October 2017 Recap

Happy Halloween!! Eat all the orange foods and then pass on over all the pb cups you find. Sounds like balance to me! October was a biggie for me. I wrapped up my former job and am settling into the new one. I didn’t take much time between since I had justtt gone on vacay but it was good to have a few weekdays with the little one. November was always the busiest of the year in my previous role, so I honestly have never looked forward to November as much as right now! The fall is glorious and I couldn’t be happier.

First things first, we had a yard sale. It’s a great feeling to let go of things. Also, I’m psyched to take the little one trick-or-treating! We bought a tool-belt toy since every stick we find outside is a pretend tool. I’m hoping November can include a day-date hike with Mr. J now that Zion has us prepared for all terrain. I also have a fun fall theme that was suggested to me to blog annnnd I have lots of fall food inspiration to come – definitely including flavors like cider, butternut squash, pork, sage, & pears.

This fall inspired breakfast sandwich is definitely me living my best life. A local everything bagel, maple sausage, egg & sharp cheddar, apple, and maple dijon spread. It cannot be topped.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Sausage & Apple Breakfast Sandwich
This Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese had us feeling is this, or isn’t this healthy? Take your own stance, but the squash gives that pop of orange with minimal cheese. I had some leftover sauce and froze it…it sounds ideal before trick or treating!
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
There is also plenty of time for more Salted Caramel Apple Smoothies.
The Three Bite Rule - Caramel Apple Smoothie

The Little One:

I can’t get over what he can remember! He’ll make connections to a book we haven’t read 1-million times, or something we saw 1 time and it takes me a second to get there. He just told Mr. J about a his best friend at daycare. I didn’t know he knew that concept -it was really sweet! When he sees 2 of something he counts it as one for him and one for his cousin Nate. Food wise, this month he’s been wanting bagels, though his love for waffles hasn’t gone anywhere. He hasn’t gravitated to meat as much lately but I was thrilled to see him eat chili. Sometimes he hasn’t been into foods cooked all together, even when he likes the components – think: chili, pot pie, baked pasta. All fruits and all veggies are still a-go. He liked getting edamame out of the pods too. In October he ate at a few more restaurants than usual and other diners commenting on the volume he can put-away!

 

2017 Goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: I am stocked for Halloween and fall so I used October to prep for Thanksgiving to grab this cure Thankful sign. Thus, no photo yet.
do more dinner prep more in advance: Yup! The crockpot got some action with chili!
read more (and always carry my book on me): I am mid-way through 2 books. Stay tuned for a big November recap! I’m super excited for a pajama storytime I’m taking the little one to!
watch more movies: we watched The House which was funny – Amy Poehler is so amazing.
cook more fish: ummm, nope
focus on clothes that I really like: I have purchased so many work pieces, though I’ve been good about returning anything I’m not 100% into…which included 2 blazers & a sweater. I should be good for work clothes until after I’ve done holiday shopping!

Farro Breakfast Bowl with Egg, Bacon & Everything Bagel Seasoning

My grocery store’s grain offerings are scant and uber expensive so amazon prime came to the rescue! I love texture and nuttiness of different grains and had leftover farro from a lunch I packed. The beauty of this breakfast bowl is the base could be any leftover grain.

The Three Bite Rule - Farro Breakfast Bowl

Here’s by bowl formula:

grain: farro; cracked wheat; brown rice; lentils; bulgar, wheat berries, quinoa, cauliflower rice
greens: baby spinach; kale; chard
meat: bacon; sausage; ham
topper: fried egg; soft boiled egg; avocado; sauteed mushrooms; cheese

So much of this can be prepped in advance, which is perfect for breakfast, or dinner! I used leftover farro and made some everything bagel seasoning in advance. My spice drawer does not need one more jarred spice so I make my own seasoning, but I’ve seen this for sale.

Farro Breakfast Bowl with Egg, Bacon & Everything Bagel Seasoning

Ingredients:

~1 cup prepared farro (or other grain)
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
dash kosher salt & cracked pepper
3 strips of bacon
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 egg

Directions:

Cook the grain or use leftovers.
Add minced onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt & pepper to a small dry pan to medium heat for 2-5 minutes. Then remove from the pan immediately (that minced onion goes from toasted to burnt quickly!)
Then pan fry the bacon until crisp and remove to drain on paper towel.
Drain the bacon grease from the pan and saute the greens for 3-5 minutes with a tiny bit remaining in the pan.

The Three Bite Rule - Farro Breakfast Bowl
Assemble the bowl with the farro, greens, half of the bacon, and a teaspoon of the everything bagel seasoning all mixed together.
Fry or soft boil the egg and add on top, with a last sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning and remaining bacon.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Farro Breakfast Bowl
I looooved this. It has some of my thinking of a bacon, egg and seasoning breakfast grain bowl, but was sooo much better because of the greens and the runny yolk. You are winning your day if you eat something green before 9am.

I’ll totally want to get a sausage, egg, and cheese with everything bagel seasoning variation going because that’s my go-to bfast sandwich choice.

Marsala Marinated Mushrooms

As the only mushroom-eater in my house, I alone can testify that these have such great flavor. The marsala wine is unique and a fun addition to salads, as a side, or anywhere! Mushrooms are like little sponges for the flavor around them so marinating them is perfect!

The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms

Marsala Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients:

8 oz mushrooms
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
In a glass jar, mix together the marsala wine, oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms
Boil the mushrooms for 2 minutes then add into the jar.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms

Refrigerate 6+ hours.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms
They pack a punch of legit flavor. I put a few into salads and plan to use the rest in some meatless lunches.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

This mac and cheese is veggie packed while still delightfully cheesey. Plus, the squash adds that iconic orange pop of color! This would be the perfect fuel before trick or treating!

The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

1/2 pound pasta
1 1/2 cup butternut squash puree (10 oz frozen, or 1/2 butternut squash, roasted)
2 tablespoons cream cheese
4 oz Velveeta mini-block
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar

Directions:

Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta. Add the pasta in and cook until al dente.
In a large pot over medium heat, mix together the squash puree, velveeta, cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Stir until smooth and all combined. Spoon 1/2 – 3/4 of the sauce onto the drained al dente pasta.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Mix well and add in more sauce, as desired.
Add in the shredded cheddar.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Serve hot, or bake with cheese or breadcrumbs on top.

This was a good meal to feel like a treat, like true comfort food, without guilt. The little one loved it. I had some extra sauce so I froze it for a quick dinner another time to throw over some pasta.

Maple Sausage & Apple Fall Breakfast Sandwich

My palate for fall is endless. Apples, maple, cheddar, and a hint of mustard made this the best breakfast sandwich ever. Ever. I could liiiive on breakfast sandwiches and definitely have my favorites. The apple provides the crunch and freshness with a little kick from the mustard in the sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Sausage & Apple Breakfast Sandwich

Maple Sausage, Egg, Cheddar, and Apple Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients: (serves 1)

1 everything bagel
3 maple sausage links, casing removed and formed into a patty
1 egg
1 slice white cheddar
1/2 macintosh apple, sliced thin
1 teaspoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple

Directions:

Pan fry the sausage patty until cooked through.
Toast the bagel.
Mix together the mayo, mustard, and maple spread.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Sausage & Apple Breakfast Sandwich
Fry the egg in the pan from the sausage. Flip and add the cheese. Cover to melt the cheese.
Assemble the bagel with some mayo/mustard/maple spread, then apple slices, then sausage, then egg and cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Sausage & Apple Breakfast Sandwich
Enjoy!

This was a treat for a day off. I really loved the sweetness of the sausage, and the sharp white cheddar. The sauce was subtle and a nice touch. Everything bagels from my town bagel place are even better when they’re day-old and less than half off!
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Sausage & Apple Breakfast Sandwich

Caramel Apple Smoothie

Fall to a T! Apple, caramel, cider, yogurt, and ginger all come together for a breakfast treat, or dessert! This one is a bit sweeter than I usually make for breakfast, but it was so fall, and so delicious.

The Three Bite Rule - Caramel Apple Smoothie

Caramel Apple Smoothie

Ingredients: (1- 16oz serving breakfast, or 2- 8oz snack or dessert servings)

1 apple, chopped & frozen (optional: peal it for a perfectly smooth smoothie)
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup apple cider
1-2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 cup ice

Directions:

Add apple, yogurt, cinnamon, and ginger to a blender.
The Three Bite Rule - Caramel Apple Smoothie

Add cider, caramel sauce, flaxseed, and ice.
Blend well and serve with a drizzle of caramel. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Caramel Apple Smoothie

I loved this! The cider and the caramel made it super sweet but the frozen cool-factor made this so perfect for this surprisingly warm fall. This would make a great dessert too.

The Three Bite Rule - Caramel Apple Smoothie

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel

October means it is time for all the pumpkin foods! These were so good and easy since I used frozen puff pastry sheets and jarred salted caramel topping. My baking in-experience would not have me making my own puff pastry dough! They are great for a breakfast treat or as an afternoon coffee break. Make them bigger as a turnover and voila! Dessert!

The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel

Ingredients:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted to room temperature
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 can pure pumpkin
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons salted caramel ice cream topping
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Sprinkle some flour onto your surface and roll out the puff pastry to 1/8 of an inch thick – a little more thin than the sheets come. Spread the butter onto the puff pastry and sprinkle on a mixture of sugar and half the pumpkin pie spice.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Mix together the pumpkin, remaining pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Spoon dollops of the pumpkin mixture onto the puff pastry on top of the cinnamon sugar. Then spread it out using a spatula or spoon – getting it all the way to the edges.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Roll it into a big roll, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 15-minutes or until ready to serve these.
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Slice into 1 inch wide cuts and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, on the sides.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Bake 18 minutes, (checking at 15 minutes and watch it cooks through, but doesn’t burn). Ensure the middle puff pastry cooks through.
Spoon the salted caramel over the top and sprinkle some kosher salt onto the top. Enjoy! The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
The big roll would be fine hanging out in the fridge for a day or over night.

Crispy Herbed Rice Patties

The little one munched these and then asked “what is it”? Crispy rice patties were such a fun side dish, and became a perfect dish to prep in advance! I saw Catherine McCord make a really plain crispy rice cakes on an Instagram story but I see her website has some fun flavors in these rice cakes.  I wanted mine to really highlight some herbs and cheese. The herbs are going bananas out back so I put ‘em to work!
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties

Crispy Herbed Rice Patties with Cheese

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice, cooked
2 eggs
3/4 cup smoked gouda
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary

Directions:

Add together the rice, eggs, cheeses, and herbs, with salt and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties
Mix well until well incorporated.
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties
Form into patties and fry in a shallow pan of oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side OR heavily spray a pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties
Serve and enjoy!

These would be great in lots of flavors. Maybe next time I’ll have to include some bacon and top them with an egg!

I loved these! I was prepping them in advance so I undercooked most of them and popped them into the toaster oven to warm and toast for dinner. They were a hit! Of course I cooked the  rice in my pressure cooker- hello 15 minute brown rice! I pan fried a few and they stayed together! Woohoo! I also put some into a whoopie pie pan and baked them. Both methods worked so well! I’d skip frying them next time

Pear & Brie Flatbread with Walnuts and Arugula

When you have a friend with a pear tree who doesn’t even like pears, it means you pick them and take a bushel home! The Pear Party is a chance to pick, cook something with their pears, and take them home. It was awesome, though, because we abided by complete Iron Chef: Pear protocol, it meant that we had 3 out of 5 dishes were flatbreads.

The Three Bite Rule - Pear & Brie Flatbread

Flatbreads with Pear, Brie, and Arugula (for 6 as appetizer, or 3 entrees)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 garlic naan
6 oz brie
2 small pears, pealed
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cups arugula

Directions:

Bring the balsamic vinegar to a low boil for 5-10 minutes until it reduces and becomes a thicker syrup. (Do this in advance and you’ll be a step ahead!)
Preheat an oven to 400-degrees.
In a small dry pan, toast the walnuts for about 3-5 minutes- be careful not to burn them.
Peal and chop the pears and saute in a little butter or oil in the small pan. Cook just to soften for a few minutes.
Brush a little oil onto the naan, then top with brie, pears, and walnuts.
The Three Bite Rule - Pear & Brie Flatbread
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts and the naan crisps.
While the flatbreads are in the oven, toss the arugula with a little oil, salt, and pepper.
Top the arugula onto the hot flatbreads and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
The Three Bite Rule - Pear & Brie Flatbread
Slice into 4 or 6 slices and enjoy!