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Mi Blog Hispano: El Cafecito


El CafecitoNo sé ustedes, pero yo no puedo estar sin mi cafecito por la mañana. Precisamente, en este exacto momento, estoy tomando uno que esta riquísimo. Me gusta tomarlo todos los días, al empezar mi día y a veces al acabarlo también, especialmente cuando siento frio. El aroma del café, su fragancia, su calorcito, y su sabor causa que sea una maravilla de bebida. Quizás es porque siento que despierto al tomarlo y a la vez me siento relajada, o simplemente me da un poco más de energía para empezar mi día. Me da esa inspiración que necesito para trabajar, escribir, dibujar, y continuar el día.  Y no niego que la taza tiene mucho que ver en lo a gusto que me siento al tomarlo.

Ese cafecito que nos encanta a nosotros los latinos es parte de nuestra cultura. Recuerdo de chica que mi mama siempre ofrecía café a las personas que venían a visitar, “¿Gusta un cafecito?” Los visitantes siempre lo aceptaban. Platicaban y reían juntos por largas horas tomando el cafecito con unas galletas o un pan dulce. Es como un gesto de amabilidad, de bienvenida, servicial, que al momento anima el alma y pone a todos en tan buen humor. Creciendo vi a mis padres tomar su cafecito a diario y ahora lo hago yo.

¿Sabía que el café origino en Etiopia, un país localizado en África? De allí paso a Arabia y luego a la India. Hoy día crece en varios países y es dispersado por todo el mundo por la demanda que hay para consumirlo. Que interesante es conocer más sobre el origen del café. Sobre todo, cuando es en una buena platica con unos buenos amigos y ¡un muy buen café!

Escribiendo este blog me ha dado ganas de otro cafecito hoy. En un rato voy por más porque en esa taza en la que me lo tomo se encuentra un poquito de mi cultura, un sabor maravilloso, una buena platica, memorias, relajación, energía, e inspiración.



Shop the Sale: Bacon and Shrimp Chowder


Bacon and Shrimp ChowderI went out to lunch with my best friend last week, and seeing that it was a rare, bitterly cold day in Texas, we wanted soup.

Being our usual, indecisive selves, we hemmed and hawed over the menu choices until our wonderful waiter brought us both a tasting cup of each of the soups to help us make up our mind. She went for a crab bisque, and I went for the seafood chowder, which was enhanced with a lovely infusion of bacon that really added a depth of flavor.

John Morrell Bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, and you certainly don’t have to wait for a bitterly cold day to enjoy this hearty soup.

Bacon and Shrimp Chowder

Ingredients:
8 oz John Morrell Bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 Tbs all purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
1 russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped scallions, divided
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs hot sauce
1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped

Directions:
In a large stockpot, cook bacon until brown and crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate.

Add onion to the bacon grease, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour and whisk to make a roux, about 1 minute.

Stir in chicken stock, half-and-half, potatoes, half of scallions, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Simmer on medium until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes

Remove half of mixture to food processor, and pulse until blended. Add back to stockpot. Add in shrimp, and simmer until shrimp is cooked through and pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in half of the bacon. Serve immediately, topped with the remaining bacon and scallions.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 535, Calories from Fat: 344, Fat: 38 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 107 mg, Sodium: 3290 mg, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 27 g.

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



Healthy Living: Health Trends 2017


Health Trends 2017It’s January, so everyone is thinking about getting healthier, eating healthy or just generally being healthier.

I looked up the top health trends in 2017 because there’s something “new” and “hot” every year, right? I cross-referenced a number of websites to come up with this list of trends for the new year.

  1. Foods that fight inflammation, like turmeric and ginger tea, and substituting vegetables for grains and starches.
  2. Wellness travel, like taking yoga classes in Costa Rica or going on a hiking vacation in Colorado.
  3. Plant proteins instead of animal proteins. Think pea protein and hemp protein as substitutes for your beef or chicken.
  4. Have you noticed all the hair, skin and nail products on the market these days? Thank collagen and biotin for that, and for your strong hair and long nails.
  5. Franchised fitness clubs, like OrangeTheory and Pure Barre.
  6. Functional beverages. These are not shakes or smoothies, nor are they energy drinks or vitamin waters. Instead, they’re billed as “medicinal” and come in tonic or shot-sized servings.
  7. Clean inside and out. Less makeup. Less alcohol. Fewer ingredients. No preservatives. Less is more, in pretty much everything health and beauty-related.
  8. Rapid recovery in the form of cryogenics or other ways to restore your body quickly.
  9. Full fat foods are fine, but think olive oil not ice cream.
  10. Once again, wearable tech and body weight-training stay as popular as they were last year.
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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Alter Eco – Organic Khao Deng Ruby Red Rice


Alter Eco – Organic Khao Deng Ruby Red RiceI was browsing Brookshire’s last night for new meal ideas, and I came across this product in the aisle with other rices. We love rice at my house, and I’m always looking for new recipes or ways to incorporate it into our diets.

Turns out, Alter Eco has an entire line of organic, natural and sustainable products on the shelves at Brookshire’s. All Alter Eco products are fair trade, organic and sourced from small farms all over the world. From chocolates to truffles to quinoa and rice, Alter Eco offers a global glimpse into delicious tastes and textures. You can read on the Alter Eco website about the farmers who grow the products you’re eating. Not just “people like these farmers” but the farmers themselves. That’s pretty cool.

Red Rice is sourced from Thailand, and it can be cooked the same way you’d cook white rice. You can use it for fried rice or stir-fry. It has a slightly sweet, slightly nutty flavor and a gorgeous color.

I’ll be trying more of the Alter Eco products, for sure!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Lemon Pepper Chicken


Lemon Pepper ChickenWe eat a lot of red meat in my house, but today I’m craving chicken. Specifically, a lemony chicken.

I polled my friends on social media to find a great recipe, and many of them suggested chicken piccata, which I love. However, it contains capers, and I know two out of my four boys will not eat capers or any dish capers have touched. They clearly don’t know what they’re missing.

So, chicken piccata was out.

This recipe, which involves lightly breading the chicken breasts, seems like it would be a hit. I’m going to serve it tonight over noodles, and I’ll probably double the amount of sauce and serve with some warmed lemon halves for extra lemon flavor. (If you microwave your lemons for about 30 seconds, you’ll get more juice out of them.)

Steamed carrots with more lemon and sprinkled with some dill would be a delightful side dish.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about 3/4-inch thick
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbs lemon pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs butter
4 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs parsley, chopped

Directions:
In a shallow bowl or pan, mix together flour, lemon pepper and salt.

Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture, gently pressing mixture on to coat the chicken.

Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the chicken; cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side until done. Remove the chicken to a plate, and tent with foil to keep warm.

Melt the butter in the pan drippings. Whisk in lemon juice; season with more salt, if necessary. Pour over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 345, Calories from Fat: 153, Fat: 17 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 111 mg, Sodium: 1000 mg, Potassium: 54 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 36 g.

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



Family Matters: Electronic Timeout


Electronic TimeoutA few weeks ago, we were out to dinner as a family.

One kid was on his phone, texting friends.

The other kid was on his phone, too, checking for Pokemons. (He said that the plural of Pokemon is still Pokemon, but I’m not sure whether to believe him.)

Then, I got on my phone to check the weather.

My boyfriend had had it.

“Maybe we should all put our phones away,” he said, very nicely.

Sheepishly, we all did.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have electronics at the dinner table. We talked to each other (insert gasp here). We sometimes argued with each other. We laughed, joked and enjoyed each other.

We need to get back to that.

This year we’ve been trying electronic timeouts. It was nerve-wracking at first, but then we realized it was fine not to be holding the phone at all times, that people who “needed” us could wait an hour or two, and that we really ENJOY each other’s company.

So, maybe, just maybe, try putting all your phones far, far away during dinner, for an hour afterward, or for a pre-set time when you can just be together.

It’s pretty nice.



Shop the Sale: Roasted Chicken


Roasted ChickenWhen you Google “secret to perfectly roasted chicken,” you’ll get 3,100,700 results and just as many different secrets.

Scroll through the pages, and you’ll read about brining, trussing, drying, rubbing, basting, steaming, no steam, butter, olive oil, rosemary, lemons, onions, salt, rock salt, sea salt, kosher salt and wine, just for starters.

Bottom line: there is no one secret to a great roasted chicken.

I try to keep my roasted chicken simple, with a few ingredients to impart great flavor. I fall somewhere in the middle of the steam versus no steam debate, as I don’t add liquid to my roasting pan. I do use lemon, onions and butter. (It’s argued that you shouldn’t add anything that will produce steam, resulting in a less crispy skin when you roast a chicken.)

Whatever you add, even if it’s just salt and pepper, all you really need is a hot oven and to make sure you cook the chicken all the way through (trussing DOES help).

Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:
1 (5 lb) chicken
1 Tbs salt
2 tsp pepper
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 lemon, halved
1 bulb garlic, peeled and halved
1 sweet onion, quartered
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 Tbs butter, softened

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425° F.

Rinse chicken and pat dry, removing giblets from cavity.

Place lemon, onion, garlic and rosemary in the cavity of the chicken, then truss. Rub chicken with butter; sprinkle with salt, pepper and Lawry’s.

Roast for 90 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove from oven and tent with foil; let rest for 10 minutes.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 987, Calories from Fat: 259, Fat: 29 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 467 mg, Sodium: 3326 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 165 g.

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



Healthy Living: Fresh Kiwi


KiwiMy older son LOVES kiwi in his lunch. It’s a good thing that it’s in season now, too. I pack it with a plastic knife and spoon, so he can cut it in half horizontally and scoop out the good stuff with his spoon. You can eat the skin, but most people prefer to skip it.

Kiwi, native to Australia, are packed with vitamin C. In fact, one kiwi provides 273 percent of your recommended daily allowance, and studies have shown that eating kiwi may even help to prevent or ward off colds.

They also have vitamin K, vitamin E, folate and potassium. They also have a ton of antioxidants and are a great source of fiber.

Studies have also shown that eating kiwi helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of blood clots.

Kiwis are usually eaten raw as is, but you can slice them into a salad or mix into a fruit salad.



Product Talk: Loaded Doritos


Loaded DoritosFrito Lay makes a snack that my older son is pretty much addicted to: Loaded Doritos.

Found in the frozen foods aisle near the Hot Pockets and other frozen appetizers and snacks, Loaded Doritos combine the flavor of one of America’s favorite chips with the texture and comfort-food feel of a mozzarella stick.

In Nacho Cheese or Jalapeño and Cheese flavors, Loaded Doritos cook up quickly in the oven or microwave. (We cook them in the toaster oven on a tray.) The outside is lightly breaded; the inside oozes warm, gooey cheese when you cook them.

The packages come in two sizes: servings for 4 or servings for 2. (Truth be told, my teenager could probably eat the larger box himself in one sitting.)

They’re definitely on the heavy rotation through snack foods he loves.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tacos


Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken TacosIt’s been eons since I’ve written about anything buffalo chicken. We all know that buffalo chicken is a food group, so it was time to rectify that omission.

When I get a craving for buffalo chicken, I become single-minded. It’s all I can think about.

It’s happening right now.

This recipe is fun because you can add as much or as little hot sauce as you want. Then, top it with a variety of things that may traditionally go on tacos or not. I only use a little hot sauce in the actual cooking process, as one son does not like anything “spicy.” I can just add more as a topping on my individual serving.

I like these with flour tortillas, but you can also use corn. I like sour cream, but my son will top his with ranch dressing. I also like to mince celery for a bit of a crunch. Cilantro is also a great complement to this taco. I love it with crumbled bleu cheese; other people in my family prefer cheddar.

These are fun for a Friday night at home!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
8 oz Frank’s Hot Wing Buffalo Sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pkg dry ranch salad dressing mix

Directions:
Spray the liner of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken in crock. In a small bowl, whisk hot sauce, garlic and ranch dressing mix. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker; shred with a fork. Add chicken back to slow cooker. Stir until blended with juices.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop chicken onto tacos. Top with cheese, sour cream, avocado and other toppings of choice.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 335, Calories from Fat: 116, Fat: 13 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 151 mg, Sodium: 1725 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 50 g.

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

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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.

Shop the Sale

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

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

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

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