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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.

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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.



Shop the Sale: Extra-Crispy, Spicy Fried Chicken


Extra-Crispy, Spicy Fried ChickenI won’t lie: there’s been a national chain fast-food chicken restaurant commercial on lately that has me drooling.

I don’t eat fried food. I really don’t, but oh my goodness, this fried chicken looks good.

It’s a good thing that Brookshire’s has leg quarters on sale this week because they’re the perfect piece for frying up some nice, juicy chicken this week.

Every time I’ve had really outstanding fried chicken, the secret has been buttermilk. Soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk, and you’re almost guaranteed a beautiful finished product. It makes the chicken meat melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

The peanut oil is the key for frying. It gets hot enough to get a nice, crisp skin on the chicken without burning, while imparting an important part of the flavor profile.

Extra-Crispy, Spicy Fried Chicken

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup hot red pepper sauce
4 cups flour
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
3 tsp cayenne pepper
1 quart buttermilk
salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
1 to 2 1/2 lb chicken leg quarters
peanut oil, for frying

Directions:
Place cut-up chicken in a large bowl, and cover with buttermilk. Cover and chill for two hours or overnight.

In a large bowl, add eggs, water and red pepper sauce. Whisk until combined.

In a large gallon freezer bag, mix flour, pepper, paprika and cayenne.

Remove chicken from buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Place all chicken pieces in freezer bag with flour mixture. Shake until all pieces are evenly coated.

Remove chicken pieces one at a time, shaking off excess flour. Dip each piece in the egg mixture and return to bag of flour. After all pieces of chicken have been dipped in the egg mixture and put back in the bag, give it a second shake to coat chicken pieces again.

Heat oil in deep fryer or deep pan to 350° F. Working in batches, drop each piece of chicken into the hot oil. Fry for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally if oil does not completely cover chicken.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 701, Calories from Fat: 236, Fat: 26 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 229 mg, Sodium: 2066 mg, Potassium: 409 mg, Carbohydrates: 74 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 41 g.

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Crunchy Corn


It’s the season for candy corn. However, this is the Healthy Living blog, and we don’t recommend serving up a side of candy corn along with dinner. Yummy, yes. Healthy, no.

This roasted corn snack isn’t bad for your waistline, and it provides a big, bold taste and a satisfying crunch. I have a weakness for chips, and this is a great treat to have in place of calorie-laden potato chips or corn chips.

Of course, it’s gluten and dairy-free, as well.

Crunchy Corn

Ingredients:
2 cups dried corn
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp salt

Directions:
Soak dried corn in water overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes.

Pat corn dry well.

Heat a nonstick pan and add olive oil.

Toss in corn and sprinkle chili powder and salt over corn.

Roast corn over high heat until crunchy and golden, shaking the pan occasionally.

Serves 1

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 512, Calories from Fat: 281, Fat: 31 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2405 mg, Potassium: 862 mg, Carbohydrates: 64 g, Fiber: 10 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 9 g.

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



Product talk: Hershey’s Hot Cocoa


Hershey CocoaIt’s that time of year when hot chocolate goes hand in hand with football, hoodies and Halloween.

Hershey’s Cocoa is the gold standard of cocoas.

For many years, Hershey’s Cocoa unsweetened, natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder has been ideal for hot cocoa, frostings, cakes, brownies and other chocolate desserts.

Sold in 8-ounce containers of fine powder, Hershey’s Cocoa also comes in a Special Dark chocolate variety.

Hershey’s Hot Cocoa
Serves 1

Ingredients:
2 Tbs sugar
2 to 3 tsp Hershey’s Cocoa
dash of salt
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in large mug.

Heat milk in microwave at HIGH (100%) for 1 1/2 minutes or until hot.

Gradually add hot milk to cocoa mixture in mug, stirring until well-blended.

Stir in vanilla.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 222, Calories from Fat: 48, Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 20 mg, Sodium: 115 mg, Potassium: 142 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 35 g, Protein: 8 g

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

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Grilled Chicken Nachos


On Thursday nights, we usually cook out, so we can all stay in the same place and socialize. We’ve gotten pretty creative with our meals on the grill. That week, I really wowed the girls with Grilled Chicken Nachos.

My sons, who were not there for the Thursday festivities, were envious, so I made them again on Friday night.

Grilled Chicken Nachos
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 (24 oz) bag tortilla chips
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream, for serving
salsa, for serving
guacamole, for serving
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup plum or cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced and caramelized
1 Tbs taco seasoning

Directions:
Mix chicken with spices, salsa and tomatoes. Heat on stovetop until warm.

In a separate pan, heat the black beans and caramelize the onions.

Preheat the grill for indirect grilling over medium-high heat. Spray grill pan with cooking spray.

Place a single layer of tortilla chips on the bottom of a grill tray. Sprinkle with cheese and then a layer of the chicken and other toppings, topping with more cheese.

Place grill tray on the grill over indirect heat. Cover for 5 minutes, then turn and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the grill and use a spatula to cut and serve. Serve with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1252, Calories from Fat: 483, Fat: 54 g, Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 1210 mg, Potassium: 878 mg, Carbohydrates: 154 g, Fiber: 20 g, Sugar: 22 g, Protein: 46 g.

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



Family Matters: Healthy Snacking


Healthy SnacksWhen your baby becomes a toddler, they are in full-on snack attack mode! I could never keep the diaper bag stocked with enough snacks, it seemed, even for a short outing.

Because toddlers do love to snack, it’s important to make sure they are getting appropriate snacks.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins are always good for a snack between meals. I used to carry bananas with me for a fast sugar but a good carbohydrate. Whole-grain crackers with peanut butter or another nut butter are also a great choice. Veggies with hummus are also yummy.

What you don’t want to do is load up on junk and processed foods. Keep it to the basics, if you can. Small chunks of ham with string cheese are delicious. A fruit salad with many small pieces of chewable fruits transports well and keeps your toddler satisfied. Roll cheese or peanut butter inside a whole-grain tortilla. Easy for your toddler to hold and chew.



Family Matters: Teething Babies


Teething BabySome babies are easy; some aren’t.

When it comes to teething, there’s no exception to that rule. Some little ones will have a hard time with it, and some won’t.

The range of normal teething is huge. There are babies born with teeth, and there are babies who don’t sprout that first pearly bud until closer to nine months to a year old. Either way is okay. Just know that the earlier they start teething, the earlier they might lose their first baby tooth.

  • So-called symptoms of teething include:
  • Increased drooling
  • Gum swelling and tenderness
  • General crankiness
  • Gnawing or biting
  • Refusing food
  • Sleep problems
  • They may or may not exhibit any of these symptoms.

Keeping a soft, cold compress in the freezer (dampen a clean washcloth and place in freezer) can help relieve some of the pain. If baby is very fussy, a small dose of over-the-counter ibuprofen might help.



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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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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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