Monday, March 19, 2018

Lemon Tea Cupcakes for Spring & Easter

By Cal Orey
Spring is in the air... It is a time to eat lighter, clean house, lose winter weight, gain energy with longer days, and enjoy tea and treats with a light touch! Enter a delicious recipe to get you started!

Honey and Lemon 
Green Tea Cupcakes

1/2 cup boiling water
1 green tea bag
2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice (1/4 cup) of one lemon
1/4 cup buttermilk 
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup orange blossom honey
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour boiling water over tea bag and steep 3 minutes. Remove tea bag and allow tea to cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Combine green tea, lemon zezt and juice, and buttermilk; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, until fluffy. Add honey; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time. Add half of the reserved dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. With mixer running on low, slowly add the lemon tea mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack; cool.  Makes 12-14 cupcakes. 

Dust with confectioners' sugar or frost and decorate with Honey Lemon Frosting. A mild flavored honey such as clover may be used. Recipe available on page 119 of the new gift size book The Healing Powers of Honey. (Recipe Courtesy: National Honey Board)

Spring into a Slimmer You with Detoxifying Lemon Tea

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. It's time to start eating clean and fresh foods. What better way to jump-start your regime by sipping tea! Try a herbal tea and lemon potion.  It can help you to dump that unwanted winter weight, energize, and give you a rejuvenating boost!

Ginger Lemon Honey Tea

Ginger and lemon go together like salt and pepper—two of nature’s finest superfoods with an immunity boosting and detoxifying effect that can keep you healthy this spring and all year-long. Plus, drinking this potion can help fill you up not out to help curb your appetite and eat lighter for the new season.

2 cups water
10 thin slices ginger root, fresh
1 lemon sliced
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup lemon juice

Bring water, ginger root, 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 rights reserved. Reprinted with 

permission from Kensington .

More recipes and mini-fasts in the new books: The Healing Powers of Tea and The Healing Powers of Honey.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Barnes and Noble Signing--Author's Trek in Snowstorm

By Cal Orey

Today, on March 17, Saint Patrick's Day I took a leap of faith and drove over the mountain in the Sierra to attend a book signing after shoveling snow in the morning.

Yes, the roads were icy, roads not groomed, a bit crowded on the way out of Lake Tahoe (drivers coming into town) and sci-fi spooky. Regrets of not doing a will for the Siamese kitty in my life hit while driving on the winding road--both ways. An adventure without The Rock to rescue us. Images of the author in the film "Misery" came to mind. But no, I did not crash or slide off a ravine. (I even packed blankets, survival food, and water just in case!)

Due to the highly contagious canine flu, my Aussie couldn't be kenneled and has had his first shot. As we wait for the booster shot the dog was in tow. A bit of another challenge once it began to snow in Reno. Feeling like characters in the "Contagion" movie the trek was made... had to keep my canine in a bubble, sort of.

On the upside, TEA books sold--a lot--a few days ahead without me--the author. I did meet some Reno locals and even sold a TEA book to a woman (she told me she does not drink tea--except herbal varieties; but she bought it for her daughter)--mom really wanted The Healing Powers of Chocolate.

So the day was an event--one I won't forget...and plan to return June, National Iced Tea Month.
And the TEA books have been since replenished.. ready for folks in Nevada and tourists who want to warm up during our next snowstorm(s). Another one is on its way, more rain than white powder, before Spring arrives next week.  Once back home, I made a fire, brewed a fresh cup of tea, cuddled on the sofa with puppy. Another day in the life of the Healing Powers Series author. P.S. If you missed the event, you still can order the book wherever you are with or without snow and a dog.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pizza Love with a Mini Twist

Welcome to amazing Pizzaworld on the South Shore. I’ve ordered take out at Blue Dog and Domino's and other hot pizza spots around the Lake.  I’ve bought O Organics Organic Roasted Vegetable and Cheese Pizza at our local Safeway and Digiorno, too. And I’ve been treated to a custom-ordered pesto and spinach pizza stone-baked in wood-fired oven at an Italian restaurant.
Many moons ago, I met a man from the Internet at a Pizza Hut in town. When I arrived neither of us savored an “ah ha” moment since there was no love connection. Oddly, he had a sausage pizza delivered to his table. My fave dish was boxed up ready to go for one--him. Nope, it wasn’t a romantic Lady and Tramp slurping a slice of pizza scene I took home. But good pizza can be a treat if you do it yourself (and give a tidbit of cheese to your canine companion).

This week I am still on the spring season health kick as we feel the winter chill and see the white powder. So, I put together my own version of a semi-homemade pizza—with fresh ingredients.  It is surprisingly easy to make and delicious with the right amount of gooey cheese, olives, and other pizza stuff that’ll fill you up not out. This recipe is good to go without the wait of the pizza guy or gal or effort it takes to create pizza dough.

2 pita pockets or bread rounds, wheat (thick, Greek style preferred)
½ cup store bought marinara or pesto sauce (optional)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (or crumbled feta cheese)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced or diced
¼ red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup black olives (fresh from your favorite Deli)
1 cup baby arugula or spinach, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Ground black pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste (optional)

Place pita pockets on a dish for the microwave or nonstick cookie sheets for oven at 350 degrees. Top with cheese. Heat pita rounds until hot and cheese is bubbly. Remove from microwave or oven. Top with tomatoes and onion. Pop back into oven or nuke them for a few minutes. Take out again and place on cutting board. Top with olives and greens. Drizzle with olive and sprinkle with pepper and salt. Slice like you do a pizza. Serves 2. Double or triple the recipe or have a pizza bar and put toppings in little bowls. Make the pita rounds with cheese and allow guests to make their own pita pizza.  You can add other toppings, including bell peppers, mushrooms, and cooked chicken.
The olives, and olive oil give these mini pizzas plenty of good monounsaturated fat and flavor that you’ll love. These pita pizzas with a Greek flair are wholesome and can be dished up for lunch, a snack, or dinner. Pair it with a cup of strong flavored tea like Irish Breakfast for extra mind and body energy.  You’ll wonder, “Why haven’t I made Greek Pita Pizza until now?” Well, now you can say, “Good to know” and enjoy your pizza anytime you like without the wait.
— 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, March 15, 2018


Spring Fever
By Cal Orey

Spring has sprung. But the question is, is the flu and cold season over? Often when April arrives the transition of cold and warmer temperatures can wreak havoc on your body and mind. Read on—discover how home cures with tea(s)—a superfood--from your kitchen may be just what the doctor would order to help beat colds, allergies thanks to pollen and other allergens, miserable seasonal affective disorder and winter weight gain, and even a second wave of the flu.

1.      1.    Colds: During late winter months, cold season can linger like an unwanted house guest. But, if you are under stress, a cold can pay you a visit year-round, especially if you’re traveling. 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 while symptoms last.
Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific: Tea researchers believe it’s the compound antigen (a molecule capable of inducing an immune response) in black tea that bolsters the body’s immune system and may help guard against colds. Known for being rich with antioxidants, tea also contains tannins which may help to stave off viruses like a cold.
2.         Coughs: Coping with a cold can be annoying but coughing (either from a cold or allergies) can be pesky and make your throat and chest ache.
What Tea Rx to Use: Opt to brew one 12-ounce cup of black or white tea. For an extra throat soother, add 1 teaspoon of local honey is especially good for allergies!). Repeat as necessary.
Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific:  Tackling a cough takes a bit of sleuth work to discover why you are coughing. If allergens are the issue, for instance, it’s time to get an air purifier, vacuum and dust more, and add tea with local honey to your diet repertoire.
3.        Flu: Catching the flu, just when you thought flu season was over, 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 bug to a stubborn virus that’ll hang on for weeks.
What Tea Rx to Use: Take 2 cups 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 tea is chock-full of antioxidants—the good guys that can keep your immune system healthy and stave off germs you could encounter. 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:  Feeling down and sluggish with SAD? Seasonal depression is yet is another monster to face in the colder months. 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 green tea. 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: A sore throat is a telltale sign that a cold or allergies are looming, so rather than run to the pharmacy for medication every time, why not take an alternative route and turn to tea first?
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 may reduce swelling and inflammation, due to flavonoids. Also,local  honey boasts anti-inflammatory benefits and contains pollen to help balance allergies.

Ginger Lemon Honey Tea

Ginger and lemon go together like salt and pepper—two of nature’s finest superfoods with an immunity booster and detoxifying that can keep you healthy this spring and all year-long. Plus, drinking this potion can help fill you up not out to help drop unwanted pounds for spring!

2 cups water
10 thin slices ginger root, fresh
1 lemon sliced
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
Bring water, ginger root, 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 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Reno, NV Book Signing--Saint Patrick's Day--Tea & Cookies

By Cal Orey

You are invited to a book signing with a local author!

What: TEA and COOKIES will be served, courtesy of Barnes and Noble; a drawing for Healing Powers series books! Saint Patrick's Day Special Signing/Discussion and TEA and HONEY books!

5555 S. Virginia St.  Reno, NV 89502; 775-826-8882
Who: Author Cal Orey
Author Signing (Health and Fitness, Self Improvement)
Saturday March 17, 2018 1:00 PM

Extras: This fascinating book boils down the rich history of tea--as well as the ever-expanding list of health and weight loss benefits found in its leaves. Enjoy different teas and cookies while you may win the entire Healing
Powers collection!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Spring into Tea and Tarts

By Cal Orey

Spring is almost here and you can feel it indoors and outdoors. It’s that time to change it up when it comes to cooking, baking and eating. I prefer to make the transition slowly. Rather than go on a detoxifying semi-fast diet, let’s take it bit by bit. As history goes, this is the time of year I go off the hill for book signings and research.

A couple of years ago I traveled to Seattle on the first day of Spring. In the morning it was a Starbuck’s coffee, a plain bagel, and fresh strawberries. Then, onto the hotel pool and hot tub before a book signing event in the early afternoon. It was exciting being in the Pacific Northwest—knowing Canada via train ride, fish aquarium, and British Columbia—a place I’ve been and continue to visit--was next up the next day.
But this year it’s Reno for March. The eating style is similar as well as swim and hot tub but here in town. Instead of a big wintertime breakfast, a slice of a semi-homemade fruit tart and fresh brewed hot tea is what I’m dishing up for me and you.

1 pie pastry (Pillsbury)

3 large, firm pears, washed, peeled, cored, sliced 
2 tablespoons European style butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Fresh lemon juice to taste
1 egg white
Confectioners' sugar

Take pie pastry out of the refrigerator, let rest for 15 minutes.  Slice pears. In a bowl, mix pears, butter, sugar, flour, and juice. Place pastry on foil. Brush egg white on top to keep crust firm. Mold into a rectangle and crimp edges nicely like a border. Place pears inside. Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbly. *Try warming up your favorite apricot or strawberry organic jam and spread the glaze on top. Cool for 15 minutes. Cuts nicely in squares or rectangles.  Sprinkle with sugar. Sliced almonds (optional) and fresh pear slices can pretty it up. 

Adding crumbled blue cheese and/or not peeling pears gives the tart a rustic appeal. Also, strawberries and walnuts works for the change of seasons, too. Serves 6. Perfect for a breakfast or brunch pastry or dessert as we enjoy more sunshine and longer days.

So, this pear tart is ideal for Saint Patrick’s Day and the change of seasons. Also, it’s a perfect starter for thinking lighter with less calories, less sugar, and less fat. It’s a time to lose unwanted winter weight but there’s no rush.  Do it the easy way, like a day trip instead of a week getaway and a tart instead of pie.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

New Books--Spring into the New Season with Tea and Honey!



(Fight allergies, get slim, energized!)

Discover Honey's Amazing Bee-Healthy Powers

Did you know?... Known as Mother Nature's "nectar of the gods," honey was praised for its healing powers as far back as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians.
Drawing on the 21st century honey buzz, health author Cal Orey reveals enlightening honey home remedies, straight from the book The Healing Powers of Honey: A Complete Guide to Nature's Remarkable Nectar! (Kensington)  (NEW gift size 416 pages just released! Available at all fine bookstores!)

Here are common health ailments from A to Z and amazing at-home honey cures. These are tried-and-true folk remedies based on scientific studies, real-life stories, medical doctors, researchers, and beekeepers. But caution, consult your health-care practitioner before putting to work any honey cure.

* ALLERGIES (Stop seasonal misery): Dealing with annoying sneezing, a runny nose, and coughing is no picnic, thanks to seasonal pollen. But honey may come to your rescue.
What Honey Rx to Use:  Try eating a tablespoon of locally produced honey. Proponents of honey tell me that your immune system will get used to the local pollen in it (it should be within a 50-mile radius from where you live). *BLACK TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy:  By taking the honey cure, you may lose your allergy symptoms. It's worth the effort and is less pricey than a visit to the doctor or an allergist. Honey may enhance the immune system to build up a better arsenal against airborne allergens--and help you breathe easier. Honeycomb may line the entire breathing tract.

* ANXIETY (Beat the jitters monster): When anxiety hits (often worsened by stress) during summer blues to tourist madness, you know it like when an earthquake strikes. Anxiety can wreak havoc on your nervous system and up your odds of experiencing heart disease, stress eating, and other health problems.
What Honey Rx to Use: If you're under pressure and feeling high anxiety or sense a stressful event is in the works, make a cup of chamomile tea. Put in 1 teaspoon of your favorite honey. Repeat twice a day as needed. *CHAMOMILE TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy:  Honey--all hundreds of varietals--is touted by folk medicine healers for its calming effects. The natural superfood can help sooth your nerves rather than put you in higher anxiety mode. The relief if provides may be due to its multiple vitamin B content--anti-stress vitamins.

* ENERGY DRAIN (Beat low energy): Getting your zen back is a good thing, but then what if your energy plummets?  Liquid gold may be the answer again.
What Honey Rx to Use: Each morning include a teaspoon of bee pollen in your breakfast. Go ahead and take it solo. Or try The Honey Association's Energy Drink recipe:  ¼ pint orange juice, ¼ pint natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons clear honey. Place all the ingredients in a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses. Serves two people. *WHITE OR GINSENG TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy: Honey is a source of natural unrefined sugars and carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed by the body. That means, you'll get a quick energy boost with long-lasting effects. Athletes include it in their daily diets. It was even used by runners at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.

* WAIST WHITTLER (Blast belly fat): Twitches to tummy bulge... if you have a bulging tummy, you'd probably consider a sore throat is easier to get rid of. But wait; there are things you can do to get a flat tummy.
What Honey Rx to Use:  Both morning and night, drink an 8-ounce glass or mug of tea (dandelion or parsley boasts diuretic effects), with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Team this potion with grazing and watch your fat and sugar intake. *GREEN OR BLACK TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy: Honey and apple cider vinegar contain the bloat-busting mineral potassium. Also, turning to honey will help you to eat fewer sugary treats and enjoy a flatter stomach.
          So go ahead and use the type of honey advised or your own preference; all-natural, raw honey, dark varietals are recommended for best results. (Warning: To avoid infant botulism, do not fee honey to an infant.)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Spring into Feng Shui--by the Healing Powers Series Author

Spring into Feng Shui for a Cleaner
Spirit and Soul
Spring has sprung. It’s time to move forward and get moving into spring cleaning mode. The cleaner your kitchen is, the cleaner your spirit and soul, which is a good thing for you, yours, and your environment…

Welcome to the world of Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement. Its goal is to bring you harmony. By putting stuff in the right spots in your kitchen it may enhance the flow of positive energy and zap negative vibrations. The end result: good health, happiness, and fortune.

1 Declutter Your Stuff. Ditto. Getting rid of things you don't use will up your energy. It's true.
2  Brighten Up with Lighting. During the colder days without sun you'll want to have sunny-type lighting which can up your energy and mood--linked to good health.

3  Bring on the Water. Fish aquariums and spa resorts with ambiance provide positive energy in the dining room, especially with a gentle filter Ever notice Asian restaurants and the calming ambiance of fish?

4  Fish, Fish, Fish. Goldfish can bring you good luck and prosperity. In fact, nine is the lucky number. The colors? Gold and one black one. (Go smaller rather than bigger in size = less cleaning.)

5  Bring Out the Fresh Fruit. I've got several plump healthful seasonal fruits on display and ready to eat, such as pears placed in a stainless steel colander. According to feng shui consensus, a full bowl may lead to a full life. Think 3, 6, or 7. Always fresh!
6  Hang Wind Chimes with Crystals.  Feng shui gurus recommend hanging chimes in the doorway to the kitchen or over the stove sings good energy. And sit down, exhale, enjoy!

7 Brew a pot of tea. Keep the tea pot, tea cups, and candles on a kitchen or dining room table. Inviting for you or guests and calming...Place on a cloth or mat.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Tea Time: Ask the Healing Powers Series Author a Question!

By Cal Orey

Q:  Help! I think I caught the flu. How can I feel better--and fast, naturally?

A:  Tea and honey come to the rescue! Here are two superfoods that'll help you heal!

Flu: 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 bug to a stubborn virus that’ll hang on for weeks.

What Tea Rx to Use: Take 2 cups of tea (black, green, or white) and 1 cup of your favorite vitamin C-enhanced herbal tea– such as hibiscus.  Repeat as necessary in moderation.  Add honey, nature's finest anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory to soothe a sore throat.  Also, a cup of chamomile can help as well as be an aid to get a good night's sleep.
Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific: It’s no surprise that tea is chock-full of antioxidants—the good guys that can keep your immune system healthy and stave off germs you could encounter. By drinking tea and a vitamin-rich tisane teamed with a nutrient-dense diet (hot soup is a folk remedy that can help you feel better), you’ll be keeping your immune system stay strong or bolstering it--and if down will be back up faster.  Staying hydrated will also help make you feel better along with rest and relaxation.