Coconut Milk Smoothie

I have many more vacay meals to share but I’m trying to space ‘em out so I don’t lose all my readership on the same day. See that? I’m keeping ya on your toes. You don’t know if you’ll get something delicious or if you’ll just have to endure my delicious European adventure. I’m back to Cali for another event (last one!!!) so a smoothie seems timely for today.

Just add mango and coconut to my smoothie and poof! I think I’m in the Caribbean. I made a smoothie adding coconut, then I saw that Chobani had a new coconut yogurt and I was thinking about coconut milk and it all came together.

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Ingredients:

6 oz coconut Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup frozen peaches (or strawberries)
½ cup coconut Almond milk

Directions:

Assemble
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blend & enjoy.
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I wondered if buying a half gallon carton of almond milk with only smoothies in mind was a waste of money. Mr. J ended up liking it on it’s own and it stays good for longer than regular milk. I also froze some into cubes before one of my trips when I didn’t think it would be used.

We used to drink soy milk occasionally in cereal. I’m not a milk drinker but soy & almond is not the same in cooking, baking, or even drinking it straight. I think they’re great options (higher protein, higher calcium sometimes, lower fat contents, etc). I don’t envision this coconut milk is a flavor anyone wants regularly, but it was so great in smoothies.

First Evening in Paris

I hope you like French food, because I have quite a few meals to share from my European adventure. A lot. I think some people might shy away or think they aren’t into French food. What’s not to like?  I mean, there’s lots of cheese, flavorful sauces, and it is the cooking base of techniques for so many chefs. I appreciate their use of butter and all the wine. Maybe the thought is that French cuisine is stuffy and super formal. It is expensive and meals are pretty leisurely but the food is soooo good and not all the crazy-out-of-the-box from items on menus everywhere.

I got a few recommendations before we left for the anniversary trip but we really ended up seeing what we could find once we were there depending on our timing and where we were when we got hungry. Getting a lay of the land was helpful for restaurant hunting without breaking the budget.
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We arrived early morning and quickly went to see the Eiffel & Arc de Triomphe & Champs d’Elysees, etc. Jet lag caught up with us and we crashed late afternoon. Then we were rejuvenated and seeking dinner. We went to Bouillon Chartier after debating if it would be touristy or not. We decided it was not.
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It was amazing. So cute and we loved every bite. It is tucked off the street and had a line of what seemed like native French-speakers. I took that as a good sign! I ordered completely in French and was quite proud of myself. I was able to ask if one of the wines listed would be enough for two of us. The server said yes. Turns out, it was a bottle. Oops. Metrics got me on that one! Mr. J discovered maybe he does like wine better than he thought. It was really great to share a bottle while indulging in a seemingly never-ending basket of bread.
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I got the duck confit. I mean, come on. When in Paris! It was so good, and nothing I ever get at home. It was juicy and rich and perfect with some red wine.
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Mr. J went with the steak frites which was a great intro into French restaurant cuisine!
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It was a hopping spot. The line moved quickly and everyone willingly accepted the terms of the restaurant. They seat you and you may have others at your table. It isn’t quite communal, but there’s not much separation. The inside is bustling and the turnover is quick, though nobody seemed rushed. There is a sheet of paper on top of the table cloth where they write down your order. Later when you’re done, they add it up from the notes scribbled down.
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It was a really fun first meal and we each were thoroughly pleased with our meals. It was a nice spot, the wine was divine, and it was wallet friendly while enjoying classic dishes. Loved it.

Life Update

I started this blog what seems like forever ago. My camera, kitchen, and marital status have all changed. My role at work changed but the place of employment hasn’t changed…until now!  I’m about to embark on a new journey at a new job. Get excited!

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Photo Credit: A Ciordila (creative commons)

I didn’t share until it was official, and it was a process so I didn’t want to spill the beans! I also want this to be my happy place. Along the job hunt I didn’t want you to have to share in all my frustrations every minute I had them, also because food & meals are MY happy place. So when things are going bananas I still want to make dinner. I want to make something out of nothing even on the most stressful of days. I love controlling what I can control and sharing meals with you all.

I’m proud of what I’ve done and who I was during everything. I can be content that I made choices and did what I enjoyed for a while. It was my time. I’ll miss so many people I grew really close with and I think back to all I learned and really skilled folks I learned from.

I’m beyond thrilled to start somewhere new. I forget what it feels like to be a newbie, but I’m ready. I can’t wait! I got to celebrate over champagne in Paris. How lucky am I?!?!

Greek Pasta Salad

Before I get to any Parisian treats or Czech delights, I have a weekend trip to Maine and I’m prepping for San Fran. I unpack to repack. I wanted to share a Greek inspired dish with you. This is a quick meal that I knew would include leftovers and would use tomatoes from our garden.

I settled on a Greek inspired pasta salad. It would be super easy to customize too. We ate this as a meal served with some hummus & pita chips, but I’ll have to keep it in mind for the next BBQ.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

⅔ pound of pasta (I used our fav shape Campanelle)
1 cup Greek salad dressing
1 large tomato
½ cucumber
½ cup creamy Caesar dressing (optional)
Salt & pepper
1 tsp oregano (or basil)
⅓ cup feta

Directions:

(to be partially made/prepped the night before)
Boil pasta in a very large pot of salted boiling water.
Cook pasta through to your liking (for pasta salad, I think it is better a touch past al dente). Drain pasta and transfer pasta to a large bowl or container that can be covered.
When pasta cools a bit to room temperature, mix most of the Greek dressing over the pasta.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Pasta Salad
Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours.
The next day, mix pasta and chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and dice red onions.
The Three bite Rule - Greek Pasta Salad
Mix veggies into the pasta and mix in creamy Caesar dressing. Add salt, pepper, and oregano. Refrigerate until serving.
Sprinkle feta over the top and serve.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Pasta Salad

I loved this. Greek flavors are some of my favorites. I never think of pasta in the summer but why not a cool pasta. This is salad minus the lettuce! It is filling and flavorful. The creamy Caesar dressing was something I had, but could easily be omitted.

Pasta salad is really lackluster if it isn’t made in advance enough. I set a timer and went about the rest of my evening while the water was boiling and while the pasta cooked. Prep the night before or it’ll be a let down. It would be easy enough to throw together in the morning before heading off to work too.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Pasta Salad

I don’t do olives, but they would be a great addition for some Greek-ness. Grilled chicken, artichokes, chopped/shaved asparagus, sausage, mushrooms, or chopped spinach would be lovely as well. This is the summer equivalent of a one-pot-wonder.

Green Smoothie

I did it. I mean, in my defense, what kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t give a green smoothie a shot and get on that bandwagon finally?
The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

I’ve snuck some spinach into a smoothie before, but I did it with blueberries which hide the green-ness. I think this is more about the color and texture than about the flavor. Let’s be real: raw spinach blended doesn’t give off any huge aggressive flavor. It seems about time to blog about a green smoothie, with spinach, and avocado.

Ingredients:

1 green apple
2 cups fresh spinach
1 small avocado (or ½ of a regular avocado)
1/2 banana, frozen
6 oz greek yogurt
1 tbs honey
⅓ cup milk

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

I liked this green smoothie a lot. It wasn’t as sludge seeming as I’ve heard the green juiced drinks are. I didn’t include any parsley or lemon which bottled green ones often have.

I didn’t feel like I was doing a cleanse detoxing. That scares the beejesus out of me. Do you know people who’ve done it? Bahhh. Yikes. Eeeek. I can’t imagine. I like the idea of detoxing off overly processed foods or striving for as many raw/whole/real foods. I’d rather try to eat more veggies or really, anything other than all liquids.

This smoothie isn’t exactly going to detox you, but the yogurt makes it come together and the milk & honey make it slightly sweet and drink-able. The apple & banana are both sweet and the spinach and avocado are kind of neutral to me. It is for sure a good way to get some more veggies into your day. That’s a plus for everyone.
The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

Avocado – good for fiber & good fat
Spinach – barely any calories, more vitamin A than your usual bfast
Apple – upps your vitamin C & fiber
Banana – Potassium is ideal after an intense workout, or after an evening of drinks.
Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt has about 2x – 3x the protein of regular yogurt and wayyy more protein than just milk would give you, making this smoothie be filling enough for a meal. It’ll help get to your calcium daily suggested amount.

All that being said, I’d do it again. Do I want to juice green things? No thanks.

BBQ Chicken Bubble Up Pizza

This is one of the easiest pizza I’ve ever made. I love how this is kind of like regular pizza but kind of assembled like a casserole. Don’t get turned off by the term casserole. This is doughy BBQ chicken pizza and it is delightful.

The alternative “crust” is super simple and should not be overlooked.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Chicken Biscuit Pizza

Ingredients:

1 can refrigerated biscuits
1-2 chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce
½ red onion
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Cut chicken into chunks and cook in the pan with half of the BBQ sauce. Turn over to cook for about 7 minutes. The chicken needs to cook most of the way through (it will cook more in the oven).
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Chicken Biscuit Pizza
Open the biscuits and cut them in quarters, tossing them with 1 tbs of the remaining BBQ sauce.
Drop them into a 9×9 or 9×12 baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Chicken Biscuit Pizza
Sprinkle on half the cheese, the onions, the chicken, and BBQ sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Chicken Biscuit Pizza
Bake 25 minutes.
Top with remaining cheese and bake for another 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Chicken Biscuit Pizza

I loved this. It was simple and most of the prep time is oven-baking-time. I would customize this pizza a million ways. It would be easy to make a few different ones at the same time or even just half and half in the pan. Or in individualized dishes. How fun!

I think making it with BBQ chicken, and without any marinara, this becomes more borderline casserole. The biscuits were a soft and doughy base ideal for any pizza under the sun.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Chicken Biscuit Pizza

Want more easy alternatives to using dough for the crust? Here’s a Greek pizza on pita bread, or French bread pizza, or pizza dip, or on Indian naan.

I’ve been whipping up BBQ pizza forever. It was the first meal I cooked for Mr. J, way back, pre-blogging days. Speaking of Mr. J… We are celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary! I feel like we justttt got married. For our honeymoon we went to Spain & Italy. We went to Portland, ME for our 1st anniversary(seen here & here) with another celebration a bit after the actual date in New Orleans & through the Caribbean. This year’s trip is a big one! Just wait till I’m back & ready to blog it!

Bacon & Cheese Panini with Peach Compote

This panini was soo good. I mean, seriously, how can you go wrong with bacon, cheese, and something sweet? It was a really quick dinner but now that I think about it, this would be a good brunchy kind of dish because of the bacon.

The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Peach Compote Panini

The peach compote has a sweet juicy flavor with a tiny zip to it…it isn’t spicy by any means. It could totally handle some jalepenos if you wanted spice. The peaches cook down considerably so even with just 2 peaches, there wasn’t much left over after making 2 sandwiches. It would be good on a cheese plate or on a crostini too.

Ingredients:

2 white peaches (or nectarines), diced
1 small onion, diced
2 tbs brown sugar
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
6 slices of bacon
4 slices of bread (I used seedless rye)
4 slices of gouda cheese (or fontina)
(optional: tomato, arugula, mustard)

Directions:

Add peaches, onions,and 3 tbs of water to a small pot over medium heat.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Peach Compote Panini
Pan fry bacon until crisp.
Stir peaches and add red pepper flakes and brown sugar. It will be soft and will have reduced a bit. The onions & peaches will have broken down by now.
Peach compote cooks for about 10 minutes, but can be kept warm while everything else gets prepped.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Peach Compote Panini
Assemble sandwiches with cheese, bacon, and spread peach compote onto one side of the bread.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Peach Compote Panini
Pan fry or press sandwiches until cheese melts and bread crisps. (keep warm in the oven if making them in batches).
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Peach Compote Panini

I loved this. I kept it simple so there wouldn’t be too many competing flavors but I usually think “the more the merrier” when it comes to a sandwich. I would like some tomato slices or greens in this. Ham, prosciutto, or pancetta would all be good substitutions for the bacon. It would be great as a regular sandwich without toasting it, or having it on ciabatta.

Paninis are such simple dinners. The peach compote would hold up a few days in the fridge if making it in advance. I think this turned my sandwich into something special. I would be a grilled cheese with bacon if I hadn’t added it in there. Peach compote would be a good use if any of your peaches or nectarines get a bit squishy.

Want more panini ideas? This Italian Grilled Cheese is a super easy dinner. This Turkey, Cranberry, & Brie Panini is great if you’re inching towards fall. Top-your-own Chicken & Biscuits is a fun dinner sandwich too.

Brunch at Redd’s in Rozzie

I had been obsessing over trying this place Redds in Rozzie for brunch for a few weekends. It kept just not working out. Somehow Sunday morning were ending up busy. I was psyched when it fit in. If you follow @threebiterule on twitter, then you’ll see this also had trouble fitting into the ole blog schedule. I’ve just come in the door from Santa Barbara and now I’m off traveling again.

We went for brunch and sat outside. It was so cute and I just loved their menu even before eating there. My mum came with Mr. J and me and we ordered the same!
The Three Bite Rule - Redds In Rozzie

Breakfast sandwiches are my go-to for brunch and usually what I get the very first time, you know, to test the place out. I got the biscuit and egg sandwich with fried chicken. Ohh my goodness. I loved it. I ignored the hashbrowns and got right to business (grits were an option too). They make their own bacon & sausage, so that would be pretty amazing in here I’m sure.

The biscuit is to die for. It is so buttery, flaky, and huge. Everything you want in a biscuit. The egg was fluffy and sized perfectly. The fried chicken was amazing. It was super crispy and juicy. Ahhh! I’m salivating just telling you about this. I also wasn’t hungry 8+ hours later.
The Three Bite Rule - Redds In Rozzie

Mr. J likes traditional breakfasts so he got the old faithful. He liked it, and the homemade bacon was to die for…way better than it even looks.
The Three Bite Rule - Redds In Rozzie

I figured we couldn’t skip the house-made sticky bun. It was a necessity. It was delicious.
The Three Bite Rule - Redds In Rozzie

Next time I’d like to try their omelettes and maybe the hush puppies. I also spy some items from the dinner menu that I could really get behind (cough: scallops with a wreckage of summer veggies: crispy avocado: roasted leg of lamb: yum: cough).

It is such a cute spot and they care about local products while making everything themselves. I like the southern touches to their menu. The food is really good and true and not pretentious. I like that. A lot.

GO Burger NYC

Everytime I get back from NYC I say that I don’t go nearly enough. It is true, it is actually pretty close & easy to get to. Mr. J and I hopped a bus after work and were there in just a few hours. Enough time for a brief snooze and a movie on the laptop.

We got in and hung with S & E and their cute puppy Stella. Before we knew it, it was morning and the rest of the gang was arriving. When in NYC, we got bagels and devised our plan for the day. We picnicked and played in Central Park for a bit, did a beer tasting/sampling, got cupcakes and regrouped for dinner plans.

There was pretty much food & beverages all day. We took the dog for a walk along the East River to build up some space for dinner.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

I love that NYC has everything you’d ever want, and many many many locations of just what you want. We went to Go Burger and loved it.

I got the Mac & Cheeseburger. I mean, how could I not? When I saw that it had fried mac & cheese on top I really couldn’t look elsewhere. I thought about the salmon burger with pickled red onions & avocado but I just couldn’t.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

My Mac & Cheeseburger was a turkey burger topped with fried mac & cheese, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, and homemade ketchup. It was so good.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

Mr. J got the same, but on a beef burger. There were some BLT burgers, a smashed burger, and a turkey burger amongst our group too.

Sunday morning we squeezed in a jaunt through Central Park and may have had Pick a Bagel…again. I was thinking about why bagels aren’t as good other places and maybe that’s how it should be. Maybe I don’t need a whole-wheat-everything-bagel that good to be around the corner from me.

It was definitely a weekend of eating, drinking, and catching up with longtime friends. Exactly as life should be.

Cape House and Beachy Eats

The perfect way to round out the summer meant family getaways to the Cape and Maine. This is the start of being gone for 7 consecutive weekends but was totally worth it.

Growing up my parents had a house on Cape Cod and began renting it more and more as we grew older. The house was super charming and HUGE! We made lots of great memories there and I get nostalgic wishing they still owned that house. Now that I’m older I definitely understand what goes into owning property, paying taxes, planning for time there, and can only imagine the stress of finding normal renters, especially for the off-season months.

I usually go to that beach at least once a year for a beach day trip, but the ‘rents rented a cottage for a week this year! I hadn’t stayed there in years, decades really. Mr. J and I boarded the pups and spent a few days at the beach. Sis was able to squeeze in a brief stay while we were there too. I’m protecting this special spot’s anonymity since the beach is spacious, adorable, and I don’t want it overrun with tourists (ask me outside of the blogosphere and I’ll profess my devotion, proclaim my love, and give great recommendations).

We got pizza the first night, for old time’s sake. There’s one pizza joint in the town and everybody loves it. Literally, the 3 phones ring off the hook while a steady stream of walk-ins place orders to go or to eat there. We walked over to pick it up and then ate on a picnic table in the backyard of the rental. The pizza was delightful and it was so great to eat a bunch of pizzas while enjoying the gentle August breeze.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food

We got a supreme pizza. It is a pizza turned over onto the underneath pizza. I know, I know. I get it. It sounds like a calzone. It is not. This is a pizza, with a cheese pizza overturned on top, with sauce and cheese on the very top. It was “filled” with sausage, garlic, onions, green peppers, and eggplant. I loved every bite. It was hard to stray to taste another amazing pizza.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food

We got some small ones too. One was bacon and onion. The other was a white one with feta and garlic. Ohh goodness. I had to cut myself off.

When on the Cape, we went on bike rides (not me), went to the beach, played card games, ate ice cream every night, and of course ate seafood while overlooking the beach.

I got lobster mac & cheese that was ahhhmazing. And huge. With tons of lobster chunks. And I had to cut myself off once again…well, I had to make room for ice cream, ya know.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food
I nabbed one of Mr. J’s fried scallops and would have loved them too.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food
Dad got clams and the other menu items were Mediterranean inspired dishes. Mum got scallop & shrimp kebobs and sis got chicken kebabs.
The Three Bite Rule - Cape Food
Nightly ice cream was an indulgence that was totally necessary. I didn’t snap any photos because it was too good to let melt. Have you heard of Phantom Berry? It was black raspberry ice cream with oreos & chocolate chips. I wish we had discovered this gem sooner!