Friday, October 29, 2010

A Chocolatey Autumn Thanks To Christopher Norman

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

'Tis the cold season rich in falling golden and brown leaves and big orange pumpkins. It's the time chocolate lovers and chocolatiers make a connection--a chocolate link and rejoice. As the author of "The Healing Powers of Chocolate" (Kensington, 2010), I admit I miss the chocolate I was treated to during my research. And Christopher Norman Chocolates is one company that I will not forget.
Today, my fingers on the keyboard took me to their web site. The autumn chocolatey items are awesome: cats, pumpkins and leafs, oh my! If you open that sculpted dark chocolate pumpkin or leaf box you'll be greeted with four seasonal truffles. How warm is that?
Meanwhile, as I scrutinize the variety of autumn chocolates that grace the pages of Christopher Norman's site, I know from past experience that the palate won't be disappointed--mine or yours. Creative, original, chocolatey-delicious are words that are on my brain.
In my chocolate book, I discuss nine top-notch chocolatiers and this company in New York is one of them that is buzzworthy. Not only does Christopher Norman Chocolates play up seasonal chocolates but they are good to go year-round.Since autumn is my fave time, I can't help but enjoy the chocolate wonderland of creations. It's that time to put my order in and anticipate a fab chocolatey season.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Recession Food for the Haves and Have-Nots

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

Recently, I've been booked on upcoming radio shows such as "Turn Financial Fears into Cheers" to chat it up about money making hurdles as we Americans continue struggling on the bumpy Recession Recovery Road. I've never been a huge "have" but regressing to a penniless "have-not" as I was in graduate school and hitchhiking across America in the seventies, is not something I prefer to do (again). Been there, done that...
In the January 2010 issue of Oracle 20-20 Magazine, I forecasted that "the middle class will struggle to make ends meet and the "haves" and "have nots" will be more defined this year. Money issues will continue to affect all ages groups around the nation." And this prediction does ring true as we edge toward the end of the year.
More than 20 years ago. I fell into the health-nutrition writing genre. The cool thing is, hundreds of articles and many books later, I know how to eat and stay healthy during lean times. But other people continue to shock me by their ideas about eating when money is scarce. Some folks still believe that if money is tight that eating white rice and spam or hamburgers and fries is the way to fill up and survive.
There really is no need for me to dish out a recipe for cooking up brown rice and veggies. This is what is on the menu for tonight. Sauteed cruciferous vegetables, and tofu with cooked whole grain brown rice (with a bit of olive oil, herbs, and honey) should suffice. What's more, this can last for leftovers. Not only is it cheap and healthy, but it's so easy to put together and it's tasty. And you'll stay lean and heart healthy eating like this, too.
So, the question remains, why do people eat processed food (stuff in cans) when times are tough (or not)? Whole grains, seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, herbal teas--are some of the feel-good edibles. It's cheap eats, like these (including a dark chocolate truffle or full cup of a homemade latte), that enhances happiness while coping on Recession Recovery Road.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Time to Celebrate with Chocolatey Biscotti

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

I'm craving crunchy chocolate. Last week I purchased gourmet store bought traditional biscotti. It was yummy. To give it a lift I made frosting from scratch. I used a mixture of dark chocolate chips, 60 percent cocoa content), confectioners' sugar, half and half organic milk, and pure vanilla. Mix till the consistency is the way you like it--creamy. Yes, it was to live for. All gone...
So here I sit taking calls for the phone psychic network and watching a chick flick, "Obsessed." No wonder I'm craving chocolate. Another unrequited love call to unsweeten my mind. Okay, chocolate is on my brain. Yes, good chocolatey stuff is chock-full of mood enhancing ingredients, including PEA (the love drug) and serotonin (the get happy compound we need when it's gray and cold outdoors). It's time to turn to Gemma Sciabica's recipe for biscotti. She is the biscotti guru on the planet. Last week on the phone she promised me that these are easy to make and bake. See her cookbooks. I feel like I have a Julie and Julia connection--but Gemma is alive and likes me! (Her recipes are in my Healing Powers series (olive oil, chocolate) and in my upcoming brand new book, The Healing Powers of Honey (October 2011, Kensington).

* * *
Chocolate Biscotti

3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (3 ounces)
1/3 Marsala Olive Oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons rum liqueur
grated peel of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60-70 percent cocoa content)
1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped, small

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. Make well in center. In another bowl add eggs, melted chocolate, oil, juice, rum, peel, and vanilla, sir. Pour egg mixutre into flour mixture, stir until dough is well blended. Add chocolate chips and nuts. On floured board divide dough into 4 to 6 pieces. Shaped pieces into logs 2 by 12 inches long. Place on foil-lined greased baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven; cool about 15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into about 1/2-inch thick slices. Place biscotti, cut side down, on pans; bake 8 to 10 minutes to toast. Makes 60 to 70. Cool. Frost with chocolate frosting (white chocolate or dark).
Ah success. I just received a call, a repeat caller from the network. My intuition was correct! The young woman got her wish met for a challenging career-school goal. I am so happy. She succeeded as I sensed she would (along with my continual intuitive tips and advice). This calls for a celebration. She is so faraway in miles and my reading was spot on. It's time to make chocolate biscotti with dark chocolate frosting. The phone is ringing. It's going to be a long night. I sense it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Sensitive Dishes It Out: "I Feel Your Heartburn..."

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet
So, how in the big cruel world did I, a health-cookbook author-"quake sensitive" end up being a part-time phone "eight ball" for an international phone psychic network, anyhow? Blame it on the Great Recession hit (yes, I predicted it as others did back in 2007). In the winter of 2009, I called a psychic (or 10) to ask questions about my work as a writer. The answers were off the mark...
Then, one pre-spring day I thought, "For years, I've been dishing out quake predictions and getting credit for "hits" on national radio shows. Reading people and their challenges that rock their world is no different." The rest is history.
These days, on the job I tune into the faraway caller around the globe. Once I hear a voice it sets the stage. Often I can pick up if the call is from the West Coast, East Coast, Canada,Trinidad, New Zealand or Australia. It's not always the accents. It's my animal-like intuition that kicks in from the get-go. But there's more.
I use the planets as a baseline, lunar cycles (emotions and calls soar during the New and Full Moon), and a tarot card (or two) to get an objective read which often coincides with what I've picked up with my gut instincts. As a super sensitive I can read a caller's woes by tuning into their voice, energy, and words. I get cues within a minute or two of their, age, sun sign, and issue(s) why they're ringing me.
Yeah, I can feel vibrations. Both callers and myself are often surprised that I know things, such as if they have a toothache or heartache. The most common problem, however, I am faced with, is unrequited love--and this hurts. How do you say, "he or she isn't that much into you?" especially when the caller's ego is wounded, fears being alone or the unknown. Part of me wants to play Mayer Hawthorne's song, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out" while I drink a cup of peppermint tea to soothe my empathy pains of the caller's heartburn.
But I offer advice and words of preparedness for upcoming events (even if a caller can't see it yet). I tell it like it is (yes, I do get images, words, feelings like I do before an oncoming quake) because saying good things doesn't always bring good results. It's like saying, "A quake won't hit" when I'm looking at the USGS map watching an aggressive swarm in a city on an active fault; and the caller is located at the epicenter. (You can find out more about how I do what I do in my Earth Changes column article "Confessions of a Phone Psychic" page 24, September issue of Oracle 20-20 Magazine.)

P.S. Excuse me, the telephone is going to ring. Trust me, it is. Meanwhile, the Full Moon is on the 23rd. If you'd like to speak with me about what's eating you, e-mail me via my web site . You can also see my roots of being a sensitive at work Author-Intuitive Cal Orey.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Healthy Chocolate for Worker Bees

By Cal Orey
The Writing Gourmet

It's Sunday afternoon and it's raining outside. I feel SAD, sort of. A bee guru warned me that postpartum blues could hit home once I finished my hard work on the big sweet honey book. This guy knows worker bees...
Yep, I'm feeling a bit down. My mood could be also due to not swimming today (the resort pool is off limits to locals during the weekends). I do miss my link to writing about the nectar of the gods and sacred honey bee. But hey, I did walk the dogs, cleaned the fish aquariums, worked the psychic network phone lines, and am getting ready to whip up a dish for my Tahoe Daily Tribune column, "What's Cookin at Callie's Cabin". I am so worker bee-oriented. Blame it on my genes or maybe I was a bee in a past life. If it wasn't for the recession (yes, I sense it's not over) in the works I'd probably fly to Italy for its honey and...
... chocolate: A while ago, I was sent a box of Chava Vital Chocolate. It's super "healthy chocolate"--the stuff that's good for you, really good for you. I'm not talking about mass market milk chocolate at the grocery store, nor premium chocolate filled with sugary goo and artificial ingredients. These chocolates are the real deal. Yep, we're talking super dark chocolate squares with super antioxidants. The cool thing about this healing chocolate is that it tastes healthy so you won't overdo it like you can with the sugary junk. Also, it boasts a creamy texture and a flavor that tastes like almonds or cherries. That means it keeps me coming back and it's not ending up in the trash like some healthy chocolates I've tried in the past.
So, go ahead. Check out this good for you chocolate. excerpted a list of compounds in chocolate from my book, The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010). And I'm sure as a honey bee on the job that these guys are in Chava. Also, I penned an article "Chocolate World" in this month's Oracle 20-20 Magazine (page 24) that'll explain more info about chocolate for chocolate lovers.You can grab a copy of my chocolate book from me, online bookstores, book clubs, local bookstores, and anywhere you choose. (Psst! On October 28 it's Chocolate Day!)
Meanwhile, I think I'm going to go and snag a square of Chava for a nice pick me up while the sky is gray and it's all wet outdoors. I used to think I could live in Washington state but if I did I'd have to have chocolate--all kinds! (To find out all about Chava power, log onto this link and discover the dark secret.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Phone Psychic Sensed Food & Romantic Meltdown

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet
Tonight, I was craving hot, healthful comfort food with a twist. I put together a quickie dish that turned out heavenly. In fact, it was so good I was going to have a second helping (I don't eat after 7:00 p.m.--it's my secret to staying skinny). But something untimely and not so funny happened on the way to the kitchen...
The phone rang. No biggie, right? Wrong. I was signed into the psychic phone network. I ran back to answer, "Intuitive Callie..." The glitch: I was sensing that my food-loving Brittany, Seth (Mr. Brainiac--a tall and lanky problem solver) was into something good. I can't believe it but I paused and said, "Can you hold the phone for just one second? I'm sensing something bad is happening." (I knew my furry child was being a bad dog.) Since I had told her the region she was calling from (yeah, I can do that; it's a gift)--she didn't go anywhere.
I was right. Seth's orange and white paws were on the kitchen countertop and he was wolfing down half the Mac and Cheese casserole. Well, he did leave me about 40 percent; thanks to my gut instincts that helped me catch him in the nick of time. (I knew there was a reason why I didn't use anti-dog friendly onions. I must have sensed my beloved canine food snatcher with an uncanny knack to get what he wants would hit my food tonight.)
Once back to the phone, I dished out my advice to the caller. "No, he is not your "soul mate." I strongly picked up the fact that the relationship in question was doomed and not the romance of the century. It was an easy read. No need to go to tarot. No hesitation on my end. I was asked to give a quick answer and I turned into my eight ball mode and it was done. The couple is overcooked. And I'd put money on it.
Meanwhile, Seth is on his back doing the happy doggie roll and chewing his bone so I don't think it's animal ER time this time around. Here's the simple recipe but when you make it keep the pooch away and don't answer the phone.

Heavenly Mac and Cheese

2 cups whole grain pasta shells, cooked
1/2 cup 2% low-fat organic milk
2 tablespoons European style butter
1 1/2 cups premium all-natural white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup premium all-natural sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup seasoned all natural bread crumbs (or pre-seasoned: for a treat)
fresh ground pepper

In a sauce pan boil pasta. Meanwhile, in another sauce pan combine milk, butter, cheese till melted and hot. In a baking dish pour cheese mixture over cooked pasta. Top with a dash of pepper and bread crumbs. Bake at 350-375 F. for about 30 minutes. Serves 4 or 2 and a dog.

I hope I still have a job with the psychic network. My intuition tells me that I do. But psychics can get fuzzy readings when they try and read themselves. Tomorrow night I'm going to be on a national radio show to chat it up about my intuitive powers (see the article "Confessions of a Phone Psychic" on the cover of Oracle 20-20 Magazine, September issue) and how I dish 'em out to phone callers like the one that just called. Uh oh, the phone isn't ringing. I think I need a second helping of comfort food. Worse, it's after 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Honey Book is in Flight to New York

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Yesterday, on my birthday, I did it. I finally let go of the buzz-worthy book, The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington, October 2011). My sibling surprised me with a dark chocolate cake decorated with a honey bee. How sweet is that? Today, the big book is on its way to the East Coast, 3000 miles away. Yes, my honey book with all the fruits of my labor is in transit. And now it's time to celebrate autumn and prepare for winter...
As a worker bee-type of individual, it's difficult to relax. But that doesn't mean fun times arent ahead. I'm talking more swimming, more dog walks, and fall cleaning--every crook and cranny. Baking and cooking healthful foods on a shoestring budget is also in the works for me for "What's Cookin at Callie's Cabin"--the weekly column in the Tahoe Daily Tribune. (This week it's Autumn Apple-Maple Scones.) Not to forget spreading the word about, The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010).
And other people from around the globe are coming to me for my intuitive skills, which is fine because it really isn't work--my sixth sense is a gift so it comes naturally. So, goodbye my sweet honey book. 'Till next year when we reconnect.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Contest: Winner,Winner Chicken Dinner: The Healing Powers Food Books

Last night we had thunderstorms, rain, and ponding. Oh my! Today, a weather forecast notes snow may be around the corner at Lake Tahoe. And I just got back from swimming at one of our resort pools... I heard chatter from locals amid tourist of getting the stay well flu shot. But hold the phone...
Personally, I don't do shots. I prefer to eat nutrient-rich superfoods, exercise (swim and walk my Brittany duo), sleep 7 plus hours a night, and keep it healthy by trying to chill during ups and downs in life with its mixed bag of stressors.
Another way I stay away from bugs is by turning to chocolate, olive oil, and vinegar. Yep, it's these good for you foods that may help you stave off pesky bugs and super bugs. This month of October, I'm offering the internationally popular Healing Powers series to you. Purchase two and I'll toss in the third one for free as well as free shipping. (Trade cover, retail at $14; you'll receive 3 for $28.)
Just e-mail me at -- and tell me why you love one of these superfoods. Then, dish out the three books you'd like me to send to you. (You can pay me via PayPal (click on $28) near the books on the homepage) or via check. These books are genuine gifts of health for you during cold-flu season and the upcoming holidays. Hundreds of edgy home cures and healthful recipes are a mouse click away!