May Recap 2023

May is full – we come to life when spring is here. We’re back full-swing into baseball (see what I did there?) and we were kept on our toes for our first dance recital (haha, I can’t stop!).

In the kitchen, I was obsessed with these taco beans and they’ll be on repeat for sure.

The Three Bite Rule - Taco Beans

I made a dairy-free lasagna because I’ve somehow become the go-to person for recipes accommodating dietary restrictions for my volunteerism at Lasagna Love and this option is so cheap and easy without unfamiliar ingredients.

The Three Bite Rule - Dairy-free Lasagna

We went with lots of toppings on Sesame Noodle Bowls as a new way to see pulled pork.

Sesame Noodle Bowls - The Three Bite Rule

Again with the beans, what can I say…these Greek Beans were a fun dish and good alternative to a lettuce-based salad.

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Bean Salad

I have been thrilled to have comfortable weather and get outside more. Work has been very busy with reunion. We got to see Thomas’ art at the school art show. I wish some of these cool school events fell in March or April too. There’s a culture night, fun run, parent-teacher conferences, a book fair, and so many end of the year festivities. I’m off for a girls weekend and cannot wait. June will bring a special birthday burger!

The big kid:
He had a field trip (and did not get carsick…winning!), and several more birthday parties, and baseball. He took an after school class for building with all different materials. He’s thoroughly into Plants versus Zombies. He followed along with NBA playoffs and it really makes me love the juxtaposition of imaginary play seeming so cute and little with a mature knowledge of pro basketball player names.

The little one:
Her dance recital was so cute! She loved the rehearsal and did so great. Then the recital night came and she was so worried – tears! – and I was shocked. We watched the video clips I had from the night before, talked about what it would be like, and made a plan that we’d get ready and go but if she decided not to do it, we’d just clap for her class. She was all set when we got there. They were very long nights, but she loved it and wears the ballet costume regularly. The tap one was tight and harder to get on so we haven’t played in that one.

Goals:
Year of workwear! I got a 3/4 length sleeve shirt which helps bridge the spring workwear gap. Working all weekend for Reunion at work was a good reminder of what other clothes I’m looking for!
Salads or side-dishes: Greek bean salad!
prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: I made some savory waffles and they’re one of my fav on-the-go breakfasts. During a busy week at work I had quiche ready which was so helpful.
Monthly dates: We didn’t really make this happen.
Declutter/cleaning: I bagged up lots of tiny 18 month shorts and 2T swimsuits.
Workouts as a routine: Yes! I did a Sweat & Sculpt series that has been great.
What I’m reading: I read Coronation Year which was only ok, especially after how amazing I thought her book ‘The Gown’ was. I enjoyed a memoir Fatty Fatty Boom Boom by Rabia Chaudry. The best one I read was The Measure by Nikki Erlick.

April 2023 Recap

April was such a whirlwind. We had the upstairs floors refinished then we got reset and back to normal and the main floor is happening this very minute. It is like moving! School vacation was fun and we are so glad for more outside time. Baseball started back up and Easter was a very nice day.

In the kitchen, I did a month of Chicken, Bacon, Ranch!

I loaded some fries with chicken, bacon, and ranch with cheddar and queso. They were so good!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Loaded Fries
Chicken, bacon & ranch loaded fries

I made a grilled chicken sandwich with bacon and ranch. I loved it and would definitely repeat or it doesn’t have to be a sandwich.

The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Sandwich
Grilled chicken bacon ranch sandwiches

It started with a pickle & ranch salad. I had it loaded with pickle flavor inspired by a salad kit, but the kids were happy for salad and ranch, minus pickles.

The Three Bite Rule - Pickle Salad
Dill Pickle Ranch Salad

May will bring a dance recital, reunion weekend at work, and some fun stuff – maybe ask me again when the floor-refinishing is done. I’m envisioning some quick or packable meals for the baseball sidelines.

The big kid:
So many birthday parties – almost all at the trampoline place. He loved the school vacation break with some fun days and other days to just be home. Baseball started back up and they’re more coordinated than last year. He’s been less bothered by a meal that isn’t something he’d vote for which has been my goal all along but if it were up to him, it’d be pasta every night. I think he’s just usually hungry at the moment so maybe that makes him more flexible than in the winter.

The little one:
She had some fear-of-missing-out when it came time on Sunday mornings to get ready for dance class. We re-strategized and it went much more smoothly. I’m seeing her take on some spice – she knew that one of the cheese-of-the-month was spicy (it was sriracha gouda) and she kept eating it on multiple occasions. She’s too funny. She loved gnocchi and was more into hot-dogs than I remember from last year.

Goals:
Year of workwear! I tried some dresses but think they’re both going back.  
Salads or side-dishes: Pickle salad!
prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: being out of our space and normal routines has meant some regular occurrences and some spontaneity
Monthly dates: With all the sleepovers during floor refinishing and us each having a doozy of a cold, we didn’t add it anything else.
Declutter/cleaning: As we move all the stuff off the floors, we’ve cleaned, gotten rid of a good amount.
Workouts as a routine: Ehh. I did a few quick runs but got derailed with a cold that went through most of us.
What I’m reading: I read a lot! I muscled through this memoir – (it might be better as audio) Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope. Then I read The House in the Cerulean Sea, which was from a blind-book-swap with bookclub. I never read fantasy and ended up being really into it. I always love Taylor Jenkins Reid and I breezed through Carrie Soto is Back. Rock, Paper, Scissors was a quick suspense one I liked but absolutely don’t endorse being a movie/mini-series.

March 2023 Recap

I made tortellini in honey garlic sauce and thought the pairing of ham and honey was spot-on. We love that sauce on pizza, turkey sandwiches, burgers, on broccoli, or anything!

Tortellini in Honey Garlic Sauce with Ham - The Three Bite Rule

We shook up the smoothie game with a redo of Creamsicle Smoothie. We, as in, the little girl and I are the only consistent smoothie drinkers here. The key is to add some other fruit beyond just oranges – it neeeeds frozen peaches or frozen mango.

Creamsicle Smoothie Redo - The Three Bite Rule
Creamsicle Smoothie

Then I made a Cheeseburger Burrito and it was perfect. I loved the crumbled burger with a little rice and all the burger fixings. I loved it an plan to whip up a few for a night that needs dinner in-advance or on the go. It seems fitting for a baseball night this season. I wouldn’t freeze these but they could be assembled and popped into the toaster oven or to a pan when it was time.

Cheeseburger Burrito - The Three Bite Rule


The big kid:
It is prime birthday party time for his school-friends. We are seeing ohh-so-many, almost all are at the trampoline park. He loves going and I’m enjoying it for him, especially for this time of the whole class, or all the boys, etc. My strategy is a go-to present we give everyone unless he has an idea and they’re super close. He’s into Mario Kart and always legos. Baseball starts soon!

The little one:
One afternoon when big-brother was at a birthday party, we found our own excitement with a teddy bear tea party at the library and it was adorable. They had gold-rimmed paper plates and paper cups with handles and matching saucers and tiny spoons. It was very fancy and she loved it. She’s still always coloring and very into magnatiles.

Next month will feel full with Easter, school vacation, we’re getting our floors refinished (which means totally cleared off and a few days before we can walk on them again!), and of course some birthday parties. I’ve planned a few fun foods for April! 

Goals:
Year of workwear! I tried a new brand for some short-sleeves which might be a tiny bit premature season-wise, but I have them. 
Salads or side-dishes: not really.
prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: I haven’t been great about this – I need to get back to it.
Monthly dates: we didn’t. booo. I had to reschedule one and couldn’t get another Saturday until May!
Declutter/cleaning: This is prime time to clear some stuff out before we get our floors refinished. I handed over a few baby-ish toys and expect to really get some stuff out. 
Workouts as a routine: I’ve gone on a few runs and am doing one a mix of weight days with yoga days – though I’m at a solid 2 out of the 3 yoga ones they think I’ll be doing per week.
What I’m reading: My bookclub read And Then There Were None as our classic – it was pretty ok. I read The People We Keep and found it to be the best coming-of-age story I’ve read in awhile. I read It Ends With Us and sort of got the hype, but wasn’t blown away. I can’t quite picture the next one. I also read The Personal Librarian and hadn’t had a historical fiction in awhile.

February 2023 Recap

February was full with school vacation, C started dance classes, some new things like the guys getting to see the cousins play basketball, superbowl snacks and (finally) snow.

I made a black bean soup that is so easy, and so filling. I was into it and think the toppings make it really fun. The kids were so-so. Serve with quesadillas for something for everyone. It reheats well which reminds me I should make it again and pack it for my work lunches.

The Three Bite Rule - Black Bean Soup
Easy Black Bean Soup

These Chicken & Broccoli Lasagna Rolls were a test which turned out great! They use very little chicken and very little broccoli so they’re a good one to have in mind for leftover uses.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna Rolls
Chicken & Broccoli Lasagna Rolls

Cute little Cheeseburger Hash Brown Cups were a Superbowl snack. They didn’t stay together perfectly, but I think with a little more care in the cup formation (or a more traditional size cup) would help with that.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Hashbrown Cups

I put chicken INTO waffles and loved it. Add some arugula for a fresh bite and a drizzle of maple aioli and you’ll be in love too.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken in Waffles
Chicken IN Waffles made easy with maple aioli & arugula

March brings my birthday! I have a few old posts I hope to re-do sometime and I’m imagining we’ll fit in some more wintry foods. We did a little getaway to Providence during school vacation and it was so so fun. The kids did great and it is so much easier now that they can sit at restaurants and don’t need strollers/pack & plays/etc. They had never stayed at a hotel before.

The big kid:
I love his friendships. It is very heartwarming to see other parents glad to see him. I took him to my work to see Fencing and he was as enthralled with the swards as I imagined. He was glad for snow and loves sledding. He had some fun days for vacation with the grandparents and getting time for a few movie nights.

The little one:
She is so psyched for dance. Her fav game is using the stairs to pretend she’s getting on the school bus. It is fun for her but she wants to play all. the. time. so it feels repetitive for me. I can’t wait to see her actually go to kindergarten.

Goals:
Year of workwear! I got shoes this time!
Salads or side-dishes: We had salad bar, though I really need to get on some interesting sides.
prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: the lasagna rolls were mostly for lunches.
Monthly dates: We went out for Valentine’s Day with last-minute reservations.
Declutter/cleaning: We loaded some textiles to donate – clothes that are unusable for others.
Workouts as a routine: I wrapped up one and started a new one that’s harder and a mix of weight days with yoga days.
What I’m reading: I finished A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder which was a cute perspective of a high-schooler reexamining a cold case, Beautiful Country which was a powerful story of an immigrant family and I loved the window of life, rather than the entirety, depicted in the story. I read Don’t Cry for Me and was very moved. I just finished The Magnificent Life of Marjorie Post and thought it was like Evelyn Hugo + historical context. I need to get hopping on my bookclub one!

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