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Product Talk: Wonton Wrappers


It’s all your fault.

YOURS!

You know who you are, Blogger-Who-Loves-Buffalo-Chicken-As-Much-As-I-Do and Employee-Who-Pointed-It-Out.

I’m lookin’ at you.

Wonton wrappers are so much fun to use for everything from egg rolls to apple pies to, yes, Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. 

These approximately 4 x 4-inch squares of thinly pressed dough are delicious and great for a variety of recipes. Stuff them with meat and veggies, wrap, bake or fry and use them as egg rolls. Line with apple pie filling, roll in cinnamon sugar, bake and call it an apple pie.

Or, make Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes.

*sigh.

It’s not a secret I ADORE buffalo chicken, OK?

And I’d taken a hiatus from writing about it…until a few days ago. But here’s one more recipe (for now), using easy, versatile wonton wrappers and my fave, buffalo chicken, for a meal easy to eat and yummy in your tummy.

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

Makes 12 regular cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
24 wonton wrappers
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray muffin tin very lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, wing sauce and 3/4 cheddar cheese (save remaining 1/4 cup for topping). You can soften the mixture slightly in the microwave if needed to make it come together. Stir in shredded chicken.

Start layering your cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Spoon about a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into each cup. Top with another wonton wrapper and add another tablespoon of chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and a little blue cheese.

Bake for 18 minutes or until edges are brown. Check cupcakes after 10 minutes into cooking, and if edges are browned, cover the cupcakes with foil for the remaining cooking time. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove, use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each cupcake out.

For mini cupcakes: Cut each wonton wrapper into 4 squares. Layer wonton, about 1 teaspoon of filling, wonton, then another teaspoon of filling. Top with shredded cheese and blue cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly; then remove from pan.

Note: Wonton wrappers can be found in the refrigerated section of your produce section usually on a wall by the mushrooms, broccoli and dressings. Just ask someone if they aren’t there.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 330, Calories from Fat: 108, Fat: 12 g, Cholesterol: 52 mg, Sodium: 603 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 16g

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Dine In: Dolmadakia


The best Greek food I’ve ever eaten was in Germany. Go figure. But of course, that’s probably because I haven’t been to Greece…YET. (Visiting there is first on my to-do list.)

There was a little restaurant called the Poseidon, full of every Greek kitsch you can imagine – statues of Greek gods, faux-crumbling columns, brightly colored frescoes of sea sides, whitewashed houses and blue skies, a model of the Parthenon…you get the picture.

But the food was amazing. Every Friday night, for the better part of two years, my partner in crime, Susan, and I walked from our apartment building, on the grounds of a German military artillery school, to the Poseidon and sat outside on the patio every time weather permitted (which in Germany, doesn’t happen often).

Each meal there started off with an ice-cold shot of ouzo, a Greek liquor with a licorice flavor. They said it opened your digestive tract. Then we’d usually get a slab of goat cheese, milky-white, salty, and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and some capers. I almost always ordered the dolmadakia – as an appetizer they were served cold, or they came baked in a rich tomato sauce as a main course. Dolmadakia are grape leaves stuffed with a combination of meat, often lamb, and rice. We’d sip on a kristallweizen (a light, crisp, German wheat beer) during the meal, and, at the conclusion of the feast, the waiter would bring a snifter of metaxa, another Greek liquor, on fire. You blew out the colored flame and sipped it, closing your digestive tract.

Recreating the ‘dolma’ at home is a little time-consuming, but once you master the art of wrapping the grape leaves, it’s a great date-night, dine in meal.

Dolmadakia

Ingredients:

2/3 cup raw rice
1 (1 lb) jar grape leaves
6 small onions, finely chopped
3/4 lb ground lamb or ground beef, uncooked
1 tsp crushed dried mint
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
Chicken broth or water
2 lemons
2 egg yolks

Directions

Do not cook the rice, but soak it in boiling water 5 minutes and drain in a sieve.
Unfold the grape leaves and rinse under cold running water.
In a bowl, combine the rice, onions, meat, mint, parsley, seasonings and oil; mix together with clean hands.
Form 1 tablespoon of the mixture into an oval shape, place on a grape leaf and roll up, turning the ends in to seal; repeat until all the stuffing is used.
Arrange stuffed leaves closely packed in layers in a small flame-proof baking dish
Pour in the broth or water to cover; sprinkle with the juice of 1 lemon
Place a heat-proof plate on top of the grape leaves to weigh them down.
Cover with foil, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour over very low heat.
Let the leaves cool slightly in the broth and remove from broth, reserving the broth.
Beat the egg yolks. Add the juice of the other lemon to the yolks.
Heat the yolk mixture, slowly adding some of hot broth from the dolmadakia while heating.
Remove from heat, stir into rest of broth and let stand 5 minutes to thicken.
Serve immediately while sauce is warm.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information:Calories Per Serving: 286, Calories from Fat: 141, Fat: 16 g, Cholesterol: 78 mg, Sugars: 2 g, Sodium: 1941 mg, Carbohydrate: 28 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 12 g

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Social Interaction


When your toddler is about 2 years old, he’ll really like social activities like story time. However, don’t expect him to get down and interact with all the other kids. Little ones at this age still primarily parallel play, that is, they engage in their own activity next to another child. This is perfectly OK. You don’t have to force Jacob to share with Sophie or even be interested in her toys or acknowledge she’s there. He’s still primarily interested in his caregiver and whatever toy he finds most amusing at that given moment. But introducing him to other kids in group settings (whether that be one other child or 10) is good for his development at this point. So maybe try a library story time, or a group music class, or just take your toddler to the park and let them sort out the early social cues.

TIP 12 to 36 Months: Say no to your toddler. That’s right. A simple word, “No.” This is what a toddler can understand. Rationalizing with them, “Do you think that’s a good choice?” is more appropriate for a school-age child. But when they’re 2 and 3, keep it simple!



Family Matters: Car Seat Safety


Your baby is probably big enough now to transition from an infant carrier car seat to a convertible seat. But always, always, always keep it rear-facing. A lot of experts are now recommending that you keep baby in a rear-facing position longer than age 12 months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, based on a 2007 study from the University of Virginia, “children under 2 are 75 percent less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a crash if they are facing the rear.”

“A baby’s head is relatively large in proportion to the rest of his body, and the bones of his neck are structurally immature,” said the statement’s lead author, Dr. Dennis R. Durbin, scientific co-director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If he’s rear-facing, his entire body is better supported by the shell of the car seat. When he’s forward-facing, his shoulders and trunk may be well restrained, but in a violent crash, his head and neck can fly forward.”

What more information do you need?

TIP 7 to 12 Months: Babies this age are now eating solid foods. To help them stay full, make sure to provide about 3 full tablespoons of protein at each meal. 



Family Matters: Thumb Sucking


When my best friend’s baby was born a few months ago, she swore two things: that she would never speak to Baby in nauseating, high-pitched ‘baby talk’ nor would she ever let her suck her thumb.

HA!

Both of those promises went out the window within minutes of that sweet girl’s birth. She was practically born sucking her thumb, and I think Mama told her “Your little thumby-wumby needs to come out of your mouthy now…”

Best laid plans, right?

Thumb sucking is not the end of the world. I didn’t have to deal with it, because both of my boys used pacifiers, but my sister sucked her thumb. And guess what? She’s a fully functioning adult who graduated with her master’s degree without a thumb in her mouth. There’s hope, I promise.

Babies suck to soothe. If your baby sucks his thumb, you’ve got the built-in convenience of not having to get up 19,002 times a night (not that I counted) to find their pacifier for them.

Now, too much thumb sucking can cause alignment problems with teeth, but experts say MOST kids stop by around age 4. And if they haven’t, rest assured a preschool or kindergarten classmate will help things along by point out that sucking your thumb is for babies.

TIP- 0 to 6 Months: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Babies thrive off of repetition. “Mixing things up” isn’t what your infant wants. Instead, it’s perfectly ok if you read “Goodnight, Moon” to them every evening for the first years of life. They love it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 



Shop the Sale: Grilled Potato Wedges


Father’s Day is coming up and these potatoes would taste phenomenal with a great grilled steak. I don’t know about you, but I like to make summertime meals as easy as humanly possible and cooking everything on one surface fits that bill.

Why do steak and potatoes go so well together? Well I’m really not sure, but I do know that a russet potato, crisp on the outside and creamy and smooth on the inside, is always a hit.

Russet potatoes, which will hold up well sliced and grilled, are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so stock up for Father’s Day or any weeknight grilling venture.

Grilled Potato Wedges

Ingredients:

1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ancho or regular chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges about 1 inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:

Mix together the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Brush the potatoes all over with olive oil and place over the hot side of the grill and cook until browned and crisp on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Move the potatoes to the cool side of the grill, cover, and continue to grill until cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Remove the potatoes from the grill to a large bowl. Sprinkle with the spice mixture to taste and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 200, Calories from Fat: 102, Fat: 11 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 9 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 2 g 

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Quinoa


One of my new obsessions is quinoa.  I make it for dinner about once a week; it has become a staple in my house. When I go to Brookshire’s I know to add quinoa to my grocery cart because I will have it sometime during the week. I normally reserve quinoa dishes for busy nights because it’s so easy and quick to make. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and can go with almost any ingredient.

Quinoa is not a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal. You cook it and eat it like a grain, but it is actually an edible seed. Quinoa is not only packed with protein, but it is a complete protein – meaning it offers all of the essential amino acids. Quinoa is also rich in fiber and iron.

This is one of my favorite quinoa recipes that I have very often. I normally have enough to take in my lunch the next day.

Southwest Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 tsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup cooked corn
1 (15 oz) can Food Club Black Beans
1/2 cup chopped cilantro 

In a saucepan, heat oil.  Add onion and garlic; cook until onions are tender. Add quinoa, vegetable broth and cumin to saucepan; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add corn and black beans; cook until warm. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Calories Per Serving: 233, Fat: 4 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 538 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 10 g



Product Talk: Gorton’s Simply Bake Tilapia Signature Seasoning


I’ve wanted my kids to eat more fish for a long time now. It’s brain food, after all, with the omega fatty acids needed for optimal brain function.

But to be honest, they haven’t enjoyed it very much.  Not even the grilled salmon I adore and could eat several times a week. 

Recently we tried Gorton’s Simply Bake Tilapia Signature Seasoning. The boys loved it. It’s a more mild white fish and seasoned perfectly. We had it with steamed cauliflower and a side of wild rice.

But, best of all – you bake it in a bag! Easy cleanup and perfect for a weeknight meal. You just place the Bake Perfect Oven Bag in your oven, and it cooks up in no time. Each tilapia fillet has only 120 calories and 20 grams of protein. Try some today!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Shrimp Etouffee


My friend Beth is from just outside New Orleans. She wouldn’t give me a lot of details, but she promises that her marriage proposal was a direct result of her shrimp etouffee. All she’d say is that she made it for a date night and the rest is history.

That’s some pretty powerful stuff.

Etouffee, at its simplest, is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisines of shellfish served over rice. It’s a kind of stew, but thicker, and crawfish is the most popular variety. However, don’t forget Beth said that she got her marriage proposal from shrimp etouffee. I’m going with her version for this recipe.

Use it wisely.

Shrimp Etouffee

Shrimp Stock Ingredients

Shells and tails from 2 lb of shrimp
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon, sliced
2 fresh bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp black peppercorns

Shrimp Etouffee Ingredients 

2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, save shells for the stock
2 Tbsp Creole or Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups shrimp stock
3/4 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 oz fresh thyme, bundled with kitchen twine
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
Kosher salt or sea salt , to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp minced Italian parsley
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Cooked rice, to serve 2 or 4, depending on meal or appetizer

Directions:

First, make the stock.

Add all stock ingredients to a 2-quart saucepan. Cover this with cold water; it should be about 6 to 8 cups. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups of this stock for the etouffee and can use the rest for a seafood stew or any other soup. Bring liquid almost to a boil and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Strain.

Season the shrimp with 1 Tbsp of the Creole seasoning.  Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet; add the onions, bell pepper and celery and sauté until translucent. Whisk in the flour to make a blonde roux, stirring constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining Creole seasoning. Add a small amount of the shrimp stock, stir well to form a paste, add the remaining stock gradually, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. You may need a little more stock, but the end result should be the consistency of gravy, not too thick, not too thin.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the shrimp, green onions, and parsley; simmer for 10 minutes more or until the shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the 3 Tbsp butter, and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Serves 2 large portions or 4 appetizer portions

Nutritional Information (for two large meal servings): Calories Per Serving: 1,047, Calories from Fat: 446, Fat: 50 g, Cholesterol: 1062 mg, Sodium: 1771 mg, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 109 g

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: Kids and Summer


I have a rule in my house: If I hear the words “I’m bored” during the summer, my boys, ages 9 and 11, automatically incur SOMETHING TO DO.

And frankly, ‘something to do’ is often something they don’t want to do, like clean the bathroom or dust the baseboards (a ‘chore’ my mother loved to have us do…we had the cleanest baseboards in Richmond, Va.).

The point here is not to punish your kids all summer. The point is to encourage them to find other things to do to occupy their time. I catch myself saying, “When I was a kid…” but let’s be honest, times aren’t the same as when I was a child. We would head outside in the morning and not go home until dark. And that was just fine. Well if I didn’t know where MY kids were during the day, I’d panic with a capital ‘P’. In this day and age, we can’t just send our kids outside unsupervised in most cases.

But there are things they can do. Scavenger hunts in the back yard. Tried-and-true favorites like sidewalk chalk (it works really well on wooden fences, too) and bubbles. Plant a garden with your kids. Checking on it and pulling weeds is something they can do every day. Summer reading challenges: do them. Visit your local library. Go on an adventure every week. Don’t tell your kids where you’re going and give them clues so they can try to guess. Make it a challenge to go on an adventure that is completely free. Let them plan an adventure. Camp in the yard. Eat as many meals outside as possible. Give your kids a project – let them choose what to study.

Summertime, or anytime, isn’t a time to be “bored.” There’s so much do to and discover no matter where you live.

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Posted in: Family Matters


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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

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