Two (appetites) become One (diet).

by Maggie Griffin


This is the second post in our 'two somethings become one something' series. This post could also be titled "Confessions of a Once Strict Vegetarian/Pescatarian." Before marriage, Byron and I had very distinct appetites.

I had been a strict vegetarian-who-eats-fish-/pescatarian. I took this stance after cooking on "cookout night" for a camp-like missions organization during the summer of 2011. I didn't mind the slaughtering of animals; I still don't. I do, however, mind the conditions of the animals pre-slaughter, the way they are slaughtered, and what they are fed. Also, all the grease was icky. 

Byron was a quick meal before/after class, eat out or eat simple at home kinda guy. The more grease on the burger, the better.  

And then we united; and so did our appetites. Byron, being the world's sweetest person (do I boast of him too much on here?), excitedly agreed to begin to live my lifestyle. With each passing month, opportunities where people prepared meat or hosts provided it arose, and we took part. We also would purchase organic meat from the farmer's market or be sent home with organic meat after trips to Dallas. And slowly, overtime, we both became semi-vegetarians-who-only-eat-organic-meat-with-the-occasional-restaurant-splurge-just-because. 

All this to say, meal planning at first as a vegetarian trying to please an omnivore was difficult. With our newfound food consumer status, it is much easier to work in the occasional organic meat dish with our semi-vegetarian diet. Marriage is compromise. Compromise is delicious.

Here are a few favorites from the summer months:  

Zucchini Risotto! Recipe can be found here

This one was DELICIOUS. I had never made risotto, but I watched The Chew and saw this one being made--and we went for it! Success!

 

You can't see what's under the bun, but it was a sausage burger...take a link and  cut it in half (hotdog style)! Organic, of course.

Classic Frito chili pie! I used to LOVE these during my junior high & high school football concession stand days. So good. Add some avocado!

Oh, man! Kabobs are such a treat. Definitely one of my favorite meals growing up.  We put all of our toppings on a bed of brown rice and ate all that with hummus and lightly grilled pita! This was my favorite meal from the summer!

Honorable mentions, worthy of mere iPhone (and Pinterest) photos go to: quiche & mexican pasta dish & this DELICIOUS gyro with homemade Tzaziki sauce from Pinterest.

We love making meals together. Due to our weekly schedule, Tuesday and Thursday, plus weekends are the days we are most likely to experiment with the lengthier, yummier meals. We would love to cook with you on those nights!  

What have been your favorites meals recently?  


A birthday in BIG D (and a fourth of July update!)

by Maggie Griffin


Da Birfday Gurll

Da Birfday Gurll

Don't wish us Happy Birthday just yet!  Byron is a March baby, and I've got 2 months to go before the big 23. DO wish my sister Alix a very happy birthday. Alix is the bomb. She was with me when I was first super giddy about Byron and has loved him ever since. And Byron has loved her right back. 

We were unable to make it to her birthday dinner during the week, but we thought we would give her the greatest present of all...presence! 

But this all happened after  the fourth of July! 

This is our fourth of July update: Byron's friend Brad from College Station came up with his German Shepherd pup, George, also known as Eleanor's boyfriend. We went out to lunch together, then I left the boys alone to go to my friend Antonia's pool and soak up the gorgeous weather! I returned to the boys and we began a game of Scrabble, watched some Psych, went for dinner (though the boys snacked A LOT) and walked to the Waco Downtown fireworks spot! The fireworks malfunctioned, but it was still a lovely evening, and we LOVE when Brad comes to town! 

After the fourth we made our way up to Dallas to see our favorite birthday girl!  

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FRIDAY NIGHT: Eleanor had fun playing with her "cousin" Paxie. Paxie is a super small dog, which makes for hilarious playtime. Alix left us for a bit, but not before making us delicious guacamole and summer beer, the latter of which we did not get to enjoy due to a completely random explosion of her pitcher. After the summer beer tragedy, and upon her return, Alix told me a restaurant down the street had it--obvious deciding factor--and that ended our thirty minute "where should we go for dinner?" discussion.  Above: my summer beer, Byron's burger, Byron's ridiculous nervous habit of tearing things because Alix shouted across our table to an old college friend--what a weirdo! Friday night continued with night swimming and puppy cuddling. Right: Eleanor and Paxie (you can follow @eleanorthedog on instagram) spooning!

Perfection.  

AMAZING Abe & George busts that now have a place in our home! 

AMAZING Abe & George busts that now have a place in our home! 

SATURDAY: We woke up and went to pick up my momma out in ole Wyyylie, Texas (not before Starbucks though!) And then we hit up the antique stores on Riverfront in Dallas. Reason #174 that I love Byron: he loves antiques. He loves them so much that he gets lost in the store. Literally. So hard to find him! Byron and I stumbled upon the busts above and fell in love. I am so excited to have them! My dad met up with us after an early morning fishing trip, and after poking around a few more places, we headed off to Off-Site Kitchen. Their slogan should be "Stupid good burgers even vegetarians eat!" Just look at them! Alix and I are both vegetarians who are really pescatarians who are really "well, if it's ethically raised..." vegetarians who are really just people who eat meat very rarely. Anywho, delicious. Alix and her roommate have only been going to Dallas restaurants that made the top 100 list in D magazine. Such a good idea. Off-site kitchen was obviously on the list. 

We then took my parents back to Alix's place so that they could watch Paxie and Eleanor play for a bit. We also watched Alix use her juicer (birthday gift from mom and dad) for the first time--very exciting!  

CONTINUATION of Saturday: Alix, Byron, and I goofed off and relaxed after my parents left. Then when the dreaded dinner destination discussion began again, I made an executive decision for Fireside Pies, a pizza joint I had yet to visit. (Y'all know I love pizza!) We had a great time! I just love being around these two! We then went across the street to a small deli/market to grab some ice cream and soon after that we retired for the evening.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALIX!!!  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALIX!!! 

The next morning, we departed, sad, but so pleasantly filled (tummies and hearts) after our great weekend. We love you, Alix! Happy Birthday! 

Here's to a great year for Alix, another great year of independence and American pride, and full tummies and hearts! 

Cheers! 

 


Favorite Meals of June

by Maggie Griffin


Our traveling did not stop in May, no no. The Griffins were once again out and about state hopping from Massachusetts and the island of Nantucket, to home in Texas,  to our neighboring state, Louisiana. Here and there both of us exercised our cooking skills and, during the last week of June, we were home each night for a meal that was planned a week in advance and executed to perfection...except one (more on that later). Earlier in June, I had hoped to use our new cast iron skillet, but was saddened to learn that it needed to be "cured." After a few more evenings of hoping to make a skillet meal, yet again being too lazy to cure previous to my craving, Byron manned up, stormed the kitchen and readied our skillet for use!

Skillet adventures so far have consisted of ravioli lasagna and potatoes things. Classics.

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Our absolute favorite meal this month was crockpot fajitas, a favorite of mine from my hometown days. Each time we go to the farmer's market, we pick a meat for the week and go for it. I insisted on "fajita meat" at one vendor, dreaming up, and publicly salivating about this recipe. Huge success! Cannot wait to do this for our friends in the new house!

Honorable mentions: hasselback potatoes, via pinterest; summer vegetable pasta, via pinterest, ... & etc. Do you see a trend?

Now for my confession, my previously mentioned fail. 22 has been the year of pizza. I have no idea why but I crave it all the time. I think it has something to do with the pizza I get...pineapple + black olive. Do not bash it until you try it, haters. This pizza was established in "Central Perk," the humble abode of my best friend and I circa 2011-2012. We would indulge every once in a while, but when we stopped living together, it was like the pizza brought her back into whatever space I was in. So, Kayt, this one's for you...

I check A Beautiful Mess everyday, and recently they had a post about a stuffed crust skillet pizza. Yet again...public salivation. So, we were ready. I made up the dough, though it didn't quite look/feel right. I double checked the recipe and hoped that everything would work on during the "rising" process. It didn't. I threw a bit of a hissyfit. Byron, ever the comforter and supporter, suggested we add a bit more olive/water and try it again. I let it rise a bit longer, feeling much more elasticy, but when we tried to roll it out (me first, then Muscles Griffin), it just didn't flatten. There were no tears involved, but I did spell out a certain four letter word that I have never had enough guts/need/desire to say.

We had leftovers instead. WOMP.

One fail during meal plan week plus a disastrous attempt at queso, and I'd still say it was a success. For any of the recipes, check our Pinterest 'Meal Planning' board, or just ask in the comments. July, here we come!


Meals from the Month of May

by Maggie Griffin


One of B and I's favorite things to do together is cook! He is unbelievably helpful in the kitchen, willing to try whatever I decide to make, and he cleans his plate. He is, however, a child at the grocery store.  

In May, we were gone quite a bit, but we did have two full weeks at home to figure out how dinner time would go for the Griffins. I had the sincerest of desires to meal plan and pick out every recipe for the week; but sometimes, the stomach wants what the stomach wants; and sometimes, you just don't want to put that much effort into food. 

I work from home most days, and Byron has yet to start summer school, so we have been home with each other for almost every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some meals have been successes, some have been mixing up whatever is left, and some have been random concoctions that were mostly hits! 

Below are a few of our favorites...as we have said, Maggie is a vegetarian, but not because she thinks killing animals is bad, she just opposes how they are treated and the condition they are kept in. So, meat from our local farmer's markets is a go! Anyway, feel free to look at our comments, and make sure to ask us about anything that looks delicious! 

 

Farmer's Market Hot Italian Sausage + Marinara and Provolone Subs + Cranberry/Cherry Tomato/Cucumber Salad

Farmer's Market Hot Italian Sausage + Marinara and Provolone Subs + Cranberry/Cherry Tomato/Cucumber Salad

True Texans. Sour Cream Enchiladas + refried beans and avocado slices

True Texans. Sour Cream Enchiladas + refried beans and avocado slices

Maggie's method of cooking most days: consult multiple hits from a google search; see the similarities, make it similar. She rarely measures anything, but no spice has killed us yet. These sour cream enchiladas were her favorite meal of the month. We had a ridiculous system for moving the tortillas from the fry in oil stage to the dunk in enchilada sauce stage. TONGS are a most. 

(Side story: Once Maggie's sister gave their Aunt a pair of Kitchen Tongs in a Victoria's Secret box. Clever and funny gift!) 

Farmer's Market Sausage + Mashed Potatoes + Corn on the Cob + Asparagus + Corn Bread

Farmer's Market Sausage + Mashed Potatoes + Corn on the Cob + Asparagus + Corn Bread

Byron's favorite meal. He is adjusting quite well to a mostly vegetarian menu, but he sure does love it when Maggie is willing to cook meat, plus he gets to experiment with our in-house methods. Special shout-out to Antonia for letting us use her lean-mean-fat burning George Foreman grilling machine! It added the so much to our Southern Meal!

One of M's favorite breakfasts! Popovers! 

One of M's favorite breakfasts! Popovers! 

Maggie DID NOT consume all of these. 

Maggie DID NOT consume all of these. 

Classic. Mac & Cheese. Broccoli and Guac. Griffin House Salad...not really, I need to come up with that.  

Classic. Mac & Cheese. Broccoli and Guac. Griffin House Salad...not really, I need to come up with that.  

We end with popovers! and a frozen thrown together delight. Popovers are such a treat for Maggie. They remind her of her grandmother and slow, easy mornings. Those are the best foods, ones with memories. So much of what Maggie has made is inspired by her adolescent evenings atop a tall red chair in the kitchen watching her mom make meals every night. 

Maggie had a flashback moment one evening. The loft window was open, a warm summer wind flooding in, kitchen hoppin', the local news and ABC nightly news was in the background--it felt perfect, it felt familiar and wonderful. These small moments are now our own. This is all so exciting and fun! 

We are excited to keep you updated on our meals; we hope you enjoy it and share some of your favorite recipe and kitchen memories with us!