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Dine In: Whipped Feta Bruschetta

Whipped Feta Bruschetta

When I was little, my mom would, on occasion, serve the “munch lunch,” an assortment of fun finger foods we could “munch” on for a meal.

Ok, so it was all the leftovers she figured out how to serve as a “snack” lunch, because everyone knows snacks and finger foods are more fun than meals. Plus, it was a great way to clean out the refrigerator.

I love the idea of snack suppers, especially when it’s too hot to even fire up the grill. A few weeks ago, I had some leftover grilled sausage, which I served with slices of sharp cheddar cheese and my boys’ favorite pretzel crackers, and I made a bruschetta of sorts with this whipped feta recipe I’d found online. I was in heaven, like in the upper stratospheres of heaven. The whipped feta is THAT good. It made the perfect Friday evening snack supper.

Whipped Feta Bruschetta
Serves 10

8 oz feta cheese, crumbled and at room temperature
3 oz whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large baguette, sliced diagonal
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
3 large local tomatoes, sliced
olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper, to taste

For whipped feta: Add crumbled feta to a food processor and pulse until small crumbs remain. Add in cream cheese and puree for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides when necessary, until feta is super creamy.

Brush bread lightly with olive oil, and grill or toast until golden brown. Slather with whipped feta, top with a tomato slice, drizzle with olive oil if desired and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 355 (Calories from Fat: 61), Fat: 7 g (Saturated Fat: 4 g), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 926 mg, Carbohydrates: 58 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 16 g

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Family Matters: Chocolate Dipped Cherries

What’s better than chocolate and cherries? How about cherries dipped in chocolate! Don’t let the season come and go without dipping some beautiful ripe cherries in chocolate. There is really no skill required to make these fun, kid-friendly treats.

My daughter and I look forward to cherries being in season. I buy them weekly for us to snack on or to make a fresh tart cherry pie! This week when I buy cherries, I’m going to let my daughter make these adorable and delicious chocolate dipped cherries. She will love making them, and this will allow us some quality mom and daughter time in the kitchen.

Chocolate Dipped Cherries

Finely chop one pound milk, white or dark chocolate. Combine three-quarters of the chocolate and two teaspoons shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until chocolate is melted; stir in the remaining chocolate until smooth. Dip fresh cherries by the stems into the chocolate, add festive sprinkles and set on parchment or wax paper. Let harden at room temperature.

Enjoy and have fun in the kitchen with your pint-sized little one!

Mi Blog Hispano: Tiempo Vacaciones

Es tiempo de vacaciones… Estos son los momentos ideales para descansar, compartir, disfrutar y conocer nuevos lugares. Es importante que para que las vacaciones tengan éxito, hagamos de la planificación un elemento importante. A continuación voy a compartir con ustedes algunas cosas que no debemos olvidar a la hora de comenzar las tan esperadas vacaciones:

Antes de irse:

  • Chequee y asegúrese de cerrar las llaves principales del gas y agua, de la casa para evitar escapes cuando usted este ausente.
  • Informe a sus vecinos sobre el número telefónico donde puede localizarlo a usted o a algún familiar, en caso de emergencia.
  • Deje las ventanas cerradas para evitar que el agua entre en caso de lluvia o también se meta algún animal no deseado.
  • Bote la basura y no deje residuos en la  nevera.
  • Fíjese que lleva con usted todos los documentos  que requiere para viajar. Deje una copia en la casa por si acaso tiene alguna perdida de los documentos de identificación.
  • Si viaja con niños, no olvide los permisos en caso de necesitarlos para poder trasladarse.
  • Recuerde llevar los números telefónicos del hotel o sitio al que llegará y una tarjeta para llamar internacionalmente, si viaja fuera del país.
  • Si viaja en avión, es importante dejar en el equipaje productos como espuma de afeitar, hojillas, envases medianos o grandes de espumas u otros líquidos. Estos productos no están permitidos trasladarlos en el equipaje de mano. Coloque en el equipaje de mano una muda de ropa (por si acaso se extravían las maletas), medicina (si las necesita), un abrigo y sus aparatos electrónicos como celulares y computadoras.
  • Lleve con usted un bolígrafo para llenar planillas de viaje.
  • Si viaja en carro, haga una revisión complete del vehículo antes de salir, mida la presión de las yantas, asegúrese de llevar herramientas y la yanta de repuesto. LLeve una cava pequeña con liquido, como agua y jugos, así como comidas ligeras y fáciles de comer. Si viaja con niños, recuerde llevar medicina para los mareos y los vómitos. Si esta agotado no dude en detenerse en un lugar seguro por lo menos 15 minutos, si el cansancio es mayor mejor busque un hotel para descansar.
  • Llevar dinero en efectivo al viajar es importante , ya que en algunos lugares no hay acceso a cajeros electrónicos.

Espero que si están pensando en viajar, sigan estos consejos y tengan unas vacaciones espectaculares e inolvidables.  iBuen Viaje!

Shop the Sale: Haas Avacados

I’m a little obsessed with avocados. Some “experts” will tell you the sweet potato is a “perfect” food, but I’d put avocados right up there with them.

Buttery, velvety, mild and nutritious, the Hass avocado, with its green-to-black bumpy skin and luscious flesh, was cultivated and patented by Rudolph Hass in 1935. Hass avocados are known as the “year-round avocado” because of their seasonal availability and are grown in many places in the United States, making them readily available in your local Brookshire’s.

Avocados have more potassium than a banana, are low in calories and are chock full of “good” fats, not to mention they’re good for more than guacamole. Try this recipe today, while avocados are on sale at Brookshire’s.

Shrimp Stuffed Avocados 


Citrus Dressing
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar

1 cup frozen precooked baby shrimp (about 6 oz)
3 Tbsp chopped mint (more for garnish)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more for garnish)
2 oz queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled (more for garnish)
1/2 cup diced English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup seeded and diced tomato
2 avocados, ripe yet firm
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

To make the dressing, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, zest, pepper, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

To make the salad, thaw shrimp and drain off any excess liquid. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp with mint, cilantro, cheese, cucumber and tomatoes. Split avocados and discard pits.

With a table knife, gently score flesh of avocado without splitting the shell. Scoop out avocado and add to shrimp salad, reserving avocado shells. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. In another bowl, toss romaine with remaining dressing. To serve, divide lettuce among plates. Set avocado shells on greens and fill with shrimp salad. Garnish with additional cheese, mint and cilantro leaves, and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 220, Fat: 13 g (2.5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 14 mg, Sodium: 430 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber 8 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 14 g.

Healthy Living: Mint, Watermelon and Cucumber Salad

Ahhh…summertime…watermelon meets cucumber. Watermelon likes cucumber. Watermelon hops into salad with cucumber. Watermelon and cucumber live happily ever after.

Watermelon has been called one of the world’s healthiest foods. Along with tomatoes, watermelon is one of the foods highest in lycopene. Lycopene is a nutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health, and many experts believe that lycopene is important for bone health as well. Watermelon is high in water content, and water is an essential element to make all of our body’s functions work more smoothly. Watermelon is full of beta-carotene, antioxidants and vitamin C.

Cucumbers, with their high levels of vitamin B, are a quick pick-me-up (think afternoon snack). They are also full of water and help the body stay hydrated and eliminate toxins. Cucumbers contain high levels of lignans, which are associated with reducing the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate. Cucumbers also contain high levels of potassium, magnesium and fiber, which work effectively for regulating blood pressure.

So, when you put them together, what do you get? A marriage made in superfood heaven.

Mint Cucumber Watermelon Salad
Serves 16

8 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
2 medium English cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumbers, onions and mint. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over watermelon mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately, or cover and

Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 60, Fat (trans saturated fat): 3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 78 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 1 g.

Product Talk: Red Diamond Iced Tea

Red Diamond Iced TeaHere in the South, iced tea is practically a religion, and Red Diamond teas are worthy of the highest praise.

Red Diamond teas, sold at your local Brookshire’s, come in loose teas, bagged and ready to brew yourself, or come already prepared in the refrigerated section.

You can buy the tea to brew in regular, decaf or green varieties; in single-serving, family and group sizes. I buy the large size and brew gallons at a time! I love cold iced green tea with a touch of honey and stevia sweetener. I drink my regular iced tea un-sweet (GASP!), but the beauty of brewing your own tea is that you can make it as sweet, or not-so-sweet, as you’d like.

I always keep a gallon jug of prepared tea at work for an afternoon pick-me-up. It’s better than the diet soda I gave up six months ago.

Red Diamond makes a variety of tea and coffee products, and they’re all delicious, but start with the iced tea. I promise, it’s as good as grandma’s!

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Posted in: Product Talk

Dine In: Spanakopita

SpanakopitaOne recent Friday night, I wrote about dolmadakia – Greek stuffed grape leaves.

Well, this weather must remind me of a Friday night on the Mediterranean, because I still have Greek food on the brain.

Spanakopita is a very authentic Greek pie stuffed with spinach, cheeses, onions and herbs, wrapped in phyllo dough.

Phyllo dough is stuff of the Greek gods themselves. A light, flaky pastry, it literally melts in your mouth. You could make your own, but I don’t advise it, not when it’s so easy to buy – and sometimes more delicious – in the freezer section of your Brookshire’s, near the frozen pie crusts.

While I’ve never been to Greece (a trip there tops my list of places to visit), I’ve spent a lot of time on the Mediterranean and long to return. The cuisine is fresh, light and flavorful. Try this on a Friday night to transport you to an ancient civilization.

Serves 5

1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs spinach, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 sheets phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 350º F (175º C). Lightly oil a 9 x 9 square baking pan.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to sauté until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with olive oil and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough to cover filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 528, Fat: 38 g, Cholesterol: 123 mg, Sodium: 952 mg, Carbohydrates: 33 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 21 g

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

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Family Matters: Busy Bodies

Your toddler is on the go these days! Whether it is to the park, to story time, to Mother’s Day Out, to church or to play dates, your little one loves to be busy. Keep them fortified with Happy Baby organic baby food that’s easily portable and convenient to serve. The ‘Starting Solids’ series will guarantee your toddler the best in organic nutrition for their busy little lives. When you buy four pouches of Happy Baby solids, you get the fifth free.

Tip 13-36 Months: Keep baby powder on hand to easily remove sand from your toddler’s legs, tummy, arms and other body parts while you’re at the beach. A sprinkle of powder and the sand washes right off.

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Family Matters: Feeding Themselves

Beginning around 6 months, your baby is old enough to pick up small objects and get them to his mouth. Or if your baby is like my boys, to their necks, ears, cheeks or anywhere BUT their mouths. Point being, by 12 months your baby has mastered the pincer grasp and can feed himself. Happy Puffs organic snacks, such as Purple Carrot and Blueberry puffs, are gluten free and finger friendly. Made with organic whole grains and sweetened with 100 percent fruit juice, these super snacks contain choline for eye and brain development. To sweeten the deal: when you buy four, you get one free.

Tip 7-12 Months: Soft shoes are recommended as baby starts to toddle. Don’t brace your child’s foot in a heavy leather shoe that is unyielding; let baby get the lay of the land with a natural-feeling foot covering.

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Posted in: Family Matters

Family Matters: Starting Solids

When my guys were babies, I couldn’t wait to start them on solid foods.

I started my older son on solids right at 4 months old, but he didn’t tolerate it so well. He still had a very strong tongue-thrust reflex (pushing the spoon out of his mouth) so we put aside the baby food and gave it another try when he turned about 6 months, at which point he did just fine.

I didn’t even try to start my younger son on solids until 6 months. He had…let’s just be honest…horrible gas issues, so I delayed the start of solids a bit.

Between 4 to 6 months is a great time to introduce “solid” foods into baby’s diet. Now, when I say “solids,” I mean something other than formula or breast milk.

Happy Bellies Brown Rice Baby Cereal is a great place to start. You can mix it with breast milk or formula to make it more nutritious and to get it to the consistency you want. Brown rice is mild on baby’s tummy and Happy Bellies is fortified with DHA, choline, and pro-and-pre-biotics, all important for baby’s growth and development. Even better, when you buy four, you get your fifth can free!

Tip 0-6 Months: Swaddling can help your infant sleep. Wrap baby tightly in a blanket, binding his arms close to his side and tuck ends in (like you’re folding a burrito!). Swaddling feels womb-like to your little one.

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Posted in: Family Matters

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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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