CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Are you ready for the Challah challenge?

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, October 5, 2021

When my husband woke up, he didn’t know what challah was. By lunch he’d braided his own loaf in a couple’s baking project.

We ate the whole beautiful loaf, which is quite an accomplishment from a pair who fusses every time we attempt to fold sheets.

I’m a non-baker and he’s a non-kitchen dweller. Imagine, Pereg made it desirable to knead their “Best for Challah Flour” into “magic challah.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The pillowy dough can be fashioned into chocolate babka, cinnamon buns, dinner rolls or laminated with butter for croissants. One thing at a time here, Pereg.

I’m new at this, but hey, the loafs were perfect, so I can keep going. I love this company’s spice blends, which include the perfect cinnamon, sesame seeds I’ve been sprinkling into peanut butter for snacks and, zahtar (the spice mix I discovered after Hurricane Harvey flooding.

Everything But the Bagel with the best quality garlic, poppy seeds, onion, black and white and natural sesame seeds and comes in a shaker that you may decide to keep in your bag because you wouldn’t want a meal without it.

Go to for fresh spices that you’ll want to use on avocado, tomatoes, eggs and everything including the bagel.


Air fryer fun

Zavor your food?

Zavor Crunch Air Fryer oven sits on your countertop and has two shelves that have been a fried okra and chickepea producer for me.

I’m new to the process, and it produces my favorite food texture: Crunch.

Zavor as a Facebook community so you can interact with users who are also using this brand of appliances to can tomatoes and make quick meals.

This air fryer allows a cook to remove shelves and insert a rotisserie basket for a little whole chicken.

Try, which connects you to this New Jersey company.


10 reasons to love your toaster oven

Maybe you got a toaster oven, or an air fryer with a toaster oven function, for the holidays.

Allow it to help you and not become a space-taker on the counter. America’s Test Kitchens have been toasting for you and released the book “Toaster Oven Perfection: A Smarter Way to Cook on a Smaller Scale.

Pictures are beautiful, the ideas and flavors are so “now” and you get some sound logic on why it all works.

I love that a Top 10 list is also like a table of contents to prove the point.

Like this:

  1. It cooks food with minimal mess, creating Lime and Chipotle and Ginger and Five-Spice meals.
  2. It fries food without the fryer: Spicy Kimchi Oven-Fried Chicken Sandwiches
  3. It puts dinner on the table faster: Roasted Boneless Short Rib
  4. It makes a full dinner with one sheet: Spice-crusted Sirloin Steak with Asparagus and Lemon-Shallot Butter
  5. It cooks bubbly casseroles with less fuss: No-Boil Baked Ziti
  6. It takes breakfast beyond toast: One-Pan Breakfast
  7. It’s your Satellite Oven: Roasted Broccoli with Olives, Garlic, Oregano and Lemon
  8. It helps you reduce waste: Thick-Cut Oven Fries
  9. It’s perfect for entertaining: Baked Crostini with Onion Jam and Brie
  10. It ensures every cookie is freshly baked: Make-Ahead Sugar Cookies (How about Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies?)


Pumpkin spice update

Root beer? That’s a fall seasonal to me.

But Hank’s Gourmet Beverages knows it’s a hip brand. Hence, seasonal sensations from this Philadelphia-based third-generation family business offers Pumpkin Spice Soda.

I may like the Caramel Apple version even better.

Wishniak Black Cherry Soda is in their base line. These are sweet with real sugar and very old school.

They want you to notice their attractive seasonal packaging, but they’re obviously still focused on keeping what’s inside the bottle on target.

Learn more at


Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie falling for the season. Let her know some of your holiday favorites at