August 2019 Recap

The end of August brings some teases of fall weather and I’m 100% here for it. The only good thing about August is the height of tomato season – or our baby’s birthday. She’s 1! We made the most of summer days with swims at the grandparents pool, and popsicles, and quick dinners so we could play outside. A trip to see my college roomies and their families filled me up AND my bestie got engaged. I’m feeling so thankful for my friends, near and far.

I have a super exciting burger competition coming up in September! My Parisian Burger will go against 3 others and then one of those will advance to a final round in Napa! Fingers crossed (and some legit practice for my timing)! I was all over the place confirming I’d attend. I was feeling stressed with the timeline and requirements, and annoyed I left it to the last minute. I then thought, why would I add something into my life that induces stress? Should I just forget it and move on? I was afraid I was too late but figured I’d just go for it. I don’t push myself outside my comfort zone frequently. Here’s hoping!

This month, I made crescent dogs – 3 ways which require zero brain power but capitalizes on hot dog season. They’re not grilled so make ‘em whenever. My fav were the bagel dogs!
The Three Bite Rule - Crescent Dogs, 3 ways

On vacay I made not-your-average spinach salad with strawberries which deserves repeating while the strawberries are still good!
The Three Bite Rule - Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad
I made the easiest app: Pesto Puff Pastry Twists I’d totally made these to be lunch, or have them alongside fall soup, or serve with tomato sauce to dip for a fun dinner!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Pasta Twists
September will bring some changes- new school for T and new work hours for me- which might help with the dinner rush! I have some ideas for lunches and highlights of this fantastic season of produce.

The Baby Girl:

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She’s super strong and curious. When we tell her no, she shakes her head. I can’t wait to hear words! She loves carrying toys around and taking everything out of whatever contains it. It is fun to see her interest in things big brother likes and  she now wears shoes since she wants to walk everywhere.  Finally more teeth are coming in and just now had her 1 year check up. She had a fun birthday and loved the cake. Thanks Grandma! We’re slowwwwly reducing the pacifier she loves so much. We had one on the carseat and in bed for sleeping times…emphasis on had. I’m attaching other toys and she’s less than impressed. She can do it! She’ll sit through about 1/2 of a board book- progress!

The Little Boy:

He loves his sister so much that he needs reminders to chill, enough hugs, let her be. Little dude can’t hang on days he doesn’t have a good nap. He is falling asleep at the table- by 6:15 without one. I cherish nap time and am thankful for 4 1/2+ with regular naps. He loved seeing his new school and we’re excited for him to start next week. I’m so proud when he gets comfortable and settles in, like seeing the new school and when we visited friends in NY and he got right into playing with everyone. Poor guy has wicked motion sickness and Dramamine didn’t cut it on a 4 hour ride from NY. We had a fun trip through Costco and he sampled everything: granola bar; dumpling; almond milk; kielbasa; open faced tomato & mayo sandwich; Norweigan flat bread; and cheese. I love the adventurous side despite always hoping dinner will be pasta.

2019 goals:

Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: Together we attacked a closet and donated a bunch of stuff. We quickly got a few things on the buy-nothing group for the town and unloaded stuff pretty quickly!
Feeding Littles: I didn’t share a ton- just a reminder that nobody has picture-perfect meals all the time
Work on advanced food prepping: I’d like to do more of this- without it being Sundays. Maybe I can work harder to create a habit that fits.
What I’m reading: I read Southern Lady Code (skip it, unless is realllly speaks to you) and Becoming (we should all be a little more like Michelle) and Educated. Educated was for bookclub (a must read and a repeat for me but I loved it just the same for round 2).
What I’m watching: I’m ready for substance (This is Us! A Million Little Things!), but have kept up with AGT & Bachelor in Paradise.

Crescent Dogs, 3 Ways

Summer isn’t quite over! There’s still time for these dogs! Though, these are pretty season-less since the dogs are wrapped in crescents and baked.  I whipped these up for a weeknight dinner since I could prep them most of the way and just heat and serve.
The Three Bite Rule - Crescent Dogs, 3 ways
These got delayed- life got in the way. It was a busy few weeks with the baby’s 1st birthday, our refrigerator struggled and we lived out of a drink fridge until it got fixed, an overnight away, and everything else. I made a few flavors giving some fun choice at dinner!
The Three Bite Rule - Crescent Dogs, 3 ways

Crescent Dogs, 3 ways

Bagel Dogs: dogs, wrapped in crescents, brushed with egg wash, sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning
The Three Bite Rule - Crescent Dogs, 3 ways

Cowboy Dogs: crescents, brushed with barbecue sauce, with caramelized onions, with the dog rolled in the crescent.
The Three Bite Rule - Crescent Dogs, 3 ways

Taco Dogs: crescents, sprinkled with cheddar cheese, sprinkled with taco seasoning (I used Chili Lime Seasoning), with the dog rolled in the crescent.
The Three Bite Rule - Crescent Dogs, 3 ways
Try ‘em with any of your fav hot dog toppings. Chili and cheese would be fun! Bacon and cheddar would be fun! Bruschetta & balsamic would be fun!

Pesto Puff Pastry Twists

We go through a lot of pesto pasta here at our table. The pre-schooler and baby both love it and I appreciate it for variety. I smeared some on some puff pastry with cheese for this instant appetizer knowing it would be a hit!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Pasta Twists

Pesto Puff Pastry Twists

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator for ~8 hours or overnight
3 tablespoons pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella & asiago
1/2 cup tomato sauce

Directions:

Roll out the puff pastry sheet.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or as the puff pastry package suggests).
Spread the pesto across the whole sheet, all the way to the edges.
Sprinkle the cheese on top, all the way to the edges.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Pasta Twists
Slice with a pizza cutter into 1 1/2 inch strips. Hold from the ends and twist around. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. (Add the cheese that falls out back into a crack.)
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Pasta Twists
Bake for 10-15 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Pasta Twists
Let cool 5 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce to dip. Enjoy!

These were a fun appetizer and could even be a meal of their own! Serve them as an app, alongside soup or pasta or with salad. These are a great use for a smaller amount of leftover pesto. These take so little hands-on time!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Pasta Twists

Not-your-average Spinach Strawberry Salad

Fruit in salad instantly elevates the salad. I wanted to uplevel the traditional spinach/strawberry/poppy seed salad by adding some cute tiny bowtie pasta and avocado. I used this balsamic fig dressing from Trader Joe’s but think shaking up some fig jam with some balsamic vinegar together in a jar would do the same thing!

The Three Bite Rule - Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad

Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1 1/2 cups mini bow tie pasta
2 cups baby spinach
4-6 strawberries
1/2 avocado
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons fig balsamic dressing (or 1 tbs fig jam and 1 tbs balsamic whisked together)

Directions:

Boil the pasta, cook, drain, and let cool.
Mix together the spinach, pasta, strawberries, avocado, pasta, and poppy seeds. Mix gently.
The Three Bite Rule - Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad
Add in the dressing and mix again.
The Three Bite Rule - Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad
This was a fun one! We thought red onion would have been tasty in here too. I allllmost swapped the poppy seeds for everything bagel seasoning but didn’t in the end. Some shredded chicken would add some protein to turn this into a substantial meal. Spinach is pretty delicate so keep the dressing separate until serving.