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Shop the Sale: Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs

Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken ThighsEveryone loves bacon, but my friend Nick REALLY, REALLY loves bacon. He could be bacon’s biggest fan.

He even conducted an experiment recently where he cooked bacon several different ways to see which way produced the crispest, flattest bacon with the fewest fat bubbles. It was something about adding ice water to the skillet. I suggested he bake the bacon in the oven, but he wielded his cast-iron skillet in my general direction and told me that was blasphemy (it’s not…really…baked bacon comes out perfectly, in my opinion).

So, I’m not going to convert him to baking bacon, but I can aid him in his quest to eat all things bacon-related.

Right now, Nick is in Kansas, finishing his training to become an engineer with BNSF Railway. He’s been working hard, very hard, on this for a year now, first earning his conductor stripes and then applying to – and getting into – engineering school, which is apparently much more difficult than people might think. I’m super proud of him; he’s sacrificed a lot this year to make this plan a reality.

When he comes back next week, his friends are going to throw a party for him with plenty of his favorite Cajun foods, all bacon-wrapped, of course.

Chicken thighs and legs are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I’m planning to make enough of these for a big party!

Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs

4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
8 slices bacon
2 tsp Smoky Spice Blend

Preheat oven to 375° F. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of Smoky Spice Blend, and then wrap each one in 2 strips of bacon. Sprinkle with the remaining Smoky Spice Blend and bake on a lined baking sheet for approximately 40 minutes. You could broil them for a few more minutes at the end to crisp up the bacon.

Smoky Spice Blend

1 Tbs chipotle powder
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs onion powder 
1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs sea salt
1/2 Tbs black pepper

Combine all spices in a bowl, and then store in a small container. You can use it for other recipes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 283, Calories from Fat: 170, Fat: 19 g, Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 655 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.4 g, Protein: 30 g

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

Company News: BGC donates $70,000 to Texas Children’s Advocacy Centers

Brookshire Grocery Co. awards $70,000 donation to Children’s Advocacy Centers of TexasTYLER, Texas, Jan. 14, 2015 – Brookshire Grocery Co. today awarded Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas a $70,000 donation, which represents funds raised through the company’s 26th annual Benefit Golf Tournament hosted last April in Tyler.

The donation will be split equally between 14 Children’s Advocacy Centers in BGC’s operating areas throughout the state. Today’s donation brings the company’s total 2014 contributions to Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas to $111,000.

“The BGC Benefit Golf Tournament is one of our largest fundraising efforts, and it allows us to partner with our vendors and other business associates each year in support of a very worthy cause - helping children and their families,” said BGC President and CEO Rick Rayford. “We support the mission of our local Children’s Advocacy Centers and are pleased to be able to offer additional assistance to them through this donation.”

Proceeds from the tournament totaled more than $450,000 and was distributed to some 50-plus children’s charities and programs throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Approximately 600 golfers, including representatives from more than 200 vendor companies, competed at six golf courses.

Since its inception, the BGC Benefit Golf Tournament has raised more than $3.8 million.

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HEALTHY LIVING: 5-Minute Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

5-Minute Strawberry Frozen YogurtI spent a little too much time over the holidays sampling treats. Hershey kiss cookies. Cherry ice box cookies. Pecan pie. Eggnog milkshakes.

They were delicious but come with a price!

My kids ate a few too many treats, too, so we’re all going to be more conservative in the new year.

I love this recipe. It’s so fast, so easy and so healthy. I use non-fat yogurt because I can’t taste the difference. You can also use non-fat vanilla yogurt, too. I mostly use Greek yogurt with this recipe, which ups the protein content significantly.

I’ve swapped out the strawberries for peaches, and I have no doubt blueberries would work as well. Just make sure they’re frozen.

This recipe is easy to double and triple, and obviously it stores well in your freezer.

The sugars are natural, and the fruit boosts antioxidants during the winter, while the yogurt provides calcium and protein.

5-Minute Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Serves 4

4 cups frozen strawberries
3 Tbs agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup plain yogurt (non-fat or full fat)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Add the frozen strawberries, agave nectar (or honey), yogurt and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Process until creamy, about 5 minutes.

Serve the frozen yogurt immediately, or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 114, Calories from Fat: 0, Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 24 mg, Potassium: 13 mg, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 24 g, Protein: 2 g

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

Product Talk: David Wade’s Worcestershire Powder

David Wade’s Worcestershire PowderYou’ve heard of Worcestershire sauce, but have you ever used Worcestershire powder?

Once you do, you’ll be hooked.

Invented by Texas celebrity chef David Wade, one of the original television chefs, Worcestershire Powder is delicious rubbed into any red meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables or Asian dishes. It’s also darn good in a Bloody Mary.

Essentially a dehydrated Worcestershire sauce, the product touts that it “permeates the food and magnifies its flavor to bring out the mouthwatering goodness of any dish.”

That it does. I promise you.

The first time my boyfriend cooked for me, he used it on the most beautiful steaks I’d ever seen. He had rubbed Worcestershire powder into the steaks well before I’d arrived that evening, so when I took my first bite, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Surely a man who could cook a steak like this was right up there in the celestial rankings. His secret, beyond the fact he’s just good at the grill, was Worcestershire powder. We’ve since had it on all cuts of steak and a prime rib, and I’m going to use it in some enchiladas shortly. It’s good stuff.

David Wade, who retired in Tyler, Texas, was an award-winning chef, newspaper columnist, radio personality, hymn singer, cookbook author, television fixture and cookbook author. He’s as known for his neat ascot and crested blazer as he is for his eloquence, showmanship and delicious Worcestershire powder.

Found on the aisle near the condiments and Worcestershire sauce, the distinctive brown paper packaging calls out to be used. Listen to it.

DINE IN: Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Buffalo Chicken TaquitosIt’s been a long time.

A really long time.

And I couldn’t resist any longer.

I had to have something buffalo chicken and I had to have it now! No. I had to have it yesterday, I wanted it that badly.

Buffalo chicken is one of my all-time favorite things. I’ve made wings, chili, lasagna, empanadas, dips, casseroles and now, taquitos.

Taquitos are so much fun for a snack or for a meal. You could serve these as an appetizer or use them for a party or tailgate. This version is baked, not fried, so they’re a little healthier than a traditionally fried taquito.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
Makes 8

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup buffalo sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1/8 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 cup diced or shredded chicken breast, cooked
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
coarse Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and buffalo sauce. Mix well. Stir in the Monterey Jack Cheese, blue cheese crumbles and chicken; mix well.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll up. If needed, microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds to make them soft and pliable enough to roll. Place on a baking sheet. Spray the taquitos with cooking spray, then sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 206, Calories from Fat: 141, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 64 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 15 g, Sodium: 388 mg.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Pet Oral HealthMy big, red dog, Astro, is kind of funny about some things.

He won’t touch a sausage link left on the kitchen counter, but he will sneak a slice of eggplant.

He likes the front yard better than the backyard, and he does NOT like to be outside if any of his people are inside.

He also doesn’t mind getting his nails clipped or his teeth brushed, which is practically unheard of in a dog of mine!

The first time I tried to brush his teeth, I was the one who was nervous. I mean, he was 85 pounds when I got him and has put on some weight since his adoption. He has a big mouth and big teeth! It’s just as important to take care of your pet’s oral health as it is your own. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs even though it’s completely preventable. Many pets show signs of gum disease by the time they’re four years old because they aren’t provided with proper mouth care, and bad breath is often the first sign of a problem.

PetMD offers these tips for good oral health for your pets.

1. The Breath Test

Sniff your pet’s breath. Not a field of lilies? That’s okay-normal; pet breath isn’t particularly fresh-smelling. However, if his breath is especially offensive and is accompanied by a loss of appetite, vomiting, or excessive drinking or urinating, it’s a good idea to take your pet to the vet.

2. Lip Service

Once a week with your pet facing you, lift his lips and examine his gums and teeth. The gums should be pink, not white or red, and they should show no signs of swelling. His teeth should be clean without any brownish tartar.

3. Signs of Oral Disease

The following are signs that your pet may have a problem in his mouth or gastrointestinal system, and your pet should be checked by a veterinarian:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Inflamed gums
  • Tumors in the gums
  • Cysts under the tongue
  • Loose teeth

4. The Lowdown on Tooth Decay

Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause build-up on your pet’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss. One solution? Regular teeth cleanings, of course.

5. Teeth-Brushing Kit

Get a toothbrush made especially for your pet or a clean piece of soft gauze to wrap around your finger. Ask your vet for toothpaste made especially for your pet or make a paste out of baking soda and water. Please do not use human toothpaste, which can irritate their stomach. Special mouthwash for dogs and cats is also available – ask your vet.

Shop the Sale: Kickin’ Chicken

Kickin’ ChickenSimplify.



That’s my motto for 2015. Life just gets too darn complicated sometimes, like on Wednesday evenings when I’ve picked up one kid from chess club, another from a STEM after-school program, worked a 9-hour day and then decide to try a new recipe while doing laundry, feeding the dog and sorting the mail.

This easy chicken recipe follows that directive. However, for such ease, it’s full of flavor. The lime juice tenderizes the chicken beautifully while the olive oil ensures the flavor seeps into the meat. Of course, I love anything with hot sauce.

The recipe calls for marinating for four hours, but I like to do mine overnight.

Boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts are on sale this week, so heat up your winter with this chicken recipe.

Kickin’ Chicken
Serves 6

2-3 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 cup Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
limes, cut into slices for serving

In a medium-sized bowl, mix hot sauce, olive oil, lime juice and garlic. Place chicken in a pan, bowl or zippered bag; pour marinade over top, making sure the chicken is submerged in the marinade. Marinade for four hours in the fridge. Remove chicken from marinade and grill. Serve with lime slices.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 340, Calories from Fat: 124, Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 1309 mg, Potassium: 426 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Protein: 49 g.

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

Company News: Spirit of Christmas Food Drive provides meals for over 16,000 families

TYLER, Texas, Jan. 7, 2015 – The results are in – more than 16,000 families throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas received a week’s worth of food this holiday season through Brookshire Grocery Company’s 33rd annual Spirit of Christmas Food Drive.

From Nov. 19 – Dec. 20, participating BGC stores (which includes Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods stores and FRESH by Brookshire’s) collected donations of non-perishable food items and also sold pre-assembled “grab bags” and scan coupons for cash contributions. All donations stayed within each store’s community.

In total, approximately 500,000 pounds of food was collected and donated to local service organizations and food pantries for distribution to families in need. In addition, more than $41,000 from scan coupon sales was used to purchase additional food items. Along with a box of food, each family also received a coupon for a free roasting hen, courtesy of Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods.

“The goal for our 2014 Spirit of Christmas Food Drive was to provide a week’s worth of food to approximately 15,000 families throughout our market area,” said Rick Rayford, BGC president and CEO. “Thanks to the generosity of our customers, we were able to surpass that goal and assist even more families during the holiday season. This event would not be successful without the support of the local agencies we work with to eliminate hunger in our communities.”

The Spirit of Christmas Food Drive began in Tyler in 1982 with the Rose City Kiwanis Club, providing assistance to approximately 90 families in the Tyler area. In 2013, the food drive assisted more than 14,000 families in BGC’s operating area.

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Mi Blog Hispano: Claves para Estar Animados

Claves para Estar AnimadosNo sé si ustedes, pero yo no amanezco con el mismo ánimo todos los días. Cada vez que abro los ojos en las mañanas puedo saber cómo me siento… He aprendido también que la actitud que tomemos frente a nuestra realidad puede determinar si vamos a tener un buen día o no. Cuando no descansamos lo suficiente, no nos alimentamos bien, o estamos estresados y con problemas,  en muy fácil estar malhumorados y desanimados. Hoy quiero compartir con ustedes algunas de las cosas que yo trato de hacer para que mis días cambien de color y se conviertan en oportunidades para ser feliz. Lo primero que yo hago es recordarme siempre que la felicidad no es una meta sino un estilo de vida que trato de practicar, a pesar de las dificultades. Cada día trato de pensar en lo positivo, la bendiciones y no me enfoco en lo negativo. Antes de poner los pies fuera de mi cama pienso “Hoy va a ser un gran día” y lo declaro, luego le doy gracias a Dios por un día más. Otras de las cosas que les ayudara a mantener el ánimo arriba y la energía positiva son:

  • Relaciónese con los demás, familia, amigos, compañeros de trabajo, sus vecinos, la comunidad. El compartir con otros nos enriquece y nos alegra el corazón, sobre todo asegúrese que sean gente positiva. Hace poco estuve de reposo por una semana porque tuve una cirugía, así que estuve obligada a quedarme en casa y a no hacer nada sino descansar y hablar por teléfono con todas mis amadas amigas y familia que estuvieron pendientes de mí… Que alegría me causo hablar y estar en contacto con ellas. A veces las ocupaciones diarias nos alejan de los otros.
  • Siéntase feliz con lo que hace, procure tener un trabajo o hacer algo que disfrute. Que cada día usted se sienta contento y útil con lo que haga.
  • Mantenga esa autoestima en alto. Quiérase, mírese en el espejo y ámese. Consiéntase. Disfrute de cada etapa de su vida.  Imagínense que a mí me están gustando mis arruguitas y estos kilitos de más…
  • Mantenga una dieta equilibrada, duerma lo suficiente, medite, relájese, váyase de vacaciones, cambie de ambiente y rompa la rutina de vez en cuando.
  • Haga una lista de todas esas cosas que usted disfruta, por ejemplo a mí me encanta leer, escuchar música, bailar, pasear, así que yo sé que debo darle prioridad a estas cosas para sentirme feliz. Si no lo hago me comienzo a sentir triste o frustrada. Así que  saque tiempo de donde sea para esto.
  • Sonría porque esto mejora el estado de ánimo, está comprobado por los médicos que reír mejora el sistema inmunológico. Vea películas que le hagan reír a carcajadas, rodéese de gente chistosa. La risa es contagiosa y produce felicidad. Así que a reír.
  • Mueva el esqueleto… Haga ejercicios y baile… Esto lo aprendí porque tenía amigas que sufrían de depresión y sus psicólogos las mandaban a patinar, a hacer Zumba o a correr y yo me preguntaba el por qué. Y descubrí que al ejercitarnos o movernos, nuestro cuerpo libera endorfinas y su vez estimula la creación de dopamina, estas dos hormonas generan una sensación de felicidad. Yo no soy muy deportista que digamos, pero me encanta y me fascina bailar así que bendito sea el que invento la Zumba…
  • Relájate, tranquilízate y respire profundo (Inhala y exhale), parece mentira pero a veces estamos tan ocupados y estresados que hasta nos olvidamos de tomar pausa u respirar correctamente. Respirar oxigena nuestro cerebro y nuestro organismo en general generando bienestar.
  • Tomar sol también es importante para mantener buen ánimo. Los rayos del sol son los que estimulan la vitamina D3 en nuestro cuerpo y está comprobado que la carencia de esta vitamina produce depresión, ya que ésta estimula la parte del cerebro que mejora el estado de ánimo. ¡Ya yo entiendo porque cuando voy a la playa y tomo sol, me siento más feliz que nunca!
  • Organízate, planifica, crea prioridades y te vas a evitar estar ansiosa, preocupada y estresada… Hacer esto te va a estimular y ayudar a mantener el buen ánimo.
  • Ayuda al prójimo, haz cosas por los demás. Dar no necesariamente significa cosas materiales, sino de toda índole. Esto siempre nos va a llenar de sentimientos positivos. Sentirnos útiles nos hace más felices.
  • Explore, busque, investigue, aprenda cosas nuevas, maravíllese, asómbrese. Que un día no se parezca a otro hace que la vida sea más interesante. Estas cosas nos nutren y producen energía positiva. La vida es bella y está llena de cosas que nos pueden hacer inmensamente felices.
  • Organiza tu espacio, decora con colores que te gusten y disfruta tu entorno. Rodéate de fotos e imagines que te recuerden momentos felices o de gente a quien ames. Yo pase la mayor parte de mi día en mi escritorio así que estoy rodeada de fotos de mis seres queridos, pensamientos positivos, versículos bíblicos, flores y por supuesto una foto de mi Hermosa ciudad natal de Caracas, a veces la miro, recuerdo y sonrío…

Espero que estos consejos los ayuden a mantener ese ánimo siempre arriba y dibujar cada día una sonrisota en sus rostros… ¡Que la gente que los rodea se sienta contagiada!

HEALTHY LIVING: Chicken Avocado Burritos

Chicken Avocado BurritosIt’s that time of year.

You know what time! That time when we all try to get healthy again and renew our commitment to fitness and proper nutrition.

If you’re like me, you work at it hard for the first few weeks, but then slack off. I think the secret is moderation, at least it is for me. If I eat nothing but salads for weeks on end, I promise you I’m going to end up binging on the biggest plate of Mexican food known to man. So, I take it slowly. I try to eat healthier versions of the things I love, like the burritos. You can even bake them instead to save having to use the extra oil. You can cut back on the cheese and use low-fat sour cream, as well. I never recommend using low-fat cheese. It doesn’t melt right and leaves a weird aftertaste, in my opinion. Just use less of it.

The avocado provides heart-healthy fats and the chicken, of course, is lean protein.

Chicken Avocado Burritos
Serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs mustard
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
1 avocado, diced
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped
4 large tortillas
4 Tbs sour cream
1 Tbs oil

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. Place chicken breasts sprinkled with salt and pepper in pan, and roast for about 5 minutes on each side. Spread 1 tablespoon mustard over each chicken breast, add about 1/4 cup water and cook covered for a few more minutes.

Cut cooked chicken into thin strips. Mix the chicken, cheese, cilantro and the diced avocados.

Spread 1 tablespoon sour cream on each tortilla; add 1/4 of the mixture then form a roll.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil into a pan and place all four tortillas on the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on medium- high heat. Flip on the other side; cook for another 2 minutes or until the tortillas are golden.

Serve warm.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 390, Calories from Fat: 220, Fat: 24 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 73 mg, Sodium: 130 mg, Potassium: 518 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 0.7 g, Protein: 28 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.

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