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Family Matters: Traveling With Baby


My older son, Curt, was about five months old on Memorial Day weekend 2002. His dad and I thought it would be a great idea to rent a beach house on the Bolivar Peninsula for the holiday weekend and enjoy our first trip as a small family.

We opted for a beachfront cabin, not right in the thick of things so we could enjoy some quiet, but not too far out that we couldn’t get to the convenience store easily, either. This proved to be quite a serendipitous choice. This was the first time we’d be away from home with our son. Overnights to see his grandparents in Houston didn’t really count – their house was already stocked with a crib, swing, bouncy seat, diapers and a lot of the things we’d need for a long weekend with a baby.

I never realized how much it takes to get one small baby to the beach for three days.

First of all, we needed the portable play yard – and several changes of sheets to keep the sand off – for him to sleep in. We loaded the jogging stroller into the back of the SUV thinking it would be easy to transport him over to the sand with the big wheels (we were right – the jogging stroller with its sun shade was a lifesaver on the beach). It also came in handy to lull him to sleep on long walks along the ocean so one of us didn’t have to leave the beach during his naptimes.

Then there was the beach bag. And the baby beach bag. Diapers. Swim diapers. Hats. Suntan lotion in 19 different baby varieties. Baby powder (very helpful for getting sand off of mom and baby!). Pacifier. Baby sunglasses. Water. Baby wipes. Toys. And the list goes on and on, seemingly interminable.

We found ourselves running to the convenience store for things we’d forgotten, paying so much more than if we’d shopped at our local Brookshire’s before we left home.

So here’s a checklist of things you might need to travel with baby this summer, or any time.

• Car seat
• Stroller
• Portable highchair
• Portable crib
• First aid kit
• 1-2 outfits for baby per day
• Bibs and burp cloths
• Extra shirt for mom and dad in case baby has a blowout
• Toys and books
• Baby’s lovie
• Breastfeeding cover or 2 bottles filled with formula
• Sippy cup with water
• Baby food
• Diapers – about one for every two hours
• Wipes
• Plastic grocery bags to store or dispose of dirty clothes or diapers
• Infant car seat or convertible car seat
• Stroller
• Baby carrier (optional)
• 2 daytime outfits, 4 pajama/loungewear outfits
• 3 pairs of socks
• 3 days worth of bibs and burp clothes
• 1 pair of shoes
• 3 days worth of bibs
• 1 weather appropriate hat.
• Baby toothbrush and baby toothpaste
• Baby bath soap and lotion
• 1 baby bottle and 1 Sippy cup
• 2 favorite books (1 bedtime, 1 anytime)
• Baby formula and food
• Hand pump or breast pump if needed
• Baby detergent (optional)
• Baby bottle squeegee and dish detergent
• Baby monitor
• Noise maker
• Baby proofing stuff

Oh, and the baby.

Happy travels!



Shop the Sale: Chili Rubbed Pork Chops


I’m just going to be honest – my weight has been up and down over the years and I can’t blame it all on giving birth twice.

You see, I love food and I love cooking. What I forget sometimes is that food doesn’t have to be high in fat or calories to taste delicious.

When I saw the boneless pork chops on sale this week I was reminded of one of my favorite recipes from my ‘Healthy Foods’ files.

There’s so much flavor you won’t even miss the fat or extra calories.

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

Chili Rubbed Pork Chops with Lemon Green Beans

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
4 Hormel boneless pork chops
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
Juice of one lemon

Directions:
Preheat broiler or grill and coat pan or grill grate with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine chili powder, brown sugar, cumin and garlic powder. Add Worcestershire sauce and stir until a paste forms.

Rub paste onto both sides of pork chops. Place on prepared pan/grill and broil or grill until pork is no longer pink – about four minutes each side.

Steam string beans. Drain. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

Nutritional Information: Calories 271; Fat 8.5 g; Carbohydrate 15.1g; Fiber 5.3g; Cholesterol 78g; Protein 33.7g



Healthy Living: Pears


For my birthday last weekend, my best friend and I went to Dallas. After a day of shopping at some local boutiques, we headed over to my favorite restaurant, Cheesecake Factory. There were so many delicious dishes to pick from, but I went with a flatbread topped with sweet baked pears, arugula, toasted walnuts and blue cheese. The combination of the sweet pear and sharp arugula was amazing.

Pears have a high NuVal score of 96. That is no surprise because they are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. While I love to slice pears and add them to a pizza with arugula, toasted walnuts and blue cheese, they are also good in cobblers, salsas and salads.

Don’t know which pear to get? Well, Bartlett pears are the most flavorful and their juicy and sweet flavor is perfect for canning, cooking or added to a salad. As the Bartlett pears ripen, they turn from green to yellow.

Bosc pears are good for baking, cooking and poaching. You will not be able to tell if a Bosc pear is ripening based on its color, but on the area around the stem. As the pear ripens, the area around the stem will shrivel.

Red pears are sweet much like the Bartlett pears, making them perfect for salads, desserts and cooking. When the pear is bright red, it’s ready to enjoy.

Try a few different pears this week to find your favorite.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Brookshire’s Famous Fried Chicken!


A few weeks ago I was asked to teach a “simple summer entertaining” cooking class to some ladies from Marvin Methodist Church in Tyler, Texas. We met one evening out at one of the church member’s lake houses. The setting was beautiful, and it was so much fun to cook, eat and talk with women of all ages.

Some of the ladies and I got to talking about fried chicken, which is not that unusual when it comes to potluck conversation in the South! One thing I noticed was that many of the older ladies talked about how their mothers and grandmothers would fry the Sunday dinner chicken early that morning, cover it with a sheet or paper towel, leave it on the counter, and go to church.

But most of the women no longer fry their own chicken, especially the younger ones and the ladies cooking for only one or two people. The women mostly said, “We just pick it up at Brookshire’s!”

Brookshire’s fried chicken gets rave reviews from our customers all across our stores. We have worked hard to perfect our recipe and train our partners in the stores so that you can be certain you will get the same juicy, crispy chicken you’ve come to love – no matter which store you visit! And we keep it at a price point that definitely makes it worth not messing up your clean kitchen!

Family food traditions are important parts of our memories, but a good tradition doesn’t have to mean you’ve spent early Sunday morning in the kitchen! Just pick it up on your way home from church or work, put it on your own platter, and we’ll keep your secret!

Enjoy!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine-In: Feeling Festive Friday Night Pasta


There’s nothing better than the vast array of fresh fruits and vegetables available in the summertime.

In years past, I’ve grown zucchini and tomatoes, among other things, in my own garden, but this year, life got in the way and I didn’t plant my garden. Good thing there’s a Brookshire’s right down the road from my house.

My kids and I tried this recipe last week. My younger son was very excited to be having pasta for dinner, until he realized that it was not mac-and-cheese out of a box. His enthusiasm rallied, however, when he discovered this recipe included bacon. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t get excited about bacon?

We ate this warm for dinner, and then had the leftovers cold for lunch the next day. It was excellent both ways and my kids even went back for seconds. That’s a success in my book.

Feeling Festive Friday Night Pasta
Serves 6

Ingredients:
3/4 lb short pasta such as radiatore or cavatappi
4 slices bacon
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/4 of a red onion, sliced (soak red onion in ICE water for about 20 minutes before using, it takes the   bite out of the onion)
Sea salt and pepper
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 oz Feta, crumbled
1/2 cup spicy oregano, chopped

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove, let cool and break into pieces. Drain most of the bacon fat from the skillet, leaving about a tablespoon. Add zucchini, onion and tomatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender and tomatoes are softened, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the pasta and the cooking water to the skillet and toss to mix. Remove from the heat and add bacon and feta. Sprinkle with spicy oregano and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories 351; Calories from Fat 92; Total Fat 10.2g; Cholesterol 31mg; Sodium 511mg; Total Carbohydrates 50.9g; Dietary Fiber 3.1g; Sugars 8.4g; Protein 15.8g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: The wonder years


Awhile back, my 13-year-old son, Smith, and I had a date. Of course this means Smith got to choose any restaurant he wanted.

In our family, this means one of two things: a big steak or Japanese food. Smith chose the hibachi place in town, probably because he gets to toss eggs at the chef and also the proximity to open flames.

The place was packed. We shared our table with a couple of teenagers on a painful first date and a family with three or four kids barely old enough to see over the table. These children could not have shown more excitement had we been sitting in the middle of Disney World.

The children had apparently been to the restaurant before because they kept screaming for “Fire, Fire!” as soon as the young chef arrived at the table with his rolling cart of culinary magic tricks. He quickly answered their squeals by squirting the hot griddle with something flammable and creating three-foot-tall flames.

If you’ve been to Japanese-style restaurants, then you know the chef’s routine. Slice and stack a white onion and light it like a volcano. The onion then becomes a whistling train. And on and on.

The chef’s 15-minute routine – night after night – just can’t be all that fun for him. Unless of course, he does his work not for himself but for the delight of everyone (especially the 13-and-under crowd) he serves.

Life through the eyes of a child is wonder-full.

Smith’s very first word was not “Mama” or “Daddy.”  It was “WOW!” He walked – or ran – everywhere his little legs would take him. He would pick up everything from a pine cone to a plastic ball, examine it, look up at me and exclaim, “WOW!”.

I have a video of him saying “WOW!” over and over one day as he explored his surroundings, probably when he was about 18 months old. The video is a joy to watch, especially since I’ve grown older and sometimes forget what it is about life that is good, true and beautiful — three things that children seem naturally to understand.

Betsy’s Chicken Yakisoba
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs garlic chile paste (on the Asian aisle)
2 cloves minced garlic
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup soy sauce (low-sodium works well)
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
4 cups shredded cabbage
3 carrots, chopped
8 oz whole-wheat noodles, cooked and drained

Directions:
In a large wok or skillet, stir-fry sesame oil, vegetable oil and garlic chili paste together for 30 seconds. Add garlic and stir-fry 30 more seconds, careful not to burn. Add chicken and half of the soy sauce, cooking until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon. Keep warm while finishing the recipe.

In the same wok or skillet, combine vegetables and stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in rest of soy sauce, prepared noodles and the prepared chicken mixture. Toss well to combine and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 295, Total Fat: 4.8g, Sodium 1621 mg, Carbohydrates 40.7g, Fiber: 3.0g, Protein: 26.3 g



Shop the Sale: Soda Can Chicken with Grilled Peaches


If you’ve never tried this method of cooking chicken you’re in for a real treat. Soda can chicken keeps your whole bird moist and infuses it with flavor.

It’s super fun to do with kids, too, especially if they’re pre-teen boys. Don’t have a pre-teen boy? Then just use your imagination and giggle when appropriate. When we tested this recipe at my house, it was pretty much non-stop laughter.

You can roast this chicken in the oven, like I did, or grill it if your charcoal or gas grill is large enough.

Grilled peaches have become a summer staple at our house.  Here, I use them as a side dish because the sweetness in the peach compliments the slightly sweet flavor in the chicken. We also like to grill them and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for a delicious dessert.

Soda Can Chicken with Grilled Peaches
Serves 8 (about ½ pound of chicken per person)

Ingredients:
1 (4 lb) Brookshire’s whole chicken
1/4 cup Food Club salted butter, melted
2 Tbs Food Club brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 fresh lemon, divided
1 (12 oz) can lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite®)
1 small whole onion, peeled
1 squeezed lemon half

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the giblets and rinse chicken inside and out with water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Stir together melted butter, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper, and half the lemon juice in a bowl. Rub the mixture over the entire chicken, including the cavity and beneath the skin.

Discard 1/2 of soda, leaving the rest in the can, and pour the remaining lemon juice into the can. Place the can on a baking sheet, and set the chicken upright on the can, inserting it into the cavity of the chicken. Plug the neck opening of the chicken with the onion and a squeezed lemon half to retain steam.

Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 F. Remove the chicken from the oven, discard the soda can, and cover chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information: Calories 463; Calories from Fat 187; Total Fat 20.8g; Cholesterol 185mg; Sodium 220mg; Total Carbohydrates 8.7g; Sugars 8.0g; Protein 56.9g

While the chicken is resting, grill your peaches.

Grilled Peaches
Serves 8 (one serving equals 1/2 peach)

Ingredients:
4 California peaches, pitted and sliced in half
2 Tbs Food Club salted butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Whisk together melted butter and cinnamon. Brush on both sides of peaches.

Preheat grill to medium.

Place peaches, cut side down first, on grill. Grill until soft and beginning to char, about 3 minutes on each side.

Nutritional Information: Calories 45; Calories from Fat 23; Total Fat 3.0g; Cholesterol 7 mg; Sodium 21mg; Total Carbohydrates 4.7g; Dietary Fiber .8g; Sugars 4.1g; Protein .5g



Healthy Living: Refuel and Recover with Peanut Butter


What we put into our bodies after a workout really does matter. Experts agree that our bodies and muscles recover the best when we combine protein and carbohydrates together to replenish muscles and energy sources.

Muscles seem to be most receptive to repair when we eat our post-workout snack within 30-60 minutes after exercise. During this time, our bodies see an increase in certain enzyme activity which makes the body more efficient at storing what we need for energy, as well as building the proteins we need for our muscles.

Peanut butter is a wonderful post-workout weapon, you just have to make sure you measure your portions and don’t eat the whole jar! Peanut butter is inexpensive, filling and can be used in so many different ways. I like to use peanut butter and leftover rotisserie chicken to make these Asian Chicken Wraps and keep a few in the fridge for a quick snack after I’ve cooled down and showered. To up the nutritional value and crunch even more, you can add a handful of purchased slaw mix on top of the chicken before wrapping.

Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Wraps

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot sticks
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2/3 cup light coconut milk
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
3 Tbs creamy peanut butter
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas, warmed

Directions:
Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Add carrots and onions and cook one minute. Stir in coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, creamy peanut butter and red pepper. Cook and stir constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken, stirring to coat. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes before wrapping in tortillas. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up. Cover and chill until ready to use.  

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 370, Fat: 18.4 g (10.0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 33 mg, Sodium: 718 mg, Carbohydrates: 32.0 g, Fiber: 5.3 g, Protein: 20.0 g



Product Talk: Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas


I adore buffalo chicken. I mean, LOVE the stuff. I even have a board on Pinterest called “Ode to Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese.” I like it that much.  So when I was browsing through my local Brookshire’s lately and saw a new product on the shelves, I stopped short.

Knorr has a new Rice Sides flavor called (you guessed it) Buffalo Chicken.  Oh. Happy. Day.

I grabbed it off the shelf and immediately began fantasizing about what I could do with it as soon as I got it home. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was going to make enchiladas with the rice, which cooks in just seven minutes.  I suppose rice isn’t a traditional ingredient in enchiladas, but I like the texture and it helps stretch the recipe to make it more budget-friendly. I like my buffalo chicken spicy, but you can adjust the amount of hot sauce you use according to your taste. Sometimes I actually prepare two batches of filling – one that is spicy enough for me, another that won’t cause complaints from my two boys. I just mark my enchiladas in the pan with tooth picks.

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 8

Ingredients:

Enchiladas:
1 package (8) Mission 96% Fat-Free Medium Flour Tortillas
1 1/2 lbs Brookshire’s Chicken Breast Tenderloins, trimmed
2 stalks celery, washed and diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 5.3 oz package Knorr Rice Sides, Buffalo Chicken flavor
8 oz Food Club cream cheese
1/2 cup Food Club Chicken Wing Sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

Sauce:
1 1/2 Tbs Food Club unsalted butter
3 Tbs Food Club all-purpose flour
1‑1/2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
4 tsp Food Club dry ranch-style salad dressing mix
1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
2 cups (8 oz) Food Club 2% mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside to cook.

In a medium sauce-pan pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, cook the onion, celery and chicken tenderloins until the chicken is cooked through.  When the chicken is cooked, drain fat and add cream cheese to the pan. Return to low heat until cream cheese is soft and melted. Stir in the wing sauce, blue cheese crumbles and rice. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Fill all 8 flour tortillas with chicken mixture, roll and place seam-side down in a 9x 13 baking dish, also sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Using wire whisk, stir in milk; bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in dressing mix and pepper.

Pour over enchiladas in pan. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 436;  Calories from Fat 205;  Total Fat 22.8g;  Cholesterol 116mg; Sodium 961mg; Total Carbohydrates 24.3g; Dietary Fiber 1.9g; Sugars 4.5g; Protein 31.9g

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



Dine-In: Buffalo Grilled Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dip


Friday nights are the perfect night for what I like to call “fun food.” There’s just something about the change from the work week to the weekend that makes me want to try new recipes I wouldn’t ordinarily think of on a Tuesday night when I am making large quantities of spaghetti for the teenage appetites in my home.

Some Friday nights, I enjoy making several appetizers instead of one big main meal and side dishes. These “small plates” are a fun way to experiment in the kitchen and ease into the weekend. It’s also a great way to entertain casually. People are free to snack and talk with one another without a formal table setting.

This recipe for Buffalo Grilled Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dip is just a little twist on the traditional “hot wing” recipe. I’m not a big chicken wing fan, but I do enjoy the flavor of this buttery buffalo sauce paired with cool, tangy blue cheese.

Enjoy!

Buffalo Grilled Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dip

Ingredients:

Dip:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Shrimp:
18 large or jumbo-sized shrimp
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco

Directions:
For the dip, stir together all the ingredients. Chill until ready to use, up to 8 hours.

For the shrimp, toss shrimp with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on medium-high heat, turning once, until cooked through (about 8 minutes). Meanwhile, combine butter and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add grilled shrimp and toss well. Serve with blue cheese dip. Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as the main course.

Nutritional Information: Calories per Appetizer Serving: 207, Fat: 19.7g (10.1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 610 mg, Carbohydrates: 1.5 g,
Protein: 6.6 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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