Bytes to Bites

About My Ratings…
January 9, 2012, 3:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I rate each of my recipes on a 5 bite scale.

Please keep in mind, this is my recipe box and one doesn’t very well keep recipes in their box that they don’t like. Therefore, even a “one bite” rating indicates the I would at least consider making the recipe again.


Korean Beef Bowl
April 9, 2017, 2:52 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals


This looked like a pretty neat recipe when suggested in one of my cooking groups. Sounded like a quick and easy weekday recipe – with taste!


1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tspns sesame oil

1/2 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbspn vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb ground beef

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 tsp sesame seeds


1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ginger.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.

3. Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. Serve on rice, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.


This was pretty good! First of all, it wasn’t a total tank with the kids. The youngest ate a bit and claimed “yum” (then ate a hot dog). But, I think I could convince both to eat it again, which is always a miracle at our house. Good taste and I’d bet this sauce would be great in a stir fry as well…next time!

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites


Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Zucchini Muffins
April 9, 2017, 2:46 am
Filed under: Breads and Muffins


A friend posted these on Facebook and I happen to be quite fond of zucchini, coconut and chocolate – so, you can’t go wrong putting them in the same muffin, right? Nope.


3/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for topping

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup canola oil

1 zucchini, grated (about 2 cups worth), liquid squeezed out

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional – but really, why wouldn’t you!)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place 3/4 cup of shredded coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 7 – 8 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Stir every few minutes to avoid burning; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugars, milk, vanilla and canola oil. Add the flower mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Stir in the shredded zucchini, chocolate chips, and toasted coconut.

4. Scoop the batter into the muffin pan (lined, or lightly greased). Top the muffins with more shredded coconut (untoasted) and bake for 24 – 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool and serve. (Note, the original recipe suggested up to 48 minutes, that is too much time for my oven. Adjust to your own oven accordingly)


These were pretty darn good! I like a moist muffin, but I don’t like them to get soggy quickly. So far, these ones have great taste and they’re a nice, fluffy, firm muffin. The kids like them too.

Our Home Rating? 4.5/5 bites


Lemon Chicken Orzo
April 2, 2017, 1:50 am
Filed under: Pasta, Uncategorized, Weekday Meals


We tried this new orzo recipe tonight, with success. Sort of. My 3yo wouldn’t even try it with a chocolate bribe. But, that’s not unusual for him. If you go back to the original recipe link (noted at the bottom), the author has the weight watchers points listed as well.


4 tsps all purpose flour

1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, salt and black pepper

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp light butter

6 oz uncooked wheat orzo pasta

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups reduced sodium fat free chicken broth

1 cup fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces

3 tbspns fresh lemon juice

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

additional salt to taste.


1. Combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a small dish and stir to combine. Place the chicken pieces in a gallon zip-top bag and add the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake/massage it around until the chicken pieces are coated.

2. In a large saute pan, bring the oil over medium heat and then add the chicken. Stir to coat with the oil and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are cooked through and begin to brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a side plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe out the inside of the skillet.

3. Place the skillet back over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat. Spread the orzo across the surface of the pan and allow it to cook for 2 minutes until a few of the orzo pieces begin to brown. Add the garlic to the pan and stir. Allow to cook for another minute.

4. Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to simmer and cover the pan. Simmer covered for 4-5 minutes and then add the asparagus. Stir and re-cover. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes and basil along with salt to taste. Stir together and then add the reserved chicken to the pan. Stir to combine and serve.


Alright, here’s what we did to this recipe. I did not have asparagus, so I threw peas into the pan. The did not need quite as much time as the asparagus might have, so put them in a bit later than the recipe indicates. Lemon isn’t our favorite flavor, so I should have gone easy on the lemon juice at first. Not sure if it was because I didn’t use fresh, but it seemed quite strong at first. It toned down in the cooking process, but I’d still probably start with 2 tbspns next time and see where that takes us. I think this would also be a great recipe with an alternate flavor (if I could figure out what that flavor would be). I didn’t use the entire cup of tomatoes either and this was enough for us. The last thing we added was some sliced black olives, always a favorite in our house and we liked them in this recipe too!

My husband said this was a 3.5 bits out of 5, but I downgraded it for the fact that one child only took a bit and the other one outright refused. Still, for a nice summer meal (with alternate kid choice), I would definitely make this again and look forward to trying it as leftovers!

Our Home Rating? 3/5 bites


Garlic Parmesan Orzo
September 12, 2016, 3:25 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Side Dishes


I love orzo and am always looking for new recipes. This one isn’t the favorite of the three or so I have on my blog now, but it’s pretty good and adds some variety into the orzo recipe mix.


1 cup uncooked orzo

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups spinach, finely chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbspn milk

salt and pepper to taste.


1. Cook orzo, following the directions on the package.

2. In a large pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic, cooking for 4 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat and add the chopped spinach and cook for a minute, allowing to wilt.

3. Next add the orzo, milk, parmesan, salt and pepper. I choose to add the parmesan last to allow it to melt into the other, already mixed ingredients.


I rated it a 2 only because of my comments up front. Remember, this blog is recipes I want to keep. So, I 2 is pretty good. It was a bit bland compared to the other recipes I have, but really easy to make and next time I’d probably try adding mushrooms or veggies to the mix.

Our Home Rating? 2/5 bites


Chicken Meatballs
September 12, 2016, 3:17 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals


My husband found this recipe online and boy, were they good! Recipe includes his modifications, but the original is linked at the bottom.


1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (we used panko)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsps fresh oregano (or the equivalent dried)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

2 tbspn olive oil


1. Place ground chicken, egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, paprika and salt in a medium bowl. Knead mixture together with hand till evenly combined. Roll in breadcrumbs (panko)

2. Form mixture into 1-inch balls.

3. In large non-stick skillet, warm olive oil over high heat.

4. Place meatballs in pan, up to 8 at a time, and cook until all sides are browned, approximately 3 minutes for each meatball. Remove with slotted spoon.



Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites


Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Style)
September 10, 2016, 3:18 am
Filed under: Dinner, Soups


My best friend introduced me to Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi soup. Yum! One weekend, I had a bit of a craving so decided to find a good recipe. First attempt and it worked out pretty well! Caution, calories ahead.


4 tbspns butter

1tbspn extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely diced onion

1/2 cup finely diced celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 litre half-and-half

2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth (use 1 can for a thicker soup)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1 cup finely shredded carrots

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves

1 cup diced cooked chicken (you can use a rotisserie chicken)

1 (16-ounce) package ready-to-use gnocchi


1. Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion becomes translucent.

2. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half. Simmer until thickened.

3. Whisk in the chicken broth. Simmer until thickened again.

4. Stir in salt, thyme, parsley, carrots, spinach, chicken and gnocchi. Simmer until the soup is heated through. Before serving, season with additional salt, if necessary.


The gnocchi I bought said “ready in 2 minutes”. I wasn’t sure it was right, but it turned out fine. The recipe also has optional nutmeg (1/2 tsp), but my husband vetoed that idea and we didn’t use it.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites


Cheddar and Broccoli Orzo
July 14, 2014, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Pasta, Side Dishes | Tags: , ,


I love orzo! This recipe caught my eye because it had veggies right in it. Saves me some cooking!


1 cup orzo pasta

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/4 cup chick broth, divided

1 cup water

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed and finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tablespoon flour



1. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add orzo and stir until some of the pasta is brown.

2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in. Pour in 1 cup broth. Stir until liquid is absorbed.

3. Pour in water in 1/2 cup intervals, stirring until water is absorbed and pasta becomes tender.

4. In a separate pan over low heat, add 1/4 cup broth, milk, and cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture into a small bowl and stir in flower until dissolved. Pour thickener into the pot of melted cheese.

5. Once the orzo is tender, add in chopped broccoli and melted cheese sauce.

6. Adjust seasoning if needed and add more broth to get desired consistency.


I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen and put it into the pot a bit earlier so that it cooked while the rice was cooking. It turned out fine.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites

Source: Pinterest via