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Healthy Living: Monkey Butter


Monkey ButterFirst things first: This is the Healthy Living post, so you should know right up front that this is not really butter, nor is it made out of monkeys.

Now that we have that out of the way, what we DO have is a healthy, sweet and delicious spread that’s absolutely yummy on English muffins, toast, waffles, pancakes, over ice cream or on a sandwich with peanut butter, for starters.

The pineapple brightens the bananas, and the coconut gives it a lovely sweetness.

Bananas have tons of potassium, and the pineapple has lots of vitamin C.

Enjoy!

Monkey Butter

Ingredients:
5 medium-sized perfectly ripe bananas (no brown spots)
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, not drained
1/4 cup ground coconut (Look near the flaked coconut. If you can’t find it, grind it yourself in a spice/coffee grinder or your food processor.)
3 cups white sugar (can substitute equivalent artificial or other natural sweetener)
3 Tbs bottled lemon juice

Directions:
Peel and slice the bananas, and then put them into a large pot. Add the rest of the ingredients; put the pot on the stove to bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

After bringing to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until thickened, still stirring constantly.

When properly thickened, spoon the mixture into sterilized glass jars and let cool. At this point in the recipe, this jam can just be refrigerated and will keep for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. The lemon juice in the recipe will keep the bananas fresh.

Or, after putting the jam in the jars, you can seal the jars with sealing lids and rings, and process in a water bath for 15 minutes. Just a note: if you process the jam in this method, it will turn out to be a little pink instead of the mellow yellow color.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 206, Calories from Fat: 11, Fat: 1 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2 mg, Potassium: 136 mg, Carbohydrates: 51 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 46 g, Protein: 1 g

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



Product Talk: Trail Mix


Brookshire's Trail MixI get the mid-morning tummy grumbles something fierce. Mid-afternoon, too, if we’re being honest.

I don’t want a lot to eat. A piece of fruit is always a good choice but so is Brookshire’s Trail Mix.

The Cajun mix is my favorite, with Sweet Chips and Nuts coming in a close second.

The Cajun mix has nuts, sesame sticks and all kinds of spicy, crunchy goodness. The only problem with that is that I can’t eat just one handful. I have to hide the bag from myself sometimes.

The Sweet Chips and Nuts mix has peanuts, raisins, milk chocolate and peanut butter chips, almonds, cashews and dried cranberries.

There’s Traditional (with M&M’s!!!) and Tropical (I trade my kids the banana chips for the dried mango chunks.), too.

The best thing is that the trail mixes are a healthier snack than eating a cookie or chips. It’s filling, satisfies sweet and salty cravings, and is delicious!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes


Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried TomatoesI’m always in the market for a good pasta dish.

Sun-dried tomatoes were a popular ingredient a few years ago. You saw them in salads, casseroles, on pizzas and in pastas, but I hadn’t seen them around for a few years until I ran across this recipe recently.

Sun-dried tomatoes are exactly what they say, sun-dried slices of summer. You can find them dried or packed in oil. They have a concentrated flavor and a chewy texture. They are delicious!

This recipe calls for shredded mozzarella, but if you use fresh, cut it into small chunks about the size of dice. You’ll love the fresh flavor it imparts to the dish.

This meal packs protein, carbs and delicious flavor into one meal. Serve with a salad and breadsticks for a wonderful Friday night dinner that will wind down the week in style.

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small jar (3 to 4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, or use 3 to 4 oz fat-free sun-dried tomatoes
1 lb chicken breast tenders
salt, to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz penne pasta
1 Tbs basil, if using dry basil (if using fresh basil, you can add more)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cooked pasta water, reserved

Note: If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sautéing as described below:

Directions:
In a large pan on high heat, sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of oil reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar (see note above) for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil. Add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika (for color); cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop the cooking process).

Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller bits and add them back to the skillet with the chicken. Add half-and-half and cheese to the skillet, too. Bring to a gentle boil. Immediately, reduce to a simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. (If the sauce is too thick, don’t worry. You’ll be adding some cooked pasta water soon.) Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce; stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.

Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick. (Do not add all water at once. You might need less or more of it.) This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.

Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 339, Calories from Fat: 88, Fat: 10 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 83 mg, Sodium: 685 mg, Potassium: 796 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 29 g

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Bathtime for Your Pets


Bathtime for Your PetsLast weekend, we gave my 95-pound rescue dog, Astro, his first bath. Well, at least the first time we’d bathed him since we got him in July.

Yes, it was long overdue.

The most difficult part was getting Astro into the bathtub. He didn’t like it, at all. He dodged and ran into my closet, which is an adventure in and of itself. (In the summer, we’ll bathe him outside, but it was too cold last weekend for an outside bath.) Then, he slipped through our grasps and got into the bedroom. He tried to hide under the bed, but a dog that stands hip height can’t quite make it. We finally got him into the bathroom and got the door closed, and two of us lifted him into the tub. Once in the tub, he didn’t mind at all, and I think he kind of enjoyed the warm spray from the shower head and the lather. (It took three times of lather, rinse and repeat to get him clean!)

According to the ASPCA, what we should have done was spend a few days slowly introducing him to the concept of bath time by bringing him into the bathroom, teaching him to step in and out of the tub by himself, using treats and rewards, and letting him hear the running water and get accustomed to it.

That would have helped.

Another way to give your pooch a good bath time memory is to give him treats AFTER the bath and to play with him. Trust me. I’ve filed all this information away for next time.



Company News: Second annual FRESH 15 race exceeds expectations


FRESH 15k RaceTYLER, Texas, March 11, 2015 – More than $100,000 was raised for charity through the second annual FRESH 15 road race, hosted March 7 at FRESH by Brookshire’s in Tyler.

Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co. teamed up with New Orleans-based Premier Event Management to produce the event, which featured 15k, 5k and kids’ 1k races. Tylerites comprised approximately 50 percent of the 3,300 participants. The other half, which included some 30 elite runners, represented other communities throughout Texas, 13 states and two countries.

Cleophas Ngetich of Raleigh, North Carolina, was the top male finisher in the 15k with a time of 45:20. Susan Jerotich, the top female 15k finisher who is also from Raleigh, crossed the finish line with a time of 52:39.

A $22,000 prize purse was divided among the top 10 male and female finishers and the top four male and female masters’ division finishers for the 15k race. In addition, as a part of FitCity Tyler – a citywide health and wellness initiative – the top three male and female Tyler residents to cross the 15k finish line received additional cash prizes. Nicklas Huff (53:50) and Rachel Olson (1:02:01) were the top Tyler male and female finishers, respectively.

The top three finishers in each age division for the 15k and 5k races received a commemorative award. All participants received a custom race shirt and a reusable grocery bag stuffed with Brookshire’s brand products and other giveaways.

“The turnout for the FRESH 15 race exceeded our expectations, and we are proud to once again have the opportunity to offer a premier running event in Tyler,” said Trent Brookshire, senior vice president – division manager for BGC. “We are ecstatic to see thousands from our local community, throughout the United States and abroad come together not only in support of health and wellness but most of all in support of our four deserving charities.”

One hundred percent of the race proceeds will be donated to Tyler-based Bethesda Health Clinic and FitSTEPS for Life, along with The SEAL Legacy Foundation and Team Red, White and Blue. Formal check presentations will be made in the coming weeks.

For more information, visit FRESH15k.

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Posted in: Company News


Shop the Sale: Summer Sausage


Summer SausageI remember going to the mall with my mom while I was growing up and looking forward to the free samples at the Hickory Farms store. The sesame sticks and summer sausage were my favorites, hands down.

I don’t think Hickory Farms has stores in the mall anymore. Although, I do see kiosks pop up around Christmastime, and they still sell their famous summer sausage.

Once, at the holidays, someone sent a Hickory Farms gift basket to my college dorm room. I think I devoured the sausage and cheese, and gave the rest to my roommate.

I love the sausage because it wasn’t too “sausage-y.” It was lean and flavorful, yet delicious at room temperature, and nothing was required for preparation.

I saw this recipe on Pinterest. It came from a blogger who makes everything she eats homemade. I figured I might as well try it. After all, it looks so simple to do, no casings required. I was a bit dubious about the results, but it turned out DELICIOUS. I think I might add something like finely chopped jalapeños to make a spicy version next time.

Summer Sausage

Ingredients:
3 lb extra ground chuck
3 tsp Morton’s Tender Quick
3 tsp smoked salt
2 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp garlic salt
4 tsp liquid smoke

Directions:
Mix together all ingredients then refrigerate for 24 hours, re-mixing 4 to 5 times during that time.

Roll into 3 logs.

Place logs on a broiler pan (or you can use a cooling rack that has been put over an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet.)

Bake 8 hours at 170° F.

Cool completely. Slice and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 148, Calories from Fat: 105, Fat: 12 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 40 mg, Sodium: 476 mg, Potassium: 161 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.3 g, Protein: 10 g

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



Healthy Living: Spinach-Tomato Tortellini Soup


Spinach-Tomato Tortellini SoupI love this time of year.

The promise of spring and summer produce is tantalizing. Mouthwatering, if you will.

Even in the South, the spring and summer produce haven’t quite hit their stride yet. Luckily, we still have a bit of cool weather to enjoy before the warm-up because I’m not quite done with this healthy and delicious soup.

The tomatoes are great cancer-fighting agents, and the spinach provides potassium and iron. The rest is just delicious.

Spinach-Tomato Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (9 oz) pkg refrigerated three-cheese tortellini
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups baby spinach, chopped
2 Tbs parmesan, grated

Directions:
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add garlic and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Whisk in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tortellini, basil, oregano, bay leaf and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tortellini is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 161, Calories from Fat: 47, Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 9 mg, Sodium: 632 mg, Potassium: 303 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 9 g

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



Product Talk: Red Diamond Tea


Red Diamond TeaWhere’s a girl to get unsweet tea around these parts?

Brookshire’s, of course.

I know I might be the only person in the Lone Star State who doesn’t drink sweet tea, but I like my tea crisp and devoid of any kind of sweetener.

At Brookshire’s, I can get Red Diamond Tea already brewed in a gallon or in a 12-ounce bottle (I pack those in my lunch.) without having to worry about it being sweet.

Of course, if I wanted it sweet, Red Diamond has that, too.

Red Diamond is freshly brewed right before it’s bottled for a clear, distinct flavor. The tea always tastes fresh and is never muddy.

I even love grabbing a bottle on-the-go from the refrigerated section near the juice and drinking it on the way home.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Family Matters: Splish, Splash, Baby was Taking a Bath


Splish, Splash, Baby was Taking a BathI think babies come in two categories when it comes to bath time: they either love it or they hate it.

I had two lovers, but my nephew was a hater of epic proportions. Getting him into the bath was akin to dunking him in a tub of scalding water.

There are lots of things you can try to make bath time a fun and relaxing experience for all involved.

First, you might want to try to experiment with different temperatures of water. Baby might like it warmer or cooler than what you expect.

Secondly, play some music in the bathroom. Classical is relaxing, but anything he’s accustomed to hearing will help him relax.

Fill the tub with fun toys! Floating animals, soap crayons, small cups, sieves or water wheels are all entertaining in the tub. A stick-on mirror could make for hours of fun in the tub if you put it at baby’s eye level. Sponges, washcloths and anything tactile could distract baby while you wash her hair and body.

Try lavender-scented baby wash. Lavender is supposed to have a calming effect, and the scent might just work on baby, too.



Family Matters: Bottoms Up!


Keep Baby’s Diaper Area Clean and DryThere is nothing more miserable than a baby with a bad case of diaper rash – for the parents or for the little one!

Luckily, with products and techniques available today, diaper rash is both preventable and treatable.

Diaper rash is usually caused by leaving a wet or dirty diaper on too long, rubbing or chafing against the diaper itself, a yeast infection, allergic reaction to the diaper or something the baby ate that comes out the other end and causes a reaction.

Babies get diaper rashes more often when they get older, sleep in a dirty diaper, have diarrhea, start eating solid foods or take antibiotics.

To prevent diaper rash, make sure baby is changed frequently. If they don’t tend to wake up at night when they’re dirty, a thin layer of diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly can protect their bottom for several hours.

To treat diaper rash, let baby “air” out between diaper changes for a few minutes. Treat the rash areas with a diaper rash ointment. If diaper rash persists, you might have to eliminate certain things from his diet that cause severe irritation or change diaper brands.



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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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