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Family Matters: Sleepy Time

Sleeping BabyThe other day, I was looking at my boys, both now in middle school, and missing the newborn days when they slept in my arms for hours on end.

I also remembered just how much a baby sleeps, although it felt to me like they were never doing that good sleep at nighttime.

A one-month-old baby needs eight hours of sleep at night and another eight hours during the day. At three months, it’s about 10 hours at night and five during the day. At six months, your little one needs 11 hours at night and about three-and-a-half during the day.

To help your baby get the sleep he needs, try to keep his schedule as consistent as possible. Put him to bed and wake him up at about the same time every day. Let him sleep in the same place each night and in the same place for naps each day.

Of course, if your baby is less than a month old, he’ll probably sleep anywhere and everywhere he can.

It’s not a bad thing to hold your baby while he sleeps during the first weeks of his life. You can’t spoil a baby, but you do want him to get accustomed to his own bed as well.

You might notice a newborn baby can sleep through anything, and there’s no reason to change your daytime routine to accommodate his sleep needs. However, this might change as he gets a little older and becomes used to silence (or noise).

Remember to keep baby’s crib clear of blankets or large stuffed toys. Use a sleep sack or other weather-appropriate pajama set.

Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. The familiar transition will help baby get to sleep more easily and stay asleep!

Shop the Sale: Ribeye Steaks

Ribeye SteaksA few weekends ago, we went to Brookshire’s, and Paul picked out two of the most amazing steaks I’d ever seen in my life.

I don’t even know if ribeyes were on sale that day, like they are this week at Brookshire’s, but it didn’t even matter: we got them anyway.

We got SIX MEALS out of those two steaks. Six. For each of us.

The beauty of a good ribeye is that you don’t need to do a lot to it in order for it to be the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten.

We simply rub it with David Wade’s Worcestershire Powder, a little Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and some black pepper. Then, we (we, meaning Paul) slap it down on the grill over high heat to get that wonderful sizzle, of course, and turn the heat down a bit, cooking approximately six minutes per side for a medium-rare, 2-inch thick steak.

We had steaks the first night (with baked potatoes, salad and cream peas), steak tacos the second night (with Paul’s homemade hot sauce) and then got several more leftover meals from the meat and grilled onions.

Since they’re on sale this week, you have a ton of delicious and economical choices

Mi Blog Hispano: Escuchar los mensajes de tu cuerpo

Escuchar los mensajes de tu cuerpoSiempre he sido una persona muy positiva y activa, encantada de vivir y disfrutar la vida, aprender, estudiar, pasear, trabajar, en fin me fascina estar en movimiento. Hace unos años mi ritmo normal comenzó a disminuir, comencé a tener frecuentes dolores de cabeza, a sentirme fatigada, cansada, un poco desconcentrada porque no dormía bien, me sentía triste, deprimida, mi cabello se estaba cayendo muchísimo, mi visión también estaba borrosa y mi ciclo menstrual comenzó a ser irregular.

Los cambios comenzaron a afectar mi vida en general, y esto comenzó a llamarme la atención porque yo sabía que algo no estaba correcto conmigo. A veces pensaba que lo que me sentía era normal y causado por el stress que todos tenemos en lo cotidiano. Cuando tuve la visita anual con mi médico general le comenté lo que me pasaba y no le dio mayor importancia, así que estuve sintiendo estos síntomas por más tiempo. Luego visité a mi ginecólogo para tener mi examen regular, me hicieron un eco abdominal y se dieron cuenta que tenía quistes en mis ovarios y que había que sacarlos porque estaban grandes, es decir que tenían tiempo que no funcionaban bien y era por esto que yo estaba sufriendo todos estos síntomas horribles.

Luego de tener la cirugía para extraer mis ovarios, es que he podido entender que los síntomas que había sufrido estos últimos años tenían que ver con eso. Ya estoy consciente de lo que me siento y por qué, y esto me ha ayudado muchísimo a entender y a tomar medidas para cada uno de los malestares que son consecuencia de no tener mis ovarios funcionando y generando las hormonas necesarias para que todo trabaje como es debido.

Lo que quiero compartir es que es muy importante estar atentas a los mensajes de nuestro cuerpo porque cada una de las respuestas y síntomas que tenemos que no sea normal; siempre tiene un motivo y es importante que los descubramos cuanto antes para poder tratarlos y corregirlos y así evitarnos consecuencias negativas en nuestra salud física y emocional. De esta experiencia aprendí que no debemos quedarnos nunca con una sola opinión si no estamos conformes con ella y si sabemos que algo no anda bien. Escuchemos a ese sexto sentido que tenemos e insistamos en conseguir la ayuda que necesitamos. Recordemos que la vida es bella y nuestro cuerpo es un regalo de Dios que necesita ser cuidado y esta debe ser una de las prioridades de cada día.

Healthy Living: Sweet Potato Slices

Sweet Potato SlicesI’m a sucker for any recipe that promises a secret ingredient.

Case in point, this sweet potato recipe.

If I’m browsing online, I have to click the link to find out what the secret ingredient might be. Call it a compulsion, but I have to do it.

In addition, sweet potatoes are one of those foods I know I SHOULD love, but I haven’t quite made it that far. That ambivalence fuels my determination to find the ultimate sweet potato recipe as well.

When I clicked on this link, I discovered the secret ingredient was kettle corn seasoning! Brilliant! That perfect balance of salty and sweet on a potato that needs both salty and sweet, in my opinion. I loved the result even more because sweet potatoes are SO GOOD FOR YOU. They are oozing with vitamins and nutrients, low in fat, high in potassium and often called “the perfect food.”

I’ll make this one again.

Sweet Potato Slices
Serves 6

2 to 3 large sweet potatoes, about 1 1/2 lb
nonstick cooking spray
2 Tbs kettle corn seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash potatoes and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Lay flat on a baking sheet covered with tin foil or parchment paper. Spritz with nonstick cooking spray, and sprinkle with kettle corn seasoning and cinnamon. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 123, Calories from Fat: 2, Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 41 mg, Potassium: 540 mg, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 2 g.

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

Product Talk: Planters Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks Trail Mix

Planters Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks Trail MixI’m sitting here on my couch on a Sunday afternoon, and my stomach is rumbling. I ate breakfast HOURS ago. I know I’m eating an early dinner, but I still need a little something to carry me through until the next meal.

I look over at my sweet boyfriend who is sitting next to me and reading me funny things from the Internet while I write these blogs. We seemed to have the same thought at the same time, and I jumped up to grab the bag of Planters Spicy Nuts & Cajun Sticks Trail Mix we bought yesterday.

I also grabbed some napkins because this snack is covered in Cajun goodness.
The snack mix hit the spot. A blend of peanuts, corn nuts, crunchy corn kernels, sesame sticks and corn sticks in a Cajun spice mix, this snack will set your lips on fire!

It didn’t take us long to make a dent in the 6-ounce bag.

This snack mix is 150 calories per 1/4 cup with 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. You can find it on the aisle with cookies and crackers at your local Brookshire’s.

Dine In: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough FudgeMy obsession this summer has been Andy’s Frozen Custard, specifically a chocolate chip cookie dough concrete with molten peanut butter poured into the middle. Chocolate chip cookie dough is my love language. I pretty much love anything chocolate chip cookie dough. It’s my favorite flavor of ice cream. It’s my favorite “mix-in” at Marble Slab Creamery. Yes, I even eat it raw by the spoonful every time I make cookies, and I haven’t gotten sick yet.

My sweetie loves fudge, and I love cookie dough. Trying this recipe was a no-brainer, a beautiful marriage of confections. It comes together quickly. The only problem with it is that the recipe says it keeps for a week in the refrigerator. In what alternate universe does chocolate chip cookie dough fudge last a week? Not in my house, for sure.

The directions tell you that 4 cups of powdered sugar make softer fudge, while 5 make a stiffer, sweeter version. I split the difference at 4 1/2 cups, and I thought it was just perfect. It had a great texture without making your cheeks pucker from overwhelming sweetness.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

For the cookie dough:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbs half-and-half
1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the fudge:
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter
pinch of salt
1/3 cup half-and-half
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Using heavy-duty foil or parchment paper, line an 8 x 8-inch pan, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

Make this fudge in 2 parts. First, you prepare the “cookie dough” portion, then you stir it into the fudge base.

For the cookie dough, combine butter and sugar in a large bowl, and beat together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, salt and half-and-half. Stir in the flour until just incorporated. Don’t overmix. Set aside.

To make the fudge base, combine the brown sugar, butter, salt and half-and-half in a heavy saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the butter melts and the brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth and well-combined. Add the vanilla.

Add the cookie dough to the fudge base and stir gently to combine. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish; chill until set, at least 3 hours.
Keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In, Kids

Family Matters: Family Fishing

Family FishingThis summer, we have spent a lot of time fishing with our girls, our family and the kids’ friends. Since I was a child, I have always loved to fish, but as our family got busier, we never seemed to have time because something else was always more important. I can absolutely say that everyone has enjoyed not only catching fish but also the time spent laughing, getting fishing lines out of the trees, playing with the worms and the family gatherings to fry up the fish we caught. Nothing is better than the taste of fresh fish, french fries and hushpuppies. My middle brother is always the one that prepares and cooks our fish. No secret ingredient, just soaking it in milk the night before, rolling in yellow cornmeal, adding his seasonings, and frying it up nice and hot. Simple, but delicious!

Our friendly fishing contest consists of the largest fish, the smallest fish and kids against adults. There is midnight fishing, fishing at dawn and fishing until we are all too blistered and sore to move the next day. During this time, we are reminded of childhood memories of fishing with our grandfather or dad, and of being able to share with our kids as we all laugh at the funny things that have happened in the past, good and simple times long forgotten.

As we get older and go through life’s trials, we learn that it is getting back to these simpler things like fishing, sitting and visiting, and just enjoying each other’s company that is really important. Maybe fishing is not for you; maybe it is nature trails and bird watching. Whatever it is, as long as you are with family, it will be time well-spent. Fishing gets everyone out of the house, off the couch and cellphones put up (kids don’t want to drop phones in the water!!)…what better use of our time.

Now, as we move toward school starting and the cooler months, the cousins are all talking about weekend fishing and camping trips together and more family fish fries….what great memories for our kids and family. Fishing stories passed down for generations… Who would have ever thought that fishing would be the bond that “reels in” the family together and reminds us of the important things in life? Count your blessings daily and give thanks for time with your family.

Shop the Sale: Smoked Mojo Chicken Leg Quarters

Smoked Mojo Chicken Leg QuartersOne of the first things Paul made, when he got a smoker for his birthday, was a smoked whole chicken. I’ve been craving it again ever since.

This recipe uses leg quarters, which smoke beautifully and have great potential for presentation.

The chicken marinates in a bright, flavorful marinade full of citrus flavors with the heat of jalapeño peppers and the depth of spices including cumin and oregano. I’d recommend marinating it overnight or at least all day. That just gives you more flavor.

One of the things I really love about this recipe is that you don’t need a traditional smoker to make it work. The Applewood chips add smoke and a slightly sweet flavor to this chicken, a perfect complement to the sweetness in the chicken.

Pilgrim leg quarters are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, and it might just be the perfect time to smoke some more chicken.

Smoked Mojo Chicken Leg Quarters

1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbs orange zest, loosely packed
1 Tbs lime zest, loosely packed
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
6 large garlic cloves
2 red jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 chicken leg quarters (about 5 1/2 lb)
6 cups Applewood chips

Combine the first 12 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for about 20 seconds, or until everything is finely chopped and incorporated. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the mixture for later use. Chill.

Place chicken in an extra-large, plastic zipper bag. Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken, zip closed and let marinate overnight, or at least 8 hours.

When you’re ready to cook, place 3 cups dry Applewood chips in the center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold over to make a packet. Poke a few holes at the top of the packet. Make two packets, reserving one.

Preheat grill to 350° F, either leaving one side unlit on a gas grill or banking coals to one side on a charcoal grill. Place the packet of Applewood chips, hole-side up, on the lit side.

Drain marinade and discard. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Move Applewood chips to the unlit side of the grill, and replace with the chicken over the direct heat. Grill 4 to 6 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Move to unlit side of the grill and the Applewood chips back to the lit side. Cover and cook, about 90 minutes, until the skin is golden-brown and chicken is cooked through.

You should replace Applewood chip packet halfway through the cooking process.

Warm reserved marinade and serve chicken with the sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 763, Calories from Fat: 500 g, Fat: 56 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 287 mg, Sodium: 1080 mg, Potassium: 115 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 65 g.

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

Healthy Living: Back-to-School Breakfasts

Back to School BreakfastThere’s no disputing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for our kiddos going off to school each morning. Eating breakfast stabilizes blood sugar, revs up the metabolism, and gives the body and mind fuel for the day ahead.

The best breakfasts are the ones that combine protein and a complex carbohydrate.

Here’s a list of breakfast ideas that will get your child powering through the school day:

  • Whole-grain waffles spread with natural peanut butter
  • Steel-cut oats with Greek yogurt and fruit
  • A whole-wheat tortilla filled with scrambled eggs and some cheese
  • A toasted, whole-grain English muffin with Canadian bacon and an egg
  • Scrambled eggs mixed with veggies like onions, peppers and mushrooms
  • An egg white omelet with zucchini, tomatoes and cheese
  • A fruit smoothie with a slice of toasted Ezekiel bread
  • Egg “Muffins.” Mix 6 eggs, 1 cup baby spinach, 1 cup black beans, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and 4 ounces ham. Pour into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Bake at 350° F until set, about 12 minutes.
  • Breakfast roll-ups. Press refrigerated crescent roll dough into triangles. Top with sausage, ham or bacon, and scrambled eggs and cheese. Roll up; bake at 375° F for 8 minutes.
  • Peaches and cream: Slice peaches and top with Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.
  • Oatmeal topped with blueberries and slivered almonds
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Yogurt parfaits. Layer yogurt, fruit and granola in a pretty glass.

Product Talk: Snack Time

Dried SnacksThey were there near the register, calling me like the siren’s song one evening at checkout.

Clear plastic packages of homemade snacks.

There was dried pineapple. Sesame sticks. Snack mix. Dried peas.

And, drum roll please, dried okra.

Holy, beautiful bite of deliciousness, Batman!

While I love all of Brookshire’s Snack Packs, I really, really love the dried okra. I guess they dehydrate it. Or bake it until its crisp. Or both. These little nuggets of happiness are crunchy, crispy and salty, all of my favorite things.

The okra is dried whole, so you can grab a piece just as you would a chip or a cheese puff. I can (and do) eat the whole snack container by myself at one sitting.

There are so many different snack packs at Brookshire’s. If dried okra isn’t your thing, try the dried mango or salty, crunchy peas.

Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong!

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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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