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Dine In: Cowboy Butter


My co-workers welcome me back to the office on Monday mornings with the same greeting, “What did you grill this weekend?”

The joke has become that it’s usually meat with a side of meat.

It’s just a joke, sort of.

We do grill pretty much every weekend. While I try to include a wide variety of proteins and I really make an effort to get creative with grilled side dishes and vegetables, we do eat a lot of meat. We also do a lot of surf and turf, since I prefer seafood while my boyfriend is a carnivore through and through.

When I do want the ultimate indulgence, steak with cowboy butter is the way to go. This cowboy butter is actually amazing on any kind of red meat, seafood (I have to try it on lobster tail!), chicken or pork (yes, so pretty much anything).

Serve it as a warm side to your grilled meats, and it’s even delicious for crusty bread or cornbread.

Tip: This Cowboy Butter can be made ahead. Just keep it refrigerated. Reheat and melt when it’s time to serve.

Cowboy Butter

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, melted
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs prepared horseradish
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
2 Tbs parsley, freshly chopped
1 Tbs chives, freshly chopped
2 tsp thyme, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a bowl, whisk butter, lemon juice, garlic, shallots, mustard, horseradish, cayenne and paprika. Add parsley, chives and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 430, Fat: 47 g (29 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 122 mg, Sodium: 430 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 1 g.

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: The Chores Can Wait


Chores Can WaitThis morning (Saturday), I woke up with a to-do list a mile long. Make that a mile and a half.

I wanted to get the grocery shopping done early. I had laundry backed up all week. There are at least four problem areas in my house that have stuff piled so high that someone might call “Hoarders” on me for an intervention if I don’t get them sorted out soon. The bathrooms weren’t cleaned this week. There was yard work that needed to be done if the homeowner’s association wasn’t going to be paying me a visit, and my list didn’t even include the daily things that just need to be done.

I drove my older son to work and came home ready to tackle the tasks at hand.

“What are we going to do today?” my younger son asked.

I started to list off the things I was going to get done today.

“Okay,” he said, quietly.

“Why?” I asked him. “What did you want to do today?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said, noncommittally.

I went toward the shower, determined to get through my list.

Then, I stopped. I’d worked all week. He’d been cooped up in the house all week. I knew that he was itching to get out and do something. I knew he wasn’t asking me to do anything extravagant or expensive. I knew that he just wanted a few minutes of my time. Actually, with his brother at work, it was a golden opportunity.

I will admit that I hesitated for a moment. Oh, that list!

I went back to the living room.

“Do you want to go to the park?

Walks with Mom are his love language. Ever since he was a toddler, it was our thing to do together, even if we only made it 50 feet down the driveway and collecting rocks, which he’d hand me like treasures, all the while clutching one in his chubby little baby hand.

His freckled face exploded into sunshine.

“Yes!”

We went to the park. We walked on the trails for about an hour. We both came home with enough happiness to fuel the entire weekend.

I didn’t make it through my whole to-do list today, but that’s fine. It will all still be there tomorrow, but the chances to take walks with my teenage son are a precious commodity. I’ll always put those on the top of my to-do list.

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Posted in: Family Matters


Product Talk: Noonday Onions


Summer is (practically) here and so are Noonday onions.

Noonday onions were made famous over 40 years ago for their sweet flavor and crisp texture. Noonday, Texas exports them, and Brookshire’s stocks them all over the South for people to enjoy these onions full of deliciousness.

Noonday sweet onions are a yellow onion that’s harvested all summer long and honored at a festival each May. The city of Noonday is located a few miles south of Tyler, home to the headquarters of Brookshire’s. To qualify as a Noonday onion, these sweet treats must be grown within a 10-mile radius of Noonday.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Memorial Day Baked Beans


Memorial Day Baked BeansIt’s Memorial Day weekend, and I hope you’re going to get out and enjoy the long weekend with family and friends.

Memorial Day almost always means a picnic for me, and I love me some good picnic food.

I always head straight for the baked beans, if I don’t bring them myself, that is. I like them savory, not too sweet. To be quite honest, I could eat only baked beans and be quite happy. Well, beans and German potato salad, maybe. And homemade ice cream. And watermelon. Possibly a burger or rib.

Fine. I like it all.

This version of baked beans can certainly stand alone as a main dish and (for real this time) has actually done so in my house! It’s also good for a picnic or buffet because there’s nothing in it that will spoil, and it still tastes good at room temperature.

Memorial Day Baked Beans

Ingredients:
3 (16 oz) cans pork and beans
1 lb ground beef, browned
2 Tbs brown mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp cumin
8 slices bacon

Directions:
Mix beans, ground beef, mustard, brown sugar, ketchup and cumin together. Spread in a 9-inch square casserole dish. Lay slices of bacon on top.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes, or until beans are bubbly and bacon is beginning to crisp.

Serves 10 to 12 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 346, Fat: 11 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 64 mg, Sodium: 999 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 15 g, Protein: 26 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Healthy Living: Freeze Your Fruit


No doubt the summer months produce some of the best fruit of the year, but how do you maximize all those great flavors – and the nutritional value – later in the year?

You can freeze summer fruits for use a few months down the road without compromising their taste, textures or nutrients if you go about it the right way.

  • For raspberries and blackberries, rinse, dry thoroughly, and then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer overnight. The next morning, portion into freezer bags or containers and seal well.
  • For blueberries, remove stems, rinse and dry. Then, follow the same method for raspberries and blackberries.
  • For strawberries, rinse, dry completely and then remove stems. Chop or slice and freeze until solid.
  • If you want to freeze fresh cherries, rinse, dry, remove pits and slice before freezing until solid.
  • Bananas are easy. Just peel and freeze until solid. They’re great for smoothies and banana bread.
  • For stone fruits like peaches, rinse, dry, peel, slice, remove pit and freeze until solid.
  • Apples are easy, too. Rinse, dry, peel, cut into chunks and freeze until solid.
  • For melons, remove the inside flesh and chop. Freeze until solid.
  • Citrus fruits can also be frozen. Rinse, dry, slice or segment and freeze until solid.

All these fruits are great for smoothies, toppings on yogurt, mixed into oatmeal or cereal, or baked into breads, muffins or cookies. You get summer taste and nutrition all year long.



Product Talk: Mi Costeñita Spices


One of my favorite places in Brookshire’s is the wall of hanging Mi Costeñita spices in the produce department.

There are rows and rows of small packages of the most aromatic dried spices you can imagine, cumin seeds, dried peppers, oregano, smoky paprika, basil, garlic powder and so much more.

Founded in 1995, the Mi Costeñita company sells dried herbs, spices and snacks such as mango chips. Their selection of dried peppers is absolutely amazing, including ancho chiles, guajillo chiles, abol sin pata chiles and more. You can grind them into spices yourself, use them as seasonings in sauces and stocks, or finely dice for rice or a filling for enchiladas or tamales.

My favorite is the dried cumin seeds that I can grind myself. The flavor is intense!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Beer Cheese Dip


I drove through Kentucky a few summers ago on my way home to Texas from a trip to Virginia (I took the scenic route), and there I discovered the thing my heart loves: beer cheese.

Beer cheese is a traditional Kentucky dish with roots in Cook County. It’s exactly what it says it is: beer and cheese. It’s easy to make and easy to store, but the flavor profiles of a sharp cheddar against a lager are out of this world.

Beer cheese is usually used as a dip, but in Kentucky, they also spread it on a piece of thick toast. This would be delicious as a Friday night appetizer or snack in front of a good movie.

Beer Cheese Dip

Ingredients:
32 oz Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
12 oz flat Shiner Bock beer (any lager or pilsner but no “lite” beer)

Directions:
Use a box grater to grate the cheese by hand.

Meanwhile, pulse the garlic in the food processor until minced but not pasty. You can also do this by hand and add them to the food processor. Add the cheese, cayenne, paprika, salt, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse three or four times until just combined.

Turn food processor on, and slowly pour the beer through the chute until the cheese mixture is smooth and creamy. Be careful not to overmix.

Beer cheese will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Serve cold with pretzels, crackers or raw vegetables.

Note: Pre-shredded cheese in the bag is mixed with cellulose to keep it from sticking. Using pre-shredded cheese will also keep your beer cheese from combining into a smooth, creamy consistency. It’s worth it to grate it yourself.

Open beer about 12 hours before preparing your beer cheese to let it go flat and warm.

Makes 6 cups

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 644, Fat: 25 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 79 mg, Sodium: 664 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 31 g, Protein: 19 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matter: Summer Fun, Summer Challenges


Summer Fun, Summer ChallengesSummertime is hard, especially if your kids are school age, you work and you can’t take the whole summer off yourself.

My kids are now old enough to stay home alone during the summer, but it’s not much fun for them, if we’re being honest. There aren’t any kids of a similar age nearby, so they end up relying a lot on each other during the summer (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

The challenge comes in keeping them occupied in a productive manner, even though I still have to go to work each day. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation.

Generally, they sleep late. When they wake up, they each have a job to do around the house, like vacuuming or cleaning their bathroom. This summer, they’re going to be in charge of some meal prep, too. They exercise every day, usually alternating between running, walking and riding their bikes through the neighborhood (they keep a cellphone with them for safety or emergencies). They will still play outside in the sprinklers; I don’t think you ever outgrow that. I’ve purchased some books for them to read over the summer, as well as what they have assigned for school.

My older son just got a part-time job. My younger son will attend one week of theater camp, and we’ll take a family vacation together one week as well.

It’s not the best solution. They still have too much screen time, but I’d be curious to hear from readers in the comments about what you do with your kids during summer vacation!



Family Matters: Caring for Your Kitten


Caring for Your KittenYou just brought your new bundle of fuzzy joy home. Now, what do you do?

Most kittens are ready to be weaned and rehomed at 8 weeks, so you’ll have a little ball of love on your hands.

First things first: take your new kitten to a veterinarian for a complete checkup and shots. You want to start his life with you in a healthy way.

As for food, offer your kitten a brand of food specially formulated for a younger cat. Either wet or dry food is okay. Just make sure it’s chock full of the nutrients kittens need to grow big and strong. Kitten meals should be about 30 percent high-quality protein.

Teach them good bathroom habits immediately. Most cats love to stay clean and don’t need much litter box training. Introduce them to the litter box in the space where it will remain permanently. Let the cat scratch around inside. Bring her back to the box frequently the first several days or until she has it down pat.

Pet your cat frequently to help it socialize. If it tolerates being held, snuggle with it and let it fall asleep on your lap or chest.

Provide your cat with toys like small balls, squeaky toys and things that move. You might need to provide it with a scratching post to protect your furniture as your kitten’s claws grow.



Product Talk: Rotisserie Chicken


Buffalo Chicken Salad with Brookshire's Rotisserie ChickenThis could be my favorite product in Brookshire’s, seriously.

The steam table with beautiful, golden rotisserie chickens is somewhere near your deli and meat counter in your local Brookshire’s. Mine is conveniently located near the checkouts and main doors, so as you’re either standing in line or dashing into the store at 5:30pm that heavenly smell of slow-roasted poultry envelops your senses.

You can do ANYTHING with a rotisserie chicken, I’m telling you. I’ve eaten them as is. I’ve used them for filling in enchiladas and empanadas, in a pasta dish and in soup.

Last week, I used one in a Buffalo Chicken Salad. Rotisserie chickens, which are cooked right in the store and set out all through the day for maximum freshness, come in either traditional or lemon pepper flavors. Both are superb.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
4 Tbs buffalo sauce or hot sauce
1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Whip softened cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add salt, pepper, sour cream and hot sauce; blend well. Add bleu cheese, celery and chicken; stir gently. Refrigerate 2 hours or until flavors blend, but is still spreadable. Serve on a sandwich or on crackers.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 270, Calories from Fat: 136, Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 217 mg, Potassium: 283 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g

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



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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.

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