Breakfast Totchos

Tots turned into nachos, for breakfast! We’ve been watching The Great Food Truck Race: Alaska! and there’s a truck called “Some Like it Tot” and while I don’t envision them winning, the concept is still fun (spoiler: also their serving is about 6 tots with toppings for $15 so let’s make these at home, shall we?)

The Three Bite Rule - Totchos

These are like a loaded breakfast hash of sorts but with tator tots. I’m always seeking savory breakfasts and this was so fun! It has tots, beans, cheese, eggs, bacon, green onions, and an optional spicy syrup!

Breakfast Totchos
Ingredients: (for 2)

3 cups of tator tots (about 8-10 tots per person)
4 strips bacon
2 cups cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup beans
2 green onions
2 tablespoons salsa
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:
Bake the tator tots according to the package (mine were 20 minutes at 375 degrees).
While the tots cook, pan fry the bacon until crisp- discarding the drippings.
In the same pan, with a coating of drippings, cook the eggs to a soft-scramble.
Layer half the cheese onto the tots and melt in the oven. Then assemble with half of the tots as a base layer, topped with half of the eggs, half the beans, half the green onions. Top with remaining tots and repeat, finishing with the remaining cheese. Bake to melt.
Stir together the hot sauce and maple syrup.
Out of the oven, add the salsa and a drizzle of spicy syrup.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Totchos

There are lots of ways to customize these- any kind of beans, guac/avocado would be excellent, a sunny side up egg sounds good, or whatever you’re into for nachos. It is also a great use for any leftover nacho ingredients- not leftover nachos, that’s terrible.

Make them a build-your-own situation! There are a lot of tots made into a casserole for breakfast but the thought of them not being crispy is blasphemy in my book.

Normally I’d be very against maple syrup touching eggs but I was thinking of it like hot honey and the bacon seemed to be the connection there- and I went really minimally. Skip it or go just for hot sauce if you’re not feeling it!

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.

BLT Quiche

I was striving to shake up lunches a bit. Somehow during this time home I began eating the same thing everyday: turkey, arugula, & provolone. I do want to get some variety going with the same “no thought required” as that daily sandwich so I made quiche! Poof! One hour of prep/baking time in advance and we have about 4 servings of lunch!

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

I went to make this and was out of tomatoes. I thought there was one left soooo I substituted a few tiny dollops of tomato paste from a tube I keep in the fridge. It was good! Go with real tomatoes but in a pinch, I’m here for ya!

BLT Quiche
Ingredients (for 4-5 servings):

1 pie crust
4 strips of bacon
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk/cream
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1 cup spinach
1 teaspoon tomato paste (or ~6 cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt & pepper

Directions:
Bake the pie crust in a pie plate, as instructed. (Mine was ~10 minutes)
Chop then pan fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and drain excess grease.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream of tarter, and salt and pepper.
In the baked pie crust, add in some cheese, some some bacon, some spinach, and a few dots of tomato paste. Repeat to fill it up.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

Bake for 35-40 minutes. It should puff a bit and not giggle in the center.
Let fully cool, then slice and enjoy!

I’d totally go with tomatoes but it worked so well in a pinch! Have some sun dried tomatoes in a jar? Use those! The flavor theme would have been wreaked without any and I liked it! Tomato paste is concentrated so really don’t go overboard!

I love the buttery and crumbly crust. The bacon is the star but the spinach is there to make you feel good about your life choices.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Quiche

Quiche is such a great and balanced lunch – I went back for seconds so this will end up being 4 servings for us- a quarter of the quiche. That’s 1 egg, 1 slice of bacon, and about 1/3 of a cup of cheese per serving! There’s really not much of a veg serving here so add some salad on the side but overall that’s what I call balance!

I’ll probably tuck one into the freezer for the next time I need some variety!

Chicken BLT Grain Bowl

It has been awhile since I shared some grain bowls and today I have a healthier twist still with some indulgent flavors. These have chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, and quinoa. The little bit of bacon adds great flavor and the small amount of chicken gets bulked up with an equal amount of mushrooms.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken BLT Grain Bowl

Chicken BLT Grain Bowl

Ingredients: (for 4)

3 cups quinoa prepared or other grain
1 teaspoon ranch dressing mix
8 oz portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lg chicken breast or 1 1/2 cups shredded roasted chicken
1 tomato, chopped
2 cups lettuce, or greens, chopped
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup ranch dressing

Directions:

Prepare the quinoa (or grain) and stir in the dry dressing mix.
Saute the mushrooms in butter and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until golden – about 5 minutes over medium heat. Then remove from the heat.
Spoon the quinoa into 4 bowls then top each with mushrooms, chicken, tomato, lettuce, and bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken BLT Grain Bowl
Drizzle with ranch and enjoy!

I loved this. Quinoa is not my fav grain but I do like variety so I prepped some to have around- and with the flavors of bacon and ranch, it seemed like any grain would be fine! I normally go for brown rice or farro- I like the bite of those.

I love grain bowls to get some fresh and rich bites all together. These are also a great way to stretch a small amount of chicken, or lots of small amount of veggies! I also love grain bowls for personalization. Not into mushrooms? Throw in some zucchini. No greens on hand? Swap for avocado. This is great packed for lunch, if you go somewhere, or lunch/dinner at home.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken BLT Grain Bowl

BLT Burger with Ground Bacon and Tomato Jam

Happy Birthday burger Mr. J! Annually I make a special burger and this one was such a good one! Grinding the bacon was no joke but it made for a delicious burger! The bacon flavor is totally up front. This tomato jam has the perfect sweet touch with some smoke and richness.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger w/ Tomato Jam

BLT Burger

Ingredients: (for 4 burgers)

5 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground ginger (~3/4 inch)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound bacon
4 burger buns
lettuce

Directions:

In a heavy pot, over low heat, add the tomatoes, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt, cumin, paprika, worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes. Simmer on low for an hour. Then remove from heat and chill until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger w/ Tomato Jam
Grind the bacon or finely chop it while raw.
Mix the ground pork and bacon together and form into burgers. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Grill until cooked through, until 160-degrees. (We cooked on a flat top.)
Assemble the burgers with the bun, mayo, lettuce, the burger, a generous scoop of tomato jam and the top bun.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger w/ Tomato JamEnjoy!

The tomato jam is a great part to make in advance – even a day or two before. I then ate the leftovers on toast and think it’d be great in a grilled cheese, on eggs, tossed with pasta, or on a real BLT as the T.

Here’s the history of the Birthday Burgers for Mr. J:

2019 it was a Manchego Burger with manchego, quince jam, and arugula
2018 it was a Garlic Lovers Burger with garlic butter, chips, garlic aoli and white cheddar.
2017 it was an Ultimate Mexican Burger with queso, guac, and beans.
2016 it was a Mac & Cheese Stuffed Burger topped with bacon, onions, and tomato.
2015 it was a Picnic Burger with slaw & potato sticks
2014 it was a German Burger with horseradish, caramelized onions, pickles and a pretzel roll
2013 it was a Vermont Burger with maple mayo, cheddar, bacon, and spinach
2012 it was a Bacon Wrapped Burger – enough said
2011 it was a Stuffed Burger stuffed with bacon & cheddar or bacon & blue cheese

Bacon Aoli Burger

This bacon aoli is as amazing as it sounds and makes the burger. I’m glad there’s some leftover aoli for another time! It is packed with so much bacon flavor, a little creaminess and lots of smokey flavor.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Aoli Burger
Mine was a beyond meat burger which is SO good. It was, hands down, the best burger I’ve had in a long time. I made the bacon aoli in advance which totally sped up getting the burgers on the table. A toddler waits for no blog photos.

Bacon Aoli

Ingredients: (for 1/4 cup, about 4 servings)

2 strips of bacon, reserve the bacon drippings
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
salt & pepper

Directions:

Pan fry chopped bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and reserve the drippings.
Add the mayo, garlic, liquid smoke, bacon, bacon drippings when cooled, and salt and pepper to a small bowl.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Aoli Burger
Stir well.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Aoli Burger
Spread onto burgers topping them with more bacon, cheddar, arugula, and tomato – like I did. Or spread onto a BLT with more bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Or spread onto a roll with turkey, provolone, tomato, and arugula.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Aoli Burger
I loved this. We had these burgers with sweet potato tots and some white wine. It truly made a perfect mother’s day dinner for me!

Get your hands on some liquid smoke. It seems like a specialty ingredient, but it lasts forever and will transform your chili, it is great in any cheeseburger-ish item you’re not actually grilling (like cheeseburger layer dip) or Rootbeer bbq sauce or in any pork dish (like pork and bacon ragu). I use it all the time and just now need another bottle. I’ve seen it for sale in the grocery store too. In a pinch, Worcestershire sauce would be a back-up.

Chicken, Bacon, Cheddar and Ranch Risotto

These flavors are great on their own, but better together. That’s like all of us, right? These weird times we’re all navigating need meals to connect over. I don’t pretend all meals are perfect though at our house, most of us loved this. T was mostly into the bacon and didn’t go for the chicken. C ate some of all of it, but LOVED the chicken.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Bacon, Cheddar & Ranch Risotto
Chicken was hard to come by on some of our digital grocery orders at one point. I had a few frozen chicken thighs and some panko breaded chicken tenders that were also formal residents of our freezer. However you like/whatever you can get! Risotto or any rice or whatever grain is kicking around your pantry. Any rice, or farro, or couscous, or quinoa, or lentils, or even beans would be good! Adding ranch flavor and cheddar and bacon will make the world seem better- or at least it’ll make dinner seem better!

Chicken, Bacon, Cheddar and Ranch Risotto

Ingredients: (serves 4)

1 cup arborio rice
1 1/2 chicken broth (or liquid ratio according to the method)
2 teaspoons dried Ranch powder mix
1 cup shredded cheddar
4 strips of bacon
4 chicken thighs grilled or pan seared or ~6 chicken tenders breaded and fried or baked
4 tablespoons ranch dressing (optional)

Directions:

Prepare the risotto according to the package (or method – I used the pressure cooker so I use the liquid ratio for that 1 cup arborio to 1 1/2 cups liquid) with the dried ranch mix.
While the risotto is cooking, chop the bacon and pan fry it until crisp, then remove from the grease but save a tablespoon or two.
Add in the tablespoon or two of bacon grease into the risotto when it is fully cooked, and mix in the cheddar cheese and bacon.
Bake or grill or sear the chicken.
Spoon some risotto into bowls or plates, slice chicken on top, and lastly add a drizzle of ranch dressing.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Bacon, Cheddar & Ranch Risotto

The first time I made this I roasted some grape tomatoes for this too. Stirring in some fresh spinach would be good for a complete bowl meal. I tossed some salad stuff together on the side. Or green beans would go nicely with this too!

Waffle-ized Hash Browns with Everything Bagel Egg

Everything can be waffle-ized! I’ll admit, these could be pan fried like a potato pancake, but 1) I hate the splatter and patience of frying things and b) these get so delightfully crispy on the waffle iron. Waffle nooks & crannies to be filled with egg yolk? Sign. Me. Up.

I didn’t win the big burger competition but I’ll put together a post about that soon! For now, here’s an anytime meal I whipped up before we left for the competition.
The Three Bite Rule - Waffle-ized Hashbrowns topped with an Egg
I made these for a weekend dinner- mostly for time sake, but they’re screaming: BRUNCHHH! I also made enough for another time and dropped some in the freezer for a rainy day. I used leftover cheese sauce I had in the freezer from homemade mac & cheese but have leftover queso (does anyone have leftovers?) use that! Have a can of Cambell’s canned cheddar cheese sauce (use half a can with a 1/4 cup of milk)? Use that!

Waffle-ized Hash Browns Topped with a Fried Egg & Everything Bagel Seasoning

Ingredients: (for ~4 full waffles, ~8 servings)

6 cups of frozen shredded hash browns (~2/3 of a 30oz bag)
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 eggs
1 cup cheese sauce
salt & pepper
3 teaspoons everything bagel seasoning
eggs (1-2 per serving)
bacon

Directions:

Mix together the hash browns, shredded cheese, cheese sauce, eggs, salt & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Waffle-ized Hashbrowns topped with an Egg
Preheat the waffle iron (or a skillet with oil) and preheat the oven to keep the “waffles” warm.
The Three Bite Rule - Waffle-ized Hashbrowns topped with an Egg
Heavily spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray- more than for a waffle.
Scoop about 3/4 of a cup onto the waffle iron and spread the hash browns out (spread more than for a waffle).
Cook on the waffle iron for ~5-7 minutes as the waffle iron instructs (mine gets filled, then tilted in the opposite direction to cook for 4 minutes, but these need longer than the waffle).
The Three Bite Rule - Waffle-ized Hashbrowns topped with an Egg
Keep the waffles warm and re-spray and reload the iron, repeating to use all the mixture.
In a separate pan, fry the eggs sunny-side up or over easy, as you like.
Top half a waffle with an egg, per serving, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and everything bagel seasoning.
The Three Bite Rule - Waffle-ized Hashbrowns topped with an Egg
Enjoy!

Not into eggs? Slice an avocado! Cut them into quarters, melt a slice of cheese onto the egg and add the top waffle piece for a sandwich!
The Three Bite Rule - Waffle-ized Hashbrowns topped with an Egg

Brioche Breakfast Sandwich with Roasted Tomatoes

I liiiive for breakfast sandwiches because I love the perfect bite that has some of everything. This one is not-your-average breakfast sandwich. It was almost an open-faced but the brioche loaf cost twice as much as the rolls so ta-da! The loaded toast became a sandwich! The roasted tomatoes are amazing and a perfect juicy pop to give this a little something special for breakfast.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Brioche Sandwich

Roasted Tomato and Bacon Breakfast Sandwich on Brioche

Ingredients: (for 2)

2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small white onion
4 slices of bacon
2 brioche rolls (or 2 slices brioche bread or challah)
2 eggs

Directions:

Roast the tomatoes and onions in a drizzle of olive oil for about 15 minutes at 400-degrees until they pop and get some color. Give them a little shake every few minutes for even cooking.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Brioche Sandwich
Chop the bacon and pan fry until crisp and then remove and let drain on a paper towel.
Slice the rolls and gently toast a little in the oven- just 5 minutes to keep them from getting soggy.
Pan fry the eggs sunny side up or over-easy, as you like.
Assemble the sandwiches with the rolls, tomatoes on each bottom roll, the eggs and top with bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Brioche Sandwich
Enjoy!

The brioche rolls are soft, puffy, and bordering on sweet- the French version of challah. The roasted tomato might be my new favorite breakfast element! I normally would head to a bacon, egg, and cheese, but this I loved as a stretch for myself.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Brioche Sandwich

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Turnovers

These little buggers are so cute and delicious. Crescent rolls are getting stuffed with, yup, you’ve guessed it, chicken, bacon, ranch, and cheddar. They became an instant dinner with the help of pre-cooked bacon and some rotisserie chicken. Serve these with some salad and they’re dinner like a hot sandwich, or on a big platter with ranch as an app! They are an ideal weeknight dinner or a fun one for kids to help assemble.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Turnovers

Ingredients:

1 can crescent rolls (8)
4 strips of cooked bacon
1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons ranch dressing
1 teaspoon ranch dressing powder mix

Directions:

Preheat the oven according to the crescent roll instructions, then shred the chicken and chop the bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers
Mix the chicken with the dressing.
Unroll the crescent dough into the perforated triangles. Top the wide part of the triangle with chicken, bacon, and cheddar. Then carefully roll towards the point.
Sprinkle ranch powder on top and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment, a baking mat, or sprayed generously with non-stick spray.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers
Bake 10-15 minutes, as directed by the crescent packaging.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Bacon Ranch Turnovers

These are a great use for leftover chicken if there isn’t a lot of it and they reheat well in the oven or toaster oven. Pop any leftovers into the freezer for another day’s  quick lunch or game-time snack….though, I don’t think you’ll have any leftovers!