Friday, October 29, 2010

Five and Dime Friday - Gotta Love the Cucumber

This is my favorite salad of the week and it happens to have five perfectly balanced ingredients. It's full of protein too and makes a great meal just on its own...
  1. Arugula
  2. Baby Lettuce
  3. Gorgonzola Cheese
  4. Toasted Walnuts
  5. Cucumber

There's something about the texture of the crunchy nuts, soft cheese and crispy cucumber...yummmmmmmmmy!

For dressing I just drizzle a little Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil, a little salt and pepper and voila -- done!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lazy Weekend Soul Rejuvenation

Still feeling body & soul rejuvenation after a glorious relaxing weekend with old friends. There's nothing like hanging with dear old friends who know you inside and out, and love you just the way you are. Being on the ocean doesn't hurt, and having two massage therapists come in the middle of the weekend really didn't hurt! (If you are ever in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles and need a healing, delicious, strong, amazing massage SARAH GARNEY is fantastic --;
The Lazy Lunch above was the Farro Vegetable Soup -- recipe posted last week -- and it was unbelievable. Farro is my new favorite thing after this soup. I made the soup on Thursday and we ate it on Saturday. The Farro (whole wheat berries) was still perfectly textured with crunch, chew and softness....yummalicious! Everyone loved it. I added a sprinkle of grated parmesan and threw in a parmesan crisp (Trader Joe's, of course!). The open faced sandwiches are thanks to D'Angelo's Bakery which makes an unbelievable lemon rosemary bread and olive bread and one of the most amazing food treats on the planet: artichoke spread. If you go there for breakfast, you can order Eggs Rose -- toasted olive bread with artichoke spread and a poached egg. Then, of course grab some bread and artichoke spread to go!
So, the rest of the lunch was toasted bread with artichoke spread or avocado and cheeses and heirloom tomatoes....easy easy easy.
The food this weekend was ultimate lazy fare. I made all the lazy stuff I've posted here that requires a maximum of about 15 minutes in the kitchen, which made more time for relaxing and having fun!
Here's to everyone taking time out for rejuvenation -- in whatever form you can get it in. You have to fill up every once in a while to be able to give. I know it's hard to set aside a whole weekend to fill up, so take what you can get, and exploit it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lazy Day Off

In Santa Barbara for a very unique weekend....six women gather each year around this time at our friend's beach house. We all went to high school together and a couple people have known each other since they were wee tots! Most of us only get to see each other once a year. A couple of them I see more regularly, but it's always just the most heart-warming thing to come together for a weekend of bliss once a year.

I brought my two dogs, Lucy and Tallulah, so we are all in integrity with the all chick rule.

We take turns being in charge of the food every year. This year I volunteered because it was rainy and cold in LA this week and I felt like cooking. I made a wonderful vegetarian chili with four different kinds of beans, corn, olives, mushrooms and all kinds of flavoring deliciousness including cumin. Think I'll add a beer when I warm it all up the final time.

Made a Farro & Vegetable soup that smells pretty good. Found it in Food & Wine magazine. It's Mario Batali's. Also from the same magazine I think I found a great Chickpea with Tomatoes and Carrots salad. Looks groovy.

Bottom line is I made a few big things and then got all kinds of lazy foods -- Lemon Pasta with fresh spinach and mushrooms for one dinner, Baked Potatoes with Asparagus and other veggies, lots of beautiful breads, cheeses, and yumminess that can all be thrown together so that no one is in the kitchen cooking for long.

I'm on a cake making binge and luckily it's Christina's birthday this week so I made a yummilicious looking chocolate cake cause she loves chcocolate. Will post the recipe and photo when I get back. Looks so moist and rich and oy can't wait to taste it!

So, here's to a lazy weekend -- enough prep done yesterday to make the weekend perfectly leisurely. Very exciting to have a good lazy break after months of hard work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lazy London and Paris Parasseux

Just back from London and Paris ... so wanted to share some Lazy tips from my travels in no particularly un-lazy order:

  1. Lazy Eating Habits -- My friend Peter made up a new way of eating that I think is just the hippest, laziest way to eat: he is a FLEXITARIAN. He is a vegetarian during the week and indulges, as he wishes in meat, on the weekends.

  2. Lazy Hotels -- London and Paris hotels have notoriously tiny rooms, so I chose to rent an apartment in each city. I used Farnum & Christ for the Notting Hill haven and a Paris Autrement for the Marais. If you are going to spend any time in your hotel room at all, I highly recommend renting an apartment for the sheer luxury of relaxing, languishing space. Also, if you have any hope of a bathtub, this is your answer. It's rare for hotel rooms -- other than very expensive rooms -- to have tubs. The only caveat: before you leave write out all the things that you would use a concierge for, and see if you want to give it up. For instance, calling cabs, printing boarding passes, theatre tickets, etc. Internet cafes have printers and you can google "internet cafes paris" for instance, to find locations near you for boarding pass printing. The only thing I didn't think of: emergency numbers. We had two guys start to break into our Paris apartment (by the way awesome neighborhood, an apartment that had never been broken into before) -- Aaron yelled at them and they ran but it was terrifying and I realized I had no idea how to call the police in Paris! LOL! So, get these numbers into your phone before you leave: police, ambulance, etc.

  3. Lazy Chunnel -- Travel between London and Paris is FAR LAZIER via the EuroStar because flying between the two cities requires expensive, tense travel from the city to the airports which are far away from the cities. Only tip: buy food before you get on the train --- train food is not great.

  4. Lazy London Lunches -- Oh my god there truly must be an Earl of Sandwich who has blessed this city from beyond. They literally have the best sandwiches on the planet in London, and they are delicately prepared with the freshest of light and lovely ingredients, i.e., not like our piled on, fat-ridden, porky, bulky sloppy American luncheon fare. I miss them. They are everywhere, and honestly I think the best, most consistently wonderful are from the biggest chain -- Pret a Manger -- which I think has now moved state-side (I haven't seen one in LA yet but I hear they are here).

  5. Lazy Cafes -- They have it really right in Paris .... the energy at cafes (even the ones on busy corners, although more so on the little ones on side streets and alleys) is almost meditative, isn't it?.... There is the sweetest cafe right behind Saint Paul, with a view of the Seine where we watched a mother and her tiny little boy have the most relaxing, sweet afternoon tea time. Even squirrelly energetic little boys calm down at cafes. It's not the same here at the local cafe... maybe because some people are having wine, some apperitifs, some warm soups, some cool desserts ... feeding whatever their body's whim is for the moment, even a cigarette if that is the need of the moment. Satiated people and boys (with hot chocolate and croissant) sitting enjoying their luck.

I am clear how lucky I am to be able to dip into the worlds of other much to appreciate, absorb, find delicious.

More lazy tips from abroad later...