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CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Learn about new things to grow at a plant swap

Plant swaps are the best. I heard on KVLU (FM 91.3) that Beaumont’s Seventh Day Adventists were having a plant and craft swap at their church on Major Drive and began thinking of the shrimp plant and succulent cuttings I could gather. Members had a beautiful fall Sunday for this fun time in their parking lot.

I came home with a bromeliad, rosemary, dusty miller and … did that guy say “eternal” spinach? A woman under a lace parasol distributed jars of “faith” seeds and snacks. I got a prayer and a hug from her.

I just loved how proud people were of the plants they brought and how happy everyone was to learn about new things to grow. Dawn, swap contact, said to look for another one of these days in the spring. Can’t wait.

Clean up at breakfast

They do things big in Dallas, but creative blogger Lacey Baier isn’t suggesting you eat a big chunk of carrot cake for breakfast or sneak risky globs of cookie dough.

In “Clean Eating Breakfasts and Lunches Made Simple” our heroine tackles two rushed/neglected meal slots and makes them possibly the best part of your day.

Carrot cake quinoa bowls are flavored and fortified with coconut milk, grated carrots, cinnamon and ginger and topped with a Greek yogurt-maple drizzle. Could that get you through the morning to a lunch of Miso-Glazed Salmon Sesame Soba Noodles and Bok Choy? Seeing the beautiful photos in this Page Street Publishing Co. production, I hope Baier, creator of A Sweet Pea Chef, opens a restaurant. But she gives you confidence to make low-carb pizza waffles and overnight oat parfaits your family will love at home. She may be the one to convince readers what I’ve always said, eating cleaner and healthier is easier than people think. It’s more fun, too.

‘Rustic, Joyful Food: My Heart’s Table’

To feed someone is to love them, Danielle Kartes writes, and lives. Family, love and God are discussed in an intro where this joyful cook shares the very sentimental ups, and the realistic, cash flow and high-stress downs of owning Mineola, an organic bistro in the heart of Tacoma’s theatre district. Somewhere in all that, she realized that it was joy and not “accomplishments” that made life and now she and her husband and two sons live a more full life, with the added bonus of ham and brie sandwiches and herbed couscous with avocado and slivered almonds.

It’s all good and all delicious with her. I’m headed to the store for a can of hominy, which I plan to toast in to seasoned corn nuts and I’m for sure going to puree some white beans. The fall season is just right to get all “hearty” with your plant-based foods.

Culinary Thrill Seeking annual pumpkin alert: Her Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie Bars are a swirly work of art. Let’s go serve up some joy with Kartes.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who loves to grow, cook and eat. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com