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Mi Blog Hispano: Disfrutando las Parrilladas


Disfrutando las Parrilladas¡Ya es el tiempo para las riquísimas parrilladas!  Me encantan los aromas que salen del carbón, de la carne y las cebollas asándose, y de las salchichas en la parrilla.  Pronto se llena el área de ese aroma a carne asada que hasta a sus vecinos se les antoja.

El otro día mi esposo aso carne, salchichas, y cebollas.  Yo hice arroz y frijoles, que por cierto me quedaron como nunca, ¡muy sabrosos!  También hice papas al horno y una salsa de aguacate para darle el toque final.  Mientras el asaba la carne me decía que eran sus preferencias al prepararla, también compartía conmigo como su papá les asaba carne a sus hermanos y a él cuándo eran chicos.  Me gusta escucharlo porque me doy cuenta de lo mucho que le encanta estar entre familia, y también de lo mucho que disfruta hacer carne asada.

Me quede pensando en lo bonito que es compartir tiempo con tu pareja al cocinar.  Incluso, lo divertido que es asar carne al aire libre, y luego disfrutar de una comida deliciosa con familia.  ¡La cena quedo riquísima, y todos quedamos muy satisfechos!

La próxima vez que hagan carne asada, disfruten el aroma y el sabor, pero más que nada, disfruten la experiencia que vale mucho.

¡Hasta pronto!



Shop the Sale: Summer Salad


Summer SaladBack when I was growing up, we always ate dinner on our screened-in back porch during the summertime.

We had a long, wooden picnic table on the porch, and all seven of us would snuggle in with only minimal complaints of “He’s touching me” or “She kicked me when she got up!” By the time dinner rolled around on a summer evening, we were all pretty tired from an afternoon at the pool and a day of playing with the neighborhood kids in the fort my father built in the backyard.

Mom would set the table with a vinyl tablecloth, which we’d scour clean after every meal, and it was my job to lay out the plates, forks, spoons, knives and napkins in the proper positions. It was also my job to either “wipe” or “sweep” after each meal, alternating the task with the brother next in the birth order.

About once a week, Mom would bring a large bowl of “Summer Salad” to the table. Years later, I’ve realized summer salad was pretty much a very clever way to use a lot of leftovers from earlier in the week, and I learned that preparing dinner in the early morning hours before it got so hot was a chore, not a joy. Summer Salad had various combinations: pasta with ham from Sunday dinner, potatoes with bacon from breakfast or another type of pasta with leftover grilled chicken. Throw in the cold peas from Sunday supper or the steamed broccoli from Tuesday then add a little cheese and dressing, and you had yourself a main course meal in one bowl. It was cool, filling and refreshing on a hot, summer night.

Since we’ve had a big problem with not eating leftovers this summer, I think there’s a Summer Salad in my near future. You can use any pasta, any protein and any add-ins you want!

One thing that always tastes good in Summer Salad, no matter what else you put in it, is bacon! Brookshire’s Bacon is on sale this week. So, after you buy it, cook some for breakfast, and then crumble the extra into the salad. (Is there such thing as extra bacon? You probably should plan to cook a few extra slices!)

Summer Salad

Ingredients:

SALAD:
12 oz spiral pasta, uncooked
3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
6 pieces Brookshire’s Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

DRESSING:
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Cook pasta to al dente, and let cool completely. Combine chicken, bacon, tomatoes, zucchini and cheese in a large bowl with pasta.

Mix all dressing ingredients thoroughly. Pour dressing over the salad; toss to coat.

Refrigerate for several hours for flavors to blend.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 421, Calories from Fat: 192, Fat: 21 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 93 mg, Sodium: 610 mg, Carbohydrates: 33 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 24 g.

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



Healthy Living: Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Broccoli


Garlic-Parmesan Roasted BroccoliI LOVE broccoli, but I get so tired of just steaming it and plopping it onto my plate.

Broccoli is super healthy. It’s rich in vitamin D, which helps keeps our metabolism in balance. It’s also rich in vitamins A and K.

Broccoli helps the body detox. We all want that unwanted sludge out of our bodies, don’t we? Broccoli helps move unwanted contaminants from our systems. It’s a great antioxidant with its concentrated vitamin C. Broccoli has the most vitamin C of any of the cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli also has concentrated lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.

If you steam or roast broccoli, the fiber provides a benefit against cholesterol. Using heat to start to break down the fibers helps your body use it more effectively than if you eat it raw.

It’s great for your heart as an anti-inflammatory and how it lowers cholesterol. It’s also good to support eye health and to help regenerate sun-damaged skin.

Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients:
24 oz (about 5 cups) broccoli florets
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
juice of 1 lemon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil or coat with nonstick spray.

Spread broccoli florets in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan and lemon juice, and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 162, Fat: 11 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 14 mg, Sodium: 213 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 9 g.

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



Product Talk: Emeril Chocolate Mousse or Crème Brulee


Emeril Chocolate Mousse or Crème BruleeI was whizzing through Brookshire’s this morning because I needed coffee. It was a coffee emergency. I practically jogged up the baking aisle because it was empty. Everyone was congregating near the milk, juice and bacon. Apparently, it was too early for a baking emergency to draw a crowd to the flour and sugar aisle.

So, I made it up the aisle post-haste, knowing my coffee was on the endcap of the next row over.

Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks. Seriously, y’all. It was like in the cartoons where Road Runner stops so suddenly that smoke billows out of his heels.

There, at the end of the baking aisle (before I made it to the coffee, mind you) were two packages of Emeril’s Dessert Mixes. Chocolate mousse and crème brulee mocked me from the shelf.

BAM! Buy me! They practically screamed.

So, I did.

Emeril was my first, favorite celebrity chef. I used to watch him at 5pm, surely on reruns on some channel that I can’t recall. I’d get inspired to cook dinner and shout “BAM!” frequently to the delight of my baby, who would erupt in bales of belly giggles whenever I did.

Since I’ve never been to Commander’s Palace (it’s on my bucket list), I figured I’d bring a little bit of the iconic New Orleans restaurant to my house.

These mixes are easy to use and embody the essence of Emeril (no, not his spice mixture, but his soul). They prep quickly and set up in the refrigerator almost like an instant pudding.

Guess what I had for breakfast with my coffee? I can neither confirm nor deny that it was chocolate mousse.

Next time you need a dessert to impress or just want a sweet treat, these Emeril products do not disappoint.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Mexican Chicken Bake


Mexican Chicken BakeLast Friday night, we took the boys out to dinner to a local Mexican restaurant.

They protested a little.

“We just WENT here,” they said.

Well, yeah, we like Tex-Mex food!

So, this Friday night, to prevent the abject horror of having to subject them to a meal out, I made something at home. This is a recipe I found on Pinterest and added some spices to make it my own.

We ate dinner on the patio that night under the solar lights, and we had a regular, relaxing fiesta.

We served this with a side of rice and chips with salsa, of course.

Mexican Chicken Bake

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 lb Velveeta, cut into cubes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Spray a 9 x 13 dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Sprinkle cumin, salt, pepper and garlic onto chicken breasts; rub in to set the seasoning.

Place chicken breasts in pan. Top with corn, black beans and tomatoes. Cover the dish with cubes of Velveeta.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until juices from the chicken run clear.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1091, Fat: 40 g (18 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 232 mg, Sodium: 2090 mg, Carbohydrates: 96 g, Fiber: 19 g, Sugar: 15 g, Protein: 95 g.

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



Family Matters: Beating Summertime Boredom


Beating Summertime BoredomI don’t know about what’s happening in your house, but summer has been a bit rocky in my home.

My kids are at an awkward age. They’re too old for traditional day camps and too young to be gainfully employed. The result is a lot of boredom. While I’m not usually the type to abide boredom, I get it in this case.

They can’t roam the neighborhood like I did when I was a kid because I’ve watched too many episodes of “Forensic Files.” There’s no neighborhood swimming pool where they can ride their bikes and wear themselves out every afternoon, like I did as a kid. Not to mention, the summer activities that are available for their age are expensive, and they need braces and to go to college.

They spend too much time in front of a screen. Go ahead, call CPS now.

So, this summer I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with things they can do to stay occupied while not spending a fortune.

One thing I did was buy a mega jigsaw puzzle. I set up a card table in a spare corner and just kind of left it there. They proclaimed it “lame.” Guess what? It’s about half-finished, and I haven’t touched a single piece. Maybe it was the dog. I don’t know.

Occasionally, I’ll leave them a recipe to try for lunch, with clear instructions on where to find the ingredients and how not to burn the house down when they prepare it. It also ensures I won’t spend the entirety of the middle of the day answering texts about where to find the burrito-sized tortillas. (In the pantry, on the same shelf I’ve stored them the entire 8 years we’ve lived in this house.)

Then, there’s exercise. They do go running and biking (with strict instructions to text me both when they leave and as they return.) Sometimes, I leave them challenges for the day: Do 40 sit-ups and 22 push-ups. Record it on video. Text it to me, because accountability, you know.

They’ve also enjoyed pet-sitting for neighbors. You want your dog played with for two hours while you’re lounging on the beach in Cabo? Call my kids. Our dog never gets played with for two hours, but yours surely will.

Chores, or as I call them, “Jobs You Do Because You Live Here.” They each get one a day. Vacuum house. Clean your bathroom. Laundry as needed. I love ‘vacuum house’ days.

So, if you have any more tips on keeping teens and tweens occupied for the summer, please let me know!



Shop the Sale: Steak with Cuban Marinade


Steak with Cuban MarinadeI’m fascinated by the thought of going to Cuba.

When I was in second grade, we got a new kid in class, a boy from Cuba. At that point, Cuba might as well have been in outer space. You just didn’t hear about kids from Cuba or anyone from Cuba, for that matter.

That all changed at the beginning of 2013, when the Cuban government made it easier for people to travel out of and into Cuba.

Cuba, located just 90 miles south of the tip of Florida, has a rich island culture flavored with the influences of both Spain and Africa.

The cuisine is based on both cultures, with a heavy dose of Caribbean influence as well. A typical meal could include sweet plantains, savory black beans and fragrant rice with shredded beef, pork with onion and tropical fruits. Meat dishes are generally slow-cooked with light sauces, heavy with garlic, cumin, oregano and bay leaves.

Sirloin steak is on sale at Brookshire’s this week, and summer is the perfect time to blend the flavors of the Caribbean with staples we already have on hand. If we can’t go to Cuba this summer, at least we can bring Cuba to us.

Steak with Cuban Marinade

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs boneless sirloin strip steak
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
juice of 1/2 fresh lime
grated lime zest

Directions:
Combine all ingredients, except beef, together in a bowl. Mix well.

Place the steak in a zip-top bag. Add the marinade, and turn to coat both sides.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, preferably longer as the steak will absorb more flavor.

Grill the steak on medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 145° F.

Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 266, Fat: 12 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 101 mg, Sodium: 76 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 35 g.

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



Healthy Living: Water


WaterI know I write about this frequently; it’s something I really struggle with.

I read today that the current recommendation for water intake is 80 ounces for an adult. I’ve also read studies which say to drink half your body weight in ounces. Either way, I bet that’s a lot more water than most Americans consume during the day, especially since nothing with caffeine or sugar counts as a “water” drink, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that unsweet tea equals water.

Basically, I have to trick myself into drinking more water.

I love the sparkling waters. They are calorie-free, sugar-free and fizzy, which I love. It reminds me of the years I lived in Europe, and any time you ordered water at a restaurant, they brought you the fizzy variety. It was probably also during that time period that I began to eschew ice. La Croix makes a variety of flavors, including lime, lemon, grapefruit and berry. Lime is my favorite.

Another trick is that every time I use the restroom, I have to chug 10 ounces after washing my hands. Sorry if that was too much information, but it works on getting the water down. I’m not likely to keep a bottle nearby to sip from, so chugging it works for me.

When I do keep a bottle of water handy, I try to flavor it with something. Chunks of watermelon, slices of cucumber or slices of strawberry are my favorite, but you could use any fruit or veggie you want.

I keep a 32-ounce bottle of water with cucumber in the refrigerator overnight, and my goal is to drink the whole thing before I leave for work in the morning. It’s so refreshing first thing in the morning, and it really helps to wake me up.

Another trick is to drink an equal amount of water for every caffeinated beverage you drink. This helps keep you hydrated.

So in theory, if I drink 32 ounces before work and another 16 ounces with my coffee (because I drink two cups of coffee), I’m more than halfway to my goal before lunch!



There is Always a Way


There is Always a WayThere is a phrase I often use when life throws a curveball: “There is always a way to make it work.”  Things may not happen as practically as you want, nor does it happen quite in the time frame in which you’d want it.

You know what? That’s okay.

Embrace your challenges, accept that curveball, and swing your bat with all of your might. What comes out of it – that dedication, passion and persistence – may be even better than what you’d imagined.

A challenge faced daily is exercise. Those of you working in a cubicle environment know it can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re at a desk all day. In my observations, I’ve found many ways people have used to stay active during work hours.

One of my coworkers sits on a large exercise ball half the day to help with core and legs. Another few have “stand up” desks. No chairs means always upright and always moving! There are several people that, when traveling to and fro, will take a different path back to keep things fresh or put in a few more steps than they would have otherwise. On your break, walk around. Go to your coworker’s office to speak face-to-face rather than by e-mail or phone.

Also, try going to the gym before work. You’ll not only have fit in your main exercise for the day, but it keeps your metabolism going at a higher speed throughout the day and you’ll be more awake and in a better mood! I’ve highly considered a desk cycle (pedals you cycle under the desk) or a kneeling posture chair which helps to keep your spine aligned and helps strengthen back and abdominal muscles.

If these aren’t for you, there are simple chair exercises you can do that will help. Examples include:

  • Leg extensions – hold legs up one at a time underneath desk, alternating pointed and flexed toes. This also works abs! Do 15 reps.
  • Leg toning – legs straight, cross one over the other and raise off floor. Press top leg down on the other, creating resistance. Do 5 reps and repeat with opposite legs crossed.
  • Abdominal contractions – contract abs for five second intervals, leaning slightly into a crunch. Contract all then go by sections in a circle then all again. This gets easier the more times you do it.

There is always a way to make it work. There is always time to make time to do it. As a personal challenge, I will begin these myself right…now. You should, too! Rep 1 complete already for me. Have you started yet?

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Richmond Farms Mozzarella Sticks


Richmond Farms Mozzarella SticksMy kids are mozzarella sticks monsters. Seriously, if we go out to eat, they BEG, CRY, PLEAD and CAJOLE for mozzarella sticks.

Then, once that plate hits the table, they divide the sticks with lightning speed, setting the dipping ramekin of marinara sauce down in between them, and they inhale them. The mozzarella sticks are gone before they even cool down enough to eat.

Richmond Farms makes mozzarella sticks that the boys can inhale at home. Made with 100 percent real mozzarella cheese, these appetizers, snacks or even a small meal are breaded and then frozen. They are good sources of calcium and protein, and they come in two sizes: 10 ounces for normal kids and 52 ounces for my kids.

You can heat them in the oven, toaster oven, microwave or a home deep-fryer. We usually use the toaster oven. My boyfriend deep-fries them.

Any way you heat them, mozzarella sticks are a fun snack that kids – and adults – can enjoy.

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Posted in: Kids, Product Talk


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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.

Family Matters

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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