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Product Talk: Parsnips


Parsnip Fries with RosemaryParsnips might be one of those vegetables you overlook in the store or you’re not quite sure how to prepare it. So you slide by it in the produce section, trying not to make eye contact.

But parsnips, a root vegetable, shouldn’t be passed over. They’re related to the carrot, but much paler in color and have a sweeter taste, especially when you cook them (I’m not a fan of the raw parsnip myself).

They can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles.

In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavor than the whole root, and starch to thicken the dish.


Find these in season in your local Brookshire’s right now!

Parsnip Fries with Rosemary
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs parsnips or carrots, peeled, cut into about three 1/2 inch strips
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp (or more) ground cumin

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450° F. Mix parsnips, chopped rosemary, garlic, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer. Scatter rosemary sprigs over.

Roast for 10 minutes; turn parsnips and roast until parsnips are tender and browned in spots, 10-15 minutes longer. Crumble leaves from rosemary sprigs over; discard stems and toss to coat. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cumin, if desired.

Nutritional information: Calories: 180, Calories from Fat: 55, Fat: 11 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg,Carbohydrates: 20 g,Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein:  2 g, Sodium: 140 mg

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



Family Matters: Presence


I only see my family, if I’m lucky, twice a year.  This year, I was lucky.

You see, they live in Virginia and I live in Texas. That is too far apart to visit often when everyone works full time, has families and has kids who are busy in activities and sports.

Every year, the whole family converges on the beach together for a week. That’s almost a given.

But this year, my parents came to Texas for Christmas. They left the rest of the family behind (sorry Andy, Juli, Beau, Jim, Lesley, Jameson, Rylan, Greycen, Beth, Becky, Anthony, Ben and Claire!) and flew to our town in the wee hours of Christmas morning. I’m pretty sure they probably passed Santa and his reindeer somewhere near the Mississippi River. They landed, beating the EF-3 tornado that touched down in East Texas Christmas morning. They rented a car and drove to our house, beating the torrential rain and snow storm that covered the land on Christmas day. They came, to visit, and just to be with us: me and my boys. Too often, we think about the holidays in terms of “presents.” This year, I received what I longed for most, the “presence” of the four people I love most – my parents and my children. In the chaos of Christmas gift wrap, scattered toys, new pajamas, video games to play and the buzz of electronics–in a quiet moment, there was pure happiness. Pure presence.

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Posted in: Family Matters


Shop the Sale: Beef Kabobs


PHEW! Made it through the holiday season.

Yes, it was a time of great joy, great celebration and great reflection on the real reason we celebrate the birth of Christ, but it was also exhausting.

I might not speak for you, Dear Reader, but I know that for me and most of my friends, the holiday season was fairly draining.

I’m so blessed to have close friends, a precious family, the world’s most amazing children and I have so many things to be thankful for and look forward to in this new year.

But I’m tired.  The halls were decked then undecked. Cookies made and gobbled up. Feasts prepared then cleaned up. You know the routine. So now it’s time to simplify for awhile.

This easy recipe marinates overnight and then grills quickly. Plus, Boneless Top Sirloin Steak is on sale at Brookshire’s this week.

Enjoy!

Beef Kabobs
Serves 8

Ingredients:

Marinade:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs sesame seeds
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp minced garlic

Skewers:
1 (3 lb) lean boneless beef top round or sirloin steak, cut in about twelve 1/2 inch thick pieces (about 30)
Fresh or canned pineapple chunks
2 large green peppers (seeded and each cut in sixteen 1-1/2 inch chunks)
2 large red peppers (same as above)
16 small mushrooms
4 onions, cut in chunks
8 (12 inch) metal skewers

Directions:
Mix all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add beef; cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight or up to 8 hours, stirring several times. Drain beef; reserve marinade for basting.

Alternately thread pineapple, beef, and vegetables on each skewer. Grill or broil 4 inches from heat source, turning and brushing with reserved marinade until vegetables are tender and beef is cooked to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 500, Calories from Fat: 105, Total Fat: 12 g, Cholesterol: 151 mg, Sodium: 1020 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 43 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 30 g, Protein: 56 g



Healthy Living Tuesday: New Year, New You


It’s no secret that the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.

I know I’ve made the resolution time and time again, this year being no exception.

But this year, in addition to losing weight (because I need to, the scale, not my own vanity, says so) I’m going to focus on being more healthy in general. I don’t think I’m going to watch the numbers as closely as I used to.

Instead, I’m going to focus on being more active and on making food substitutions that are healthier and better for me.

I’m going to drink more water. I’ve gotten really bad about this and it’s something so simple, easy and free to do. Every system in your body performs optimally when you’re well hydrated. For an adult, that’s about 64 ounces of water a day.

I’m going to eat more vegetables and fruits. Both are full of fiber – and help fill you up and keep you satisfied longer than simple carbohydrates or sugars.

And I’m going to try to take a walk around the block every day at lunchtime. It’s not that far. I’m under no delusion that “counts” as my exercise for the day. But I sit at a desk all day long and getting moving will not only clear my head, but it’ll get my blood flowing as well and stave off the afternoon sleepies.

What are you doing in the new year for a healthier, happier you?

 

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Dine-In: Pizza Soup


Pizza SoupRecently, I polled my friends on Facebook and asked them what they liked best to eat on a Friday night. The vast majority of them wrote “anything I don’t have to cook,” or something similar.  But the vast majority of them ALSO wrote, “But it’s too expensive and crowded to eat out right now.”

That’s the entire point of this blog. Sure, we love to eat out and bolster the local economy, but with the holidays just having passed and a lot of, ahem, financial resources allocated that way, and just having spent weeks battling traffic around the malls and thoroughfares, sometimes it’s very best option to dine in on a Friday night.

The overwhelming favorite Friday night food, per my very scientific Facebook poll, was pizza.

I love to make homemade pizza, but I also love to have dinner quick and effortless on a Friday night. Enter the slow cooker and a soup designed to capture the essence of pizza without all the kneading.  All the flavors of pizza blend together all day long and when you walk into the house after a full day’s work, the savory aroma assaults your senses. AND IT’S SO EASY but tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day long.

Pizza Soup
Serves 8

Ingredients:
32 oz beef stock or broth
2 cans (14.5 oz) Great Northern beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
8 oz pepperoni
8 oz small shell pasta (macaroni or any other small pasta works as well)
4 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Optional: sliced black olives, onions, green peppers or any other ‘pizza’ topping that would hold up in a slow cooker.

Directions:
Place all ingredients except pasta and cheese in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the pasta and cook on high. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 611, Calories from Fat: 139,Total Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 50 mg, Sodium: 1053 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 85 g, Dietary Fiber: 21 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 34 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Kids in the Kitchen


My favorite people in the world to cook with are children.

I love their imaginations, creativity, willingness to take a risk, and ability to laugh when things don’t turn out exactly as planned!

Think of your kitchen as a playground.

It’s a wonderful place to explore, create, learn and enjoy time together with your children.

You may not have thought about cooking with your kids as a place to teach more than how to get food on the table, but it’s really a beautiful setting for many lessons:

  • Learning to be patient
  • Maintaining a sense of humor
  • How to handle failure
  • Working as a team
  • Following through on a task
  • Mastering health and cleanliness skills
  • Reading and following instructions
  • Developing math, science and reading skills
  • Enjoying a sense of accomplishment
  • Using your imagination
  • Developing healthy eating habits

The first and most important “rule” of learning to cook is to have fun!  Having fun should be the foundation of every kitchen activity you begin with your children. If it’s not fun or if they fear failure, then they’ll never discover the joy and pleasure of food. It will seem like just another chore, and they might miss out on what could be a wonderful passion in their lives.

Two of the many things I appreciate about my mother are that she gave me a lot of freedom in the kitchen and never, ever told me I was making too big of a mess or that what I created was a disaster. Believe me, I was (and am) messy and made many disasters (think baked iceberg salad), but she continually encouraged me and built my confidence. This is a wonderful gift you can give your own children, and here’s a secret I’ve learned: If I let my kids plan and cook the menu, they are much more likely to eat it! This even works with green beans!

I’ve written a few practical suggestions for your child to remember to keep your time in the kitchen running smoothly:

Ask Permission!
Remember to ask your parents’ permission before you begin to cook. Hey, why not let them be your helper in the kitchen? You will learn things together, and the best part is this: At the end, you will have something yummy to enjoy together as a family.

Be Prepared!
Cook like the pros do. Read through the recipe you want to make and look up any words or techniques you don’t know. And gather together everything you need — both ingredients and tools — before you start cooking. You don’t want to be halfway through the recipe and realize you’re missing something! 

Be Clean!
Cleaning is a big part of cooking. Your food needs to be prepared safely and, if you clean as you go along, when you’re ready to sit down and enjoy what you’ve cooked, you won’t have mountains of dishes to worry about. 

Have Fun!
Most of all, remember to enjoy your time in the kitchen and learn to do things your way. Experiment and make changes that work for you.



Shop the Sale: Bacon Wrapped Shrimp


I hope you had a holly, jolly Christmas! I know I’m still swooning from the after-effects of too much sugar, a lot of presents and a great holiday had by all.

So now it’s time to think about New Year’s Eve.

I know! I know!!! STOP THE MADNESS.

This quick and simple recipe, using the peeled and deveined shrimp on sale at Brookshire’s this week, will elevate your New Year’s Eve party from humdrum to VA-VOOM and have everyone partying like it’s 1999! And you’ll reap the benefits in the new year of money saved.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Serves 12 as an appetizer portion

Ingredients:
18-24 peeled and deveined pre-cooked shrimp
9-12 slices of Brookshire’s bacon (cut in half)

Marinade:
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Toothpicks or wooden skewers 

Directions:
Soak toothpicks or wood skewers in warm water for around 30 minutes.

Stir together all of the ingredients for the marinade in a small to medium sized bowl.

Rinse shrimp, remove tails and pat dry.

Add shrimp to marinade, toss to coat and allow to marinate at least 1 hour at room temperature. In a large skillet, cook bacon around 2 minutes until edges start to curl. Do not cook the bacon entirely; it still has to wrap around shrimp. Perhaps 1 minute total. Drain and set aside until shrimp is done marinating.

Wrap bacon around shrimp and skewer or secure with toothpick.

Grill or broil until shrimp is done and bacon is crisp. This takes around 10 to 15 minutes on both my grill and broiler, but you will need to judge this for yourself. Be careful to not overcook.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 162, Calories from Fat: 87, Cholesterol: 107 mg, Sodium: 632 mg,Total Carbohydrates: 2 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 16 g



Healthy Living: NuVal. New Year, New You


I can’t believe 2013 is almost here! This year has gone by so quickly! Many of us start off the New Year with a healthy bang. We join gyms and stock our fridges with fresh fruits and vegetables in hopes to lose those unwanted pounds that seem to just appear over the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately by mid-January the visits to gym get fewer and the hopes of getting healthy diminish.

At Brookshire’s we have an easy tool that lets you pick the most nutritious products in a short amount of time. NuVal is a scoring system that places food’s overall nutritional value on a scale between 1 and 100. Simply put, the higher the NuVal score, the higher the product’s overall nutrition. You can find these scores located in the blue double hexagon on the price tag.  

NuVal produces the scores by entering the information from the nutrition facts panel and the ingredients list into an algorithm, called Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI). The ONQI takes into account 30 different nutrients that affect the health of the general public, including sodium, fat, carbohydrates, proteins, cholesterol, fiber, antioxidants and a number of vitamins and minerals.

 When using NuVal, there is not a particular score to shoot for; rather it’s a tool to help you compare items. If you normally buy a cereal that scores a 10, try to find one that scores a little higher, like a 17. Just remember the higher the score, the better the overall nutrition of the product. The NuVal system is not a diet and should not take place of any dietary recommendations provided by your doctor. NuVal is a quick and simple tool to help you pick the most nutritious foods for your family. 

I personally love using the NuVal system and use it every time I go to the store. I encourage you to give it a try this January!



Product Talk: Eggnog


My favorite night of the entire year is Christmas Eve.

To me, it’s better than Christmas morning – the anticipation of the birth of Christ and the festivities of the next day practically charge the air with electricity. I love leaving evening church services and coming home to a big meal – it’s traditionally lasagna in my house – and wrangling the kids to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Then, of course, it’s time to wait for Jolly Old St. Nick to bound down the chimney.

While you’re waiting, you can indulge in a treat we really only see once a year — eggnog.

Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs (which gives it a frothy texture). Brandy, rum, whisky, bourbon, Kahlúa, vodka, or a combination of liquors are often added. The finished serving is often garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

Here’s one eggnog recipe my family has enjoyed at Christmas Eve gatherings. Purchase pre-made eggnog from the dairy case at Brookshire’s to get you started.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Golden Blizzard Eggnog
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups eggnog
2 shots Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps
2 shots Arrow peppermint schnapps

Directions:
Add the shots of Goldschlager and Arrow to a mason jar, then fill with eggnog. Shake and pour into 2 cups.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 505,Calories from Fat: 128, Cholesterol: 112 mg, Sodium: 103 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 42 g, Sugars: 33 g, Protein: 7 g

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



Dine-In: Friday Night Slow-Cooker Jambalaya


Slow-Cooker JambalayaIf you’ve read many of the blogs on the Brookshire’s site, then you know that we all have come to have great affection for our slow cookers. It’s the working parent’s answer to getting dinner on the table soon after we all get home, and these days, there are tons of new recipes that make slow cooking a whole new way of cooking that doesn’t involve cream of mushroom soup every time!

There are all kinds of recipes on the internet for modernized slow cooking, from healthier choices to chocolate pudding cakes and everything else you can think of in between. This recipe for Slow-Cooker Jambalaya is one of my teenage sons’ favorites because they love the chicken and  smoked sausage, and along with the rice, the jambalaya seems to fill them up if only for a while!

The last thing you do when you get home from work is add the rice, and 30 minutes later you can have dinner on the table and everyone happy. Easy and delicious for your family’s winter weeknight table.

Enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Jambalaya
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
3  garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbs Cajun or creole spice mix
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 3/4 cups long-grain white rice
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:
Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme and oregano in a large (5-quart) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours. Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 861, Total Fat: 34 g, Sodium 1064 mg, Carbohydrates 55 g, Protein: 80 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


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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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