Mexican Street Corn

Ok folks. You haaaave to make this. I’ve had Mexican street corn, Elotes, and wanted to try making some myself. It is normally on the cob but now that we’re out of that season, I wanted to make some as a side dish. It is such great flavor of sweet corn, salty cheese, lime juice, and a creaminess that is ohh so good. We ate this as a side dish for a fiesta dinner but it’d be fun as a dip too. Or in tacos! (or by the spoonful).

I skipped the jalapeno not wanting this to be too spicy for my crowd. I don’t know that it needs it, so do as you wish!
The Three Bite Rule - Mexican Street Corn
Ingredients:
12 oz white & golden corn
1/2 lime
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cotija cheese or feta (I don’t have cotija at my grocery store so I used feta)
1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 jalapeno pepper (optional)

Directions:
Cook the corn according to the package. (I used frozen corn).
Mix together the lime juice, mayo, garlic, chili powder, and some lime zest.
The Three Bite Rule - Mexican Street Corn
Add a splash of milk if it seems to thick, or mix it with the corn and then add if necessary.
The Three Bite Rule - Mexican Street Corn
Mix the dressing with the corn and cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Mexican Street Corn
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Mexican Street Corn
I really loved this. So did the whole fam! It had a great flavor and texture. It was really great alongside our tacos. I admit I scooped with chips but with salsa and guacamole, I’d still keep this as a side dish. It was a winner and so quick. I’ll totally make this again…asap.

Crockpot Cassoulet

I didn’t mean to disappear. I was all like, 5 years, not going anywhere blah blah blah. Work is just nutty right now. Now until Thanksgiving I’m up to my eyeballs in pie. 20,000 pies for Thanksgiving is no joke. As busy as it is I reallllly wanted something delightful to come home to in the crockpot. I borderline feel bad for the dogs to salivate all day, but it’s usually worth it. I prepped most of this the night before then dumped in the crockpot and came home to it.

The Three Bite Rule - Crockpot Cassoulet
I made a quick cassoulet before, which I think I prefer to this crockpot one, but it was good and nice to come home to with some bread for dipping.

Crockpot French Cassoulet

based on NY Times Slow Cooker Cassoulet
Ingredients:
white beans, dried
4 garlic cloves
2-3 potatoes, chopped
3 carrots, pealed & chopped
1 white onion, chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 cup ham, chopped
3 chicken sausage links
1 cup pulled pork shoulder (or substitute seared duck legs)
2 tbs dijon mustard
1-2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1-2 cups chicken broth
salt & pepper

Directions:

Overnight, soak the dried white beans.
Also prep the garlic, potatoes, carrots, herbs, ham, sausage, pork and mustard.
The Three Bite Rule - Crockpot Cassoulet
Add everything into the crockpot for 6-9 hours.
The Three Bite Rule - Crockpot Cassoulet
Taste and add salt & pepper as needed. Serve with some baguette for dipping.
The Three Bite Rule - Crockpot Cassoulet
It was a bit too tomato-y for my taste. I liked it a lot, but it didn’t seem like cassoulet to me. It was a great stew with some good flavors. I read the NY Times recipe (which also includes duck which I didn’t have) and the comments were it was lacking flavor. I think amping up the herbs and getting the mustard in there was good for this.

I found bake-at-home baguettes which were so good. There were 2 in the pack and I froze the other one. That’ll be in handy with the leftover cassoulet I froze for next time. I’ll probably stick to my quickie cassoulet the next time I go to make it.
cassolet_bowl_590_390

I never really work with dried beans. The overnight soak worked well. I was afraid I’d come home to a crockpot full of overcooked veggies with hard beans. They all were cooked fine! My little one ate some and loved messing with the carrots, potatoes, beans and the sauce. Now, what’s the next crockpot idea for next month?

Happy FIVE Years!

I cannot believe The Three Bite Rule is FIVE years old. Five. That’s bananas. This is a crazy time of year at work for the next few weeks so I didn’t quite have time to plan something extravagant. Then again, I’m not going anywhere so it isn’t like I need to go out with a bang. Should I want this to be bigger? I don’t know. I’m pretty content for The Three Bite Rule to just be what it is.

I like doing this. I like making time for it. I like that it is just mine to share with others. It makes me think, try, be a little creative, and remember not everything comes out perfectly. I know not to force my joy into it providing my livelihood. I want to do good work and make a difference in the world. I absolutely adore my job and was happy to return to it after my maternity leave. I learned being home with the little man meant I was lucky and a positive time for both of us but my best self has to work with other people, providing some good into the world. I think work has to be something you enjoy but I also think people make the mistake of trying to have all their wants and needs met by their life’s work. That’s where your hobby can come into play.

This year, woah. I live in such a different world than when I started blogging years ago. The little one is such a joy and my favorite part of this year, of course. Mr. J and I have adapted our meals to fit our busy times of year at work. It is definitely wayyy quicker to make dinner when not blogging it so I slowed to 2x a week and it seems like a good fit. I learned to snap a few more photos to have some more choices. I unfortunately don’t get to snap the photos in daylight very often but that’s just how it is.

So, what’s ahead for the year? I’m not sure.

My Fav Photo of the year:
Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Fav Food of the Year: Chicken Thighs
Tuscan Herbed Chicken Thighs over White Beans
The Three Bite Rule - Tuscan Herbed Chicken & White Beans
Fav Restaurant Re-Creation of the year:
Chicken Meatballs with Kale, Cranberries, and Fresh Pasta
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Alfredo Meatballs
Fav Burger
Picnic Burger with Potato Sticks & Slaw
Picnic Burger - The Three Bite Rule

This year’s goals:
The Year of the Earring
make more salad dressings
factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take
recreate restaurant menu items
be more adventurous with my reading selections
use the crockpot more
seafood once a month

I don’t know what’s ahead and that’s OK with me! I’m so grateful for everyone who reads my blog. I appreciate you!

Trader Joe’s Shopping Must-Haves

Trader Joe’s is a gold-mine for some of my favorite staples. This is totally a collection of my choices and is no way influenced by Trader Joe’s. Joe definitely don’t know me. I think it is easy to get caught up in the seasonal or impulse buys, but if you go with a plan for some staples you’ll be totally set. I don’t find it ideal for general grocery-shopping so here are my top buys:

Flowers
Don’t skip them. Trader Joe’s flowers keep well and the price can’t be beat. $5-bucks for a bouquet? Sold! Best $5 way to brighten your week.
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule
Wine comes next in the store layout. You really could just make a trip for these two.

I love some of the jarred items. The pesto is the best jarred pesto I’ve found…after a hunt. Also the crushed garlic is so much better than minced garlic. I used the simmer sauce awhile back for turkey meatballs over faux-mashed potatoes.
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule

Next another must-buy is some of the freezer staples. They don’t always have it, but the frozen mahi mahi is sooo good.

Roasted Corn is so full of smokey flavor and is a freezer product they always have. Thank goodness.
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule
Staying in the Mexican area, I LOVE the chicken & cheese tamales. Seriously. $2.49 for 2. Such a great quick snack or lunch.
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule

I always get some edamame. There’s in the shell or out. They’re perfect as an app or snack or on the side. Grocery stores seem to now have edamame more often, but Trader Joe’s has had it forever.
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule
TJ’s eggplant cutlets are so so good. They always have them and I use them on their own, on pizza, in subs, or in grilled cheese!
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule
Don’t leave the freezer section without Turkey Meatballs. Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs are the best. I’ve tried all the brands and these are significantly better. They’re also a steal! Fully cooked meatballs are the perfect freezer staple. The baby loves pieces of meatballs.
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule
Lastly, peek at the candy before you leave. The are a huuuge value and who doesn’t need a bite of chocolate now and then?
Trader Joe's Top Picks - The Three Bite Rule
What do you get at Trader Joe’s?

Queso Smothered Chicken

In an effort not to have the same taco-night each week, I wanted something a little bit different but still quick & easy. This fit the bill perfectly! I used queso as the sauce on some taco-spiced chicken and served it over a bed of black beans. The chicken was very hands off – just seasoned and popped into the oven. I liked the black beans as the base to make this really filling, with a slight cruch to the peppers, spiced chicken, and smooth & cheesy topping.

The Three Bite Rule - Queso Smothered Chicken

Ingredients:

6 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
3 tbs taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/4 of a lime, squeezed for juice
lime zest
1/2 bell pepper
1/2 cup queso blanco

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
In a baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray, lay out the chicken. Sprinkle with half the taco seasoning. Flip the chicken pieces over and sprinkle with the remaining taco seasoning.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Queso Smothered Chicken
In a medium sauce pan, warm the black beans over medium-low heat. Add a splash of water, squirt of lime juice, and a little lime zest.
Add the peppers to the black beans and stir well & often, cooking for about 5-10 minutes or until the peppers cook a bit.
Check that the chicken is cooked through. Then spoon queso over the top and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Queso Smothered Chicken
Spoon the beans onto a plate.
The Three Bite Rule - Queso Smothered Chicken
Place a piece of chicken on top.
The Three Bite Rule - Queso Smothered Chicken
Enjoy!

I loved this. It had all the flavors and textures I wanted. I have nothing against tortillas and we LOVE taco-night here but this was a really great tweak on the usual. My little one tried black beans and he approved! Have you had queso blanco? It is perfect for this.

Today is my Sis’ bday! We’re celebrating with a Mexican fiesta! Ole!