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Product Talk: Rotisserie Chicken


Buffalo Chicken Salad with Brookshire's Rotisserie ChickenThis could be my favorite product in Brookshire’s, seriously.

The steam table with beautiful, golden rotisserie chickens is somewhere near your deli and meat counter in your local Brookshire’s. Mine is conveniently located near the checkouts and main doors, so as you’re either standing in line or dashing into the store at 5:30pm that heavenly smell of slow-roasted poultry envelops your senses.

You can do ANYTHING with a rotisserie chicken, I’m telling you. I’ve eaten them as is. I’ve used them for filling in enchiladas and empanadas, in a pasta dish and in soup.

Last week, I used one in a Buffalo Chicken Salad. Rotisserie chickens, which are cooked right in the store and set out all through the day for maximum freshness, come in either traditional or lemon pepper flavors. Both are superb.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
4 Tbs buffalo sauce or hot sauce
1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Whip softened cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add salt, pepper, sour cream and hot sauce; blend well. Add bleu cheese, celery and chicken; stir gently. Refrigerate 2 hours or until flavors blend, but is still spreadable. Serve on a sandwich or on crackers.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 270, Calories from Fat: 136, Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 217 mg, Potassium: 283 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g

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



Dine In: Cajun Chicken and Rice


Cajun Chicken and RiceThe other night at dinner, I asked my guys what was ONE food they could eat for the rest of their lives.

Curt was non-committal. After all, he’s 13 and it’s no longer cool to play Mom’s games at the dinner table.

Luke didn’t hesitate.

“Rice!” he declared.

Rice?

I mean, I like rice as much as the next person, but he waxed poetic about rice for several minutes.

A few days later, we went out to a Mexican restaurant. I told him he could ask for a double serving of rice instead of beans.

He ate his double rice, my rice and would have eaten his brother’s rice if I hadn’t put the kibosh on that, due to the fact his brother had a heinous summer cold (Luke caught it anyway).

While he’ll eat other forms of rice, his favorite is plain, old white rice.

However, there’s only so much of that I can take and am willing to serve. The best part of it is that if a dish contains rice, Luke is pretty much guaranteed to eat it!

Cajun Chicken and Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbs Cajun or Creole seasoning
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cups diced onions and bell peppers
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Louisiana Hot Sauce, for serving

Directions:
Combine rice and water (or broth) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 14 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, leaving the cover alone. (This is always the mistake I make with rice. Don’t. Touch. The. Lid.)

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and season with a Cajun or Creole seasoning like Tony Chachere’s. Add half of the olive oil to a large pot and set heat to medium-high. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken without overcrowding the pan. Brown on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes, and then brown on the other side. Remove chicken to a plate to rest.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan; increase heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the onions, bell peppers and more seasoning; sauté until the vegetables become soft and browned.

Add the tomatoes, and then add the chicken back in, along with any juices that may have collected on the plate. Add the cooked rice and stir until well-combined. Add the cheese if desired and stir well to combine.

Serve with Louisiana Hot Sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 610, Calories from Fat: 227, Fat: 25.3 g (9.4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 131 mg, Sodium: 495 mg, Potassium: 662 mg, Carbohydrates: 48.3 g, Fiber: 3.4 g, Sugar: 6.3 g, Protein: 44.8 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Getting a Pet-icure


Getting a Pet-icureMy 95-pound hunka hunka burning love, a.k.a my dog Astro, pretty much has one trick.

“Gimme paw,” we say, and he presents us with one massive doggie paw.

Whether or not he’s recently had a nail trim is the difference between the trick being cute and sweet or nearly lethal.

There are lots of good reasons to trim a dog’s nails. Dogs’ nails are constantly growing, just like those of humans. They don’t always wear them down walking on floors or concrete, either. Sometimes you have to take matters into your own paws, ‘er hands, that is. Left to their own devices, a pup’s nails could grow so long that they curl into your pet’s foot pads.

Ouch.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to trim your pet’s nails when they touch the floor when they are standing still. You’ll probably hear that little click, click, click before you see them.

To prepare him for a trim, hold his paws several times a day. He should be comfortable doing this because he’ll sense affection. Keep your attitude upbeat and give him a treat after the trim. You might want to enlist someone else the dog loves if you have a big pooch. When we trim Astro’s nails, I sit with him, hold his collar and talk puppy talk to him while Paul does the trimming.

Don’t trim them too short. Look at your pooch’s paws before you start, and you’ll notice that part of the nail is white and part is clearer. Stay away from the inner white part! That could hurt him and make him bleed.

There are a variety of tools you can use to trim your pal’s nails, but simple nail clippers should work just fine.

When you’re done, praise your doggie and get him a treat!

 



Shop the Sale: Bacon Beef Sushi


Bacon Beef SushiI have this magnificent practical joke working in my mind, and I hope Paul isn’t reading this right now.

I want to announce to him that we’re having homemade sushi for dinner.

I would love to see his face.

Paul wouldn’t want to be within 10 feet of sushi, at least not the traditional kind. He’d put on a brave face because he’s sweet and polite like that, but he’d probably offer to go pick up some barbecue or something.

Sushi purists will readily decry this recipe, but it certainly would be a fun play on sushi for the meat-lovin’ man. COOKED meat, at that.

I’m going to play this prank this week when Brookshire’s Thick Bacon is on sale. I might even make two because I know the boys would love it as well.

Bacon Beef “Sushi”

Ingredients:
1 lb Brookshire’s Thick Bacon
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp seasoned salt
3 pieces mozzarella string cheese
1 cup barbecue sauce
French fried onions, optional

Directions:
Cut a large piece of parchment paper.

Lay strips of bacon side-to-side, touching, on top of the parchment paper to form a square.

Spread lean ground beef on top of bacon to cover it. Layer should be thin. Sprinkle with pepper and seasoned salt.

Place three sticks of string cheese, end-to-end, along one edge of the meat. Starting at that end, use parchment paper to roll meat into a sushi log.

Press together. Use toothpicks to hold the “sushi roll” together, if necessary.

Heat grill to medium. Place sushi roll on grill. Grill about 1 minute on each side, turning twice. Baste with barbecue sauce. Grill another minute on each side. Repeat with sauce and grill time.

Grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes more.

Remove from grill. Roll into crushed French fried onions, if desired. Slice into sushi slices; serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 654, Calories from Fat: 351, Fat: 39 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 158 mg, Sodium: 2855 mg, Potassium: 827 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 55 g

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



Healthy Living: Whole-Foods


Whole-FoodsAs always, I’m in awe of and inspired by my sister-in-law and her family when we meet at the beach each year.

Nothing passes through her lips that isn’t a whole-food.

She, my brother (her husband) and her three sons are the super-healthiest people I know. Fruits, veggies, whole-grains and lean proteins. Even for snacks. Even on the BEACH. (I hid my Combos in their presence). They snacked on grapes. Almonds. Pears. Peaches. Grape tomatoes. Water. Water and more water. They ate Greek yogurt for breakfast with homemade granola. They ate lettuce wraps for lunch with hummus and roasted red peppers. Their oldest son told my youngest son that white rice wasn’t as good as brown rice, but there was no need to be prejudiced (yes, that really happened).

They are pretty inspiring. I’m not sure where my sister-in-law’s drive comes from. When she makes pancake batter, it’s with ground quinoa instead of flour. She used to make and decorate sugar cookies, but those are too unhealthy, too. Now, while I’m more of an everything-in-moderation type mama, I applaud her values for clean and healthy eating.

Whole-foods, the ones God gave us, are the best basis of a healthy diet. Plants, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and nuts are nature’s bounty that we were given to enjoy without processing and without alteration. Many studies have shown that a diet high in whole-foods is associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and Type 2 diabetes. There are so many benefits to eating whole-foods.

One tip to buying whole-foods is to shop on the outer perimeter of Brookshire’s. Stick to the produce, meats and dairy sections.

Another is to read the list of ingredients in an item. If it’s under five, you might be good to go, but choose your ingredients wisely, too.

Her family rarely gets sick. Her three young boys do Kid Triathlons. She and my brother are lean, mean, parenting machines.

Enjoy your whole-foods and your healthy life.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Rotel Tomatoes


Creamy Chicken Tortilla SoupI was first introduced to Rotel Tomatoes when I was attending a potluck dinner, and I needed to bring a snack to share. I was making queso in the slow cooker because, really, when is molten cheese not a huge hit? Sure, that was back in the ‘80s, and I’m sure the allure of Rotel had been around long before that. To me, this little bit of happiness in a 10-ounce can was a novelty.

Rotel Tomatoes are canned using an original Texas family recipe: made with a signature blend of vine-ripened tomatoes, zesty green chilies and a savory mixture of secret spices, according to their website. Fun fact: The creator of the recipe, Carl Roettele, was worried people wouldn’t be able to spell or say his last name, so he changed the name of the product to “Ro*Tel.”

While their tomato cheese dip is probably their most famous recipe, there are lots of delicious ways to use Rotel. Here’s a delicious soup recipe, from the Rotel website, that my family loves.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:
2 (10 oz) cans Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
2 (14 oz) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 (16 oz) can Rosarita® No Fat Traditional Refried Beans
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
3/4 cup fried corn tortilla strips or broken tortilla chips

Directions:
Stir together undrained Rotel, broth, corn and beans in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken; heat through. Serve soup topped with tortilla strips or broken tortilla chips.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 219, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 948 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 20 g

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



Dine In: Banana Cream Pie Bites


Banana Cream Pie BitesIf you know me, you know I don’t like bananas.

It’s really the only food I will not eat.

When my boys were little and I was packing school lunches, I had to hold the banana in plastic wrap when I cut into it so my hands wouldn’t smell like the fruit.

Most people love bananas. They’re really good for you, chock full of potassium. I just don’t care for them.

Recently, my best friend and I were eating at the restaurant where her daughter works. It’s a French café and bakery.

After our super-healthy salads, she plunks down, right smack in front of us, two of the “Cupcakes of the Month,” which happened to be banana pudding cupcakes.

Now, I’m not opposed to eating banana in other forms other than the (healthy) raw form. I like a good banana bread and still bake my favorite Southern Living recipe several times each winter. I will put a banana in a fruit smoothie. When I was on a job interview once over lunch and my prospective employer told me to order the banana pudding for dessert, I did so and enjoyed it immensely.

So, I was up for trying the Banana Pudding Cupcake. After all, NOTHING this bakery has ever produced is less than excellent.

What I didn’t expect was to enjoy it so much! It was a delicious blend of banana and vanilla. Yummy!

I wasn’t up for baking cupcakes last Friday night, but I did see this Pinterest recipe and decided to try it! I have to say, it was delicious.

Maybe it’s made a banana convert out of me.

Banana Cream Pie Bites

Ingredients:
1 (16.5 oz) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla or banana pudding, prepared according to package directions and chilled
1 banana, sliced into 24 rounds
1 ctn French Vanilla flavored Cool Whip topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 24-cup, mini-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Divide sugar cookie dough into 24 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place dough in prepared muffin tin.

Bake until golden-brown and set, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and use the back of a spoon to press each cookie down; let cool 10 minutes. Remove cups from pan to a rack; cool completely.

Place a slice of banana into each cookie cup. Top with a generous dollop of pudding and finish with vanilla Cool Whip. Serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.

Makes: 24 bites

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 104, Calories from Fat: 33, Fat: 4 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 7 mg, Sodium: 235 mg, Potassium: 18 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 1 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Twin Differences


Twin DifferencesI took a trip back in time last week, in lots of ways, but one of the big ones was that I spent the week with my sister and her twins, who turned six months old last week.

It’s been 12 years since I had a baby in the house, and wow, how quickly we forget, or at least how quickly I forget how little they are, how much they need and how simply sweet a baby can be.

Patrick and Emma are my sister’s twins, and they are as different as night and day. This isn’t unusual, according to experts, especially with boys and girls.

Emma is social and engaging, and she is physically developing ahead of Patrick. Patrick is quieter and less vocal, and he is slightly behind Emma’s physical milestones. Since multiples are usually born a little earlier (three weeks early for these guys), developmental milestones need to be adjusted just a little.

At six months, they are eating solid foods, responding to voices, cuddling into their parents, rolling over and having a great time laughing at amusing antics, like cousin Luke sticking his tongue out repeatedly.

Soon, they’ll be sitting up.

And then crawling and creeping.

Heaven help my sister.



Family Matters: Let Imagination Grow


Let Imagination GrowMy nephew Beau is a hoot.

He’s a lean, mean, superhero machine, and he’s not even three yet.

Beau was hilarious last week at the beach. I’m pretty sure his suitcase of superhero toys was larger than the one containing his needs for the week.

He was attached to those superheroes.

Around age two, you’ll see your toddler’s imagination start to skyrocket.

Beau was pretty convinced he was the real Batman, after all. When your baby is born, he has about 100 billion brain cells. By the time your child reaches the age of three, his brain will grow to have 1,000 trillion connections. Crazy, huh?

The way he develops these is through talking, taste, touch, sound, sight and smell.

To nurture your child’s imagination, read to them. Tell them make-believe stories. Weave a tale out of walking down the grocery aisle with them. Let them lead the way. Start a story and let them fill in a word.

Dress them up.

Play hide and seek.

Encourage them to solve problems through games.

Play with them. Give them a box and call it a pot. Give them a sock and call it a hat. Laugh.

The best way to nurture your baby’s imagination is to have one yourself. Be silly. Don’t be afraid to make a mess or make up a fictional story. Baby will love it.

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Posted in: Family Matters


Family Matters: Jolly Jumper


Jolly JumperWhen I visited my parents’ house, they had an apparatus hanging from a door frame we used to call the “Jolly Jumper.”

It’s basically a seat that hangs from the door frame on a spring, and your seven to 12-month-old (and beyond) can sit inside and jump to their heart’s content.

Mine started in the Jolly Jumper at about 7 months. Luke, my younger one, jumped and giggled, and he had a great old time. Curt, my older, took the Jolly Jumper to a whole new level. Extreme Jolly Jumper, if you will.

He wouldn’t just bounce; he’d SPRING INTO THE AIR, getting slack in the line and landing back on the floor with a gentle “thud.” He’d laugh and laugh and laugh.

However, his most famous feat was planting one chunky baby foot on the ground and spinning himself, nonstop, for minutes on end. I have him on video shrieking in delight.

While most kids don’t do that, they do benefit from the movement, the jumping and the stimulation. You benefit from the time to get a shower or hear baby giggles.

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Posted in: Family Matters


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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.

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