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Dine In: Champagne Risotto


Champagne RisottoIn 48 hours, we’ll be welcoming a new year, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to celebrate.
With New Year’s Eve EVE falling on a Friday this year, you can get the party started early.

I think the first time I ever made risotto was actually on New Year’s Eve way back in the ‘90s or, as my kids say, “last century.” They love saying that. I don’t find it as amusing.

Back to the story. My good friend and upstairs neighbor, Susan, and I decided we were going to make a meal that would make all other meals from all year pale in comparison.

We were going to roast a prime rib, dress a microgreen salad with a champagne vinaigrette and make a champagne risotto. Clearly our theme was “champagne.”

The problem was that neither of us has ever made any of those dishes, aside from maybe a vinaigrette. That was no deterrent. Out came the cookbooks. We shopped at the butcher down the street for the meat. We purchased a meat thermometer. We bought bottles of good champagne to drink as well as to use in our cooking. We were ready.

I have to admit that the prime rib didn’t turn out so well. We should have paid a little more attention to the thermometer as the meat got way too overcooked while we were stirring the risotto.

The risotto, however, turned out perfectly, and I’ve made it frequently for holidays or meals when I needed a serious WOW factor ever since.

Champagne Risotto

Ingredients:
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cups champagne, divided
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (shred the cheese yourself, from a block)
kosher salt, to taste
parmesan curls and fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions:
In a large, heavy stockpot, swirl the olive oil and butter; melt together over medium-low heat. When the oil is fragrant and the butter begins to bubble, add the onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the rice, stirring and cooking for about 4 minutes.

Add in 1 cup champagne to deglaze the pan. Turn heat to medium, and stir the rice constantly as it absorbs the liquid. Cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the second cup of champagne and follow the same procedure. Repeat with the third cup.

Add the chicken broth in the same way, a cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the vast majority of the liquid is absorbed.

If your rice is too firm, add two cups of water, one at a time; stir until the rice is cooked al dente and all the liquid is creamy.

Right before serving, turn heat to low; stir in the cheese and salt. Serve immediately with curls of parmesan cheese and fresh thyme leaves.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 713, Calories from Fat: 238, Fat: 26 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 56 mg, Sodium: 1148 mg, Potassium: 267 mg, Carbohydrates: 62 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 27 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Family Resolutions


Family ResolutionsI don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I feel like that just sets me up for feeling like I failed (and be honest, have you ever KEPT a resolution all year? If so, write me.)

However, there are goals that I focus on accomplishing. Argue, they’re the same thing. They very well may be, but I prefer “goals” to “resolutions.”

Either way, I set some goals for myself, and I try to ask the kids what they want to do, too. This year, I changed the approach because of something I saw work amazingly well at the corporate level: We set team goals (or resolutions, what have you).

Here’s what my family came up with as resolutions/goals for 2017. It’s a fun exercise to do with your family, too, no matter what you call it.

  • Eat more pizza. (Ok, we’ll have to see about this one. Luckily, Brookshire’s prepares it in the grocery deli case!)
  • Go on more adventures. (Yes! A thousand times, yes. Sometimes on weekends we get SO bogged down in what NEEDS to be done that we forget what we WANT to do. An adventure doesn’t have to cost anything or take a lot of time; it just has to be fun for the family.)
  • See more movies. (Um, do these have to be in the theater because Brookshire’s now stocks Popcorn Junction popcorn, and I purchased a subscription to Amazon Prime).
  • Eat outside more often. (This could be my favorite. This is the South, y’all. We can make this happen 10 months out of the year.)
  • Play more board games. (Board games might be my younger son’s love language. I’m all in, as long as he doesn’t cheat at Clue.)
  • Have us do fewer chores. (Sorry, buddy, no go.)
  • Go camping more often. (YES! And leave electronics in the car for emergencies only. And I mean “I just saw a bear in our campsite emergencies,” not “Can I play Pokemon Go?” emergencies.)
  • Take the dog for more walks. (Brilliant. Yes, good for everyone involved, Astro included. Note to self: Take a pooper scooper and bags so we don’t anger the neighbors.)
  • Plop your bottom on a surface at mealtime, and don’t get up for at least 15 minutes. (That’s mine. No matter how well-strategized mealtimes are, someone needs water 15 seconds into the meal. Someone else needs salad dressing 5 minutes in. Someone needs to use the restroom, and someone finished 5 minutes faster than everyone else.) Sit. Relax. Enjoy.

I’d love to hear some of your resolutions/goals/ideas, whatever you want to call them!



Shop the Sale: New Year’s Brisket


New Year’s BrisketI probably say this every year, but I didn’t really know about New Year’s Day traditions until I was grown and out of the house. All of that to say, my family didn’t have the same traditions as most southerners experience.

In the South, we eat black-eyed peas, greens, cornbread and brisket on New Year’s Day, so today is the perfect day to shop the sale items in preparation of the new year.

Peas represent coins, for prosperity in 2017. Greens also symbolize money; cook them up with pork (ham or bacon) to represent that pigs root forward (meaning that you’ll get ahead in the new year). In days gone by, our ancestors killed a fatted calf for a show of prosperity, thus the brisket.

New Year’s Day Brisket

Ingredients:
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs salt
2 Tbs Worcestershire powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs ground black pepper
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1 bay leaf, crushed
4 lbs beef brisket, trimmed
1 1/2 cups beef stock

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Combine chili powder, salt, garlic powder and onion powder, Worcestershire powder, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard and bay leaf. Rub brisket with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, and then massage spice rub into the meat. Place in a roasting pan; roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Add beef stock and enough water to yield about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. Lower oven to 300° F. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil; continue cooking for 3 hours or until fork-tender.

Trim the fat, and slice meat thinly across the grain.

Serve with black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread.

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 399, Calories from Fat: 119, Fat: 13 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 180 mg, Sodium: 2607 mg, Potassium: 897 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 62 g.

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



Healthy Living: Sleep Matters


Sleep MattersSeveral years ago, I stopped sleeping. After a while, I stopped functioning. No, really. I walked through each day like a zombie, and even now, I can’t recall how I accomplished basic tasks. Once, I even fell asleep in the car in a parking lot, immediately after pulling in.

Good sleep patterns are critical to your overall health.

Adequate sleep is necessary to fight off infection, colds and illnesses, especially this time of year. Good sleep supports your metabolism. It helps you work safely and effectively, and it enables you to perform well in school.

If left untreated, sleep disorders and chronic short sleep are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. However, getting good sleep isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially when you’re exhausted but just can’t sleep well.

There are several things you can do to help the process along, though.

Start dimming the lights about an hour before you want to go to bed. Don’t exercise, eat or drink within that hour, either (or three to four hours before bedtime, in the case of exercise).

Prepare yourself for sleep by ceasing any activity. Read a book, watch TV, take a bath or listen to music. Avoid making school lunches, preparing work for the next day, cleaning or any other activity that invites stress.

Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Put electronics away, if you have to, or turn off the volume so they won’t be distracting. Keep work out of your bedroom. Keep laundry off your bed.

Drink warm tea or milk as you begin to settle down. A bath, about an hour before bed, helps induce sleepiness as you cool off. Add lavender to the bathwater, use lavender lotion or diffuse lavender essential oils in your bedroom as lavender is known to have a calming effect.

If sleep problems persist, consult your doctor. He can do a blood workup and help you identify any physical causes of sleeplessness. He might also prescribe a natural supplement or a short-term medication to help break the cycle of sleeplessness.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Ultimate Oranges


Ultimate OrangesUltimate Oranges are back, just in time for cold and flu season.

These perfectly ripe, juicy, succulent oranges are chock full of vitamin C, which helps ward off colds at the peak of the sickness season.

Navel oranges from California are known for their large size, their sweet flavor and their juiciness. Navel oranges are known from the way the skin puckers into the shape of a belly button. They are known for being easy to peel and easy to segment, and they are great for snacking, for salads, for relishes, for marmalades or for fruit trays.

The history of the navel orange heralds back to the early 1800s.

In 1820, monks grew these oranges in a monastery garden in Bahai, Brazil. They sent a dozen of the trees to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. in 1870.

In 1873, Mrs. Eliza Tibbetts of Riverside, California wrote to the U.S.D.A. requesting two of the new Navel orange trees, and she planted them in sunny California.

The Bahia Navel was renamed the Riverside Navel, but it was renamed again the Washington Navel after George Washington for a more national appeal. All new varieties of navel oranges can trace their roots back to the Washington Navel in the United States.



Dine In: Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup


Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup ‘Twas two days before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except Mom and Dad who were racing around frantically to try to create the perfect Christmas for their family.

Slow down tonight and serve a simple supper that will pave the way for the feasting to come.

This soup is perfect for chillier temperatures. It’s super thick and creamy but without all the added fat (you can save those calories for cookies over the next few days).

Prep this soup for Christmas Eve EVE, and enjoy the evening together by the fireplace. Take a deep breath before the hustle and bustle kicks into high gear.

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

Ingredients:
5 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese (do not use fat-free)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 (12 oz) can 2% evaporated milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (8 oz) block sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
Spray the liner of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place broccoli, carrots, onions and garlic into the bottom of the liner. Top with cream cheese, oregano, nutmeg and chicken stock. Cover; cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 to 6 hours.

Stir in evaporated milk.

Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree about 3/4 of the soup until it’s creamy.

Stir together back in the slow cooker, and cook 10 more minutes or until warmed through. Stir in salt, pepper and grated cheese. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 306, Calories from Fat: 176, Fat: 20 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 64 mg, Sodium: 893 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 17 g.

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Quick ‘n’ Easy Party Rollups


Quick ‘n’ Easy Party RollupsI had never made tortilla rollups before but needed some type of “finger food” that was quick and easy for a party recently. After looking over several recipes, I finally decided to make my own based on other recipes but with things my family would eat. Try this recipe, and make it your own by adding your favorites!

Quick ‘n’ Easy Party Rollups

Ingredients:
1 pkg  cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can Rotel, drained
3/4 small can black olives, diced
1/2 small can green chilies, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg Colby Jack cheese, finely shredded
1 large can white chunk chicken breast, drained and pulled apart
black pepper
Morton Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend
1 pkg large flour tortillas

Directions:
Mix items in the order listed. Spread on tortillas (leave about 1/2 inch around with no mixture); roll them up and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour; remove. Slice in 1 inch diameter pieces, and plate for the party. If you are not ready to eat immediately, you will need to refrigerate until ready. Do not refrigerate for more than 3 hours because that may cause tortillas to get a little moist. Other added suggestions include pimentos, chopped nuts, green olives, jalapeños, green onions, pickle relish (sweet or dill), hot pepper cheese, etc.

Serves 10

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

As you plan for parties for New Year’s, big football games, church gatherings or special holidays coming up, figure out what you like and give this recipe a try. Make several varieties, and see which everyone likes the best. Count your blessings daily, and give thanks for time with your family and friends!



Mi Blog Hispano: Decorando Galletas, Una Tradición Navideña


Decorando Galletas, Una Tradición Navideña¡En unos días más ya es navidad, mi día festivo favorito! Mi familia vendrá en noche buena a mi casa para festejar, y yo tendré que tener la casa impecable, decorada, y hacer aperitivos para todos.

Lo bueno de esto es que tengo tres hijas que les encanta hornear y decorar pastelitos. Así que, mientras yo ando ocupada con otras cosas, mis hijas me ayudaran a hornear y decorar las galletas navideñas. Claro que las estaré ayudando pero me gusta que ellas sientan que lo están haciendo solas. Es bueno enseñarlas desde chicas a que les guste la cocina ya que algún día tendrán su hogar y tendrán que estar preparadas.

Horneando y decorando galletas con sus hijos(as) puede ser parte de una tradición navideña. Así lo vemos en casa, hacemos galletas y bizcochos de chocolate que mis hijas decoran con arbolitos de navidad o caritas de santa. Es una tradición que dejara una memoria bonita en ellas. También puedo conectar con ellas al hablar, reír, danzar, y cantar mientras decoramos las galletas y escuchamos música navideña. Ya que crezcan recordaran cuando decoraban sus galletas de navidad y me dirán que fue una de sus mejores memorias. Espero que ellas sigan la tradición con sus hijos.

Les deseo una Feliz Navidad y un Próspero Año Nuevo a lado de sus seres queridos, y que disfruten el tiempo con sus hijos(as) al preparar la comida, las galletas, y las decoraciones navideñas para su fiesta.



Shop the Sale: Christmas Roast Beast


Christmas Roast BeastMy favorite part of the legendary Christmas classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” was always when the Whos in Whoville passed the Roast Beast at Christmas dinner. I don’t know why this particular scene caught my fancy, but it never failed to elicit a giggle. Truth be told, it still does.

Every time I eat a roast, I have to call it a Roast Beast, much to the chagrin of my eye-rolling teenagers. When they are providing the roast, they can call it whatever they want, I think to myself.

This Christmas is a great time to make a showcase meal with a roasted boneless ribeye roast as the centerpiece. We all know that your wallet can use a little relief the week before Christmas, so enjoy this indulgence from Brookshire’s without feeling like The Grinch!

Mustard-Rubbed Roast Beef (Beast!)

Ingredients:
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs thyme leaves
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 Tbs
4 lbs boneless beef ribeye roast
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
kitchen string, for tying roast

Directions:
Remove roast from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before searing.

Preheat oven to 250° F.

Place mustard seeds, salt, pepper and thyme in a mortar and pestle; grind until powdery. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, use the powdered versions of the mustard and thyme with regular salt and pepper.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil, and continue to crush until well-combined. Stir in Dijon mustard until it’s all well-incorporated.

Rub roast with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, and sear beef for 1 minute on each side until browned. Remove roast from pan, and secure with kitchen string. Rub mustard mixture over beef. Place back in skillet or use a roasting pan; place beef in oven.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours for medium-rare (use a meat thermometer to cook to desired doneness).

Remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 948, Calories from Fat: 472, Fat: 52 g (22 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 373 mg, Sodium: 1028 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 112 g.

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



Healthy Living: Hot Spiced Fruit Bake


Hot Spiced Fruit BakeI said fruit BAKE, not fruit CAKE!

Of course, if fruitcake is your thing, you might really love this hot, spiced fruit bake.

It’s hard to resist so many delicious treats during the holidays, but you can enjoy this delicious indulgence guilt-free by keeping calories low and loading up on the nutrients found in winter fruits.

Winter fruits like apples, pears and citrus are a great way to get antioxidants, which help fight colds this time of the year.

This is a great alternative to heavier treats laden with flour and sugar.

Enjoy this for breakfast or for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if you must.

Hot Spiced Fruit Bake

Ingredients:
2 cups apple slices
2 cups pear slices
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup pineapple chunks (juice reserved)
lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut sugar or raw sugar
1 Tbs agave or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300° F. In a large bowl, toss fruit with lemon juice. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, spices and coconut oil. Add in honey and about 1/3 cup pineapple juice. Stir into fruit, and mix thoroughly to coat.

Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake for 1 hour. Top with nuts. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 492, Calories from Fat: 327, Fat: 37 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 61 mg, Sodium: 166 mg, Potassium: 395 mg, Carbohydrates: 43 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 30 g, Protein: 3 g.

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



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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.

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