Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hot Tea Challenge--10 Questions About Tea Land

By Cal Orey

January is National Hot Tea Month. 
Here are 10 questions answered by the Healing Powers series author Cal Orey.

1. Black or Green tea?
Black, of course!

2. Hot or Iced?
Iced in summer, hot the other three seasons.

3. Chamomile or Lavender?
I'm in love with chamomile. We've gone through a lot, like a
a best friend.

4. Tea for afternoon or bedtime?
Afternoon always.  It's quality time.

5. Milk or Sugar?
No thank you. Why?

6. Energize or Calm?
Chill time. After a good swim/hot tub it's bliss. Or when arriving at a destination hotel room after traveling for miles.

7. Scones or Tea Cookies?
Fruit and nut scones, homemade please.

8. Ready to Drink or DIY Iced Tea?
Homemade with lots of ice.

9. Before flying--tea or coffee?
Early java, afternoon or night time--tea.

10. Lemon or Honey?
Both, sour and sweet. Fresh and raw.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

NEW Tea Book Unveiled--A Winter Wonderland of Goodness

Warm Up this Winter—Wellness in a Cup—
Discover the Benefits of Tea for Your Body and Mind!

5 Tea Home Cures from Your Kitchen
One autumn day I found myself getting up at 2:30 A.M. to catch a 6:00 A.M. plane to Salt Lake City, then to Atlanta Georgia, to Montreal, Quebec. Waking up without adequate sleep felt odd and it was the wrong hour to brew coffee. So, I made a cup of my own blend: black and green tea. It gave me enough energy to get on the shuttle bus without acting like a zombie from a sci-fi film.
But while tea offers home cures, including beating sleepiness, it can also keep you calmer than java. At the first airport counter cafĂ©, I ordered a cup of hot water and used my own chamomile tea bag to keep me calm enough for the next fear factor: flying out of the Sierra and into Salt Lake City—two airports known for turbulent flights.

There is a growing trend of at-home tea cures (like I used to achieve my final destination), that’ll wow you with their potential healing powers. I sprinkled in tea wisdom from tried-and-true folk remedies, scientific studies, medical experts, and my own home tea and tisane cures. It’s tea time! Read on.

1. COLDS (Warm Up Baby.) During the fall and winter months, cold season hits more frequently. Also, though, if you are under stress a cold can pay you a visit year-round, especially if traveling or contracting a virus from someone else. If your immune system is under attack—a cold can be prevented or the severity lessened with tea.
What Tea Rx to Use: Drink one 8-ounce cup of black tea (hot or iced) with or without 1 teaspoon honey two to three times per day.
Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific: Tea researchers believe it’s the compound antigen in black tea that bolsters the body’s immune system and may help guard against colds. Also, the tannins may help to stave off viruses like a cold. I recall one doctor’s story about how he turned to tea for comfort. He was traveling in the Alaskan wilderness. While in a van traveling with a lot of people, one had a cold as he did. The doctor had tea and drank the liquid. And it helped the good doctor heal.

2.  COUGHS (Cease the tickle.) Coping with a cold can be annoying, but coughing which can be caused by seasonal allergies, or linger after a cold, a bout of bronchitis, or other things, can be pesky and make your throat and even chest ache.
What Tea Rx to Use: Opt to brew 1 12-ounce cup of black or white tea. For an extra throat soother, add 1 teaspoon of honey. Repeat as necessary.
Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific:  Tacking a cough takes a bit of sleuth work to discover why you are coughing—and then it’s time to be proactive and deal with the problem. If allergens are the issue, for instance, it’s time to get an air purifier, vacuum and dust more, and add tea with honey to your diet repertoire—soon you’ll be doing the happy dance without stopping to cough.

3. FLU (Say good-bye to germs.) Catching the flu, which can come on suddenly, drags you down and into bed. Viruses come in all forms and can give you anything from a 24-hour flu bug to a super bug that’ll spook you to the point where images from sci-fi films like Outbreak and Contagion will haunt you as you try and shake it.
What Tea Rx to Use: Take 2 cups of tea and you won’t be calling the doctor in the morning. Mix it up and sip 1 cup of tea (black, green, or white) and 1 cup of your favorite vitamin C-enhanced herbal tea such as hibiscus.
Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific: It’s no surprise that the functional food tea is chock-full of antioxidants—the good guys that can keep your immune system healthy and stave off germs you could encounter from your local grocery store to a vacation stop. By drinking tea and a vitamin-rich tisane teamed with a nutrient-dense diet, you’ll be keeping your immune system strong.

4. SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (Blast the blues.)  Feeling down and sluggish with SAD, coined by Dr. Norman Rosenthal, is another monster to face. I have tackled the symptoms with an arsenal of remedies—and tea is on the list come late fall through early spring.
What Tea Rx to Use: Brew 1 cup of hot water and use 1 teaspoon green tea leaves or tea bag. Steep for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times per day.
Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific: Green tea has 45 milligrams of caffeine (which can give you a physical and mental burst of energy). But also, green tea contains L-theanine—a compound that enhances brain chemicals including serotonin and that can give you a calming sense of well-being.

5. SORE THROAT (Treat the pain.) Before a cold you can get a telltale sore throat. Not to forget allergies and even talking too much. Rather than run to the doctor for an allergy medication, why not take an alternative route and turn to tea?
What Tea Rx to Use:  Dried oolong leaves combined with rose hips or hibiscus can be a perfect pairing. Put 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and 1 teaspoon of the herbal tea of your choice in 1 cup of hot water. Steep for a few minutes, then strain. Add honey to taste.
Why You’ll Feel Tea—rrific: Oolong tea my reduce swelling and inflammation, due to flavonoids. Also, honey boasts anti-inflammatory benefits, too.

Ginger Lemon Honey Tea
Ginger and lemon go together like salt and pepper—two of nature’s finest superfoods with an immunity booster that can keep you healthy this winter and all year-long.
2 cups water
10 thin slices gingerroot, fresh
1 lemon sliced
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
Bring water, gingerroot, and lemon slices to a boil for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat, steep 10 minutes, strain. Stir in honey and lemon juice. You can also add apple peel, a piece of onion, and one or two tablespoons of chamomile.
(Courtesy: Gemma Sanita Sciabica)

Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Tea 2018. All right reserved. Reprinted with permission  from Kensington .

— Cal Orey, M.A.  is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  Her website is .

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2018 Predictions for the World by Intuitive



As predicted, 2017 was like a roller coaster ride with twists, turns, and unpredictable changes. Earth changes including harrowing hurricanes, deadly earthquakes in other countries, and twisters in California and shakers in Delaware did happen.
The New Year will not be any calmer than last year but happenings will be different and the U.S., and around the globe will be blindsided by events that will make international news. It’s the year to be prepared for more surprises, including shakers in odd regions that may cause a trigger effect, flooding, snowstorms, and droughts—in places they have happened in history as well as make new history in different regions that will raise eyebrows about climate changes.
 It will be a year of chaos and Mother Nature will be sure to be in the limelight. But note, man versus man will also play a major role in affecting natural disasters, too. Take an up close and perhaps personal peek at what may happen in the United States and around the globe. It’s fair to say it will be a year for people to be mindful wherever they are or go at home, on the road, or in the sky.

A Mixed Bag of Predictions for 2018
·        Earthquakes
* It almost seems like California has lost its reputation for being a shaky state. The U.S. Geological Survey experts note the risk of a great earthquake increases. As the lull continues the stress builds (especially on the San Andreas).
Before spring and summer months, a major shaker (7.0, 70 percent probability) could rock the San Andreas (or faults nearby) in Southern California (Greater Los Angeles or Palm Springs) or the San Francisco Bay Area (the East Bay or South Bay regions as an epicenter. Worse, earthquakes could happen in both areas of the Golden State.
* Not to forget the entire West Coast, including Seattle, Washington and British Columbia—the Cascadia Subduction Zone which is capable of repeating history. A great 9.0 followed by a great tsunami could occur, and more likely in the first six months of the year. A major quake and at least a tsunami alert may happen warning the entire West Coast.
* An underwater earthquake near Japan and/or Hawaii (due to mankind) may create big waves somewhere in Ring of Fire—affecting the land and food chain up and down the West Coast.
* Europe may be challenged by major earthquakes, including Italy and Greece—which were affected in 2017. At least one will be shallow, in a major city, and likely a powerful 8.0 (probability 75 percent and more apt to happen before the fall).

·        Rain and Snow Events
As the Earth moves, lack of snow in Western United States in 2018 will make the California flooding and epic snowfall in the sierras of 2017 a memory. A repeat drought in California may continue (despite a few significant snowstorms, mudslides, mega power outages).
The winter 2017-2018 Precipitation Forecast points to less snowfall for the West Coast—more for the Northeast and Midwest. I see some flooding on the West Coast in the Pacific Northwest, Northern and Southern California, but overall it will be colder and drier than 2017.
European countries including Italy, Spain, and Germany may experience heavy rainfall and major flooding, especially in coastal regions in the winter and summer.

·        Tornadoes, Hurricanes, and Wildfires
Lack of snow or too much rain can cause problems just as twisters can do. This year tornadoes may hit like hurricanes did in 2017. The Gulf States and Midwest are likely areas for tornadoes in 2018.
 Hurricanes may be more severe on the Atlantic seaboard up north to New York and Maine, whereas, the Gulf Coast may dodge disasters this year.
Wildfires in the West are likely to continue year-round and cause significant damage.

·        On the Fringe
As we deal with shaky ground and wild weather, other challenges will keep us on guard. Politic problems may create a man-made disaster, including earthquakes, tsunamis, or even nuclear fallout. Also, volcanic activity in the U.S., perhaps Alaska or Yellowstone may turn heads with unusual action creating alerts...and more.
A major airline, large aircraft, will make the news due to an event that will may be due to a significant event, perhaps caused by severe weather. It could be a flight going or coming abroad to the U.S. and linked to the Atlantic or to an Asian country and the Pacific Ocean. Speaking of flights, another UFO sighting may happen shocking people everywhere.
In 2018, while political upheaval will rumble throughout the states and around the globe, earthshaking weather and other natural disasters will often steal the spotlight bringing light to humanity in the darkest times.
 Despite the erratic Earth changes and climate change, America and other countries will work together when nature causes friction. Love and heroic events will conquer darkness despite the obstacles and challenges God’s creatures, big and small, will face.

Spot-On 2017 Visions That Came True

* Alaska was not rocked by a great earthquake, but it did get a few 6.0 plus earthquakes that spawned tsunami advisories.
* The deadly hurricanes and massive flooding forecasted did occur. Another Katrina-type of event (not as deadly but profound) happened in the Southeast, including Texas, Louisiana, and Florida during hurricane season.
Three Category 4 hurricanes made U.S. landfall:  Harvey, Irma, and Maria in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico
* And note, the ground was indeed linked to more wildfires year round—in December Southern California was challenged with horrific wildfires.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Healing Powers of Vinegar, 3 Sales Soar! Again! 1.99 Ebook Rocks!

By Cal Orey

Welcome to the third edition of the VINEGAR book. Readers love this big book--the one that ignited the Healing Powers series which goes back to 2000! However, this edition is bigger and better--with more research, more recipes, more home cures--and heart!
Currently, for the holidays the ebook is on sale for 1.99 at,, and And, and, and it is the number one bestseller in many categories, including healthy cooking, natural foods, and naturopathy! Whether you like an ebook or tradecover paperback (gift size cutie due out next year this time) it is a timeless wonder that is a super gift for all people, all ages.
Yes, vinegar(s) can help you to pare pounds, look and feel younger, more energized, and well, its virtues are endless. Grab a copy in either format and enjoy!

With a New Foreword by Dr. Will Clower, CEO Mediterranean Wellness
“A practical, health-oriented book that everyone who wants to stay healthy and live longer should read.” —Patricia Bragg, N.D., Ph.D., author of Apple Cider Vinegar
“The essential book on vinegar—the number-one superfood of all time!” —Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., author of The Fat Flush Plan
From Folk Medicine to 21st-Century Favorite—Discover the Amazing Powers of Vinegar!
Revised and updated, this comprehensive book draws on the latest scientific studies and interviews with top health researchers to reveal how apple cider and red wine vinegars—as well as balsamic, fruit, rice, and herb-infused vinegars—can help you stay healthy. You’ll also find proven home health cures, innovative cosmetic secrets, lively anecdotes, and environmentally friendly household hints—from making countertops sparkle to cleaning up kids and pets.
Take advantage of vinegar’s natural therapeutic, antioxidant, and culinary virtues as this 5,000-year-old healer evolves in new uses and products—from sipping vinegars to home-cooked foods.
Learn how vinegar helps lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and bone loss.
Discover how vinegar’s acetic acid kills bacteria, and may help prevent tuberculosis and combat antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Create home cures to treat allergies, arthritis, toothaches, sunburn, swimmer’s ear, sore throat, and other pesky ailments.
…and discover much more in this invaluable resource to help you slim down, shape up, and enhance longevity!
“Vinegar is right there in your cupboard—waiting for you to open its health properties for you and your family. Cal Orey’s book can show you how.” --Dr. Will Clower, CEO Mediterranean Wellness

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tearooms and Scones Afternoon Delight

By Cal Orey

A few weeks ago, I was chilling in a hot tub after swimming. A tourist and I engaged in a conversation. When I shared my recent experiences at tearooms in Canada, her interest soared. She said, “My friend wants to open up a tearoom on the South Shore. What do you think?” There was a pregnant pause as I thought, “Gee, she stole my idea!” But as time passed, I arrived at the conclusion a tearoom may attract tourists in the winter for hot tea and summer for iced tea—but during off season a tearoom would be like an empty tea cup or two. And I told her that, speaking from experience and my heart, well, sort of. 

But just because a tearoom may not be in the cards for the South Shore doesn’t mean enjoying vanilla petite scones at Starbucks or munching on homemade scones aren’t something to savor. So, since I  bought fresh berries and walnuts, they were used in this tearoom chat-inspired recipe. It’s truly easy to make, will please folks of all ages—and gender (not just fussy women) because they are countrified and well, real food.

Blackberry-Walnut Holiday Scones
2 ½ cups cake flour, sifted (a bit extra for cutting board)
¼ cup granulated white sugar
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, premium brand
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 stick European style butter, cold, cubed
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup blackberries, fresh (or blueberries)
2 teaspoons orange or lemon rind (optional)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (for sprinkling tops after removed from oven)

In a bowl combine flour and sugar. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Fold in butter, nuts, and berries.  On a floured cutting board mold the dough into a circle. Place on a plate and put into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Remove and slice the circle like a pizza into 6 triangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake scones in a 425 degree oven for 18 minutes or until bottom of scones are light brown. Do not overbake. Dust with sugar. Makes 6 medium scones or 12 mini sized ones.
Using cake flour makes these scones have a light texture. The fresh berries is a naturally sweet delight as we near wintertime. The powdered sugar is a nice touch and most of you hope it’s foreshadow for snowy days ahead. These scones with nature’s berries and nuts are a sweet pleasure to eat and share any time, day or night. Pair it with a cup of cocoa topped with whipped cream and a candy cane or a cup of hot ginger, peppermint, pumpkin spice or chamomile tea. Because they are rustic mountain-style food and not a perfect and dainty cookie cutter shape, you’ll enjoy them all the more whether you’re a local or tourist.

— Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  Her website is 

The New Healing Powers of Tea author wrote The Healing Powers of Vinegar, 3rd edition...Today, it is #1 bestselling book on kobo/amazon--1.99 sale price!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Tea Time

Christmas Cookies with a Cuppa Tea for Holidays

As one of my favorite memories go, in early wintertime I was living in Eugene, Oregon with a small group of nomadic friends. One cold day with a bit of snow on the ground and slippery black ice (foreign to a San Francisco native), I stayed indoors and baked cookies. There wasn’t a single cookbook or baking tools in the kitchen, so I had to rough it and make do with the few food items I found in the cupboards and fridge. I recalled my mom’s recipe for Snowball or Butterball Cookies. Five ingredients, a bowl, spoon, cookie sheet is about all you need--and black tea while you bake--and chamomile to get you through the ordeal.

In hindsight, the scene was funny. Once the cookies were baked and good to go, I was boxing them up to mail to relatives for Christmas—but my six down-to-earth looking roomies (and two dogs) in a tiny, spartan kitchen were eating the white butter nut balls faster than I could box the goodies and I felt flustered because it was a lost battle. The cookie monsters won. This easy-to-make recipe is inspired by post-hippie snow days on the road in December.

Snowball Cookies

1 stick European style butter, softened
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (about ½ cup extra for rolling after baked)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 capful pure vanilla extract
¼-1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans), chopped

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add flour and mix until creamy. Stir in vanilla. Fold in nuts. Place cookie dough on a floured cutting board and roll into a ball. Put onto a sheet of foil and into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.  Use a small ice cream scoop (about 1/8 cup size) and scoop dough into balls. Roll into a ball shape and place on nonstick cookie sheet or lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until bottom of cookies are light brown. Do not over bake. Place in balls into sugar immediately. After cooled repeat. Makes 8-10. You can double the recipe as well as freeze the cookies in an airtight container. Note: Simple is elegant like silver balls on a Christmas tree. However, if you to be more festive, add 1-2 teaspoons orange rind to cookie dough and/or sprinkle cinnamon on top after the cookies are rolled in sugar to give it a snickerdoodle taste.

There are dozens and dozens of holiday cookies to make. This quick, easy recipe is a super way to begin, though. Sometimes, less is more.  Not only are they affordable, ingredients are likely in your kitchen, but they are small. Also, two will fill you up and not out. Pair with a cup of tea for a morning or afternoon energizing snack to after dinner delight--and it's perfect wherever you are and what the weather gods are doing with their magic.

— Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  TEA--release date December 25. Now available for order at kobo, amazon, barnesandnoble, walmart, target, and other stores.