Let’s quickly shake up taco night, shall we? I love alllll tacos (see here, or here, or here, or here) but to keep things interesting, I went with chicken in the tacos and the topping was a super quick cherry salsa.
I always want the kiddos eating new things and knowing that “tacos” don’t mean one thing. Once a week(ish) taco night can be tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc. Using frozen cherries makes this fit any season and makes it so easy!
Cherry Salsa Ingredients: (for 4) 1 cup dark cherries 1/4 white onion 2 tablespoons chopped arugula 1 teaspoon lime juice 1 tablespoon salsa
Directions: Defrost the cherries.
Chop the cherries, onion and arugula. Mix in the lime juice and salsa. Serve on chicken tacos with black beans. Enjoy!
I loved this and it takes less than 5 minutes to mix up. The cherries are juicy and sweet against the seasoned taco and the crisp of the onion and arugula. The arugula can swap for cilantro but we have arugula around so it does double duty here.
We often make meatless with Gardien crumbles (don’t get me started how quick and fool-proof or crispy fish tacos but for these I chopped some chicken thighs and sautéed them with taco seasoning.
2 gobbled up more tacos than usual and 5 deconstructed his and ate maybe a bit less than usual but didn’t have much to say either way about the salsa….so a win and a tie?
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!
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.
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.
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!
As a forever-Friends-fan, those Thanksgiving episodes are the best! Monica makes historic leftovers sandwiches with a “moist maker” of gravy soaked bread in the middle. It totally takes it over the top!
Plan your leftovers accordingly! This is so good! Even if you don’t have leftovers, roasting a turkey breast (or use thick deli turkey – I won’t tell)! A box of stuffing is easy to make just enough for this- or use some for these amazing Thanksgiving Meatballs with stuffing and dried cranberries!
Friends Thanksgiving Sandwich Ingredients: (serves 2) 6 slices of bread 4 slices of turkey 1 cup stuffing 1/2 cup gravy 1/4 cup cranberry sauce 2 tablespoons mayo 1 1/2 cup arugula
Directions: Toast 4 slices of the bread (leaving 2 un-toasted). Warm the turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Trim the crust off the remaining 2 slices and dip them into the gravy to soak.
Spread cranberry sauce onto one of the toasted slices for each sandwich and a smear of mayo onto the other. Lay the arugula on top of the cranberry sauce, then the stuffing, then the gravy soaked bread, then the turkey, then the bread. Enjoy!
Slice and enjoy!
This was so fun and perfectly decadent. The tart cranberries and peppery arugula seems necessary with the heft of everything else
It is such a good idea as a stable way to get the gravy in there without it dripping off your sandwich!
The Three Bite Rule turns 10! Can you believe it?!?! Crazy!
I’m so grateful for YOU! I love hearing back when somebody made a recipe or when something caught your eye. This lil blog is for fun and is my passion project.
Superlatives! Most popular (aka, repeatable): Roasted Garlic Honey Sauce! This is a monthly recurrence here. I roast garlic even just in the toaster oven and mixing with honey, olive oil, and butter. This sauce is to-die-for. We put it on a white pizza quite often or it is great on roasted veggies or on a panini or it freezes well too!
Most photogenic:Easy Homemade(ish) Ramen it uses shredded chicken, mushrooms, soft boiled egg, along with a ramen packet and Thai seasoning packet. It is so good and a great use for some small bits of chicken.
Most Loved on Insta:the outdoor pizza oven was our best quarantine purchase! Our ooni is so fun and cooks in 90 seconds! We’ve been using weekly!
I don’t know what’s next. I’ll just keep going as long as it is fun! I think especially in these strange times, something I can control has been nice.
Goals for next year: Year of the ______: this has been my treat for myself each month. Last year was home self-care items. This year, I’m going to do a year of flowers or plants! We’re keeping the little ones alive, I’m ready for some plants! More breakfasts – we’re home all the time now so why not add some other options. Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance – almost every day I have turkey and arugula because I like it, but also because it takes a question out of the mix during a hurried time. I’d like to get the house a bit neater. Sometimes the small spaces add up to have a good impact and I always surprise myself what we can do in a few minutes. Bullet journal What I’m reading: I read 24 books this year! I’ll aim for the same goal this year I think. Digital library loans are the key to my success! What I’m watching:
I’m all in on mushrooms for this one. I made just 2 servings (both for me!) and loved it. I’m the only mushroom fan in our fam right now so I made it to be lunch 2 days! Mine went into the pressure cooker, but there are stovetop directions below too.
Making risotto is a great home project. It isn’t quite as fussy as it seems to be. It takes some time (on the stove) and some stirring, but it is worth it.
Mushroom Risotto Ingredients: ~1 cup baby portabello mushrooms ~1 cup crimini mushrooms 1 cup arborio rice 1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken) 1/2 cup Golden Mushroom soup 2 tablespoons sherry 2 tablespoons butter
Directions: Chop the mushrooms leaving half of each kind as slices, and the other half diced of each kind. Reserve the diced ones. Saute the slices in butter, in a heavy pan (not a nonstick pan, if possible) over medium heat until caramelized. Saute the arborio rice in a drizzle of olive oil for ~3 minutes until translucent in the pan it will cook in. If cooking on a stove top, heat the broth and mushroom soup and sherry in a separate pot. If cooking in a pressure cooker, add the broth, soup, and sherry into the pot of arborio rice. If using a pressure cooker, add in the diced mushrooms, seal it, and set timer according to the cooker- mine was 8 minutes on high then pressure release. If cooking on the stove, add in the diced mushrooms, then add a ladleful of liquid to the rice and cook over medium heat until absorbed – repeat for all the liquid, about 30-40 minutes. When fully cooked, top with the cooked slices of mushrooms. Sprinkle with parmesan and enjoy!
I loved this. The golden mushroom soup MAKES it. The ones cooked in the risotto are so good and the caramelized ones are buttery and give an alternate texture.
October seemed to go by so quickly! How have we been home 7 months?! September and October were hefty for virtual work events which makes it feel busy. Work is, well, uneasy right now.
T started going to school for a hybrid schedule! It has been amazing. He did tell me “it is a little not good to not have a nap or rest”. That’s my boy! 😉 He loves it but it definitely tires him out. C doesn’t love when big brother is home doing school the other 3 days- she just wants him to play.
I focused on comfort foods for October.
I made these Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes. I was a fan. The kids were so-so on them. For some reason they don’t always want the bread portion of sandwiches.
These Funfetti Waffles were so fun and definitely a morning comfort. I used some funfetti mix (and have an idea for the remainder) and I’d be interested in playing around to try to make in other ways too.
The Little Girl: She misses her brother when he’s doing school! She is quite into our toy trains and likes tucking in her stuffed toys to sleep and driving vehicles around. She’s zooming around on the scooter and is ready for more on bikes. Her fav food is definitely any kind of cheese, pizza, and oatmeal. Since she’s underweight, we’re trying so hard to keep her eating and getting dense nutrition into her. She’s totally 2 and still easy going but now we also hear “I don’t want that” or “still using that”.
The Big Guy: He looooves school. We’re so proud of his can-do attitude and how hard he’s working. He goes to kindergarten 2 days a week and virtual the other 3. Managing the timing and assignments takes attention from us. It has been fun to see what he’s learning! A new favorite lunch is grilled peanut butter and fluff.
November brings my blogaversary! I’ll need to think carefully about goals. I’m hopeful but scared about what’s ahead. Get out there and vote. For the sake of humanity, please go vote.
This Year’s Goals:
Year of beauty/self-care: I got this skin scrub Prep intentional sides and veggies: nope, not really Eat more fish: Salmon! Blog some series: Oct is comfort foods! Focus decluttering/organizing to an area: I passed along some too-small kid clothes to the next wearer. Share more books on instagram: ehh. A few. Prioritize workouts: I looooved a month mash-up incorporating 4 different programs and now I’m doing a ‘muscle burns fat’ one that’s OK, not my fav. What I’m reading: I read The Other Mrs. Miller – and that’s it. I haven’t read much at all lately. What I’m listening to: a podcast on the occasional stroller ride for the girl. What I’m watching: We found a series called Manhunt about the unabomber and it was captivating! I loved the most recent Brother vs. Brother.
Fall coziness brought to you by way of 4-5 ingredients! I loved that this one not being too heavy since we’ve had some 70-80 degree days lately plus, fall flavors don’t have to mean pumpkin!
This comes together soooo fast – the longest part is waiting for the water to boil!
Ravioli with Brown Butter, Corn & Sage Ingredients: (for 4 servings) 6 tablespoons butter (real butter, not margarine/substitute) 24 oz package cheese ravioli, frozen 1 cup corn 4-5 sage leaves, fresh grated parmesan
Directions: Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. In a large skillet or pan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the ravioli into the water and cook for about 5-minutes, or as the package instructs. When the butter bubbles and foams up, carefully keep stirring. The butter browns quickly and gives off a nutty flavor. (Don’t let it burn! Try a le creuset/pan with white inside or a white/light colored spatula to stir) Add in the sage to the butter and be sure to remove the pan from the heat once it starts to brown. Toss the corn in too to warm. When the ravioli begin to float, they are cooked. Scoop from the water directly into the brown butter sauce, give a sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss well. Sprinkle with some grated parmesan. Enjoy!
I loved this. The brown butter has so much flavor without looking like much. The kids liked it but for whatever reason, the kindergartener wasn’t interested in the corn. We cut from the ear and froze it back in peak farmer’s market corn season. It was about 50% thawed when I threw it in. We all like pasta and I always want the little ones to experience all the shapes pasta can take, all the sauce types, etc.
The sage leaves were whole because a little sage can be a lot to me so they were easy to pick out or whatever. Adding them to the brown butter brings some good flavor without a punch in the face. Our sage plants are flourishing so in it went.
This would be an easy one to make for a big crowd- do people see big crowds these days? It also would be great halved for a meal for 1!
Let’s chat comfort food. I’m glad fall is in the air and I’m ready for some foods to give us a little hug. I took the flavors of a burger into a speedy sloppy joe- the extra mustard and addition of relish and liquid smoke gives it all the burger flavors. I used meatless but any ground meat/meatless works!
Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes Ingredients: (for 4) 3/4 pound ground meat (I used Gardein Meatless Crumbles) 4 burger rolls 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons yellow mustard 1 teaspoon relish 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional) 4 slices of American Cheese
Directions: Add ground meat (cooked through if using beef/chicken/pork), brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, relish, and onion powder to a large skillet over medium-low heat. (I used meatless crumbles which can go into the pan frozen.)
Add in worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke (if using), and a splash of water. Cook for 5 minutes until well incorporated and bubbling. Toast the buns. Spoon the sloppy joe onto each bun and quickly top with cheese to melt it.
Add some pickles and extra ketchup and mustard, if desired. Enjoy!
I loved this! Sloppy Joes cook SO quickly and are easy to stretch meat a bit further than a patty might. These are a great way to use a meatless product too. Mixing some shredded cheddar would be good too- though maybe not so photogenic. Liquid smoke is a fantastic addition to these, in chili, in burgers, and any sauce or spread that has bacon in it! I find it on amazon but may have seen it at the grocery store too.
I don’t even know what end is up. September is just bananas. I cooked some fun things but we are treading water to adjust to our new schedule. Virtual kindergarten is going great but working full time, monitoring remote school, keeping the 2 yr old occupied/away and juggling these short time blocks has our brains spinning. I’ve felt more stress these last few weeks than this whole quarantine time- if I’m on top of work, then I’m lacking for the kids/home/friends and vice versa.
This month Mr. J and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary so that was our bright spot! We went to dinner and I had the best meal I’ve had in for-ev-er. We ate outside at Il Massimo and I had scallops over corn risotto with brussels sprouts.
For dishes from my kitchen, I made these pesto risotto stuffed tomatoes and loved them- they’re also great for grocery store tomatoes as we exit the prime garden tomato season!
These Chicken BLT Grain Bowls are so ideal for a quick and balanced lunch or dinner. Plus if the grain is prepped ahead of time it saves so much time. I went with quinoa but normally choose brown rice or farro.
Our littlest one needs a bit more dense nutrition- so I made some pb&j energy bites as a little but powerful snack. They were a great use of some freeze dried raspberries nobody was interested in!
Her newest words are “yup” and “nope” which just sounds funny. She’s so itty bitty so we are focused on upping her calorie intake and retesting some of her lab work next month. She’s doing pretty well with pediasure and needs to bulk up a bit to hit the chart. Her fav foods are cheese of any kind, pb&f, and anything she can dip. She’s playing a ton in the play kitchen and with the trains. She zooms down the driveway on her bike. This gal is fearless. She did fantastic wearing her mask for her whole physical and for labwork.
The Big Guy:
He loves virtual kindergarten! His teacher is fantastic and he impressed us day 1 mastering the computer mouse and the mute/unmute rules. I’m so thankful he’s good at playing for his his breaks and getting right back to it when his next session is starting. The in-person hybrid schedule should start soon so we’re looking forward to him going 2 days a week. He’s still loving pizza and pasta. His favorite lunch is PB&F or “snacky lunch” of salami/string cheese/etc. We transitioned to quiet time with a stack of books on the couch or his bed instead of naps and he looks forward to it!
This Year’s Goals:
Year of beauty/self-care: not really Prep intentional sides and veggies: nope, not really Eat more fish: Lobsters! Blog some series: nope, but Oct is going to be comfort foods! Focus decluttering/organizing to an area: not at the moment. Share more books on instagram: ehh. Prioritize workouts: I loved a lifting workout program and looooved it. Now I’m doing a month mash-up incorporating 4 different programs it is has been great for the ultimate in variety. What I’m reading: I read The Yellow House since it is the summer reading at work for students and the community. It is about New Orleans and the city dynamics pre and post hurricane Katrina. I loved it, though at first I was overwhelmed by the number of people’s names without a family tree chart. Then I blew through Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and the Conspiracies to Protect Predators which is a forever reminder how critical the free press is.
What I’m listening to: a podcast on occasion. What I’m watching: America’s Got Talent wrapped up and I’m thrilled the spoken poet won- it literally restored some hope for America voting. We found a series called Manhunt about the unabomber and one season about the Atlanta Olympics bomber. It is very well done!