CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Get blending with hummus variations, plus more tips

Published 11:22 am Monday, January 23, 2023

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All good southerners have been trained to have nibble fixin’s in the pantry, in case visitors drop in. These days, I’d consider hummus a good option.

Keep a can of chickpeas ready to blend with olive oil and lemon juice (I should get some tahini) and you’ve got something to set out with veggies or crackers.

Forget company. Sometimes you just crave the stuff.

I served happy guests then confessed there was a big dose of cottage cheese in the blend. Before mixing, I added bell pepper and onion so I got a lovely color and flavor.

You can try other beans, too.

So maybe it is not technically hummus if you substitute white, pinto or black beans, but you’ve got a healthy-option bean dip in any case.

Did I just make you hungry for hummus?

Get blending.

It’s for Dawgs – If crunchy, creamy, natural peanut butter is your deal, remember it could be your dog’s fave, too. Paw Power Nutrition explains why their blends are better than some nut butters humans eat. They make it sound so good you want a taste. Reviews indicate many pet owners have felt the same way.

Um, I’m not a pet owner. But when pumpkin and blueberry versions came to my house for dog acquaintances of mine, I investigated and then I sampled. I’m a fan. The texture of the nuts was so fine and I’m feeling this is simply a superior butter. Fill a toy with this butter and keep it in the freezer to keep your pup occupied longer. Hide their meds, offer it straight from a spoon or a lick mat or distract them at nail clipping time. Cook them healthy treats. I heard from dogs I know who sampled different blends. Owners say it was a hit all around. Bone up at

My Pretties:

Rocking It – Tsuri means rock. Foodies into lavender and yuzo for aromatic body care and washing their produce in a key lime based product, rock it with The Tsuri Company. Creator Ashli Goudelock is a certified formulator cultivating a community of women recognizing self-care is a needed thing. This Alpharetta, Georga-based company entices with Yuzo + Ylang Ylang Body Oil Bar and Cashmere + Vanilla Body Crème. This is a whole new way to enjoy cashmere, with “skin-identical ingredients.” I’m sampling some of these luxurious products that uplift you and your home surroundings. I could go on, but you can go to

Ink & Bumps – There are certain aromas I associate with good, healthy living. The rose hip, lemongrass and lavender in Bump Oil from Ink Oil are drawing me in to New Year’s Resolution season. It’s designed for reducing the scaring and itching of stretch marks and there’s a silhouette of a woman with child on the label. That’s not my condition, but I’m loving this fragrant spray as a skin-nourishing uplifter. Nor am I “covered in tattoos and dog hair,” but I know where you can get a T-shirt with this sentiment. gets you to special soaps and such to care for inked skin. I’m here for the bonus blends.

Darragh Castillo is a Southeast Texas foodie who would dine with the dogs. Share your culinary finds with her at