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Coconut Lime Macaroons

Published May 26, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2518Coconut Lime Macaroons

The above is a photograph of Coconut Lime Macaroons I made improvising on a Young Living recipe.

Here’s my version of their Dairy-Free Coconut Lime Macaroons

Ingredients

12 oz. shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

1 can organic unsweetened coconut milk

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

1 pastured egg, including yolk

8 drops Lime Vitality essential oil

4 drops Bergamot Vitality essential oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, combine shredded coconut, condensed coconut milk, and lime juice. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat egg with a pinch of sea salt. Add Lime Vitality and Bergamot Vitality. Then stir into the coconut mixture. Mix well.

Pour batter into cupcake pan. The batter makes 18.

Bake 20 minutes. Macaroons will be lightly browned.

Cool and ENJOY!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is health conscious foodie, available for lectures. She’s also a Young Living distributor. Contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

 

The Voice Semi-Finalist to Perform Benefit at MPAC

Published May 23, 2017 by Maryanne

brenden fletcherBrendan Fletcher

[Note: This article was originally published in the Randolph News, May 23, 2017]

The Voice Semi-Finalist to Perform Benefit at MPAC

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Brendan Fletcher, a semi-finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” last year, will be performing at Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) on Monday, June 12. All proceeds will support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

It wasn’t too long ago that Fletcher was performing at a small bar across the street from MPAC. He’d pass the theatre, look up at the marquee and wonder if he’d ever play “a place like that.” One year later, it’s a dream come true for singer, guitarist, songwriter, Fletcher, who is now touring all over the United States, and in other countries.

Fletcher grew up in Randolph and is now living in Ridgewood, Queens. While his parents weren’t musicians, they were no strangers to good music. Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, and Simon & Garfunkel were always played on the home stereo system.

But the main reason Fletcher got into music was because of his older brother Steve, who performed in high school bands. Steve gave Fletcher the opportunity to play rhythm guitar in the band. Each year the brothers were in the high school’s Battle of the Bands. “It [performing] was a consistent in my life,” said Fletcher.

When Fletcher went off to college at Boston University, he no longer had his brother as his support system. “I had to do it on my own,” he said. And for the first time, he found his voice. With Steve, he played heavier music like hard rock and punk. Once that got out of his system, he went on the singer/songwriter kick.

At college he studied film and television, but when he came back to Randolph, he’d play gigs at local venues doing cover songs. When Fletcher got an internship in New York at a writing room, writing scripts, it wasn’t his true passion – music was.

“The internship wasn’t what I expected,” said Fletcher, who realized he had to do something if he didn’t want to do film. That’s when he decided to pursue music seriously.

In Philadelphia auditions were being held for “The Voice” – a television show where the strongest vocalists from across the country compete with one another for a chance to win a recording contract.

While Fletcher stood in line with thousands of other hopefuls, he heard everyone around him practicing. He said, “I think I’m okay, but I heard people in front of me singing Etta James better than Etta James.”

After waiting five hours, he was chosen for an audition with 10 other people. Each person got to sing one minute of a song. Fletcher sang “Jolene” by Ray LaMontagne.

He was asked to sing another song, then got called back for another audition and got the break most musicians can only fantasize about. He becam one of the 11th season semi-finalists.

Since then Fletcher’s rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” hit No. 2 on the iTunes overall chart; and his cover of “Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers hit No. 1 on the iTunes rock chart.

“It feels amazing,” said Fletcher, adding, “If it wasn’t for my family, I couldn’t have done it. I’m very blessed to have them.”

Still inspired by the same music he listened to growing up, Fletcher said, “Bob Dylan and Neil Young write such beautiful, meaningful lyrics. They have made a career that says, ‘I never really compromised who I was.’ That’s an admirable trait.”

As of now, Fletcher is recording an EP which should be out before the show at MPAC and wants to keep writing. “I want to stay creative and pursue the thing I always loved,” he said, regarding his musical career.

In his free time, Fletcher likes to bowl, play pool, and hang out with his friends. “I have a great group of friends,” he said.

For more information on Brendan Fletcher, visit: https://www.brendanfletchermusic.com/

Journalist Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author and public speaker. Her book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is available on Amazon in paperback edition only: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

 

Caldwell Salt Cave

Published May 21, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2484My husband, Dennis, relaxing at Caldwell Salt Cave

It’s been quite some time since I experienced the pleasures of relaxing in a salt cave. So my husband and I decided to check out the Caldwell Salt Cave, Caldwell, New Jersey earlier today.

Salt therapy is like spending some time on the beach, however, the benefits are more. In addition to relaxation, the salt is good for your skin, respiratory system, allergies, sinus congestion and more.

Sitting in a salt cave is a five-star experience. It’s meditative and rejuvenating. After spending time lying down with my feet in the salt, and even holding some salt in my hands, I felt incredible. My facial skin felt especially soft. (Ladies, if you do this, I encourage you to look in the mirror afterwards. You may feel you look five years younger or so!)

The owner Lynn is a DOLL!  She’s very knowledgeable about health and it was awesome chatting with her.

While waiting for the salt room, Lynn offered us herbal tea.

The storefront is beautiful. There’s gorgeous art on the walls, pretty seahorse pillow, lamps and diffusers. There’s many items for sale such as jewelry, soaps, essential oils, and candles.

Plus, there’s an assortment of spiritual books that people can borrow to read.

And even though I’m a Young Living distributor, I love that there’s DoTerra oils here because I am a fan of DoTerra too. I loved the DoTerra hand soap that was in the bathroom.

All in all, I can’t say enough good about this place — my husband and will definitely be back! Thank you Lynn, for your stellar hospitality!

The Life & Music of Nat King Cole at Cliffside Park Library

Published May 7, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2444Stephen Fuller and Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta, of Pear Tree Enterprises (https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/) and Stephen Fuller (http://www.fullersounds.com/) proudly presented “The Life and Music of Nat King Cole” at the Cliffside Park Library, Cliffside Park, New Jersey, on Sunday, May 7, 2017.

“Learn and Listen: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole” is a one-hour presentation, with Maryanne sharing the biography of prominent jazz legend, followed by a half hour of live music with the expressive, soul-stirring vocalist, Stephen Fuller as Nat King Cole! (http://www.fullersounds.com/)

Songs included: “Unforgettable,” “LOVE,” “Mona Lisa,” and much more.

This presentation is available to libraries, senior centers, assisted living facilities, Jewish Community Centers, etc.

For rates and availability, please contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: 908-276-1514 during business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

We look forward to sharing with you an “unforgettable” performance!

All About Eve

Published May 7, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2438Drawing by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

All About Eve

All about Eve?

What about me?

In a superficial society.

Trendy, Fendi,

Keeping up with Beyonce

Spending at your local foods

People are so freakin’ rude

Pushing shop carts into butts

Let their kids do what they want.

Monopolize the conversation

It’s better than a sex sensation

Demean others, even your friends

The main thing is to “win, win, win.”

Do it daily, do it loud

Do it often so you feel proud

Raise your kid the same way

She’s a princess every day

Problems in the world we see

Ignorance, sickness, poverty

Change would be nice, if only …

Yet we still chant, “Me! Me! Me!”

And, you know, it’s nothing new,

Eve was all about “me” too.

Back then it was forbidden fruit,

Now it’s Botox to stay cute.

Charlton Heston, was once the rage, uh-huh

No one cares what Moses claimed; uh-huh

And the ME goes on. And the ME goes on.

On.

On.

On.

On.

Copyright 2017, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

All rights reserved.

USA and Denmark Friends Unite Over Love for Animals

Published April 9, 2017 by Maryanne

Her photoIben (left) and Maryanne at Mundo Vegan in Montclair, NJ 

Yesterday was an incredibly special, happy day. I finally got to meet my lovely friend Iben, who is visiting the USA, from Denmark. And her 14-year-old son, Mads, who is wise beyond his years and an all-around great kid.

Two years ago, Iben and I bonded online, over our love for animals. Cecil the lion was just killed and, of course it bothered us both terribly.

This was the summer of 2015. A short time later, Iben told me she’d be visiting the USA in 2017, so we planned to set a date to meet.

Yesterday I met Iben and Mads for the first time at a train station in Cranford, New Jersey. They’ve been staying in NYC, enjoying their holiday.

After two days of rain, we lucked out with a warm, windy day, perfect spring day. First stop was Montclair. We first went to an indie bookstore, then enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Mundo Vegan: http://www.mundovegannj.com/

We couldn’t rave enough about how great the meal was. I had organic quinoa salad and pumpkin “cheese” cake for dessert (made with tofu, almond crust, pumpkin and cashews). Delicious!

Afterwards we did some shopping in Montclair, then went for a walk around the gorgeous Verona Park. There, we coincidentally started a conversation with a woman who was from Denmark, living in the United States for 60 years! What are the chances of that?! And her brother lives in the same town as Iben.

And why did we start talking to the woman to being with? Because she had two cute dogs! It’s always hard to resist stopping to meet dogs, especially in a park.

We all ended our beautiful day with a last stop to my house so Iben and Mads could meet my kitty Nicholas. Nicholas is definitely a “people kitty.” Nicholas loved my new friends and did his “Circus flips” for them (which my husband taught him).

I’ve been so high since yesterday, meeting two incredible people. Fresh air, good food, and great conversation. So much fun!

I wish Iben and Mads a beautiful, safe trip while they continue their visit in the USA. And thanks to Facebook, we’ll be in touch, ’til we meet again! ❤

Montclair - MadsMaryanne and Mads, Montclair, NJ 

Verona ParkVerona Park (Photo by Iben) 

Shape Shop ‘Angel’ Tours with Living Legend Punky Meadows

Published March 24, 2017 by Maryanne

Barbara Serbes

Here’s an article I wrote about Asbury Park Shape Shop owner, Barbara Serbes, touring as back-up singer with Punky Meadows: http://www.shapeshopasburypark.com/single-post/2017/03/20/Shape-Shop-%E2%80%98Angel%E2%80%99-Tours-with-Living-Legend-Punky-Meadows