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Recipes

recipe: spinach and cheese strata. 

L made this delicious Spinach and Cheese Strata for Mother’s Day brunch – it was a hit! Yall know we love anything we can make ahead…means more time to work on our tablescape. Add a fresh fruit salad (L chose Watermelon Feta Salad) and muffins, and you’ve got an easy, elegant brunch. We adapted this from an Annie’s Eats post; here’s our version (with notes).

Make-Ahead Spinach and Cheese Strata

Spinach and Cheese Strata
photo: annie’s eats.

 

What You Need:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups onion, finely chopped (basically, one large yellow onion)
  • 2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (we used bagged, organic frozen spinach)
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. pepper, divided
  • Dash ground nutmeg (the original recipe called for freshly grated…but ground works just fine)
  • 8 cups cubed French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (basically one large loaf)
  • 6 oz. coarsely grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 2/3 cup)
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2¾ cup milk (we used Horizon Organic 1% low-fat milk)

What You Do:

  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet over low heat.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the pepper, and the nutmeg, and continue to cook for 1 minute more.  Stir in the spinach, remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Liberally coat the inside of a 2½-3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Layer the bottom of the dish with one third of the bread cubes.  Top with one third of the spinach mixture and one third of each of the cheeses.  Repeat these layers twice more with the bread, spinach and cheese. It’s important to grate your cheeses ahead of time, so that you can distribute them evenly in your layers.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, the remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.  Whisk together until blended.  Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach layered in the baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown and cooked through, 45-55 minutes.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serves 8.

**This is our version of a well-loved, well-published recipe. Annie’s Eats adapted this from Smitten Kitchen. Originally appeared in Gourmet, February 2003.

Bonus: Sample Brunch Menu

  • Spinach and Cheese Strata
  • Watermelon and Feta Salad
  • Blueberry Streusel Muffins
  • Assorted Breakfast Sausages
  • Iced Coffee Bar (we paired this pre-made iced coffee with whipped cream and cute straws)
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recipe: pesto artichoke grilled cheese.

Mmmmonday. Need a quick and easy idea for dinner tonight? Upgrade your usual grilled cheese sandwich to this summer-y pesto, artichoke and havarti version by Two Peas and Their Pod, one of our fave food blogs. Use prepared pesto if you don’t feel like making your own Spinach Basil Pesto. This is just as easy as the classic you loved growing up but wayyyy more sophisticated and flavorful.

The Glitter Life Pesto Artichoke Sandwich

 

Pesto, Artichoke and Havarti Grilled Cheese by Two Peas and Their Pod

What You Need:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread (such as Eureka! Organic Bread)
  • 4 tablespoons Spinach Basil Pesto or prepared pesto
  • 4 slices Arla Dofino® Creamy Havarti (or 4 ounces, grated)
  • 2/3 cup sliced artichoke hearts (from jar or can, drained)
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling on sandwich

What You Do:

  • Butter the outsides of the bread. Spread the insides of the bread slices evenly with pesto. Put a slice of Havarti on the bottom piece of bread, add artichoke hearts, and top with another slice of Havarti. Place the other piece of bread on top, creating a sandwich.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium-low heat and place the sandwiches butter side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt and the bread is golden brown. Carefully flip the sandwich over and cook for an additional about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sea salt. Cut sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
The Glitter Life Pesto Artichoke Sandwich
mmmmmmmmmmmm, enjoy!
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friday five: links to stuff we love.

You guys. Two big pieces of news. 1) J IS BACK. Stay tuned for posts on her amazing honeymoon. 2) We are ready for the WEEKEND. We know you’re shocked. Check out five things that are making us happy right now:

Friday Five Link Love
bikini + shades + cocktails + watermelon = our perfect weekend

1. L Space Print Wrap Top. L*Space makes the best bikinis; every year, one silhouette dominates Pinterest. Last year it was the Audrey fringe top; this year it’s the Chloe wrap top. We love how the wrap-style gives us maximum adjustability. Bonus: the print reverses to basic black.

2. TOMS Aviators. We are both devoted Ray-Ban wearers…but right now we’re really loving these Kilgore aviators at our favorite do-good company, Toms. For every pair sold, Toms will give a child the gift of sight. We’re offering a special discount on these just for you. Call Sole at 912-764-7463, mention “The Glitter Life” and get an extra 15% off a pair for yourself.

3. Cocktail Napkins. MUST HAVE. This adorable cocktail napkin (comes in a set of four) would look even better sitting underneath a Grapefruit Paloma.

4. Watermelon Salad. One of our favorite summertime recipes. So easy to throw together – all you need is watermelon, mint and feta.

5. How To: Host a Successful Sale on Instagram! If you need a little extra cash to support your bikini and sunglasses habit (ahem), check out these handy suggestions for throwing a killer closet sale on Instagram. Haul out your gently-used duds, snap some pics, and start making money. Then spend it on cute cocktail napkins.

PS – We’re excited to celebrate our wonderful mothers this weekend! Share your Mother’s Day pics with us on Instagram (@glitter_blog_xo).

 

 

 

 

 

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friday five: link love.

Happy Friday! J’s honeymooning in Italy this week and next, so L is holding down the glitter fort.

Here’s what we’re feeling right now: a charming springtime salad, the cutest tote, a must-try cocktail, how to use your iPhone (really) and a quiz we dare you to take. Hope you love these links as much as we do!

The Glitter Life Friday Five
our weekend musts: two must-makes, two must-dos, and one must-have.

1. Salad Nicoise. We’re craving fresh flavor right now, and this gorg salad (half the joy is in the arranging) brought to you by A Beautiful Mess fits the bill perfectly.

2. Cutest Tote Ever. Yes. Just yes. We’re ordering this tote pronto.

 

3. Grapefruit PalomaWhat’s a Paloma, you ask? A delicious tequila-based cocktail with just the right amount of fizz. So refreshing. Just looking at this picture makes us wish it was happy hour.

4. 20 Cool iPhone Hacks. This article details 20 useful tricks to get the most out of your beloved iPhone. Some you’ll recognize, most you won’t. At least we didn’t! Upgrade to fancy quotation marks? Don’t mind if we DO.

5. Quiz. Flashback to our Seventeen magazine days – who doesn’t love a good quiz? Take the “How Design Savvy Are You?” quiz by Domaine and test whether you know your book-matched from your herringbone. Spoiler: L is a Design Master! But you probably knew that already. 😉

Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

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behind the scenes: j’s wedding weekend.

Okay, this is our last post about J’s wedding weekend. But we really wanted to share some behind-the scenes pics. Enjoy!

FRIDAY

bridesmaids brunch + bubbly at the ritz carlton.
bridesmaids fueled up on brunch + bubbly.
The Glitter Life Brunch
l + j at brunch.
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l made this practice bouquet for j from hydrangeas (picked up at the local publix) and finished with satin ribbon from several of j’s wedding shower gifts. nail polish: essie bachelorette bash.
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bridesmaid kati made these adorbs champagne glasses, customized for each member of the bridal party. on the table: crafting materials (from ikea!) for the rehearsal dinner centerpieces. we all pitched in!
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jay’s mom karen assembled 100+ gift boxes for the cocktail reception guests. inside: georgia peanuts (in mason jars – cute!), bottled water, golf balls and customized koozies and golf tees.
the ritz carlton presidential house, the site of the rehearsal dinner and cocktail reception. also our home away from home for the weekend. 
bridesmaid mary + brendan on the patio at the rehearsal dinner.
bridesmaid mary + brendan on the patio at the rehearsal dinner. loved her maxi dress! 

SATURDAY

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the bridal party got dolled up at The Spa at the Ritz Carlton. j gifted each bridesmaid adorable h&m pajamas to wear while getting ready. also pictured: vintage-y earrings, another gift from j.
bridal attire from head (j's mother's veil)  to toe (christian louboutins). photo: the willets.
bridal attire from head (j’s mother’s veil) to toe (nude peep-toe christian louboutins). photo: the willets.
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rain showers didn’t dampen j’s mood. her photographers were great sports, too! pictured: the pool at the ritz presidential house. our home away from home for the weekend.
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j’s something borrowed: an antique bracelet from l. the bride also borrowed gorg diamond earrings from her aunt.
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one of our favorite pics from the weekend. we snapped this selfie minutes before walking down the aisle!
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presenting mr. and mrs. james murray baker, iv! j’s dress: winnie couture.
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bridesmaids, post-ceremony. from l to r: annie (maid of honor), l (matron of honor), maggie, mary and kati. dresses: alfred sung via weddington way. bouquets: findlay rowe designs.
bridesmaid maggie + talmadge. photo bomb: brendan.
bridesmaid maggie + talmadge. photo bomb: brendan.
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j’s bouquet of peonies wowed everyone. bouquet: findlay rowe designs. cake: the ritz carlton.
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honestly one of the best meals we’ve ever had: filet of beef tenderloin, seared sea scallops and braised veggies. catering: the ritz carlton.
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the happy couple snapped a pic before digging in to dinner.
The Glitter Life JJB2015
j + maid of honor annie.
The Glitter Life JJB2015
l + joe at the reception. loved the handy pockets on our bridesmaids’ dresses!
JJB 4
…and that’s a wrap! #jjb2015 was one for the books. photo credit: the willets.

 

 

 

 

 

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friday five: link love. 

Oh hey, Friday. We’re hanging at the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation today, NBD. This is J’s big weekend – she will officially become a MRS. tomorrow! Be sure to follow along with us on Insta (#JJB2015) as we chronicle what’s sure to be an amazing weekend. In the meantime, check out these links to stuff we love. xo

 

Links We Love 4_17_15
#vibes

1. Coachella Survival Guide. Headed to Coachella this weekend? Say hello to Ryan Adams for us. Also read this article and check out Dish Statesboro for #festivalstyle inspo.

2. Tudor Tutor. Move over, Downton Abbey. We’re superrrrr excited that Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall is now on PBS. Palace intrigue can be confusing, so use this handy guide to distinguish between Tudor loyalists and Papists while you watch.

3. Sally Hansen Self Tanner. The quest for the perfect self tanner never ends. You could say it’s our holy grail. This one is our new fave. The color is totally natural, and there’s virtually no weird fading. Don’t let the orange tint freak you out–it washes off your hands.

4. One Pot Basil + Andouille Sausage Pasta.  You know we’re all about quick easy, one-pot dinners…especially those that can be repurposed for lunch the next day. This one uses tons of summer-fresh basil.

5. World Market Pendant Lamp. We think this simple-yet-special gold pendant lamp would look amazing in a powder room, small home office….or over a modern crib in a nursery.

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your Masters party: ham sliders + azalea cocktails.

These Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders are THE BEST SANDWICHES YOU WILL EVER EAT, swear. L made these for her fifth annual egg hunt on Saturday, and all 96 were snapped up by party-goers (kids included!). Whip some up for a Masters viewing party this weekend and add a round of Azalea Cocktails. You’re good to go.

The Glitter Life Ham and Cheese Slider
you cannot – repeat, cannot – eat just one of these.

Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders (makes 24 sandwiches, plan on 2-3 per person)

What You Need:

  • 24 slices deli honey ham (L used Sara Lee Maple Ham)
  • 6 slices swiss cheese, cut into quarters
  •  1/3 cup mayonnaise (L used Kraft mayo)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard (L used French’s Dijon)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 packages (12 count) King’s Hawaiian Original or Honey Wheat Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls

What You Do:

  • Split rolls in half and spread mayo onto 1 side of the rolls. Place a slice or two of ham and a (quarter) slice of swiss cheese in roll. Replace the top of the rolls and bunch them closely together into a baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and worcestershire sauce.
  • Pour sauce over the rolls, just covering the tops. Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Bake covered at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for additional 2 minutes until tops are slightly browned and crisp. Serve warm.

These sandwiches are also great at room temperature – don’t stress about serving them right out of the oven. You can assemble the sandwiches the night before baking – just cover TIGHTLY with plastic wrap to prevent them drying out. When you’re ready, pour on the sauce and pop them in the oven!

The Glitter Life Ham & Cheese Slider
easy to make for a crowd.

Adapted from www.kingshawaiian.com.

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quick and easy: bang bang shrimp pasta.

In our continuing effort to cook quick, easy, delicious meals while buying as few new ingredients as possible, we stumbled upon this recipe for Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta on Damn Delicious (one of our favorite food blogs). We were initially skeptical (mayonnaise? blahhh), but it turned out AMAZING. And it only took about 5 minutes to throw together. We strayed a little from the original recipe, so check out our modified version below.

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
photo: Damn Delicious. we took the tails off our shrimp, just because.

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta (adapted from Damn Delicious)

What You Need

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (we used whole wheat spaghetti)
  • 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used a bag of thawed frozen shrimp)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or more, to taste (we just used regular paprika – totally fine!)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Bang Bang Sauce
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce (we substituted cocktail sauce – worked fine!)
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • Juice of 1/2 lime, or more, to taste (we didn’t have any limes so we left this out, but we bet it would be a good addition)
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

What You Do

  • To make the sauce, whisk together mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce, garlic, lime juice, Sriracha and red pepper flakes; set aside.
  • Toss shrimp in paprika.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  • Saute chopped garlic and onion in olive oil for a minute or two, until soft. Add shrimp, a pinch more paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until shrimp are pink (just a few minutes).
  • Pour in about half the sauce (just enough to coat).
  • Add the pasta to the pan. Add a little more sauce if necessary. We only used about half of our sauce mixture. But you do your thing.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with fresh parsley.

We promise, this will become a regular in your dinner rotation. Annnnnd, we’re eating the leftovers as we speak!

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motivation monday: shrimp fried quinoa.

Motivation Monday is back! When we read about this genius recipe (originally featured on Eating Bird Food and written by Brittany Mullins, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness), we knew we had to try it. Indulge your craving for traditional shrimp fried rice with this healthy food hack!

Shrimp Fried Quinoa
photo: PopSugar

 

Shrimp Fried Quinoa 

What You Need:

  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (divided)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or more – we really like garlic)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 bag (about 3 cups) frozen veggies (whatever kind you like – pictured is a blend of peas, carrots, green beans, and corn)
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine – view a substitution here)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (a chili sauce – you can totally substitute sriracha)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Fresh cilantro and sriracha, for topping (optional)

What You Do:

  • Prepare quinoa if you haven’t already. Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup uncooked quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes; fluff quinoa with a fork. Refrigerate until cool. This step can be done the day before.
  • Heat 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in shrimp, season with a little salt and pepper and stir constantly while cooking for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through. Place cooked shrimp on a plate and set aside.
  • Add remaining coconut oil into the same skillet. Sauté onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the frozen veggies and cook until heated through. Add in cooked quinoa and shrimp then add in tamari, mirin and sesame oil, and sambal oelek. Use however much sambal oelek or sriracha you’d like depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.
  • Cook and stir until evenly coated, about 2 minutes. Make a well in the center of the quinoa mixture. Pour eggs into the well; cook and stir until eggs are scrambled and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the dish between 4 plates and garnish with cilantro and a little sriracha, if using.
  • Note: If you’re not into spicy, just leave out the sambal oelek chili paste and/or the sriracha. The dish tastes just as good without it. 
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friday five | loves.

YAY for the weekend. It’s actually sunny today – we’re crossing our fingers this lasts for a few days. Here’s what we’re loving right now!

1. Nude Lip. After a winter of bright red lips, we’re really feeling this pared down nude lip. Now, if we can just get a tan…

Nude Uptown Lip
photo: the beauty department.

2. Homemade Pizza. L and Joe made this delicious Spinach Artichoke Pizza (sans artichokes – forgot them at the store!) this week, and it’s probably making a reappearance on Sunday night. It’s super easy, and we love the combination of flavors. Even Baby Joe gobbled it up.

Spinach Artichoke Pizza
photo: two peas and their pod

3. Mimosa caddy. Making mimosa caddies is tops on our spring to-do list because we love champagne, we love pink, and we love DIY. And just because.

DIY Mimosa Caddy
photo: a fabulous fete.

4. ASOS Floral Midi Skirt. J’s wearing this adorable floral midi to brunch in NYC during her bach party. Stay tuned for details!

ASOS Floral Midi
photo: merricjk’s art.

5. Good read. We love this article about finding your style when you hit 30.

Turning 30
photo: cupcakes and cashmere.

J and L reunite at Mount Vintage this weekend for J’s bridal shower – hope you guys get to spend the weekend with good friends, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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