December In Review

December is over and 2014 approaches. In case you’ve been too busy for The Three Bite Rule, here’s some highlights of what’s been happening lately.

I was thrilled to see snow, but didn’t love my commute home. It seemed appropriate for December and a weeknight snowfall didn’t affect any holiday gatherings for me. Mr. J was psyched to use his snow blower. In December we cut down our Christmas tree, celebrated with each family, and I hosted a little holiday girls gathering one afternoon.

The puppies were just so happy to pose for a holiday card. Seriously. They love it. Windsor & Bailee are happy to have attention of any kind, also when earning a biscuit afterwards. Poor Windsor had a rough few weeks of seizures around Thanksgiving and then again on Christmas Eve. I told him people were going to think he didn’t like holidays.
The Three Bite Rule - Happy Holidays
For most of December I was obsessed with quick & easy meals. One of my favorites was Cheeseburger Soup that is easy on a weeknight or well suited to be kept warm in a crockpot.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup
I tweaked how I suggest adaptations, which has been well received: As seen at the end here for Sausage Stuffing
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage Stuffing
I figured everyone could use some tips to make better pizza
The Three Bite Rule - Margherita Pizza
And after all of that, who doesn’t need a lighter salad inspired by winter
The Three Bite Rule - Wintry Salad

It’s a light few days here on 3 Bite Rule and in the blogosphere. I have a fancy new laptop (eeeeek!!!) for January posts and some ideas for blog-related New Year’s Resolutions. Stay tuned!

Quick Meals for a Busy Season

I’ve been thinking about meals that are speedy yet delicious. Mr. J has been rushing around to get our holiday card photo done (gonna be AHHH-MAZING) and I’ve been trying to finish up some shopping (thanks to Amazon prime!) and I’ve been decorating so my focus has been on some meals that we’ll enjoy but that aren’t as elaborate as they sometimes can get.

Enjoy these ideas, and leave a comment with your own suggestions!

Chicken and waffles makes a quick meal. I made the waffles with some cornmeal and hot sauce in this post but if you find some in your freezer you’ll be halfway to dinner! From Away blogged about some to-die-for chicken and waffle nachos with maple and sriracha.
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I absolutely love this spinach and artichoke pasta. The trick is creamed spinach from the freezer section. It takes longer for the pasta water to boil than anything else!
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Maybe your grill is covered in snow, but grilling some chicken inside, or getting already cooked chicken would make Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps super quick.
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Lastly, when all else fails, breakfast for dinner. Mr. J makes a mean huevos rancheros. All you need is: tortillas, eggs, salsa, and cheese.
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What’s for dinner in your kitchen when you’re busy busy busy?

What to Eat Before Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving eve! I have a few ideas that are just so simple that you can contribute regardless who is making your meal. If you’re not hosting and wanting to contribute be sure to check with your host. I like to make something for most meals, but this is my crazy time at work so this holiday will be low-key relaxing and I think I’ll provide the wine. I also might wear yoga pants and play with puppies all day. Forget the football games. I’m in for the parade though.

Maybe you need a bfast to start your day with something good-for-you. I suggest a smoothie!
Coconut Milk Mango Smoothie
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Maybe you need a bfast for whenever-people-are-ready to eat. I suggest the easiest pumpkin muffins ever.
2 ingredient pumpkin muffins
Pumpkin Muffin
Maybe you need that snack-before-the-meal. I suggest a light pumpkin dip with graham or apple dippers.
Fluffy Pumpkin Dip
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Maybe you need a fresh-snacky-item for everyone to nosh on. I suggest this super easy chopped veggies, feta, and salad dressing over hummus with wheat thins. This is a crowd pleaser for sure.
Greek Salad Dip over hummus
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Maybe you need the cocktail-everyone-will-like. I suggest something chilled. This is easy to serve in a pitcher.
Apple Cider Sangria
Apple Cider Sangria
Another favorite cocktail is the creamsicle. I suggest finding some good orange soda and you’re good to go.
Or Creamsicle Cocktail

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I’m excited to have Black Friday off. Work is bananas before the holiday and the long weekend makes me even more thankful than the day alone.

Blogaversary: The Three Bite Rule Turns 3

Can you believe it? I’m amazed that The Three Bite Rule turns 3 today!! What?? How is that possible? I’m amazed. I’m thrilled so many of you have been loyal readers and I’m glad to welcome any occasional visitors. Whether you’ve read from the beginning with tiny dark photos or you know me of recent. Thank you. Enjoy and I hope you continue to join me (also there’s a giveaway if you make it to the end)!

I started blogging about food because I really like trying to figure out how to make things. I also really like recommending restaurants and I definitely think food is a serious part of any vacation. I wanted a sustainable blog name, and schedule. I took a 1-session intro to blogging class and quickly realized I already knew that keeping up with your writing schedule was important. I also knew social media. Also, it made sense the suggestion not to pick a name that wouldn’t always fit (like something with Bostonian or about my age, or whatever. I figured I was a step ahead of some folks who had blogging topics that couldn’t work for a whole year to talk about 2 vacations taken that year. I’d love to see the blogs from that program.

So far, The Three Bite Rule has had:
450 posts
2,118 photos
38 categories
786 twitter followers
317 Pinterest followers
90 FB followers

Let’s reflect on last year’s goals:

    • more giveaways: ehhh. I didn’t quite deliver on this one (there’s one at the end of this post, if you make it through)
    • more tips & techniques for some of the stuff I do best: I think I got better at writing in a systematic approach for instruction
    • more comments (that means you!): I’d always like a few more, but I love ‘em all! Comment below!
    • more foodie crafts & reading: I posted a few more books for foodies, which are surprisingly well received by readers. I’ll likely keep ‘em going.
    • better photos & more time spent to get nice shots: I think I did better to take more, to give myself more options. This is always something I can work on.

Time for some annual superlatives, shall we?

“Early-Bird” Bfast Favorite
Mocha Nut Smoothie
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Party Animal:
Hosting Brunch Tips
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Most Photogenic:
Greek Veggie Pizza
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Best One-Pot Wunder:
Chinese-Style Pork from the Crockpot
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Favorite Recipe of the YEAR:
Pulled Pork Pizza with Mustard Beer Sauce
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Party Animal:
Strawberry Basil Sangria
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Biggest Sweet Tooth:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
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Viewer’s Choice Awards:
Turkey Cranberry & Brie Panini
Breakfast for Dinner: Italian French Toast
Grilled Bruschetta Pizza
Breakfast Inspired Burgers

 

Giveaway Time!! Tell me what was your favorite post/recipe/item this year?
You get to share some love for all times my dinner takes twice as long as I move things around for photos, food gets cold, or while others have to wait for me to get over their plate. In exchange my friends at Tuttorosso are gifting you a wooden spoon gift package!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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spoon1_590_390Comment away! and follow, tweet, etc! I hope you enjoy. The spoon is actually AHHH-MAZING. It is way better than the wooden tools I have, and I thought I had good ones. Seriously, enjoy this one yourself or stick it in somebody’s stocking. It’s that good. What a lovely reminder at your hand! Thanks!!!

October in Review

Happy halloween eve! I’m hoping to get more trick or treaters than last year. We’ll see how that goes.

October was BIG in my life. I left the old job and started a new one! It was a pretttty big day on the blog when I announced it, probably thanks to facebook.

Did you get a chance to read about Paris here, here, or here
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and Prague here or here

The Three Bite Rule - Prague Dinner
I made a really good pizza with grilled chicken and veggies. It was topped with fontina, grilled chicken, asparagus, tomatoes, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
The Three Bite Rule - Balsamic Chicken Pizza
This pizza and then this salad were both last ditch effort to make the best of still fresh local produce. I had a cuke from the ‘rents so I shipped up a Chopped Greek Salad
The Three Bite Rule - Chopped Greek Salad
I made a really amazing grilled cheese with balsamic onions. I realize you don’t need a recipe for it, but it was sooo good and perfectly fall.
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November will be busy at my new job. I’m getting ready for PUMPKIN week next week. Get ready for 3 posts of pumpkin foods! I have a post to feature a really cool fall program I want to share.

A Day In The Life of My Food

I realized there are so many food moments I really care about don’t normally document. Now’s the time! Today’s post shares a bit about my daily food that isn’t blog-worthy but I’m sharing “the normal”. This line-up is before I got my new job but I was just too excited to post vacay posts so this post was just hanging out. Maybe today’s post won’t be life-altering, but here ya go. I’ll do another with my new job-life.

Let’s start out with some cuties, just so this post can be worth it, and I just haven’t posted them in a while. I’m basically making them cuddle though that’s not really how they roll. The little one is in charge and the big one is just very sweet and accommodating.
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I love that Windsor (lab) is getting wise under his chin. He’s much more mature than the puppy I met 5 years ago. I also always smile at Bailee’s (cocker spaniel) brown eyebrows. Aren’t they so cute? Anywho, onward to the food.

Bfast is always at home. Regardless of the fact that I would walk through an intersection with Dunks, Brueggers, and S-bucks. This day it was banana, warmed peanut butter, and some granola. Often it revolves around Greek yogurt.
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My day would start, like really start, once I had breezed through Bruegger’s with my bottomless coffee card. It felt like such a splurge to buy the card for the year, but I LOOOVED starting my day this way. Sadly, I no longer am near any Bruegger’s so I’ve gifted my card to a friend who is office-less, so I gave her coffee and a place to work. Win!

This is my fav park of the city. It used to be a parking lot which is now below ground. So now it is the opposite of paved paradise and put up a parking lot. Isn’t the fountain picturesque?
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Before I left the job I had to be sure to get my fav lunch. I was pretty good about packing lunch, but Boston Kebab House is soooo good. And cheap, though the mezze bar is by weight so it can get away from you.
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The falafel is really good, I love marinated mushrooms and the couscous with tomato, onion, and cranberries is unbelievable. I went with baba ganoush and free wheat or white pita comes with it. This is about $6….can’t beat it.

Dinner was his & hers meatloaf cups, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and some roasted broccoli. Nothing crazy or super exciting. His = beef, hers = ground chicken. The sauce was ketchup, sriracha, and some brown sugar.
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That’s it. That’s what a blogless day of food looked like just a few weeks ago. Now I have a new job, which provides lunch, so everything is different! Plus, I get out at 5pM which is unbelievably life changing!

I’m getting into a new routine. I’ll post my new-normal one of these days.

September in Review

Did you miss me? I have been gone for the last seven weekends so I need some slack. I’m home now! I was most recently off galavanting in San Francisco. By galavanting, I mean working 18 hour days often talking about portable toilets. I do love SF though. It is so beautiful in September.

I traveled a lot lately. My fam went to the Cape for a long weekend for some beach time, nightly ice cream, and family fun. Lobster mac & cheese on a patio doesn’t hurt either.
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We also went to NYC for a friends weekend. There was a picnic in Central Park, a beer tasting, cupcakes, NY bagels, and a chance to see some favorites all together. It was great.
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I was in Santa Barbara too. I got to work at the polo club all weekend under the Cali sun. Then the best trip came! It was finally time for Paris & Prague!
france_1stnight_eiffel_390_590We ate delicious food…and there’s more to share. I had duck confit and now somebody might like wine #servethehubbysomewine Love. it.
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I haven’t gotten through much of Paris so stay tuned. Then comes Prague!

I got a new job!!! That’s the most exciting news this month. I cannot get over the amazing outpouring of support, how many FB likes, and the amazing comments I’ve gotten from across the country from colleagues, the sweet words from vendors, and volunteers offering to have me on their teams! I start next week. Eeek!

here’s some of my fav food posts this month:
Greek Pasta Salad
Back To School Potluck
BBQ Bubble Up Pizza
Bacon & Cheese Panini with Peach Compote
Brunch at Redd’s in Rozzie

 

Stay tuned! I have some fall dishes in mind after apple picking this weekend! There’s a guest post coming and LOTS more travel posts to come!

August Recap

The summer is zooming by! I have so much to look forward to in September (mainly Paris & Prague!) but it is also my favorite time of year. I have a few west coast trips scheduled to Cali, a weekend in Maine, and a few other things happening so if you ever wanted to be a guest blogger for me, September is the time!

August was delightfully cooler. Thank you Mother Nature! I got to play in NYC with my favorite college gals and spouses and had a few lovely days on the the Cape. I hosted bookclub with a sort of tasting menu or small plates theme but was a bad blogger and didn’t take any complete sets of photos for you. I had some in-progress shots but not a single final photo! Oops.

I made one of my best pizzas to date: Pork, Caramelized Onions, and Fontina with Mustard Beer Sauce. It was everything the ingredients suggest it would be.
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I also enjoyed farmer’s market finds like burrata cheese in a Zucchini Pasta with Burrata
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and for Grilled Bruschetta Pizza and Thai Chicken Wraps.
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I made a spur of the moment cocktail with an Orange soda and whipped cream vodka. It was ahhhhmazing. I loved this light creamcicle drink. I’m on the hunt for ways to make a fudgecicle cocktail! Any tips for me?
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I promised a sangria for August so I messed around with basil which was really fun. I did a Strawberry Basil Sangia that was a hit. I need to make no-occasion sangria more often!
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Let’s see what’s up for September. Hmmm. I imagine a lot of quickie meals and some travel posts. I have a lot on my to-do list including: non-traditional pizza, a sandwich featuring a peach!, a burger, and maybe some more cocktails.

September feels like a lovely in-between of summer and fall. I feel like I need to do some last summer things and eat some more lighter/veggie focused/salad-y meals before true fall happens.

July Recap

As July comes to a close it makes me feel like the summer is zooming by. July was #hothothot and I wouldn’t mind if that was the hottest we see this summer. It definitely got me thinking of meals not requiring a ton of cooking or the oven.

July seemed to have the right amount of social festivities and downtime to hang at home and do as I please. I got my butt in gear and upped my workouts a bit. I survived just a few bootcamp sessions and I fit in some better workouts. I’m trying to pretend that I don’t hate running.

July unfortunately ended a seizure-free record streak for our pup Windsor. He hadn’t had one since Christmas and then he had a rough couple of days.

This month also involved a sad farewell to the R family pup. Piccadilly lived to 13.5 years old and was a beloved member of the family. I cooked some bacon for him because when you’re 94 in dog years, you should have anything you want.
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My tastes have been quite varied, so hopefully you all enjoyed some different posts this month.

The easiest thing I made this month was cinnamon roll waffles:
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On anything-goes dinner night I whipped up a seemingly random combo of ingredients which ended up as a chilled Shrimp and Couscous Salad that was stellar!
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I made a bevy to beat the heat. It was a pinky Passion Fruit tea and Lemonade. It was delightful.

After sooning over the idea of a trip to Paris and we made it happen! We booked an anniversary trip to Paris & Prague so I announced that with some Bacon & Leek Crepes if you’re feeling Francais.
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The most popular post this month was a quickie Italian Grilled Cheese with 2 cheeses and breaded eggplant. It was delicious and I like to pretend that the many views mean lots of readers made it themselves.
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We’ll see what August has in store. Definitely a sangria recipe I owe you and some ice cream recipes. Maybe something red for the Bachelorette finale. Any suggestions?

June Wrap Up

Can you believe it is time for July? Whattt?! June was fun and relaxing. It didn’t feel as crazy busy as March, April, or May. Which I love. I had some relaxing weekends, got some things done around the house, I had a few dinners out with friends, hosted brunch and enjoyed the spring. I did not once curse the rain since I had bright sunny days for my outdoor event when I needed ‘em. We got furniture for the deck (I owe you pics) and we got a Costco membership. Super exciting!

The challenges this month were replacing our ancient boiler & water heater. It then resulted in a crazy explosion that scared the beejesus out of us. Everyone and everything is a-OK (read more here). We had an emotional weekend honoring Mr. J’s dad.

We went to Bermuda which was definitely relaxing. How amazing is this view? #nofilter
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Father’s Day and Mr. J’s bday was a joint celebration. On his actual bday, I made some special burgers. For the family gathering, we did a ‘Best of the Bermuda trip’ buffet. It was so fun. We made some of their favorite items from the trip.

I made veggie burgers in June. They were so great. Frozen butternut squash, black beans, oatmeal, sunflower seeds. They were rich and crunchy and filling and delicious. Try ‘em.
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I also tweaked my go-to 1-dish pasta to be a BBQ chicken pasta
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I made a really different breakfast than I usually make. Well, I haven’t really made bfast in awhile, but I made waffles with blueberry sauce and brie.
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I got philosophical trying to get you thinking about being strategic in the kitchen. Hmm. What else happened. Well, I got hopelessly addicted to candy crush. Each time I think I’m stuck forever on a level I’ll win and then think the same about the following level. I’m no gamer, but I feel like this is going to be an on going thing. Google Reader is going away, tear. I had it on my list to switch but kept putting it off. I’m now on Feedly and all is well.

The plan for July is to knock off a few things that’ve been on my to-make list. The list is suuuper long right now. I also want to do some creative salad ideas. Any inspirations to get me going? I’m also thinking I haven’t posted sangria or a cocktail in awhile…