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Audi Super Bowl Ad Encourages Violence – Mental Illness – Lanza, Audi, Newtown.

Really? Can’t executives see this connection at all?

Normally I keep my content happy, but I need to speak my mind about this utterly offensive ad.. .the Audi ad my girls saw during the Super Bowl game. Yes, there were quite a few disgusting, insulting ads (go daddy, some shirt ad). Most were perverted, over sexual, gross – and maybe that’s football – I don’t really watch football ads too much, but this one really got under my skin – especially as the country is trying to deal with the Newtown tragedy AND trying to discover what is going on in our children’s heads and hearts.

This speaks to the insanity of our American culture. Boy on his own, driving too fast, who has a totally different personality on his own than when he’s with his family, breaking rules, committing inappropriate sexual acts, being part of violence and enjoying it, driving off like a super hero after acting like an irresponsible “disrupter” on all kinds of levels. I am embarrassed. I am appalled that people on twitter like kevin jonas  @kevinjonas who says: “Bravery it’s what defines us! -awesome commercial #audi”. Really? That’s bravery? A wealthy kid driving in his parents Audi to mess things up for everyone? To assault a woman? To me it’s sounds like an adolescent who needs attention and who is mentally disturbed. Why is Audi glorifying this kind of behavior? Why are you Kevin Jonas?

My kids watched this live with me and they were so excited that the boy was going to the prom – it turned ugly. I wonder if this reckless media culture is what helps to create kids like Adam Lanza… alienated, uncomfortable, false sense of power brought on by the mechanics of guns and cars, alone in the night, getting revenge, taking what does not belong to them (parking space), touching on the beginnings of date rape, and parents, having no clue as to what is going on with their own child.

Shame Audi. How can top execs with millions of dollars promote such mentally ill morality for our children. What a waste. Please take it down Audi.
p.s. Parents – please be careful about the media your kids ingest. Main stream media has one thing in mind – to make money and sell goods. They do it with shock and awe and don’t give the ramifications of the messages they put out a second thought. I want my children’s young and open minds protected. This is the reason I make music and videos for kids – to give parents a safe place to bring their children, to create content that fills kids with love, light and positivity.  Don’t trust corporate America to raise your children and help them develop character. If they learn anything “positive” from the media – consider it a lucky one-off…don’t count on it.
Please get involve in the discussion about kids and healthy media at sites like:
– By Deborah Poppink Hirshland (DidiPop)
 

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Pumpkin Pie that your family will love! (Ultimate Pumpkin Pie)

My family flipped for this pumpkin pie this Christmas. My step-sons raved and they don’t usually like pumpkin pie . My little 5 year old had refused to try any sort of pumpkin pie until this magical version of “The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie” (Epicurious), popped out of my oven. I made some substitutions and changed some ratios. The preparation took about 5 minutes and the baking, 50 minutes or so.

 

Here’s how to do it…

Ingredients

Premade Crust
Arrowhead Mills premade graham cracker crust (I used the 9 inch from Whole Foods)

Filling
1/2 cup sugar (organic cane sugar)
2/3 tablespoon packed golden brown sugar
2/3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon (generous) salt
1 16 ounce can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

1/4 cup boysenberry preserves

preparation
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Spread preserves over prebaked crust

Using whisk, mix first 6 ingredients in bowl until no lumps remain. Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, yogurt and eggs. Pour in filling. Bake until center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Serves 8

We passed the whipped cream can around the table and everyone had seconds. It’s fantastic!

Happy baking!

Let me know how it turns out!

 

4 Holiday Baking Tips for Healthy Moms

Gluten -Free German Chocolate Cake

Gluten -Free German Chocolate Cake

Holiday baking! What a lot of thoughts and images it conjures up for me: time with my mom, fun, family, sharing, sugar!, chocolate, red and green sparkles and cookie cutters, science and cool nesting measuring spoons, nifty gadgets like sifters and beaters and things that plug in, aluminum foil, square shaped pans and cookie racks, tummy aches, angst, worry, over eating, eating secretly while no one is looking, getting fat, feeling gross. What a loaded activity holiday baking is! Or is it just me?

I’ve been meditating on this for a few weeks and I have some thoughts. I have just finished a 12-week transformational health course and have learned a great deal about the importance of what I put into my body (and what I put into my children’s bodies). It’s good that we, as women and mothers, understand the complexities and importance of today’s food situation.

4 Tips Healthy For Holiday Baking

1. Bake and Give

Yes! Bake away with your kids and let them add salt, pour in nuts and beat. Are they old enough to stir the chocolate while it melts in the pot? Go for it. Make a batch or two of your favorite treats and keep ¼ of what you made for your family. You (mom) have some! Have 3 or 4 bites. Enough to taste and get a little kick – but not too much so that you get a tummy ache. Then divide up the rest, wrap in cellophane and a ribbon and hand out to your mail deliverer, your neighbors and your favorite barista at your local coffee place. Share the love (and the calories) and don’t miss out on the fun of baking!

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2. Explore with Healthy Ingredients

Start from scratch (from “nothing”) and don’t be afraid of agave, almond flour, and dark chocolate and organic oatmeal! Ok, maybe your cake just like  Duncan Hines – but do you KNOW what actually goes into that stuff???

Duncan Hines Classic Cake Mix: ­­Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Mono and Diglycerides), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Poly

glycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Colored with (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake).

 I don’t think I need to explain why you might not want to put this stuff into your body. And I don’t know what some of those things are! Just reme

mber this lovely phrase I heard on NRP recently:

“If it’s made by a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, DON’T eat it.” — Anonymous

fozen bananas

Everyday we teach our children. Pretend they’ve never had a chocolate chip cookie and the first one they try is called a “Healthalicious Holiday Cookies” (recipe coming). It has dark chocolate (improves cholesterol and sugar levels), dried cherries (which reduce muscle soreness, help with sleep and are loaded with antioxidants) almond flour (gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and a high source of protein) and grass fed cow butter (It’s got more carotene because it comes from cows that eat fresh vegetation rich in the stuff. It comes from pasture to ruminant to digestive tract to butterfat to butter to you). I think their head might explode in delight!  Let’s reform our baking traditions by stirring up health!

3. No Excuses

I see articles called something like, “How to Not Gain 10 Pounds over the Holidays”. Ok – so here is my latest thinking. It’s a cop out. I know this might sound harsh, but the holidays become an excuse for people to binge and pig out. It’s the holidays – so what! Light the menorah, bring clothes to the homeless, play music, and write cards to friends. That’s “the holidays” too and those things don’t make us put on weight and turn away from our SEVLES and our HEALTH. Let’s focus on this: Here we are! We are lucky to be here now, to have another Christmas, to be healthy and to be around our families, TO BE ALIVE! Let’s celebrate with light and health – not saturated, genetically modified corn oil.

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You may be thinking, how can I avoid it? There are treats everywhere I go! To that I say:  How do you get thru Valentine’s Day? Easter? Halloween? Thanksgiving? 4th of July? Taking the kids for ice cream? There are doughnuts to be had on every other street corner and caramelized, frothy, whip creamed, double cappuccinos on EVERY corner (with artificial flavoring that some people think keeps you thin! HA! – more on that later).Just have ONE bite, or walk away and drink some water… take a breathe and wish yourself love for giving yourself the greatest gift – health and a body that feels great!

And that leads me to my last tip for holiday baking and not binging…

4. How to Eat Holiday Treats in a Healthy Way

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Ok. We are human. I have a weakness for fudge and sometimes it has been hard for me

to stop at one piece.  I admit it. I find that a substitution plan works nicely for me. I think of any white grains (white rice, wheat pasta, white bread, bagels) and even potatoes as straight sugar. I don’t eat the white stuff anymore. Even the brown rice grain turns to sugar eventually.  So let’s say I have a piece of fudge. I tell myself… “yum that was delicious! And tonight, even though I might be making pasta for my family, I will have chicken and veggies – no grains. That will help balance out my carb/sugar intake and will also give me a sense of control around my body and my health. Good plan Deb. Now go drink a glass of water.”

I hope you have a wonderful time baking and creating sweet treats with your little sugarplums. Oh, and when they are not looking, sneak in some pureed beats or spinach – it’s fun to see them devour brownies that you know are loaded with veggies!!! Ha Ha – my children WILL eat well!!!

Now go preheat your oven!

 

Carmelized Chocolate Matzoh

Cooking with Kids: Fun cooking project/teacher gift!
Want to do a fun project with your kids and make inexpensive and yummy treats for teachers and/or neighbors? Try this caramelized chocolate matzo! We went to a thrift store and found these cute dishes (50 cents each!) to hold this holiday treat. All told, these 4 containers cost about $5 each and took about 20 minutes to make!
p.s. i love baking with my children but do not enjoy the icky feeling of having eaten too much sugar.  My policy? Bake and Give… Bake and Give (but I do recommend having a few SMALL bites to enjoy before you giving it all away!)
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Chocolate-Caramelized  Matzoh



Makes approximately 30 pieces of candy

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4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzohs
1 cup unsalted butter1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet (approximately 11 x 17) completely with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges.
    Preheat the oven to 375F .
  2. Line the bottom of the sheet with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.
  3. In a 4 quart heavy duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof spatula.
  4. Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it’s not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 325, then replace the pan.
  5. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.
  6. If you wish, sprinkle with toasted almonds (or another favorite nut, toasted and coarsely-chopped), a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, or roasted cocoa nibs.
Let cool completely, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week. Or wrap up in pretty thrift store dishes with ribbon and make your teachers and neighbors HAPPY!
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All About the Full/Harvest/Blue Moon August, 2012

(For best results, please give this post 11 minutes of your time: nine minutes for watching videos and two minutes for reading)

I like astrology not for the exact predictions it makes, but because it helps me keep track of where we are physically in the universe. Knowing where the moon is and where we are in relation to it comforts me. The new moon reminds me to make a wish, the full moon reminds me that the cat will be up all night cattin’ around and the phases of the moon help me keep track of time passing – visibly. Tomorrow’s moon will be full of magic and wonder! It will be fullest on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 9:58 am EST.  People on the west coast cities of the USA can enjoy it 6:53 a.m. Watch for it tonight, rising in the east.

Harvest moon – according to Gahl Sasson, one of my favorite Kabalah astrologers:

“On August 31st, as the Moon in Pisces opposes the Sun in Virgo, we celebrate the famed “Harvest Full Moon.” It is the day when we harvest what we have sown in the last six months. In the old days, and still in some farming communities in the Northern Hemisphere, people come together to help each other reap the rewards of their labor. Men, women and children gather in the fields to collect and harvest – the fruit of their work. Even if you do not have a farm, a garden, or even a balcony, you still can surf the swell of this benevolent energy. Look at the projects, relationships, actions you have planted in the early spring (March), now, six months later, you can see them come to completion or at least move to the next stage.”

Wow – 1939! Wasn’t that cool. 1939 is the year my dad was born. Things sure have changed in the entertainment industry. Call me old fashioned, but I LOVE a good song and dance movie. Back to the moon…

Tonight’s moon is also a “blue moon”. That means that tonight’s moon is the 2nd full moon of the month and it happens every 2.7 years.

“Once in a blue moon” according to Wikipedia:

“Modern interpretation of the term relates to absurdities and impossibilities; the phrase “once in a blue moon” refers to an event that will take place only at incredibly rare occasions.”

Of all the “Blue Moon” recordings on YouTube, this one takes the cake. It’s a magical 2:55. Harpo Marx really was incredible and the scene is special too. I love the little girl.

And according to NASA:

Here’s info from Nasa about this blue moon. Does the moon really turn BLUE? It can, if there is volcanic ash in the air (think Krakatoa) or fires near by (the Spanish might see a blue moon tomorrow – too many fires there). Maybe the moon will turn red? It’s possible too!

Have a lovely Harvest/Blue Moon everyone!

 

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Room to Breathe: Outsourcing my lovely puppy.

How could I resist?

New Puppy. Oh how I fell in love at first sight with this little girl who is now called Treya. We met at the dog rescue in front of our local farmers’ market and I couldn’t live without her. I have not had a new puppy as an adult. Our last dog was a rescue, but she was 6 and was house trained and not FULL of energy CONSTANTLY.

Well, this little girl (who is now sitting on my lap as I type this… actually resting her fluffy head on my right fore-arm which keeps it warm and makes a little challenging to type!) is another BABY. Monday night, the second day she lived with us, I could not think straight. Delilah needed help with homework, Hannah needed me with her crayons, David wasn’t home yet, the dinner was cooking and Treya was peeing on the sofa. I stood in the kitchen and cried into the broccoli. My girls gathered around me and said, “it’s OK mommy”.

Me typing with Treya on arms – Photo by 4 year old Hannah

But I knew I had pushed myself too far. I do have the habit of extending myself and I hear it is a trait of A type personalities and moms. When you have an A-type and a Mom combo (that’s me), it can get very intense. The mantra from “The Little Engine That Could” comes to mind “I think I can I think I can”. But my mantra must change to  “I think I better rest, I think I better rest”.

I realized the puppy was too much for me. I called my mom, like I always do when I need fine spiritual guidance, and she agreed that it was too much on my plate. She had been looking for another dog to go with her older doggie Winston

and we decided that my mom would take Treya (named for Matreya, the future Buddha). My mom just had a big birthday and this is the perfect way for her to infused her life with new, young energy!

Winston and Treya

So, the story ends happily ever-after. The dog is in the family (it takes a village) and will be loved by all,  just trained and raised in a home without Winnie-The-Poohs and tiny sandals for her to teeth on. And the moral of the story is, sometimes I have to make tough choices. Love is not enough…it’s a mater of being sensitive to myself, my time and my energy and my priorities. I don’t want to neglect my girls when they need me in order to care for the dog. Not now anyway when she is ALL my responsibility. I’ll wait til the girls can clean up pee and take her for a walk. I’ll give my self some room to breathe. It feels wonderful to breathe. Try it now.

 

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