What I Ate: Burrito Bowl

I know, you can totally figure this out on your own, but here are a few ways to amp up your burrito bowl. Mexican Street Corn and a quick dressing makes this so. much. better than just leftover taco filling…which is where I started. Taco night leftovers are the best leftovers out there but I love them in a completely different format.

The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowl (for 2)

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/3 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 cup corn, cooked and cooled
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup ground turkey/chicken/pork/beef spiced with taco seasoning
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup black beans

Directions:

Cook the rice.
In a small food processor, mix together the ranch, cilantro, and taco seasoning. Blend well and chill until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl
Mix together the corn, feta, mayo, lime juice, and chili powder. Chill until serving, or make in advance.
The Three Bite Rule - Mexican Street Corn
Assemble together the rice on the bottom then top with ground meat, beans, lettuce, and street corn.
The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl
Drizzle with the dressing.
The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl
Serve and enjoy! I wish I’d had tomatoes, but we ate them all the night before. I had avocados but totally forgot! I started eating and then remembered salsa! Add whatever you have: tortilla chips; cheese; sour cream; queso; jalepenos…whatever you like!

Cheeseburger Potato Skins

These cheeseburger potato skins were so fun, especially for a drizzly evening when grilling wouldn’t have been ideal. Mark these down for the next time you have just a liiiitle ground meat and want to make a meal for three out of one burger’s worth. The little one is obsessed with “helping cook” so we made these together. Plus, I taught him to say garnish, so there’s that.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Potato Skins

Cheeseburger Potato Skins (meal for 3, or appetizer for 5-6)

Ingredients:

3 potatoes
1/4 pound ground beef/turkey/chicken
1 tablespoon hamburger seasoning (don’t buy this, I had a packet to use up, otherwise it is: onion powder; paprika; garlic powder; black pepper; dried basil)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pickle slices for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees, and preheat a medium skillet.
Cook the potatoes until cooked through. (I microwaved mine for 5 minutes.)
Scoop out the insides of the potatoes, leaving about a 1/4 inch thick edge from the skin to the inside.
Brush with the olive oil & spices, then broil for 5 minutes (until crisp).
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Potato Skins
Whisk together the ketchup, mustard, and worcestershire sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Potato Skins
Cook the ground meat until no-longer pink in the skillet, then add in the sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
Remove the tray of potato skins and sprinkle in a little cheese, then spoon the meat mixture in.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Potato Skins
Top with more cheese & bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with pickles.
cheeseburg_pot_plate_590_390
Serve & enjoy!

These were fun bun-less burger, fit for inside eating. It is a tricky line of cooking food we’re all going to eat together while the little one’s has time to cool (usually a turbo cool in the freezer) while ours remains hot. Serve with a salad and poof, dinner’s done.

I’m looooving cooking with the little one. I did have to send him to tell Daddy “5 minutes” so I could quiiiiickly snap a pic before getting the hot pan out of reach. He loves spoons, spatulas, and the like. Sometimes his “helping cook” is to hold this unused, uncooked potato while I’m yielding a knife, but whatevs. He ate all the tomato out of our salad bowl which was kind of funny.

Bahn Mi Burgers

Eeeee! I’m so excited. This was such a fun burger and exactly what I needed to get back into my cooking groove. I seriously haven’t made anything interesting in weeks. It’s been all no-thought-required-meals…until now…I flavored the meat, mixed up a sauce, and topped these with cucumbers, avocado, and cilantro. They were so fun! Albeit, not authentic, but delicious nonetheless.

The Three Bite Rule - Bahn Mi Burger

Bahn Mi Burgers

Ingredients: (for 3 burgers)

3/4 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup mayo
1 tablespoon sriracha (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon Italian dressing
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + 2-3 sprigs of cilantro leaves
3 burger buns
cucumber, sliced thin
avocado, sliced thin

Directions:

Mix together the pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Bahn Mi Burger
Form patties and heat the grill and cook the burgers.
Stir together the mayo, sriracha, salad dressing, and chopped cilantro.
The Three Bite Rule - Bahn Mi Burger
Chill the sauce until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Bahn Mi Burger
Top the burgers with avocado, cucumber, cilantro leaves, and sriracha mayo.
The Three Bite Rule - Bahn Mi Burger
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Bahn Mi Burger

I loved this burger! I made them with pork since a) I don’t eat red meat and b) it is more reminiscent of a bahn mi and c) it can be easier to have all the same since I was seasoning the meat. I kept the sauce pretty mellow since we don’t eat tons of heat, and the little one was “helping” me cook so I wanted him to taste it. He ate some…not so impressed with cilantro but biting a bunch plain might be weird for anyone ;)

This would be great with pickled veggies, a la bahn mi. I took a simpler route but go forth!

Mini Fruit Tarts

I’m back! I’ve resurfaced for air now that work is quieting down. Phew! I made these cute buggers back for Easter, and I took a little shortcut to make them even easier. I used sugar cookie dough for the bottom and it made them come together so quickly! I baked the cookie base the night before and whipped up the pastry cream. The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts

Ingredients:

refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon light colored jelly (apricot, marmalade, apple, peach)

Directions:

Warm the milk over medium low heat until it steams, but doesn’t boil.
Whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and egg yolks into a paste.  (I used a stand mixer.) Add in a little of the milk and keep mixing. Pour in the rest of the milk slowly while mixing.
Pour it back into the pot and warm over low. Stir while it cooks and thickens. Don’t let it boil!
Spoon through a mesh strainer to strain any lumps out.
Refrigerate at least an hour, or until ready to serve. Lay a piece of plastic wrap ontop of the pastry cream so the top doesn’t form a pudding skin.
Bake the cookie into cups by pressing into muffin tin cups. Allow to cool then spoon the pastry cream into the cookie cups.
The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts
Top with berries or sliced fruit.
The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts
Then, brush with some jelly, microwaved for 10 seconds.
The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts
So cute! The pastry cream is light and tasty. I was glad for the cookie crunch and a little fruit for freshness. They’re cute as mini cups but would be pretty in a springform or tart pan.

I made these for Easter brunch along with Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Everything Bagel Bake. These worked well together since I had egg whites left from the pastry cream!

April 2017 Recap

April becomes such a blur with work being so busy. I’m counting down and will post again once I resurface for air. I have so many things I want to make & blog! Here are a few of my favs I made in April:

This cast iron skillet pizza was so amazing. I cooked it in garlic oil. Garlic. Oil. Plus, hefting that huuuuge cast iron skillet into and out of the oven is like a workout, so that equals out the pizza. No?
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
I also would eat this Sausage, Egg, Cheese & Everything Bagel bake on the regular. It was delightfully not too chewy.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Egg, Cheese Bagel Bake
If I’m loading up on pizza and bagels, maybe I should offset with an Orange Julius Smoothie since it tastes a bit like a treat, but it is full of orange, mango, and a little bit of yogurt.
The Three Bite Rule - Orange Julius Smoothie
I don’t think I made anything this month with more than 7 ingredients. It is just one of those times. Work is bananas, my car is officially totaled, Mr. J was away for a few days, and the little pup was sick (back to normal, but she was waking up a million times per night). This is when I appreciate having some easy dinners up my sleeve, not assuming I can do it all, and we’re all cutting ourselves some slack over here.

frequent fast dinners: 
pasta, frozen meatballs, my fav kitchen ready tomatoes as sauce
bfast – Mr. J just threw together a fritatta/torta that was ahhh-mazing the other night
salad bar to ensure we eat enough veggies
quesadillas
grocery store roasted chicken + some roasted veg

The little one: 
He’s pretending more and more. “I’m a bunny” with some hops is just so cute. He wants to live outside right now. He’s loving “butter jelly” for pb&j sandwiches on the weekends since he can’t take them to daycare. Another favorite food is honey mustard. We got some fantastic books at the library. A few were dino books, one was about Bees, and a cool one was photos of all felt things (this book). I don’t really like peas, but this story was just too cute that he’ll miss dearly when it needs to go back to the library: 51rS1-8Z1+L._SY497_BO1,204,203,200_

This month’s goals: 
Year of the seasonal decor: none this month.
do more dinner prep more in advance: ehh. not really, but ohh well.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I’m hoping to finish Be Frank with Me before bookclub next week.
watch more movies: we watched Patriot’s Day which was well done & Masterminds which I loved
cook more fish: nahh. Maybe in spring this will actually happen?
focus on clothes that I really like: I’m still waiting on a few dresses- hopefully one will work for my event. Why can’t all women’s dresses have pockets? Or at least blazers? All blazers should have pockets. End of story.

See ya on the flip side!

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Bagel Bake

Sausage, egg, and cheddar bagels for everyone! I made this savory bread pudding with my favorite bfast sandwich fillings for an Easter brunch. It was SO good and perfect for a group since I prepped it the night before and just popped it into the oven. It puffed up and was nicely soft. The leftovers were delicious too!

The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Egg, Cheese Bagel Bake
Smitten Kitchen made this with cream cheese, onion, capers, and smoked salmon. I went with my preferred sausage/egg/cheddar combo.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Bagel Bake

Ingredients (serves 6):

3 everything bagels
6 links breakfast sausage
4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese
5 egg whites
3 eggs
1/4 cup cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Chop the bagels into bite size pieces. Chop the cheese into 1/4 inch cubes.
Pan fry the sausage until cooked through. Then chop into bite sized pieces.
Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray. Add in half the bagel pieces, then top with half the sausage and cheddar pieces.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Egg, Cheese Bagel Bake
Place the remaining bagel pieces and the remaining sausage and cheese pieces on top. Turn the very top bagel pieces over so the outside of the bagel is facing out. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Egg, Cheese Bagel Bake
Whisk together the egg whites, eggs, milk, and cream cheese.
Pour over the bagel, sausage, and cheese pieces.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Egg, Cheese Bagel Bake
Cover and refrigerate over night, or until ready to bake.
Bake at 400-degrees for about 45 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Egg, Cheese Bagel Bake
Poke a knife in to see that the egg is fully cooked. It shouldn’t be runny in the middle.
Serve and enjoy!

It puffs up and is so great! The chewy bagels are soft but such a great texture. I loved the everything bagel-ness with the sharp cheddar, the sausage, and the eggs. The mostly egg whites made it a touch lighter!

Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowl

I can’t stopppp! I love these bowls with a few elements tied together with a quick drizzle of sauce for a balanced, speedy, and fun dinner. I appreciate these qualities most during my busy time of year at work and with meals the toddler can eat before/after us. Next time this one could use more texture, but it was tasty and added some good variety to the week.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls

Chicken & Sweet Potato Grain Bowl with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients (for 3-4 bowls):

1 cup cracked wheat (or any grain of your choosing: rice/lentils/farro/couscous/quinoa/etc)
1 1/2 cups water
3 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
1 -2 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
touch of Sriracha sauce
1 avocado (or 1 cup edamame)

Directions:

Marinate the chicken overnight, or for 3+ hours in Italian dressing & some soy or teriyaki sauce. Then heat up the grill.
Cook the grain: I used cracked wheat + 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, then covers and cooks over low for 20-ish minutes.
Micro the sweet potato(es) for about 5 minutes. Flip them once and poke holes with a fork.
Grill the chicken until cooked through.
Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, lime juice, and hot sauce to a bowl.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls
Whisk together, and add in a splash of water. Whisk again, and add more water if needed. (I started with about a tablespoon and added another teaspoon). It should be drippy enough to drizzle over the top of your bowls.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls
Once the chicken has sat for a few minutes, slice into strips. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice in half, then scoop from the skin with a spoon and slice into bite-sized pieces.
Assemble the bowls with 1/4 of the grain in the base of each bowl, then add chicken, sweet potato, and avocado. Drizzle the peanut sauce on top.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken with Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls
I loved the peanut sauce being creamy from the pb and salty from the soy sauce and a little wake up from the ginger and sriracha sauce. I cooked the sweet potato the night before so these were even speedier than they seemed! I thought I had edamame int he freezer – that would be a better texture to each bite than the soft avocado with soft sweet potato.

What’s my next bowl? I need a new theme!

Orange Julius Smoothie

The secret ingredient that makes this taste wayyy better than just slushy orange juice is…….Frozen mango!
The Three Bite Rule - Orange Julius Smoothie
This was so fresh, light, and perfect for the morning.

Orange Julius Copycat Smoothie

Ingredients: (for 1 large, or 2 small)

1 cup ice
1 cup almond milk
1 cup frozen mango
2 clementines (or 1 orange)
1 cup orange yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Blend the milk, ice, and frozen mango. (The mango being frozen is really important to the consistency.)
Then add in the yogurt and clementines/orange.
The Three Bite Rule - Orange Julius Smoothie
Blend and enjoy! Add another splash of milk if needed.
The Three Bite Rule - Orange Julius Smoothie
I looooved this! It wasn’t as tart as it would have been with strictly oranges. The mango and vanilla are both the touches this smoothie needs to go from being acidic to a gentle orange flavor. I gave the little one some but he wasn’t into it – I think it was too cold.

Croissant Croque Monsieur

This is THE sandwich which will make you believe in sandwiches for dinner. This is not your lunch box sandwich. The French know what they’re doing with this one. The Croque monsieur is grilled ham and cheese with a béchamel and some cheese melted on top. This knife-and-fork sandwich is lovely for dinner and I twisted it up with a croissant for the bread. If you add an egg it becomes a croque madame…though, adding an egg didn’t seem like it’d be stable on the croissant.

The Three Bite Rule - Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur (for 2)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 croissants
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
4 slices ham, rolled & sliced

Directions:

In a small pot, bring the milk and cream cheese to a simmer to melt. Add salt and pepper and cook for 5-8 minutes then reduce to low heat to thicken.
Slice the croissants and toast on a baking sheet for 5 minutes to gently toast.
Then top the bottom croissant half with most of the cheese, the ham, and a sprinkle of pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Croque Monsieur
Spoon some of the cream sauce on top.
The Three Bite Rule - Croque Monsieur
Add another sprinkle of cheese and put the top croissant on and pop back into the oven just to melt the cheese.
Spoon a drizzle of sauce over the top.
The Three Bite Rule - Croque Monsieur
Serve (with a fork & knife) and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Croque Monsieur
Ohh Monsieur Croque, you’re delightful on a croissant. Using good cheese is important for this guy. I shredded the cheese for prime melting capability and chopped the ham for ease of distributing onto an arch-shaped croissant. The sauce is so much faster and easier than a roux. I liked the cheesy-hint from the cream cheese.

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

A new pizza format!! I saw somebody make one with a lot of garlic oil on the Food Network and that’s just what I did! It becomes super crispy like pan pizza. I loved it and will use more dough to make it again. The pan gets warm and starts cooking the bottom of the dough and then goes into the oven to cook from the top. The one-two punch!

The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Sausage & Pepper Cast Iron Skillet Pizza (for 2)

Ingredients:

2-3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 sweet Italian sausage links
1/2 ball of pizza dough
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
In a medium skillet, remove the sausage from the casting and cook through – about 5-7 minutes breaking apart with a spoon.
In a large cast iron skillet, warm to medium-low heat and add in the oil and the garlic grated or very finely chopped. Cook for about 5-8 minutes being careful not to brown the garlic too much.
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Drain the sausage onto paper towels to remove the oil. Then add in the pepper to cook and soften for just a few minutes, then remove.
Stretch out the dough, or roll it to the size of the pan (my pan was very large and I could have used the whole dough ball – the crust could go along the edge). Lay it into the hot pan over medium heat.
Spoon the sauce onto the crust, then top with cheese, cooked sausage, and peppers – cooking for about 5 minutes.
Put into the oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges brown & the bottom crisps.
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Lift from the pan to remove while keeping any remaining oil in the pan and not onto the pizza.
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Let sit for about 2 minutes, then slice & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
I loved allllll the crispy and chewy crust! It had a nicely sweet garlic flavor since it gets to gently cook while the other toppings are prepped. I read some blog posts of skillet pizza who touted the little amount of oil. I went for it. Big time. This was crunchy and packed with flavor without being grossly greasy…just greasy enough.

I’ll make this pizza again. It has great texture and was a perfect alternative from super thin crust on the pizza stone.
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza