Monday, April 29, 2019

The Healing Powers of Tea #1 Best Seller! Banners!

Today, April 29, The Healing Powers of Tea is attracting readers on a variety of online bookseller websites, including amazon, barnes and noble, walmart, kobo, apple, and google.

Mother's Day is on May 12 and National Iced Tea Month is June. This book is #6 in the Healing Powers Series... 

Also, the popular, prestigious Fairmont Hotel in Victoria, B.C., Canada will be carrying both The Healing Powers of Tea and The Healing Powers of Honey in their tearoom gift shop. 


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Tea and Honey Pairing for Spring

Tea(s) with Your Honey
          For centuries, people all around the world have enjoyed the simple, soothing pleasures of a good cup of tea with a good teaspoon of honey, and nowadays there is more reason to so do. Tea(s)—all kinds--especially with honey, but together they pack a punch of nutritional and health benefits. 
            Medical doctors, nutritionists, scientists and beekeepers are now confirming what healers have been saying for since biblical times—teas and honeys have a variety of healing powers.
             Here are my favorite tea and honey marriages—but there are infinite combinations for both you and me to try. There is no right or wrong combination and what’s sweet to you makes honey-tea beverages a sweet sip.
1. Black Tea:  The first tea I was introduced to was basic black tea—which does contain caffeine—and I have enjoyed it plain but realized it did need a sweet flavor boost to it.  Also, Earl Grey and English breakfast teas (perfect for an Irish breakfast, complete with fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and scones) are part of the Black Tea group.
Best Honey Matches:  Basswood has a distinct flavor that I’ve used in plain yogurt for a rich flavor and it can give black tea a kick, too. Sourwood boasts a caramel taste that can make a common black tea come to life with taste. Earl Grey teams well with avocado, blueberry, and eucalyptus honeys, too. It’s more exotic and exciting than just a simple all-purpose clover honey that comes without pleasant surprises.
2. Green Tea:  Touted for its wide array of health virtues, this Asian tea does contain caffeine, like black tea, but not as much. It’s an acquired taste and that’s where honey comes into play so you can get the best of taste and nutritional benefits. 
Best Honey Matches:  Blueberry honey has a fruity taste which can give a nice kick to green tea, not the most flavorful tea.  Sage honey is mild, a California favorite of mine that brings out the best of green tea.
3.  Fruit Tea—Welcome to lemon, orange, rose hips, and apple teas. These fruity teas are sweet and sometimes tart, which call for a honey sidekick.
Best Honey Matches:  Mild flavored honeys such as sage and alfalfa brings out the best in fruit teas because it doesn’t overpower the fruity taste but maintains the integrity of the fruit flavor.
 4. Herbal Tea—Herbal teas come from a variety of plants other than the tea plant. They are made from the leaves, berries, flowers, fruits and bark of herbs and spices.
Although most herbal teas do not contain the antioxidant properties of real tea, they do possess other good-for-you compounds that can enhance your health and well-being. There is a wide range of herbal teas, including ginseng, cinnamon, licorice, and mint.
Rooibos (roy-boss) is the “new” herbal tea on the block—that is often called “Red Tea.” Like green and black teas, this tea contains antioxidants that make it heart-healthy and immune-enhancing—and it’s caffeine free.
Best Honey Matches: Teaming earthy and warm herbal teas go well with a mild alfalfa, clover, orange blossom, and sage honeys—common honeys that complement distinct herbal flavors. 
5. Oolong Tea—This tea, popular in Asian countries, contains health perks of both black and green teas. A robust flavored-tea that can have a sweet taste lends to different honeys. 
Best Honey Matches: Oolong, not a tea familiar to me, was easy to try with a friendly California orange blossom honey with its citrusy sweet taste. Another oolong mate is tupelo honey its light amber color and herbal, fruity flavors.
6. White Tea—And last but not least welcome to this pale tea. Found in China it is believed to rank number one for its antioxidants. It’s a bit sweet and mellow. It’s the new tea on the block for tea lovers.
Best Honey Matches:  Fireweed honey is light colored and smooth, like white tea—the two complement each other. Wildflower, one of my favorite mild honeys also goes nicely with white tea.
            As a devout tea drinker, I believe your choice of honey and tea is a personal choice—like pairing dark chocolate with different fruits, herbs and spices. The selection also depends on the season to your mood. But popular and friendly honeys, such as clover and orange blossom are suitable any time, any place because they are not too strong and will not overpower teas—all types—and you can’t go wrong for yourself or if you’re serving other people.
Excerpt: From The Healing Powers of Honey by Cal Orey, published by Kensington Books, mass market format 2018. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Fresh Teacake and Book(s)--Mom's Day May 12

By Cal Orey
Ever hear of Feng Shui in the kitchen? It’s the placement of objects that goes way back centuries, thanks to Chinese art. Arranging nature’s foods in wooden bowls, like round apples, may bring you good health, good fortune, peace and harmony.
Before I left on a spring vacation to Canada last month, I put the cabin in order. After all, it was bad timing: Mercury was in retrograde—not the best time to pack your bags and travel.

Translation: The adventure flopped. But once back home on the South Shore, things turned right side up again. 
I give credit to the nine green apples placed by me in a bowl sitting on the dining room table. Read: Thanks to poetic justice, I get to do a redo adventure! So, this springtime apple teacake is inspired by the Eastern Canadian journey that paved the way for a fresh journey.

Springtime Apple Teacake

1 1/2 cups cake flour (you can use 1/2-3/4 cup more for a more coffee cake texture)
1 cup brown sugar (less is healthier, but this is a decadent teacake)
½ cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda, fresh
½ teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
1 stick European style butter, soft, cubes
¼ cup half and half
2 large eggs
2 large Granny Smith apples, washed, peeled, cored, sliced (extra if you want to arrange slices on top for a nice presentation)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Hazelnuts, chopped (optional)
Caramel sauce, premium brand

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, and spices. Add the butter, half and half, and eggs. Mix well. Fold in the apples. Spread batter into a butter greased standard size tart pan or baking dish (about 9.5"x 2" or bit larger if preferred). *You can top with slices of apple. Bake for about 45 minutes or longer (due to your altitude) until light brown and firm to touch. Cool. Leave cake in tart dish. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and nuts. Cut in slices. Drizzle with caramel sauce.  Pair it with black or herbal tea. Serves 8 to 10.

As warmer weather approaches, baking dishes, like this one, will be phased out by no-bake, lighter recipes. But for now, we can still enjoy crisp evening, a perfect time to savor fresh green apples all dressed up. I can tell you when I cut the first slice, and took a bite of this rich, moist and sophisticated teacake I felt happy in my comfort zone at home—Lake Tahoe.

As the saying goes, things happens for a reason. Maybe those green apples in a bowl turned the tide for my travels. The next trip will be in autumn, north to Alaska, a place I was meant to be. And yes, I’ll leave a bowl of green apples out when I leave, and bake a homemade apple teacake when I return. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Feng Shui Secrets for Travel During Mercury RX

The placement of objects goes back centuries, thanks to Chinese art. Surprisingly, arranging nature’s foods in the house may bring you good health, harmony, and peace, too. The positive energy is worth the effort of putting things in a specific order, especially when the planets are misaligned. Read: When Mercury is in Retrograde think twice about packing your bags and traveling.

It's like Murphy's Law--anything that can go wrong often does just that.
Before I left on a spring vacation tossing caution to the wind, I put elements Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire to work.  To feel protected, I followed these feng shui tips, adapted from The Healing Powers of Superfoods (Citadel, 2019).

1. Seven lemons in a wooden bowl: Like putting nine oranges in a basket, lemons are similar. Not only are they symbolic of good health, but good energy, too.
2. Citrus cleaners: Putting to work cleaning agents with citrus, will provide a lingering clean scent, but also it’s eco-friendly and will give you better health and energy.
3. Nine green apples in a metal container:  Apples, another superfruit, are inexpensive, and placing green ones in a metal container provides many potential good-for-you images that may help you attain good health, prosperity, and peace.
4. Framed picture of home and superfoods: This can be an array of nature’s finest foods: fruits, cheese, and water—a splash of color reminding you of the healthful plant-based diet at home and in foreign Canada.

Taking a Trip During Mercury Rx

So, what in Earth could go wrong during a Mercury Retrograde period? If you’re thinking about taking a vacay during a period when the placement of planets are out of kilter, think again. During pre-spring, I booked a flight to Ontario Canada, tuning out the online calendar showing three weeks highlighted in red. Read: Warning! Despite my sixth sense to go during the planets displacement, the weather gods were on my side. And my home was in order thanks to Feng Shui, right?
I must tell you I did sense something would go wrong. Images of rough air to the plane diverting to a state like Ohio or Texas haunted me. After all, I was going out of the country!   Still, for protection I got all my ducks in a row at home. Oddly, I took extra ibuprofen in case there was an earthquake or some movement I couldn’t control. Smooth flying, right? Wrong. 
I admit the three a.m. drive to the airport was efficient without traffic.  Going through TSA was a breeze. Treating myself to a first class seat, I walked onto the plane anticipating an exciting, well-deserved trip to recharge my batteries.  When I lifted my bag into the overhead compartment, I felt toxic energy next to me. Then, BAM! A hard object slammed my right face—cheek to the jawbone. A passenger wrestling with an over sized steel carry on hit me—in the line of friendly fire.
I was whisked off the plane. “Do you want to see the paramedics?” and “Should you cancel and rebook your flight?” questions were flying around me. I snapped, “They’re not dentists” and “I am going on my trip.”  Sitting back down in my window seat, I was soon holding a napkin full of ice on my cheek. Fast forward to landing safely out of the states into customs.
Hours later arriving to my four star hotel room, I was whooped. The facial pain hit me. Dinner was room service (soft food) in bed. Plus, one bucket of ice for my face. Ironically, I treated myself to a disaster movie marathon, while nursing my injury. 
The next day, after scheduling a trip to see a foreign dentist, I rerouted my appointment. I booked an early flight home for an E.R. dental visit. 
My only source of escape during the water trip that tanked, was pampering in a hotel room Soaker Tub with a view of Lake Ontario and overlooking the fish aquarium I never attended..

In the airport, more Mercury RX surprises. I learned my window seat was not available. “An aisle seat?” I repeated. I couldn’t do it. I felt like I was going back into the eye of a tornado. “Luggage will drop on my head!” My heart raced. As we boarded the plane, like a “Final Destination” film sequel, an airline clerk supervisor ran up to me, “I got you a window seat! Someone gave it up for you.”  Sitting cozy gazing out the window, a charming man sat down on the aisle seat next to me. I told him about my incident and he said, “Mercury Retrograde.” He got it. When we became acquainted, I said, “You must be an Air Sun Sign.” “Libra, September 27,” he answered. He was the one. The man who had the same birthday as my ex soulmate had given me his seat. So, was it fate or Feng Shui at work?
Perhaps, my making my home a magnet to attract good energy did protect me against the disorderly planets. The dental diagnosis: I survived body and mind.  Justice was served, thanks to Feng Shui bringing out its positive outcome--the mishap was noted as not my fault. In other words, I will be able to go on a redo travel adventure. But, but, but I vow to go when the planets are in sync. 

Motto: Do not travel during Mercury Retrograde unless you must do it. Then, wear a helmet for safety’s sake—and a little Feng Shui before your departure couldn’t hurt.  After all, I did enjoy good health and peace, right? But thanks to Mercury in Retrograde and tuning out my instincts (which I know better not to do), I had to pay the price by experiencing a surreal vacation gone wrong.