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Dine In: Key Lime Parfaits


Key Lime ParfaitsThe other night, I was talking to a friend, and we were reminiscing about amazing vacations we’d taken (because it’s been a long time so memories are really all we have). Of course, one of the things we remember most about each of these trips is the food. 

My most memorable meal took place near Florence, Italy.

He said the most amazing dessert he’d ever had was a key lime pie on a cruise. He said he ate some every night during the trip and had never had any that was as delicious again.

About a week ago, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of a key lime pie she was eating. That did it. I had to have some. I decided not to make a pie, lest it not measure up to the epic version from the cruise, but these parfaits satisfied my craving and were the perfect dessert on a spring night at home.

Key Lime Parfaits

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crumble:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 

Key Lime Cream:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp grated lime peel
1 cup of the sweetened whipped cream from the recipe right below

Sweetened Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream, chilled
1/4 cup powdered sugar
pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Melt butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar and stir until bubbling, about 1 minute or less. Mix in crumbs; stir until color deepens, about 3 minutes. Turn out onto plate and cool. 

To make the key lime cream, stir condensed milk, lime juice and lime peel in a large bowl to blend (mixture will thicken). Set aside while you make sweetened whipped cream.

For whipped cream topping, beat 2 cups whipping cream in a bowl until stiff peaks start to form. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Make sure the bowl and the beaters are cold. It helps if you put the bowl and the beaters in the freezer 10 minutes before you make the whipped cream.

Using electric mixer, beat cream in medium bowl until firm peaks form; fold 1 cup of whipped cream into key lime cream mixture. Save the remaining whipped cream for topping the parfaits.

Place 1/4 cup lime mousse in each of six 8- to 10-ounce wine goblets. Top each with 1 tablespoon crumb mixture, then 1/4 cup mousse. Top parfaits with remaining crumb mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Just before serving, add a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 351, Calories from Fat: 125, Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 45 mg, Sodium: 188 mg, Potassium: 249 mg, Carbohydrates: 52 g, Sugar: 48 g, Protein: 6 g.

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Brownie Cake Pops


Brownie Cake PopsKids Love Cake Pops! 

It’s 7PM Saturday night before Easter Sunday, and I’m in the kitchen finishing up my cooking and baking for Easter lunch when my 12-year-old daughter, Grace, comes into the kitchen. She asked me if she could make cake pops. She went on to tell me that she would make them herself, and they would be in the shape of Easter eggs and would be all different colors with sprinkles and decorations. I explained to Grace that cake pops are not easy to make and that it takes a lot of time to bake, cool the cake and decorate, not to mention it is 7PM on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. Grace did not really care what time it was; she had her mind made up that she was going to make cake pops!

One of my platforms in life is “seize the moment.” I already knew I had on hand: brownie mix, a can of frosting, almond bark, cake pop sticks and tons of decorations. So, there was no excuse not to seize the moment with my daughter except for that time was not on our side. I gave into her begging to make cake pops, but I told her this was her project and that she needed to do most of the work.

Grace worked all night on her cake pops and even made a step-by- step YouTube video of her baking adventure! I tried to get in the video a couple of times, but I’m sure she edited me out!

Come Easter Sunday lunch, when everyone was sitting around the table, Grace proudly placed her decorated jar of cake pops on the table. She beamed with pride and told everyone that she baked these all by herself! This was a special time in the kitchen with my daughter and one that I am going to cherish. Don’t miss out on opportunities to seize the moment with your family. Count your blessings and give thanks for those special moments.

Grace’s Brownie Cake Pops

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Decorating Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12 Pops

Ingredients:
1 box brownie mix
1 can cake frosting
1 pkg almond bark
sprinkles
cake pop sticks

Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake brownies as directed. Cool completely.

Directions:
In a large bowl, crush cooled brownies and mix in cake frosting. Mix all together well to form dough – it will be a sticky mess!

Shape the dough into 1 ½-inch balls. Place balls on wax paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to decorate, place the cake balls on the cake pop sticks and dip in melted almond bark. Place each ball on wax paper and immediately cover with sprinkles. Allow at least 30 minutes for almond bark to harden.

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Posted in: Family Matters


Mi Blog Hispano: Miel Canela para la Salud


Mi Blog HispanoCuando estaba pequeña cada vez que tenía algún malestar recuerdo como mi abuelita  siempre tenía algún remedio natural que venía endulzado con miel y canela, pero resulta que al pasar del tiempo entendí que el uso de la miel no es solo para endulzar la vida y el de la canela no solo para dar sabor, sino que estos, tienen muchos beneficios para la salud. La miel, a pesar de ser dulce, la ciencia ha demostrado que tomando una dosis normal, como si de una medicina se tratara, la miel no hace daño ni a los diabéticos. Así que hoy quiero compartirles estas maravillosas formas de usar la miel y la canela para  mejorar la salud.

Enfermedades del corazón: desayuna una tostada de pan con miel y canela.

Picadas de insecto: aplica sobre las picaduras una mezcla de una cucharada de miel, dos de agua tibia y una de canela en polvo.

Artritis: prepara una taza de agua caliente con dos cucharadas de miel y una de canela en polvo. Bebe por la mañana y por la noche.

Pérdida del cabello: aplica una pasta de aceite de oliva muy caliente con una cucharada de miel y una de canela en polvo. Hay que dejar actuar 15 min.

Infecciones de riñones: prepara un vaso de agua con dos cucharadas de canela en polvo y una de miel. Tómalo por la mañana y por la tarde.

Dolores de dientes: Haz un pasta con una cucharada de canela y cinco de miel. Repetir tres veces al día.

Colesterol: dos cucharadas de miel con tres de canela, mezclado con 16 onzas de agua y tomadas tres veces al día.

Resfriado: mezclar una cucharada de miel tibia con 1/4 de canela en polvo.

Digestión: mezclar la miel con la canela.

Vejez:
mezclar cuatro cucharadas de miel con una de canela y tres tazas de agua. Hervir para hacer un té. Hay que beber 1/4 de la taza entre 3 y 4 veces al día.

Pérdida de peso: beber miel con canela hervida en una mezcla con agua. Beber antes de acostarse.

Dolores de garganta: tomar cada cuatro horas una cucharada de miel, mezclada con media de Vinagre de Sidra. 



Shop The Sale: Pork Spareribs


Pork SpareRibsLast weekend, I went to one of the best events I’d EVER been to in the city where I live: the Red Dirt & Barbecue Festival. Brookshire’s provided all the sodas for the event…provided all the sodas which were FREE, I might add…and they were certainly welcome on such a warm spring day in Texas.

The Red Dirt & Barbecue Festival was exactly what it sounds like – a day featuring four Red Dirt bands and 15 (yes, 15) different barbecue restaurants from all over the South giving out samples of their best meats.

We were in hog heaven, pun slightly intended.

We spent the afternoon sampling ribs, sausages, brisket, potato salad, beans, chicken and steak. Everything was so delicious, and I didn’t have a bad morsel of food the entire event.

I really enjoyed sampling the ribs. Ribs aren’t something I make at home very often so any chance I get to eat them, I grab it! I quickly got over my awkwardness about gnawing on a rib bone in public and even got to the point of licking my fingers after I finished a meaty morsel. There were beef ribs, short ribs, pork ribs, and spareribs; you name it, it was at the festival!

My boyfriend loved the ribs, too, but he and I disagree on one thing: He doesn’t like any sauce on his ribs, only a dry rub, while I love a tangy sauce to complement the savory meat. Which do you prefer?

In honor of Red Dirt & Barbecue (which should take place in April next year, as well), here’s a recipe for pork spareribs, on sale this week at Brookshire’s. Of course, all the big barbecue joints had massive smokers and grills, but you can make these right in your oven.

Pork Spareribs

Ingredients:
4 to 5 lb pork spareribs
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp chili powder

Directions:
Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; place in a shallow roasting pan, bone-side down. Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat.

Add onion and celery; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.

Simmer for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Drain fat from roasting pan. Pour sauce over ribs. Bake 45-60 minutes longer, or until ribs are tender.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 318, Fat: 17 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 94 mg, Sodium: 478 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 27 g.

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Healthy Living: Pesto Squash Boats


Squash BoatsRecently, I made the decision to try a diet with fewer processed foods. I have a few health issues that I think can be solved with better eating habits instead of medicines.

However, every Thursday is “Pasta Thursday” at my house and my kids love it. I didn’t want to change that for them.

So, I thought I’d try spaghetti squash. Even more daringly, I thought I’d try it with them. I made this version tossed with pesto, and they loved it. Even better, they thought eating it right out of the “shell” was fun and different.

You can top it with any sauce you want, too.

Pesto Squash Boats

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash, halved and deseeded
4 garlic cloves , minced
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided use
1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce

Directions:
Cut squash in half and scoop seeds out with spoon.
Toss olive oil and garlic in squash; place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° F for about 1 hour, until soft.
When soft, “rake” the squash with a fork, which will make a spaghetti texture. Pull the flesh of the squash up off the shell.
Toss pesto with squash and replace in shell half. 

Serve immediately.
Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 100, Calories from Fat: 68, Fat: 8 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 18 mg, Potassium: 133 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Protein: 1 g.  

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Product Talk: Goldenbrook Farms Rocky Road Ice Cream


Goldenbrook Rocky RoadThe following is a true account of a night at my house:

6 p.m. – I walk through the door, drop my purse, my laptop bag and my lunch sack (the one with the smelly container from my leftover soup at lunch) onto the kitchen counter.

6:01 p.m. – My two boys run into the kitchen to give me a hug. They’d been playing a video game, which wasn’t allowed.

“Please turn it off,” I asked, nicely.

“BUT MOM,” came the immediate protest.

“Just turn it off,” I implored.

6:02 p.m. – “What’s for dinner?”

“I made chicken. It’s in the Crock Pot.”

6:03 p.m.  – I realize I don’t smell the chicken cooking. Usually when I use the slow cooker, the aroma of a finished dinner assaults me the minute I walk in the door.

6:04 p.m. – I touch the side of the Crock Pot, desperately feeling for warmth. Nothing. I look at the LED screen. I hadn’t turned it on that morning. The chicken was not only raw, but now it had been sitting out for 10 hours.

6:05 p.m. – “WELL, DARN IT,” I yelled.

Curt came running into the kitchen at my explanation.

CRASH.

He knocked my laptop off the kitchen counter.

CRACK.

6:06 p.m. – I locked myself in my room for a few minutes to calm down.

6:10 p.m. – I slapped peanut butter and jelly on some whole grain bread (to make myself feel better for serving PB&J for dinner) and called it a meal.

6:30 p.m. – “Hey mom, can we have dessert?”

*Sigh.

6:31 p.m. – I walked to the freezer. There, like an oasis in the dessert, was a half gallon of Goldenbrook Farms Rocky Road ice cream.

“How about this?” I asked.

Both boys agreed.

6:35 p.m. – There was silence in my house as the boys ate their ice cream.

6:40 p.m. – “Mom, this is the best ending to the day, ever.”

The End.

Note: No children or pets were harmed during the making of this blog post. The computer, however, did not fare as well.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Avocado Stuffed Jalapeños


Avocado Stuffed JalapenoA few weeks ago, I was sitting in a local restaurant musing over the myriad choices, and I couldn’t make up my mind.

Then, I heard the man at the table next to me order jalapeño peppers stuffed with avocado.

I scanned the menu, looking for that delicious delicacy. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked harder But still no luck. When my server came back, I asked him. He gave me a blank look and picked up my menu to study it with me. 

“That man right there just ordered them,” I insisted, using my very worst restaurant manners and pointing to indicate the man who had set my sights on these treats.

The server excused himself and went to find that table’s server.

A few minutes later, he came back, explaining they were an off-menu item that the chef could prepare for “special guests.”

I wanted to be a special guest!

It turns out that the chef was happy to make them for me, too. I’ve had jalapeños stuffed with a lot of different things, and I’d made them at home, too. However, I’d never tried avocados. The peppers were grilled to perfection, and the avocado and cheeses softened and almost melted together.

I tried to recreate them at home, and they were just as delicious as they were that day in the restaurant. I’ll definitely be adding these as appetizers before any porch party I throw.

Avocado Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers

Ingredients:
24 jalapeño peppers
4 large avocados
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Slice jalapeños in half lengthwise and carefully remove seeds and pith.

Peel avocados and remove flesh. Dice.

In a small bowl, gently toss avocado with cheeses, salt and pepper.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon into each pepper, pressing gently into pepper.

Prepare grill to medium heat. Place peppers on the grill, and cook until cheese is melting and starting to bubble.

Serve immediately.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 172, Calories from Fat: 138, Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 6 mg, Sodium: 873 mg, Potassium: 415 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 3 g.

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Runaway Pets


DogsA little over a year ago, my three dogs ran away.

I say “ran away,” but in reality, the next door neighbor let them out of her gate.

You see, they’d dug under our adjoining fence a few times, twice that I knew of, actually. I’d get home from work and it would be dark. I’d walk along the fence line trying to make sure the holes were filled.  Apparently, I wasn’t always successful.

I understand it’s irresponsible and annoying to let your pets dig out, but honest to goodness, I was trying my best. Two of my dogs were still puppies and were seriously high-energy. I wish the neighbors would have called me instead of just opening the gate. I never found any of them.

So, 18 months have passed and today a friend posts on Facebook that her friend is looking for a new home for my ideal dog, a 3-year-old German shepherd.

The holes in my yard are now filled. This isn’t a puppy. My kids are older and better equipped to help me take care of her. She’s mainly an indoor dog, but I can’t decide. It was horrible to lose my dogs. Even though they were diggers, I took good care of them.

Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. There’s also a huge reward with having a loving, loyal pet.  However, I still can’t decide whether or not to venture back into the world of pet ownership after having failed before.

Decisions. Decisions.

 



Shop the Sale: Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Rolls


Breakfast RollMy boys go through phases with breakfast. They only want to eat one thing. These phases can last for weeks, usually months, and even a year in the case of the younger son being obsessed with Toaster Strudels. Don’t judge.

We’ve gone through the pancake phase, the waffle phase and the scrambled egg phase.

Recently, they discovered a yummy frozen breakfast product at a friend’s house. I bought them once, but I’ll be honest, they were a little pricey for my budget. So, I had to come up with an alternative that would mimic the food they loved and be a little easier on my wallet. 

This recipe fit the bill perfectly. I’m not sure which I like more: the fact I can make these in bulk and freeze so all I have to do is reheat them later or the fact that Cracker Barrel bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, making this economical and tasty!

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Rolls

Ingredients:
1 (12 oz) pkg Cracker Barrel bacon, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 large eggs
2 Tbsp cold water
salt and pepper, to taste
2 (8 ct) pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:
Cook the Bacon:
Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy (about 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess grease. Set aside.

Scramble the Eggs:
While the bacon is cooking, scramble the eggs. Melt the butter in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Beat the eggs in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of cold water, and salt and pepper. Once the butter is melted, swirl the pan so the butter covers the bottom surface. Pour the eggs into the pan and let cook while scrambling with a spatula, for 5-8 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and golden.

Assemble the Breakfast Rolls:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Working with one crescent roll package at a time and leaving the other in the fridge until ready to assemble, remove the dough from the packaging. Unroll the 8 triangles onto a clean work surface. Pile about 1 tablespoon each of the cooked bacon, scrambled eggs and shredded cheese into the middle of each triangle. Gently roll the triangle up from the wide end to the skinny end, using your thumbs to keep the filling from spilling out. Enclose the sides and pinch shut as you roll. 

Place the filled crescent rolls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. While the first batch is baking, prepare the second batch with the second package of crescent rolls. Remove from the oven and let set for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a serving platter. Bake the remaining 8 rolls. Serve warm.

Refrigerate Leftovers: Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat in the microwave or 350°F oven until heated through.

Freeze Leftovers: Once completely cooled, freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat, thaw overnight and bake at 350°F until heated through.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 342, Calories from Fat: 239, Fat: 27 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 165 mg, Sodium: 1057 mg, Potassium: 264 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 21 g.

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Chickpea Salad


Chickpea SaladI love salads in the spring and summer. Why is it that they taste so much better when the weather is warm? This salad is filled with chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans. The original recipe calls for dried beans, which you boil until tender. I used canned (rinsed) beans, and it turned out just fine.

Chickpeas, a member of the legume family, are a great source of vegetarian protein; each cup provides 15 grams of protein. They are also a great source of dietary fiber and significantly boost your intake of manganese and folate. The mineral manganese helps support bone development and wound healing, and it also helps carry out chemical reactions important to your metabolism. A one-cup serving of chickpeas contains 1.7 milligrams of manganese, approximately 94 percent of the recommended daily allowance for women or 74 percent of the recommended daily allowance for men.

Of course, this salad also has tomatoes rich in vitamin C and olive oil, which is a heart-healthy oil. So, enjoy all the health benefits of this delicious salad this summer.

Chickpea Salad

Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 green onion, chopped
a few sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
a few sprigs of fresh dill, chopped

Dressing:
half lemon, juice only
2 Tbsp tahini
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika powder
pinch of salt

Directions:
Put chickpeas, chopped tomato, onion and greens in a bowl. Mix with a spoon.
For dressing, mix all ingredients in a cup. Pour it on your salad and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 349, Calories from Fat: 95, Fat: 11 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 32 mg, Potassium: 882 mg, Carbohydrates: 50 g, Fiber: 15 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 17 g.

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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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