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Shop the Sale: Carolina Pulled Pork

Carolina Pulled PorkI’ve been craving some North Carolina-style barbecue. Pulled pork with a vinegar-based sauce on a soft bun with coleslaw.

Today, my boyfriend Paul is indulging me in that craving.

He got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Brookshire’s for a pork butt (which, incidentally, are on sale now at your local store), which he rubbed with a secret (until you read the recipe below) spice rub and put in the smoker, slow-cooking it over mesquite until it developed a glorious crisp crust and a juicy, tender, fall-apart interior. Then he toted it over to my house, undoubtedly leaving behind a trail of aromatic smoke. I’m surprised half the city isn’t sitting in my driveway right about now.
Meanwhile, I made a vinegar-based coleslaw (neither of us are huge fans of mayonnaise) to serve on top. In North Carolina, they pull (or shred) their pork, put it on a bun, add a dollop of sauce and a scoop of coleslaw and there you go! Dinner is served.

Carolina Pulled Pork
Serves about 10


4 lb pork butt
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs ground black pepper
1/2 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
barbecue sauce, to taste

Combine spices in a shallow bowl until blended. Rub spices into pork butt until well-coated. Drizzle meat with Worcestershire sauce.

Prepare smoker or grill pan with mesquite chips. Smoke pork butt for 6 hours (1 1/2 hours per pound). Shred, either adding your favorite sauce to the meat or pouring it on top.
Serve alone or on a bun.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 364, Calories from Fat: 113, Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat:0 g, (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 167 mg, Sodium: 151 mg, Potassium: 741 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 57 g.

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

Healthy Living: Fall Quinoa Salad

Fall Quinoa SaladDo you realize how hard it is to find healthy recipes on your Pinterest feed during the fall season? Everything is baked, buttery and stick-to-your-ribs (and thighs) kind of fare! There are cookies and breads and casseroles galore, but salads? Not so much.

This is always a favorite fall salad of mine. It combines the flavors of fall without all the fat. Quinoa is a super food, providing protein without all the bad fats associated with meats. It also has pumpkin seeds, which are little kernels of power-packed goodness in and of themselves.

Pumpkin seeds are chock full of minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper, and they are a good source of vitamin K. They have been shown to contain phytosterols, which reduce levels of LDL cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds also contain L-tryptophan, which promotes good sleep and lowers depression (and you thought your slices of turkey at Thanksgiving dinner were the only things making you sleepy). Another benefit of pumpkin seeds is that they are high in zinc, which helps protect against osteoporosis. They are also a good source of vitamins E and B, and contain 30 grams of protein per 100 grams of seeds.

Fall Quinoa Salad

3 cups butternut squash, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup rainbow quinoa, uncooked
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup red onions, finely chopped
3 Tbs pumpkin seeds, toasted
3 Tbs pecans, toasted and chopped

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Place diced squash in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil; season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and roast for 25 minutes or until squash is fork-tender and golden-brown.

While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water. Place quinoa in clean water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 22 minutes.

Cool quinoa and squash.

Toss quinoa with roasted squash, cranberries, red onions, pumpkin seeds and pecans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a separate bowl. Pour over quinoa mixture. Chill for several hours and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 284, Calories from Fat: 178, Fat: 20 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 13 mg, Potassium: 393 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

Product Talk: Foster Farms Buffalo Wings

Foster Farms Buffalo WingsOn vacation last summer, we spent a dreary, drizzly day touring the USS Wisconsin, a naval warship dry docked in Norfolk, Va. We spent hours on the ship, where a very enthusiastic and loquacious World War II-era volunteer (who had served on the ship) taught us how to tie every kind of knot that you might ever need in your whole entire lifetime. He went into great detail. Very great detail.

Point being, by the time we ended that adventure, we were hungry. No, starving.

Being in unfamiliar territory, we didn’t want to venture too far off the beaten path to look for lunch. I was willing to Google some great places to eat, but the teenagers in the backseat weren’t as accommodating. We ended up eating at a national chain restaurant that served chicken wings.

Now, you KNOW I love buffalo chicken, so I ordered the buffalo chicken hot wings.

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.

I love hot food. I love spicy food. I love hot, spicy food.

However, for whatever reason, these wings bamboozled me, setting my mouth (and my stomach) on fire. No amount of water quelled the flames I was facing (and I wasn’t desperate enough to drink milk, even though dairy products are the most effective at cutting the heat from fiery foods).

I swore I would never eat wings again.

That was until I was tempted to try a frozen brand from Brookshire’s. You know how the “never” word works!

Foster Farms Hot & Spicy Buffalo Wings ARE hot and spicy, but not enough to require an oral lavage and case of antacids.

They bake up crispy, yet saucy, and have a deep tang with a burst of flavor that satisfies all the senses.
Best of all, you don’t have to work with the raw chicken; you just pop them in the oven and heat them quickly.

These have become a favorite in our household, and I’ll keep choosing them over mouth-burning, stomach-churning wings any day.

Dine In: Mac and Cheese Bites

Mac and Cheese BitesI’ve burned out on Friday night dinners lately.

For years and years, my boys wanted pizza on Friday nights while we watched a movie, and there was heck to pay if I deviated from the routine.

Now that they’re older, they’re a little more flexible in our Friday night fare. They still love their pizza, but they are more open to other ideas, especially if it’s something involving finger foods.

I think tonight we’ll do “Appetizers for Dinner” night at our house.

I’m going to bake some mild chicken wings, slice celery and carrots to serve with hummus, and make these Mac and Cheese Bites I’ve been dying to try. Is it wrong of me that I’m making these, fully aware that only two of us will likely eat them? I love mac and cheese, and I can’t wait to try this!

Mac and Cheese Bites

1/2 lb dry elbow macaroni
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 oz cream cheese
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Spray a mini-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line each cup with a paper liner.

Cook macaroni until al dente and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add the milk gradually while stirring, and bring to a simmer. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese, cream cheese, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir into pasta, adding a lightly-beaten egg at the end. Spoon a heaping mound of the macaroni and cheese into the muffin tins, and top each with a pinch of more shredded cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden-brown on top. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 206, Calories from Fat: 101, Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 46 mg, Sodium: 262 mg, Potassium: 93 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 9 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In, Kids

Family Matters: Ooey Gooey S’mores

S’mores MilkshakeNothing says fall fun like making s’mores outside around a campfire. Even as the kids are getting older, these gooey delights have always been a favorite around our house. My daughter likes to roast her marshmallows until they are a perfect golden brown and warm in the middle. My son just likes to throw his marshmallows in the campfire and watch them burn up! That must be a guy thing! Either way, s’mores around our house celebrates family time together.

Recently, my daughter introduced us to this twist on classic s’mores. It’s like having a campfire dessert in a glass.

S’mores Milkshake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

8 jumbo marshmallows
1/4 cup hot fudge, warmed
1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
4 cups Brookshire’s Chocolate Milk
4 cups Goldenbrook Farms Chocolate Ice Cream
1 Tbs Brookshire’s Sour Cream

Heat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread marshmallows on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Place sheet pan under broiler; cook until lightly charred. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Place warm hot fudge in a small, shallow bowl; place graham cracker crumbs on a rimmed plate. Take each glass and dip rim in hot fudge, and then gently roll in crumbs to create a crumb edge. In a blender, combine chocolate milk, ice cream and sour cream until smooth.

Pour milkshake mixture into glasses, and garnish each with reserved toasted marshmallows.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 650, Fat: 26 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 95 mg, Sodium: 352 mg, Carbohydrates: 92 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 14 g.

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

Shop the Sale: French Onion Burgers

French Onion BurgersI love a good burger.

I also love the fact that burgers are almost a blank canvas; you can create almost any meal with a good, basic burger.

A good burger starts with good meat. I like Angus ground chuck, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Then, you can add anything you want, from a light seasoning to a total burger overhaul.

Recently inspired by a picture of French onion soup in a magazine, I went for total overhaul. The classic elements of French onion soup are caramelized onions, a rich stock and a cheesy crouton on top to sop up the juices.

I tried to create a burger that would mimic the flavors and classic elements of the soup. I think it was a success!

French Onion Burgers

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions
1 1/2 lbs Angus ground chuck
1/4 cup dry red wine
4 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
4 good-quality hamburger rolls, sliced
4 Tbs butter, softened
4 oz Swiss cheese, sliced

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. Swirl until olive oil is warmed through. Add onions; cook slowly, about 20 minutes, until they are a rich, caramel color. Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix red wine, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and Lawry’s into Angus ground chuck. Form into 8 thin patties. Place a heaping tablespoon of onions on top of 1 thin patty, and then cover with another patty, making 4 burgers. (If you want to stuff with the cheese as well, instead of placing on top, do so at this time.)

Grill burgers over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes each side, or until cooked to desired doneness.

While burgers are cooking, slather butter onto insides of hamburger buns, and grill until slightly toasty. Remove burgers from grill, and top with Swiss cheese. Place patties on buttered, grilled buns and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 950, Calories from Fat: 617, Fat: 67 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (28 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 177 mg, Sodium: 624 mg, Potassium: 210 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 43 g.

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

Healthy Living: Mayo-Free Slaw Salad

Mayo-Free Slaw SaladI don’t like mayonnaise. Paul doesn’t like mayonnaise. I do like coleslaw, and it’s such a fun complement to so many Southern dishes like barbecue or Tex-Mex recipes like tacos.

So, I went on a search for a non-mayo coleslaw.

Eliminating the mayo makes this dish healthier, too. A vinegar-based version of this dish, which gives you the acidity you need to pair with so many proteins, cuts out so much fat and so many calories. A bracing slaw salad lets you combine so many healthy veggies into one cohesive dish.

You don’t even have to use mayo.

Mayo-Free Slaw Salad

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs brown mustard
1 Tbs raw honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
3/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup English cucumber, grated
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbs celery seed
salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together dressing: vinegar, mustard, honey and olive oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine thinly shredded cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, green onions and celery seed. Season with salt and pepper.

Slowly drizzle the dressing onto slaw until desired amount is reached.

Chill until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 155, Calories from Fat: 119, Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Potassium: 197 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 1 g.

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

Product Talk: Lay’s Potato Chips

Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion Potato ChipsI don’t know how the topic came up, but sometimes potato chips just pop into conversation.

We were probably hungry.

We were probably talking about snacks.

We discovered we both have an affinity for Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion potato chips.

So, guess what we had for lunch today?

Yep, Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion, with no healthy food preceding our pig out.


Lay’s chips have been a longtime favorite of mine, and they’ve come back into the forefront of the marketing scene over the past few years with their “Do Us A Flavor” campaign, which has snackers suggesting flavors for the light, crispy chips. Lay’s test-markets the most viable flavors.

This year, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, West Coast Truffle Fries, New York Reuben and Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro ended up in the finals.

The bags of chips are stocked at your local Brookshire’s, and America’s favorite will end up on the permanent rotation of Lay’s favorites.

You can still vote through October 18 at

I voted for Biscuits and Gravy!

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Posted in: Product Talk

Dine In: Veal Milanese

Veal Milanese with Lemon Wine Caper SauceOver the weekend, we tried a new-to-me restaurant in our town where my boyfriend, Paul, used to be a regular. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Tyler, Texas, for seven years and had not been to this restaurant yet (especially with my love of eating out), but I hadn’t. When Paul suggested it for a pre-symphony feast, I readily hopped on board.

The Italian restaurant, in an unobtrusive commercial location, strikes the perfect balance between traditional and kitschy, with homage to the red-checked tablecloths that have come to mean Italian dining, juxtaposed with pictures of famous movie stars and singers that lend a slightly pretentious suggestion of connections to a bright, bold and flashy world. The lounge singer who came on while we were there was the perfect touch.

Kitsch aside, the waitstaff and the food were impeccable. The bread, freshly out of the oven, was crisp on the outside, and chewy and hot on the inside. The house Chianti was fragrant and fruity, and the meatballs were just like the ones my mom makes.

I indulged in the Veal Milanese because it’s a dish I would rarely make at home, except for maybe a special Friday night every once in a while. A traditional milanesa is a breaded veal cutlet. This version featured a lemon wine sauce, but what set it apart, other than the fact you could tell it was fresh and homemade, was the capers. The capers were plump and bright, and lent a burst of acidity to the rich dish.

This dish also works if you substitute chicken for veal.

Veal Milanese with Lemon Wine Caper Sauce

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
2 lbs veal, portioned into 4 parts and pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbs butter
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup capers
1/2 lemon, juiced
chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Mix salt, pepper and flour in a shallow dish.

Pound veal cutlets to thin and even dimensions.

Dredge the veal cutlets in the flour mixture. Shake off excess; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons olive oil with the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the veal and brown on both sides. When cooked through, remove from pan and tent with foil to keep warm. Deglaze the pan with white wine and swirl, scraping the bits of browned veal up into the sauce. Add the chicken stock; cook until the liquid has thickened. Add 1 tablespoon more olive oil, capers, lemon juice and parsley. Stir over high heat for about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over the veal. Garnish with sliced lemons and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 687, Calories from Fat: 305, Fat: 34 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 250 mg, Sodium: 886 mg, Potassium: 853 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 59 g.

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

Family Matters: Shedding

pet sheddingDid you know that your pet requires some seasonal care, just like your lawn and yard might? They do!

In the fall, a lot of pets go through a period of shedding their fur, getting rid of damaged hair and old skin cells. This is perfectly normal unless you note it’s excessive, then it could be a sign of something else like illness, stress or poor diet. Like I said, a little shedding is completely normal, albeit kind of messy.

Shedding can be managed and minimized with a few easy tips and tricks.

First of all, buy a grooming tool. Your pet might actually LOVE being brushed, and it’s nice bonding time with you. Brushing removes excess hair, stimulates the skin and promotes a shiny, healthy, clean coat. If your dog has dense hair, this job might best be left to a professional groomer who can work out knots and kinks, and even shave your pet’s hair down if necessary.

If you’re doing it at home, groom your pet on a weekly basis so you control the hair loss, and it doesn’t end up all over your sofa and carpets.

Secondly, make sure they’re eating good, high-quality food. Diet can affect how much your pet sheds. Check labels for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional adequacy statement to ensure the product offers balanced nutrition.

Next, during high-shed season, consider covering your furniture where your pet will be with a sheet or a slipcover to minimize hair on your furniture. Vacuum, dust and sweep as often as you can as well.

Bathing your pet during the summer months can also help reduce shedding during the fall.

The bottom line is that some shedding is normal, and it usually only lasts for a few weeks!

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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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