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Family Matters: Traveling With Your Baby


Traveling With Your BabyIt’s summer time! Your baby is ready to travel, but are you ready to travel with baby?

This is a tough age to travel with your little one because they’re a little more mobile and don’t sleep quite as much, but with a little prior planning, summer travel is easily doable.

Try to plan trips during baby’s regular nap times. Does baby take a long afternoon nap? Try to book your flight or plan your drive during that time. Or, fly or drive in the evening, if necessary.

Keep baby on schedule, if possible. This will make everyone’s vacation more enjoyable. If the schedule gets disrupted, get back on track as quickly as possible.

Travel with baby’s regular blankets and a few comfort items, so he’ll feel more at home sleeping in a strange place.

It’s great if you have your own car seat with you, and that will help baby feel right at home, too.

Travel with plenty of snacks, toys, formula, water, juice (depending on baby’s age) and books. If you are flying, make sure baby has a pacifier or is sucking during landings and take-offs, as the change in air pressure can be uncomfortable on their ears. Sucking can help alleviate that pressure.



Family Matters: Fun in the Pool


Fun in the PoolWhen you should teach your baby to swim is a personal preference, but it’s never too early to get them used to the water, in my book.

That doesn’t mean you have to throw them into the deep end and hope they doggie paddle (although that IS one method). You can certainly take your infant into the pool with you and let him enjoy the water.

By the time your baby is a year old, she probably loves the water. Some kids will jump right in; others are a little more hesitant.

First things first: toddlers should wear swim diapers, not regular diapers.

Secondly, they should never be left unsupervised at a pool, not even for an I’m-just-running-back-inside-for-sunscreen second.

In the water, don’t rely on water wings, swim rings or any other flotation devices other than Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

You can start by having your child blow bubbles in the water without putting her whole face in. She can kick her feet and move her arms without having to swim. When she’s comfortable with this, she can mimic these swimming motions with you supporting her stomach and build up to actually swimming. For some kids, this won’t gel until long after age 3, but you can certainly get them comfortable in the water during the early toddler years.



Family Matters: First Father’s Day


First Fathers DayThe first Father’s Day for your main man and your little one is coming right up.

Sure, your infant won’t remember much, but his dad certainly will.

There are lots of cute and meaningful gifts you can make your honey to commemorate his first Father’s Day that are easy and inexpensive.

“Following in Daddy’s Footsteps/Big Shoes to Fill” picture. Take one of Dad’s pairs of shoes. Dip it lightly in paint and stamp it on a large sheet of white poster board. (Use washable paint.) Let dry. Dip baby’s foot in a contrasting paint color, and stamp it on top of the shoe print. Let dry. Trim poster board, mat and frame as desired.

Photograph your little one holding a sign (or propped up with a sign) that says, “You have my heart, Daddy!” Frame the picture for his desk.

Compile a digital photo frame of pictures of baby and Daddy.

If Dad is a sports fan, take a new ball from his favorite sport, and cover it in baby’s handprints stamped in paint.

Baby can also stamp handprints or footprints on a tie with fabric paint.

Photo gifts are super fun. Baby’s picture can go on a beverage koozie, mouse pad, Christmas ornament, guitar pick or almost anything you can imagine.

Write a letter to your husband about what this day means to you. Write him a letter every year, and keep adding to his collection. Pretty soon, baby will be able to join in.



Shop the Sale: Deviled Eggs


Deviled EggsPrep Time: 30 mins
Serves: 24

Bring out your devilish side with this classic party favorite. Feeling particularly daring? Take a walk on the wild side and try adding smoked salmon, red onions and capers or bacon, cheese and chives. Check out these and more variations in the instructions below for some new ideas. And don’t forget to pick up a fresh carton of eggs, on sale all this week at Brookshire’s.

CLASSIC BASE RECIPE

14 hardboiled eggs, cooled and peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks, and place in medium-sized bowl. Reserve 24 white halves. Finely chop remaining 4 white halves. Mash yolks with fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and pepper; mix well. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon yolk mixture into each reserved egg white half. Add desired toppings. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered.

*Note: You can use a zip-top storage bag to “pipe” yolk mixture into egg whites. Fill bag about halfway full, and cut bottom corner of bag. You can squeeze mixture into egg white halves for a cleaner result.

Variations
Herbed peas, sugar snaps
Smoked salmon, red onions, capers
Pickled okra and pickles, green beans
Pico de gallo, jalapeño
Prosciutto, parmesan, arugula
Purple potato chips, chives
Bacon, cheese, chives

Calories Per Serving: 57, Fat: 4.3 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 97 mg, Sodium: 86 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 3 g.

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

Chef Tips

Better the Devil You Know
“Deviled” is a culinary term devised by the British to describe dishes seasoned with spicy ingredients that are boiled or fried. Although the word first appeared in the Oxford Dictionary in 1786, it’s believed that people were “deviling” foods as far back as Ancient Rome, where eggs were boiled, seasoned with spice and served at the beginning of a meal – at least by the wealthy. Deviled Eggs today are also called “Stuffed Eggs” or “Dressed Eggs” by some to avoid the term “devil”.

Egg-cellent Storage Tips
Here are some simple ways to keep eggs fresh once you get them home from the store:

  1. Keep them in the carton. This protects the eggs and prevents them from absorbing odors from the other foods in your fridge.
  2. Place them in the main part of your refrigerator rather than the door to ensure a consistent temperature.
  3. For storing raw egg whites or yolks in the fridge, seal them in an airtight container. To keep yolks from drying out, cover with a little cold water before sealing.
  4. Check the use-by date for fresh eggs before eating, and for leftover yolks or whites, use within 2-4 days. Hard boiled eggs and egg dishes can last up to 3 or 4 days.


Healthy Living: Banana Chips


Banana ChipsMy kids love bananas and can go through a bunch in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, for whatever reason, they sit on the kitchen counter, and I have to make a snap decision on what to do with the rapidly ripening fruit.

Often, I peel the bananas and freeze them, using the fruit for smoothies later.

Lately, I’ve been making banana chips. If I thought bananas went fast, these go faster. The boys gobble them up. Seriously, I have to hide them. They’re delicious plain or as a topping to yogurt or oatmeal.

Banana Chips

Ingredients:
10 bananas, thinly sliced (the more thinly sliced, the crisper they will be)
1 lemon, juiced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 200° F. Cover a baking sheet with foil, parchment paper or a baking mat, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Sprinkle banana slices with lemon juice.

Arrange bananas in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours. Flip the slices, and then bake for an additional 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, and transfer the chips to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 266, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 68 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 36 g, Protein: 3 g.

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



Product Talk: Melissa’s Black-Eyed Peas


Melissa’s Black-Eyed PeasI always love spring and summer because they mark the arrival of black-eyed pea season.

I love black-eyed peas so much.

Now, I can get Melissa’s Black-Eyed Peas in the produce section of Brookshire’s. These vacuum-packed peas are refrigerated and ready to eat. Just heat and serve if you can wait that long, I may have had a spoonful straight out of the package).

These black-eyed peas are delicious served as-is, in soups, in stews, as a side dish, or in a casserole or salad. Cook them with salt, pepper and bacon. Steam them or simmer them in a little water on the stove. You can also microwave them. They’re super simple, fresh and delicious.



Dine In: Memorial Day Baked Beans


Memorial Day Baked BeansIt’s Memorial Day weekend, and I hope you’re going to get out and enjoy the long weekend with family and friends.

Memorial Day almost always means a picnic for me, and I love me some good picnic food.

I always head straight for the baked beans, if I don’t bring them myself, that is. I like them savory, not too sweet. To be quite honest, I could eat only baked beans and be quite happy. Well, beans and German potato salad, maybe. And homemade ice cream. And watermelon. Possibly a burger or rib.

Fine. I like it all.

This version of baked beans can certainly stand alone as a main dish and (for real this time) has actually done so in my house! It’s also good for a picnic or buffet because there’s nothing in it that will spoil, and it still tastes good at room temperature.

Memorial Day Baked Beans

Ingredients:
3 (16 oz) cans pork and beans
1 lb ground beef, browned
2 Tbs brown mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp cumin
8 slices bacon

Directions:
Mix beans, ground beef, mustard, brown sugar, ketchup and cumin together. Spread in a 9-inch square casserole dish. Lay slices of bacon on top.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes, or until beans are bubbly and bacon is beginning to crisp.

Serves 10 to 12 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 346, Fat: 11 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 64 mg, Sodium: 999 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 15 g, Protein: 26 g.

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

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Shop the Sale: Melon Salsa


Prep Time: 20 mins
Serves: 12

Get the best of both worlds! Sweet and savory, with a satisfying crunch thanks to red onions, this summery salsa is simply fruitastic. Enjoy it as a refreshing snack with chips at your next BBQ or as a topping for grilled fish, pork or chicken. Treat your sweet tooth the healthy way this summer, and don’t miss cantaloupe on sale all this week at Brookshire’s.

Ingredients
2 cups cantaloupe, diced
1 cup honeydew melon, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup orange segments, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 Tbs lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve with chips, salad, or grilled fish or pork.

Calories Per Serving: 19, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 59 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 0 g.

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

Chef Tips

Know Your Salsa
Did you know that salsa is the Spanish word for sauce? Or that salsa was being made long before the Spaniards? Salsa “sauce” actually originates with the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas who cultivated tomatoes and pepper plants and combined them to eat as a condiment. Today of course there are many variations of salsa, from the more traditional Pico de gallo, Salsa verde and negra to avocado, pineapple, corn – and of course – melon salsa concoctions.

Slice Smarter
Cutting open round melons on a flat chopping surface doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s surprisingly simple. First cut a half inch off the top and bottom of the fruit, so that the fruit sits flush on your cutting board. Then you can easily split the melon open and chop as desired. Another option is to use a baller to create bite-sized melon balls.



Healthy Living: Freeze Your Fruit


No doubt the summer months produce some of the best fruit of the year, but how do you maximize all those great flavors – and the nutritional value – later in the year?

You can freeze summer fruits for use a few months down the road without compromising their taste, textures or nutrients if you go about it the right way.

  • For raspberries and blackberries, rinse, dry thoroughly, and then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer overnight. The next morning, portion into freezer bags or containers and seal well.
  • For blueberries, remove stems, rinse and dry. Then, follow the same method for raspberries and blackberries.
  • For strawberries, rinse, dry completely and then remove stems. Chop or slice and freeze until solid.
  • If you want to freeze fresh cherries, rinse, dry, remove pits and slice before freezing until solid.
  • Bananas are easy. Just peel and freeze until solid. They’re great for smoothies and banana bread.
  • For stone fruits like peaches, rinse, dry, peel, slice, remove pit and freeze until solid.
  • Apples are easy, too. Rinse, dry, peel, cut into chunks and freeze until solid.
  • For melons, remove the inside flesh and chop. Freeze until solid.
  • Citrus fruits can also be frozen. Rinse, dry, slice or segment and freeze until solid.

All these fruits are great for smoothies, toppings on yogurt, mixed into oatmeal or cereal, or baked into breads, muffins or cookies. You get summer taste and nutrition all year long.



Product Talk: Mi Costeñita Spices


One of my favorite places in Brookshire’s is the wall of hanging Mi Costeñita spices in the produce department.

There are rows and rows of small packages of the most aromatic dried spices you can imagine, cumin seeds, dried peppers, oregano, smoky paprika, basil, garlic powder and so much more.

Founded in 1995, the Mi Costeñita company sells dried herbs, spices and snacks such as mango chips. Their selection of dried peppers is absolutely amazing, including ancho chiles, guajillo chiles, abol sin pata chiles and more. You can grind them into spices yourself, use them as seasonings in sauces and stocks, or finely dice for rice or a filling for enchiladas or tamales.

My favorite is the dried cumin seeds that I can grind myself. The flavor is intense!

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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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