What I Ate: Bacon & Blue Dog

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Originally this was going to be a burger but somehow I missed getting any meat on the grocery store run. Thus here’s a fun ‘dog!

The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Blue Dog

The little one LOVED that there was bacon for dinner. I served these with some awesome new salad kits and this one had green cabbage, kale, craisins, pumpkin seeds, and poppy dressing. This dog was a good combo with the crunchy bacon, creamy dressing. It would be super fun for a hot dog topping bar!

The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Blue Dog
This one is not rocket science but just you wait till you see the burger I have coming up!

Peaches & Cream Smoothie

I’m in this weird limbo where I want to make chili and eat all the pumpkin things but also really want to hold onto summer foods! The produce is just so good! The colors are spectacular! Serve all my meals outside!! This smoothie made me think summer, buuuut would also work well in the off-season with frozen peaches. Gasp! I know. It isn’t the time of year to buy anything besides fresh/local. They’re one of the best frozen fruits and I’ll be honest, my peaches came from the grocery store for this one. After a weekend away in Maine I was doing a late night grocery shop and wanted all the fresh things!
The Three Bite Rule - Peaches & Cream Smoothie

I added yogurt for the cream factor, as well as protein. The banana and cauliflower are both mild but add some fiber without overpowering the peaches. The ground flax seed is mostly tasteless but adds omega-3s for heart health. Registered Dietitians at work said they must be ground…otherwise you won’t process ‘em, you’ll just host them until they depart. I pop them into the coffee grinder.

Peaches & Cream Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 2 peaches, sliced
1/2 banana
1 cup frozen cauliflower
1 cup ice
1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
splash of milk

Directions:

Chop the peach, banana, and add everything into a blender.
The Three Bite Rule - Peaches & Cream Smoothie
Blend & enjoy!

Frozen peaches might actually be even better. I KNOW! Don’t say such things. I like smoothies to be cold, frosty, and I’m not sure I’d taste the difference of a frozen peach and a fresh one here. I might have fallen deeper in love if it were colder. I only had 1 small ingredient frozen: cauliflower, then I added some ice.

The Three Bite Rule - Peaches & Cream Smoothie

Heirloom Tomato Flatbreads

Fastest. Dinner. Ever. I popped these flatbreads onto the grill and had dinner ready in no time!

The Three Bite Rule - Heirloom Tomato Flatbread
As summer wraps I’m soaking up all the tomatoes I can get my hands on. I sliced some heirloom tomatoes and made a little crunchy topping. The little one loved the topping and pinched it off the top of his pieces.

Heirloom Tomato Flatbreads, Serves 3

Ingredients:

2 Naan or 1 flatbread
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2-3 heirloom tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon truffle oil
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Directions:

Shred the cheese, slice the tomatoes, and preheat the grill (or oven).
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the truffle oil, and breadcrumbs. Toast for about 5 minutes and remove from the heat so they don’t burn.
Put the flatbread onto the grill over low heat (or oven to high heat). Top with tomato sauce, cheese, and sliced tomato.
The Three Bite Rule - Heirloom Tomato Flatbread
Cook the flatbreads for 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
The Three Bite Rule - Heirloom Tomato Flatbread
Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping over the top. Slice & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Heirloom Tomato Flatbread
Be careful – flatbreads cook so quickly on the grill. I heated it up and turned it down and they really only need a minute or two. Be ready with those toppings! I had work folks over and they were gracious eaters despite the fact that the flatbreads were a bit to crisp!

Greek Deviled Eggs

Once again, my go-to appetizer that doesn’t need reheating comes into play, with a Greek twist! I love greek flavors and this was a great vehicle for it! I added fresh oregano and caesar dressing to the filling and topped them with cucumber, feta, and tomato.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Deviled Egg

Greek Deviled Eggs (makes 24 halves)

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup mayonase
1/4 cup creamy Caesar dressing
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
salt & pepper
1/4 cucumber, chopped
6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons feta

Directions:

Hard boil the eggs, then put into an ice water bath and completely cool before cracking the shell. Overnight!
Crack the shells, slice in half, and pop the yolks into a bowl. Add in the mayo, dressing, oregano, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Deviled Egg
Stir well until fully blended, then spoon to a ziplock bag.
Snip the bottom corner and pipe into the egg white halves.
Top with cucumber, tomato, and feta. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Deviled Egg
These were a hit! I think the toppings gave these a fresh element and told everyone what flavors were in here. I loved the oregano and caesar in there. Hmm. What’s next? I don’t have any more in mind right now, but they go quickly at a party and span a bunch of dietary restrictions…plus, they don’t need reheating making them a star.

My other deviled egg variations:
Taco Spiced Deviled Eggs
Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs
Sour Cream & Onion Deviled Eggs

Zucchini, Ricotta, and Herb Pasta

My boss made this for a potluck and it was delicious. I knew I had to whip it up immediately. I liked it warm-ish and it’s great cool. I could live in a container of ricotta, but I also LOVED the mint, basil, and oregano with the lemon zest. It is so easy and so so so full of flavor! Also this is the world’s fastest dinner.

The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta

It seems like everyone has made this, but here’s one more
Martha made a similar one
, though hers uses sliced zucchini & fettuccine.
Food & Wine made a similar one, with zucchini chunks.
Epicurious made a similar one, with fewer herbs.

Zucchini, Ricotta, and Herb Pasta (for 2 entrees or 4 sides)

Ingredients:

1/2 pound short shaped pasta
1 large zucchini, shredded
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup ricotta
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested
Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dante.
While the pasta cooks, shred the zucchini and add to a medium skillet with the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt & pepper and remove from heat.
Mix the pasta, ricotta, and zucchini mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta
Add in the herbs, lemon zest, and salt & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta
Serve & enjoy, or refrigerate until serving if making in advance!
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta
I like the creamy ricotta. Of course, ricotta is my fav! Zucchini doesn’t have tons of flavor alone, but with the garlic and all the herbs. I think it needed salt and pepper throughout: in the zucchini and mixed throughout. The herbs and the lemon are truly what make this special. Maybe I should turn the same flavors into a pizza!

Labor Day Menu

Burgers + a goooood side + another fun side + drinks by the pool:

I’d pick a rodeo burger that calls for a par-tay! Rodeo burgers are topped with melty cheddar, BBQ rub, onion rings and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.
rodeo_burg_plate_590_390
I’d go for this side, with anything on the grill: Caesar Asparagus by grilling some asparagus, a drizzle of caesar, and some hard boiled egg
The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Asparagus
Why not add some Bacon & Blue Cheese Pasta Salad that is ideally made in advance.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Blue Cheese Pasta Salad
and a Creamsicle Cocktail to wash it down with orange soda, whipped cream flavor vodka, and orange zest.
creamcicle_cup_590_390
Enjoy!

August 2017 Recap

August has meant a lot of grilled dinners and enjoying the daylight. I harvested all the basil and made some pesto. The little one loooved the pesto-pasta! Mr. J and I booked a trip to Zion National Park! SOOOO excited! We go in September and I’m really looking forward to it.

I whipped up these Shrimp Cakes to go on a salad and they had the best texture.  I made them on a Sunday and had some for lunch and the rest for Monday’s dinner over salad. They were perfect for my goal for dinner prep in advance!
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake
I was all about the breakfasts. I used a frozen Belgian waffle with fun toppings for German Chocolate Cake Waffles, and then I made Peach Cornmeal Pancakes.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Cornmeal Pancakes
My fav meal of the month was the salad with cracked wheat, arugula, peach, avocado, and pistachios. The best!
The Three Bite Rule - Peach, Avocado & Grain Salad

The Little One:

He’s such a big boy now! He remains waffle-obsessed and can’t get enough fruit. My 2nd cousins were visiting and Thomas ate the 6 & 11 year old under the table. He’s such a little sponge. He knows and remembers things – like we drive around a rotary on the way home and when we get close he says “goin’ round the rotary?”. He’s moving up to the pre-school classroom at daycare. I can’t believe it but think it’ll be good for him to play with the bigger kids. He is loving all the books and coloring with markers. All sticks outside are screwdrivers or hammers.

2017 Goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: Ehh. I’m lacking on fall that isn’t pumpkins.
do more dinner prep more in advance: Yes! I made sweet pickle pasta salad to go with something grilled; I made shrimp cakes in advance; etc!
read more (and always carry my book on me): I read started a few but didn’t get really into it.
watch more movies: we watched The Founder, which was fascinating.
cook more fish: shrimp cakes!
focus on clothes that I really like: I grabbed a few workout items for our big trip!

Peach, Avocado, and Pistachio Salad

I could eat this one weekly. This salad has all the things: Nutty cracked wheat! Creamy avocado! Juicy peach! Peppery arugula! Crunchy pistachio! Do you know Simply Savory by Kate? You should! She made these curried pistachio and added them to a salad with peaches and avocado. Yum! I took a variation on it.

The Three Bite Rule - Peach, Avocado & Grain Salad
I tossed mine all together with a touch of honey mustard dressing and grilled sausages on top. LOVED it. This would be a really great use of a leftover grain. It would pack well if the nuts and peach were separate until serving.

Peach, Avocado, and Pistachio Salad (for 2-3)

Ingredients:

1 cup cracked wheat (or lentils/farro/brown rice/Israeli couscous/quinoa/etc)
1 1/2 cup water or broth
2 sweet Italian sausage links
1 peach
1 avocado
2 cups arugula
2 tablespoons honey mustard dressing
1/3 cup pistachios

Directions:

Cook the cracked wheat (or other grain) with the water or broth. (I cooked the cracked wheat that morning and refrigerated for the day.)
Grill the sausages.
Chop the peach, avocado, and arugula and mix together with the cracked wheat and dressing. Then top with the pistachios.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach, Avocado & Grain Salad
Slice the sausages to serve on top. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Peach, Avocado & Grain Salad
This has everything. The grain makes it a filling dinner. I liked the stronger flavor of the greens since the peach is sweet and the arugula was creamy.

What I Ate: Sugared Lime Watermelon

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Summer produce is in prime and I was wanting to make this snack but a fourth of a seedless watermelon seems like a lot when it isn’t anyone’s fav fruit at home. We gravitate to berries, cantaloupe and nectarines. It seemed like a good choice to bring to a BBQ to feed others though!
The Three Bite Rule - Sugared Lime Watermelon

Sugared Lime Watermelon

Ingredients:

1/4 seedless watermelon, sliced
zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Slice the watermelon.
Zest the lime and mix in the sugar and salt.
The Three Bite Rule - Sugared Lime Watermelon
Sprinkle generously over each side of the sliced watermelon, serve, and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Sugared Lime Watermelon
Not rocket science, but ohh-so-good. I love the lime and the salt with the watermelon. It was perfect for a warm day to eat outside – or any setting appropriate for watermelon juice to run down your arms!

I brought it ready to go, but next time I might sprinkle the sugar/salt/lime zest mix just before serving. It’d be cute cut onto skewers for a mobile snack!

 

Peach Cornmeal Pancakes

These pancakes are what summer Sunday mornings are made of. Mr. J and the little one went to a bike path nearby and I had some time to myself! With my four legged sous-chefs, of course. These pancakes are fluffy and have a cornmeal texture and flavor with juicy peach. I made a whole batch, despite eating breakfast by myself. I popped some into the fridge for later this week and the rest went into the freezer.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Cornmeal Pancakes

Peach Cornmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup half & half or whole milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 peach or nectarine
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

Mix together the dry ingredients: cornmeal; flour; sugar; baking powder; and salt. Mix together the wet: milk; cream; eggs; and vanilla.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Cornmeal Pancakes
Then mix together the wet and dry – gently, and add in the melted butter and stir.
Chop the peach/nectarine into thin slices then diced. Half goes into a small pot with water, sugar, and syrup to boil and thicken for about 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Cornmeal Pancakes
Heat a large pan or griddle to medium heat and spray generously with non-stick spray.
Ladle small scoops onto the hot griddle. Let cook for a minute or two and add in a few pieces of peach onto each pancake. Wait patiently for the pancake to bubble, puff, and get golden brown before flipping.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Cornmeal Pancakes
Serve with peach topping and extra syrup.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Cornmeal Pancakes

Enjoy!

My first two were crumbly messes. I didn’t let them cook long enough. Be patient. Do a yoga position and some breathing before trying to flip. They get delightfully golden and crispy…if allowed to cook enough. If regular pancakes take 2 minutes, these take 5.