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Healthy Living: Vacations and Vaccinations


It’s that time of year again! School is almost finished, and a much-needed summer vacation is calling your name.

You’ve already started planning for that fantastic getaway, and it seems like you’ve got everything set. You’ve booked your hotel and made all of your travel reservations. You’re so ready to escape your routine that you are already starting to relax. But wait. Are you really ready?

Each year, thousands of Americans travel abroad for their summer vacations, but by traveling to different countries, vacationers are exposed to many risks not present in the United States.  Being prepared to handle those risks is very crucial, and Brookshire’s offers a helping hand.

The pharmacy at FRESH by Brookshire’s and the Brookshire’s Pharmacy on Roseland Blvd. in Tyler, Texas, offer travel immunizations to help protect our customers from diseases or infections they could contract on their journey abroad.

It is important to be prepared and plan ahead. Ask your pharmacist or physician for any preparations that need to be done, and get your vaccinations done at least eight weeks before your departure. Remember, vacations should be a time of fun and adventure so let the pharmacy at FRESH by Brookshire’s or the Brookshire’s Pharmacy on Roseland Blvd. help protect you and your loved ones from any threat of sickness this vacation season.

Your friendly neighborhood pharmacist,

Dr. Charlotte Weller

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: The Season for Spring’s Sweet Onions


It only takes a bite to realize that not all onions taste the same. There are differences – sometimes subtle but sometimes huge – among yellow, white and red onions. Here are a few of the basic things to remember about which onion you want to choose in your cooking:

White Onions: Milder than the yellow onion, used frequently in Mexican cuisine, not powerful in flavor

Red Onions: Best eaten raw, perfect in salads and sandwiches, cooking will diminish most of the flavor

Yellow Onions: Most popular for cooked dishes, higher sulfur content makes your eyes water, pungent and difficult to enjoy raw

This time of year, sweet yellow onions are coming into play, and I find myself looking for any reason at all to add their delicate flavor to all kinds of recipes! I have been making pots and pots of French Onion Soup right now for this reason alone. Thankfully, my family loves it!

One of my favorite recipes to make right now is a sweet onion dip using Greek yogurt as the base instead of sour cream. Caramelizing the yellow onion mellows and sweetens their flavor even more. Greek yogurt is a bit tangier than sour cream, so if you don’t want this added zing, use half sour cream alongside the yogurt.

Sweet Onion Dip

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 Tbs salted butter
2 medium sweet yellow onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 (16 oz) container of plain 2% Greek yogurt
2 tsps light brown sugar
salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large pot, add olive oil and butter over low heat. When melted, add chopped onions, garlic and salt, stirring until all onions are well coated in the oil/butter mixture. Cover the pot and cook for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and cook 5 minutes, until onions are caramelized. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt and caramelized onions, stirring in additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with potato chips, sweet potato chips, fresh vegetable sticks or pita chips. Also wonderful as a substitute for mayonnaise on hamburgers! Makes 2 cups. Store in refrigerator.



Dine-In: Honey Almond Granola Crunch Pie


You can make me a cake, and I’ll be happy. But make me a pie? We’re friends for life.

I don’t know what it is about pie that evokes a sentiment rarely expressed for other desserts, except that pie reminds us of our grandmothers and good times around a table. It’s also one of the most versatile desserts, at home on an humble picnic table as well as the fanciest white-tablecloth restaurants.

Pie also helps heal broken communities, such as the town of Greensboro, Alabama.  “Pie Lab” opened there in early 2009 through a partnership between a local non-profit dedicated to revitalization and an acclaimed design collective called Project M. The mission was to be a combination pop-up cafe, design studio and civic clubhouse with the mission of: Pie + Ideas = Conversation. Conversation + Design = Social Change.

By the fall of 2009, Pie Lab was a permanent place, a place for local folks of all walks of life to feel comfortable gathering and lingering around a table, enjoying homemade pie and conversation. In something as simple as a piece of pie, the town that was once divided by race and socioeconomic status suddenly found a way to begin healing and coming together as a whole community.

This pie recipe is easy, quick and great as a warm-weather dessert on a Friday night when you want something sweet but don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. There’s no crust to roll out, no long baking times, and it’s also healthier than you might think. The pie crust is made with oats and almonds, and the filling is simply the new flavor of frozen yogurt from Goldenbrook: Honey Almond Granola.

Enjoy!

Honey Almond Granola Crunch Pie

Ingredients:
1 cup oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned)
1 cup chopped honey-roasted almonds, divided
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 quart Goldenbrook Honey Almond Granola Frozen Yogurt, slightly softened
1 cup purchased caramel ice cream topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, combine oats, 2/3 cup of the almonds, 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar, flour and melted butter; toss thoroughly. Press evenly into 9-inch pie plate that has been lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in 375° oven for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool completely on wire rack. When cooled, fill crust with Goldenbrook Honey Almond Granola Frozen Yogurt. Freeze until firm. When ready to serve, cut pie into 8 slices and place on individual plates. Drizzle each slice with warmed caramel ice cream topping and sprinkle with remaining chopped almonds.

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Baseball and Hot Dogs


Throughout the year there are two seasons I look forward to. The first one is without a doubt my favorite – Christmas. There’s just something magical in the cool, crisp Christmas air! The other season I look forward to is baseball season. I count down the days to when the gates swing open at the Ballpark in Arlington and the first pitch flies straight into the opponent’s strike zone.

I grew up with a love for baseball. After World War II my Poppy was a pitcher in a softball farm league. Growing up he would take my brother and I to what we called “the lot.” He would pitch ball after ball to us until we hit a game winning home run. When I started playing softball I was fortunate enough to be the pitcher and I knew it made my Poppy proud. To this day people still tell me what a great pitcher my Poppy was. I truly cherish the time we spent at the lot playing softball and I feel he is where I got my love for baseball.

Every year I anticipate going to the Ballpark in Arlington to watch a Rangers game.  The excitement of the fans all around you makes the experience worthwhile. The one thing that makes the trip to the ballpark outstanding is a juicy, ballpark hot dog. Having a hot dog while the warm, Texas sun is beaming down on you, the fans are cheering, and your team is winning makes the perfect package for a wonderful game. I was unable to watch the Ranger’s Opening Day victory, but that evening my family enjoyed a hot dog in honor of Opening Day. I know hot dogs are not the most nutritious choice of protein, but having one occasionally for a baseball game is just fine. Of course I used the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System when picking out which hot dog I would enjoy. This is what I discovered about NuVal hot dog scores:

Ballpark Beef Hot Dogs: NuVal Score 7
Oscar Mayer Beef Hot Dogs: NuVal Score 9
Jennie-O Turkey Hot Dogs: NuVal Score 12
Oscar Mayer Turkey Hot Dogs: NuVal Score 14
Ballpark Turkey Hot Dogs: NuVal Score 23
Hebrew National 99% Fat Free Beef Hot Dogs NuVal 23

We all know a hot dog is not complete without a bun. While scanning the buns this is what I found:

Mrs. Bairds Hot Dog Buns: NuVal Score 24
Sara Lee Heart Healthy Hot Dog Buns: NuVal Score 29
Nature’s Own Whitewheat Hot Dog Buns: NuVal Score 33

Hot dogs are fun treats for watching baseball on a Friday night or fireworks on Fourth of July!

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Posted in: Family Matters


Shop the Sale: Boneless Beef Short Ribs


Last week, I wrote about “The Return of the Slow Cooker” for our company’s blog. We had such a big response from readers that I thought I would send you another one of my favorite slow cooker recipes for Boneless Beef Short Ribs. These ribs are on sale this week in all Brookshire’s, so it’s the perfect time to try something new!

I used to always serve mashed potatoes with these short ribs, as it just seems to be the perfect pair. One night when the ribs were almost ready to serve, I realized I had forgotten the potatoes and didn’t have time to go to the store. I have teenage boys who need some sort of carbohydrate on their plates or they feel like they are on a diet, so I opened the pantry and started thinking creatively.

Growing up in the South, grits weren’t just for breakfast. We eat them at supper time with our shrimp, quail and grillades, which is just a fancy way of saying smothered steak or veal. It had never occurred to me to try my favorite grits with short ribs, but I thought, “Why not?” In fact, the more I thought about it, I realized how often the Italian version of grits, polenta, is served now in nicer restaurants as one of their side dish choices.

I’m including my favorite recipe for Creamy Grits. I admit it’s not the healthiest recipe, but it’s really the best. If you want, you can use half-and-half instead of the cream, but the grits will be a bit thinner than if you used cream. Either way, it’s delicious and easy to prepare alongside the Slow Cooker Short Ribs.

We would love to hear what slow cooking recipes you enjoy making and share them with our other readers to enjoy. Please send these recipes to askleigh@brookshires.com. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Boneless Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
1/4 cup butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup beef broth
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce (a garlic chili sauce on the Asian aisle)
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder

Directions:
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large plastic resealable bag. Add the short ribs, and seal the bag. Shake to make sure all ribs are well-coated with flour mixture. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, and add ribs. Turn ribs occasionally to make sure they are browned on all sides. Place the ribs in the slow cooker and cover. 

Using the same skillet, add onion, broth, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and chili powder.  Stir well to combine. 

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure you have the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Pour over the ribs. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until meat falls apart when pierced with a fork. 

Creamy Grits 

Ingredients:
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup grits (not instant)
2 chicken bouillon cubes 

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, melt butter in the cream over moderate heat, but don’t let it boil. Add grits and bouillon cubes. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until grits are done.



Healthy Living: A Trade-Up Burger


This weekend I went a little crazy on Pinterest and made three different recipes I found on the site.

It all started Saturday morning when my Nana called asking me to tell her how to make black bean burgers. She had seen me order these at a restaurant back in September.

My brother had come home from college to celebrate his birthday, and we decided to take a trip to Dallas for the day. We picked up my Nana on the way to enjoy a day with her too.

For lunch we ate in Deep Ellum at one of my brother’s favorite places to get hamburgers. I’m not a big meat eater so I scanned the menu for a vegetarian option, finding a black bean burger and sweet potato chips. My Nana, who raised cattle up into her 70s, couldn’t imagine eating a burger not made from beef. But she took a bite of mine and loved it.

This black bean burger was still on her mind when she called this weekend and wanted to know how to make it. I had a general idea how to make a veggie burger, but I had never made one with black beans. I hopped onto Pinterest and found a recipe that called for black beans and corn and went grocery shopping.

I headed to the bread aisle and started scanning the NuVal scores for hamburger buns. The range of NuVal scores for bread can range anywhere from 1 to 93 depending on how much sodium, added sugar, trans fats and fiber is in the product. Knowing that the majority of bread scores are not above a score in the 40s, I was pleased to find a bun option with a score of 38.

Instead of spreading mayonnaise on the buns, I purchased a ripe avocado, which has a NuVal score of 89. Ripe avocado mashes easily to replace mayonnaise with a healthier choice.

To make these burgers healthier, I paid attention to two NuVal scores:

  • Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat Thin Style Buns (NuVal score 38) vs. Brookshire’s White Buns (NuVal score 22)
  • Mashed avocado ( NuVal score 89) vs. Food Club Sandwich Spread (NuVal score 3)

Black Bean Burger
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus chill time
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (NuVal Score 93)
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (NuVal 99)
3 garlic cloves, minced (NuVal 91)
1 (14.5 oz) can Food Club Black Beans (NuVal Score 50)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs rolled oats
1 ear yellow corn, cooked and kernels removed from husk (NuVal Score91)
1 green onion, chopped (NuVal Score 100)
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, more for coating patties
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
In a food processor add onion, jalapeno and garlic; process until smooth. Add beans, oats, corn, green onion, cumin, curry powder, cayenne, salt and pepper; process until smooth, but with a few whole corn kernels and beans. Place mixture in bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Source: Spoon fork bacon

Heat grill. Stir breadcrumbs into black bean mixture. Make mixture into 4 patties. Coat patties with more breadcrumbs, if needed. Cook patties 5 to 7 minutes on each side



Product Talk: The joy of anticipation


I cannot hear Carly Simon’s song, “Anticipation,” without thinking of ketchup. Heinz ketchup.

One of the smartest things that the marketing people at Heinz did was to take what could have been a weakness—slow-pouring ketchup—and make it the product’s strength.

Condiment lovers everywhere began to believe that having to wait for their ketchup must mean it was better than the ones that poured quickly.

Anticipation seems to make an experience more meaningful, even something as simple as a wonderful meal at your favorite restaurant. In my life, I have found that my good feelings intensify when I have had time to think about and enjoy something before it becomes a reality.

Think about how you felt on Christmas Eve as a child. The butterflies you felt waiting for your first real kiss with someone you love. Or even just planning dinner and a movie with friends after a long week.

Who would have guessed that the marketing for Heinz Ketchup would remind me of a truth I hold onto as often as possible: There is great joy to be found in anticipation.

Busy Day Pork Chops 

Ingredients:
1 cup Heinz ketchup
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 thick center-cut pork chops
 

Directions:
Combine ketchup, water, brown sugar, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Place chops in a two-quart glass baking dish and pour sauce over pork chops. Do not cover. Bake at 250°F for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Serve with hot, cooked rice.



Dine-In: Mongolian Beef


Some things are worth the wait, but a table at a crowded restaurant is rarely one of them.

The food and experience has to be outstanding if I am going to wait more than 10-15 minutes to be seated. Sure, there are a few restaurants in Chicago, New Orleans and New York where I have gladly waited for a table, but who wouldn’t wait patiently for one of Rick Bayless’ blood orange margaritas at Frontera in the Windy City? Or the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House in Nola? Worth the wait every time. Otherwise, you’re going to find me at home on a Friday night, cooking away the week’s stresses and relaxing into a weekend groove.  It’s not easy for me to shift from work week to weekend, and I’ve found that time in the kitchen helps, especially if it involves lots of chopping.

Tonight we’re making my older son’s favorite: Mongolian Beef. Will requests this recipe more than anything else I make.  It does take a bit of prep work, but it’s the perfect time to pour a glass of wine, turn on some music and let the kitchen do its magic.

Much nicer than a loud, crowded restaurant, wouldn’t you say?

Mongolian Beef
Serves 4 

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 pounds flank steak
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal 

Directions:
For the sauce, add oil to a medium saucepan over low to medium heat. Don’t let the oil get too hot before adding the ginger and garlic to the pan.  Stir for 5 seconds and quickly add soy sauce and water. You want the oil to capture the flavors of the garlic and ginger, but if you’re not careful the garlic will burn and turn bitter. 

When heated, add the brown sugar and raise the heat to allow the sauce to boil for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Set aside. 

Slice the flank steak by tilting your knife at a 45° angle against the top of the steak. This allows you to get wider, flatter pieces of meat. Dip each piece into the cornstarch, allowing just a thin layer to adhere. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a wok or skillet until hot, but not smoking. 

Add steak to the oil and flash sauté for no more than two minutes. Do not overcook. Flank steak is tough when well done, and these thin pieces don’t take long at all. Remove steak from wok or skillet using a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Discard hot oil properly. 

Return the wok and steak to the stove. Add the sauce and stir-fry for one minute until well coated and heated through. Add green onions and cook 1-2 more minutes.  

Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.



Family Matters: Duke to the rescue


Before my dog Duke came into my life, I wasn’t much of an animal lover. It’s not that I disliked dogs and cats; it’s just that I never understood the connection some people have with their pets. I kind of thought these people were crazy.

It all began when we were at a friend’s house watching the 2011 Super Bowl when my sons came running in and asked if I would come outside and see a dog that some neighbors had found but couldn’t keep. The boys begged me to consider taking him home with us. If I remember correctly the exact words were, “This dog is going to be put to sleep if we don’t take him with us, Mama! You don’t want to be known as the one who killed a dog, do you?”

No, I don’t want to be remembered as the dog killer, although at that moment I thought I might be a child killer if they kept trying to guilt me into a new dog. I went outside with the boys, telling them that there was no way we were adding more chaos to our already chaotic home.

And on top of that, the dog needing rescuing wasn’t a cute little lap dog. It was a 95-pound German Shepherd. All I could think was: Huge. Sheds. Eats. Kills on command.

At this point, I forgot I was the parent. I looked at the boys and said, “Have you lost your minds?”

The boys have a nickname for me: “The Changer-Minder.” I have a very hard time enforcing “no means no” when they either make me laugh or melt me with their sweet words and kisses.

And that was that. Somehow this big dog went home with us that night for a trial sleepover.

For the next couple of days, Duke and I spent a lot of time together. He turned out to be the sweetest, gentlest – and smartest – creature I had ever been around. He stayed by my feet all day as I worked. He followed me from room to room, and slept at the end of my bed every night, coming to my side of the bed several times a night to check on me.

Needless to say, Duke never left our home. Duke attached to me as his primary caregiver, always hovering and protecting and loving. There have been times he has done things at just the right time, in just the right way that I truly believe he has to be my angel.

I know, I know, I now sound like one of those crazy dog people, but I don’t care. It’s been a little over a year that we rescued Duke, but I’m pretty sure he has done most of the rescuing.



Shop the Sale: The Return of the Slow Cooker


People often ask me what appliance or kitchen tool I could never live without. I used to say my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and Cuisinart food processor, until last year when I was asked to teach a cooking class on slow cookers – or Crock Pots as they have been called since the decade of shag carpet and avocado green dishwashers.

All the major food magazines, networks and cooking shops have re-introduced this trend, but it seems now the new, more hip term is “slow cooker.” And with the popularity of the cookers, foodies everywhere are flooding the marketplace new recipes and healthier ideas. No longer do we start every recipe with cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix!

Now that baseball season is here and I find myself racing between work and games, I don’t think my family would ever enjoy dinner before 10 p.m. unless I was using my slow cooker all the time. And with the new slow-cooker insert bags you can find at the store, clean-up is as easy as throwing away the bag!

Brookshire’s has boneless pork roasts on sale this week as a buy one get one free item. This is the perfect time to pull out that old Crock Pot and bring something new to your family table: Balsamic Glazed Pork. My family loves this recipe with mashed potatoes (I mix in a little goat cheese) and fresh steamed green beans with caramelized shallots.

Balsamic Glazed Pork

Ingredients:

Pork:
2 pound boneless pork roast, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
1/2 cup water

Glaze:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions:
Combine salt, pepper and garlic, and rub over the roast. Place roast in slow cooker, and pour the 1/2 cup water around the sides. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. To make the glaze, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker, shred and place on a platter or plate. Drizzle the glaze over pork and serve.



Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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.

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Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

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On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

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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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