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Family Matters: Cold-weather flea protection


True or false: Pet owners don’t need to worry about fleas in the winter.

False! While this may have once been commonly accepted, we now know that fleas can and do survive in colder weather – especially indoors, and especially in the milder climates of the southern U.S.

In fact, fleas may even be a bigger threat in the cooler months, as many pet owners slack off on the preventative measures for dogs and cats in the fall and winter – meaning more fleas are breeding and just itching to get into your home and onto your pet.

So, to keep fleas at bay, veterinarians and pet experts advise that pet owners treat their four-legged friends all year long. Otherwise, you’ll risk flea infestations, which can lead to more than just nasty little fleas on the carpet and annoying flea bites. Flea bites can cause allergies, infections, and skin disorders. They can also spread tapeworms, tularemia (a disease spread by fleas and ticks that causes headache, fever, and fatigue), and even Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a potentially fatal illness that can affect both dogs and humans.

These flea-prevention tips are courtesy our friends at Sergeant’s, which makes many effective flea- and tick-control products for pet and home.

Prevention goes a long way: Follow your veterinarian’s advice and treat every pet in your household every month, all year long. If you keep fleas from getting a foothold in your home in the first place, you won’t have the more-difficult task of getting rid of them later.

Treat each pet monthly – preferably on the same date so you don’t forget a dose. Bathe your pet to remove dirt and as a first step in treating flea or tick infestations. A flea comb removes flea dirt (flea feces) and dead fleas.

Treat the home, too. Regularly wash pet bedding. If you have or suspect an infestation, wash pet bedding again, then vacuum carpets, and treat your home with a household spray, powder or fogger.

Don’t forget the yard. Spray your yard and your home’s foundation, to kill fleas lurking outside.

Use an effective anti-flea treatment. Squeeze-on, topical treatments are easy to use and very well tolerated by pets. You can now purchase topical treatments at grocery stores and other retailers, eliminating an extra trip to the veterinarian’s office. For instance, Sergeant’s™ Flea and Tick Squeeze-On protects pets against adult fleas and ticks and prevents eggs and larvae from developing into adults. It contains Bitrex, a bittering agent, to help prevent ingestion. Sergeant’s Evolve™ Flea and Tick Squeeze-On is specifically formulated for the weight of your pet, both in dosage and active ingredients. It not only protects against adult fleas, but also prevents infestation and protects against flea eggs and larvae for up to nine weeks.



Buttermilk Biscuits


Buttermilk Biscuits
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 10

Ingredients:
2 cups Food Club All-Purpose Flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Food Club Salt
3 tsp Food Club Sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
2/3 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix well. Cut butter into mixture, until dough is crumbly and pale yellow. Make a well in dough and pour in buttermilk; mix well.

On a floured surface roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. With a round cookie cutter or glass cut dough into 2-inch circles. Combine remaining dough and cut more biscuits. Place biscuits on baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Serve with butter and honey.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 186, Fat: 10 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 317 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3 g

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

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Posted in: Cooking


Healthy Living: NuVal News


One of the great things about NuVal, the at-a-glance system for figuring out a food’s nutritional value, is that the NuVal people constantly update their information. So, as products change their formulation, and new products enter the market, you can be sure you are getting new, current information about the foods you are feeding your family. In the NuVal system, food gets a score from 1 to 100. The higher the score, the better the overall nutrition of that product.

Each month, I receive a report with changes in NuVal scores. Scores can go up or down depending on how a product has been reformulated. With the addition of fiber or the removal of trans fats the score can increase. If fiber is removed or sugar is added the score can decrease.

I am always pleased to see how manufactures strive to have a more nutritious product and sad when one of my favorite product’s score has declined. Here are a few items that have recently had a score change.

  • Dannon Strawberry, Blueberry and Vanilla Greek Yogurt all had a score increase due to the fortification of Vitamin D. Fortification is adding a micronutrient (like vitamins and minerals) to a product that was not there before. Dannon Strawberry Greek Yogurt went from a 27 to a 43, blueberry went from 28 to a 40, and vanilla went from a 28 to a 38.
  • Dole Fruit Cups had the syrup in the product replaced with 100% juice. Diced pears went from a score of 5 to a 24, cherry mixed fruit went from a 6 to a 24 and mandarin oranges went from a 7 to a 23.
  • Kellogg Peaches and Berries Special K Bars had a score increase from a 3 to a 24. The product’s reformulation resulted in more fiber and less sugar and trans fat.
  • The Taco Bell Dinner Kit had the removal of partially hydrogenated soybean oil, a trans fat, resulting in a score increase from 8 to 20.

If you have any questions about NuVal or why a scored changed feel free to e-mail me at askbrooke@brookshires.com .



Product Talk: New Charter Reserve deli meats


Coming this week to selected stores: Great new choices in deli meats.

We are introducing Charter Reserve, a line of premium deli meats, giving you 18 new flavors of deli turkey, ham, beef and chicken to try.

Charter Reserve is high-quality, all-natural meat – providing great taste at affordable prices. But even though it’s budget friendly, they do not skimp on the quality or the preparation:

  •  This is whole-muscle meat, with no binders or fillers.
  •  No MSG or trans fats.
  •  Every variety is gluten-free.
  •  They’re all oven-roasted, and seasoned with fine ingredients and spices.
  •  Several varieties are even certified by the American Heart Association, meaning they meet the association’s guidelines for heart-healthy food.

No matter your deli meat of choice, Charter Reserve probably offers it. The line includes seven kinds of turkey (including cracked pepper, mesquite roasted, and honey-baked) and five kinds of ham (brown sugar, Virginia ham and Black Forest among them.) It also includes four kinds of choice Angus beef and two flavors of roasted chicken.

Charter Reserve should be arriving in selected stores with delis this week. Don’t be shy – ask for a taste!



Dine-In: German Beef Rolls


A lot of people think that German food is just schnitzel, sausage and beer.  But there’s so much more to it than that. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite German dishes, beef rouladen.

Rouladen is a very traditional dish of thinly sliced beef, rolled around a filling of bacon, onions, pickles and hearty German mustard, and slowly braised until it is tender. After the beef is cooked, you make a nice thick gravy, and serve that over the rouladen.

Because it uses inexpensive cuts of beef, this was originally a workingman’s dish. But now, it is popular throughout Germany, and in fact, you usually see it at holidays, festivals or in restaurants. Over there, beer or wine is often added to the beef stock to bring out a richer flavor.

To make it really traditional, you should serve it with cooked red cabbage and either spatzle (a type of German egg noodle), potato dumplings, or boiled potatoes. But it is also good with mashed potatoes and roasted winter vegetables, like squash, Brussels sprouts or carrots. 

Rouladen
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. flank steak
1/2 lb. thick-sliced bacon
2 large onions, sliced
10 German pickles (Gundelsheim is the best) sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup German mustard
2 tsp corn starch

Directions:
Cut the flank steak into thin filets; about 1/4” thick and 3 inches wide.

Generously spread one side of each filet with mustard to taste. Place bacon, onions and pickle slices on each filet and form into a roll. Use string or toothpicks to hold the roll together.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Place the rolls in the butter and sauté until browned.

Once browned, pour broth over rolls, cover and simmer for an hour or until tender. When beef is tender, remove from skillet and keep warm.

Place corn starch in small mixing bowl and add enough water to make a slurry. Be sure to dissolve corn starch well for a smooth sauce. Add this mixture to the skillet and bring to boil. Once sauce is thickened, return rouladen to pan, cover with sauce and serve.



Family Matters: Refocus on the Holidays


The holidays are fast approaching and with the weight of the economy, many people are struggling with family, finances and job situations.  Sometimes we get overwhelmed with things that matter only to the outside world and lose focus of what is really important for our family.

Make this holiday season a time to refocus on your kids and family:

1. Plan holiday meals and let your children help prepare the food.  Kids love to cook but a lot of times not given the opportunity to learn especially during the holidays when “everything has to be perfect”.  The perfect meal is one prepared by the entire family…when everyone is involved there is love, laughter and memories being made.  Yes, the kitchen will probably be a mess after you all get through, but is that what really matters?  Don’t let these times pass without enjoying your family to the fullest and teaching your kids the importance of working together to make something special.  Teaching your child to cook is a life lesson in more ways than one.

2. Sit and talk to your children about making gifts this holiday season for family and friends instead of purchasing them. Something made, you will find is priceless to the ones receiving it…the thought counts for so much more than the amount of money spent.  There are so many great things you can work together as a family to make that will be treasured for years to come by those receiving them (or enjoyed immediately if eaten).  Part of the fun of working together, as a family, is figuring out just the right item(s) you can make. You will find that making special gifts will require lots of “together time” as a family…a wonderful added benefit!

3. Find a family who might be struggling this holiday season, purchase food items from Brookshire’s and prepare a meal and deliver to them. One warm meal can make a difference; just ask someone who has had to do without one.  The cost is not much…the return is invaluable.  Teach your children the true joy of giving…it is the small things that make the largest impact in someone life.  Let your family be a blessing to someone else this holiday season.

Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with your family!



Meet the Cheese Maker: Alessandro Cubeddu


 Presenting the cheese of the month along with recipes.

Cheese making is more than a science; it is an art form requiring the experience, education and passion of a skilled craftsman.

Alessandro Cubeddu’s journey began in the lush hills of Sardinia, Italy where his family has been making handcrafted Pecorino Romano cheese using time honored methods for over 30 years.

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Posted in: Cooking


Shop the Sale: Texas grapefruit


Everything is bigger and better in Texas – even the grapefruit.

I’m talking of course, about Texas Rio Star grapefruit, which are just now coming into their peak season, and which you’ll find on sale starting today at Brookshire’s.

To me, Rio Star grapefruit are just better than other kinds out there. The deep-red flesh is sweeter and juicier than the typical pink or white grapefruit from other parts of the country. Much of that is because these grapefruit have been bred to have a high sugar-to-acid ratio, but it also is due to the way they are handled. They are allowed to ripen on the trees down in south Texas, and then picked at peak freshness and rushed to the store.

You probably eat grapefruit by themselves, or maybe squeezed into juice, but this Vietnamese-inspired salad is a really interesting fusion of sweet, spicy, savory and tart, all in one refreshing salad.

Fish sauce and chili sambal are available in the Asian section in many larger stores. You can substitute the more common Sriracha sauce (commonly known as rooster sauce) for the chili sambal, but it will not be quite as hot. You can skip the fish sauce entirely, if you want, but the salad won’t be as complex or interesting without it.  If you skip the fish sauce, you may need to add a bit of salt to taste, as fish sauce is quite salty.

Vietnamese Style Grapefruit Salad
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 large grapefruit
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 medium size carrot, cut into matchsticks
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped, roasted peanuts

Dressing
2 Tbs Fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbs lime juice, fresh-squeezed
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp chili sambal

Directions:
Section and clean grapefruits.

In a large bowl, toss cucumber strips with salt. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the salt to draw out excess water.

Mix together the ingredients for the dressing.

Place a small sauté pan on medium high heat and cook the shallots and garlic until shallots are caramelized, about 3 minutes, don’t burn.

Drain any excess water from cucumber and mix with carrots, caramelized shallots and garlic.

Add the mint, chopped peanuts, and dressing and toss well. Transfer to a plate or large bowl and serve.



Healthy Living: Better brushing, better teeth


You’ve been brushing your teeth since you could hold a toothbrush. But, unfortunately, for many of us, practice hasn’t made perfect: The American Dental Hygienists’ Association estimates that 75 percent of adults have some form of periodontal disease.

National Dental Hygiene Month, which is observed annually in October, has just concluded. And with your house probably full of Halloween candy this week, there’s no better time than now to, ahem, brush up on your brushing habits. Make sure you’re following current recommendations from dental health experts:

  • You don’t need a fancy electric toothbrush. An inexpensive one does the job just fine – as long as it has soft, rounded, nylon bristles. Harder bristles can damage teeth and gums.
  • Brushing properly takes time – at least two minutes! Most adults don’t brush that long. Take a timer into the bathroom and test yourself. Keep using the timer until you recognize what two minutes feels like, and you’ve retrained yourself to brush for the proper length of time.
  • Yes, you need to floss, too. Flossing daily helps eliminate dental plaque, which builds up between teeth, eating away at tooth enamel and irritating your gums. If you hate flossing or find it awkward, buy a floss holder, or use dental “picks” or flossers, little disposable plastic holders pre-strung with a little floss.
  • Flouride toothpastes are recommended for both adults and children by the American Dental Association. Flouride is recommended by most dentists because it both removes plaque and strengthens enamel, decreasing the risk of cavities and helping people retain their permanent teeth.
  • Replace your toothbrush at least every three months. Not only do the bristles wear out and become less effective, but old brushes can harbor bacteria that cause colds, flus or cold sores.

Over time, poor oral hygiene can lead to a host of problems – from cavities to gingivitis (gum inflammation) to other more painful and chronic diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums. Recent studies have even suggested that periodontal disease may even be linked to heart disease, though the connection requires much more study.

So pick up that brush!

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Dried beans, simplified


Dried beans, simplifiedExcept for the whole time and convenience thing, dried beans are so much better than canned beans, in so many ways. They’re cheaper, they taste richer and more flavorful, and you can better control the fat and, especially, the sodium content.

Of course, the time and convenience thing is pretty big. Not everybody thinks ahead enough so they have time to soak beans overnight and then cook them a few hours too. But what if I told you something big about dried beans – that you don’t have to soak them first?

Yes, I know that goes against pretty much everything you have probably been told about beans, and what you and your family have probably been doing for years. But it’s true. It’s what cooks do in many other countries, including Mexico. And more American cooks are finally coming around to this idea.

The main idea behind soaking dried beans was to diminish cooking time. But newer varieties of beans have been bred to absorb water more quickly, so they cook more quickly anyway. Additionally, some cooking experts say that soaking beans strips them of some of the flavor.

So you can take the beans straight from the bag into the pot, and they’ll still be done in a couple of hours.

I’ve cooked dried beans – pintos, black beans, navy beans, you name it – both ways, with soaking and without. And really, about the only time soaking seems to make a difference is when the beans were old, and had been sitting in the back of the pantry for a year or two. (Actually, if dried beans don’t ever get soft enough to eat, that’s probably the problem, not your cooking technique; your beans were probably old.)

The other thing you ought to try with dried beans? Don’t wait to salt them till the end. Again, that’s what most of us have been trained to do, believing that if you salt them earlier, they’ll never soften. However, again, I have found that not to be true. Try adding salt mid-way or three-quarters through the cooking time. That way the beans, not just the broth, get well-seasoned.

 



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.

Healthy Living

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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