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Dine In: Beer Cheese Dip


I drove through Kentucky a few summers ago on my way home to Texas from a trip to Virginia (I took the scenic route), and there I discovered the thing my heart loves: beer cheese.

Beer cheese is a traditional Kentucky dish with roots in Cook County. It’s exactly what it says it is: beer and cheese. It’s easy to make and easy to store, but the flavor profiles of a sharp cheddar against a lager are out of this world.

Beer cheese is usually used as a dip, but in Kentucky, they also spread it on a piece of thick toast. This would be delicious as a Friday night appetizer or snack in front of a good movie.

Beer Cheese Dip

Ingredients:
32 oz Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
12 oz flat Shiner Bock beer (any lager or pilsner but no “lite” beer)

Directions:
Use a box grater to grate the cheese by hand.

Meanwhile, pulse the garlic in the food processor until minced but not pasty. You can also do this by hand and add them to the food processor. Add the cheese, cayenne, paprika, salt, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse three or four times until just combined.

Turn food processor on, and slowly pour the beer through the chute until the cheese mixture is smooth and creamy. Be careful not to overmix.

Beer cheese will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Serve cold with pretzels, crackers or raw vegetables.

Note: Pre-shredded cheese in the bag is mixed with cellulose to keep it from sticking. Using pre-shredded cheese will also keep your beer cheese from combining into a smooth, creamy consistency. It’s worth it to grate it yourself.

Open beer about 12 hours before preparing your beer cheese to let it go flat and warm.

Makes 6 cups

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 644, Fat: 25 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 79 mg, Sodium: 664 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 31 g, Protein: 19 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matter: Summer Fun, Summer Challenges


Summer Fun, Summer ChallengesSummertime is hard, especially if your kids are school age, you work and you can’t take the whole summer off yourself.

My kids are now old enough to stay home alone during the summer, but it’s not much fun for them, if we’re being honest. There aren’t any kids of a similar age nearby, so they end up relying a lot on each other during the summer (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

The challenge comes in keeping them occupied in a productive manner, even though I still have to go to work each day. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation.

Generally, they sleep late. When they wake up, they each have a job to do around the house, like vacuuming or cleaning their bathroom. This summer, they’re going to be in charge of some meal prep, too. They exercise every day, usually alternating between running, walking and riding their bikes through the neighborhood (they keep a cellphone with them for safety or emergencies). They will still play outside in the sprinklers; I don’t think you ever outgrow that. I’ve purchased some books for them to read over the summer, as well as what they have assigned for school.

My older son just got a part-time job. My younger son will attend one week of theater camp, and we’ll take a family vacation together one week as well.

It’s not the best solution. They still have too much screen time, but I’d be curious to hear from readers in the comments about what you do with your kids during summer vacation!



Shop the Sale: Pad Thai Bowl


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Skip the restaurant and make your Thai takeout favorite at home in under 30 minutes. This sweet and spicy noodle dish is surprisingly quick and easy to prepare, making it a fantastic choice for weeknight dinners. Whip it up in a single skillet, grab a glass of Riesling, and you’ve got a gourmet Pad Thai meal at home. Check out our Chef Tips section below for low-carb substitutions and more Asian shrimp meal ideas.

Ingredients
4 oz packaged rice noodles
1 1/2 Tbs fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder or more, to taste
2 Tbs canola oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4 oz medium-sized shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 oz fried firm tofu, cut into slices
1 large egg
4 to 6 oz bean sprouts
1 green onion, cut into 2-inch lengths
Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
2 Tbs crushed peanuts
Lime wedges

Instructions
Follow package directions to boil dry rice noodles. The rice noodles should be soft (but still chewy and not mushy) after boiling. Rinse boiled noodles with cold running water. Set aside. Mix fish sauce, sugar, water, rice vinegar and chili powder in small bowl until well-combined and sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside.

Heat a skillet on highest heat setting; add oil. As soon as oil is heated, add garlic to skillet, and start stirring until you smell the aroma of the garlic. Don’t burn. Add shrimp and tofu pieces to skillet and continue stirring. As soon as shrimp changes color, add noodles to skillet; stir continuously, about 30 seconds. Use spatula to push noodles to one side of skillet, and crack egg into empty side of skillet. Use spatula to break egg yolk and blend with egg white. Let cook for about 30 seconds. Combine egg and noodles; add sauce. Stir to combine well with noodles.

Add bean sprouts, chive and basil; continue stirring. As soon as bean sprouts are cooked, stir in crushed peanuts. Turn off heat. Serve dish immediately with lime wedges.

Calories Per Serving: 563, Fat: 31 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 93 mg, Sodium: 1471 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 31 g.

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

Chef Tips

No Noodles? No Worries!
For those watching their carb count, you can still enjoy Pad Thai with our low-carb substitutions. Try Shirataki noodles made from Japanese yam starch or make your own veggie noodles from zucchini, sweet potato or spaghetti squash.

Shrimply The Best
Although Pad Thai is hard to beat, there are a lot of Asian-style shrimp dishes to satisfy your taste buds. There’s Garlic Shrimp, Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry, Shrimp Fried Rice, Coconut Shrimp and Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta, although we’re in danger of sounding like Bubba from the movie Forrest Gump if we try to list them all here. But with shrimp in season – and Peeled and Deveined Gulf Shrimp on sale all week – make the most of it while you can!



Healthy Living: A Nutritional Favorite – Watermelon


A Nutritional Favorite - WatermelonLast weekend, we bought a watermelon at Brookshire’s. Now it’s still May and watermelons are at their prime in early July, but this one, as my family declared, “tasted like a Fourth of July melon.”

Indeed it did, and we’re thankful to have access to such beautiful produce grown close to home.

Not only is watermelon delicious, but it’s super healthy, too.

Watermelons are mostly water, 92 percent, in fact. So, eating watermelon keeps you well-hydrated.

You can also eat a lot without fear of consuming too many calories! One cup of watermelon contains only 42 calories.

It also contains many other nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin C: 21% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
  • Vitamins B1, B5 and B6: 3% of the RDI

Watermelon is also high in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene.

There’s no reason NOT to eat watermelon all summer long!



Product Talk: Ocean Spray® Mocktails


Ocean Spray® MocktailsWhen I saw this product on the shelves at Brookshire’s, I giggled.

Someone I know well, who shall remain nameless, has an evening tradition in her family of “Cocktails and Mocktails” in the evening. She and her husband have a glass of wine, and her children have juice in fancy glasses.

Now, they can have their mocktails premixed!

Ocean Spray® Mocktails come in three flavors: Cranberry Peach Bellini, Cranberry Sangria and Tropical Citrus Paradise. Let me be very clear: These do NOT contain alcohol. Ocean Spray® Mocktails are delicious premium, non-alcoholic juice drinks inspired by your favorite cocktails, according to the Ocean Spray® website. You CAN mix them with an adult beverage or even sparkling water for a fun, fizzy flavor.

These drinks are made with premium Ocean Spray® ingredients. Find them near the juices in your local Brookshire’s.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Blueberry-Watermelon Feta Salad


Blueberry-Watermelon Feta SaladAll of the local farmers markets are starting to open. I love walking through the fresh produce, fragrant flowers, and tantalizing sights and smells.

It’s pretty much like walking through the produce department at Brookshire’s all year long.

This vibrant summer salad bursts with unexpected flavors that dance on your tongue. Make it right before serving though, as this tends to get soupy or mushy if it sits too long.

Blueberry-Watermelon Feta Salad

Ingredients:
2 oz olive oil
1 oz balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
8 cups watermelon, diced
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:
Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and red onion in a large glass (or other nonreactive) bowl. Add watermelon, blueberries, mint and feta. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 303, Fat: 18 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 17 mg, Sodium: 507 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 27 g, Protein: 5 g.

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



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Small Animal


National Pet Month - Small Animal

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate all the people out there who take care of small pets like hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits.

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a small pet, support the adoption of small pets, raise awareness of the benefits of owning a small pet for both owners and furry friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

So, let’s talk about owning a small animal.

The first benefit is space! You don’t have to have a lot of it, or a yard, or an outdoor space to keep a small pet happy and healthy! They don’t tend to break furniture, chew up your shoes or need to go on walks.

Small pets tend to be fairly clean and keep themselves clean with little effort on your part. They don’t eat a lot and don’t tend to be very expensive, either for initial cost or upkeep. Small animals are also independent, and they’re a great choice if you want the companionship of a pet without having to keep one constantly entertained.



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Dog


National Pet Month - Dog

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate man’s best friend.

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a dog, support the adoption of dogs, raise awareness of the benefits of owning a dog for both owners and furry friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

There is a reason dogs are called “man’s best friend.”

If you get a dog, the chances are that the dog is going to love you for life. Dogs are loyal, committed, protective, territorial and playful. They can have a variety of talents and skills. Some dogs will hunt with you. Others are great for herding. Some varieties are great for farms, and others are perfect for your lap.

Dogs, like humans, come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. It shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits you and your lifestyle. Dogs are great with families and with children. They can help protect your house. They will ride in the car with you. They love to be petted, walked and played with.

My dog, Astro, is a 100-lb lap dog. He thinks he’s a lap dog, anyway. He is thrilled when I walk through the door at night. He stands beside me if the doorbell rings. He alerts me any time someone walks into the front yard. He cleans up any food that I drop on the floor. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. He brings so much joy to every day. I can’t imagine not having him around.



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Cat


National Pet Month - Cat

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate all the people out there whose furry friends are of the feline variety.

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a cat, support the adoption of cats, raise awareness of the benefits of owning a cat for both owners and furry friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

I ended up owning a cat by accident. My neighbor in an apartment building had a litter of kittens, and it’s a proven fact that you can’t hold a kitten and then walk away without it. Pretty much everything I’d thought about having a cat proved to be untrue. My cat was very loving and very social. She wanted to be held and petted, and she didn’t mind being picked up. She loved water. She would sit on the edge of the bathtub and draw her tail back and forth through the bath water as I bathed. She was very vocal and would greet me when I walked through the door with a series of small meows.

Cats are great pets because they are pretty independent. You don’t have to take them on walks, and they don’t necessarily need to go outside. They are loving and can be good companions. Cats tend to have longer lifespans, don’t need a lot of space, and can groom themselves.



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Bird


National Pet Month - Bird

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate all the bird owners out there!

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a bird, support bird adoption, raise awareness of the benefits of bird ownership for both owners and feathered friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

Let’s talk about the benefits of owning a bird. I do not have one myself, so I texted a friend who has a parakeet named Nellie, asking her what benefits she gets from being a bird mom.

“I have constant company, and I really believe Nellie talks to me and carries on conversations,” she wrote back. “Nellie is highly intelligent and communicates effectively without ever saying a word.”

Another benefit of owning a bird is that they have a long lifespan and can be a constant companion over many years.

Birds also encourage humans to be more social, as many of the talking varieties will actually converse with you in a give-and-take exchange.

Having a bird lowers your stress levels as you play with and talk to your pet. It also keeps your mind sharp as you train and work with your pet.



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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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