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Shop the Sale: Brookshire’s Bacon Dip


Brookshire’s Bacon DipA few weekends ago, my parents were invited to go boating with my sister and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend owns a boat, which he keeps moored in a marina in a wide, deep river near their home. I wish my sister lived closer for lots of reasons, weekends on the boat notwithstanding.

I have to admit that I was a little envious of my parents’ visit and boat ride. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than being on the water, and while I know owning a boat requires lots of hard work and dedication, the payoff of spending the day with the sun sparkling on the water seems to be a great payoff.

I couldn’t wait to hear about the trip. When I talked to my mom, she told me all about the cool breezes, the little crab shack downstream where they stopped for lunch and how fast the boat could go. She also told me that there are places on the river where the boats will just stop to drop anchor, and all the boat people will visit and hang out. It sounded heavenly. What my mom really couldn’t stop talking about was an appetizer dip my sister had made for snacking on the boat ride. Super simple, super easy and super delicious, make this a few hours ahead of time to let the flavors meld. Of course, if you’re bringing it on a boat (or on a picnic, to the lake or to a party), keep it chilled.

Brookshire’s bacon is on sale this week, just in time for the holiday weekend and lots of cookouts and celebrations.

Brookshire’s Bacon Dip

Ingredients:
8 oz Brookshire’s Bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with celery, carrots, pita chips or crackers.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 253, Calories from Fat: 191, Fat: 21 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 718 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 10 g.

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Healthy Living: June is National Dairy Month


June is National Dairy MonthThe slogan “Milk, It Does A Body Good” has been around for a long time for a good reason: Dairy does your body good!

Not just milk but yogurt, cheeses and other dairy products are also essential for strong bones, great teeth and good gut health.

Dairy products provide you with calcium, which (when consumed in a dairy product) is easily processed by the body. Dairy projects also provide you with vitamin D and protein, both essential for strong bones and muscles.

Cultured dairy products, like yogurt, infuse your system with probiotics that are essential for good gut health.

Dairy products are also a good source of potassium, vitamin D and iron.

Simply put, dairy is good for every part of your body!



Product Talk: Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas


Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for FajitasYesterday morning, I got the text I love from Paul.

“Hey, I’ll take care of dinner tonight.”

Now in all fairness, he does that quite frequently, but it was especially wonderful yesterday as I was trying to shake a two-day migraine and wrangle soccer games, regular weekend tasks and the flurry of things to keep up with at the end of the school year.

I love it when Paul cooks because, very often, he makes something I’ve never had before.

Last night was no exception.

He brought Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas. I’d never seen this product before, but it’s not the last time I will buy it, I assure you.

The Texas Meat Packers website describes this melt-in-your mouth beef as, “Texas Style Fajitas brings a slow-cooked smoky edge of hardwood mesquite flavoring to a TexMex Classic! Our approach accentuates flavors and aromas of old-world peppers and spices, and that sneaky lingering heat you get from Hatch green chilies.”

The fajita beef was fork-tender and delicious grilled. Texas Meat Packers also makes chicken fajitas and will offer pork soon.

We didn’t make fajitas with it, but here’s what we did do!

Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Steaks

Ingredients:
2 pkgs Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Pico de Gallo:
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions (white and green parts), diced
1 jalapeño, diced
Juice from 2 large limes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Prepare pico de gallo, and place in refrigerator to let flavors blend.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Grill steaks, about 3 minutes per side, until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from grill; top with pico de gallo and cheddar cheese. Place under broiler on high heat until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 401, Calories from Fat: 194, Fat: 22 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 109 mg, Sodium: 236 mg, Carbohydrates: 3.4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 46 g.

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



Dine In: Jalapeño Sausage Balls


Jalapeño Sausage BallsI tend to get stuck in a pattern for Friday night meals. When I lived overseas in Germany, my best friend Susan and I walked down to our favorite Greek restaurant every single Friday night.

When I had kids, I continued a tradition that my mom started by serving pizza on Friday nights.

Now, I tend to use the smoker for Friday night festivities. I run home at lunchtime to put dinner on to smoke (or prep it in the morning, depending on what we’re smoking), and it’s done by the time we’re home from work and relaxing on the back porch.

I saw a smoked dish on Instagram that I wanted to try, and it only takes about two hours on the smoker. Even if you don’t have time to run home at lunch on a Friday, you can still enjoy this on your porch on Friday evening.

You can switch up the fillings, too. I have one person in my family who doesn’t like cream cheese, so he just gets cheddar. I have another who doesn’t like jalapeños, so he just gets cheese pressed into the middle of the sausage ball. I like bleu cheese, so I’ll mix that in with mine. The sky is the limit.

Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Ingredients:
12 jalapeño peppers, tops removed, seeded and pithed
6 Tbs whipped cream cheese
6 Tbs sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbs white onion, finely minced
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 lbs Owens Pork Breakfast Sausage
12 strips bacon, uncooked

Directions:
Remove the tops from the jalapeño peppers. Slice a slit through lengthwise, not cutting all the way through. Remove pith and seeds.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions and cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stuff each pepper with a heaping tablespoon full of the cream cheese mixture.

Using your hands, mold sausage around pepper, forming a ball and completely covering the pepper. Wrap sausage ball with two strips of bacon; secure with toothpicks.

Prepare smoker. Place sausage balls on rack, and smoke for about 2 hours or until cooked through. Alternately, place on the grill over indirect heat (the bacon will cause flare-ups if it’s not indirect) and cook through, several minutes on each side.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 460, Calories from Fat: 330, Fat: 36 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1576 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 29 g.

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



Healthy Living: Kids’ Summer Breakfasts


Kids’ Summer BreakfastsSummers can be tough.

I still have to go to work, but my kids don’t have to go to school.

They’ve hit the age where they’re old enough not to need summer day camp, so they stay home during the day. They spend their hours running or biking (being certain to text me before they leave and as soon as they get home), working through the job list I leave every morning, playing outside with the kids down the street, and probably playing too many video games, truth be told.

I can’t always control what they do during the day, but I can make sure they have a good breakfast to start the day.

They are often still asleep when I leave, so I make sure to stock up on things they can prepare themselves that will give them energy and nutrition to have a great summer.

Some of those things include whole grain Bagel Thins with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with diced fruit and granola, homemade breakfast burritos (if you wrap them in foil, they stay warm for a pretty long time), homemade sausage rolls (same foil trick applies) and all kinds of fruit bars.

These are their favorite.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:
For the strawberry bars:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbs sugar, divided
10 oz fresh strawberries, chopped

For the glaze: (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides.

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger and salt. Swirl in the melted butter, and stir until it forms crumbs and the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Press the rest into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Spread about 1/2 the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle with the cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Top with remaining berries and the remaining sugar. Spread the topping crumbs over the strawberries. It’s fine to have fruit showing through.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the fruit bubbles and topping is golden. Cool completely.

For the topping, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk; whisk until smooth. Add more milk if you want the glaze to have a thinner consistency. Drizzle bars with glaze. Slice and serve.

Makes 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 115, Calories from Fat: 43, Fat: 5 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 12 mg, Sodium: 68 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked Chicken


Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked ChickenIn a house with two picky eaters, one dieter and one kid who eats everything but the kitchen sink (and that’s only because I’ve never put hot sauce on it and put it on a plate), dinner can sometimes be a challenge to put together without repeating the same dishes over and over.

One kid doesn’t like mushrooms. One man doesn’t like white cheese or white sauce. One dieter doesn’t eat carbs.

Does anyone else feel my pain?

Luckily, bacon makes everything better, especially John Morrell Bacon on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

For whatever the reason (likely the bacon), this dish passed muster with everyone in my house. (I’ll just pretend I didn’t see one kid picking out the mushrooms).

This is delicious served over rice (cauliflower rice if you’re the low-carb dieter) with a side of steamed green beans or a fresh salad.

The bacon gives this dish a smoky flavor and pulls all the flavors together.

Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Chicken

Ingredients:
3 slices John Morrell Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pint fresh button mushrooms
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
6 slices Swiss cheese

Directions:
Spray the crock of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Top with mushrooms and cream of chicken soup. Cook on low for 8 hours. Top with Swiss cheese, and cover lid until cheese begins to melt. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 484, Calories from Fat: 200, Fat: 15 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 175 mg, Sodium: 890 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 63 g.

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



Healthy Living: Sunscreen


SunscreenIf you’ve ever read the famous newspaper column or heard the song, for that matter, you know that if you learn one thing in life, it’s to always wear sunscreen.

Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, thus greatly reducing your chances of skin cancer.

When should you wear sunscreen?

That’s easy: at all times.

Really? Even during the winter months or on cloudy days?

You betcha.

Your skin can still be damaged on a winter or dreary day. Trust me; I’ve gotten sunburned in February.

Look for a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. The number means the amount of time you should be protected from the sun versus not wearing any at all. For instance, if you apply an SPF 30, you should be protected 30 times longer than you would be without sunscreen, in theory.

In reality, sunscreen itself can only work up to a certain amount. If you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time, consider putting on long-sleeves, and covering your legs and your head with a hat, which will protect your face. Don’t forget your ears. Spray them liberally with sunscreen to prevent them from burning.

If you’re on the beach, outside at a festival or sporting event, or doing other outdoor activities, you’ll want to reapply about two ounces of sunscreen every 90 minutes, more if you’re swimming or sweating heavily.

Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before going outside. Don’t forget your lips! Buy a lip balm with a high SPF rating and reapply frequently. If you’re outside, store sunscreen in a cooler bag to keep it from melting and making a mess during frequent use.

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Product Talk: Canada Dry Ginger Ale


Canada Dry Ginger AleThe entire first trimester of my second pregnancy, you’d never see me without a glass of Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I had to sip it from a glass (don’t even TRY to give it to me in a plastic cup). It had to have a straw, and it had to have three ice cubes. Not four, not two, not crushed ice. Three ice cubes. Three.

Pregnancy neuroses aside, Canada Dry Ginger Ale has been an enduring favorite.

It was always what my mom brought to my bedside to sip on during my sickly days as a child.

It sees me through many a baby shower, bridal shower or brunch where some sort of fabulous, fizzy punch drink is required.

It’s also great to settle the stomach of a couple of guys who get overheated or eat too fast.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale is made with 100 percent real ginger. It was first made in Canada over 100 years ago. It became popular in the United States during Prohibition, and its popularity has been going strong ever since.

Gold Coast Punch

Ingredients:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cans orange juice, frozen concentrate
2 quarts Canada Dry Ginger Ale
1/4 cup maraschino cherries

Directions:
Combine lemon juice, pineapple juice and concentrated orange juice. Mix well. Pour over ice in punch bowl. Fill the bowl with ice-cold Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Garnish with maraschino cherries.

Serves 25

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 44, Calories from Fat: 1, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 7 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 0 g.

Recipe from Canadadry.com

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Dine In: Cheeseburger Hand Pies


Cheeseburger Hand PiesOne of our favorite family activities is to go to the drive-in movies on a Friday night.

We get there early, spread out a few picnic blankets, set up camping chairs and unpack the cooler. We have dinner there in the fading light and pack extra snacks for the movie, of course!

Having dinner at the drive-in is the best. I’ve often said food tastes the most delicious outdoors, and on a picnic blanket in front of a huge screen is no exception. After we eat, we usually kick around a soccer ball or throw a tennis ball until the sun sinks over the horizon and the big screen crackles to life.

One of the best parts is that we’re so busy enjoying each other, that phones and other electronics get left inside the car!

When the movie starts, we pile blankets in the trunk and settle in under the stars. It’s really a perfect Friday night.

I found that I can make these Cheeseburger Hand Pies ahead of time and heat them up before we go, storing them in an insulated bag to keep them warm until we’re ready to eat.

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Ingredients:
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
1 (8 ct) pkg refrigerated biscuits
8 slices American cheese
mustard and ketchup, to taste
olive oil

Directions:
Mix ground beef with seasoned salt and pickles. Form 8 burger patties. Grill or pan-fry until cooked through to desired doneness.

Preheat oven to 350° F, and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove the biscuits from the package. Place on baking sheet, carefully separating biscuits into two pieces horizontally.

Press bottom biscuit to flatten. Top with a burger, cheese, mustard and/or ketchup, if desired. Press the other half of the biscuit on top; fold edges of the bottom biscuit piece up to seal.

Repeat with all burgers and biscuits.

Brush with olive oil. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden-brown and burgers are heated through.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 392, Calories from Fat: 187, Fat: 21 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 68 mg, Sodium: 1527 mg, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 24 g.

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



Family Matters: Leftovers


LeftoversSometimes, no matter how well we plan, some leftovers are inevitable, which is perfectly fine with me. This means a night of hassle-free cooking after working all day.

This week on Monday, I put a roast, carrots and potatoes in the slow cooker to cook on low heat all day. This recipe is so easy. You just add a can of fat-free cream of mushroom soup and a packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix to the slow cooker with your roast and vegetables. It’s really yummy, and you could eat leftovers of this for the next day. However, my family isn’t crazy about having the same meal the next day.

The next day, I took the leftover meat only and put it in the slow cooker with a chopped onion and barbecue sauce to make barbecue beef sliders. This meal was so easy to throw together using the leftovers from the night before, and it was a huge hit with my kiddos.

So, clean out the fridge at least once a week and get creative! Cooking is about creating not wasting, and using leftovers is actually a great way to make something new!



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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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Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

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