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.
pups_590_390
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.
day_bfast
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.
cape_lobstermac_590_390
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.
933961_889627472705_1485418424_n
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.
france_1stnight_room_590_390
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.
pork_pizza_plate_590_390
I also enjoyed farmer’s market finds like burrata cheese in a Zucchini Pasta with Burrata
zucc_burr_bowl_590_390
and for Grilled Bruschetta Pizza and Thai Chicken Wraps.
thai_chicken_filled_590_390

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?
creamcicle_cocktail_390_390
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!
straw_basil_glass_590_390
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.
image (1)

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:
cinn_waff_plate_590_390
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!
shrimp_couscous_text_590_390
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.
crepe_inside_590_390
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.
italian_grillcheese_plate_590_390
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
bermuda_beach_590_390
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.
veggie_burg_plate_590_390
I also tweaked my go-to 1-dish pasta to be a BBQ chicken pasta
bbq_pasta_overhead_590_390
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.
blueberrybrie_open_590_390
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…

Are You Strategic in the Kitchen?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I realized sometimes I have a few things cooking or prepping at once so I tried to write my posts in that way. Sometimes recipes or meals can seem really daunting and if I’m not ready for the next step that’s when problems occur. Sauce gets too thick or veggies get overcooked etc. I’ve tried to clarify what can be happening while something else is going on. Does it help? I hope so!

Heres’ the million dollar question of the day: Do you think you’re strategic in the kitchen?

 

I really thought about it while tackling Pastitsio. That one had a meat/tomato sauce, pasta, a bechamel sauce, and then the whole thing was baked. It was amazing. I loved the flavors. I recommend making this on a weekend…and knowing just how many messy dishes and pots there would be.
pastitsio_plate_590_390
Baking is also a time I try to be strategic. I don’t bake often and when I do, I always follow the recipe. That being said, I try to remember to read through the directions first. I don’t want to be thrown off when the next ingredient comes in, and I need to know beforehand if something is supposed to be softened/room temperature/pre-mixed or whatever. Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Bars was one recipe that let me make & bake the base and get the topping going while that first part was cooking. I also picked it because it felt do-able for me.
samoas_piece_590_390
Buyer beware: I’m no connoisseur. I still have meals that have me scrambling all over the kitchen or feeling like something needed a minute less while something else ended up cold after I snapped enough photos. Take my tips with a grain of salt. I don’t cook overly complicated meals. I also try to whip up something easy to go along with something more challenging. I now don’t have to think twice about risotto but if that is going to be all encompassing go easy on whatever else you’re serving. Know that I don’t blog every meal I make. I like to space new or blog-worthy meals throughout the week with cheaper/easier/no-thought-required other meals during the week.

Have you seen Rachael Ray pile her ingredients from the fridge & pantry in one trip? It is kind of ridiculous, but there’s a point there. Tip 1: pull out everything you’re going to need. I think it can stress you out if you get knee deep into a recipe to discover you’re out of eggs or tomatoes or breadcrumbs, or something that will really alter the dish. I vary recipes all the time, but if changing your plan or altering the recipe will stress you out, then you’ll want to know the ingredients are ready.

Speaking of getting ingredients ready…Tip 2: take the ingredients one step further and chop/defrost/melt/wash and do any prep the ingredients are going to need later. I think it allows you to feel really ready. Then when your recipe says to add it you’re on it. I don’t do this very much. I moreso prep the next thing while the previous step is happening. I like to keep an eye on the pan while I’m chopping the next addition or whatever.

Tip 3: use what you have and use the right tools. I substitute things all the time. This contradicts #1, but think about what you have and throw it in or leave something you don’t like out. Food is supposed to be how you want it. Reduce the recipe if you don’t want leftovers or throw in that ingredient that’ll go bad in your fridge otherwise. Also by knowing the tools you have you can make better choices. Is your skillet kind of small? Think about what is supposed to go in that. Will you have room? Can you add in that ingredient that’s hanging around? Should you half the recipe to fit the only pan you have? This Smoky Sausage Pasta cooks everything in 1 pan but if you can’t fit it, you should be ready early to half the recipe for the pan you have.
smokey_pasta_cooked_590_390

In terms of tools, my super specialized ones end up sitting in the drawer. I don’t think there’s a ton of those that are overly useful. Some might be, but a knife you’re comfortable with, different sized bowls, and a favorite rubber spatula will probably do it for the most part. I think a HUGELY powerful $3 investment is a meat thermometer. If you think you don’t like pork is probably because it is always overcooked. This simple thermometer will take the guess work out and tell you that meat is cooked enough. It also keeps cooking a bit when you take it off the heat. I have a really basic themometer with a dial and Mr. J and I sing it praises all the time!

Tip 4: learn timing for your foods or beware of your timing. I think it is definitely helpful to plan each dish according to the time needed. Set a timer. Set several timers to take out the guess-work. It gets stressful to keep things hot or keep something from getting bad if too many tasks are left until the the last minute. I like anything that can be done & ready (serving dish & utensil and all). Salad might hang out in the fridge while everything that takes much more thought/coordination on the stove or in the oven gets final touches. I start getting things to the table and out of the kitchen then I know I’m done.

For this dinner, I was searing scallops, making a mustard sauce, roasting broccoli, and frying polenta cakes. This is more involved than most of my dinners. I knew the broccoli would just do it’s thing in the oven. The polenta cakes went first an then hung out in the oven just to keep warm. The mustard sauce and scallops were going on at the same time after the polenta and broccoli were out of the way but kept warm.
scallop_plate_590_390

Last but not least, Tip 5: clean as you go. It is a much better way to wrap up dinner if you then aren’t returning to a battle zone. I like to start throwing stuff into the dishwasher when I have a free second or at least rinsing pots. I start stacking ingredients I’m done with next to the fridge to get them put away and out of my way. I repackage unused or leftover stuff and get-it-gone while the main thing is in the oven.

While this eggplant parmesan pizza is baking for 20 minutes I’m closing up the ricotta, getting rid of cheese and dough packaging, freezing remaining eggplant, finding my pizza cutter, etc.
eggplant_pizza_topped_590_390

Phew. That’s a lot. Do you feel strategic? Do you feel one step behind while following a recipe? What helps you?

Father’s Day Recipe Ideas

Since Sunday is Father’s Day, I wanted to share around a few ideas if you’re having a big shebang or a small family dinner. I was thinking about what my Dad likes best. It varies, for sure. He’s always up for a themed family dinner and he loves to know the plan.

He likes a sweet treat to go along with coffee in the morning. These cheese danish squares are amazingly easy. They are a great brunch addition or coffee break treat.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheese Danish Squares
Sometimes a fun theme is to bring back memories of a recent trip. My ‘rents went to Chicago and followed my recommendation for Lou Malnatti’s pizza. Making deepdish is actually easier for some folks by using a cake pan instead of messing with dough on a pizza stone.

A pizza party is a fun idea if you’re feeding a crowd. Here’s one of my favorite deepdish pizza recipes or making a few kinds of pizzas is always fun. Maybe the non-cook in the family can bring the salad?
deepdish_baked_590_390
Top-your-own-burgers would be fun. I like to put guests/family/friends to work. I make Mr. J a different special burger for his birthday each year. Here are some of our favorite burgers if you want filling/topping ideas.
The Three Bite Rule - Nacho Burger
‘Build-your-own’ bars make a party social and allow everyone to reach all the food served. Most importantly, then everyone can customize their food. I think it gives a fun casual setting and it helps those who are picky or really hungry be able to do their plate their own way. It works well for taco bars, salad barsoatmeal bars, top-your-own chili, etc!
Label your food for a) more fun b) a better executed theme and c) for clarity.
mac&cheese_290_200
I’m not sure what’s in store for the weather, but a cheeseburger calzone is a great option if you’re indoors or grill-less!
cheeseburg_calzone_cut_590_390
Oooo! Brilliant! Have a pot-luck with foods that remind you of your dad and then Dad has to guess who made what! Man, I just love food event themes!

Another theme I think any dad would like is a restaurant recreation of their favorite meal or a Throw-back meal to something he cooked with you or ate with you. Even just naming your menu can help with your theme. My ‘Welcome to Boston’ themed calzones are a prime example of that. I can admit myself that tt wasn’t really a theme without the names.

Dad C would have loved a Father’s Day lasagna (his favorite!)
white_lasagna_baked_590_390
or he liked my BBQ Chicken Pizza (with his fav Sticky Finger’s BBQ Sauce)
bbq_pizza_baked_590_390
Happy pre-Father’s Day to all the Dads out there.

May Recap

Happy we-made-it-through-May! Phew. I’m so happy with my event, and also so happy I’m done. It is such a relief and a learning experience for me. I wanted to see myself do it better than last year, make good changes, and do it for the city I love and with the team I love. I’m so proud to design my route to show the parts of the city that are so special and to make it the weekend of a lifetime. This month is such a doozy and I’m thankful to also move on to have more wiggle room and free time. Just you wait for some fun June posts now that I can breathe again.

Maybe June will be the month I get back on my “year of the: craft”. I seriously fell off that bandwagon and have some catching up to do. cough:since:February:couch. Ms. K and I have thought about all our pinterest crafts coupled with sangria for a really great day. Maybe June will be the winner?

May seriously flew by. I think time is going by faster in my pre-30s. I FINALLY went to the Bacon & Beer Festival. So fun! Armed with a spork and 1 mini beer cup we traversed through the crowds and I loved seeing who had Bacon foods there. I’ve been dreaming of this day.
bacon_beer_sign_590_390
I make ‘em a lot, so I figured I’d share Calzone Tips & Tricks. My #1 trick: fill. it. up. Seriously. Fill it more than you think.
turkey_meatball_filled_590_390
Mr. J helped me out with a guest post of his specialty Huevos Rancheros. His photos are drool-worthy.
guest_huevos_rancheros_plate_590_390
I successfully baked something! These Peanut Butter and Jelly Gramwiches were a shot in the dark but came out great!

Windsor got dog-shamed on the blog…but isn’t he so cute?
chick_caesar_dog_dishwasher
Those are some of my favorite posts/happenings of May. Happy June!

April Recap

Hooooooly crap. It is May. HOW did that happen. I’m stunned  I suddenly have what feels like zero days until my event happens. My entire year’s worth of stress happens all at once…and let me tell ya, I’m not a pretty picture right now. April was a good month with some good dinners. I hope May leaves me still with enough energy to  get a bit more creative.

My favorite post of the month was also my highest viewed post of the month! Cheeseburger Calzone is a must-try if you didn’t already see it.
cheeseburg_calzone_cut_590_390
I did a smoothie that I fell in love with: Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
choc_cherry_smoothie_layers_590_390
This month also had a guest post about Charleston from my ‘rents and a book review of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Sometimes it is just so great to have some help or some quick posts. Did I mention I’m going bananas at work right now? HINT HINT #guestpostswanted

I was thrilled with this Potato, Leek, and Bacon Pizza
potato_leek_whole_590_390
This sandwich with grilled chicken, pear, arugula, and cheddar. Ohh goodness. So delicious.
chicken_pea_sand_wide_590_390
I was really happy with this side dish of warm brussels sprouts. I never focus on the side dish.
brussels_saladbowl_590_390

Any quickies you’d recommend for a busy May? Want to be a guest blogger for me? email emily@thethreebiterule.com for more details!

March Recap

How is it April already? March is over? I’m not ready for April. Then it will be May and I’m certainly not ready for May. March is a month that is scary that it is over, but man, I don’t want to do it again. I had a doozy at work. The worst thing that could have happened, happened. As we say while working in events “it wasn’t my fault, but it is still my problem.” Ugg. I’m tired just thinking back. I think we’re on the up-and-up. I think I fixed it. This just wasn’t supposed to be the site and vendor I had to worry about. Guess ya never know.

March was a good month. My birthday was delicious and left me feeling really special. It was definitely a happy one. This cake could make anything happy, but you know what I mean
bday_cake_590_390
I blogged about a lot of smoothies this month. Peanut Butter & jelly smoothie was a hit on pinterest. I made an amazing Mocha Nut Smoothie with nutella and coffee #ohhmygoodness. Here are some Smoothie Tips and a Citrus Smoothie. The best smoothie I made was a Creamsicle Smoothie

creamcicle_smoothie_ingred.590_390
I reviewed a cookbook, which I haven’t done in awhile. Breakfast for Dinner is a keeper, and according to my analytics, this was a fan favorite too!
bfast_dinner_cover_590_390
I felt like I was due for some pizza. I made a Greek Veggie Pizza that was outstanding. It was such a great meatless fresh pizza. It reminded me that spring was coming and the freshness is worth the craziness at work.
greek_pizza_slice_590_390
This 1-dish-wonder Smokey Pasta with Kielbasa was one I was really happy with. I don’t make many pastas but this was spot-on. It didn’t quite get the attention I think it deserved. It also re-heated well for which I was very grateful.
smokey_pasta_cooked_590_390
This work challenge definitely means that I’ve had muuuuch more work. Expect to see some fast & easy ones and whatever crosses my mind. I’m proud that I’m keeping up because I need the constants in my life that keep me sane. It’s all happening!

April will be a whirlwind. I don’t want to blink and miss the spring. I have to hurry up and get some wintry foods done that have been kickin’ around before it is too late!

Have any springy inspired ideas for me??