share. The Brookshire's Blog

Shop the Sale: For the Love of Strawberry Shortcake


When I was in second grade, I had a huge crush on one of my older brother’s friends. Let’s just call him Jack and hope this blog doesn’t make it all the way home to Mississippi.

Jack was in sixth grade, and although I was 8 and he was 12, the age difference didn’t seem to faze me. I can clearly remember thinking through that my parents were five years apart and it seemed to be working well, so what’s the harm in four?

Jack had been in our home countless times, and all I knew was I liked him. A lot.

One Saturday, I painted Jack a Strawberry Shortcake paint-by-number picture – not the shortcake dessert, but the little doll we all played with back in the 1970s (along with Holly Hobbie).

Our school was small enough where first through sixth grades were all on the same campus, and all weekend I thought of different schemes to get the painting to him at school Monday morning. The best plan I could come up with was to hide the painting between my piano books and make a quick stop in sixth grade on the way to my Monday music lesson.

The moment came to go big or go home, and sure enough I ran to the sixth grade, knocked on the door, and asked for Jack. My mouth was completely dry, and my heart was pounding out of my little body when he came to the door.

I shoved the painting at him and ran. Not a word.

Here’s the best part. When my brother got home from school that day, he didn’t tease me at all. He just sweetly said, “Jack says thank you for the picture.” And a few weeks later at my brother’s skating party, Jack asked me to skate when it came time for the boys to ask the girls.

These are moments a girl never forgets.

So in honor of one of my sweetest early memories – and a boy and brother who were nothing but kind when they could have teased me for years – I think it’s just the right time to make a strawberry shortcake and celebrate the innocence of young sweet love.

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

Biscuits:
2 1/3 cups baking mix
3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup Food Club whole or low-fat milk
3 Tbs sugar plus more for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Using a wooden spoon, stir baking mix, melted butter, milk, and sugar in a mixing bowl until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 large spoonful’s on to a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Berries:
2 pints of fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced thinly
1/2 cup sugar

Directions:
Place berries and sugar in a large bowl. Mix gently to combine. Set aside to allow berries to soften and juices to form. If you like, you can use the back of a fork to slightly mash berries.

Whipped Cream
Ingredients:
3 cups whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs sugar

Directions:
For the whipped cream, place cream, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip until soft peaks form. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

To serve, slice each biscuit in half. Place bottom of biscuit on a dessert plate. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and the top half of the biscuit.



Healthy Living: Spring Allergies


Spring has sprung and so has allergy season!  Unfortunately this beautiful time of year is also the time for runny noses, watery eyes and lots of sneezing. But your allergies don’t have to keep you from enjoying your daily life. Follow these helpful tips to help fight off your spring allergies and enjoy the great outdoors!

Keep pollen under control- Pollen is easily tracked inside your home, so it’s a good idea to wash your bed’s sheets weekly in hot water. And after a long day of working in the yard or spending family time outside, take a shower and wash your hair as soon as you come inside.

Keep your indoor air free from the outdoors- It is tempting to open all the windows in my house on these gorgeous spring days, but for allergy sufferers, it’s best to keep all the windows closed during pollen season. Spring breezes carry pollen through the air…and the cleaner you keep your air, the clearer your eyes!

Talk to our pharmacists about taking allergy medicine- You don’t have to suffer through spring. There are lots of remedies and reliefs available now – from over-the-counter nasal saline rinses to antihistamines and decongestants. It can be confusing to decide which allergy medication is best for you or your children, so you are always welcome to stop by one of our Brookshire’s pharmacies to talk with one of our pharmacists and find just what you need.

Don’t let allergies take you away from enjoying your favorite springtime outdoor activities. By following a few easy steps, you can say goodbye to your sneezes and watery eyes and welcome this beautiful season with open arms!

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: New fresh-made pizza


Another Monday. Back to work, back to school, back to trying to figure out what the heck to feed the family tonight.

Can’t help you with the first two, but I’ve got dinner tonight covered: Introducing our new, take-and-bake Colossal Pizzas.

In family-friendly cheese and pepperoni flavors, these new ready-to-bake pizzas are truly family-sized.

Each oversized pizza can serve up to 8 hungry people – for just $6.99!

These super-sized pizzas are hand-crafted in our store delis, with plenty of toppings on a traditional pan-style crust. (I describe it as a hybrid; it’s not quite as thick as a Chicago-style pan pizza, but thicker than a New York pie.) They bake up hot and fresh in your own oven in about 18-25 minutes. Or, plan ahead, and buy one today for a no-fuss dinner later in the week. (They also freeze well)

Today is the first day these new pizzas will be available in our delis; look for them in the refrigerated deli case in your neighborhood store. And starting Wednesday, you can get an extra-sweet dinner deal: Buy one Colossal Pizza, get a Digiorno Parmesan or Asiago cup for only 99 cents. (That’s a savings of $3.)

So, OK, it’s still Monday. But with dinner plans made, you have one less thing to worry about today.



Dine-In Friday: Dr. Pepper-Marinated Flank Steak Nachos


I’m not a sports fan unless someone I love is playing in the game. This limits me to my sons’ school events and a lot of t-ball and church-sponsored basketball, which just might be the best of all there is to see. When the idea of getting a snowcone is more important than running up the score, I definitely become a big fan. 

But the reality is I live in a house with three sports nuts and ESPN is our home’s background soundtrack a lot of the time. And try as a might, the only time ESPN interests me is when they get up close and personal with the players, telling us their favorite foods, where they volunteer, and how they fell in love with their wife of 35 years and spend all their free time with their 2.5 shiny children.  

On a side note, ESPN is missing out on a huge opportunity to reach a larger audience by not having a sports show from a sappy woman’s point of view. Just saying. 

Right now we’re in the throes of the basketball championships, and our TV is on 24/7 getting ready for the Final Four. There’s no game on tonight, but it doesn’t matter.  We’ll be home watching because the sports channels are as good as the political pundits when it comes to filling hours upon hours with color commentary. 

I may not watch the game, but I am definitely in charge of concessions – which is a huge job in a house of teenage sons. Tonight, I’m making these flank steak nachos marinated in Dr. Pepper.  

Dr. Pepper was created in Waco, Texas, which just happens to be home to a women’s team I do love. Sic ‘em! 

Dr. Pepper-Marinated Flank Steak Nachos 

Ingredients:
1 lb flank steak
1 (24 oz) Dr. Pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
Large, flat corn chips
2 cans refried black beans
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups shredded cheese
Garnishes: Sour cream, jalapenos, salsa, guacamole

Directions:
Combine flank steak and Dr. Pepper or Coca-Cola in a large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate at least 6 hours.

When you’re ready to make the nachos, heat your grill to high. Combine salt, brown sugar and black pepper. Remove steak from marinade, and rub spices into steak. Grill steak 3-4 minutes on each side until medium-rare. Do not overcook. Let steak rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain into ½-inch wide strips and again into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Place corn chips on cookie sheet in one layer. Combine black beans with cumin. Spread small amount of black beans over each chip. Sprinkle cheese over chips. Top with flank steak. Bake 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove and serve with sour cream, jalapenos, salsa and guacamole.



Family Matters: Self-serve parfait bar


For birthday parties or a special after-school treat, kids love the fun of a make-it-yourself sundae bar. So why not steal the idea, but give it a healthier twist – and create a self-serve parfait bar. (After all, as Donkey famously said in the first Shrek, everybody loves parfaits!)

Grade-school kids can make these themselves, with a little supervision and prep work from you, and even younger kids can choose what toppings they want. You can make this work with just about any kind of non-citrus fruit, but berries, peaches and bananas seem to work the best. We’ve listed some treat ideas for toppings, but use your imagination. To keep it healthier, offer only a small amount of things like chocolate chips, and make sure there are plenty of better choices such as nuts and seeds.

For a shortcut, you can use pre-sweetened vanilla yogurt or honey yogurt, but I prefer plain. That way, you can control the amount and type of sweetener used.

Do-it-yourself yogurt parfait
Makes 2 parfaits

Ingredients:
1 cup nonfat plain or Greek yogurt
2 Tbs honey or agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sliced fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches, pineapple)
1/3 cup granola

Directions:
Additional toppings, such as toasted coconut, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate shavings, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts

Combine yogurt, honey or agave nectar, and vanilla.

In an ice-cream sundae glass, or a medium-size clear plastic cup, place a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt. Layer with about one-quarter cup of fruit and a spoonful of granola. Repeat layers of yogurt, fruit and granola, ending with one small dollop of yogurt. Repeat to make second parfait.

Let each guest add choice of toppings. Serve immediately.

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Posted in: Family Matters


Shop the sale: A craving for Crawfish


One of my favorite ways to cook outdoors is not on the grill; it’s in a huge black kettle that hangs from a wooden frame my father built in the back yard.

I know people now use fancy stainless steel electric pots for this kind of outdoor cooking, but I just don’t think you get the same flavors as you do from a cast-iron pot that’s been seasoned over the years with the weather and all kinds of magic from your spice collection. And I guess I should mention my father used a shovel to stir the huge pot all afternoon over a steady fire.  I imagine that long-handled shovel had to have added some unique flavors to his famous shrimp and crawfish boils.

My parents taught the young married class at church for as many years as I can remember, and a crawfish boil was one way they entertained those young couples every spring.  It was the perfect, laid-back party. Eating outside on newspapers with juice dripping down your face was a surefire way to put guests at ease and set a comfortable mood for people to relax and enjoy themselves.

We would always have leftovers, and sometimes my mother would make delicious crawfish pies and frittatas. This quick, easy pasta dish reminds me of a recipe she used to throw together, and it makes for a fast weeknight dinner idea. All you need is a green salad and some crusty sourdough bread and you’re good to go. And if you don’t have any crawfish, shrimp works just fine too.

Enjoy!

Spicy Crawfish Linguine

Ingredients:
1 lb linguine, cooked to al dente and set aside
2 Tbs olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb crawfish tails, peeled and boiled
1 (10 oz) can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1 (16 oz) jar Classico Alfredo or Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce
1 Tbs chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:
In a large skillet with sides, heat olive oil to medium heat and sauté green onions and garlic until softened but not browned. Add crawfish and tomatoes and continue cooking for two minutes to heat through. Add Alfredo sauce and stir until combined. Add pasta, and toss well. Continue cooking on low for 8 minutes, allowing sauce to thicken just a bit. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.



Healthy Living: New Nutrition Labels


Have you ever wondered how much saturated fat is in your ground beef?  Or which has more protein_ ground chicken or ground turkey?

Until recently, if you wanted to answer these questions you had to dig in and do your own research. But now all you have to do is pick up a package at the grocery store.

For decades, virtually all packaged foods sold in the U.S. have been required to have a nutrition label, indicating ingredients and content of fat, protein, fiber and nutrients. This is due to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. Restaurant meals and some fresh foods were exempted.

But now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made it mandatory that 40 of the most popular cuts of meat also include a nutrition label on the package or the package display.

The label will allow you to pick meat based on the amount of calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, protein, sodium and iron. It will also serve as a reminder for the proper serving size of meat.

The most important part of the nutrition label is not how much fat is in the product or how many calories it has – it’s the serving size. The serving size lets you how much of a product you can have for x amount of calories. Many of us forget a serving of meat is only 4 ounces. Seeing the numbers will allow you to see how important that serving size is for weight management.

The part of the label that really helps open my eyes is seeing the % Daily Value. Let’s take a look at 80% lean ground beef’s nutrition facts panel.  There are 9 grams of saturated fat in a serving. Not so bad, right? Well,  if you slide your finger over you will see that is 43% of the daily value of saturated fat you can have during a single day, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Seeing the % Daily Value really opens your eyes to what you are eating.

Now there is no need to guess how many calories are in your meat. You can look at the labels right in the store to make an informative choice for your family.



Product talk: Tomatillos


Tomatillos may look like they’re just little green tomatoes, but that’s not exactly correct. They come from the same family as tomatoes, and their name means “little tomato” in Spanish, but tomatillos have a quite different texture and flavor from a standard-issue tomato. They’re tarter, more acidic, with almost a citrusy taste that you will recognize from some of your favorite Mexican dishes, like enchiladas verdes.

Once available mostly in specialty markets and in Texas, tomatillos are now pretty widely available throughout the U.S., as our taste for authentic Mexican cuisine has grown. (The CDC has even named them veggie of the month for April, through an education program that encourages people to add new and interesting vegetables to their diet.)

Even if you’ve never bought fresh tomatillos, you’ve almost certainly eaten them. They are a main ingredient in green salsas, and their tart, bright flavor goes especially well with sour cream, cheese, tortillas and other creamy or blander foods that cut their acidity. And like tomatoes, they are low in calories and high in nutrition – a whole cup of fresh tomatillos is just 40 calories, but provides 30 percent of your day’s Vitamin C.

To select fresh tomatillos, look for those that are firm to the touch and still have a light brown, fresh, papery husk attached. If the husk is shriveled or looks dry or crumbly, the tomatillo may be past its prime. You will need to remove the husk before using, but if you are storing them for a few days, leave the husk on, and keep them on the counter or in the fridge’s vegetable drawer.

This is a classic tomatillo salsa. Serve it alone with chips or as a taco or burrito sauce. Or you can cut it with sour cream and use it in place of your favorite enchilada sauce for green chicken enchiladas.

Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients:
6 cups tomatillos, whole (about two pounds)
3 cups onions, roughly chopped (about 1.5 pounds)
3 jalapeno peppers, whole
6 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Place tomatillos, onions, jalapenos and garlic in a large pot with enough water to cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Drain and place on a sheet pan and put in refrigerator to cool.

When mixture has cooled, place in blender along with cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper, and pulse to combine. Slowly add lime juice, a little bit at a time, until the desired acidity level is reached.  Taste and add additional salt if desired.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine-In: Pan-seared scallops


If you watch many of those TV cooking competitions, like Top Chef, you know that when the stakes are high and the chefs need to turn out something glamorous, they’re likely to pick one ingredient:  Scallops.

I understand why. Scallops are super-easy and super-fast to cook. (It takes less than five minutes to sear one perfectly.)  And especially as seafood goes, they appeal to lots of people. Cooked correctly, they have a silky but meaty texture and a very mild flavor that goes with everything.

It’s easy to dress up sea scallops, by drizzling them with a fancy sauce or resting them on a bed of risotto or polenta. But, like many things, I think they’re best when you keep it simple. You can add an herb-butter sauce to this classic dish, but I like them best just served right from the pan, with a squeeze of lemon.

Pan-seared scallops
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, 10 to20 per pound
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:
To prepare scallops, remove small side abductor muscle; it should tear off easily with your fingers. Rinse with cold water, making sure to remove any grit, and pat dry with a paper towel.

Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of scallops in single layer, flat-side down, and cook, without moving, until well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Using tongs, flip scallops; continue to cook, using large spoon to baste scallops with melted butter (tilt skillet so butter runs to one side) until sides of scallops are firm and centers are opaque, 30 to 90 seconds longer (remove smaller scallops as they finish cooking).

Transfer scallops to large plate and tent loosely with foil. Wipe out skillet with wad of paper towels and repeat cooking with remaining oil, scallops, and butter. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Only Use Car for Emergency


The other weekend, my husband and I went out of town with some friends to hear Mat Kearney in concert at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas.

We had been planning the night away for months, which meant we had also painstakingly arranged for our boys to stay with friends while we were gone.

But as the date approached, our 15-year-old son decided he was old enough to stay home alone, and thus began his campaign to convince us that he indeed could handle any possible problem that could come his way.

I now know he is destined to be an attorney, God help him. I’ve never heard any trained lawyer more eloquently or determinedly develop a rational argument to explain why his or her side is the right one.

If only all attorneys approached their work with such determination and passion!

Well, either way, he wore us down. By Friday he convinced his father and I that he was up to the task. We decided this was one of those moments we needed to listen to him and give him an opportunity to be responsible. We didn’t tell him that we had every neighbor in a three-mile radius checking on him and checking in with us all night long.

I should also tell you we have a 100-pound German Shepherd who would kill anyone who tried to enter our home unannounced. So, all in all, we thought we were good to go.

Apparently, our 13-year-old son stopped in that night to get a change of clothes while the older one was still at baseball practice. When we got home the next morning, we found this note from the younger to the older on the kitchen counter:

ONLY USE CAR FOR EMERGENCY
(NO POT OR BEER OR GIRLS)

And here all this time I was worried they would simply forget to brush their teeth and say their prayers.

All joking aside, my boys are great, and I don’t have to worry about these things in their lives just yet. But it’s a much harder world than when I was their age, so I think I will choose to be grateful for each day with no pot…or beer…or girls.

Parents are Gone Pepperoni Bread
(OK, you know as well as I do he ordered Domino’s. If I were home, we would have this homemade!)

Ingredients:
12 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls or 1 Loaf Rhodes™ Bread Dough, thawed & risen
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 ounces sliced pepperoni
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Roll loaf or combined dinner rolls into a 12×18-inch rectangle. Combine butter with seasonings. Brush mixture on dough, reserving a small amount to brush on top later. Arrange pepperoni on top of seasoning mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly roll style. Tuck ends under and place, seam side down, on a large sprayed baking sheet. Using a sharp serrated knife cut several vents in the top. Brush with reserved seasoning mixture. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes.



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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

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