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Healthy Living: Healthy Dorm Room or Office Snacks


Healthy Dorm Room or Office Snacks My friend’s daughter came home from college over the holiday break with a few extra things: 25, to be exact, according to her.

She claims she packed on 25 pounds her first semester away at college. Between late-night pizza orders, buffet-style dining and an irregular exercise schedule, the pounds snuck up on her.

Her mom came up with some healthy snack ideas to send back with her. These would also work well in an office or even just at home:

  • Yogurt-covered raisins
  • Cucumber sandwiches (cucumber slice spread with tzatziki sauce then topped with another cucumber slice)
  • Spread a small, whole-grain tortilla with natural peanut butter. Place a banana on top; roll up and enjoy.
  • Top a whole-grain English muffin with a slice of tomato and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Toast and serve.
  • Toss Greek yogurt with blueberries. Freeze.
  • Toasted almonds
  • String cheese
  • 99% fat-free microwave popcorn
  • Fill the hollowed out part of half an avocado with tuna. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Celery or carrots with hummus
  • Toss chickpeas with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until they’re crispy.
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Freeze grapes for a sweet treat.
  • Hard-boiled eggs


Product Talk: Gevalia Coffee


Gevalia CoffeeI remember when Gevalia coffees were only sold by mail-order. The commercial would come on television with an elegant couple sipping coffee in an elegant location, and you’d have to order from the 1-800 number that flashed across the screen because of course you wanted to be elegant, too.

I love that you can now buy it in Brookshire’s instead. (I feel elegant when I shop at Brookshire’s!)

The distinctive yellow package stands out on the coffee aisle, giving way to rich, smooth blends of coffee inside.

Gevalia, a Swedish brand, has been making coffee for over 150 years. Today, the coffee is available in 30 roast and ground coffees, iced coffees and Keurig® K-Cup® pods.

This morning, I sipped Costa Rica Regular Ground, a medium coffee (the medium varieties supposedly have the most caffeine), and even though I was at my kitchen table in my leggings and T-shirt, I still felt elegant.

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Dine In: Cajun-Stuffed Chicken


Cajun-Stuffed ChickenI was talking to a friend last night about dining out.

We both love to cook, and we’ve found that it’s difficult to find restaurants where we think the food is something better, or something different, than we’d prepare in our own kitchens. That’s not to say I don’t love eating out; I do! It’s always nice when someone else does the work…and the dishes.

Often times, I just like cooking at home. Dining in on Friday night is often a special time with friends and family.

This week, we made these Cajun-stuffed chicken breasts, inspired by a prepared dish from the meat counter at Brookshire’s with our own spin on it.

Cajun-Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbs Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
4 jalapeños
1/4 cup bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
8 slices bacon

Directions:
Place chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper, and pound until about 1/2 inch uniform thickness. Sprinkle with Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning on both sides.

Meanwhile, wash jalapeños. Remove stems and ends. Slice through one side of the pepper lengthwise; remove seeds and pith.

Mix sausage with cheddar cheese. Stuff each jalapeño with 1/4 of mixture. Preheat oven to 400° F.

Lay 1 chicken breast at the end of 2 slices of bacon placed side by side. Place stuffed jalapeño at one end and roll up, covering pepper with chicken and bacon. Secure with toothpicks. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts, bacon and stuffed jalapeños.
Place chicken bundles in cast-iron skillet or other baking pan.

Bake at 400° F for about 30 minutes, flipping once, until chicken and sausage are cooked through. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 651, Calories from Fat: 383, Fat: 42 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 195 mg, Sodium: 1862 mg, Potassium: 716 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 61 g.

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



Family Matters: Easter Bunny Pops


Easter Bunny PopsWith Easter coming up soon, what could be better than Easter Peeps? You know Peeps, those adorable marshmallow bunnies and chicks that as adults we say we don’t like them, but secretly we really do and we eat them when our kids are not looking! Kids and big kids at heart still get excited when they see these fluffy marshmallow chick and bunny Peeps in their Easter baskets. If you didn’t know, they’re yummy to eat straight out of the package, too.

If you are like me, you want something quick, easy and super cute to take to your Sunday Easter dinner. With several little kids (and big kids) at the table, these bunny pops will be perfect. These are super easy to make, so I can recruit my 14-year-old daughter to help. She can actually make these by herself, which is also a bonus!

You and your kiddos can make these Easter Bunny Pops with a few simple ingredients found at Brookshire’s (you may have to get the super cute paper straws at a local craft store).

Easter Bunny Pops

Ingredients:
Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies
Brookshire’s White Bark Coating
pearl sixlets
wax paper
paper straws

Directions:
Use the Easter Bunny Peeps for this project. Take the desired number of bunnies out of the package, and separate them from each other.

Insert a colorful paper straw into the bottom of each bunny marshmallow.

Cover a sheet pan with wax paper. Melt white candy bark in a glass or plastic bowl in the microwave in 20-second to 30-second increments until melted, stirring in between cooking times. Dip each bunny into the melted bark, letting the excess drip off. Lay on the sheet pan.

Place a candy pearl on the back of each bunny to make a tail.

You can even wrap these up in individual clear bags, and tie with a cute bow to give as gifts. As you’re celebrating with your family and friends, remember that the true reason of your celebration goes beyond the Easter basket…Easter represents new life.



Shop the Sale: Smoked Easter Ham


Smoked Easter Ham“What are we going to do for Easter?” my son asked me yesterday.

Do? What do you mean, do? We’re going to celebrate our eternal salvation through the sacrifice Christ made for us; that’s what we’re going to do, I told him.

But celebrate, how will we celebrate?, he wondered.

In past years, I’ve hosted Easter gatherings at my house for up to 40 people. We probably won’t do that this year, but we will celebrate with our family and some local friends.

There’s no need to remind you about my obsession with the smoker, but chances are, we’re going to smoke our ham this year.

Hormel or Brookshire’s spiral-sliced hams are on sale this week at Brookshire’s, just in time for Easter. Did you know that you can, indeed, smoke a precooked ham? Trust me, I plan to!

Since the ham is already precooked, you’re really just introducing it to the smoke and warming it through.

I think we’re going to use Applewood to add some sweetness, and probably fill the pan with apple juice instead of water, to help impart some flavor that way.

The ham has to be heated through to about 145° F. After that, it’s ready to eat!

You can use your grill over indirect heat if you don’t have a smoker, and set a pan of chips over the flame for that good, smoky flavor.



Healthy Living: Store Your Food Safely


Store Your Food SafelyI know I’m guilty of it, and I’m guessing you are, too.

I go to the fridge looking for something for lunch, pull out a container and realize the leftover chili has been in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

While it was stored properly for a short time, it’s not going to be safe to eat after two weeks.

There are right – and wrong – ways to store your food.

A store-bought loaf of bread, for example, is perfectly fine stored in your dry pantry for a week, but a loaf of freshly baked bread might not make it longer than a day or two.

I could have stored that chili in the freezer for two weeks, but I wouldn’t risk eating it out of the refrigerator from that same time period.

On the Counter
You can safely store some foods out on your kitchen counter. These include garlic, onions, shallots, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, citrus and melons. Make sure they aren’t in direct sunlight or exposed to moisture. You can also keep cakes and pies out for up to a week, wrapped tightly with aluminum foil or sealed in a food storage container or zipper-lock bag. Move fruit pies to the refrigerator after two days.

In the Pantry
Most unopened dry goods can be stored in your pantry for up to six months. After a package is opened, seal it in a food-safe container. Brookshire’s offers lots of options for long-term food storage. Your pantry is the best place for all of your spices, as it is probably dark and should be dry. Spices can last up to a year. After that, they start to lose their potency and flavor.

In the Refrigerator
Dairy must be kept refrigerated. Use the upper shelves, where temperatures stay more constant. This includes eggs, even though many manufacturers create an egg shelf on the door. The refrigerator door is the warmest place in the appliance, so save it for things like condiments and preserved foods.

Keep fruits and veggies that aren’t able to sit out on your counter in the crisper drawer, where it should be the least humid.

Cheeses should be stored wrapped in wax paper or something else porous.

Meats are best stored in the bottom of the refrigerator where it is the coldest. Remove retail packaging and rewrap the meat in foil to extend its shelf life. However, you should try to use it within four days of purchase or put it in the freezer. Fish will keep for two days wrapped in waxed paper, also on the bottom shelf, but give it the sniff test first. If it smells excessively fishy, err on the side of caution.

In the Freezer
When you do want to store things like meat for a long time, the freezer is the best option. For the freezer, leave it in its original packaging and try to remember to use it within six months.

Any time you use the freezer, make sure foods are cooled to room temperature (or put them in the fridge first), and then seal them in a way that eliminates any extra air. Some foods, like cheeses and fruits or vegetables, will change texture after being frozen, so experiment with the best ways to store these foods long-term.



Product Talk: Vanilla Sugar


Vanilla SugarOne of the simplest things to make that will absolutely transform your baking is vanilla sugar.

I use vanilla sugar in place of regular sugar in my pancakes and waffles, in pound cakes and pie fillings, and in a multitude of other ways.

Besides smelling wonderful, vanilla sugar brings that pop into your baking that will leave people wondering, “What is her secret ingredient?”

So, are you ready to make vanilla sugar?

Simply buy a package of vanilla beans from Brookshire’s. They’re usually in the produce section. Vanilla beans look like sticks, as my boys will tell you, and only a few come in a package.

When you take the beans out of the package, use a small, very sharp paring knife to slice partway through the bean, lengthwise. Gently pull the halves apart, and use the side of the knife to scrape the dark “beans” into a Mason jar. Once all of the beans are scraped into the jar, toss the outsides in, too. Fill the jar almost to the top with granulated white sugar. Place the lid tightly on the jar, and give it a good shake. Store the sugar in a cool, dry place and use as needed. It will become more infused with flavor the longer it sits.

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Dine In: Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice


Slow Cooker Chicken and RiceSpringtime means soccer season! (Well, truth be told, so does winter, summer and fall, all but the month of July!)

For some reason, however, soccer season seems more vibrant in the springtime. Maybe it’s the new, neon-colored grass sprouting everywhere, the breeze on the field, the chill of the early morning games or the warmth of the sun on my neck during the afternoon games. Whatever it is, it’s my favorite time for soccer.

Of course, soccer season means a lot of soccer practices and sometimes some really early games (7:30am is too early a lot of Saturdays to be on the field, just sayin’). Often, between multiple practices a week and games, there’s not a lot of time left for cooking. I know a lot of you reading this can relate.

So, that’s where the slow cooker comes in. Whether it’s a practice night, game day or just the end of the work week, it saves me so much work.

The boys love rice dishes. Anything in the slow cooker works for them, and for me, so this has become a family-favorite this spring.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large white onion, diced
1 (8 oz) pkg Zatarain’s Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to package directions
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained

Directions:
Spray crockery of slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken on the bottom of the crockery; sprinkle with the onion. Pour the cream of chicken soup over the chicken and onion, and let cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the cooked yellow rice, corn and cheese. Stir to combine; warm through and serve hot.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 600, Calories from Fat: 288, Fat: 32 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (15 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 212 mg, Sodium: 685 mg, Potassium: 524 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 65 g.

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



Family Matters: Earth Day Pancakes


Earth Day PancakesEarth Day is April 22nd this year, and we love to celebrate it.

Earth Day is a time to inspire everyone to appreciate our environment. For more than 40 years, Earth Day has been a special occasion to set aside time to plant a tree, pick up trash, plant a sustainable garden or clear out harsh chemicals in your home for a more natural approach.

These Earth Day pancakes are a perfect way to kick off the day with your kids. They’ll love the whimsical nature of these tasty treats, and it will start the day the right way!

Earth Day Pancakes

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cups Brookshire’s Baking Mix
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
blue and green food coloring (preferably natural)

Directions:
Mix baking mix, buttermilk (or regular milk), egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix until most of the lumps are gone.

Separate batter into two bowls. Add blue food coloring to one bowl and green to the other bowl. When that’s well-mixed, you might want to put the green food coloring into a squeeze bottle or into a plastic bag with the corner snipped off.

Preheat your griddle to medium heat. When it’s hot, place a dollop of blue batter onto the griddle, then draw “continents” on the pancake with the green batter to represent the Earth. Cook until edges are dry and bubbles stay open. Flip and cook another minute or two, or until cooked through. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 320, Calories from Fat: 97, Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 51 mg, Sodium: 831 mg, Potassium: 235 mg, Carbohydrates: 46 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 18 g, Protein: 9 g.

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



Mi Blog Hispano: Limpie Su Dieta Esta Primavera


Limpie Su Dieta Esta PrimaveraYa llego la primavera y que bella es. Es mi tiempo favorito del año por el viento fresco, la variedad de sus colores verdes, las flores que empiezan a brotar, el cantar de los pájaros, y su fragancia refrescante. El tiempo es perfecto para salir a correr, a pasear por el parque, y a comer más saludable.

¿Y por qué no empezar con limpiar nuestra manera de comer? Esta primavera, vamos a dejar esas comidas que no son tan saludables, y empezar a comer comidas mejores para nuestra salud. Quizás sentimos que es difícil hacerlo, pero con un buen plan y dedicación, claro que se puede.

Aquí están seis cosas para ayudar a limpiar la dieta.

  1. Tome control de sus calorías. Póngase más al tanto de las porciones de comida que come y limítese. Hay aplicaciones que puede bajar a su teléfono móvil que le ayudaran a llevar cuenta.
  1. Limpie su refrigerador. Saque las comidas que no son saludables y repóngalas con comidas más saludables como yogurts, frutas, verduras, etc.
  1. Baje el tomo de la sal y azúcar. Estos dos causan enfermedades como diabetes, problemas con el corazón, algunos canceres, etc.  Debemos de hacer un esfuerzo para mantener nuestro cuerpo saludable, y disminuyendo poco a poco la cantidad de sal y azúcar le ayudara.
  1. Tome líquidos más saludables. Disminuya las bebidas como el alcohol, chocolate caliente, café, y soda regular y de dieta. Estos líquidos no hidratan el cuerpo. Sustitúyalos con agua. Si siente que el agua no tiene sabor, agrega un poco de limón. También puede cortar un pepino y deje caerlo en el agua.  Esto le va dar un sabor refrescante. El agua ayuda a que este mas alerto(a) y a tener más energía.
  1. Plante un jardín. Empiece con solo una cosa. Es más saludable comer natural.
  1. Haga una o dos cenas de la semana sin carne. Hay deliciosos platillos como lentejas, sopas, ensaladas, y mucho más.

Siempre se puede empezar una dieta nueva pero es importante poder mantener la dedicación. ¡Espero que estos puntos le den un inicio a una dieta más refrescante y saludable!



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Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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.

Mi Blog Hispano

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