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Healthy Living: Egg White Breakfast

Egg White BreakfastBreakfast is difficult for me.

Between getting myself ready, getting two teenage boys ready, fixing them breakfast and preparing their lunches, there’s often little time to get myself a healthy breakfast and get out the door. What’s worse is that there is a popular fast-food restaurant on the corner near my office, and I can fall victim to a sausage biscuit, I must admit.

For me, prior planning is the key. If I can grab something and go, I can fix it at work. If not, it’s a sausage biscuit, which you know is more economical with some hash browns and a soft drink. Oops.

I love liquid egg white products. I love eggs, so these are a delicious alternative to a regular egg (and for me, fewer calories and less cholesterol). Last week, I started making healthy breakfast bowls and keeping them in the fridge to grab when I need them. I combine half of a cup of liquid egg whites, like Egg Beaters, with (truth be told) a lot of leftovers. I’m aiming for a breakfast full of protein, so last week I chopped up all the lean round steak, onion and peppers we’d had for fajitas and packaged them in individual plastic containers with the egg whites. I added salt and pepper, some hot sauce and about one teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese.

Then, these were ready to pop in the microwave either at work or at home, depending on what I had time for. I’ve also done them with black beans and spinach; ham, cheese and onions; or whatever lean protein I have available in leftover form.

Microwave on high for about a minute. Stir. Microwave a minute more or until egg whites are set. You’ll have a complete, nutritious breakfast right around 200 calories.

Product Talk: Hampton Farms Hot Nuts

Hampton Farms Hot NutsWe had an unseasonably warm weekend, so Paul and I planned a porch party (for two). At the end of a long day of errands, we grabbed a comfortable seat in the sunshine and enjoyed the breeze, the melodies of the chimes, the smell of the grill and some Hampton Farms Hot Nuts for an appetizer.

We’d just run into Brookshire’s for some potatoes, you see, but the Cajun Spicy Peanuts were in the produce section and we were, well, hangry. You know, so hungry that it makes you upset? Hangry.

We grabbed the bag, our potatoes and headed home.

Once on the porch with our potatoes baking, we settled in to enjoy the warm weather and the peanuts. Paul tried to carefully contain the shells in a plastic bag, but we were on the porch, so what the heck? I was happy to crack shells and discard them at my feet, like we were eating in a popular chain steakhouse. The wind would take care of them, right?

Hampton Farms Hot Nuts are peanuts sold in the shell. This variety happens to have a Cajun spice. The wonderful part of these nuts is that the flavor is infused in the nut, not just dusted on the shell.

We had to read about how this was accomplished (because we’re going to try it at home with Hampton Farm raw peanuts in the shell, mind you). Basically, they brine the whole nut, in the shell, long enough for the flavor-infused liquid to seep into the nut. Then, they dry them and roast them (that’s a horribly simplified version, but it’s one I can understand!). The Cajun flavoring gets sealed right into the nut, so not only do you get that smoky flavor that you look for in a roasted peanut, but you get a dash of Cajun spice as well.

They are addictive.

So much so that I went back this morning and bought another two bags.

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Dine In: Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

Slow Cooker Peach CobblerI’m writing right now with my mouth watering. There is peach cobbler in my slow cooker, and it smells like heaven on earth or at least spring, which it feels like outside on this unseasonal day.

Peaches are one of my favorite summer fruits and not easy to grow or process, so it makes sense that buying peach pie filling in a can isn’t an inexpensive endeavor. However, a taste of summer is worth it on a winter’s day.

This recipe is super easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. If you start it when you come home from work on Friday night, you’ll have it in time for dessert. I had a variety of frozen nuts in my freezer and almost anything would work, but I chose walnuts for their earthy, sweet flavor, high oil content and overall deliciousness.

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

2 (21 oz) cans peach pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
8 oz butter
1/2 cup walnuts or other nuts, chopped

Pour peach pie filling into slow cooker. Sprinkle with 1/2 of nuts. Top with dry yellow cake mix. Cut butter into slivers and place over dry cake mix. Top with the remaining nuts. Cook, on high, for 2 1/2 hours. Serve warm with ice cream.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 692, Calories from Fat: 317, Fat: 35 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 664 mg, Potassium: 101 mg, Carbohydrates: 90 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 60 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

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Posted in: Dine In

Family Matters: Making Your Home Safe for Your Dog

Making Your Home Safe for Your DogGetting a dog is sort of like having a toddler – they can get into things you never saw coming!

To prepare a safe haven for your pooch, consider pet-proofing very much the same way you’d child-proof.

Use child-proof locks on cabinets that contain cleaning agents, chemicals or even food that your dog could get into and could be potentially harmful. Make sure all medications are on high shelves or in other places your dog can’t reach.

Consider putting a latch or at least a lid on your trash can, or secure it in a cabinet with a latch. That way, your dog can’t get into it and eat something he shouldn’t!

Keep the toilet lids closed. Do you really want your pet drinking toilet water?

Secure cords that your pet could trip over, so he doesn’t knock lamps or other appliances over on top of him.

Keep children’s toys with small parts out of reach of your dog, too.

Some house plants are poisonous. Research them before bringing them into your home and around your pet.

In your garage, make sure that your car isn’t leaking antifreeze, which can cause kidney failure in your pet, or that you don’t have paint, oil, gas, fertilizer or any other chemical agent accessible to your pet.

Family Matters: Keeping Kitty Safe At Home

Keeping Kitty Safe At HomeThey say cats have nine lives, but you don’t want them using up any of those in an unsafe living environment!

Keeping your cat safe in your home requires a few simple steps.

First, think like a cat! You’re going to have to examine your home for nooks, crannies and crevices that your cat can get into (look high, look low), and make sure they aren’t a safety hazard for your cat. Make sure nothing can fall on them and that they can’t get stuck anywhere. Patch any holes in walls or closets.

Keep an eye on your cat! Check the dryer before turning it on (cats like to climb into warm spaces). When outside in the winter, bang on your car hood before starting the car to make sure kitty hasn’t climbed up inside the warm engine.

Certain plants can be poisonous to pets. Research plants before bringing them into your home or remove ones you already have that might be dangerous.

Keep food put away; not all human food (or the packages it comes in) is good for cats.

Many bathroom essentials are toxic to cats, so be sure to keep makeup, cleaning agents and personal hygiene products behind closed doors.

Cats are notorious for playing with cords from electronics or strings dangling from blinds. Be sure to keep those out of reach so they don’t get tangled in them or chew through them, which can be fatal to your feline.

Family Matters: Feeding Do’s and Don’ts

Feeding Do’s and Don’tsSmall animals are just that…small! You don’t want to overfeed them or they will get fat, which will tax their hearts.

Hamsters and gerbils should eat one tablespoon or less of food per day. For a treat, they can have unshelled nuts with no salt added. Do not give your hamster or gerbil iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, chocolate, raw beans, potatoes, or sugary or salty foods. Too much green food will cause diarrhea. Never give sticky food to a hamster, as it will stick to their pouches.

Guinea pigs love grass hay and green foods, in addition to high-quality pellets. They need vitamin C, such as kale, dandelion greens, collard greens and peppers. They should be fed twice a day. Great treats for your guinea pig include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, melon, oranges, pears and strawberries.

Do not give them celery – they can’t digest the “strings.” Do not feed them raw beans or rhubarb, as those foods are poisonous to these animals.

Your bunny will love you for providing grass hay, and they can eat it without restraint. Pellets should be fed in the amount of no more than 1/8 cup per day. Avoid high-starch or fatty foods such as beans, breads, seeds, peas, corn, nuts, cereals, oats or other grains, but they can have kiwi, strawberries, pears, melons, apples, oranges and vegetables in limited quantities.

Family Matters: Do’s And Don’ts of Feeding Your Feathered Friend

Do’s And Don’ts of Feeding Your Feathered FriendFeeding your birds all seed?

Your feathered friend might call ‘fowl’!

Most birds kept as pets should eat very little seed, even though it’s intuitively what a lot of bird owners flock to. Seeds are fattening and not healthy in high quantities. There are conflicting reports on the benefits of seed for birds, but if you stick to natural seeds like sunflowers, your bird should be fine.

Instead, your bird should be ingesting organic pellets and a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Of course, this comes with rules, too. Avocado can be toxic to parrots. Avoid it with other birds as well. The pit contains an oil toxin called persin that can seep into the fruit. Signs of avocado toxicity include lethargy, anorexia, breathing difficulty and sudden death. Onions can cause irritation to a bird’s mouth, esophagus and crop, and they can also cause ulcers. Fresh tomatoes can also cause ulcers because of high acidity, but dried tomatoes are fine in moderation. Mushrooms, a fungus, can cause digestive problems in your bird. It’s best to avoid them all together. The strings from celery are not good for your bird, but small, stringless morsels are fine.

Apples, pears, plums, grapes and other soft fruits are great for birds.

Hardened fat cut from unsalted meat is also a great treat. Bread is okay in small quantities, just remember that it doesn’t really have nutritional value for your bird; it’s basically a filler. Cooked brown or white rice and potatoes (no salt added) are fine foods for your bird.

Don’t give your bird anything with margarine or butter as it can bog down the bird’s feathers.

No salt. Salt is toxic to birds.

No milk. Birds cannot digest it.

Be very careful of peanuts. No large morsels, no salt, no molds.

Shop the Sale: Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp TacosDear Shrimp Tacos,

I love you.

I might not see you often, but my loyalty never fails.

You are my favorite type of soft taco, and I sing your praises to the ends of the earth.

I love the texture you give to a soft taco. I love how a well-cooked shrimp has a bite to it and complements the softness of a corn tortilla and the crunchiness of some cabbage.

You’re amazing in the way you take on flavors of the seasonings with whom you frolic. I’m a fan, personally, of lime and garlic, but lemon, Cajun spices, salt and pepper, cumin, paprika and red pepper work just as well.

You are beautiful. Low-calorie. High protein. Low cholesterol. So easy to work with. Quick to cook. Full of flavor.

Dear Shrimp, I love you so.


Shrimp Tacos

12 corn tortillas
1 lb 31/40 Gulf shrimp
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbs garlic, crushed
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 red onion, slivered
6 Tbs cilantro
4 oz queso fresca, crumbled

Remove tails from shrimp. Combine lime juice and garlic in a large bowl. Soak shrimp in juices for about 5 minutes. Don’t marinate too long or shrimp will cook.

Remove shrimp from marinade. Heat a nonstick skillet to high heat. Sautée shrimp until opaque, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place shredded cabbage, onion and queso fresca in the corn tortilla. Top with shrimp and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Makes 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 132, Calories from Fat: 30, Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 85 mg, Sodium: 179 mg, Potassium: 141 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 12 g.

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

Healthy Living: Jana’s ‘Black Bean So Good For You, They’re Practically a Vegetable’ Brownies

Janas Black Bean So Good For You, They’re Practically a Vegetable BrowniesLast week, a group of girlfriends gathered for a Girls’ Night In at the home of my BFF. She’d made everything look magical, with snowy-white table linens, silvery snowflakes, polished napkin rings and good silverware, and sparkling touches down the center. It looked like a winter wonderland.

Our meal was served potluck-style. The hostess made chicken spaghetti. I brought garlic bread. There were two different salads, a lasagna, a rice pilaf and white chocolate pudding.

Jana brought brownies. Black bean brownies.

You better believe she took a ribbing for her offering.

I think most of the guests would have rather eaten the sole of their shoe than try the brownies made largely out of black beans!

Jana doesn’t eat much. She has some medical problems (a lot of medical problems) and relies largely on liquid nutrition. So, you’d better believe that when she does eat, whatever she puts in her mouth packs a nutritional punch. In fact, she herself wrote a blog post about these brownies a few weeks ago, and here’s what she said about them (copied directly from the post, with her permission!):

OK, I know what you are thinking…
“Black Bean Brownies???”
“That must be one of those Trendy, Gluten-Free,
California Hippy recipes!”

And well, it is gluten-free, but it is All American Chocolate Deliciousness!
I may or may not have had these for breakfast. (They are full of protein & fiber!)
I will neither confirm nor deny that I have had them instead of a vegetable for a meal. And that could have happened for both lunch and dinner two days in a row.

Like I said, the group was skeptical. Leave it to ‘Give It to Amy, She’ll Eat Anything’ to dive in first.

Jana’s description of them is quite apt! They are delicious. I PROMISE you that you’d NEVER know they are made out of black beans. I promise. All the other ladies were persuaded to try them as well. By the end of the evening, they were declared an unqualified success!

A girl who grew up on a ranch in Texas shouldn’t be doubted.

Here’s Jana’s recipe, in her own words:

Black Bean ‘So Good for You, They’re Practically a Vegetable’ Brownies
by Dr. Jana Vanderslice

1/4 cup oats
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 Tbs canola oil
3 eggs
1 cup regular sugar (OR 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup regular sugar)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Place the oatmeal in the food processor, and blend until it is as close to a flour consistency as you can get it.

Place the beans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or a little more!) and oil in the food processor. Cover and process until blended.

*TIP #1: Splurge and go with “a little more” than 1/4 cup of chocolate chips!

Add the eggs, brown sugar, regular sugar, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cover and process until mixed.

*TIP #2: Baking soda takes the gas out of beans. When you cook a pot of beans, always add baking soda or even Dr. Pepper or Pepsi. Your family will thank you.

Pour into a sprayed 9-inch square pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Bake at 350° F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

*TIP #3: I also like to use the mini loaf pans or cupcake tins. Decrease the cooking time if you use smaller pans.

*TIP #4: Personalize your brownies by sprinkling different candies on top in the last few minutes of cooking. Ex: Green and Gold M&M’s for Baylor Bears Football, candy corn for Fall, Ande’s mint chocolate bits for Christmas, red sprinkles for Valentine’s day, or drizzle melted white chocolate bark for zebra brownies, etc.

Makes 12
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 219, Calories from Fat: 67, Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 43 mg, Sodium: 172 mg, Potassium: 399 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 20 g, Protein: 6 g.

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

Product Talk: Total Cluster Fudge “Soooommmmore”

Total Cluster Fudge-SoooommmmoreYou know how ‘they’ say “Never grocery shop while you’re hungry?”

Well, I do all the time. Maybe it’s because I’m always hungry or maybe it’s just poor planning on my part.

Either way, it’s resulted in some purchases that I might not have made if I was full of something healthy like salad (because let’s face it, who grabs a green pepper when they’re ravenous and want something quick to nosh on?).

But sometimes something catches your eye and, hungry or not, you want to try it right then and there. This happens to me all the time in Brookshire’s.

Like these brownies. I was walking PAST the bakery section on the way to the seafood counter when I saw this container of heavenliness. They were in my shopping cart faster than you could say, “Chocolate.” Not only was I shopping on an empty stomach, but it had been a long day and these sounded like they would hit the spot.

They did.

The bottom layer of these treats is a fudgy brownie, a little gooey, just how I like it. Then, over the brownie layer, was a layer of graham crackers, topped with another layer of soft brownie and the whole thing was capped off with perfectly golden mini-marshmallows, a S’more in a brownie.

I managed to only eat one (that night).

Next time, they’ll be on my shopping list, hungry or not.

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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

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