Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap

My event is over. Phew. I’m still just so tired. My head is spinning. There is a lot of stress, pressure, and info swirling but I’m happy. I’m happy how it went. I’m happy how our team did, annnnd I’m happy I don’t have to do it again this weekend already.

Now I’m detoxing. We work so hard and so long that eating and sleeping aren’t top priorities. Now I need to eat real food. I love organizing our meals but feeding that many people, with enough options, is exhausting. Every meal we were at I was thinking of if the next needed confirmations, to be picked up, or paid for. Now I’ll slowly get back to real life.

Ingredients:

1 large chicken breast (or 2 small, or 3 tenders)
1/2 cup creamy caesar dressing
2 tbs Italian dressing
1 head romaine lettuce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup croutons
1 tomato
1/4 cucumber
2 tortilla wraps

Directions:

Marinade chicken in 1/2 of the caesar dressing and Italian dressings overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Grill chicken until cooked through completely.
Chop/slice lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber while chicken cooks.
Toss lettuce, Parmesan, and remaining dressing.
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Cut cooked chicken into bite size pieces.
Assemble wraps drizzling with extra caesar dressing.
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It was really good. I used tomato basil wraps and they have a nice sweetness to contrast the dressing. The chicken was really good off the grill.
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Sandwiches are such a quick dinner. The quantity of chicken for this is so small, but is the perfect amount for a wrap. It is definitely an economical way to include some protein.

Totally unrelated. Here’s the pup Windsor. He was feeling ashamed after being told to get his head out of the dishwasher. He’d love to be a pre-wash if not told to stop…but isn’t that face so cute??

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French Bread Pizza

Hope you had a deliciously snowy weekend like I did! Just you wait. I cooked some fun stuff I can’t wait to share with you. Too bad I don’t have an recipe for snow, because we got walloped and there’s plenty to go around. I think our official count was 22 inches.

I’ve shared a great deal of pizzas but I hear all the time how annoying/tricky dough can be. I agree. It can be tough. I’ve had a few struggles myself (like here, or here), so I figured it was about time for a pizza without a doughy crust.

Enter: French bread pizza (forget that the bread packaging says Italian Bread)
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Ingredients:

3 tbs butter/margarine
1 tbs garlic, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
4 tbs grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
sprinkle of salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
toppings of your choosing

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt butter, adding garlic, cheese, and seasonings.
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Half bread, lengthwise.
Spread butter, garlic, and seasonings onto each half and bake for 5 minutes.
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Remove from the oven and top with sauce and cheese
french_bread_pizza_tobake_590_390Add the toppings of your choice!
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Bake 15 more minutes or until melty and crisp.
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I loved how quick this pizza is. Everything is already cooked. It also cuts into a lot of pieces if you wanted to serve it at a party. 1 loaf ended up being 5 servings. I think it would be the fastest freezer meal to have on hand for when nobody feels like cooking.

The garlic base helps elevate it from a frozen pre-made pizza to an easy but delicious one. I took out half a few minutes earlier than the half we were eating that night. I hoped it’d help the lunch-reheating portion not to be overdone. That’s something you can’t do with a regular pizza!

Also, you remember my sous-chef? Here’s Windsor. He was sitting pretty but the delicious smells of pizza on the counter got the better of him. Don’t his white whiskers make him look distinguished?
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Allow me to introduce my new sous-chef. Bailee comes to us from Maine (much like Windsor) and has been a fixture in the C family for all 8 years of her life so far. She’s living with us now (and maybe for keeps). I’m also her favorite when I’m cooking. She’s a bit portly so Mr. J has a grand-slimdown-plan. So far it has only involved fewer snacks than she’s used to and a few extra trips up and down our stairs. The snow is taller than she is so she’s not overly impressed with the backyard right now.
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What I Ate: Pumpkin Muffins

I’m about to rock your socks off. And if you’re not wearing socks because it has been lovely at 63-degrees & sunny here in Boston then I’m going to rock your shoes off. I made the fastest and easiest muffins ever. I’m about to have muffins on hand all the time.

Ready for 2 ingredient muffins? Two. Count ‘em.
Pumpkin Muffin

Ingredients:

1 box Spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin

Directions:

Mix together
Bake

See? Omg. Totally the easiest thing ever. I added cinnamon chips because I love them. These were super easy and gave me some baking courage. I drizzled some maple glaze over the top. Somebody was taunted by my photo staging set up:
Pumpkin MuffinGood thing those chair spindles aren’t any wider apart! Isn’t he just the cutest?! You know what I say to that?

Aww MUFFIN!

Enjoy the weekend! I’m home from Santa Barbara, and from LA, and from NYC! Woohoo! I have lots ‘o blogging to catch up on so stay tuned for some picture heavy posts coming up next week! This doesn’t count towards my fall foods list, but I have a pumpkin post to prep that will count on my list, for sure!

Flautas with Ground Pork and Spinach

I’m expanding my non-authentic Mexican food repertoire. I made flautas. I first googled to find out what the difference was between flauta and a taquito. Again, from non-authentic sources, it seems like flautas are flour tortillas and taquitos are corn tortillas.
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Flautas

I prepped some of it in the morning before work, which always makes me feel like a rockstar. The pup was very into these. When I say he’s under my feet in the kitchen, I mean it. See? He’s just to sweet to totally kick out of the kitchen. It makes me feel loved since I come in second to Mr. J in his eyes (unless I’m cooking).
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Flauta

Ingredients:

½ pound ground turkey/pork/chicken/beef (I used pork)
3 tbs taco seasoning
12 small flour tortillas
2 cups baby spinach
6 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
oil for frying

Directions:

Cook the ground meat with taco seasoning until cooked through and mix with spinach after removing the meat from the heat.
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Flauta
Heat about ¾ of an inch of oil to fry the flautas when they’re assembled.
Lay tortillas out and top with 2 tbs each shredded cheese, and the ground meat and spinach mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Flauta
roll up the filled tortillas into skinny cigars and secure with a toothpick
gently drop into the oil for a few minutes, rotating them to crisp evenly.
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Flauta
When they’re evenly golden, remove and let hang on paper towels. Don’t forget to pull out those toothpicks!

They stayed together nicely and I served them with a little chipotle ranch dressing (also known as: ranch with a touch of BBQ sauce for smokiness, a dash of hot sauce, and taco seasoning). They were really good. I loved how different they felt from burritos or enchiladas.
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Flauta

Frying anything stresses me out. I only did a few at a time and kept the others warm in the oven at 200 degrees.

These are a great use for leftovers :ahem:spinach:ahem. I would have thrown in any other veggie I had around. Think: corn! onions! zucchini! mushrooms! They also didn’t require a ton of ground meat. I end up with weird amounts of leftover ground pork or chicken and almost always use it for a Mexican meal.

Serve these with my favorite Mexican bean salad for a quick & easy fiesta! They also are great reheated in the toaster oven for lunch the next day at work!
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Manhandling Manicotti

Manicotti is totally not seasonally appropriate but I don’t care. I love pasta in all forms and figured I’d try out manicotti one night when it wasn’t too hot to have the oven on. I can’t say this is my favorite. I really love lasagna  and stuffed shells come in a close second, but my manicotti was good. They’re just tougher to assemble than stuffed shells. It was a labor of patience.

I should give Amy’s manicotti a try  she learned to make it with Monterey jack slices instead of ricotta from her mom. That sounds easier and maybe cheesier!

Look who photo bombed my picture! Windsor is often underfoot in the kitchen so I figured I wouldn’t crop him out of this one. It’s a tough one to capture since he’s black against cherry cabinets so nevermind how over exposed it is, just look for the red collar!
The three Bite Rule puppy photobomb

Ingredients:

1 box Manicotti shells
2 cups tomato sauce
32 oz. ricotta
1 egg
1 cup baby spinach (optional)
1 tbs chopped garlic
2 tbs Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Boil manicotti until about 50% cooked, be sure not to overcook them then drain
Mix ricotta, egg, chopped spinach, garlic, Italian seasoning, and ¾ cup mozzarella until combined.
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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prep a baking dish with nonstick spray and ½ cup tomato sauce
Carefully spoon ricotta mixture into the manicotti shells. (I used a teaspoon and filled using both ends (and gravity).
Spread sauce over the top, cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule manicotti
Remove the cover, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and bake for another 5 minutes until golden and melty.
The Three Bite Rule manicotti

I added the spinach because I often have some leftover and it is an easy/healthy way to sneak a veggie into this. When I have leftovers I toss it into a plastic container in the freezer if I can’t use it right away. The ability to cook it or eat spinach raw makes it my favorite green.

This is a good one to make & freeze if you aren’t into eating it meal after meal! It would be a good one to give my cousins-in-law who are now new parents (if they weren’t 2,000+ miles away)!

If I just scared you off….

Check out my baked ziti for easier assembly 
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or check out Martha’s Butternut Squash Lasagna I made and fell in love with if you are wishing fall upon us
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Broccoli and Cheddar Soup in Breadbowls

I’ve been meal planning lately and it’s working out great. I’ll go into further detail later, but I think it’s helping me a bit more well rounded. Mr. J might have been a little bit nervous when I popped a soup onto the weekly list but we LOVED this.
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I wasn’t even going to blog this but just after I got going I figured it was worthy! My roux was perfect. That doesn’t happen all the time. I’ve made a few mac & cheeses that haven’t been ideal because my roux ratios were off. This time it was right on and it made the soup velvety and delicious.

Ingredients:

¼ cup flour
¼ cup butter
1½ cup half and half cream
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups broccoli florets
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar (I used a mix of sharp and American)

Directions:

Melt butter and whisk in flour. Let it cook for about 5 minutes on medium low until golden and sticky.
Add in cream and chicken stock, stirring until well incorporated. Add broccoli and cook covered for 15 minutes.
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Slowly add cheese and stir until melted.
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Cook for 15 minutes on low.

I served this soup in bread bowls by just baking lumps of pizza dough and scooping out the middle after the outside was fully cooked. It took about 30 minutes at 375-degrees to cook far enough in. The bread bowls were about baseball size each or a quarter of the dough.
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It was so thick and could easily be thinned out with more milk, water, or chicken stock. We really liked how creamy it was and the thickness was a good thing to us. I owe all the credit to the roux. I normally don’t measure but the equal parts worked magically.

Look at how interested the pup is. Windsor hangs out by the microwave that is set into the island. He was interested in the chicken stock warming up.
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This literally could have been fondue it was that thick and melty.  I think it would have liked it as a dip with crusty bread or to fill baked potato skins.

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Greek Meatball Wraps

On one of those beautiful pre-spring days I wanted to put something together for dinner that was filling but lighter. This hit the spot. These Greek meatball wraps were warm, cool, crispy, meaty, and crunchy. I was really happy with these and will definitely make these again.
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Ingredients:

16 oz ground chicken
1 tsp ground garlic
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cinnamon
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup oatmeal
1 shallot, chopped

Directions:

Mix meatball mix together and let sit for 5 minutes before baking.
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll into balls and bake for 30 minutes.
greek_meatball_formed_590_390I use a cooling rack ontop of a baking sheet. It helps keep the meatballs crispy and not soggy from the grease (there’s not much grease since I used ground chicken rather than beef).
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I served them on wheat naan wraps with tzatziki, veggies, hummus, and feta. Check out whose nose was a bit too close for comfort!
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These were really good. The meatballs were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I don’t fry my meatballs since a) I hate frying for the mess & the oil and b) it’s much easier and healthier in the oven.

I liked the wraps. The naan was perfect. Since it’s more pricy, leftovers were in wheat pitas. The pitas worked fine. I liked how doughy the naan was.
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Wedding Bliss

I loved our wedding.Is that a weird statement? Who doesn’t love their own wedding?! hahaha. It was just the day of my dreams and I enjoyed every second. I’ll remember how everything felt for the rest of my life. I’m just so happy to be married to Mr. J.I have a few photos to share food related and some details which aren’t make it-or-break it wedding details but things I loved . Here’s the moment I thought of thethreebiterule.com during the wedding and when my amazing friends offered a camera to help me document it. The photo wasn’t quite the best I’ve ever taken, but thankfully Mrs. K captured this happening which I love even more!
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Disclaimer: these fantastic photos are not my own. Our extremely talented photographer, Scott Zuehlke, captured every moment perfectly. We let him do his thing and I’m not sure I ever mentioned I had a food blog but I’m psyched he got such great food shots. He’s pretty awesome and you should check him out.
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The appetizers were delicious and I wish I got to try them all. We served phyllo & asiago wrapped asparagus tips with red pepper aioli, coconut chicken with raspberry sweet & sour sauce, scallops wrapped bacon in a maple balsamic glaze, mongolian pulled pork on a corn cake with carmelized onion, miniature tomato brushetta with balsamic syrup.
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That’s prime group-photo-time and since the ceremony and reception were in the same place, there’s no lag time in-between…which I’m not a fan of when I’m a guest anyway so I just had to deal missing the cocktail hour for photos. To the venue’s defense…they did bring us a few apps.

Though, they also served the bridal party’s champagne to the guests we were trying to get to leave the patio for family & bridal party pictures.
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I wish I had kept a napkin but I thought they were cute and very thematic with the birds we had on our invitations. Mr. J wasn’t as in love with them since the colors were a bit off. They’re super cheap and can be a fun touch especially since we had birds on our invitations & placecards etc.
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The talented Mr. J designed everything so when we talked about menus he was gung-ho. When I attend weddings, I don’t always remember what food I’ve ordered so I thought these would be fun.  We had to get the invitations out before having a tasting at the venue so the choice on the response card was chicken or beef. Boo. I know! I like to know the food details too.
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The salad had the best crumbled goat cheese I’ve ever had. I’m not always a fan but this was great.  I’d love to get the shallot vinaigrette by the bottle. Candied pecans weren’t tough to take either.
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Dinner was a choice of chicken francese or filet mignon and some mysterious vegetarian option. I had the chicken and Mr. J had the beef. It was kind of a lot of food. I liked mine, but obviously it was better when served super hot at the tasting.
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I get catering though…100 meals at the same moment? Yikes. I have trouble with sides and entree at the same time for 2!
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The cake was pretty amazing. I never eat the cake at weddings but I had cake we brought home. I never even noticed the cake being sliced. I was probably in a dance-off with Mr. J (while the room of people watched) while cake was being served. Maybe that didn’t happen at the same exact time, but it definitely happened!

The topper was one of my favorite things ever. Loved it! Mr. J hunted for it and it was perfect. It was actually one of the only details I didn’t share with everyone. Surprise! It was heavy so we had the bakery pre-approve it that he wouldn’t sink into the cake. Our black lab Windsor was well represented that day in the ceremony, my vows, and on the cake!

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Best! Day! Ever!

Itsa meatball!

I made meatballs for the first time ever. Well, not never, but I made them by myself for the first time. I can’t eat red meat so if I want meatballs, they have to be turkey and it usually means I eat them at home after buying them.

When I was little I remember making meatballs. My mum would put all the ingredients into a bowl and dad would let us help roll and cook them. I think as a kid I probably thought she was “letting us help” but it was probably more that she doesn’t like to handle meat with her hands because of the “ick” factor.

We would get some cooking and then make a big one with all the remaining mix and giggle relentlessly before continue to roll them.

Even after buying some frozen turkey meatballs at Trader Joe’s (theirs are the best!). I decided to make some and they were AMAZING, if I do say so myself. This is a prime example of a simple meal, made with really great ingredients, and letting them speak for themselves.

Ingredients

¾ pound ground turkey
2 links sweet Italian sausage
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup milk
2 tbs parsley
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
½ cup red wine
salt & pepper

Directions

Remove sausage from casing.
Mix bread crumbs and milk. Let sit a minute.
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Combine ground turkey, sausage, egg, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, wine, salt and pepper. Add breadcrumb mix and combine well.
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Form into balls depending on your size preference. I went with larger ones.
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Heavily oil a baking sheet.
Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees, turning every 10-15 minutes to evenly brown.
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I was so happy with these! I thought sausage would provide enough fat for moist meatballs instead of proscuitto or bacon, but those would be good too. I was super diligent about turning them to ensure that they cooked evenly. I could have fried them but baking them was way easier.

I’ll continue to purchase them but they weren’t a big deal to make myself. The wine was a HUGE flavor enhancement. A few glug glug glugs of a pinot noir that was already open definitely added some depth of flavor.

They smelled simply amazing! Have you met my sous-chef Windsor? He was standing by, under my feet in our tiny kitchen as usual. I think he was super excited to see what delicious item was coming out of the oven! Even with that cute face he still doesn’t get anything I make.
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Part of my inspiration to make some came from another blog I love We Are Not Martha. Theirs were featuring prosciutto and were pan fried. I literally read the recipe and thought, ooo red wine would be good with these as I channeled my wine-loving college roommates as inspiration. Parsley isn’t my favorite so I just used dried parsley. Rosemary would be good.

I served these with a basic red sauce and spaghetti. I thought my meatballs were good enough and deserved to shine! I’m so proud!
meatball_plate_290_200I didn’t make a ton of meatballs but now that I know this recipe is a winner I’m sure I’ll make more and freeze them. I will probably also make some cute little ones to freeze for appetizers or soup. They aren’t that much effort and I keep thinking about all the exciting additions! Spinach very finely chopped would be good, sun dried tomatoes, maybe a little nugget of mozzarella? Mmmm the possibilities are endless. I also love sweet & sour meatballs which would definitely highlight these guys.