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Product Talk: Fresh Take Meals


Fresh Take MealsWhen I first started dating my boyfriend, Paul, I slaved for HOURS in the kitchen making him homemade lasagna.

I simmered the sauce overnight, even setting my alarm and getting up several times overnight to stir.

I made homemade pasta noodles, rolling out the sheets with a hand-cranked pasta machine and kneading the dough until the flour created a concrete-like paste in the crevices of my countertops (which was not a reflection of my finished pasta product, let me just say).

I layered sauces, noodles, cheeses and meats until my pan weighed more than either of my children at birth.

Do you know that I didn’t even need to bother with all that work?

Brookshire’s has created Fresh Take Meals, in the deli section, to give you home-cooked tastes without you having to slave over the stove, or set your alarm for odd hours of the day and night.

I’ve enjoyed Fettuccine Alfredo, Chicken Parmesan, Roasted Salmon with Rice Pilaf and Baby Carrots, and Chicken Spaghetti, all at the ease of reheating in my microwave or oven.

The dishes taste homemade because they are homemade, right in your local Brookshire’s store.

Pick up at the Fresh Take Meals section in the Deli. Then, stop by the Bakery for a loaf of freshly baked bread and the salad bar for a tossed green salad or an assortment of olives. You’ll have a dinner on the table that you can feel great about in minutes.

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Shrimp with Mango BBQ Sauce


Grilled Shrimp with Mango BBQ SaucePrep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2

Our Grilled Shrimp with Mango BBQ Sauce is the ultimate summertime meal. Fresh, perfectly grilled Gulf Shrimp topped with a tangy, fruity mango sauce, it pairs perfectly with a healthy salad and a cold glass of white wine. And with Gulf Shrimp on sale all this week, you can go ahead and throw another shrimp on the barbie any night of the week!

Ingredients:
1 to 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped (9 to 10 oz skinned, seedless mango)
1/2 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp honey
Salt, to taste
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 bamboo or metal skewers

Instructions:
Place mango and shallot in food processor or blender to puree. Add lime juice and honey. Season to taste with salt. Preheat grill to medium-high.

Place shrimp in medium bowl. Mix shrimp with 2 tablespoons mango sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Thread shrimp onto skewers. (If using wood skewers, soak in water for 1 hour before using.)

Grill shrimp skewers until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve shrimp with remaining mango sauce.

Calories Per Serving: 300, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 324 mg, Sodium: 364 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 44 g

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

Chef Tips

Pick the Best Mango
You might be tempted to choose your mangoes based on color – after all, mangoes that have vibrant orange hue must be ripe, right? Wrong. While color can be a sign of ripeness, it’s not the best indicator. The two things you want to look for are texture and fragrance. Ripe mangoes give slightly when gently squeezed, similar to ripe peaches or avocado, and they have a strong, sweet smell. It will be especially fragrant near the stem, so give it the old sniff test. It should have a very fruity, sweet smell.

The Skinny on Shrimp
Many of us think of shrimp as an indulgence – something that should only be eaten on special occasions – but the truth is, there’s nothing to feel guilty about when it comes to shrimp. Here’s why:

  • They’re high in protein. Three ounces of shrimp provides 20 grams of protein with very little fat.
  • Shrimp are nutrient-rich, packed with selenium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, copper, choline, and iodine.
  • They’re low in calories. For roughly 85-100 calories, you can enjoy 3 ounces of shrimp (about a dozen). Yay for shrimp!


Shop The Sale: CAJUN SPICE-RUBBED CHICKEN WINGS


Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serves: 10

Wings are not just for game day! Versatile, crowd-pleasing chicken wings are ideal appetizers for parties and barbeques, or for simply sitting around with friends and family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. For a new take on an old favorite, try our sweet and spicy Cajun Spice-Rubbed Chicken Wings. With a deep flavor thanks to Community Coffee House Blend – on sale all this week – these little guys will become a regular. Note: check out our chef tips below for how to separate whole wings.

Ingredients
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup Community Coffee House Blend, ground
1/4 cup Creole seasoning
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
6 lbs chicken wings (drums & flats)
Green onions, for garnish

Instructions
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, ground coffee, creole seasoning, salt and pepper. In large bowl, combine chicken and brown sugar mixture; toss until thoroughly coated.

Spray grill rack with nonflammable cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium heat (300° F to 350° F). Grill chicken in batches, turning frequently, until meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165° F (about 20 minutes). Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce, garnished with green onions.

Calories Per Serving: 628, Fat: 20 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 242 mg, Sodium: 2236 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 79 g

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

Chef Tips

Know Your Wings
There are actually three parts to a chicken wing: the Drumette (the part of the wing attached to the body), the Flat or Wingette (the middle section) and the tip. Although you can cook wings whole, many recipes call for them to be separated – plus, it makes for easier finger food. The process for cutting up wings is easy. Simply locate the joints on each end of the flat and use a pair of kitchen shears to snip through the center of each joint, and you’re done!

Cooking With Coffee
While most of us love a good cup of coffee to start our day, it’s also a great flavor to use in cooking, particularly meats. Use it in rubs and marinades for meat and fish, or infuse desserts and cakes – especially chocolate ones – with a shot of espresso or your favorite cup of Joe for a decadent mocha flavor.



Product Talk: Broccoli with Lime Dressing Shortcuts


It’s Monday night, and you’re flying into Brookshire’s on a wing and a prayer after a long day at work, just needing a few more things to make a complete and healthy meal for dinner that evening.

You dart in the side entrance by the produce and meat counter. Perfect. In two quick stops, you can have a quick and healthy meal on the table in minutes.

First, grab a plank of salmon that you can bake with a few herbs and olive oil.

Then, head over to produce to pick up some Shortcuts, Brookshire’s freshly prepared fruits and vegetables that take all the guesswork and prep work out of your meal prep, saving you time and money.

A delicious side dish to your salmon (or steak, or chicken breast, or pork loin) would be Broccoli with Lime Dressing, and you’ll need to grab just a few more items to round out your meal. Shortcuts Broccoli Crowns and Shortcuts Minced Red Onions make it simple, as Brookshire’s has done all the work for you. I don’t know about you, but that goes a long way on a Monday night. In just a few minutes at home, you’ll have this simple and delicious side dish ready to go, and that feels good for our families and our wallets.

Broccoli with Lime Dressing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs Shortcuts Broccoli Crowns
1 tsp lime zest, grated
1 tsp lime juice from 1 large lime
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp table salt
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Shortcuts Minced Red Onions

Directions:
Steam or boil broccoli until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk lime zest, lime juice, cumin and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in oil until smooth; stir in onions.
Gently toss steamed broccoli with dressing. Adjust seasoning; serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 157, Fat: 11 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 344 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 5 g.

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



Family Matters: Kids and Books


Yesterday, we cleaned out a spare room in our house, as it was way overdue for a thorough cleaning.

We had a wonderful trip down memory lane as we did so, boxing up what turned out to be hundreds of books from my boys’ childhoods.

My sons are 13 and 15 now, and we still had bookshelves full of toddler, preschool and elementary school readers that they loved. We had fun talking about the countless hours we’d spend flipping through picture books, reading chapter books, sounding out words as they learned to read, and talking about the imaginary endings they’d make up for some of their favorite stories.

Books were such a big part of their childhood, and it was a little sad to pack so many away. Both boys still read, although mostly for school these days. I have high hopes that all the hours spent with a book in the early days will circle back around, and they’ll read for pleasure when they have more free time.

We sorted the books into piles. Each son got a pile of books that were given to them with special messages written inside from grandparents, aunts and uncles. Then, childhood favorites were added to those piles. “Frog and Toad” for one son, all the hardback Dr. Seuss classics for the other. We boxed those up and put their names on them.

We also made another pile of childhood classics from our shelves, some of which were mine as a child, that we’d keep at my house, and maybe their children can enjoy someday when they come to visit. We boxed those up and labeled them as books to save.

After that, we still had almost 200 books left. We boxed those up, and I made a post on social media about “books free to a good home.” The first respondent claimed them and picked them up two hours later. Those books are now at home with two more little boys on their shelves and hopefully will provide hours and hours of enjoyment, just as they did for mine.

There’s nothing better than a good book for imagination and relaxation. Maybe visit the local library, little library, second-hand bookstore or a yard sale soon to see what treasures you can find.



Family Matters: Foraging Treats for Pet Rodents


While searching for treats for small pets, I came across an absolutely ingenious idea that is not only a food reward for your small rodent (rat, mouse, guinea pig) but also a great foraging activity as well.

Start with a bell pepper. Cut a small hole in the side, leaving the top intact. Remove seeds and pith through the hole. Stuff the bell pepper with a few baby carrots, some 2-inch sections of celery, some sugar snap peas and chunks of the removed piece of bell pepper. Hang the stuffed pepper from a string in your rodent’s habitat, and let him forage in it to get his treats. Remove when vegetables begin to get limp, before they spoil.

 

TIP: Only offer this treat on an occasional basis, as too many fruits and vegetables can cause intestinal distress in rodents.



Family Matters: Pet Bird Treats


Help keep your pet bird cool this summer, even if he is an indoor pet, with some frozen treats that will keep him chilled and help his foraging skills.

Simply freeze some chunks of berry, banana and apple in an ice cube tray. Add in some birdseed if you wish. Let harden, and then give your bird a cube when he needs some good, cool fun.

He’ll enjoy pecking out the parts he likes, and he’ll stay cool doing it.

You can even freeze one of his favorite small toys inside an ice block, and let him chip it out with his beak.

TIP: Peel a banana, and freeze the fruit itself for another way to let your bird enjoy a cold, tasty treat.



Shop the Sale: Avocado BLT


Avocado BLTPrep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

When you have a hungry horde to feed, it doesn’t get easier – or more satisfying – than an Avocado BLT. Perfect for lunches or a quick and easy dinner, these gourmet-style sandwiches are guaranteed to please even the biggest appetites. Ready in 30 minutes or less and filled with the healthy goodness of avocado, tomato and fresh basil, these toasties are so tasty you may want to cook up an extra batch. Plus, with John Morrell Bacon on sale all this week, you can stock up on your favorite bacon.

Ingredients
8 slices thick-cut bacon, halved
2 large ripe avocados, pitted
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbs mayonnaise
1/2 Tbs garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 slices good bread
1 medium tomato, cut into 8 slices
4 romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Mash avocados in medium bowl. Stir in basil, mayonnaise, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Toast bread. Spread about 2 tablespoons of avocado mixture on one side of 4 toast slices. Top each with 4 bacon pieces, 2 tomato slices and 1 lettuce leaf. Top with remaining toast slices.

Calories Per Serving: 367, Fat: 27 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 640 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 13 g, Protein: 11 g

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

Chef Tips

Why You Should ‘Ave and Avo
While there are definitely fats you should avoid, the monounsaturated fat found in avocado is not one of them. Monounsaturated fat helps protect against heart disease and lowers blood pressure. Avocadoes also have more soluble fiber than any other fruit, plus they contain a host of minerals such as iron, copper, potassium and folate. They’re also a rich source of vitamin E and carotenes, however, they are high in calories, so moderation is definitely key.

Not Your Ordinary Sandwich
Everything is better with bacon. Even the most basic sandwiches become a more dressed up version with a couple slices of crispy bacon. So imagine what you can do when you take your favorite sandwich up a notch with some gourmet touches. Like mozzarella and bacon on French bread or a grilled Panini with pesto, bacon, cheese and caramelized onions. And why not turn it up for breakfast too, with a crusty baguette filled with bacon, eggs, spinach, tomato and onion for a crunchy, flavor-packed start to your day.



Product Talk: USA Porcelain Grill Pan


USA Porcelain Grill PanOne of the products that has transformed my grilling game is the USA Porcelain Grill Pan available at Brookshire’s.

I love grilling veggies, and this lightweight pan is the perfect vessel for chargrilling your veggies without losing them all down the grill grates.

The USA Porcelain Grill Pan is coated with a nonstick surface, but I do like to give it a spritz of nonstick cooking spray or brush it with some extra virgin olive oil before putting my vegetables inside just to make clean-up easier. You can even use an herb-infused oil for some extra flavor.

The handles on this pan make it easy to maneuver around the grill because you might want to start it on the bottom over direct heat to get a good sear on your veggies, and then move it to the top rack to slow-cook something that takes longer – like potatoes or Brussels sprouts. Don’t forget to use hot pads or tongs because this pan will heat up to cook your food at optimal grilling temperature.

I use my USA Porcelain Grill Pan for all kinds of vegetables, but I also use it for stuffed jalapeños, scallops, shrimp, sausage rounds (because I love that seared grill char on all sides), sliced peaches, strawberries and tender fish fillets. Use your USA Porcelain Grill Pan with any of the ShortCuts available in Brookshire’s Produce Department.

Clean-up is easy with the USA Porcelain Grill Pan. You just wash it with hot, soapy water in the sink, and it’s ready for next time.

Easy Grilled Veggies

Ingredients:
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1 pkg ShortCuts Assorted Bell Peppers and Onions
8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
1/2 lb green beans, ends removed and halved
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
fresh dill sprigs

Directions:
Combine all vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Spritz USA Porcelain Grill Pan with nonstick cooking spray or wipe with olive oil. Place vegetables in grill pan, and add sprigs of fresh dill.

Place on the grill on direct heat. Grill, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to char, about 15 minutes.

Grill until desired doneness, stirring occasionally. Remove from grill with hot pads. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 196, Fat: 11 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 607 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 12 g, Protein: 6 g.

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



Family Matters: Frozen Chicken and Apple Dog Treats


It’s so hot outside, and I can’t even imagine what it feels like to have a layer of thick fur on when you spend a couple hours a day outside.

My pup has plenty of shade and water when he has to be outside during the day, but it’s also great to be able to make him some cold, tasty treats to enjoy to help him beat the heat.

This super-simple recipe is nice for him to enjoy when he is outside in the hot, summer sun.

Frozen Chicken and Apple Dog Treats

Ingredients:
2 cups chicken stock (prepared without onion)
1 apple, thinly sliced

Directions:
Place multiple apple slices in the compartments of an ice cube tray. Pour chicken stock on top of apple slices. Freeze until solid. Serve to your pet one at a time when he’s outside to help cool him off.

TIP: Substitute fresh green beans or shredded carrots for the apples or coconut water for the chicken stock.



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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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