January 2023 Recap

I enjoy January for the freshness and re-set since I don’t get a post-holiday letdown I know others feel. Once the holidays pass I love to usher in the snowy decor and prep for our guy’s birthday!

This is the ultimate breakfast sandwich is on Texas toast with maple bacon aioli and gooey cheese.

Treats don’t have to end come January so we had some Snickerdoodle Muddy Buddies.

As the only mushroom-eater, I made these Forager Flatbreads as lunch.

The Three Bite Rule - Forager Flatbread

We had fun going to the pool and ice skating and we definitely are awaiting real snow. We are outside less and wishing for more daylight. I’m very over the colds we seem to pass along. I love the snacks of the superbowl ahead and maybe we’ll create some pink Valentine’s day dessert.

The Little Girl:
She’s still in her Elsa dress daily. She builds magnatiles and colors non-stop. We are very into the books that read-aloud themselves from the library. I’m so impressed with how well she can use scissors. She cannot wait for kindergarten and riding the bus.

The Big Guy:
His birthday was so fun. We had a family dinner party and he had some friends meet him at the trampoline park. I love seeing his friendships blossom. Of course we had pasta and caesar salad. He is very into How to Train your Dragon and transformers. He’s taking an Animals around the World class after school and he’ll play baseball in the spring. He’s interested in the football playoffs and superbowl.

Goals:
Year of workwear! I got a few shells for under blazers or cardigans
Salads or side-dishes: Hmm.
prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: this makes getting to the office so much easier. I made some chickpea/tomato/cucumber/feta bowls with hummus and pita.
Monthly dates: We didn’t make this happen, but will.
Declutter/cleaning: I passed along all the pjs that the big guy is always be too hot for!
Workouts as a routine: ehh. Too many days of colds meant this didn’t happen regularly.
What I’m reading: I read The Nineties which was interesting but felt like I’d already read it. Bookclub read The Ten Thousand Doors of January which wasn’t for me.

Forager Flatbread

This many-cheese flatbread is quick to put together with lots of customization options. It is kind of a brown meal, but, it is so so good. There’s a butter + parmesan + garlic spread, mozzarella, ricotta, mushrooms and honey drizzle. The earthy mushrooms and honey are such a great combo. Mushrooms not your jam? Italian sausage and honey would be a great combo too for a sweet and savory mix!

The Three Bite Rule - Forager Flatbread

Forager Flatbread
Ingredients:
(for 2)
1 pint mushrooms
2 flatbreads (I used naan)
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon parmesan
1 teaspoon cream or half & half
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons ricotta
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella balls
1-2 teaspoons honey
pinch of oregano

The Three Bite Rule - Forager Flatbread

Directions:
Pan fry the mushrooms in some butter and olive oil to get them a bit caramelized around the edges.
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Mix together the butter, parmesan and minced garlic then stir in just a drizzle of cream, adding more if needed.
Assemble the flatbreads by spreading the butter/garlic sauce onto the naan and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Top with shredded mozzarella, dots of ricotta, some mozzarella balls, and mushrooms.

The Three Bite Rule - Forager Flatbread

Cook for 5-10 minutes (10 will be crispy edges, 5 will be warm and soft).

The Three Bite Rule - Forager Flatbread

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle on some oregano.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Forager Flatbread

I looooved this. It is quite a brown meal and I almost added arugula. The mix of cheeses and the mushrooms with sweet honey is delightful. I’m the only mushroom eater at home so these were lunch and I was very happy. It reheats fine (top with honey just before serving), but is definitely best fresh.

November 2022 Recap

November was a bit of a blur. It wasn’t a busy month in the kitchen. One week was a doozy and we just needed some space, time, and grace with ourselves. We said goodbye to our beloved dog and it was hard. Thus, here we are.

My blog turned 12! Wow. It is a tween! I like to set some new goals/intentions and decide my fav kitchen moments from the past year.

Cheers! I made a pear & cucumber cocktail that was delightfully crisp and with just a touch of fall.

The Three Bite Rule - Pear & Cucumber Cocktail

This spinach strata was so good for breakfast and lunch.

The Three Bite Rule - Spinach Strata

December is coming right up- wow. The Christmas season for us is really fun so I’m trying to soak it all up and love the parts were in. It is very much time to switch gears in my brain. Bring on the hot chocolate and we’ll see what cooking looks like this month. I’m guessing we’ll host Christmas Eve for appetizers (partly because we like those, and partly because kids don’t have to sit as long).

The little girl:
She totally gets cold so I’m curious how much she’ll love winter this year. I love how how much wonder she has for all the Halloween candy – even opening a tootsie roll has her astounded for what comes out. She loves playing hot or cold for where she is in relation to something. Both kids ate so well at a restaurant for breakfast and it was her first time! She and I are going to see a Nutcracker performance and I cannot wait.

The big guy:
He is very into drawing and coloring right now. I love it. He likes coloring pages we print that are very ‘of the moment’ for a character or theme we’ve just read/watched/etc. The games the two of them come up with very much amuse me – there was something with sliding figurines and hitting them away like hockey that happened the other night and seemed mutually agreed upon. Soccer wrapped up and we love the flexibility and unscheduled weekends.

Goals:
Year of workwear! I got a sweater-ish/tunic-ish/mock-turtle top in a dark cranberry color
Salads or side-dishes: I made a cold buffalo chicken pasta salad with shredded chicken this time, for a very pack-able lunch.
prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: The strata!
Monthly dates: We had Mexican at El Centro
Declutter/cleaning: I have a big drop of donations to make – let’s see if it rides around with me in Nov or hitting Dec. Both kids went through their art and were done with a good chunk of it.
Workouts as a routine: I’m a bit more routinely doing some dance & weight workouts.
What I’m reading: I read Why Didn’t You Tell Me which was an interesting look at identity/race/lineage/birth order/gender. Bookclub did a YA this time with You Should See Me in a Crown which was so cute and fresh – esp for those of us very far from highschool. I read Killers of a Certain Age which was Italian Job meets Golden Girls and was very fun, not the best ever but amusing.

Spinach Strata

This spinach strata has a shortcut to pack a flavor punch – creamed spinach gives this so much a salty creaminess and keeps the ingredient list quite short. I made it as I would a bread pudding so while strata means layers, mine didn’t have to soak as long and came together so quickly. 

The Three Bite Rule - Spinach Strata

It poofs up like a souffle and then settles a bit. It is less eggy than a lot of breakfasts which was nice for variety. I loved it reheated too. I intended it to be a ready-made, savory breakfast but I needed a handheld one for en route to the bus stop. This became lunch and I was not mad about it. I microwaved on low (try a defrost or reheat setting) and thank me later. 

Spinach Strata
Ingredients: (for ~6 servings)

1 loaf bread (Italian or focaccia or sourdough)
1 package creamed spinach
3-4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
salt & pepper
1-2 cups fresh greens (I used baby arugula)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheese
3 tablespoons parmesan 

Directions: 
Slice and cube the bread – let it sit out for a few hours to get stale. 
Warm the creamed spinach according to the package. Then stir and cool. 

The Three Bite Rule - Spinach Strata

Mix up the eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper – go gentle on the salt since the creamed spinach will likely provide enough salt. 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9×9 baking dish. 
Gently mix together the bread cubes, creamed spinach, egg mixture, and fresh greens. Ensure it is all evenly coated. 

The Three Bite Rule - Spinach Strata

Spoon half into the baking dish, add a sprinkle of each cheese, top with remaining bread mix and finish with the remaining cheeses. 

The Three Bite Rule - Spinach Strata

Bake ~40 minutes. 
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Spinach Strata

Let me declare my love for creamed spinach as an ingredient as we never eat it as a side- I love it mixed into pasta to be a sauce, or in a calzone for some cheesiness, or into the ricotta mixture for stuffed shells or lasagna. Also, since it lives in the freezer, that makes it very handy. The salt content is up there, but that is usually based on 2-3 servings and I often use it as ~6 servings.