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Shop the Sale: White Beans and Ham


I was cleaning out my freezer recently and I found leftover ham. From Easter.

I promptly defrosted it, diced up the leftovers and served it baked into macaroni and cheese.

I also promised myself I wouldn’t cook ham only at Easter any more. It’s so versatile and there are always great ways to repurpose leftovers.

I was excited this week to see that Double-G Brands Ham Portions are on sale at Brookshire’s. I have just the recipe waiting for the succulent and smoky ham! I also love using my slow cooker during the summer because it doesn’t heat up my entire kitchen.

White Beans and Ham for the Slow Cooker
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz) bag dried Great Northern Beans
1 to 2 lbs Double-G Brands Ham Portions, Bone In
1 white onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs pepper
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs rosemary
1 tsp ground cumin
water

Directions:
Wash beans carefully and place in slow cooker.

Remove ham from bone and dice. Place in slow cooker with beans.

Add ham bone, carrots, celery, onion and spices to the slow cooker and cover with water about an inch higher than ingredients.

Cook on high heat 6 to 8 hour or low 8 to 10 hours.

Note: Monitor the water level when cooking as beans will absorb much of the liquid.

Nutritional Information: Calories 195; Calories from Fat 24; Total Fat 3g; Cholesterol 27mg; Sodium 708mg; Total Carbohydrates 26g; Dietary Fiber 8g; Sugars 2g; Protein 18g

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



Healthy Living: Salad Club


I absolutely love salads. I love salads so much my brother often refers to me as a rabbit.  Whether I’m eating at a restaurant or having a light lunch at home, I’m very much content with a big bowl of fresh greens drizzled with an oil and vinegar mixture, topped with fresh in-season fruit and walnuts.

The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs, “A Better Bag of Groceries,” which discusses NuVal scores. It talked about starting a salad club. With my love for salads, I quickly e-mailed a few ladies around the office to see if anyone would be interested in participating in a salad club. I had a few replies of people who would be interested.

Once you’ve found a group of people who are interested in starting a salad club, start a sign-up sheet for different toppings each person will bring. Have each person bring their favorite salad green and a topping. Toppings can be fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.

Strawberries: NuVal Score of 100
Blueberries: NuVal Score of 100
Oranges: NuVal Score of 100
Apples: NuVal Score of 96
Pears: NuVal Score of 96
Grapes: NuVal Score of 91
Tomatoes: NuVal Score of 96
Avocados: NuVal Score of 89
Cucumbers: NuVal Score of 93
Carrots: NuVal Score of 99
Mushrooms: NuVal Score of 96
Walnuts: NuVal Score of 82
Almonds: NuVal Score of 81

Pick a day of the week everyone can participate in Salad Club. Have a place you can store all of the Salad Club’s salad dressing and toppings each person can use from week to week. The first week of the Salad Club, ask each person to bring a salad dressing they would like to share with the group. Salad dressing NuVal scores can range from 1 to 24 with the average being a 5. The scores can vary depending on the amount of added sugar, type of fat, and the vitamins the salad dressing.

Food Club Italian Dressing: NuVal Score of 18
Wish-Bone Italian Spritzer: NuVal Score of 16
Full Circle Organic Vinaigrette Dressing: NuVal Score of 14
Food Club Zesty Italian Dressing: NuVal Score of 12
Kraft Zesty Italian: NuVal Score of 11
Food Club Lite Italian Dressing: NuVal Score of 11
Full Circle Organic Honey Mustard Dressing: NuVal Score of 9
Newman’s Own Honey Mustard: NuVal Score of 7
Kraft Light Creamy Caesar Dressing: NuVal Score of 7
Food Club Fat Free Ranch: NuVal Score of 4
Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch: NuVal Score of 4
Kraft French Salad Dressing: NuVal Score of 3
Food Club Blue Cheese: NuVal Score of 3

Have fun each week experimenting with different salad mixtures!



Product Talk: Turkey Roll Ups


Turkey lunchmeat always reminds me of school lunches.

My mom would make the best turkey sandwiches for my Holly Hobbie metal lunchbox. I don’t really know if putting lunchmeat on white bread with mustard constitutes making a great sandwich, but I do know it was always one of my favorites.

Turkey sandwiches remain my favorite to this day. I’ve discovered the quality of the turkey lunchmeat you buy definitely does make for a better sandwich. I love Brookshire’s Hickory Smoked turkey breast. The flavor of the tender lunch meat is enhanced by the hickory smoke.

I don’t always take a turkey sandwich with me to work (and I don’t carry a Holly Hobbie lunch kit any more either) but I love to use turkey in these delicious roll-ups for dinners. Leftovers ARE great for lunches!

Turkey Roll Ups
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 burrito-sized flour tortillas
1 lb Brookshire’s Hickory Smoked turkey breast
8 Tbs Food Club cream cheese, flavored with onions and chive
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 Tbs olive oil

Directions:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook over medium heat until onion begins carmelizes, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spread each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, top with one-fourth of the turkey breast, two strips of bacon and one-fourth of the carmelized onions.

Roll up and enjoy!

Nutritional Information: Calories 614; Calories from Fat 299; Total Fat 33g; Cholesterol 100mg; Sodium 2493mg; Total Carbohydrates ; 39g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 3g; Protein 35g

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



Dine In: Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza


Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in the Cast Iron SkilletI’ve told you before that Friday night in our house is Pizza Party Night.

Depending on the day, and the work week, I alternate between making pizza homemade, buying the yummy Brookshire’s take-and-bake pizzas or sometimes breaking down and ordering delivery pizza.

So you can say I’ve eaten a lot of pizza in my day.

But this one takes the cake. Or in this case, the (pizza) pie. I laid in bed last night trying to wax poetic about the nirvana that was this pizza, but came up short of the perfect words to describe this heavenly creation.

Earlier in the week, I’d seen a recipe for a deep dish, Chicago-style pizza…baked in a cast iron skillet.

Was there any doubt this girl would be trying that recipe, as soon as humanly possible?

Nope. As soon as Friday came around, there was pizza preparation going on in my house.

Now two things are critical about pizza, in my humble opinion: the sauce and the crust.

Really great pizza starts with a really great crust. I will admit I was a bit leery of this Chicago style pizza; in my experience with imitations (because this recipe is now the gold standard), the crust is soggy and limp. You need to eat it with a fork (or in some cases, a small shovel).

But this crust…oh this crust…held up to four layers of cheese and pepperoni.  I was, at first, a bit skeptical of the corn meal. I’ve used it ON a pizza stone, to keep the crust from sticking, but never incorporated it in the dough. But it’s delicious. Furthermore, it was my first time to assemble the dough in my food processor. Super simple and quick. (But alas, I still managed to splatter flour everywhere).

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in the Cast Iron Skillet
Serves 8

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pkg dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS water
3 Tbs olive oil
1 (14 oz) jar pizza/tomato sauce
2 cups combined Parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, provolone and romano cheeses
8 oz pepperoni
(toppings of your choice)

Directions:
Place all of the dry ingredients, including the yeast into a standard sized food processor.

Pulse the dry ingredients to combine and then pour the combined wet ingredients through the feed tube in a stream.

When the dough forms a ball, let the dough process for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, enough heat is generated to activate the yeast.

Put the dough into a non-reactive container, cover and let rise.

If you don’t have a food processor, assemble the crust ingredients as you would any yeast dough, and let it rise once.

Into an oiled 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet, pat or roll the dough out dough to cover the bottom, and about 1 and 1/2 inches up the sides. If the sides of the dough don’t want stay up, and they tend to shrink back down, don’t worry. As the topping ingredients fill the pizza during assembly, it is easy to push the sides back up, by pressing down into the “corners” of the skillet. The filled pizza will keep the sides in tact.

Spread sauce over crust.

Next a layer of a blend of five Italian cheeses: Parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, provolone and romano.

Top with a layer of pepperoni.  Then more cheese.  And more pepperoni. Four layers worth. (yes, you read that correctly. This pizza is worth the Monday morning trip to the cardiologist. I promise.)

The miracle crust comes in how you bake this pizza, I think.

When you have the pizza topped to your heart’s content, place the cast iron skillet in a COLD oven. Preheat to 475 degrees. When the oven reaches that temperature, turn it down to 375 and bake for 30 minutes.

Let sit for 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Slice and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: Calories 414; Calories from Fat 217; Total Fat 24 g; Cholesterol 45mg; Sodium 958mg; Total Carbohydrates 31g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 2g; Protein18g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: A Greek Twist on Pizza Night


Pizza is one of my boys’ favorite foods, but it’s not one of mine. I enjoy a slice or two maybe a few times a year, but it’s not something I crave or make very often – until a friend recently made me her Greek Hummus Pizza. These flavors combine to make one of the most delicious, and healthiest, pizzas I’ve ever enjoyed.

Yes, I know nothing beats a greasy pepperoni and mushroom on a Friday night, but for a quick weeknight family dinner, this Greek Hummus Pizza has become one of our favorites.

If you aren’t familiar with hummus, it’s a very popular Middle Eastern dip usually made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame paste), garlic, salt and olive oil. It’s quite versatile, as you can easily find flavored hummus on the Brookshire’s aisles now, from roasted red pepper and pine nut to southwestern and roasted garlic.

It’s so easy to change up the ingredients of this pizza to make it your own as well. It tastes delicious with ANY flavor of hummus you like – from roasted red pepper to roasted garlic or even spicy jalapeno! The amount of cheese called for in the recipe might not seem like enough, as we all like to pile on the toppings, but it’s plenty – and healthier too.  Sometimes I mix in a handful of feta cheese with the mozzarella if I happen to have some on hand.

Most of you know that I’d rather be cooking with kids than most anyone else, and that’s another reason I have made this pizza a family favorite. You start with a purchased refrigerated pizza crust and purchased hummus, making it so easy for any young cook to enjoy success on the first try. In fact, my boys (ages 15 and 13) don’t really need me to help with this anymore; they can make this all on their own!

Greek Hummus Pizza
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
1 (10-oz) tube refrigerated pizza dough
1 (7-oz) container hummus, any flavor
1/2 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
3 slices red onion, separated into rings
1/3 cup sliced, pitted black olives
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450

Roll pizza crust dough into a large oval. Spread hummus over the crust; top with remaining ingredients. Bake pizza for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving:  257; Fat: 12.9 g; Cholesterol: 25 mg; Sodium: 508 mg; Carbohydrates: 22.8 g; Fiber: 2.9g ; Protein: 14.1 g

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



Shop the Sale: Chicken Broccoli Calzones


During my college years in a small city in Virginia, I often escaped dorm life – and dorm food – for the weekend by going home with a dear friend. She lived in an even smaller town about an hour away from where we went to school, but her mother would pamper us and her house was like a second home to me.

It was on one of these weekend trips that she took me to this little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, because “joint” is really the only word to describe this establishment with the cracked linoleum countertops, the torn vinyl seating and the scratched tile floors.

But the aromas in this mom-and-pop Italian restaurant made you instantly forget the décor. If I remember correctly, the proprietor’s name was Joe. His father’s name was Joe and his son’s name was Joe.  He had a dark-haired, fiery Italian mama who worked the counter and stirred the red sauce and he had a little daughter (who, as I reflect back on that restaurant and our times there, is probably grown by now). And they served up the best calzones I’ve ever had. The crust was crispy and you had to eat them with a knife and fork to make sure you got every bit of the cheesy, saucy goodness.

Since then, I’ve loved making my own calzones. The only difference is that mine aren’t quite as messy. I’ve also tried to make them a little more healthy.  With items on sale at Brookshire’s this week, like Brookshire’s Fresh Chicken, fresh broccoli browns, tomatoes on the vine, yellow onions and refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust, you can make this delicious calzone as a quick weeknight dinner or a delicious weekend treat – no travelling required.

Chicken Broccoli Calzones
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tube refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust
3 large Brookshire’s Fresh Chicken Breasts
1/2 lb fresh broccoli crowns
3 large tomatoes on the vine, cored and chopped
1 large yellow or white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
4 Tbs olive oil, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet.

Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add chicken, broccoli crowns and garlic. Saute until chicken is cooked through and golden brown. Add seasoning and chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to release their juices. Cover and set aside.

Remove pizza dough from tube. Divide into four equal pieces. Gently flatten pizza crust into four rounds. Divide filling into four parts. Place filling on half the dough rounds, fold over into a half moon. Crimp edges together so the filling won’t leak.

Place on a large baking sheet or cooking stone. Brush with remaining  2 TBS olive oil. Bake at 400 until crusts are golden.

Nutritional Information: Calories 316; Calories from Fat 159; Total Fat 18g; Cholesterol 51mg; Sodium 274mg; Total Carbohydrates 18g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 4g; Protein 21g

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



Healthy Living: Fatoush


Back in the late 1990s, when I lived in Germany, one of my very best friends there was from Lebanon. We were part of a close-knit group who spent more time together than apart.

Once a month we had a supper club at someone’s apartment. I always loved it when Paula hosted because she’d make the most exotic foods. Creamy baba ganoush, sweet and savory ma’amoul, dishes full of roasted nuts, decadent baklava and my favorite, fatoush. The names of the dishes would roll off her tongue as perfectly as the food tasted.

Fatoush is a wonderfully light and flavorful salad whose ingredients celebrate the end of summer. Serve this for an exotic twist at your next backyard barbecue. It’s also a great answer to “eat more vegetables.”

Fatoush
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup red bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 cup yellow bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 cup peeled cucumbers, thinly sliced
4 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch wedges
1/2 cup red onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbs finely chopped mint
3 Tbs finely chopped parsley
3 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp high quality olive oil
2 tsp lemons, juice of
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pita breads, to serve

Directions:
Place the bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, mint, parsley and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the garlic with the olive oil and lemon juice.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly to mix.

Toast the pita breads in a toaster until crisp and crumble on top of salad. Serve immediately or prepare ahead and add pita right before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories 154; Calories from Fat 27; Total Fat 3g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 172 mg; Total Carbohydrate 28g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 5g

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



Product Talk Monday: Cookie Cake


My younger son’s birthday is coming up in just over a week and, as always, he’s requested a giant chocolate chip cookie cake.

Brookshire’s bakery cookie cakes have become the birthday celebration staple in our house. Both of my sons ask for them every year and, truth be told, we sometimes eat cookie cake for birthday breakfasts.

The cookie cakes are generously sized and we’re able to feed our family, plus birthday guests with one or two cakes. The friendly staff at Brookshire’s bakery has always helped me get just the cake my boys want. Last year, Luke wanted a soccer cookie cake. Curt chose primary colors with EXTRA icing and sprinkles for his 10th birthday last January.

The cookies are deliciously chewy and chock full of chocolate chips. You can get icing in any color or colors with sprinkles and candy confections if that’s what your heart desires. They’ll also write a message on the cake. My boys love seeing their names in sugary icing.

The only thing wrong with Brookshire’s cookie cakes is that they disappear too quickly in my house.

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Posted in: Kids, Product Talk


Dine-In: Coby Ming’s Fried Okra


Coby Ming’s Fried OkraCoby Ming is the executive chef of Harvest Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. Her fantastic recipe for quick-frying okra was recently featured on National Public Radio (NPR), and I couldn’t wait to try it. I am a HUGE fried okra fan, but I’m also extremely picky about how fry okra correctly. There’s a lot of bad battered and fried okra in the world of fast food, in my humble Southern opinion.

When I read that Coby’s recipe included a cast-iron skillet AND cornmeal, I confess I got excited. When I read that she adds a bit of bacon fat and smoked paprika, I stopped reading, got in the car, and drove to Brookshire’s for all of the needed ingredients. The sun was not going to set without this okra getting on my table and in my tummy.

It was a Friday night, which was the perfect time for me to try something new. And as I’ve told you before on this blog, I love to include “fun food” in my weekend menus every now and then. This recipe hit the spot with everyone around my table, including those who thought okra only to be a slimy vegetable to be avoided. (And while we’re talking, okra is a fruit, not a vegetable. Weird, but true.)

This recipe makes a delicious, crunchy fried okra. It never made it to our table that Friday night because we decided to enjoy it as an appetizer, kind of like a big bowl of popcorn but much, much more addictive. You can double Coby’s recipe for “seasoned cornmeal” that she uses to make the okra, depending on the amount of okra you want to eat. The seasoned cornmeal keeps in the fridge (tightly sealed) for weeks.

Enjoy!

Coby Ming’s Fried Okra

Ingredients:
Fresh whole okra (as much as you want to eat!)
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn flour (We used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
Bacon fat (leftover from frying a skillet of bacon)

Directions:
Cut okra into 3/4 inch pieces and dredge in a bowl of seasoned cornmeal and flour. To make your seasoned cornmeal, combine cornmeal, flour, corn flour, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.

Then add to a very hot cast iron skillet with a thin layer of bacon fat….stir until crispy on all sides (about 7-10 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Source: National Public Radio

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Frozen Fun


In my long list of never-say-never, I vowed I would never have a dog.

Not that I didn’t like dogs, but I just never had a dog growing up and wasn’t accustomed to being around man’s best friend.

But along came Jack, a sweet little beagle mix puppy abandoned on a co-workers front lawn. Jack came home with me one day and quickly found a place by my feet on the couch and a bigger place in my heart.  Sadly, Jack met his untimely demise after escaping through a hole in a neighbor’s fence. I was never going to get another dog.

But along came Jill, a mutt of mixed heritage including Italian greyhound, possibly boxer, possibly a lot of things. She was silly and loyal and an all-around easy dog.

When my son needed an incentive to complete an activity he hated, he wanted a dog more than anything. He earned Tickles, a Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie) mix, who is now 4 ½ years old.

After Jill moved out, I didn’t even try to fool myself. I got online and quickly found Gretel, an Australian shepherd who’d been dumped on the driveway belonging to a friend-of-a-friend.  Soon after acquiring Gretel, our veterinarian talked me into the German shepherd mix who had been found wandering a busy thoroughfare. We brought Shiloh home to complete our brood.

I love my puppies, but having dogs isn’t always a walk in the park, although I’m sure all three of my pooches wishes it was. My large breeds are also active breeds and while my backyard is substantial, it’s not a ranch where they can herd sheep and run wild. It’s fun to take them to the park for exercise and they love it, but it’s so hot outside all summer and most of the fall. And my dogs are hairy!!!

When I saw this fun and frozen activity, I did it again. I said, “I’d NEVER make that for my dogs; it’s silly.”

But I did. Gretel, Shiloh and Tickles LOVED it. The boys had fun watching the dogs play, too. All you need to do is round up your pet’s favorite toys. Freeze them in a large bowl of water (or beef broth, delish!) and then turn them out of the container into the back yard. Your pets will love licking the block of ice to get to their favorite toys and it will cool them down in the process.



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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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