EY are in the forefront of bringing about Gender Parity – keeping the discussion and change actions going!

The panel that our son James and I were on at EY with EY leadership and Charlotte Guyman, Board member on Berkshire Hathaway,  has caused a stir! Thanks to EY who keep this conversation and change actions going!


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Bread making – what joy! Here is the recipe for family togetherness – don’t only break bread – make bread!

I know a few posts ago I told you about making bread with the grandchildren – well I finally got the video to work and wanted to share it with you. Such fun – and I could not be happier!

Challah 2

Making bread is really easy – and so fulfilling. Here is the best recipe I have ever had for Challah ( egg bread):

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional) ( our children do not like them but we do!)


  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. This is great fun for the children as they call out the numbers of the cups as we add them.
  2. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. This is where the REAL FUN comes in – the dough benefits from lots of kneading and as you can see from the video its a giggle for all of us.
  3. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
  4. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board.
  5. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky.
  6. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Each of my grandsons had his own ball and divided the ball into three and learned how to braid the bread
  7. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  9. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.
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Had an amazing experience at EY Entrepreneur of the Year Strategic Growth Forum 2015

I had the privilege to serve on a panel on Gender Equity and Parity with Charlotte Guyman, Director on Berkshire Hathaway, as well as Stephen Howe Chairman and Managing Partner EY USA and Uschi Schreiber Global Vice Chair Markets EY – and most remarkably, our son James. It was the first time a mother and son were on an EY panel together and certainly the first time when not from the same company. It was a magical moment – both because of the topic which is dear to my heart, and which all members of the panel have shown leadership in, and because I am so very proud of our son and his accomplishments. How blessed we are. Note there are two clips – one with James speaking and one with me speaking along with Charlotte, Stephen and Uschi.


We also had a really fun time! EY certainly know how to throw a party for thousands of CEO’s and families – amazing on every level!

Jame Clive and larraine at EY SGF 2015

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Weird but worth trying! Banana Tea!

I tried this – and it tasted good – and has no calories I LOVE bananas – we grow them – but they are pretty high in calories if you have more than one.

This tea is supposed to help you sleep. I have no trouble sleeping so do not know if it helped or not but it sure was tasty. If you must ( adds calories) you could add one tbsp of brown sugar but it really does not need it.

Banana Tea ( only use ORGANIC BANANAS as there are no pesticides on them)

  1. Boil water. Cut off both ends of banana and place in water. Boil for about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour water through colander and into mug. Drink one hour before bed.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also eat the banana and its peel an hour before bed. For an extra flavor kick, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Below are just some of our crop of bananas – yummy!

Bananas Little farm 2015

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Halloween is always such fun! This year was no different – just better! And a quick slow cooker vegetarian recipe!

The grand-kids start preparing weeks in advance – such excitement! Here they are – and of course we got into it too. Last year we were Mustard and Ketchup – this year we were – (what else!) Hot Dog and Cheeseburger! Here are the four boys ( cops and wild man  Jack in mask with robber parents)

James Donne Jack Jonah NOah Gabe Halloween Oct 2015

Are these two so cute or what?

Noah and Gabriel Halloween 2015

Slow Cooker Curried Vegetables on Couscous  – beyond easy!


  • 4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled baking potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 cups cubed tomato (about 1 1/2 pounds) ( we grow our own but you could use canned tomatoes in puree if you wish)
  • 1 cup chopped onion ( I like white sweet onions)
  • 1 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot ( I like the baby ones as they are sweeter)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( we leave this out as we do not like spicy stuff)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained (  I do not like chickpeas so I exchange beans red or white or black for this)
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 green onion tops, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups hot cooked couscous
  • 6 tablespoons mango chutney ( we make our own)
  • 6 tablespoons raisins
  • 6 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt ( we make our own from our goats milk)

Mango from Little Farm

Above mango from The Little Farm


  1. Place potato in a 4-quart electric slow cooker. Combine tomato and next 9 ingredients (through garlic) in a bowl; stir well. Spoon over potato. Cover and cook on LOW for 9 hours. Stir in cilantro and green onions. Serve over couscous; top with chutney, raisins, and yogurt.
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Getting cooler – time to bring out the Slow Cooker! And making bread with the grandsons!

I LOVE making bread with my grandsons –  such fun kneading it just a few Fridays ago! Lucky me! Fortunately throwing the dough around to pick up the pieces helps it taste even better! Clean hands for all little boys and Grandma are essential of course before starting!Challah for shabbatRound challah

And a great slow cooker recipe – easy and gooyd for this time of year. We leave off the red pepper as we do not like spicy stuff – but dont have to!

Slow Cooker Turkey and Oranges


  • 3 cups thinly sliced red onion (1 large onion)
  • 3/4 cup riesling or other slightly sweet white wine
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice (2 large oranges)
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade ( we make our own)
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste ( most specialty markets have this but if you cannot find it you could leave it out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (we leave this out)
  • 3 3/4 pounds bone-in turkey thighs, skinned ( only organic of course)
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder ( Chinese spice – most markets have it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh Satsuma mandarin orange sections (about 7 oranges) (If you cannot find Satsuma – you can use any other sweet oranges you have – we love the small clementines which we grow that are divinely sweet – below are navels)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Sliced green onions (optional)



  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a 5-quart oval electric slow cooker.
  2. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Sprinkle turkey with five-spice powder and salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add turkey; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Place turkey in a single layer over onion mixture in slow cooker, overlapping slightly. Add orange sections. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
  3. Remove turkey from slow cooker. Remove bones from turkey; discard bones. Place turkey on a platter. Pour cooking liquid and orange sections into a medium saucepan, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Combine reserved cooking liquid and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into orange mixture in saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until sauce thickens.
  4. Serve sauce over turkey. Sprinkle with green onions, if desired.




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Saying hello to a new rescue dog – Goldie – an American Staffordshire Terrier/Pointer mix – so grateful to be free of a kennel in which she spent her entire 6 years….free at last!

We are so excited to have a new member of the family – we found her in a crate ( too small for her) at Pet Smart a few Sundays ago – and a more grateful intelligent dog we have yet to have! Our trainer tells us that this breed is the most intelligent of all breeds he trains – like a 4 year old child. She had spent all of her 6 years in a kennel – and when she saw our farm – she was overwhelmed. She caught on to all the house rules and has bonded closely with both my husband ( more him than me – she is a girl after all) and is already beloved by all of us. Rescuing dogs is so gratifying for us and for them too – I hope you all consider it next time you think of adding a new one to your home.


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And finally in California it is cooling down – just a little – time for great recipes!

It has been a very long summer and I look longingly at my fall and winter clothes. Thank goodness I can wear some of them now! East coast travel is looking like lots of fun!

Spent a few days in Charleston – what fabulous restaurants and fun for a girlfriends weekend!

And now back to reality – some super easy slow cooker dinners – enjoy!

Slow Cooker Stew of Chicken

3 lb bone-in, skinless chicken thighs

Chicken thighs raw skinless




2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
2 tsp minced garlic
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 (12-oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips, rice, and lime wedges, for garnish

1. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp black pepper. In a skillet, brown chicken in oil for about 10 minutes.

2. Remove chicken to a platter. In a small bowl, stir together paprika, broth, salsa, garlic, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.

3. Line a large slow cooker with potatoes. Place chicken on top of potatoes. Cover with beans and top with broth mixture. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Sweet potatoes
4. Stir in bell peppers.

5. Leave to heat through for about 30 minutes.

6. Place chicken on platter and spoon potatoes and sauce over it. Sprinkle with cilantro. Add garnishes.

Serves 8




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The Sister Act – embarrassing but great fun – for my grand niece Natasha and her mommy Jacqueline – how we ever agreed to do this I will never know….

My sister and I agreed to do a little dance and act for Natasha ( her granddaughter and my grand niece)  – and here it is. It was a big celebration – we are at the age that embarrassment is irrelevant – joy and health are all that matter! And we had tons of joy that night and were both healthy and happy! It was REALLY Fun!


Larraine and Pamela – Sister Act

And some photos:

Larraine and Pamela Singing SISTERS at Natashas batmitzvah Montage Aug 2015


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Great times with family from all over the world and also with great friends

Good friends are as important and beloved family. And we are blessed to have both. We had an amazing vacation with another couple – lots of great food, wine and amazing vistas. Not crazy about the jet lag but the first few weeks were with family and that was also incredible. Here are some of the photos of times spent with London, Basel and LA family in Evian, Basel and on the road. Lucky us!

First Evian France – yes the same place where the water comes from and it DOES taste different and better than water everywhere else. It comes out of the faucet in certain places and is treated like a precious resource ( as water is now in California) with not a drop to be wasted.

Donne and james running in Evian Sept 2015 Clara and NOah Evian Sept 2015 Larraine and Clive in Evian with James and boys Family in Evian Sept 2015 Evian with family Sept 2015And now some fun times in Basel Switzerland where my niece and her family live. SUCH fun!

Jonah dancing in the lobby with cousin Clara.

Clara and Jonah dancing Basel Sept 2015


The London and LA cousins – the trolley station and pulling faces..all except for the oldest who knew better…Cousins funny waiting for trolley Basel Sept 2015


It rained so much while we were there – and it was COLD – by California standards that is. still the twins had fun in the rain on the swings in the park in Basel.

Twins on swings in basel Sept 2015

Basel is such a lovely city and so easy to get around. And we saw the RHINE SWIM where people put their clothes into a bag, and swim down the Rhine getting out some distance down the way where their friends meet them

Larraine Clive and all four boys in Basel great pic sept 2015Basel 2015 Montage on trolleys

James and Donne Basel gorgeous SEpt 2015

Jack and Grandma Sept 2015 Basel


Kids in Playground at Basel batmitzvah Sept 2015


London Basel LA MB Family at Batmitzvah

And finally a fabulous trip to Portugal and Spain with dear friends. Such fun – lucky us!

Segils and Simons in Caiscais Sept 2015


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