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Product Talk: Marie’s Salad Dressings


Marie’s Salad Dressings

My favorite salad dressing in the entire world, aside from my mom’s homemade version, is Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese. It tastes just like my mom’s, with big chunks of blue cheese in a mild, creamy dressing.

If I’m going to use salad dressing, it’s going to be Marie’s.

Marie’s makes a whole line of salad dressings, which are all delicious and very handy considering I’m the only one in my family who eats blue cheese. My older son loves Creamy Chipotle Ranch. My boyfriend likes Balsamic Vinaigrette, and my younger son likes the regular Ranch. I also enjoy the Asiago Peppercorn!

In addition to salad dressings, try the Coleslaw and BBQ Coleslaw dressings. They make putting together your slaw fast and simple.

As Marie’s likes to say, “Mother Nature brings the crunch; we bring the punch.”

Found near the bagged salads in the refrigerated section, Marie’s brings the punch to any undressed salad or slaw.

 



Dine In: Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts


Spinach-Stuffed Chicken BreastsBack in my single days, my friends and I would go out to eat on Friday nights, and we’d almost always get an appetizer of bubbling, warm, cheesy spinach dip with pita chips.

We’d talk and laugh and eat so much spinach dip that we often weren’t hungry for dinner after we finished.

I still love to go out on Friday nights, but I also love to stay home, especially this time of year when the stores, restaurants and roads are packed to overflowing, and you sometimes wait as long for your meal, or to get a table, as it would just to make the same thing at home.

I tried to come up with something recently that would channel the flavors of the spinach dip that I loved in a date night dish that would be perfect for a Friday night at home.

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, about 3/4 lb
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Italian cheese blend
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
16 oz jar marinara sauce, or homemade
parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until shimmery and fragrant.

Add spinach and parsley; sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook until spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise halfway through until they open like a book. Pound until each is about 1/4 inch thick. In a small bowl, mix together ricotta, Italian cheese blend and spinach mixture; add salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture onto the middle of the flat chicken breasts and roll, securing with a toothpick.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet until shimmery and fragrant. Brown chicken on all sides. Place in oven, and cook for 35 minutes. Pour marinara sauce over the chicken, and cook for another 10 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese, and broil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 843, Calories from Fat: 406, Fat: 45 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 190 mg, Sodium: 1339 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 20 g, Protein: 69 g.

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



Family Matters: Dog Ear Infections


Dog Ear InfectionsDogs can get ear infections, too.

Just like humans, a dog’s ears can ache and cause them quite a bit of misery.

Canine ear infections are often caused by bacteria or yeast. Ear mites, unkempt or excessive hair, moisture or ear wax, foreign objects, allergies and hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) can all contribute to your dog developing an ear infection. Another risk factor is due  to the fact that a dog’s ear canal is mostly vertical (unlike the human ear which is horizontal), and it’s easy for debris and moisture to be retained in the ear canal.

Signs of an ear infection in your dog include:

  • Scratching of the ear or area around the ear
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Crusts or scabs on the inside of the outer ear
  • Hair loss around the ear
  • Rubbing of the ear and surrounding area on the floor or furniture
  • Head shaking or head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking in circles
  • Hearing loss

Luckily, ear infections are easily treated. Your vet might prescribe an antibiotic and a topical ointment.

To help prevent ear infections, keep your dog’s ears clean and dry. Check them frequently for debris, mites or the sign of anything unusual.



Family Matters: Chinchillas


ChinchillasAmong small animals that make good pets are chinchillas!

Chinchillas are related to squirrels and originally hail from Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile. They were originally prized for their very soft fur.

While small and the perfect size for an indoor cage, chinchillas require a lot of exercise and dental hygiene because their teeth continue to grow during their entire life span. The temperature in their cage should also always be between 60 and 70° F. While they need lots of light, their cages cannot be in drafts or direct sunlight.

Chinchillas stay clean by taking dust baths frequently, so you will need to provide a special dust made of fine pumice for them to use a few times a week. If they get wet, they need to be dried immediately so their fur doesn’t grow fungus or get infected. However, their thick fur resists parasites like fleas, and it reduces loose dander. A chinchilla is a good choice for an owner with allergies, as they are hypoallergenic.



Family Matters: Quiet Your Bird


Quiet Your BirdScreaming and screeching can be a problem with many pet birds and a deterrent to keeping a feathered friend as a pet.

However, there are several techniques that can be used to help quiet your pet bird.

First of all, just know that birds are naturally noisy creatures. They need to be loud to communicate with their flock. Sometimes, they’ll screech at sunrise or sunset or if the room has filled with people. Sometimes they scream or screech because they are ill or not feeling well. Fear, a change in environment or a change in caregiver can also make your pet bird screech.

As a bird owner, your goal should not be to eliminate bird noises but to reduce them to a more tolerable level. Yelling back at your bird, hitting the bird or the cage, leaving him isolated, spraying her with water, or withholding food will not help control your pet’s screaming, but it will serve to only increase the stress on the bird and make the screaming worse.

When your bird stays quiet, a reward, like a toy, a treat or something he loves, is the best motivator. Speak to your bird in a quiet voice and have a regular command or prompt, like a soft shushing noise, to indicate that he should quiet down.

If the bird is screaming when he’s left alone, provide a radio or other soft background noise for comfort and distraction.

Be consistent with your rewards and training, and it will pay off in a quieter, calmer bird.



Family Matters: Exercise for your Cat


Exercise for your CatWhile cats have the reputation for napping, the truth of the matter is really that they need a good amount of exercise.

Exercise for your cat improves muscle tone and decreases appetite, but it also helps increase their life span.

You probably don’t want to walk your cat on a leash (although they can be trained to do so), so you have to get creative with other ways to keep your cat moving.

Provide a tower for your cat to climb. Jumping up onto it or down from it, or climbing up, keeps your cat active.

Play with him. Rolling a ball back and forth across the floor and letting him chase it, or throwing a favorite toy for him to pounce upon, are fun for both you and your cat.

Play with a flashlight or laser pointer. Your cat will have fun chasing the light (don’t point it into his eyes!).

Drag a small toy by a string and have your cat chase after it.



Mi Blog Hispano: Quequitos de Tamales


Quequitos de Tamales¡Que ricos son estos días festivos! Ya se siente el aire navideño y andamos todos de prisa preparándonos para las fiestas con nuestras familias. He estado buscando recetas de aperitivos para tener en nuestra fiesta navideña, ya que mi mama y mi tía estarán cocinando los platillos principales. Me gusta ver la revista que Brookshire’s publica de “Celebrate Cooking”. Está llena de recetas e ideas para la temporada. Encontré una receta fácil y perfecta para hacer como aperitivo. Son unos quequitos de tamales, o como le llaman en la revista “Mini Tamale Pies”. Al verlos se me hicieron tan curiosos y perfectos para comer mientras esperamos la comida principal.

Aquí tienen la receta completa. ¡Espero que les guste!

Quequitos de Tamales
Prep: 20 minutos
Cocción: 1 hora
Sirve: 12

Ingredientes:

Para La Masa:
1 1/2 tazas de masa harina
1/2 taza de caldo de pollo
1/3 taza de aceite vegetal

Para El Relleno:
1 cucharada de aceite vegetal
1 lb de carne molida de res
1 cebolla amarilla, en cubitos
2 dientes de ajo, bien picados
1 paquete de “taco seasoning”
3/4 taza de agua
1 1/2 tazas de queso rallado
3/4 tazas de crema
2 cucharadas de cilantro

Instrucciones:
Caliente el horno a 350⁰ F. Combine los ingredientes de la masa en un cuenco mediano; mezcle bien. Tape el cuenco con envoltura de plástico; póngalo a un lado.

En un sartén grande, caliente el aceite en fuego mediano. Agregue la carne molida hasta que esté bien cocida. Agregue el sazón de “taco seasoning” y el agua; deje hervir. Reduzca la temperatura. Sazone con sal y pimienta. Deje hervir a fuego lento por 5 minutos, revolviendo ocasionalmente con la cuchara. Ponga a un lado.

Divida la masa entre las 12 cavidades del molde para quequitos. Presione masa en una capa delgada para que se acomode uniformemente en la cavidad. Agregue el relleno en cada cavidad ya con masa. Meta al horno por 20 minutos.

Agregue queso sobre el relleno. Regrese el molde al horno y deje por otros 10 minutos. Deje reposar por 5 minutos. Use un cuchillo chico para separar las orillas de los quequitos del molde. Agregue crema y cilantro en cada quequito antes de servir.



Shop the Sale: Chile Colorado Burritos


Chile Colorado BurritosThere’s nothing my family loves more than a Taco Tuesday unless it’s Tex-Mex Tuesday. Or Wednesday, or Thursday, as the case may be.

So, what if we have to take a few liberties with the name?

This dish is a cross between a burrito and an enchilada. Burritos aren’t baked with sauce. Enchiladas are baked, not broiled, a whole lot longer than the time it takes to melt the cheese. Thus the hybrid.

I love cheese, so I tend to add a layer of cheddar or Monterey Jack (which melts beautifully) over the refried beans before I add the meat.

Serve this with a side of Spanish rice and a tossed salad.

Chile Colorado Burritos

Ingredients:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless top sirloin
1 large can mild red enchilada sauce (at least 19 oz)
2 Tbs cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs chili powder
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 can fat-free refried beans
1 cup onion, slivered
5 to 7 burrito-sized flour tortillas
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Place beef, cumin, garlic, chili powder, whole bouillon cubes (do NOT add water), onion and enchilada sauce into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until meat is very tender. Shred beef in slow cooker. Add salt and black pepper if needed.

Heat refried beans until warmed through. Spread each tortilla with beans. Top with a heaping scoop of the meat mixture, using a slotted spoon to help drain juices. Place burritos side-by-side in a baking pan. Top with remaining juice from the slow cooker and all the cheese. Broil under high heat until cheese is bubbly serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 607, Calories from Fat: 130, Fat: 15 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 112 mg, Sodium: 662 mg, Carbohydrates: 78 g, Fiber: 28 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 57 g.

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



Healthy Living: Cranberry Pear Crisp


Cranberry Pear CrispMy first thought after someone mentions “holiday meal” is usually “holiday desserts.”

I can’t help it; I love a sweet treat.

This holiday season, I’m going to try to eat fewer slices of pecan pie or bouche de noel and make healthier choices.

One thing I really love about the holidays is the abundance of fresh cranberries, so I like to incorporate those into my foods as frequently as humanly possible.

This dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth, but it won’t stack up the calories or amount of sugar you’re consuming. The tartness of the cranberry plays well against the sweet pear, and the crisp topping adds texture and pulls all the flavors together.

It’s also much healthier than eating something laden with chocolate and sugar.

Cranberry Pear Crisp

Ingredients:
For the filling:
2 Anjou pears, cored and diced
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal
1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar, or 2 Tbs Splenda Brown Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs coconut oil, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F, and spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
Roughly chop cranberries; toss them with diced pears, cornstarch, syrup and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping mixture over the filling, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 375, Calories from Fat: 128, Fat: 14 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 7 mg, Potassium: 405 mg, Carbohydrates: 58 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 31 g, Protein: 6 g.

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



Product Talk: Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar


Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar‘Tis the season for baking, and I go through lots of brown sugar during the holidays.

Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar has been trusted by generations of cooks and bakers seeking out the highest-quality ingredients for their cakes, cookies, raisin breads, pies and frostings.

Since 1917, Dixie Crystals has been harvesting sugar cane for their brown sugars. They are gluten-free, kosher-certified and only 15 calories per teaspoon.

A division of the Imperial Sugar Company, Dixie Crystals is based in Texas and ships quickly to your local Brookshire’s store for optimal freshness.

Dixie Crystals makes all kinds of sugars for your holiday baking needs, from dark brown to light brown and from powdered to turbinado.

Whatever kind of sugar you need, you can find it at Brookshire’s from Dixie Crystals.

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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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