Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lazy Back to School Desserts!

I leave my house at 5:30 a.m. for a five day vacation, so I've been hustling to get an enormous amount of things done.  I'm still hustling, but taking a brief moment to share these two LAZY ASS recipes because it just occurred to me they are PEEEEEEERFECT for back to school time.

Today is the 5th birthday of my precious sweet neighbor boy.  I asked his mom to ask him what he wanted me to bake him for his birthday treat.  She said they had made him vanilla and chocolate cupcakes for his birthday party on Sunday but that his last minute request for lemon cupcakes couldn't be granted.  The first thing that popped into my head was this amazing lemon cake my mom used to make when I was a kid, which I then started making.  I couldn't remember the recipe, or from whence it even came so I googled lemon cake with lemon glaze and found this one: Glazed Lemon Cake

As soon as I saw it I knew it actually wasn't the exact recipe but that the magical ingredient of the recipe of my childhood was, indeed, lemon pudding.  I read the notes on the recipe and saw that a woman accidentally put the 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice meant for the glaze into the cake, so I did the same thing because I can't bear an overly sweet cake.   Also, FYI, I was in such a hurry I didn't see that I was supposed to mix everything except the lemon-lime soda.  I threw it all in but mixed it far less, but just enough and it rose perfectly and turned out absolutely great.

Obviously a glazed cake doesn't lend itself to cupcake development so instead I did two 9" rounds and put whip cream between them -- and yes I glazed the top of both layers.  I was in such a mad dash to deliver the cake last night (a day-before-your-birthday-treat) before their dinner time that I didn't catch a picture, but please know that this is a fantastic cake recipe. 

One final note on the cake -- I added extra lemon juice to the glaze.  I really wanted it to taste lemony.  Turned out great.

NEXT -- and this is just a twist on the old recipe I posted long ago --Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever.

I had to also bake a batch of cookies to take to North Carolina with me for someone who LOVES these cookies.  But I did a twist - hope he likes the twist!  I added the grated rind from one orange and finely chopped up a bunch (probably 1/2 to 3/4 cup) of the Trader Joe's Dried Mandarins.  

Two weeks ago I made homemade mango ice cream and made these cookies to go with it and added dried mango and it was awesome, so when I saw the dried mandarins in the cupboard I thought this could be a marriage made in heaven -- it IS!  Not too sweet because the rind offsets the sweet of the dried mandarin.

So make the recipe like I instruct in the first blog post (link above) and then add rind and dried mandarin.  Oh my god they are fragrant and delicious.   I made this batch with semi-sweet and dark chocolate, pecans, almonds and salted peanuts.  To. Die. For.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Enter Heaven Here: Lazy Supreme Delicious

No exaggeration. I have entered heaven.
Sweet potatoes roasted in olive oil and salt with generous lemon juice (one whole lemon to three small sweet potatoes) and fresh chives (not scallions -- you need the subtle onion).

Looking around from my dad and grandparents. Gotta be close.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Laziest Kick Ass Impressive Summer Dessert -- For the NON-Bakers!

I've posted trifle recipes before but it just struck me after getting a bunch of comments about how people loved this most recent one that I needed to write another Lazy Woman post about them.  
I have a lot of friends who say they never bake and therefore they shy away from doing any kind of homemade desserts.  They label themselves as "cooks" and not "bakers" so they don't do anything.  There are just so darned many easy deserts to make -- some that you bake and some that you don't -- that I'm going to try to TURN some of you into dessert masters! 
Start with this because, people, you CANNOT SCREW THIS UP!  And you can completely customize it for anyone.  And, this is a NON-baker's Lazy Woman dream!
This one I made for someone who likes strawberries, coffee and chocolate.  But you can do ANYTHING!
1.  Get a glass vessel that will show all your beautiful layers.
2.  First layer -- a soft light cake-y thing -- sponge cake or lady fingers work really well.  Dip the cakey thing in a liquid -- liqueurs or coffee work great.  You can also brush or drizzle the liquid over it, if you are afraid of over-soaking.  In this case I put a couple dashes of Kahlua in the coffee
3.  Second layer -- a pudding-y thing -- for this one I used vanilla pudding, but I had prepped chocolate pudding too.  I wanted to strawberry and coffee flavors to pop though so I chose vanilla.  YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE FROM SCRATCH.  You can buy the pudding-y thing pre-made.
4.  Third layer -- a fruit-y thing - I usually soak the fruit in a liqueur but because I didn't know if anyone in this crowd was abstaining from alcohol, I soaked the strawberries in balsamic vinegar for about 20 minutes.  Yes, shocking, but they do not taste like vinegar once drained.   It was great, but my personal preference is liqueurs, like Grand Marnier, for instance.  You don't have to soak it in anything though!
5.  Fourth layer -- whipped cream.  I make mine because I don't like it too sweet.  I add a little powdered sugar and liqueur usually, but this day I did vanilla.  YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE IT FROM SCRATCH.
6.  Fifth Layer  -- This is usually a sprinkling of chocolate or nuts or other candy (Heath Bars work great too)
7.  REPEAT Layers 1 through 4!   End with whipped cream no matter where you are in your layers and throw a little decorative touch and voila super impressive dessert.
When you are assembling it, just pay attention to what is showing on the outside.  But even with this  -- you can't screw up!  The layers themselves make it beautiful even if you are sloppy!  
So for this trifle I did:
  • Ladyfingers brushed with strong coffee + Kahlua mixture.
  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Strawberries soaked briefly in Balsamic Vinegar
  • Whipped Cream
  • Chopped Chocolate -- I threw a little chopped chocolate on top of all the whipped cream layers

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sassy Lazy Sunday Scones

Last night I found out my new neighbors were going to come over in the late morning so I decided to make some scones.  I decided I wanted mango scones even though I'd never had such a thing.  I found this fabulous recipe on this mighty adorable blog  -- Lovely Little Lunch Box's Mango Coconut Scones -- had all the ingredients, and like most scone recipes saw it was super easy so I made them.

For the first batch I followed the recipe and ended up over-mixing them accidentally.  The second batch came out perfectly, but you may want to heed at least the first of my notes/changes to the recipe:

  • Do NOT mix in the diced mangoes with those last ingredients as it states.  Make the dough and fold in the diced mangoes at the end.
  • You do not need to sweat over fresh mango which I find infuriating to cut.  I used frozen mango and let it thaw in the fridge over night.  For the second batch I just thawed more in the microwave, and it tastes just as good as fresh.
  • 75 grams of butter = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon.  Now you don't have to look it up!
  • Kick it up a notch.  I thought "Hmmmmm....coconut, mango?..... How about adding some Trader Joe's Thai Lime and Chili Almonds?"  Unreal!  You don' t need many, and I only put them in some of my batch to check it out, but they are a yummy addition and I will do i again...and again...and again!
  • I didn't have pecans but next batch I will be adding because pecans + mangoes + coconut are a mighty lovely threesome.

I had enough left over to put in bags to deliver to other neighbors.  These can't be left in my house. I would have eaten all of them if left to my own devices.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Laziest Kid in the World!

If you think you have the laziest kid in the world, you don't!
If you get frustrated with getting your kids out the door for school, well this will make you feel soooooooooo much better:

Laughter = the lazy solution to a whole lot o' stuff.
Laugh on Lazy Ones!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

GRATEFUL for New LAZY Holiday Recipes

We needed to celebrate FOUR birthday girls the other night so it was time to pull out all the stops and try some new recipes.   All but one thing I made (the Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes from Silver Palate) were new -- from Food and Wine November and December issues.  Such beautiful Fall recipes that would look great on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.

Happy Birthday Dinner Menu

NOTE:  As of this posting, Food and Wine site is having issues so if link below does not work, google the title + Food and Wine and you will find.]

(I used Trader Joe's Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil  (Unbelievably Good!) instead of Grapeseed Oil + TJ's pre-made Toasted Pumpkin Seeds)
(I used Branzino -- delicious!)
(made this the night before - easy peasy)
(Made the night before also - and yes the bulgur does dry out to perfect texture)
(Made 48 hours ahead -- makes them even better when you reheat in oven!  Promise!)
(I did a ton of grated Pecorino, not just an accent -- good balance to light/crispness)

And, the cake recipe -- maybe my favorite birthday cake EVER -- came from my very favorite blog, Smitten Kitchen.

If someone you know loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, then this is the cake for them.
Chocolate Peanut Butter CakeI actually was out of Dutch processed cocoa and ran to the store to find this unbelievably magical ingredient.  Highly recommend for this recipe: Hershey's Cocoa Special Dark:

The peanut butter frosting was a little too sweet for me so I added at least another 1/3 to 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the frosting which kicked up the peanut butter flavor a couple more notches.  Highly recommend.

Loved setting the table and found some Giant Confetti at Little Flower in Pasadena.  If you are a Pasadena area local, I can't more highly recommend this delicious little oasis full of yummy treats and fun gifts and party paraphernalia.

I also found these at Little Flower -- Incredibly fun Party Pea Shooters -- that created this slow- mo hilarity!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  I'm grateful for all you Lazy Women and Men out there!!!!                               

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lazy Tip: Brown Recluse Repellent!

My yoga teacher is a truly Lazy Woman.  She loves tricks, tips and tools that make life easier and more healthy + flowy, in general. 

Tonight she shared the story of one of her yoga students from another studio who hadn't been in class for several weeks.  It turns out she was bitten by a brown recluse spider while she was sleeping.   Apparently they love the cozy spot at the end of the bed, and therefore end up biting a lot of feet.

This woman recounted the tale of her demise, slow recovery, and eventual trip to Whole Foods for brown recluse repellent.  It turns out brown recluses hate peppermint oil.  So, next time you finish brushing your teeth to their minty fresh whiteness, let it remind you to throw a couple drops of peppermint oil on your sheets before you get your feet too cozy.

Warning:  peppermint oil can be energizing so maybe focus on the foot of the bed!

Easy peasy solution to preventing...oh you know, flesh decay!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta -- If You Are Thinking of Giving a F#ck About Your Diet!

I was at the gym the other day when Rachael Ray was on. I never see her show, but glad I saw it this day because the authors of the Thug Kitchen cookbook were on.   I particularly love them because they swear a lot.  The delicious subtitle of their book is "Eat Like You Give a F#ck."  Good times.

So, I tried this.  It is insanely creamy, but has a good lemony fresh bite to it.  Warning: I doubled the recipe, but wouldn't recommend using 6 cloves of garlic if you double it.  Still it's a groovy recipe and if you want to check out.  And, there are plenty of yummy gluten free pastas to use if you want to do the gluten free/vegan thing. 

Here's the recipe:

Buon Vegappetito!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

5 Minute Fish Tacos + 3 Ingredient Saladissima - More Trader Joe's LOVE!

I admit it.  I am addicted to the Roasted Corn found at Trader Joe's.  The uses for it are endless!  Throw it in your next cornbread recipe!!!  Throw it in in soups, chilis, stews or salads.  It has a lot more depth of flavor than most frozen or canned corns. I most often strip cobs of corn into my dishes, but rarely have time to run out and roast them when I'm whipping up a quick lunch or dinner.  Roasted corn is the BEST.  The fact that you don't have to sweat over it or burn your fingers accidentally is the piece de resistance.

The above salad is THREE INGREDIENTS, folks!    All found at Trader Joe's -- coleslaw, roasted corn and frozen tilapia.  Can you add tomatoes, cheese, avocado, etc.  OF COURSE!   But isn't it nice to have a simple recipe at your finger tips.  Also, you really enjoy the flavors even more when you have fewer ingredients.

If you feel like having a fish taco instead, just throw it in a warmed up tortilla. My favorite tortilla is not found at Trader Joe's, but is found in most stores, including Whole Foods and Pavilions: Mi Rancho Organic Corn Tortillas.  I get the slider size and throw on gas stove flame, flipping a few times to get them nice and toasty.

To make the Saladissima:

  • Tilapia Fillets
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Frozen Roasted Corn
You can be supremely lazy and put a pre-made dressing on it, which will be yummy too.  This is what I do:
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Lime
  • Salt
  • Herbs  (see below)

Throw Tilapia Fillets on George Foreman Grill (or whatever device you would use -- I like the grill because it makes the outside crunchy).  Throw some frozen corn in microwave to thaw + warm.  While those are heating up, throw the cabbage in a bowl with a little Red Wine Vinegar, olive oil (very little needed), lime juice, salt and herbs.  About the time you are done with that, the corn will be done, and soon thereafter the fish!  Voila, 5 minutes to Saladissima!

And, again, if you want tacos, just put the salad in a tortilla or shell!

At the Duty Free on my way back from Italy, I found this priceless gem, a mixed herb concoction of dried garlic, parsley, peppers + more.  I highly recommend picking a bunch up for yourself and friends if you happen to be coming back from Italy.  Pop into the Duty Free if only for this reason!

Buon Tilapia Appetito to All!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Fall! Trader Joe's Bliss Offerings

Fall isn't my favorite season. I'm a Spring chick.  Love me some Spring!  But, Trader Joe's is easing my transition into Fall with two new offerings, one of which I was recently wishing could be found in their frozen vegetable section: Roasted Corn! 

I usually dislike corn that is not fresh.  Last week I was adding corn to a salad and wishing I had had time to roast it first.  It would have been so much better.  Well, this is a phenomenal substitute for fresh grilled corn.  It has the smoky flavor, and the just perfectly cooked (i.e., not overcooked, mushy, or soggy) kernels.

And, then this vegetarian delight:  Spinach & Kale Balls.  They taste shockingly like my homemade spinach gnocchi.  They are light and delicious. 

Throw that all together with some lettuce, yellow tomato, avocado, fresh lemon, herbs and salt and you have a "Welcome to Fall, Bridget" Salad.


Buon Fall Appetito!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

60's Labor Day!

The theme was 60's and I knew I had to use the peaches that were at their absolute peak of ripeness.  I thought grilling them and serving with ice cream would be most amazing for a Labor Day barbeque.   But what's 60's about that?  Maybe add Cool Whip?  Not groovy enough.

The peaches were actually in this vintage large glass perfect-for-trifle vessel that I had recently purchased.   So, a trifle it was.  I merged a couple recipes I found and did this!



6 peaches sliced
1.5 pints raspberries
1.5 pints strawberries sliced
2 packages of instant vanilla bean pudding
2 tubs of Cool Whip
Sponge Cake and/or Angel Food Cake (I used both but one or the other is great)
Raspberry Jam

Optional (and not photographed here)
Grilled half peaches
Grated chocolate

Prepare the pudding.  I added Frangelico (several tablespoons for me, but to taste for you) to cut the sweetness and add another layer of flavor. 

Set aside some of the most beautiful specimens of fruit to decorate the top of the trifle.

Spread sponge cake with a layer of raspberry jam (not necessary but one of the guests at the party had made homemade raspberry jam so I thought it would be great to add).  Lay it down as first layer.  Add layer of fruits, being careful to lay some up against the side of the glass to make it pretty (you can see I forgot to do this with the first layer of fruit -- oops!).  Then add layer of pudding.  Then Cool Whip.  Then I did a layer of angel food cake, fruit, pudding, Cool Whip.  Then repeat it all over again...until you reach the top!

Refrigerate for a few to several hours to let it all seep together.

I did add half a grilled peach to the top of everyone's serving -- again to cut the sweetness of all these ingredients. It put it over the top for me.  Then a little shaved bittersweet chocolate just to make it look a tad more adorable...and then....

Put on the Beatles and chow down!

Buon Groovissima Appetito!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Laziest Delicious-ist Thing to Do with Your End of Summer Tomatoes

If you are lucky, when you make this recipe, you will have a guest who matches the soup and the bowl you serve it in... you know, if you are lucky!

This recipe is absolutely the easiest gazpacho recipe you will ever see.  And, have you tasted the yellow tomatoes that are out these days?  Deliciosa.

The recipe is from the August 2014 Food & Wine: Golden Gazpacho with Avocado.

I threw in some cilantro as well -- if your guests don't think it tastes like soap.

Buon End of Summer Appetito Everyone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lazy Most Scrumptious Vodka Tonic (or Gin & Tonic)

My friends made me the best Vodka Tonic I have ever had.  Yes, we were sitting poolside under the Super Full Moon.  Yes, the company was hilarious and lovely.  Yes, the Vodka was perfect too. But this Tonic Water is nothing short of inspired. 
Perfect Lazy End of Summer Drink...whether you mix with gin, vodka... or your alcoholic weapon of choice that buddies well with tonic...YUM!

Check out their equally inspired site:  Fever-Tree Tonic Water

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lazy Selfies for Your Future You

I am not big on selfies because I've had a hard enough time getting good pictures of myself that were posed.   

But this was an important selfie for me to take.  I was on vacation, laying next to the pool. It was warm so even though I had only about 10 minutes earlier gotten out of the pool, my hair was quickly drying as I enjoyed my book.  It was a perfect day.  Nearby were very dear friends also lounging, sunning, reading, quietly resting, eating, drinking, preparing to jump in the pool...It was pure bliss.  Every once in a quiet while we would break into conversation, one person would read an excerpt of their book or magazine article, or offer to get everyone food or drink.

It was one of my favorite days ever.

Moments before I took this photo I thought I would like to document myself in my supremely relaxed state.  And, while my eyes look squinched, I know it's because of the sun making its way through the umbrella above me, not due to any true tension. 

I love seeing this photo now because I remember precisely how I felt when I took it.  I remember how thick and warm the air was, how my wet hair  and swimsuit cooled me, how the cicadas sang loudly in perfect unison in the olive trees surrounding the villa, how the lounge chair was perfectly supportive yet soft, how my book lay on my lap, and in the distance I heard the tiny clinks of someone making food in the kitchen.  Every single need was met and I was surrounded by love.

So this photo is a touchstone for me.  If I find myself getting tense, losing ground, or needing an internal shift,  I can look at this photo because that moment is still inside me.  Right now.  It's still there.

All our moments are -- if we want to tap into them for extra juice in a very different moment -- well I call that a perfect Lazy Woman way to cause a shift.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lazy Woman Health Tip of the Century -- Thanks to Katie Hendricks!


I went to a Hendricks Institute workshop with Katie Hendricks this weekend.  I'll be writing a HuffPo article about the UNBELIEVABLE course soon, but in the meantime had to share this life-affirming, love-generating workout tip.

I'm sure you've seen mentions on the interwebs of how studies are now showing that sitting is more harmful to our health than even cigarette smoking. 

Most of us have to sit for at least a good portion of our days in front of a computer.  Well, during our workshop Katie perched on one of the above screwy-looking stools: the ergoErgo stool (which I found conveniently located at my local Container Store, but that you can find all over on the web).   She was constantly moving - rocking, twisting, bouncing slightly even.  Her spine, joints and even abs were getting a gentle workout the entire time.

Now the Hendricks work is centered around creating "flow" in our lives and hearts, so it is no surprise that Katie would be able to eloquently speak to all of the benefits of getting our asses out of chairs.  What got me was Katie talking about having excellent energy even at the end of a long day because of the movement.  It does, people, it GIVES YOU ENERGY to rock and roll and frolic on this thing all day long! 

I got back late last night from the workshop.  But I wasted no time getting my orange (they come in black and blue also) tuffet.  I have been delightfully energized all day long, and will have no problem continuing my work even later into this night.

I can't more highly recommend getting some sort of tuffet-like perch for yourself.  Some people sit on big exercise balls.  That didn't appeal to me. I'm pretty certain I would fall.  In her office, Katie has a Swopper, which I may end up with down the line, but I wanted to try this first and see if I could deal without a back to my chair.  Didn't miss it one bit today, and I can't imagine I will in the future.  But I really dig how this looks, feels and works on me and for me.

My posture is better than it ever is in a chair, which is icing on the cake.  My abs are getting a gentle little workout, as you naturally pull them in when you rock around.  AND, for those of you chicks with tight hips and blocked sexual out!  This is a delicious little opener. 

So it's a Lazy Woman's answer to many common ills -- not to mention aging!  Greasing the joints with movement is a recipe for lazy aging.

Lazy Woman Extraordinaire: Kathy Eldon's Guide to Loss

Kathy Eldon has always been one of my heroes.  Now, I identify her as an honest to got Superhero of Love.  Check out my Huffington Post piece about her. 

She's a superhero and she's also Lazy, i.e., she has her priorities straight -- following her heart and inner guidance every step of the navigation through an extraordinary loss. 

Click on the link for inspiration for yourself or perhaps others who might benefit greatly from her book In the Heart of Life.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Lazy Beauty Tip

I stumbled on a lazy beauty tip in Italy:  be easily amused and enthused....

Huffington Post Article: Oh To Be Easily Amused & Enthused

Me and my friends being easily amused by someone taking our photo in front of the Vatican late one night....bliss!


Saturday, July 05, 2014

What Puts the HAPPIE in the 4th of July?


My grandma made amazing pies and jams.  She lived in a tiny town in Michigan and no matter what time of year I went to visit her, it felt like the 4th of July.  I was there for the Bicentennial and it felt very similar to how my small town Fourths feel today.  There is nothing like starting the day with a Mayberry-like parade full of people of all ages, shapes, sizes and talent ratios.  Joy!
But grandma's most memorable contributions to the 4th of July -- and every day -- were her homemade baked goods and jams made from ingredients plucked from her garden.  Sadly, somehow her pie and jam recipes (that everyone promised would never disappear) have fallen into a family communication abyss, so my quest for the perfect fruit pie  (and jam) recipe continues.  This year I was determined to make a pie that would make my grandma proud. 
When I lived in New York I made pies for a while for restaurants.  I was a purist: only butter in the crusts and definitely no tapioca in the fruit pie fillings.   Shortening and tapioca were considered cheating.  Let the pure natural ingredients of the butter and fruits tell the perfect pie story.  But sometimes this makes for soggy crusts or fallen flutes, so I had to work hard to make perfect pies worthy of sale. 

My friend Bob loves Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for his birthday and we celebrated late this year, on 4th of July.   So, the quest for the perfect pie was even more crucial. I googled "best pie crust for fruit pies" and found Ruth's Grandma's Pie Crust.  It is quite possible that this is also my Grandma's crust recipe!  My dad had thought grandma only used Crisco and no butter in her pies and now I'm certain he is correct.  It is divine, crispy, flaky and oh so easy to work with.   It freaks me out to use shortening, but la di da, because it makes for a perfect fricking crust!



I loooooved last year's pie filling but I really wanted this pie to be beyond perfect so I thought I'd try something new.  I googled "best strawberry-rhubarb pie ever" and found "Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie."  My grandma strikes again!  This recipe calls for tapioca, and I am pretty sure now that my grandma used tapioca.  The notes from other fans said that they put in 1/2 again as much or double the tapioca.  Well, I did double it, but I also, shockingly (never done this for any recipe before) doubled the fruit because I saw it wasn't going to fill the pie.  So, my twist on this recipe is double both plus I put in grated fresh nutmeg as taught to me by Beth Setrakian of Beth's Babies.   She is a genius baker and freshly grated nutmeg in a fresh fruit pie is a kiss of deliciousness.


Before it popped into the oven:

Hot out of the oven and driven over to Bob's (hence the little wads of foil to keep it stable), the finished product:

Another fun recipe for the 4th that kind of popped into my head turned out to be a hit at the post-parade lunch:  one can of frozen limeade (melted in fridge ahead) + 2 bottles of Ginger Beer + 2 large bottles of Seltzer Water + one bag of frozen mixed berries.  Drinkers can add Vodka to make it super yummy.   Check for sweetness may want to add more seltzer water.  Very refreshing!

Buon Summer Appetito to All!
And, here's to GRANDMAS!!!!!!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Lovely Lazy Zhena

More loveliness from Zhena.  Her book trailer is a huge unbelievable WOW (filmed by the inimitable Mikki Willis) that really gives you the heart and soul of her book. 

Check it out:

Just watching the video will give you a lovely lazy respite from your day....

Password: elevate


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Zhena Muzyka: The Essence of Lazy Woman

Please check out my recent HuffPo article about Zhena, a woman who can be a guiding light to all of us in how she lives life to the fullest no matter what the circumstances.  

Prepare to be inspired by her new book.

Lazy love to all!

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Inner 5 Year Old in Dinner Party Heaven

When my co-author Judie O'Neill casually told me about the title that had come to her in the middle of the night -- The Lazy Woman's Guide to Just About Everything -- I was in the middle of writing a book about throwing dinner parties with ease.  Immediately I realized that a book with her title would be my book on steroids, and was a far better idea.

Still, we put plenty of dinner party tips in the book even though everyone accuses me of being anything BUT lazy when it comes to entertaining.   I protest though.  They are lazy because I define lazy as "less stress + more joy." These parties fill me with joy and I create them with as little stress as possible. On my birthday this year I spent the day at the spa and had a dinner party that night!  

It's all about setting priorities, and just ticking off the to do lists that make the priorities a reality.   I love trying to make the most delicious meal I've ever made.  But my #1 priority is the table because my feeling is that if things look great, people won't notice the things that don't taste quite right.  I never hit a home run with every single thing I serve. But who cares?  They are too distracted by colors and candles!

I usually set my table two or three days ahead.  I shop for the food but don't start cooking until the table is set.  Then I know that I have "built it" and therefore they will come.  

These photos were actually taken the night I set the table for last week's party -- three days ahead!  I added several finishing touches the day of the party, which I also always do, but I would rather be caught with the food not finished than a table not fully set.

The reason goes back to my 5th Christmas.  As I walked sleepily toward the living room I heard the hushed whispers of my parents. I was worried that their hushed tones were cause for concern because the house was very dark.  Too dark.

I got to the doorway of the living room and saw the most magnificent thing I had ever seen in my life. Just to the right of the entry way, glowing wondrously in the dark was a children's sized buffet, ivory with gold trim.  On top of the buffet were silver candelabras holding the tallest more glorious gold candlesticks.  It seems like a see of gold and light to me. 

I burst into tears because I had never seen anything so magical.  I was stunned to touch it and find out that everything was plastic.  It didn't make it any less luxurious.  It was still the most elegant buffet I had ever seen.  My mom didn't even have an adult sized one as cool as this.  It was as good as solid gold.  

When we gathered around the Hot Fudge Sundae station last week, with those candles lighting up everyone's faces, I was sent right back to my 5th Christmas. 

I don't need a fancy buffet.  In fact I think the top of this metal bar table actually IS plastic (I thought it was wood when I bought it!) and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference because once those candles are lighting the faces of my guests I get to feel like my parents must have felt that Christmas morning.  

I am forever grateful to the love of my mom and dad for creating magical moments like these, and my greatest LAZY joy is creating them for others.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Best Hummus Ever -- Easy Peasy and Springy Green!!!


I love making hummus and am always trying new recipes, but mostly I wing it on my own.  But for my Indian dinner party on Saturday, I was looking for some creative hors d'oeuvres.  I forgot to grab a picture of mine, which was an even more lucious green than pictured here.  I served it with carrots and pita chips instead of regular pita because I love the crunch of the chips.

I doubled the recipe for 8 people but had plenty left over for two more people to have some the next day.  I didn't double the olive oil (I did 1.5) and I didn't double the peppers which leads to the only warning about this recipe.

If your guests do not like spicy food, they may not like this.  I didn't double the peppers because I had one pregnant woman coming and one person who doesn't like spicy foods in general, but it was still a little too spicy for both of them.  For the rest of us, it was perfect though!  I think it would have been too overpowering if I had doubled the peppers though. It would have definitely overwhelmed the delicate sesame flavor.

Also, in the video below Manjula adds water when it was a little dry.  I added more lemon juice which I highly recommend. 

Finally, this is the first hummus I think I have made without Tahini.  You put in whole toasted sesame seeds and the olive oil instead.  It's much lighter and more refreshing.

And, man oh man is this easy to throw together in a food processor -- 10 minutes all in!  And it's super healthy with all that spinach and very little oil. 

Click here for Manjula's Recipe  and to watch her make it!  Or click here for youtube video only to Watch Manjula Make the Hummus!!!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

LAUGHTER Comes in Very Handy When Your Ass is Being Kicked

The second time I came up from behind to pass this guy I had to take a picture of him because he won BEST MARATHON BIB!  If you can't read it, it says "ADELE NAZEEM" in honor of the Travolta Oscar epic snafu. 

I wish I had had the fortitude to take more pictures the entire way, but I was listening to music and accidentally calling and Face-timing people so I thought it best to keep my sweaty palms away from my phone as much as possible.

There was a guy running in a Gumby suit.  It looked hilarious but made me want to cry for him because it was so hot. 

But had to share this most entertaining best signs along the route by the hilarious and fun spectators:

  • Remember 4 months ago this seemed like a GREAT IDEA!
  • Don't forget:  you PAID for this!
  • I don't know you. You are a complete stranger. BUT, I know you can do it!
  • 1 out of 100 people crap their pants.  Smile if you are 1 in a 100.
  • Smile if you pee'd a little.
Thank God, the last two did not apply to me -- only I'm sure via the miracle train I was on that also had me not have a single injury or blister!

And, just for good measure, the most heart-warming moments: 
  • Little girl - 3 or 4 years old -- with her teeny tiny hand held out for us to high-five her.
  • Little girl -- 5 or 6 years old -- blowing bubbles on us.
  • Women and men alike who held my gaze toward the end and really meant it when they said "Bridget, you've got this!"
  • People standing alone just constantly applauding the runners, like it was their duty. 
  • The Taiko drummers who were doing marathon drumming with all their hearts and souls - non-stop, high energy -- with beaming smiles on their faces!  BEAMING!
So the purpose of this post:  if you ever wanted to run a marathon, do it because there is a lot of laughter out there to feed your Energizer bunny battery. 

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Cruciferous Deliciousness -- New Goodies from Trader Joe's!

There are some very exciting new items at Trader Joe's.  I just yesterday discovered the Cruciferous Crunch Collection, have been delighting in the ease of the quinoa (which I am trying to increase in my diet, so this really helps!) and the shaved Manchego which I have had for a while.  I'm used to eating Manchego with bread or crackers or olives. It's one of my favorite cheeses.  But, it is very subtle for salads.  I hadn't found the right salad use for it yet, but today I invented one that really hit all the marks for flavor, but also is incredibly healthy.

Ingredients to Taste
Cruciferous Crunch
Balsamic Vinegar (for a little sweetness)
Red Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
Maldon Salt (for another crunch)
I had avocados and dried cranberries, etc. which I had thought it might need to balance out all that cruciferocity but this salad has the perfect amount of bitter, savory, tart, sweet and crunch without them.  It was delicious and I have to say very energizing.  I was having a major energy crash due to having eaten too little after a good cross-training workout.  Solved.  There is nothing better than being ENERGIZED by a meal that tastes unbelievably good.
Buon Healthy Appetito!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy 70th Birthday Judie O'Neill!!!!!

This is Judie blowing out her birthday candle yesterday which was her actual birthday commemorating what looks like her DE-aging!  She looks literally fantastic amazing oh my god so beautiful!

And, recently in honor of this new decade beginning, she started a wonderful blog.  YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT!!!! 

Click her to go to Judie's blog STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

You will see when you do that this is beginning of a truly great adventure -- and she will be doing it in consummate Lazy Woman fashion!!!