Happy Blogaversary

The Three Bite Rule is four years old! F-O-U-R. Cra-zy. Monthly I pretty much don’t know where time has gone.

There were a lot of trips this year: NYC, Cape Cod, NH, Quebec, Prague, & Paris. I changed jobs and am really happy. I was so thankful to have entered into a really great work environment and to not have to go on all the work trips anymore. I love that I get to be around food and conversations about food all the time. Mr. J has done tons to the house this year. I’m now almost 8 months pregnant so year five is definitely going to be different than year four.

The pups are ohh so happy too (just kidding, they’re happy being separate they don’t normally cuddle together).

Let’s celebrate some superlatives:
My favorite post:
Parisian Burger
The Three Bite Rule - Parisian Burger

Most Pinned Post:
Easy Sesame Noodles
The Three Bite Rule - Sesame Noodles

Most viewed post:
Almond Joy Parfait
The Three Bite Rule - Almond Joy Smoothie
Best Easy Recipe:
Fig Preserve & Prosciutto Panini
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
So, what are the goals for year 5? I think your guess is as good as mine. I just don’t even know what the next year will look like. I don’t want to be somebody who doesn’t try to do things. I also don’t want to set myself up to not be able to reach any realistic goals. I think I just can’t decide right now what will be ahead. I’m assuming there will be a a baby-hiatus and fewer posts per week.

My goals for the year were something I could think about each month:
The Year of the Flower
make some Pinterest pins a reality
cook with yeast
try a spin class
make more cocktails

I don’t know what next year will be the year of. The year of the flower was one of the best ones I’ve done yet. I might have to go back to the year of the earring. Who knows. Maybe I should transform the grocery store impulse buys into a recipe.

follow me on instagram @emilyran  & catch up on the 3rd, the 2nd, and the 1st blogaversaries.

October Recap

October flew by. Seriously. I think it was just labor day in NYC. Somehow I’m now 7 months pregnant and work’s huge Thanksgiving fundraiser is just around the corner.

We harvested pears at Mrs. M’s house and cooked them into a few dishes, froze a ton of them for smoothies, then made the rest into pear sauce. The pear sauce has been so good warmed up and served with vanilla ice cream.

October fall flavors kicked off with a Thanksgiving Burger… maybe the best decision I made all month. Ground Turkey, stuffing, cheddar, and cranberry mayo were such a great combo before you’re overrun with Thanksgiving foods.
Thanksgiving Burger - The Three Bite Rule
Pumpkin Coffee Cake was unbelievable and really easy. I’m no baker, but this will appear again very soon.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Coffee Cake
I think October’s most fun dinner was a Top Your Own Potato Bar. It was seriously so fun and took no time at all.
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Bar
After apple picking, there were apples appearing in lots of foods, like caramel apple cider, in sausage stuffing, breakfast yogurt, but most importantly this chicken sausage, apple, onion calzone and apple, manchego, bacon quesadillas.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage, Apple, & Onion Calzone

Let’s check on my goals:
The Year of the Flower lives on! I got some funky purple squirly ones but forgot a pic and then added some fall festiveness for my desk.
send more mail – a very special gal got engaged and got a card…though why aren’t there more same-sex engagement cards? I had to resort to congratulations since the engagement are way too heterosexual. I sent the nephews some Halloween cards too.
make some Pinterest pins a reality - Not so much, though I’ve pinned about 1,000,000 baby-inspired pins though I’ve spared my followers with a private board
cook with yeast (yikes!)
try a spin class – um nope. I’m not adding in any super new exercises at this point. I’ve tried to stay active and walking a lot. I might try some prenatal yoga.
make more cocktails – umm no cocktails for me until January ;) but I made Caramel Apple Cider that was unbelievable.

Bump update:
Lil’ Chil is growing and growing. I can’t believe I’m 30 weeks along. 10-ish more weeks. Crazy! This past month has been baby-centric. We toured the maternity ward, registered and learned a lot about what little ones need. We picked baby names. We not only planned the nursery, but Mr. J painted the walls! We started checking out daycare options.

Next up, classes, putting the nursery together, and a busy, busy work month. I’ll for sure have fewer posts but stay tuned! I’m sure we need more soup and maybe a new pizza.

Freezer Foods

So… I’m here! I’m here! I’ve been a bit tired this week so the rest of the week’s posts lost out to:
a) Autumn Awesomeness ice cream: at my fav local ice cream place (vanilla, with nutmeg, apples, and cider donuts)
b) Going to bed early
c) Getting a few baby preparations started
d) all of the above

ding ding ding! D is correct, which means each are right. I figure nobody wants to read a post I wasn’t really into writing or editing so I’ve snoozed a bit earlier than usual, passed my glucose/gestational diabetes test! Mr. J and I went to the hospital to meet the maternity/delivery team and learned how much we don’t know yet. Somehow more posts didn’t make it into this week.

I’ve cooked a bunch this week and last week of oldie but goodies that were freezer friendly so half could be enjoyed now and the other half could emerge during my busy time at work…just before Thanksgiving! Here they are in no particular order if you’re ready for fall/wintry foods or want some freezer prep too!

Butternut Squash Lasagna
I love this one. It is so good and perfectly divides into 2 baking dishes…one for now, one for later.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash Lasagna
Sausage Stuffing
This is a great main dish, or a side. I added shallots and pears and we devoured the “now” portion.
The Three Bite Rule - Sausage Stuffing
Chicken Pot Pie
I make the filling and add the topping when round 2 comes up.

Sweet & Smoky Chili
I literally filled the crockpot for 5 people. Needless to say there were leftovers so we ate some a few more times, and froze the rest.

September Recap

Pretty much every month I can’t believe it is over. September was fun and full. Work is pretty busy gearing up for our big Thanksgiving event.  Mr. J and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary on the 17th! I’m so thankful that I no longer have to travel for work. I’ve been home the whole month of September which I haven’t been able to say in 5 years! It’s been great to hit the Big E and the farmer’s market, and some of the open studios.

How good does a deep fried Oreo look from the Big E?

Mr. J has been full steam ahead on house projects. I just keep seeing them coming off the list and I know the baby nursery will be soon! The front step was redone and Mr. J installed a new vanity in the bathroom.

I really loved embracing the best time to cook with seasonal produce. I found fantastic heirloom tomatoes and corn for a puff pastry tart that was simply perfect. Puff pastry with tomatoes, corn, and Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar went together perfectly.
Tomato & Corn Tart - The Three Bite Rule
I messed around with polenta paired with shrimp and tomatoes which reminded me how fast, cheap, and easy it is to work with.
The Three Bite Rule - Polenta & Shrimp
I did some Hawaiian hot dogs with teryiaki and pineapple that were fun. Those flavors are so good together. I should use them more often.
The Three Bite Rule - Hawaiian Hot Dog
I’m not sure what’s on top for next month. I hope to go apple picking and a friend’s pear tree is about ready so I want to get some of those. I’m thinking it is time for everything apple and pumpkin flavored!

Let’s check on my goals:
The Year of the Flower is going strong! this month clipped some hydrangeas from my parents’ tree
send more mail – Gram got a birthday card, so that counts
make some Pinterest pins a reality - I didn’t really make any but have one for next month!
cook with yeast (yikes!)
try a spin class – um nope. I’m not sure I’m adding in any super new exercises at this point. I’m all about zumba now that my gym fall classes have increased. Zumba is now 3x a week! I’m aiming for zumba once or twice and some other workouts each week. So far so good!
make more cocktails – umm no cocktails for me until January ;) but I did get a lemonade served out of a lemon stand at the Big E! Next month should be good for fall fun drinks.

Bump Update: 
I’m beyond halfway! I can’t believe it. I’m just over 6 months along. There’s not much time now! I feel like I doubled in size the last few weeks! Getting dressed takes a lot more creativity but I’ve gotten some clothes to give me enough options. I hadn’t really thought about gym clothes and pjs not fitting so I’ll likely have to invest in those & something dressy. The baby is the size of cauliflower now! There’s been a lot of kicking lately.

Next month we’ll keep brainstorming names and get started on the baby’s room. We have a meet the delivery team & tour of the maternity area. Registering can’t be too far behind either.

I’ve been feeling great and trying to do as much as I can whenever I’m up for it. I’ve been very into zumba at the gym so I’ll try to keep that up as long as I can. I don’t remember any cravings this month…well, one night I had to try a caramel apple sundae. One take-out Chinese night I couldn’t even fathom biting into a crab rangoon. Other than those, no real cravings or aversions.

food for thought

I feel like an old person, but what will they think of next…ummm no thanks.

This eating all the emoji article cracked me up. I had no idea what some of the food was, or why they were important enough to have an emoji but this was so fascinating. She didn’t count the animals and stuck to actual food pics. It wasn’t a stunt to lose weight, just out of interest. Apparently it lacks bfast and there’s tons of alcoholic options and desserts.

I’m ready for all the fall things and for some reason, all the fall/harvest-y/seasonal decor has glitter. Why all the glitter? Pumpkins are so dang cute. Candy corn, delicious with no sparkle necessary. I open greeting cards carefully when I can tell there will be glitter. There’s no way I’m putting a wreath celebrating pumpkins and lovely colored leaves on my door if it’s covered in glitter. That means everytime I open the door I’ll encounter THE GLITTER. Of all holidays I think glitter is not necessary for halloween and I think Thanksgiving is about so much more. I just want it all to smell like apples, cinnamon, and pie.
I want to make this pumpkin coffee cake
and I might try my hand at a better caramel apple cider than this one I tried
it is time to go apple picking
easy pumpkin muffins are in order, or maybe pumpkin bread french toast
this year might be right for apple week since last year I did pumpkin week
there might be a pear picking party at Mrs. M’s house. What should I make featuring pears?

August 2014 Recap

August was a month full of fun dining experiences and outings an less about actual cooking. I find readership being very lopsided in the dead of summer. I think September will bring a good variety…I already have seafood, a twist on pizza, more grilled foods, and I even have a giveaway planned!

I had the best breakfast sandwich…of. my. life. On our trip to NH. They crossed a bagel with a croissant. It doesn’t get much better than that.

In other adventures, I tried Barcelona Wine Bar and loved everything we ordered. I met up with other bloggers for a fun afternoon of walking, salads, and cupcakes. I wasn’t into the salad I got but loved the cupcakes.

The best thing I cooked all month were these Steakhouse Flatbread Pizzas. Mine had buttery mushrooms and Mr. J’s had grilled steak. They were really good and so quick to prep by using naan bread. I loved these and would eat it again in a second.
Steakhouse Flatbread Pizza - The Three Bite Rule
I did a roasted beet, sweet potato, and potato side dish that was really good, but more time consuming than I usually spend on sides.
Roasted Beets & Potatoes - The Three Bite Rule
I decided a Greek Pita Pizza deserved a re-do and it was a good excuse to unload some zucchini onto.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Pita Pizza
Bump Update:
In the last month the baby has grown to the size of a turnip, a sweet potato, a mango, and a banana. My hunger has evened out a bit. I was introduced to donut peaches from the CSA delivered to work and they’re so amazing. Whenever I’ve gotten a whiff of my nectarines or somebody’s peaches at work I’m all about it. It is getting a bit harder to get up after being on all fours talking to the pups and harder to go from laying to sitting. I’m feeling it a bit more and I’ve officially popped. Getting dressed requires a bit more creativity with the few maternity items and whatever I find that I fit into.

Enjoy labor day & a long weekend and see ya in September!

July Recap

July was bananas. Between the holiday weekend, telling everyone about the baby, and some landscape projects I feel like summer is in full swing. I cannot express how thankful I am that Mother Nature has been kind to me without too much heat. Seriously. Those 75-degree days were lovely and I appreciated it thoroughly.

People’s reactions to the baby have been so wonderful and I am grateful for the support. I’ll keep ya posted as any crazy food cravings/aversions changes & evolve. I had grilled salmon on salad one night and couldn’t stop calling it the best I’d ever had. Currently I’m hungry all the time. In July, the babe was the size of a large plum, a peach, a lemon, an orange, then an avocado.

July also was sort of life-changing in that we finally got our ice maker fixed. It is amazing. Having an endless supply of ice cubes is so great. Mr. J has become a cold-brewing coffee master, and ice is a vital component to that. The pups are not interested in them, but I pile them into every drink I have now.

I tweaked my normal pizza dough process with the prompting of Mr. J. He suggested we try rolling out the dough a bit to make it thinner. It was awesome and cracker-thin. I made this breakfast pizza that might be my best attempt thus far. I hard-boiled the eggs and chopped them up. It gave it a true eggy-taste without the texture getting wanky.

The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Flatbread
A true shining moment of food in July was a BLT Burger – This burger was so great. I mixed in some sun-dried tomato pesto into the burger, giving the flavors a serious upgrade.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger
I used this roasted kale pesto to become pasta salad and it was ahhh-mazing. I loved it and want it all the time now. I might have to mass produce the kale pesto to keep stocked.
The Three Bite Rule - Roasted Kale Pesto Pasta Salad

The puff pastry turnovers were so good and such an easy dinner. The creamed spinach and ham were so good. Three ingredients: puff pastry sheets, frozen creamed spinach, chopped ham. Done! They are really adaptable with whatever is on hand. I liked the little deviation from grilled things and I made them in the toaster oven without heating up the whole kitchen! The kale pesto would be good in these buggers too!
The Three Bite Rule - Puff Pastry Turnovers
Mr. J has been toiling away on a landscaping project. He has a great landscaping eye and mapped out a plan for walkway paths from the deck over to the hammock, and to a future firepit area, and to the basement door. After being revived from the landscaping estimates for stone pavers, he planned gravel paths he could do himself…for less than the $10K price tag.

It was tonsss of work and my dad lent some much needed hands-on help. Mr. J rented a sod cutter, dug out the dirt, installed edging, loaded in crushed gravel base, pounded that down, and topped with pea stone. I helped a bit when I was up to it, but really this project took lots of full days of work. I’m thankful the majority is done. It’ll be awesome and I cannot wait to roast marshmallows. It will be done soon!

Let’s check on my goals:
Buy myself flowers more often - The Year of the flower is a hit! this month I nabbed some blue hydrangeas  and then this beautiful mix came from a chef at work.
send more mail – ehh I didn’t quite get there this month.
make some Pinterest pins a reality 
cook with yeast (yikes!)
try a spin class – um nope. I’m not sure I’m adding in any super new exercises at this point. I’m slowly doing a 30-day yoga challenge whenever the mood strikes.
make more cocktails – umm no cocktails for me until January ;) but I did make a fun beverage: Bubbly Blueberry Lemonade

August is always a reminder to make the most of the final days of summer. I’ll have a few beach days at the very end, and I have already mentally prepared people that I need a lot more Maine Black Bear ice cream in my summer.

4th of July Cookout Ideas

I wanted to throw out some ideas for your holiday weekend. I’m excited for some swimming at my parents’ pool and my hometown fireworks and then a trip to the lake in Maine. Windsor doesn’t even know he’s going to get to swim!!! He’ll be so excited!

Whether you’re hosting and doing the whole menu or just need to bring something, here are my favs.

For a salad:
Corn, Avocado, & Cucumber salad takes 10 minutes to prep but will outshine the run-of-the-mill potato salads, or just provide a fun alternative.
or I love this Ramen Broccoli Slaw, which also takes 10 minutes. I like it with broccoli slaw but shredded cabbage works too.
The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw
or Greek Pasta Salad with cukes, tomatoes, and feta.

For a burger: 

Ranch Chicken Burgers are always a hit (and deserve a redo)
Onion Dip Burgers are so fun with dried onion soup to mix in, and some french onion dip on top!
The Three Bite Rule - Onion Burger
or check out some of my other fav burgers. A burger bar with all different toppings and a few “specialty” burger ideas on a menu.

For a drink: 

Instant Sangria doesn’t need to sit all day, so if you forget you can whip this up without a lot of lead time.
or creamsicle cocktails
For dessert: 
S’mores Bread Pudding has 4th of July written all over it, and you can make it in advance and warm it up.
The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Bread Pudding
or PB & J bars
Happy Independence Day!

June Recap

June has been lovely, and slower paced which I’m loving. I’ve abbreviated my quantity of posts but hopefully you’re still enjoying them. June was pretty meat-less now that I look back.

I did have some really delicious food outings. I went to The Painted Burro and had an amazing duck taco. I had a weeknight date to Figs Boston for some pizza. I went to a food truck festival and almost passed out, so I didn’t take any photos after I finally securing some water. I’m thankful for how many not-too-hot days we’ve had. I spent one Sunday by the pool after hitting of my fav local doughnut joint.

I really loved this super simple Veggie Pasta with Brown Butter Sauce
The Three Bite Rule - Brown Butter Pasta
This Marinated Cucumber Salad and this Spinach & Tomato Tortellini Salad seemed like good summer staples.

I figured we were due for a re-do of zucchini fritters
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters

Sis and I took Mom to tea for a belated Mother’s Day outing. It was awesome. I loved it! Let’s have tea and scones every afternoon.
The Three Bite Rule - Afternoon Tea
Mr. J’s birthday burger was a great one! I was worried I wouldn’t come up with a new theme for the traditional burger but this one was great. It was a German burger: pretzel rolls, caramelized onions, mustard, swiss cheese, and a touch of horseradish. I also tossed together some truffle parmesan fries. Can’t beat that!
The Three Bite Rule - German Burgers


Let’s check on my goals: 
Buy myself flowers more often - The Year of the flower is going strong, this month was a home ground peony and then this month also had some lupine from the highway in Maine.
send more mail – ehh I didn’t quite get there this month.
make some Pinterest pins a reality 
cook with yeast (yikes!)
try a spin class – um nope. I did a zumba class…not quite the same.
make more cocktails – totally forgot. Stay tuned. I issued a mojito “cross country challenge” to @jessfuel

May Recap

May was bussssy. My event was amazing, we broke the 22-year fundraising records. It was awesome. Then there were a few trips to Maine and a few busy weekends. I took a break after not feeling overly proud of my latest meals. I did have a few goodies in May.

I started with a his/hers topped Caesar Salads hers with grilled shrimp, his with grilled steak.
The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Baked Gnocchi was a great freezer/pantry meal, especially fitting on a pre-spring cool night. I was thinking baked ravioli but I found some frozen gnocchi and got a quick meat sauce together.
The Three Bite Rule - Baked Gnocchi
I loooved this twist on chicken & waffles, making it into a panini.

One of the best meals of the month was an Asian inspired salad with peanut butter chicken. It has some great flavors with the peanut butter, oranges, and edemame. Yum.
The Three Bite Rule - Asian Salad with Peanut Butter Chicken

P.S. Happy Birthday to my Momma!

Let’s check on my goals: 

Buy myself flowers more often - The Year of having-more-flowers is going strong, this month was the iris.
send more mail – I sent some mother’s day cards
make some Pinterest pins a reality 
cook with yeast (yikes!)
try a spin class
make more cocktails – hmmm, no special cocktails to share. June seems right for something lemonade-inspired.

Next week has some legit recipes. Stay tuned!