Summer Salad

In your salad bowl add:

1 tsp finely minced garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Wisk until creamy. If you are using a wooden bowl, whisk the dressing up the sides of the bowl. When adding your lettuce, this method is sure to coat all the pieces. Add shaven slices* of Persian cucumber** for an even more refreshing salad. At the Farmer’s Market I found a vendor who sells the biggest and sweetest onions, so I’m adding some thin slices to the salad. One leftover BBQ’d ear of corn provides an extra sweetness and crunch. Cut kernels off husk and add to greens. Mix greens and onion in the dressing. Add another 1/4 cup of grated parmesan to the top of the salad with slices of avocado.

*Use a mandolin or slicing edge in a grater.
**These cucumbers are small and practically seedless. Also, their skin is tender and sweet; no need to peel.

For Dessert:
Popcorn and a movie
Bon appetit!


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With the Rip Chords, nearly 50-years on…

How did I know when I toured with The Rip Chords on Dick Clark’s Caravan Of Stars in 1964, that nearly 50-years later Richie Rotkin and the gang would be backing me up at a “Cobra” event near my home in California this past weekend!

Richie told me that in all his years of performing with the Rip Chords, they have never invited a guest to be part of their act. Sure, friends stop by in Vegas and elsewhere to play bongos or sing background vocals, but no one has ever taken center stage with them until now! I’m truly honored…

Well, Mitch Schecter (musical director/lead guitar), rehearsed with Amy (keyboards/vocals), for weeks and the result was solid parts and terrific background vocals.

It was a joy to sing with The Rip Chords this past Saturday.

Viva la Music!!!

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50-year Celebration of “Hey Little Cobra”

My introduction to this little race car was when my old friend, Paul Petersen, had one. Now, over fifty-years later, we’re still celebrating it’s classic body… and it holds up next to any Ferrari or Lamborghini, in my book!

On display at the 4th Annual Collector Car Show in Simi Valley were at least a dozen immaculate Cobras. Thanks go out to Skeeter Rader and LuCindi Templeton for inviting me to attend. And, a huge hug to Richie Rotkin of The Rip Chords (Hey Little Cobra) for backing me up on Muscle Bustle and It Only Hurts When I Cry.

Here I’m pictured during the filming of Bikini Beach with a Dean Jeffries creation known as the Mantaray.  Built in 1964, it was featured in the film and used as the tow vehicle by “Potato Bug” at the drag strip.  The car still exists and is shown at custom car shows around the United States.  It was built on a Maserati chassis and used a Cobra engine.  Click on the picture and you’ll see the “COBRA” valve covers.
(Thank you, Mike Brown for your research.)

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Veggie Delight

February 21st, 2012, my diet changed completely. No wheat, sugar, caffeine or dairy… no alcohol. For more than a year I adhered religiously to this regime with the exception of a glass of wine at holiday. It began with a blistering headache which I attribute to caffeine. So, after three days of total bed rest, I kicked the habit. Caffeine withdrawl is painful. Once I accomplished that phase, I moved on to removing sugar, dairy, wheat and alcohol. Last month I experimented with wheat, only to discover it’s better that I moderate it. My sinuses were affected and my digestion clogged up. Now that summer is here and my diet is stable, I thought I’d share my new lifestyle with you. I still eat animal protein except for beef and pork in moderation.

One of my greatest joys is shopping at the Farmer’s Markets. We have several in our area and each one has it’s own personality with different vendors. Makes life interesting and very friendly. It’s good to know where your food comes from… unless you grow it yourself!

Veggie Delight:

Salad: Baby Gem romaine lettuce, Heirloom tomatoes, Spanish onion
Wash your lettuce and quarter one head. Trim off any unsightly parts. Thinly slice onion and tomato (remove skin). Quantity to your liking.

Dressing: 3 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp Vegenaise (available at natural food stores and Whole Foods) 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp balsamic vinegar Salt & pepper to taste 1 tsp turmeric (helps with anti-inflammation). I find that adding cardamon pods to a pepper mill gives a warmth and earthiness. Cardamon represents courage in the world of herbology. Whip with a fork or whisk. Arrange lettuce, onions and tomato on plate. For a main course use three wedges. Now generously spoon the dressing over your salad.

Sautéed Spinach: Saute two thin slices of Spanish onion in olive oil. When wilted with a bit of carmelizing, add spinach, preferably organic. Trim stems off; those stringy parts of the spinach can get caught in your kidneys. Next, grate one carrot and 1/2 cup of water. Let cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and 1tsp of finely minced garlic. Cook one minute more. A dash of turmeric adds the finishing touch: gives it a bite, turns everything golden and the spinach takes on a more delicate flavor.

For dessert, I found a macaroon that has raw ingredients and no wheat. Have two cookies and a cup of chamomile tea.

Yummy…  Bon appetit!

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Snake In The Grass

There are always consequences of our actions. Just yesterday I changed out the song on the home page of my website to the cover I did of “Don’t Bring Me Down”, written by Jeff Lynne. My favorite line in it, “You’re lookin’ good just like a snake in the grass, one of these days I’m gonna kick your ass” (my liberty taken with original lyrics). Well, this morning as I bent down to water a potted jade plant, there below me lying on a patch of grass, is a young diamond-back rattler – rather cocked up when he heard me pouring the water. Where he chose to lay peacefully is the only patch of weeds I left remaining when weeding my gravel garden whose centerpiece is a bird bath. Hummingbirds, golden finches, blue jays and robins drink from that bath. And everyday I refresh it with fresh water because I know they rely on it. It’s completely awesome to witness my little sanctuary of birds and lizards, squirrels and raccoons, an occasional skunk and now the creature I used to fear most… a snake, resting in my garden.

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The Giving Trees

A quote from my son, when he was 17:
“Trees are anything you want them to be. They are always willing to let you climb on them, and there are always new branches to learn to climb on every tree.”

Across the lane from where I live are very old and tall Eucalyptus trees. They have provided shade, a sound buffer and a wonderful aroma in the air. Today, my neighbor has taken the action to take them down. I’m sure her reasons are valid and I have no issue with that aspect of the process. What disturbs me is knowing that where they once stood is now a big gaping hole. Instead of a habitat for the owls and hawks who made them their home and the squirrels who romped from branch to branch, only the memory now remains. Joni Mitchell’s lyrics come to mind: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”. 

Here’s documentation of my week-long tree surgeon time.


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Great Gatsby!

Carey Mulligan vs. Mia Farrow
Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Robert Redford

I love the new Great Gatsby film by Baz Luhrmann with the incredible score by Jay-Z. This is a love story with a somber ending. A tough one to swallow in these troubled times of ours. We all want a happy ending and this story delivers unrequited love. But Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy is So Big it consumes me like a caramel lollipop. He, Leo, is so handsome and convincing of his undying, unwavering love for Daisy, you really only want him to be loved. That is the message that emanated from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story in The Roaring 20’s and is still pervasive almost 100-years later. The decadence and the impoverished; the gangsters; their muses. What have we to learn but that Love is the Answer. Gatsby would have wanted it that way… Beauty and Love.

Baz Luhrmann, ‘Great Gatsby’ Director, Explains The 3D, The Hip Hop, The Sanitarium And More

The Gatsby Collection at Brooks Brothers


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Vibrant Pink Bunny

My little granddaughter was born in the Chinese Astrology Year of the Rabbit. She is my very own Bunny!

This little pink bunny symbolizes the joy children receive celebrating Easter with the ritual of Easter Egg Hunts, dipping cooked eggs into colorful food dyes and digging through their Easter baskets finding jelly beans and chocolates.

Vivid memories of mine are reading the Easter Story to my son when he was only three and his response to the story of Jesus’ Resurrection. At the time it was his favorite story!

I tried to expose other beliefs to my children as well as the Jewish faith we inherited. I have never ‘practiced’ religion; my preference is Universal Wisdom which may paint a bigger picture for an individual in making their own decisions as they enter into their belief system for their life.

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The Ides of March – March 15, 2013

In the original Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year. The Ides, always near the midpoint of the month, were determined by the Full Moon between the 13th and 15th. Then came the assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15 in 44 BC; hence the famous line from William Shakespeare’s play when Caesar is warned by a soothsayer to “Beware the Ides of March”.


I’ve always  thought of this day as welcoming the Lamb of Spring and saying farewell to the Lion of Winter. Better days ahead…the cold is gone for another year. Time for planting seeds and tending the garden. Bulbs such as freesia (my favorite), daffodils and hyacinth reveal their beautiful flowers and pungent scents.

I know two people born on this day. My Swedish girlfriend, Margareta Sjodin, I met while living in Malibu in the mid eighties. She is an artist and actress who played the Swedish version of Goldie Hawn from “Laugh In”. I went to Stockholm one summer as her guest with my youngest daughter. We spent ten fascinating days adjusting to the northern lights that keep the night skies in twilight. Every morning we would walk the 700-year old cobblestone pathways, cross the nearest bridge next to the Baltic Sea and enter the Grand Hotel’s breakfast buffet. Even in summer the winds can be chilling so I must admit our American diet called for deliciously fresh and hot French fries as well as Swedish pancakes with lingonberry jam to help keep us warm. As I strolled through the nearby Royal Palace I had a close call when my toe stepped over the line that a Royal guard made in the gravel with his bayonette! Evenings in old town Stockholm are filled with music in the streets and people gathering to dance. Every day at noon for one hour the Royal armed guards and orchestra march through the streets proclaiming it is, indeed, noon! Bra!

“Buena Vista Social Club” Album Cover

The other person I know who celebrates his birthday today is Ry Cooder. I met Ry when were both 21. My first husband was producing his albums then – long before his standout award-winning “Buena Vista Social Club” project. I was there in the early days listening to his stories of recording with the Stones and Captain Beefheart. Used to save wine bottles for him. Sometimes the neck of the bottle would fit his finger perfectly so he could customize one to play the winsome sounds of Bottleneck Guitar. He honored  Depression-era musicians who used this technique to amplify and texturize their instrument. Ry’s masterful playing won him a reputation of being the best! He always reminded me of a young Gary Cooper albeit with one eye. Yes, Ry has a glass eye.

Significant to William Shakespeare and Julius Caesar and to me personally, the Ides of March is a day to remember..

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A Hallmark Moment

I still love receiving cards for my B-Day. My girlfriend in Hawaii has a collection of vintage cards her mother left her when she passed away. One arrived in my mailbox just before I embarked on a marathon of travel to the Monkees Convention. In 12 days I slept in four different beds and visited three states, not including a layover in Atlanta, GA on my way home.

Two more cards from lifelong girlfriends and a lovely, most thoughtful card from a fan in Canada.

More charming than an e-card or email, even though I deeply appreciate those as well, there’s something to be said for a Hallmark Moment. Sound like a girl thing? I like cards from guys too! Received a special one this year. Putting pen to paper somehow makes a deeper connection with our hearts.

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