoying to wash, to remember, to store, to coordinate returning it. This is prime time for disposable cookware. Or you could buy them a cheap rubbermaid container & note on it that it is theirs to keep. I’ve heard some people buy Dollar Store plates to give food away on or stuff at yard sales that they don’t need to get back.
  • tell them “no thank you needed” whatever you bring them, tell them a thank you would be for them to cuddle their cute baby or to sleep an extra 5 minutes. You don’t want them scribbling a thank you card (since likely they thanked you for a shower gift & sent a birth announcement, and they’re exhausted). I wish those who I hadn’t ever even met but who were so generous to give a gift said this to me. Students in one of my mom’s classes were so sweet to give gifts, but I didn’t even know their last names. It was hard to come up with a thoughtful thank you note for those folks. I decided my bff wouldn’t mind a thank you text message the night we ate the meal she brought us, instead of mailing a card.
  • arrive the time they tell you and don’t stay more than an hour. The new parents are trying to get the swing of things and don’t need you hanging out all afternoon. Maybe the baby is super happy, well, that might mean they enjoy an hour with you sharing the new babe but the next hour might be naptime, or feeding time, or just the 20 minutes they need to themselves. Unless you are being put to work loading the dishwasher or you’re rocking the baby while they lug laundry upstairs, you should assume it is better to come several times for shorter visits. I have loved visits to have some interactions with people who can converse with me. I’ve capitalized on my parents visiting as time to shower/make lunch/anything that needs 2 hands.
  • tell them they look good/they’re doing a good job/the baby is adorable. Whether any combo of these are true or not, they need to hear these things. on repeat.

Cereal Crusted French Toast

For my restaurant recreation, I remembered a favorite from one of the best bfast joints around. Zoe’s in Cambridge makes a crunchy french toast coated with cereal and nuts. Everything on their menu is always good and their menu is incredible and extensive, though parking was always atrocious.

I had some not-amazing cereal that was perfect to crust French toast with! It was Protein Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch by Special K. It was OK cereal but since we weren’t eating it quickly it seemed like not our favorite. The flavor of cereal prompted my additional flavors for the cereal coating. Nuts would be a good addition or even blending up the not-enough-for-a-serving remains of multiple cereals.

The Three Bite Rule - Cereal Crusted French Toast
Ingredients:
4 slices of french bread
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup vanilla coffee creamer or heavy cream (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cereal
1 tsp cinnamon
dash pumpkin pie spice
2 tbs brown sugar

Directions:
Whisk together the eggs, milk, creamer, and vanilla. Then soak the bread in it while you make the coating.
The Three Bite Rule - Cereal Crusted French Toast
In a food processor, blend together the cereal, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar.
The Three Bite Rule - Cereal Crusted French Toast
Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat.
Toss the bread into the cereal coating on both sides.
The Three Bite Rule - Cereal Crusted French Toast
Melt butter onto the griddle and pan fry the french toast.
The Three Bite Rule - Cereal Crusted French Toast
Cook for about 4-6 minutes on each side, being careful not to let the sugar or cereal burn.
The Three Bite Rule - Cereal Crusted French Toast

Keep warm in the oven if cooking in batches. Serve with maple syrup & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Cereal Crusted French Toast
I know, none of us really neeeeed ways to sweeten & add more calories to French Toast, but this makes it ohh so good. I love the crispy crunch on the outside with a soft inside. I think a crazy sugary cereal like peanut butter captain crunch or frosted flakes, or cinnamon toast crunch would be ahhh-mazing too. Though, I try to keep my cereal choices somewhat on the nutritious side.

Mr. J likes some of those kiddie-intended cereals (which allows me to sneak a bowl here and there) and they’re not the worst thing you could choose. I’ve heard some kids get to pick any sugary cereal for their birthday. Mr. J got those sugar-loaded ones for a special first-day-of-school treat. I love those ideas. One family I babysat got those as dessert since they’re vitamin fortified and a serving of milk.

What about you? Are you raisin bran or lucky charms?

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Something I really missed while pregnant was blue cheese dressing. It wasn’t even a banned food I have all the time but I was definitely ready for it. (This one from the refrigerated produce area is my fav). I used some for this super quick buffalo chicken pizza as lunch one day. Blue Cheese dressing became part of the sauce and some drizzled on top. Pita bread as the dough is, hands down, the easiest way to whip up a pizza. Plus, it works perfectly when making pizza for one. Since there’d be zero nutritional value, I was glad this was a single serving.

The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

1-2 breaded chicken fingers
1 Wheat pita bread pocket
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
4 tbs hot sauce/buffalo sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Bake the chicken according to the package.
Mix together most of the hot sauce and most of the blue cheese dressing for the sauce. Taste it and add dressing or hot sauce to taste for your preferred spice level.
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Cut the chicken into chunks and toss with some hot sauce.
Spread the buffalo blue sauce onto the pita.
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Then top with cheese, then with chicken. Drizzle any extra sauce over the top.
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees until the cheese melts and the pita crisps a bit. I used the toaster oven.
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Drizzle some blue cheese dressing over the top and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pizza
My chicken chunks are somewhat massive for the size of my pizza but I didn’t care. I was loving the buffalo and blue cheese together, plus each getting to shine on their own too. The chicken is crispy and the pizza hit the spot. You could always add celery, if you’re into that…I’m not a celery fan. I used wheat pitas because why not pretend there’s one healthy thing happening here?

Mr. J doesn’t like spice but these little pita pizzas are perfect to customize easily. They also freeze well if you wanted to make & freeze them, or prep them with just sauce and cheese to add toppings before eating sometime. I love good pizza crust but not messing with dough is pretty sweet as well.

Chicken and Kale Enchiladas

I haven’t made enchiladas in a while but I also had some kale I was hoping to sneak into something. Enchiladas seemed perfect. To tell the truth, I’m not a fan of raw kale but it is a good veggie to tuck into other foods. I know, I feel like anyone with a food blog is supposed to loooove kale. The health benefits are amazing but I find it so tough. Chard & spinach often score higher than kale anyway and I like them better. Greens, like kale, work well to dice up and treat like an herb. I didn’t highlight it, but it has a good place here.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
This was a perfect make-ahead meal. I made the filling while I was making my lunch (see my taco salad with avocado lime dressing). Basically I ate pretty similar lunch and dinners on the same day, but I’ll take Mexican meals any day.

Ingredients:

4 chicken tenderloin pieces (or 2 breasts)
2 tbs taco seasoning
10 oz black beans (3/4 of a can)
4 cups kale, with ribs removed
6 oz shredded cheddar
8 wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce

Directions:

Dice the chicken into chunks and sauté with the taco seasoning until cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, remove the ribs from the kale and chop. Steam the kale for 3-5 minutes to partially cook.
Mix together the kale, black beans, and chicken.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Assemble the enchiladas with tortillas, filling, a sprinkle of cheese. (save some cheese for the top)
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Then roll them up and place with the seam-side down into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Pour enchilada sauce over the top and bake for 30 minutes.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Top with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese melts. Or refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. Or freeze for future use. I made 2 pans, each with 4 enchiladas. I baked one and froze the other.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
These were really good. The sauce has some zip to it and the wheat tortillas, kale, and beans, make them a bit more nutritious. The filling really could be anything. Mine was heavier on kale and beans than chicken.

Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
If you have any leftover filling save it and add some brown rice for a lunch burrito bowl!

Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

My little one can sleep through the blender whirring, which is awesome. Sometimes he naps in the “office” and I clench my teeth when hitting that pulse button not too far away, but he hasn’t been bothered by smoothies, or dressings, or anything in the blender! I hope he continues to sleep deeply like his Momma. I made this salad feeling like a million bucks because I repurposed some chicken meatloaf by just warming with taco seasoning, AND had a use for the rest of the black beans, AND was eating salad. #winning

The Three Bite Rule - Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
Don’t forget, excuse the shape of some of the meat since it’s first life was chicken meatloaf that was absolutely to die for, and no I didn’t photograph it as I dumped stuff in and hoped for the best. Seriously. It restored my faith in meatloaf. Also, excuse the fact that I forgot the black beans until after taking pics.

Ingredients:

2 avocados
1/8 cup lime juice
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup vegetable oil
pinch of sugar

Directions:

Put avocados, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and cider vinegar into a blender.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
Blend on low and stream in oil until smooth.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
Assemble salad and drizzle on the dressing. I kept mine pretty thick but you could add more oil & lime juice to thin it out if you’d prefer.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
My salad had lettuce, cucumbers, cheddar, salsa, black beans, and taco meat. I originally thought I’d be putting avocado onto the salad but then used it for the dressing. It was really good! Because of the salsa, I didn’t think I needed that much dressing. I have to admit I dunked a few tortilla chips in the leftover dressing (which was a good choice) so I’m not sure how well any leftover dressing would keep. I think it’d turn avocado-brown, but be ok to eat.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

Mommyhood: First Month Tips Nobody Told Me

While this remains a food blog, I figured some of what I have to say is now related to the little babe and I’m thinking I might share them occasionally. I make the rules, right?

thomas giraffe

1) Fresh foods
I had seriously stocked my freezer (see some freezer food favorites, or freezer friendly foods) but one of my first chances to leave the house for a minute was spent hitting the grocery store. I was seeking fresh things like veggies to dip in hummus, grapes, bananas, yogurt, juice, carrots, cukes, guac, etc. I never really knew what to bring to moms of newborns when I would visit them. I’d highly recommend stocking them up with those perishables and real foods they can munch on. This could be a post all by itself.

2) Stocking up on normal essentials
Kind of unintentionally, Mr. J and I acquired an Amazon Prime account. It has been a huge help, especially in the first month and even while we prepped for our newborn. I’d now tell anyone who’d listen to stock up on everyday items to eliminate one more thing to have to think about. Between Amazon & Costco, we loaded up on things like kleenex, coffee, toothpaste, cleaning products, toiletries, laundry detergent etc. I didn’t want the first blurry month to involve emergency trips for (insert daily used item here). We also discovered things we wanted more of and it was so great to just order and not have to think about again (some of those things included: more pacifiers of the kind he liked, more bottle pieces once he was accepting of those, etc).

3) It is hard, then easier, then harder (and so on)
The first time doing everything was confusing and awkward and meant establishing a process or figuring it out. Then we thought we had a rhythm at 1.5 weeks, then at 2.5 weeks we were back to feeling like “what the heck is going on”. I imagine this ebb and flow will continue. I was under the impression that the learning curve would be steep but then you’d be more coordinated. Turns out, just when you think you’ve got it, everything changes a bit. I also don’t think anyone told me it was OK to think it was really difficult. Physically it is hard. Emotionally it is hard. Nobody really told me it is OK to be thankful/grateful/in love but also to just find it so freaking hard.

4) Duplicates versus singles
Looking back on the first month I think there were a few things we didn’t need duplicates and a few other items to have plenty of.
just a few: we have upstairs & downstairs diapering areas but didn’t need many changing table covers since we topped it with a liner. He doesn’t have too many pairs of socks because most of his clothes have feet, plus, his tootsies don’t ever touch the floor. I wouldn’t get as many pants for the next go-round because it seems easiest for us to put him in one-piece suits as a newborn with the number of diaper changes he has.
need a lot: I thought we had millions more face cloths than we needed, but turns out we used more than I expected. I also don’t think we could ever have too many burp cloths. Anything that extends having to do laundry was greatly appreciated.

5) Make the most of a baby’s nap
There were times when my little bundle would eat every 2 hours. The time it took to feed him, burp him, change him, then settle him, then meant it was pretty much time to start again. Other times he’d sleep for longer but I didn’t always know how long. I realized gazing at him sleeping was sometimes going to mean at the end of the day, (when I was most tired) I’d have a feeling like I did nothing the whole day. For me, I learned I needed to have some tasks on my to-do list or even some things I could do when I had a few minutes. Adding library books onto my kindle, cleaning out some emails, scheduling a doctor’s appt, making a grocery list, cleaning the bathroom, unloading the dishwasher, a yoga video, etc made me feel a bit more productive. I need productivity. Plus, daytime TV is pretty terrible.

Veggie Pizza with White Bean Sauce

I have made a lot of pizzas so I always wonder at what point I’ll run out of toppings, but then I realized I can always mess with the sauce and have totally different pizza options. I wanted to make a tomato-less sauce which would make a veggie pizza more exciting (and nutritious) by adding some beans. Beans are also a breastfeeding superfood so you may see a trend establishing here.

The Three Bite Rule - Veggie Pizza with White Bean Sauce

Ingredients:

1 can white beans, undrained
2 tbs garlic
1 tbs parmesan cheese
1 tsp vinegar (apple cider, red wine, champagne, etc)
1-2 tbs olive oil
pizza dough
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 small tomatoes, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets

Directions:

Preheat the oven (and pizza stone, if using one) to 400-degrees.
In a blender or food processor, blend beans, garlic, vinegar, parmesan, and salt & pepper until smooth.
The Three Bite Rule - Veggie Pizza with White Bean Sauce

Prebake the pizza dough for 10 minutes until lightly cooked and beginning to brown.
While the dough cooks, roast the broccoli in some olive oil until beginning to brown (about 10 minutes, it’ll cook a bit more on the pizza too).
Spread the white bean sauce onto the dough, then top with cheese, sliced tomato, and broccoli.
The Three Bite Rule - Veggie Pizza with White Bean Sauce
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese melts and the crust crisps.
The Three Bite Rule - Veggie Pizza with White Bean Sauce
Drizzle with some truffle oil if you like. Enjoy!

I loved the creamy white bean sauce/spread on here. It added a nice subtle touch on this one.
The Three Bite Rule - Veggie Pizza with White Bean Sauce

This veggie pizza was a nice change of pace. The sliced tomato was great and not something I’d top a pizza with if it also had tomato sauce. I think this one would be a great addition to a bunch of pizzas and would keep vegetarians happy that they weren’t left only with a margarita pizza or a cheese option. You could vary it with any veggies you had on hand, and the white bean sauce will definitely have leftovers…perfect for dipping veggies & pita chips or for a sandwich spread.

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

I don’t make soup often enough and this was one I made in stages. It was really good practice to cook in shifts of however long the little one was napping. I baked the chicken when I had the oven on for dinner one night and I made the rice the next morning when I had a few minutes. This soup was so easy and one I’ll definitely make again.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients: (makes ~4 servings)

4 chicken thighs
wild rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
5 carrots (approx. 2 cups)
1/2 cup milk or cream (I used 1% milk)
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Directions:

Bake chicken until cooked through. (I used a few boneless, skinless thighs and a few drumsticks and then made some broth from the drumstick bones). Cut the chicken into spoon-sized chunks. Prepare rice according to the package directions. (I used Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice Mix which definitely added to the soup flavor).
In a large pot, add the chicken, rice, and broth over low heat.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Cut up the carrots into coins (steam/boil/cook first if eating the soup upon completion, or let raw carrot pieces cook in the soup if you’ll let it simmer longer).
Add the carrots, thyme, & water to the pot.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Cook for 20 minutes then add the milk/cream. (Cook longer if the carrots are raw).
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed. I didn’t add any salt because the rice mix had a flavor packet that seemed like plenty.

I loved this. I went heavy on the carrots but you could add celery, onions, or whatever veggies you have. The thyme is what makes me think warm, comfort food like stuffing or pot pie.

Add more water when warming any leftovers.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

February 2015 Roundup

Bring on March. I’m ready. I love my birthday month…hint hint! I’m feeling a bit more settled with the baby and being on maternity leave. I also am ready for the news to no-longer drone on and on about the snowiest February ever. Yes, we can see that, moving on.

February flew by, despite the fact that I didn’t leave the house much. Baby T hadn’t had his 1-month shots (not to mention leaving the premises with a newborn is a production) so I didn’t go many places. It is a good time of year to be home-bound and snuggly. I spent much of February in yoga pants or pjs to breastfeed, nap, or figure out mommy-hood. There were good days, and some of the toughest I’ve had in awhile. What a mix!

Here’s what you may have missed during the food of February:
I highly recommend this quick and easy breakfast bake that is pretty much a savory bread pudding or savory french toast. Do it. Customize it. You’ll love it. This was something I prepped for the freezer and was really happy with it. It puffed up for a fluffy breakfast-for-dinner meal straight from the freezer.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
For the superbowl, I jazzed up some potato skins. They were good, though I could have done a better job making it more evenly seasoned.

I’m so happy how this pulled pork eggs benedict came out. I looove leftovers getting to shine in other ways. This pulled pork has 9 lives. I didn’t see any out so I stalked a guy in the meat area and he got one for me. It was huge, and being priced by the pound meant it cost a small fortune. Even with my cheap-skate tendencies I didn’t mind at all since I knew it’d freeze well and I’d be using it a few ways. Wait till I get the next batch out of the freezer!
The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict
Hands down, the best dish of February was this salmon with creamy dill dressing. I went from being happy with the most decadent breakfast in the world, to posting a salad topped with fish! It also knocked off 2 of my monthly goals (more seafood & making salad dressing). Yes!!
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing

Progress on this year’s goals: 
The Year of the Earring: you betcha. Here’s this month’s selection 
make more salad dressings:
YES! I did it! I made a Creamy Dill & Cucumber dressing for my salad with salmon.
factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take: I didn’t quite succeed in this when heading out with the babe. I’ll keep it in mind though.
recreate restaurant menu items: ehh. nope. Not this month. Maybe by not going to restaurants I’ll have to recreate what they’re offering.
be more adventurous with my reading selections: I gave up on “All the Light We Cannot See”. I found it depressing and I was battling postpartum hormones so I switched to It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell of the blog Can You Stay For Dinner. I loved it, though the beginning was bumming me out a bit. She is enchanting and has a tremendous and moving story to tell of her life-long relationship with food. I highly recommend. Now I’m onto some next options. I borrowed a few from the library for my kindle and will see what I get into. 
use the crockpot more: I made one I really liked! I didn’t blog it since there aren’t many steps/techniques/tips for crockpot food, plus, I didn’t tweak the recipe at all. It was chicken cordon bleu topped with stuffing. It was good, and made for a million servings Mr. J took to work and I ate between feedings for the little one. I cut the chicken into chunks and used some diced spiral ham I had in the freezer from Christmas. 
#seafoodsunday once a month: So it wasn’t a Sunday, but make this salmon asap. You can thank me later. Plus, the seasoned butter was fun to squish.