December 2020 Recap

See ya 2020! December was so fun and I’m glad there can be a collective looking forward to 2021. It was a full month of food, like always. I’m grateful both Grandmas do most of the cookie baking with/for the kiddos. Christmas was so so fun and the little ones are perfect ages for the magic and surprise that fills this season.

I made this fantastic Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple and I love it in all seasons.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

For a second I was going to save the Stuffing Waffles for next Thanksgiving’s leftovers but life is short, wafflize it all.

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

These Chicken Tacos with Cherry Salsa was a fun twist since we have tacos on the regular and I live to keep us on our toes.

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

BLT Quiche was so handy to have around for breakfasts & lunches. Mr. J was wayyy more into it than I expected.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

I’m looking forward to NYE which always features sliders & shakes. Then mid-month T will turn 6! Work will have fewer evening virtual commitments. I’ll be kicking off the month with a super fun breakfast! Stay tuned!

The Little Girl:
She’s as happy as can be. Santa brought her a Mrs. Potato Head (in her picture & on Facetime), she asked for a toy. She talks so much and I’m amused by the constant narration and clarifying questions. She had another weight check and is onto the chart! Woohoo! 1st percentile! We’re continuing to focus on nutrient dense foods and pediasure.

The Big Guy:
He’s doing great in kindergarten. We adore his teachers and cannot get over how much they do everyday. He is reading so much and we love to see it. Santa brought him a remote control car (in his letter and on Facetime), he asked for a green racecar. He lost his 2nd tooth!

Goals:
Year of the flowers or plants I’m switching it up and going with fun mail! We justttt send New Years cards so that’s my fun mail for Dec.
More breakfasts – ehhh.
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance – BLT quiche was great for some lunches, I made quick ramen a few times (like this!) and tuna melts were all part of my more varied lunches!
I’d like to get the house a bit neater. I should prob be more strategic, but I did a few spots that needed extra attention!
Bullet journal – ehhh. I did not start yet.
What I’m reading: I read 30 books this year! This month I read Such a Fun Age & The Heir Affair & Destination Wedding & Pretty Things (wow, what a reading month!
What I’m watching: We watched our fav holiday movies: Christmas with the Kranks & Home Alone & Christmas Vacation. TV wise, we’re into Man Hunt season 2 about the Olympic Park bombing and others I didn’t know of. It is so good but intense. It is regularly followed by Modern Family.

Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Welcome to the easiest dessert ever! It is so perfect for your small family gatherings – with only slightly more effort than, say, an oreo. It is sweet, flavorful, and unique for home. I’ve done a twist on this before, for easy chocolate mousse or strawberry cheesecake mousse.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Go for it even if you wouldn’t say you like Cool Whip- it is so good and that’s not what stands out!

Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple
Ingredients: (for ~5 servings
)
1 package cheesecake pudding
2 cups milk
4 oz Cool Whip
1 cup granola (or crushed graham crackers)
1 tbs butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 can of apple pie filling
4 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

Directions:
Prepare the pudding according to the package – mine had 2 cups milk whisked for 2 minutes. Then it chills for at least 30 minutes.
Gently mix in Cool Whip to the pudding.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Melt the butter and mix in the granola and cinnamon.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Assemble with some granola at the bottom of each bowl, then cheesecake mousse, then apple pie filling, and finish with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

I loved this and it is such an easy one to make ahead and just assemble when serving. It could easily have a few options – I liked the salted caramel apple but some crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips would be fun too!

Stuffing Waffles

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

I thought after Thanksgiving on this crazy year, you probably didn’t have loads of leftovers to work though so I tabled this stuffing-as-a-waffle idea. Though, if you aren’t overloaded then maybe there’s room for some a month later!

I saw Funk ‘n Waffle Restaurant on the Food Network and took a twist on the stuffing waffle meal. Stuffing in waffle form is just so fun. 10 out of 10. Highly recommend.

Stuffing Waffles, Topped with Chicken/Turkey
Ingredients: (serves ~4 as 1/2 of a waffle each)

6 oz seasoned stuffing mix (I used half of a 12 oz bag, the bag says 14 servings)
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 cup broth (as the stuffing directs, I needed 1/4 cup more)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
dried/fresh sage, sautéed onions/carrots/celery (optional)
salt & pepper
1/4 cup pancake/waffle mix
3 tablespoons water
chicken or turkey
gravy (optional)

Directions:
Prepare the stuffing according to the package- bring the broth and butter to a boil and add in the stuffing, onion powder, herbs if using, and pepper. Taste before adding salt. Then remove from the heat and fluff to cook through.
Heat a waffle iron.
Mix together the pancake/waffle mix and water. Make it more runny than the mix instructs.
Spray the waffle iron with nonstick spray.
Spoon half of the stuffing onto the waffle iron, spreading it out to be a thin layer. Drizzle half the of pancake/waffle mix onto the stuffing.

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

Close and flip. Cook for ~4-5 minutes, or as waffles typically cook on it.
Keep the first one warm while repeat to cook for the other waffle with spray, the remaining stuffing mix, the remaining pancake/waffle mix.
Serve half a waffle with warm chicken or turkey on top. Drizzle some gravy if you like!
Enjoy!

We loved this! They’re soft but have some crispy bits! I should have served some cranberry sauce on the side. Our kids looooove jellied cranberry sauce! We had green beans and some gravy to dip. The 5-doesn’t care about stuffing so he ate some, the 2-ate all of hers!

I froze some extra stuffing waffles to pull out of the freezer some random time. I’m thinking they’d be a fun slider with deli turkey, some melted cheese and cranberry spread!

The stuffing mix in a bag seems sooo much better than the box – I’ve noticed a serious difference. They’re always a bit salty, plus the broth- so definitely taste before adding any more salt.

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

When you have leftover stuffing, make a Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich or these delightful Thanksgiving Meatballs that have dried cranberries and stuffing in them!

Chicken Tacos with Cherry Salsa

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

Let’s quickly shake up taco night, shall we? I love alllll tacos (see here, or here, or here, or here) but to keep things interesting, I went with chicken in the tacos and the topping was a super quick cherry salsa.

I always want the kiddos eating new things and knowing that “tacos” don’t mean one thing. Once a week(ish) taco night can be tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc. Using frozen cherries makes this fit any season and makes it so easy!

Cherry Salsa
Ingredients: (for 4)

1 cup dark cherries
1/4 white onion
2 tablespoons chopped arugula
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon salsa

Directions:
Defrost the cherries.

Chop the cherries, onion and arugula. Mix in the lime juice and salsa.
Serve on chicken tacos with black beans.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

I loved this and it takes less than 5 minutes to mix up. The cherries are juicy and sweet against the seasoned taco and the crisp of the onion and arugula. The arugula can swap for cilantro but we have arugula around so it does double duty here.

We often make meatless with Gardien crumbles (don’t get me started how quick and fool-proof or crispy fish tacos but for these I chopped some chicken thighs and sautéed them with taco seasoning.

2 gobbled up more tacos than usual and 5 deconstructed his and ate maybe a bit less than usual but didn’t have much to say either way about the salsa….so a win and a tie?

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

Leftover frozen cherries? Make Cherry & Arugula Flatbreads or Make Cherry “Cheesecake” Parfaits or Make Chocolate Cherry Smoothies.

BLT Quiche

I was striving to shake up lunches a bit. Somehow during this time home I began eating the same thing everyday: turkey, arugula, & provolone. I do want to get some variety going with the same “no thought required” as that daily sandwich so I made quiche! Poof! One hour of prep/baking time in advance and we have about 4 servings of lunch!

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

I went to make this and was out of tomatoes. I thought there was one left soooo I substituted a few tiny dollops of tomato paste from a tube I keep in the fridge. It was good! Go with real tomatoes but in a pinch, I’m here for ya!

BLT Quiche
Ingredients (for 4-5 servings):

1 pie crust
4 strips of bacon
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk/cream
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1 cup spinach
1 teaspoon tomato paste (or ~6 cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt & pepper

Directions:
Bake the pie crust in a pie plate, as instructed. (Mine was ~10 minutes)
Chop then pan fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and drain excess grease.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream of tarter, and salt and pepper.
In the baked pie crust, add in some cheese, some some bacon, some spinach, and a few dots of tomato paste. Repeat to fill it up.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

Bake for 35-40 minutes. It should puff a bit and not giggle in the center.
Let fully cool, then slice and enjoy!

I’d totally go with tomatoes but it worked so well in a pinch! Have some sun dried tomatoes in a jar? Use those! The flavor theme would have been wreaked without any and I liked it! Tomato paste is concentrated so really don’t go overboard!

I love the buttery and crumbly crust. The bacon is the star but the spinach is there to make you feel good about your life choices.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

Quiche is such a great and balanced lunch – I went back for seconds so this will end up being 4 servings for us- a quarter of the quiche. That’s 1 egg, 1 slice of bacon, and about 1/3 of a cup of cheese per serving! There’s really not much of a veg serving here so add some salad on the side but overall that’s what I call balance!

I’ll probably tuck one into the freezer for the next time I need some variety!