share. The Brookshire's Blog

Healthy Living: Dates


DatesA friend of mine just returned from a trip to China, and she brought back packaged, dried dates. She gave me a handful, colorfully wrapped in cellophane with mysterious Chinese characters on them. She said she ate them all through her trip for extra energy, to avoid hunger pains and for something healthy in a foreign land.

Dried dates are sold at Brookshire’s, too.

Dates are a healthy way to incorporate fiber and antioxidants into your diet.

Dates can give you relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, abdominal cancer and many other conditions.

Dates are good for gaining weight also, if you need to bulk up.

Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals, and they contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium.

Eat them as a snack food to stay full and feel full of energy.



Product Talk: Ultra Thin Crust Pizza


Brookshire's Ultra Thin Crust PizzaIt happens about once a month.

I get an intense craving for Brookshire’s Ultra Thin Crust Pizza. I could eat the whole thing by myself. (I don’t, but I could.)

The ultra thin crust pizzas, found with the frozen pizzas in the store, are my absolute favorite. They cook quickly in about 9 minutes (which is faster than going through the drive-thru at most local eateries), and they are so delicious that you’d think your oven had just transformed into a wood-fired, outdoor hearth in the heart of Rome.

The ultra thin crust is like a crispy cracker, but it’s still firm enough to support a savory tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and lots of pepperoni (both chunks and slices).

I gave into my craving last night, and it was so worth it!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Toasted Italian Sandwich


Toasted Italian SandwichI’ve been craving a really good sandwich. I mean, a REALLY good sandwich with crusty bread, melty cheese and lots of savory fillings.

We have a really good sandwich place nearby; it’s just a little out of striking distance from my office and when they run out of fillings, they close down. They’re so popular that I have almost no hope of getting a sandwich there in the evenings. I had a Chicago beef sandwich there once that was the stuff dreams are made of. Seriously, that sandwich was as big as a football, and I could only eat about a quarter of it before crying “uncle.”

Therefore, I have to turn to my kitchen for a stacked cheesy, bready, meaty delight.

This recipe is delicious, simple to make and perfect for a casual Friday night. I’m not a HUGE fan of sun-dried tomatoes, so I made it with fresh ones, which worked just as well. I’d also urge you to use fresh mozzarella if you can; it makes a world of difference.

Toasted Italian Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 ciabatta roll
1 Tbs butter, softened
1 Tbs pesto sauce
1 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes (or 2 slices of fresh tomato)
2 slices fresh mozzarella
3 slices smoked deli ham
1 slice classic salami
1 slice cracked black pepper salami
1 slice classic pepperoni (or a handful of pizza-sized pepperoni)
1 slice turkey pepperoni

Directions:
Slice ciabatta roll in half. Spread a thin layer of butter on each cut side. Toast for about 1 minute. Top one slice with pesto sauce and the other with tomato slices. Toast another minute. Pile meats on top of the pesto and cheese on top of the tomato slices. Toast until cheese is melty and bread is golden-brown. Place cheese side on top of meat side, slice in half and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 699, Calories from Fat: 426, Fat: 47 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 162 mg, Sodium: 2225 mg, Potassium: 285 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 44 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Homemade Banana Bread


Homemade Banana BreadAbout a year ago, I found a recipe for banana bread made with buttermilk that is fantastic; it is so moist and has the best flavor. This is now our favorite bread recipe…it is delicious for breakfast (quick and easy for kids before school), snack time or a bedtime treat. You can heat a slice in the microwave and add a little butter – my husband’s favorite thing to do! It has been a family tradition to bake loaves of strawberry bread and give as gifts to close friends and teachers, and serve at family gatherings. Now, we have added this banana bread. If you enjoy bananas, this is a must-try recipe!

Homemade Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup Brookshire’s Buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups  ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
Cream together the sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time using a mixer. Stir baking soda into buttermilk then add to the mixture. Sift flour and baking powder; add to the mixture. Add vanilla and mashed bananas next; mix in and stir in pecans as the last item. Pour in a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans, less cooking time). Bake at 300° F for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until bread is done (check with toothpick). Let cool shortly before removing from pan, or cut immediately and enjoy fresh hot bread with a glass of milk. Note: Bake it in a bundt pan for a fancy look and sprinkle with powdered sugar; it is a great party item.

Plan an afternoon and try this banana bread recipe – time in the kitchen with your family is an opportunity to bond and grow relationships. It may become a favorite family recipe that you can pass on for generations to come. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with your family!



Shop the Sale: Smoked Spare Ribs


Smoked Spare RibsMy boyfriend got a smoker for his birthday a few weeks ago!

As of right this second we (notice I interjected myself right into his birthday gift there?) haven’t used it yet, but we’ve been fantasizing about the epic meals we will create in it once it finally stops raining. (Please, please, let it stop raining soon!).

One of the first things we’d like to do is smoke pork spare ribs. You see, we spent the weekend in Fort Worth not too long ago and we ate our body weight in meat. One of the memorable meals we had was at Riscky’s, in the Stockyards. We both had ribs and they had a crisp bark, a spicy sauce and a deep, smoky flavor.

We can’t wait to duplicate them. We might not have to wait much longer, as pork spare ribs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Smoked Spare Ribs
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 racks (about 4 pounds) pork spare ribs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Your favorite barbecue sauce

Directions:
Let the ribs rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, make the rub by combining the sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, and cayenne pepper with a fork.

Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Then coat the ribs with the rub, using your hands to completely cover the surface of the meat with the spices.

Following the instructions below, smoke the ribs at 225°F (107°C) for 5 hours (about 1 hour more than the number of pounds of meat). Keep the coals smoldering at low heat so that the ribs don’t burn, catch fire, or overcook. Check the ribs periodically to make sure they aren’t drying out. Flip and move the ribs 90° every hour in order to get crosshatch sear marks across the flesh. The meat is done when it is tender and releases easily from the bone.

If using a smoker: Put your soaked chips in the smoking basket and your meat on the top racks.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 607, Calories from Fat: 347, Fat: 39 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 148 mg, Sodium: 1467 mg, Potassium: 72 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Protein: 55 g

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

 



Healthy Living: Always Wear Sunscreen


Always Wear SunscreenDo you remember the famous words often (and erroneously) attributed to Kurt Vonnegut, but in actuality penned by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich to be used as a potential commencement speech?

The speech/column begins:

“Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.”

Well, she wasn’t kidding, folks.

Sunscreen can protect your skin from getting dull, wrinkled and leathery, and more importantly, it can help protect you from skin cancer.

I wish I’d known when I was 17 that slathering myself with baby oil wasn’t a good idea. Age and sun spots are real. Luckily, no skin cancer for me, but recently a young (as in early 20s) neighbor was diagnosed with several spots on her shoulders and back. Scary stuff.

WebMD offers these tips for using sunscreen, which you can find in all levels of protection at your local Brookshire’s store.

  1. Wear sunscreen every day in all weather and in every season. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and say “broad-spectrum” on the label, which means it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Put it on at least 15 minutes before going outside. Use 1 ounce, which would fill a shot glass.
  2. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours or more often, if you’re sweating or swimming.
  3. Wear sunglasses with total UV protection.
  4. Wear wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  5. Avoid being out in the sun as much as possible from 10am to 2pm.
  6. Check your skin regularly so you know what’s normal for you, and to notice any skin changes or new growths.
  7. Choose cosmetics and contact lenses that offer UV protection. You still need to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses with broad-spectrum sun protection.
  8. If you’re a parent, protect your child’s skin and practice these habits together.
  9. Don’t use tanning beds.
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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese Singles


Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese SinglesMy 11-year-old is on this mac and cheese kick that can’t be stopped. He wants it for his snack every day after school. Every. Single. Day.

That’s fine. Mac and cheese and a piece of fruit tide him over until dinner.

I was making big batches of mac and cheese on the weekends and letting him heat up a serving in the afternoon, but then I saw individual serving containers at Brookshire’s. They are the perfect amount for a hungry guy in the afternoon, and best of all, he can make them himself in the microwave.

All he does is open the container, fill it with water to the marked line, microwave, and then stir in the pouch of cheese sauce. He loves being able to do it himself, and he loves the creamy, cheesy flavor of Velveeta.

It reminds me of my college days when my best friend, Kathy, and I used to make Velveeta Shells and Cheese in our hot pot in our dorm room every Tuesday because our class schedule kept us from making it to the dining hall for lunch.

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Dine In: Steak and Potato Bites


Steak and Potato BitesMy boyfriend is a carnivore if there ever was one. He likes meat. He likes potatoes. The more ways I can cook them, the better.

So, last Friday night, we were trying to decide what to make for dinner. I’d worked a long day, and he’d worked an even longer one at his job, where he doesn’t follow a traditional schedule. All that to say, we were both tired.

The temptation to go out was strong, but the lure of making a meal at home together and relaxing (this means yoga pants, people) was a far greater pull. While this meal has a lot of steps, it’s easy and comes together quickly.

Don’t flip the potatoes once you have them on the grill. That will get messy. Instead, after they’re golden-brown on the bottom, close the lid of the grill in order to let the tops of the potatoes get warm and melty.

You can make these as appetizers and serve a big group, or as a dinner for two as we did. (Make more steak and this could easily serve four, just by the sheer volume of potatoes!)

Steak and Potato Bites

Ingredients:

For the Potato Bites:
1 lb baby potatoes
1/2 cup butter, divided
1 cup mozzarella
1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced super small
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt or powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

For the Steak Bites:
1 1/2 lb sirloin steak
4 Tbs butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 2 Tbs roasted garlic
1 to 2 Tbs mixed black pepper, red pepper and paprika

Directions:
Preheat the grill to medium heat.

For the Potato Bites:
Boil your potatoes for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on their size, until they are fork-tender but still firm enough that they won’t fall apart when hollowing them out.

Drain your potatoes and allow to cool slightly.

Take a small measuring spoon or melon baller, and scoop out as much of the inside of the potatoes as possible without them falling apart. Transfer those scooped out bits to a food processor bowl that’s been fitted with a steel blade for mixing. Set the hollowed-out potatoes aside.

Add the rest of your ingredients to the food processor bowl, and process a few times until your potato mixture is the consistency of cookie dough. Add a small amount of olive oil, if necessary. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of your mixture for each potato and start stuffing them. Place the finished potatoes in a grill pan.

Add butter; don’t fear the butter.

Put the grill pan on a preheated medium-heat outdoor grill, and cook for about 10 minutes (covered). Uncover and cook another 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes and the heat of the grill. You want them browning on the bottom and the filling just starting to ooze and melt.

Once they are ready, carefully remove them from the grill and transfer them to a serving plate.

For the Steak Bites:
Cut the beef into bite-sized pieces; think beef tips when you go to a restaurant.

Add half of the butter to a cast iron pan. Put the pan on the grill. Allow it to sizzle a bit and start to turn to brown butter, then toss in your beef to cook it. Stir the beef as it cooks.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss the rest of the butter, the garlic and the pepper into the pan.

Continue to cook and allow the spices to coat the meat. Total cooking time should only be about 6 or 8 minutes total, depending on the size of the beef pieces.

Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl or plate.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 920, Calories from Fat: 549, Fat: 61 g (30 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 260 mg, Sodium: 755 mg, Potassium: 1111 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 74 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Lucky Ice Cream Floats


Lucky Ice Cream Floats St. Patrick’s Day may be over, but you can still have some “green” fun in the kitchen this weekend. Your kiddos can still feel lucky with delicious – and decidedly green – ice cream floats that are simple for kids of all ages to make.

Start out by chilling the glass you will be using in advance, so the ingredients stay nice and cold. With an ice cream scoop, dip 2 to 3 scoops of Goldenbrook Farms Lime Sherbet into the glass. With a steady hand, carefully and slowly pour in the Brookshire’s BLAST! Lemon Lime. The combination will begin to foam. Stop pouring before the foam reaches the top of the glass. Add a fun straw to the drink and enjoy every sip!

For more kid-friendly recipes, pick up a free copy of Celebrate Cooking Magazine available online or at your local Brookshire’s.



Shop the Sale: New York Strip


New York Strip SteakMy boyfriend had a birthday recently. To celebrate the day, we grilled steaks, baked potatoes, tossed a crisp, fresh salad and steamed some green beans (before we got to the chocolate-on-chocolate cookie cake, that is.)

I went to Brookshire’s and got ribeyes for me and my boyfriend. (I couldn’t even eat half of mine because they were so huge and delicious.) However, my boys are really picky about steak (this makes me question their parentage) and don’t like ribeye because of the marbling. A sirloin is “too chewy” for them, so I ended up getting a New York strip. Not only is it tender but it’s also flavorful, and my boyfriend works magic on the grill. I promised them the steak would be as tender as a maiden’s heart, as Celebrity Chef David Wade used to say.

When it came almost time to eat, my boys asked if they could have their steak on a sandwich.

Are you kidding me? Steak is delicious plain.

Apparently, steak is also delicious on a sandwich.

I had soft, chewy pretzel rolls in the pantry and some sharp cheddar in the refrigerator, so when the New York strip came off the grill all crusty and juicy, I let it rest. Then, I sliced it into thin slivers across the grain and laid it on the bread.

The boys loved it. They even picked the steak off the bread and ate it just as it was meant to be eaten.

So, whether you eat it on a sandwich or as a steak, the New York strip, on sale at Brookshire’s this week, is a great choice.



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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

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