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CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Enjoy the sips of the season

I burned a few magnolia leaves for a fall scent in hopes of cooling down the weather.

Worked for me.

This column is devoted to sips of the season. Take a moment to enjoy that fall feeling.

It doesn’t last too long around here.

Pumpkin Update

Fall is a good time to check the dates on your spices as you root around for cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

I consolidated some spices to work up a chai tea blend and/or something to sprinkle on French toast for a pumpkin flavor.

I didn’t want to waste a thing, so I added a little water to a nearly-empty ginger bottle and shook it up.

I poured it into a pitcher of tea and got an extra zing.

Stash Tea

Stash is a “little bag of crazy” according to this Portland, Oregon, biz started in 1972.

It’s crazy good on its own and has some ideas for those who like experimenting with Doublespice Chai, Mango Passionfruit, Asian Pear Harmony, Ginger Fire Chai, Sunny Orange Ginger, Wild Raspberry Hibiscus and Pomegranate Raspberry.

I love how red teas look in a glass. I’ve tried them. The mindful experience begins with the soft aroma that greets you when you tear open the outer pouch.

Maybe you don’t need a recipe beyond hot water and bag of Stash. But I love to play.

Be inspired with something like this:

Citrus Hibiscus Sangria should include seasonal produce, such as blood oranges, apples and lemons, Candice young of From the Roots blog suggests. She uses a quart sized bag of Stash Wild Raspberry Iced Tea or 4 Wild Raspberry Hibiscus tea bags, 4 cups water, a half cup organic cane sugar, mint leaves, a liter of sparkling mineral water, a quart of 100 percent pure juice (try pomegranate, strawberry lemonade or cranberry) and your fruits and garnish such as grapes, berries, etc.

Cucumbers & Roses

“Botanicals” has a lovely ring to it. Back in the ‘70s this meant Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoo.

Then I got into herb gardening and loved the aromas, textures and flavors of culinary and healing plants. I never would have dreamed I’d be enjoying cucumbers and roses in adult beverages.

Finlandia Botanical has made it happen. The Finnish are crafting infusions for “mindful sipping in casual get-togethers. Cucumber & Mint and Wildberry & Rose are 73 calories a serve with no artificial flavors or added sugars.

Sparkling water, tonic or lemonade will add to your mindful sipping, as will The Garnish Lounge touches of dried rose petals, lime, etc. This is light and lovely and is sure to connect you to nature. Learn more at

Ranch Water

Ginn Fizz is a new thing for RANCH20 Spirits that is among my favorites of this fizzy water trend.

If you’ve seen the term, you can call Ranch Water a mix of tequila, lime and soda water a “skinny Margarita” or the unofficial cocktail of West Texas.

This brand has its version as well as Classic Marg, a Vodka Soda and the gin thing that’ll make you bubble with excitement.

It’s a Texan thing and we’re proud like that. They’re boasting of “real” ingredients, great taste and no compromise. On the can, the H20 is written like the water symbol, and there’s a cattle brand like a flowing R.

Now, get over to and see if you can picture yourself like the cowboy-booted lady relaxing her legs out of her window.

Since I’m quite sure she is of age and not driving, I’m imagining her cooling off after the head ranch hand has driven her around to survey her spread.


Wine is like music, they say, and we all like something different.

Winewisk Aerator lets you taste before and after in your own glass experience levels of flavor and aroma. Swirl without judgment.

The bonus is the slip of plastic is color coded, so you can keep up with your own serving. Clip it on the inside of your glass and you can swirl when you want to.

These are the perks beyond smoother taste as you release your wine’s full flavor and aroma. has more on this cool tool. I like that it slows you down and encourages you to use your senses. It does make a positive difference. Learn more at

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie keeping hydrated. Let her know what you are enjoying this season via


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