Cheeseburger Layer Dip

“The Big Game” is fast approaching! I’m a bit more focused on the snacks, halftime show, and commercials with a lesser priority being the actual game. Can I say that in New England? It is the truth. I’m really just here for the snacks. Playoff games have been especially helpful for that! Just the other night I whipped up this cheeseburger layer dip as dinner during the game. Maybe it was good luck?
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Dip

Bacon Cheeseburger Layer Dip

Ingredients:

3/4 pound ground meat (I used ground chicken, or use beef/pork)
2-3 strips of bacon
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon mixed seasoning (I used Todd’s Dirt, or use hamburger seasoning or Mrs. Dash)
special sauce: 1 tablespoon each: ketchup; mayo; mustard; 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 tomato
6 pickle chips
sturdy crackers (wheat thins or pita) or bread for dipping

Directions:

Saute the ground meat in a large pan, and add in the liquid smoke, minced onion, ground mustard, and seasoning for the last minute of cooking.
Chop the bacon into a hot pan and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towel.
Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and put the ground meat on the bottom and the crisp bacon on top.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Dip
Add on a drizzle of special sauce. Then sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes to melt.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Dip
While the dip is in the oven, chop the toppings. Take the dip out of the oven for ~5 minutes before adding toppings. It should be warm, but not hot to wilt all the toppings.
Sprinkle on the lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sesame seeds.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Dip
Serve with crackers, chips, or bread to dip.
Enjoy!

This was so fun! It was our dinner of “sports snacks”. The little one totally go it, but asked for a spoon and seemed to enjoy in a bowl rather than dipped. Add this to your menu, especially if you already have spinach and artichoke dip and nachos. I love the cool toppings with warm and cheesy dip. Perfect!

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Dip
What are you serving for the game?

Pomegranate Pear Salsa over Crispy Fish

At the first Pear Party/Iron Chef Pear, there was this pear, pomegranate pearl salsa that I loved, yet hadn’t made in years. It is so addicting with tortilla chips- multigrain scoops are definitely the best for it. I added some avocado and served mine on top of some beer battered fish filets for lunch and used the rest on pork tacos the following night. This is wintry and fresh with such great textures.

The Three Bite Rule - Pomegranate Pear Salsa

Pomegranate & Pear Salsa

Ingredients:

2 pears
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 red onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/1-1 avocado

Directions:

Chop the pear, cilantro, and red onion. Mix together with the pomegranate pearls, lime juice & salt.
The Three Bite Rule - Pomegranate Pear Salsa
Gently mix in the avocado.
Serve & enjoy! (If not serving immediately, reserve the pomegranate pearls until serving- they leave a reddish hue on the pears & reserve the avocado- it’ll turn brown.)

So easy! You know what’s even easier? I discovered the grocery store sells the pomegranate pearls already popped out of the pomegranate! That was my hang up to make this until now. This lunch as everything: warm crispy fish, the pop/crunch of the pomegranate pearl, the juicy pear, the creamy avocado. What’s not to love?

The red & green felt super cute and seasonal here. The avocado was a game-time decision. When they’re ripe that window to use it or lose it is brief! Plus, my frozen fish filets seemed tiny. I’ve used them in fish tacos but for size reference, this is a salad plate so I thought the avocado would bulk it up a touch. It did!
The Three Bite Rule - Pomegranate Pear Salsa

Caesar Deviled Eggs

I love caesar dressing which lead me to a caesar twist on deviled eggs. I made just a few for a mid-day Christmas appetizer. They were perfect for a few bites with the zing of caesar and a salty bit of Parmesan on top. I also like that they’re quick and easy to make a few or a bunch. I like them as an appetizer in contrast to dips, cheese, crackers, etc.
The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Deviled Eggs
I jazzed up some creamy caesar dressing but it is also pretty easy to make it homemade. They definitely taste caesar-y. The anchovy paste is necessary in the dressing. Necessary. It adds that hard-to-explain, not-fishy, but zing of good caesar flavor. I doubt these would really taste like caesar without it.

Caesar Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

8 hard boiled eggs
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 tablespoons creamy caesar dressing + cracked pepper + anchovy paste
1 teaspoon shaved parmesan

Directions:

Hard boil the eggs, then immediately place into a ice bath.
When cooled, peal the eggs and slice in half. Pop out the egg yolks into a bowl and add in the mustard and creamy caesar.
The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Deviled Eggs
Whip together with a hand mixer or in a food processor until totally smooth.
Spoon into a ziplock bag. Then pipe the filling into each egg half.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Deviled Eggs

I was making these on-the-go bringing ingredients to our Christmas celebration, but a tiny piece of romaine lettuce would be fun for crunch or some crumbled croutons all over the top would be good too!

Boursin Crostini with Apple & Caramelized Onions

Of course I love dips, but some parties, or layouts for that matter, call for crostini. They’re also helpful to incorporate a few flavors annnnnd a plate/tray of crostini mean a few people aren’t stationed in front of the dip all night. Note, I’m one of those who can’t separate from the dip! :-) This seems like the season of get-togethers, family meals, and having company which these are perfect for!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions

I prepped the boursin & the caramelized onions in advance. Then it took 5 minutes for assembly! I wanted it to be with pear, but mine weren’t ripe enough.

Crostini with Boursin, Apple, & Caramelized Onions

Ingredients: (Serves 8ish)

4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs (I used a dip mix, or have used Italian Seasoning before)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt & cracked pepper
splash of milk or cream
1 onion, caramelized
1 baguette, slices of Italian bread, or melba toasts
2 apples or pears, sliced thinly
~6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Directions:

In advance, caramelize the onions & refrigerate or freeze until using.
In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, garlic, dried herbs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add in a splash of milk to thin a bit to your preference.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
Refrigerate until using.
To assemble, toast the bread on a pan in the oven for just a few minutes. Then spread on the boursin, spoon on a some onions, lay on some apple slices, and sprinkle with thyme.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
Enjoy!

Loooove that this can be mostly made in advance, but also that the leftover boursin is so great for crackers, on bagels, etc. I made a big batch of caramelized onions the last time and froze them. That was a huge time & prep savor for these. Hey, this is a busy season – buy some boursin from the dairy section of the grocery store- that’ll speed you up even more!

My test one became lunch but I intended these as an app and I’d love these alongside soup for dinner too!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
I have a quick & healthy soup and a cocktail coming up next week! Stay tuned!

Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Appetizers make the world go ’round. I whipped up a few stuffed mushrooms and was reminded that the beauty of stuffed mushrooms are that a batch can be a ton or just a few. Make 4 or 40.

The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

8 portabello mushrooms
2 strips of bacon
4 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon parmesan, grated
pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parmesan, shaved

Directions:

Pan fry the bacon until crisp. Lay the bacon onto paper towel to drain but leave a teaspoon in the pan. Chop the bacon.
Pull the stems out of the mushrooms and chop. Add to the pan with the bacon drippings, bacon, breadcrumbs, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and parmesan. Taste, and add in cracked pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
Add in a teaspoon of butter and cook 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with shaved parmesan.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Parmesan Stuffed MushroomsEnjoy!

I love the salty bacon in there with buttery toasted breadcrumbs. I made ~10 mushrooms for Thanksgiving since there were only a few mushroom-eaters.

I have a few holiday-ish inspired recipes coming and a few recipes I hope will provide balance & speedy meals for those un-ceremonial Tuesday nights! Stay tuned!

Crispy Herbed Rice Patties

The little one munched these and then asked “what is it”? Crispy rice patties were such a fun side dish, and became a perfect dish to prep in advance! I saw Catherine McCord make a really plain crispy rice cakes on an Instagram story but I see her website has some fun flavors in these rice cakes.  I wanted mine to really highlight some herbs and cheese. The herbs are going bananas out back so I put ‘em to work!
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties

Crispy Herbed Rice Patties with Cheese

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice, cooked
2 eggs
3/4 cup smoked gouda
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary

Directions:

Add together the rice, eggs, cheeses, and herbs, with salt and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties
Mix well until well incorporated.
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties
Form into patties and fry in a shallow pan of oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side OR heavily spray a pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Rice Patties
Serve and enjoy!

These would be great in lots of flavors. Maybe next time I’ll have to include some bacon and top them with an egg!

I loved these! I was prepping them in advance so I undercooked most of them and popped them into the toaster oven to warm and toast for dinner. They were a hit! Of course I cooked the  rice in my pressure cooker- hello 15 minute brown rice! I pan fried a few and they stayed together! Woohoo! I also put some into a whoopie pie pan and baked them. Both methods worked so well! I’d skip frying them next time

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

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!

 

Shrimp Cakes

I had another post queued up but was just so psyched by this one so it is cutting the line!  I loooove shrimp and went all out – even pan frying these! Gasp! I tend to get annoyed frying things since they require so much babysitting. These stayed together pretty well and were worth it. The shrimp cakes were full of such great corn & chive flavor! Plus if you’re growing chives, chances are you have tonssss – or sub parsley, or green onion, or whatever herb suits you.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake

These shrimp cakes have a touch of lemon and some sweet corn and shallots provided freshness and crunch. My corn was leftover and I used some frozen shrimp since I like to have them on hand. I’d totally whip a bunch of these up for a group, or as mini appetizers, or they were great to just make 2 servings.

Shrimp Cakes (for 2 entree servings, or 4 appetizer portions)

Ingredients:

1 cup shrimp (shelled, deveined, defrosted, etc as necessary), about 1/4 pound
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chives, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
~1 cup corn, off the cob
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Rough chop the shrimp into approximately thirds – smaller pieces but chunks.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan and oil to medium heat. (I used a small cast iron pan and added oil to be less than a quarter inch deep.)
Add shrimp, mayo, cornstarch, garlic, chives, shallot, corn, lemon juice, egg, and salt & pepper into a bowl and mix well.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake
Test the oil temperature by dropping in a tiny bit of the mixture. If it sizzles, spoon in about 3 tablespoons for each shrimp cake (or your desired size). Pan fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake

I made these on a weekend afternoon and ate some of the more crumbly ones as lunch then the next night for dinner I just toasted these through and had them on salad for dinner. I looooved that these were full of shrimp and corn. I also really didn’t want them full of filler. I love me a good crabcake but wanted these to be different. The cornstarch makes them puffy and crunchy.

Make sure that oil is hot…otherwise they’ll be greasy and not crisp. I go with the small pan to just do a few at a time. Pop the done ones in an oven to stay warm if making for a crowd! I’d do little bites in advance for an app!