Try these Culinary Thrill Seekers options for New Year (or anytime) enjoyment

Published 4:00 am Monday, December 27, 2021

Here’s the Southeast Texas holiday food items checklist: Gumbo, tamales.

That hits just about everybody. Add-ons welcome. If you just have a few left after breaking open a dozen, here’s an idea for a stray tamale.

Cut it up and layer it into your holiday omelet. It’s a spicy bite of joy to make breakfast, lunch or dinner more festive.

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I wish all you Culinary Thrill Seekers the happiest of New Year’s activities.

Get some joy and share it.

Here are some more finds to keep you learning, loving and experimenting:

Advent book

“An Encounter” – These daily reflections take readers a few days past The Epiphany with readings and even alternative readings that may be a bit more challenging than some giveaway books.

We need to be encouraged, and sometimes we need to be shaken.

Maurice Nkem Emelu, is a priest asking us to get moving. The author asks, are we ready to follow God’s lead? This is written so you can read it every year at this season. Learn more at revemelu.com.

Al Basha Mediterranean Market – Out and about for the holidays?

Garbanzo beans, stuffed grape leaves, meats and sweets are tempting at the new Al Basha Mediterranean Market.

They boast baked goods as well. It’s next to the restaurant of the same name at 2576 Interstate 10 East Frontage Road in Beaumont. It’s fun to explore the cans and packages of different flavors. I’m can’t resist stuffed grape leaves.

Twirl – Jasmine will always be my top pick because that’s my daughter’s name.

Supreme Jasmine sounds like a super hero character of sorts, but it’s a flavor from Twirl Milk Tea.

Hijicha Roasted Green Tea and Original Black are also premium nitro-infused teas with milk in slim 7.5 ounce cans ranging in the 45-50 calorie range.

On-the-go organic fair-trade brewed tea with way less sugar, nut- and soy-free milk and no additional flavorings or GMOs are in here. I don’t know many who have their tea with milk here.

We are Southern iced sweet tea people. So, these strong flavors taste adventurous and exotic to me, like I’m on travels and could pack this on my hike to the mountains or the Great Wall.

Makes couldn’t find what they wanted so they created it.

My Supreme Jasmine is made with tea leaves from centuries-old trees and infused with the finest jasmine they could find for a supremely floral and complex aged experience. Enjoy cold and twirl the Twrl for optimal froth.

Learn more at twirlmilktea.com.

Monk Fruit Blend

I’m 100 percent sold on Better Body Foods Monk Fruit Blend Zero Calorie Sweetener with no aftertaste. I rarely use raw sugar… but when I do, I’m going to grab this bag.

Antioxidants called mogrosides give monk fruit its sweet taste, so this is a good deal for those wanting a low-glycemic sweetener for baking and drinks. Mmmm. I’m thinking of a rim garnish for cocktails or a cinnamon toast topper. Go crazy.

Karvava – “Inspired by Malbec” sounds like something on a home décor sign or a T-shirt. It’s on a bottle of Karviva Unwined, an 80-calorie berry drink you can put in a stemmed glass, if you like.

It’s alcohol free, but aronia, mulberry and schisandra berries will do their best to convince you they are “wined.”

Karviva also offers Ace Sport drinks in the same style of bottle in flavors such as sunny orange. This line offers antioxidans, collagen and electrolytes. It’s not pretending to be wine but it sure tastes better than many sports drinks.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie awaiting the joyful abundance of 2022. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com.