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Dine In: Cajun Dirty Rice


Cajun Dirty RiceIt’s the Friday night before Mardi Gras, so it’s time to indulge. Come Ash Wednesday, Christians all over the world go into a period of fasting until Easter.

Some people fast by not eating meat on Fridays. Some give up something valuable to them, like coffee, social media, chocolate or soda. Some people observe the time by doing acts of service for others.

Whatever you choose to do, tonight is the last Friday before Lent begins, so southerners all over the country are letting the proverbial good times roll.

This rich dish is an amalgamation of a few other Cajun dishes and uses prized ingredients like rice and andouille sausage. Andouille is a spicy Cajun sausage, but feel free to substitute another spicy sausage of your choosing.

My older son will dump extra hot sauce on this dish, and my younger son will add some cheese on top.

You could also add diced chicken thighs in with the sausage when you cook it, making sure the chicken is cooked through.

So, stay home tonight, and celebrate the last of the decadent before the time of preparation for Easter.

Cajun Dirty Rice

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs hot sauce
2 cups long-grain rice
12 oz andouille sausage (or other spicy sausage), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh scallions, chopped

Directions:
In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, hot sauce and rice. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 18 minutes without lifting the lid. After 18 minutes, do not remove pan from burner or lift lid, but turn off heat and let stand for 10 more minutes.

While the rice is standing, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic to the drippings from the sausage. Sauté for 10 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, and return sausage to the cast-iron skillet. Stir to combine and cook through. Add the rice; stir until all ingredients are well-incorporated.

Garnish with scallions and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 668, Calories from Fat: 230, Fat: 26 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 71 mg, Sodium: 1904 mg, Carbohydrates: 82 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 25 g.

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Shop the Sale: Cheesy Beef and Polenta Skillet


Cheesy Beef and Polenta SkilletDid you know that you could cook without a grill?

Me either until mine met its demise last weekend when the bottom rusted out, literally.

Maybe not being able to cook without a grill is an exaggeration, but it did make me realize how much I depend on my grill, especially when it comes to cooking up some of the fabulous Angus ground chuck that Brookshire’s has on sale this week. I love a good burger.

Luckily, there are so many more things to do with Angus ground chuck than shape it into patties and slap it on the grill. One of those other ways involves my other favorite cooking implement: the cast-iron skillet.

If there’s something I love as much as the grill, it’s a one-pot meal, and this almost qualifies (two is fine, too). I love having all the food groups in one cheesy, melty, delicious pan, hot and bubbling out of the oven. Serve this with a side salad (because you can never have too many veggies), and you have a complete meal.

Cheesy Beef and Polenta Skillet

Ingredients:
1 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb ground chuck
1 medium onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Pour three cups of cold water into a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Whisk in salt and cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in steak seasoning and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Stir to combine. Pour polenta into a greased cast-iron skillet and spread evenly. Set aside. Brown the Angus ground chuck in another skillet until cooked through. Drain most of the grease, and set meat aside in a bowl.

Add onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened but still have some crispness to them. Stir the ground beef back into the vegetable mixture. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste; stir to combine. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Pour the meat over the polenta crust and spread evenly. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 336, Calories from Fat: 168, Fat: 19 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 55 mg, Sodium: 664 mg, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 18 g.



Mi Blog Hispano: El Amor Hacia Las Mascotas


El Amor Hacia Las MascotasEs el mes del amor y obvio que amamos a nuestra pareja, a nuestros hijos, y toda la familia, pero quiero recordarles que también amamos a nuestras mascotas. Esos animalitos tan tiernos que día a día se ganan nuestro amor y cariño por sus caritas tan chulas, sus besitos y cariñitos, y hasta por sus travesuras que nos causan tanta gracia.

Tengo un cachorrito y es un amor. Estoy segura que si lo vieran se enamorarían de él. Mi esposo lo nombro Bronco porque es fanático de los Denver Broncos, el equipo de futbol americano. Bronco tiene 6 meses y es un perrito de miniatura “yorkie”. Esta tan chiquito que pesa como 4 libras y quizás no crezca mucho más que eso. Todos en casa andamos locos por el. Me encanta llegar a casa y ver lo contento que se pone Bronco al verme entrar. Me fascina cuando solo anda atrás de mi queriendo que lo cargue, o cuando brinca porque quiere que lo siente en mis piernas. Mis tres hijas lo adoran. Juegan con el constantemente, y se turnan para darle de comer, sacarlo afuera para jugar, etc. Realmente a Bronco no le falta nada de atención. Es un cachorrito feliz que nos ha alegrado aún más el hogar.

Hay tantos animalitos que tienen necesidad de un hogar. A veces no le damos tanta importancia a esto porque pensamos que solo son animales. Pero estos animalitos tienen un corazón, tienen sentimientos, y tienen necesidad de amor. ¿Porque no expresar más su amor este mes adoptando una mascota para su familia? No se imagina la felicidad que le traerá a sus hijos o a su pareja al regalarle una mascota. A parte de darnos amor incondicional, tener una mascota en casa tiene sus beneficios. Aquí tiene algunos de ellos:

  • Ayudan a que niños desarrollen un sistema inmune más fuerte
  • Ayuda su vida social porque es una manera casi instantánea de tener una conversación con personas, sea que este su mascota con usted o no, el tema de las mascotas siempre es muy buena conversación
  • Hay varios estudios que comprueban que las mascotas, como un perro o gato, ayudan a reducir el nivel de estrés
  • Nos motivan a hacer ejercicio ya que los perros requieren ser llevados a caminar más de una vez al día – encamina al perro y camina usted
  • Dan un sentido de propósito que es importante para personas que se sienten solas. Un acompañante como un perro o gato aumenta el humor y nos da alegría al estar con ellos y saber cuánto ellos anhelan estar con nosotros. Incluso, hay terapias creadas usando mascotas como una forma de ayuda para el paciente.

Estos cinco puntos no son todos los beneficios. Hay muchos más. Así que, ¿qué espera? Vaya por una mascota ya sea para usted o para sus hijos, su novia, su amigo, o quien sea. Vera que no se arrepentirá al recibir ese amor incondicional de esos animalitos que anhelan tanto ser amados también.



Healthy Living: Overnight Oats


Overnight OatsMy sister got me hooked on overnight oats.

They’re so easy and delicious. Best of all, you make them in advance, and you grab them on the way out the door the next morning instead of driving through for a triple-decker sausage and cheese biscuit.

You can make overnight oats with pretty much anything you want. I make them in small Mason jars (because let’s be honest, those are cute and anything cute is more fun to eat), but you can also make them in any container with a lid.

The first batch I made, I used steel-cut oats. Then, I read a few recipes that advised against using steel-cut oats as they don’t soften as much as using old-fashioned rolled oats. So, I made up another few jars with the old-fashioned oats. The first morning I tried the overnight oats, I grabbed the old-fashioned and they were delicious, but I actually prefer the grittier, nuttier texture of the steel-cut oats. I will say, however, that the steel-cut oats are better if you leave them in the refrigerator for TWO nights instead of one.

Oats are a great whole-grain, and studies have shown that they lower your cholesterol if eaten on a regular basis.

You can add in fruit, chia seeds, peanut butter or anything you’d like for your overnight oats.

The ratio of oats to liquid should be about 2/3 cup liquid (I use vanilla almond milk; you can use regular milk, soy milk, coconut milk or Greek yogurt) to 1/4 cup oats.

I add the oats to the jar last. I start with the vanilla milk, and then I add about one tablespoon of peanut butter. I put the lid on the jar and give it a vigorous shake. The milk and the peanut butter won’t combine totally, but you’ll find pockets of peanut buttery goodness in the oats. I add in 1 tablespoon chia seeds, about 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar, a handful of blueberries and then the oats. I shake again to combine. Close and let sit in the refrigerator overnight! Viola! Breakfast is served.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: French’s Crispy Jalapeños


French’s Crispy JalapeñosFrench’s has outdone themselves.

First, they were practically the Official Food of Thanksgiving. Now, they’ve turned up the heat.

Literally.

From the French fried onions that have graced the top of green bean casseroles all over America, French’s has now created the Crispy Jalapeño. Let me just tell you, you can eat them right out of the can.

French’s started with freshly picked jalapeños, sliced them and fried them in their secret batter, turning out a crispy, zesty snack full of heat and spice.

These gems are perfect on top of enchiladas or tacos, sprinkled on a taco salad or soup, baked into corn bread, and served on top of queso or spreadable dips. They’re perfect atop a burger or chicken sandwich, on grilled cheese or on top of hot dogs. The options are endless.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Million-Dollar Spaghetti


Million-Dollar SpaghettiFor many years, I worked in the church nursery taking care of babies and toddlers while their parents attended church services, Sunday school or other activities for which the church provided child care.

I loved it so much. Sunday mornings gave me the chance to snuggle MY babies (they were only mine for about 3 hours, but that was fine) or play with the little ones, my toddler included. Wednesday nights were a little wilder, as we provided child care for mid-week services and classes. Our nursery kids were usually wound up from a day at school or other childcare and came to the church nursery quite spirited.

On Wednesday nights, there was always also dinner. The kitchen was right near the nursery, and although the church encouraged families to eat together before dropping their kids off at the nursery, there were always a few kids who were finishing their meals or eating in the nursery with us.

Their favorite Wednesday night dish was Million-Dollar Spaghetti. We DREADED spaghetti night because it’s messy, but the kids loved it. We soon learned to suit them up in oversized bibs the minute they came through the door, and we kept plenty of wipes on hand at all times.

Messy as it might have been, pretty much every kid devoured their dinner when Million-Dollar Spaghetti was on the menu!

This is a hearty and satisfying dish to cap off a busy week that your whole family is sure to love.

Million-Dollar Spaghetti

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) pkg spaghetti noodles
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 (16 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup butter, sliced (divided)
1 cup ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and a pinch of salt. Cook until noodles are al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown ground beef and onions until cooked through and crumbled. Drain. Mix the spaghetti sauce into the ground beef.
In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and ricotta cheese/cottage cheese until well=blended. Place half the slices of butter into the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Layer half the spaghetti on top of the butter. Top with creamy mixture, and then layer with remaining noodles. Top with remaining pats of butter. Pour the meat sauce over the entire dish; spread to cover. Bake for 30 minutes. Spread the cheese over the casserole, and continue baking until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15 more minutes.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 539, Calories from Fat: 241, Fat: 27 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 131 mg, Sodium: 3497 mg, Carbohydrates: 48 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 27 g.

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



Family Matters: Peanut Butter for the Win


Peanut Butter for the WinBrookshire’s Peanut Butter makes snack time more fun.

Peanut butter is a great source of protein for little ones who often don’t like – or have a hard time chewing – meat. Peanut butter to the rescue!

Tasty, delicious, nutritious and just plain fun, peanut butter can be the star of your kids’ snacks.

  • Dip apple slices into peanut butter or sandwich peanut butter between two thin slices of apple.
  • Spread peanut butter on celery and top with raisins.
  • Combine peanut butter with chia seeds, oats and mashed banana for high-powered energy bites.
  • Add peanut butter to your smoothie for extra protein.
  • Mix into plain Greek yogurt for a yummy fruit dip.
  • Drizzle over apple slices and sprinkle with toasted coconut to make apple “nachos.”
  • Use as a topping on pancakes.
  • Slice a banana in half lengthwise and spread each half with peanut butter, topping with granola.
  • Slice bananas into rounds, spread with peanut butter and make little banana “sandwiches.”
  • Flatten a slice of sandwich bread with a rolling pin. Spread with a thin layer of peanut butter and jelly. Roll into a log; slice into rounds for a PB&J roll-up.
  • Spread a whole-wheat tortilla with peanut butter. Top with thin slices of banana. Roll up; slice into rounds.
  • Peel a banana and freeze it. Spread with peanut butter, and roll in sunflower seeds. Store in freezer for a banana pop.


Shop the Sale: Skillet-Seared Pork Loin Chops


Skillet-Seared Pork Loin ChopsWe’ve been eating decadently for days on end.

Pizza on Friday night. Appetizers and snacks for dinner Saturday. A big pancake breakfast on Sunday and a Sunday supper fit for a king. Not to mention Valentine’s Day, which was a sumptuous dinner and an even more indulgent dessert.

So tonight, I wanted something simple and straightforward!

Brookshire’s to the rescue with their boneless pork chops.

These thick cuts of tender white meat pork are beautiful seared in the cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. The meat is lean, but you can impart a great flavor just by the way you season it and cook it. Serve with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts and a salad for a simple and satisfying meal.

Skillet-Seared Pork Loin Chops

Ingredients:
4 boneless pork loin chops, about 1 1/2 lbs
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs Worcestershire powder

Directions:
Bring pork chops to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Season both sides with salt, pepper and Worcestershire powder. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Drop pork chops into pan, searing on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear other side, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook through until meat reaches desired doneness, at least 145° F. Remove from pan; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 474, Calories from Fat: 276, Fat: 31 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 136 mg, Sodium: 1269 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 47 g.

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



Healthy Living: Heart Health


Heart HealthHappy Valentine’s Day!

Let’s talk about keeping your heart…and those of the people you love…healthy.

There are some simple things you can do to love your ticker this month (and every month).

According to the American Heart Association, the first steps you should take toward heart health include:

  • Eat healthy. This means consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and fiber.
  • Get active. Try to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day. This can be done in three 10-minute bursts if that suits your lifestyle best.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. You can do this by eating healthy and getting exercise.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke. This includes vaping.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure. Diet and exercise, as well as maintaining a healthy weight, go far in helping both of those.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation, defined as no more than 4 drinks a week.
  • Manage stress. Believe it or not, diet and exercise help you do that as well. Try journaling, coloring, yoga or other cognitive exercises to help you get it under control.

Consult your physician about the specific things you need to do to improve your overall health, which will lead to a stronger heart.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Brookshire’s Valentine’s Day Gifts


Brookshire’s Valentine’s Day GiftsYou’re working steadily along today, maybe cruising the Internet for some dinner ideas and suddenly, you realize that TOMORROW IS VALENTINE’S DAY.

No! It can’t be!

You didn’t make dinner reservations! There’s no bubbly chilling in the refrigerator! It’s too late to order flowers without spending an arm, a leg, a kidney and your first born.

Never fear: Brookshire’s is here.

We have all of your Valentine’s Day needs without having to break a sweat – or the bank.

Brookshire’s stores everywhere are equipped to handle your last-minute Valentine’s Day needs. Stop in for a bouquet of fresh, vibrant flowers or a long-lasting live plant wrapped with a beautiful bow. Select a card to go with it from our array of sweet sentiments. Already have a gift? We have wrapping paper or gift bags and ribbon to shower your sweetie with surprises.

Does the one you love have a sweet tooth? Choose from an assortment of chocolates or one of our delicious Yums cupcakes to finish out a meal or to make a sweet statement during the day.

Speaking of meals, everything you need to wine and dine your valentine is found at Brookshire’s. You can grill a heart-red ribeye, serve up some succulent shrimp Alfredo, steam a lobster tail or twirl some spaghetti for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal. Don’t forget the wine or champagne. Our sommelier can help you pick out the perfect varietal to complement your meal.

Give them something to hold on to this holiday with a huggable plush toy. Kids (and adults) will adore our soft and squeezable toys. Impress your sweetie with a bouquet of balloons, and nothing will be able to pop their good spirits.

Bake something sweet to show your love how much you care for them. We have all of the ingredients for cookies, cupcakes, cakes, pies and anything else you can imagine.

You can get creative, too. Is the way to your sweetheart’s heart through coffee? Put together an assortment of Brookshire’s roasts for them to enjoy. It’s guaranteed that they’ll think of you each morning as they fill their cup.

Got a house full of teenagers? How about a gift bag of their favorite snacks, an interesting magazine and some iTunes gift cards for the win? You could also pamper them with some health and beauty products like luxury hair care products, a scented candle or some luxe lotions.

The possibilities are endless, and you can find it all at Brookshire’s.

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Posted in: Product Talk


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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.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

Shop the Sale

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

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

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

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