Guest Blog: Veggie Rangoons

Today I bring you a guest blog post from a college student in Austin. Joseph Ver is not only learning lessons in the classroom, but he’s learning his way around the kitchen. Without further ado, here he is:

I can give you a long list of my grievances in having to live in dorm conditions, from loud running and screaming in the middle of the night to my heightened mysophobia, but I feel the winner of the worst reason to live in a dorm is the lack of kitchen. I remember dorm shopping with my mother. I was excited to buy skillets and cutting boards, which is possibly a strange thing for a college bound guy to be excited about. Imagine the tears I shed when I found out that the kitchen was on the fourth floor. Nevertheless, I did try to cook tofu curry on the first week of school. It was a disaster to say the least, and successfully kept me away from that kitchen for the rest of the year.

Fast forward to today, a few semesters later, and I am now living in an on-campus apartment. Sure, I still have to hear my loud peers in the parking lot during thirsty Thursdays, but at least I now have a kitchen to myself (and a roommate). Maybe I should have prefaced this post by saying that I have little to no culinary experience. My training has consisted of helping my Filipino mother cook dinner, experimenting with eggs, watching cooking shows on PBS and the Food Network, and drawing inspiration from religiously watching Top Chef. To say the least, I’m a scrappy cook. I’ll find and follow recipes and add my own little twists.

Starting from the beginning of this school year, I’ve tried my hand at mashed potatoes, chicken teriyaki tacos, mapo doufu, French toast with my very own egg bread, and chicken tikka masala among many other dishes. You can probably tell that I cook a lot of Asian inspired dishes. I think my proudest moment actually stemmed from having to salvage vegetables. Now, I’m stereotypical poor college student on a strict budget. Throwing away food does not make me happy in the least bit.

Having bought a bunch of vegetables the week before, I remembered that I had to eat my spare broccoli and asparagus ASAP before it truly went bad. I wanted something more exciting than steamed vegetables, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but merely something I wasn’t in the mood for at the time. I had bought wonton wrappers and a block of cream cheese when I realized that I could make crab rangoon. Having learned how to make this simple Chinese-American restaurant staple a few years ago at an Asian Festival back in San Antonio, I decided to do my own vegetarian rendition of it with a twist. (Keep in mind that this was me throwing things from the fridge together, so ingredients are approximate and rather spontaneous)

Broccoli and Cheese Rangoons


-A pack of wonton wrappers (Found in an oriental store, but your local supermarket may have them)
-A block (16 oz.) of cream cheese
-A head of broccoli, chopped up into very small pieces
-Three sprigs of finely sliced green onion
-Cooking oil for deep frying
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Finely chopped asparagus
-Finely sliced sundried tomatoes
-Finely chopped up of any vegetable that you think would fit in a small pocket of fried goodness


This recipe is very simple. Just soften some cream cheese in room temperature, place it in a bowl and mix in all of your veggies nicely.
Now, there are many ways you can wrap the wonton wrapper. The best way is to put around a tablespoon of filling into your wanton wrapper, and fold it diagonally into a little triangle. Seal the wrapper with water.
I don’t have a deep fryer, so instead I just put a considerable amount of cooking oil into my wok and fried it that way.
Be afraid of getting hit by crackling oil- it really hurts!

It’s really easy to tell when they’re finished. It’s not like you have to worry about having the filling uncooked and getting sick since it’s merely cream cheese. Go ahead and place them on a plate with a paper towel to cool and enjoy! (One looks like a tiny egg roll, hehe)
Once again, this is a really simple recipe and thing to make and my main point for making it was to salvage vegetables that were going to end up in the trash in a few days. Are there any other recipes that you make on the fly because you want to save certain ingredients? Let me know!

Joseph Ver is an SEO intern at He attends Saint Edward’s University in Austin, TX and, aside from cooking, loves watching reality shows (Top Chef, Project Runway, Survivor) and befriending various people on the bus. He also blogs when he actually remembers that he has one right here.

Would you like to be a guest blogger? Email emily@thethreebiterule for more details!

Three Bean Fiesta

The name ‘Bean Salad’ completely deceiving. My mum gave this recipe to me after raving about it. Then Mr. J was the one raving…he said it was the best side dish ever. This bean salad can be a side or served with tortilla chips as a dip. I got it prepped one morning so it would marinate all day and we had it for dinner.

I got the largest lime I’ve ever seen straight from Florida (thanks Aunt S & Uncle B)! I really wanted to put that to good use so I used it to marinate chicken with honey for a Mexican twist before Mr. J grilled the chicken.
We are making up for lost time when the grill sat in the garage for 2 years before moving so there’s year-round grilling happening here. Also, my mum made me some taco seasoning for Christmas. I was super excited since I use it all the time and have only ever found it in packets so this jar was a big deal to me.

The taco seasoning when on some brown rice and poof, we had a fiesta (served in fiestaware of course)!


½ cup oil
½ cup sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can white beans, rinsed
1 can black eyed peas
1 can Mexican corn
½ cup red onion
1 red or green pepper, chopped


Heat oil, vinegar, and sugar until gently boiling.
Pour liquid mix over beans, peas, corn, onion, and peppers.
Let stand overnight (or 9 hours while at work).
Serve with tortilla chip scoops as a dip or as a side.

I subsititued white for red onion, since I had it on hand. I didn’t have any peppers so I chopped some tomatoes just before serving. I also didn’t have any black eyed peas so I just went with the other 2 beans. Three cans of beans would be a ton anyway.
I liked the sweet/tart balance. We ate it a few times but I can see it keeping better if the onion & tomato/pepper was added just before serving.

It was a super easy side and was a pretty healthy one! I’m sure this will have a regular rotation in our house. I’d throw it on salad or tacos or the leftovers drained into soup or chili.  Ohh how fun would a chili bar be at a party?! The wheels are churning here for housewarming parties!

Guest Post: Buffalo Bites

Today I have a fantastic guest blog post for you! This post comes Dana of Nosh. We went to college together and I’ve been loving her blog (like this pineapple salsa recipe! and this edamame salad recipe! and this stuffed peppers recipe!) I’m super psyched to try this one myself! I cannot believe I don’t have any buffalo chicken recipes on the three bite rule!

Here’s Dana:
I’m trying (key word) to lose a few lb’s before my July wedding, and in doing so, I’m naturally craving the worst foods on the planet.  This recipe is surprisingly low-fat (5 wonton wrappers is only 100 calories, and the chicken is boiled in plain ‘ol water and then baked, so no extra fat there…plus wait til you see the coleslaw!) but still tastes like an indulgence.  The wontons would make a great app (oh hey, Superbowl) and the coleslaw is a healthy side made with my favorite Greek yogurt (you can’t even tell it’s good for you!).  Hope you enjoy these and much as I do…and thanks again to Emily for the opportunity to cross over to another awesome blog!


(this recipe makes a TON of wontons.  You can either cut down the amount of chicken you use or if you don’t want to make all of the wontons, you can make as many as you want, freeze the remaining wonton wrappers, and have a buffalo chicken sandwich for lunch the next day with the remaining chicken!  Probably awesome on a salad, too.)


1 package Nasoya wonton wrappers
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 bottle Frank’s Red Hot (I used Buffalo flavor but i’m sure the Original is just as tasty)
1/4 c. Light Ranch dressing
1 egg white OR water


Boil chicken in water (or chicken broth) for 15 or so minutes until cooked through.  Remove from water and set in a bowl.
Once cool, shred with a fork and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Here’s the shredded chicken with the buffalo sauce…this was perfect on a sandwich the next day (said my fiance) and scooped up with celery stalks (said me).
Mix Red Hot and Ranch dressing in a bowl and pour over pulled chicken, mixing to coat.
Arrange wonton wrappers on a sprayed cooking sheet.  Place about 1/2 a teaspoon of chicken into the center of each wrapper. Using the egg wash or water, lightly brush two sides of the wrapper and bring up into a triangle to meet the other half of the wonton, pinching to secure.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until crispy, flipping once.
I sprayed the pan with olive oil cooking spray, so there was no need for a brush of oil or anything prior to baking.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you want a cheesier, creamier, not as healthy wonton, try adding a bit of cream cheese to the chicken mixture.
Gorgeous color on the wontons!

Greek Coleslaw

(this recipe is adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe found here.  Of course I didn’t measure anything TOO accurately, and I left out the caraway seeds.)


1 package Dole shredded coleslaw mix
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 0%)
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 c. mayonnaise (I used Hellmans Olive Oil mayo)1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper


Combine all ingredients and add to coleslaw mix.
Stir to coat.  Season with salt & pepper.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let “sauce” absorb into coleslaw.

oh heeeey, awesomely healthy wontons and sweet scrumptious coleslaw…don’t mind if I do…

Would you like to be a guest blogger? Email emily@thethreebiterule for more details!

Coconutty Shrimp

I spent the better part of one evening going back and forth to the fridge to see if anything for dinner had magically appeared. I was just trying to find something for myself and had no ideas.

Then I finally switched things up and checked out the freezer. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a bag of frozen jumbo shrimp. Too early for Christmas quotes? No? Great!

I recalled adding coconut shrimp to my list. Baked Coconut Shrimp it was and there’s no time like the present!


6 jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined
3 tbs cornstarch
1 eggwhite, wisked
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Dredge the shrimp in cornstarch
Then into the egg white (whisking it makes it more dip-able since egg white stays goopy and stuck to itself.)cocoshrimp_egg_590_390

And finally into the coconut & panko (plain coconut will burn without some breadcrumbs in there)

Lay on baking sheet. Does mine look small? I put these guys into my toaster oven and set it to bake!
Bake for 8 minutes, flip, then bake for another 8 minutes.

I wanted something sweet and spicy to dip them in so I again checked the fridge. I did notice a crate of clementines I’ve been eating up the ying yang to keep up with them. Perfect!

I peeled a clementine and added it to a pot. I put in some apple cider, apple jelly, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. I brought it to a boil and mashed it up a bit then turned the temperature down until the shrimp were ready.

These were so good and super easy. I figured I could whip them up anytime so I only made enough for myself to eat right then. They’d be great to prep in advance and just bake for guests. I hate frying things because of the mess, the grease, and the timing so baking them was much better. It also makes these a lot lighter.

My sauce needs some perfecting. I think I was on the right track but probably needed to refine the quantities.

I’ll definitely make these again. My Mum would love them!

Bacon Bread

Hi, my name is Emily. I am Pintrest obsessed. “Hi Emily!”

Do you pin? It’s addicting. Pinterest is a virtual pin board.  I just love the creativity being shared on it!  It seems like such an efficient way to keep track of foods I want to make/attempt my twist on. I love introducing people to it, though I’ll warn you…if you’re on Pinterst and don’t pin then you’re a mooch! Go ahead, follow me.
I saw a pin from somebody’s blog that became widely popular. Cheesy bacon ranch bread. Duh, why wouldn’t that be popular?? It seems to have originated on a fun blog called Plain Chicken. Also, today is Monday and I’m worried you might not have had enough bacon in your life over the weekend. Oh, I forgot. Today is a holiday for some lucky people to continue their weekend life…not me though.

Mine wasn’t exactly to-die-for, but I think I’d attempt again. Without further ado, I give you Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls (from Plain Chicken)


1 round loaf sourdough bread
8-12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
3 oz bacon (I used 3 slices, chopped)
½ cup butter (I used ⅓ cup but should have used more)
1 tbs ranch dressing mix


Cut bread in 1 inch slices going almost all the way through, in both directions
Sprinkle cheese and bacon between the cuts
Mix ranch powder and butter together and drizzle all over the top
Cover with foil and bake at 350-degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes

I think more of everything would have made mine better. Mine didn’t open up like Plain Chicken’s. Hers is beautifully separated just waiting to be pulled apart.

I think more is more in this case, and I think it would be easier with another set of hands to separate while filling & drizzling. Maybe if there was just so much cheese & bacon then it would automatically separate the bread pulls.
I see the potential. That blogger also made a brunch one with cinnamon & sugar which sounds good. This is a dish to eat with close friends or family. I can’t imagine a shy group getting in there and pulling it apart with you! I made this at my parents house so I prepped everything and assembled there. Can’t you tell the beautifully bright photos after I sliced in my windowless dungeon of a kitchen?

Much Needed Scutra for Dinner

Before we return from our honeymoon, I needed to share a drool-worthy meal we had before the wedding.During major wedding planning crunch time we were lacking groceries, we were in need of a date night, and we definitely needed a fun distraction while racking our brains for creative table themes. The wedding wasn’t a DIY affair, but Mr. J designed everything and the table blurbs in frames was our only project. Luckily we had a gift certificate to Scutra in Arlington that was burning a hole in our pockets!
It was such a blissful and relaxing evening. We got dressed up, kissed the pup goodbye, and headed to our reservation. Of course I scoured the website menu before going and honestly I’m sure I would have enjoyed everything on the menu. Love Mediterranean food!
I started with the garlic baked muscles. Garlic butter and feta? YES PLEASE! They were beautiful and thought the feta was great for a touch of saltiness.
Mr. J had the roasted tomato soup with Parmesan encrusted scallops. He just recently started to enjoy scallops and I think the Parmesan crunchy exterior was a perfect contrast in texture for him.
These aps were awesome and got us really excited for the main dish. Each was a perfect size to leave us adequate room to keep eating!

I got seafood crusted salmon. Oh. My. Goodness. My perfectly pink salmon was topped with crab and lobster. It doesn’t get any better than that. It was served with an asparagus risotto and a pesto drizzle. This was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It was hot and flavorful. Such a great combination of flavors that didn’t overpower one another.
Mr. J got a special, and boy was it special. He had 14oz sirloin steak with a butter and raspberry beer sauce over mashed potatoes. Mr. J heard it listed with the specials and was hooked. He loved it and finished every bite.
I had a crisp chardonnay knowing I’d have seafood for dinner and Mr. J had a final Sam Adam’s summer ale. I enjoyed every bite. This was such a wonderful dinner. Mr. J was happy with his choices and we definitely got dinners we couldn’t/wouldn’t make at home. There was no room for dessert.

The reviews seemed mixed regarding the service and atmosphere. We thought it had a really nice atmosphere, our server was friendly, and I’d be happy to go back anytime. I liked that it was classy and well decorated, allowing us to dress up a bit for a really special meal.

Have you had a meal recently that you just thoroughly enjoyed AND appreciated happening right when you needed it? This was one for me. I’ll be back next week with LOTS of tastes to relay from my trip to Spain & Italy! Stay tuned!

Taco Cup…Ole!

Once upon a time, I discovered Pinterest. All productivity went down from there. Just kidding. Errr…maybe not kidding. I do love a good pin and the food pins going around are making me very inspired.
Ms. K pinned lasagna cups and then made them. They were so cute I promptly added wanton wrappers to my grocery list and planned some Taco Cups.


1 package wonton wrappers
⅓ pound ground chicken
3 scallions
1 ½ cups shredded cheese
½ can of black beans


Brown ground meat with taco seasoning and preheat the oven.
Lay a wonton into a muffin tin and top with the ground meat and cheese.
tacocup_layer1_290_200Top with another wanton, then black beans, chopped green onions, and more cheese.
Bake 20 minutes at 350 until melty & crisp.

These are super fun and a great way to stretch a few ingredients. The beans were the 2nd half of a can I used for the veggie burger I made recently too. The ground meat I froze after making ranch burgers the last time since I didn’t have an immediate use for it. These taco cups really only needed a few ingredients (for me: cheese & wanton wrappers).
I think these would make a great “finger food” or appetizer. They also would be great when having guests since taco cups be all ready without a million dishes, lots of chopping, or cooking in front of everyone.

Even though I do love make-you-own food set ups, I think my next theme might have to be fun & assembled items or appetizers. What else can I make in cup form?

Double Rainbow

The most recent theme for our office potluck was RAINBOW! We each picked a color and brought something in with that color. It was such a fun one. I have to admit I wasn’t daring enough to choose certain colors…ahem:blue:cough:purple.I chose RED and made Strawberry Bruschetta. Toasted French bread + cream cheese + strawberries + balsamic reduction topped off with a little basil. Yum. I highly recommend bringing this one to your next bbq or summer party. I hadn’t ever made a balsamic reduction but it was so easy and worked really well. I loved this. The idea came from Mrs. C. She did a balsamic and honey drizzle and used goat cheese.


Orange was out sick that day.

YELLOW was Lemon Squares! They were gooey with a fantastic shortbread crust.

GREEN was guacamole! Ms. C learned how to pit an avocado while making it too!
BLUE was blue corn tortilla chips and even a special blue dip! The veggie dip had a touch of blue food coloring. What would you bring for blue? Seriously a tough one but we’ve had at least one dip at every potluck. ever.
PURPLE was Thai Lettuce Wraps in Radicchio! Some were vegetarian with tofu and some had ground turkey. I love bean sprouts so these were really fun finished off with a sprinkle of peanuts. Purple also had a blackberry fizzy drink too.









BROWN was chocolate from a friend dropping by. We stressed she didn’t need to bring anything but this was a creative little something.

Hope the rainbow has you inspired for something new or different. Another blog I love recently posted about a Grilled Appetizer Party which is a fantastic theme! The photos will have your mouth watering but don’t let that stop you if you’re trying to come up with a fun theme! What’s the next office potluck theme? Ohh just you wait…

I’ve Got An Ap For That…

While I sadly do not yet have an iPhone I may have just made the best restaurant APpetizer at home!

In honor of my Mac & Cheese-loving-Mrs. Z, I made some fried mac & cheese bites when she was visiting Boston with her husband (who planned a guest blog post for me!). Mrs. A & Mr. D joined us for a mini staff (and husbands) dinner party.
They were amazing. Albeit not perfect, they were still delectable and I’m onto a good thing. I think the technique was really important. I stole a tip from a blog, Dinner With Julie. She recommended making the mac & cheese then refrigerating it so it can easily be cut. Definitely a good tip. Check it out on her blog!


You may have seen me make mac & cheese before here or proclaim my love for it here. I wasn’t sure how this would go so I just whipped up some basic mac & cheese with small shells and cheddar.


mac & cheese (boxed or prepared as you like it)
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
2 eggs whipped
1 cup panko


Prepare mac & cheese
Refrigerate several hours in square dish 1” thick
Remove from dish in 1 piece and cut into cubes while oil is heating on medium heat in large skillet.
Dredge the mac & cheese cubes in egg and panko before dropping into oil. Turn halfway until evenly golden brown.

My oil wasn’t quite hot enough at first so the first round wasn’t as crisp but they were still good. Next time, as I’m sure there will be a next time, I would mix in some shredded cheese after preparing the mac & cheese so the bites would be more cheesy. I rarely fry anything because I think it’s such a bother and I don’t like the sputtering oil. Mr. J and I had JUST started a wedding registry and joked when we saw the a deep fryer…as if anyone needs that at home. Dangerous!

They were fun and more unusual than I go for aps. I was really happy with them but plan to only break them out on special occasions. I’m glad I attempted them. I now wonder if they could be made ahead of time and broiled briefly before serving to stay warm? We’ll see…

Marinate Those Mushrooms

I love marinated mushrooms and once I figured out the secret to making them I whip them up regularly. They’re so good on salad, antipasto, or on their own. Also, it’s easy to make marinated mushrooms in any quantity! That’s a perk for me who is the only fan of mushrooms around.
I used balsamic vinegar to change it up but I normally go with cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. Once they marinate over night I usually drain out the excess marinade but I keep them in the same jar.


6 large mushrooms, cut into quarters
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vinegar (any variation)
1 tsp garlic
salt & pepper
dried spices that will compliment the vinegar choice
1 tsp sugar


Drop mushrooms into boiling water for 2 minutes and drain.
Mix oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and spices in a glass jar. Shake vigorously.
Add mushrooms and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

I often use white button mushrooms but I had a few big ones that I just cut up and put onto my salad lunches this week. Lettuce is my least favorite part of the salad so I often just put a few veggies together and call it salad but I had some quinoa and some spinach and thought marinated mushrooms would be a great addition!

Do you know quinoa? I got red quinoa and have enjoyed it all week. My friend Ms. J LOVES quinoa and makes it all the time!