January Round-Up with Superbowl Snack Ideas

The start to 2014 has been great. Work has been rolling along and getting busy. Hitting my first 3-months at the new job has me feeling more settled and more knowledgeable about everything. I can’t believe it has already been 3 months! Lots of folks at work are all about their fitbit/jawbone/nike fuelband/etc. It’d be a great comparison, thought I don’t exactly have the ability to buy them all and test ‘em out. It does have me thinking and wanting to blog something….

I’ve been really appreciating the hibernation-feeling of January. I love having some fun things happening over the weekend but it isn’t non-stop. That’s my favorite. There’s time to make last-minute plans and the freezing temps makes me enjoy hunkering down with some great down-time…perfect for old West Wing episodes (I’m up to season 3). I’m behind on the book I should be reading but I’ll get going. A step aerobics class has brought me back to way-back-when I took step 9 years ago.

For February, I’m psyched for the Olympics. I just watched the Price of Gold story about the ’94 figure skaters, which I remember happening. It was fascinating!

Do you follow me on instagram? I posted a pic of an unbelievable dinner of chicken and waffles Mr. J made. He fried the chicken himself and we couldn’t get over it. Crazy good. Also, I found roasted garlic at the salad bar in the grocery store for dirt cheap. Such a great 40-cent find! Who knew?

In January I redid my traditional lasagna with assembly tips and LOTS of adaptation suggestions.
The Three Bite Rule - Traditional Lasagna

I posted my cheese fondue party. I repeated the fondue for New Year’s Eve too. I still need to show you what I did with some leftovers. Ahhh-mazing. Stay tuned.

Maple Dijon Chicken is such a simple but fantastic recipe. It takes barely any time and you’ll make it again and again. Just try it.
The Three Bite Rule - Maple Dijon Chicken


Need some superbowl snack ideas?

Did you see my Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls? Doesn’t get much better than that!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Spring Rolls
To add to your Superbowl Spread….
No-Cooking Required Greek Dip is a base of hummus with chopped veggies, feta, and Greek dressing. Super easy and fresh.
Or Make Everything in a Muffin Tin for easy plate-filling and minimal game distractions.
Apple Cheesecake Dip with apple dippers is an addictive sweet dessert-ish dip
Set up a panini bar or a taco bar or a nacho bar and let your guests make-your-own. The ease is great for the host, and everyone loves to customize their own.


Status of This Year’s Goals:

Year-of-the: self imposed cooking challenge resulted in seeking savory breakfast ideas via Quiche Lorraine
The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
also I bought myself more flowers

I’m not sure what will be on the menu in February yet. I have some kitchen tips I was thinking of sharing. I have some more salad and panini ideas. February is a great time for wintry food so I’ll see what else I come up with.

Cooking Forward to 2014

New Year’s resolutions leave me kind of undecided. Part of me thinks why not use the change in the calendar to be a better self. No time like the present to do or start something. The other part of me feels like there’s pressure to claim something big, or change drastically while sometimes New Year’s day feels a heck of a lot like the day before.

A friend told me once about doing a year-of-the-_____. I’ve enjoyed it some years while other years it gets kind of dropped. I think I want to do a food related one this go-around.

The 1st year I did year-of-the-earring. It was perfect since I’m picky about earrings.
The 2nd year I did the year-of-the-footwear. This worked well as I didn’t want to limit myself to just shoes.
The 3rd year I did year-of-the-home decor since it was the year we bought a house. It was kind of a bust.
Last year I thought I’d like to be more crafty, thank you Pinterest. I decided on a year-of-the-DIY craft. I probably did about half the year…if that.

I have a few thoughts for 2014 that might be fun blog posts themes, and we’ll see which actually happen. Maybe a monthly reminder is all I need, or maybe whatever sticks is just meant to be.
a) year-of-the-grocery store impulse buy
b) year-of-the-food re-do/restaurant recreation
c) year-of-the-monthly self-imposed cooking challenge
d) year-of-the-foodie excursion

Cooking Light has an actually do-able 12 Healthy Habits monthly challenge that is actually do-able.

Maybe I also will set some attainable goals for the year:
send more mail
make some Pinterest pins a reality
cook with yeast (yikes!)
try a spin class
make more cocktails
Buy myself flowers more often

What do you think? Do you make resolutions? Do you like hearing what others are doing for a resolution?

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?
coff sized
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.
lunch sized
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.
dinner sized
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.