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Shop the Sale: Crispy Cheddar Tenders

There are so many ways to make chicken tenders. I know, because I tried most of them when my older son was younger and decided to go on a hunger strike that involved him only eating cheese toast and bananas, plus the occasional chicken nugget or tender. As limited as his diet was, I didn’t want to fill him up with processed, frozen stuff, so I tried a variety of recipes to make a crispy chicken tender on my own.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that this is going to make the cover of popular, healthy, national newsstand magazines. But it is delicious and can be made lighter by using reduced fat or fat-free milk, cream of chicken soup, sour cream and cheese. Or you can omit the sauce all together. (But I wouldn’t! (Everything in moderation, right?) These are baked, which eliminates having to submerge them in oil.
Boneless chicken tenderloins are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. Stock up because this recipe freezes beautifully.

Crispy Cheddar Tenders
Serves: 4

1/2 sleeve club crackers (or Ritz)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp ranch dressing mix
Dash pepper
2 eggs
2 Tbs milk
2 lbs chicken tenders
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400° F.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine crackers, cheese, ranch mix and pepper.  Pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Pour into shallow bowl.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.

Dip chicken tenders into egg mixture and then coat in cracker crumbs. Place chicken on foil lined baking pan. Repeat with remaining chicken tenders.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

While chicken bakes, whisk together soup, butter, sour cream, milk, pepper and parsley.  Bring to a boil and simmer until chicken is done.  Spoon sauce over baked chicken.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 762, Calories from Fat: 383, Total Fat: 43g, Cholesterol: 346 mg, Sodium: 1042 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 9g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 82g

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Posted in: Shop the Sale

Healthy Living: Local Honey

I have horrible allergy problems.  The irony is that I’m not allergic to anything except cats – which I don’t have – and sulfa medications, which I avoid taking.

Now, when I say I’m not allergic to much, I’m not allergic to much that standard tests cover. But even one allergy doctor told me those skin prick tests don’t test for a lot of environmental factors.

For a vast majority of the year, I couldn’t breathe through my nose and nothing seemed to help. I’ve been through every allergy medication there is and nothing really worked. Then a few years ago, I decided to cut out as many medications as humanly possible and I found myself being more open to natural remedies for simple ailments.

Last year, my friend told me about the benefits of local, raw honey. Not the stuff in the squeeze bear, the stuff sold in the produce department at Brookshire’s stores.

Local honey can help alleviate allergy symptoms. The thought is that the bees are collecting nectar from the very plants that are making you feel bad, and so with honey you can ingest small amounts of the very allergen that is troubling you and build up a resistance to it. Just a tablespoon of local honey each day can relieve the symptoms of pollen related allergies, many experts say. Start taking the honey about one month before you typically experience symptoms of allergy problems.

Other health benefits of local, raw honey include:

  • Increases calcium absorption
  • Can increase hemoglobin count and treat or prevent anemia caused by nutritional factors
  • Can help arthritic joints
  • Works as a natural and gentle laxative, aids constipation
  • Provides instant energy without the insulin surge caused by white sugar
  • Contains a wide array of trace minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, chromium, manganese and selenium̶  all essential elements for productive cellular insulin sensitivity and blood sugar balance. Honey does have an effect on blood sugar and contains approximately 53 percent fructose, so one should only consume this in moderation.


Family Matters: Baby Love

One of my very best friends had a baby this week.

I got to be there with her when that beautiful little girl made her entrance into the world.

I’m not sure my friend realized how much it meant to me to be there.

For me personally, there is no greater validation of the presence of God than watching the birth of a baby. The sheer miracle that is 6 pounds, 11 ounces of perfect person is overwhelming.  The sheer miracle that is the human body, producing another human body, is overpowering. How perfectly everything works in glorious orchestration is awe inspiring.

I got to watch that sweet little girl take her first breath. I heard the mewling kitten-gasps of her first sounds and was there when she pried her eyes open for her first look into her mama’s face.

I’m not that sweet baby’s mother; I’m not even a blood relative, but witnessing and sharing in her birth has given me a bond with this little girl (and her mother). It’s a good reminder that family doesn’t always mean bonded by blood. Family means bonded by love.

Product Talk: Baking Soda

If baking soda isn’t a miracle ingredient, I’m really not sure what is.

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a white solid that is often found in powder form. I was first introduced to baking soda in the form of a leavening agent in my mom’s chocolate chip cookies.

However, in ancient times, it was used more as soap.

It seems the uses for baking soda are endless.

It’s in toothpaste. It’s in homemade laundry detergent. It’s in deodorants, shampoos and can be mixed into a cup of warm water to drink to aid indigestion.

Aside from the bounty of baked goods, I love baking soda as a cleaning agent. I’ve used it to remove buildup from my bathroom vanity that gets a bit crusted with hair product. I’ve used it to soak my showerheads and remove build-up there, too. I make a paste of baking soda and water to clean my porcelain and lined bathtubs.

But, I really love to use it as a drain cleaner, and so do my boys. Anything that gets my kids to help me clean is a positive in my book.

The drain in my bathtub gets clogged easily but not in the boys’ bathroom…gee…I wonder why (as I twirl my very long hair around my finger).

I’ll pull out the drain stopper and remove the wadded up hair. (EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW…that’s the part the boys won’t help me with). But then I run a little warm water down the drain and turn off the water. I pour about half a cup of baking soda into the drain, then let the boys pour in some white vinegar.

It bubbles and fizzes and is all kinds of fun.

Continue pouring small amounts of vinegar into the drain until it no longer fizzes. Let sit for about 15 minutes, flush with hot water and there you have it  – fast-running drains without chemicals to corrode your pipes.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Dine In: Garlic Grilled Fish Steaks

Garlic Grilled Fish SteaksWhenever I ask my friends what they like to eat at home on a Friday night, the response typically involves pizza or the grill.

Because it’s Lent, and a lot of folks abstain from eating meat on Fridays for religious reasons, I tried to find a recipe that incorporated both fish and the grill.

I tried this dish recently, and it was a winner. The recipe calls for halibut, but tilapia or any other mild, whitefish would work as well. I recommend using a fish basket for the grill, as it does flake easily.

Garlic Grilled Fish Steaks
Serves 2

1 garlic clove, minced
6 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 (6 oz) halibut fillets

In a stainless steel or glass bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, basil, pepper, lemon juice and parsley.Place the halibut fillets in a shallow glass dish or a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover or seal and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat.Remove halibut fillets from marinade and drain off the excess. Grill fillets 5 minutes per side or until fish is done when easily flaked with a fork.
Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 544, Calories from Fat: 414, Fat: 46 g, Cholesterol: 55 mg, Sodium: 94mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 36 g
View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.
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Posted in: Dine In, Seafood

Shop The Sale: Balsamic Glazed Baked Spare Ribs

For the longest time, I struggled with cooking spare ribs. Mine always turned out too tough. I tried roasting them, steaming them, grilling them, slow-cooking them and a combination of all of the above. I was never very satisfied with the results.

Then I tried this recipe, which calls for baking them slowly, covered tightly with foil, so you get a little baking action, a little steaming action. What first attracted me to this recipe, however, wasn’t the baking, it was the balsamic vinegar in the sauce – my favorite. I added the liquid smoke because I did hate to lose the flavor of being cooked on the grill.

Balsamic Glazed Baked Spare Ribs
Serves 4-6

1 (4 lb) slab of Hormel pork spareribs1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Barbecue Sauce:
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)
1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbs liquid smoke
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Select a large baking pan to fit ribs in one layer. Line with heavy-duty foil. Place baking rack inside lined pan to keep ribs from resting on the bottom of the pan.

Remove the thin membrane from the back side of the ribs if not already done by the butcher. Sprinkle both sides of the spareribs with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place seasoned ribs on the rack in the baking pan.

Prepare sauce by combining lemon juice, bottled barbecue sauce, ketchup, liquid smoke , balsamic vinegar and hot sauce in a bowl. Stir vigorously until combined.

Pour half of sauce into a separate container and set aside. Drizzle remaining sauce over the top of the ribs, covering all exposed areas.

Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil. Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until tender.

Serve spareribs with reserved barbecue sauce. Optional: You can char the ribs on the grill or under the broiler before serving if you wish.

Nutritonal Information: Calories: 1,112, Calories from Fat: 782, Total Fat: 87g, Cholesterol: 289mg, Sodium: 1118mg, Total Carbohydrates: 29g, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 20g, Protein: 59g

Healthy Living: American Heart Month

If you were to ask anyone what cause I’m most passionate about, they would answer, “The prevention of heart disease.” As a teenager, my father had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery at 39-years-old. Over the past 10 years I have watched the devastating effects of this disease. I have been fortunate enough to learn to enjoy the good days and not take your loved one for granted. I feel very fortunate to still have my father and know pretty early in life what I need to do to prevent heart disease.

Heart disease is currently the number one killer in both men and women in the United States. There are 2,200 deaths per day from heart disease and stroke. February is American Heart Month, and I encourage you to take the time to learn your risks for heart disease and factors that will help prevent this disease from developing.  Below are 10 tips to help you prevent heart disease.

1. Stop smoking.
We all know smoking is bad. Ask a little kid, they will quickly tell you smoking is bad. Your risk for heart disease and stroke is doubled, if not quadrupled, just by smoking. How, you ask? Nicotine increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Carbon monoxide and tobacco steal oxygen from your heart, brain and arties. Smoking causes damage to your blood vessels making your blood sticky. Smoking decreases your HDL, good cholesterol that helps remove bad cholesterol. Stop smoking, and you can reduce your risk by half within a year.

2. Exercise. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. That is about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Those 30 minutes could be a walk in the morning, at your lunch break, or two 15- minute walks during your break.3. Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying around extra weight makes your heart work harder. Having extra fat around your waist can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It’s important if you’re overweight or obese to lose those extra pounds by monitoring calories in versus calories out.

4. Get regular health screenings. Heart disease is a silent killer. You may not know you have heart disease until it’s too late. Talk to your doctor about getting your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose checked.

5. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol.

6. Eat fish twice a week. Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of abnormal heartbeat, decrease triglycerides, slow down the growth of plaque, and lower blood pressure.  Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna.

7. Skip the salt. A diet high in salty foods can increase your risk of high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per a day. Ways to reduce your sodium intake are to remove the saltshaker from the table, buy fresh food, and look for reduced sodium products.

8. Watch out for saturated fat and trans fat. A diet high in saturated fat and trans fat can raise your blood cholesterol.  Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your total fat intake to 25 to 35% of your daily caloric intake. Limit your saturated fats to less than 7% of one day’s calories and no more than 1% of your calories should come from trans fats. Saturated fat is mostly found in animal products like meat, cheese, butter and dairy products. Trans fats are mostly found in fried foods and baked goods. You can spot trans fats in the ingredients list by looking for the words “partially hydrogenated oils.”

9. Pick whole grains. Half of your grains each day should be whole grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain. Examples of whole grains are whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice, bulgur and popcorn. Most whole grains are a good source of cholesterol- lowering fiber. Fiber also helps keep you feeling full.

10. Manage your stress. Chronic stress can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The American Heart Association suggests managing your stress through positive self talk, finding pleasure, daily relaxation and emergency stress stoppers like counting to 10 or taking five deep breaths.

(Source: American Heart Association)

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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product Talk: Brookshire’s Flowers

Brookshire's FlowersJust because it’s four days after Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that you should think “too late” on this post. Yes, flowers for your sweetheart on Feb. 14 are nice, but flowers on a RANDOM day the rest of the year are even better; at least to me.

Brookshire’s floral department never ceases to amaze me. I stopped in on the last day of school last year for gigantic bouquets of brilliant sunflowers for my boys’ teachers. I had a horrible migraine last week and I was the lucky recipient of a mixed bouquet of magenta blooms that are still fresh and vibrant over a week later. I’ve purchased green plants for offices and cheery arrangements of daisies, tulips, lilies and roses. I even gave someone a pepper plant as a gift once from the Brookshire’s floral department.

So just remember, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to give the gift of flowers. Just saying!

Dine In: Shish Kebobs

Mix and Match Shish KebobsThe title of this day’s blog post is always “Dine In Friday,” but today, it’s going to be about dining OUT.

Outside that is.

I know it’s still a little chilly, but you can still cook outside on the grill on a temperate Friday night. It’s even fun when it’s cold, because you can warm your hands near the grill as your food cooks.

We tried this one Friday night recently, and it was a huge hit because we each got to pick our favorite things to put on our “mix and match” shish kebobs. I had an assortment of chicken, pork and steak (because they always seem to come in packages of four and ours is a family of three so there’s always one extra in each package. I just saved it for an occasion such as this.) Then we also had veggies left over from other meals during the week and from school lunches. Luke picked chicken and steak. Curt wanted mostly pork. I put all three meats on a skewer and we chose from green bell peppers, chunks of potato that were already roasted and only needed to be reheated on the grill, mushrooms, onions and cauliflower. Yes, cauliflower. It’s my younger son’s favorite vegetable, and it was delicious grilled. My advice would be to grill your veggie kebobs separately as they won’t take as long to cook as your meats.

Mix and Match Shish Kebobs
Serves 4

1/2 lb chuck roast, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch chunks
8 large mushrooms
1 large white onion, cut into chunks
8 large cauliflower florets
2 large green bell peppers, cut into thick slices
8 pre-cooked potatoes or canned white potatoes
4 wooden or metal kebob skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in cold water for 30 minutes prior to use)
Lemon pepper seasoning

Cut all meats and vegetables. Sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper seasoning or seasoning of your choice. Thread onto kebob skewers. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Place skewers of meat on grill and cook, turning often, until cooked through. When meat is almost finished, place vegetable kebobs on the grill and cook quickly, until vegetables begin to char.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 413, Calories from Fat: 113, Total Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 161 mg, Sodium: 151 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 15 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 60 g

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

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Posted in: Dine In

Family Matters: Jack

My first case of puppy love was for a cute boy named Jack.

He had big brown eyes, short, soft hair and big, floppy ears.

Jack was some kind of beagle mix who captured my heart with his sweet puppy breath and patient nature, even though I hadn’t even considered getting a dog.

Jack and his siblings were deserted on the property of a friend of mine, who brought a basket full of the puppies to preschool one day and let them mill about among the thrilled three-year-olds. Those kids manhandled those puppies all day in their enthusiastic, innocent way, and those puppies just played gently right back. My friend found homes for all those dogs that day, but a few days later, one puppy came back. The person who took him home turned around and tried to sell that sweet thing through a local classified ad.

I knew immediately I wanted to take him home.

Jack was a great dog. He would lick my knees and never had accidents in the house.  Sadly, Jack died before his time, but for someone who never even wanted a dog, Jack was living proof that puppy love was alive and well.

Show Your Love Doggie Treats

1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flourPreheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together peanut butter, honey, oil and chicken broth. In a separate bowl, combine flours and oatmeal. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Place dough on flour dusted surface. Roll or press dough out to about 1/4-inch thick. Use a small bone cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Roll out leftover scraps and cut out as many as possible. Put cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.



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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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