What I Ate: Top Your Own Oatmeal Bar

What I Ate series is a Friday post that was fun and/or delicious but doesn’t require a recipe. These guys are easy to whip up and can make your Friday fun and delicious. Happy Friday!

My office has the best appetites! We decided to have an oatmeal bar and it was a fun and quick meal to share. I brought in oatmeal and everyone brought fun toppings. We use hot water from our water cooler. It was easier than our usual elaborate potluck.

I offered anyone who doesn’t-do-oatmeal could bring-their-own cereal or yogurt/etc and enjoy our toppings. I had pumpkin butter, cinnamon chips, and a dash of cinnamon on mine. It was very festively fallish.

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I mayyy have thought it was more fun than anyone else. Trust me, it was awesome. Don’t listen to my colleagues.

What I Ate: Pulled Pork Tacos

Today’s What I Ate post features my use for some leftovers. Like all What I Ate series editions, it isn’t recipe worthy but it made me really happy and was a great way to jazz up the leftovers.

Have you ever cooked a pork butt? It is hefty. I haven’t seen smaller ones than 3-ish pounds. That’s a heck of a lot of servings. The good news? It freezes well, reheats well, and has some alternative possibilities. It is pretty cheap too. It might be my favorite crockpot item. Woah.
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I used some pulled pork to make tacos and I loved every bite. I made pulled pork (like this crock pot pulled pork post from way back when) and we ate it a few times as bbq pulled pork, or on rolls. Then I served it with crunchy taco shells, black beans, and some slaw.
Pulled Pork Tacos
Hello taco!

The slaw was red cabbage mixed with some shredded carrots, cider vinegar, veggie oil, and a dash of sugar.  It was perfect, easy, and cheap. I loved that it felt reinvented and wasn’t exactly how we had eaten it before.

Any inspired leftover revamps to share?? 

What I Ate: Pumpkin Muffins

I’m about to rock your socks off. And if you’re not wearing socks because it has been lovely at 63-degrees & sunny here in Boston then I’m going to rock your shoes off. I made the fastest and easiest muffins ever. I’m about to have muffins on hand all the time.

Ready for 2 ingredient muffins? Two. Count ‘em.
Pumpkin Muffin

Ingredients:

1 box Spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin

Directions:

Mix together
Bake

See? Omg. Totally the easiest thing ever. I added cinnamon chips because I love them. These were super easy and gave me some baking courage. I drizzled some maple glaze over the top. Somebody was taunted by my photo staging set up:
Pumpkin MuffinGood thing those chair spindles aren’t any wider apart! Isn’t he just the cutest?! You know what I say to that?

Aww MUFFIN!

Enjoy the weekend! I’m home from Santa Barbara, and from LA, and from NYC! Woohoo! I have lots ‘o blogging to catch up on so stay tuned for some picture heavy posts coming up next week! This doesn’t count towards my fall foods list, but I have a pumpkin post to prep that will count on my list, for sure!

What I Ate: Nacho Burger

I feel like a genius. I created an amazing burger out of nowhere. I made burgers out of ground pork, taco seasoning,  and some salsa con queso.

The Three Bite Rule - Nacho Burger

Ingredients:
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tbs taco seasoning
2 tbs salsa con queso

Directions:
Mix the ground pork (or beef/chicken/turkey) with taco seasoning and salsa con queso.
The Three Bite Rule - Nacho Burger
Form into patties and grill
The Three Bite Rule - Nacho Burger
Top with sliced pepper jack cheese and some more salsa con queso!
The Three Bite Rule - Nacho Burger

This had some great spice and perfect cheesiness. I think the cheese sauce was a perfect way to keep the meat juicy. I served it with a vinegar based bean salad. We loved this one!

What I Ate: Foodie Vacation Souvenir

Wayyy back, just about a year ago, Mr. J and I went on our honeymoon to Spain & Italy. We actually didn’t buy many souvenirs since we were racing around like maniacs to see the sights! Although I wasn’t impressed with the sights of Naples, I still chose a treat to bring home. We got some lemon risotto.
WIA lem_risotto_390_590This very same treat provided a halt at security in the US after flying for 8 hours. Not funny. Serves me right for claiming it to a customs dude who had noooo idea that risotto wasn’t a vegetable. Sad.

I remembered the freeze dried pack in the cabinet and thought it was as good a time as any. I hadn’t been saving it but I buy arborio rice in containers so this flat pack slipped my mind. It wasn’t amazing, but it was good and a nice reminder of our time in Italy.

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Get excited! I finally got around to editing the photos from our delicious anniversary getaway. Seriously, this tasty destination means so many meals to share next week. Just maybe I’ll get around to sharing some final shots of the completed bedroom renovation/redecorating project.

What I Ate: At a Wedding Cocktail Hour

Wedding cocktail hour is my favorite. I love the vows, and the dancing (especially since Mr. J is a rockin’ dancer), but then I love the cocktail hour. Contrary to the name I like it for the food. I don’t worry about the drinks…it is all about the snacks. I love passed aps, Mrs. K had baked brie that I’m still raving about (3+ years later), Mrs. M had an amazing cheese selection. Serious love for the aps.

I don’t review many weddings but I went to one with the best cocktail hour ever. Ever. I know, I go to my share of weddings every year. I snapped a few pics with my phone but when I heard the next morning that the bride didn’t have any of the amazing aps I knew I HAD to blog ‘em. She writes Flying on Jess Fuel (stop by her blog, say hello, wish her congrats, and check out her recipes).

The chef was Chef Roland. I loved their cocktail hour. I cannot get over how many aps there were. I was so impressed that the hot ones were actually hot! The chilled ones were actually cool! The servers all knew what they were offering to us. It was amazing. Here are my favorites:

Shrimp ceviche with mango salsa on an edible spoon.
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps  Yes, that’s right. There’s a crisp bite of spoon with each bite. Delicious!

Dill scone topped with lobster salad. It was lightly dressed and so fresh. I mayyy have stalked the servers whenever I saw these!
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps

Lamb and quinoa cakes. The bride loves quinoa so these seemed even more perfect.
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps

There were some mean lookin’ pistachio crusted lamb lollipops but I figured the lamb cake bite was probably my red-meat maximum for the day. I popped the lobster mac & cheese bite before I got a photo. Yum!

We had some bruschetta, coconut shrimp, spanakopita, cajan shrimp & kielbasa…I don’t even remember what else. There were so many. I had to chose wisely. There were just so many.

Ohh then we had dinner. It started with a salad of greens, beets, peaches, and candied walnuts. Seriously amazing.
The Three Bite Rule - Wedding Aps
Dinner options were beef, fish, or vegetarian. I got the fish. It turned out to be sole stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, and lobster. You had me at lobster.

Mr. J and I are off for the weekend to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary! Can you believe it has been a year?!? I’ll be sure to let you know how that year old piece ‘o cake fared this past year!

What I Ate: Ramen Coleslaw

I was trying to think of an easy side I could literally throw together. I was lacking motivation recently and somehow this came out of nowhere. I’ve made it a few times, but not once this summer yet. My twist is using broccoli slaw instead of cabbage or slaw mix.

This is so easy and takes 5 minutes to prep and goes with everything. It isn’t vegetarian but it is delicious! It is probably the cheapest side-dish ever. I dare you, find a cheaper one.

The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw

Ingredients:

1 bag broccoli slaw
1 pack ramen noodles, chicken flavor
3/4 cup oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
sprinkle of pepper
1 of the chicken pack flavorings in ramen noodle package

Directions:

The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw
Boil the ramen noodles for about 5 minutes then drain.
Whisk or shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, sugar, pepper, and ramen flavor pack.
The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw
Mix noodles, slaw, and dressing.
The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. I should have thrown in sunflower seeds. That crunch on top is delicious. I like how oil-vinegary this is. There is so much flavor from the ramen. My Mum and mother-in-law both make it with grapes & nuts. I like this salad when you keep the noodles raw too. They’re super crunchy.

Let’s break it down:

1 pkg chicken ramen: $0.24 (12 pack @ $2.99)
1 pkg broccoli slaw: $2.99
very little oil & vinegar
total = $3.23 and serves about 6, or $0.53 per serving.

Can you believe that pricing? It’s a crowd pleaser that won’t break the bank.

What I Ate: Cobb Salad Lettuce Wraps

Cobb Salad and Chef Salad united for my dinner. This isn’t really a recipe, but it is more of an idea you can happily capitalize on. I went with a everything-but-the-kitchen-sink method for a salad for dinner. It was definitely a dinner plan that was low on actual cooking but was hearty and fun.
3 Bite Rule: Cobb Salad Lettuce Wraps

We don’t eat tons of salads as dinner, so during a hot few days I took advantage of a low-cooking meal. This felt like a fun meal to serve when it is hot, or especially if you aren’t a confident chef! Serve this next time you’re the host or for a potluck and everyone will be happy.

Ingredients:

2 grilled chicken breasts
4 hard boiled eggs
avocado
carrots
cucumber
tomatoes
corn
shredded cheddar
broccoli
head Boston Bibb lettuce
croutons
blue cheese dressing

Directions:

Fry bacon, boil eggs, and grill the chicken.
Chop everything except the lettuce.
Mix the “fillings” and serve in lettuce wraps.

These were really fun! I liked that there were so many interesting textures and bright flavors. I went with the normal cobb salad as though it was a chop salad. I figured if the lettuce didn’t really work, then we could always drop the toppings on a bed of lettuce. It worked well as wraps though.
3 Bite Rule: Cobb Salad Lettuce Wraps

It takes time to chop and prep everything but I made enough for two of us to have for dinner and then for lunch again the next day. I didn’t dress the salad so besides the avocado, it packed up well for lunch too. The only cooking was the bacon, eggs, and grilled chicken.

We were eating and that’s when I realized I had forgotten the chicken. Ohh well. It truly felt like a dinner meal even without that. The eggs, bacon, and avocado makes this a hearty one.

Croutons are such an easy item to make at home and I never buy them anymore. Whenever I do buy them they seem to disappear as snacks before they appear on many salads.
3 Bite Rule: Cobb Salad Croutons

Cut some bread into squares, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and some grated parmesan. Toast a few minutes on each side and voila! Croutons made-to-order!

What I Ate: Turkey Panini

In my effort to simplify dinner (but still keep it delicious) I figured I should throw in more sandwiches to the rotations since lately I’ve been into dinner salads. Mr. J is (rightfully) worried about getting salad-ed out.

The Three Bite Rule - Turkey Panini

I like that paninis are perfect any-time-of-the-year dinners. They’re super easy and quick (and cheap). In the summer I appreciate that they don’t heat up the whole house to make! In the winter I appreciate that it is a warm meal with a fresh factor. I also love that there aren’t any weird leftovers. I made some once when I hosted the book club and served them with a salad bar. It was a hit for a group with different tastes!

Here are some tips to take this from a “sandwich” to a “dinner-starring-panini” Continue reading