Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's the Most Buzzworthy Ice Cream?

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

It's hard being a worker bee and paying the rent. Read: Writer's Block has hit once again. Lifetime is not making me smile. It's too late to swim. The dogs have been walked. But the book, the big book in the works--The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington, October 2011)--in the study is calling my name: "Callie. Callie. Callie." I am trying to tune it out but the buzzing...the's not working...
So, here I sit rereading an ice cream blog post that I penned last July. Translation: The block is bad. The post was a ranking of the best chocolate ice cream. Today, I'm into chocolate and vanilla--a special kind, that is. So this year's winner, according to me the chocolatarian, is...

Vanilla Honey Bee. The carton reads: "Help the honey bees at the web site. After all, my worker friends pollinate one third of natural foods. That's the stuff I and you eat. The good stuff.
And, of course, as the author of The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010), I'm sitting here with a pint of Dark Chocolate Haagen Dazs and Vanilla Honey Bee--also by Haagen Dazs--and their awesome job of helping the honey bee. As a Libra, which do I indulge in is the question or do I go into the oh so l-o-n-e-l-y study and work, work, work. Such a decision. No wonder bees work in colonies.
Gosh, to think that last year this time I was in my worker bee mode and did a chocolate ice cream ranking test. This is a must read. Meanwhile, I think I'll ponder how I can relate to the sacred honey bee and/or nibble on both ice creams.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NEW Really Cool Chocolate Bars: Fruits & Herbs

By Cal Orey,

The Writing Gourmet

Wanna taste a yummy healthy dark chocolate bar infused with lots of good stuff? Stop looking because Enjou Chocolat's "A Taste of Health" Variety Pack has arrived on my doorstep and can be on yours, too. Yep, chocolate bars infused with chocolate's best friends...
As the author of the new book The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010), I have tasted dozens of dark chocolate bars--it was for research. My simple taste and working system worked like this. The dark chocolate bars (70% cocoa content is proven to be good for your brain to your heart and other body parts) that were both healthy and tasted good didn't last in my home. They were eaten by me, the sibling, or friends. Alas, the ones (and there were a lot) that boasted good health sadly missed the mark by tasting like cardboard, crayons, or worse. I put 'em in my file cabinet for a rainy or depressing day. One year later: They made it to the garbage can.
Back to the really good chocolate bars. Out of the five, I knew the one that would win my heart: Ginger Orange Peel...The Blueberry/Cranberry followed. And I have three more to go.
The Ginger Orange Peel was awesome. I love ginger. I love citrus. Combine these puppies with dark, creamy chocolate (Wendy, you got it going on with the texture and taste of chocolate unlike so many other bars I've put to the test) and you'll be soaring high in chocolate world. Yes, those feel-good mood-enhancing compounds blast the blues and bring on the mighty endorphins to do their job--no matter what kind of day hits you or challenges you face.
As I write in the chocolate book:
* Orange: Another immunity-enhancing citrus fruit, oranges are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B1, fiber, and potassium. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars...
* Ginger: Ginger root is a digestive aid, like tasty cinnamon...Best Choco Blend: It is used in dark chocolate bars.
And, and, and I still have the Goji Berry bar to go. We're talking wolfberry/goji which is a delicious fruit known for its positive effects on vision and the brain. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars.
Read: I'm on overload (think worker honey bee with six weeks to live) as I'm stuck writing/researching/tasting honeys from around the globe... that I so need this bar (more than one)! The bottom line: If you want something chocolate, something sweet, and something healthy, it's time for A Taste of Health. You'll get it in this five pack and it came in the nick of time for me. Thank you Wendy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Enjou S'Mores--Comfort Food During Hot Times

By Cal Orey,

The Writing Gourmet

We are experiencing a heat wave at Lake Tahoe. Like most Sundays, I swam today. But when I start to crave swimming in the lake (again)--that's a sure-fire sign that it's a cooker. Translation: No way is Callie cooking. But chocolate? Now, that's another story. Despite what some folks may think, chocolate can be savored in the good old hot summertime. But you have to know how to do it...

Enter Enjou S'Mores. Wendy, founder of Enjou Chocolat, sent me a package of chocolate delights. The S'Mores is a treat that I just had to try. Her web site describes it best: "An Enjou twist on a classic fave. A fluffy treat of marshmallow is sandwiched between two graham crackers and then covered in chocolate."
According to history, it may have been the Girl Scouts who created the first s'more back in the early 20th century. Nobody really knows for sure, though. Meanwhile, you can find these chocolatey-gooey treats at restaurants, make them yourself, or get them ready-made--like I prefer to do, especially when it's still in the 80s.
Sure, images of sitting around a campfire at the lake at nighttime making s'mores is a romantic image. And I was a Brownie as a kid. But personally, tonight, I'd rather chill at home by the fan(s); open windows, watch the film 2012--and munch on these ready-made goodies (no microwave needed). In fact, it's so warm that they're in the fridge. In an hour or so as the Earth's crust displacement starts; our golden state falls shakes and falls into the Pacific Ocean; and the Yellowstone Caldera blows... I'll take one of these chocolate delights out of the cold box and fix a glass of homemade lemonade to go with it.

Thank you Wendy. You're making my night a joy as I plan on playing hooky from writing my honey bee book and am going to watch the sci-fi doomsday film--complete with all the chaos. I'm glad these graham crackers are crunchy (but not too)--good stress releasing comfort food during nail-biting movies like, this one. These chocolate gems are superior DIY ones. No mess making 'em, no mess eating 'em because they are wrapped in creamy chocolate. What can I say? I'm a die-hard chocolatarian who thrives on good chocolate and bad disaster flicks. Yikes, my movie is on. "Subjects have now entered the 'hot zone'." OMG! Where are the s'mores?
P.S. In my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington,2010), I discuss how exactly both dark chocolate and milk chocolate (it boasts calcium) can help you to chill.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's Healthy Chocolate Today--And All Year Long!

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

I woke up this morning with honey on the brain. After all, it's my new book in progress and yes, I'm busy as a worker bee so I can share the latest honey health buzz. As I write The Healing Powers of Honey (October 2011, Kensington), I still am having a love affair with chocolate. So when I read that July 7 is Chocolate Day it brought back fond memories of the chocolatiers whom sent me chocolate via UPS. Ah, those were the sweetest days in the fall, winter, spring and summer...

Is it time you discover the amazing powers of chocolate. Did you know?...

* Known as Mother Nature's "food of the gods," the medicinal benefits of chocolate were recognized as far back as 4000 years ago.

* Eating chocolate can help boost the immune system, lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes--even obesity!--and increase lifespan.

* A 1.5 ounce bar of quality chocolate has as much antioxidant power as a 5 ounce glass of wine--without the side effects of alcohol.

* Chocolate is chock-full of mood-enhancng ingredients, including phenylethylamine (the "love drug") and serotonin.

* Chocolate can relieve a host of ailments, including depression, fatigue, pain and PMS, as well as rev up your sex drive!

Meanwhile, last night at my friendly Safeway I craved a healthy chocolate fix so I picked up a small package of gourmet dark chocolate truffles. As an author-intuitive I must have sensed that today was Chocolate Day. If you want to give you or someone you care about the belated gift of health, check out the link to one of my fave chocolatiers (everyone always ask me what the best chocolate is)... Today's chocolate of the day in my point of view and past experience(s) is...(drum roll): Lake Champlain Chocolates . Remember, chocolate can be a year-round gift for your health from head to toe.
[The Healing Powers of Chocolate by Cal Orey, published by Kensington, 2010--available at (delivered tomorrow!) as well as all online bookstores and your local bookstore]