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Product Talk: Southern Comfort Eggnog


Southern Comfort EggnogFirst the disclosure: This product is alcohol-free, despite what the name may lead you to believe.

Now, I feel I can safely move on to my second point: It’s my older son’s favorite holiday drink.

I’m not sure where he first tasted eggnog, but ever since he did, he’s begged for the creamy, frothy drink during every holiday season.

I’ve even gotten him eggnog-flavored ice cream (try it with caramel sauce and some chopped walnuts!).

Southern Comfort Eggnog is about as close as you can get to the real thing, without the REAL THING. It has a rich taste and a smooth, creamy texture. I sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg on top before I serve it. You can add whipped cream if you’d like.

It’s kept refrigerated in Brookshire’s near the milks and creamers, so make sure you do the same at home.

Southern Comfort Eggnog is a seasonal product, created by the company as a platform to enjoy their Nog products. It comes in Traditional and Vanilla Spice varieties, and it will be gone from the shelves soon after the new year. Enjoy it while you can!

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Dine In: Merry Christmas


Cranberry ChutneyMerry Christmas!

It’s one of my favorite days of the year. Not only do I get to wake up to the squeals of excited boys, but my parents are here visiting from Virginia. My heart is full to overflowing.

Growing up, we always had a big Christmas breakfast. Mom would start the day before, making cinnamon roll dough from scratch. It would rise twice and then she’d roll it out, covering it liberally with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. The rolls would rise again overnight and be ready to be popped into the oven Christmas morning then topped with a warm, gooey glaze as they were served. We had those with Little Smokies sausages. Seriously, I could have eaten those out of the pan. We never seemed to have them any other time but Christmas, so I took full advantage when they were simmering on the stove.

The rest of the day, we usually snacked. It was such a novelty not to have to sit at the table and eat a well-balanced meal three times that day that we all loved it! Often, “lunch” would be one of the many varieties of Christmas cookies my mom had baked: sugar (which we decorated, another family tradition), snowballs (or Mexican wedding cookies, my favorite), peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies (peanut butter is a viable lunch, right?) or a peanut butter chocolate swirled roll-up cookie that I also loved.

Sometimes she’d set out bowls of nuts or plates of appetizers like cheese and crackers or an appetizer dip.

I think I’m going to do the same thing today. We’ll grill steaks later, but for midday, it sounds like the snacks have it!

Merry Christmas and happy eating!

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, finely diced
3 Tbs prepared horseradish
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
assorted crackers

Directions:
In a heavy pan, stir water and sugars together to mix. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in cranberries; return to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in apple, horseradish and mustard.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Place a block of cream cheese on a decorative plate and surround with assorted crackers. Spoon a heaping mound of the cranberry chutney on top of the cream cheese to cover it.

Scoop the cranberry cream cheese mixture on top of a cracker and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 178, Fat: 8 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 114 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



¡A Tomar Champurrado!


¡A Tomar Champurrado!¿A quién no le gusta el champurrado durante estos días festivos?

¡El champurrado es una delicia en nuestra cultura, y no puede faltar esta Navidad y Año Nuevo! Este atole tiene orígenes aztecas. Lo preparaban como una bebida especial que tomaban los aztecas durante sus ceremonias. Mezclaban maíz y agua, y para sabor le ponían cacao que es de donde viene el chocolate. Pasando los años, empezamos a agregar otras especies como piloncillo y canela para darle más sabor. ¡Ay, se me hace agua la boca solo pensando en esto!

Aquí les paso una deliciosa receta de cómo hacer el champurrado. Es la que usare yo para hacer mi champurrado esta Navidad.

Ingredientes:
4 tazas de leche
1 taza de agua
1/4 taza de Maseca
1 tablilla de chocolate Mexicano
2 pedazos medianos de piloncillo (o 1/2 taza de azúcar café)
1 cucharada de canela molida (o 2 rajas grandes de canela)

Instrucciones:

  1. En un sartén grande ponga a hervir el agua y la masa. Con una cuchara grande, bata por 6 minutos o hasta que la mezcla se espese.
  2. Agregue chocolate, piloncillo, y canela. Continúe batiendo hasta que el chocolate y el piloncillo se derritan.
  3. Agregue la leche gradualmente, batiendo continuamente para que no se pegue, y hasta que todos los sabores se hayan combinado.
  4. Quite las rajas de canela.
  5. Sirva caliente y combine con pan dulce, galletas Mexicanas, o tamales.

¡Espero que lo disfruten! ¡Les deseo una muy Feliz Navidad y un muy prospero Año Nuevo!



Shop the Sale: Butter-Basted Ribeye Steak


Butter-Basted Ribeye SteakThis year, I’m not going to have a big crowd for Christmas dinner. In addition, none of the guests I will have really care if the meal is “traditional” or not, so we’re going with “not.” However, you can’t go wrong with any meal at any time with ribeye steak, on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Beautifully marbled and full of flavor, ribeyes are my favorite cut of steak. My sweet boyfriend, Paul, usually grills them outside, but you never know just what the weather will be doing on Christmas. This year, we plan to cook them inside in the cast iron skillet. I can almost smell it now! I grow rosemary from my back porch so that will be fresh too, and the smell of browning butter combined with the sound of sizzling meat can’t be beat.

When I first read this recipe, I thought you’d actually spoon melted butter over the steaks to baste it, and while you don’t really do that, you COULD. That would also be delicious, so I changed the recipe to reflect that. Don’t add the herbs until the second stage, as they’ll get burned and bitter.

Enjoy these steaks for your Christmas dinner, or any other meal, because you really can’t go wrong with ribeye!

Butter-Basted Ribeye Steaks

Ingredients:
4 boneless ribeye steaks, about 1 lb each
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs butter
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves
2 rosemary sprigs

Directions:
Bring the ribeyes to room temperature. Drizzle with olive oil, and rub with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet until the oil shimmers and gives off a nutty smell.

Add the steaks and cook over high heat until the steaks are crusty on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Flip the steaks and add butter, thyme, garlic and rosemary.

Continue to cook over high heat, spooning the butter, garlic and herbs until steaks are cooked to desired doneness.

Remove steaks from the pan, and let them rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into them.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1279, Calories from Fat: 957, Fat: 106 g, Trans Fat: 4 g, (40 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 271 mg, Sodium: 904 mg, Potassium: 13 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 81 g.

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



Healthy Living: New Year, New You


New Year, New YouAs the new year approaches, so many people are making promises to eat better and exercise more. I count myself among them. As the ball drops on 2016, I find myself facing some pretty significant health issues, far beyond your garden variety “I need to lose five pounds” challenges. I’ve been reading more and more about the connection between what you put in your body and how it functions. Now, my challenges have nothing to do with diet, but it’s critical to pay attention to diet for optimal health.

Experts analyze the trends for the upcoming year, looking at things that are gaining momentum as this year draws to a close.

Two foods that will be hugely popular in the new year are date nectar and maple syrup, replacing refined white sugar as natural sweeteners. Naturally sweet, you need less because of their bold flavors.

Pre-chopped, frozen fruits are a great way to make healthy dishes faster, without losing nutrients.

The sales of cacao bars have soared more than 37 percent over the past year, and experts expect that to keep growing. Cacao, instead of a milk chocolate bar, has less fat and bigger flavor. Cacao also has health benefits.

Medjool dates are becoming more and more popular, and are full of vitamins and natural sweetness.

Almond milk is the new soy, gaining popularity as the milk-substitute of choice.

Anything coconut continues to be on the forefront of the health-conscious. Look for coconut waters and milks to replace higher-fat products in cooking and baking.

Bone broth is all the rage, taking the place of richer stocks.

On the fitness front, body-resistance exercises continue to rule the workout world (think push-ups, pull-ups and other activities that use your body weight as resistance). Revive the leg warmers. In addition to yoga and Pilates, barre and ballet-style fitness classes (for adults) are hugely popular.

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Product Talk: Winter Oreos


Winter OreosI’m a sucker for a holiday spin on an everyday product.

Oreos are no exception.

I mean, who doesn’t love the Oreo? I love it even more with red cream sandwiched between the chocolate wafers. Admittedly, it doesn’t taste any differently than the regular cream, but it’s so much more festive with the holiday look.

Nabisco took it a step further by stamping four, fun winter shapes into the chocolate wafers: a penguin, a snowman, a snowflake and ice skates.

The Winter Oreo will be available for the next several weeks, according to the Nabisco website. I’m going to stock up to keep the spirit bright all winter long.

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Dine In: Italian Festive Bread


Italian Festive BreadSome might say the words “Italian” and “Festive” go together like pepperoni and mushrooms, and I have to say I agree.

In Italy, every meal is a celebration; at least, that’s what I experienced in my trips to the motherland. Food is celebrated, quality ingredients are a cause for joy and food and family go hand-in-hand. I’m pretty sure the expression “food is love” originated on the shores of the Amalfi Coast or in the hills of Tuscany.

So, it’s not a stretch to use the term “festive” for this bread. I used to make something like it when I lived in Europe, although I baked the meats and cheeses right into the bread and served the peppers on the side. It was perfect road trip food, combining carbs, protein, fat and the peppers to cut the fat. Plus, you can eat it with your fingers.

You can use almost any combination of Italian meats and cheeses in this bread, and the note at the end explains how to exchange the mayonnaise for butter.

Italian Festive Bread

Ingredients:
1 loaf baked Italian bread
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbs pepperoncini brine from the jar
4 oz sliced salami (or large slices of pepperoni)
4 oz sliced provolone
4 oz sliced mozzarella
4 oz sliced Muenster cheese
1/4 cup pepperoncini peppers, diced
1/4 cup red onion, sliced

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Slice the bread into 1-inch slabs, being careful not to slice all the way through to the bottom. Place on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Mix the mayonnaise, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and pepperoncini brine. Spread the mixture liberally over each slice of bread. Place a slice of salami between each slice of bread and add a piece of cheese, alternating varieties. Finish by adding pepperoncini pieces and red onion slices between each slice. Wrap tightly in foil and bake about 25-30 minutes or until the outside is crispy and all the cheese is melted.

Note: We don’t all like mayonnaise in my house, so I softened 1/2 cup of butter to room temperature, mixed the herbs into the butter and used in place of the mayonnaise.

Serves 4-6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 733, Calories from Fat: 354, Fat: 40 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 78 mg, Sodium: 1566 mg, Potassium: 135 mg, Carbohydrates: 63 g, Fiber: 3.6 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 31 g.

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

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Family Matters: Birthday Hot Chocolate Bar


Classic Hot ChocolateNothing says “comfort” during the cold months more than a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and that’s just what we enjoyed for my daughter’s birthday.

This year, we hosted Grace’s 14th birthday party at our home and let her invite a few friends over for a Tacky Christmas Sweater Birthday Party. We prepared a hot chocolate bar along with a batch of Christmas sugar cookies and a Christmas birthday cake. I prepared the hot chocolate on the stove and then transferred it to a slow cooker to keep it warm so the girls could dip it out for themselves.

The best part of the hot chocolate bar was all the delicious and fun toppings. Our bar consisted of marshmallows, peppermint bars, chocolate chips, chocolate dipping spoons and candies, of course!

The girls had a fun time making their custom hot chocolate, and then they all went outside to enjoy the colder weather with hot chocolate in hand. It was a perfect birthday party, and the hot chocolate bar must have been a success because they didn’t leave a drop for Mom! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to our Lord and Savior.

Classic Hot Chocolate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

1 quart Brookshire’s Whole Milk
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Reddi-wip®, mini marshmallows and cocoa powder, for garnish

Warm about 1/3 of the milk with chopped chocolate and salt, stirring until chocolate is melted. Whisk in remaining milk, heating until mixture is warmed through. Use whisk to mix hot chocolate until completely smooth. Serve very warm, garnished with Reddi-wip®, mini marshmallows and sprinkled cocoa powder.

Calories Per Serving: 570, Fat: 33 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 274 mg, Carbohydrates: 64 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 12 g.

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Shop the Sale: Maple Pomegranate-Glazed Turkey


Maple Pomegranate-Glazed TurkeyMy friend – let’s call her “Erma” – is looking for something different to make for Christmas dinner this year.

I can’t use her real name because she doesn’t want her mother-in-law to know she’s looking for a new recipe. You see, every year since she’s been married (all 23 of them) her mother-in-law bakes the turkey for Christmas dinner. And every year (all 23 of them) Erma’s holiday dinner is dry and flavorless.

“She doesn’t put anything on it,” Erma laments. “She just plops it in the pan and sticks it in the oven! Plus, she cooks it too long.”

But this year, Erma is hosting Christmas dinner for the first time. Her mother-in-law is relinquishing the kitchen, her only request being that they still have turkey for Christmas dinner, as is family tradition.

Erma is more than happy to oblige, but is looking for a way to liven up the Yuletide bird.

She found this recipe on the Honeysuckle Turkey website when she searched “Christmas turkey recipes.” Coincidentally, Honeysuckle turkeys are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so it’s the perfect time to buy one for your Christmas dinner.

Using the juice and the sweet syrup should make this bird juicy and flavorful! Maybe it’ll even start a new tradition.

Maple Pomegranate-Glazed Turkey

Ingredients:
1 12-lb Honeysuckle White® Fresh All Natural Whole Turkey
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Unwrap the turkey in the sink and pat dry with paper towels. Remove the neck, giblets and any excess fat from the turkey; discard.

Coat the outside of the turkey with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour.

Combine the chicken broth, pomegranate juice and maple syrup in a non-stick skillet and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 30 minutes.

After 1 hour of roasting, begin basting with the glaze. If the bird gets too dark, cover loosely with foil. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the breast reaches 165° F.

Transfer the turkey to a platter, tent with foil and let rest 30 minutes before slicing.

Recipe from honeysucklewhite.com

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 927, Calories from Fat: 240, Fat: 27 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 354 mg, Sodium: 447 mg, Potassium: 1792 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 25 g, Protein: 134 g.

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



Healthy Living: Winter Water Wonderland


Winter Water WonderlandIt’s about 7:30PM as I sit down to write this.

I think back to the day. I drank a glass of water when I woke up. Then, I had two cups of coffee. Then, a Diet Coke (Route 44 from Sonic size, nonetheless). Then, I had an unsweet iced tea with dinner.

How much of that, exactly, counts as water intake for the day? Approximately the first 8 ounces I had and nothing else. Everything else I had contained caffeine, which actually DEHYDRATES you, so it’s definitely time to pay more attention to how much real water I consume.

You need water as much in the winter as you do in the summertime. See that dry, scaling, ashy gray skin? Dehydration. Hair limp and lank? Dehydration. Nails brittle? You got it. Dehydration.

Experts say you should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water. Hot or cold doesn’t matter, as long as the drink doesn’t contain excess sugar or caffeine. If you are drinking caffeine, or alcohol for that matter, match that drink ounce for ounce with water, above and beyond your daily requirement for the day.

Water-based foods count toward your daily intake, like a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can even add them to your water to punch up the taste and nutrient level.

You still need water when you exercise, even if you don’t sweat as much.

A lot of delicious winter foods like soups and stews, especially commercial varieties, contain a lot of sodium. Cut back on sodium and drink more water to flush the excess from your system.
Finally, dress lightly and in layers, which helps reduce the way you sweat and therefore reduces water loss.

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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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