Blogaversary: turning 7!

The Three Bite Rule is 7 years old. I cannot believe it. Sevvvvven. Happy blogaversary! When this timing rolls around it feels like a good time to stop, reflect, and look forward….moreso than January even does. I share some stats/superlatives and …. wait for it…the new goals for the year.

Thanks for sticking around, popping over, and for the love. I do this for fun and I’m still glad to be doing it. I have taken breaks and tweaked along the way but I’m glad to share ideas, what I’m eating, and be part of a food community. Stay tuned for year 8! I’m not out of new recipes yet!

balloons

Superlatives!

My personal fav post: these crockpot meatballs were so unbelievably good, and I totally need to make them again. ‘Tis the season for the comfort foods! They were easy, and also are my favorite because I made ‘em for the little one’s 2nd birthday dinner. He loves pasta & meatballs!
The Three Bite Rule - Crockpot Meatballs
Best Burger: you know what, this gouda, bacon & peach burger was just so good it inspired a full category to win.
The Three Bite Rule - Burger with Smoked Gouda & Peach Relish

Most on-trend food: grain bowls. Give me all the foods that coordinate, on a bed of hearty grains, with a fun drizzle on top and I’ll be ohh-so-happy. This chicken sausage, apple, arugula and honey mustard hit all the flavors and textures.  See other winners like: Italian Grain Bowls, Falafel Grain Bowls, and Burrito Bowls.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Arugula, and Rice Bowl

Best photo: this Cast-Iron Skillet Pizza in garlic oil was the picture of crispy perfection – and the crunchy crust was what it is all about. 
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Most loved food insta: Build a Better Charcuterie post about a cheese board was a hit
The Three Bite Rule - Build A Better Charcuterie Board

peanut butter, nutella, and banana smoothie continues to top the charts, for several years. I made a healthier version, but to no avail , the favorite is the original.

The 2018 goals:

I’ve repeated some for several years which was what my gut told me I wanted to do, but 2 years was too long to think it’d get me to do it…I’m looking at you ‘cook more fish’! I love a monthly look to hold my self accountable. I have a mid-month pop up reminder on my phone and the recap prepping is another nudge to see if they’ve happened.

Year of the _____:
I got such ahhh-mazing ideas on social media. I loved them all. I’m drawn to a year of candles (thanks Sarah!)! They’re a budget-friendly treat, I have definite scent preferences, they can be a nod to seasonal decor, annnd I have a passionate disdain for cheap ones I can’t seem to smell! I was interested in shoes, bags, etc, but thought they might be categories of wanting a few good ones versus 12 affordable ones 
Grocery store re-invention:
grabbing something and using it unexpectedly
Cook more appetizers/snacks:
plusapps for dinner are also SO FUN
Taking time to blog thoughtfully:
that means daylight- when possible; more attention to get a variety of shots; striving for more style
Journal the cute moments of my little one: I did a little gratitude journal when the baby blues hit me and I needed to look for the good. Now I just want to remember when he says funny things.  
What I’m reading:
What I’m watching:

Turkey & Pear Grilled Cheese #grilledcheeseplease

I got a suggestion to do a grilled cheese series after my Toasted Tuesday series in the summer. You don’t have to tell me twice! I’ve planned a month of not-your-average grilled cheeses. #grilledcheeseplease Good bread + multiple cheeses are the keys to a better sandwich.

This one is perfect for a weekend lunch or a sandwich this special can definitely be dinner…just add a side! I’m featuring turkey, sharp cheese, pear, and maple dijon spread. The dijon spread was on repeat from my fall breakfast sandwich. It is like your fav black shirt…it goes with everything.!
The Three Bite Rule -

Turkey & Pear Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon dijon
1/2 teaspoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
2 slices sourdough bread
2 slices sharp white cheddar
1 slice white American cheese
1/2 pear, sliced
1 cup baby spinach
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

Heat a large skillet to medium heat.
Mix together the maple-dijon spread.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Sausage & Apple Breakfast Sandwich
Spread a teaspoon of the maple-dijon onto each slice of bread.
Assemble with half of each cheese, turkey, spinach, pear, and the rest of the cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Turkey & Pear Grilled Cheese
Top with the other bread and spread a little butter on the very top. Put that side down into the pan and grill for ~3 minutes. Then spread a little butter onto the other side while in the pan, and carefully flip. Cook for another ~3 minutes. Cover for the last minute.
Slice & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Turkey & Pear Grilled Cheese
I loved light dijon flavor with the turkey and pear. The cheddar gives the flavor and the American provides the melty-gooey-ness. Good bread is a key here – that buttery crunch? Ohh yes!

Asian-Inspired Burgers with Teriyaki & Pineapple

Burgers on the grill can continue right up until the snow falls here in New England – or year-round in our house. The fall is a great time to grill because the air isn’t 100-degrees plus the heat of the grill. Lovely! This burger gets brushed with teriyaki sauce after it cooks and has grilled pineapple, crispy wontons, cucumbers, and a sriracha aoli. Yum!
The Three Bite Rule - Asian Burger

Asian-Inspired Burgers (for 3)

Ingredients:

3/4-1 pound of ground meat (I used ground pork)
1/2 teaspoon teriyaki marinade (double if using teriyaki sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
salt & pepper
1-2 slices of fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon mayo
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced thin
1/4 cup crispy wontons (found near croutons/salad toppers)
3 hamburger buns

Directions:

Preheat the grill while seasoning the meat.
Add the teriyaki marinade, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar to the meat & form into patties. Sprinkle salt & pepper on either side. Grill to desired cook- depending on the ground meat.
When the burgers are almost cooked, grill the pineapple for a minute  on each side.
Mix together the sriracha & mayo.
Brush the burgers with the teriyaki marinade and chop the pineapple.
Assemble the burgers with sriracha mayo on each bun, cucumbers on the bottom, the burgers and grilled pineapple. Add some  crispy wontons on top.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Asian Burger

Teriyaki marinade is pretty strong, since it is meant as a marinade so go light when topping the burgers. Teriyaki sauce (sold near soy sauce) doesn’t have the same sticky/sweet consistency but would be good flavor if you don’t have a use for a whole bottle of marinade. I loved the flavors here and just served some edamame on the side for a quick dinner. It was GREAT for variety of flavors this week!

Psssst! Have leftover teriyaki marinade & pineapple? I’ve used both for a fun teriyaki grain bowl! I liked the subtle kick from the sriracha but might have used even a bit more. I think I had a 1:2 mayo/sriracha ratio but suggest a 1:1 above.

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.