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Dine In: Asian Cucumber Salad


Asian Cucumber SaladCucumbers are so refreshing for summertime, and even super simple to grow in your very own garden or planter if you were so inclined.

Cucumber salads are wonderful side dishes for grilling and for cookouts, especially this Asian version, which doesn’t have anything in it that would spoil if it sat outside at a picnic or barbecue. It would be a great accompaniment to a Father’s Day meal this weekend as well.

This would also be tasty with shredded carrots.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:
6 seedless cucumbers
1/4 small red onion
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
2 Tbs sesame seed oil
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

Directions:
Slice cucumbers thinly using a mandoline or very sharp knife, and place into a medium bowl. Add red onion.

In another bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients for the dressing. Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Toss gently to combine. Garnish with additional sesame seeds and fresh cilantro. Chill slightly and serve.

Serves 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 110, Fat: 6 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 473 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 36 g, Protein: 3 g.

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



Family Matters: Bootcamp Summer


Bootcamp Summer

I’m writing this on the first official day of summer vacation, and I’ve been doing some thinking over the weeks leading up to this day. My goal for this summer is that, come August, my teenage boys are ready to be self-sufficient and lead independent, productive lives. I’m calling it “Bootcamp Summer.”

It’s not that I’m not willing to whip up some pancakes and wash their bath towels for several more years, but all kids need to have the life skills to live on their own by the time they graduate from high school, in my opinion.

My introspection was prompted by a couple of things. First, I ran into a friend of mine who told me, in all seriousness, that her son brought an entire semester’s worth of dirty clothes home from college because he didn’t know how to do laundry.

Then, another friend who works in a call center for a local cable service had to work with a college student on the phone who didn’t know her address because her mom handles all her mail and her correspondence, including bills.

I started compiling a list of things that I wanted to do with my boys this summer to make sure they had all the skills they will need by the time they graduate from high school. We started out by ironing dress shirts the right way. Then, we filled out bank deposit slips (you know, the “old fashioned” kind) for their bank deposits.

They also cut the grass, weeded flower beds and put down mulch. They’ve been doing their own laundry and cleaning their own bathroom for several years now, so I polled my friends to see what other skills would be essential to know before they left the nest. Here’s what they said:

  • Cooking a few good meals, from planning, budgeting, shopping and executing, including re-purposing leftovers
  • Writing a check
  • Putting gas in a car
  • Changing a tire
  • Jump starting an engine
  • Washing dishes by hand
  • Loading a dishwasher correctly
  • Vacuuming
  • Changing/cleaning air filters in household appliances
  • Making their own appointments
  • Using a calendar and scheduling
  • Reading instructions and following them
  • Making a budget and sticking to it
  • Using public transportation
  • Establishing and maintaining good credit
  • How to check oil levels and replace oil in your car
  • Sew a button on shirt/pants
  • How to manage a retirement plan/401K
  • Fill out employment paperwork
  • How to (correctly) apply for a job, fill out a job application, ask for references and provide them
  • How to make your bed and change your sheets
  • How to send mail at the post office with insurance/overnight/signature-needed requirements
  • How to set up accounts in their name for utilities, etc… This might be hard to show them without actually doing it, but if you have the opportunity to do it yourself, bring them along for the process.
  • Familiarize them with their own important documents, social security cards, birth certificates, etc.
  • Using basic household tools
  • How to address an envelope and write a proper letter

What would you add to this list?



Shop the Sale: CONFETTI CAKE BALLS


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Nothing says party more than sprinkle-covered cake balls. Perfect for children’s parties or just a special treat, these Confetti Cake Balls are not only easy to make, but fun too. You’ll have plenty of little helpers in the kitchen with this one!

What You’ll Need
Brookshire’s Parchment Paper
Toothpicks
Good Cook Cookie Sheet
Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix
Duncan Hines Vanilla Whipped Frosting
Brookshire’s White Bark Coating
Over the Top Sprinkles

Instructions
Prepare and bake Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix according to directions on the box (fig. 1). Crumble cake into mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup of Duncan Hines Vanilla Whipped Frosting into warm cake (fig. 2). Mix thoroughly, breaking up the large pieces. Tip: If you have a kitchen mixer, it’s a shortcut to use a mixer for this part.

Once cake and buttercream are mixed, you should be able to squeeze the cake into a dough-like consistency. Using the palm of your hand as a measure guide, roll cake/buttercream mixture into compact balls. Insert toothpicks, and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet (fig. 3). Freeze for 20 minutes.

Melt white bark coating in microwave (stir often to avoid burning). Dunk cake balls into candy coating, and let dry on parchment paper (fig. 4). Remove toothpicks. Using a fork, drizzle leftover coating on the top, if desired, and add sprinkles (fig. 5).

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

Want to see how to prepare this recipe? Check out our How To video today!

Chef Tips

No Microwave, No Worries
Microwaves are handy for a number of cooking tasks in the kitchen, but if you don’t have one or it’s on the fritz, you don’t have to miss out on cake balls. Instead of heating the frosting in the microwave, you can melt it in a small saucepan over low heat. Just be sure to stir the frosting constantly to prevent sticking. Better yet, if you have a double boiler, fill the bottom pan with water and gently warm the frosting in the top pan.

Put Parchment to Good Use
If you bake regularly, you probably keep a roll on hand. But parchment is useful for far more than baking cookies, cupcakes and muffins. Here are just a few ways parchment can make your cooking adventures more successful:

  • Use parchment as a pouch for steaming vegetables.
  • Line a pan with parchment before baking fish to avoid sticking.
  • Roast acidic fruits like tomatoes on parchment to prevent reactions with aluminum pans.
  • Create a pastry bag for decorating cookies or cakes.


Healthy Living: Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri Sauce


Two of my favorite healthy things are chicken thighs and chimichurri sauce.

But wait, you might said, chicken thighs are a dark meat, aren’t they higher in fat? Well yes, just a little, but they’re also higher in flavor and if you’re not eating them fried, then go for the extra flavor, I say. They’re still a lean meat and pack far more flavor into a smaller portion than any other piece of the chicken, in my opinion. The chicken thigh is great on the grill and stands up well to the bold flavors of  chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri sauce is from Argentina and is like a garden on your plate. Full of fresh, bright, bold flavors, it’s simple to make and full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s all fresh, farm-to-table and just seeps into the chicken and makes it tender, juicy and even more flavorful.

Chimichurri is a great go-to summer staple as it’s also delicious on a grilled flank steak.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:
For the chimichurri sauce:
1 cup fresh parsley, packed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed
1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
4 garlic cloves
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs onion, diced
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
12 medium, boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Directions:
For the chimichurri sauce:

In the bowl of a food processor, add all the sauce ingredients except the olive oil. Pulse and slowly stream in the olive oil until desired consistency. The chimichurri should have good body to it and should not be too smooth.

For the chicken:
Place the chicken in a large zipper-locked bag and add three quarters of the chimichurri sauce to the bag. Squeeze out excess air before sealing the bag. Gently toss to coat the chicken well. Refrigerate overnight for best results (or at least three hours).

When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken thighs on the grill an inch or two apart. Grill the thighs for 5-6 minutes each side, flipping only once, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Serve immediately with the reserved chimichurri sauce for topping.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 356, Fat: 19 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 227 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 43 g.

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



Product Talk: Noonday Onions


Summer is (practically) here and so are Noonday onions.

Noonday onions were made famous over 40 years ago for their sweet flavor and crisp texture. Noonday, Texas exports them, and Brookshire’s stocks them all over the South for people to enjoy these onions full of deliciousness.

Noonday sweet onions are a yellow onion that’s harvested all summer long and honored at a festival each May. The city of Noonday is located a few miles south of Tyler, home to the headquarters of Brookshire’s. To qualify as a Noonday onion, these sweet treats must be grown within a 10-mile radius of Noonday.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Father’s Day Steak Rub


Basic Steak RubWhat better way to honor Dad with a special meal that will celebrate his day AND be the gift that keeps on giving?

Making a steak rub with all of his favorite flavors allows you to make a delicious steak for dinner and give him a present that will remind him of the great meal you made him for many meals to come.

You can mix and match spices depending on what flavors your father enjoys. Seal the spice mixture in a Mason jar, and make a cute label to go on top or on the outside. Dad will love it.

Basic Steak Rub

Ingredients:
3/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground coffee
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together, and stir well to combine. Store in an airtight container.
When ready to use, bring steak to room temperature, and rub generously over meat.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 81, Fat: 3 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 708 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 3 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Keep Your Small Pet Cool


Keep Your Small Pet CoolSmall pets, especially those in cages or glass tanks, need special care in the summertime when the weather heats up.

First of all, move their habitat out of direct sunlight. Most small pets aren’t big fans of bright lights anyway.

Secondly, if their habitat has a cover, make sure it’s well-ventilated and air circulates well through their living space. You might want to add a small fan nearby to help circulate air (just don’t point it directly at your pet) to help keep them cool.

Provide plenty of fresh water for drinking and play, if appropriate for your pet. Make sure the water is clean and doesn’t attract insects.

If your small pet has an outside habitat, you might want to consider an inside space on the hottest days.



Family Matters: Grilling Out with Your Dog


Grilling Out with Your DogWhenever we cook out, my dog sits faithfully right next to the grill, waiting, hoping and praying for us to drop something, preferably a ribeye.

Sadly for him, it has yet to happen.

That’s also a good thing, as cooking out around your pup can mean some hidden dangers for him.

Make sure your grill is sturdy. You don’t want your dog to be able to knock it over and get burned, start a fire or injure someone else. If he’s prone to jumping up on things or putting his paws up on countertops or tabletops, make sure the grill is in a protected area where he can’t access it at all.

Keep charcoal, matches and lighter fluid away from your dog. Any of these can be fatal if ingested.

Don’t let him eat the scraps, especially if you’re serving something with bones. Most people food that has bones isn’t good for dogs. The bones are too soft, and they can splinter and fragment in a dog’s jaws too easily.

During a cookout, don’t leave alcohol unattended around your dog.

Make sure citronella candles and sprays aren’t in your pups reach, either.



Family Matters: Traveling with Your Cat


Traveling with Your CatSummer is here, and it’s time for a vacation road trip!

Cats are pretty portable, so you might want to take your feline friend on vacation with you. Before you do, have your cat checked out by your vet to make sure he’s healthy enough to travel. Have him weighed, and get your vet’s recommendation on what to do if he gets carsick. Many recommend human Dramamine®, and knowing his weight will also tell you the correct dose to give him.

Make sure he’s wearing tags with updated contact information. Better yet, get him a microchip as well, in the horrible event he gets lost during the trip.

If your cat isn’t accustomed to riding in the car, take him on short jaunts to prepare him for the longer journey. If he’s not accustomed to being in a crate or carrier, practice keeping him in one of those as well. Put familiar toys or blankets in the carrier to help him feel comfortable.

Bring a leash and teach your cat how to use it for pit stops. You might want to pack a portable litter box for bathroom breaks if he’s not accustomed to using the potty outside.

Of course, bring food and water with you, and never leave your cat alone in the hot car.



Family Matters: Keep Your Bird Cool in Summer


Keep Your Bird Cool in SummerTemperatures are heating up, and it’s time to pay closer attention to keeping your bird cool in the summer heat.

Birds don’t have sweat glands like humans do, and they don’t regulate their body temperatures the same way we do. Unlike mammals, a bird’s body temperature runs a little higher on average.

To cool down, birds will pant rapidly, breathing through their mouths. They will also vibrate their throats. They also lose water through evaporation on their feet and skin surface.

During the summertime, it’s important to keep your bird out of direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day. Keep his cage in a place that provides light but also provides shade and adequate ventilation. This might mean providing a fan nearby to keep air circulating, extra water in his cage or water bottle, or shading nearby windows during peak hours.

Misters and birdbaths are also options, and they provide a playful option for your bird to stay cool.

Birds don’t need as much fuel during summer months, so don’t be surprised if your bird doesn’t eat as much.



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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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