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Family Matters: Tippy Toes Puffed Snacks


The latter half of your baby’s first year is about the time they will start to gobble everything in sight! At least, that was the case with my boys (and wait until the teenage years, but that’s another blog post!).

Tippy Toes by Top Care for Brookshire’s makes a line of baby’s first foods that I could feel good about giving my boys. I loved to make homemade baby foods with fresh, organic foods from the produce department, but it wasn’t always practical to have a refrigerated, vacuum-sealed jar of homemade food with me. It was practical and easy to have a canister of Puffed Snacks!

These little snacks are good first foods because they’re easy for your little one to pick up, encouraging fine motor skills. They’re fun for baby to eat on his own, keeping him entertained and giving him a sense of accomplishment. They come in blueberry, strawberry-apple and banana flavors, and puffed snacks are made with whole-grains and no artificial flavors.

They’re easily portable and great for on-the-go!



Family Matters: Tippy Toes by Top Care Baby Wipes


When my boys were babies, wipes were the No. 1 item I felt that I needed 24/7.

I needed them for diaper changes, of course, but I also needed them for spit-up emergencies, for quick “sponge” (ie, wipe) baths, for meal clean-ups, for a quick refresher (especially for my summertime baby) and for ME when I needed a quick clean-up as well.

Baby wipes came in handy as the baby grew, too, because the messes just seemed to get bigger as they did. If I’m being 100 percent honest, I still have a package of baby wipes in my purse, and my babies are now 13 and 15 years old. There’s nothing better for a quick clean-up!

Back to babies, Brookshire’s Tippy Toes by Top Care Baby Wipes are gentle on your baby’s skin. They are soft, dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic and alcohol-free, so I always felt good that my boys’ bottoms – and other parts – were well-protected. The Tippy Toes line features scented, unscented and sensitive products, so you can choose what’s best for your baby.



Family Matters: Brookshire’s Milk


After your baby’s first year of life, they can probably safely switch to cow’s milk (check with your pediatrician for his guidelines, and watch your baby for signs of allergies or sensitivities.)

Brookshire’s brand milk comes from their dairy close to home, so it’s getting to your stores at the peak of freshness.

My younger son used to go through a gallon of milk a day, it seemed. He loved it so much, and it was so good for his growing bones and teeth. Whole milk supplies crucial vitamin D and calcium, and it is important to the development of not only strong bones and teeth but brain cells, too!

Start to introduce your baby to whole milk by adding a small part to his pumped breast milk or formula to see how he tolerates it. Gradually increase the amount of whole milk until it replaces the breast milk or formula entirely.



Shop the Sale: Papaya Salad


Prep Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4-6

Great as a starter for your next barbeque or Asian-inspired feast, Papaya salad is an easy dish that can also satisfy the family for an easy dinner. Ready in 30 minutes or less, this refreshing salad is perfect for summer: light, zesty and a little sweet. And it’s a great time to give it a try with Bell Pepper on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Ingredients

Salad:
1 firm papaya
1 large carrot
1 red bell pepper

Topping:
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tsp brown cane sugar
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 bunch basil, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

Dressing:
1/2 cup cashew pieces
2 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs brown cane sugar
3 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 lime, juiced

Instructions
Peel papaya with vegetable peeler. Seed papaya and shred into thin strands, or cut into thin matchsticks. (A mandolin works great for this process.) Peel and shred carrot, or cut into matchsticks. Cut bell pepper into about 2-inch-long pieces. Combine papaya, carrot and bell pepper in large bowl.

For the topping, coarsely grind roasted cashews, peanuts, brown sugar, black pepper and salt in small food processor or blender. Mix in basil. Set aside.

For the dressing, puree cashews, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ground black pepper and lime juice in food processor or blender until a paste forms. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss. Avoid overmixing.

Just before serving, sprinkle topping mixture on salad. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Calories Per Serving: 433, Fat: 25 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 342 mg, Carbohydrates: 47 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 11 g

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

Chef Tips

Green VS Orange Papaya
If you’re not familiar with papaya or you’re used to eating it fully ripened, you might think green papayas are a totally different fruit. They’re actually the same fruit: green is harvested when the papaya is immature, whereas orange papaya is picked when it’s fully ripened. Green papaya has a mild flavor similar to a cucumber, and is quite crisp. Ripe papaya on the other hand, has a soft texture with a dry, sweet flavor. You can make this salad with green or orange, just make sure the papaya is firm. Papaya that is soft to the touch and a deep orange color is over-ripe or has gone bad.

Papaya Salad Pairs
Papaya Salad is fantastic all by itself, but for those who prefer a heftier meal, there are a number of ways to enjoy papaya salad as part of a grander spread. You can choose to serve it as a refreshing starter to many light, summer dishes, pair it with grilled steak or fish, or with any number of Asian style noodle, curry, satay or rice dishes. For drinks, serve with ice, cold beer or a refreshing white like a Sauvignon Blanc.



Product Talk: Fresh Take Meals


Fresh Take MealsWhen I first started dating my boyfriend, Paul, I slaved for HOURS in the kitchen making him homemade lasagna.

I simmered the sauce overnight, even setting my alarm and getting up several times overnight to stir.

I made homemade pasta noodles, rolling out the sheets with a hand-cranked pasta machine and kneading the dough until the flour created a concrete-like paste in the crevices of my countertops (which was not a reflection of my finished pasta product, let me just say).

I layered sauces, noodles, cheeses and meats until my pan weighed more than either of my children at birth.

Do you know that I didn’t even need to bother with all that work?

Brookshire’s has created Fresh Take Meals, in the deli section, to give you home-cooked tastes without you having to slave over the stove, or set your alarm for odd hours of the day and night.

I’ve enjoyed Fettuccine Alfredo, Chicken Parmesan, Roasted Salmon with Rice Pilaf and Baby Carrots, and Chicken Spaghetti, all at the ease of reheating in my microwave or oven.

The dishes taste homemade because they are homemade, right in your local Brookshire’s store.

Pick up at the Fresh Take Meals section in the Deli. Then, stop by the Bakery for a loaf of freshly baked bread and the salad bar for a tossed green salad or an assortment of olives. You’ll have a dinner on the table that you can feel great about in minutes.

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Shrimp with Mango BBQ Sauce


Grilled Shrimp with Mango BBQ SaucePrep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2

Our Grilled Shrimp with Mango BBQ Sauce is the ultimate summertime meal. Fresh, perfectly grilled Gulf Shrimp topped with a tangy, fruity mango sauce, it pairs perfectly with a healthy salad and a cold glass of white wine. And with Gulf Shrimp on sale all this week, you can go ahead and throw another shrimp on the barbie any night of the week!

Ingredients:
1 to 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped (9 to 10 oz skinned, seedless mango)
1/2 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp honey
Salt, to taste
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 bamboo or metal skewers

Instructions:
Place mango and shallot in food processor or blender to puree. Add lime juice and honey. Season to taste with salt. Preheat grill to medium-high.

Place shrimp in medium bowl. Mix shrimp with 2 tablespoons mango sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Thread shrimp onto skewers. (If using wood skewers, soak in water for 1 hour before using.)

Grill shrimp skewers until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve shrimp with remaining mango sauce.

Calories Per Serving: 300, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 324 mg, Sodium: 364 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 44 g

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

Chef Tips

Pick the Best Mango
You might be tempted to choose your mangoes based on color – after all, mangoes that have vibrant orange hue must be ripe, right? Wrong. While color can be a sign of ripeness, it’s not the best indicator. The two things you want to look for are texture and fragrance. Ripe mangoes give slightly when gently squeezed, similar to ripe peaches or avocado, and they have a strong, sweet smell. It will be especially fragrant near the stem, so give it the old sniff test. It should have a very fruity, sweet smell.

The Skinny on Shrimp
Many of us think of shrimp as an indulgence – something that should only be eaten on special occasions – but the truth is, there’s nothing to feel guilty about when it comes to shrimp. Here’s why:

  • They’re high in protein. Three ounces of shrimp provides 20 grams of protein with very little fat.
  • Shrimp are nutrient-rich, packed with selenium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, copper, choline, and iodine.
  • They’re low in calories. For roughly 85-100 calories, you can enjoy 3 ounces of shrimp (about a dozen). Yay for shrimp!


Shop The Sale: CAJUN SPICE-RUBBED CHICKEN WINGS


Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serves: 10

Wings are not just for game day! Versatile, crowd-pleasing chicken wings are ideal appetizers for parties and barbeques, or for simply sitting around with friends and family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. For a new take on an old favorite, try our sweet and spicy Cajun Spice-Rubbed Chicken Wings. With a deep flavor thanks to Community Coffee House Blend – on sale all this week – these little guys will become a regular. Note: check out our chef tips below for how to separate whole wings.

Ingredients
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup Community Coffee House Blend, ground
1/4 cup Creole seasoning
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
6 lbs chicken wings (drums & flats)
Green onions, for garnish

Instructions
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, ground coffee, creole seasoning, salt and pepper. In large bowl, combine chicken and brown sugar mixture; toss until thoroughly coated.

Spray grill rack with nonflammable cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium heat (300° F to 350° F). Grill chicken in batches, turning frequently, until meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165° F (about 20 minutes). Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce, garnished with green onions.

Calories Per Serving: 628, Fat: 20 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 242 mg, Sodium: 2236 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 79 g

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

Chef Tips

Know Your Wings
There are actually three parts to a chicken wing: the Drumette (the part of the wing attached to the body), the Flat or Wingette (the middle section) and the tip. Although you can cook wings whole, many recipes call for them to be separated – plus, it makes for easier finger food. The process for cutting up wings is easy. Simply locate the joints on each end of the flat and use a pair of kitchen shears to snip through the center of each joint, and you’re done!

Cooking With Coffee
While most of us love a good cup of coffee to start our day, it’s also a great flavor to use in cooking, particularly meats. Use it in rubs and marinades for meat and fish, or infuse desserts and cakes – especially chocolate ones – with a shot of espresso or your favorite cup of Joe for a decadent mocha flavor.



Product Talk: Broccoli with Lime Dressing Shortcuts


It’s Monday night, and you’re flying into Brookshire’s on a wing and a prayer after a long day at work, just needing a few more things to make a complete and healthy meal for dinner that evening.

You dart in the side entrance by the produce and meat counter. Perfect. In two quick stops, you can have a quick and healthy meal on the table in minutes.

First, grab a plank of salmon that you can bake with a few herbs and olive oil.

Then, head over to produce to pick up some Shortcuts, Brookshire’s freshly prepared fruits and vegetables that take all the guesswork and prep work out of your meal prep, saving you time and money.

A delicious side dish to your salmon (or steak, or chicken breast, or pork loin) would be Broccoli with Lime Dressing, and you’ll need to grab just a few more items to round out your meal. Shortcuts Broccoli Crowns and Shortcuts Minced Red Onions make it simple, as Brookshire’s has done all the work for you. I don’t know about you, but that goes a long way on a Monday night. In just a few minutes at home, you’ll have this simple and delicious side dish ready to go, and that feels good for our families and our wallets.

Broccoli with Lime Dressing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs Shortcuts Broccoli Crowns
1 tsp lime zest, grated
1 tsp lime juice from 1 large lime
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp table salt
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Shortcuts Minced Red Onions

Directions:
Steam or boil broccoli until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk lime zest, lime juice, cumin and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in oil until smooth; stir in onions.
Gently toss steamed broccoli with dressing. Adjust seasoning; serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 157, Fat: 11 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 344 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 5 g.

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



Family Matters: Kids and Books


Yesterday, we cleaned out a spare room in our house, as it was way overdue for a thorough cleaning.

We had a wonderful trip down memory lane as we did so, boxing up what turned out to be hundreds of books from my boys’ childhoods.

My sons are 13 and 15 now, and we still had bookshelves full of toddler, preschool and elementary school readers that they loved. We had fun talking about the countless hours we’d spend flipping through picture books, reading chapter books, sounding out words as they learned to read, and talking about the imaginary endings they’d make up for some of their favorite stories.

Books were such a big part of their childhood, and it was a little sad to pack so many away. Both boys still read, although mostly for school these days. I have high hopes that all the hours spent with a book in the early days will circle back around, and they’ll read for pleasure when they have more free time.

We sorted the books into piles. Each son got a pile of books that were given to them with special messages written inside from grandparents, aunts and uncles. Then, childhood favorites were added to those piles. “Frog and Toad” for one son, all the hardback Dr. Seuss classics for the other. We boxed those up and put their names on them.

We also made another pile of childhood classics from our shelves, some of which were mine as a child, that we’d keep at my house, and maybe their children can enjoy someday when they come to visit. We boxed those up and labeled them as books to save.

After that, we still had almost 200 books left. We boxed those up, and I made a post on social media about “books free to a good home.” The first respondent claimed them and picked them up two hours later. Those books are now at home with two more little boys on their shelves and hopefully will provide hours and hours of enjoyment, just as they did for mine.

There’s nothing better than a good book for imagination and relaxation. Maybe visit the local library, little library, second-hand bookstore or a yard sale soon to see what treasures you can find.



Family Matters: Foraging Treats for Pet Rodents


While searching for treats for small pets, I came across an absolutely ingenious idea that is not only a food reward for your small rodent (rat, mouse, guinea pig) but also a great foraging activity as well.

Start with a bell pepper. Cut a small hole in the side, leaving the top intact. Remove seeds and pith through the hole. Stuff the bell pepper with a few baby carrots, some 2-inch sections of celery, some sugar snap peas and chunks of the removed piece of bell pepper. Hang the stuffed pepper from a string in your rodent’s habitat, and let him forage in it to get his treats. Remove when vegetables begin to get limp, before they spoil.

 

TIP: Only offer this treat on an occasional basis, as too many fruits and vegetables can cause intestinal distress in rodents.



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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.

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

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