OMG! Did I really just sing for David Foster?

  Orna Sings! from Orna on Vimeo. If you saw my last post, you’ll know that we went to see Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary Show on Friday night. What an unbelievable show! Elton John’s incredible performance was preceded by Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Kahn, Toto, Sarah McLachlan, Amy Grant, Michael McDonald, Dave Grusin, and more. The show went on for almost four hours! Our friend, Nathan East, did a fabulous job as Musical Director, as did our friend, Randy Waldman, conducting the 70-piece orchestra. Sinbad kept us in fits of laughter during the many set changes. Then he and David Foster (16x Grammy winner, 4x Oscar winner, Producer/Composer for Celine Dion, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, Josh Groban, Seal) asked the audience, “who can sing?” My little ears pricked up; but I would never be crazy enough to get up in front of a) David Foster, b) 2000 people in the audience, and c) a live broadcast feed around the world. Right? Wrong! World’s-most-supportive-hubby said you should do it! And despite the pounding of my heart—literally out of my chest—I decided to face my fears and JUST DO IT! A few people had already gotten up to sing and Foster said, there’s time for one more. I had to squeeze past half a v e r  y    l o n g  and shallow row of people—suddenly the fantastic seats we had scored right in the middle didn’t seem so great! Everyone was cheering me on, so I walked up to the front of the stage, told him my name, reminded Sinbad that I used to teach his daughter piano, and proceeded to sing “The Very Thought of You.” A cappella! This seemed the safest bet because I didn’t have to hit any really high notes without knowing that I had picked the right key and would definitely make it, nerves and all. I was ecstatic that I managed to get through my 30 second time slot without my voice quivering or my face belying the absolute panic and terror that was going on inside me. I am just proud of myself that even though I hadn’t performed in front of an audience for about four years (my daughter is almost 3 1/2) and I was painfully sober, and this was totally impromptu—with no idea what to sing or how it would come out, I just did it! After doing that, my impending performance as Queen Esther in the Purim Play at Temple Aliyah should be cake! I feel inspired by watching all those incredibly talented artists sharing their gift. I will push myself to do the best I...

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Tarte Asian Yogurt – Weight Watchers Power Food, 3 PointsPlus

Fav new yogurt! 2x the protein of regular yogurt and 2x the calcium of the leading Greek yogurt. They had samples at Gelsons the other day, and I was hooked. I probably wouldn’t have tried it if I had read that it was sweetened with Stevia—not my sweetener of choice. They use a slow cooking process that caramelizes the natural sugars found in milk. The wonderful thick, silky texture and slightly tangy flavor makes them deliciously satisfying. I find the other light yogurts very fake-tasting and overly-sweet, and I can actually feel the chemicals sliding down my esophagus! I’m partial to The “Original” and Strawberry & Guanabana (whatever that is!) flavors. If you like Pinkberry frozen yogurt you will definitely be a fan of these! Read how they were inspired by their mom’s homemade, Southeast Asian style yogurt >>  Try it and let me know what you...

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Vegas Confessions & Light ‘n Easy Matzo Ball Soup

Confession I came to look up the points values of the Matzo Ball in an attempt at distracting and preventing myself from having another one—and then ended up doing an entire blogpost on it. I guess it worked because I was too busy typing to eat any more. This is only day three back on plan since our trip to Las Vegas for a family Bar Mitzvah. I’m happy to report that I did manage to pull it together before Vegas and felt pretty good in my silk dress. But, while my husband was hanging out with his family and gambling, I was babysitting the toddler and inhaling the Top Deck (South African chocolate) that we took with us.   Can you believe that he had the chutzpah to ask me how I managed to eat most of the slab while we were there. He “only got one piece.” I guess if I was out hanging and gambling I would also only have had one piece! Just kidding—I take full responsibility for everything I ate. And since it was his family, of course he should be hanging out while I babysit. Only a few more years of this anyway, right? But since tomorrow night we are off to see an INCREDIBLE show at the NAMM Music show for Yamaha’s 125th anniversary—Elton John, Chaka Kahn, Toto, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael McDonald and more—I need this to be a really good food day. (Probably wasn’t the best choice to drink all that sodium… oh well!) I got strict instructions from my hubby to look “hot and sexy”, so I will be sucking myself into my skintight black pants and hoping for the best! The Matzo Ball Growing up in South Africa, I couldn’t wait for Pesach (Passover) because that meant Auntie Phyllie’s Matzo Balls—which we called “Knaidlach.” When I moved to Los Angeles in 1995, I was ecstatic to discover that you could order a bowl of matzo ball soup all-year-round at the famous Jerry’s Deli. For a whopping $8.95 (crazy) you get a humongous matzo ball with chicken, carrots and noodles. (I usually order it without the noodles.) I used to think that matzo balls were really fattening. Probably because back home they were made from scratch with lots of chicken fat! (At least, that’s what I thought.) But, turns out that a Manischewitz Matzo Ball is only 2 PointsPlus values. Well, actually only 1 point if you make little mini balls like they direct you to on the box. Not for this cowboy! I think a happy medium between the tiny ones and the huge ones at Jerry’s Deli is...

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Turkey Pickle Rollups
Jan23

Turkey Pickle Rollups

Roll your favorite cold cut around a pickle for a delicious, healthy, high-protein, low-carb snack. Try Boar’s Head All Natural Roasted Turkey Breast. (See Fav Food Finds >>) Add blueberries and tomatoes for a healthy and satisfying lunch. All Weight Watchers Power Foods. (Except for the tiny bit of Fat Free Thousand Island Dressing, which I personally don’t count!)   For a change, substitute Columbus Rotisserie Style Chicken Breast from Trader Joe’s. And use Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper or Eggplant Hummus instead of Thousand Island Dressing. Or Trader Joe’s new Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus for a bit of a kick. See Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods & PointsPlus values) >> The sky is the limit! Turkey Pickle Rollups 2013-08-05 17:26:46 Serves 1 Write a review Save Recipe Print 190 calories 5 g 76 g 6 g 27 g 1 g 205 g 1090 g 4 g 0 g 4 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 205g Servings 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 190 Calories from Fat 57 % Daily Value * Total Fat 6g 10% Saturated Fat 1g 5% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 3g Monounsaturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 76mg 25% Sodium 1090mg 45% Total Carbohydrates 5g 2% Dietary Fiber 1g 5% Sugars 4g Protein 27g Vitamin A4%Vitamin C1% Calcium6%Iron11% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients Boar's Head All Natural Roasted Turkey Breast, 4 slices (medium thickness) Kraft Fat Free Thousand Island Dressing, (1 tablespoon = 1/2 PointsPlus) French's Classic Yellow Mustard 1 - 2 Kosher Dill Pickles (our fav brand is Safeway) Instructions Slice pickle lengthwise into quarters. Lay the pickle at one end of the turkey slice. (Make sure the deli doesn't slice them too thin or they will fall apart.) Spread the pickle with a strip of mustard and a strip of Fat Free Thousand Island dressing. Roll up and enjoy! By Orna beta calories 190 fat 6g protein 27g carbs 5g more OrnaBakes...

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Boar’s Head All Natural Roasted Turkey Breast

Oven roasted with sea salt and organic sugar. No preservatives; free of Nitrates and Nitrites. Delicious and very natural tasting—like you roasted a turkey breast yourself. And you don’t feel like you inhaled a pound of salt! Visit boarshead.com for nutritional info I discovered it at Gelsons, but I’m sure you could find it at most upmarket grocery stores. Roll around a pickle for the perfect snack. (Weight Watchers Simple Start, Simply Filling Technique, Weight Watchers Power Foods.)   Click here for how to make Orna’s Turkey Pickle Rollups >>  ...

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Taco Turkey – Baked Potato or Salad Topper
Jan17

Taco Turkey – Baked Potato or Salad Topper

I was introduced to Tacos—and Taco Seasoning Mix—by my hubby, Sam. I don’t know if things have changed in the almost twenty (gasp!) years since I left South Africa, but back then there weren’t any Mexican restaurants, let alone seasoning mixes in the grocery stores. In fact, when my dad was here visiting last week, we took him to our favorite Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, Sol Y Luna, and he trying to persuade the waitress to get the owner to open one in Johannesburg. (I’m not sure if it’s because the food was so delicious, or because she looked just like—and was as bubbly and vivacious as—Sophia Vergara.) So, for my friends around the world—here’s an easy way to recreate those delicious Mexican flavors, and it’s healthy to boot! I used to make a version of this using ground beef or turkey and Taco Bell or McCormick’s Taco seasoning (which you can of course use if you’re strapped for time.) Then I found a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best Recipes for Ground Beef Tacos, using real ingredients. I lightened it up with turkey and changed up a few other things, making this version fresher, more delicious, and much healthier than those sodium-loaded packages. Orna’s Taco Turkey For husband/family, serve with: Baked Potatoes Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scrub two large russet potatoes. (Or more if required.) Dry with a paper towel. Rub all over with olive oil, lightly. Sprinkle all over with Lawry’s Seasoned salt. Bake directly on the middle shelf for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Put a baking sheet or foil, or even better an oven protector pad on the shelf below. I just got one and I LOVE it! (Chef’s Planet Non-stick oven liner. They make one for the microwave too.) Toppings Avocado, finely chopped Shredded iceberg lettuce Tomato, seeded and finely chopped (cut across the equator and remove seeds before chopping) Shredded Mexican Cheese, regular or light Hot sauce Adjust amounts as required. I prefer to just eat it over a green salad dressed with olive oil, seasoned rice vinegar, salt and pepper, for a high-protein meal. Or sometimes I make a sweet potato or yam for myself; just prick with a fork—no need to oil or season; bake alongside the potatoes; take it out after about 45 minutes. Inspired by Ground Beef Tacos in Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best Recipes, Dawn Yanagihara (November 2012) Taco Turkey 2013-08-05 17:23:47 Serves 4 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 25 min Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 25 min 324...

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