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Family Matters: Immunizations


ImmunizationsTo keep your baby healthy, it’s important to immunize them against childhood diseases. Even if he doesn’t appear to have anything wrong with him, immunizing him will keep him and others around him well.

Pediatricians recommend immunizations at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months and 6 months.

You don’t necessarily have to do them all at these times (some parents choose to delay or spread them out more), but it’s important for your baby’s health to have them done at some point early on.

When you bring baby to the doctor for shots, bring a lovey, pacifier or other soothing object. You might want to feed him or nurse while he’s getting his shots to give him something to help soothe. Hold the baby on your lap or closely to you when they get their shot, instead of laying them out on the exam table.

Some babies have no problem with shots. Others scream and scream and scream.

After your baby is over three months old, you can give them a weight-appropriate (ask your pediatrician) dose of Tylenol right before the appointment to help quickly ease the pain of the shots. Sometimes a cold or warm compress is soothing.

If a hard, red knot appears at the site of the injection, notify your doctor immediately.

Otherwise, baby may be fussy, and that’s totally normal.

Bring your shot records with you to each appointment or have your physician’s office print you a copy of the day’s immunizations at each visit to keep in your records.



Family Matters: Development in Babies


Development in BabiesWhen my younger son was about 9 months old, he suddenly stopped bearing weight. He stopped sitting up, scooting or pulling up.

I panicked. My older son had just been diagnosed with autism, and to see his little brother, who’d been progressing so well, suddenly stop was frightening, however misguided it was.

It turned out that my younger son was just a little hypotonic, meaning he had low muscle tone. His “abrupt” decline probably wasn’t as pronounced as I thought it was (I was probably hyper-vigilant because of the older son’s diagnosis), but it was still something to be addressed.

We had him evaluated by what, in Texas, is called Early Childhood Intervention (most states have a similar program for children from birth to 3 years old). He was assigned a wonderful occupational therapist who appeared to come twice a week to play games and cuddle with him, but the therapist was really performing targeted exercises to help make him stronger.

Within a few weeks, he was back to proper sitting, scooting and pulling up to standing.

There is a huge range of normal development in babies, but if you ever have any question, consult a medical professional. It’s always better to 1.) have peace of mind and 2.) be proactive. If there is something to address, the earlier you get on it, the better for your baby. If there isn’t, at least you can SLEEP like a baby!



Mi Blog Hispano: El Ejercicio Te Hace Más Feliz


El Ejercicio Te Hace Más FelizQue hermosos días hemos tenido últimamente.  Es el tiempo perfecto para disfrutarlo haciendo actividades afuera.  Podemos salir a pasear por el parque, andar en bicicleta, caminar más, o salir a correr.  A parte de ser el tiempo perfecto para estas actividades, también es muy buena costumbre.

Yo sé que es difícil empezar un plan para hacer ejercicio y mantener el deseo de seguirlo haciendo.  Parece que siempre que lo quiero hacer se me juntan los quehaceres y empiezan las excusas.  Pero nuestra salud es tan importante y no hay que hacerla a un lado.  El ejercicio ayuda a mantener nuestros cuerpos en mejor físico, y a nuestros corazones más saludables.  Además, hay varios estudios que revelan que la actividad física también te hace más feliz.  Y esto es lo que quiero compartir con ustedes hoy.

Los beneficios del ejercicio y porque nos causa más felicidad:

  1. Las endorfinas que son liberadas te causan ser más feliz. A veces estas son llamadas “las moléculas de la felicidad”.  Al hacer ejercicio, principalmente correr, el cerebro libera endorfinas que producen más energía, hace que estés más despierto, y si, más feliz.  Algunos lo describen como una sensación intensa de bienestar.
  1. Tu humor es mejorado. Esta sensación de bienestar te rendirá mucho tiempo especialmente si haces ejercicio regularmente.  Y al sentirte bien quiere decir que tu humor se mejora.  Sal media hora a caminar o correr por lo menos tres días a la semana.  Veras que te sentirás más feliz.
  1. Tu estrés es reducido. Las endorfinas tienen mucho que ver con esto también.  Incluso, las endorfinas ayudan a reducir la ansiedad, limpiar la piel, y mejorar el sistema inmunológico.  Toma en cuenta que tienes mucho tiempo para pensar y aclarar tus pensamientos al salir a correr.  Esto te va a ayudar a reducir tu estrés.  Si sales a caminar con tu pareja o amiga(o), el platicar con esa persona también te ayudara a reducir el estrés.  Menos estrés quiere decir más felicidad.
  1. Ayuda a controlar malos hábitos. Por ejemplo, el alcohol no es saludable.  Es algo que puede llegar a ser una adicción.  Igual son las drogas.  El ejercicio causa que estemos más alertos de esto, y pensemos en un nivel más allá al saber que no es bueno consumir estas cosas que nos dañan.  El ejercicio continuo nos ayudara a controlar estos malos hábitos o simplemente alejarnos de ellos para poder vivir una vida más feliz.
  1. Aumenta la autoestima. Cuando uno hace ejercicio, tu cuerpo físico va mejorando.  Al notar y al sentir esto, nos sentimos mejor de uno mismo.  Si te sientes bien de ti misma(o), obvio que te vas a sentir más feliz.

Motívate a correr.  Si no te motivas sola(o) entonces busca a alguien que te acompañe, o escucha música motivadora.  ¡Veras que cada vez que sales a correr, aunque sea una caminada de una o dos millas, te sentirás tan bien!  Después recuerda lo bien que te sentiste la última vez y esto te motivara.  Esto me ayuda porque aunque no sienta ganas de salir a correr, sé que al final no me voy a arrepentir.

Espero que estos cinco puntos de ayuden.  Ahora, ponte tus zapatos de tenis y vamos a correr.  ¡Tu felicidad te espera!



Shop the Sale: Spicy Fried Pork Chops


Spicy Fried Pork ChopsThat’s it! I clicked past this picture on Pinterest too many times, and I was just unable to resist opening the link to the crispy, juicy, gravy-smothered delight that was these pork chops.

I did not regret it.

Assorted pork chops are a seriously economical choice for dinner, especially when they are on sale at Brookshire’s.

They are a versatile meat. They can take a variety of seasonings, cooking methods and even sauces, and still come out the shining star of a meal, as they do here.

These pork chops are seriously crunchy and seriously spicy. You can reduce the amount of creole seasoning if necessary, but for those of us who love a spicy kick, have at it!

Spicy Fried Pork Chops

Ingredients:

Pork Chops:
10 (1/4-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
2 cups flour
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbs creole seasoning
1/2 Tbs black pepper
1/2 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs onion powder
1/2 Tbs paprika
cooking oil

Gravy:
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp creole seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
dash of hot sauce

Directions:
Start by removing pork chops from packaging and patting dry. Place pork chops in a large dish or shallow pan.

Mix creole seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Add 1 tablespoon of this mixture to the flour; stir to incorporate.

Beat egg; add hot sauce and remaining seasoning. Pour over pork chops until they are covered, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Add oil to a cast-iron skillet; heat to 350° F.

Remove pork from refrigerator, and pour off excess marinade.

Dredge pork chops in seasoned flour and place in hot oil. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from oil; drain on paper towels.

Place in oven heated to lowest setting to keep warm while remaining pork fries and gravy is prepared.

For the gravy, drain grease from cast-iron skillet. Add butter and olive oil to the skillet; whisk in flour. Stir for about 2 minutes until a thick roux is formed. Add spices and broth, continuing to stir. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer. Stir in cream and hot sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve over pork chops.

Serves 10

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 372, Calories from Fat: 183, Fat: 20 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1153 mg, Potassium: 161 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 29 g.

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



Healthy Living: Healthy Dorm Room or Office Snacks


Healthy Dorm Room or Office Snacks My friend’s daughter came home from college over the holiday break with a few extra things: 25, to be exact, according to her.

She claims she packed on 25 pounds her first semester away at college. Between late-night pizza orders, buffet-style dining and an irregular exercise schedule, the pounds snuck up on her.

Her mom came up with some healthy snack ideas to send back with her. These would also work well in an office or even just at home:

  • Yogurt-covered raisins
  • Cucumber sandwiches (cucumber slice spread with tzatziki sauce then topped with another cucumber slice)
  • Spread a small, whole-grain tortilla with natural peanut butter. Place a banana on top; roll up and enjoy.
  • Top a whole-grain English muffin with a slice of tomato and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Toast and serve.
  • Toss Greek yogurt with blueberries. Freeze.
  • Toasted almonds
  • String cheese
  • 99% fat-free microwave popcorn
  • Fill the hollowed out part of half an avocado with tuna. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Celery or carrots with hummus
  • Toss chickpeas with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until they’re crispy.
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Freeze grapes for a sweet treat.
  • Hard-boiled eggs


Product Talk: Gevalia Coffee


Gevalia CoffeeI remember when Gevalia coffees were only sold by mail-order. The commercial would come on television with an elegant couple sipping coffee in an elegant location, and you’d have to order from the 1-800 number that flashed across the screen because of course you wanted to be elegant, too.

I love that you can now buy it in Brookshire’s instead. (I feel elegant when I shop at Brookshire’s!)

The distinctive yellow package stands out on the coffee aisle, giving way to rich, smooth blends of coffee inside.

Gevalia, a Swedish brand, has been making coffee for over 150 years. Today, the coffee is available in 30 roast and ground coffees, iced coffees and Keurig® K-Cup® pods.

This morning, I sipped Costa Rica Regular Ground, a medium coffee (the medium varieties supposedly have the most caffeine), and even though I was at my kitchen table in my leggings and T-shirt, I still felt elegant.

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Dine In: Cajun-Stuffed Chicken


Cajun-Stuffed ChickenI was talking to a friend last night about dining out.

We both love to cook, and we’ve found that it’s difficult to find restaurants where we think the food is something better, or something different, than we’d prepare in our own kitchens. That’s not to say I don’t love eating out; I do! It’s always nice when someone else does the work…and the dishes.

Often times, I just like cooking at home. Dining in on Friday night is often a special time with friends and family.

This week, we made these Cajun-stuffed chicken breasts, inspired by a prepared dish from the meat counter at Brookshire’s with our own spin on it.

Cajun-Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbs Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
4 jalapeños
1/4 cup bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
8 slices bacon

Directions:
Place chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper, and pound until about 1/2 inch uniform thickness. Sprinkle with Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning on both sides.

Meanwhile, wash jalapeños. Remove stems and ends. Slice through one side of the pepper lengthwise; remove seeds and pith.

Mix sausage with cheddar cheese. Stuff each jalapeño with 1/4 of mixture. Preheat oven to 400° F.

Lay 1 chicken breast at the end of 2 slices of bacon placed side by side. Place stuffed jalapeño at one end and roll up, covering pepper with chicken and bacon. Secure with toothpicks. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts, bacon and stuffed jalapeños.
Place chicken bundles in cast-iron skillet or other baking pan.

Bake at 400° F for about 30 minutes, flipping once, until chicken and sausage are cooked through. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 651, Calories from Fat: 383, Fat: 42 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 195 mg, Sodium: 1862 mg, Potassium: 716 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 61 g.

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



Family Matters: Easter Bunny Pops


Easter Bunny PopsWith Easter coming up soon, what could be better than Easter Peeps? You know Peeps, those adorable marshmallow bunnies and chicks that as adults we say we don’t like them, but secretly we really do and we eat them when our kids are not looking! Kids and big kids at heart still get excited when they see these fluffy marshmallow chick and bunny Peeps in their Easter baskets. If you didn’t know, they’re yummy to eat straight out of the package, too.

If you are like me, you want something quick, easy and super cute to take to your Sunday Easter dinner. With several little kids (and big kids) at the table, these bunny pops will be perfect. These are super easy to make, so I can recruit my 14-year-old daughter to help. She can actually make these by herself, which is also a bonus!

You and your kiddos can make these Easter Bunny Pops with a few simple ingredients found at Brookshire’s (you may have to get the super cute paper straws at a local craft store).

Easter Bunny Pops

Ingredients:
Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies
Brookshire’s White Bark Coating
pearl sixlets
wax paper
paper straws

Directions:
Use the Easter Bunny Peeps for this project. Take the desired number of bunnies out of the package, and separate them from each other.

Insert a colorful paper straw into the bottom of each bunny marshmallow.

Cover a sheet pan with wax paper. Melt white candy bark in a glass or plastic bowl in the microwave in 20-second to 30-second increments until melted, stirring in between cooking times. Dip each bunny into the melted bark, letting the excess drip off. Lay on the sheet pan.

Place a candy pearl on the back of each bunny to make a tail.

You can even wrap these up in individual clear bags, and tie with a cute bow to give as gifts. As you’re celebrating with your family and friends, remember that the true reason of your celebration goes beyond the Easter basket…Easter represents new life.



Shop the Sale: Smoked Easter Ham


Smoked Easter Ham“What are we going to do for Easter?” my son asked me yesterday.

Do? What do you mean, do? We’re going to celebrate our eternal salvation through the sacrifice Christ made for us; that’s what we’re going to do, I told him.

But celebrate, how will we celebrate?, he wondered.

In past years, I’ve hosted Easter gatherings at my house for up to 40 people. We probably won’t do that this year, but we will celebrate with our family and some local friends.

There’s no need to remind you about my obsession with the smoker, but chances are, we’re going to smoke our ham this year.

Hormel or Brookshire’s spiral-sliced hams are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, just in time for Easter. Did you know that you can, indeed, smoke a precooked ham? Trust me, I plan to!

Since the ham is already precooked, you’re really just introducing it to the smoke and warming it through.

I think we’re going to use Applewood to add some sweetness, and probably fill the pan with apple juice instead of water, to help impart some flavor that way.

The ham has to be heated through to about 145° F. After that, it’s ready to eat!

You can use your grill over indirect heat if you don’t have a smoker, and set a pan of chips over the flame for that good, smoky flavor.



Healthy Living: Store Your Food Safely


Store Your Food SafelyI know I’m guilty of it, and I’m guessing you are, too.

I go to the fridge looking for something for lunch, pull out a container and realize the leftover chili has been in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

While it was stored properly for a short time, it’s not going to be safe to eat after two weeks.

There are right – and wrong – ways to store your food.

A store-bought loaf of bread, for example, is perfectly fine stored in your dry pantry for a week, but a loaf of freshly baked bread might not make it longer than a day or two.

I could have stored that chili in the freezer for two weeks, but I wouldn’t risk eating it out of the refrigerator from that same time period.

On the Counter
You can safely store some foods out on your kitchen counter. These include garlic, onions, shallots, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, citrus and melons. Make sure they aren’t in direct sunlight or exposed to moisture. You can also keep cakes and pies out for up to a week, wrapped tightly with aluminum foil or sealed in a food storage container or zipper-lock bag. Move fruit pies to the refrigerator after two days.

In the Pantry
Most unopened dry goods can be stored in your pantry for up to six months. After a package is opened, seal it in a food-safe container. Brookshire’s offers lots of options for long-term food storage. Your pantry is the best place for all of your spices, as it is probably dark and should be dry. Spices can last up to a year. After that, they start to lose their potency and flavor.

In the Refrigerator
Dairy must be kept refrigerated. Use the upper shelves, where temperatures stay more constant. This includes eggs, even though many manufacturers create an egg shelf on the door. The refrigerator door is the warmest place in the appliance, so save it for things like condiments and preserved foods.

Keep fruits and veggies that aren’t able to sit out on your counter in the crisper drawer, where it should be the least humid.

Cheeses should be stored wrapped in wax paper or something else porous.

Meats are best stored in the bottom of the refrigerator where it is the coldest. Remove retail packaging and rewrap the meat in foil to extend its shelf life. However, you should try to use it within four days of purchase or put it in the freezer. Fish will keep for two days wrapped in waxed paper, also on the bottom shelf, but give it the sniff test first. If it smells excessively fishy, err on the side of caution.

In the Freezer
When you do want to store things like meat for a long time, the freezer is the best option. For the freezer, leave it in its original packaging and try to remember to use it within six months.

Any time you use the freezer, make sure foods are cooled to room temperature (or put them in the fridge first), and then seal them in a way that eliminates any extra air. Some foods, like cheeses and fruits or vegetables, will change texture after being frozen, so experiment with the best ways to store these foods long-term.



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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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