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Healthy Living: Paddleboarding


Paddleboarding	A few summers ago when we were on our annual beach vacation, my siblings and I rented paddleboards, and we took them out in the Back Bay in Sandbridge, Virginia.

The Back Bay is calm, much calmer than the ocean, for sure. It has ripples and eddies and swells, but nothing like the vigorous waves of the Atlantic. It was the perfect place to learn how to paddleboard. None of us had ever attempted it before.

I’ll tell you that I was nervous. I had no idea how I was going to get from a crouching position to a standing position on the board.

Basically, paddleboarding is as simple as standing on a heavy board similar to a surfboard and paddling to move yourself forward, backward or in a direction with one oar, similar to what you’d use in a rowboat.

My lithe and nimble sisters and sisters-in-law hopped right onto their boards. I took it a little more slowly. You kneel on the board, plant your hands in front of you, lift with your legs into a standing position, and then slowly stand upright. The board is pretty heavy and weighted, so you need less balance than you’d think. That’s not to say you don’t have to stay balanced, but it wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined.

We headed out into the open water with the breezes at our back and the smell of ocean air wafting over the sea grasses. We paddled out to a duck blind, circled it and raced around it. We all had the hang of the boards.

Paddleboarding builds great core strength. You need it to maintain balance. It also works your legs because you are also using them to stay erect and your arms as you paddle.

To me, it was a great way to relax and get exercise at the same time. The water is my happy place, so the serenity and stillness of gliding through the water was good for the body and soul.

After about two hours, we were worn out but not tired enough for my sister-in-law, a devout yogi, to execute a backbend and handstand on her board.

I stuck to standing without falling.

So many lakes and rivers have paddleboards for rent now. Try it today! I recommend it for any skill or fitness level or age (as long as you’re a proficient swimmer). Always wear your life vest!



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Sour Cream-Blueberry Coffee Cake


Brookshire’s Sour Cream-Blueberry Coffee CakeGrowing up, we’d always go blueberry picking at least once a summer. We’d come home with purple-stained tongues and our bellies full, our buckets full of enough berries to last the summer.

When my boys were small and we lived near a blueberry farm, we went blueberry picking pretty frequently, too. Some things don’t change. I ate as many as I picked and came home with a purple tongue and enough berries to get us through the winter months.

Brookshire’s Sour Cream is a wonderful ingredient to pair with blueberries.

You can serve fresh blueberries with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar, or you can bake it into a pie or coffee cake.

The rich, smooth, creamy sour cream provides a nice balance for the sweet, slightly tart blueberries, and the fresh taste of them both celebrates summer.

Brookshire’s Sour Cream-Blueberry Coffee Cake

Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Brookshire’s Sour Cream

Filling:
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (If using frozen, do not thaw.)

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 Tbs 2-percent milk
1 Tbs lemon zest

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a 10-inch tube pan with nonstick cooking spray and flour. Shake out excess flour.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light, golden-yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture, alternating with sour cream and beating after each addition.

Spread about 1/3 of the batter into the pan. Combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; sprinkle 1/2 over batter. Top with 1/2 of the berries. Repeat layers. Top with remaining batter.

Bake approximately 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm coffee cake.

Serves 10 to 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 448, Fat: 17 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 114 mg, Sodium: 328 mg, Carbohydrates: 68 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 6 g.

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Dine In: Greek Slaw


Greek SlawI visited a new restaurant recently, and a side order of coleslaw came with my meal.

I’m pretty picky about my coleslaw. I like vinegar-based versions, but I don’t always like a lot of mayonnaise.

This Greek version alleviates that issue, and it will become my go-to recipe for a coleslaw. I love the crunchiness of the cabbage paired with the salty creaminess of the cheese. I think next time I make it, I’ll throw in a handful of chopped green or black olives.

We are fully into cookout and party season, so this is a wonderful addition to a backyard, back porch or back patio picnic or cookout. It would be wonderful with some grilled meats on a relaxed Friday night, under some fairy lights.

Greek Slaw

Ingredients:
1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp dried dill
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Chop cabbage; toss with feta cheese and green onions. In a small bowl, whisk red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil together. Add salt, pepper and dill; mix well. Pour over cabbage mixture, and stir gently to coat. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving to let flavors blend.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 208, Calories from Fat: 165, Fat: 18 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 20 mg, Sodium: 270 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 2.5 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 5 g.

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Family Matters: Quick & Easy Stacked Dinner


Quick & Easy Stacked DinnerI was looking for something quick and easy to fix for supper recently, and after looking through my pantry, I decided to make something out of items I already had to save a trip to town. Below is a recipe I put together. It came out great, my family loved it, and they wanted to know where I got the recipe!

Quick & Easy Stacked Dinner

Ingredients:
1 (10 ct) pkg Brookshire’s Large Flour Tortillas
2 1/2 lbs ground hamburger meat
2 pkgs Brookshire’s Taco Seasoning
1 can Brookshire’s Sweet Corn, drained
1 can Brookshire’s Black Beans, drained
1 can Brookshire’s Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 pkgs (8 oz) Brookshire’s Colby Jack Grated Cheese
shredded lettuce, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, sliced avocado and hot sauce, optional

Directions:
Wipe the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 glass pan with olive oil (or vegetable oil). Layer with flour tortillas and set aside. Brown the ground meat; drain well. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water; simmer until warm. Mix the corn, black beans and diced tomatoes together in a large bowl (drain canned items). Put a layer of ground meat on top of the tortillas. Add a layer of corn mixture, and then add grated cheese; repeat the process. Do 2 layers of items, ending with grated cheese on top. Place dish in the oven, and cook for 30 minutes at 400° F. Remove from the oven, and it is ready to eat. The tortillas on the bottom are crunchy, and the middle is soft…yum!!

My family added lettuce, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, avocado and hot sauce. We also ate it with Brookshire’s Seasoned Tortilla Chips and cheese dip. A quick and easy stacked dinner that satisfied the whole family.

It was fun trying to figure out what type of meal I could make out of what I already had at home. So…if you are ever exhausted and just dread a trip to the grocery store, take a second to look through your cabinet. I bet you can come up with something fun to eat, too. Count your blessings daily, and give thanks for time with your family!

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Mi Blog Hispano: Buena Calidad y Buen Precio


Buena Calidad y Buen PrecioPor mucho tiempo yo compraba mi comida basada en las marcas más populares, aunque me costaban un poco más.  Todo eso cambio cuando empecé a formar mi familia. Somos cinco en total – mi esposo, mis tres hijas, y yo. Ahora es necesario tomar en cuenta el precio porque no soy solo yo. Así es que, yo busco las marcas más económicas pero a la vez que sean de muy buena calidad. Había probado varias marcas de comida más baratas, pero varias de ellas no me daban el sabor que buscaba. Pero luego llego el día que probé la marca de Brookshire’s y, ¡me encanto!

Llevo un poco más de cuatro años trabajando para esta compañía. Alrededor de ese tiempo, esta compañía empezó a hacer su propia marca de comida. He tenido la oportunidad de probar varios productos con marca de Brookshire’s antes de que el producto entre a las tiendas. Al probar esta marca me maraville porque por más que buscaba un producto de buena calidad y a buen precio no lo encontraba, y esta marca definitivamente es de buena calidad y a un muy buen precio.

Con estos productos Brookshire’s no se siente la diferencia entre esta marca y las marcas más populares. Al contrario, me ha tocado una de dos, o saben igual a las marcas populares o saben mejor – el aceite, la kétchup, los cereales, los jugos, los huevos, la leche (y les comparto que yo no compro otra leche si no es de la marca de Brookshire’s).

Quise compartir esto con ustedes porque realmente es una marca buenísima. ¡Les va a encantar! No lo digo porque trabajo para la compañía, lo digo porque en verdad es muy buen producto. A parte del sabor que tiene, el precio es bajo. Hoy día, mi cocina está llena de productos con la marca de Brookshire’s porque en verdad me ahorro dinero en mis compras de mandado, y mi familia sigue encantada con el sabor.

Le recomiendo que la próxima vez que entre a nuestras tiendas, pruebe los productos de la marca de Brookshire’s. Yo sé que le van a encantar y le aseguro que se ahorrara un buen dinerito.

¡Saludos!



Shop the Sale: Brookshire’s Bacon Dip


Brookshire’s Bacon DipA few weekends ago, my parents were invited to go boating with my sister and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend owns a boat, which he keeps moored in a marina in a wide, deep river near their home. I wish my sister lived closer for lots of reasons, weekends on the boat notwithstanding.

I have to admit that I was a little envious of my parents’ visit and boat ride. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than being on the water, and while I know owning a boat requires lots of hard work and dedication, the payoff of spending the day with the sun sparkling on the water seems to be a great payoff.

I couldn’t wait to hear about the trip. When I talked to my mom, she told me all about the cool breezes, the little crab shack downstream where they stopped for lunch and how fast the boat could go. She also told me that there are places on the river where the boats will just stop to drop anchor, and all the boat people will visit and hang out. It sounded heavenly. What my mom really couldn’t stop talking about was an appetizer dip my sister had made for snacking on the boat ride. Super simple, super easy and super delicious, make this a few hours ahead of time to let the flavors meld. Of course, if you’re bringing it on a boat (or on a picnic, to the lake or to a party), keep it chilled.

Brookshire’s bacon is on sale this week, just in time for the holiday weekend and lots of cookouts and celebrations.

Brookshire’s Bacon Dip

Ingredients:
8 oz Brookshire’s Bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with celery, carrots, pita chips or crackers.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 253, Calories from Fat: 191, Fat: 21 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 718 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 10 g.

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Healthy Living: June is National Dairy Month


June is National Dairy MonthThe slogan “Milk, It Does A Body Good” has been around for a long time for a good reason: Dairy does your body good!

Not just milk but yogurt, cheeses and other dairy products are also essential for strong bones, great teeth and good gut health.

Dairy products provide you with calcium, which (when consumed in a dairy product) is easily processed by the body. Dairy projects also provide you with vitamin D and protein, both essential for strong bones and muscles.

Cultured dairy products, like yogurt, infuse your system with probiotics that are essential for good gut health.

Dairy products are also a good source of potassium, vitamin D and iron.

Simply put, dairy is good for every part of your body!



Product Talk: Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas


Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for FajitasYesterday morning, I got the text I love from Paul.

“Hey, I’ll take care of dinner tonight.”

Now in all fairness, he does that quite frequently, but it was especially wonderful yesterday as I was trying to shake a two-day migraine and wrangle soccer games, regular weekend tasks and the flurry of things to keep up with at the end of the school year.

I love it when Paul cooks because, very often, he makes something I’ve never had before.

Last night was no exception.

He brought Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas. I’d never seen this product before, but it’s not the last time I will buy it, I assure you.

The Texas Meat Packers website describes this melt-in-your mouth beef as, “Texas Style Fajitas brings a slow-cooked smoky edge of hardwood mesquite flavoring to a TexMex Classic! Our approach accentuates flavors and aromas of old-world peppers and spices, and that sneaky lingering heat you get from Hatch green chilies.”

The fajita beef was fork-tender and delicious grilled. Texas Meat Packers also makes chicken fajitas and will offer pork soon.

We didn’t make fajitas with it, but here’s what we did do!

Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Steaks

Ingredients:
2 pkgs Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Pico de Gallo:
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions (white and green parts), diced
1 jalapeño, diced
Juice from 2 large limes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Prepare pico de gallo, and place in refrigerator to let flavors blend.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Grill steaks, about 3 minutes per side, until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from grill; top with pico de gallo and cheddar cheese. Place under broiler on high heat until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 401, Calories from Fat: 194, Fat: 22 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 109 mg, Sodium: 236 mg, Carbohydrates: 3.4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 46 g.

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Dine In: Jalapeño Sausage Balls


Jalapeño Sausage BallsI tend to get stuck in a pattern for Friday night meals. When I lived overseas in Germany, my best friend Susan and I walked down to our favorite Greek restaurant every single Friday night.

When I had kids, I continued a tradition that my mom started by serving pizza on Friday nights.

Now, I tend to use the smoker for Friday night festivities. I run home at lunchtime to put dinner on to smoke (or prep it in the morning, depending on what we’re smoking), and it’s done by the time we’re home from work and relaxing on the back porch.

I saw a smoked dish on Instagram that I wanted to try, and it only takes about two hours on the smoker. Even if you don’t have time to run home at lunch on a Friday, you can still enjoy this on your porch on Friday evening.

You can switch up the fillings, too. I have one person in my family who doesn’t like cream cheese, so he just gets cheddar. I have another who doesn’t like jalapeños, so he just gets cheese pressed into the middle of the sausage ball. I like bleu cheese, so I’ll mix that in with mine. The sky is the limit.

Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Ingredients:
12 jalapeño peppers, tops removed, seeded and pithed
6 Tbs whipped cream cheese
6 Tbs sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbs white onion, finely minced
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 lbs Owens Pork Breakfast Sausage
12 strips bacon, uncooked

Directions:
Remove the tops from the jalapeño peppers. Slice a slit through lengthwise, not cutting all the way through. Remove pith and seeds.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions and cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stuff each pepper with a heaping tablespoon full of the cream cheese mixture.

Using your hands, mold sausage around pepper, forming a ball and completely covering the pepper. Wrap sausage ball with two strips of bacon; secure with toothpicks.

Prepare smoker. Place sausage balls on rack, and smoke for about 2 hours or until cooked through. Alternately, place on the grill over indirect heat (the bacon will cause flare-ups if it’s not indirect) and cook through, several minutes on each side.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 460, Calories from Fat: 330, Fat: 36 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1576 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 29 g.

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Healthy Living: Kids’ Summer Breakfasts


Kids’ Summer BreakfastsSummers can be tough.

I still have to go to work, but my kids don’t have to go to school.

They’ve hit the age where they’re old enough not to need summer day camp, so they stay home during the day. They spend their hours running or biking (being certain to text me before they leave and as soon as they get home), working through the job list I leave every morning, playing outside with the kids down the street, and probably playing too many video games, truth be told.

I can’t always control what they do during the day, but I can make sure they have a good breakfast to start the day.

They are often still asleep when I leave, so I make sure to stock up on things they can prepare themselves that will give them energy and nutrition to have a great summer.

Some of those things include whole grain Bagel Thins with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with diced fruit and granola, homemade breakfast burritos (if you wrap them in foil, they stay warm for a pretty long time), homemade sausage rolls (same foil trick applies) and all kinds of fruit bars.

These are their favorite.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:
For the strawberry bars:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbs sugar, divided
10 oz fresh strawberries, chopped

For the glaze: (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides.

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger and salt. Swirl in the melted butter, and stir until it forms crumbs and the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Press the rest into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Spread about 1/2 the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle with the cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Top with remaining berries and the remaining sugar. Spread the topping crumbs over the strawberries. It’s fine to have fruit showing through.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the fruit bubbles and topping is golden. Cool completely.

For the topping, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk; whisk until smooth. Add more milk if you want the glaze to have a thinner consistency. Drizzle bars with glaze. Slice and serve.

Makes 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 115, Calories from Fat: 43, Fat: 5 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 12 mg, Sodium: 68 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 2 g.

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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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