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Product Talk: Owens Smoked Sausage Kolaches


Owens Smoked Sausage KolachesBack in my grad school days, I lived within striking distance of West, Texas. Not to be confused with the geographic region, West is a town as well-known for West Fest and The Czech Stop as it is for being the scene of a tragic fertilizer plant explosion a few years ago.

West, Texas, was settled by people of Czechoslovakian descent, and arguably the best food in town is to be had at The Czech Stop.

While it looks like a gas station (admittedly, it’s next to one), The Czech Stop serves up the very best authentic, homemade kolaches in the state of Texas.

Southerners call kolaches by different names: kolaches or pigs in a blanket, usually. The very best ones are in West.

I tried to duplicate them myself but failed miserably until I happened upon Bob Evans’ Owens Smoked Sausage Kolaches in the frozen foods aisle of Brookshire’s, near the breakfast foods.

A tender sausage link is encased in a mass of flaky doughiness for a heavenly treat that’s easy to heat in a toaster oven or microwave for a quick breakfast or snack. They could easily be a main dish or a party staple as well. Owens sausage, with its world-renown, gives these kolaches a full-bodied flavor that would be enviable in certain other cities.

My son eats them, along with Greek yogurt, every morning.

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Dine In: Egg Roulade


Egg RouladeI don’t know about you, but I’ve pretty much had my fill of rich foods, creamy dips, cheesy appetizers and food laden with calories and fat this holiday season. I’m ready for some simple fare that’s filling and delicious, without breaking the belt!

This recipe for egg roulade, like a big, rolled up omelet, fits the bill perfectly. I tried it not too long ago for a brunch and knew I wanted to make it again for a simple Friday supper. Serve it with a salad and a glass of sauvignon blanc.

You can swap out the filling ingredients in this dish; just be sure to keep your choices light. If you don’t have prosciutto on hand, use thinly sliced ham.

My kids LOVED this, and it easily serves a crowd.

Egg Roulade Stuffed with Prosciutto, Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers
Serves 8

Ingredients:
5 Tbs unsalted butter, plus extra
6 Tbs all purpose flour, plus extra
1 1/4 cups whole milk, warmed
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 large egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
2 Tbs olive oil
10 oz baby spinach
1 tsp garlic, minced
8 oz fontina or Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
3 oz prosciutto, thinly sliced
3/4 cup roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips

Directions:
Heat oven to 350° F. Use a bit of butter to lightly coat a 15 x 10-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line the baking sheet with kitchen parchment paper, leaving about an inch hanging over each of the pan’s shorter sides. Lightly butter the parchment. Sprinkle the parchment paper with a bit of flour, then tilt the pan and tap gently to spread the flour. Discard any excess.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the 5 tablespoons of butter. Add the 6 tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the milk in a stream while whisking, and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking the entire time. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the salt and pepper.

In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Stir a quarter of the whites into the yolk mixture, then fold in the rest, gently but thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and carefully smooth with a metal spatula.

Bake on the oven’s middle shelf, rotating the pan after 7 minutes. Bake for another 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden and firm to the touch. Set the pan on a rack to cool slightly. Increase the oven to 375° F.

While the roulade is baking, in a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil. Add half of the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to wilt. Add the remaining spinach and cook until all the spinach has wilted. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a colander to drain, pressing lightly on the spinach to drain any excess liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

Use a bit of butter to lightly coat one side of a sheet of kitchen parchment paper that’s cut to the same size as the egg sponge. Place the parchment, buttered-side down, onto the top of the sponge. Cover with a damp kitchen towel, then carefully invert the sponge onto a work surface. Peel off the parchment from the top of the sponge.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sponge, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Top the cheese with the prosciutto in an even layer, followed by the spinach. Arrange the red pepper strips in one line down the center (starting and ending at the short sides).

Starting with one of the longer sides, use the towel to help roll up the sponge, enclosing the filling in jelly roll-fashion. Carefully pick up the roulade and place it seam-side down on the baking sheet. Bake it in the middle of the oven until the cheese has melted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife to cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 340, Calories from Fat: 230, Fat: 26 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 160 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 17 g, Sodium: 770 mg.

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Family Matters: Taming the Teeth Tantrums


Taming the Teeth TantrumsEven before your baby has teeth, you need to be thinking about their oral health.

When they still have their gummy grins, begin rubbing a soft cloth, or a brush made especially for babies, gently over their gums to get them accustomed to the sensation of having their “teeth brushed.” You don’t have to use toothpaste; just gently rub their gums.

When they do have teeth, use a small toothbrush with soft bristles, or a special brush you wear on your finger, to get your toddler’s teeth clean. Don’t use adult toothpaste, though. Find a brand specially made for babies and toddlers.

When we hit the toddler years, it was so hard to get my children to stand still long enough to brush their teeth. Plus, they hated when I did it and wanted to do it THEMSELVES (insert foot stomping and general churlishness here). To combat the teeth brushing tantrums, each boy had their own toothbrush they could hold while I was brushing their teeth. Then, when I was done, it was their turn. They also loved the little sand timers that help you know how long to brush. They were so mesmerized by the sand that they’d forget to focus on how long it was taking me to brush their teeth. Spin brushes were another lifesaver. While they weren’t the primary toothbrush, they were fun enough to distract the boys while I brushed their teeth thoroughly.

Good luck!

TIP: When your baby is a toddler, he likely wants to feed himself. Pick out the appropriate utensils to make this task easier. Utensils with handles with a special texture or shape or those with chunky handles with rubber grips make it simpler for little hands to pick up and grip.



Family Matters: Going All-natural


Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets I’m always very aware and very cautious about what I’m putting into my kids’ bodies, and this was especially true when they were babies.

I was first introduced to Hyland’s products when my first son started teething, and he needed relief. Let’s be honest: I needed relief, too.

I turned to an experienced mom whose parenting philosophies were pretty much in line with my own for advice, and she recommended Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets.

Hyland’s makes homeopathic remedies for babies and kids. Homeopathic is really just a fancy word for “natural.”

According to the Hyland’s website, the product line was started by pharmacist George Hyland in 1903, driven by the notion that the body can call upon its own natural defenses to heal and restore balance.

Homeopathic medicine has been around for a long time, and it’s great to put to use for children and babies because there are no harmful side effects or drawbacks to trying these methods.

Hyland’s teething tablets reduced the pain of cutting teeth for my son and the stress of his discomfort for me. I loved that I could rest assured that what I was putting into his body was natural.

TIP: In addition to using a homeopathic remedy for teething, try dampening a very soft washcloth and putting it in the freezer for a little while. It will be cold enough to help soothe baby but not frozen so solid that it would irritate baby’s gums.



Family Matters: Going Green


Going GreenI was one of those moms who was determined that my child would only eat the healthiest of organic foods.

That went pretty well until he went on a hunger strike. That aside, for many months he did only eat the healthiest foods, and his introduction to solid foods started with avocado.

Avocado is a great first food. I started my older son at four months but then backed off until six months, as he still had a bit of a gag reflex and couldn’t handle solids very well. Four months is the earliest pediatricians recommend introducing solids, and six months is about average for American babies.

At six months after whetting his appetite with rice cereal, I mashed an avocado and let him try it. He loved it. His baby bird mouth opened time and time again, and I had to mash the second half of the fruit as he devoured the first portion quickly.

Avocado is mild. It’s easily mashed or cut into small pieces, and it’s easy for baby to eat.

Plus, it’s chock full of nutrients.

Avocados provide baby with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are the heart-healthy fats. Avocados also contribute almost 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds to baby’s diet. Baby can eat it plain, mashed or mixed in with cereal, bananas or other first foods.

TIP: Not all babies can tolerate baby wipes; they give some children a rash. It’s perfectly fine to use a damp washcloth or a wet paper towel as well!



SHOP THE SALE: Slow Cooker Carne Asada


Slow Cooker Carne AsadaThere’s frequently nothing better than having a big pan of tender, delicious meat sitting around.

At least, that’s what my friend, Rosa, and her mother, Mama Rosa, believe.

Whenever you go to their house, there is something good cooking, something that smells delicious and makes you gravitate immediately to the kitchen, like a tractor beam is pulling you in and you can’t resist. Really, you can’t resist. As they say in Star Trek, “Resistance is futile.”

The two Rosas (mother has lived with daughter for the better part of 20 years), are a culinary juggernaut. They had a restaurant for a short time until Juan, Mama’s husband and Rosa’s father, died at an early age.

Ever since then, they’ve been cooking in their home.

They usually do this dish in the oven, but even Mama will tell you that it’s too hot to turn on the oven that long during the summer months.

The slow cooker works just as well, and you actually get a juicier product. In fact, I had to drain some of the juice (but best believe I saved it) last time I made enchiladas out of this delicious carne asada!

Chuck roast is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so don’t fear if you’re making a huge amount. It freezes well, too.

Slow Cooker Carne Asada
Serves 10

Ingredients:
1 (10.5 oz) can beef broth
3 diced tomatoes
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb chuck roast
2 Tbs ground cumin
2 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper.

Rub it onto chuck roast. Place in a slow cooker.

Place onions, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeños in slow cooker with the meat.

Pour broth over meat and vegetables.

Cook on low setting for 8 hours or overnight.

Shred meat with a fork. Serve in enchiladas, tacos and other dishes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 229, Calories from Fat: 75, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 92 mg, Sodium: 661 mg, Potassium: 482 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 32 g

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



Healthy Living: Avocado Pasta


Avocado PastaAvocados remind me of summertime, and that’s always a good thing in the throes of winter.

They’re so fresh and bright as well as a good source of protein and heart-healthy fats that they’re a perfect pairing with pasta.

When you throw in some tomatoes (which are high in antioxidants) and basil (which has anti-inflammatory effects and is a great source of vitamin A), this is a good mid-winter meal to fight off colds and winter’s aches and pains.

The avocado makes a decadent coating for the pasta, and while this is a rich dish, you can eat it without qualms because it’s super-healthy as well.

Avocado Pasta

Ingredients:
12 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

Directions:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

To make the avocado sauce, combine avocados, basil, garlic and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, avocado sauce, cherry tomatoes and corn. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 481, Calories from Fat: 334, Fat: 37 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 13 mg, Potassium: 682 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 12 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 8 g.

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

 



Product Talk: Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces


Campbell's Slow Cooker SaucesI do my grocery shopping over the weekend, but I plan meals for the whole week. The weekly menu always includes at least one slow cooker meal, usually more than that.

My boys have their favorites: pork loin in a cheese sauce, chicken with a mushroom sauce and almost any soup I make, but I love to vary recipes and change things up on them, much to their chagrin.

However, when I discovered Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces on the aisle at Brookshire’s (they are near the marinades, not necessarily the soup), I knew I had to try them.

They can’t be any easier. Open the pouch. Pour over raw meat. Cook in the slow cooker. Done. That’s it.

They come in different flavors, like Shredded Beef Taco, Tavern Style Pot Roast, Sweet Korean BBQ, Moroccan Spiced Stew, Hawaiian Pork, Southern BBQ and Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork.

It really doesn’t get any easier, with a huge flavor impact.

Shredded Beef Panini with Cilantro Lime Spread

Ingredients:

Meat:
1 (12 oz) pouch Campbell’s® Shredded Beef Taco Slow Cooker Sauce
2 to 3 lb boneless beef chuck

Sandwiches:
2 cups warmed slow-cooked shredded beef
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
8 slices Pepperidge Farm® Farmhouse™ Sourdough Bread
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese (thinly sliced)
8 tomato slices
8 slices bacon, cooked and drained
1 cup packed baby spinach or arugula

Directions:
Pour slow cooker sauce over beef in a 6-quart slow cooker; cook on low heat setting for at least 7 hours. Shred beef.

Heat a panini maker. Drain any excess liquid from the beef. Stir the mayonnaise, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl.

Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on each bread slice. Layer 4 slices bread with 1 cheese slice, 1/2 cup beef, 2 tomato slices, 2 bacon slices and 1/4 cup spinach. Top with the remaining cheese and bread slices, mayonnaise-side down. Spray the sandwiches with vegetable cooking spray.

Add the sandwiches to the panini maker in batches, and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted.

Note: If you don’t have a panini maker, prepare and cook as if making a grilled cheese sandwich.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 895, Calories from Fat: 383, Fat: 43 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (18 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 178 mg, Sodium: 2163 mg, Potassium: 695 mg, Carbohydrates: 63 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 62 g

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Dine In: Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala


Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala‘Twas the night after Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, especially not Mom or Dad!

(Who were worn OUT from holiday celebrations!)

The day after Christmas SCREAMS for a slow-cooker dish that requires little effort or prior planning. This chicken marsala is just what Santa delivered.

It’s rich, decadent and befitting of the holiday season, but it pays homage to the inevitable exhaustion that seeps into your bones about 3PM on Christmas Day.

It calls for marsala wine, which would make it genuine, but hey, let’s be real: Use whatever leftover white wine you have from Christmas dinner. It still works.

This easy dish is a true present for the holiday season.

If you still have family and friends visiting, enjoy their presence with this present.

Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbs all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 oz each)
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup marsala wine
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Coat slow cooker insert with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the olive oil, shallots and garlic in bottom of slow cooker.

In a shallow dish, stir together the flour, salt and black pepper. Pound the chicken to an even thickness, coat it with the flour mixture and add to the slow cooker. Scatter mushrooms over chicken and add the marsala.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 4 hours or until the chicken is tender. To thicken the sauce, turn the slow cooker up to high heat setting. Combine the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water and stir it into the chicken mixture. Cover and cook until the sauce has thickened 10 to 25 minutes. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper; serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 235, Fat: 5 g, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 29 g.

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

 

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Family Matters: Being Different Makes You Unique


FamilyRaising four girls is a challenge, but we have been blessed with extremely good children. Though they are not perfect, we are proud to call them ours. As the girls have grown, we have tried to instill in them that they are each unique in their own way. Some days I wonder how they were all born from the same mother…you know what I am talking about! They have unique personalities, different ways of handling situations, different thinking, different styles, etc.

In today’s culture, kids seem to “follow” others so they can “fit in” or “stand out” from the crowd. We have always taught our girls that being different is not a bad thing. It makes you unique from others, and you normally stand out because of it. Of course, if you stand out, you need to make sure you are setting a good example for those watching. Your daily actions can ultimately change someone’s life.

For our girls, that different and unique person they work daily to portray to others is Christ-centered, compassionate, humble, responsible, kind, grateful, bold in their beliefs, and full of patience and hope. We teach them to have a servant’s heart, find the good in every situation, persevere in all they do and that through it all they will reflect their passion for the Lord.

Lesson for us all: be content with your life and give thanks daily for every situation because it is those things that make us who we are. Pray daily (multiple times if you have kids), and live a life full of faithfulness – always trust you are in His hands. We are each different and unique. He planned it just that way. Strive daily to portray what you believe. Live your life so that others look at you and want whatever it is that makes you the special and unique person they see.

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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.

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On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

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Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

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Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

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