Hello, spring! After two weeks of unseasonably freezing temps, it’s beginning to warm up again. The weather has us in the mood to entertain, so we’re sharing our spring party essentials today. Because who’s not in the mood to throw a little party at home?
Ice down beer and wine in a blue and white planter. Mine is on loan (permanently? eek) from my mother-in-law, but this one is super similar.
Display glassware and cocktail napkins (these and these from H&M are adorable and stupid cheap) on a pewter tray. I received this one as a wedding gift almost twelve years ago – it’s still available on Wayfair! – and we also like this simple one. A reptile tray would add sophisticated texture to a lacquered table, and this cute little pineapple tray is perfect for a cheeseball and crackers.
As you probably know, there’s always a re-run of Keeping Up With The Kardashians on television. Always. We’ll put money on it. We’ve also seen all of them. Don’t judge.
If you catch these repeat episodes like we have, you’ve probably wondered… What’s in Kourtney’s avocado shake!? It looks oddly delicious and we had to know. Mystery solved:
The recipe calls for a full avocado and 1 cup of milk (I subbed almond milk and added a little honey), but cut it in half and it’s the perfect amount for one person. Pop everything in the blender for 30 seconds or until smooth and voila!
Assorted crackers (we recommend Carr’s Water Crackers)
What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel or slice off the top rind of the brie and scrape out a small amount of cheese to form a shallow hollow in the center. Place the cheese in a small baking dish like a pie pan. (If you plan on transferring the cheese to a serving dish after it’s baked, line the pie pan with a square of parchment paper.)
Mix the cranberry sauce, brown sugar, vanilla, zest, and nutmeg. Top the brie with this cranberry mixture and sprinkle the hazelnuts over it.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the cheese is gooey. This is a delicate process, and baking time can vary. The goal is to take the cheese out after it has softened, but just before it collapses into a heap.
If desired, lift the parchment paper and use a spatula to carefully slide the cheese onto a prettier serving dish. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and serve immediately with assorted crackers.
It’s quail season! Down in here in Statesboro, that means bird suppers: quail, grits and coleslaw or greens. I can’t take responsibility for roasting the quail, but I can handle making a side dish. This recipe for Baked Cheese Grits is so old that I can’t remember where I got it – I wrote it on an index card and stuck it in my recipe binder (how’s that for analog?) probably ten years ago. I always get compliments on this. The grits keep their creamy consistency and don’t turn into hardened grits cakes. Best part? You can make this ahead of time, which I do for Christmas morning brunch.
Baked Cheese Grits
What You Need
2 cups quick grits, uncooked
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
4 eggs beaten
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
What You Do
Spray 3-quart casserole dish liberally with cooking spray.
Prepare the 2 cups grits according to package directions. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix in 3 cups of cheddar cheese, the beaten eggs and cayenne pepper. *I do this right in the grits pot!
Pour into greased casserole dish. *Can be covered in foil and left overnight at this point. Just take out of the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with additional cup of grated cheese.
Bake 15 minutes more, until grits are bubbling hot. Remove from oven and cool for five minutes before serving.
PS – No matter how many recipes I pin on Pinterest, I always look to my recipe binder when I’m serious about cooking. Joe gave me this Williams Sonoma Entertaining Journal when we first got married, and over the years I have filled it with recipes torn from magazines, recipes printed out from Pinterest (yes, I know that defeats the purpose) and recipes handwritten from my mom on little recipe cards. I know there are a ton of apps to find new recipes and organize existing recipes…but I’m a paper person and don’t think I’ll ever give up doing it the old-fashioned way.
Well, HEY. It’s been a while! Between work, the holidays, babies, *planning* for babies and bingeing on a certain Netflix show, we just haven’t had any free time.
Speaking of free time, this Tuna Tapenade appetizer by Barefoot Contessa comes together quickly and easily, and we bet you have most of these ingredients in your pantry already. Perfect for unexpected company. Or go ahead and eat the whole batch yourself. That may or may not be what happened when we made it.
We were a little hesitant to try this, since we’re not big fans of tuna salad. But this spread is chock full of Kalamata olives, capers and garlic (three of our favorite things)…plus LOTS of lemon juice. Just trust us! Recipe here.
J: Jay and I are lucky to have one of the best brunch spots in ATL right across the street from our home… Buttermilk Kitchen! We trotted over recently for a little french toast and chilaquiles you have to see to believe:
You know how adult children are always assigned something non-essential at family Thanksgiving, like an appetizer or “the salad”? Well, I’ve graduated from the salad to…side vegetable!
I’m actually really excited because I lovvve sides at Thanksgiving. Turkey isn’t my thing, so I always load up on veggies. Behold, my vegetable contribution this year: Bacon-y Brussels Sprouts. Bonus: this recipe is SUPER SIMPLE and easy – the perfect thing to whip up for that last-minute Friendsgiving celebration tonight.
Bacon-y Brussels Sprouts
What You Need:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs baby brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed (halved if very large)
salt & pepper to taste
6 ounces diced bacon (3 – 4 slices)
3 tablespoons minced shallots (about 2)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
1/2 cup chicken broth
chopped fresh parsley, if desired
What You Do:
Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper.
Cook until lightly browned, tossing often.
Add the bacon and saute for ten more minutes, or until well browned.
Reduce the heat and add the shallots and the garlic. Saute for two more minutes.
Increase the heat to high and slowly add the chicken broth, a little at a time. Cook for ten more minutes or until the sprouts are tender, tossing often.
Sprinkle with parsley if desired.
NOTE: This recipe is adapted from Par 3: Tea Time at the Masters (a Glitter Life favorite). The original recipe called for the addition of balsamic vinegar and fresh bread crumbs at the end. We don’t think you need either one…the brussels sprouts are SO GOOD on their own that we didn’t want to mask their flavor or beautiful color. But if you’re new to brussels sprouts (or you think your family will be weirded out by them), you may want to experiment by adding one or both of those ingredients to this recipe. Honestly, if you get fresh Brussels sprouts you can’t go wrong!
So. Real talk. We could eat a cheese plate for every meal. Easy. But sometimes we need to switch it up! Never fear… this quick and easy dip from Damn Delicious has you covered. A crowd-pleaser for your football watching this weekend!
This meaty, cheesy enchilada dip comes together in just 15 minutes, and is the perfect crowd pleasing appetizer!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
1 cup roasted corn kernels
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil two 10-ounce ramekins or coat with nonstick spray. *I used these amazing Le Creuset Cocottes instead of ramekins. Highly recommend scooping a few for your kitchen!*
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat. Stir in enchilada sauce, corn, chiles, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Divide the filling evenly into the ramekins and top with remaining cheeses.
Place into oven and bake until bubbly around the edges, about 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Football season is upon us. Since we’re not quite ready to tailgate, I spent last Saturday evening watching football at home and eating the whole bowl having a ladylike taste of this Caramelized French Onion Dip by Atlanta blogger Waiting on Martha. Paired with store-bought kettle-cooked chips, it’s just the sort of easy-yet-impressive-enough-for company (or the group tailgate) snack I adore.
Note: Because I really, really love onions, I did some tweaking to the original recipe. If you (or your SO) are not of similar mind, you may want to use one fewer onion.
What You Need:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 Vidalia or other sweet yellow onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup sour cream (use low-fat if you like)
1/4 cup chopped chives, plus more for garnish
1/2 tbsp Williams Sonoma Garlic & Herb French Fry Seasoning (I couldn’t find this, so I used Cajun Seasoning…I think you could use any savory seasoning mix)