Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Charmed Should-Have-Been Monday Minute, April 3

Hi, all -

I'm late with these posts more than I'm on time, it seems. Life up here in the Catskills is very slow-moving. It's hard for me to remember my energetic NYC self who was so eager to communicate all the time. I trust that this affliction is not permanent and I appreciate your patience with my inability to get these out on Mondays.

Joya has been traveling the country applying for Masters programs in directing for the theater, which is very exciting and she'll be great, but it means she doesn't have a lot of time for being the "charmed assistant" so I find myself behind on a lot. Still, they're predicting sun for tomorrow and even though it snowed here yesterday (it snows a lot here), I can smell spring, which is a good thing.

Speaking of spring, Adair and I both had our birthdays. Mine was on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring. I went to the city (of course), and Adair and I had lunch at Bonobo's, a raw cafeteria in the Flatiron District, shopped at Victoria's Secret, hit a nail salon, and found a sweet little indie coffee bar to hang out and talk. That evening William and I went to Pure Food & Wine, an amazing ultra-gourmet raw restaurant on Irving Place near Union Square. It was exquisite. I had raw vegan versions of Caesar salad, spanokopita, and strawberry shortcake, and William had a baby greens salad, raw vegan lasagna, and an utterly amazing raw vegan tiramisu. In the gift department, Adair and Nick gave me a gift certificate to MooShoes (non-leather shoes, belts, purses) and William treated me to an afternoon at the Red Rock Day Spa here in Woodstock--massage with passive stretch, detoxifying body wrap, and sensitive skin facial --yum.

For Adair's birthday on the 29th, we went for presents (her in-laws gave her and Nick tickets to a Broadway show, and the rest of us regaled her with gift cards for spa services, dancewear, knitting supplies...) and lunch at Vegetarian Paradise II in The Village (a foursome: Adair, Nick, William, me) and then Adair and I took off for a girls' afternoon--costume-jewelry shopping, a street fair, and the farmers' market in Union Square. We both bought plants. I named mine Justin and Alissa, and Adair wrote to me and told me she'd named hers Eve. I guess some eccentricities just run in the family.


Recipe of the Week:

This recipe is for super-easy, sugar-free brownies: even my husband scarfs these up. These are truly one-bowl brownies--you'll never have to wait more than 5 minutes again when that chocolate craving strikes.

from Raw Food Make Easy for 1 or 2 by Jennifer Cornbleet (a great cookless book, by the way, and there's a companion DVD).

Yield: 8 brownies, 4 servings

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, unsoaked
dash salt
10 pitted medjool dates, unsoaked
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup dried cherries

Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process until coarsely chopped. Remove 1/4 cup of the walnuts and set aside. Add the salt to the remaining walnuts and process until finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and process until evenly distributed. Add the water, dried cherries, and reserved walnuts, and process briefly, just to mix.

Pack the mixture firmly into a square container. Stored in a sealed container, Brownies will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.

Calling All Christians:

I know my readers and subscribers come from a vast array of belief systems, but if you are a Christian who has changed to more of a vegetarian diet, you oughta be in pictures! Here's the scoop from the producers:

"Our project is a short documentary produced for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that will focus on how an increasing number of Christians are changing their eating habits based primarily on their commitment to faith. Such Christians feel that the way animals are treated is not consistent with what God had in mind when he created them. They feel God had no intention for animals to be mistreated at factory farms, where such cruel and abusive practices are used such as battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates, in addition to the various mutilations and physical beatings they often endure.

"This new movement of Christians points to specific verses of scripture that call for better treatment of animals. We are trying to find individuals, who, through their own relationship with God and/or scripture, have come to this realization. If you feel you meet this criteria, or if you know someone who does, we would love (!) to hear from you. Please email our producer, Emily Webster, at or (if the first inbox is full).

"New York-based Two Cats Productions is an Emmy Award-winning television production company that has produced films for PBS, ABC News, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and over 20 networks outside of the US in such countries as France, Germany, Canada and Australia. For more information: or"

Books recommended in my "How to Live a More Spiritual Life" seminar:

So many people have requested this list. It's very eclectic and draws from many traditions. Take what suits. Some of these books are contemporary; others are classics. Jump in --it's a lifetime's adventuring:


The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse

Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke

The Prophet, Kahlil Giran

Emily Dickinson's Poems

The Essential Rumi

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

The Essential Blake


The Law of Attraction, Abraham

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands
of Men & Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism,

The Red Book, Sera Beak

Becoming Like God: Kabbalah & Our Ultimate Destiny,
Michael Berg

The Key to Theosophy, Helena Blavatsky

Ecstatic Confessions, Martin Buber

Cosmic Consciousness, Maurice Bucke, MD

Lessons in Truth, H. Emilie Cady

The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell, Ph.D.

Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, Deepak Chopra, MD

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra, MD

Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker

Emerson's Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Power vs. Force, David R Hawkins, Ph.D.

The Hidden Wisdom in the Holy Bible, vols. I & II, Geoffrey

The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes

The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley

How to Know God, Christopher Isherwood, tr.

Dark Night of the Soul, St. John of the Cross

God Made Easy, Patrice Karst

The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

Life After Death, Raymond Moody, MD

The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale

The Biology of Transcendence, Joseph Chilton Pearce

Peace Pilgrim: Her Life & Work in Her Own Words, Peace

Invitation to a Great Experiment, Thomas Powers

The Game of Life & How to Play It, Florence Scovil Shinn

The Religions of Man, Huston Smith

A Most Surprising Song, Louann Stahl

Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment,
Rudolf Steiner

The Circle Within: Creating a Wiccan Spiritual Tradition,
Dianne Sylvan

The Way Out, The Teacher

The Impersonal Life, The Teacher

My Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis

The Eternal Now, Paul Tillich

The Power of Now, Eckhard Tolle

In Tune with the Infinite, Ralph Waldo Trine

The Cloud of Unknowing, Evelyn Underhill

The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara
G. Walker

Heal Thyself, White Eagle

The Quiet Mind: Sayings of White Eagle

Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda

Metaphysical Mediations, Paramahansa Yogananda

The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav

A New Internet Radio Event:

Nancy Mills is the very focused woman who's come up with The Spirited Woman Circle Tele-Chat Conversation Series -- first Tuesday of the month, 10-11am PST, 1-2pm EST. Register at or call 888-428-1234.

Here's the lineup:

April 1: Jill Conner Browne, Sweet Potato Queens Books of Love
May 6: Susan Miller, founder of
June 3: Carolyn Howard-Johnson, writer's advocate, "How to Do It Frugally" series of books
July 1: Jacquelyn Mitchard, highly acclaimed author of Oprah's first Book Club
pick, The Deep End of the Ocean
August 5: Laurel Touby, founder of, just sold her company to for $23 million
September 2: Catherine Ryan Hyde, bestselling author of Pay It Forward
October 7: Victoria Moran, self-help guru (I am?) and author of Creating a Charmed Life

Where I'll Be:

I'm in writing mode at the moment and not doing a whole lot of speaking, but I'll be here and there and would love to have you join me...

Speaking: New York, NY, Sunday, April 13, 9 a.m. to noon, panel- "Publicity for Writers," annual conference, American Society of Journalists, Grand Hyatt Hotel, info at


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Thank you so much for including this inormation on your blog. I am pleased to be among so many accomplished women and am eager to share with readers and fellow authors.

Very best,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

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Anonymous said...

I do enjoy reading your Blog, as well as your home page, etc. A trip down memory lane. Also your Book List is eclectic and interesting!
All good things,
Pat G

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