Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

Happy 2022! We started the new year with this fun breakfast after getting to sleep in and it was great – a bit decadent from the bacon and the maple aoli but a bit smartly balanced from the sweet potato and egg.

The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

Both the bacon and sweet potato can be made ahead – or cooked a few ways. That would even turn it into a speedy weekday breakfast too!

Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash
Ingredients: (for 2)

1 sweet potato
4 strips of bacon
2 tablespoons mayo
2-3 teaspoons maple syrup
2-4 eggs

Directions:
Peal and chop the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces. Then cook (bake ~20 minutes or airfry ~10 minutes or pan fry ~ 10 minutes & bonus points if cooking them in the bacon fat!)
Fry the bacon – ~20 minutes in the oven or chop into small pieces and pan fry for ~7 minutes.
Mix together the mayo and syrup together. Start with some of the syrup and add more to taste.

The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

Mix together the sweet potatoes and chopped bacon and divide onto plates. Drizzle half of the aoli on top.
Cook the eggs sunny-side or over easy with salt and pepper.
Put the eggs on top and drizzle remaining maple aoli on top.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

I loved this. The runny yolk is the best. The aoli could swap the maple with hot sauce instead! Add some onions and peppers. Add some garlic. Add in some black beans. Go for what you like! A shred of cheese would be delicious too.

Our bacon was leftover from NYE sliders. Sometimes I make it in the oven or anytime it is crumbled means pan frying in little pieces would be easy too. This would be ideal as breakfast-for-dinner too!

December 2021 Recap

December is such a blur. It was a fun month but busy and a bit emotionally heavy and uneasy- a lot at work, too many Covid cases in the world, plans too TBD for me, and I really enjoy this season but also like to look forward too.

Pizza Beans were a bit of a re-do and we love it for a quick dinner with lots of options. The leftovers are great, though it is also an ideal way to use up little bits of leftovers.

The Three Bite Rule - Pizza Beans

I made Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies which were fun and not an excessive treat to have around.

The Three Bite Rule - Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies

Meatless Bean & Mushroom Meatballs were really fun and nice to have on hand. I like them in sauce and some garlic bread. I formed some into burgers too.

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Bean Meatballs

Last but not least, I made a lasagna with Sausage & Pesto Lasagna was so so good and a nice change from a tomato-sauce lasagna.

The Three Bite Rule - Sausage & Pesto Lasagna

Before we get into 2022, NYE is sliders & frappes – our tradition for 7 years running!

The Little Girl:
She forgot about what Santa does – for a while she was planning to ask Santa to bring “a cookie with green on it”. She asked for a puzzle and really enjoyed the holidays. She was thrilled to get 2 babies (a Bitty Baby named Winnie and a Cabbage Patch Kid) and she loved a package of undies and lots of bath toys.

The Big Guy:
He was torn what to ask Santa for – he ended up asking for Pokemon cards and now has a whole bunch. He looooves some Beyblades and legos. The cookie season brings him lots of joy. He’s been not interested in cheese – weird.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got a neutral pink (this one – it is nicely solid and not streaky like an essie one I had.)
More international food inspiration: hmmm. I’m not sure I did.
More soups/salads: We had broccoli & cheddar soup. Seems like chowder or chili are in order.
More apps: We had an app party for Christmas Eve, a candy cane caprese salad – a smear of pesto plus the tomato/mozz.
More fun drinks: nope, but maybe NYE?
Updating photosPizza Beans! An update from Tomato, Basil, Polenta Bean Bowls
What I’m reading: I read The Night Watchmen and wasn’t into it. Then, I read We Are Not Like Them and loooooved it – one of the best of I read this year. A cute NYE one was This Time Next Year.
What I’m watching: All the Christmas movies! Our must-sees are Christmas with the Kranks, Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone.
What I’m listening to: still loving the American Girls podcast.

Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies

So addicting! Muddy Buddies are fool-proof and great to make quickly – and to be ready to gift! Sweet chex-mix with 2 flavors is the best. I made mint & chocolate for Saint Patrick’s Day and I made raspberry white chocolate muddy buddies for Valentine’s Day.

Read through before making – I have you make one kind, then the other since the chocolate shouldn’t cool/harden before you’re ready to mix it all up. These are delightfully wintry – not holiday-ish so make whenever!

The Three Bite Rule - Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies

Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies:
Ingredients:

1 cup white chocolate chips
6 cups rice chex cereal (that’s 2/3 of a box)
2/3 cup hot chocolate mix
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini dehydrated marshmallows

Directions:
Melt white chocolate chips – stirring every 20-seconds in the microwave for ~1 minute OR over a double boiler.
Then gently stir into half the chex, carefully to not break the cereal. Then transfer into a zip-top bag and pour in the hot chocolate mix.

The Three Bite Rule - Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies

Shake shake shake to cover evenly.
Then pour onto wax paper and spread out evenly to “dry” (hot tip: place on baking sheets to be able to move them.) Let it sit for ~30 minutes – an hour.

The Three Bite Rule - Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies

Melt the chocolate chips – stirring every 20-seconds in the microwave for ~1 minute OR over a double boiler.
Then gently stir into half the chex, carefully to not break the cereal. Then transfer into a zip-top bag (use the same one!) and pour in the powdered sugar.
Shake shake shake to cover evenly.
Then pour onto wax paper and spread out evenly to “dry” (hot tip: place on baking sheets to be able to move them. Sound familiar?) Sprinkle the dehydrated marshmallows so some will stick to the chex clusters. Let it sit for ~30 minutes – an hour.

The Three Bite Rule - Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies

Enjoy!

The dehydrated marshmallows are so so fun and a big bag was half the price than the little tub by ice cream toppings or by hot chocolate in the stores. I’ll totally put on top of ice cream, on yogurt, add to trail mix, drop into hot chocolate, and into hot chocolate bombs and I definitely want to try in ebilskiver pancakes!

Pizza Beans

December neeeeds easy dinner ideas, right? Pizza beans are such a hit here – we get the flavors of pizza in a warm and comforting dish. This busy time of year seems ideal for dinners that are easy and minimal cooking required. There are lots of ways to customize these which helps be a crowd pleaser – or to use random leftovers with some pantry basics!

The Three Bite Rule - Pizza Beans

White beans and tomato sauce are the base with all the toppings you love! They’d also be a great option for a pizza spread for a gluten-free or custom dietary options.

Pizza Beans
Ingredients: (for 3-4)

2 cans white beans
1-2 cups tomato sauce
1 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon parmesan
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
pepperoni

Directions:
Cook the beans, tomato sauce, garlic, and oregano over low heat for ~10 minutes until fully warmed through.

The Three Bite Rule - Pizza Beans

Serve and top while hot.

The Three Bite Rule - Pizza Beans

Top with shredded cheese, pepperoni, and any other toppings.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Pizza Beans


Toppings we love: crumbled sausage, chicken, roasted peppers, sauteed onions, chopped arugula, fresh mozzarella, dollop of pesto or alfredo, or whatever you like!

I love this. It is a great use for small amounts of cheese and tiny bits of any topping. It reheats well if packing for lunch or eating separately though beans aren’t always the best when frozen. The beans are filling and provide lots of fiber and iron. The kids love it – probably because it has familiar flavors and easy to chew.

This was a side-step from these Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

Grab your beans and give it a Mexican twist with some roasted tomatoes, salsa, queso, roasted corn, etc – give it a Mediterranean twist with warmed beans mixed with caesar dressing, chicken, spinach, feta, etc. Add to your beans with ricotta and mini meatballs and call it a lasagna bowl! Bean bowls are fun – they just don’t have the same ring as some other names.

Bean & Mushroom Meatballs

Meatless meatballs don’t get everyone psyched, but these were so flavorful and filling. Also, if forming into meatballs isn’t your thing, they can easily be patties or pan fried all chopped up to be taco/burrito filling or for faux-Bolognese sauce!

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Bean Meatballs

Mushroom & Bean Meatballs
Ingredients:

1/2 white onion, chopped small
1 pint (~2-3 cups) baby portabella mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (15.5 oz) white beans (black beans would be good too & make them darker in color like any other meatball)
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt & pepper (I used a salt & garlic powder mix)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or sub a teaspoon balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 egg (optional)

Directions:
Sauté the onions over medium heat until soft and translucent then remove from the heat and sauté the mushrooms in butter in that same pan – about 5 minutes over medium high heat.

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Bean Meatballs

While the mushrooms cook (let them sit to caramelize before gently stirring), drain the white beans (and reserve some of the liquid). Add the beans, garlic, and a little liquid to a food processor blending until smooth.
Chop the mushrooms.
In a large bowl, mix together the bean puree, mushrooms, oats, onions, dried herbs, and worcestershire sauce. Mix well.

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Bean Mea

Add in panko and egg (use the egg if forming into balls to better keep them together). Refrigerate 15+ minutes before forming into balls.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes & flip and bake for another 15 minutes. Or, air fry for ~15 minutes. They’re a bit soft to pan fry- mine didn’t stay together so I don’t recommend it! Air frying worked well as meatballs and as veggie burgers!

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Bean Meatballs

These were good and super filling – the beans add some nice heft to keep you full and the mushrooms make them juicy. I made some into meatballs and served with sauce and garlic bread and froze a as patties to have as veggie burgers. They are soft so I cooked fully and cooled before freezing. I’m not sure if the meatballs would hold together if cooked in sauce for a long time.

When the pan-fried ones fell apart too much, I drained them all and broke them up further to be like a meat sauce!

Mushrooms aren’t everyone’s fav in my family so these will mostly be for me (I also don’t eat beef so I’d have these and everyone else could have beef meatballs).

November 2021 Recap

I love November – Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. I make fun-but-easy breakfast (cinnamon rolls from a tube & bacon!), and we watch the Thanksgiving Day parade in pjs, and I love the early-dinner and the food. The day has a casual mood and we all just mill about together. It is great. I do not do Christmas things until Black Friday, so it is fun for me to usher out one holiday to welcome in the next.

This month I made Caesar Broccoli which is so so good and I hope it is on your future menu – it is perfect alongside any entrée. Make with ham! Grilled Chicken! Sausages! Pasta! You name it. The kids loved it once and didn’t care either way the next time, so give it a whirl!

The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Broccoli

If you’re planning your leftovers, whip up some Thanksgiving Nachos! In all honesty, I used roasted chicken when making these before Thanksgiving and can whole heartedly encourage either way!

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Nachos

I love a seasonal hot bev and this is tea with cider and it is spiked! Add it to your brunch or dessert with leftover pie or whatever!

The Three Bite Rule - Cider Tea Cocktail

My blog turned 11! I set a few new goals and awarded my own superlatives.

The Little Girl:
She’s becoming more self-sufficient all the time. I love seeing her grow up and it is funny to see old videos of her as a tiny toddler now that she’s such a kid. Decisions are based on whatever her brother has or is doing and she loves him so so much. I promised next year when she’s 4, we’ll go see the Nutcracker – then days later she asked about seeing the cracker show. 😉 She’s been pretty into hummus lately and has been eating quite well lately – knock on wood.

The Big Guy:
He finished his soccer season. It was fun and also endearing to see them improve (go the right direction/pay attention). I don’t mind a practice night and a game day off our schedules. He got his first vax dose! Hallelujah! He’s super into trading Pokemon cards on the bus and at school. This kid loves canned cranberry sauce more than anyone I’ve ever met. I had to ensure there was plenty for others at Thanksgiving. He normally eats some of everything so we’ll see what he’s into this year. For breakfasts he has been obsessed with hard boiled eggs.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got a deep redish one (this one – the bottle looks more purpley than it comes out to be)
More international food inspiration: does Diwali lunch at work count?
More soups/salads: I made a super quick tomato soup for dinner one night
More apps: Thanksgiving Nachos!
More fun drinks: Apple Cider & Vanilla Tea Hot Cocktail
Updating photos on some old posts: not yet, stay tuned!
What I’m reading: I read The Last Story of Mina Lee which was a mix of true-crime versus mother/daughter relations versus immigration story. It was pretty good. Bookclub read Midnight Library. I liked the fantastical element of between life & death and the themes of regret or what-if was pretty good. I didn’t love it like the masses did, but pretty good.
What I’m watching: We finished the Impeachment: An American Crime series. We were fascinated and it was fantastic. I loooove a deep dive into something that happened in my lifetime that I do not have the full story on. Next up will be Christmas movies!
What I’m listening to: loving the American Girls podcast to look at the literary merits or deficits of the books, and The Dropout because Elizabeth Holmes is mind boggling.

Apple Cider Vanilla Hot Cocktail

Fall in a cup! This hot cocktail came out of my love for fall hot drinks so I mixed vanilla tea and apple cider and spiked it. It was delightful!

The Three Bite Rule - Cider Tea Cocktail

Apple Cider & Vanilla Tea Hot Cocktail
Ingredients: (for 2)

1 cup cider
1 cup vanilla tea (or a tiny bit of vanilla extract into black tea)
1-2 shots vanilla vodka
~4 tablespoons whipped cream
sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

Directions:
Brew the tea and warm the cider.

The Three Bite Rule - Cider Tea Cocktail

Mix one part tea (1/2 cup) with one part cider (1/2 cup) and half the vodka and stir. Sweeten to taste – I left my tea unsweetened but normally sweeten when drinking it by itself!
Top with whipped cream and a cinnamon sugar sprinkle.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cider Tea Cocktail

I loved this! It wasn’t so so sweet since I hadn’t sweetened the tea but could see it being good either way. Rim the glasses with cinnamon sugar and skip the whipped cream if you wish!

This one seems great with brunch since it is light, and would be great at Thanksgiving! These would work well as a big batch, like in a pitcher and guests could spike it (or not). Serve them for day-drinks or tailgating!

Thanksgiving Nachos

Plan now – these Thanksgiving inspired nachos are perfect for leftovers, or if you’re not the host and want to whip up something with Thanksgiving vibes leading up to the holiday!

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Nachos

Thanksgiving Nachos
Ingredients: (serves ~4 as a meal, or ~6 as an app)
1 package waffle fries
2/3 cup jellied cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayo
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
~1 cup turkey (I used roasted chicken as it was before Thanksgiving)
~1 cup turkey gravy
6 sage leaves, chopped

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees (or as waffle fry package directs).
Bake the fries (or air fry, but like nachos, there will be toppings and continue to cook).
Blend together cranberry sauce, sour cream, and mayo. This can be prepped in advance and refrigerated.

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Nachos

Chop or tear the turkey into bite-size pieces and warm.
Mix or warm the gravy.
When the fries are cooked, top half with the cheese, half the chicken, and a drizzle of gravy. Then place the remaining fries on top with remaining cheese, and another gravy drizzle. Return to the oven for ~3-5 minutes to melt the cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Nachos

Remove from the oven and top with sage and a drizzle of cranberry sauce.
Enjoy and serve remaining cranberry sauce and gravy on the side.

We had it for dinner with some green beans on the side. It was so fun! The 1st grader ate it all – and took care of the remaining cranberry sauce. The pre-schooler ate the cranberry aoli-sauce by the spoonful and only took a few bites of the rest.

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Nachos

I loved the bites with everything together! They are kind of a fork-nacho but these would be fun with sweet potato fries too! They could be party friendly as mini “stacks” and maybe a toothpick to hold together to serve a portion. The subtle cranberry was really good and would be great on a sandwich or wrap for leftovers or on a turkey burger!

Add this to your leftovers – or make this if you’re not having a turkey dinner!

11th Blogaversary!

I’m shocked annually that the hobby has carried on. I’m still enjoying it so cheers to 11 years! Thanks for being here! I love hearing what resonates and what’s been good!

For each blogaversary I declare some superlatives and look forward with some new goals for the upcoming year.

Superlatives:
Most Popular: Breakfast Tot-chos these are breakfast with nod to those elements of nachos. Plus bacon makes everything better.

The Three Bite Rule - Totchos

Most Photogenic: Chicken Bacon Ranch Burritos are everything you love about a burrito mashed up with a wrap. (Pssst! These Chicken Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps are along those same lines of a burrito-y wrap).

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Burrito

Most Insta-popular:
Not blogged, but the Olympics food was a hit on Instagram. Duley noted. Winter 2022 is coming right up and I have LOTS OF IDEAS.

Most Likely to Succeed: French Onion Soup Burger – this one is so so so good. There were a few burgers this year and this was the clear winner. French onion soup mix and caramelized onions plus some really great cheese made this additionally special.

The Three Bite Rule - French Onion Soup Burger

Most Popular: Pineapple Coconut Rice with a honey teriyaki drizzle. This is such a crowd pleaser and works great with pulled pork, chicken thighs, or kielbasa. I like the hint to a tropical vibe, but is so great year-round.

The Three Bite Rule - Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls

Goals for next year:
Year of the ______: this past year has been year of fun mail. The year before I thought I’d do plants/flowers but quickly dropped that. It really became a year of treat for myself each month. This year, I’m going to do a year of nail polish! Some of mine are embarrassingly old. I loved some more elaborate ideas but want to stay true to easy to find and something for me – my kiddos are treated to things all the time.
More international food inspiration: take out or make my own.
More soups/salads: this is kind of seasonal so it seems useful to reach towards but might not always happen.
More apps: I’ve done this before and love it – esp when it becomes dinner 😉
More fun drinks
Updating photos on some old posts
What I’m reading: I read 40 books this year! Wow! I love books and keep adding to my list to always be ready for my next.
What I’m watching: maybe more movies?