Tag

brunch

brunch, please.

Is it the weekend yet?

Brunch Look The Glitter Life
no time to stand still for a photo – gotta get to brunch!

In my quest to spend some quality time with both of my boys, I’ve been taking them (separately, because I’m not a crazy person) to brunch on Saturdays. Mama time for them and a mimosa for me – everybody wins! My no-fail brunch look includes this adorable ruffle top (also comes in black!), my trusty Spanx denim leggings (which always fit no matter how many crepes I eat!) and my favorite Madewell denim jacket, because the temps have been varying wildly down here…and what’s the point of brunch if you can’t sit outside? We also like to do a little walking around downtown afterwards, so I always wear wedges. These Toms watercolor wedges are my current favorite.

Brunch Look The Glitter Life
top // leggings // jacket 

Spanx leggings and Toms wedges are super comfy – ideal for chasing two rambunctious little ones. I love the fit of this denim jacket, but if you’re looking for something more oversized, this Topshop denim jacket offers a LOT of style at a great price.

The Glitter Life Brunch
my handsome date.

Tag us in your brunch photos on Instagram! xo

 

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easy side: baked cheese grits

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
photo courtesy of kraft

Baked Cheese Grits

What You Need

  • cooking spay
  • 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.

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brunch bunch.

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:

Buttermilk Kitchen 2
Chilaquilles = sour cream, salsa verde, tortilla chips, epazole + scrambled eggs. A fiesta in your mouth! 💃
Buttermilk Kitchen 3
A closeup of the most delicious french toast we’ve ever had.
Buttermilk Kitchen
Nothing could keep this guy from brunch… #wipeout
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brunch bunch.

J: I’m always looking for a solid brunch item to throw together on the weekends. When I came across this baked french toast recipe from our fave food blogger, Damn Delicious… game changer.  My sweet husband, Jay, said it would be perfect for Christmas morning and I totally agree. Here’s the skinny:

Ingredients:

  • 3 small French baguettes, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I skipped this)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

For the maple glaze:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or more, to taste
the goods.
the goods.

Instructions:

  • Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place bread slices evenly into the baking dish.
  • In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour mixture evenly over the bread slices. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bread mixture into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
FT
slices evenly placed.
FT2
mixture poured and ready for the oven.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and maple syrup until well combined and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture evenly over the bread slices.

glazed and golden.
glazed and golden.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. It’s desired.

brunch is served.
brunch is served.
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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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review: beauty + essex brunch.

Today we’re flashing back to J’s bachelorette party in New York City to bring you a restaurant review. On the recommendation of our girls at BCBGeneration, we booked a Sunday brunch reservation at Beauty + Essex, a bi-level, chandelier-lit restaurant and bar on the Lower East Side.

The Glitter Life Beauty & Essex
beauty + essex.

B+E has a retro vibe and features a pawn shop entrance (cool but also a little confusing).

The Glitter Life Beauty + Essex
random pawn shop goodies.
BE
shine bright like a diamond.
The Glitter Life Beauty + Essex
stairway to…champagne. photo: newyork.citypudding.com
BE2
this is what happened when we told maggie and mary to “act natural.”

After cocktails at the bar, we moved into the main restaurant for brunch. The real scene at B+E is the champagne brunch upstairs (which was just getting cranked up by the time we left)…but we were in the mood for something more chill after our flights the day before. If you’re looking for great people watching, definitely request to go upstairs!

We enjoyed brunch at a large round table (great for conversation) under a pretty skylight.

The Glitter Life Beauty + Essex
imagine us right there, in the center.

What We Drank + Ate:

Plus mimosas, of course.

The Glitter Life Beauty + Essex
delish roasted potatoes. photo: fitnessnycblog.com
The Glitter Life Beauty + Essex
more brunch deliciousness. photo: you made me like you.

What We Loved:

Everything tasted seriously great, especially that biscuit. We also loved the quirky, speakeasy-ish atmosphere.

What Was Just Okay:

Our service was competent but not amazing.

Our Verdict:

Brunch was great, but if we ever have a chance to go back we’re going for dinner. We can’t stop thinking about the dinner menu – Lobster tacos, anyone?

What’s your favorite brunch spot?

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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.
IMG_3837
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

IMG_3859
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.
IMG_3862
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.
IMG_3875
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.
IMG_3877
j’s bouquet of peonies wowed everyone. bouquet: findlay rowe designs. cake: the ritz carlton.
jjb3
honestly one of the best meals we’ve ever had: filet of beef tenderloin, seared sea scallops and braised veggies. catering: the ritz carlton.
image2 (2)
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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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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weekend review: nyc.

We’ve been terrible about posting lately, but we’ve had a lot going on! To whit: we just returned from J’s whirlwind bachelorette weekend in the Big Apple. We’re hoping things will calm down soon – in the meantime, we wanted to share our pics (and some restaurant recs!) with you.

HOTEL:

Our homebase for the weekend was Hotel Hugo in SOHO. J’s friend Mary chose this place, and it was perfect for our group. We loved the decor (modern but warm) – we were immediately obsessed with the greenery wall behind the check-in desk. One drawback: the rooms are SMALL, so you have to leap around like a fairy to avoid cracking your shinbones on the bed platforms.

The Glitter Life Hotel Hugo
photo credit: Food + Shelter

SATURDAY

After our group caught up over a quick lingerie shower for J, we headed to dinner at Revel in the Meatpacking District. The food was great (Annie ordered a pork chop that came on a lava rock – fancy!), but the place was so dark we couldn’t get any pics of it.

The Glitter Life Revel
revel: we sat just beyond the bar in the garden area.

After dinner, we walked down to Brass Monkey on the recommendation of the hostess at Revel. It was pretty chill when we got there but got a little more intense as the night wore on. We were forced to order a random apple pie dessert to hold our table (worth it – having a table was clutch), and it was NOT BAD.

The Glitter Life Brass Monkey
brass monkey (before we got there, obvs)
The Glitter Life Brass Monkey
maggie (fourth from left) did a great job harassing random bar patrons to take our group pics. job well done!

SUNDAY

In search of an early morning coffee / Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment, L explored a few blocks and stumbled on the new Hudson Square outpost of coffee roaster/bakery La Colombe. This place was calm and quiet…a nice change from the usual Starbucks.

The Glitter Life La Colombe Hudson Square
la colombe at hudson square.
The Glitter Life La Colombe
ham and cheese croissant (hey, we’re on vacation) + soy misto at la colombe.

No NYC weekend is complete without Sunday brunch. Our girls at BCBGeneration (New Yorkers through and through) recommended Beauty & Essex to us, and it didn’t disappoint. This place deserves its own post – so stay tuned for the details!

The Glitter Life Beauty & Essex
just outside B&E…right after L lost her gloves. #drama

Mo, our group’s fearless navigator (she really is good at it) found a precious place for after-brunch cocktails. Hotel Chantelle is a Parisian-style cocktail lounge with $.92 mimosas (you heard us) and disco tunes. We sat in the bar (presumably the old hotel lobby). Our only complaint? Really intense heater action. We were sweating by the time we left. We didn’t make it up to the rooftop (place was PACKED)…but we will definitely try again next time we’re in NYC. This would be a great spot for brunch!

Hotel Chantelle
hotel chantelle: the bar.
The Glitter Life Hotel Chantelle
hotel chantelle: the rooftop.

After wandering the streets of the LES and SOHO (no noteworthy purchases), we regrouped for a sweet treat at the famed tea salon Laduree. This place ALSO deserves its own post – coming soon!

The Glitter Life Laduree
laduree: mmmm, so many goodies.
The Glitter Life Laduree
#ladylike

We headed to celebrity favorite Catch for dinner Sunday night. The food was unreal; we’re going to be dreaming about the lobster rolls (J) and the tartare (L) for weeks. The service left a little to be desired, and we had a strange elevator experience on the way down, and we didn’t see any celebrities…but other than that, we loved. Stay tuned for details!

The Glitter Life Catch NYC
catch: the bar. we’re digging those huge copper pendant lights.
THe Glitter Life Tartare Trio
tartare trio: salmon, hamachi and tuna.

We ended our night at the The Standard Biergarten.

The Glitter Life Standard Hotel
beirgarten at the standard: enjoying our last night in the city.

MONDAY

We grabbed a quick brunchy-breakfast at Jack’s Wife Freda before heading to the airport. The food at this Mediterrenean-style diner was amazing…but it was packed (hey, at least we knew it would be good!), and we were a little cramped. We both highly recommend the fresh-squeezed cantaloupe juice.

The Glitter Life Jack's Wife Freda
L’s breakfast: poached eggs+ grilled tomatos + THE JUICE

Share your NYC go-tos with us on Insta @glitter_blog_xo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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friday five | bunny brunch.

Hard to believe, but EASTER is a little less than a month away… Time to plan your tablescapes! Here are 5 must have items for your bunny brunch via Joss & Main + One Kings Lane:

1. Cora Beaded Chargers. The perfect base for your place settings.

Bunny Brunch

2. Moss Bunnies (Because why not? EEE!)

Bunny Brunch4

3. Adorable serving tray. A Lela Rose favorite.

Bunny Brunch 7

4. Peonies for days. Our most favorite Spring bloom. Bunny Brunch 5

 

5. Stemless wine glasses. That of which are hilarious.

Bunny Brunch 6

 

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