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Product Talk: Onions


Yellow OnionsOnions are one of those amazing products that taste great all year long, are always plentiful, are economical, are healthy, and can be used for so much more than cooking.

Did you know that you can clean your grill with an onion? It’s a great way to get stubborn cooking residue off your grill grates while also seasoning it without using harsh chemicals or too much elbow grease. Rub a halved onion, cut-side down, on a heated grill grate to remove grime and grit. (You might have to go over it a few times.) Then, let the grill sit at warm for a few minutes to let the scent of onions burn off. (It actually smells wonderful.)

While you’re burning off that onion scent, you’re also repelling mosquitoes! They hate the scent of onion, so enjoy your outdoor space while cleaning your grill. For further insect repellant protection, rub raw onion on your skin for a natural barrier from bugs.

If you have already been bitten, onion is a natural analgesic. Rub raw onion into a bug bite to help soothe the sting and itch.

You can also use it to help alleviate the pain from burns. Again, just gently rub raw onion onto the burn to help ease the pain.

Sore throat? Onion can help that, too! Boil chunks of onion (you can use the peels and all) in water on the stovetop. Strain the solids out. Let cool, and sip away.

If your kitchen knives have gotten a little rusty, revive them by plunging them into a whole onion repeatedly until they’re clean.

There are so many things to do with onions, and you can eat them, of course!



Shop the Sale: Grilled Asparagus with Garlic Butter


Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4-6

Everything’s better with butter! Spruce up your next barbeque or family dinner with a healthy and delicious side of garlic-buttery grilled asparagus. Grilled to caramelized perfection, this is asparagus that will melt in your mouth. Pro tip: don’t forget to scrape your grill before cooking once it’s heated (it’s easier to do it hot). And look out for Brookshire’s Butter on sale this week for extra savings!

Ingredients
3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
3 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 to 2 lbs thick asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1/4 tsp table salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, for greasing grill
Parsley, for garnish
Lemon slices, for serving

Instructions
Combine butter and garlic in small bowl. Brush asparagus with butter mixture. Sprinkle with salt; season with pepper to taste.

When grill is medium-hot, scrape grill grates clean with grill brush. Brush oil on grill grates. Grill asparagus, turning once, until just tender and caramelized, about 2 to 5 minutes per side. (Move asparagus as needed to ensure even cooking.) Transfer asparagus to platter. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

Calories Per Serving: 107, Fat: 9 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 23 mg, Sodium: 212 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 3 g

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

Chef Tips

Butter Up
While butter isn’t exactly good for you (on account of all the saturated fat), it’s not all bad either. It’s actually vitamin rich for one thing. Vitamins A, D, E, B12 and K2 are found in high amounts in butter. Butter is also loaded with Butyrate, an anti-inflammatory for the digestive tract and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a fatty acid that may reduce body fat and help with certain health conditions. But, that’s not a free pass to go out and eat all the butter. Use your butter wisely to make healthy dishes (like our grilled asparagus!) and enjoy the best of both worlds.

How to Choose the Best Asparagus
First of all, size doesn’t matter when it comes to asparagus. Thick or thin stalks are more about preference than quality. The main thing to look out for is the appearance of the stalks. They should be firm and straight, with a vibrant green color. Also, look at the tips to make sure they’re closed and not dried out. When selecting fresh white asparagus, watch for the same qualities sans the rich green hue.

Once you get them home, trim the ends and either wrap them in a damp paper towel, place the asparagus in a plastic bag and refrigerate or stand them upright in a jar with an inch of water, cover with a plastic bag and store like a bunch of fresh flowers.



Product Talk: Nestlé® Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


This post is all about keeping it real.

Real because I just posted a picture on Instagram of the cookies I’m baking for my son’s cross country team party tomorrow night. “Four dozen chocolate chip and counting…” I wrote. “Oatmeal up next; batter chilling!”

What I omitted from that post was that only one type of the cookies I was baking was made from scratch. You see, I’ve been baking cookies for the better part of 30 years now, and my chocolate chip cookies are never as good as my mom’s so I gave up.

At some point, you just have to admit that Nestlé® Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough produces a better result than I’m going to get from mixing, stirring and beating.

Thank goodness for the refrigerated section of Brookshire’s. Sure, I made the oatmeal cookies from scratch, and they’re delightful. For whatever reason, my chocolate chip cookies (Or CCCs, as my mom used to call them) don’t turn out right.

That’s where Nestlé comes in. Those big, beautiful logs of refrigerated cookie dough are ready and waiting for me when my kids have a craving, or when I need to bake up a few (dozen) batches for a team party. (Let me just tell you about how many cookies I expect teenage athletes to devour.) The cookies come out perfectly every time, no guesswork required. They are chewy, moist, rich and delicious, worthy of a cheat meal for my cross country runners tomorrow night.

Best of all, no stirring and mixing are required because if you could see the mess I make when I bake, you’d understand.

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Shop the Sale: Blueberry Chicken Salad


Prep Time: 20 mins
Serves: 6

A summery chicken salad with a pop of color and flavor makes a healthy, tasty dinner for the whole family. Packed with arugula, red onion, celery, shredded chicken and of course, blueberries, this recipe also includes a tangy DIY Greek yogurt dressing that will satisfy your taste buds without ruining your waistline. The best bit? It’s ready in less than 30 minutes. Plus, don’t miss out on Fresh Express Salad on sale this week.

Ingredients
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
12 oz skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 3 cups)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbs honey
2 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice, divided
6 oz fresh blueberries
1 (5 oz) pkg baby arugula
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
Combine first 4 ingredients in medium bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine yogurt, honey and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in small bowl, stirring with whisk. Add yogurt mixture to chicken mixture; toss to coat. Gently stir in blueberries.

Place arugula, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in bowl; toss to coat. Divide arugula mixture evenly among 6 plates. Top each serving with about 3/4 cup chicken salad.

Calories Per Serving: 135, Fat: 4 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 33 mg, Sodium: 242 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 15 g

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

Chef Tips

Why You Should Go Greek
Yogurt’s tangier and thicker cousin has several differences aside from taste and texture. First, it has twice the protein of regular yogurt and about three times the saturated fat. It is lower in sodium and carbohydrates – roughly half that of regular yogurt – and usually has less sugar. It makes for a more filling and satisfying snack or meal, plus you skip all the sugar and salt.

Healthier Greek Yogurt Substitutes
While we’re talking about the health benefits of Greek yogurt, it’s worth noting that it can be used as a substitute for less-than-healthy ingredients like mayonnaise, sour cream and buttermilk. You can make all of your favorite recipes healthier – and often times tastier – by using Greek yogurt. Need some ideas? You can use yogurt as a substitute in baking (batter and frosting), pasta sauces, dips, cheesecake, smoothies, popsicles and pancakes, or ranch dressing, twice-baked potatoes, potato salad – even soup!



Product Talk: Rhubarb


RhubarbRhubarb is often thought of as a fruit, but it is actually a vegetable. Rhubarb pairs perfectly with both sweet and savory flavors. Due to its tart flavor, it is often paired with fruits such as berries and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Rhubarb is also delicious paired with chicken, pork and lamb.

Pick rhubarb that has long, thick and bright stalks. Rhubarb leaves are toxic, so make sure to cut off all leaves and discard. Trim rhubarb ends, wash and dry. Store rhubarb in a crisper drawer up to 2 weeks. Rhubarb is very easy to freeze. Wash and trim rhubarb, and boil for 1 minute. Place boiled rhubarb in cold water; dry and place in a container that seals to freeze.

Rhubarb is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and manganese. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K. Vitamin K can help prevent osteoporosis, and it plays a role in blood clotting.



Family Matters: Treasure Hunt


We’re about to go on vacation, and every year, we go to the beach with my entire family.

The highlight of the trip, for the kids, is the night the “Pirates” come and visit.

The Pirates leave a clue somewhere in the beach house that one of the kids will find the next morning. The clue leads to another clue, which leads to another clue, which leads to another (you get the idea), which ultimately leads to digging for buried treasure on the beach.

You might not have a beach nearby, but you can still put together an awesome treasure hunt with a few simple supplies from Brookshire’s.

Start in the school supply aisle. Pick up a package of white paper (it could be notebook paper, copy paper or construction paper). Any white paper will work. Grab a felt marker or two as well. Then, head over to the aisle with the teas and coffee, and pick up a box of black tea. It doesn’t matter which variety. Then, stop over to the housewares and get a roll of twine.

When you get home, brew a cup of really strong black tea using four or five tea bags. After the tea cools, pour it into a baking sheet with a narrow lip. Dip several sheets of the white paper into the tea solution to make the paper look aged. Remove quickly and lay flat on top of newspapers or a dry towel to let dry. Dry the paper completely. You can burn or tear the edges of the paper slightly to make it look aged or rugged if you wish.

Write clues on the paper with the felt markers. Roll the clues (number them faintly in pencil on the outside so only you can see it to keep them organized), and bind them lightly with some twine (you can also dip the twine in the tea to age it as well). The clues can be something like, “Count off twelve paces north, then turn to the right and dig under the weeping willow.”

Now, you need something for the treasure! What do your kids love? You can find all kinds of treasures at Brookshire’s! Whether it’s gift cards to their favorite restaurant, movie theater, clothing store or phone app; a favorite magazine; hair care product; makeup brand or maybe a favorite snack, you can find it at Brookshire’s. (I wouldn’t hide or bury a YUMS cupcake though.) Get some fun gift wrap for the “treasure” and hide the bounty in a clever spot with clues leading your kids to it.

The treasure hunt will be a fun thing for you and your kids to experience!



Shop the Sale: Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream


Vietnamese Coffee Ice CreamPrep Time: 2 hours & 15 mins, plus freezing
Makes: 1 quart
Serves: 8

If you like sweet coffee – or coffee ice cream – you’re going to love this sweet, creamy, Vietnamese-style coffee ice cream. Coffee-infused condensed milk and half-and-half makes for the perfect level of sweet with a lush, creamy texture that will melt in your mouth. Top with shaved chocolate, and you have a dessert fit for a king. Look out for Folgers Coffee on sale this week and whip up a decadent treat for your next dessert.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk (use 1 cup for a less sweet version)
1 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee or brewed espresso
1/2 cup half-and-half (increase by 1/2 cup for less sweet version)
Big pinch finely ground dark roast coffee
Instant espresso to taste (optional)
Shaved chocolate, for garnish

Instructions
Combine condensed milk, coffee, half-and-half, and ground coffee in medium bowl; whisk until combined. Add instant espresso, if using; stir. Chill mixture in refrigerator until completely cool, about 2 hours. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. (This ice cream will most likely not set completely in ice cream maker. You can place it in freezer to finish freezing.)

Calories Per Serving: 204, Fat: 7 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 79 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

Chef Tips

The History Behind Vietnamese Coffee
Most of us here in the United States wouldn’t think of condensed milk as a creamer for our morning cup of Joe, but in many Asian countries where electricity (and therefore refrigerators) are not necessarily commonplace, condensed milk has become the go-to for many culinary uses, including coffee. Introduced by the French in Vietnam, coffee was adopted by the locals and remains a mainstay today, still made with the more-easily found condensed milk than fresh.

DIY Traditional Vietnamese Coffee
While espresso or strongly brewed coffee works well for making Vietnamese coffee, if you want to be uber-authentic, try a traditional Phin Filter. This slow drip coffee maker is a nifty little set up that makes a single cup in under five minutes using a simple filter chamber and coffee press that sits right on top of your mug or cup. You can make your coffee black or pour condensed milk into your cup before brewing your coffee right on top. Pro tip: use a glass cup so you can watch the brewing process! You can buy a brew kit online or at most Asian markets for around $5-$10.



Product Talk: Mini Colanders


When I first moved out on my own, one of the kitchen tools that I did not own was a colander. I lost many a valuable ingredient to the kitchen sink trying to drain a can without a colander, holding a sharp, crimped lid closely with my fingers over the opening and trying to let the liquid loose without letting the contents of a can escape.

Finally owning a colander was life-changing. Not only could I drain beans and other canned goods with ease, but I could also rinse and clean vegetables and fruits without much hassle.

Now, Brookshire’s offers a mini colander for sale in a variety of fun, bright colors in a small size that easily fits into your sink (even in your dorm room), and it’s safe for the top rack of your dishwasher. You can buy an assortment of colors to make kitchen tasks like rinsing leafy greens, sorting and cleaning purple hull peas, or draining a can of black beans a breeze. Cooking pasta for one? Drain your pasta in this colander as well. Then, pop it into your dishwasher for a quick cleanup.

This Three-Bean Salad, which is a great side dish for your Labor Day cookout, comes together quickly using the Mini Colanders, available now at Brookshire’s.

Three-Bean Salad

Ingredients:
8 oz shelled edamame (frozen is fine)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups celery, thinly sliced
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Steam edamame until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drain in the mini colander; rinse under cold water to stop cooking process.

Heat olive oil in cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add cumin. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Pour into large bowl.

Add edamame to cumin oil; stir in remaining ingredients until well-coated. Refrigerate overnight to blend flavors. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serves 6 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 253, Fat: 11 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 891 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 12 g.

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

 



Family Matters: New Kitty


Last week, I officially adopted a cat.

Getting a cat was pretty high on my list of “I will never…”

Not that I don’t like cats.

I don’t like litter boxes.

However, that’s another post.

This little kitty was abandoned when a neighbor moved out about 8 months ago. He was just left behind. He stayed mostly out of sight, but occasionally we’d catch glimpses of him dodging under bushes or darting between backyards.

Then, for whatever reason, he started hanging out under the bushes in my frontyard.

We gave him clean water. Then, I found a can of sardines I’d used that time I had to live trap an opossum (that’s another post, too). After that, he became a fixture under my front azalea bushes. I kept the water fresh, and my boyfriend brought over a canister of dry cat food. I put a bowl on the front porch.

The cat was clearly malnourished. His belly was distended with worms. He was missing half his fur from flea bites and a hard life. He had bites on his ears and face from fights.

We went to Brookshire’s and bought some vitamins on the pet food aisle. We purchased several varieties of high-quality pet food, including organic, homemade foods that Brookshire’s keeps refrigerated. I took the cat to the vet, where he received all his vaccinations, several antibiotics, a variety of skin treatments, deworming treatments and a few other things.

I still went back to Brookshire’s for the great variety of the foods that I need to feed my new cat and my (faithful) dog what they need to be healthy and happy.

The kitty, whose name is Carl (after the child’s character on “The Walking Dead” who had a home, lost his home, had to fight for his life, got into some trouble, got beaten up, and then found a home again), is enjoying IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Healthy Adult™ dry cat food from Brookshire’s mixed with Purina ONE SMARTblend, available on the pet food aisle at Brookshire’s.

Carl is now healthy and happy. His coat is soft, fuzzy and growing back well. He purrs and cuddles. Strange for a cat, isn’t it? He loves the Savory Turkey Recipe variety! He’s gaining weight in a healthy way and is warming up to his canine big brother.

Thanks to some love and to some products found at Brookshire’s, Carl is a cat who has found a healthy and happy home.



Family Matters: Getting a New Pet


Last week, we got a cat, and my dog, Astro, isn’t very happy about it.

Well, Astro WOULD be happy about it, but the cat, Carl, isn’t about to make friends with my dog. In fact, Carl has pretty much come in and taken over.

So, Astro has been feeling a little left out.

When I was in Brookshire’s recently, I decided that Astro needed a treat. I grabbed some Milk-Bone® Original Biscuits for Large Dogs and brought them home for Astro.

Not only do they clean his teeth and freshen his breath, but their satisfying crunch and 12 vitamins and minerals are things that I can feel good about giving my big dog, while indulging him in a treat that makes him feel special and loved.

Astro got his treat while sitting in his special chair – no cats allowed.



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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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