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.

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.

12th Blogaversary

This hobby continues to hold a spot in my heart and I’m grateful for this outlet. Thanks for following along and telling me what you’ve made! On this occasion each year, I award some superlatives and set out some goals for the year to come.

Most photogenic: Salmon Cakes over Lemon Risotto

The Three Bite Rule - Salmon Cake & Lemon Risotto

Most Likely to Succeed: Bacon Parmesan Burger

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

Most Likely to be Repeated: Savory Loaded Waffle

The Three Bite Rule - Savory Waffle

Most liked on Insta: Strawberry Basil Lemonade Cocktail

Strawberry Lemonade & Basil Cocktail - The Three Bite Rule

So, how’d the goals go:
Year of nail polish! Choosing some new ones inspired me to dump a few I’ve had since college cough:pre-2006:cough.
More international food: went ok, it’s a good area to expand
More soups/salads: I don’t recall many new soups – I should stay on that
More apps: Apps for dinner is such a fun way to make a special and beloved dinner
More fun drinks: I went pretty hard on tea and made more cocktails!
Updating photos: I did a few and will keep this on my radar.
What I’m reading: I read 42 books this year!

What’s ahead:
Year of the _____: it’s going to be workwear! My new job is dressier and I’m in the office 3x a week so I know I need to update and cycle out some old things I don’t love.
Salads or side-dishes
prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays
Monthly dates
Back to some routine of workouts

October 2022 Recap

October is such a fun month of really enjoying the fall. We had soccer games, apple picking, a long weekend, a trip away, and school parties.

We’ve eaten about 1,000 apples and in all forms – starting with this caramel apple dip that was definitely a highlight. I thought for sure our cheese-loving little girl would be all about it but it was the little boy who ate the most and asked to make it again when it was gone!

The Three Bite Rule - Caramel Apple Cheeseball

I went sweet just for a second at breakfast time for baked apple oatmeal. This format is great for texture if you don’t love the softness of instant or stovetop oatmeal.

Baked Apple Oatmeal - The Three Bite Rule

Lastly I did some egg roll bowls that were fun. They have a bed of sticky white rice, then a ground pork mixture and a cooked cabbage mixture and topped off with crispy wontons and duck sauce. So fun and faster than takeout!

The Three Bite Rule - Eggroll Bowl

November should have fewer commitments. I welcome the wrap up of soccer to give more free time. My volunteer role expanded the region so it’s taken a bit more time.

The Little Girl:
She loved us all getting to go to her school for a family night. We met a friend of hers and she felt like it was just like big brother’s open house. She’s gotten into scrambled eggs with cheese and back on the quesadilla train. Thank goodness – those are two fast lunches or dinners we tend to have ingredients for! She’s being Elsa for Halloween.

The Big Guy:
School and aftercare and soccer are going well and October meant the start of homework…in second grade! His teacher really prepped them well and it has gone really smoothly. We got a sweet note from the PE teacher about good work in class so that made our day. He loved a playground tour extravaganza they had when I was away. October was also the book fair which is a very special time. He’s being a scary dragon for Halloween.

Goals:
Year of nail polish! I got GOLD and that wraps it up!
More international food inspiration: egg roll bowl!
More soups/salads: we had salad bar, shocking.
More apps: After apple picking we had apps for dinner with the caramel apple cheeseball, deviled eggs, and ranch chicken bites.
More fun drinks: I’m back to nightly hot tea time, and have a cinnamon apple tea
Updating photos: nope
What I’m reading: I read The Rose Code which was so so good and long. Then I read This Time Tomorrow which was better than the description. I just finished The Hotel Nantucket and miss it already.
What I’m watching: Amazing race
What I’m listening to: no new ones to binge

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.