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Shop the Sale: Shrimp Kisses


Shrimp KissesThis time last week, I was packing my bag to go to the beach for a long weekend with my love. It was an amazing trip, and I have a serious case of beach fever after returning from those sunny, relaxing days away.

I also have a lingering obsession with all things seafood.

On the last afternoon at the beach, we ate at a local hangout famous for their shrimp. They make it every way you can imagine (cue the Forrest Gump movie sequence!). They have it grilled and blackened, deep-fried, butterflied, in gumbo, on a po’boy and probably several other ways I’m forgetting.

For an appetizer, we ordered Shrimp Kisses, little bites of deep-fried shrimp stuffed with cheese and jalapeños and wrapped tightly with bacon.

I’m going to try to recreate them at home this weekend.

This recipe calls for feta cheese, which I think will hold up better in the deep-fryer than the Monterey Jack used in the recipe at the restaurant. I mean, I love gooey cheese as much as the next person, but I don’t want all my cheese to ooze out before I can get it into my mouth. I’m pretty protective of my cheese that way.

Plus, these are grilled instead of deep-fried. That’s got to be a little healthier, right?

Bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I’m going to take advantage and make a huge batch.

Shrimp Kisses
Serves 4

Ingredients:
20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into slivers
10 slices bacon, cut in half
20 toothpicks, soaked in water

Directions:
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-low heat, and lightly oil the grate.

Use a sharp paring knife to cut down the backs of the shrimp nearly all the way through, so you can spread apart the two halves. Open up the shrimp and lay them out onto your work surface. Spoon some crumbled feta cheese onto each shrimp, then top with slivers of jalapeño pepper. Close up the shrimp. Wrap each with a strip of bacon; secure with a toothpick.

Cook on the preheated grill until the bacon has begun to crisp and the shrimp is no longer translucent in the center, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 257, Fat: 18.2 g, Cholesterol: 129 mg, Sodium: 990 mg, Carbohydrates: 2.2 g, Fiber: 0.3 g, Protein: 21.4 g

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



Mi Blog Hispano: Las Maravillas del Aguacate


Las Maravillas del AguacateToda la vida me ha encantado comer aguacate, sólo, o en ensaladas, como sea, siempre he sido una gran fanática  de este sabroso fruto. Cuando estaba pequeña recuerdo que mi mamá decía que el aguacate era bueno para todo, ella me lo colocaba  en el cabello, cuando este  estaba bastante maduro y ya no se podía  comer, para que me hidratara el pelo y le diera brillo.

Ahora resulta que he aprendido que el aguacate tiene innumerables beneficios como decía mi mamá y hasta es considerado el alimento más completo, por todo lo positivo que aporta para la salud, para la belleza y hasta propiedades afrodisiacas se le han atribuido al aguacate.

Es interesantísimo saber que el aguacate se originó en Puebla, México y que además este árbol ha sido cultivado desde tiempos remotos antes de Cristo, en Centro y Sur América. En los Estados Unidos, se comenzó a cultivar en el siglo 19, especialmente en el Estado de California.

Los nutricionistas afirman que el aguacate contiene todo lo que una persona necesita para sobrevivir y que también ayuda a prevenir el cáncer, enfermedades cardiacas, la diabetes, controla el Alzheimer y otras enfermedades.

El aguacate, contiene los diez elementos minerales más importantes de la naturaleza: Zinc, Sodio, Selenio, Cobre, Potasio, Manganeso, Magnesio, Hierro, Fosforo y Calcio. Posee además, gran cantidad de vitamina E, que protege contra las enfermedades del corazón, protegiendo las arterias y reduciendo el colesterol. También el aguacate tiene ácido oleico, que elimina las lombrices intestinales y los radicales libres, lo que evita la aparición de ciertos tipos de cáncer como dije antes, sobre todo de pulmón.

Por otro lado, tiene un alto contenido de calorías ya que un aguacate mediano tiene alrededor de 227 por pieza, así que si se está tratando de perder peso hay que evitar comer mucho aguacate.

Mi madre, imagínense que teniendo 5 hijos, usaba muchas recetas de cosas naturales y el aguacate era uno de sus ingredientes favoritos, algunos de sus usos eran: para el cabello reseco, para eliminar la caspa, expulsar lombrices, matar piojos, combatir las arrugas, suavizar labios agrietados, regular el colesterol, reducir estrías, eliminar ulceras bucales, reducir la diarrea y mucho más. Los animo a investigar más detalles acerca de este maravilloso regalo de la naturaleza como lo es el aguacate.



Healthy Living: Breathe Clean Air


Breathe Clean AirIt’s springtime and if you live in the South, you’re going to be turning your air conditioner on sooner rather than later.

First things first: change your filter. No, not next week, NOW.

It’s easy. Look to see what size you need. Go to Brookshire’s. Pick one up, then install. It takes 30 minutes, tops, for all those steps.

When you pull your old A/C filter out, you’ll see why replacing the filter at least once a month is important. See all of that gray gunk clinging to the filter? You don’t want to be breathing that in, do you?

In addition, your A/C runs more efficiently when the filters are clean, saving you money.

If you have a permanent filter, you can rinse it in the sink or bathtub, being careful not to damage the metal grating. Let dry and replace!

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Goldenbrook Farms Greek Frozen Yogurt


Goldenbrook Farms Greek Frozen YogurtI made a mistake recently, but it was one of those things Chef Emeril Lagasse calls a “happy mistake.”

In a rush on the way to a potluck, I ran into Brookshire’s for a carton of ice cream to go on top of the blackberry cobbler I was serving. In my haste, I grabbed the wrong carton.

When I got to the host’s home and was serving my dessert, I pulled the carton from her freezer to discover it was not vanilla bean ice cream as I thought, but Goldenbrook Farms Honey Vanilla Greek Frozen Yogurt instead.

“It’ll do,” I thought to myself.

What an understatement! The tart but rich, sweet flavor of the honey vanilla frozen yogurt complemented the blackberries perfectly. As the melting frozen yogurt flowed into the blackberry syrup, it was a marriage made in heaven.

I’ve since gone back to Brookshire’s, paying attention this time, to see what other flavors of the frozen Greek yogurt were in stock. They also have Black Cherry Chocolate and Blueberry. My goal this summer is to try all of them.



Dine In: Hushpuppies


HushpuppiesMy boyfriend unearthed a treasure the other day while rummaging around in his kitchen. He found the staple of every Southern kitchen: a deep fryer.

I was inordinately excited.

I’d never deep-fried anything in my life.

I know it’s not the healthiest way to eat, but it was one of those things I’d always wanted to try and had never gotten the chance.

As luck would have it, we were planning on smoking some ribs, chicken and brisket on his new smoker that weekend, and it seemed that something fried would go perfectly with slow-cooked, smoked meats.

We decided on hushpuppies (because there’s really no other way to make a hushpuppy other than deep-frying it) and because we both LOVE them and RARELY eat them.

I found a Paula Deen recipe (if you’re going to deep-fry something, you might as well do it the Paula way). Hers called for onions, but I omitted those and added a few extra spices to the batter. I can’t tell you the level of satisfaction I derived from dropping those nuggets into the bubbling oil and letting them cook to a golden perfection.

I also read that you can swap out the buttermilk for beer, but I’ll try that next time!

It’s not something you want to do every day or every week for obvious health reasons, but they sure were a delicious special treat for a Friday night!

Hushpuppies
Makes 18

Ingredients:
6 cups peanut oil
1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:
Using a deep fryer or deep pot, preheat oil for frying to 350° F.

Using a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, cayenne, garlic and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix until blended. Drop the batter, 1 teaspoon at a time, into the oil. Dip the spoon in a glass of water after each hushpuppy is dropped in the oil. Fry until golden-brown, turning the hushpuppies during the cooking process.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 191, Calories from Fat: 117, Fat: 13 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 378 mg, Potassium: 29 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 2 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Life is good…


Life is goodIs life good? This can be answered many ways by different people. It depends on how you are looking at life in general. Did you wake up this morning? If yes, then I would say “life is good.” Do you have a roof over your head and a safe place to rest? If yes, I would say “life is good.” Do you get three meals a day? If so, “life is good.

We need to take a step back and look at the things in our life that are truly good and stop focusing on the ones that may not be exactly what we think they should be. Everyone has visions of how they want to live and things they want to accomplish, but the truth of the matter is that most of the time, our dreams fall short, or so we feel. It is things we take for granted (everyday things) that we often overlook. If you concentrate on the good in your life, things you should be thankful for, you often find that the other things seem to disappear or don’t matter as much anymore.

I have a sign next to my computer that states “Life is good at the beach,” and anyone that knows me can tell you this is so true for me. Though I only get to the Texas coast every few years, the beach is my place to relax, leave all my worries behind, take in the ocean, gather seashells and admire the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Normally, you sleep late on vacation, but I am up every morning by six o’clock to walk the beach and pick up shells: true serenity that restores my soul. I think God made the beach just for me!

Life is good, so good, and once we realize it, we will all be happier. Find something each day that you can say “Thank you, Lord, for blessing me,” and you will begin to see life differently. “May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes”…translation: may you find serenity in your daily life and know that life truly is good. Give thanks daily for the abundant life you live, trials and tribulation…they define you!

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Posted in: Family Matters


Shop the Sale: Smothered Pork Chops


Smothered Pork ChopsMy younger son, Luke, had a really early soccer game last weekend, so we decided that we’d go out to eat breakfast after the game instead of trying to scrape something together in the wee (still dark!) hours of Saturday morning.

After the game (they tied: 2-2), we went to a popular local eatery known for their hearty breakfasts.

I ordered country potatoes with scrambled eggs. Luke ordered pigs in a blanket, my sweetie ordered all kinds of breakfast meats and potatoes, and Curt ordered smothered pork chops.

Pork chops? For breakfast?

“I ordered off the dinner menu, Mom,” Curt explained. “I just felt like something different.”

Hey, whatever works. If you can have breakfast for dinner (which we do, frequently), I guess he can have dinner for breakfast, too.

His pork chops looked amazing.

I think they were something like the recipe below. It would be a great time to try to duplicate the recipe, as pork chops are on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Smothered Pork Chops

Ingredients:
4 thick-cut pork chops
3 Tbs butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine butter, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.

Once butter has melted, add your pork chops and seer on each side for 1 to 2 minutes until golden-brown.Once both sides of the pork chops are golden-brown, place in oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until centers are no longer pink. (Time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of your pork chops.)

Remove skillet from oven and remove your pork chops;  set them aside to rest.Whisk flour and milk into your pan with the remaining liquids after removing the pork chops. Whisk until all lumps are removed. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.Serve over the top of pork chops.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 384, Calories from Fat: 262, Fat: 29 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 93 mg, Sodium: 127 mg, Potassium: 392 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 20 g

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



Healthy Living: Celiac Disease


Celiac DiseaseGoing “gluten-free” is a trend or a health choice for some, but for others, it’s a critical way of life.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically-predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two-and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications. For these people, eating a slice of bread or a bowl of pasta is no joke. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. It’s beyond indigestion or stomach cramps; it’s dangerous to a person with the disease.

Luckily, there are so many great gluten-free options and products in the grocery store today that offer delicious alternatives to wheat, rye and barley choices for people who eat gluten-free.

Look for the products among the shelves stocked at Brookshire’s and in the special section on the baking aisle. Major corporations have started labeling their products as well, to make them easy to identify.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Quaker Instant Grits


Quaker Instant GritsI’m enjoying a new phase in life, one where I don’t have to eat breakfast in my car during an hour-long commute.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want a quick, easy breakfast. Mornings still involve wrangling two boys into school clothes, making sure they’re brushed, washed and fed, packing their lunches and backpacks, and getting out the door in time for morning tutorials and study halls.

Now, I love grits. They’ve been a recently-acquired taste within the past few years or so. I love making them homemade on the weekends for breakfast with a dash of hot sauce and black pepper, or with shrimp and tomatoes for dinner.

I recently saw individual serving sizes of instant Quaker grits at Brookshire’s, and I decided to try them. You can either add boiling water to the handy (ie, no dishes required) to-go container, or add water and microwave. I prefer the first method.

They are so delicious that you’d never be able to tell they are “instant,” but instant, they are. I can have breakfast ready in two minutes. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Parmesan Potato Pancake


Parmesan Potato PancakeLast Friday night, we were in the mood to be creative.

Don’t you love that feeling after a fulfilling work week when you’re riding the tidal wave of energy and positivity, and the one thing you want to do when you get home is cook something delicious with your sweetie? I surely do.

We decided to roast a chicken and toss a salad. I had potatoes in the pantry, and we knew we wanted to use them. However, we didn’t want to just roast or mash them. Roast chicken always reminds me of a French country bistro or a Parisian café, which immediately brought to mind a potato pancake. One of the best meals I had in France was a roast chicken with a potato galette on a Sunday afternoon in the north of France. A galette isn’t quite the same as a potato pancake, but when I was looking for recipes for a potato cake of any sort, I came across the potato pancake recipe, which called for freshly grated parmesan cheese. I was sold.

This one takes some patience. Your pan can’t be too hot, but it can’t be too cool either. The potatoes will become mushy if it’s too cool. The best part is flipping the pancake. I was nervous the first time and took forever to flip the pancake onto a plate, then slide it back into the pan. I got the hang of it. Attack it. Don’t think, just flip. That would be my advice. The original recipe didn’t call for adding more oil to the pan before adding the pancake back in, but I found you get a more golden crust if you add about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and let it heat up before you slide the pancake back into your nonstick skillet.

It was a delicious French country dinner.

Parmesan Potato Pancake

Ingredients:
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:
Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch diameter) nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic; cook until tender and fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Reserve the pan.

Meanwhile, grate the potatoes in a food processor using the grating attachment blade. Use a kitchen towel to help squeeze out the water from the grated potatoes. Add the potatoes to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add the parmesan and the basil. Stir to combine; season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Warm the remaining olive oil over high heat in the same pan that was used to cook the onions. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the potato mixture. Use a spatula to press the mixture down into the pan firmly and evenly. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook the potato mixture until the bottom is golden-brown and the pancake can move in the pan, about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low if the pancake is browning too fast in places. Place a large plate on top of the pancake and flip the pancake out of the pan. Turn the heat on the pan back up to high. Add one tablespoon olive oil. When the pan is hot, slide the pancake back into the pan. Cook until the bottom is golden and the pancake is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, slice and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 460, Calories from Fat: 207, Fat: 23 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 1133 mg, Potassium: 1021 mg, Carbohydrates: 46 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 24 g

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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.

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On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

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Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

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Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

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