September 2022 Recap

I love September. Back to school and the return to soccer went well, and the cooler temps are much appreciated. We celebrated our 11th anniversary. I like September for still summer produce but a good time for almost-fall foods.

I made this lemon garlic pasta for any season, but the lemon kept it light. This is a great sauce to mix up and store a few days for a dinner. It would pair nicely with anything grilled too.

The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Garlic Pasta

Quesadillas (or grilled cheese) are ideal lunches when I’m working from home and can make something but still need to keep getting stuff done so I whipped up corn quesadillas in cilantro butter (pssst! it has other butters if cilantro isn’t your jam).

The Three Bite Rule - Corn Quesadilla with Cilantro Butter

Do not snooze on burger beans! We love (and repeat often) pizza beans for a quick/inside dinner and burger beans are a twist on that. The bean base makes it cook so fast and reheat well too. They are quick and ingredients we tend to have around all the time. I used a veggie burger but any would do!

The Three Bite Rule - Burger Beans

Lastly, I did a round-up of speedy weeknight dinners. There are some for make-ahead, some for prep-ahead, and some of the fastest cooking ideas around. If you learn nothing else, make a brain-dump list of ideas and keep adding to it all the time. When you’re planning, that’ll come in handy and not require any recollection of what works but you haven’t had in awhile.

Oct will have a rice bowl, maybe a fall-ish cocktail, and I’m not sure what else. It is time for all the pumpkin and apple things. Maybe I’ll give baked oatmeal a go? I repeated these loaded savory waffles with sausages, egg, and cheese for one-handed weekday breakfasts.

The Little Girl:
She’s still either singing Frozen songs or in Elsa costume elements. She had an ear infection and did not complain at all (which delayed us even knowing that’s what was happening). She’s packs a backpack of treasures for when she goes to soccer games. We just decorated inside for Halloween and she loved seeing it all again.

The Big Guy:
The start of school has gone well! He was definitely more confident knowing the school, routine, the bus, and other kids this year. I think he’s writing with a little more care this year (so far!). He loves aftercare and he’s in a good routine. Soccer is 2nd & 3rd grade so he’s rising to the challenge this year. He’s obsessed with How to Train your Dragon movies and the show.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got color changing ones!
More international food inspiration: ehh not really.
More soups/salads: 
More apps: Not really
More fun drinks: I made some iced tea and we’re alllllmost into nightly hot tea time
Updating photos: nope
What I’m reading: I read I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet and do not recommend – it was a little spiritual which is ok, but not what I gravitate too, but mostly, it was so vague yet google-able. I reread The Gown for bookclub and we all liked it. I read Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – loved it and think anyone would get something out of it. I read The Boys Club which was pretty good, and worth it for a non-murder suspense one though I’d recommend with lots of trigger warnings and might be more interested in others by that author.
What I’m watching: Amazing race is back!
What I’m listening to: I did another season of Land of the Giants


August Recap 2022

August wizzed by. We celebrated C’s 4th birthday, went on vacation to the beach, juggled no-camp weeks, and were hotter than we’d like.

In the kitchen, I loved these savory waffles with hashbrowns, sausage, egg, and cheese and will 100% make them again soon. They were the best one-handed breakfast for on-the-go mornings.

The Three Bite Rule - Savory Waffle

These Peach Tea Cocktails were SO good for a light summer drink.

The Three Bite Rule - Peach Tea Cocktail

I made some apps – phyllo cups with ricotta, peach, and basil.

The Three Bite Rule - Peach & Ricotta Phyllo Cups

One last drink – cherry lime refreshers have some sweet cherries, tart lime, and finish with bubbles!

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Lime Refresher

Plus, I rounded up some no-cook/low-cook Summer dinner ideas.

I have some September recipes in the works – a lemon one and something corny.

The Little Girl:
She’s 4! She loved her birthday of swimming, a unicorn cake, and fun presents. A cold worked it’s way through her (and some of us) a few times but wasn’t Covid so that’s all we can ask for. She’s in her Elsa costume all the time and had her last ballet class. She loved corn on the cob.

The Big Guy:
He loved all the summer camps and wrapped up the summer with 2 weeks of time with the grandparents and home. August had one camp at Mass Audubon Society where he spent all day in the woods or making art – he came home sweaty, dirty, and happy. He’s ready for 2nd grade and for soccer to start. Packing camp lunches was only moderately successful so we’ll all be glad for school lunch again.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got a pale pink one
More international food inspiration: do lettuce cups served with sesame noodles count?
More soups/salads: maybe one salad bar night
More apps: Yes! Phyllo cups were fun as the rest of dinner came together
More fun drinks: Yes x2: cherry lime refreshers & peach tea cocktail.
Updating photos: nope
What I’m reading: I read Portrait of a Thief which was ok- kind of a bumbling college student art heist. I was totally enchanted by The Reading List. I listened to A Long Petal of the Sea for bookclub – I learned a ton about the Spanish Civil War, and Cover Story was such a fun non-murdery mystery that left me with lots of questions.
What I’m watching: Renovation Island is back, America’s Got Talent
What I’m listening to: Sounds Like a Cult

July 2022 Recap

June was confusing but July was exciting! I got and started my new job! I was grateful to be so so so far in the process when my role was eliminated. I was in weird limbo and unsure what would be next so I was glad to move right into this one! I’m glad to work through this and be in a routine before school starts. 

This month I made the most summery dessert snack: s’mores cheeseball! The kids didn’t care that much about this one either way but maybe that’s because they’d be happy to roast a marshmallow in any weather.

The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Dip

Strawberry Lemonade & Basil Cocktail was such a highlight. Cocktails (or mocktails) are such a fun way to liven up any regular day. I tested these babies and tweaked it before blogging them to have lots of strawberry!

Strawberry Lemonade & Basil Cocktail - The Three Bite Rule

Turmeric Couscous Salad was nice to give a side dish some love. I tend to go more basic on the sides but a little splash of orange juice was a great dressing for this one and it is great the next day too. The little girl and I ate leftovers by the pool!

The Three Bite Rule - Turmeric Couscous Salad

August blog posts will be some more summery things – a burger, some prime-time produce (peaches- I’m looking at you!), another cocktail, and maybe some no-cook dinner ideas in case it is just so hot. We’ll celebrate a 4th birthday and have time at the beach. 

The Little Girl:
She’s very very into swimming now and it is so fun to see. She keeps discovering things that she can do now that she’s “big”. She told her teachers she didn’t have goggles “when she was a little girl” and now she has some. Like always, she could eat her weight in cheese.

The Big Guy:
He’s loved camps this summer. We found much better ones this year and he loves swimming and archery at one and was into the classes the teachers have at another camp held at school. His motion sickness has been off the charts, and being physically tired and hot doesn’t help.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got this aqua one in the very end of June but didn’t use it until July but I didn’t love it.
More international food inspiration: nope.
More soups/salads: we had caesar a few times, does that count?
More apps: nope.
More fun drinks: Yes! Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail with Basil, and I had (iced) tea time most days while I was home.
Updating photos: not this month
What I’m reading: Sure did! I read Counterfeit which was very fun and fast paced. Bookclub read The Underground Railroad and I loved it – so creative. I read a YA book, The Henna Wars, that I didn’t love, but maybe the YAs would?
What I’m watching: Great Food Truck Race
What I’m listening to: I blew through Land of the Giants and have listened to most seasons – the food delivery season was the best.

June 2022 Recap

June is a blur, let’s focus on the food.

The Birthday Burger was such a winner. The bacon jam + homemade parmesan peppercorn dressing was a great combo. The jam is sweet and smokey and the parm peppercorn dressing is salty and creamy. Perfection I tell you.

The Three Bite Rule - Birthday Burger with Bacon Jam & Parmesan Peppercorn

Pickle de gallo wasn’t my idea, but it isn’t ever in my stores so I made my own and loved it with dill pickles with sweet pickles! Serve it with potato chips or tortilla chips or crackers, or on a taco! Your next BBQ definitely needs this dip.

The Three Bite Rule - Pickle de Gallo

Peanut Sesame Noodles were a re-do for one of our beloved dinners. It is so fast and adds great variety to pasta night! We eat them warm or cold and they are handy to have around for a quick meal.

The Three Bite Rule - Peanut Sesame Noodles

Salmon Cakes over Lemon Risotto was my use for frozen not-the-best-salmon. These would work well for any fish, crab, or shrimp too.

The Three Bite Rule - Salmon Cake & Lemon Risotto

The Little Girl:
She’s coloring obsessed once again and happy for all the outside time. She can down a whole popsicle now and loved some couscous I made. July will mean the start of a dance class and we’re all excited for her to try it! She is into a toddler bed and truly mastered night time potty training.

The Big Guy:
He’s done with 1st grade! The end of the year was a whirlwind. We had a last-day of school party that was so so fun. ~17 kids and ~13 parents came over for pizza, popsicles, and a bounce house. I cannot get over how much they learn in first grade. He loved reading, PE, recess, and library. Writing was his least fav. He’s enjoying some free time before summer day camps start in July. Food obsessions for him include hard boiled eggs, applesauce, ritz bits, and bubble gum.

I have no idea what July has in store for me. I have a couscous salad to share and then, who knows. Maybe a cocktail? Maybe tons of posts, maybe fewer. Stay tuned.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got one in the very end of June but didn’t use it yet- maybe it’ll be the July one!
More international food inspiration: I don’t think do.
More soups/salads: we had salad bar – does that count?
More apps: Yes! Pickle de Gallo and some phyllo cups with brie on an apps for dinner night.
More fun drinks: nope
Updating photos: Yes! Peanut Sesame Noodles got some updated pics!
What I’m reading: Lots! I read & loved Black Cake – one of the best books of the year. Last Summer at the Golden Hotel was a fun summery read that isn’t a beach romance. I read Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women who Revolutionized Food in America which was pretty good, maybe better as audio? I read Beautiful World Where Are You and didn’t get the hype like others but it has such a following that others definitely love it.
What I’m watching: Battle on the Beach for ocean rentals has been good
What I’m listening to: I shake my fist at the patriarchy with Be There in Five podcast.

May 2022 Recap

May has been a very full month. Lots of outside time, swimming, work events, birthday parties for kids, baseball games, and already pool time! World news is breaking my heart and it has also been a month of transition as daycare kept closing preschool and sent us looking for alternatives – guess how fun that is…

In the kitchen, we’re onto springy foods and faster meals.

My fav was this Mexican-inspired side dish with black beans, avocados, tomatoes, cheese, and a cilantro lime dressing. Loved it. This helped amp up taco night with a side that was a bit more special than just black beans, or just avocado.

The Three Bite Rule - Black Bean & Avocado Salad

For one of our apps-for-dinner nights I made some Lemon & Herb Deviled Eggs. They’re fresh tasting and filling and they hit the spot for variety amongst apps.

The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Herb Deviled Eggs

My passion for rice bowls runs deep- all the good bites with decadence (cheese & drizzles) with some fresh elements (greens! tomatoes!) and the filling aspects (veggie burger & brown rice). This burger rice bowl was a great lunch, it would pack well, and feels like a complete meal, all in a bowl!

The Three Bite Rule - Burger Bowl

June has me very excited for a weekend away, Mr. J’s birthday burger, and I have some strawberry and lemon aspirations.

The Little Girl:
She started a new preschool! I love how easy-going she is amongst changes in schedules. It is exciting for her. She is going to have a great swimming summer! Even in just 2 early pool times we’ve already seen how big she is, the confidence, and her willingness to try more than last year. It is very fun to see. I feel like she’s eating a bit more consistently and is loving cottage cheese and Ritz-Bits right now.

The Big Guy:
He’s having fun at baseball and overcame his hesitation for new environments for birthday parties this month – I’m really proud to see it. He is thrilled for shorts season. We’re glad he got some grandparent sleepovers and this season becomes being outside for all waking hours.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got a few Olive & June ones at once and this month was a coral one for April (this one)
More international food inspiration: Umm. Maybe not.
More soups/salads: this black bean & avocado salad!
More apps: Yes! Brie & Cranberry Cups!
More fun drinks: Not really, but tis the season for sangria and cocktails
Updating photos: Nope, not this month
What I’m reading: I’ve had a bit of a reading rut. I read Olga Dies Dreaming and looooved it. Then I read Beautiful Little Fools and was more into it than the OG Great Gatsby. I muscled through No One is Talking About This and I didn’t get it, do not recommend.
What I’m watching: Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy is back!!
What I’m listening to: ‘Sounds Like a Cult’ is my new fav podcast

April 2022 Recap

April is going out with a bang – this last stretch of the month is so busy and full. The little guy just had a fun school vacation with a visit from the teen nephews, playing with the grandparents, and also some time home while we worked. Double duty is tiring. He’s starting baseball too. Work has so many things coming up – virtual and in-person events and then the timing of hitting deadlines and a lot to happen in prep for May & June ending Q4.

My favorite favorite food from the kitchen this month was these better-than-average Eggplant Parm Subs with fresh mozz and dressed arugula. So good.

The Three Bite Rule - Eggplant Parm Subs

I started an occasional apps for dinner theme, kicked off with cranberry & brie phyllo cups They couldn’t be easier and I included a whole bunch of alternatives and uses for leftovers. We did apps-as-dinner again on Easter after hosting brunch. It is also a great excuse to have lots of great cheese around.

The Three Bite Rule - Cranberry Brie Cups

Lastly I “made” some Mocha Cinnamon Rolls for a fun but ohh so easy breakfast.

The Three Bite Rule - Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

May will definitely have some quick meals between baseball practices and nights we’d rather have after-work-playground time. Early spring flavors make me think of lemon and warm-and-cool.

The Little Girl:
She is happy for bike rides and is looking forward to baseball spectating. Daily she envisions the beach trip. She’s definitely having her 3-year-old moments of resisting and digging her heels in. She never wants to take a bathroom break. She was a bit scarred from an Easter Egg event when it rained, then hailed, then was sunny, then rain, then hail. We raced to the car for the second round and she was not impressed. Meals have been a bit smoother.

The Big Guy:
He was thrilled to play nerf with the teen cousins. His fav home lunch is always always always peanut butter and nutella. He still loves hardboiled eggs. I love seeing him being so strong and confident on his bike. He had chosen his scooter over the bike for awhile but he’s got his confidence and I’m proud to see it.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got a few Olive & June ones at once but opened up a purpley one for April (this one)
More international food inspiration: Umm. Maybe not.
More soups/salads: not really
More apps: Yes! Brie & Cranberry Cups!
More fun drinks: I’m obsessed with this lemon loaf tea
Updating photos: Nope, not this month
What I’m reading: I read Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci, and Greenwich Park which was a little mystery, then I listened to An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination, and I read The Maid which seemed like a caricature for neurodivergence and was a bit obvious.
What I’m watching: I’m months behind but catching up on a Million Little Things.
What I’m listening to: 

March 2022 Recap

March is on the way out and in comes April. I’m excited for Easter and the next season and I love the daylight! I like to usher out one season for the next, but I loathe talking about the weather – moreso I guess I’m not interested in people complaining about the weather to me.

This month in a spirit of variety, I made these Thanksgiving Hot Wraps with deli turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and greens and the best part is burrito-izing it. So good – and much more appreciated outside of Thanksgiving time.

The Three Bite Rule - Thanksgiving Hot Wraps

I also made Nutella Chia Pudding with Strawberries which requires the make-ahead brainspace but it is breakfast your tomorrow will thank you for. I looove the nutella flavor with the strawberries.

The Three Bite Rule - Chocolate Chia Pudding

I gave a revamp to Gyro-Style Wraps with hummus, chicken sausage, fries, and tomatoes.

To wrap up the month I did a mine vs. theirs for Pasta with Shrimp or Chicken and Blistered Tomatoes. I did shrimp, the rest had chicken. After I made it I thought about how good it would have been with a crunchy lemony breadcrumb topping. Do it! I’m envisioning that showing up another way.

The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes

What’s next? Hmm I’m thinking about ideas for Easter brunch foods and I just did apps for dinner one night and feel like that might be a new tradition.

The Little Girl:
She’s psyched that it is sandbox season again! She’s awaiting picnic time and wants to eat at a restaurant. We’ve cut her off of Oreos since it is confirmed she just eats the filling. She’s very into the thermos lunches but said to stop with the cheeese sticks – where my girl, do you expect to get some protein?

The Big Guy:
He’s had fun playing with school-friends. I feel like it’s asking somebody on a date but worth it to see him connecting with others. He just started a lego extracurricular class – so legos, after school with other kids, what could be better?

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got a new topcoat which I’m not sure yet if it lives up to the hype (this one)
More international food inspiration: More Mediterranean – gyro wraps
More soups/salads: Does salad-bar count?
More apps: nope, not this month
More fun drinks: ehh
Updating photos: I redid the photos for these gyro-like wraps
What I’m reading: I read The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute which was so interesting, and We Are the Brennans which was page-turning, I thought Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: The Story of Schitt’s Creek would be a coffee-table book but it actually had lots to read, then I read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue which was the best book I’ve read in awhile.
What I’m watching: Tournament of Champions
What I’m listening to: nothing new.

February 2022 Recap

This month was quick which is great because March is my birthday month AND it edges us closer to spring. We wished for more pond ice skating this season but it just wasn’t cold for long stretches.

Our pink cookies were the best thing I made this month. The Strawberry Crinkle Cookies were perfect for Valentine’s Day!

The Three Bite Rule - Strawberry Crinkle Cookies

I love love love grain bowls and the inspiration for Cobb Salad Rice Bowls was to winterize a salad. Plus, the build-your-own aspect gives everyone a bit of what they like (me = arugula, littles = cucumber).

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Rice Bowl

We made these cute little Greek Chicken Turnovers for dinner with hummus, chicken, tomato, oregano, and creamy caesar dressing. We had them with a little orzo/tomato/cuke/feta salad.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Chicken Turnovers

The Little Girl:
She’s always packing backpacks with all the toys & books that’ll fit. We saw her do a lot of sock-skating around the house this month too. Lunches packed for daycare have been a struggle – she cannot be fooled with peanut-less pb.

The Big Guy:
He’s currently enjoying school vacation. He really likes school but appreciates getting to stay in pjs longer, and of course more play time at home. He’s 100% into hard boiled eggs right now. All of us have been enjoying nerf battles.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got a brick red (this one)
More international food inspiration: Greek turnovers & a little “international night” for the Olympics!
More soups/salads: We had blackbean soup that was so so easy.
More apps: some for the Olympics and some for the superbowl!
More fun drinks: tea – this one is my new obsession
Updating photos: nope
What I’m reading: I read Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu for bookclub – it was ok. Then I read Anne of Manhattan by Bria Starler which was more romance-novel-ish than I expected. Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford was amazing, and powerful – a must read.
What I’m watching: all Olympics, all the time. We were grateful for more sleep once they ended.
What I’m listening to: showtunes with my workouts!