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Product Talk: Mary B’s Dumplings

Mary B’s DumplingsAs we all know, foods are different in different parts of the country.

While I grew up in the South, my mother grew up in the Northeast (but still makes the best dang red beans and rice I’ve ever laid my taste buds on). As we were growing up, we ate chicken and dumplings her way: chock full of vegetables with fluffy, cloud-like dumplings.

When I moved to Texas, I was introduced to a different kind of chicken and dumplings. There were no veggies, and the dumplings were something like I’d never had before. I thought it was an anomaly that my friend who’d made them just did it differently. Nope, it turns out that I’m the one who made chicken and dumplings different from everyone else.

I made my version for a potluck dinner, and I’m ashamed to admit that it was hardly touched. I wallowed in that shame for weeks.

The next time I had to bring chicken and dumplings to an event, I decided to make them Texas-style, but I didn’t have time to roll out and cut dumplings.

Mary B’s makes frozen dumplings that taste just like the homemade ones my friend made. They call them “strip dumplings” (I liken them more to pasta than to the more cakey dumplings I’m accustomed to), and they can also be used as lattice on top of pies or in lasagna in place of the noodles.  The dumplings are wide and flat, and they can be dropped into a bubbling chicken mixture while frozen, no rolling or slicing required!

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Dine In: Cranberry Brie Puffs

Cranberry Brie PuffsAre you throwing a holiday party this year? I am.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re hosting a gathering for family or a fete for friends. It’s a good idea to have some delicious and distinctive treats on hand for this holiday season.

One of the most distinctive holiday flavors, in my mind, is the cranberry. It’s even lusciously red like Christmas!

Cranberries are most readily available during the holidays. This recipe calls for fresh, but you can buy flash-frozen, too. The tartness of the cranberries is offset by the mild and milky flavor of the brie cheese.

These bite-sized morsels are great to pass at a party or snack on Christmas afternoon, after opening presents. I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of a Christmas afternoon full of appetizers, love and laughter.

Make sure the brie is COLD for this recipe to be successful!

Cranberry Brie Puffs

For the cranberry filling:
1 cup fresh cranberries
3 Tbs orange juice
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp kosher salt

For the puff pastry bites:
2 (10 x 10-inch) sheets puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
1 large egg, beaten
4 oz brie cheese, cold

Prepare the cranberry sauce by combining the cranberries, orange juice, water, honey, cinnamon and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for 10 minutes until the cranberries break down and thicken. Let cool.

Unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin, gently roll the pastry so that it is an even 10 1/2-inch square. With a 1 1/2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut circles out of the pastry (24 rounds total).

Beat the egg in a small bowl, and then lightly brush each pastry. Top 12 of the pastry rounds with 1/4 teaspoon cranberry sauce and 1 small piece brie cheese, rind included.

Carefully place the remaining pastry rounds on top of the brie and cranberry, brushed egg-side down. Pinch the ends closed, and then gently crimp the edges with a fork to secure. Prick each pastry with a fork to allow the air to escape. Repeat with second pastry sheet.

Place a rack in the upper third section of the oven and preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pastries on the prepared sheet and brush lightly with egg. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, or until puffed and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 69, Calories from Fat: 42, Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 6 mg, Sodium: 50 mg, Potassium: 15 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 1 g.

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

Family Matters: Giant Christmas Tree Cookie

Giant Christmas Tree CookieAre your kiddos crushing on cookies this Christmas? Make a giant treat for your little ones to decorate, a sweet and easy, memory-making activity to share with loved ones during the holidays.

Giant Christmas Tree Cookie

1 egg
1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/3 cup Brookshire’s Butter, softened
green gel food coloring
1 (12 oz) Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Frosting
1 (12 oz) Betty Crocker Whipped Chocolate Frosting
decorations or candy, as desired for decorating

Heat oven to 375º F. In a medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.

Line a 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan with foil. With moistened fingers, press dough in bottom of pan. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until light golden-brown; cool completely, about 30 minutes.

With the help of mom or dad, cut tree shape from baked cookie. If you need help, create a tree template. Place the template on the baked cookie and cut around it using a sharp knife.

Stir food coloring into frosting as desired. Decorate cookie tree with frosting and candies.

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

Shop the Sale: Turkey Wellington

Turkey WellingtonChristmas can be exhausting.

It can also be exhilarating.

It’s usually more of the latter than the former.

One of my FAVORITE things about Christmas (well, after Christmas Eve, seeing the boys’ faces Christmas morning, making Christmas brunch, going to church, thanking God at the manger scene, opening gifts and basking in the glow of a happy day) is making Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner is a chance to be magnificent.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, the presents were nestled all snug in their beds (oh wait, that was the children) and all was right with the world on Christmas morning.

Then, there’s that air of expectation that creeps into midday on Dec. 25. Presents are opened, brunch is consumed and all that’s left is the Christmas beast. I mean, feast (sorry, “The Grinch” slip).

Why not go all out on Christmas night? Give your family one more gift of magnificence. (And, make them help!)

Honeysuckle White® Fresh Turkey is on sale at Brookshire’s this week, and you can ask the butcher to cut slices for you. Then, you have all the rest of the bird for use in soups and such!

Turkey Wellington

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 Tbs butter
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 lb button mushrooms and stems, chopped
salt and pepper
2 Tbs dry cooking sherry
4 slices turkey breast or assorted cuts (about 4 cups)
8 oz chicken paté (if you don’t want to use chicken paté, puree 6 ounces turkey breast in the food processor with 4 tablespoons cream)
1 sheet frozen prepared puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil (one turn of the pan), butter, shallots and chopped mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the sherry to the pan and let the liquid evaporate. Remove from the heat.

In a nonstick skillet over high heat, sear the turkey for 2 minutes on each side in a drizzle of olive oil. Remove from the heat, and season the meat with salt and pepper.

Cut the paté (or prepared turkey puree formed into a loaf) into four pieces horizontally. Unfold the puff pastry sheet onto a cutting board, and cut into quarters with a sharp knife. Roll each piece of dough into a 10 x 6-inch rectangle.

On each rectangle of dough, place a quarter of the cooked mushrooms. Top with a slice of paté and one slice of turkey. Wrap the dough up and over the meat, then pinch and seal the dough with egg wash and trim any excess. Turn the wrapped Wellingtons over, seam-side down, and brush all over with egg wash. Use the egg wash as “glue” to affix dough garnishes.

Bake the Wellingtons on a baking sheet for 30-35 minutes until golden. Let stand for 5 minutes then serve.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 439, Calories from Fat: 287, Fat: 32 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 141 mg, Sodium: 684 mg, Potassium: 305 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 15 g.

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

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Healthy Living: Green Bean Salad

Green Bean SaladThere’s a certain dish that’s pretty much a staple of holiday gatherings in the South, or really at any celebration I’ve attended.

It involves vegetables, but it’s not healthy, at all.

Holiday meals are often laden with sauces, gravies, calories and fat that we don’t need. I do try to trim calories and fat where I can, and the vegetables are the obvious place to me. I’d rather expend calories on dessert, where it’s more difficult to trim fats, than on a veggie dish any day.

This green bean dish cuts the fat but adds tons of flavor. The cheese can be omitted if you’re really trimming calories.

Green Bean Salad

1 lb green beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
feta cheese

For the dressing:
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Make the dressing first. In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.

Trim ends off green beans and rinse. Steam (or boil) for about 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. In a colander, rinse well with cold water to stop cooking then pat dry. Cut green beans into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

Dice red onion and halve cherry tomatoes.

Place onions and green beans in a bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to marinate.

When ready to serve, add in tomatoes and feta; lightly toss.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 108, Calories from Fat: 68, Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 11 mg, Sodium: 147 mg, Potassium: 251 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 3.5 g.

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

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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product Talk: Original Natchitoches Meat Pies

Original Natchitoches Meat PiesA few summers ago when driving from Texas to Virginia on vacation, we decided to take the road less traveled and take a slightly more meandering route to visit some places to have some experiences we might have missed staying on the highway.

We decided to stop in Natchitoches, Louisiana. We knew it was the oldest town in Louisiana. We knew it was the bed and breakfast capital of the state. I knew that the movie “Steel Magnolias” was filmed there. What we did NOT know was anything about the meat pies.

Original Natchitoches Meat Pies came into existence about 30 years ago as a hand-held treasure in a flaky crust. Most closely resembling an empanada, the meat pie originally contained ground beef or pork filling.

They are heavenly.

Brookshire’s carries these meat pies in the frozen foods section, so you can have a taste of Louisiana at your fingertips.

The original Natchitoches Meat Pie Company has expanded, creating new flavors to tempt the taste buds of loyal – and new – customers. Along with Original, Spicy and New Orleans Style, there are now the Crawfish Pie, described as “etoufee in a pie crust” and the Shrimp Pie. There are also breakfast varieties including Chorizo with Egg & Jalapenos, and Sausage, Egg & Cheese.

You can cook them up individually or make a box at a time! They are also sold in meal or appetizer sizes, which would come in handy for holiday parties!

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Dine In: Eggnogg Snickerdoodles

Eggnog SnickerdoodlesTonight begins one of my all-time favorite events in the city of Tyler, Texas: Holiday in the Park.

We first moved to Tyler six years ago on Dec. 22, but before we moved, we made many weekend trips up from southeast Texas to buy a house, bring some loads of household goods to the new house and get as settled in Tyler as we could before the actual moving date (because let’s face it, moving three days before Christmas is insane.)

On one of those early trips (it might actually have been the same weekend we bought our house), we visited Tyler’s annual Holiday in the Park.

Holiday in the Park, located at Bergfeld Park in the heart of the city, features a craft show, Kids Zone and food. However, it most importantly features the snow hill and the snow field!

No matter what the temperature, my boys LOVE this event. They get in line over and over and over for the snow hill, riding inflatable tubes down ribbons of ice. They love the snow field even more, where they can spend several minutes engaged in all-out snowball warfare until they have to let some other kids (big and small) have a turn.

It’s seriously one of the most fun festivals I’ve ever been to and safe to say that it’s their favorite, too.

Tonight, before we hit the “slopes” tomorrow morning, we’ll enjoy these holiday eggnog cookies. Curt, my older son, LOVES eggnog, but no one else in the family is a huge fan unless it’s in these cookies. He can sip the leftover eggnog while he munches on these!

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

1 cup butter, softened
2 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla or rum extract
1 cup eggnog
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 2 cups of sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternately with the eggnog. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky.

Mix together 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a small bowl. Shape the dough into rounded tablespoons; roll in sugar and nutmeg mixture.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are just set and starting to crack.

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

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Posted in: Dine In

Family Matters: Holiday Hazards for Pets

Holiday PetsOne of the best gifts you can give your pet this howliday season is time, attention and love, but because you love them, you also want to keep them safe!

There are a lot of hazards during the howlidays, and you don’t want your beloved friend injured. Here are some tips from pet expert Steve Dale about keeping your pet safe, healthy and happy this time of year.

  1. LIMIT TABLE SCRAPS. When you have a dozen dinner guests and everyone from Aunt Ethel and Uncle Fred are all offering table scraps, it may be too much for a small dog or cat to handle. Even big pets are too often treated for everything from minor upset tummy to pancreatitis on Christmas Day.
  2. WATCH WHAT YOU LEAVE OUT FOR SANTA. When leaving Christmas chocolate cookies out for Santa, remember chocolate can make pets sick (and Santa doesn’t need the calories). Avocado is hazardous to birds (no guacamole for Polly). Pets can choke on chicken or turkey bones, which may also cause a gastrointestinal obstruction.
  3. CANDLES IN THE WIND. Candles may look nice, but they can easily be knocked over by playful kittens or curious cats. Aromatic candles may smell good to us and seem benign, but they may be very dangerous to pet birds (who have very sensitive respiratory systems).
  4. AVOID PRICKLY CHRISTMAS TREES. When choosing a tree, consider one with pet friendly needles such as white pine or Douglas fir. They’re not as likely to stick to pet’s paws.
  5. TIDY TREE NEEDLES. Puppies and kittens can munch on errant needles, and that may cause choking or upset stomach. Pet parrots (given the chance) may naturally perch on a branch of your Christmas tree, no harm done – great photo opp. However, if Polly begins chewing on real needles or those from an artificial tree, it may be life-threatening.
  6. NO CHEMICALS UNDER THE TREE. Don’t add chemical preservatives to prolong the life of your tree if pets have access to that solution. While the solutions to prolong tree life don’t seem to cause severe reactions, pets can get an upset tummy.
  7. HOUSE GUESTS. Some pets are social butterflies; others not so much. For some pets, the commotion caused by little children is simply not the peace and quiet they’re accustomed to. Those pets might be happier secluded in a room, door shut with Christmas carols playing in the background. Also, with that front door frequently opening and closing, some dogs get out and so do indoor cats. Be sure all pets are microchipped for identification (and registered with the microchip provider) and that they have a collar and an I.D. tag.
  8. HOLIDAY PLANTS MAY NOT BE SO FESTIVE. In truth, poinsettias are generally not the poisonous killer they’re made out to be, although too much may potentially cause upset stomach. Fresh holly and mistletoe are toxic, particularly the berries. Also, cats may be attracted to amaryllis lilies and red azaleas – all potentially dangerous.
  9. TINSEL AND RIBBON IN THE TUMMY. Cats and puppies love to play with tinsel and ribbons. If they ingest enough of this glittery stuff, it can create serious gastrointestinal obstruction and may be life-threatening.
  10. WHAT ARE TREES FOR? Ask any cat – Christmas trees are all about trying to climb them. Secure the tree so that if a cat takes a flying leap, the tree won’t topple over.
  11. ORNAMENTS AREN’T MADE FOR CATS. If you have cats, glass ornaments should be kept off the tree. Find a cat-proof place, such as behind a glass cabinet where they can be shown off. Cats tend to believe that shiny glass ornaments are, of course, meant to be batted at. Broken ornaments are a hazard to people and pets, and some may have lots of sentimental value. Also, tinsel hanging from a tree is an equivalent to an invitation for any cat to jump and grab.

PETS DESERVE PRESENTS, TOO. As the family gathers for opening presents, include all members of the family, even those with paws. This doesn’t mean you need to spend big bucks; simply take a dog’s toy away a few days before Christmas and open on the big day. Your dog won’t mind the “regifting” as long as you make a fuss. Cat toys can be as simple as a plastic bottle top, wine cork or used tissue box with catnip inside of it. Of course, the best thing you can do for your cat is to wrap the present in catnip-scented wrapping paper. The wrapping will be far more exciting than the gift.

Shop the Sale: Honey Mustard Bacon Chicken Tenders

Honey Mustard Bacon Chicken TendersAre you finished with your holiday shopping?

I am.

Pretty much.

Except for the fact that my 11-year-old refused to tell me what he wanted for Christmas, because Santa “KNOWS.”

Then, of course, as soon as the big, brown box from Amazon was tucked safely into my secret spot, he says, “I think I’ll make my list now.”

Uh. Wait.

You told me you didn’t WANT anything SPECIFIC.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Oh my jolly-man-in-red.

Luckily, I managed to “guess” pretty accurately. I’d say about 75 percent of the items on his list are already wrapped and ready to go. The remaining 25 percent? Well, about 20 percent of that is “Not no way, no how.” Sorry, but “gaming laptop” isn’t happening this year. “Minecraft gift card,” on the other hand, is.

Do you need extra time this holiday season for unplanned shopping?

Try this quick and very delicious dish for a weeknight meal that will leave you lots of extra time for holiday shopping! Tyson boneless, skinless chicken tenders are on sale at Brookshire’s this week, leaving you extra change in the jar as well as in the wallet for this holiday season!

Honey Mustard Bacon Chicken Tenders

1 lb. of chicken tenders
1 lb. of bacon
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp spicy mustard powder or 1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp  red wine vinegar
salt and fresh cracked pepper

Whisk together the honey, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Marinade the chicken tenders in half of the honey mustard for 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from marinade and wrap each piece with bacon. Place on a jelly roll sheet. Brush with the honey mustard marinade, crack pepper over each piece and bake for 10-12 minutes on 375.

After 10-12 minutes, flip each chicken over and brush again with the honey mustard. Bake another 10-12 minutes, until bacon is brown and crisp.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 963, Calories from Fat: 502, Fat: 56 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (18 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 226 mg, Sodium: 2760 mg, Potassium: 945 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Sugar: 36 g, Protein: 75 g

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

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Posted in: Shop the Sale

Mi Blog Hispano: Estableciendo Metas

Estableciendo MetasMe encanta esta época de comienzo del año. En este tiempo estamos llenos de esperanzas y expectativas de que todo va a ser mejor y que vienen cosas nuevas. Enero es un mes de planificar esa dieta y estrategia para hacer ejercicios y lucir mejor. Es un mes para comenzar a ahorrar y planear como invertiremos nuestro tiempo y dinero. Es un mes de establecer metas, sueños y deseos…

He aprendido a lo largo de mi vida que es importante tener bien claras nuestras metas, si no lo hacemos no sabremos donde estamos, ni lo que queremos, ni lo que necesitamos para llegar a donde pretendemos llegar. Una meta es “el fin al que se dirigen las acciones o deseos de una persona, lo que se pretende conseguir”. Cuando tenemos claras nuestras metas, sentimos la motivación necesaria para ponernos en acción y luchar por hacerlas realidad.

Cuando establecemos nuestras metas y las colocamos en papel nos vamos a dar cuenta que de allí se van a desencadenar una serie de acontecimientos que nos van guiar a conseguir ese resultado final que esperamos, nuestras metas nos dirigen hacia el éxito.

Es importante que nuestras metas sean específicas, es decir, que sepamos describirlas con precisión. También que podamos medirlas en tiempo, en espacio, en cantidad ya que esto nos va a guiar y sabremos por donde vamos y cuanto nos falta por llegar. No se olviden que las metas deben ser posibles y realistas, pero que esto no te impida soñar… El cielo es el límite.

Yo creo firmemente en que poner los planes y metas en papel tiene el poder de hacer que muchos de ellos se hagan realidad. Desde hace muchísimos años tengo la tradición de comenzar el año con una gran lista de agradecimiento a Dios por ver realizadas muchas de mis metas y aprovecho de poner delante de Él, mi nueva lista de planes para que Él me ayude y me guíe en cada paso que debo tomar para alcanzar cada uno de estos nuevos objetivos.

Aquí les comparto la lista de las metas y propósitos  de año nuevo más comunes  de la gente:

  1. Bajar de peso
  2. Ir al gimnasio/hacer ejercicio/ir a correr/salir a caminar
  3. Dejar de fumar
  4. Dejar de ingerir bebidas alcohólicas
  5. Buscar trabajo/ascenso
  6. Ahorrar 30% de todos mis ingresos
  7. Pagar mis deudas
  8. Comprar/reparar casa
  9. Mejorar las calificaciones de la escuela o comenzar la universidad o la maestría.
  10. Prestar más tiempo a mi pareja
  11. Aprender a ejecutar un instrumento musical/aprender otro idioma
  12. Leer más y mejores libros
  13. Planificar vacaciones
  14. Colaborar más con el prójimo
  15. Ser mejor persona cada día
  16. Dedicarle más tiempo a mis hijos y mi cónyuge
  17. Comer más saludablemente
  18. Ser más espiritual
  19. Ser más positivo cada día
  20. Escribir un diario

En esa lista están la mayoría de mis metas tambien y planes para el 2015 (no todos…), debo recordar que ese es sólo el comienzo y que en cada una de las metas que me proponga debo figurar cada paso que debo tomar para alcanzarlas y medir el tiempo que esto se tomará. Les deseo muchas bendiciones para este nuevo año que comienza y mis oraciones son para que puedan alcanzar todo lo que se propongan.

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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

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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