Valentine’s Day Raspberry Muddy Buddies

I’m fully embracing Valentine’s Day this year because, well, we definitely need things to look forward to. I had decor up before Feb 1 hit and planned to make muddy buddies. We made some mint ones at Christmas and it was so fun. This muddy buddy batch has half white, half pink raspberry with some M&Ms in there too!

The Three Bite Rule - Raspberry Muddy Buddy

I like that these require so few ingredients. With so many Chex varieties I totally could have done half as raspberry and half vanilla chex, which would lighten up the sugar too.

Raspberry White Chocolate Muddy Buddy
Ingredients:

~1 box Rice Chex cereal (I used one box minus 2 kid bfast servings)
3 cups white chocolate
1 teaspoon raspberry jelly (optional)
1 cup freeze dried raspberries, pulverized into powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 bag Valentine’s M&Ms or small valentine candies or pink sprinkles

The Three Bite Rule - Raspberry Muddy Buddy

Directions:
Melt half the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds.
Mix half the cereal in, stirring carefully to not break the cereal. Pour into a zip-top bag and pour in half the powdered sugar (don’t push the air out before closing the bag, keep it balloon-like). Shake, shake, shake until well covered. Empty onto a sheet of wax paper to cool/dry.
Melt the other half of the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds.
Mix the remaining half the cereal in and jelly, stirring carefully to not break the cereal. Pour into the same zip-top bag and pour in remaining half of the powdered sugar and the raspberry powder (don’t push the air out before closing the bag-keep it balloon-like). Shake, shake, shake until well covered. Empty onto a sheet of wax paper to cool/dry.
Let it cool/dry for 15 minutes and then pour both batches into a large air-tight container with the M&Ms or sprinkles.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Raspberry Muddy Buddy

Using the bag was much easier than stirring in a bowl. I’ve now mastered how not to dirty 2 of everything! We had freeze dried raspberries that nobody liked for snacks so I ground them up for PB&J inspired energy bites and the rest for these! The kids like freeze dried mango, strawberries, apples, etc so I’m not sure why they weren’t a hit, but ohh well! They bring great flavor and color.

A lighter option to lessen the sugar would be to half the white chocolate, half the powdered sugar and to make the raspberry batch and mix in a few cups of vanilla chex or honey nut chex.

Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls

This is like a vacation! Coconut rice and pineapple are delightful on their own, then adding pork and a honey teriyaki drizzle makes magic. We loved this. The first time I made it with chicken but the pork was even better.

The Three Bite Rule - Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls

Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls:
Ingredients: (serves 4-5)

1 1/2 cups white rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water or broth
1 cup pineapple, chopped
1 1/2 cup shredded pork
2 green onions
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce

Directions:
Cook the rice using the coconut milk and water/broth for the liquid (I used a pressure cooker- about 4 min for white rice!).
Warm the pork in a skillet over high heat to crisp up bits and add a tablespoon or so of the honey/teriyaki/bbq sauce for the last few minutes.
Add the pineapple to the rice when it has cooked completely and mix.

The Three Bite Rule - Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls

Assemble the bowls with rice on the bottom, the pork, and chopped green onion on top.

The Three Bite Rule - Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls

Drizzle bowls with the remaining sauce. Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls

These were so good and a great use for pork. I love rice in the pressure cooker and it is so fast. The coconut and pineapple flavors are bright and easy to have anytime.

The pork shoulder in the crockpot for 8 hours became this, some went on pizza, and lots froze to be separate meals other times. We’ll use some for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and some smaller portions will go in quesadillas or nachos or something.

January Recap 2021

January was a roller-coaster for sure. The highs were T’s 6th birthday and the inauguration which made me hopeful. The attacks on the capitol was such a disappointing low moment for the US.

I don’t feel post-holiday lows I hear some folks have, though I think winter/snowman books and decor helps the fresh-start feelings still being festive. I wish we had more snow. Now I keep us looking towards the snack holiday (aka, the Superbowl) and making Valentines.

In the kitchen, I am so enthusiastic for the cutest Football Cheeseball ever. Make in any amount while you don’t have a crowd this year!

The Three Bite Rule - Football Cheeseball

Breakfast is one of my favorites and I’m missing going out for breakfast. I put together some McGriddles that were so good.

The Three Bite Rule - McGriddles

Winter doesn’t have me craving smoothies when it is cold, but this Chocolate Almond one was a great way to have some variety.

The Three Bite Rule - Chocolate Almond Smoothie

The Little Girl:
She reached a milestone of reaching the growth chart! She’s into the first percentile with our emphasis of nutrient-dence foods and focus to eat as much as possible. Coloring is her favorite activity 24/7 and she is playing a lot more of what big brother wants the “game”/play to be.

The Big Guy:
He’s 6! His birthday was fun and he had a countdown until the day. He is lucky to have gracious gifts of legos, puzzles, outside toys, and craft supplies. He chose pasta for dinner and Grandma made a lego cake! He is writing a ton and the note cards he delivers to us are so adorable.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! I didn’t send anything fun in January, but have ideas for February!
More breakfasts: yes! McGriddles!
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance – Somehow there were more leftovers around lately for lunches. Taco/burrito/quesadilla/salad make ideal leftovers.
I’d like to get the house a bit neater. I was highly motivated to declutter and pass along stuff we weren’t using.
Bullet journal – I started with a meals list- that’s pretty much what my blog is but the everyday seemed good to journal.
What I’m reading: I read so so so much in Dec and that took a nosedive in Jan. I read Nothing to See Here for bookclub and Watch Me Disappear. Both were OK, not fantastic.
What I’m watching: We finished Man Hunt season 2 about the Georgia bombings. I’ve caught up on A Million Little Things. I think I’m off the Bachelorette/Bachelor train. I never finished the Clare/Tayshia season and didn’t start the Matt season either.

Football Cheeseball

The inauguration was so so so important to me and I’m so happy to look forward. Next up: the Superbowl! I’m into the Superbowl for the snacks. And the commercials. And the halftime show. The cheeseball not only resembles a football but it also brings together the two delights of snacking: bacon and cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Football Cheeseball

Football Cheeseball
Ingredients:

1 package cream cheese
1 onion
2 tablespoons bbq sauce
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoning blend (Todd’s Dirt or Mrs. Dash or Italian Seasoning or 1/2 tsp Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt)
1/2 pound bacon
1/2 slice of provolone cheese
serve with sturdy crackers, like wheat thins or pita chips

Directions:
Caramelize the onion- slice and cook over low heat with a tablespoon of olive oil, for ~40 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat when they are soft and golden brown.
Bring the cream cheese to room temperature.
Using a mixer, mix up the cream cheese, caramelized onions, bbq sauce, worcestershire sauce, and seasoning blend.

The Three Bite Rule - Football Cheeseball

Wrap in plastic wrap into a ball and refrigerate until serving, or at least 2 hours.
Chop the bacon and pan fry until crisp. Then drain the drippings.
When serving, unwrap the plastic from most of it and holding the plastic on one side, form into a football shape about 3/4 inch thick so you still have plastic to cover your hands while forming it.
Flip onto a serving plate removing the plastic. Push the bacon crumbles onto the top and sides until completely covered. Slice the cheese into one long strip with short strips across to be the laces.
Serve with crackers and enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Football Cheeseball

If you’re making this one in advance, mix up the cheeseball and chill until serving with the bacon separate.

We looooved this. The flavors are fantastic and very chill – it would fit in well with other tailgate-ish foods! Hot tip: leftover cheeseball spread onto a turkey sandwich = delicious.

Chocolate Almond Smoothie

If the start of 2021 has you feeling crummy and seeking positive choices, this smoothie is perfect! It is DELICIOUS but also full of good stuff. I tend not to make many in the winter, so, enjoy this one!

The Three Bite Rule - Chocolate Almond Smoothie

This one is a meal – I’m going for protein & fiber and wanted to hit fruit and dairy here. This can be downgraded to a snack by skipping the yogurt, adding a bit more water, and serving as 4 smaller portions.

Chocolate Almond Smoothie
Ingredients: (serves 2-3)

1 frozen banana (or 1 cup frozen cauliflower)
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (or 1 tablespoon cocoa powder)
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed (optional)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 – 1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup water
a few ice cubes

Directions:
Add frozen banana/cauliflower, yogurt, chocolate protein powder/cocoa powder, ground flaxseed, almond extract, milk, water, and ice to a blender.

The Three Bite Rule - Chocolate Almond Smoothie

Blend & enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Chocolate Almond Smoothie

I loved this! I was a bit heavy handed with the almond extract the first time – so use with caution and measure. It totally brings a unique flavor – especially if you don’t loooove protein powder. Mint extract would be a good alternative too! My fav protein powder is Amazing Grass brand, especially peanut butter or vanilla. Any chocolate-ish smoothie could definitely include/hide frozen greens. I almost did but I also wanted to keep it simple. Go for it – you won’t taste or see some frozen baby spinach in there!

My all-time fav smoothie is this PB&J Smoothie so if you got a new blender, this one is a winner and often the only one I make!

The Three Bite Rule - PB & J Smoothie Healthified

McGriddle Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast sandwiches are my fav and let’s get into 2021 with my take on a McGriddle. McDs describes these as griddle cakes with flavors of maple syrup. I have no idea what a griddle cake is but seems like maybe I would if I were in the south? Mine is a twist on a pancake and to become a sandwich with a folded egg, a slice of American cheese, and a sausage patty.

The Three Bite Rule - McGriddles

There’s more here than what appears…

McGriddles
Ingredients: (for 2)

1 cup pancake mix
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon cinnamon chips (or butterscotch chips)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 cup cold water (or as the mix instructs)
2 sausage patties
2 eggs
2 slices of American Cheese

Directions:
Mix together the pancake mix, cornmeal, maple syrup, and add water. Then stir to combine but not over mixing. Cook small pancakes (think of the egg size and the sausage patty size) and add the chips before flipping.

The Three Bite Rule - McGriddles

Keep the pancakes warm while cooking the sausage. Drain the sausage on paper towels to remove excess grease.
Crack the eggs and whisk to scramble. Cook in a medium pan so the very thin egg can be folded into a square.
Melt the cheese on top.
Assemble the pancakes as the bread with a light brush of maple syrup, the sausage, the egg & cheese, and the other pancake.

The Three Bite Rule - McGriddles

I loved these. Breakfast sandwiches are my love language. I never fold the egg up like this but was going for a very McD’s style. I should have flipped it over to show you a nice smooth side with melted cheese on the flat part, but hey, here we are.

I used a few butterscotch chips I had around but cinnamon would be wayy better. They are also great in pumpkin or banana bread for all the leftovers you’d have!

December 2020 Recap

See ya 2020! December was so fun and I’m glad there can be a collective looking forward to 2021. It was a full month of food, like always. I’m grateful both Grandmas do most of the cookie baking with/for the kiddos. Christmas was so so fun and the little ones are perfect ages for the magic and surprise that fills this season.

I made this fantastic Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple and I love it in all seasons.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

For a second I was going to save the Stuffing Waffles for next Thanksgiving’s leftovers but life is short, wafflize it all.

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

These Chicken Tacos with Cherry Salsa was a fun twist since we have tacos on the regular and I live to keep us on our toes.

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

BLT Quiche was so handy to have around for breakfasts & lunches. Mr. J was wayyy more into it than I expected.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

I’m looking forward to NYE which always features sliders & shakes. Then mid-month T will turn 6! Work will have fewer evening virtual commitments. I’ll be kicking off the month with a super fun breakfast! Stay tuned!

The Little Girl:
She’s as happy as can be. Santa brought her a Mrs. Potato Head (in her picture & on Facetime), she asked for a toy. She talks so much and I’m amused by the constant narration and clarifying questions. She had another weight check and is onto the chart! Woohoo! 1st percentile! We’re continuing to focus on nutrient dense foods and pediasure.

The Big Guy:
He’s doing great in kindergarten. We adore his teachers and cannot get over how much they do everyday. He is reading so much and we love to see it. Santa brought him a remote control car (in his letter and on Facetime), he asked for a green racecar. He lost his 2nd tooth!

Goals:
Year of the flowers or plants I’m switching it up and going with fun mail! We justttt send New Years cards so that’s my fun mail for Dec.
More breakfasts – ehhh.
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance – BLT quiche was great for some lunches, I made quick ramen a few times (like this!) and tuna melts were all part of my more varied lunches!
I’d like to get the house a bit neater. I should prob be more strategic, but I did a few spots that needed extra attention!
Bullet journal – ehhh. I did not start yet.
What I’m reading: I read 30 books this year! This month I read Such a Fun Age & The Heir Affair & Destination Wedding & Pretty Things (wow, what a reading month!
What I’m watching: We watched our fav holiday movies: Christmas with the Kranks & Home Alone & Christmas Vacation. TV wise, we’re into Man Hunt season 2 about the Olympic Park bombing and others I didn’t know of. It is so good but intense. It is regularly followed by Modern Family.

Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Welcome to the easiest dessert ever! It is so perfect for your small family gatherings – with only slightly more effort than, say, an oreo. It is sweet, flavorful, and unique for home. I’ve done a twist on this before, for easy chocolate mousse or strawberry cheesecake mousse.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Go for it even if you wouldn’t say you like Cool Whip- it is so good and that’s not what stands out!

Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple
Ingredients: (for ~5 servings
)
1 package cheesecake pudding
2 cups milk
4 oz Cool Whip
1 cup granola (or crushed graham crackers)
1 tbs butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 can of apple pie filling
4 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

Directions:
Prepare the pudding according to the package – mine had 2 cups milk whisked for 2 minutes. Then it chills for at least 30 minutes.
Gently mix in Cool Whip to the pudding.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Melt the butter and mix in the granola and cinnamon.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

Assemble with some granola at the bottom of each bowl, then cheesecake mousse, then apple pie filling, and finish with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cheesecake Mousse with Salted Caramel Apple

I loved this and it is such an easy one to make ahead and just assemble when serving. It could easily have a few options – I liked the salted caramel apple but some crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips would be fun too!

Stuffing Waffles

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

I thought after Thanksgiving on this crazy year, you probably didn’t have loads of leftovers to work though so I tabled this stuffing-as-a-waffle idea. Though, if you aren’t overloaded then maybe there’s room for some a month later!

I saw Funk ‘n Waffle Restaurant on the Food Network and took a twist on the stuffing waffle meal. Stuffing in waffle form is just so fun. 10 out of 10. Highly recommend.

Stuffing Waffles, Topped with Chicken/Turkey
Ingredients: (serves ~4 as 1/2 of a waffle each)

6 oz seasoned stuffing mix (I used half of a 12 oz bag, the bag says 14 servings)
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 cup broth (as the stuffing directs, I needed 1/4 cup more)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
dried/fresh sage, sautéed onions/carrots/celery (optional)
salt & pepper
1/4 cup pancake/waffle mix
3 tablespoons water
chicken or turkey
gravy (optional)

Directions:
Prepare the stuffing according to the package- bring the broth and butter to a boil and add in the stuffing, onion powder, herbs if using, and pepper. Taste before adding salt. Then remove from the heat and fluff to cook through.
Heat a waffle iron.
Mix together the pancake/waffle mix and water. Make it more runny than the mix instructs.
Spray the waffle iron with nonstick spray.
Spoon half of the stuffing onto the waffle iron, spreading it out to be a thin layer. Drizzle half the of pancake/waffle mix onto the stuffing.

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

Close and flip. Cook for ~4-5 minutes, or as waffles typically cook on it.
Keep the first one warm while repeat to cook for the other waffle with spray, the remaining stuffing mix, the remaining pancake/waffle mix.
Serve half a waffle with warm chicken or turkey on top. Drizzle some gravy if you like!
Enjoy!

We loved this! They’re soft but have some crispy bits! I should have served some cranberry sauce on the side. Our kids looooove jellied cranberry sauce! We had green beans and some gravy to dip. The 5-doesn’t care about stuffing so he ate some, the 2-ate all of hers!

I froze some extra stuffing waffles to pull out of the freezer some random time. I’m thinking they’d be a fun slider with deli turkey, some melted cheese and cranberry spread!

The stuffing mix in a bag seems sooo much better than the box – I’ve noticed a serious difference. They’re always a bit salty, plus the broth- so definitely taste before adding any more salt.

The Three Bite Rule - Stuffing Waffles

When you have leftover stuffing, make a Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich or these delightful Thanksgiving Meatballs that have dried cranberries and stuffing in them!

Chicken Tacos with Cherry Salsa

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

Let’s quickly shake up taco night, shall we? I love alllll tacos (see here, or here, or here, or here) but to keep things interesting, I went with chicken in the tacos and the topping was a super quick cherry salsa.

I always want the kiddos eating new things and knowing that “tacos” don’t mean one thing. Once a week(ish) taco night can be tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc. Using frozen cherries makes this fit any season and makes it so easy!

Cherry Salsa
Ingredients: (for 4)

1 cup dark cherries
1/4 white onion
2 tablespoons chopped arugula
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon salsa

Directions:
Defrost the cherries.

Chop the cherries, onion and arugula. Mix in the lime juice and salsa.
Serve on chicken tacos with black beans.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

I loved this and it takes less than 5 minutes to mix up. The cherries are juicy and sweet against the seasoned taco and the crisp of the onion and arugula. The arugula can swap for cilantro but we have arugula around so it does double duty here.

We often make meatless with Gardien crumbles (don’t get me started how quick and fool-proof or crispy fish tacos but for these I chopped some chicken thighs and sautéed them with taco seasoning.

2 gobbled up more tacos than usual and 5 deconstructed his and ate maybe a bit less than usual but didn’t have much to say either way about the salsa….so a win and a tie?

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

Leftover frozen cherries? Make Cherry & Arugula Flatbreads or Make Cherry “Cheesecake” Parfaits or Make Chocolate Cherry Smoothies.