Show Us Your Fluff

Did you grow up eating fluff? I love it. I looooove peanut butter (low fat & extra crunchy, preferably) and it just goes so well with fluff. About a year and a half ago, I brought the makings for pb&f at work. My then-colleague, Mrs. E, grew up in Ireland and just thought it was the strangest thing. Yum. My childhood memories include fluff topping cocoa too.

My blog pal from Wicked Good Travel & Acticities has a give away I’m psyched to share with you. You may remember her blog from my guest post. I’ve been busy eating, cooking, toying with my new camera, swapping, restaurant-weeking, and final wedding detailing. I have lots to catch you up on, but in the meantime, please enjoy some fluff.

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image courtesy of Union Square Main Streets

Are you a fan of Marshmallow Fluff? Does it remind you of childhood memories of having the perfect combination of a Fluffernutter, do you dream about it swirled into Nutella for a delectable, chocolate, “fluffy” delight?

If you said ‘yes’ then you are in luck! On September 24thUnion Square Main Streets is holding their Sixth Annual “What the Fluff” festival to honor the creamy delight. They’ll have food, games, entertainment, even a celebrity appearance by Susan Olsen, or ‘Cindy’, from the Brady Bunch. And there’s still time to enter the Fluff cooking contest,which boasts some top prizes, including a tour of the factory (a rare treat)!

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Photo Courtesy of Fluff 2010 by Julie Polvinen

To celebrate the local blog, Wicked Good Travel & Activities, is holding a giveaway contest. Just go over to Wicked Good Travel & Activities between August 31stand September 12th and leave a brief comment here in the form of creative recipes, prose, poetry, and more- all expressing your love for Marshmallow Fluff. Two winners will be chosen, so give us your best! One will receive a Fluff tote bag and the other will receive free studio classes at The Training Room. All winners will also be featured on Wicked Good Travel & Activities, Somerville Patch, and Union Square Main Streets.

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Photo Courtesy of Wicked Good Travel & Activities

So, what the fluff are you waiting for? Enter the contest and SHOW US YOUR FLUFF!

Quicky Quiche

My mum makes the best quiche so I was thinking I’d make one. It wasn’t quite as good as hers ever is, but overall I was happy with it.
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I used ready-made piecrust which made is super easy. Pie crust isn’t that hard to make, but I wasn’t making a double crusted pie so I made it a bit more simple by using one made for me. It meant making lunch for the week only took about 20 minutes to prep.

Ingredients

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
2 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
salt & pepper

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop spinach, mushrooms, and bacon.
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Wisk together eggs, egg yolks, milk, salt, pepper, and cream of tartar.
Layer cheese and fillings into piecrust.
Gently pour egg mixture over filling.
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Bake 35-40 minutes until center is set.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
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It was good but I think I put in too much cream of tartar. It’s supposed to provide acid to help stabilize the eggs.

Quiche was a great lunch option this week. Swiss or sharper cheddar might have given this more bite. This definitely was an easy way to use some mushrooms I had and for another serving of spinach.

Hurricane Preparedness

In an effort to prepare for Hurricane Irene…I got a new camera!
camera_box_590_390 Well, actually it was a gift but now I’m all charged up and ready to shoot lots of meals using only canned goods. Just kidding!

camera_case_590_390 I’m very excited. This is actually camera #2. #1 didn’t stick around long because the flash had issues (luckily within the no-restocking-fee time period). I have lots ‘o posts to do before you actually see this camera in action, but you will. Think how amazing the food will look when I’m in Italy & Spain with a fancy schmancy new camera? Sorry, I just had to get that in. I am just so excited and I just wrapped up the final travel plans.

In all seriousness, I hope everyone is a-OK while Irene wreaks havoc on the east coast.

Lunching Couscous

Lunch ideas can be hard to come by for me and sandwiches were never really my thing. I love them with interesting condiments on bakery bread, but making one at 7am and bringing it to work never appeals to me.

I try to mix it up when it comes to lunch. Often it’s leftovers but I used to be so good about picking something, making a regular sized batch, and eating it all week for lunch. It was even more convenient when I’d bring it all on Monday and not have to think about it the rest of the week.  Lately, I’ve gotten off course.

Recently I made couscous for a couple of lunches and it was soooo good. I ate it as a cold salad and was all about it. Tomatoes were my inspiration.
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Grape. Heirloom. Tomatoes.

Ingredients

1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
1 cup dried Israeli couscous
2 cups vegetable stock
11/2 cups baby spinach
2 slices of bacon, cooked to a crisp
¼ cup shredded Parmesan
¼ cup ranch dressing
drizzle of olive oil

Directions

Toast couscous over medium-low heat until lightly browned
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Add in veggie stock and cover for 7 minutes
Slice cherry tomatoes in halves, chop the spinach chiffonade, and crumble the bacon.
Fluff couscous to separate and allow to cool.
Add spinach, bacon, Parmesan and dressing.
Refrigerate overnight and drizle with olive oil before eating to rehydrate.
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I’ll admit. Ranch might seem a bit weird, but I had it and wanted something creamy. Parmesan peppercorn dressing would be more appropriate. My spinach had lived a good life but wouldn’t have been amazing the next day, which is why I chose to throw it in…like an herb rather than like a salad. Nobody was going to overshadow these tomatoes. No, siree!This was an easily packable and flavorful lunch. It also is super cheap. If I were like whats-her-face on the foodnetwork who makes $10 dinners I’d probably have an impressive lunch cost since this served as 2 lunches for me…and my mum may have bought the tomatoes for me when we were at the farm stand. I’d much rather pack a lunch and afford a fantastic meal in Italy or Spain. In just over 4 weeks time I will be! So excited I can’t even stand it!

This would be a good side dish. Adding basil and fresh mozzarella would be good with Italian dressing. Bring couscous to your next BBQ this summer and be the star next to all the cole slaws and potato salads.
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What are some other lunchable ideas & inspirations?

Breakfast Pizza

The last time I made pizza with bacon I ended up wishing I’d done it breakfast-style. No time like the present! I broke out the pizza stone and got to work. Only after proclaiming my love for the pizza stone, of course.
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Ingredients

1 ball of dough
1/4 cup marinara sauce
4 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar
3 green onions, chopped

Directions

1) Preheat pizza stone to 375 degrees.
2) Top dough with sauce and shredded cheese making four divots for eggs.
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3) Sprinkle with bacon and green onions.
4) Crack eggs into divots and bake immediately.
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5) Bake for 35 minutes until crisp and egg fully cooked.

I loved this pizza! It wasn’t the greatest reheated…but I’m sure you can guess I ate it anyway. The egg got funky but hey, if it meant I didn’t have to grocery shop or find something else, then I’d eat almost anything.

I think I would also like to try a scrambled egg-type of pizza. Like this. Or this. I’m trying to think up fun and exciting new pizza themes for my next one. Maybe I’ll have to give a thin crust a whirl. Any suggestions for toppings?
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The pizza stone has changed my life and my pizza. It’s such a difference. If you have one, you’ll agree. If you don’t, you should go get one.  The dough is fluffy and puffy, which I love.

Four Leaf Clover

I’m lucky to work in the heart of downtown Boston with more lunch restaurants around than I know what to do with. I rarely take advantage of them. One hot hot hot day my office had plants to rendez-vous with our sister office at the Dewey Square Farmer’s Market for lunch.

It was so hot hot hot that I’m surprised I could remember what I ate (or how good it was)! Clover was a welcome relief from the mind-numbing heat. They worked the crowed and kept it moving. I was so impressed with the ordering process via iphone and the options. Check out how many of them there were working inside the truck! Wow!
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I didn’t check out twitter that morning to see what they were serving but was pleasantly surprised and was too hot to ponder. I quickly chose the chickpea fritter sandwich.
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It was really good, though I’m not sure what made it different than falafel. It had great flavor. The chickpea fritters were soft with a light crunch on the outside and a surprisingly fluffy center. The sandwich was on an oversized pita with carrot and cabbage slaw.
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Somebody got rosemary fries. It was such a lovely flavor added to really great quality fries.
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Their food is so good and I really need to eat at Clover more often. Do you watch Great American Food Truck Race? It’s awesome and a truck from Boston, called Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, is on!

Taco Cup…Ole!

Once upon a time, I discovered Pinterest. All productivity went down from there. Just kidding. Errr…maybe not kidding. I do love a good pin and the food pins going around are making me very inspired.
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Ms. K pinned lasagna cups and then made them. They were so cute I promptly added wanton wrappers to my grocery list and planned some Taco Cups.

Ingredients

1 package wonton wrappers
⅓ pound ground chicken
3 scallions
1 ½ cups shredded cheese
½ can of black beans

Directions

Brown ground meat with taco seasoning and preheat the oven.
Lay a wonton into a muffin tin and top with the ground meat and cheese.
tacocup_layer1_290_200Top with another wanton, then black beans, chopped green onions, and more cheese.
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Bake 20 minutes at 350 until melty & crisp.
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These are super fun and a great way to stretch a few ingredients. The beans were the 2nd half of a can I used for the veggie burger I made recently too. The ground meat I froze after making ranch burgers the last time since I didn’t have an immediate use for it. These taco cups really only needed a few ingredients (for me: cheese & wanton wrappers).
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I think these would make a great “finger food” or appetizer. They also would be great when having guests since taco cups be all ready without a million dishes, lots of chopping, or cooking in front of everyone.

Even though I do love make-you-own food set ups, I think my next theme might have to be fun & assembled items or appetizers. What else can I make in cup form?

Ima Guest Blogga

I occasionally have guest bloggers but today I am one! Check out my guest blog post on Wicked Good Travel & Activities. The blogger Amy and I are virtual friends and I’m sure you’ll see her guest post here sometime too. Maybe we’ll get a chance to meet in real-life too! I think we could have some amazing themed parties based on some we’ve each had. Check out this one she did!

And how can you resist this guy making an appearance on there too?
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Interested in being a guest blogger for The Three Bite Rule? Email emily@thethreebiterule.com for more info!

Veg Burg

I scoped out a whole bunch of veggie burger recipes but ended up just including whatever I remembered when I grocery shopped. These were good, but could have used more crunch. I love when I have control over my burger since I’m not a red-meat-eater and have fewer choices.
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Ingredients:

1 cup oatmeal
½ can black beans
1 eggplant, grated
1 cup panko
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs soy sauce
1 egg
salt & pepper

Directions:

Blend oatmeal until it becomes like a flour
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Drain and blend the black beans in a food processer
Saute onion and garlic until translucent
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Combine beans, onion, garlic, shredded eggplant, green onions,  soy sauce, egg, and S&P in a bowl and stir to combine.
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Form into patties and bake at 375 degrees for 10 min before flipping and baking another 10.
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I packed these for lunch this week and served it on a light English muffin (toasted) with cheddar and spinach on the burger. I liked these a lot. I think the eggplant and beans made it really sizeable and filling.

I think next time I’d add in some nuts or sunflower seeds. I think another grain might have been good. Barley? Rice? I’ll keep that in mind next time.
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I baked instead of frying or grilling since they’re not known to stay together well. I froze extras and think they’ll be a great find in the freezer once I’ve forgotten them at a time when I feel like there’s nothing for dinner.

Since you know, or have noticed, that I rarely bake so it may surprise you that I have a muffin top pan. I have never made muffins in it but love it for things like this! I use it all the time for anything patty shaped! Crab cakes, burgers, zucchini fritters…you name it. It is super handy. Once I have a kitchen with space, I’m sure I’ll bake more.

Mediterranean Bliss

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love Mediterranean food? It’s definitely my favorite. I never get sick of it. I love all the dip-able things….and all the olive oil…and all the feta…and all the marinades. I just can’t get enough. I recently enjoyed a Mediterranean meal with some of the most wonderful ladies in my life during my bachelorette weekend.

We went to an amazing winery earlier in the day, more on that later, but our dinner was at Temple in Providence, RI! We started with a few cocktails, in our own room within the restaurant with a less-than-enthused waiter, and the appetizer sampler to share. The Temple Mezze Platter was delicious and perfect for sharing. It had tzatziki, baba ghanoush (the best I’ve ever had, btw), hummus, dolmas, spanakopita, moroccan carrots & warm pita. Loved it! We ordered 2 platters to serve 4 each. It was plenty with some leftover.

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I got a mango lime cocktail. It was sweet but tart and I loved it. temple_drink_200_290
They brought out an assorted bread basket and roasted garlic. So good! temple_garlic_290_200

The menu seemed to have plenty of options for everyone. We ordered from every section of the menu! I got the Maine Lobster Flatbread. It had leeks and St. Andre cheese…also a fav. I’ve loved this buttery cheese but I’ve never melted it. Duh! I’m embarassed to say that I didn’t take a photo of my meal. Gasp!  It was really good but I was full quickly. I ended up eating the lobster off the remaining pieces once I just couldn’t eat anymore. I’d never let lobster go to waste. One Ms. L got the lobster flatbread too but I didn’t bug her to get a photo since I had the same.

Ms. L got Spring Vegetable Fusilli. It was full of all different veggies. The server didn’t think she’d put too much of a dent in it…there just was so much!

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This Mrs. E got Greek Style Chicken in a lemon, garlic, & oregano marinade. Ms. M got this as well.
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Check. Out. This. Flatbread. How amazing does that look?! One Mrs. E and one Ms. L got this sausage and argula flatbread and liked it. Ms. L wasn’t overly into the argula on top. temple_sausage_290_200
Another Ms. L got the Temple Burger. It’s lamb with black olive tapenade and tzatziki. I was eyeing that one. temple_burg_200_290
Ms. A got Greek Salad and Portuguese-Style Caldo Verde. It was leek and potato soup with chorizo. temple_soup_290_200
I loved everything about this weekend and everything about this meal. I was so pleasantly stuffed. Then, just when I thought the meal was over, they bring out these guys: temple_cupcakes_290_200 These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. The cake part was so good! Normally I’m just into the frosting on cupcakes from bakeries but these were different. We also amused ourselves trying to identify them. I ate the one that looks like s’mores (bottom left). They were specially delivered by Ms. L’s sis from Nancy’s Fancies. Seriously unlike any other bakery cupcake. What a nice touch to finish the meal with?! I have the greatest friends ever.