caramelized onion and goat cheese tarts + glitter girl: mika kawana.

Happy Tuesday, glitter girls!

J and I capped off our busy weekend by watching (separately) the 2013 Academy Awards Sunday night. I didn’t have a full-blown Oscar watching party, but I did make a fun appetizer to celebrate. These tarts are the perfect small bite to pair with a glass of wine. The onions/goat cheese/thyme combo would also be delicious on toasted baguette slices.

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tarts


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed (from a 17 oz. package frozen puff pastry sheets)
  • 1 log soft mild goat cheese, at room temperature


  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
  • In a heavy skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute onion, stirring occasionally, until golden (about 10 minutes).
  • Add wine and deglaze skillet, scraping up any brown bits.  Cook until water evaporates and onion is an even deeper brown (about 10 more minutes).
  • While onion is cooking, cut pastry sheet lengthwise into thirds. Cut each strip into 8 triangles.
  • Place triangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick pastry all over with a fork. Bake until golden (about 10 minutes). Slice each pastry in half to create two thinner tart bases.
  • Spread goat cheese onto pastry triangles. Top with caramelized onions.
  • Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.

Makes 48 tarts. Adapted from the March 2013 issue of InStyle magazine.

Goat Cheese Tarts
caramelized onions + goat cheese + thyme
Goat Cheese Tarts
Puff Pastry
golden pastry triangles.
Caramelized Onions
caramelized onions.

And now, for this week’s Glitter Girl. Once a week-ish, we plan to highlight one of our favorite friends/readers/fellow Glitter Girls with a pic and a brief questionnaire. We’ll feature girls who are living in interesting places (from Atlanta to Alaska) and doing interesting things (from stylish stay-at-home moms to corporate ladder-climbers). We hope you enjoy getting to know The Glitter Life community!

Let’s meet Mika Kawana!

About me: I’m a University of Georgia grad (like L!), fashion hound and political junkie. I’ve worked as the finance director of the Georgia Republican Party since 2007. I learned all of my meticulous tendencies as Laura’s intern in Governor Sonny Perdue’s office years ago. 🙂 And I use them every day as I shake people down at the GAGOP.

1. What item or accessory do you wear the most? My grandmother’s onyx ring.

2. What are your three favorite stores (for ANYTHING, online or bricks and mortar)? Social/Dish (that counts as one, right?), Arden’s Garden (hello…who doesn’t love wheatgrass? If you haven’t juiced before, you need to get on it), and World Market (they have great deals on wine and decorations).

3. Fill in the blank. You would die if ____ followed you on Twitter. Uhhh.  I don’t have a twitter account.  Maybe one day, I’ll jump on the bandwagon.

4. Your last meal. What is it? It’s Mexican.  It is always Mexican.

5. What’s your guilty pleasure? Massages at my sketchy foot massage place. It’s called Foot Massage. Fact. You can’t beat an hour massage and a 30 minute foot massage for $70.   If you live here in Atlanta, Foot Massage is located in the Pinetree shopping center on Buford Hwy.  Ask for May.

Mika Kawana
Mika Kawana, fashionista and falcons fan

Did you make anything special to watch the Oscars? Tweet us at @glitter_blog_xo! And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @glitter_blog_xo.



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the best cupcakes you will ever eat.

Happy Monday, glitter girls!

We hope you all had a fantastic weekend. J had a blast in Charleston this weekend (pics coming soon). L spent the weekend being domestic, which included making THE MOST amazing cupcakes on Saturday. Here’s the super-awesome, very easy, amazingly-delicious recipe. Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, passed on by L’s mom.

Chocolate Brownie Cupcake

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 box brownie mix (yep)
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. light cream cheese
  • 4 oz marscapone cheese (which I didn’t think they’d have at Walmart but they totally did)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Place walnuts and chocolate chips in bowl and add 1/4 cup DRY brownie mix. Stir to coat.
  • Mix brownie mix, eggs, oil and water until well blended. Fold in walnut/chip mixture.
  • Spoon mixture into 12 muffin cups. If you can master the ice cream scoop method to get perfectly uniform cupcakes, go for it. I can’t (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?), so I just used a spoon.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Place cupcake on wire rack to cool.
  • After cupcakes have cooled completely, make frosting.
  • Beat cream cheese, marscapone and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Frost cupcakes. I used a butter knife to frost, but you can get fancy and use this professional method.
Step 1
step 1: chips + walnuts + brownie mix
Step 2
step 2: stir it up. baby joe helped!
Step 4
beat it!
Finshed Product
cool cupcakes on a wire rack before frosting.

The original recipe called for toasted walnuts, but I forgot and threw them in un-toasted. I don’t think it mattered – toasted walnuts would be delicious, but they don’t make or break the recipe. The original recipe also called for mini chocolate chips, which I couldn’t find. Again, nice if you can get them but not necessary. I actually liked the big chunks of chocolate in the cupcakes! The original recipe called for THREE CUPS of powdered sugar (my teeth hurt just thinking about that), but I only used one. I prefer a tangier icing, but if you like super sweet, go for it and use all three cups.

What sweet treats are you making for Valentine’s Day? The Cupid’s Cloud dessert from our Friday Five is perfect for two OR for a family; these cupcakes are just the thing for a party or the office. Tweet us your ideas @glitter_blog_xo!



P.S. Check out Lauren Conrad‘s review of the Kate Spade Fall 2013 show. EEEE we love it all!

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green smoothie.

Happy Wednesday, glitter girls!

Inspired by this recipe on Lauren Conrad, and emboldened by a hand-me-down blender from my mother, I decided to give smoothies a try. I mean, why not? Our immune systems are struggling this time of year, and we’re in the mood for a boost. After some experimenting, I came up with a healthy recipe that is actually pretty delicious.

Smoothie Ingredients
fresh, yummy ingredients…but how will they taste all together?
  • 1 cup raw kale, chopped (you can find this bagged up at any grocery store, even Wal-Mart)
  • 1 frozen banana, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup mango (you can use fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed (you could also use chia seeds)
  • 1 quarter lemon, squeezed
  • three handfuls of crushed ice (or more, if you like a thinner smoothie)
Green Smoothie
whipping it up in my kitchen.

Pulse all ingredients together until you reach the desired consistency. Done!

Finished Product
verdict: delicious!

This took like two seconds to make. It would come together even more quickly if you chopped and froze your banana and mango in individual portions the night before. Then, in the morning rush, all you have to do it toss, pulse, and pour the smoothie in your favorite travel cup and leave the blender for someone else to wash. 😉

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? What’s your go-to healthy drink? Tweet us at @glitter_blog_xo!



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thai peanut stir-fry.

Happy Thursday, glitter girls!

J and I are swamped today with various annoying business tasks (borrrrrrring)…so our friend and sometime-contributor Brooke stepped up to the plate and wrote a quick guest post for us. Enjoy!

Hi, glitter girls!

Just like everyone else, I had a few too many frilly martinis and appetizers over the holidays (parties, parties, parties!). My husband and I are trying to make up for all the extra holiday calories by eating better and exercising more. Last night, I put together an awesome meal that meets all of our criteria: colorful (color = lots of vitamins and minerals), low-fat, low-carb, fairly quick and easy, yummy, and bonus—it’s vegan. (Add rice to the meal if you’re not trying to omit carbs…just be sure it’s brown rice!)xoxo Brooke

Thai Peanut Stir Fry, the Perfect New Year’s Resolution Meal

Thai Peanut Stir Fry
no filters, folks. look at these colors!

(All amounts are estimates because I don’t actually measure anything. Total prep time: 30 minutes)

  • 1-2 blocks firm tofu (We’re big on protein at my house, so we use the big blocks of tofu.)
  • 2/3 c. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter (the real kind, no sugary Peter Pan stuff)
  • 1/3 c. vegetable broth
  • ½ c. light coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar (natural, sweet alternative to sugar or syrup)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (Siracha, please!)
  • 1 tsp vegetable or sesame oil
  • ½ head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/3 c. (or about ten leaves) fresh basil, coarsely chopped

1. Cut tofu into cubes. Press out extra moisture. (To do this, make a tofu sandwich. Place a clean dish towel or paper towels on a cookie sheet, set the tofu cubes on the towels, place another clean dish towel or several paper towels over them, place another cookie sheet on top, and set something heavy-ish on top, like the base to a blender. Leave it there for about five to ten minutes.)

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix 1/3 cup soy sauce with the mustard and garlic powder in a bowl. Set aside. (If you are going to add rice to the meal, now is a good time to start cooking it.)

3. In a small sauce pan, combine the other 1/3 cup soy sauce with the peanut butter, vegetable broth, coconut milk, agave nectar, and hot sauce. Whisk together over low heat.

4. Dip the tofu cubes in the soy-mustard-garlic mix and place on a greased (sprayed) cookie sheet. (I line the cookie sheet with foil for easy clean up.) Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

5. Now that the tofu is cooking, cut the veggies. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the cabbage, zucchini, and pepper. (I also added about ¼ c. water and put a lid on it to speed up the cooking.) Once the veggies are just tender (about 4 minutes), add the spinach and basil and cook for another minute. (The buzzer for the tofu and rice should be going off about now.)

6. Combine the veggies and tofu in a large bowl, pour the peanut sauce over, and toss to coat. Voila!

Adapted from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

OMG, we would totally make this! Would you? What’s your favorite healthy recipe? Tweet us @glitter_blog_xo!


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monday night supper.

Happy Tuesday, glitter girls!

After WEEKS of not cooking (Christmas Day brunch doesn’t count), I actually made dinner last night. I really enjoy being in the kitchen, and I’m trying to get back in the habit for 2013.

I was craving salmon, so I threw together a simple supper of Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and baby brussel sprouts (don’t laugh, they’re my fave!).

These recipes are super easy and require very little in the way of preparation. Neither one really requires measuring–just eyeball the ingredients, which you probably already have on hand. You could make the potatoes early and reheat them at suppertime. Piece of cake.

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter (I use Land O Lakes light butter for cooking)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • few grinds sea salt
  • 1 salmon fillet (1 to 1/2 lbs)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat the brown sugar, butter and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the olive oil, mustard, soy sauce and salt. Let cool for 5  minutes. Place salmon on foil-lined cookie sheet and pour the cooled glaze over the top. Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. My oven is typically on the hot side--but even so, I cooked mine for the full 25 minutes. It needed it! Serves 3 – 4.

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Even if you don’t like wasabi in the sushi sense, you will like these potatoes. The wasabi gives them something extra special but not necessarily identifiable.

  • 2 to 3 lbs potatoes (Yukon gold or white)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (you can even use Move Over Butter or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream, optional
  • 1 good squeeze wasabi paste (available in the Asian section of supermarkets everywhere, even in Statesboro), or more to taste
  • sea salt

Scrub potatoes (I like to leave the peel on for extra texture and fiber, but you can peel them if you like). Cut any large potatoes in half or quarters so that all potatoes are the same size. Cover with water in a medium to large pot. Bring pot to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes. Pour into colander to drain, then return to pot over very low heat to dry the potatoes, just for a few second. Remove pot from heat. Add the milk, butter and sour cream (if you like), and (this is my favorite part) use a potato masher to mash everything up. Adjust, adding more milk, butter or sour cream until you get the consistency you want. Add wasabi to taste. Obvs, it’s better to err on the side of LESS wasabi. You can always add more later. Finish with a few grinds of sea salt. Serves 4 – 6.

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon
i really wish i could figure out how to take better pictures of my food…this looked way better in person.
Coppola Pinot Grigio
don’t judge me, it was monday. j and i are super excited to use our new corkcicles, which keep both white and red wine at the perfect temperature.

Click here, here and here for more of our favorite easy weeknight recipes. Yum!



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cranberry orange bread.

Happy Wednesday, glitter girls!

We hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s holiday. Here at the Glitter Life, we’re easing back into regular blogging mode after a few weeks of slacking off. Let’s start with an easy recipe from L. This Cranberry Orange Bread meets all our baking criteria: it’s relatively healthy, pretty much fool-proof and wraps up beautifully. File this away for homemade Christmas gifts next year!

Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread
recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.


  • 2 1/3 cups Bisquick Heart Smart® mix (I used regular Bisquick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup skim milk (I used 2%, whatever)
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel (plan on using at least 2 oranges)
  • 5 egg whites or 3/4 cup fat-free egg product
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped (put them in a food processor and pulse once or twice–chopping cranberries by hand is TEDIOUS)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice


Heat oven to 375°F. Generously grease bottom of 9×5-inch loaf pan. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick® mix, granulated sugar, sour cream, oil, milk, orange peel and egg whites until moistened. Stir in cranberries. Pour into pan.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and top crust is deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Before serving, stir powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over bread.

Makes 1 loaf (about 24 slices).
I made this for Christmas morning, and it was a hit. I actually made it several days before and wrapped it tightly in Saran Wrap after cooling it. Per the recipe’s claim, it tasted great three days later. Just unwrap, glaze and go. For gifts, wrap first in Saran Wrap, then in butcher or kraft paper. Don’t glaze–it tastes great without. Tie on a pretty ribbon, and voila. Homemade goodness.
Wrapped Bread
image from Citi Babes.
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classic champagne cocktail.

Happy New Year’s Eve, glitter girls!

No matter what your NYE plans entail (black tie event, oyster roast, just hanging at the house), you can work a classic champagne cocktail in there somewhere. Maybe it’s your pre-game drink; maybe it’s what you toast at midnight. Either way, here’s how to dress up a basic bottle of bubbly.

Champagne Cocktail
sparkly stirrer required.
Champagne Cocktail
recipe and photos courtesy of one of our fave websites, The Glitter Guide.


  • Chilled champagne
  • Sugar cubes
  • Lemon peels
  • Angostura bitters


Place one sugar cube in the bottom of each champagne glass and top with chilled champagne. Add 3-5 dashes of bitters (depending on your taste–take it easy the first time) and garnish with a lemon peel. Insert sparkly stirrer and enjoy!

Working on NYE? Need a little something for your co-workers? A party favor for tonight? Try this with a champagne split/paper straw/ribbon!


Hope you all have a fantastic New Year’s holiday. Be sure to tweet us pics @glitter_blog_xo! We’ll return on Wednesday with a re-cap of our NYE festivities and a list of ideas for New Year’s resolutions. Eeek!



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