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Dine In: Lobster Bisque En Croute


Lobster Bisque En CrouteSo, about that gala I went to a few weekends ago…

Are you tired of hearing about it yet? I’m sorry, but the whole evening was so magical. I’ve been thrilled to relive it over and over on my dining room table, minus the stunning flower arrangements, crystal chandeliers and napkins folded like a tuxedo over a menu card.

Maybe I could try that at home, but I’m not sure my kids would really appreciate a menu card at their place setting before each meal.

But back to the gala…

The meal opened with a velvety lobster bisque en croute, which is a fancy, gala-esque way of saying soup with a lovely pastry topping.

It was marvelous. The creaminess of the bisque played perfectly off the acidity of the tomato, and the lobster was just little chunks of heaven in the soup. The pastry layer, which was baked on top of the bowl, was light, flaky, buttery and magnificent.

Despite the fancy name, this recipe is really quite easy to make.

Enjoy!

Lobster Bisque En Croute

Ingredients:
2 oz butter
1/4 cup flour
1 (1 to 1 1/2 lb) lobster
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup French brandy
1 shallot, minced
1 quart fish stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tsp tomato puree
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs lobster base
2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough

Directions:
Melt butter in a large, heavy ovenproof skillet or saucepan. Whisk in flour to make a light roux.

Break the lobster up into sections. Brown the onions, celery and lobster meat in a 425° F oven; stir every 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from oven when browned and place on the range; flame with French brandy. Add in the shallots, fish stock and white wine; let simmer for at least 1 hour. Cool slightly and strain through a fine sieve.

To the strained bisque, add in tomato puree, cream and lobster base to taste. Thicken the bisque with the roux to desired consistency.

At serving time, fill six oven-proof serving dishes with the bisque. Top with puff pastry dough, cut to size. Bake in 425° F oven until golden and puffed. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 263, Calories from Fat: 44, Fat: 16 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 71 mg, Sodium: 663 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 9 g



Company News: BGC announces Earth Day recycling campaign results


TYLER, Texas, June 5, 2015 – Some 3,750 trees will be planted in the Lost Pines Forest near Bastrop, Texas, as a result of Brookshire Grocery Company’s special plastics recycling campaign conducted April 20-26.

More than 125,000 pounds of plastic bags, bottles and jugs were collected for recycling during this weeklong event, which was hosted at all Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, along with FRESH by Brookshire’s in Tyler. All recycling revenue from the collected plastic was donated to the Arbor Day Foundation to help with the recovery of the portions of Lost Pines Forest that was burned in the wildfires of 2011.

As a result, more than 20 acres of trees will be planted, and more than 1.8 million water bottles and 182,000 gallon jugs have been diverted from landfills, where they would have spent up to the next 450 years decomposing.

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Family Matters: Diaper Changing Made Easy, Anywhere


Diaper Changing Made Easy, AnywhereIt’s a little known fact that you spend 99 percent of your child’s first year changing diapers.

Okay, it’s not that much, but it sure can feel like it.

That’s why it’s important to make the job quick and easy, anywhere in your house.

You probably have a diaper-changing station set up in your baby’s nursery. I started out using a waterproof, wipeable plastic pad that I set on my son’s toy box. That proved kind of awkward, so I bought a Jenny Lind changing table that I kept in his room for easy diaper changes.

However, his room isn’t the only place I needed to change a diaper quickly, especially when my second son came along and I didn’t want to leave him alone in one spot while leaving to change the older one’s diaper (or vice versa, especially with a toddler who can move!). I set up another diaper-changing station in my living room. I bought a cute basket and stocked it with diapers, wipes, an extra set of clothes, a mat or pad I could easily wipe down, plastic bags for disposing of dirty diapers and a few toys to distract baby during diaper changes.

I created a similar portable changing station in my bedroom with a box I could slide under the bed.

A basket, decorative box or even a fabric bag can make cute, portable changing stations all throughout your house so a quick diaper change is only a grab away.



Family Matters: Self-Feeding Snacks


Self-Feeding SnacksBy now, your baby has acquired some mad fine motor skills and wants to put them to use at all times, especially when they’re eating.

My son used to slap my hand away when he saw the long-handled silver baby spoon coming his way. He’d much rather painstakingly pick up morsels from the tray of his high chair than have me feed it to him.

There are plenty of snacks your baby can enjoy and exert some independence by feeding himself. Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts are one of those.

Yogurt Melts are little bite-sized yogurt nuggets, freeze-dried and easy for snacking at home or on the go. They are a good source of vitamins A, C and E, and they are made with real fruit and yogurt. They are easy to chew with no mess! Yogurt Melts are made with live and active cultures, and contain no preservatives, artificial sweeteners or flavors.

Whole-grain cereals, like Cheerios, are another tried and true favorite. Baby can pick them up, enjoy their whole-grain taste, and either chew or gum them, all by themselves.

Small bits of banana, slightly smashed peas, avocado, toast and cheese are also great snacks for baby to pick up and eat by himself.



Family Matters: Diapers and Pull-Ups


Diapers and Pull-UpsSometime in the next months, your baby will transition from diapers to pull-ups. Big kid diapers, as we used to call them.

I loved when we finally hit the stage where they could take their own diapers off and on (carefully, with some help, of course). They felt pretty empowered, too, and it spurred them on to potty training!

Pull-ups are diapers that function more like regular underwear. Still absorbent and ready to catch whatever your little one eliminates, pull-ups can be pulled up or down, or opened at the sides, if necessary.

They are not as bulky as regular diapers and, at least in the case of my boys, made them more interested in using the potty and wearing “big boy” underpants.

 



Shop the Sale: Maple-Bacon Toffee Bars


Brookshire’s BaconI was at home alone last night, a rarity for me these days.

I had changed out of my work clothes and into comfy clothes, and I was browsing Pinterest for something totally unrelated to bacon, until I stumbled upon this recipe.

No one else in my house would eat this, but hey, no one else was in my house!

I decided to try it. I had all the ingredients at home, so there was no need to find a baseball cap and try to sneak over to Brookshire’s incognito because we all know that doesn’t work. The very minute you try to slap on a hat to hide the fact that you already took off your makeup and scrunch your T-shirt up so that no one notices the hole in the bottom left corner, you’ll run into everyone you know. And their mother. And your preacher. And your boss.

It’s practically the law.

Not that I’ve ever tried, but I’ve heard about the phenomenon from a friend.

Cough.

Cough.

So, being as that I had all the ingredients at home, I whipped up a batch of these maple-bacon bars, using the Brookshire’s Bacon I’d just bought on sale.

There were none left the next day. I think that friend must have eaten them.

Maple-Bacon Toffee Bars

Ingredients:
1 lb Brookshire’s Bacon
1 pkg Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and liberally grease the foil with cooking spray. Unroll the crescent rolls into one single plane of dough and pinch any perforations together to seal. Stretch the dough out a little with your hands so it’s even. Prick the dough with a fork all over. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook your bacon. Cook it until it’s technically safe enough to eat and just about done, but still lighter in color and not quite crispy. You don’t want it fully cooked and crispy as it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate.

Drizzle 1/4 cup of the maple syrup over the crescent roll dough. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Top with torn pieces of the cooked bacon. Drizzle the remaining maple syrup on top of the bacon pieces; top with remaining brown sugar.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until bubbling and caramelized. Remove from the oven and allow the pan to come to room temperature (or warm to the touch) before cutting or breaking into pieces. You can serve this at room temperature or slightly warmed. It tastes best the day of but can be eaten the next day, if stored in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 562, Calories from Fat: 296, Fat: 33 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 1649 mg, Potassium: 379 mg, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Sugar: 30 g, Protein: 23 g

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



Healthy Living: Roasted Golden Beets


Roasted Golden BeetsI recently blogged about the Wish Night Gala we attended in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole hotel and how delicious the beef tenderloin tasted. I also warned you that I wasn’t done blogging about the amazing food at that event.

The beef tenderloin that night was served with a side of roasted spring vegetables, a healthy side that complemented the rich main course.

The best part of the vegetable medley was the roasted golden beets. I had never had them before and wasn’t sure I’d like them. They were so delicious. The lemon really brings out the flavor of the beets, and these are so simple, so bright and so healthy that they’re the perfect side dish for a heavier main course.

Roasted Golden Beets

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb golden or red beets, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces or wedges
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
2 Tbs chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried herbs, such as marjoram, oregano and/or rosemary
1 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450° F.

Combine oil, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add beets; toss to coat with the seasoning mixture.

Spread the beets evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast, stirring once or twice, until the beets are tender and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Toss the roasted vegetables with lemon juice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 118, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat, 4 g Monounsaturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Protein: 3 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sodium: 423 mg, Potassium: 564 mg

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



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Jumbo Flaky Homestyle Biscuits


Brookshire’s Jumbo Flaky Homestyle BiscuitsTo say my boys love biscuits is a total and complete understatement.

I recently made the perfect batch of biscuits. They were light, fluffy, airy and delicious. I slaved over them one Saturday morning. Did the boys eat them? No.

No, they did not. They wanted Brookshire’s biscuits instead.

Admittedly, Brookshire’s Jumbo Flaky Homestyle Biscuits are just as good as the ones I spent a good amount of time working on in the wee hours of a weekend morning. Better even, because getting up at 5am is not required.

They are light, fluffy, airy and delicious! My boys love pulling apart the layers, dripping with butter. Best of all, they’re simple to prepare. Just preheat the oven, open the can and voila! Bake. I like baking mine in a cast iron skillet. I melt about one tablespoon of butter in the skillet as it heats, until it’s bubbly and browning. Then, I pull the skillet out of the oven, add the biscuits, put it back in the oven and bake according to package directions. You’ll get a beautifully golden crust on the bottom of your biscuits.



Dine In: Porcini-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Sauce


Porcini-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom SauceMy cooking at home can be heavily influenced by something I’ve tried in a restaurant or at someone else’s house. I taste something delicious and can’t wait to get home and recreate it.

Last weekend, my devastatingly handsome date and I went to a gala in Dallas. Not just any gala but Wish Night, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You’ll probably see a few of the recipes from the night’s meal appearing on this blog, as everything was delicious and I couldn’t wait to make it again at home. The event was held at the Hilton Anatole in downtown Dallas, a sprawling, sophisticated, gorgeously-appointed luxury hotel.

The evening was amazing, from the luxurious table centerpieces of white hydrangeas and roses to the cleverly-folded napkins, perfectly appointed waiters and, of course, the amazing cause.

The food was superlative. It’s not easy to cook for 1,300 people at once, but clearly the expert staff at the Hilton Anatole pulled it off flawlessly.

This beef dish was the first thing I wanted to try to cook myself at home. We cook beef (a lot), but this version had a porcini mushroom crust. It melts in your mouth. I’m glad my gown had a flowy skirt because I ate every single last morsel.

Porcini-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 1/2 oz), divided
1 (3 1/2 lb) center-cut beef tenderloin
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp white pepper, divided
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray
2 cups boiling water
2 Tbs chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Place 1/2 cup mushrooms in a blender; process until finely ground. Trim fat from tenderloin. Sprinkle beef with ground mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef; cook 1 minute on all sides or until browned. Place tenderloin on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of tenderloin. Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 145° F (medium-rare) to 160° F (medium).

Place tenderloin on a platter and cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes.

Combine boiling water and 1 cup mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a medium saucepan, reserving soaking liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms. Bring reserved soaking liquid to a boil and add chopped mushrooms. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced to 1 cup (about 12 minutes). Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and butter, stirring with a whisk until butter is melted. Serve with tenderloin.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 226, Calories from Fat: 48%, Fat: 12 g (5 g Saturated Fat, 4 g Monounsaturated Fat, 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 25 g, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 0.6 g, Cholesterol: 79 mg, Iron: 3 mg, Sodium: 303 mg, Calcium: 8 mg

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



Family Matters: Family Vacation


Family VacationIt’s that magical time of year again, the time when we get to travel to see my family on the East Coast.

I love this family vacation more than words can express.

My two brothers, two sisters, two sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law, six nephews and two nieces, and my parents, all converge in one beach house for seven glorious days. This year, there will be two significant others added to the mix, too.

I say it’s glorious. It is, but we have our moments. The coffee pot is emptied pretty much as soon as it’s filled. Packing beach lunches for 10 kids is an exercise in precise logistics. Sharing a bathroom with anyone isn’t fun, but sharing with your brother, his wife, their son and your two boys can be dicey first thing in the morning.

However, we do it and we do it with happy hearts because the biggest blessing of all is to be together.

I never take the annual visit for granted, especially because I really only see my family once a year, but I’m extra thankful for the relationships we have with each other. I’ve seen so many of my friends’ families deteriorate this year. One lost a father and all her siblings went to war over his estate. Another is estranged from her sister and brother. Yet another is struggling, by herself, with the care of their elderly mother while the rest of her family stands by without helping.

It’s not easy being family. You don’t get to choose who you are born to and raised with. I’m just thankful and appreciative that we still enjoy this week at the beach, together, every year.

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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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