share. The Brookshire's Blog

Dine In: Greek Cucumber Salad


Greek Cucumber Salad with Lemon and FetaI’ve been craving a good Greek salad for weeks now. My favorite Greek salad comes from a restaurant near my former office. I loved walking down at lunchtime and sitting on the patio with a heaping bowl of greens and feta cheese.

I hadn’t found a good Greek salad in the new city where I work yet, but I had a business lunch scheduled at a bistro near my office last Friday. I had hoped that a Greek salad would be on the menu there. It was!

Now sadly, it was a bit disappointing. The dressing was delicious, but I had to hunt to find cheese (and I LOVE cheese) and the olives were bland. Plus, they used white onions instead of a red one, and that just overwhelmed the salad.

Coincidentally, when I arrived back at work and checked my email, someone had sent me this recipe! I decided that since my Greek salad for lunch was such a disappointment, I’d try again at dinner. It’s the perfect meal for a summer Friday night at home. This salad hit the spot, plus it calls for leaving the feta cheese in a large slab. No missing cheese in this recipe!

The friend who sent me this recipe has a “spiralizer,” one of those new gadgets that you’ve seen everywhere that turn veggies into “noodles.” You can use a food processor or just a really sharp knife, too.

Greek Cucumber Salad with Lemon and Feta

Ingredients:
1/2 seedless English cucumber (about 7 oz)
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
5 kalamata olives, pitted
1Tbs red onion, sliced
1/2 fresh lemon
1 oz fresh feta, sliced thick
1/2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh oregano leaves, minced

Directions:
“Spiralize” the cucumbers using the chipper blade of a Paderno spiralizer. Cut the strands into smaller pieces, about 5-6 inches long, so it’s easier to eat. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can just dice the cucumbers with a knife into small cubes.

Place the cucumber in a large work bowl along with the bell pepper, tomatoes, olives and red onion. Squeeze half of the lemon over it. Drizzle with half of the olive oil and toss with fresh oregano, salt and pepper. Place on a plate, top with a slice of feta and finish with remaining olive oil.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 225, Fat: 16 g, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 7 g, Sugar: 1 g, Sodium: 697.5 mg, Cholesterol: 25 mg.

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Shop the Sale: Whole Grilled Chicken


Whole Grilled ChickenI’m fairly new to grilling.

I got my own grill not too long ago, but I’ve done pretty well on it, if I do say so myself.

However, I was more than a little intimidated by the thought of grilling a whole chicken. Would the skin burn to a crisp? Would the legs dry out while the breast was undercooked?

No and no.

This is so simple and the flavor is tremendous.

I promise you this recipe is effortless. Try it this week when whole fryers are on sale at Brookshire’s.

Whole Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:
8 medium green onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 Tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 (2 1/2 to 3 lb) whole broiler-fryer chicken

Directions:
If using a charcoal grill, place drip pan directly under grilling area, and arrange coals around edge of firebox. Heat coals or gas grill for indirect heat.

Mix all ingredients except chicken in a small bowl. Rub mixture over skin of chicken, and place 2 tablespoons mixture in cavity of chicken. Insert barbecue meat thermometer so that the tip is in thickest part of inside thigh muscle and does not touch bone.

Cover and grill chicken, breast side up, over drip pan or over unheated side of gas grill 4 to 6 inches from medium-high heat for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Rotate chicken one-half turn once, until thermometer reads 180° F and juice of chicken is no longer pink when center of thigh is cut. Garnish as desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 295, Calories from Fat: 155, Fat: 17 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 400 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 34 g.

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Natural Mosquito Repellant


Natural Mosquito RepellantI don’t know if you’ve seen the news yet that the mosquitoes this year are “super mosquitoes.”

While the drought has reduced the number of mosquitoes buzzing around, the ones who are menacing tender flesh everywhere are more virulent than their forefathers. Made stronger by surviving the dry season, the super mosquitoes bite more frequently, according to reports.

We love to sit outside, but I do not love to be riddled with itchy mosquito bites.

I also don’t love slathering chemicals all over my body unless it becomes absolutely, positively necessary.

This simple, natural trick helps keeps mosquitoes at bay while you’re enjoying dinner outside or simply relaxing with a cup of coffee and a book. The bonus is that it looks pretty and smells good, too!

Slice limes in half and stud cut half with about a dozen whole cloves. Mosquitoes don’t like the smell and will stay away from your party. Problem solved, no chemicals involved.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Barilla Thin Spaghetti


Barilla Thin SpaghettiI love pasta.

I’d blame it on my Italian heritage, but I’m pretty sure I’d love pasta if I was from the North Pole.

There are so many delicious varieties on the market these days, and I think I’ve tried most of them.

I really love Barilla pastas, especially the thin spaghetti, which comes in a whole grain variety.

While thin, the whole grain flavor really holds up well to different sauces like marinara, arrabbiata or Alfredo.

Barilla whole grain pasta is made with 51 percent whole wheat in the form of durum wheat flour with semolina and oat fiber.

Each serving contains 6 grams of dietary fiber and 7 grams of protein, with 1.5 grams of fat and 200 calories.

We had it for dinner recently with a chunky marinara sauce made with fresh tomatoes from Brookshire’s, and it was heavenly.

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Dine In: Bacon Cheese Stuffed Portobellos


Bacon Cheese Stuffed PortobellosI’ve mentioned before that we spend a lot of time sitting on our back porch, especially on weekends. It seems like some of our best family conversations happen on that porch (or in the car, but that’s another post).

On one recent Friday night, my older son asked me, “Mom, what do you want me to be when I grow up?”

I was caught a little off guard, but I answered, “Whatever makes you happy.”

He wanted to know if I wanted him to make a lot of money.

I told him no, I wanted him to do something he was passionate about because if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. I forget who said that, but it was someone famous.

He said he’d think about it.

I told him he didn’t have to decide today. He’s only 12, after all.

It did make me think, wondering if I talk too much about money or about how much things cost. When it came down to it, I decided that I didn’t because material objects are not what we value in my family.

Instead, we value things like laughter, going to church together, and cooking and talking on the back porch. To us, that’s priceless.

Bacon Cheese Stuffed Portobellos

Ingredients:
5 slices bacon
6 portobello mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp onion, chopped
3/4 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
parsley, for garnish

Directions:
Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Crumble and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Remove mushroom stems. Set aside caps. Finely chop stems.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook and stir the chopped stems and onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, stir together the mushroom/onion mixture with bacon and 1/2 cup of cheese. Mix well. Spoon into mushroom caps.

Bake at 400° F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

Top mushrooms with remaining cheese and sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 376, Calories from Fat: 254, Fat: 28 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 123 mg, Sodium: 1310 mg, Potassium: 125 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 27 g.

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Posted in: Dine In


Shop the Sale: Loaded Buffalo Chicken Baked Potato Casserole


Loaded Buffalo Chicken Baked Potato CasseroleYes, you read that recipe title correctly.

Buffalo chicken.

Loaded baked potato.

One recipe.

Heaven.

I already have an obsession with buffalo chicken. I cut myself off from writing about it for awhile. I was afraid I was beginning to look a little crazy about the stuff. However, finding this recipe revived my love for the tangy stuff.

This recipe serves seven, and it’s not as caloric as you might think. It’s also economical, as boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Loaded Buffalo Chicken Baked Potato Casserole

Ingredients:
4 large potatoes (3 lb), cut into cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1/3 cup hot sauce
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) 2% shredded cheddar cheese
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup green onion, diced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 500° F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and hot sauce; add the potatoes and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes (reserve leftover sauce) to the prepared 9 x 13 dish and bake for 40-50 minutes, until cooked through, crispy and browned, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, add the diced chicken to the leftover sauce mix and toss to coat. Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge while the potatoes bake.

Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 400° F.

Top the potatoes with the raw marinated chicken, then top the chicken with the topping, followed by the shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.

Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle green onions over casserole and serve hot.

Serves 7

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 454, Fat: 17 g, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Sugar: 1 g, Sodium: 879 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 35 g, Cholesterol: 29 mg.

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Crunch Lovers’ Chicken Salad


Crunch Lovers' Chicken SaladSummer is the time for salads, and one of the things that I think makes them fun, as well as healthy and delicious, is when my salad is a rainbow of colors and a variety of textures.

This salad fills all those requirements and is healthy as well.

The recipe calls for red apples (I use Honey Crisp), but I’ve also made it with green Granny Smith apples as well. Either way, it’s delicious. 

While a little less healthy, my kids like when I marinate my chicken in root beer overnight before I grill it. You can also use the breast from rotisserie chicken, plain grilled chicken, poached chicken or chicken cooked any way you like it. I’ve also swapped the peanuts for almonds. 

Crunch Lovers’ Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
1 (12 oz) bag Dole Chopped Asian Blend salad mix
1 cup chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 red apple, chopped
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp salted peanuts, chopped
2 white corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips lengthwise then cut in half
extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
chili powder and salt

For the Chili-Lime Vinaigrette:
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F then add tortilla strips to a bowl. Mist or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray. Drizzle with lime juice, and season generously with chili powder and salt. Toss to coat then spread out on a baking sheet and bake until crunchy, about 7-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the Chili-Lime Vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or in a bowl, then shake or whisk to combine.

Combine the rest of the ingredients with the vinaigrette then toss to coat. Add baked tortilla strips, then toss again and serve. 

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 959, Calories from Fat: 649, Fat: 72 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 64 mg, Sodium: 119 mg, Potassium: 1202 mg, Carbohydrates: 59 g, Fiber: 13 g, Sugar: 28 g, Protein: 32 g. 

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Food Club All-Purpose Baking Mix


Strawberry ShortcakeSometimes I love to make things from scratch and sometimes I like taking shortcuts.

This is where Food Club All-Purpose Baking Mix comes in handy.

On school mornings, or any morning, really, it’s so much easier to open a box of baking mix and add milk or eggs for pancakes or waffles than it is to measure out ingredients when I’m bleary-eyed and haven’t had my coffee yet. Come to think of it, that could be downright disastrous.

Baking mix is so versatile it can be used for waffles, pancakes, biscuits, chicken and dumplings, shortcakes and much more.

I’m going to use it tonight for strawberry shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:
2 1/3 cups Food Club All-Purpose Baking mix
3 Tbsp sugar
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups whipped topping
3 cups strawberries, sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine baking mix and sugar; add milk and butter. Stir with a fork to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 20 strokes. Pat dough into ½-inch thick circle. Cut out six 3×3 inch biscuits. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool to room temperature. To serve, split each biscuit, top with 1/3 cup whipped topping and strawberries.

Nutritional Information: Calories 348, Calories from Fat 159, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 33 mg, Sodium 643 mg, Potassium 225 mg, Total Carbohydrates 43 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 17 g, Protein 5 g

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Peanut Butter Pound Cake


Peanut Butter Pound CakeThis is baking as I type, and I wish your computer screen had a scratch-and-sniff feature because I assure you, you’d want one for this cake!

Peanut butter is always delicious, and when paired with pound cake, it’s even better. The fun thing about pound cake is that it’s so versatile and this cake is no exception.

Tonight, I am having friends over and grilling dinner, which we’ll enjoy al fresco on my back porch. I planned for a lighter dinner, so we can indulge in a decadent dessert. After the cake bakes and cools, I’m going to slice it into thick pieces, and tonight I’ll put them on the grill to warm them up, then serve with ice cream.

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
10 oz swirled milk chocolate and peanut butter morsels
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Beat butter, sugars and peanut butter at medium speed until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter/sugar mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes, until done. If necessary, cover top of cake with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Garnish, if desired, with confectioners’ sugar.

Serves 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 435, Calories from Fat: 170, Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 90 mg, Sodium: 224 mg, Potassium: 194 mg, Carbohydrates: 60 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 34 g, Protein: 10 g

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Pets


Chicken JerkyRecently, two of my friends hosted a wedding.

For their dogs.

No, really, they did.

Their new boxer puppies were wed in a backyard ceremony complete with a water fountain, doggie guests and a lavish buffet of puppy chow.

The bride wore a white bow tied around her neck, which clearly she wasn’t fond of, and the groom donned a sharp new black collar.

After the short ceremony, the couple began their new life together in a custom dog run, complete with a log cabin doghouse. I think they’ll live happily ever after.

What do you get the couple that has everything?

I decided to make homemade dog treats.

These chicken jerky treats aren’t just for dogs, though; you could eat them yourself if you were so inclined.

I packaged them in a Mason jar closed tightly, and although Mr. and Mrs. Boxer did not send thank-you notes, I’m assured they were well-received.

You can make these in a food dehydrator or right in your oven.

Chicken Jerky

Ingredients:
11/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, sliced into strips about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp salt
dog-friendly seasonings, such as parsley, rosemary and sage

Directions:
Rinse off chicken breast strips and remove any fat. Slice the chicken with the grain. Next, coat the chicken slices with your dog-friendly seasonings.

Place the chicken breast strips in an even layer across the entire tray, leaving an equal amount of space between pieces and making sure that they do not touch each other. This is so air can flow between them while they are drying out, which helps dehydrate them.

Once the strips are all set out, place the trays in the food dehydrator, turn it on and set the temperature for 140° F. It will probably take between 3 and 12 hours for the chicken to fully dry, depending on how thick you cut your slices and the exact temperature of your food dehydrator. Check the strips once every hour after the first hour. To do that, simply open up the tray and take one slice out; cut it open with a sharp knife and examine the inside. You should see no moisture at all, and if it is properly dried, the chicken will have the same color throughout. If it is not finished, put it back in for another hour. Once it gets close, start checking once every half hour.

In an oven, bake the chicken strips at 200° F for approximately 2 hours.

Once your chicken jerky is done, store it in sealed containers; zip-locking bags work great for this. Write the date you made it on them. You can also store the finished product in the refrigerator for an even longer shelf life.

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Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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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