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Healthy Living: 100-Mile Challenge


100-Mile ChallengeSummer vacation is almost here for area students, and you know what that means: sleeping late, no school lunches to fix and a lot of lazy days sitting around not doing much of anything aside from playing video games.

At least, that’s how it tends to go in our house.

My sons are old enough that they’ve aged out of summer day camps and activities like that, but they’re not old enough for summer jobs. Two summers ago, they devised their own plan that would keep them active, give them something to do each day, and give them a goal to work toward. They called it the “100-Mile Challenge.”

The point was to travel 100 miles by the end of summer vacation, either by walking, running, jogging or riding their bikes. We clocked off a 2.1-mile loop in our neighborhood, one I felt safe enough letting them do without me. It didn’t involve any main roads and stuck to the neighborhood. While it still made me a little nervous, (because let’s face it, in this day and age you can’t be too careful) the benefits seemed to outweigh the risks.

Most days, I’d say at least five a week, they’d embark on their 2.1-mile jaunt. If they were riding their bikes, they’d generally do the “loop” twice for 4.2 miles. Keeping this pace, they were each able to hit 100 miles the week before school started again.

They loved the competition (truth be told, my younger son finished his 100 miles before his older brother). They also stayed in shape and had some fun. They quickly learned that in the heat of the summer, they’d better pry themselves out of bed at a reasonable hour before it got too hot to run. My older son realized that he needed to stay in shape all year, not just the summer, to keep up with his brother who plays soccer 11 months out of the year. They both learned that cross-training, combining the bike with running, was the smart way to use different muscles and combat fatigue.

Plus, they just had fun.

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Product Talk: Food Club Pimentos


Food Club PimentosI think it’s safe to say that pimento cheese is a Southern thing. Not that they don’t eat it north of the Mason-Dixon line, but I’d venture a guess that Southerners have elevated the making of this cheese to an art form.

I’d never tried pimento cheese until I moved to Texas, which isn’t to say I’m not Southern. I fight a never-ending battle against Texans who label me as a Yankee. I’m from the capital of the Confederacy, y’all; let’s be clear.

What is a pimento anyway?

A pimento is a variety of the red, sweet chile pepper. Spanish in origin, it’s actually a fruit that is usually pickled.

You can buy it in a jar in Brookshire’s.

You might see pimentos used to stuff green olives, and you’ll definitely see them in pimento cheese.

Pimento cheese is really a composite of a few different cheeses with seasonings and these little peppers.

I’m making some for an upcoming salad supper (yes, it’s a salad, as it combines more than two small pieces of food served together) and serving it on garlic toast, but it’s also amazing as the filling in a grilled cheese sandwich.

Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimento, drained
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp onion, finely grated
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
8 oz Monterey-Jack cheese, shredded

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor until thoroughly incorporated.

Chill.

Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 170, Calories from Fat: 131, Fat: 15 g, (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 34 mg, Sodium: 421 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 6 g.



Dine In: Steak and Cheddar Quiche


Steak and Cheddar QuicheSunday is Mother’s Day and while perusing recipes for this blog post, I came to realize one consistent truth: Mother’s Day is about brunch.

I love brunch. I seriously love brunch. The combination of breakfast and lunch is glorious.

This mama wants a steak for Mother’s Day though.

Then, I got to thinking. How can I have steak at brunch?

Well, I could just grill one and serve it aside fluffy scrambled eggs, or grill a steak and slap a fried egg on top and let the golden yolk smother the steak in velvety goodness.

Or, I could embrace the Mother’s Day brunch and make a breakfast full of steak, eggs and cheese, pretty much all my favorite things!

The beauty of this recipe is that you can grill a HUGE steak on Friday or Saturday night, enjoy it as a meal, and then use the leftovers for this quiche. Or, when you’re grilling your Friday night steak, throw an extra cut on the flames in preparation for this recipe.

You can never have too much steak. Just don’t tell my cardiologist.

Steak and Cheddar Quiche

Ingredients:
1 lb grilled steak, diced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
1 medium white onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs butter
8 oz Cabot Sharp Cheddar, shredded
16 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs dry mustard
sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 single-crust, deep-dish pie crusts

Directions:
Separate pie crusts, and defrost while oven preheats to 375° F. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet. Sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Add spinach, and heat until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Whisk eggs and heavy cream together in a large bowl. Season with mustard, salt and pepper; thoroughly combine. Spread half of the grated cheese in the bottom of each pie crust, and then top with the vegetables. Layer the steak on top of the vegetables in each pie pan. Pour the egg mixture on top of the steak, dividing by half.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden-brown and the filling is set.

Serves 16
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 254, Calories from Fat: 136, Fat: 15 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 206 mg, Sodium: 238 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 21 g.

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



Family Matters: Introducing Your Cat to Your Baby


Introducing Your Cat to Your BabyWhich came first, the baby or the pet?

In a lot of cases, the pet came first and the baby joins the family later. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be an either/or proposition.

Plan ahead as you prepare to welcome baby into your family.

Set boundaries with your cat and the baby’s room immediately. Keep the door closed, or firmly remove the cat whenever he enters. Make sure the nursery is deep-cleaned to remove pet hair or dander, especially if it was a room your cat used to frequent. Do not let your cat sleep on the baby’s bouncy chair, crib, rocking chair or anything else that will be exclusively the baby’s.

Take your cat to the vet to make sure he is up-to-date on all of his shots before the baby arrives.

Keep the cat’s nails trimmed.

If the cat is accustomed to being held, get him used to sitting next to you instead of on your lap.

Do not tolerate any aggression toward the baby, and monitor them closely until you know how your cat will react to his new family member.



Family Matters: Introducing Your Dog to Your Baby


Introducing Your Dog to Your BabyFido was your first baby, but now there’s going to be another one. One who will probably take more kindly to being dressed up in adorable outfits and Halloween costumes.

The first thing you have to do is set clear boundaries for the baby’s space. Even if your pup is super gentle, he’s also probably a lot bigger than your new bundle of joy. Make the baby’s room off-limits to your pooch, just for safety. Go ahead and set up the baby’s swing, bouncy seat and portable play mat, and teach your dog not to touch them.

After baby is born, have your partner bring a burp cloth or blanket home from the hospital before baby arrives. Then, have him hold it at a distance from your dog, teaching your pup some restraint with the little one.

When your baby is ready to come home from the hospital, it’s best that your dog is calm and ready. Maybe take him for a long walk first, so he’s a little tired out. Your dog can sniff near the baby, but most dogs will get the idea pretty quickly.

As your baby grows, also teach him how to touch the dog gently and with respect.



Family Matters: Bird Safety


Bird SafetyDid you know that your pet bird is the adventurous sort?

Well, he is!

The first way to keep him safe is to make sure his environment, in most cases, his cage, doesn’t pose any unseen dangers. Make sure the bars are close enough together so that he can’t fit his head through, or else he might get it caught. Use a water bottle and feeder that are designed for your cage and that don’t pose an extra safety risk. Check doors and spring-locked mechanisms so that your bird can’t get a beak, head, wing or foot trapped either.

If your bird is allowed to fly around your house, make sure the house is bird-proofed, too. Watch for crayons, household cleaners or foods that are harmful to birds. Blankets, yarns, threads in sewing supplies, ropes, macramé decorations and small toys, such as Lego bricks, can also be hazardous. Put away table salts and insecticides, too.

Certain houseplants are toxic for your bird, including avocados, calla lilies, coffee beans, eggplants, Jerusalem cherry, milkweed, mistletoe, philodendron, tobacco, tomatoes, Virginia creeper and yew.



Family Matters: Small Pet Safety


Small Pet SafetySmall animals like hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and mice can make great pets, but you have to keep them safe!

First of all, make sure their habitat is secure, and they can’t escape! Take care to make sure cage lids, latches, doors and other openings can’t be pried open by your small pet. Also, make sure no one else in your house (i.e. curious children) can leave them open by mistake.

Then, make sure that large pets don’t have access to your small pet. Cats and dogs can definitely be a danger to a hamster, gerbil or other small animal.

Make sure the lining in a small pet’s cage or crate is appropriate. Dryer lint isn’t safe to use for pets because it’s flammable.

When you let your pet out of the cage, make sure they are being monitored and can’t scamper easily under any furniture or appliances.

Finally, do not sleep with your small pet, as you run the risk of suffocating them.



Shop the Sale: Oven-Baked Dill Salmon


Oven-Baked Dill SalmonMy favorite thing to do on Monday nights, when I’m home alone, is to stop by Brookshire’s on my way home from work to pick up a piece of fresh salmon from the seafood counter. Last time I was there, I didn’t even have to say anything, and the gentleman working behind the counter already knew my order.

“Salmon for one?” he asked.

You betcha.

I eat salmon alone because my family members aren’t fans, no matter how perfectly I cook it. That’s fine. I didn’t like salmon much growing up either. It really wasn’t until a few years ago that a family friend told me to never, EVER overcook fish, and that made all the difference in the world. Instead of a hunk of dry and tough fish, undercooking it just a bit gives you a light, flaky, velvety texture.

Yes, it’s safe to eat.

Dill and lemon, to me, are the perfect pairings with salmon.

If you don’t want to bake this, you can pan-fry it or grill it as well.

Salmon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so you’ll see me there more than just on Monday night.

Oven-Baked Dill Salmon

Ingredients:
4 (5 oz) salmon fillets
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs dill, dried
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F, and spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. When oven is preheated, rub the salmon with olive oil, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Rub with dill, salt and pepper. Place in the baking dish, skin-side down. Top with lemon slices. Bake for 25 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork and is opaque. Do not overcook. Serve with extra lemon.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 253, Calories from Fat: 143, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 63 mg, Sodium: 647 mg, Potassium: 586 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 28 g.

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Healthy Living: Steel-Cut Oats


Steel-Cut OatsSteel-cut oats are like regular oatmeal but cut with steel.

Also, not really.

Okay, so they might be cut with steel, but that’s not why they’re called “steel-cut” oats.

Steel-cut oats are actually whole oat groats that have been cut into two or three pieces. What’s a “groat,” you ask? The whole hull of an oat. So, steel-cut oats differ from rolled or old-fashioned oats simply in that they are not pressed into a round shape.

In a side-by-side comparison of steel-cut oats to rolled oats, steel-cut oats have 20 fewer calories per 1/4 cup, but they are completely equal in protein and carbohydrates. Steel-cut oats have no sugar, compared to 1 gram for rolled oats. They have identical amounts of fat, calcium and iron.

The point of steel-cut oats, really, is that they are less-processed. However, to get the health benefits, be sure to buy them without all the sugary mix-ins like flavorings and sweeteners.

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Product Talk: Grub Rub


Gordon’s Grub RubToday, we are smoking pork ribs, and there’s only one thing Paul wants to put on them: Grub Rub.

Gordon’s Grub Rub is a seasoning, tenderizer and marinade all in one delicious blend of spices. Seriously, you can use it for anything.

Gordon’s Grub Rub is an old family secret, and according to their website, their claim to fame is that their rub doesn’t RUB off of meats and veggies, excuse the bad pun. The website says that as soon as the rub becomes damp, it clings to the meat, a claim we’ve definitely found to be accurate. Because it clings so much better, it not only flavors and tenderizes the meat, but it forms a beautiful crust as the meat is cooking.

Made in Katy, Texas, Grub Rub is sold on the spice aisle of your local Brookshire’s in a 13-ounce shaker. It contains 3 calories for 1/3 teaspoon, 87 milligrams of sodium and zero fat. They don’t really give away the blend in the ingredients listing, though, or on the website. The label simply reads “sugar, salt, pepper, spices, garlic, onion and tenderizers.”

Grub Rub is gluten-free, has no preservatives, and has no MSG.

As they say (it’s true!), “there’s no need to add anything else.”



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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.

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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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