Tag

goat cheese

quick and easy app: caprese bruschetta

So this delicious-looking concoction appeared on our Pinterest feed yesterday. It took some googling (don’t you hate how some pins don’t include links?!), but we finally found the recipe. This just might be the perfect summer appetizer – simple ingredients, fresh flavors and super quick and easy.

Pesto Caprese Loaf
all our favorite flavors in one delicious app. photo: Mommy’s Mayhem

Caprese Bruschetta (it’s not technically bruschetta but that sounds better than “Caprese Loaf”)

What You Need:

  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 1-2 containers prepared basil pesto, depending on how much you love pesto (make your own using the recipe here)
  • 1 log of goat cheese, sliced, or one 8 oz ball fresh mozarella, sliced
  • 1 container of sun dried tomatoes or freshly sliced grape tomatoes

What You Do:

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Split loaf open lengthwise so that you have two long halves.
  • Spread the pesto on the two halves of the loaf.
  • Layer the goat cheese or mozarella over the pesto.
  • Top with tomatoes.
  • Place on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for about 8-12 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bread.
  • Enjoy with a glass or three of your favorite wine.

Adapted from Mommy’s Mayhem

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butternut squash + goat cheese crostini.

Try this healthy appetizer at your next at-home happy hour!

Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Crostini
recipe: Laney Crowell (Downtown Romantic) via Glitter Guide

What You Need:

  • 1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 4 cups — I get mine pre-cut at Wholefoods)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 fresh watercress sprigs
  • 3/4 cup fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 12 3/8″-thick baguette slices, toasted
  • Fresh lemon juice

What You Do:

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss squash and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash is golden and tender, 25-30 minutes. Let cool on sheet.
  • ix goat cheese and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss butternut squash, cheese and watercress together.
  • Toast baguette slices, either under a broiler or in a toaster. Top each with a couple of spoonfuls of the butternut squash mixture. Drizzle crostini with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (Cupcake is our fave) and enjoy!
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our favorite thanksgiving appetizers.

Why don’t you invite a few friends over this weekend for cocktails and light appetizers? Here are two of our favorite recipes. (These also work if you’ve been asked to contribute something to your family or Friendsgiving meal this year. The second one travels well!)
Browned Butter + Sage Crostini
recipe + photo from Glitter Guide.
Browned Butter + Sage Crostini
What You Need:
  • French baguette, sliced and toasted
  • Prosciutto
  • Buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • Salted Butter

What You Do:

  • 1. Butter slices of French baguette and toast under the broiler until golden. Set aside
  • 2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • 3. In a small skillet melt butter over medium low heat. Add fresh sage leaves and cook until sage is crispy and butter begins to brown in bits on the bottom of the pan. (you may need to remove sage before butter is browned).
  • 4. Top toasted bread with prosciutto and cheese. Bake at 375 until cheese begins to melt.
  • 5. Remove from oven and spoon browned butter over crostini. Top each with a crispy sage leaf or two.
  • 6. Serve while hot! Enjoy.
Pumpkinseed Cheese Log
we like this recipe so much we posted it last year, too.

Pumpkin Seed Cheese Log

What You Need:

  • 1 5oz log goat cheese/chevre
  • 1/2 tsp canola or corn oil
  • 3/4 cup raw pumpkinseeds
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tsbp pumpkinseed oil
  • crackers (we like sweet wheat crackers)

What You Do:

Let cheese come to room temperature. Place a small skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes; add canola or corn oil and pumpkinseeds. Toss for a minute, then season with salt and pepper. Once seeds have popped but are still green, transfer to a plate; let cool.  Roll cheese in seeds to coat. Drizzle with pumpkinseed oil and serve with crackers.

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homemade happy hour: seasonal crostini + berry gin sparklers.

Happy Hump Day! Instead of meeting your friends at your favorite neighborhood bar, mix it up and invite everyone to your place for a homemade happy hour. Sweep off your patio (or tidy up your living room), throw some fresh flowers in a vase, and lay out the fixings for the two super easy recipes: Seasonal Crostini and Berry Gin Sparklers.

The Glitter Life Crostini
seasonal crostini: choose your cheese, then go crazy with in-season toppings. image: The Glitter Guide.

Seasonal Crostini by The Glitter Guide

What You Need:

  •  French baguette, sliced & lightly toasted
  • Your choice of cheese (options include goat, whipped feta, ricotta, fresh mozzarella and brie)
  • Your choice of toppings (options include roasted tomatoes, marinated olives, artichoke hearts, fresh berries and sliced prosciutto)
  • Your choice of herbs (options include rosemary, basil and thyme)
  • Honey
  • Olive oil

What You Do:

  • Arrange cooled toasts on a platter.
  • Layer on your choice of cheese and then top with your preferred accoutrements.
  • Drizzle on honey or olive oil. Finish with fresh herbs.

Try these combinations:
– Goat cheese with blackberries, honey + rosemary (shown in images above).
– Roasted tomatoes with ricotta cheese, thyme + olive oil.
– Roasted tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto + basil.
– Whipped feta with herb-marinated tomatoes + olive oil.
– Goat cheese with sliced pear, honey + thyme.

You’ve got your app. Now, for the cocktail.

The Glitter Life Berry Sparkler
berry gin sparklers: a super-cute excuse to dust off your cocktail shaker. image: the glitter guide.

Berry Gin Sparkler by The Glitter Guide

What You Need:

What You Do:

  • In a shaker combine ice, 1 ounce of gin, 1 ounce of Cassis and shake.
  • Pour into champagne coupe and top with Prosecco.
  • Garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves.

Lay out the drink ingredients and let your guests make these themselves. Ditto for the crostini. Easy, and impressive!

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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
yummmmmm
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.

xo

L+J

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cheese, please.

There are few things J and I like more than wine and cheese.  Take us to a fancy restaurant, and we will order a cheese plate.  We will also grab one at the airport Starbucks. Whether it’s lunch, dinner, apps or a late night snack, a few nibbles of different cheeses and a bottle glass of wine sounds like heaven to us.  Here are our tips for creating the perfect cheese plate at home.

1. Include a few different kinds of cheese. The best variety includes something soft, something hard and something strong. Our picks for the plate:

Soft Cheeses

– Brie is our favorite soft-ripened cheese. Slice it and serve cold with a grind or two of sea salt, or let it get really mushy and smear it on a slice of french bread. Check out the Whole Foods Market Brie Guide for ideas.

– Over Brie? Try Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill. Made in Thomasville, Georgia, this double-cream cheese (sorta like Camembert) will surprise and delight you.

Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill Cheese
sweet grass dairy green hill cheese.

– We also love goat cheese (chevre), a mild, soft cheese that spreads easily. Feeling Pinterest-y? Try this awesome recipe for Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese spread and wow your friends for sure.

Cinnamon Cranberry Goat Cheese Spread
photo courtesy of Sweet & Salty Southern Comfort

Medium to Hard Cheeses

– Try an aged cheddar, Gouda or even a wedge of  Parmesan. We like Ewephoria Sheep Milk Gouda (mainly because the name is awesome).

Flat Creek Lodge Cheddar – Another local fave (hello, farm to table?).  This firm cheddar is aged a minimum of six months. It’s smooth, not overpowering…and will make you forget bright orange grocery store cheddar forever. Unless that’s your thing. We’re not haters.

Flat Creek Lodge Cheddar
flat creek lodge cheddar.

– Parmesan – Grab a wedge of Parmesan and use a cleaver-style knife to break off a hunk or two.

iGourmet Parmesan Cheese
iGourmet has a great selection of hard, aged cheeses.

Smelly/Stinky Cheeses

– Bleu cheese is delicious on its own and is the perfect end to your cheese course. You seriously only need like two bites, and you’re done. Cabrales and Point Reyes are two of the best varietals.

Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese
“just original blue” cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead in California.

2. Include accompaniments like nuts, fruit and baguette slices. This is the beauty of the cheese platter: you can go simple (a sharp cheddar, a creamy brie, some grapes and a few Triscuits) or deluxe (four to six varieties, walnuts, almonds, honey, marmalade, the works).

Cheese Plate
photo courtesy of The Picky Eater.

3. Can’t do cheese without wine. We definitely don’t believe that expensive wine is better (plus, we’re saving for Loubotuins), so we usually end up with something from Trader Joe’s.  Check out the Trader Joe’s wine guide, and pour your choice into a cute wineglass.

Kate Spade Larabee Wine Glass
these Kate Spade wineglasses are adorable and practical. just try to tip one over.
Crate & Barrel Oregon Stemware
find a glass for your favorite wine in the Crate & Barrel Oregon stemware suite.

4. Bust out your cutest serving pieces.When else are you going to use them?  We love these:

Mariposa Cheese Board
got this Mariposa cheese board as a wedding gift. it’s the most-used piece in my kitchen.
Pottery Barn Cheese Dome and Tools
monogram this Pottery Barn cheese dome for your favorite cheese-lover…or snag it for yourself.
Picnic at Ascot Cheese Board
J busts out this cute Picnic at Ascot cheese board when I come to visit! #hostesswiththemostest

Gah, now we’re hungry for a cheese plate. What’s your favorite wine and cheese combo?

xo

L+J

PS – To make a cheese course lunch, just add a romaine salad tossed with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt and a sliced baguette. Done!

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