Well, hello there!

Well, hello there!
Matt & I in Costa Rica over Christmas...So beautiful there!
It's simple. Really. We're a young married couple that loves cooking together. We always try to eat healthy and, if it's simple and doesn't break the bank, we're into that, too! We hope you'll visit often and tell us what you think about what we're cooking! We'd love to hear from you. Drop us a note, a suggestion or a recipe!

Friday, July 8, 2011

monkey around.

A monkey we met in Costa Rica!

Let me start off by asking this question: Who HASN'T had Monkey Bread?

It seems almost sinful to not have experienced this Southern pull-apart bread in your childhood but, alas, Matt had never had it. Growing up in Houston, I'm not sure how h never had it but, crazier things have happened (see also the fact that Houston has set record breaking temperatures for like a gazillion days in a row, Kim K's engagement ring, etc). It's still a shame that he went nearly 26 years without knowing about this ridiculously good "breakfast" (pshhh, yeah right, it's like dessert) item! Well, not to worry, I remedied that a couple weeks ago when I woke up early on a Sunday morning and had monkey bread on my mind. I ran to the grocery store, grabbed what I needed and headed home to make it.
I was so excited that I called Matt (and woke him up) and asked him to preheat the oven for me before I got back!
Moving along...

This post, much like the last, and regrettably so, will not contain the recipe.
I will, however post ASAP, seeing as some of you may not have had monkey bread either. But don't tell me if you haven't. I don't want to hear it! :)

Recipe coming soon. And hey! I used Splenda and reduced-fat biscuits, so...it's almost like it doesn't have calories. ALMOST.

Until then...

lamb dry-rub, veggie fritters, hot water cornbread & alligator duo.

My, oh my, where has time gone? Has it REALLY been THAT long (April, eeeek!) since we've posted? WOW. Time flies when...when it's hot? Well, sadly I won't be posting any recipes today but, this is merely a teaser for what's to come!
Our anniversary was back in May. We decided on a "staycation" instead of going out of town for the weekend. We made most of our meals at home that weekend, and they were fan-friggin-tastic. Here's what our dinner menu looked like:

Saturday: Dry-Rubbed Lamb Chops with Fresh Spinach Linguine, Tomatoes & Herbs

Sunday: Chicken Vindaloo with Sweet Potato and Pea Samosas and Veggie Fritters

Monday: Fried Alligator Duo(one dry rub and one batter)with Hot Water Cornbread and Zucchini Fries

Sounds good, eh? Well, it was. REALLY GOOD.
I'll post the recipe for the Dry-Rubbed Lamb, Veggie Fritters, Cornbread & Alligator soon!

Until then...Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

it's all greek to us.

Greek omelet, that is! Ooooooooh, I love it when I feel clever (even though I'm sure on a scale of 1-to-10 of "lameness", that was about a 14).
Listen, it happens.

I'm just going to cut to the chase. I came home from the gym last night with no idea of what to fix for dinner. I started doing dishes, and there it was. In our cookbook stand on the counter, I had left the Newlywed Cookbook that Matt gave me for our 1-year anniversary last year, open to a page with a recipe for Greek omelet.
Sidenote: Matt did so good! The first anniversary is "paper" themed, so he got us the cookbook and a "recipe journal". How sweet!? I just LOVE him!

Back on track... I didn't have some of the ingredients (like black olives which, I think we should always have in our house), so I improvised. No surprise there, right?

What you'll need:

~2 Spears fresh asparagus, sliced lengthwise and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
~1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
~1 C. cherry tomatoes (or 1 whole large tomato, quartered and sliced into small wedges, like I did), sliced in half
~3 Green onions, sliced
~1/4 Red onion, chopped/sliced
~4 Oz. black or Kalamatta olives, sliced (we did not have these and I could kick myself!)
~Lg. pinch of salt
~1 Tsp black pepper
~1 Tsp fresh or dried parsley (I used dried...fresh would be delightful, though!)
~6 Whole Eggs + 1/4 C. liquid egg whites (I added this for extra protein), mixed with the salt

What to do:

~Preheat oven to 400*
~Place veggies, cheese, black pepper & parsley in single layer in a well greased pie plate or large cast iron skillet (we used the skillet...would highly recommend!)
~Pour egg/egg white mixture with salt over the veggies
~Bake for 20 mins, or until puffed and golden and cooked through

Serve with Canadian, low sodium/no sugar added or turkey bacon and top omelet with avocado slices if you like!

It's like a sophisticated breakfast dinner. It's like...ridiculous.
I thought maybe Matt would be skeptical but he loved it!

Super healthy. And, I didn't feel bad about cooking it while watching Biggest Loser!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Bar-B-Que. Mmmmmmm...
Delightful on a Summer's day (or any Season for that matter).
Delightful on just about any meat. Normally it's grilled or smoked but, in this case I used it in meatloaf. YES. MEATLOAF. This might not be a revelation to some of you but, for us, it was one of those "OH MY GOSH OUR KETCHUP IS EXPIRED, SO LET'S GOOGLE AN EASY TURKEY MEATLOAF RECIPE AND LOOK FOR SUBSTITUTIONS" moments. So, that's what we did. I looked through the first few and, just as I thought "ketchup..." or, some people even got technical and called for "catsup". Grrrrr... I thought I'd be going to the store for ketchup, er, uh...catsup when I decided to click through one more recipe. BBQ SAUCE! Yes! Substitution. We happened to have some Maker's Mark BBQ sauce that was given to us and me-oh-my is it tasty! But any "sweet" BBQ sauce will do. Today's lesson? Use BBQ sauce in your meatloaf. Even if you DO have ketchup.

WARNING: if you use the BBQ sauce in your normal "we'll have leftovers for a day or two" meatloaf (obviously depending on your family size). It will ALL be eaten :)

Matt's take: "Put this in our recipe book. PLEASE. When are we having this again?"

We win.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

kebab. kabob. whatev.

I'm always confused on the spelling of this genius on a stick. Who cares? It's so good and everyone knows what it is. Typically when you, or at least when I think of kebabs, I think of my old back yard and our pool and everyone being outside on a sunny day...grilling up a storm. That's just me.
Monday night I thought we'd have some sort of beef. I opened the freezer and behold, a purchase I'd forgotten we made the last visit to our neighborhood Kroger. No, our actual neighborhood doesn't have a Kroger, but that'd be wonderful. Sometimes the two that are within a two-mile-radius from our 'hood seem inconvenient to trek to!
Anywho. During our last visit to the store (sans a list, which I cannot stand to do!), Matt grabbed a package of "miscellaneous beef". Yep. Sounds a bit scary, right? By miscellaneous, they actually just meant lean beef tips. Good for stewing, normally. The fate of the miscellaneous beef was meant for kebabs AND kebab stew. Yep, two meals. WE WIN.
To compliment the beef, I used some of our favorite veggies. Delightful.

According to Matt "these are the best vegetables I've ever eaten".

You're probably wondering what I did to make them soooooo delicious, right?
Just keep on reading, then!

Miscellaneous Beef Kebabs

What you'll need:

~1 Lb. beef tips, er, uh, miscellaneous beef. If frozen,thaw completely.
~1/2 Red bell pepper
~2-3 Oz. sliced (or whole) baby portabella mushrooms
~1/3 Red onion, sliced and chunked
~1 Zucchini squash, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
~1/2 C. Worcestershire sauce
~1/4 C. lemon juice (fresh or from concentrate)
~1 Tsp. black pepper
~1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
~4-6 metal (or wooden*) skewers *If you're using wooden, soak them for about and hour, so that they don't splinter and/or burn on the grill. No bueno.

What to do:

~In a large mixing bowl, place the beef, sauce, lemon juice and seasonings and mix thoroughly until beef is well coated in the marinade.
~Set aside and let marinade for about an hour.
~Pre-heat grill on low-medium heat. You'll want to do this because the veggies will take a little longer, and you don't want to burn them!
~Assemble the kebabs with the beef and veggies onto the skewers (we made 4 GIANT ones)in any order you like and pour about 1/2 C. remaining marinade over the skewers.
~Grill for approx 10-15 minutes (or until you feel like everything's ready for you to eat).

My thinking is that these kebabs would be accompanied well by a brown rice/black beans/chopped tomatoes mix. We had them by themselves. It was just right for that night!

The only thing missing from that was the pool and the sunny day. Hmmm...maybe next time? I sure hope so!

Friday, March 11, 2011

do you groupon?

I'm Ron Burgundy? (Please, please PLEASE tell me you've seen Anchor Man.)
Anyway... Turns out Groupon is AWESOME. Why? Well, the deals typically run between 50%-90% off the original price. I know this is a food blog, but hear me out...this IS actually about food. It's just, well, we're not cooking it. So, the other day we purchased out very first Groupon. I signed us up for email alerts a long time ago thinking "this could be a good way to get some stuff". Since the New Year, Matt & I have taken turns planning a date night every week. Matt planned the first week, I planned the next...you get it. Last week was my week to plan and we got an email with a Groupon for $15 for $30 worth of sushi @ Zake Sushi Lounge Downtown. If you know us, you know we really (really, really) like sushi. And, two of our favorite people, my sister Maren and her hubs Phillip took us to Zake right after they started dating. It's so good...the atmosphere is very nice, too. Romantic/modern. I love it. So, all that goes to say, we're big fans of Groupon now! We're going to Zake tonight (YESSSSSSSSSS!) We were unable to have my date night last week so, we're having mine tonight and Matt's tomorrow. Woohoo! Double date weekend :)
Promise I'll post more recipes later.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

feelin' hot hot hot.

So, way back when, in 2004, my sister and I went to China to visit some family. It's funny how the title of this post took me straight to my brother's living room with my niece and nephews dancing in their pj's to the Eddie Bauer Summer Edition CD that we picked up at the store in oh, say, 2000. Yeah, that's about right. So, we're all dancin' and acting silly and the kids LOVED that CD fro some reason. So much so that when Maren and I left, we left the CD for the kids. How could we not? They're so precious dancing and singing without a care in the world. Anyway, one of the songs on the CD is "feelin' hot hot hot". I'm not sure if that's the title, but I know it's about 80% of the lyrics, so we'll go with it. Boston, our oldest nephew, was 4 1/2 at the time and he kept singing (SUPER LOUDLY) "feewin' hot hot hoot...ree hot ree hot!" One of THE cutest and most precious memories EVER. And yes, when he gets married, I'll be sharing that story about him dancing in pj's singing at the top of his lungs to that crazy song. You'll have to forgive me. Sometimes I forget this is a cooking blog! Right...cooking! So, the other night, oh man, I think it was last Monday, Matt and I went to the grocery store together and were having the discussion of what to have for dinner that night. It's so funny how much in sync you are when we both looked at each other and said "how about stuffed peppers?!" It wouldn't be so much of a surprise if that's something we whipped up often in the Hargrove Casa, but, I can honestly say, we've never done that. We both looked at each other and it went something like this "WHAT?! NO WAY...I JUST SAID THAT TOO. WHOA!" Crazy. So, stuffed peppers it would be that night! Here's what we had...

Meg's Stuffed Poblano Pepper with Black Beans and Rice

*NOTE TO SELF: Start taking pictures of the dinners before they're eaten!
We typically eat dinner RIGHT after we workout, so, we're crazy hungry and it's like we can't get it from the stove to the plate to the table fast enough!

What you'll need:

~2 Large poblano peppers, top and seeds removed
~1 Lb. 93/7 lean ground turkey
~Cooking spray
~2 Tsp. Olive oil
~1/2 C. Mexican mixed shredded cheese, divided
~1 Can black beans
~1 Bag brown rice, cooked according to directions
~1/4 C. bread crumbs (we used roasted garlic...HOLLA!)
~1 Fresh jalapeno, chopped
~Cilantro for topping
~1 Avocado, sliced, for topping
~1 Tsp. black pepper
~1/4 Red onion, chopped

What to do:

~Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
~Place seeded poblanos onto greased baking sheet and brush all sides of peppers 1/2 Tsp. olive oil
~Bake for 30 mins, then turn and reduce heat to 375 degrees for 25 mins, and remove from oven
~Place oven on high broil (500 degrees)
~Place remaining oil, jalapeno and red onion into heated skillet and saute until onion and jalapeno become soft
~Add ground turkey and seasonings and cook turkey all the way through
~Add ingredients from skillet to bread crumbs and 1/4 C. cheese in medium size mixing bowl and toss until mixture comes together. Add more cheese if you need
~Take a spoon and slide it down the middle of each pepper but make sure not to go through the bottom side
~Spoon turkey mixture into peppers (you'll probably have some mix leftover)
~Place the remaining cheese on top of the peppers and broil until cheese is bubbly
~Top with cilantro and avocado
~Heath the black beans in the microwave for 30 seconds and spoon on top of each serving of brown rice and top with cilantro

There ya have it! That's it!
Direct quote from Matt "I want to eat this every day for the rest of my life."

I think that sums it up! ENJOY!