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Family Matters: Never Shake a Baby


Never Shake a BabyPaul and I have a standing joke. “Don’t drop the baby,” he says, claiming this is the extent of his knowledge of newborns.

It’s pretty good advice.

Don’t shake the baby, either.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is another name for abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury or whiplash shake syndrome. It’s a serious brain injury caused by forcefully shaking an infant or toddler. It can result in death or serious developmental injuries.

Basically, the injury deprives a baby’s brain of vital oxygen. The injury doesn’t usually happen by accident; an adult inflicts it upon a child. If a child survives the injury, it will cause serious brain damage.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is 100 percent preventable. If you find yourself losing patience with 3am feedings, colicky crying or the day-to-day rigors of taking care of an infant, please seek help. Your doctor, therapist or other health professional can get you help. Just don’t shake the baby.



Shop the Sale: Cheesy Bacon Tots


John Morrell BaconSometimes I feel like it’s impossible to get anything done efficiently anymore. I’m attending to one task, and then my attention is grabbed by something totally irrelevant.

Case in point: I’m hanging up wet laundry over the weekend. The vast majority of my clothes get line-dried instead of being tossed in the dryer. Sometimes this is a monumental process, and my laundry room often looks like a second closet. So, I’m hanging up laundry, and something on the laundry cart catches my eye. Hey! It’s that dog brush I forgot I had, the rubber one that gets all the dander off the dog and zaps shedding hair better than most brushes made for dogs. I grab the brush, the dog and drag him onto the back porch to get to work. The rest of the damp laundry sits in the purgatory of the basket, out of the washing machine but not yet hung (and totally defeating the purpose of hanging it when it’s damp to alleviate wrinkles).

Same thing happened online today. I set out to look for a new bacon recipe because John Morrell Bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, and we all need more bacon in our lives. However, I got distracted by a post about essential oils on Pinterest, which led me to reading about how to clean my diffuser, which lead me to cleaning my diffuser, which led me to remembering I needed to get this work finished, so I sat back down…and opened Facebook, where there was a lovely bacon recipe staring me straight in the eyes.

The only problem is…you can’t get distracted while defrosting the tots. You have to finish this recipe. Your family will thank you for it.

The original recipe came with a sauce idea as well, but my family isn’t big on sauces. If you’re so inclined, serve with a side of barbecue or ranch to dip.

Cheesy Bacon Tots

Ingredients:
3 cups tater tots, thawed to room temperature
4 oz cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
16 oz John Morrell Bacon (each strip cut into thirds)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp chili powder

Directions:
Set tater tots out to thaw. While they are coming to room temperature, preheat the oven to 400° F. When tots are thawed, cut them in half lengthwise, and place a cube of cheese inside. Press halves back together, and wrap with a piece of bacon.

Mix brown sugar and chili powder in a small bowl. Roll each bacon-wrapped tot in the brown sugar mixture.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place each tot, bacon seam-side down, on the baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of bacon.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tots over halfway through the baking process. Cook until bacon is crisp. Serve hot.

Makes about 24 tots

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 96, Calories from Fat: 58, Fat: 6 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 9 mg, Sodium: 224 mg, Potassium: 55 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 3 g.

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



Mi Blog Hispano: ¡La Delicia de los Aguacates!


¡La Delicia de los Aguacates!¡Me encantan los aguacates!  Son sabrosísimos y muy versátiles.  Puede cortarlos de mil maneras, mezclarlos, licuarlos, o comerlos enteros.  Si busca recetas de aguacates en la red le sorprenderá la cantidad de deliciosas formas en la que puede comerlos.  Son extremadamente populares en todo el mundo y tienen muchos beneficios.

¿Sabía que la mayoría de aguacates que compra en nuestras tiendas de Brookshire’s son de México?  Me da gusto que Brookshire’s traiga este producto aquí para nosotros, y más aún que orgullo que esta delicia venga desde allá.

Tengo en mi memoria recuerdos muy vivíficos de mi mama sirviendo aguacate en la mesa cuando era niña.  Recuerdo como era tan importante escoger el aguacate perfecto en la tienda, y luego la manera tan perfecta en que mi mama cortaba el aguacate.  Siempre había diferentes formas en que lo comíamos – en pico de gallo, en salsa, en guacamole, en tortas, en tacos, etc.  Y siempre ha sido una delicia comer.

El otro día estaba leyendo diferentes planes de dietas y casi todos incluyen aguacates como productos recomendados para comer.  Si a usted le gusta comer grasas, le recomiendo sustituirlas por grasas monoinsaturadas.  La grasa monoinsaturada es un tipo de grasa saludable que ayuda absorber los nutrientes del producto.  Esta grasa se encuentra en productos como el aceite olivo, almendras, aguacates, y nueces de macadamia.  Por ejemplo, usar aceite de olivo en lugar de manteca o aceite regular es más saludable.  Otro ejemplo es sustituir el aguacate por la mayonesa.  Así que, aparte de deliciosos, los aguacates son nutritivos.

Aquí les comparto una receta que es sencilla, un poco diferente pero riquísima, y muy rápida para hacer.

Ingredientes:
Pan plano (como el pan de pita)
Limón
Aguacate
Un huevo
Aceite olivo
Queso fresco en boronas
Sal y pimienta

Caliente el pan plano un poco.  Aplaste el aguacate y úntelo en el pan.  Póngale un poco de limón, sal, pimienta, y un poco de aceite de olivo.  Cocine el huevo estrellado a su gusto.  Póngalo sobre el pan y aguacate.  Agréguele el queso.  ¡Listo para disfrutar!



Healthy Living: Fro-Yo Bites


Fro-Yo BitesMy boys love dessert.

Every evening after dinner, they’ll ask, “Can I have a dessert, Mama?”

I’m always conflicted. I don’t see harm in having a small sweet after dinner because I want my boys to learn moderation, and I don’t think it’s all bad to have a controlled treat once a day. On the flip side, they’ve gotten in the habit of needing a sweet after dinner, and this really isn’t the healthiest thing, either.

For now, the treat remains, but if I can make it a healthier option, I’m all for it.

They generally like ice cream or another frozen treat like that. This recipe is much healthier than ice cream, and I feel better about them eating it in the evenings after dinner!

Fro-Yo Bites

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups oats
1/4 cup almonds, crushed
2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup sliced strawberries, raspberries or blueberries

Directions:
Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners.

Pulse oats and almonds 2 or 3 times in the bowl of a large food processor. Add coconut oil; pulse until coarse clumps form.

Press a small spoonful of the crust into each paper liner. Top with the Greek yogurt, and then top with the berries.

Place tray in the freezer and freeze until set.

Store in the freezer.

Makes 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 86, Calories from Fat: 39, Fat: 4 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Potassium: 93 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 4 g.

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



Product Talk: Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce


Fresh Express Sweet Butter LettuceSalads are a big mealtime staple in my house.

It’s the boys’ favorite way to eat vegetables, and while sometimes we don’t get much variety in our weekly menus, we definitely get variety in our salads, adding different vegetables, fruits and nuts for added nutrients, as well as colors, textures and flavors.

My favorite “base” to the salad is Fresh Express Sweet Butter mix. It’s a blend of green butter lettuce and red leaf lettuce. Green butter lettuce has a sweetness to it that I just love. I also love the crisp, soft texture.

This mix is a great source of vitamins A and K, and also chock full of folate. I’ll often mix this in with Fresh Express Baby Spinach for a punch of iron, too.

Fresh Express bagged salad mixes come in a stay-fresh bag, so your lettuce is crisp and clean when you are ready to eat. There’s no washing, tearing or chopping required, so it really is as simple as just opening the bag and pouring it into a bowl.

I especially like to use mandarin orange sections with sweet butter lettuce; I think the two flavors complement each other well.

You can find Fresh Express Sweet Butter mix and other varieties refrigerated near the produce section of Brookshire’s.



Dine In: Super Spaghetti


When I ask my kids to help plan menus for the week, I ALWAYS get the same two responses. Tacos and pasta (usually tortellini, sometimes spaghetti).  While those are great suggestions and I appreciate the input and all that, tacos and pasta every week are not good for variety or for my waistline. I love them both, but I need to eat them less frequently than my children, apparently. So, this week is like all others. I’m sitting with my notebook at the kitchen table, a cup of coffee next to me, surrounded by detritus of the week: signed reading logs, castoff envelopes from actual paper mail and a vase of flowers Paul brought me last week with lilies and greenery still holding on. The boys are sitting nearby, probably on an electronic device, and I asked the million-dollar question, “What do you want for dinners this week?” “Tacos!” was Curt’s immediate response. “Spaghetti,” Luke answered.  Perhaps this is not the season of life to force variety into the equation.  So, tacos it is (but we’re making blackened tilapia tacos with a jalapeño slaw) for Tuesday. On Friday, we’ll have super spaghetti, a recipe I found in an old cookbook my friend Jo Anne sent to me last week. I think she got it at a thrift store in the small town where she works (knowing I love to read cookbooks), and it’s an old, yellowed tome, but the spaghetti recipe I found in the book is also all over Pinterest in some form or fashion.  The boys loved it, and it definitely added some variety to our pasta rotation.   Super Spaghetti Ingredients: 16 oz spaghetti, uncooked 1 lb extra-lean ground beef 16 oz jar spaghetti sauce 1/2 cup butter, sliced (divided use) 1 cup cottage cheese  8 oz cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sour cream 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese  Directions: Preheat the oven to 350° F. While the oven heats, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and spaghetti. Cook until the noodles are al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add lean ground beef. Brown the beef until cooked through. Drain grease. Mix the spaghetti sauce into the browned ground beef.  In another bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese until well-blended (you can substitute ricotta for the cottage cheese). Place a layer of butter slices on the bottom of the pan (or spray liberally with a nonstick cooking spray). Top the butter with half of the cooked spaghetti, and then top that with the cheese mixture. Place the remaining half of the spaghetti over the cheese mixture, and then top with the remaining butter. Pour the meat sauce over the entire dish, making sure all the noodles are covered.   Bake for about 30 minutes. Top with cheddar cheese, and bake for 15 more minutes  or until cheese is melted and bubbly.   Serves 8  Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 651, Calories from Fat: 353, Fat: 40 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (23 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 181 mg, Sodium: 765 mg, Potassium: 567 mg, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 3 g. When I ask my kids to help plan menus for the week, I ALWAYS get the same two responses. Tacos and pasta (usually tortellini, sometimes spaghetti).

While those are great suggestions and I appreciate the input and all that, tacos and pasta every week are not good for variety or for my waistline. I love them both, but I need to eat them less frequently than my children, apparently.

So, this week is like all others. I’m sitting with my notebook at the kitchen table, a cup of coffee next to me, surrounded by detritus of the week: signed reading logs, castoff envelopes from actual paper mail and a vase of flowers Paul brought me last week with lilies and greenery still holding on. The boys are sitting nearby, probably on an electronic device, and I asked the million-dollar question, “What do you want for dinners this week?” “Tacos!” was Curt’s immediate response. “Spaghetti,” Luke answered.

Perhaps this is not the season of life to force variety into the equation.

So, tacos it is (but we’re making blackened tilapia tacos with a jalapeño slaw) for Tuesday. On Friday, we’ll have super spaghetti, a recipe I found in an old cookbook my friend Jo Anne sent to me last week. I think she got it at a thrift store in the small town where she works (knowing I love to read cookbooks), and it’s an old, yellowed tome, but the spaghetti recipe I found in the book is also all over Pinterest in some form or fashion.

The boys loved it, and it definitely added some variety to our pasta rotation.

Super Spaghetti

Ingredients:
16 oz spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb extra-lean ground beef
16 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup butter, sliced (divided use)
1 cup cottage cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. While the oven heats, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and spaghetti. Cook until the noodles are al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add lean ground beef. Brown the beef until cooked through. Drain grease. Mix the spaghetti sauce into the browned ground beef.

In another bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese until well-blended (you can substitute ricotta for the cottage cheese). Place a layer of butter slices on the bottom of the pan (or spray liberally with a nonstick cooking spray). Top the butter with half of the cooked spaghetti, and then top that with the cheese mixture. Place the remaining half of the spaghetti over the cheese mixture, and then top with the remaining butter. Pour the meat sauce over the entire dish, making sure all the noodles are covered.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Top with cheddar cheese, and bake for 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 651, Calories from Fat: 353, Fat: 40 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (23 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 181 mg, Sodium: 765 mg, Potassium: 567 mg, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 3 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Barbecue


Slow Cooker Pulled Beef BarbecueWhat’s for dinner is always the question of the day. I ask myself this question every day because I’m the one doing all the cooking for my family. Next to grilling, my second favorite way to cook is using my slow cooker. Dump everything in the slower cooker, turn it on and walk away – it’s that easy!

One of my family’s favorite slower cooker meals is Pulled Beef Barbecue. This beef is so yummy; I can just eat it straight from the slow cooker. However, it’s best piled on buns. This recipe makes so much that you can use this beef in many other recipes like soups, burritos, tacos, pastas or even to top off a pizza.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Barbecue
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Serves: 10

Ingredients:
3 1/2 lbs boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 pkg McCormick® Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Place beef in slow cooker. Mix seasoning, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and water until blended. Pour over beef. Cover.

Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Remove beef from slow cooker. Shred beef using two forks. Return beef to slow cooker; mix and heat with sauce. Serve on sandwich rolls, if desired.

Slow Cooker Tip: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 556, Fat: 37 g, Cholesterol: 157 mg, Sodium: 98 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 44 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Open-Faced Beef Sandwiches with Gravy


Open-Faced Beef Sandwiches with GravyA few weeks ago, we went to an event in a small restaurant in an even smaller Texas town.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the choice of venues because certainly this town is not a dining destination.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

We pulled up to the restaurant on the downtown square in this little Texas town at twilight. The sun was setting behind the copper dome of the stately courthouse, and let’s be honest, no one does a courthouse like small Texas towns. The effect was majestic. The little restaurant was set into a strip of other small businesses, antique shops, an old-fashioned pharmacy, a boutique and a bookstore. The storefront was modest, but the aroma was intoxicating.

The menu was Southern comfort food at its finest: chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy; brown sugar ham with beans and cornbread; and macaroni laden with five different cheeses. Then, there was the open-faced beef sandwich. I didn’t order it, but I wish I had. Luckily, boneless chuck roast is on sale this week at Brookshire’s because I’ll be recreating this gem in my own kitchen.

Open-Faced Beef Sandwiches with Gravy

Ingredients:
3 lb boneless chuck roast
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs David Wade Gourmet Worcestershire Powder
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs parsley
8 slices good-quality sandwich bread

Directions:
Remove roast from the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Rub the roast with salt, pepper and Worcestershire powder.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet. When the oil sizzles, add the chuck roast, browning quickly on all sides. Add the onions; sauté 1 minute.

Remove from the heat, and add the beef stock to the skillet, scraping up browned bits of meat and onions.

Place skillet in the oven, and roast until the chuck is falling apart, about 2 hours.

Remove from the oven, and shred the beef with two forks. Keep warm.

In the skillet on the stovetop, heat juices until bubbly. Mix together flour and water; stir into the beef stock on the stove. Let simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.

Sprinkle beef with parsley. Spoon beef over bread, topping with gravy. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 604, Calories from Fat: 382, Fat: 42 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 168 mg, Sodium: 299 mg, Potassium: 481 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 48 g.

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



Healthy Living: National Frozen Foods Month


National Frozen Foods MonthMarch is Frozen Foods Month, and I love celebrating something that preserves all the farm freshness of fruits and vegetables in a convenient, easy-to-use way.

Believe it or not, two recent studies compared the nutritional value of frozen fruits and vegetables to their fresh counterparts and found that the frozen ones had MORE nutritional value than the fresh products.

Most frozen fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen, which means they are frozen rapidly to prevent ice crystals from forming. They are flash-frozen, either after a light steaming or immediately after being picked at the peak of freshness.

This method also keeps them safe from decay or from micro-organisms being able to grow on them. Frozen fruits and vegetables are transported to your Brookshire’s in a freezer truck, preserving their temperatures.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are also more economical than their fresh friends. Because they are preserved, you have little waste.

These days, you can find almost anything in the frozen food freezers at Brookshire’s, from broccoli florets to purple hull peas to chopped onions and green peppers to strawberries, mangos and blueberries. Check it out today.



Product Talk: Valencia In-Shell Peanuts


Valencia In-Shell PeanutsLast weekend, Paul and I were puttering around in our usual flurry of Sunday afternoon activity, trying to get our ducks in a row before the beginning of the work week. Generally, we’ll only eat one big meal on Sundays, but we will snack while we’re waiting (and puttering).

Last Sunday, Paul grabbed a bag of Cajun peanuts in the shell when we stopped by Brookshire’s after church to pick up something for dinner.

We tore through those things.

What was especially delicious about the peanuts was that the flavor and the salt weren’t just on the shell, they were infused into the peanuts. We ruminated over the method used to make this happen, and then we just Googled it. I love to Google.

Brookshire’s also sells Valencia In-Shell Peanuts in the produce department. These nuts are raw and just waiting to be infused with flavor and roasted.

We had to try it, and they turned out delicious. Now, take our word for it: roast in small batches. It might take you a lot longer, but you won’t end up with a soggy product. We wanted to do it on the smoker, but we decided we needed the heat from the oven. (It was the right call.)

Valencia Peanuts of Hampton Farms are grown in New Mexico and shipped right after harvest. We brined the nuts in a Cajun brine as well, and I was amazed at how fresh and flavorful they were. We’ll definitely be buying raw peanuts and roasting them ourselves again.

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Posted in: Product Talk


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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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