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Healthy Living: Watermelon Basil Popsicles


Watermelon Basil PopsiclesSummer is certainly a great time for frozen treats, but when you’re eating something like ice cream, you have to beware of the fat and calories you’re consuming. However, when you eat fruit, you can be a little more liberal with your portions and frequency.

These fun treats are frosty AND healthy, combining watermelon (which has tons of vitamins A and C) with fresh basil and lime juice. Then, you just pop them in the freezer.

As a working mom, I’m not home all day to monitor what my kids eat. I’d feel good about leaving these popsicles home unattended with two growing boys.

They’re quick and easy to make, too.

Watermelon Basil Popsicles

Ingredients:
1/4 cup water
3 Tbs honey
8 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
4 cups watermelon, cubed
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
10-count (3 oz) popsicle mold
10 wooden popsicle sticks

Directions:
In a saucepan, bring water and honey to a boil; stir to dissolve the honey. Remove from heat and add basil; allow to cool, then remove the basil.

In a blender, combine the basil simple syrup (the water and honey combo), watermelon and lime juice; puree until smooth.

Equally pour the mixture into popsicle molds, and insert an additional basil leaf or two for garnish. Next, cover with the top and insert popsicle sticks. Placing paperclips on the top end of the popsicle sticks will help them stay in place. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. Once frozen, remove the popsicles by running water over the molds and gently pulling on the sticks. Wrap in wax paper and store in the freezer for up to a month.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 38, Calories from Fat: 1, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Potassium: 72 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 0.4 g

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Product Talk: Noonday Onions


Grilled Noonday Onion “Steaks”The Brookshire’s headquarters has the distinction of being very near the (very) small city where the world’s best onions are grown.

Noonday, Texas, population 798, must have magic soil or something because these are the only onions in the universe that I actually seek out.

I’m a bit ambivalent about onions, if I’m honest. I like them as a flavor base to some things, mostly soups and stews, but I don’t want them as a garnish, on my burger or in my salad.

However, Noonday onions are the exception to all of this. They are sweet and mild, and they give dishes a complementary flavor without being overpowering. I love them.

Last night, we decided to do something different with onions. You know how it’s popular to make cauliflower “steaks,” thick slices of grilled cauliflower? Well, we decided to do the same with Noonday onions.

I bought four large onions and two of us almost ate them all.

Grilled Noonday Onion “Steaks”

Ingredients:
4 Noonday onions, cut into 3/4-inch slices (so the onion holds together)
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Directions:
Cut onions into thick slices with all rings together. Drizzle with olive oil on both sides; sprinkle with seasoned salt or seasonings of your choice (fresh rosemary is also delicious).

Preheat grill to medium-low. Oil grill grates well so the onions won’t stick. Place onions on grill and cook for about 7 minutes on the first side. Flip only once; continue cooking until onions are caramelized and browned.

It’s helpful to have a wide spatula or wide tongs to flip the onions, as they tend to shrink a tiny bit and come apart during the grilling process.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 106, Calories from Fat: 64, Fat: 7 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 5 mg, Potassium: 168 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 1 g

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



Dine In: S’mores Bites


S’mores BitesMy friend Leslie is one of the greatest people I know. She’s smart, thoughtful, hilarious, hardworking, dedicated, strong and brave. She’s a great mom and a great friend, and she has a true servant’s heart.

She also goes bonkers over s’mores. One of my favorite Leslie experiences was one night on my back porch when I think we were enjoying a Girls’ Night In. We’d made dinner, lit a fire in my chiminea and were going to roast marshmallows for traditional s’mores. Leslie finished preparing hers first and dug right into the chocolaty, gooey, crunchy treat; the look of complete ecstasy sent us into gales of laughter.

Since then, we’ve swapped recipes for anything s’mores related that we can find!

This is one I’ve found recently and can’t wait to try.

S’mores Bites

Ingredients:
7 whole graham crackers (equals 1 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbs butter, melted
2 (1.5 5 oz) milk chocolate candy bars (like Hershey’s)
12 large marshmallows

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Finely crush the graham crackers into crumbs, using whatever method you want. I used my slap chop, but a food processor would work or putting them in a plastic bag and smashing.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter into a small bowl.

Evenly divide crumb mixture into each cup of a 24-cup mini muffin pan, greased slightly before using. Press crumbs down to form shallow cups.

Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until edges are bubbling.

While that’s baking, break the candy bars into the divided rectangle pieces. Also, cut the marshmallows in half using a pair of scissors that has been sitting in cold water.

Remove the pan from the oven and place one chocolate rectangle into each cup.

Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup.

Return to oven for 2 to 4 minutes or until marshmallows are just slightly softened.

If you’d like the tops to be brown, turn the oven to broil, and broil the s’mores bites for 1 to 2 minutes.

Cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before carefully removing them from the pan.

Do not freeze; preferably eat within 3 days of making.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 234, Calories from Fat: 106, Fat: 12 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 76 mg, Potassium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 25 g, Protein: 3 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: I LOVE cooking!


Texas CaviarI love cooking for my family. Although, I can only use the word LOVE when I truly have the time to cook. Otherwise, if I do not have time to cook, like the five days a week I am working, I cannot use the word LOVE. I don’t even know if I can use the word LIKE! I do know, however, that having a sit down meal every night is very important to my family’s lifestyle, and I try to meet this goal the best I can. It’s not always pretty, but we make it happen.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, I had my parents over for lunch. This was a time that I LOVED cooking because I had the extra time to prepare. I started the night before preparing the side dishes to go along with a traditional smoked brisket. I decided on making Texas caviar. I had never made this, but I recently had it at a friend’s and really liked it. The best part about this dish is that the longer you let it sit, the better it gets. So, making it the night before gives it time to marinate, making it oh so yummy!

This recipe is easily adjustable to your own tastes and very forgiving, which makes me LOVE it!

Texas Caviar
Serves: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.8 oz) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (15.25) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1 cup cilantro, stems removed and chopped
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 Tbs lime juice
salt, to taste
tortilla chips

Directions:
Combine all vegetables. Pour dressing and lime juice over mixture; mix together.

Season with salt. Cover and marinate at least 2 hours in refrigerator before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Calories Per Serving: 186, Fat: 6 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 310 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 7 g

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



Shop the Sale: Stir-Fried Pork Spare Ribs


Stir-Fried Pork Spare RibsRibs are a staple of summer, but I rarely run across recipes that call for anything but grilling or baking.

Then, I found this one, which calls for stir-frying the ribs. Sounds different, doesn’t it? It also sounded delicious.

The quick fry gives these ribs a beautifully caramelized exterior, sort of crispy, with a juicy interior. My boys could eat ribs 10 times a week and twice on Sundays, so I had to try this version. I was a little leery of how they’d like the fish sauce and oyster sauce, but they didn’t realize it was anything other than “barbecue” sauce and ate it right up!

Pork spare ribs are on sale this week, so it’s a good time to give this recipe a try!

Stir-Fried Pork Spare Ribs

Ingredients:
2 lb pork spare ribs

For the marinade:
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs palm sugar (or white granulated sugar)
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
peanut oil or vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:
Wash the spare ribs, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut them into 1-inch pieces and place them into a bowl.

Make the marinade, and then pour it over the ribs. Allow them to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Into a hot skillet (on medium-high heat), add in the ribs and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Remove lid, stir and then turn heat up to medium-high. Continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and sugar has caramelized. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 434, Calories from Fat: 255, Fat: 28 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 111 mg, Sodium: 882 mg, Potassium: 32 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 41 g

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



Healthy Living: Peach Salsa


Peach SalsaEveryone in my family loves peaches, and they are at their sweet, juicy peak right now.

We eat them in our breakfast cereal, on salads, sliced, in pies, in cobblers, grilled and baked, but I’d never used them in a salsa before now.

This salsa is fresh and healthy, and it can be used so many ways. Eat it with pita chips or tortilla chips. Use it as a topping for grilled chicken, pork or fish. Serve it over greens for a peach salad.

Any way you use it, it’s simple and delicious.

Peach Salsa

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups ripe peaches, diced
1 cup tomato, diced
1 Tbs jalapeño, finely minced (about 1/2)
1/4 cup yellow peppers, small dice
1/4 cup red onions, finely diced
1 Tbs cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder or other chile powder
1 Tbs brown sugar, packed
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together well. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 33, Calories from Fat: 2, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 3 mg, Potassium: 181 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 0.8 g



Product Talk: Blueberry Oat Crumble


Blueberry CrumbleI was in Brookshire’s this weekend, and I was drawn to the beautiful produce department! All the colors are so alluring.

The palette of reds, greens, yellows, purples and blues was dazzling. I picked up peppers, zucchinis, cucumbers and melons, but my favorite find of the day was a huge container of the plumpest blueberries I’d ever seen.

Brookshire’s blueberries are locally-sourced and delivered to the stores at the peak of freshness. They are grown free of pesticides (blueberry bushes are naturally insect-repellant!), and this is the perfect time of the season for Southern berries.

I love blueberries so much that I tend to stock up on them during the summer months and freeze them, so I can enjoy them all winter long, too.

This is my favorite blueberry recipe; it reminds me of my mom.

Blueberry Oat Crumble 

Ingredients:
1 Tbs granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 Tbs orange juice
3 Tbs whole-wheat or all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds or pecans, chopped
3 Tbs brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbs canola oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine fruit with granulated sugar, orange juice and 1 tablespoon flour. Divide among four 6-ounce, ovenproof ramekins. Combine brown sugar, nuts, oats, the remaining 2 tablespoons cinnamon and flour. Drizzle with oil and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the fruit mixture. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 252, Fat: 11 g (1 g Saturated Fat, 7 g Monounsaturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Protein: 4 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sodium: 1 mg, Potassium: 179 mg

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



Dine In: No-Bake Lemon Icebox Cake


It’s funny how your tastes change as you get older, or maybe they just change with different phases in life.

When I was younger, I was all about chocolate. The more chocolate, the better. I wanted chocolate cake with mocha frosting for my birthdays. I chose a chocolate soft-serve cone dipped in chocolate every year at the ice cream shop on the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach. If I was going to eat a piece of candy, it was going to be a Hershey’s Kiss over a bag of Skittles.

Now, I still love chocolate, don’t get me wrong (although I’m more apt to eat a small morsel of dark chocolate these days than pig out on chocolate cake), but over the past year or so, I’m all about citrus. I love the fresh smell, the taste and the vibrancy of anything citrus.

I love this lemon icebox cake, especially in the summertime! Its flavors are bright for the summer; you don’t have to turn on your oven, and it’s cool and refreshing – great for an every night dessert or a special Friday night meal. Next time I make this, I might make it with lemon AND lime. I also make this dessert in a trifle bowl; it’s as pretty as it is delicious.

No-Bake Lemon Icebox Cake

Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 1/2 lemons
2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup heavy cream
34 lemon shortbread cookies
1/2 cup milk
whipped cream and strawberries, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with plastic wrap and set aside. In a large bowl, whip cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Stir in heavy cream and whip 1 to 2 minutes, or until filling starts to thicken. Dip each cookie one by one into the milk and line the bottom of dish with cookies to cover (cut cookies in half to fit in properly). Pour 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture over cookies and smooth the top. Repeat layering of cookies and cream until you have 3 layers of each. Cover the top with plastic wrap; refrigerate 12 hours or overnight. Cut into squares, and serve with whipped cream and strawberries.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 408, Calories from Fat: 235, Fat: 26 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (17 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 77 mg, Sodium: 202 mg, Potassium: 56 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 0.8 g, Sugar: 21 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Thomas Moore Small Animal Food


Thomas Moore Small Animal FoodWhen my sister was in middle school, she begged my parents for a pet rabbit.

They refused.

She wheedled.

Cajoled.

Needled.

Pouted.

Stomped around.

Poured on the sweetness.

Begged.

And begged some more.

I forget what finally tipped the scales because my parents aren’t the type to give in to a whiny kid, but my sister got her bunny. It was a fuzzy brown thing that she kept in a large bunny hutch on a stand my father built in the backyard. She’d bring the bunny inside to play, to hop around her bedroom and to cuddle. I think even my parents had to admit that the bunny was pretty cute.

Small animals need a special diet. Pets like rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs and hamsters can benefit from carefully-formulated food designed for their unique needs.

Thomas Moore offers a line of small-animal foods that are available at Brookshire’s and perfect for your cuddly pet.

Thomas Moore Feed’s Bunny Cuisine Premium Feed is a source of omega-3 fatty acids that support rabbit’s heart, brain and visual functions.

The Guinea Pig Premium Feed is a timothy hay-based pellet that is rich in fiber to promote gastrointestinal health of your guinea pig.

Thomas Moore Feed’s Hamster & Gerbil Premium Feed has wholesome, palatable ingredients that help maintain proper weight, growth and dental health.

Thomas Moore’s foods will keep your pet in tip-top shape, so you can enjoy him for a long and healthy life.

 



Shop the Sale: Lemon-Basil Pork Chops


Lemon-Basil Pork ChopsI think I mentioned recently that I’m pretty much obsessed with anything citrus. In a previous post, I was talking about desserts. This time, I’m talking about a main course!

Citrus is a great accompaniment to proteins because it helps break down connective tissue in the meat, rendering it tender and flavorful.

Citrus, combined with little fat (in this case, olive oil) makes for a delicious marinade. I usually leave my meat marinating twice the amount of time a recipe calls for to impart extra flavor.

Lemon is delicious with pork as it brightens and lightens the meat. I have a beautiful crop of fresh basil in my yard this year, and this is the perfect recipe to highlight two of my favorite ingredients. Pork chops or loins are on sale right now at Brookshire’s, and you can use this marinade for either cut of pork.

Lemon-Basil Pork Chops

Ingredients:
4 thick-cut, boneless pork loin chops
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
3 Tbs garlic, minced
3 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Directions:
Add olive oil, basil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well.

Spread both sides of the pork chops with the mixture, and let the chops set for about 20 minutes.

Grill chops over direct heat for about 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 145° F.

Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 619, Calories from Fat: 445, Fat: 49 g (17 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 146 mg, Sodium: 591 mg, Potassium: 647 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 39 g

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



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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.

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