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Dine-In: Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers


Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers Sometimes my brain works in strange ways.  Try to follow me (it’s OK if you don’t. I don’t always understand my train of thinking after-the-fact).

I love stuffed peppers; I’ve blogged about them before.  And I love chicken fajitas. (I’ve never blogged about those before).

Somehow, somewhere, I came up with the idea of marrying chicken fajitas and stuffed peppers.

Are you following me? If so, you’re much faster than I am.

I guess the common denominator is the peppers. You use peppers for fajitas and peppers for stuffed peppers. As my 10-year-old would say, “Duh.”

I love this combination because it’s a festive meal for a Friday night with the family and can be prepared in a slow cooker if you choose.

All you need to start with is a base recipe of Salsa Chicken, which is so easy and so delicious and so versatile. Prepare a virtual vat of Salsa Chicken to have handy for recipes like Fajita Chicken Stuffed Peppers, chicken soft tacos, enchiladas and nachos.

Salsa Chicken
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless, frozen chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) jar medium salsa or picante sauce.

Directions:
Place both ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook, on low, for about 6 hours. Remove the chicken, leaving all the other juices in place. Shred chicken with two forks. Place back in slow cooker on low for two hours.

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers 

Ingredients:
One batch Salsa Chicken (4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 16-oz jar salsa)
4 large green bell peppers, cored and seeded, with just tops removed
1 large onion, diced
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 small can chopped green chilies, diced
2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces

Directions:
Remove the tops from green peppers. Core and seed, leaving the flesh of the peppers in tact.

Combine chicken, onion, cheese, cream cheese, green chilies and torn tortilla pieces. Stuff mixture into green bell peppers.

Place in slow cooker for 3-4 hours or oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

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

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Family Matters: A Three-Dog Family


I’m not sure how it happened, but we went from being a family with one old Lab outside dog to suddenly having three dogs, one of which weighs 100 pounds and lives inside within three feet of wherever I am in the house.

Our newest family member is a funky, feisty Jack Russell Terrier/Blue Heeler mix named Buddy. Buddy is the one who just found his way into our home in the blink of an eye, as if he were meant to be with us all along. My younger son, Smith, was avoiding doing his chores – preferring to surf the local dog shelter website. Smith has a huge, tender heart and feels certain we should adopt every single homeless dog and cat in the tri-state area.

Somehow within the next hour, we were on our way to the dog shelter, “just to take a look around.” It didn’t matter that I told Smith we were NOT coming home with another dog. As soon as Buddy saw Smith, and Smith saw buddy, well, that was that. And I don’t have the heart to keep apart a boy and a  new puppy that obviously fell in love instantly.

It’s been an adventure keeping up with three dogs and two teenage sons – all of whom eat so much it blows my mind and my budget! Every now and then I try to make a big batch of these Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Cookies. The dogs love them, kids love to help make them, and their cost is much friendlier on my monthly budget.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Ingredients:
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tbs peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Process all ingredients in a the bowl of a food processor until dough forms, pulsing occasionally and scraping sides. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work area and knead a few times into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes.

Place cookies close together on baking pans to bake. The cookies don’t need much space between them, as they don’t spread. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Turn cookies over, and return to oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes, until cookies are hard.  Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 100 1-inch cookies

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Shop the Sale: T-Bone Steaks with Compound Butter


If you’ve never had a sizzling T-bone steak covered with a dollop of savory, flavorful butter, you’ve been missing out.

At first glance, putting butter on a steak seems like overkill. After all, butter is for rolls and for baking, right?

Not anymore.

There are so many way to enhance the flavor of your steak with a few simple compound butters. Compound butter is easy to make and imparts flavor and juiceness to any steak or cut of meat. Basically you just mix ingredients into your softened butter. I like to use salted butter, but that’s your choice. You can mix almost anything into your compound butter. I’ve provided one simple recipe, but I like to use this as my base recipe and jazz it up with blue cheese or hot sauce or chopped jalapenos.

T-bone steaks, on sale this week at Brookshire’s, are already juicy and flavorful, thanks to the particular cut and to the bone. With a T-bone,  it’s almost like getting two for the price of one as the T-bone has both the strip steak and the tenderloin, separated by the bone. As meat closer to the bone tends to be juicer, this steak is already rich and full of flavor. The compound butter will, as Emeril says, “kick it up a notch.”

Grilled T-Bone Steaks with Compound Butter
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 large T-bone steak
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, diced
1 tsp dill
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:
Combine butter, garlic, rosemary, dill and lemon juice. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

Prepare a grill over high heat. Sear your steak on both sides, about 1 minute per side.

Reduce heat to medium. Continue to grill until steak reaches desired doneness.

Remove steak from the grill, let it rest at least five minutes befores slicing.

Place a tablespoon of butter on top of the steak right before serving. It will melt and add delicious flavor.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 1,006; Calories from Fat: 554; Total Fat: 62 g; Carbohydrates: 64g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 49 g

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Healthy Living: Back to School Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip


School has started and once again I face the annual challenge of reading, writing and arithmetic with my kids, plus the added test of providing them with a healthy, hearty lunch every day.

I don’t know if your kids are like mine, but they’d eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single day if I let them. Not that there’s anything wrong with peanut butter – it’s chock full of protein to keep their tummies full throughout the day, and it’s a good choice served on a whole grain bread – but honestly, I get bored making the same lunches day after day after day. I’ve started to swap out whole grain bread for whole grain pita pockets. The boys love ham and cheese in a pita pocket with mustard and they even make ‘mini’ pitas now so my boys don’t waste food (and there’s no crust on a pita so Luke can’t refuse to eat it!). They also like ‘mini meatball subs,’ meatballs and marinara with slices of provolone cheese in a whole grain bun. They don’t mind if they’re served cold. Sometimes we make our own “Lunchables” with whole grain crackers, slices of cheddar cheese and chunks of roasted chicken I have left over from a dinner.

Getting a serving of fruit or vegetables into a lunch box is one of the most important parts of the meal, to me. My boys love bananas, clementine’s, grapes, strawberries, carrot sticks with hummus and, of course, apples.

Last year I tried this delicious dip for apple slices, which soon became a big hit around our house – and in their lunch kits.

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
One serving is about two ounces of dip and 1/2 cup fresh fruit

Ingredients:
4 oz honey flavored Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbs honey (use local honey if possible – it’s said to reduce histamines which cause allergy flare-ups)
2 Tbs of peanut butter
2 oz fat-free cream cheese, softened

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Chill in the refrigerator for 15+ minutes or serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Information: Calories 145; Calories from Fat 86; Total Fat 10g; Cholesterol 17mg; Sodium 88mg; Total Carbohydrates 10g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 9g; Protein 6g

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Product Talk: Barbecue Seasoning


Last night I got home from work late, as it is more often than not these days. I didn’t want to cook anything, but I’d already eaten my way through all the leftovers I had from earlier in the week.

I stopped by Brookshire’s on my way home because I knew that I’d find something delicious in their prepared foods department. But I found myself wandering over to the butcher and meat counter to see what they had.

As always, they had a bounty of delicious looking, ready-to-cook meats. I saw one I didn’t know anything about, so I asked the very helpful gentleman behind the counter.

“Can you tell me about that one,” I said, pointing to a scrumptious looking roll of chicken and bacon.

“That,” he said, “Is the Chicken Tickler.”

I laughed. (Good name)

“It’s a butterflied boneless, skinless chicken breast, wrapped around a whole jalapeno pepper stuffed with cheese, and rolled up, covered in barbecue seasoning and then wrapped in bacon on the outside.”

I was sold.  But I’d never heard of barbecue seasoning. Sauce? Yes. Seasoning, not really.

McCormick’s Grill Mates indeed has a spice they call “Barbecue Seasoning.” The helpful gentleman behind the meat counter took me to correct aisle and showed me.

It’s a blend of  brown sugar, salt, tomato, garlic, onion, red bell peppers, parsley, paprika and hickory smoke.

Let me just tell you, it was delicious on the baked Chicken Tickler and I bought some to use to flavor all my meats when I grill them. It’s a brilliant way to season your meat before adding barbecue sauce at the end of the grilling process (if you add sauce too early, it will just burn). Found on the spice aisle, and on delicious ready-to-cook products on the meat counter, McCormick’s Grill Mates Barbecue Seasoning is sure to become one of my new favorites.



Dine-In: Birthdays and Sherbet


Birthday Sherbet PieMy older son, Will, does not have much of a sweet tooth – at all. In fact, the only dessert I ever hear him ask for is sherbet or sorbet. No cakes, cookies, cobblers or chocolate. It’s hard for someone like me to comprehend not enjoying chocolate every single day!

I think all of this just might go back to the fact that when I was expecting Will, the only sweet treat I craved was rainbow sherbet. I’m not kidding. I used to sit in the Baskin Robbins drive-thru, waiting impatiently for them to open so I could order my addiction: Rainbow Sherbet Freeze. There just might have been an occasion or two where I drank it in the line and made a u-turn back through for one more to go. I can’t imagine the amount of sugar I pumped through his and my body, but unless you’ve experienced a pregnancy craving, then I probably wouldn’t argue.

16 years have passed, and Will’s birthday is this week. It’s so hard to find a birthday dessert he enjoys – and that we will too! I created this recipe a few years ago as a way to just turn his sherbet request into something a bit more festive for his birthday. Of course, he doesn’t eat the crust, but the rest of us do!

It’s simple and you can change up the flavors of sherbet anyway you like. You can even take the easier road and purchase a ready-made graham cracker crust if you’re out of time. Just don’t forget the candles!

Enjoy!

Birthday Sherbet Pie
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 pint lime sherbet, softened
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 pint orange sherbet, softened
2 cups whipped cream topping
Optional Garnish: Additional graham cracker crumbs

Directions:
To make the crust, preheat oven to 350°F. Using a fork, combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray, and press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake 8 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

For the filling, divide each flavor of ice cream into thirds and layer, starting with lime sherbet. Top with vanilla ice cream, and then the orange sherbet. Freeze until hardened, about 2 hours. When ready to serve, slice and top with whipped cream topping and additional cracker crumbs if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories per serving: 402, Fat: 16.6 g, Sodium: 312 mg, Carbohydrates: 60.3 g, Protein: 4.3 g

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Tailgating At Home


With a husband and teenage son in the house who love football, most fall weekends are spent with the TV tuned into one game or another. And no, it cannot just be the two of them watching the game; both of them like to have friends over to watch the game — the more people the better!

With all these guys over every weekend, I need something hardy in the kitchen for them to eat. One of my favorite recipes and theirs too is a slow cooker vegetable soup. This soup is super easy to make and everyone can help, even the young kids can get in the kitchen and help out too.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:
1 Lb ground beef or breakfast sausage
1 family size pkg of frozen soup vegetables
1 can diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) box vegetable broth
1 bunch green onions
3 cups water
Salt to taste

Directions:
Brown ground beef or sausage and drain. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours or on high for four hours.



Shop the Sale: Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers


I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the fall.

Cooler, crisp weather. Football games. Leaves crinkling underfoot. Delicious aromas wafting through the house after a day spent outside hiking.

This recipe reminds me exactly of that.

I love using ground turkey in slow cooked dishes. It stays a bit more tender than ground beef and positively melts in your mouth after a day in the slow cooker. The fall-colored peppers are even on sale this week, so you can stock up and freeze extras for another day.

Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers (for the slow cooker)
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 hothouse grown bell peppers (red, gold or orange) tops removed and seeded
1/2 cup brown rice
20 oz lean ground turkey
1/2 cup black beans
1 cup flash frozen corn kernels
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs cumin
28 oz canned tomatoes, divided and crushed

Directions:
Remove tops from bell peppers, core and seed.  Cook rice according to package directions. Let cool slightly.  Combine turkey, beans, rice, corn, garlic and cumin. Mix with about 3/4 cup of the tomatoes. Stuff turkey mixture into peppers (you’ll probably have a bit extra). Place peppers in slow cooker. Top with rest of tomatoes. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 614; Calories from fat: 189; Total Fat: 21 g; Cholesterol: 145 mg; Sodium: 172 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 57 g; Dietary Fiber: 11 g; Sugars: 12 g; Protein: 50 g



Healthy Living: Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki


I just returned from my annual beach vacation to Virginia.

Not born, but bred in the capital of the confederacy, I return to my home state every summer with my boys to meet my entire family at Sandbridge Beach, just south of Virginia Beach.

I have four siblings. They have spouses. They have children. It’s a week of carefully (and sometimes not –so-carefully) controlled chaos in our beach house. Chaotic, but completely glorious.

Needless to say, mealtimes can be one of the most trying times of the day. Each sibling – and my parents – take a night to cook dinner for the entire crew.  “What’s for dinner?” is often the most-asked question of the day. The meals are magnificent!

This year, my mom made chicken souvlaki with tzatziki. A Greek dish, souvlaki is simply a skewered and grilled meat. Mom used chicken in order to appeal to the large crowd. Tzatziki makes the dish, in my opinion. Made with Greek yogurt, the light, refreshing tzatziki sauce packs a powerful punch on the grilled chicken and elevates it from a meal to an experience. Sitting on the deck of the beach house, I was instantly transported across the ocean.

Everyone loved this dish. Greek  yogurt has substantially more protein than standard American yogurt. A 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt, contains a full 15 grams of protein. Additional protein can help you to feel full and satisfied. A 6-ounce serving also provides 20 percent of your daily calcium needs.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 seedless cucumber, finely diced
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients except chicken, place them in a sealed container and let flavors blend for a few hours. Skewer the meat, and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Serve with sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories 198; Calories from Fat 37; Total Fat 4g; Sodium 232mg; Total Carbohydrates 3g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 1g; Protein 36g



Product Talk: Back-to-School Healthier Pancakes


You don’t automatically think of pancakes as one of our healthier breakfast choices, but think again! These fruity, nutty pancakes are packed with flavor – and nutrition. We played around in the kitchen until we came up with the perfect combination of oats and whole-wheat flour to give your morning a delicious start, not to mention extra fiber and heart health!

So why the whole-wheat flour? Changing from white to whole-wheat adds extra wholesomeness and whole grains to your daily diet, something we all need to do for better digestive and heart health.

And the good news, these are kid-friendly. Adding bananas and berries to the batter make each bite sweet and tangy. If your kids don’t like the texture of the oats, simply process them in your blender or food processor for about 30 seconds before mixing with the flour.

Back-to-School Healthier Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 cup fat-free milk
1 egg or egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:
Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to medium heat. In a bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, oats, almonds, baking powder and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix mashed bananas with milk, egg (or substitute) and vanilla extract. Combine with dry ingredients, and stir until smooth. Gently fold in berries. Spray heated griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into skillet, about ¼ cup at a time. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping when bubbles start to form.

Nutritional Information: Per Serving (2 pancakes): Calories: 330; Fat: 8 g; Carbohydrates: 57 g; Fiber: 8 g; Protein: 11 g



Copyright © 2010-2017, 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.

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