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.
chickenpotpie5_290_200

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.
chili_tomato_590_390

What I Ate: Honey Cinnamon Butter on Corn Muffins

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I whipped up this jazzed up butter after making corn bread muffins. I was thinking these flavors would be really good in corn bread, but since I’m not much of a baker I decided not to mess with the muffins. Messing with the butter seemed like like a safer option. Don’t ya think.

The Three Bite Rule - Honey Cinnamon Butter

Ingredients:

4 tbs butter, or butter substitute
1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Mix room temperature butter, honey, and cinnamon together.
The Three Bite Rule - Honey Cinnamon Butter
Chill until serving to solidify until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Honey Cinnamon Butter
I loved this. It tasted like fall! I had tons leftover and it was so perfect on toast. These cool mornings and the honey and cinnamon flavors made me so happy. I should junk up the butter more often! This one wasn’t beautiful but the berry ones on french toast….come on. So pretty!

The Three Bite Rule - Honey Cinnamon Butter
check out these 6 fancy flavored butters
Pinterest has lots of compound butters
of course Martha makes fancy butter

What I Ate: Hawaiian Hot Dogs

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I jazzed up some dogs just as summer was “ending” though there’s plenty of grilling season left. I should totally have done this combo sooner. Grilled dogs with pineapple & teriyaki sauce. I just want crazy toppings on everything right now.
The Three Bite Rule - Hawaiian Hot Dog
I mixed up chopped red onion, pineapple, and just a touch of salsa.
The Three Bite Rule - Hawaiian Hot Dog
Then I mixed honey, teriyaki marinade, and soy sauce. I eyeballed it, and went heavier on the honey than anything else.
The Three Bite Rule - Hawaiian Hot Dog
The tang of the teriyaki, the sweet pineapple, and crunch of the red onion went perfectly with the dog and soft roll. There are so many topping options besides the regular mustard/relish.
The Three Bite Rule - Hawaiian Hot Dog
These were fun. I love a good theme. Flying on Jess Fuel made some Banh Mi Hot Dogs that looked incredible. A nacho-y one would be fun or I did one with avocado, leftover corn cut off the cob, and ranch for a Californian Dog. Food themes are the only time old stereotypes are permissible, right?

What I Ate: NH Getaway

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Mr. J’s bday present was a little getaway to New Hampshire. I’m so thankful not to travel for work anymore and I’m loving being home all summer. It is amazing. Being home has actually involved a few trips to Maine, a few days to Cape Cod, and possibly one more jaunt. I wasn’t sure NH was going to fit in. I bought it for Mr. J’s bday in June then didn’t schedule it for-ev-er. We explored nature and ate lots of good stuff.

We stayed in Jackson, NH which is a little town near North Conway, but without the insane traffic. The inn was cute and had a phenomenal porch.
Inn at Thorn Hill
On our way up to New Hampsire we figured we stop somewhere for lunch and it just so happened we’d pass one of the many locations of Portland Pie Company. My favorite pizza! Though, their service is pretty terrible, all the time the pizza was really good. We got one of their seasonal pies: chicken caesar salad pizza!
nh_pizza
After checking in and poking around the inn, we explored the town and the area.
nh_river
We got dinner at the Red Fox Pub. We were really tired by then and were very hungry. I got lobster mac & cheese. There was an impressive amount of lobster and I couldn’t come close to finishing it! Mr. J had wood grilled meatloaf so he was as happy as can be. That was only Friday!
nh_lobstermac
Saturday we enjoyed breakfast on the porch of the inn and then checked out a tented art show, then we did a mini hike to some falls. It was breathtaking…also getting back up to the parking left me winded, so literally breathtaking. Mr. J adventured to some insane spots all in the name of photography. Luckily he didn’t end up in the drink!
nh_falls
We also popped into the LL Bean Outlet there where we found upright adirondack chairs. On sale. With an extra 30% off. Also using several LL Bean credits from our credit card. Scoooooore! We got two for less than the price of 1 normally. It was so meant to be! We didn’t have the pups so we got our new chairs into the car all assembled and never looked back. Just wait till I show you our beautiful yard projects with these snazzy new chairs by the firepit.

Dinner was part of our package to each have 3 courses at the inn. I started with clam chowder since it was 60-something degrees that day! For my entree, I chose duck over mushroom risotto with a chambord glaze. The duck and sauce were so good. The glaze was pretty sweet to it paired nicely with the salty risotto.
nh_duck
I didn’t exactly have room for dessert, but when on vacay! I had a chocolate hazelnut tart that was just amazing.
nh_dessert
Sunday morning we decided to venture out for bagels. We had passed a little bagel joint the day before with a sign boasting home of the boissant croissant/bagel hybrid. Hands down, best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had. I wish I brought boissants home. I was thinking it would be more like a bagel or more like a croissant, but I love both so I figured I’d bet set. It was such a wonderful mix of the two.
nh_broissant
It was a nice little getaway. We wished it was warm enough to swim since the pool at the inn was cute but I’m still thankful for cool days. They were nice for walking around a lot. I hadn’t known if there’d be a lot for us to see/do but we had a great time wandering and not being at full pace.

What I Ate: Tapas at Barcelona Wine Bar

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Washington Square was not the same culinary scene when I lived around there. It makes me feel old but when meeting Ms. L for Tapas at Barcelona Wine Bar and we marveled at how many cool restaurants are there now. We decided on Tapas to hear about her trip to Spain. It was crazy hot so we ate inside. The patio is lovely though. Tapas is such a good summer meal to dabble in flavors and textures that appeal at the moment.

tapas_outside

I loved the menu. There were a ton of choices and we did a fantastic job choosing…I have to say. I was glad some were really sizable. I am happy to say we left feeling full without breaking the bank.

Golden Beets with Pistachio Pesto & Orange – This might have been my favorite dish. The beets were so good and the pistachio pesto was fantastic.

tapas_beets

Zucchini and summer squash- these were from a local farm. They were lightly cooked and a good compliment to everything else we had.
tapas_zucchini

Jamon and Chicken Croquettes – these were perfectly crispy with a light aoli underneath. They were perfectly pop-able. If they were any smaller I might have devoured them without enough attention.
tapas_croquettes

Patatas Bravas Salsa Brava, Garlic Aioli – these arrived hot from the kitchen. They were crispy and had great tomato flavor. We weren’t sure if this was going to be too spicy but it was perfect.
tapas_potatoes

Truffled “Bikini“ Grilled Cheese, Jamon Serrano – mini grilled ham & cheese with truffle oil. Yes. Please. These were so good and a great balance with the veggies we had.
tapas_grilledcheese
Brookline has some fantastic restaurants that I love (like Fireplace, Regal Beagle, Orinoco, La Morra, Publick House, Matt Murphy’s and of course Brookline Spa).
And a bunch more new ones I still have to try (like RibelleFairstead Kitchen, The Abbey).

Any other Brookline spots I’m missing out on? It has now been a long time since I worked in Brookline Village and lived in Cleveland Circle area!

What I Ate: Orange Pomegranate Salsa

‘What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Were you missing the #whatiate series from Fridays? I have a few I need to do now that I’ve regained momentum so stay tuned for more!

We’ve had some hot days, and I’m so thankful for everyday that isn’t a thousand degrees or humid. Some nights dinner’s theme is “how to cook without turning on the oven”. That’s where this came in. I had an event at work and was lucky enough to take home some of this salsa. The food demo encouraged cooks to use these raw salsas over fish, poultry, and beef. Done!

photo

Ingredients:

Oranges, peeled, chopped
Pomegranate seeds
Onion, chopped
Fennel bulb, chopped
Lime juice
Honey
Salt
Pepper
Parsley (to add at the end)

Directions:

Chop & combine everything except the parsley.
Let sit 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Add parsley just before serving.

I marinated & grilled some chicken and served it all over brown rice. Dinner is done.
The Three Bite Rule - Salsa

I love the crunch and tartness of the pomegranate seeds with the oranges. This is great as a salsa to dip with or as a sauce. I know I get stuck thinking summer sauces are BBQ or teriyaki but a cool raw one is really fun. I’ll have to mess around with some other salsa ingredients!

What I Ate: Chicken & Waffle Panini

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Chicken and waffles are such a fun dinner and I was thinking it could become a panini using the waffles for the bread. These are easily adaptable. I used white cheddar, tomatoes, onions, and some buffalo aoli.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken and Waffles Panini

Ingredients:

2 frozen waffles, per sandwich
2 slices sharp white cheddar, per sandwich
2 chicken tenders, per sandwich
sliced tomatoes
sliced red onions
2 tbs mayo + 1 tsp hot sauce  + dash of garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Bake the chicken until cooked through.
Toast the waffles until defrosted and lightly toasted.
Slice the onions and add to cold water.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken and Waffles Panini

Whisk together the buffalo aoli, or add your fav spread like honey mustard, ranch, or a drizzle of maple syrup.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken and Waffles Panini
Keep the oven warm after the chicken is cooked.
Assemble the sandwiches with waffles, the spread, chicken, sliced cheddar, sliced tomato, and sliced onion.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken and Waffles Panini
Put them back into the oven, flipping once, until the cheese melts.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken and Waffles Panini
This was so fun. The nutty waffle was perfect with a little spice. Arugula would be good in here too. The onion bath keeps them from overpowering the sandwich, with just a subtle onion flavor.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken and Waffles Panini

What I Ate: Cuban Panini

This wasn’t the most authentic cuban sandwich, but it was such a great tweak on the everyday. The pickles and mustard are totally what makes this special.

The Three Bite Rule - Cuban Panini
I also love pickles so this was right up my ally. A real cuban would have roasted pork but this was good for a quick meal.

Ingredients:

sliced bread
ham
swiss cheese
Provolone cheese
sandwich sliced pickles
mustard

Directions:

Heat a grill pan or panini press.
Assemble the sandwiches with mustard on both bread slices, ham, swiss, provolone, and sliced pickles.
The Three Bite Rule - Cuban Panini
Grill on both sides until cheese melts and everything gets heated through.
The Three Bite Rule - Cuban Panini
It was almost a ham & cheese but the mustard and pickles are where the different flavors come from. Mr. J doesn’t like pickles, GASP…I know. His was a bit less of a cuban panini but salty and cheesy nonetheless.

What I Ate: His & Hers Caesar Salad

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I love caesar salad for the fresh greens, the salty Parmesan, and crunchy croutons, and garlicky dressing. It isn’t the healthiest salad, but it is ohh-so-good. It made for such a quick dinner to welcome spring. The simplicity is the charm.

I topped mine with grilled shrimp. I squirted the shrimp with a touch of lemon, salt, and pepper. They only needed to grill for a few minutes for the charred flavor.

The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Mr. J had his topped with steak. The steak marinated all day in a teriyaki marinade.

The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Salad with Grilled Steak
I toasted a few slices of wheat bread, tossed with olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt. Instant croutons! While the steak & shrimp was grilling, I whipped up a quick caesar dressing I’ve made before.

Sometimes the easiest meals are exactly what I want. Other times I want lots of complicated components juggling more than is necessary for a random week night. It was awesome to blend the dressing, toss the salad together, and get the grill going. I had everything made, cleaned up, and plated by the time the steak & shrimp was off the grill. #winning

What I Ate: Taco Pizza

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Add one to the successful pizza-dough alternatives! Making pizza on a tortilla is super easy and is like instant pizza. This is suuuuch a fast pizza and was a great use for a few small leftovers. I had a very small amount of ground chicken in the freezer and a few tortillas hanging around. It had tacos written all over it, but then I figured open faced tacos are taco pizza! This could adapt pretty easily to quesadilla pizza as a stacked tortilla: cheese: tortilla: cheese: toppings. I went lighter (and easier).

The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza

It was a hit and definitely didn’t seem like the burrito ingredients that had been dinner before.

Ingredients:

1/4 pound ground chicken/pork/turkey/beef
1 tbs taco seasoning (or a mix of dried garlic, chili powder, cumin & black pepper)
1 cup refried beans
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 8″ tortillas
1 tomato
1-2 sprigs of green onion
salsa

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Heat a flat pan to medium heat.
Brown the ground meat, drain, and add taco seasoning.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
While the meat is cooking, bake the tortillas on a baking sheet for 2 minutes on each side just to get a tiny bit crunchy so the toppings don’t make it soggy.
Then spread on the refried beans and a sprinkle of taco seasoning.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
Add the cheese, ground meat, chopped tomatoes.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the tortilla gets crunchy.
Sprinkle with green onions and salsa. Slice, and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
The beans on here absolutely take it from basic quesadilla to the next level. This taco pizza is a super quick dinner and uses such a small amount of ground meat. This is leftover central at it’s finest. The remaining refried beans can easily freeze until the next burrito/taco pizza time. The crispy tortilla is great and it fulfilled my “need” for Mexican.

You could top this with any cheese you had around (Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, mozzarella, a mixture) , any veggies you have around (like corn, green peppers, green chili, etc), and top with any taco fillers you choose (like sour cream, black beans, avocado, guacamole, etc). The possibilities are endless and are an easy build-your-own.

This is dinner in 30 minutes, without running around like Rachael Ray.

I have made taco pizza as a regular pizza which was awesome, but this was a bit easier.
taco_crust_slice_590_390

Other dough-less pizzas I’ve made:
Bacon & Pear Flatbreads on Pita Bread
French Bread Pizza
Bubble Up BBQ Pizza
Bruschetta Pizza on Naan