Monday, November 26, 2012

Dog-Loving Author & Canine Grieve Grr-eat Loss

By The Writing Gourmet,

A Tribute to Seth, 
our beloved Brittany with a fun-loving spirit that 
Simon and I miss dearly and 
will always cherish

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

--Alfred Lord Tennyson's

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Author-Intuitive's Seismically Sensitive Dog Dies

Author-Intuitive's Seismically Sensitive Dog Enters Heaven

It happened like a quake out of nowhere. It hit today. My dog Seth, 6, had a terrible relapse. It was so graphic that I'll have nightmares forever. He was diagnosed with neuropathy (brain) issues. Really bad. Balance GONE. Personality GONE.

Ironically, on my birthday he sensed something was wrong. He was very, very clingy. I predicted a quake but he was sensing his own demise. 

I am so hurt, so sad...but I know I did the right thing. Images of dog scenes in Marley & Me and I Am Legend haunt me.  I acted humanely for my best friend. The prognosis was grave. 

This loss is going to be a huge challenge for me. I'd rather be in a great quake (me) than deal with this void in my life. 

Never give a dog your heart. I will always love Seth. (Another weird coincidence. While on a book tour in Los Angeles, I named him after the fallen angel in City of Angels and we all know how that love story ended.) 

I am devastated. I am shocked. I am hurting. I miss my boy Seth. We had an incredible human-canine bond. Six years is not long enough.  I am entering a life without my beloved dog whom joined me at 6 weeks old. And the tears won't stop, nor will the ache in my heart. 

P.S. I LOVE YOU. Dear Sethie, I miss you baby boy. Please forgive me. I helped you to go to the other side to avoid any more suffering. I tried to be strong, as you did. I am so sorry, puppy. I will never forget the night you placed your paw on my arm. We tried to be strong together. But the monsters won. I know they scared you. Good boy. You are such a good dog. You did a good job. You did your best. I will always love you. I miss you and your gentle paws so do Simon and Zen. You gave us balance.  I hope there are dogs and birds for you puppy in dog heaven.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Woman's Sweetest Friend...A Bittersweet Tail

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

A Bittersweet Tail

Today's tale about a woman who stole a dog at a supermarket hit a nerve...
I faced sweet and spicy experiences on my road travels, like a honey bee in flight; I was stricken by untimely challenges. One afternoon in Las Vegas, Tiger (a bold and amazingly loyal angelic white Llaso Apso) and I were in front of Lady Luck Casino. It was my idea to leave my well-trained long-haired partner in the shade with water the doorstep of the entryway while I tried to hitch a safe ride back home to California. As I was walking inside, an older man called out to me, "Nice dog!" I got an uneasy vibe but tuned it out.
Fifteen minutes later, I left the casino. My best friend was MIA. Shocked and disoriented like a beekeeper with stolen bee colonies, I stood outside in the hot sun. I tried to fight back the tears. After a long search there was no rescue. My canine buddy was gone. I cried all night long.
At dawn, at cafe I ordered a cinnamon roll, tea, and honey. I was like a devoted beekeeper without his bees. I was alone. It was one of the worst experiences I endured on the road. And flashbacks of our travels from coast to coast haunted me then but now are cherished memories of a dog and a girl--an amazing human-animal bond. I left a photo of me, the hippie girl with her dog in Ontario, on the bulletin board at the local animal shelter. Through all the pain and loss, I moved on.
[Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Honey]

Friday, November 9, 2012

West Coast Quake Contest: Coffee/Honey Book

The Writing Gourmet, 
Earthquake Predictors' Contest: Win 2 Books by Using Your Skill as a Quake Sensitive

Now-Dec. 31 (End Date)

Strongest Quake for West Coast

(AK, Offshore BC/OR/NorCal to SoCal--no South of Border)

Name Region, Epicenter, Mag, Date
The predictor who is the closest with all above, is the top predictor.
PRIZE: Two Books: The Healing Powers of Coffee and Honey (value $30).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Survived a 3 Day Power Outage

I Survived a
 3 Day Power Outage
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

On a dark, stormy winter midnight in California sierra, I walked outdoors into the cold with my two Brittanys. The front deck was covered with wet snow; the towering trees and wires amid me looked surreal and eerie because they were wilted with white powder. I shoveled the heavy slush off the deck to make it easier for the morning. At 7:30 a.m. I got out of bed and turned on the TV switch for CNN—there were no red and amber lights on the cable box. I flicked on the lamp—it didn’t work. “Power outage,” I mumbled. It was the beginning of the first day the lights went out at South Lake Tahoe.

Dog Night One
            Instead of making a cup of fresh, brewed java, I resorted to trekking to the back house to borrow instant coffee from my sibling. A gas stove and heat were a godsend. I got my first news report from a neighbor walking her new young black dog. “The power will be out for days,” she shouted. Her words echoed in my mind. I tuned out her warning. Once back indoors I was thankful for having a land line phone. I called the police department. They assured me that the power would be restored by afternoon. A call to the power company dished out an automated message: “downed wires and trees in power lines.” I hoped for the best, but by dusk I went into survival mode and prepared for the worst.
First, I buried my premium perishables—milk, yogurt, cheeses—in the snow. Dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, and chamomile tea were my new friends. As I munched on the “granola girl” type foods, I got a move on. I gathered matches, candles, flashlights, brought in firewood—and fed my cat and two Brittanys, Simon and Seth. I was clad in a hooded sweatshirt and jeans and felt like a characters in The Day After Tomorrow doomsday film.  But it was a cozy in the candlelight sitting by the crackling fire. Then, my mind raced. The filters nor did the lights work for my fish aquariums; my waterbed was another concern. It was good for one night—not two. I tried to read by candlelight but the challenge wasn’t worth the effort. I turned in at 11:00 p.m., and had a two dog night.
Dog Night Two
The next morning, like a Groundhog Day movie, the same (and more) inconveniences greeted me. The ice dam above the front door was back. The pricey work for a heating device was useless without power. The ice mound at the doorstep was accumulating ice again. So, I called the power company (again). More automated messages. No estimated time for power restoration.
A hot shower was on my agenda. I didn’t go to the resort indoor swimming pool (they did have power but they also had a flood of tourists). Without usage of my hair dryer, I ended up drying my long locks by the gas furnace. The warmth of the air reminded me that three comforters on my bed filled with cooling water weren’t enough. A quick trip to the store (they had power) and another thick comforter made me and my dogs smile. But news of scattered outages hit me, like a tornado, hurricane, or quake that hits one house and not another. It made me frown and think, “Why me?”
I felt isolated and cut off from politics, entertainment, world events, and weather reports. So, I called my geologist friend Jim Berkland in Glen Ellen, CA, for his forecast. He predicted a three day outage. At 8:00 p.m., electricity was restored. But, the scientist was partially spot-on. The cable company (my lifeline to the world via Internet and TV), was down. I felt disconnected and connected with my companion animals. I talked to both my cat and dogs to feel calmer.
In the morning, like a hungry raccoon I dug up my edible goods—but they were no edible. Each item was too frozen or off in texture. I abided by the saying, “When in doubt, throw out.” Sadly, I lost 150 dollars of fresh food. In retrospect, the good things, such as gas heat for warmth and phone, were good. I endured withdrawal without my computer, Lifetime movies, the USGS and NOAA web site. My lifeline to technology was restored and resetting. I read in our local paper that 10,000 residents on the south shore of Lake Tahoe were affected by the blackout.

(Reprinted with permission from Oracle 20/20 Magazine, February 2011 issue.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Coffee Book Revealed in Woman's World Magazine

Coffee is the Skinny Beverage
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

November 5 issue of Woman's World hit the stands. The cover story, "Lose 42 lbs drinking coffee!" will wake you up as it did me.
In the first paragraph, I, the one who wrote the bible on coffee, am mentioned.  ...Cal Orey, author of The Healing Powers of Coffee, says she's heard many stories like Susie's. "Umpteen women have told me they use ordinary coffee to make weight-loss magic. Even if you're already a coffee drinker, you just add a little extra coffee at key points during the day and slimming down becomes both faster and easier."
Ironically, I used to be the Diet and Nutrition columnist for Woman's World. Yep, I penned the cover stories on how to blast pounds. Every week as I ate veggie pizza, chocolate, salads, and drank coffee, I created a different weight loss plan. And, the fact was I maintained a size 2-4 throughout my role as the diet girl. 
Fast forward to present-day. I am the author of the successful Healing Powers series (translated in 20 languages). The Healing Powers of Coffee is offered (and doing well) by major book clubs including Good Cook, Crafters, Homestyle, Quality Paperback, and One Spirit.  And yes, I include an entire chapter on the "skinny beverage" as well as dozens of pro-chef recipes to help you get-stay lean and heart healthy.
I am pleased to see the Woman's World coffee headline so more women can discover the facts about fresh java and its perks--like losing unwanted weight, effortlessly. And in my new book I discuss more details, straight from high profile experts and personal experience, how exactly coffee can burn fat, facts about caffeine, and a super 2-day easy to follow fat-burning coffee diet that works without counting calories. 
Also, I devote an entire chapter to awesome flavored coffees so you can lose the fattening cream, sugar, and whip. Plus, I dish out DIY espresso recipes, too. What's more, coffee is the must-have power drink that can be a woman's best friend. And it's ideal for the upcoming hectic holidays--more energy, less weight gain.  Yes, coffee can help you fit into your skinny jeans and little black dress this year! A toast to joe!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Author-Cal Orey's 10-6 Birthday Bundt Cake Plus

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

  It's My Birthday and I'll Bake My Cake
A few years ago, after attending my book signing at Barnes and Noble downtown, I ended up in Seattle at Pike’s Peek Farmer’s Market (the place Starbucks opened its doors) which has the strong flavor of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.  With a double mocha latte from the famed coffee company, I strolled and felt the caffeine buzz which helped me go on the quest for the perfect sweatshirt and key chain with a Brittany, my choice of dog. Enjoying sights of fish, fruit, flowers, and strangers was bliss (it had to be the caffeine fix). 
I could have joined people after the book lecture/signing, but there was something special about savoring a day with me and Joe, from the first thing in the morning to that afternoon, that made my Washington trip a comforting and invigorating trip... And today, I realize tomorrow I am going to play the hermitess role again and celebrate my birthday -- a milestone one -- alone but with my four-leggers.
While gourmet coffee and desserts are perfect for anytime, it’s even more decadent for a birthday treat. This year, while boxes of chocolates and bags of coffee aren't on my doorstep as they were during the research of The Healing Powers of Chocolate and The Healing Powers of Coffee books, I've decided to bake a special birthday cake that charms me and will make me feel good.  And, the best part is, I helped get both my beloved youngest Brittany and Siamese cat well again to join my eldest Brittany--my companion animal trio. That's the best birthday present and mountain woman (city girl at heart) could ask for.

Cappuccino-Chocolate Chip-Fruit Bundt Cake
* * *
1 premium yellow cake mix                                       
3 large brown eggs
2/3 cup water                                                             
2/3 cup organic 2% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons European style butter, melted         
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup cappuccino chips (King Arthur)                  
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour (for dusting pan)
Extra virgin olive oil (for greasing pan)

Confectioners’ sugar                                                 
½ cup fresh strawberries, whole with stems

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, beaten, liquid ingredients, and butter.  Stir a few minutes till smooth. Fold in 2 cups of chips. Lightly grease tube pan with butter and dust with flour. Pour in batter and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. (Put knife in and if it comes out clean, it’s cake.) Cool. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the pan and turn over on a plate. Sprinkle sugar on top. Place ½ cup fresh berries or berries in the middle. Serves 10.
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Coffee

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wake Up to The Perks of Caffeine

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Wake Up to the amazing perks of caffeine in your cup of joe! It’s the beverage we can’t live without—yet few consume it without some guilt. But the truth is that coffee (yeah, regular) has health benefits thanks to its jolt of caffeine.  Java juice—nature’s surprise—an ancient remedy, is now the “newest” health food.  
What's more, that cup of real coffee is the number 1 source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet—and its caffeine doesn’t deserve a bad rap! Groundbreaking research shows caffeinated coffee can relieve a host of woes—and it makes you feel perked up day or night! Plus, it's still legal! Welcome to caffeine, a compound that acts as a stimulant drug on your nervous system and befriends 
humans around the globe...

Q: Why is regular coffee (not decaf) the nation’s favorite beverage?  
A. Folks (of all ages) love their coffee because it “helps them to get the job done.” The bottom line:  its caffeine boost, aroma, flavor is addictive and millions of Americans got to have their coffee first thing in the morning to get up and go. Its caffeine buzz makes you feel good – mind and body!

Q: Why has this potent elixir with caffeine “a drug” gone from vice to virtue? 
A. A jolt of caffeine in your coffee (lighter roast has more) can help fight ailments:
·        Brain drain-Coffee latte--enhance mind
·        Hangover—Medium roast with aspirin—speed recovery
·        Headache—Cappuccino or café mocha—relieve pain
·        Fatigue—Café mocha—boost energy
·        Muscle pain—Medium roast—rid pain
·        Low libido—Columbian (with a shot of alcohol) boosts sex drive, lowers inhibitions
·        Jet lag—Medium roast—normalize body and mind
(The jury is still out on if medium or dark roasts hold the most antioxidants. And it doesn't stop there. Regular coffee with its high octane caffeine can also lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes 2, and some cancers.)

Q: Why is a cup of regular coffee a “skinny beverage”? 
A. If you hold the flavorings, sugar, and whipped cream—it’s a fat fighter. Coffee’s caffeine buzz energizes you so you’ll get physical and go work out, burn off calories from. Caffeine revs up your metabolism (calorie-burning power)—while you’re exercising and chillin’, too. Is it addictive? Uh, yeah but in moderation it's all good.

Grab a copy of The Healing Powers of Coffee (Kensington) to find out more how exactly caffeine works to boost your mood, energy, and well-being!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Jolt from the Past: Coffee Memories

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
A Historical Testimony
The coffee was boiling over a charcoal fire, and large slices of
bread and butter were piled one upon the other like deals in a lumber yard.
--Charles Dickens (1812-1870)(1)

Coffee in different forms treated my pre-teen, green taste buds. My budding imagination took me to foreign lands where coffee trees grow and flourish and people enjoy coffee sophisticated coffee drinks. I observed adults sip coffee spiked with alcohol and non-alcohol. It was intriguing to discover a new spin on the beverage that was forbidden for kids like me to drink.
After one dinner party at our home, my mother (coffee must have been the gift that gave her boundless energy) served slices of cheesecake paired with a dark colored coffee in small white porcelain cups. I asked her, “What is this dark stuff?” She answered, “Espresso. I drank it in a bistro in Paris.” Since her trip to Europe, when I was in the third grade, she came back home with coffee attitude.
Served in a 3-ounce demitasse (espresso cups) the beverage presentation looked cute like something in an Alice in Wonderland scene. I wanted to taste the strange, dark brew, but was timid. It looked like the coffee cup picture on the cover of a French menu that my mom brought home from her trip abroad to France, Spain, and Italy. Actually, the Italian-sounding “espresso” word (which I incorrectly pronounced “expresso”) originated in France since the late 1800s and was appreciated in Italy later.
So, I shut my eyes (like diving off a block into a cold pool at swim club) and sipped the dark mud. “This tastes awful,” I exclaimed. I was still a kid (like a coffee plant that had not fully matured), what did I know? I swapped my coffee for a bowl of coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup.
At the same time, during the 20th century, coffee roasters and retailers were also discovering what titillated the palate of Americans. Coffee company pioneers understood the demand for the caffeinated brew, from coffee breaks in the workplace to coffeehouses. They knew that coffee had a place both at work and play. And these findings have been embraced and are now expanding to buzz-worthy health news effect of coffee to the mainstream audience.

Some of the noteworthy coffee producers of the world made history in the 20th century and paved the way for the 21st century coffee companies on the West Coast, America and worldwide. Also, what is so interesting is that many of these groundbreaking pioneers are family generation run and have ties back to the 1900s.
By the mid 20th century, coffee was a staple beverage in the average American home and on the road. The popularity of cars and highways made traveling more common, and stopping at a coffee shop or diner for coffee and a bite to eat was a trend that became a mainstay.  As a kid growing up in the fifties, my parents ordered coffee at coffee shops before our lunch or dinner made its way to the table. And after the meal coffee was served, too.

When I began my exploration to discover who’s who in coffee companies I quickly learned that there was a ready-made list compiled of well-known top coffee brands much like there is for leading chocolate companies...
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Coffee by Cal Orey

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Perk Up! Fall into the Coffee Lovers Contest

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Foodie Blogroll Coffee Lovers Contest
(Click link above to enter!)

Savor Goodies from

The Healing Powers of Coffee
Two weeks left to sign up on Foodie Blogroll. Foodie? Blogger? Join the Website and enter for free! Take a look at the coffee perks you can win!

"We are proud to bring you this giveaway with our friend Cal Orey, author of the Healing Powers of series of book.
Cal would like to engage the FBR community to share and promote her latest book "The Healing Powers of Coffee"(Kensington Publishing Corp.) part of the successful Healing Powers book series
For this purpose, Cal is going to give away copies of her latest book "The Healing Powers of Coffee" to 4 lucky Foodie Blogroll members!
Also, winners will receive Miss Ellie's Delicious Gourmet Coffee and Miss Ellie's Cinnamon Walnut Coffee Cake.
A total of $65 worth of prizes!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

COFFEE: Lose Lbs. on the Skinny Beverage

C H A P T E R 
                                                                                           1 0

The Skinny Beverage 

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Coffee is a beverage that puts one to sleep when not drank.
                           --Alphonse Allais, French writer, humorist (1854-1905)  

My college and coffee days came with semester breaks. During one period, I was living a carefree Bohemian lifestyle in HollywoodSouthern California. I worked at 24-hour coffee shops as a waitress. The work kept me and my dog fed and the rent paid--and kept unwanted pounds off.   One weekend I escaped L.A. with my roommate and canine companion for a beautifying desert mini vacation.
We left Los Angeles to Palm Springs--a desert haven to get sun, fun, and dump five pounds with ease. In the morning, I woke up to a 12-ounce cup of regular brew (no Double-Double with double sugar and double cream and No Whip). It gave me energy to pool hop, visiting one hotel pool to another. It even gave me the brainstorm to sneak my water-loving dog, a black Lab Stone Fox, into the cold water, too. During the afternoon I tasted my first cold coffee drink. I ordered it at a café for the rich.  One iced café mocha--and cold water to go for my pooch. Not only did the chocolaty coffee flavor and temperature of the sweet beverage cool me down but the caffeine gave me more physical energy and zapped hunger pangs so I could continue to play and swim, enjoying the long days of leisure. 
            These days, at Lake Tahoe, I get my morning wake up jolt from hot coffee--all kinds. It gives me motivation to stay active and keep balanced.  Teamed with the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, coffee works to keep moving. It's the Mediterranean foods, the pools where I swim--and coffee in moderation--that keep me from looking like a middle-aged spayed feline. I feel more like a healthy coffee plant but nourishing myself. But eating right and drinking coffee to keep off unwanted pounds is nothing new.

            Since biblical times, the health conscious have turned to juice fasting for its body-cleansing and weight-loss benefits. Natural fruit and vegetables flush toxins from your body. And they flush away fat, too. What's more, coffee can speed up the weight loss.          
           Eating this way isn't just about paring pounds; it's about cleaning out your digestive system. You'll not only feel thinner, you'll also look positively thinner.

Enter The Coffee Diet... (A Healthful Mini-Fast) 
Lose Up to 5 lbs. or More in 2 Days
 Since the thirties on into the fifties, Hollywood dieters have turned to the slimming power of this wonder citrus—and coffee. The grapefruit’s status as the ideal diet food was born when researchers found evidence that it contains fat-dissolving compounds. Further elevating the fruit’s status in the world of weight loss: It’s low cal, fat-free, fiber-rich, vitamin-packed and satisfying... [Excerpt The Healing Powers of Coffee by Cal Orey: *Chapter 10 has the easy coffee diet that works more coffee weight loss information!]

Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Espresso Bar for Java Junkies Only

The Espresso Bar
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Most of the coffee recipes and drinks that are popular at coffee shops and cafes today are based on espresso from the Old World. Espresso is not a coffee roast—it’s the way coffee is made by shooting hot water through ground coffee to produce an intense, flavorful beverage.  An Eat, Pray, Love film image of an Italian espresso bar (I adore this scene, a place I'd love to be in the real world) shows a crowded bar-like atmosphere with people standing and ordering their cappuccino to mocha to the barista, much like a real bar. Here is an espresso bar from A to Z:
  • Caffe Americano - this drink transforms espresso into more of an American brewed coffee. Start with one shot of espresso and add hot water to make a full 6-8 ounce cup. This results in a smooth, diluted version of espresso coffee.
  • Caffe Latte – start with a single or double shot of espresso in a 10 to 12 ounce cup. Tilt the cup and pour about 8 to 10 ounces of steamed milk slowly down the side. This floats some of the espresso to the top causing a swirling appearance. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon to garnish. As a common variation, latte can be flavored with Italian syrups such as hazelnut.
  • Caffe Mocha – made by adding powdered or chocolate syrup to a shot of espresso and blended. Add steamed milk to the espresso and chocolate mixture and top with whipped cream.
  • Cappuccino – is made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk. Powdered cocoa or cinnamon can be sprinkled on the top as a garnish. To layer the milk and espresso, it’s necessary to allow the frothed milk a moment to rest and separate.
  • Doppio – a double shot of espresso. Doppio means “double” in Italian. A double shot would be about twice that of a single shot, or 2 to 3 ounces of liquid.
  • Espresso Con Panna – similar to macchiato, but whipped cream is used in place of the foamed milk. “Con panna” means “with cream” in Italian.
  • Espresso Romano – a single shot of espresso served with a twist of lemon peel. Contrary to the name “Roman”, this is not an Italian tradition. The lemon peel garnish is actually a US invention.
  • Espresso Macchiato – starts with a shot of espresso and then a small amount of foamed milk is spooned over the shot. Macchiato means “marked” in Italian referring to the espresso being marked with a spot of foam.
  • Mochaccino – similar to café mocha, but top with peaked milk foam instead of whipped cream.
  • Ristretto – the short or ristretto is a basic espresso shot extracted to a volume of only ¾ ounce of liquid. This restricted pour magnifies the essence and intensity even more than a normal espresso being marked with a spot of foam.
  • Straight Shot – a single straight shot of espresso, without any other ingredients, about 1 to 1.5 ounces of liquid. Espresso, when made right, will have a rich layer of golden crema on the top… Be sure to drink the espresso right away—the crema will only lst about 2 minutes and then it will dissolve into the liquid.

(Source: Courtesy of Gourmet Coffee Zone.)

September is National Honey Month

The Writing Gourmet

Out in the Honey Bee Field: One Sweet Day
I didn't get to visit Tasmania or even go to Bakersfield. I passed on visiting honey shops state by state, across America, as one individual suggested I do. Nor did I fly, from bee farm to bee farm, around the world to meet beekeepers and their honey bees. Still, I did go out into the field like a forager bee, and it was my day to meet Italian and Russian honey bees face-to-face...
By 10 a.m., both Seth and Simon, my Brittanys, are dropped off at my vet's kennel for the day while I and my sibling set out on our way to Reno for a day of honey delights. My brother Bruce and I are driving from South Lake Tahoe. There aren't any beekeepers around the lake, probably due to the snow. I don't think the high altitude bothers honey bees.

Hidden Valley Honey
Like two disoriented honey bees, my sibling Bruce and I get lost in rural Reno. It is windy. My sinuses are pesky, complete with a headache and sniffles. At last, we arrive at beekeeper Chris Foster's home away from the feel of the city, and I feel a calm of country.
I am greeted by Chris Foster, one nature-friendly man who is a former director of molecular biology at a small firm. Nowadays, the scientist gone beekeeper and his wife, Karen, are busy living working with their prized possessions: honey bees. In the house, I am also welcomed by a German wirehair, a sporting dog that puts me at ease. Everywhere I look there are reminders that I'm visiting a beekeeper. Bee books, fresh fruit, and jars of honey are all over. Chris tells me that his alfalfa from the Nevadan desert area produces a thick honey that doesn't spoil.
The beekeeper on a mission to expand his 60 colonies to more than 200 explains to me that he usually extracts honey twice a year. Fascinated by the bee-to-honey process, I cannot help but be distracted by the living room window. Outdoors I see a large backyard with bees warming freely around supers (the white boxes bees live in). A constant movement and buzzing outside in the one-acre backyard has grabbed my attention.
I see bees flying hither and thither. I thought they'd all be tucked away in a hive. Funny, though, the dog isn't bothered by the insects-and neither am I. Chris insists honey bees are gentle creatures. I believe him. I'm beginning to sense that this day is not going to be a chilling Killer Bees! Or Swarmed sci-fi film sequel. Instead, I'm feeling a sense of calm like Lily Owens, a character who finds solace in the world of beekeeping in the film The Secret Life of Bees.
The night before, I watched the movie Outbreak (Kevin Spacey's protective gear tears and he's infected with a deadly virus). So, I figure, Why wear a bee veil? A bee could crawl up my jeans and sting me if it wanted to do it. I think, I didn't wear flowery perfume or bright colors like a flower. They'll ignore me. My brother passes on going outside. (He doesn't like scary movies or honey bees.)
I follow Chris outside. I walk amid the bees. I have entered Beeworld. I secretly wish that I, too, could nurture workers and drones-and queens. That's when he asked me to come face-to-face with his 25 new queens ... but hey, I think, I am doing fine. No stings yet. Why push the envelope? I do not peek inside the containers of buzzing honey bees.
Back inside the house, we chat about local beekeepers. I am given taper candles, lip balm, and a jar of fresh local honey-with promise for helping my sinuses and allergies. Chris tells me that a lot of the honey he sells at the farmers' market is to people who buy the alfalfa honey to stave off allergies. I want to believe the honey bees that didn't sting me will be my saviors.
Bruce and I pick up the Brittanys, and by six o clock we are back home in South Lake Tahoe. When I walk up to the doorstep I see a big cardboard box with the label "Magnolia Honey." I feel like a bee entering her hive. Outside my kitchen window I admire the splash of yellow wildflowers. And like a preserving worker bee I find the perfect wildflower honey recipe to take me abroad.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Smell the Coffee! Coffee Lovers Amazing Contest

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Coffee Lovers Giveaway Contest by Foodie Blogroll

 Meet the Woman 
Who Has Her Line of Coffee

            For Miss Ellie (Sisters Ellie Glidewell, left, and Emmie Thomas founded in 2008., a family-owned coffee retailer based in Fort Smith), coffee is the perfect way to pursue several of her passions while assuring that you get the smoothest cup of coffee available. When her step father, Bill McClure wanted her to be part of his gourmet coffee business——Miss Ellie said, “Sure, but I want to do it the right way, a way where the benefit gets spread around. Oh, and may have my own line of coffee?”
            Miss Ellie has her line of coffee, and the next thing she wanted was direct involvement in choosing the blends that would bear her name. As with everything she does, she is demanding and meticulous in the selection process, working closely with her roaster, traveling to out-of-the places, testing, tasting, sitting a spell and reflecting on it.
            “In the morning you want a good cup of coffee to get you going and in a good mood to run out the door,” she says. “The coffees I choose for Miss Ellie’s will definitely do that.”
            Then there was the business itself. See, Miss Ellie does not believe in ravaging the environment or misusing people. It is probably in the way she was brought up. Raised to do well and do right, she wanted those principles reflected throughout the entire Company. She found the perfect way to do this, through, an organization that helps coffee-farming families improve the quality of their lives.
            “This isn’t about just roasting a bunch of coffee and seeing who want to buy it,” Miss Ellie adds. “I drink my product. I am my own best customer. I hate horrible coffee. I am not going to let anything get to my customers that I don’t absolutely love. My name’s on the bag, and where I come from, you have pride in your good name.”
            Ellie Glidewell is a managing partner of She graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, and loved teaching school before deciding to have a coffee name after her. 
Coffee History: The wholesale coffee products company began with the love of coffee. As the story goes, it is family-run business. As a retailer for coffee goods, this online company has everything a coffee lover could want, from a wide variety of coffee brands, types, coffee equipment, and so much more. The quality of products is standout and the following is strong.
Healing Powers:  When a box of goods was delivered to me, I was greeted with a coffee grinder, a must-have for getting the freshest cup of java. Premium roasts, from organic and fair trade coffee to a bag of flavored dark chocolate mint coffee were my new coffee friend. Fresh, organic, fair trade—these are some of the things that make coffee drinking a healthful thing to do.
My Fave Coffees:  A cup of organic medium roast coffee was the first organic coffee I have tasted. It’s a feeling you get when you eat organic produce that feels healthy. I can’t say it tasted different than a non-organic cup of coffee but the thought behind it is the same reason why I drink organic milk.
(Excerpt: The Healing Powers of Coffee: A Complete Guide to Nature's Surprising Superfood) 

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 6 is National Coffee Ice Cream Day

 The Power of Coffee
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet 

Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than 

muscatel wine! 
                                                --J.S. Bach, Coffee Cantata(1)

More than a half a century ago, I was born in a Brazilian villa sitting upon a lush green coffee tree plantation. My mother and father were third generation migrant coffee roasters. So, I grew up in an atmosphere of a tropical delight. Playing amid the magic of coffee trees with white flowers, red berries, and green beans to cups of java was part of my Coffee World. My father Jack, from Italy, was a hard worker out in the field overseeing the coffee workers; and my mother Patricia with Spanish roots ran a charming coffee café.  That is my fantasy.
In the real world as a little girl (with a big imagination) I didn't live in Brazil, nor was I raised surrounded by coffee trees (actually an evergreen shrub or plant). Back in the fifties, I was born in a suburban neighborhood in San Jose, California--a place where coffee was bought in a can at the store and percolated in an electric coffee pot.  My life as I knew it simple amid houses with white picket fences, sidewalks, and planted shrubs and flowers. It came with two parents--my father was Scottish, my mother Irish Catholic, two siblings, a dog and cat, and the music of the ice cream man and milk bottles delivered on our doorstep. In our there was a European-style round table, wall oven, dishwasher, and salmon-colored countertops. I was familiar with the aluminum coffee pot--a constant in my parents' world. It created a strong, familiar coffee aroma wafting into my bedroom seven days a week, including Sundays, the day I went to church.
One fall day, during the priest's sermon, I, a seven year old kid, was desperately trying to stay awake. My mother whispered, "Sit up" and nudged my arm. The words "ice cream" was my mantra to help pass the grueling prayers in Latin.  After Holy Communion we were released and my mom treated me and my siblings to a local ice cream parlor. 
She ordered a large cup of hot, black coffee (not the kind she served to our priest when he came to dinner). My first coffee experience was in the form of ice cream. Since it was a flavor for grown ups, I felt like I was entering the land of forbidden fruit. The cold, creamy coffee ice cream was bittersweet. The flavor intrigued me. My taste buds didn't love it in my mind I liked it. This event began a Sunday ritual. I was hooked on coffee ice cream (maybe it was the caffeine) that ignited my journey into the land of coffee.
These days, coffee has a place in my grown up life as I know it. I wasn't raised on a coffee plantation, but coffee did have a way of permeating its way into my run-of-the-mill life in the suburbia--a place where it looked perfect but it was a place I yearned to escape to an exciting world.  And I got a taste of coffee and its healing powers throughout the years of growing up and blossoming like a young coffee plant with potential to branch out and away from its farm.
Today, I sit here in my mountain cabin, like a coffee tree in a high mountain elevation, and I feel the spirit of the fruitful plant as I work on The Healing Powers of Coffee. My kitchen is chock-full of coffees--all kinds--as I scrutinize each one like they are new, exotic fish in an aquarium. I am discovering the powers of coffee, and a world I've called Coffee World that I want to share with you.

--The Healing Powers of Coffee: Nature's Surprising Superfood (Nice discount!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Flavored Coffees to Entice Your Palate

Here Comes the Flavored Coffee Parade
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Jelks offers more than 250 flavors to entice coffee lovers.

Black Forest Cake Flavored Coffee
     In my new book reader-friendly, revolutionary book The Healing Powers of Coffee, I take a look at popular coffee flavors, 25 that I’ve tasted and enjoyed and would love to go for another 25 and probably will do just that.  There are hundreds of flavored coffees to choose from.  These days, like centuries ago, mixing these coffees with dark chocolate, spices, and citrus can make them more flavorful.
     The aroma of flavored coffee can be chocolaty, fruity, nutty, minty, and spicy. And personally, I treasure seasonal flavored coffees, such as pumpkin spice--it reminds me of eating autumn delights, including pumpkin fudge, ice cream, muffins, and pie. I adore German chocolate cake and southern pecan, too. Each different flavor is distinct, much like trying a different chocolate or honey flavor. But there are so many other flavors that can please the palate, too.

ü  Popular flavored coffees are French Vanilla and Hazelnut.
ü  Flavored coffees can be categorized in groups, including chocolaty, fruity, mint, and spice…
ü  …And seasonal flavored coffees offer a wide range from pumpkin spice, sugar plum pudding, chocolate raspberry, and coconut cream. 
ü  Columbian coffee is often the choice of coffee used for flavored coffees.
ü  Both natural and artificial ingredients are used to flavor the coffees due to a variety of reasons, from cost effectiveness and consumers’ health reasons, such as allergies.
ü  Flavored coffees have been popular for years, and these days their popularity has soared to both commercial and specialty gourmet brands.
ü  To keep flavored coffees healthy, stay clear of adding sugar and syrups. Instead, enjoy them as is or with milk.
ü  Ready-made flavored coffees are convenient and irresistible but adding your own natural flavors, whether it is cinnamon sticks or dark chocolate shavings offer a fresh flair and healthful touch.                                                         
(An entire chapter in The Healing Powers of Coffee discusses the perks of flavored coffees.)