Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lazy Stars

Are the stars being Lazy these days? Or perhaps there is a glitch in the Southern California water filtration system, because I now have THREE -- not one, not two, but THREE couples that are starting on the road to divorce. In all three cases one party is simply "done" with the relationship, and I'm looking back at each of my failed relationships and in every single case, one of us just simply got to a place of "done" where there was no chance of being un-done. It just takes the one person in the relationship, and usually one is pretty crystal clear about how finished they think the relationship is.

The trick, of course, is not getting to the "done" place. But as I sit perched so perkily atop my brand new relationship blossom that's so fresh and shiny, I am terrified that I won't see the signs of decay. I'd like to think I would, that I'm pretty aware, but in all of these cases, one or both of the people in these relationships were either what I would consider more aware than I am, or just about at my level!

Every single day I make sure to tell him something I love about him, and regularly tell him how lucky I feel to have found him --- albeit so late in life!!! Actually, it's thank god so late in life because we probably would have been doomed had we met earlier. We've both been working on ourselves over these last several years in particular, and had we met when we both lived in NYC in our 20's (we lived two doors away from each other on 69th Street -- not the same years, but still our paths were consistently crossing) we probably wouldn't have given each other a second look.

But, what happens on the days where I don't feel as lucky or happy? I think the answer is somewhere between 1) letting go, letting go, and more letting go and 2) "generating" lucky and happy from the place deep inside where it a little Energizer bunny beating the love drum and putting on the cool glasses and the happy smile ... no matter what the circumstances.

That last suggestion of being an Energizer Love Bunny may not sound Lazy but LOVE is always the Lazy alternative -- anger, resentment, frustration all take so much more energy, they suck you dry. Love makes everyone feel better. It's a Lazy Fact.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Laguna Inspired Chopped Salad

We went to Laguna last weekend and had the most amazing salad which inspired this:

Laguna Chopped Salad

Veggie/Fruit Section
Cooked Beets
American Salad Mix

Cheese Section
Gorgonzola Crumbled Cheese

Dried Fruit/Nuts Section
Dried Cranberries
Toasted Pine Nuts

The secret is in the chopping. Having just been to Alaska, I got a new Ulu knife, which is such a fabulous kitchen tool, but any good chopping knife will do. Chop up the salad into tiny bite-sized pieces. Chop up the beets into tiny bite-sized pieces. Then chop up the cranberries and pine nuts together (it actually is easier to chop them together, believe it or not). And, yes, they are small already, but you want to chop them down even smaller. Toss all the chopped things together with the already crumbled cheese and dressing. Add salt & pepper to taste, and you are done with another fresh, beach-inspired salad!

I dress with lemon & olive oil, but you can do your favorite vinaigrette, or just a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil....your choice.

Buon appetito!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesdays - Romantic Summer Fresh Dessert

Hey All,

I am stretching the Trader Joe's theme today because I just made the most fabulous Tiramisu in the history of mankind...yes, folks, the HISTORY OF MANKIND, and MOST of the ingredients can be found at Trader Joe's.

I only doubled the recipe and it was actually enough for about 6 hefty servings, instead of 4. If you follow the link above you can actually click on a CALCULATE button to change the number of servings you want to prepare. The recipe is for 2 but it's unbelievably easy to double and triple.

All of the ingredients can be found at Trader Joe's EXCEPT the Lady Fingers. In doubling the recipe, I used one package of Lady Fingers. Also, as a true Lazy Woman, I stopped at Starbucks and got 4 shots of espresso instead of making my own, when I was out for coffee in the morning. I stuck the cup in the fridge to get it cold by the time I cooked in the afternoon.

But, "cooking" is really a big exaggeration for this recipe. This is soooooo easy to make and it's super delicious and refreshing. I'll tell you I used less sugar for all parts of the recipe just because I don't like super-sweet tiramisu.

And, for the vessel to put it in? I used a very low round vase, which was the absolutely perfect size for the doubled recipe.

I don't think I'll ever make regular ol' Tiramisu again. And, apparently "Tiramisu" is Italian for "pick me up" and I can tell you it picked up me, my boyfriend, our guests, and all who tasted the leftovers! In the summer months, we need to take advantage of the juicy delicious strawberries, and the fact that you serve this on a puree of strawberries just adds to its divinity!

Ciao and Buon Appetito in all your Al Fresco dining this Summer!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesdays Delicious Dessert

It's hot in LA today, so all things frozen and icy are popping into my head. I love all the Trader Joe's popsicles. They have little sugar and lots of fruity goodness. Frankly, I'm a sucker for anything resembling ice cream in any shape or form.

But, one of the desserts that is particularly delicious in the Trader Joe's frozen section that is quick to thaw and pretty darned unique and elegant is the frozen profiteroles. When I first got out of college I partnered with Beth Setrakian who would soon become a world famous baker with her famous cookies, Beth's Babies. I will never forget the night that I helped her with a big baking job she had: profiteroles for 400! It was a wedding and the wedding "cake" was to be Croque-en-Bouche, which translates to "Crackles in the Mouth." The profiteroles are put into a big upside down cone shape and then drizzled with sugar syrup that hardened. The French tradition is that the bride takes a bat and breaks "the balls," i.e., breaks up the cone, balls/profiteroles go flying, and everyone partakes in the profiteroles as wedding "cake."

We were baking for a wedding the following day, and by around 4 a.m. we were almost done poking the profiteroles with a pastry bag tip and filling the 400 balls with the creme patissiere. At one point, Beth picked up one of the trays that I had just completed to move it...I sensed that something very, very bad was about to come out of her mouth, and indeed I was correct: she pointed out, sadly, that because I was so tired I had accidentally only been half filling the last couple of trays worth of profiteroles. Tragically, I had to go back and re-do my work, of course. Profiteroles really aren't a lot of work unless you make silly mistakes like this. But, it's really a wonderful treat that Trader Joe's has frozen ones!

They come with a chocolate sauce, which is just dandy. I usually make my own homemade sauce, but in the heat of summer, do the lazy thing and use theirs. You can throw some fresh raspberries onto the plate to add a little zestiness. Just place about 5 profiteroles on a plate, drizzle with chocolate and throw on a handful of berries and voila, you are having a Parisian Summer!

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Light & Lemony Shrimp, Oh My!

I just made this and it was deeeeeeeeelicious! This seriously takes about 10 minutes.

Trader Joe's Shopping List

Veggie Section
Sliced White Mushrooms
Fresh Chives

Dry Goods Section
Artichoke Antipasto
Artichoke Hearts (packed in water, not oil)
Garlic Salt
Lemony Pepper Pappardella Pasta

Frozen Food Section
Frozen Pre-Cooked Shrimp


Boil salted water for the pasta while you prep the sauce.

Throw the whole backed of sliced mushrooms in a pan with olive oil. Throw in a bunch of garlic salt. Drain the artichoke hearts and squish in your hand to break them up into the pan. Add about 2/3 of the jar of Artichoke Antipasto. Add zest AND juice of one lemon. Sautee.

When water boiling, add pasta. When it's almost done, add the shrimp to the sauce and sautee. Chop about 1/2 the package of fresh chives.

Toss it all together and you have a refreshing light summer pasta ready to go for at least four hungry people.

I made a quick salad of arugula, toasted almonds, grated fresh parmesan, lemon and olive oil on the side, which went really well with the pasta... fresh, fresh, fresh, and I made it while the water boiled as well.

Buon appetito!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Confessions of a Lazy Jet Setter & Some Lazy Ass Travel Tips for All

This Lazy Woman was so lazy on the airplane coming back from New York yesterday that she refused to pull down her carry on luggage (yes, even for 9 days, Lazy Women ONLY take carry-ons!) to get the "No Jet Lag" pills out of the bag.

Sometimes laziness has consequences and today I suffer the consequences. I also didn't drink enough water on the plane. I usually drink a minimum of 1.5 liters on cross-country trips, three liters when going across the pond. I swear it helps my energy level, my digestion, and my skin when I drink more water than one could imagine would be comfortable....which is why I always have an aisle seat.

So, I amassed a few travel trips (a couple are re-hashes worth mentioning) this trip:

  1. Water Logging -- ALWAYS drink a minimum of 1.5 liters of water for every 5 hours of flight time. Drink a minimum of 1 liter on flights over two. Airplanes dry you out -- inside and out -- so you have to give your body what it needs.
  2. Water Preservation -- Avoid alcohol and coffee, of course, because they leach the body of water as well.
  3. No Jet Lag -- Take "NO JET LAG" a homeopathic remedy you can get at health food stores. This is my first trip in a long time that I was too lazy to get it out, and I promise you I regret my lazy ass right now.
  4. Broadway Shows -- We missed one half of the Tony Award winning "God of Carnage" (which also does not sport an intermission) because TUESDAYS -- yes, just about every Broadway theatre on Tuesdays -- the curtain goes up at SEVEN -- yes seven, as in ONE HOUR EARLIER THAN NORMAL. For the love of God. Third row center seats...I weep a little as I type. All of my NY friends had no idea. We all realized we had. clearly, never gone to theatre on a Tuesday. So, I hope this blog saves ONE PERSON from disappointment.
  5. Carry On -- Even my boyfriend regrets checking his bag as he clocked each time we had to wait for his bag, and saw that I didn't even wear every item in my carry-on over the course of our nine days away. The trick is rolling your clothes very tightly (with paper if avoiding wrinkles, i.e., linen) and packing all one color with a couple of accent pieces and accent jewelry. Off the top of my head, this is what I had in my bag: 3 pairs of shoes, 1 fancy dress, 3 casual dresses, 1 skirt, 3 linen pants, 4 other pants, one fancy sweater, two nice shirts, several (probably 8) nice light t-shirts, pajamas, two sweaters, two pairs of running shorts, a few running shirts, tons of underwear/bras, big belt, phone chargers, toiletries....and I'm sure there was more, that's just off the top of my head. Lazy = Less Stress, More Joy. Not having to worry about checked bags = Lazy.

Happy Lazy Trails to All!