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Shop the Sale: Easter Ham


Stuffed HamEaster is this weekend, and traditionally, I always cook a ham. I use a friend’s recipe, slathering the spiral sliced ham with a good maple syrup then packing it in brown sugar, wrapping it all in foil and slow roasting it until the syrup and sugar marry in complete ham happiness.

However, this year I’m trying something new, or at least, I’m trying something in addition to the old favorite. I came across this ham recipe at work one day and decided I’d try it for Easter Sunday. I’m having a big crowd over, so two hams should do the trick.

Hormel spiral-sliced ham is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so you can plan your holiday meal to perfection.

Glazed Sweet Potato-Stuffed Ham

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
1 (7 to 9 lb) Hormel spiral-cut ham
1 (10 oz) jar apricot preserves
1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
Heat the oven to 350° F.
Using a mandoline, slice the sweet potatoes very thinly. Place the ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan.
Carefully separating the layers of the ham, insert slices of sweet potato into each layer. Repeat this until every layer of the ham has been filled.
In a small bowl, stir together the apricot preserves and the black pepper; spread the mixture all over the surface of the ham. Bake for 2 to 3 hours, or until the ham is heated to 160° F at the center and the potatoes are tender. Allow the ham to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 400, Calories from Fat: 200 Fat: 23 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 110 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 31 g, Sodium: 1860 mg.

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



Mi Blog Hispano: Tiempo de Alergias Primaverales


Tiempo de Alergias PrimaveralesLa llegada de la primavera es maravillosa en muchos sentidos; es la época donde todo florece, el clima es muy agradable para disfrutar el aire libre, pero para aquellos que sufrimos de alergias también es tiempo de estornudos, malestares, picazón, tos, sensación de oídos tapados, cansancio, dolor de cabeza, ojos llorosos, ojeras, secreción nasal y un sin fin de malestares.

Muchos le atribuyen estos malestares al famoso polen producido por flores y plantas, por estos síntomas se sienten más que todo en las vías respiratorias y en los ojos, produciendo secreción nasal, y congestión. También pueden picar los ojos y lagrimear con frecuencia. Muchos comienzan a padecer alergias desde que son niños a otros pueden comenzarle en la adultez, también atribuirse a lugares específicos donde hay un tipo de plantas que produzcan determinados tipos de polen que produzca alergia. Se dice que las alergias pueden ser hereditarias. El asma y la sinusitis se pueden ver incrementadas durante esta época.

Algunos consejos que podemos tomar en cuenta para disminuir los malestares de las alergias en esta época de primavera, es hacer una limpieza a fondo cuando comience la primavera. Procure mantener la casa o ventanas cerradas si hay mucho viento y el polen, ya que este puede entrar a la casa. Evite estar muy cerca del pasto o en lugares donde haya muchas plantas que contengan este polen.

También es importante mantenerse alejado de otras cosas que puedan producir alergias o empeorar a los que la padecen, como el humo de cigarros, peluches, animales (como gatos y perros), alfombras que pueden acumular polvo. Un consejo buenísimo, es averiguar el conteo de polen de la ciudad donde te encuentras para saber si es un buen momento para dar un paseo al aire libre, para esto vaya  a www.wunderground.com y solo coloque su ubicación.

Otra sugerencia es procurar usar el aire acondicionado de su carro en días cuando el conteo de polen sea alto, para evitar tener las ventanas abiertas y respirar el polen, así mismo use lentes de sol en el exterior. Dese un buen baño al llegar a casa para retirar todo residuo de polen del cuerpo y del cabello.

Es importante que no nos olvidemos de los trucos de las abuelitas y sus remedios caseros, entre estos tenemos, subir la dosis de Vitamina C diaria y chuparse una pastillita de la misma cuando viene el ataque de alergia, dicen que este es un antialérgico natural para ayudar a calmar los síntomas y prevenir incluso los ataques de asma. Tomar Té de menta o aplicar la menta como aceite esencial en la nariz ayuda a abrir las vías respiratorias y descongestionar. También dicen las abuelitas que tomar dos cucharadas de miel abejas diarias durante 6 semanas reducirá en gran manera las alergias.

Y finalmente les recomiendo hielo para calmar la irritación de los ojos, pepino o una papa cruda. Agua fresca para lavarse el rostro para retirar los rastros de polen. Dicen que sumergir el rostro en un recipiente con agua muy fría ayuda a desinflamar la hinchazón y Alivia la comezón, además que cierra los poros y tonifica la piel.



Healthy Living: Berry Avocado Salad


Berry Avocado SaladIt’s officially springtime and time to lighten up our eating.

I can eat avocado in almost anything. The beauty of this power-packed fruit is that it takes on the flavor of almost anything you serve it with, kind of like tofu but better.

This salad packs in vitamins and antioxidants from the fruit, and you get good fats and protein from the avocado. I usually swap the iceberg lettuce for spinach, but you can do it either way. Just remember iceberg lettuce, while giving a crunchy contrast texture, doesn’t add much in the way of nutrition.

Berry Avocado Salad

Ingredients:
1/4 wedge iceberg lettuce, chopped or whole (or baby spinach)
6 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella chunks
1 avocado, sliced

For the Dressing:
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place lettuce in a salad bowl.
Add strawberries, blueberries, mozzarella and avocado slices.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Pour over salad and gently mix it all together.
Serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 687, Calories from Fat: 535, Fat: 60 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 477 mg, Potassium: 1335 mg, Carbohydrates: 36 g, Fiber: 21 g, Sugar: 12 g, Protein: 13 g.



Product Talk: Self-Rising Cornmeal


Self Rising Corn MealI’d heard of self-rising flour before, but I’d never heard of self-rising cornmeal until I saw it in Brookshire’s the other day. I was shopping for regular cornmeal when I noticed the self-rising variety. It fit my recipe, so I decided to give it a try.

Self-rising corn meal has a leavening agent, usually baking soda and salt, and is often enriched with B vitamins. It does not contain flour. It’s perfect for cornbread or casseroles that contain cornbread mix, basically saving you a step.  

You can’t use it in place of regular cornmeal in recipes without reducing the leavening and salt in whatever recipe you’re using, but you can use this where recipes call for cornmeal, salt and some leavening agent. You just might have to experiment a little with the proportions. 

Self-rising cornmeal has the same sweet tasty and gritty texture as regular cornmeal. Make it a staple in your pantry today.



Dine In: Crawfish Cornbread


Crawfish CornbreadSome Friday nights are just made for comfort food.

Last night was one of them.

One of my best friends has had a run of bad luck recently. He doesn’t love his new job. He and his girlfriend broke up. And, he was in a car accident yesterday. (He wasn’t hurt, thank goodness). So it’s not a stretch to say that he hasn’t been in the best of moods lately.

The car accident was the straw that broke the camel’s proverbial back. This called for comfort food, and I was happy to oblige because I think cooking is my love language. He loves anything Cajun and he really loves crawfish, but I wasn’t dumping pounds of mudbugs all over my kitchen table in the middle of a booming thunderstorm and tornado watch, so crawfish cornbread it was! It meets all my requirements for comfort food: warm, cheesy and casserole-like. He loved it, especially with the brownies I made for dessert.

I found frozen crawfish tails in the freezer section of Brookshire’s. Saved me a ton of work!

Crawfish Cornbread

Ingredients:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
1/3 cup chopped jalapeño peppers
1 lb peeled crawfish tails
1 pinch seasoned salt, or to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F, and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Stir together cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, onion, green pepper, pimentos, vegetable oil, cheddar cheese, cream-style corn, jalapeño peppers, crawfish tails, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder until the mixture is well combined. Pour the crawfish mixture into the cornmeal mixture, and stir together. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until the cornbread is lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 209, Fat: 10.8 g, Cholesterol: 86 mg, Sodium: 534 mg, Carbohydrates: 18.6 g, Fiber: 1.5 g, Protein: 10.4 g.

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

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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood


Family Matters: Pets


Washing the DogMy friend lives in a beautiful home in the country where her four big Labrador retrievers have plenty of space to run and roam.

They take full advantage of it, coming home sweaty and more than a little stinky most times. But there’s nothing worse than when they encounter a certain black and white adversary on their adventures.

This happened not too long ago, and all four dogs came home “skunked,” that is, sprayed by their furry foe as it tried to protect itself.

Luckily, she knew exactly what to do.

She kept the dogs outside while she prepped the anti-skunk wash.

Then she mixed together:

  • 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp liquid dishwashing soap

Of course, she had to make four times this much.

Wearing rubber gloves, she washed the dogs with this solution, being careful not to get it into the dogs’ eyes. She rubbed it in, but don’t let it sit too long as it can bleach their coat. Then she rinsed each dog with the garden hose (luckily it was warm outside).

After that, she shampooed the dogs with regular shampoo and left them outside in the sun to dry completely. By that night, they were ready to come back into the house, stench-free.



Shop the Sale: Bell Peppers


ShopSale_BellPepperSlaw_228x173

My mom used to grow the most magnificent garden.

I say this in past tense, but she really she still grows a garden, I just don’t live close enough to benefit from it.

I remember summers spent going out to her garden to harvest fresh green beans, cucumbers, corn and bell peppers for dinner. I don’t think I can choose a favorite, but her stuffed bell peppers made from fresh produce straight out of our back yard was pretty delicious.

I have loved bell peppers ever since. I love the earthy flavor of the green ones and the sweet flavor of red, yellow and orange varieties. I make stuffed peppers frequently, but I also found this slaw recipe last summer. I’m not a huge coleslaw fan, but this side dish is positively delicious! Bell peppers are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so try this today.

Bell Pepper Slaw

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz) bag angel-hair slaw mix
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
1 large green bell pepper, julienned
1 large yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano

Directions:
Place slaw mix, peppers and tomatoes in a large glass jar with lid. Shake to combine; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, basil and oregano, whisking well. Pour mixture over peppers. Close lid and shake well to coat.

Serve slaw from jar, if desired. Store covered in the refrigerator. Slaw is best when made a day before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 242, Calories from Fat: 157, Fat: 17 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 490 mg, Potassium: 595 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 14 g, Protein: 3 g.

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



Healthy Living: Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal


OatmealI’ve been eating a lot of eggs for breakfast recently.

Recently, as in, oh, the past year or so. I love eggs. They’re good for you, but variety is the spice of life and the key to good health.

So, I searched for other recipes that are easy, healthy and delicious.

This recipe for oatmeal is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. It doesn’t take too much time, and it will fill your belly all morning long. The whole grains and the fruits are delicious together. 

Cinnamon Pecan Oatmeal

Ingredients:
2 cups purified water
2 cups rice milk
1 cup steel-cut oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pecans
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp cacao nibs
1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:
In a medium pot on the stovetop, bring water and rice milk to a boil. Add oats; cook over medium heat until oats are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat; transfer to four bowls. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 205, Fat: 10.4 g, Sodium: 103 mg, Carbohydrates: 25.8 g, Fiber: 6.7 g, Sugar: 8.8 g, Protein: 9.6 g.

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

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Food Club 3 Cheese Texas Toast


Food Club Texas ToastWhen I was little, my family lived in Louisiana for about four years. I remember my friend, Kitzie, eating “Texas Toast” for dinner and asking my mom about it.

“You have to live in Texas to eat that,” she said.

We then moved back to Virginia and Texas Toast was all but forgotten, until I moved back to Texas.

Now “Texas Toast” is pretty much a staple of our diet.

Thick bread, slathered with butter and garlic…oh yeah, you know it.

I can’t think of a dinner my boys haven’t deemed “Texas Toast” worthy. I usually buy it as a side to a pasta dinner, but they’ve asked for it as a side to pizza or salmon.

Food Club offers a frozen Texas Toast that is easy to portion out and quick to cook. We love the “Three Cheese” variety, which is loaded with butter, garlic and different cheeses. It cooks up quickly in the oven or toaster oven, and it is easy to count out one piece per person, with no waste. Best of all, it’s tender and buttery in the middle, and it’s crispy and buttery on the crust.

Win/win.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta


PastaWhen we had our children 17 months apart, we didn’t go out much. Go figure.

Every Friday night, the boys’ dad would bring home take-out. I’d get a break from cooking, and he’d get a break from helping me clean up. That was pretty much heaven to the parents of two babies, both of whom had jobs other than the sweet children.

When the kids got a bit older, we’d venture out every now and then, every once in a GREAT while, mind you. Taking two kids under three years old out to dinner isn’t always fun. Plus, they often can’t eat what’s on the menu, so you either have to pack them food or find something to order they’ll like.

One Friday night, we were at a fairly well-known national restaurant, and we ordered spinach and artichoke dip for an appetizer. Our older son, not known for his proclivity for green veggies, kept reaching for it. We finally gave him a taste and he ended up eating most of the rest of it, with a spoon.

I found this recipe for a pasta that mimicked the dish he loved that night, and it’s been a family favorite ever since. 

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta

Ingredients:
8 oz penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmesan), grated
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
8 oz spinach, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Start cooking pasta as directed on the package. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for a few minutes while stirring. Add the milk and cook while stirring until it thickens up, about 1-2 minutes. Add the cheese and cook while stirring until they melt, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the artichokes and spinach, and cook while stirring until the spinach wilts, about 1-2 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste; remove from heat.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 497, Fat: 20 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (11 g Saturated Fat, Cholesterol: 97 mg, Sodium: 488 mg, Carbohydrates: 59 g, Fiber: 7.4 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 24 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


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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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