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Shop the Sale: Homemade Tater Tots


Homemade Tater Tots width=Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

Who doesn’t love tater tots? Seriously. Everyone loves tater tots, and now you can make them yourself with our homemade tater tot recipe! We’re not going to lie and say they’re completely healthy, but with no saturated fat and sans the artificial flavors and preservatives that often come with the store bought kind, these tater tots give you the flavor you crave without the guilt. And with Russet Potatoes on sale, you can feel good about making more than one batch.

Ingredients
Canola oil, for frying
4 russet potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 Tbs salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tsp cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions
In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, pour enough oil to come halfway up sides of pot. Heat to 375° F. Finely shred potatoes on fine box grater. Season potatoes with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Wait for 5 minutes. Put potatoes in kitchen towel, and squeeze out excess liquid.

Put potatoes in medium-sized bowl along with egg; mix well. Add flour; stir to combine. Stir in cayenne, paprika and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. (The mixture should be workable but dry.)

Form potatoes into balls or tots. Fry in batches until golden-brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from fryer; drain on paper towel-lined tray. Immediately season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving platter or bowl to serve.

Calories Per Serving: 224, Fat: 2 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 2645 mg, Carbohydrates: 47 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 7 g.

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

Chef Tips

The Humble Potato Is Healthier Than You Think
Potatoes – especially white potatoes – get a bad rap. Yes, they’re a high-glycemic carb. Yes, the way most people eat them smothered in butter and sour cream or fried makes them bad for you, but on their own, they’re actually pretty healthy. First they’re high in fiber, fat free and cholesterol free. They’re also low in sodium and high in vitamin C and potassium, and a good source of many other vitamins and minerals. Plus, if you eat enough of them, they can provide all of the amino acids and protein you need in a day.

Healthy Potato Options
While tater tots are a delicious treat to be enjoyed occasionally, there are many other ways to enjoy potatoes without the added fat. A simple, quick way is to microwave or bake potatoes in the oven and top with salsa or other low calorie toppings. You can also bake them (with or without other veggies) for a healthy side, or try them mashed or boiled. Potato salad made with oil and vinegar can also be a healthier alternative to the mayo version.



Product Talk: Stonefire® Tandoor Baked Naan


Stonefire Tandoor Baked NaanThis morning, I was in Brookshire’s picking up breakfast from the deli (scrambled eggs and bacon because I was running too late to cook at home and didn’t want fast food). I noticed the rack of Stonefire® Tandoor Baked Naan hanging right near the deli counter, so I grabbed some for lunch, along with a container of hummus.

The first time I had naan was actually in Luxembourg in Europe at a Indian restaurant. Naan is an unleavened bread, originally from Central and South Asia with a Middle Eastern influence. It’s cooked in a tandoor (a hot, earthen oven), and usually stretched by hand and basted with a ghee, or clarified butter. You use it to scoop up other foods, stuff it or fill it with something else. I think that day in the Indian restaurant, we all piled our naan high with spicy eggplant curries and tandoori chicken.

Today, I just ate it at my desk, breaking off small pieces while I worked and scooping up mounds of savory hummus. It was a delicious snack that sustained me throughout the day.

Stonefire® nann is made in a traditional way with an authentic look and taste. It’s hand-stretched and made in small batches. It’s baked in high heat in a tandoor oven so it has the large bubbles, smoky flavor and airy texture of traditional naan. While it’s made with authentic ingredients such as buttermilk and ghee, it can be frozen and comes two to a package.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Family Matters: Castor & Pollux® Dog Cookies


In the lore of Greek mythology, Castor and Pollux were twin brothers with different fathers. They became the constellation Gemini and associated with horsemanship.

Today, we’re talking about the amazing products of Castor & Pollux® that you can feed your pup from Brookshire’s pet aisle.

Personally, I went for the Castor & Pollux® Organix™ Dog Cookies, Cheddar Cheese Flavor, to be exact.

Astro loves them.

Tell him that he has a “T.R.E.A.T” (shhhhh…don’t say it out loud….), and he’ll run to the corner of the carpet and sit patiently to wait for it….

If Astro wasn’t already pretty well-trained, these cookies would be ideal for training and rewarding good behavior, or my sweet pup has THAT look about him. These all-natural treats feature 95-percent organic ingredients, including organic free-range chicken as the No. 1 ingredient in all varieties. They’re easy to break, yet nice and crunchy. Each 1 1/2-inch long cookie contains only 8 calories and delivers a robust taste that dogs like Astro crave. They are also USDA certified-organic and all-natural with no corn, wheat or soy, and they are available in a 12-ounce size. Most of all, they’re made with love.



Family Matters: Purely Fancy Feast®


My cat, Carl, wakes up every morning begging for a good meal.

Let’s just be straight: Carl begs for a good meal pretty much every time he sees me, whether it be when  I wake up in the morning, when I come in the door in the evening, if I happen to stop by during the lunch hour, or really any time my eyes are open.

Carl gets his good meals in the form of a high-quality dry cat food.

Once a week, he also gets Purely Fancy Feast® from Purina®, on the pet food aisle at Brookshire’s. Purely Fancy Feast® entrées are made with pure seafood, chicken or beef, and no by-products or fillers for a wholesome, complete and balanced meal for mature felines.

He loves his Thursday treats, and I know he’s getting good nutrition to boot!



Family Matters: Utensils


During these years, your toddler will stop picking up his food with his fingers and learn to use utensils.

You’re going to want to encourage this new-found skill by providing him with easy-to-use, toddler-friendly starter forks and spoons.

Whether you choose plastic or a coated metal, find kid-friendly products in the baby aisle at Brookshire’s.

Toddler utensils are shorter, making it easier for your little one to navigate his food into his mouth.

They’re plastic or coated metal, so in case he misses, he can’t hurt himself (or you.)

Often, they’re curved to help him negotiate the space between his arm and the angle to get the food into his mouth.

Having contoured handles or grips also helps your toddler hold on to his fork and spoon more easily.

Generally speaking, your toddler might start out “dipping” his utensil into his food before he starts scooping or spearing his food, but that’s developmentally appropriate. He’ll work up to the finer points of eating with utensils. Just keep providing them for him, modeling the correct way to use them, and he’ll be a pro before you know it.



Family Matters: Teethers


Around this time, your baby is probably getting teeth.

For some little ones, this is a painless process. For others, they will spend the next several months drooling, fussing and chewing on everything in sight.

This is where the selection of teethers at Brookshire’s comes in handy. Pick up a variety to see which ones your baby prefers to gnaw on to relieve some of their discomfort.

Teethers are made from materials such as silicone for softer versions and plastic for harder varieties. They can come in different textures, too, with ridges, bumps or swirls that baby might like against his tender gums. Some types can be chilled to add some gentle relief to swollen or sore gums. Other varieties vibrate gently when baby applies pressure, which also feels good as baby is cutting teeth.

When choosing a teether, make sure it is phthalate-free and BPA-free, as well as made of only non-toxic materials. Only buy teethers new in packaging, and sterilize before use.



Family Matters: Bottles with Disposable Liners


One of the very best inventions for your infant, in my opinion, are bottles with disposable liners.

Sold in bulk packages, these pre-sterilized liners drop into plastic baby bottles to hold formula or expressed breast milk. They are disposable, making cleanup instantaneous.

As your baby eats, the liner gently collapses, just like mom’s breast would. This air-free feeding helps to reduce gas in your baby, which in turn helps reduce colic. Because baby takes in less air as he feeds, he has less gas, colic and discomfort.

The collapsible liners also mimic natural breast-feeding more closely by simulating the same suck, swallow and breathe patterns as breast-feeding, so your baby breathes more naturally during feeding.

Again, because these are pre-sterilized and disposable, you can rest assured that they are safe and clean. You spend less time washing, assembling and preparing your infant’s meals.

Liners are BPA-free and fit most standard-sized bottles.



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Baby Cucumbers


Brookshire’s is now carrying baby cucumbers in the produce section.

Packaged in stay-fresh bags, these greenhouse-grown, smaller-sized cucumbers are perfect for healthy snacking.

They are sweeter and more crisp than your common garden cucumbers, with more tender skin and sized perfectly for single servings.

My kids love these in their lunches, with hummus to dip. They’re also nice sliced into salads or spears, and less work to do so.

Baby cucumbers, aptly named because they are only five or six inches in length, are also seedless and “burpless,” making them easier on your stomach.

Choose a bag that has firm cucumbers that are bright green, without soft spots.

Hummus-Stuffed Lunchbox Cucumbers

Ingredients:
1 lb baby cucumbers (about 4)
8 Tbs prepared hummus
4 Tbs feta cheese, crumbled
4 Tbs green olives, diced

Directions:
Slice a wedge lengthwise from baby cucumbers without cutting all the way through. Spread hummus into wedge; sprinkle with feta and green olives. Wrap with plastic wrap, and send in school lunches for a healthy treat.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 101, Fat: 6 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 8 mg, Sodium: 346 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 5 g.

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



Family Matters: Making School Lunches with Your Kids


Dinner is finished.

The kitchen is cleaned up.

Homework is completed.

Now comes the time of the evening we like to prepare school lunches for the next day.

I used to do it in the morning when the kids were small. Now that my boys can help, we prefer to have it done the night before and save the extra minutes in the morning. It also helps that my older son has to be at school when it’s still dark for cross country practice, so getting lunch packed the night before gives us both peace of mind that he’ll be ready to roll out the door in the morning with a nutritious lunch.

Your kids can help you pack their own lunches from an early age. It’s a nice time to talk and be together, and when they help, it guarantees they’re getting things in their lunches they’re eating, not trading.

If you haven’t gotten a lunch kit yet or are using brown paper bags, Brookshire’s has some great ones still on the shelves, like the cute Fit & Fresh thermal lunch kits with adorable designs, the super practical and stylish Bento Lunch Kit with insulated bag and removable ice packs (I’ll just go ahead and confess: I got one of those for myself to bring to work), the Fit Fresh bag in sweet patterns like Riley Ladybug, or the durable Lifoam Lunch Plus Soft-Sided Lunch Kit that comes in styles and colors great for boys.

I try to make sure we’re packing a large bottle of water, a sandwich or good protein, a fruit, a veggie and some kind of snack. Because let’s face it, lunch is more fun with a snack. I’m an “everything in moderation” kind of mom. My sister-in-law doesn’t send any “junk food” to school with her kids, and I admire that tremendously. If you do, no judgment here.

My boys like things like ham sandwiches on King’s Hawaiian® rolls, turkey and cheese roll-ups on whole wheat tortillas, Flatout® wraps stuffed with baby spinach and Roma tomatoes, or good old peanut butter and jelly on Sara Lee® Delightful™ slices of whole-wheat bread.

They love almost any fruit, so that’s easy. They favor bananas, peaches, apples or anything that’s “easy” to eat at school. Veggies are easy, too: baby carrots or celery with hummus, cucumber slices or spears, small bowls of salad in take-home containers, strips of bell peppers. Again, anything easy to eat!

Little bags of almonds are great protein and brain food for the day, as are slices of apple with peanut butter. The options are endless!

One thing we like to do is pack up plastic, zip-top bags of veggies and snacks for the week, so the process in the evening is more streamlined.

These no-bake granola bars are also a great snack option (I categorize them somewhere between a snack food and something healthy). Kids love them. They can help you make them, and you can feel good about packing them!



Product Talk: Hatch Green Chiles


If you’ve been to your local Brookshire’s lately, you’ve probably seen and smelled something amazing, especially if you’ve wandered in through the entrance closest to the produce department.

Have you noticed the big, black-iron barrel, turning, spitting and sending forth fragrant aromas of a roasted vegetable?

If so, you’ve noticed our stores roasting Hatch green chiles.

Hatch green chile season runs through the end of the month, and we’ve taken advantage of these fiery hot peppers from New Mexico in all kinds of ways in our store.

From freshly roasting them for our customers right in the store to selling them fresh from the vine, this spicy product of the Hatch Valley is known for its heat but also its subtly sweet, smoky, crisp flavor.

Hatch chiles are most commonly roasted, either in a cylindrical barrel or over an open flame. Their skin blisters, making them easier to peel. Then, you’re left with a smoky, flavorful, hot pepper to use in a variety of ways.

I love using them for a fresh, bright, spicy salsa. Use this salsa as a dip for chips, as a topping for enchiladas, as a taco sauce, or in a soup or stew. You can even mix it in with queso or sour cream for another kind of chip dip.

Hatch Green Chile Salsa

Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1 jalapeño
4 to 5 tomatillos, peeled
juice of 1 lime
3 fresh Hatch chiles
1 Tbs cumin
2 Tbs white vinegar
pinch of salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450° F. Spread jalapeño, tomatillos and Hatch chiles on a baking sheet. Roast, turning a time or two, until skins blister and char. Remove from oven. Place in a brown paper bag; seal and let cool.

Remove seeds from all peppers. Roughly chop onions, pepper and tomatillos. Add all ingredients to a food processor; pulse until a salsa consistency. Refrigerate to let flavors blend.

Makes 2 cups

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 82, Fat: 2 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 72 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 3 g.

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

Chef Tip:

You can always buy your Hatch chiles pre-roasted fresh from our store. If you don’t want to roast them in the oven, you can roast them over a gas flame on your stovetop or grill as well. Simply set the flame to high, hold your chile in a set of long grilling tongs, and rotate over the flame until your pepper achieves desired char. When the skin bubbles, place in a brown paper bag. Let cool, and then peel. You might want to consider wear food-handling gloves to peel and seed your peppers; they’re pretty hot!



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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.

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Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

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