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Healthy Living: Sweet Potatoes


Sweet PotatoesIf you could only eat one thing again and still stay healthy, a sweet potato is a pretty good bet.

Often called nature’s perfect food, sweet potatoes have a significant amount of beta carotene and can provide almost a day’s worth of the U. S. Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin A.

They are a complex carbohydrate and a good source of dietary fiber. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin B5, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium.

You probably don’t want to eat a sweet potato raw, but that’s okay because cooking them actually gives them a higher level of vitamin C.

Sweet potatoes are great baked, roasted, sautéed and pureed for soups and stews.



Product Talk: Slow Cooker Cube Steak with Gravy


Slow Cooker Cube Steak with GravyFor a long time, I had no idea what a cube steak was, so I never cooked with it. Then, I found out that it’s the most commonly used cut of meat for chicken fried steak, so if it’s used for that, it can’t be all that bad, right?

Cube steak is a simple cut of beef, usually a top round or top sirloin, that’s been tenderized using a meat tenderizer or an electric meat tenderizer. The name refers to the shape of the indentations left by that process, which is called “cubing.” See? Nothing to be afraid of.

A top round or top sirloin isn’t the most tender cut of beef to begin with, so this process helps things along. Slow cooking also helps tenderize the meat, as in this recipe for a slow cooked cube steak with gravy. You can serve this over rice or mashed potatoes like the recipe calls for, but my boys also like it over egg noodles.

Slow Cooker Cube Steak with Gravy

Ingredients:
1 cube steak family pack (includes about 6)
2 cans reduced fat and/or low-sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
3/4 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place cube steaks in a slow cooker. Stir all other ingredients together and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low setting all day. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 643, Calories from Fat: 155, Fat: 17 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 258 mg, Sodium: 1347 mg, Potassium: 1048 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 104 mg.

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Dine In: Fettuccine with Goat Cheese, Bacon and Cherry Tomatoes


Fettuccine with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Cherry TomatoesSeveral years ago, we had “Pasta Thursday” every week in my house. It didn’t really matter what the dish was, but it contained some sort of pasta.

We’ve gotten away from that in the past few years, and it seems like we don’t each much pasta in the summertime at all.

Now that it’s cooler, pasta and pasta dinners have started reappearing on our menus. The boys love pasta and let’s admit, it’s fast, easy and inexpensive.

This recipe, to me, combines the best of summer flavors with heartier fall fare. While I’d normally take out as much fat as I could, make sure you use the bacon drippings as called for in the recipe. It makes so much of a difference. The original recipe didn’t call for whole-wheat fettuccine, but that’s pretty much all we eat any more. I love the nuttier flavor and the extra bite in the pasta when you use the whole-wheat kind.

This dish is also great to feed a crowd. I think it’s going to make an appearance at a porch party one Friday night soon.

Fettuccine with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 strips center-cut bacon
1 Tbs olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
9 oz whole-wheat fettuccine pasta
3 Tbs basil, chopped chiffonade (into thin strips)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon chopped thyme and 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary. Roast in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and have started to collapse.

While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the bacon over medium heat in a skillet. Reserve the fat and drippings while cooking. Crumble bacon roughly with your fingers and set aside.

Without washing the skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and drippings to the skillet. Over medium-low heat, add the minced garlic cloves, and cook until fragrant and starting to brown, about a minute. Add the remaining chopped thyme and rosemary, and cook for another minute. Set aside.

Cook the fettuccine according to package directions for al dente pasta. When done, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and drain.

Add the cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and bacon to the garlic herb mixture in the skillet over medium-low heat. Stir together and cook for about a minute. Then, add the cooked pasta and toss, cooking for another minute. Add reserved pasta water if the sauce needs more liquid, but this shouldn’t be a saucy pasta.

Serve with plenty of chopped basil on top.

Serves 3-4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 431, Calories from Fat: 205, Fat: 23 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 52 mg, Sodium: 515 mg, Potassium: 944 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 26 g.

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Shop the Sale: Butter and Garlic Stuffed Split Chicken Breasts


Butter and Garlic Stuffed Split Chicken BreastsGrowing up, we always had chicken breasts on the bone.

When I was out on my own, I decided I’d only buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Yes, those are easy, fast and convenient, perfect for many of the dishes I make.

However, there’s no doubt that the flavor of a bone-in breast is so much more significant! I think cooking meat on the bone keeps it juicier, too.

This recipe produces about the most moist, flavorful chicken I’ve ever had. It’s crispy and juicy all in one. The recipe calls for dried drill, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other spices as well.

Split chicken breasts are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so stock up!

Butter and Garlic Stuffed Split Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:
2 split chicken breasts with ribs removed
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs dried dill
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Trim two split chicken breasts of any extra fat and trim off rib section if you desire. Rinse and pat dry

Mince garlic. In a small pan, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic and cook about 2 minutes.

Place 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl and microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Add the cooked garlic.

In the thicker side of the chicken breast, cut a 1-inch slot and then with your finger, create a pocket inside the breast.

Reserve about a teaspoon of the butter/garlic mixture. Then, add half of the remaining mixture to each pocket and spread it around the pocket. Brush the remaining butter mixture on the skin of the breast. Prep a baking pan by lining with aluminum foil and spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

Place on prepared pan lined with aluminum foil, and season with dill, salt and pepper.

Bake in 400° F oven until internal temperature reaches 165° F, about 45 minutes depending on size of breast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 778, Calories from Fat: 352, Fat: 39 g (15 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 333 mg, Sodium: 378 mg, Potassium: 898 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 99 g.

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Healthy Living: Brussels Sprouts


Brussels SproutsMy kids recently discovered a new favorite vegetable: Brussels sprouts.

It’s more accurate to say that I recently INTRODUCED them to Brussels sprouts. I was lazy and took it for granted that they’d hate them because all kids hate them, right?

Nope.

My kids LOVE them now, as do several others I know. Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of German cabbage. One cup contains only 38 calories but has 342 grams of potassium, 3.3 grams of protein, dietary fiber and 3 grams of protein, plus 124 percent of the USDA for vitamin C.That’s a lot!

In addition, Brussels sprouts help you out with some cholesterol-lowering benefits, if you use a steaming method when cooking them. The fiber-related components in Brussels sprouts do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed.

So, steam them, roast them, grill them, bake them or enjoy them any way you like: they’re good for you!



Product Talk: Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes


Betty Crocker Cookie MixesWhen I was growing up, my mom made everything from scratch. Everything.

She never would have dreamed of using a mix for anything, and that’s how I learned to cook. She also woke up at some time well before the sun rose to accomplish some of the tasks, like baking and making things from scratch.

Thank goodness for Betty Crocker. She also gets up well before dawn to make sure I don’t have to. With Betty Crocker cookie mixes, my cookies taste like homemade, but I don’t spend a lot of time measuring out sugar and baking soda.

Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes come in a convenient pouch with all the dry ingredients already included. They come in a variety of flavors like chocolate chip, double chocolate chunk, molasses, oatmeal and peanut butter, as well as sugar and white chip macadamia nut. These could fool my mom, I’m telling you! All you do is add a few extra ingredients and bake!

With their limited edition holiday flavors as well, I’m set for the year.



Dine In: Pumpkin Pie Cake


Pumpkin Pie CakeI don’t care what the calendar says; as soon as school starts, it’s fall! Fall means all things pumpkin. Major chains are selling pumpkin coffees, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin cookies and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Pumpkin in quintessentially fall, from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Thanksgiving pies. I remember growing up in Virginia where it was actually cool by the time school started and enjoying pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake and, of course, carving pumpkins then roasting the seeds to eat!

This recipe sounded amazing as it embodies all your favorite flavors of pumpkin pie in a cake!

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Ingredients:
1 can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pkg yellow cake mix (gluten-free works as well)
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup nuts, chopped

Topping:
2 (12 oz) ctn whipped cream cheese frosting

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Add the pumpkin, eggs, milk, sugar and spices to a stand mixer; mix well. Next, mix in the cake mix and butter. If you choose to use nuts, mix those in at this point as well.

Pour the mix into two 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Once baked, let them cool completely.

Carefully remove and release them from the pan once they are fully cooled.

When cooled, add a thin layer of frosting on top of one cake, then place the other cake on top of the icing, making a 2-layer cake.
Serve immediately or serve chilled.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 554, Calories from Fat: 270, Fat: 30 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 524 mg, Potassium: 260 mg, Carbohydrates: 67 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 48 g, Protein: 8 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.

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Family Matters: Italian Soda


Italian SodaBring your family back to the table for dinner, Italian style. September 22 is National Family Day, focusing on bringing families together, especially around the dinner table. This month, we are celebrating Italian style with Italian meals. Even if you just make a big pot of spaghetti and garlic bread, your kids will love helping you make these sweet cream sodas to top off your meal together. 

Mealtime is family time in Italy so let your child take part in the family’s Italian feast with this easy recipe for Chocolate Italian Cream Soda. Rich and creamy, this quick and simple soda serves as a refreshing drink or dessert that’s great with your family’s Italian favorites. Fill a glass three-quarters full of ice. Pour a half cup of club soda into the glass, followed by three tablespoons of chocolate syrup and two tablespoons of half-and-half; stir. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Buon Appetito!



Shop the Sale: Crispy Drumsticks


Crispy DrumsticksLet’s talk about drums.

First: the instrument.

My older son is in seventh grade and could take band for the first time. He’d been talking about playing the trumpet for YEARS, just like his dad, but when it came down to the week where the kids were trying out all the instruments, he wanted to take a proverbial whack at percussion.

Ouch.

I imagined pounding headaches and a constant vibration in the house.

Sure enough, he tried percussion.

He hated it.

“It’s LOUD, Mom,” he said.

Yes. Yes, it is.

He tried the trumpet, the tuba and the trombone, too.

He wants trumpet. We’re hoping he gets trumpet as that’s what his dad plays, and that’s what we have on hand. We shall see next week!

In the meantime, let’s talk about drums.

Drumsticks, that is.

Drumsticks are a part of the chicken that is juicy and flavorful. They are not loud, and they do not cause headaches. You don’t have to beat them to extract flavor.

Try this recipe while drumsticks and thighs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s. The meat is juicy and tender, and the coating is crispy and savory.

Crispy Drumsticks

Ingredients:
3 cups cornflake cereal, crushed
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 lb), skinned
vegetable cooking spray

Directions:
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal and shake well to combine.

Pour buttermilk into a shallow bowl. Dip 2 drumsticks in buttermilk, and place in bag. Seal and shake well, coating drumsticks completely.

Place drumsticks on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining drumsticks.

Sprinkle remaining cornflake mixture evenly over drumsticks on baking sheet. Lightly coat with cooking spray.

Bake at 425° F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until drumsticks are well-browned and done. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 324, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat, 2 g Monounsaturated Fat, 2 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 41 g, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Fiber: 1 g, Cholesterol: 137 mg, Iron: 56 mg, Sodium: 790 mg, Calcium: 150 mg.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List. 



Healthy Living: How to Soothe Coughs Naturally


Warm Tea with HoneyIt’s that time of year. My older son and I are both home sick today with coughs. My son, the hypochondriac, is convinced we both have enterovirus 68.

Luckily, we’re not that sick, but coughs due to the common cold are hard to treat. They also tend to linger. Doctors have different advice on medications: You don’t want to suppress a cough that is productive, but you don’t want to be wracked with pain every time you cough either.

Here are a few ways to help soothe a cough naturally.

First, stay hydrated. An upper respiratory tract infection like a cold or flu causes post-nasal drip. Extra secretions trickle down the back of your throat, irritating it and sometimes causing a cough. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to thin out the mucus in your body, helping to alleviate that while keeping mucous membranes moist.

Warm drinks and lozenges soothe the back of the throat, reducing the cough reflex. Try warm tea with honey and natural lozenges in a sugar-free variety, if you can find them.

Hot showers and humidifiers can also help by loosening secretions in the nose. Make sure that your humidifier is clean, though, so you aren’t spreading more bacteria.

If you don’t want to take a hot shower yourself, sit in the bathroom with the door closed while your little one showers. You’ll get the same benefits.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

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On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

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Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

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Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

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