share. The Brookshire's Blog

Shop the Sale: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya


If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new things to do with chicken breasts. Chicken is delicious, versatile and inexpensive, especially when, like this week, it’s on sale at Brookshire’s.  My kids love chicken, even in non-nugget form.

Sometimes it is a challenge for me to come up with new ways to prepare this wonderful lean protein. This has been a recent favorite this fall. I usually throw in some shrimp, too, just for good measure. This recipe is easily doubled to feed a crowd and it freezes well, too. For something a little different, skip the rice and serve it over a baked potato.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Ingredients:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste
1 lb cajun or andouille smoked sausage, sliced into 3/4-inch rounds
1 lb chicken breast meat, cubed
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp creole seasoning
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice

Directions:
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until translucent.  Add garlic and a pinch red pepper (or more if you like heat) and saute until garlic is fragrant.

Add sausage and chicken and cook until chicken is mostly white. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, broth, creole seasoning and uncooked rice.

Cover and reduce heat and cook 45 to 55 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Nutritional Information: Calories 634;Calories from Fat 193; Total Fat 21 g; Cholesterol 144 mg; Sodium 1391 mgp; Total Carbohydrates 54 g; Dietary Fiber 4 g; Sugars 8 g; Protein 49 g



Healthy Living: Election Night Butternut Squash Soup


Butternut squash is in season and that makes me happy, very happy. I love butternut squash soup and have even managed to get my kids to eat it and love it, too.

Butternut squash, besides being delicious, is loaded with vitamin A — 1 cup of cooked squash has 457 percent of the recommended daily allowance. It is also a good source of fiber, potassium, and magnesium. And like most vegetables, it’s fat-, cholesterol-, and sodium-free. Yay squash.

I plan on making this soup for tonight. It’s election night and I have to work late. But I’ll pop the soup in the crock pot to keep it warm and to keep me, and my co-workers, happy on what’s bound to be a late night.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 (2 lb) butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 cup nonfat milk
Nonfat sour cream (optional)
Chopped fresh chives or green onions (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Place squash cut side down in prepared dish. Pierce each squash half several times with toothpick or skewer. Bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.

Using large spoon, scrape squash into processor; discard peel. Add 1 1/2 cups broth and nutmeg and puree until smooth. Transfer puree to heavy large saucepan. Mix in milk and enough broth too thin to desired consistency. Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and chives, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories 84; Calories from Fat 2; Total Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 173 mg; Total Carbohydrates 20 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 5 g;Protein 3 g



Product Talk: Sweet Potatoes


Texas-Style Sweet Potato Soup It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered the wonderful flavor of sweet potatoes when NOT prepared in the traditional super-sweet casserole – hidden under marshmallows or corn flakes or tons of brown sugar and pecans. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the buttery brown sugar topping my mom makes every Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I would eat that more than one day each year!

I was actually eating in an Italian restaurant when I saw sweet potato ravioli on the menu. It was prepared with sage and browned butter, similar to how I have seen butternut squash and pumpkin. It was delicious!

The ravioli dinner made me curious to research other ways to eat sweet potatoes, and I ran across a version of this sweet potato soup recipe from my friend Courtney. She had given it to me a few years ago, and honestly, I forgot I had it until now.

The healthiest way to enjoy a sweet potato is plain, of course. And honestly a plain baked sweet potato has tons of flavor without adding any butter or brown sugar. One regular-sized sweet potato will add about 100 calories to your day’s diet – and less than one gram of fat. It’s loaded in Vitamin A and healthy carbs too.

The soup recipe below also works great if you’ve baked a few extra sweet potatoes. Just skip the boiling part and add the cooked, peeled potatoes when you add the broth.

Enjoy!

Texas-Style Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
5 lb sweet potatoes, cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup pickled sliced jalapenos
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup half-and-half (fat free works too)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Place sweet potato quarters in large pot. Add water to cover, and boil until potatoes are softened. Drain water, and peel potato skins when cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot. Add bacon, onion and garlic. Sauté on medium-low heat until bacon is cooked through. Add chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and puree with a hand blender – or blend in a regular blender in small batches. Stir in jalapenos, cumin, cilantro and half-and-half. Taste for salt and pepper. Heat through and serve warm.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 751, Total Fat: 27.7 g, Sodium 1298 mg, Carbohydrates 111.0 g, Protein: 17.0 g



Ask Leigh


Question:  My mother used to make a delicious pot roast with Coca-Cola. She also made a wonderful chocolate cake with it. Can you use any soft drink or does it have to be a regular Coca-Cola?

Answer:  My favorite cake in the world might be a chocolate sheet cake made with Coca-Cola…I am betting that’s the same chocolate cake you mention here! I’ve never had a roast using a carbonated soda in the marinade, but you made me very curious! I found several delicious-sounding roast recipes – and yes, they all called for a regular cola.

I played around in the kitchen to see what would happen if I used a diet soda. It didn’t work. But I remembered that a couple of summers ago I marinated some flank steak in Dr. Pepper (didn’t have anything else!) before grilling, and everyone loved it. I thought I’d share my recipe with you – and these would work great with regular Coca-Cola too. Enjoy! 

Dr. Pepper-Marinated Flank Steak Nachos
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 lb flank steak
24 oz Dr. Pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 (9-oz) bag of your favorite, sturdy large-sized corn chip
2 cups refried beans
2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese

Optional toppings: Sour Cream, sliced pickled jalapenos, favorite salsa

Directions:
Combine flank steak and Dr. Pepper in a non-reactive container and refrigerate at least 6 hours in refrigerator.

When it’s time to make the nachos, heat your gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Combine salt, brown sugar and pepper in small bowl. Remove steak from Dr. Pepper and rub spices into meat. Grill steak 3-4 minutes on each side until medium-rare. Do not overcook. Let steak rest 5 minutes before slicing.

To make the nachos, preheat oven to 350. 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. Slice flank steak against the grain into ½-inch wide strips. Cut again into bite-sized pieces. Distribute meat over nachos.

Bake 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove and serve with toppings.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 528, Total Fat: 26.4 g, Sodium 1223 mg, Carbohydrates 43.3 g, Protein: 30.1 g

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Posted in: Entertaining


Dine-In: Steak and Guinness Pie


Steak and Guinness PieIt was a dark and stormy night…

Oh wait, it wasn’t stormy.

Let me try again.

It was a dark and…chilly? Dark and autumnal? Dark and, oh, well never mind.

It was a dark Friday night in the fall (or winter, or spring, or summer).

I was hungry. The leaves were turning colors and the air was crisp. It was the perfect night to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. It was the perfect night to stay home instead of fighting the crowds at football games or restaurants.

It was the perfect night for Steak and Guinness Pie.

Steak and Guinness Pie
Serves 6

Ingredients:
4 slices bacon
1 lb beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 oz mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can Guinness Beer
1 cup beef stock
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs thyme, chopped
1 Tbs rosemary, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 pie crusts
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg
1 Tbs water

Directions:
Cook the bacon and set aside leaving the grease in the pan. Add the beef and brown on all sides and set aside. Add the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the Guinness and deglaze the pan.

Add the stock, bacon, beef, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the beef is tender, about 2-3 hours. Place the first pie crust into the bottom of a pie plate and pour the beef stew in. Sprinkle the cheese over the beef stew and cover with the top pie crust. Mix the egg and water and brush it onto the top of the pie crust. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven until golden brown on top, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 752, Total Fat: 44 g, Cholesterol: 146 mg, Sodium: 1337 mg, Carbohydrates:  35 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 44 g

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



Family Matters: Holiday Traditions


There are certain traditions my boys expect to occur during the holidays or the earth just might spin off its axis.

The boys love to eat white chocolate popcorn and watch “Elf,” even though they might not admit it in public. I try to act nonchalant when they ask to watch it, but inside I’m dancing because I will watch that movie every time it comes on TV. It’s like “Sleepless in Seattle” or “Sweet Home Alabama” for me; I simply can’t stop watching once it starts.

We also have made a point to ring the Salvation Army bell together (yes, they get school volunteer hours), and it always turns out to be fun even though getting them there requires nothing short of threatening to cancel Christmas.

Last year, my older son and I were working our shift in front of Brookshire’s when I noticed his hands weren’t moving but the bell was still ringing. Yes, Virginia, there is now an App for the Salvation Army bell, and of course, he had found it.

One of my personal favorite Christmas traditions is setting up our nativity scene for the first time each December. The set I use now was given to me when my older son was born, and it is one of the few material things I hold dear.

A nativity scene is a wonderful idea for a baby gift – and not one most people think about giving. It has always been a time for me to stop and think about Mary as a mother – and of course her baby son, Jesus. As a mother of boys now myself, I just don’t know how Mary did what she did.

Christmas Popcorn
Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 cups popped popcorn with no salt or butter (air-popped works best)
2 oz high-quality white chocolate or almond bark, chopped
1 tsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 tsp salt

Directions:
Place popped popcorn in a bowl large enough to “toss” with other ingredients. Melt white chocolate or almond bark with butter in the microwave on low, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle over popcorn and toss well. Add berries, buts and salt. Toss again. Spread on aluminum foil or waxed paper to set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.   

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Snack Serving (made with air-popped popcorn): 114, Total Fat: 6 g, Sodium 233 mg, Carbohydrates 15 g, Protein: 2.0 g

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Posted in: Family Matters


Shop the Sale: Boneless Rump Roast


It is almost impossible for me to think about cooking a rump roast without thinking about cooking it on a Sunday afternoon after church. And the odd part of that is, I didn’t even grow up in a house where Sunday lunch or dinner was part of the main event of the day.  But I just can’t get away from the thought of a Sunday roast.

However, I don’t want my Sunday roast to be just any Sunday roast. I am always experimenting with different ways to cook this cut of meat, on sale this week at Brookshire’s. And I’ll be honest, when rump roast is on sale, I’ll stock up, because then I can pop a roast in my slow cooker Saturday night to be ready by the time I get home from church on Sunday.

This recipe, on the other hand, isn’t a slow cooker version. This recipe incorporates another of my favorite cooking technique — grilling. It also incorporates another fun ingredient, beer. Beer helps break down connective tissue, making your meat melt in your mouth. It also adds a great depth of flavor to your food.

Grilled Beer-Marinated Rump Roast
Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (12 oz) can or bottle beer
3 1/2 – 4 lbs beef rump roast
2 cups hickory wood chips

Directions:
In 1-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic in oil, stirring frequently, until onion is tender; remove from heat. Stir in chili sauce, salt, pepper and beer.

Place beef in shallow glass or plastic dish or resealable food-storage plastic bag. Pour beer mixture over beef; turn beef to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate, turning beef occasionally, at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Cover wood chips with water; soak 30 minutes. If using charcoal grill, place drip pan directly under grilling area, and arrange coals around edge of firebox. Heat coals or gas grill for indirect heat.

Remove beef from marinade; reserve marinade. Insert spit rod lengthwise through center of beef; hold firmly in place with adjustable holding forks. Insert barbecue meat thermometer so tip is near center of beef, but not touching spit rod. Drain wood chips. Add about 1/2 cup wood chips to medium-low coals or lava rock.

Cover and grill beef on rotisserie over drip pan and 4 inches from medium-low heat about 2 hours for medium doneness (160° F), brushing occasionally with marinade and adding 1/2 cup wood chips to coals or rock every 30 minutes. Remove spit rod, holding forks and thermometer. Discard any remaining marinade. Cover beef with foil and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 275; Calories from Fat: 80; Total Fat: 9 g; Cholesterol: 105 mg; Sodium: 310 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 8 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Protein: 40 g

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



Healthy Living: Kid Friendly Energy Bars


It’s right in the middle of soccer season and we have a tournament coming up this weekend. That means a 7:30 a.m. game in a town an hour away.

The early game is the first of three on Saturday and probably one of five for the weekend, unless we lose on Saturday, of course.

My 9-year-old son plays in a pretty competitive league and he’s a pretty competitive kid. In other words, he’ll play his heart out in all his games.

All the parents take turns providing snacks for the after the games, and I have snack duty after that first, early game Saturday.

I’m going to make these energy bars so the boys get off on the right foot and have stamina for the rest of the day. Each bar has six grams of protein and only 12 grams of sugar.

These would also be good for Halloween, in place of candy, for kids that you know.

Kid Friendly Energy Bars
Makes 20 bars

Ingredients:
2 cups oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup sun dried apricots
1/2 cup granola
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Toast the oats and almonds under a low broiler, allowing them to begin to turn a light golden brown before removing. Set aside to cool.

Combine apricots, cherries, currants, and blueberries in a food processor. Pulse to mince, being careful not to allow it to paste up.

Add minced dried fruit, oats, almonds, and sesame seeds to a large bowl and mix well. I use my hands to gently roll the mixture, getting the dried fruit to separate from itself and blend with the oats.

Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the 7-grain cereal, stir thoroughly, and remove from heat. Allow it to rest in the pan for 2 minutes. Add peanut butter, honey, salt, and vanilla to the pan and return to a medium low heat, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes. You want the mixture warmed throughout and well combined. The mixture will begin to glisten and roll off the sides as you stir it. Do not overheat the mixture, as you will need to be able to handle it.

Add the peanut butter mixture to the oat mixture and combine thoroughly. Work it with your hands to combine well.

Firmly press the mixture into a 8×8 glass baking dish. Don’t be shy about it. You want to compress it into the bottom of the dish so that the top becomes level. I use a flat metal spatula. Allow the dish to rest at room temperature for two hours or longer. The longer you wait, the firmer the bars will be when you cut them.  Cut into bars and enjoy. The bars should be firm enough to retain shape, but will give to pressure.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 232; Calories from Fat: 75; Total Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 114 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 34 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 12 g; Protein: 6 g



Product Talk: Miniature Candy Bars


You can’t walk past an end cap in your local Brookshire’s right now without pumping into a boo-tiful display of Halloween candy. Sweet Tarts, lollipops, gummy bears. You name it; you can buy it in bulk right now.

Personally, I go straight for the chocolate and I love the miniature-sized candy bars are the best. Luckily for me, I have one son who loves chocolate, and one who doesn’t, so I have carte blanche to raid his Halloween pumpkin and pillage all the bite-sized Butterfingers and Snickers.

This recipe is a fun way to use leftover Halloween candy. It’s also great for a holiday party or just a wonderful way to use those bulk bags of mini candy bars.

Snickers Puffs (or Milky Way Puffs)

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) can Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls
2 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
4 (snack size) Milky Way or Snickers candy bars

Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp cocoa
2 or 3 tsp milk
Colored sprinkles

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each candy bar in half crosswise. Place one candy piece on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up. Start at shortest side and roll to opposite side. Pinch edges of dough to seal. Dip one side in melted butter. Place rolls point side down in ungreased muffin cups. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Cool slightly.

In small bowl, combine all glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls. Garnish with sprinkles.

Nutritional Information: Calories 208; Calories from Fat 78; Total Fat 9 g; Saturated Fat 5 g; Cholesterol 11mg; Sodium 212 mg; Total Carbohydrates 30 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 14 g; Protein 4 g



Ask Leigh


Question:  I can’t eat any gluten and have the hardest time finding good gluten-free snack foods. Do you have any easy recipe for gluten-free snacks?

Answer:  My mother maintains a gluten-free diet and has built up quite a wonderful recipe collection of delicious gluten-free ideas.

Our whole family loves to snack, and to be honest, everyone thinks this is one of the best – with or without a gluten allergy!

Gluten-Free Snack Mix

Ingredients:
3 cups gluten-free rice cereal squares
3 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup mixed nuts (without peanuts)
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp chili powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine cereal, popcorn and nuts in a large bowl.  Drizzle with oil and stir to coat. Sprinkle with cheese, garlic salt and chili powder, stirring to coat evenly. Spread mixture on large ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, stirring and turning pan once.  Let cool and store in airtight container. Makes about 6 servings.

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Posted in: Cooking


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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

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