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Healthy Living: Healthy Oat Cookies


Healthy Oat CookiesMy 13-year-old son told me he wants to eat healthier.

Big picture, he IS a healthy eater, but that kid can also put away some junk food after school.

We had to come up with a solution that would still let him feel like he was having some of the treats he likes but in a healthier way. Now, after school, he reaches for fresh fruit instead of the little, square, orange crackers he used to favor. I love that he’s doing this, and it’s motivated the rest of us to reach for more fresh fruit and vegetables, too.

Every once in a while, he wants a cookie or something sweet.

These are the perfect solution. Originally they were called “Three-Ingredient Cookies,” but I throw in some extra ingredients!

Healthy Oat Cookies

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or nuts, crushed

Directions:
Mash bananas in a large bowl. Stir in oats, raisins, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds or nuts.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Scoop dough into 16 balls, and place evenly around a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Makes 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 60, Calories from Fat: 12, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Product Talk: Galbani Mascarpone Fresca


Galbani Mascarpone FrescaOne of the staples of Italian cooking is fresh mascarpone cheese.

Labeled as Italian-style cream cheese, mascarpone isn’t what we think of as American cream cheese.

Mascarpone is a triple cream cheese that can work equally well in a sweet or savory dish. For instance, you can use mascarpone as the filling in a cannoli or the creamy layer in tiramisu, or use it as the cheese layer in lasagna or stuff it into manicotti.

This fresh mascarpone is made in the United States using Italian tradition. It’s smooth and silky, creamy and full-flavored. You’ll find it in the specialty cheese case at your local Brookshire’s store.

Try it spread on a slice of bruschetta drizzled with honey.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Rosemary Olive Oil Bread


Rosemary Olive Oil BreadOn Fridays, my office closes early.

I get to leave two heavenly hours early, every single week. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my job, and I can’t wait to get into the office each day. In fact, sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming about working for such a great organization.

I do love the job perk of early Fridays because those extra two hours mean I can do something like bake homemade bread that I might not get the chance to do on a weeknight.

This bread makes Friday nights special, especially if you’re staying home and gathering around the dinner table with your family.

It’s wonderful for sopping up a hearty marinara sauce or the juices for a pork tenderloin roast.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water (100° F to 110° F)
1 Tbs cane sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked plus 1 Tbs water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

Directions:
In a large bowl, stir together warm water and sugar. Sprinkle with the yeast, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Gently stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil and whole-wheat flour. Add the bread flour, and stir until the dough forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to keep dough smooth and supple.

Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, and cover it with a clean towel. Let rise in a place free of drafts (a room temperature oven is good) until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, and form it into a round loaf.

Place the loaf on a baking stone/ sheet or pizza peel dusted with cornmeal or covered in parchment paper. Let rise until it’s doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven (after you take the rising dough out) to 400° F. Brush the dough with an egg wash, and sprinkle with dried rosemary and some sea salt.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 148, Calories from Fat: 43, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 300 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Snakes


SnakesI have bad dreams about snakes.

My sister, who is a therapist, explained that I need to get over my fear of snakes.

I’m not sure I can.

However, they can make good pets.

Corn, King, Gopher and Ball Pythons are wonderful to keep in your house.

For health reasons, a snake should be able to stretch out two-thirds of its body length inside its own cage. If your pet snake reaches an adult length of six feet, its container should be 4 feet in length.  You don’t want your pet snake to have to stay curled up at all times.

Make sure that the type of snake you secure for a pet has a good temperament, as do the four mentioned above. Don’t try to tame an unruly snake; it’s not going to happen.

Take into account their feeding habits. Corn, King and Gopher snakes will accept frozen rodents as feed. Ball pythons are much more finicky, but be prepared to handle rodents, no matter what.

Don’t force the situation. The four snakes listed above thrive in captivity. Not all snakes do so without expert care.

Don’t buy a pet snake because you think it’s cool without careful consideration and study.



Family Matters: Leaving your Dog Alone


Leaving your Dog AloneOver the summer, I went on vacation.

I was gone for a week.

I brought my dog, Astro, to a local boarder who has a deluxe operation for taking care of pets when their people are on vacation. I mean, this place has TVs for each dog, a pool, a run yard and lots of great care.

Astro hated it. I mean, hated with a capital “H.” He jumped out of the car, but he refused to go in. He laid down on the concrete and wouldn’t budge. He had to be carried in, and let me just tell you; he’s pushing 100 pounds easily.

There are so many great options for taking care of pets while you’re gone, but you have to find the right one for your pet.

  1. Your vet might offer boarding. Your dog will already be familiar with going there, so that could be a great option.
  2. There are lots of places all over that board dogs, and it’s the only thing they do. See above. They are fabulous if your pet is social and accustomed to leaving the house. Make sure they have all their shots and records from your vet when you make reservations.
  3. Pet sitters. I now use a service that comes to my house on my (or in this case, Astro’s) schedule. They come every morning, love on him, let him out, feed him, make sure he has water and play with him. They do the reverse at night, letting him inside for the night. It’s about the same price as the full-service boarding, and he gets to stay home, no carrying required.
  4. Use a teenager or responsible child in your neighborhood. My boys, young teenagers, dog sat last summer and thought it was the best gig ever. That pup got more attention than our own dog receives because they were so intent on doing a great job.

There are a few things to remember before leaving your pup alone.

Make sure he has all his shots.

Make sure he has on a collar and tags, in case he does get lost. Even better, get him chipped. Many pet facilities offer this for no-to-low cost.

Make sure your sitter/facility has plenty of food (if you’re boarding him, you might need to provide your own food to avoid intestinal distress) and treats.

Make sure his caregiver has access to his favorite toys and knows his schedule, routines and any quirks. For instance, Astro will not eat if anyone is in the room, and I’ve trained him to only accept treats in one particular spot in the house.

Leave emergency contact information, and make sure there’s an in-town backup person if necessary.

LOVE your dog when you get home! He’ll have missed you as much as you missed him.



Family Matters: Bird Cages


Bird CagesWhen you bring your pet bird home, you can just use one little cage, right?

Wrong.

Your pet bird should ideally have two cages: one to live in and one to travel in. This is the cage your bird will identify with when it’s time to go to the vet, or to clean his primary cage.

Your bird’s cage needs to be large enough for him to spread his wings. For some birds, the traditional oblong cage is enough, but for other birds, a rectangular cage is necessary.

Provide a variety of perches for your pet’s comfort. Some like wider perches, but some like a more narrow space as it makes them feel more secure. They might like a wooden ladder, a rope, a swing and something in textured plastic for variety.

To clean, use diluted white vinegar and water.

Most of all, provide a variety of toys on a rotation to keep your bird interested and stimulated. Switch between toys that will provide different skills stimulation every day, such as balls, cardboard tubes, feathers, rings and bells.

When you transport your bird, keep the cage sterile and clean with one reminder of their regular home, such as a soft wash cloth that bears the scent of home.



Family Matters: Bathing Your Cat


Bathing Your CatNot only does your dog need to be groomed, especially if he’s an outdoor sort, but your cat should get some pampering, too.

Cats are somewhat self-cleaning. Their tongue is designed to help keep them clean and neat, but if your cat gets smelly, you might need to step in.

Bathing a cat can be about as fun as wrestling an alligator, but here are some tips to make it an easier process.

Choose a time when your cat is most mellow, maybe after an afternoon nap in the sunshine. Don’t attempt this right after they eat, however. It can upset their stomachs if they get stressed out during the process.

Trim their claws before you attempt a bath, for your safety.

Place a fluffy towel or rubber mat in the bottom of a sink or the tub, whichever you use. This will help with traction.

Place an oven rack or cookie-cooling rack in the tub or sink. This gives kitty something to cling to, besides your arm, during the bath process.

Make sure water is warm, but not too hot or too cold. Don’t suds their faces; they usually hate that. Using the water wand, gently and thoroughly wet the cat. Massage some specially formulated shampoo (made for cats, not for humans and definitely not dish soap) into his coat. Rinse thoroughly.

Immediately scoop your cat up with a towel wrapped snugly around him; dry thoroughly.



Mi Blog Hispano: Limones, Agua, y Azúcar, ¡Es Todo!


Limones, Agua, y Azúcar, ¡Es Todo!Al tomar limonada durante la primavera me lleva a una tierra muy lejos pero muy cerca de mi corazón. Me lleva a Guerrero, México y a casa de mi abuelita Susana.

Cuando era chica e íbamos a visitar a la familia, mi abuelita siempre tenía limonada fresca y muy sabrosa. Su casa, como varias casas en México, eran dos casas de ladrillo separadas. En una era la cocina, sala, baño y dos recamaras. En la otra era principalmente recamaras y un baño. Allí se hospedaba la familia cuando la visitábamos. En medio de las dos estructuras estaba mi favorita parte que recuerdo con mucho cariño. Era un patio enorme. En una esquina tenía un lugar donde lavaba ropa a mano. En otra esquina mi abuelito tenía un taller donde hacia su carpintería. Recuerdo las gallinas corriendo por doquier. Pero lo más bonito que recuerdo eran los tres arboles de limones y uno de toronjas. Los de limones eran bellos. Me gustaba jugar debajo de ellos y jalar los limones que ya estaban listos. Recuerdo como mi abuelita juntaba los limones para hacernos la limonada.

En una ocasión que ella me estaba sirviendo mi vaso de limonada fresca le pregunte que como se hacía la limonada. Me contesto, “Hijita, es lo más fácil, y lo más rico. Solo exprimes los limones en agua y le agregas azúcar, es todo.” Nos reímos juntas al tomar esa rica y refrescante limonada. Nunca se me olvido esa receta. En años siguientes cuando íbamos a México a visitar otra vez, anhelaba llegar a casa de mi abuelita a tomar su limonada.

No les doy una receta detallada, porque es muy sencillo de hacer. Como dijo mi abuelita, “Limones, agua, y azúcar, es todo.” Yo uso como 10 limones verdes y les quito las semillas antes de exprimirlos. Prefiero los limones verdes porque son los que usa mi abuelita. También uso como una taza de azúcar porque me gusta un poco dulce. Con eso les va a quedar una riquísima y fresca limonada casera. La puede hacer justo en este tiempo para recibir la primavera, ¡mi favorito tiempo del año!



Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Gravy


Slow Cooker Beef Tips with GravyTrack season started this week, which means after-school practices and two meets for two kids.

The spring musical is wrapping up for one kid.

The other kid is starting Spanish Club meetings.

There’s also service club meetings and service hours to perform.

Not for the first time, as I was meal planning this morning, did I think, “Thank goodness for the slow cooker.”

Dinner can cook all day and be ready whenever we trudge through the door. My model will also keep our food warm after the cooking time has expired.
This savory beef dish is the perfect way to end a hectic day.

New York Strip roast is on sale at Brookshire’s this week and would be the perfect cut for this dish. It will literally melt in your mouth.

Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Gravy

Ingredients:
3 lbs New York Strip roast, cubed
3 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
1 tsp seasoning salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups beef broth
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dry thyme
1 cup onions, diced
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 Tbs water
2 Tbs cornstarch

Directions:
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add half the beef cubes, seasoning salt and black pepper. Sear quickly; remove to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the other half of the beef cubes. Place all beef and pan drippings in slow cooker.

Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, thyme, garlic and onions. Add a bay leaf on top.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Pour into slow cooker and stir. Turn heat to high, and cook for 10 more minutes or until sauce has thickened.

Serve over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes or polenta.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 520, Calories from Fat: 195, Fat: 22 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 203 mg, Sodium: 821 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 71 g.

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

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Posted in: Kids, Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Pomegranates


PomegranatesPomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits on earth, and they’re still in season now.

Pomegranates are red and are about the size and shape of an apple, but really only their seeds (and the pulp and juices attached) are edible.

One cup of pomegranate arils (seeds) contain 7 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, 36 percent for vitamin K, 16 percent for folate and 12 percent for potassium. That’s a lot. Also, one cup contains only 144 calories which is not a lot at all.

Pomegranates contain two compounds other fruits do not: punicalagins and punicic acid.

Punicalagins are the powerful antioxidants found in the juice and peel of a pomegranate, providing three times the antioxidant power of red wine or green tea. Punicic acid, or pomegranate seed oil, is the fatty acid from the arils, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

Pomegranates can help fight against heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. It can also help fight prostate and breast cancers as well as lower blood pressure and fight arthritis. It improves memory, helps fight fungal and bacterial infections and can improve erectile dysfunction. It has also been shown to improve exercise performance.

Whether you eat the seeds or drink the juice, pomegranate packs a mighty punch.



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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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