One night when I was sixteen, I watched Marvin Hamlisch (composer of A Chorus Line, etc.) on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The previous guest was Adrienne Barbeau, the buxom actress who played Bea Arthur’s daughter on the sitcom Maude. I was appalled as I witnessed Hamlisch, seated on the couch beside her, stammer and fidget (eyes flitting repeatedly toward her massive chest) while more or less grovelling for a date on air. Despite his musical genius, despite his fame and fortune and an upcoming gig at the Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, it was painfully apparent that Hamlish reverted to a tongue-tied nerd when faced with a beautiful woman who, clearly, barely registered his existence.
As soon as I got up off the sofa and turned off the television (no remotes in those days), I went to my typewriter and typed a letter to Marvin. It said:
Dear Marvin Hamlisch,
Someone with your reputation shouldn’t have to lower himself to ask Adrienne Barbeau for a date. Obviously, she doesn’t appreciate your genius. If you ever come to Montreal, I would go on a date with you any time.
(Miss) Ricki Heller
I addressed it to “Marvin Hamlisch, c/o Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, USA” and popped it in the mail.
The following week, I received a handwritten letter on Marvin’s personal stationery. It said:
If I ever get to Montreal, you’re on.
Sometimes I think back on that letter and ask myself, “Wow, did I ever really have such audacity? Where did that starry-eyed insouciance go? And why didn’t Marvin ever call me for that date?”
Then I remember: oh, yeah. I was sixteen.
Well, dear readers, I’ve decided it’s time to dredge up my inner 16 year-old once again. And you can help!
Even at my advanced age, I’m still a pop culture groupie. I’ve been a fan of Ellen’s for as long as I can remember (almost as long as it’s been since I heard from Marvin). I love her even more now that she’s vegan and sugar-free–and I want to be on The Ellen Degeneres Show so I can bring her some amazing baked goods from my cookbook, Sweet Freedom!
[Elsie’s definitely on board! (or is that a little board on Elsie?)]
Am I a little bit crazy? You betcha!
As someone who’s followed a whole foods diet for over decade, I know first hand how much a healthy diet can affect your well-being (just look at the impact of the ACD on me over this past year!). Based on the cookbook’s reviews and all your fabulous feedback (thank you! thank you! My blog readers are the best!), I’m confident others will agree that treats from the book are both healthy AND delicious. What better venue to spread the word than The Ellen Show, especially since the show’s star herself has adopted–and now promotes–this same way of eating?
[“Here, Mum, you’ll need this to dance on the show.”]
Besides, I’d be a perfect guest for the show! We have so much in common, Ellen and I: She loves dogs; I love dogs. She eats a vegan diet; I eat a vegan diet. She’s sworn off sugar; I’ve sworn off sugar. She loves American Idol; I love American Idol. She’s gay; I’m—
She loves dogs; I love dogs!
And you can help! On April 2, 2010, I tweeted for an entire day nonstop, with every single tweet that day directed to @TheEllenShow–with NO laptop, NO BlackBerry, NO pre-scheduled tweets–just me sitting at my desktop computer, typing away (with the occasional bathroom break)! The major blitz is over, but I’d like to keep the campaign going!
[“Mum, I know you named me Elsie, but I think I’d like to be called Ellen from now on.”]
Together, we can make this happen! If you like my recipes and want to see me serve delicious, vegan and sugar free treats on The Ellen Show, please feel free to tweet Ellen at @TheEllenShow, or send an email in support by clicking here. You can also post a link to this page on your blog, Stumble this blog entry (just click on “I like this” at the top of the page if you see this on StumbleUpon), tell your local librarian, get a tattoo–whatever works!
And don’t forget to hop back here to leave a comment telling me you did so (so I can send you a free copy of the book if when I get onto the show)!
[But where’s Mum?]
If I get invited on the show, every single commenter who participates in this blitz will win a FREE copy of Sweet Freedom, the ebook , which is identical to the paper copy! (And isn’t giving away free goodies very Ellen-like of me?).
And even if I don’t get asked to appear on the show, I’ll still choose 10 names at random on Sunday–three people will win hard copies of the book, and seven will win ebook. It’s my way of saying “thank you” for all your support!
I think it’s a win-win-win. If Ellen invites me to her show, she’ll have the opportunity to try some amazing, healthy baked goods. I’ll get to fulfill the dream of a starry-eyed teenager (and, more recently, a starry-eyed menopausal blogger). And you will get a FREE copy of my cookbook–everybody wins!
Let’s make it happen! Let’s show the world what “grassroots marketing” really means! Let’s prove to all the aloof, disinterested corporations that even the little guy (okay, technically I’m not quite “little” yet–but 45 pounds is nothing to sneeze at) can drum up support for an independent project without a huge marketing budget! Let’s help Ellen discover some truly delicious sweets to eat on her sugar cleanse–and share them with the world! And let’s all go try out one of these raw cookie dough truffles right now! (Well, you’ll need a good source of quick energy for all that typing, I figure).
“Mum, that’s a great idea! And we know The Ellen Show would be lucky to have you. But, um, we are your usual kitchen helpers, you know. . . so does that mean we get to be on TV, too?”
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles (ACD-Phase II and beyond)
adapted from Vegan Epicurean’s recipe
As soon as I saw this recipe on Alicia’s blog, I knew I had to try it. The filling emulates a real raw cookie dough almost too well–gooey, sweet, chocolately. Except, um, it’s not bad for you! AND it’s ACD-friendly! Variations are endless, as well–in addition to the two provided, you could try banana cookie dough, gingersnap, or snickerdoodles–mmmm!
2 Tbsp (30 ml) raw cacao nibs or chocolate chips*
1/3 cup (80 ml) whole old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cook)
2/3 cup (160 ml) lightly toasted cashews*, walnuts, macadamia nuts or hazelnuts
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cinnamon, optional or 1/4 tsp (1 ml) mesquite powder
pinch fine sea salt
2 Tbsp (30 ml) yacon syrup or agave nectar
2 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
10-20 drops plain or vanilla flavored stevia liquid, to taste
1-2 Tbsp water or plain soy or almond milk, if needed
4 ounces (110 g) unsweetened chocolate
1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil
2 Tbsp (30 ml) carob powder, sifted (it helps cut the bitterness when unsweetened chocolate is stevia-sweetened)
20-30 drops stevia liquid, to taste
In a small food processor or coffee grinder, pulse the cacao nibs 3-4 times to chop them up. Turn the chopped nibs into a small bowl.
In the same processor or grinder, whir the oats, cashews, cinnamon and salt together to form a fine flour. Take care not to process too much–it should still remain dry and floury.
In a very small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the yacon, vanilla, stevia, and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water. Pour this over the mixture in the processor and process to form a soft “dough” (if you need more water, add it one teaspoon/5 ml at a time). Turn the dough into the bowl with the cacao nibs and stir to distribute the nibs throughout.
Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop the dough and place scoops on parchment-lined tray. Freeze until firm, then roll into balls; refreeze until solid.
Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate coating: In a small pot over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil and carob, whisking to ensure that no lumps develop. Whisk in stevia until smooth.
Once cookie dough balls are solid, remove from freezer and quickly dip them in the chocolate; roll them around if necessary. The coating should harden almost immediately. Remove with a fork and tap the fork on the side of the pot to remove most of the excess coating. Place truffles on a tray and refrigerate until firm. Store truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Makes 10 truffles. May be frozen.
* Some anti-candida diets veto cashews. If you don’t eat cashews, use one of the other choices. For ACD Phase I, you can use unsweetened carob chips instead of cacao nibs; omit the coating and just roll the balls in carob powder.
Carrot Cookie Variation: use 2 Tbsp (30 ml) dried unsweetened coconut in place of cacao nibs, walnuts in place of cashews, and 2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely grated carrot in addition to other ingredients. Reduce initial water to 2 tsp (10 ml).
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Post-Script: I realize this stunt may seem rather, well, adolescent to some of you (and to others, a clear indication that midlife crisis has struck with a vengeance). And after this post, I promise we’ll be back to business as usual here on DDD. But you know what? I still get a kick out of that letter from Hamlisch. So for now, I’ll once again channel that audacious sixteen year old, just for today. I figure, what have I got to lose? I’ll either be asked on the show; or I may be permanently banned from the show. Either way, the process will be fun.
And maybe–just maybe–that 16 year-old girl of yore will be surprised and delighted once more, with an opportunity of a lifetime. Here’s to healthy baked goods for all!
Last Year at this Time: Anti Candida Breakfasts: What Do You Eat?
© 2010 Ricki Heller