Hi there! I realized recently that my last “Blog” would almost already apply again to this year, as Spring is just over a month away! I need to keep up on these things…
It’s raining L.A., much to my great joy. I’m lucky to have a cozy home with a fireplace that has gotten a lot of use this last few weeks. Mostly what I’m feeling these days is gratitude for my life, my family, my friends, my health and just basic privileges in this world… especially when I think of the less fortunate. So much happens in our hectic lives, that I forget to look around and realize how much I have to be grateful for.
As you know, we’re heading back to the U.K. and Ireland in a couple of weeks, with the lovely Sharon Corr, of The Corrs! She and I are doing a co-bill, where we’ll each play a set and sit in on a couple of songs with each other, then at the end play several songs together with the band and feature our vocal harmonies. This should be really fun and something different… it’s good to change things up sometimes.
I will then head over to Paris (!!!) for one show with just my band and me. I’ve been trying to get back to Paris for a few years, and we’re finally going to get there…yay!! Come on over from Belgium or Denmark or The Netherlands and spend the weekend in Paris!! I am slowly branching out to other countries, as you can see, and we really look forward to visiting you there… and soon to many other places I’d love to visit.
I hope you all have a lovely end of winter season… stay warm and dry, and oh, how about a couple of book recommendations…??
I just read 3 excellent books:
Olive Kitterage, which came out awhile ago, Less, which I believe just won the Pulitzer and I’m just finishing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. All three are great reads… not without some tough sections, emotionally, but excellent books.
It’s almost Springtime!! Raining in L.A. today, but we need it and I love it.
We had such a wonderful tour in the U.K.!!! And now I’m home making beds and cooking again… driving children to playdates, doing laundry and writing another album (haha!). Seriously though, I do have some material to work on. Now comes the hard part… editing!! Any writer knows this phenomenon … 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration!! The reason it takes me so long to write an album, is I work on the lyrics until I love them. That can take awhile. The music and melody come much more easily, and I don’t write the lyrics first and fit them to the music… it’s the other way around, except for some gibberish that I try to decipher to find out what my subconscious wants this song to be about. Sometimes my subconscious has TERRIBLE ideas (!!!) however, and it’s my conscious mind that has to reject those old habits or clichés in the lyrics. I used to write at night — late into the night, but when you have children, everything shifts, as you know. Now it takes a lot more discipline to be creative. There is always a drawer to organize, or a closet to clean out. I’ve been “Kon Marie-ing” my house for the last year… I LOVE that book!! The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying. Everyone would benefit from this book!
I’m reading Pachinko right now, and am completely lost in the worlds of Korea and Japan…it’s a fabulous book.
Let’s talk about tomatoes now!! It’s a bit too early to plant tomatoes in L.A. — I’m going to wait at least 4 weeks, but then I’ll head over to Tomato Mania, where they have a pop-up sale of the seedlings. Those cute, innocent 4 inch plants will take over my backyard in 2 or 3 months!! Last season I bought 12 — I could barely keep up with those tomatoes, but it was wonderful. One of my favorite things to plant is many herbs. It’s wonderful to be making a bruschetta and just walk into the backyard and cut fresh Basil… no running to the store at the last minute! I also have Thyme on hand, for when I make Ottolenghi’s Very Full Tart, which I made 3 nights ago… a savory winter tart with yams, eggplant, zucchini, caramelized onions, feta, ricotta, etc… you get the picture. I love that cookbook, Plenty.
Next up, I’ll be opening for Jackson Browne on a handful of East Coast dates in May!! I’m thrilled to be going out on the road with him and his wonderful band, many of whom I’ve played with for years. I’ll bring Jim on bass and vocals, but otherwise will be playing with Jackson’s guys. Can’t wait!!
And after that, we’ll head to Spain and a couple of U.K. shows in late June and July!!. We’re also trying extremely hard to get a show in Paris while we’re out. There are so many details that I won’t bore you with, as to why it’s not easy getting a show there, but it will happen!! If it’s not on our July run, it will be in November, when we’re coming back to Europe. We’ll know very soon, and I’ll post it! We’ll announce the next European tour by early summer!! There are so many places I’d like to visit and play, including Chicago!! Haha!
We’ll be sending lots of songs from the latest tour, and we’re working on a new live album with songs so many of you are requesting!
I hope you survived the crazy weather in England, Europe and the east coast of the U.S.! We got out the night before the U.K. storm hit, so we felt very lucky.
Here’s a nice side dish recipe for Spicy Beet and Carrot Salad!
One large red beet (or whatever color they have).
One large carrot
One apple (any kind)
Cilantro (about 1/4 cup, chopped)
Lemon (1/2 squeezed)
Red chili flakes 1/2 teaspoon (or anything spicy that you have… could even be jalepeno or hot sauce)
Salt and Pepper
Grate the beet, carrot and apple. Add cilantro, lemon, chili flakes and some salt and pepper. Mix! Chill!
Enjoy your Spring, and I’ll see you out on the road somewhere!
Love and Peace,
New video from the UK! The Wildest Times Of The World shot in Milton Keynes!
I want to begin by saying how absolutely wonderful it was to tour again this year (last year, now!) in The U.K. What an amazing experience it was, again!! For those of you who didn’t see the choir performance from Gloucester, I’m including a link here (click the underlined text!)… enjoy it!
When I book these tours with my agent, I spend months preparing and thinking about the thrill of traveling, of playing songs for people who really listen or sing along, and these thoughts really inspire me. To have a tour to look forward to and plan for is one of my favorite things in life… I only wish we could visit so many other countries. Maybe when my son goes to college!! Until then, we’ll keep going where we can. I am grateful to you for showing up at the shows with your love and enthusiasm, and I’m incredibly thankful to still be able to do music as my job, thanks to you…which brings me to our next tour, right around the corner, in Germany! We are heading over for a couple of weeks at the end of April… can’t wait!! Some people ask me if I’m tired after the show, as I sit out at the merch table signing albums, etc., and my feeling is the same every night; it’s so wonderful to meet people in each city and to laugh with them or talk for a bit (and hug…ha!). I also learn a lot from these conversations… I hear your requests, and I truly appreciate the feedback. My wonderful friends, James Ralston (guitar) and Jim Hanson (bass) will be with me, as always, and we will have a drummer, as well, this time around. Check the website for dates!!
I just found out that we’ll be coming back for one week to London and a couple of other cities, as we’ve been invited to do a festival in July!! I’ll keep you posted with details. And the most recent touring update, is that we’re putting together another U.K. tour in February, 2018. I’m trying for another European tour in November of this year, as well. We’d love to get back to France, Spain, Belgium and so many other countries. There is even talk of going over to Japan, at some point in the next year… I haven’t been to Japan since I opened for Jackson Browne in 1996! 21 years ago! I also remember touring in Japan, when I was Rickie Lee Jones’ keyboard player/ background singer, in 1985 and 86’. I wrote a song called “Forward My Mail To Osaka”. (Haha!) I never recorded the song, but Japan had quite an impact on me. It’s incredibly eye-opening to go to a place so different from home… and I loved it.
I’ll keep you posted on that…
Ready for a new recipe??? I AM!! My sister-in-law was in town from Israel, and made this in my kitchen… it’s a great side salad. Let’s call it “Cabbage with Pine Nuts”.
Cabbage With Pine Nuts: (as discussed… haha.)
Cabbage, very thinly sliced (maybe use a mandolin – play it very quietly, and the cabbage will be thin.)
Toasted pine nuts about 1 Cup (buy raw and gently toast on stove — never take your eyes off of them — they burn if you look away (kind of like my ex boyfriend of 30 years ago). So about 2 minutes on medium/low heat, until golden and you hear Harps and Angels singing – Thank you, Randy Newman, for the reference.
Toasted sesame seeds About 3/4 of a Cup (same deal as above).
Soy Sauce 2 Tablespoons
Sugar 1/4 Cup (I know, it is a lot, but it works… or as Ina Garten says “How bad could that be??!!”
White wine vinegar 1/2 Cup
Canola or sunflower oil (or something similar) 1/2 Cup
Boil sauce ingredients for about 2 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved, then let cool for a bit.
Mix cabbage, pine nuts, sesame seeds, then pour cooled sauce over and mix. Enjoy!!
I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season, and are enjoying the colder weather… I am!! It’s finally raining in L.A. Yay! I realize how silly this may sound to some of you in Eastern Europe, or in Chicago — maybe I should move…? Haha!
There is so much going on in the world in politics, and I’d rather not get into it here, but I would like to say that, as always, I wish for peace for all, and for love to win, over everything.
Have a wonderful winter, and I will send more recipes soon!!
I’d like to welcome all of you who are new to my email list!! We had such a spectacular time touring in Germany and of course England, over the past few months. The tours leave me with such a good feeling of sharing music, seeing people sing along and even seeing tears in some peoples’ eyes. Writing can often be a lonely business, though very fulfilling. Sometimes I wonder if the music I’m doing will reach people, move people, uplift anyone… so to see the amazing reaction is truly gratifying and really keeps me going. Also, we get to meet you after the show and have a little chat! I was invited to someone’s house for dinner in Northern England… the women were so lovely, I almost took them up on their offer! Touring is such an adventure and a gift… a busman’s holiday. We get to see the world, sometimes one small town at a time — like Barton, England! Or Burgrieden! These are places I would never know existed, were it not for going on the road. Some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had was in Leeds, England, on a night off… just me and my journal, out for the evening. I have a section of restaurants I keep in my iPhone, for when we travel, and often will go back to some little Italian place in Düsseldorf, or in Paris. As you will soon find out… I love great food. (Who doesn’t??!) I’m not really a foodie (well, in my heart I am!), but I sometimes willcook a great meal. I’m working on a cookbook, which I’ll eventually publish, but in the meantime, I’ll be posting some fabulous recipes I’ve learned from sisters, friends, chefs, or that I’ve made up. Today’s recipe will be a Mexican Casserole! It’s a good way to use many vegetables that need to be cooked.
L.A. is getting some rain… yay! We need it, as you may have heard. My favorite thing to do is to light a fire after a good home cooked meal, and to read — no music on, just the rain. Looks like we’ll be getting many opportunities for bundling up and lighting fires… I know that some of you laugh, because you live in places where it’s freezing! But for us here, in L.A. rain and cold weather are novelties. It’s exciting!
The future holds many good things… I’m already writing a new album, we have a U.K. tour booked for October and are in the process of booking a Spring 2017 tour. Hoping for Ireland, Austria, Germany, Spain, etc…We’ll keep you posted! Maybe that cookbook will be finished by then! Please feel free to post recipes on my FaceBook page… I think all friends should share their best and favorite recipes… keep things interesting!
I realize that it’s a huge world and that there are so many countries we haven’t been able to visit or return to. As you know, the music business has changed dramatically, and we artists are doing our best to keep it all going, so I appreciate your understanding in this. When my son goes to college, I’ll probably tour a LOT more!
Here’s the recipe:
Prep time — 30 minutes
Cooking time — 30 to 40 minutes.
Red onion – one medium, diced.
Olive oil — 2 tablespoons
2 Zucchinis – medium, diced (about 2 cups)
Frozen corn or fresh about a cup (at least)
Black Kale or any leafy green vegetable, like chard, spinach, etc… chopped roughly. 2 cups
Two cans of organic, black beans, rinsed. Or if you can make your own, that’s better.
1/2 cup diced red, yellow or orange peppers
About a cup of shredded cheese – Mexican blend (or really any cheese) or cashew cheese or any vegan cheese, if you prefer.
Corn tortillas (it’s a bit of an extra step, but often Mexican restaurants will sell their fresh corn tortillas… very reasonably priced). You can freeze what you don’t use.
One container of fresh salsa (not from a jar). Or you can make your own – it’s very easy… just dice tomatoes, about 2 cups, mince 1/2 fresh jalepeno, dice 1/2 red onion, chop together with fresh cilantro, add a bit of crushed garlic, and a bit of lemon, salt and pepper. So much better than store bought. My friend Alejandra taught me this.
Sour cream, or vegan sour cream.
Preheat oven to 400º
Sautee onion in oil on low heat until soft 5 – 6 minutes
Add the zucchini and sauté until soft – 5 more minutes.
Add peppers, cook 2-3 minutes Add Black Kale, or leafy green vegetable – Sautee 2 minutes, until just mixed in.
Add corn Salt and pepper to taste.
Once the corn is added, just cook a couple of minutes.
In a casserole dish, rip up and lay down a layer of corn tortillas. Add a layer of salsa, then 1/2 of the beans and 1/2 of the cheese. Add 3/4 of the sautéed vegetable mixture.
Repeat with remaining ingredients, layer again… ending w/ last bit of cheese.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until bubbling hot.
Let it rest for about 15 minutes, before serving.
I serve this with sliced avocado, cilantro leaves sprinkled on top, dots of sour cream and hot sauce! (And great, green salad on the side.) Enjoy!!!
Looking very forward to meeting again, at some point, and until then a very Happy New Year to one and all, and may peace prevail on this gorgeous Earth we are so blessed to reside upon.