“Healthy Pasta Alternatives” Lecture and Food Sample

Published September 11, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5981My kelp Pad Thai dish

Last night was the second time I lectured to the cooking club at Washington Township Library in Long Valley, New Jersey. (Thanks to librarian Jane Gold for having me back again!)

The topic was “Healthy Pasta Alternatives” and we had a wonderful turn-out with people wanting seconds!

My dish was made of  kelp noodles, carrots, and sprouts with a dressing of raw almond butter, coconut amino acids, onions, garlic and juice from fresh limes.

Here is the description of the class:

Healthy Pasta Alternatives

Pasta, a typical dish of unleavened dough of durum wheat flour, has been a traditional Italian staple, dated back to 1154 in Sicily.

It can be presented in a variety of shapes and made with flour from cereals or grains, and eggs. It’s a simple dish that can be served hot or cold, varying in taste, color and texture.

Discover how pasta evolved and changed over time – from a small simple item to an elaborate culinary dish.

Learn about the nutritional value of pasta, which contains complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B and folic acid. And depending on the flour, may also be a good source of protein.

Gather information about healthy pasta options such as: brown rice noodles, soy noodles, seaweed noodles, buck wheat noodles, squash pasta, and more!

This presentation will include a cold pasta salad made with one of the healthy noodle alternatives.

Class is limited to an audience of 20. Please have a sign up sheet.


I can be reached via email at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com




20 Things Your 20s Are Too Damn Short For

Published September 9, 2014 by Maryanne


GENIUS! And proud to say I’ve get them all covered (except maybe burning bridges, but I have my own spiritual theory on that!)

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. Letting anybody convince you that because you’re young, you’re incapable.

Plato began his career in politics before he was 20, (and has stated that he faced ridicule in his coming-of-age for that reason.) Some of the greatest cultural tycoons of this century were in their 20s when their first huge contributions were made: Jobs, Zuckerberg, etc. Imagine where we’d be if they listened to the people who said, what do you know? 

2. Arguing with people whose intentions are not to understand you, only to prove themselves right.

You do not owe it to anybody to carry on a conversation that is only serving the ego, but you do owe it to yourself to step out of the inevitable frustration and self-doubt of interacting with people who don’t listen to understand, but to respond; who don’t speak to be heard, but to defend.

3. Wasting your energy placating the habits of people who don’t take the initiative to actually…

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The Cowsills, Levitt Pavillion, Bethlehem, PA, Aug. 31, 2014

Published August 31, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5903Anticipating the show!

SAM_5907And I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew, they would make me happy, happy, happy!

SAM_5928Original Cowsills: Susan, Paul and Bob

SAM_5938Gorgeous Susan

How can anyone not love The Cowsills? Their harmonies are off the hook and they had great, catchy hits. Even the more obscure songs are fantastic if you buy all their records and CDs, there’s so much to enjoy. Though they’re best known for “Hair,” “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,” and “Love American Style.” They’re the real family band The Partridge Family was emulated after.

Last night was the first time my husband and I saw them perform. They hit the stage and I heard the first note of “The Rain, the Park and Other Things” and like a big mush, tears fell from my eyes. It’s a beautiful, happy song and after hearing it since I was a little girl, to see the people who did it performing right before me — and so perfectly too — it was absolutely surreal!

Original members included: Susan, Paul and Bob Cowsill. Other members: Ryan Cowsill on keyboard, Brendon Cowsill on guitar and Robby Scharf on bass.

After the show I was able to get the set list, so here it is:

The Rain, The Park and Other Things

You Were On My Mind

Deliver Me

Most of All

The Boxer

You In My Mind

Just Believe It

Be My Baby

We Can Fly

Indian Lake (Note: at this point they invited the children up on stage, it was absolutely precious).

Puff the Magic Dragon

If I Had My Way

Helpless Hoping

Covered Wagon

River of Love

Love American Style (By now, I was hanging at the stage front, singing along with the band and dancing!)

I Think I Love You (Written by Tony Romeo, who also wrote their song “Indian Lake” and many other great songs, including songs by another favorite of mine — Lou Christie!)

Going Home

Hair (Hearing this legendary song live blew my mind! All the years I imagined dancing to it at a night club, now I got to dance to The Cowsills performing it right in front of me!)

After “Hair” they came out and did “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” as an encore, then had a meet and great. I had them sign my set list.  They were very nice people. It was an honor and I’m still high the next day!

SAM_5951So cool meeting the band! Such nice people :)

SAM_5957Autograph on back of set list.

I love that Bob wrote “Thank You!” – Doesn’t get more real than that!

National Park Service Hires Homegrown Talent to Work at Falls

Published August 25, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5586Paterson Falls (photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

A couple weeks ago I had the honor to interview two young people who are now working at The Falls.

For inspiration, read here: http://www.northjersey.com/towns/paterson/national-park-service-hires-homegrown-talent-to-work-at-paterson-s-great-falls-1.1075586

On Creativity

Published August 25, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_1842Art is not my strong point, but I enjoy it!

I want to give a round of applause to all my inspiring local artist/musician/writer friends who make a living off their art. Most of us are not of Michael Jackson celebrity status with someone working for us (and having the privilege of someone censoring nasty/hateful emails and handling our Twitter and Face Book pages). We do all the leg work promoting and negotiating payments for our creativity and have to deal with those who don’t “get it” — those who assume we are “egotistic” for promoting when we’re just working very hard to keep food on the table, pay for our own health care, go on nice trips/vacations, give gifts to loved ones and take care of our pets.

A person doesn’t choose to be creative. Creativity chooses us. If you can’t live, breath, function without being creative, that’s when you know what your calling is. It’s not about getting noticed or showing off. It’s about baring your heart and soul and making a labor of love out of your muse. It’s beautiful.

Creative people are the usually the most sensitive, caring people and LEAST EGOTISTICAL people on the planet. And when we’re not working we RARELY speak of what we do for a living. I just had four back-to-back meals with loved ones where I never once mentioned public speaking, my business Pear Tree, or my books. Nor do any of my creative friends talk about their work unless it’s one-on-one between two creative people discussing projects.

I never believed one had to suffer for their art, but it’s a harsh reality that there will be jealous people who try to make you suffer. So, I say to all of you, chin up and keep moving forward. At least we are lucky we “get” each other! CHEERS! xo

Sunday Happies!

Published August 24, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5883It’s Sunday and I’m ready to hit the road with my hubby!

Another gorgeous Sunday in New Jersey.

I was thrilled to finally be able to grab a bite at Cave in Avon-by-the-Sea. It’s a paleo restaurant. I’ve been eating paleo for a few months now and my body loves it! I had grass-fed beef chili, with avocado and a bullet-proof coffee for dessert. The place was cute and cozy and service was excellent!

SAM_5886Grass-fed beef chili with avocado

This dish was so heavenly. It took me back to my Girl Scout days when I had a dish called “Sloppy Joe.”

SAM_5888Bullet Proof Coffee!

Bullet Proof coffee is organic coffee made in a blender with coconut oil and grass-fed butter. Your body will love the healthy fats that give you great energy without the caffeine  jitters! Something about the mixture just does a body good! I serve it to my husband in bed. I also make a great oolong tea version with unsweetened cocoa — it’s killer!

After Cave, we cruised along the beach and then visited a friend. A lovely full day with perfect weather!

SAM_5891How cute!

We don’t know these people, but the dog was so adorable, I’m so glad I got a great shot on the way home!

Good Friends Are a Beautiful Blessing!

Published August 23, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5880Darlene, Me and Linda

I’m still celebrating my birthday and it was super cool to have a celebration lunch today with two of my favorite friends, Darlene and Linda at Huntley Taverne (www.thehuntleytaverne.com) where they serve organic, sustainable foods. I had a delicious egg dish with vegetables and for dessert blueberries and peaces with local honey and two cups of coffee (in which I added farm, unsalted butter to get some extra healthy fat).

As you can see from the website the place is beautiful. Plus we had a great waitress! And, the music was fantastic. Mostly 1970s: Eagles, Stevie Nicks, The Beatles, Jim Croce … The three of us were just so relaxed we didn’t want to leave.

I always count my blessings with good friends because they are so hard to come by. These wonderful ladies have been in my life several years and I can always count on a great time when we get together.

I’m happy and feel very loved!