Labor Day Menu

Burgers + a goooood side + another fun side + drinks by the pool:

I’d pick a rodeo burger that calls for a par-tay! Rodeo burgers are topped with melty cheddar, BBQ rub, onion rings and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.
rodeo_burg_plate_590_390
I’d go for this side, with anything on the grill: Caesar Asparagus by grilling some asparagus, a drizzle of caesar, and some hard boiled egg
The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Asparagus
Why not add some Bacon & Blue Cheese Pasta Salad that is ideally made in advance.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Blue Cheese Pasta Salad
and a Creamsicle Cocktail to wash it down with orange soda, whipped cream flavor vodka, and orange zest.
creamcicle_cup_590_390
Enjoy!

August 2017 Recap

August has meant a lot of grilled dinners and enjoying the daylight. I harvested all the basil and made some pesto. The little one loooved the pesto-pasta! Mr. J and I booked a trip to Zion National Park! SOOOO excited! We go in September and I’m really looking forward to it.

I whipped up these Shrimp Cakes to go on a salad and they had the best texture.  I made them on a Sunday and had some for lunch and the rest for Monday’s dinner over salad. They were perfect for my goal for dinner prep in advance!
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake
I was all about the breakfasts. I used a frozen Belgian waffle with fun toppings for German Chocolate Cake Waffles, and then I made Peach Cornmeal Pancakes.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Cornmeal Pancakes
My fav meal of the month was the salad with cracked wheat, arugula, peach, avocado, and pistachios. The best!
The Three Bite Rule - Peach, Avocado & Grain Salad

The Little One:

He’s such a big boy now! He remains waffle-obsessed and can’t get enough fruit. My 2nd cousins were visiting and Thomas ate the 6 & 11 year old under the table. He’s such a little sponge. He knows and remembers things – like we drive around a rotary on the way home and when we get close he says “goin’ round the rotary?”. He’s moving up to the pre-school classroom at daycare. I can’t believe it but think it’ll be good for him to play with the bigger kids. He is loving all the books and coloring with markers. All sticks outside are screwdrivers or hammers.

2017 Goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: Ehh. I’m lacking on fall that isn’t pumpkins.
do more dinner prep more in advance: Yes! I made sweet pickle pasta salad to go with something grilled; I made shrimp cakes in advance; etc!
read more (and always carry my book on me): I read started a few but didn’t get really into it.
watch more movies: we watched The Founder, which was fascinating.
cook more fish: shrimp cakes!
focus on clothes that I really like: I grabbed a few workout items for our big trip!

July 207 Recap

Happy summer! July wraps up for me with vacay. It is my fav week of the year full of family time, the beach, and nightly ice cream. I’m glad for another full summer month coming. I had an appendicitis which threw me for a loop for a few weeks. I missed a trip to Maine but am now back to normal and feeling better. I only cooked a bit- mostly for breakfast toasts. I’ve leaned heavily towards quick dinners on the grill to squeeze in eating as a family.

My fav thing I made was a French Onion Dip Hot Dog….Mr. J’s idea.
The Three Bite Rule - French Onion Hot Dogs
This white wine spritzer was so delightful and the tip was pomegranate lemonade ice cubes.
The Three Bite Rule - Wine Spritzer
Meatless tacos with chili-lime sweet potato & black bean filling or taco-spiced zucchini and onions.
The Three Bite Rule - Meatless Taco Options

On goes the toast:
Cherry Basil Toast
Avocado Toast with Soft Boiled Egg & Everything Bagel Seasoning
Peach & Pistachio Toast

August will be a bit different with the family vacay in July instead of August. I bought cool silicone popsicle molds for push pops. I blended mango with a little water and froze it. What a hit! The little one loooved it. I want to do some crazy favor ones.

2017 Goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: I added a cool rope ball and adirondack chair to my mantle-scape.
do more dinner prep more in advance: I did pretty well. I stillll want to use up some freezer things….like flatbreads etc that can align with quick meals.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I read The Wangs vs. The World and The Perfume Collector.
watch more movies: I don’t think I saw any movies this month. I dozed and watched a lot of TV while I was sick.
cook more fish: I made salmon for a his & hers protein topped caesar salad…the little one ate some and liked it!
focus on clothes that I really like: I snagged some deals from the Gap Factory outlet- $17 white jeans and $5 tee shirt.

June 2017 Recap

Summer is here! It has been awesome so far! I feel like we’ve had some fun get togethers and special things to go while also not going 1000 miles an hour. A lot of the year wizzes by but I’m loving this season we’re in. Our herb garden is taking off and the tomatoes are doing well.

This month was Mr. J’s biiiiiiirthday! His Birthday Burger was an Ultimate Mexican Burger with chorizo and topped with beans, queso, & guac.
The Three Bite Rule - Ultimate Mexican Burger
A new smoothie! Finally! Mojito Smoothie was new, with our own mint plant. We had a little smoothie demo at work and did this one, and a twist on this peanut butter & jelly smoothie.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Smoothie
And all the toast! I gave myself a self-imposed challenge to create some more interesting toast toppings!
The Three Bite Rule - Burrata, Pesto, Tomato Toast
Vanilla Almond Butter + Blackberries + Maple Syrup
Ricotta + Arugula + Bacon
Pesto + Tomato + Burrata
Nutella + Strawberry + Cinnamon

You know, I miiiight keep the toasts going in July. I make the rules, I can do what I want! They’ve been fun and I have a few more ideas. Stay tuned! I’m psyched for a few days off annnnd later in the month is a week at the beach!

The Little One:

We’ve been swimming! He wasn’t into it the first time of the season but then he went in and had a great time the last few times. We gave him a hand-me-down tee-ball glove from his older cousins and he plays with it daily. He’s loving the grilled foods.

2017 Goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: I did it! I framed a watercolor popsicle print annnd I got blue & white scarf with little tassels for my nautical mantle.
do more dinner prep more in advance: I’m on it. I’m focused on quick dinners to allow playtime outside or a walk before it gets dark.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
watch more movies: we watched/cried-our-eyes-out to A Dog’s Purpose
cook more fish: I had ton at work, does that count?
focus on clothes that I really like: none this month

May 2017 Recap

Happy spring! May was a delicious month in the kitchen here! I’ve had more chances to cook in daylight, hallelujah. Also, the end of car-sharing logistics has finally come to a close. Phew! I just picked up my new car and I’m thrilled to wrap things up a super annoying car people. The first go-round was surprisingly great and since my accident, the dealership was sold. This time was super frustrating.

Bring on the burger season: this Bahn Mi Burger was so fun made with seasoned ground pork and topped with cucumbers, avocado, and sriracha cilantro mayo. Yummm.
The Three Bite Rule - Bahn Mi Burger
Another fav this month was a little #restaurantrecreation Breakfast Hash brunch dish with tots, poached egg, and cheese sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Hash
I made Cheeseburger Potato Skins as dinner, but they’re a great app too. Ground meat, ketchup, mustard, cheese, and pickles!
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Potato Skins
June will bring Mr. J’s birthday burger, and a fun little bfast series. Many of our herbs have come back and are flourishing so I’m sure those will have a June highlight. There are 2 get togethers coming up so I’ll have captive audiences to feed! Muhhhahaha! ;) I’ve recently become obsessed with defrosting our big spare freezer. You know how I freeze all the things, well, I’m going to just have the refrigerator’s freezer until getting to the bottom and defrosting. Get ready for a week of freezer food inspired meals. I’m so inspired! Follow on insta-stories if you’re interested.

The Little One:

His new phrase is “so excited”! I love it. I had a few days off which was fun for weekday adventures to the Zoo and storytime at the library. He LOVES helping. We’ve been cooking together with the stool to the island, and he planted flowers and herbs. When we see bunnies in the yard he says “don’t eat herbs”. Jelly is still a fav, but it was so funny how into feta he was.

2017 Goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: gahhh. I missed it again. Well, I have one more day to make May happen…
do more dinner prep more in advance: I’ve done some. I’m all over the quick dinners to allow playtime outside or a walk before it gets dark.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I’m reading A Man Called Ove.
watch more movies: we watched Hidden Figures
cook more fish: nahh. Maybe in spring this will actually happen?
focus on clothes that I really like: I returned 3 dress options I got for my event. All were busts. I just ordered some steals from a Loft Memorial Day sale.

April 2017 Recap

April becomes such a blur with work being so busy. I’m counting down and will post again once I resurface for air. I have so many things I want to make & blog! Here are a few of my favs I made in April:

This cast iron skillet pizza was so amazing. I cooked it in garlic oil. Garlic. Oil. Plus, hefting that huuuuge cast iron skillet into and out of the oven is like a workout, so that equals out the pizza. No?
The Three Bite Rule - Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
I also would eat this Sausage, Egg, Cheese & Everything Bagel bake on the regular. It was delightfully not too chewy.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Egg, Cheese Bagel Bake
If I’m loading up on pizza and bagels, maybe I should offset with an Orange Julius Smoothie since it tastes a bit like a treat, but it is full of orange, mango, and a little bit of yogurt.
The Three Bite Rule - Orange Julius Smoothie
I don’t think I made anything this month with more than 7 ingredients. It is just one of those times. Work is bananas, my car is officially totaled, Mr. J was away for a few days, and the little pup was sick (back to normal, but she was waking up a million times per night). This is when I appreciate having some easy dinners up my sleeve, not assuming I can do it all, and we’re all cutting ourselves some slack over here.

frequent fast dinners: 
pasta, frozen meatballs, my fav kitchen ready tomatoes as sauce
bfast – Mr. J just threw together a fritatta/torta that was ahhh-mazing the other night
salad bar to ensure we eat enough veggies
quesadillas
grocery store roasted chicken + some roasted veg

The little one: 
He’s pretending more and more. “I’m a bunny” with some hops is just so cute. He wants to live outside right now. He’s loving “butter jelly” for pb&j sandwiches on the weekends since he can’t take them to daycare. Another favorite food is honey mustard. We got some fantastic books at the library. A few were dino books, one was about Bees, and a cool one was photos of all felt things (this book). I don’t really like peas, but this story was just too cute that he’ll miss dearly when it needs to go back to the library: 51rS1-8Z1+L._SY497_BO1,204,203,200_

This month’s goals: 
Year of the seasonal decor: none this month.
do more dinner prep more in advance: ehh. not really, but ohh well.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I’m hoping to finish Be Frank with Me before bookclub next week.
watch more movies: we watched Patriot’s Day which was well done & Masterminds which I loved
cook more fish: nahh. Maybe in spring this will actually happen?
focus on clothes that I really like: I’m still waiting on a few dresses- hopefully one will work for my event. Why can’t all women’s dresses have pockets? Or at least blazers? All blazers should have pockets. End of story.

See ya on the flip side!

March 2017 Recap

My birthday month was a good one! I seriously ate birthday cake for a week. As March draws to an end, I’m very ready for spring though work is getting nutty. Mr. J and I had a little getaway to Foxwoods for a little gambling, and a lot of catching up with my college roomies + spouses. We ate at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen + Bar and loved it!

My grain bowl obsession continues! I loooved this pilaf, grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, & honey mustard bowl. Annnd then I made a teriyaki one with grilled pineapple.
The Three Bite Rule - Rice Pilaf & Honey Mustard Grain Bowl
Chicken Caesar Pasta was such a hit. Loved it.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Caesar Pasta
I baked! We had a snow day and this Blueberry & Cream Cheese Pastry was perfect.
The Three Bite Rule - Blueberry & Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastry

The Little One:
He’s been throwing around some funny phrases, like “I think so” and “ummm” when he’s thinking. There are more and more sentences happening! We had a dry spell for avocados so he’s really hoping ties aren’t cut between our government and Mexico. He had a sleepover with the grandparents and loved it. I got some re-fillable pouches for applesauce and yogurt and those are such a hit.

Monthly goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: I JUST got this awesome felt pom pom garland that is around a twiggy wreath for springy Easter decor! Yay!!
do more dinner prep more in advance: ehh. speedy dinners are def happening and I’m using up the comfort food.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I read Brain on Fire with bookclub and Girl at War.
watch more movies: we watched Girl on the Train, which was wayyy more intense for Mr. J who hadn’t read the book.
cook more fish: nahh. Maybe in spring this will actually happen?
focus on clothes that I really like: no new clothes this month

Quick Fav Dinners

Here’s what I’ve been eating lately, in a quest to get dinner on the table FAST. Whether it is to fit into toddler-time (which translates to: now/soon or there’s a chance somebody might meltdown (it could be me!)) or just a not-new dinner with minimal steps, the goal is to can eat before it is too late. Here’s what’s hitting my weekly menu when it isn’t getting blogged!

Gnocchi from the freezer with a quick sauce. Seriously, once water boils, it cooks for 5 minutes. The other day, I warmed some of my fav kitchen ready tomatoes from a can, plopped in a scoop of cream cheese and warmed it all together. Poof. Instant dinner that seems a bit more special. Take the same liberty with ravioli or tortellini.
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato & Basil Gnocchi
Chicken, Avocado, Ranch subs (admittedly, I skipped the bacon because it would take too long).  Make it a sandwich, a wrap, a pocket…whatever is on hand.
Keep some breaded frozen chicken on hand in the freezer. A little even goes a long way in a sandwich or salad.
ranch_chick_plate_590_390
Tacos. I found some frozen cooked & seasoned taco meat. Instant fiesta!

Breakfast for dinner! Mr. J is verrrry good at whipping together a frittata with whatever cheese/spinach/tomato and freezer bacon he can find. We always have eggs around and there’s just more time for a breakfast dish at night!
brussels_hash_eggs_590_390

Speaking of, I’ve also been front-loading dinner prep by prepping extra and having some to pull out of the freezer. Enter, cheesy hashbrowns. These bad boys just needed topping and to bake.
The Three Bite Rule - Hashbrown Bake
Of course there’s always room for boxed mac & cheese on occasion…

February 2017 Recap

Feb wasn’t the speediest month to pass. So often I’m caught in time as a whirlwhind but Feb felt like the right speed. We had some snowy days and then some unseasonably hot days. I got to read a bunch and we’re totally caught up on DVR (which feels like a serious accomplishment). Our poor Bailee dog isn’t doing well. She’s been without an appetite, lost a lot of weight, and is severely anemic. We’re not sure what’s up but just hope she feels ok.

Hands down, my fav meal this month was a little Valentine’s Day surprise charcuterie and tips to build a better charcuterie board.
The Three Bite Rule - Build A Better Charcuterie Board
I was loving this healthified peanut butter, banana, and nutella smoothie…just as good as the original!
The Three Bite Rule - Healthified Smoothie
This super quick gnocchi with roasted tomatoes was the ideal, hands-free dinner. Perfect for chasing a toddler…or whatever you might be doing.
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato & Basil Gnocchi


Let’s bring on March! My birthday month!!

The Little One:
His 2-year-old molars came in promptly! He had a rough few days but was just so dang cute saying “cheek huuurts”. He is loving painting & coloring. We’re marveling at what he knows. He coughed and I asked, “where did that cough come from” thinking he hadn’t been sick at all the day before. He answered “mouf”. True story. His fav food right now is jelly. Although rice is a tricky one to eat, he loves the challenge. He is hating coming inside from playing. He watched Mr. J cut his own hair and was mesmerized. Now he likes to make a buzz sound running his hand over people’s heads. The little one is quite concerned about “Bab-ee sick?” so let’s all cross our fingers we all do ok.


Monthly goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: I missed Feb, let’s see what I can come up with for March
do more dinner prep more in advance: Yes! I’ve prepped some doubles and got to pull a frozen one out once a week.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I read The Invention of Wings with bookclub and The Royal We
watch more movies: Snowden left me befuddled. I was impressed by the story for Sully.
cook more fish: struggle-bus
focus on clothes that I really like: I capitalized on some Loft points + $20 off +a 10% off night. I took home a mixed media top, some clearance herringbone dress pants, and a sweater that’s more like a shirt.
monthly grocery store ingredient:

January 2017 Recap

January was a delightfully busy one in the kitchen! The little one turned 2! I have a 2 year old!?!? I loved all the long weekends/holidays. I had one full week. That is the way to do it! I had a serious flop for a bundt cake and will try again. Many of my weeknight meals have been quick, but I’m loving them. Can we talk about grain bowls again? Love them. I made a falafel one and an Italian one and I have so many more twists…Get. Ready.

Also, Happy new camera to me! Mr. J totally surprised me with a new one for Christmas. I wasn’t expecting it and I’m learning more and more all the time. I’m now using a Canon Rebel SL1.

I baked! Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
I’m bowl obsessed! Italian Grain Bowl
The Three Bite Rule - Italian Grain Bowl
I tried a new way to cook meatballs! Crockpot Meatballs
The Three Bite Rule - Crockpot Meatballs
I went out to a new-to-us French Restaurant, which was awesome! Sis and I capitalized on a weekday outing without the little ones for Shake Shack lunch & seeing the movie Hidden Figures – so good.

The Little One: 
He turned 2! We had a family party with homemade pasta, meatballs, and cake-cake! He is such a happy guy. He is still sleeping like a champ and he continually makes us laugh. Lately he’s been saying his last name, and is suuuper into coloring. When he doesn’t want to, or can’t do something, he says it is somebody else’s “turn”. He is obsessed with avocado, he was into taco night, and loves anything he can dip: salsa for quesadillas, hummus for crackers, maple syrup for waffles, yogurt for cereal….the list goes on.

Monthly goals:
Year of the seasonal decor: I got this love wall decor and made a bow for an indoor wreath.
do more dinner prep more in advance: I have done this a bit, but I could keep it in mind.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I flew through Here’s to Us
cook more fish: ehh. Does a tuna melt count?
focus on clothes that I really like: I ordered a bunch of deals and then returned them. I guess that counts for not keeping clothes I don’t looooove.
monthly grocery store ingredient: I forgot. I’ll get on it.