Pork and Vegetable Spring Rolls

On vacation to Bermuda, Mr. J became OBSESSED with a pork and vegetable spring roll. I think he ordered it almost every night. I recreated them for Dad & Mr. J’s combo birthday/father’s day meal. Our theme was “best of vacation” foods.

The eggroll wrappers are from the produce section of the grocery store. They feel like fresh pasta and are easy to use. There are about 20 in a package and I made them all. They were easy to make in advance and bake for a few minutes when it was time to eat.


3/4 pound ground pork
10 oz cole slaw mix (or chopped cabbage)
2 tbs garlic, chopped
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbs cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 package eggroll wrappers
1 tsp cornstarch & 2 tsp water


Fry pork in a large pan until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Drain excess oil off the pork and add in the cabbage and garlic to the pan.
Add in sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce.
Mix well and cook another few minutes. The cabbage quantity will shrink up.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lay out wonton wrappers. Add about 3 tbs of the filling onto each one. Brush the edges with the cornstarch/water mix.
Fold the point in the front over the filling, then fold the side points inward towards the filling. Then roll the whole thing over, continuing to wrap the sides towards the center.
Place the spring rolls on a baking sheet, sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake for 5 minutes at 375 degrees.
Then flip and bake another 5 minutes.
I sprayed them and flipped them often. I wanted them crisp all the way around. They also could be pan fried, but I thought baking would keep them from being oily or greasy.

Sesame oil and rice wine vinegar are ingredients I try to keep around. They take any Asian-inspired dishes to the next level and they never go bad. They are good for vinaigrette on salad or a stir fry.  I have another dish to blog for you next week that uses them…stock up now!

I served them with a chipotle orange ginger barbecue sauce. They were a hit!

Pizza Dip

One drizzly day here in Boston suddenly became the absolute perfect night for personal dips for dinner. That’s right. I planned that dinner would be us each to have our own ramekin of dip and we would double-dip until our hearts content…yes, this was the plan. I’m too structured to pretend that I came up with this one on a whim. It just got flipped during the week to a cool rainy evening and was perfect. I loved it. What other dip should be for dinner?

I was wooed into this idea when I saw a white pizza dip on How Sweet It Is. Her blog is gorgeous, she is gorgeous, and her recipes keep me inspired. I wanted a few more flavors like pepperoni and garlic. I also wanted ricotta instead of provolone which leans more towards lasagna. I also had pinned a lasagna dip with a few more ingredients. Mine is a mish-mosh of the two.


1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 yellow onion, chopped
olive oil, salt & pepper
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbs garlic, chopped
¼ cup pepperoni, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
french bread for dipping (I didn’t want leftover bread so I chose a roll for each of us)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you half tomatoes and chop onion.
Place tomatoes and onion on a baking sheet and top with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle some salt & pepper over the top too.
Roast tomatoes and onions for 10-20 minutes depending how you like the tomatoes. They release lots of moisture and char a bit. The skin shrivels a bit too.
While tomatoes are roasting chop basil and pepperoni.
Mix up ricotta, ⅔ cup of the mozzarella (saving some for the top!), Parmesan, garlic, and pepperoni.
Remove tomatoes from the oven and mix into the cheese mixture also adding the basil. At this point I also added the last smidgeon of truffle butter I had, but that’s of course not necessary.
Spoon the cheese & tomato mixture into ramekins sprayed with non-stick spray or into a pie dish (if serving as a regular dip).
Pop the dish(s) into the oven to bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, top with remaining cheese, and return the dip to the oven also putting the dipping bread into the oven.
Bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.
Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

I loved this. I thought it was perfectly cheesy with differing textures and very simple. I added pepperoni but it could use any cooked meat or sausage you have, or it could easily be vegetarian. I had leftover dip so I boiled some pasta and the dip became sauce on pasta for lunch the next day. Bam!

It was a fun alternative to pizza or pasta with some of the same flavors. I also think the garlic, onion, and pepperoni could easily be skipped if you didn’t have any. I do not think dried basil could replace the fresh basil. With so few ingredients, the fresh basil is totally necessary.


Spinach and Artichoke Pockets

I love creamed spinach as an ingredient. It has tons of flavor and is great for a sauce and for serious color. I used it in place of sauce in deep dish pizza. This time I thought it would help make spinach and artichoke dip. I baked it into puff pastry pockets to turn dip into dinner!



1 pkg creamed spinach
2 cups artichoke hearts
2 tbs garlic, chopped
1 tbs cream cheese
1 cup fresh spinach
4 slices fresh turkey/4 chicken tenders, pre-cooked
1 cup shredded mozzarella/shredded monterey jack
salt & pepper
1 sheet of puff pastry


Sautee artichoke hearts in a large pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add creamed spinach, garlic, cream cheese, and fresh spinach to the pan. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Chop and add pre-cooked turkey/chicken, cooking for another 3-5 minutes.
Roll out puff pastry from ¼ inch thickness to ⅛ inch (sheet should almost double in size)
Cut puff pastry into squares. Lay out if forming into pockets. Or lay into ramekins/muffin tins.
Fill each with spinach/artichoke mixture.
Add shredded cheese and fold/close.
Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

This was such a fun and different kind of dinner. I made these pockets into ramekins so I didn’t have to worry if they exploded. Smaller ones would be fun for a party.

The turkey I had wasn’t in tip-top shape (it lived in the freezer for a bit) so I figured it’s only use could be cooked into something. It added a bit of protein but wasn’t a crucial addition.

Any other apps turned dinner ideas out there?

Cobb Salad Dip

How do you do New Years Eve? I have a great fresh and filling dip for you to bring to a party or to your next football party. I always avoided going out to bars on NYE. It seems like it has to be such a plan. It is overpriced and crowded.
I’m too old for that. Last year we moved and watched the ball drop from our new house. Most years Mr. J and I had been able to walk over to our friends’ annual party. This year it is a bit further but I’m excited.


12 oz plain Greek yogurt (or half Greek yogurt/half sour cream)
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 cucumber, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
6 oz gouda, chopped
2 eggs, hardboiled, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
4 strips of bacon, chopped
1 box of wheat thins


Mix yogurt and ranch dressing mix until combined. Let chill for a few hours (or overnight) before serving.
Chop veggies into small bite size pieces.
Spread ranch onto a platter or plate.
Top with chopped veggies, eggs, cheese, and bacon (I was out of bacon and used pepperoni).
Serve with crackers for dipping.
I like this one because it is fresh and crisp and has all my favorites in one place. The Greek yogurt adds such a good  tang while being packed with protein and calcium. This dip is the perfect party way to eat some veggies.

Cobb Salad Dip is convenient to chop the veggies and whip up the ranch dip then assemble on site. It is one of the easiest ones to prep in advance and pack it to go.

What I Ate: Asian Inspired Meatballs

What I Ate is a Friday series that is so easy (but delicious!) that it doesn’t really require a recipe! Check out the category (to your right) to see other super easy ideas.

Did you cook your tuckus off for Thanksgiving and now it is time to adapt to the winter season? These Asian inspired meatballs are super easy and work with any pre-made meatballs.

asian meatballs_590_390


12 turkey meatballs (3 meatballs per person)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp honey


Defrost meatballs (or make your own!)
Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and honey over medium-low heat.
Stir well, then add meatballs.
Cook for about 10 minutes then turn to low so it can thicken.

asian meatballs_590_390
Serve over rice and top with some green onions.  They have a nice sweet/salty flavor. The brown sugar and honey help thicken it up and poof! You’re done and clean up is pretty minimal.

Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Nachos

You read that right. I took everything good about nachos and spinach and artichoke dip and married it. Happily. Ever. After.

I had a bunch of apps on my ever running “to make” list of ideas so a few became dinner one night.


3 cups fresh spinach, chopped fine
1 pkg frozen artichoke hearts (not jared in oil)
8 oz cream cheese (or plain greek yogurt)
½ cup prepared alfredo sauce
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 chicken breast, shredded
8 oz shredded mozzarella
multigrain tortilla chips


Cook chicken breast and shred when cooled slightly.
Add artichoke hearts, cream cheese, alfredo sauce, and garlic to a large large saute pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Once the cream cheese is melted, add the chicken and ½ cup of the shredded cheese.
Stir the dip well, turn the temperature to low, and begin layering chips, dip and shredded mozzarella. Make one layer with about ⅓ of the dip, cheese, and chips.
Melt in the oven at 375 degrees until melted.
Layer more chips, dip, and mozzarella.
Melt in the oven at 375 degrees until melted.
Top with remaining.

Trust me. The layers melted before more layers are crucial. If you layer, layer, and layer and then melting will mean your bottom layers aren’t going to be melted and the top will be cooked too much.
I had some leftover chicken and sundried tomato alfredo pasta with lots of leftover chicken. I shredded it up which made for a wayyy better use of the leftovers than I planned!

Apple Cheesecake Dip

It is almost Thanksgiving and I have an easy 3 ingredient dip/dessert for you to have on hand if you’re worried about what you’ve planned to make. Or maybe you need one more thing to keep the masses fed.

I saw this apple cheesecake dip on pinterest and thought it sounded awesome. It is one of those foods that just can’t LOOK as good as it tastes. I added it to a dinner of appetizers and it was awesome.

Apple Cheesecake Dip

Adapted from Cooking Classy


8oz cream cheese
¼ cup caramel ice cream topping
¼ cup toffee pieces
apples for dipping


Allow the cream cheese to soften slightly.
Beat cream cheese, caramel sauce, and toffee bits.
Serve with sliced apples.

This has such great flavor for just a few ingredients. I liked the apple dippers but graham crackers would be good, or animal crackers.

The original recipe has the apples dipped into the cream cheese dip and then into crushed graham crackers. I added the toffee in the dip instead for a pop of crunch.

This is a crowd pleaser and a super easy one to whip up. Something about it says fall to me, but apples are available all the time so I’m not sure where my season-ness is coming from. I definitely recommend this dip for an easy appetizer or light dessert. I love to be sure there are a few simple items when I’m hosting for an easy check mark on your list.

Tip: a few drips of lemon juice will help the apples not to brown. Prep the dip and refrigerate until you serve it. Slice the apples when you’re ready to eat!

(Plus, this one got Mr. J eating some fruit. Shhh! Don’t tell him!)

Oreo Dip

Awhile back I made a dip that was sooo easy it made me think kids would have fun making it. The original source on Pinterest was a blog that seems MIA or maybe they’re just under construction.
The Three Bite Rule - Oreo Dip


1 box white chocolate pudding (I used instant)
2 cups milk
8 oz cool whip (aka frozen non-dairy whipped topping)
½ package Oreos (or about 25 oreos)
1 box chocolate graham crackers


Mix pudding and milk until thickened (about 2 minutes)
The Three Bite Rule - Oreo DipAdd cool whip and crushed oreos mixing well.
The Three Bite Rule - Oreo Dip
Refrigerate for at least and hour before serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Oreo Dip

I liked this for a twist on a regular dip. It was an easy one that didn’t require any baking. Serve it with chocolate graham crackers.

Mr. J thought this was great. It made a ton so I took half to a small meeting and we enjoyed the other half at home. The photo above is half of what I made! This stayed good for a few days, after that, the oreos were a bit soggy. I thought it was a bit loose or soupy but the original post included mini marshmallows too so that would change the consistency.

I was thinking these would be great as chocolate graham cracker “ice cream” sandwiches. Maybe next time I’ll whip in some cream cheese to thicken it and I’ll freeze graham sandwiches filled with it.

Cost Breakdown:

1 pkg chocolate sandwich cookie: $2.75
1 pkg white chocolate pudding mix:  $1.00
1 pkg cool whip: $2.49
1 pkg chocolate graham crackers:  $3.49
total: $9.73/10 servings = $0.97 per person (with graham crackers and oreos leftover!)

I skimped on the cookies and bought the cheapest ones I could find, and went “high end” on the dippers but this whole thing could be made for even less.

Portland Pie Pizza

The vacation of eating continues! Seriously, Portland ME is a foodie mecca (donuts & duckfat fries). I really hoped we’d make it to Portland Pie and it was everything I dreamed of. I buy their refrigerated pizza dough at the grocery store and love it. It is the best, hands down. It worked out to be a great dinner option for the last night we were in town.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

I was really torn as to what I was in the mood for. Their fall specials looked amazing. I might need to recreate one of their fall dishes. There was a mustard/sauerkraut/bratwurst/pumpkin ale pizza that sounded amazing. I also was intrigued by a maple balsamic dressing for salad.

We got an app (even though Mr. J was all about the pumpkin cheesecake for dessert). I knew after all our eating we could not eat an app, pizza, and dessert. Way. too. much.

We chose the sweet potato smoked cheddar dip with rosemary biscotti.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

They were working the kinks out on this one. We actually sent it back to be reheated. The breadbowl it was in was nicely warmed, the cheddar on top of the dip was melted, but the dip was cold. It wasn’t just “not piping hot” but it was cold. We neverrr send stuff back but this was meant to be warm. It then took forever. Other tables got their salads, drink refills, salads cleared and pizza served while we waited.

The kitchen wasn’t sure the best way to reheat it while maintaining the dip. I wanted to cancel it but our server was a bit MIA. She returned telling us it would be ready when the pizza was and the kitchen made a new app. I really would have just cancelled it or they could have offered to take it off the bill. Instead they offered us dessert. That made Mr. J one happy guy.

Our server thought it would be ready when the pizza was so we asked for whatever was ready to come out. I didn’t want the pizza sitting to stay warm. I’m not sure it was worth all the hype for all of this process, but it was good. Smoked gouda would have been better.

We ordered 2 pizzas so there’d be some leftovers to take home for the next day. We got one Bar Harbor which was super exciting now that Mr. J eats scallops! Woohoo! It was scallops, bacon, mozzarella with alfredo sauce. It was amazing. The scallops were cooked nicely and every bite was flavorful. The topping to crust ratio was spot on.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

The other pizza we got was called Dead River. It was red sauce and had spinach, red peppers, ricotta, and we swapped out hamburger for sausage. It is finished with garlic and crushed red pepper. Some bites definitely have a kick to them. I liked this one a lot and it was a great contrast to the sweet & smokey scallop pizza.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

One of my favorite things that happened was just too funny. For some reason our server didn’t seem sure that we were together. She packed the dessert to go as separate containers and asked if we each wanted some of each pizza packed up. I was so amused since we were celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary weekend!

I love their menu. I wish there was a Portland Pie near me! I’d be happy to drink the delicious local-to-Maine brews and dine on their expansive menu if they wanted to come further south!
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Pie

What I Ate: At a Wedding Cocktail Hour

Wedding cocktail hour is my favorite. I love the vows, and the dancing (especially since Mr. J is a rockin’ dancer), but then I love the cocktail hour. Contrary to the name I like it for the food. I don’t worry about the drinks…it is all about the snacks. I love passed aps, Mrs. K had baked brie that I’m still raving about (3+ years later), Mrs. M had an amazing cheese selection. Serious love for the aps.

I don’t review many weddings but I went to one with the best cocktail hour ever. Ever. I know, I go to my share of weddings every year. I snapped a few pics with my phone but when I heard the next morning that the bride didn’t have any of the amazing aps I knew I HAD to blog ‘em. She writes Flying on Jess Fuel (stop by her blog, say hello, wish her congrats, and check out her recipes).

The chef was Chef Roland. I loved their cocktail hour. I cannot get over how many aps there were. I was so impressed that the hot ones were actually hot! The chilled ones were actually cool! The servers all knew what they were offering to us. It was amazing. Here are my favorites:

Shrimp ceviche with mango salsa on an edible spoon.
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps  Yes, that’s right. There’s a crisp bite of spoon with each bite. Delicious!

Dill scone topped with lobster salad. It was lightly dressed and so fresh. I mayyy have stalked the servers whenever I saw these!
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps

Lamb and quinoa cakes. The bride loves quinoa so these seemed even more perfect.
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps

There were some mean lookin’ pistachio crusted lamb lollipops but I figured the lamb cake bite was probably my red-meat maximum for the day. I popped the lobster mac & cheese bite before I got a photo. Yum!

We had some bruschetta, coconut shrimp, spanakopita, cajan shrimp & kielbasa…I don’t even remember what else. There were so many. I had to chose wisely. There were just so many.

Ohh then we had dinner. It started with a salad of greens, beets, peaches, and candied walnuts. Seriously amazing.
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps
Dinner options were beef, fish, or vegetarian. I got the fish. It turned out to be sole stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, and lobster. You had me at lobster.

Mr. J and I are off for the weekend to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary! Can you believe it has been a year?!? I’ll be sure to let you know how that year old piece ‘o cake fared this past year!