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Mi Blog Hispano: Guiando a nuestros hijos a la Universidad


Guiando a nuestros hijos a la UniversidadComo padres, tenemos la responsabilidad de guiar, motivar e incentivar a nuestros hijos para que estudien en la Universidad. Es importante que ellos comprendan que su educación universitaria les va a permitir tener un futuro asegurado y  próspero. Para muchos de nosotros a quienes nos ha tocado emigrar a este país, el camino ha sido duro pero siempre con la intención de poder darles una vida y un futuro mejor, para que ellos puedan estudiar.

Por experiencia propia sé que a veces, como padres, nos sentimos un poco desorientados en como guiar a nuestros hijos hacia esa ruta del estudio universitario, quizás porque se viene de otro país donde las cosas son diferentes, por eso es ideal que podamos hacer una planeación financiera desde que nuestros niños están pequeños,  para luego cubrir sus estudios sin contratiempos. Si no tomamos previsiones con anterioridad no sabremos cómo vamos a pagar las matriculas o cuales son las cosas que se necesitan para aplicar a becas o a créditos estudiantiles… A veces nuestros hijos prefieren comenzar a trabajar, ganar dinero, meterse en deudas con la falsa promesa de que algún día más adelante van a seguir estudiando, y en la mayoría de los casos eso nunca pasa.

Como padres es importante comenzar a motivar a nuestros hijos desde pequeños. Hablarles del futuro y que ellos se establezcan metas a corto plazo para que las vayan logrando poco a poco y también a largo plazo para que sepan hacia donde se dirigen. También es importante informarnos de que pasos hay que tomar y cuando hacerlo… El internet provee mucha información, también en las escuelas secundarias y en la Universidad se pueden encontrar personas cuyos trabajos son orientar en este aspecto llamados consejeros (Decidir a qué universidades solicitar admisión y cuando, obtener cartas de recomendación, escribir ensayos de admisión, etc.)

Dele mensajes positivos a sus hijos, sea un ejemplo de lucha y progreso para ellos, que ellos sepan que la prioridad es el estudio y que todo en la vida tiene su tiempo y que este es el tiempo ideal para ellos estudiar. Apoye a sus hijos, las estadísticas recientes muestran que el índice de estudiantes Hispanos que entran a la Universidad ha aumentado, pero a diferencia de esto el porcentaje de estudiantes Hispanos que se gradúa es sumamente bajo, es decir, que la mayoría se retira en el camino. Así que como padres decidamos ayudar a nuestros hijos y propongámonos a que ellos cambien el esquema y sean testigos del éxito que significa tener una Carrera universitaria, aliéntelos a lograrlo. ¡Si se puede!



Healthy Living: Body Weight Exercises


Body Weight ExercisesAt the beginning of the year, I read an article saying that “body weight resistance” exercises would be the “it” workout in 2015.

I guess if we can have a Hollywood “it” girl and guy, and Pantone can declare the “it” color of the year (It’s Marsala this year, by the way), we can have an “it” exercise.

It turns out that after I did a little research, body weight resistance exercises are vastly preferred by a lot of area trainers.

This simply means using your own body weight as resistance when you work out. Push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, planks, sit-ups, leg lifts and the like are all body weight resistance exercises.

There are no pushing machines at the gym or lifting dumbbells that your body can’t handle. It’s free; you don’t need anything beyond what God gave you, and you can work out anywhere.

My 11-year-old told me recently that he wanted to start “lifting weights” for upper body strength. Well, weight-lifting really isn’t recommended for an 11-year-old, but body weight resistance exercises are fine. He’s been doing push-ups, dips, planks and burpees, and he is having a great time with it.

So, if part of your New Year’s resolution was to get back in shape, start with what you have at home: your own body.



Product Talk: White Pepper


White PepperWhen my boyfriend said he was making dinner on Christmas Eve, he brought everything he needed with him. He’s good that way.

He even brought the spices he needed, including one I didn’t have: white pepper.

White pepper is also from the pepper plant (like black pepper), but this outer layer of the plant is removed before or after drying, leaving only the inner seed. (For black pepper, the fruit is left on the plant until ripe and sun-dried.)

White pepper tastes hotter than black but is less complex with fewer flavor notes. Often used for aesthetic reasons like to avoid “specs” in mashed potatoes, white pepper is often used in French cooking.

We used it in mashed potatoes. I liked the depth of flavor the white pepper adds; it gives the dish a heat that takes a minute to register on your palate. While I don’t care about “specs” in my food, it does make it taste delicious, and that’s all that really matters.



Dine In: Chicken Breasts Lombardy


Chicken Breasts LombardyFor my eleventh birthday, my parents took me to a French restaurant in downtown Richmond, Virginia. La Petite France was an iconic restaurant that opened in 1971, and it stayed in business until 2008.

I can’t even tell you how huge this dinner was for me and how it’s stuck in my head for 30 years.

First of all, we just didn’t eat out. If we did, it was McDonald’s, certainly not a fancy restaurant all the way downtown with valet parking and candles on the tables.

I’m really not sure what prompted my parents to pull out all the stops for my eleventh birthday, but they did.

I got all dressed up. At age 11, that meant a church dress (I can still see it…dove gray with magenta color-blocking on the shoulders), white tights and black patent leather shoes. My fancy clothes. My parents hired a babysitter for the rest of my siblings, and we drove downtown for dinner, just the three of us.

The restaurant was dim and hushed with candles and small lamps on heavy, white tablecloths. My dad wore a suit and tie, and my mom also had on a dress with heels. My dad pulled out the chair for me and my mom.

They ordered for me, I think. I wasn’t a picky eater so I’m sure anything would have been good. I had a chicken breast smothered in mushrooms and a wine sauce (I probably didn’t know that at the time), a fluffy roll served on a separate plate, and asparagus. There was a chocolate confection for dessert, which came with a candle blazing on it.

I felt so grown up.

This recipe is pretty close to what I had at dinner that night, and it takes me back to those memories every time I think of a “fancy” dinner.

Chicken Breasts Lombardy

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) pkg fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs butter, melted
6 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 green onions, chopped

Directions:
Cook mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 to 5 minutes or just until tender. Remove from heat; set aside.

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/8-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Dredge chicken pieces in flour. Cook chicken in batches in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Place chicken in a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, overlapping edges. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and butter. Reserve pan drippings in skillet. Sprinkle mushrooms evenly over chicken.
Add wine and broth to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Combine cheeses and green onions; sprinkle over chicken.

Bake uncovered at 450° F for 12 to 14 minutes or until cheese melts.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 586, Calories from Fat: 291, Fat: 32 g, Cholesterol: 193 mg, Sodium: 780 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 56 g

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

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Posted in: Dine In


Family Matters: The Butcher Shop


The Butcher ShopMy son came to work with me today.

He had a school holiday, and while he’s capable of staying home alone, he didn’t want to be by himself for so many hours. I don’t blame him.

So, this morning, he packed up his laptop, his headphones and his charging cord, and he prepared to hunker down in my office for the better part of 10 hours.

We dropped his brother off at school (amidst wails of “It’s not fair.”), and we headed to work.

Luke didn’t make a peep for four hours until I said I was getting hungry. His agreement was instantaneous.

I think he was expecting to hit up a fast food joint, but I upped the ante on him. We went to The Butcher Shop, a local favorite that specializes in burgers, homemade desserts and grinding their own beef. We’d been a few other times when Luke’s soccer team played in town for tournaments.

He was beyond thrilled.

Over burgers and a shared order of fries, I realized that I almost never get time alone with my boys one-on-one. The other boy is always around. Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t trade the company for the world, but it’s nice to have alone time, too.

We talked about all kinds of things, topics we may not have touched on had his older brother been with us.

I left lunch feeling very satisfied and not just from the burger and fries. My heart was full, and I realized that I need to schedule time alone with each son on a regular basis.

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Posted in: Family Matters


Shop the Sale: Baked Coconut Chicken Strips


Baked Coconut Chicken StripsI need sunshine. I need sunshine BADLY. I suspect most of us who live in this part of the country – or even anywhere in the United States during the winter months – share my sentiments. (Or, is it desperation?)

It’s the time of year when I’m ready to shed the vestiges of winter for the spoils of spring, but the one thing I’m not quite ready to give up is my cold-weather comfort foods.

This coconut chicken is a marriage of comfort (baked, crunchy chicken), sunshine and lightness. Because when I think of coconuts, I think of Hawaii, and Hawaii is a warm tropical place where there’s plenty of sunshine and light during some of the dreary days of winter.

This recipe is baked, not fried, so you can even imagine yourself on a beach in a bikini.

This week, Brookshire’s chicken breasts or tenders are on sale, so you can transport to the tropics with this family-friendly recipe.

Baked Coconut Chicken Strips

Ingredients:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 6-8 tenders, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness and cut into strips
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 eggs
1 Tbs water
2 cups coconut flakes
sweet & sour sauce or Asian sweet chili sauce, for dipping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Whisk together flour and seasoned salt in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs and water in a second bowl. Place coconut flakes in a third bowl.

Toss strips of chicken in the flour mixture, and then dip in the eggs. Lastly, roll in the coconut flakes, being sure to coat well. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and chicken is cooked through. Serve warm with dipping sauce of choice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 401, Calories from Fat: 172, Fat: 19 g, Cholesterol: 169 mg, Sodium: 301 mg, Potassium: 401 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 39 g

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

 



Healthy Living: Dark Chocolate


Dark ChocolateFebruary is American Heart Month, which is when we focus on good cardiovascular health. Programs like Go Red for Women highlight the fact that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women.

February is also Valentine’s Day, which is when we love to give chocolate to people we care about.

Well, did you know that dark chocolate is actually heart-healthy?

Dark chocolate, with 70 percent or higher cocoa content, can be a good source of resveratrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids). Both are essential to heart health. Flavanal, a plant antioxidant, helps widen blood vessels and increases blood flow in the brain.

Studies show that daily consumption of dark chocolate lowered people’s blood pressure an average of two to three points.

Now, don’t think you can just eat a lot of dark chocolate candy bars; the sugar and fat contents of candy are counterproductive. You can mix a concentrated cocoa powder into a drink and take it that way.

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Posted in: Healthy Living


Product Talk: Smithfield Bacon


Smithfield BaconI just realized that I write about bacon a lot.

However, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like, OK, LOVE, bacon.

Smithfield Bacon with Sea Salt is one of my favorite brands. Nestled in the refrigerated case at Brookshire’s, the Smithfield Bacon with Sea Salt still has a salty flavor with less sodium than regular cured bacon.

I will admit being partial to this product because the company was founded in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia, as a small meat-packing company along the James River.

Well, I’m from Virginia, and Smithfield isn’t that far from my hometown of Richmond. Every year, when we drove east to go to the beach on summer vacation, we’d pass through Smithfield where the company is still thriving and the backbone of the town. It smells SO GOOD when you drive through. The smell of smoky meats just hang in the air in Smithfield no matter the time of day. You might also have heard of Smithfield hams, perhaps the most famous of the company’s pork products.

The bacon cooks up to crisp perfection.

Grab some today.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Gouda Grits with Brown Butter Shrimp


Gouda Grits with Brown Butter ShrimpI go through phases with Friday nights. Sometimes I love to whip up a great meal on Friday nights; sometimes I like to order pizza.

Lately, I’ve been in a cooking mood, or maybe it’s an eating mood. Are the two mutually exclusive? I don’t think so.

Anyway, I made this Southern delight one Friday night, and it was a huge hit. The smoky, creamy grits beautifully complemented the savory shrimp.

I made this with stone-ground grits and just followed the directions on the package for cooking them with the chicken stock. However, you can really use any kind you want.

I had visions of a restaurant in historic New Orleans when I made these shrimp and grits. I’d love to eat these at an outdoor café with moss hanging from the cypress trees.

Gouda Grits with Brown Butter Shrimp

Ingredients:

Gouda Grits:
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup quick-cooking grits
8 oz Gouda cheese, freshly grated
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 ears grilled sweet corn, cut from the cob
2 Tbs chives, freshly snipped

Shrimp:
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed

Directions:

Gouda Grits:
Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the grits and whisk constantly until they are fully mixed into the stock, about 1 or 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cover, stirring once or twice more, until the grits are thicker and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Taste and season more if desired. This will depend on the salt in your stock and cheese.

Shrimp:
Pat the shrimp completely dry with paper towels. Once it’s dry, season it with the salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once it’s melted and begins to sizzle, add the shrimp in batches and cook on both sides until pink. The butter will brown as the shrimp cooks, and you can whisk it occasionally to prevent it from burning. When the shrimp is finished, stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Then, place the shrimp on a plate.

To serve the grits, spoon them into a bowl and add the shrimp on top. Drizzle leftover butter from the pan on top. Cover with spoonfuls of grilled corn and a sprinkling of chives. Eat immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 566, Calories from Fat: 319, Fat: 35 g, Cholesterol: 291 mg, Sodium: 2010 mg, Potassium: 309 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 41 g

 

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: New Year’s Resolution


New Year’s ResolutionsAs we begin moving forward in a new year, many individuals and families are making resolutions of different types. Whether it be healthier eating, weight loss, charity work or starting to go to church, some resolutions, as we know, don’t last long. This year, how about setting a reasonable goal that will not only benefit you but will touch the lives of others?

Have you ever thought about how your “hand-me downs” could make a difference to someone else? How just the giving of something you no longer want or need will change someone’s life? We all outgrow some of our clothes throughout the year, and a lot of times we just trash them or leave them in the closet or drawer for later when they will fit again…we all do this. The truth of the matter is that most of the time we don’t get back into these clothes, and they are not benefiting anyone.

Our family takes our “hand-me downs” to a local clothes closet that benefits families who are less fortunate. We can take clothes, shoes, toys or anything that is still in good shape, and donate it to be used for the good of others. We have a saying at our house “your hand-me downs can raise someone else up.” This means that something we can no longer use or wear can be given to someone who has a true need, and it will bring them comfort and a sense of joy. What is more rewarding than knowing you are helping others by just giving, something that cost you nothing?

Don’t throw good, used clothing away for there is always someone who can benefit from these items. If you can’t find a local charity that takes used clothing, I promise there is some friend with kids that would love to have them; just ask. Rule of thumb: don’t donate items that have holes in them or stains – things that you would not wear. When you want to raise someone else up, make your hand-me downs something they will be proud to wear. Set a goal to clean out the items that your family can no longer wear or use every three months. My kids grow out of things or they decide to change their style (a girl thing) often. Clothes and shoes are expensive, so donating them is a great way to teach your family to give to others.

Count your blessings daily, and give thanks to the Lord for the time you have to share with your family and the opportunities you have to raise others up!

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Posted in: Family Matters


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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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