Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tea and Superfoods for Turkey Day, Please

The Writing Gourmet

Back in the fifities, I experienced a Thanksgiving dinner to cherish... I was a fifth grader living in a Dennis the Menace-type perfect suburbialand. My mom, a bakeress with talents, cooked the day before and the day of the big event. In the late afternoon our fun-loving relatives joined us. We all sat by the fireplace(s), watching movies on TV, talking and playing with the dog. Then, dinner was served in the dining room. On a glass table (which I now have in my dining room) was a beautiful display of rolls, vegetables, cranberries, mashed potatoes, dressing, turkey on a platter, pumpkin and pecan pies. My father carved the turkey. We ate. We laughed. We enjoyed our huge turkey feast like pilgrims. It was a picture-perfect day--a true Food Network-Hallmark Channel movie...
These days, I know that on the big screen and in real life sometimes Thanksgiving days and dinners aren't always picture-perfect. In the film "The Accidental Tourist" the sister character under cooks the bird. But there are other accidents I remember mega and now I have tagged these "turkey day fowl ups"...

* At 17, at the dinner table complete with a traditional stuffed turkey I rebelled and announced "I'm a vegetarian." My mother cried. My father yelled. My brother made funny faces.
* At 21, I (a Californian hippie chick) was stranded on the road with my dog. We were stuck in a Wyoming blizzard. Cold, wet and hungry we watched strangers pass us by.
* At 28, I was struck by a nasty flu bug. I couldn't eat anything--not even turkey soup.
* At 35, my boyfriend made the turkey dinner. We got into a silly guy-gal argument. He wrapped up the cooked bird in foil and drove it home in his BMW. I was turkey-less.
* At 46, I cooked a big turkey but I was afraid of getting food poisoning for not cooking it long enough. The end result: the tough, dry bird was dumped into the garbage.
* At 50-something I didn't want to do the Turkey Day thing so I rebelled (again). I ordered a veggie pizza and tipped the pizza guy. 
Ditto for November 22, 2018. Thin crust, whole wheat organic and in the freezer. Two slices with hot tea...cuddle up with the dog, cat and watch disaster-thriller movies.
*At senior time? Completing book #9; preparing for trip to Anchorage, Alaska. No bird on the table. Tea and veggies, please.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Clean It Up the Green Way: Essential Oils, Vinegar, Tea!

Vinegar, Tea, Essential Oils
Recipes from the Healing Powers Series

1. TEA AND CITRUS WINDOW CLEANER--Wash Windows: If your windows have dust, smears, and smudges, you don’t have to use harsh window cleaners. Put 1 cup of brewed white tea with 1 cup of water into a clean plastic spray bottle. Add 1 drop of lemon or orange essential oil. Shake well. Spritz and wipe clean. Not only is it natural, you’ll reap the reward of antibacterial properties and refreshing fragrance of the citrus oils.

2. WHITE TEA AND TEA TREE OIL TOILET CLEANER--Bathroom Bowl: Using 2 tablespoons white tea leaves (ground fine) with 1 drop each of tea tree and lavender essential oils in the sink and/or toilet bowl can help to fade stains and it does act as a disinfectant, too. Both tea and oil will clean and provide a clean aroma. Let the tea sit for a few hours, rinse or flush. Repeat as needed.

3. LEMON OIL AND SOAP ENAMEL CLEANER—Scrub with Green Cleaners: To clean an enamel sink or toilet, try and all-natural homemade lemon scrub. Combine 1 drop lemon essential oil with ½ cup all-natural laundry soap. Use the mixture and scrub, let rest for 15 minutes. Flush. You will clean stains and enjoy a citrusy scent.

4. VINEGAR AND ORANGE OIL ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER—Counter tops: Use vinegar and orange. In a spray water bottle, add 1 drop orange essential oil, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and fill it up with tap water. This can be used to clean kitchen and bathroom counter tops, inside the microwave, and on top of the oven. The vinegar and oil cuts through the dirt and grease, fights germs with its antibacterial properties, and leaves a fresh, citrus scent.

(Pre-order for December! Household chapter!)
5. LEMON OIL AND VINEGAR WINDOW WASH—Windows Indoors and Outdoors:  Cleaning windows with an ammonia-based cleaner works, but the aroma is less than desirable. Try making your own window cleaner: mix 1 cup water, ½ cup white vinegar, and 1 to 2 drops lemon essential oil. It works, perhaps not as perfect as a streak-free strong commercial cleaner, but its fragrance makes up for a streak or two.

6. VINEGAR AND LAVENDER FLOOR CLEANER—No-Wax Linoleum: To wash no-wax linoleum, add one-half cup of white vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water. Add 1 drop lavender essential oil. Your floor will be sparkling clean thanks to the antibacterial compounds of vinegar and essential oil and boast a fresh, floral scent, too!
Adapted from The Healing Powers of Vinegar: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Most Remarkable Remedy, Revised and Updated Third Edition (Kensington, 2016);Adapted from The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Favorite Function Foods (Citadel, 2019) by Cal Orey; Adapted from The Healing Powers of Tea: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Special Remedy (Citadel, 2018) by Cal Orey

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Healing Powers Series: Essential Oils is Published! Due Out Next Month!

By Cal Orey

UPDATE: It's here, almost! The Healing Powers of Essential Oils #8 is published and en route to me. It will be released Dec. 31, 2019.
Currently, I'm finishing #9 The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices. And a surprise trip to Alaska is coming up!  Take a look at what I was doing a few years ago with the Healing Powers Series...

Two days before fall, and two weeks before my birthday some good news happened about my 
Healing Powers series...For starters, my favorite book, The Healing Powers of Tea, number 6, will be released the day after Christmas--most likely I'll have advance copies a bit sooner on my doorstep (most likely covered with snow).

Next up? Currently, I'm on a new Healing Powers series adventure, book number 7, and having fun. A lot. Not only am I learning new things everyday, as I continue to write and research, it feels like being a time traveler of sorts as I weave stories from the past and present-day with experience--one of the perks of aging.

Come November an installment of the book in progress will be sent to my book editor, and in March this book will be written and out the door before spring. A bit of a break...to enjoy real life.

And then, a new Healing Powers series book, 8. This is an exciting topic, one is a surprise and that will make me and readers smile and feel good from head to toe. So, as we edge near 2020, I have the knowledge and blessings that the Healing Powers series is timeless, alive, and growing and I owe it to one specific topic, one book that came my way via destiny and timing. 

Back in 1999 it was the 60,000 word book on vinegar that ignited the collection that has grown for almost two decades. Today, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, third edition, is still the book of choice by people around the globe, followed by Honey and Olive Oil counterparts. And I have faith in Tea--the new book with heart.

'Tis the season, to cozy up, get cooking, baking, and stay healthy with rustic recipes, home cures, and so much more from the Healing Powers collection with something for everyone whether you're 25, 50, 75 or somewhere in between like me.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The 21st Century REAL Superfoods: Cheese, Pasta, Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Wine

The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide to Nature's Favorite Functional Foods
By Cal Orey

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Discover the Powers of Tea for Your Body and Mind--Wellness in a Cup

Wellness in a Cup—
Discover the Benefits of Tea for Your Body and Mind!
The Healing Powers of Tea:
A Complete Guide to Nature’s Special Remedy

It picks you up and calms you down, warms you and refreshes you. With black, white, red, green, and herbal varieties, there’s a tea for every taste, and now this time-honored superfood is trending as the drink of choice for health-conscious people of all ages and cultures. (Discover 10 Tidbits to Sweeten the Pot, page 14)
This fascinating book boils down the rich history of tea—as well as the ever-expanding list of health and weight loss benefits found in its leaves. (Learn about Milestones of Past and Present Uses of Tea, pages 26-27)

Discover how black and white teas are heating up the beverage world with antioxidants and nutrients that lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and fight off inflammation, viruses, and bacteria. (Find out more about tea-fighting perks for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, pages 51-54)
Learn how age-defying spa treatments made from tea can soothe your skin, soften your hair, and give you an all-over glow and peace of mind. (Enjoy the Beau-tea-ful Possibilities with a tea-infused spa treatments you can do at home! Pages 192-199)
Stir up over 50 home cures to give yourself more energy, less stress, treat the common cold, insomnia, and more! (A super A-Z guide for folk remedies using a combination of teas in the comfort of your home, pages pages 156-184)
Enjoy comforting and tea-licious recipes like Warm Scones with Jam and Devonshire Cream, Assorted Finger Sandwiches, Scrumptious White Tea Scallops, and Russian Tea Cookies paired with the perfect brew – hot or iced. (Love a Tea Menu-style collection of healthy recipes, pages 238-274)
Better health is just a sip away. With The Healing Powers of Tea (sweetened with lively stories) you’ll learn the hottest tips to improve your health, boost your brain power, and even clean your house! (Fill up your heart with emotions in the beginning of each chapter by reading a story that’ll warm your heart, make you laugh, cry, and feel inspired—all with the amazing powers of tea.)

Take 3, Alaska Trip--On or Off? Author Ponders Going or Canceling

Cal Orey

Tahoe in autumn
Take one was canceled due to a 100 mph storm; take two a 7.0 earthquake was enough to spook me.  I'm booked to go in December, third attempt. Here, this is the first seed of my goal to go to Anchorage, Alaska...

Here I sit on Saturday night in the comfort of a Tahoe rustic cabin older than I am--and I am filled with a mixed bag of emotions. Soon I will be on my way flying in a jet plane (more than one) to Alaska. This wasn't one of my fantasies, not really. Well, in my twenties I almost hitched and hiked to Homer (during the pipeline days and time of nomads in search of America) but I ended up in other states and Canada...sweet Canada a place I like to think of as my semi-second home.
In the past decades, I've written about Alaska--its big earthquakes including the great one in 1964--and have accurately forecasted shakers throughout the shaky state...and now? Now I am close to going there--a place I saw in the film "Insomnia" and how Al Pacino's character fought the daylight so he could get some much needed shut-eye...

Go Somewhere Exciting Instead of Canada 
It began by a sibling's dare to go somewhere exciting. Once Barnes and Noble in Anchorage, Alaska invited me for a book signing it was a sign for me to go to a place foreign to me. After all, I do live in a nature-oriented place called the Sierra; it's just another extension of bears, birds, water, and down-to-earth people, right?  A little bit like that. And I admit I have fell into watching the Alaskan Vet on "Animal Planet" and viewed a program of folks buying homes in the Alaskan wildnerness.
So, why do people get excited and nervous before going on trips? Is it because we are going out of our comfort zone? Is it because we relinquish control to whatever is out there in the world? Is it because we leave our safe place and loved ones behind? It's probably a combination of all of the novelty.

But traveling is good for the soul. I notice a glow in my skin before I go on a journey--truly! Not so sure the dog and cat are glowing but they do not know yet that I will be leaving soon. No luggage is out and I'm sort of behind the hustle bustle pre-trip mode. The obstacle course has been completed, though: vet check for dog, cat; dentist, doctor...all done. We are healthy and getting many of the ducks in a row. Emails are coming in from different places, including the airline, bookstore, nature tour and so it goes.

And, let's face it. The trek is a long one. It's not a direct flight because I do live in the mountains. It will be a very long day for me to go from Tahoe to Alaska via Nevada, Utah, Washington--and then the red state. But once I'm there I sense all will calm down in this busy mind of mine. Two years ago this time I flew to Montreal and took a train to Quebec City...Decades ago I hitchhiked from the Golden State to Montreal and freaked from cultural shock but vowed to return...I did it. 
So this north to Alaska trip should be a walk in the park. Sort of.  No, I have not told the Aussie. I just don't have the heart to tell my better half we will be separated for a bit. But I did tell him no matter what I'll always be back for him and never leave him alone. That's a promise.

Monday, November 11, 2019

It's Mid-November and I'm Thinking December Foods

By Cal Orey
Hello snow and and comfort cobbler! Made with fresh apples and covered with biscuits (or a crumble), this is a sweet-and-savory dish is to live for on cold pre-winter nights and chilly mornings at Lake Tahoe. While the old-fashioned dessert is popular in America, a country where apples are the pick of the crop,  time after time, it works for me, a Californian native.
One summer, I was on the road back home to San Jose. It was my mission to go to a Barnes and Noble bookstore and sign copies of my book “The Healing Powers of Coffee.” At home, I tried to pre-book a room at a fancy hotel. But mention of a “convention” hit me while on the phone. I thought it was a sign to be spontaneous and find an impromptu place. After the signing, looking for a hotel with room service — blueberry waffles and gourmet coffee was my dream — turned into a Hitchcock-type nightmare.

Hours and hours of driving in circles and “No Vacancy” from the Silicon Valley to San Bruno haunted me. By midnight, I ended up in Sunnyvale (I think) in a nondescript, crowded motel. I was dog-tired and petless; I slept like a princess. In the morning, I stumbled half asleep downstairs to a buffet breakfast: warm java with cream in plastic cups, a ripe banana and a cold Danish. I was homesick for home-cooking and my warmhearted critters.
This week, the second week of December, at the crack of dawn thanks to the pup, I brewed a cup of caramel-flavored coffee. It was hot with organic milk. Then, I whipped up a apple cobbler. It was heavenly to smell spices lingering in the kitchen as the cobbler baked in the old-but-charming black oven in the 1946 cabin.

1 cup Heart Healthy Bisquick mix
1 cup organic, 2 percent, reduced-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons European-style butter, cubed
2-3 cups fresh fruit, sliced (Granny Smith and Fuji apples or blackberries)
Raw sugar and cinnamon (to taste)
Stir Bisquick mix, milk and nutmeg in ungreased round baking cake pan. Add fruit. Place butter on top. Spoon medium sized circles of batter on top. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 45-55 minutes or till golden brown. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Stir together Bisquick mix, milk and nutmeg in ungreased round cake pan. Stir in butter until blended. Stir together sugar, cinnamon and peaches; spoon over batter. Serve warm with all natural vanilla ice cream. Makes 4 servings.
Once the cobbler was baked, I cut a small slice right out of the oven. There’s something about fruit and biscuits that made me feel warm and fuzzy. The dollop of whipped cream made the cobbler sweeter. A good night’s sleep on a trip without critters is amazing. But I’ll take my alarm clock pup, meowing kitty any day.