Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Lazy Ladies Luncheon

I have a friend who truly exemplifies the word "gracious." When I recently threw a small birthday luncheon for her, she gushed repeatedly, "I can't believe all of the effort you made."

Of course, she's the type who would be appreciative if I ordered Domino's pizza and mixed up a pitcher of instant tea.

"I didn't go to that much effort," I protested, and I wasn't being modest. Here's proof that you can host a lazy luncheon and still make your guests feel pampered.

Lazy Appetizer: The pesto torta, which we enjoyed al fresco with a couple bottles of bubbly, is pretty enough to look like you labored, but easy enough to assemble in less than five minutes. If you're feeling too lazy to slice your own baguette, have the bakery department at Von's Market do it for you.

Lazy Table Setting: Use what you have. In my case, that meant backyard citrus for the center pieces and personalized grapefruit as the place setting. The gold napkins, purchased from Motif in Pasadena, pulled the look together.

Not a Lazy Salad: This Winter Delight Salad is not exactly lazy, but the combination of slightly bitter arugula, sweet sliced pears, sour Granny Smith apples, sweet and salty candied pecans and pungent blue cheese is worth the effort.

Lazier Option: Save time slicing fruit and candying pecans. Toss the greens with dried cranberries, slivered almonds and feta cheese. Still beautiful and delicious at a fraction of the effort. But, no matter how lazy you're feeling, please don't use a bottled dressing. Take two minutes and shake up your own balsamic vinaigrette - olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Lazy Entree: It doesn't get easier or more delicious than this. I called Euro Pane and ordered their vegetarian quiche with a potato crust. They even sliced the pie for me and threw in a half dozen crusty currant rolls.

Lazier Option: Ask one of your guests to pick up the quiche for you.

Lazy Dessert: Add some bling to your table with shimmering oranges and pomegranate seeds. Make it special with a splash of Galliano liquor.

Lazier Option: While you're at Euro Pane, pick up some of Sumie's famous lemon bars.

So, go ahead and take the kudos for a lovely luncheon. Only you and I know how easy (and lazy) it really was.


altadenahiker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Mmm... This made me hungry... I think I might go for an early dinner... Maybe...

Chrissy said...

omg this looks good!...

Cafe Pasadena said...

Lazy Ladies!
Now, that's gonna bee hard to unstick from my K9 mind.
I still kinda prefer Flirtatious Ladies instead.

altadenahiker said...

My delete. I think I was typing with my elbows. Lovely table.

Petrea said...

Now you've gone and confessed online and everybody's going to know, Lazybones. I copied that winter salad recipe from you--from a previous post, maybe?

Mary said...

I think it was a mighty fine luncheon. Everything sounds delicious and your table was lovely. You are a good friend.

AmyR said...

Well - but you still had to coordinate all these parts. Hardly lazy!

The splash of pomegranate seeds on the oranges is quite beautiful.

And also, I need to go to Euro Pane. It has been too long.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

If I went to that much trouble and someone called me lazy, I'd smack um. I agree with your guest of honor and I too would be honored. I loooove the gold script and of course, your backyard is always a slice of Nirvana.

Susan C said...

Thanks, everyone.

I guess it's more accurate to say that it was an "easy" luncheon and, for me "easy" translates to "lazy" in a good way.

I think we should always be looking for ways to make our lives both easier and more beautiful.

Ann said...

Susan, I think you've refined entertaining to an artform. Your citrus is gorgeous and I love how inventive you were with the place settings! I'm definitely stealing your torta recipe. :)

Anonymous said...

"lazy"? Then March 3 will be "un-lazy" yes? He he. The Two Guys can't wait to have dinner with you!

Food Gal said...

Lovely, lovely luncheon. And great tips for making it less stressful. There's nothing worse than getting all worked up over the perfect menu so that when you sit down to it, you're too tired to enjoy it.

Pam said...

What a wonderful luncheon - I think everything looks delicious.

pasadenapio said...

I don't call that lazy, I call that creative!

Cafe Pasadena said...

Btw, did you like EPane's Quiche? I don't care much for Quiche. And, I only like one of EP's Quiche.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

My Quiche comes from the Salt Shaker. They'll cook it but I have to cut it. So far I've taken it to four pot lucks and unlike my Carver Caramels, I come home with a empty pan.

It's been a life saver. No stress, no gastronomical humiliation.

Anonymous said...



Velva said...

God, that looks like a fabulous luncheon. You have a lucky friend!! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

D3000 said...

How perfectly lovely!
Next time I would suggest a nice french bagette or sour dough roll from Frisco bakery.
I am partial you see because it is our bakery. Frisco bakery is located at 621 W. Ave 26 in Eagle Rock across from the old Lawry's Center that is no longer there.
I love how you add the citrus from your is because of you I just purchased two new orange trees...thanks for the refreshment of the pages on your blog!

D3000 said...

wonderful luncheon....wish I was there outside soaking up the sun with some lovely chit chat.
The oranges make my mouth water!