CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — January is Soup Month. Can that mean gumbo for SETX?

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, January 19, 2021

My family thinks I don’t like soup. It’s because I told them I don’t like soup and have avoided certain soups from them.

But I actually mean I tend to really hate vegetable soup or bland and salty canned soups. Bring on a good French onion, potato or gourmet cream version.

In January, when one craves a bowl of warm comfort, I’m all about gumbo. I’m about gumbo in steamy summer months as well.

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My husband loves gumbo, but he always brings up his musings of if gumbo is really a soup. This is tedious, as he’s still going on about it as he dishes his second bowl.

Readers, let me know what you think.

Do you consider gumbo as soup? Or is it a special category of Cajun elixer?

Moocho Fiesta

“Let’s YUM this thing,” the shreds say. “Mmm-oo-cho.”

If every night was taco night, except when it is enchilada night, you might need to examine your cheese habits. You might need to go non-dairy, into Moocho’s world of Fiesta, Mozzarella and Cheddar shreds plant-based, non-dairy shreds.

HEB has added plant-based options including Moocho. They work like cheese for me and the aged Fiesta Blend melted into a skillet full of refried beans on my last Taco Tuesday.

If cheese should not be an everyday thing in your life, yum up with Moocho shreds.

Circle B Ranch, Rogersville, Mo.

Do Texans treat themselves to pork chops?

We smoke our brisket and grill our steaks, but pork chops don’t pop into my mind until I see a beauty packed up at the store.

And I sure didn’t realize there’s a thing called Big John’s Chop and Steak Sauce that is tomato-based, molasses spiked ease for dipping, marinating, pouring on pork steak or poultry or, as makers say, great on fresh garden tomatoes.

Big John’s Uncured Hickory Smoked Pork Pineapple Snack Stick is thicker in more moist than most options, in my opinion.

Uncured Bacon Pork and a jalapeno version of that are great hiking snacks to tuck into a backpack (

The Paleo Sheet Pan Cookbook

Jennifer Bumb challenges us to get our sheet together.

Pumpkin update: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes is the first recipe to greet readers. You slice them into squares. Sweet Potato Bennies, using the potatoes instead of bread for a benedict, is the second breakfast option and the rest of the section makes eggs look artistic.

Then you’ve get to stuffed poppers, salmon, meats and nuggets in the main dishes. I can hardly stand it.

Bumb is founder of “Pretend it’s a Donut” and her writings are popular and funny. I noted a sheet pan in the tempting photos looks like it has been around, then I noted her observation that kitchens ought to have real, dog-eared cookbooks with blotched pages.

I like her. And I like her dishes.

Spaghetti Squash Pork Chow Mein and Buttermilk-Drenched Caveman Pops, what I used to call turkey legs, are calling my name. A sheet pan is an easy way to get dinner in the oven and to the table and it helps with cleanup, too.

I’ll bet you’ve got one that you haven’t touched in a while.

Have you ever jerked your carrots? Roasted your mini sweet potatoes Reuben style? Invited an avocado into your brownie mix?

If you by into the sheet pan ease idea, don’t think there are just a few recipes to try. These come from all over the world and they have varied textures.

Don’t worry. The sheet pan is still good to make dessert. How about fruit roll ups?

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who’d love to hear how you have already changed your habits in January. Let her know if you consider gumbo as soup. Reach her at