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Family Matters: Quick & Easy Stacked Dinner


Quick & Easy Stacked DinnerI was looking for something quick and easy to fix for supper recently, and after looking through my pantry, I decided to make something out of items I already had to save a trip to town. Below is a recipe I put together. It came out great, my family loved it, and they wanted to know where I got the recipe!

Quick & Easy Stacked Dinner

Ingredients:
1 (10 ct) pkg Brookshire’s Large Flour Tortillas
2 1/2 lbs ground hamburger meat
2 pkgs Brookshire’s Taco Seasoning
1 can Brookshire’s Sweet Corn, drained
1 can Brookshire’s Black Beans, drained
1 can Brookshire’s Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 pkgs (8 oz) Brookshire’s Colby Jack Grated Cheese
shredded lettuce, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, sliced avocado and hot sauce, optional

Directions:
Wipe the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 glass pan with olive oil (or vegetable oil). Layer with flour tortillas and set aside. Brown the ground meat; drain well. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water; simmer until warm. Mix the corn, black beans and diced tomatoes together in a large bowl (drain canned items). Put a layer of ground meat on top of the tortillas. Add a layer of corn mixture, and then add grated cheese; repeat the process. Do 2 layers of items, ending with grated cheese on top. Place dish in the oven, and cook for 30 minutes at 400° F. Remove from the oven, and it is ready to eat. The tortillas on the bottom are crunchy, and the middle is soft…yum!!

My family added lettuce, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, avocado and hot sauce. We also ate it with Brookshire’s Seasoned Tortilla Chips and cheese dip. A quick and easy stacked dinner that satisfied the whole family.

It was fun trying to figure out what type of meal I could make out of what I already had at home. So…if you are ever exhausted and just dread a trip to the grocery store, take a second to look through your cabinet. I bet you can come up with something fun to eat, too. Count your blessings daily, and give thanks for time with your family!



Dine In: Jalapeño Sausage Balls


Jalapeño Sausage BallsI tend to get stuck in a pattern for Friday night meals. When I lived overseas in Germany, my best friend Susan and I walked down to our favorite Greek restaurant every single Friday night.

When I had kids, I continued a tradition that my mom started by serving pizza on Friday nights.

Now, I tend to use the smoker for Friday night festivities. I run home at lunchtime to put dinner on to smoke (or prep it in the morning, depending on what we’re smoking), and it’s done by the time we’re home from work and relaxing on the back porch.

I saw a smoked dish on Instagram that I wanted to try, and it only takes about two hours on the smoker. Even if you don’t have time to run home at lunch on a Friday, you can still enjoy this on your porch on Friday evening.

You can switch up the fillings, too. I have one person in my family who doesn’t like cream cheese, so he just gets cheddar. I have another who doesn’t like jalapeños, so he just gets cheese pressed into the middle of the sausage ball. I like bleu cheese, so I’ll mix that in with mine. The sky is the limit.

Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Ingredients:
12 jalapeño peppers, tops removed, seeded and pithed
6 Tbs whipped cream cheese
6 Tbs sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbs white onion, finely minced
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 lbs Owens Pork Breakfast Sausage
12 strips bacon, uncooked

Directions:
Remove the tops from the jalapeño peppers. Slice a slit through lengthwise, not cutting all the way through. Remove pith and seeds.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions and cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stuff each pepper with a heaping tablespoon full of the cream cheese mixture.

Using your hands, mold sausage around pepper, forming a ball and completely covering the pepper. Wrap sausage ball with two strips of bacon; secure with toothpicks.

Prepare smoker. Place sausage balls on rack, and smoke for about 2 hours or until cooked through. Alternately, place on the grill over indirect heat (the bacon will cause flare-ups if it’s not indirect) and cook through, several minutes on each side.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 460, Calories from Fat: 330, Fat: 36 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1576 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 29 g.

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



Healthy Living: Kids’ Summer Breakfasts


Kids’ Summer BreakfastsSummers can be tough.

I still have to go to work, but my kids don’t have to go to school.

They’ve hit the age where they’re old enough not to need summer day camp, so they stay home during the day. They spend their hours running or biking (being certain to text me before they leave and as soon as they get home), working through the job list I leave every morning, playing outside with the kids down the street, and probably playing too many video games, truth be told.

I can’t always control what they do during the day, but I can make sure they have a good breakfast to start the day.

They are often still asleep when I leave, so I make sure to stock up on things they can prepare themselves that will give them energy and nutrition to have a great summer.

Some of those things include whole grain Bagel Thins with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with diced fruit and granola, homemade breakfast burritos (if you wrap them in foil, they stay warm for a pretty long time), homemade sausage rolls (same foil trick applies) and all kinds of fruit bars.

These are their favorite.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:
For the strawberry bars:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbs sugar, divided
10 oz fresh strawberries, chopped

For the glaze: (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides.

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger and salt. Swirl in the melted butter, and stir until it forms crumbs and the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Press the rest into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Spread about 1/2 the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle with the cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Top with remaining berries and the remaining sugar. Spread the topping crumbs over the strawberries. It’s fine to have fruit showing through.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the fruit bubbles and topping is golden. Cool completely.

For the topping, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk; whisk until smooth. Add more milk if you want the glaze to have a thinner consistency. Drizzle bars with glaze. Slice and serve.

Makes 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 115, Calories from Fat: 43, Fat: 5 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 12 mg, Sodium: 68 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked Chicken


Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked ChickenIn a house with two picky eaters, one dieter and one kid who eats everything but the kitchen sink (and that’s only because I’ve never put hot sauce on it and put it on a plate), dinner can sometimes be a challenge to put together without repeating the same dishes over and over.

One kid doesn’t like mushrooms. One man doesn’t like white cheese or white sauce. One dieter doesn’t eat carbs.

Does anyone else feel my pain?

Luckily, bacon makes everything better, especially John Morrell Bacon on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

For whatever the reason (likely the bacon), this dish passed muster with everyone in my house. (I’ll just pretend I didn’t see one kid picking out the mushrooms).

This is delicious served over rice (cauliflower rice if you’re the low-carb dieter) with a side of steamed green beans or a fresh salad.

The bacon gives this dish a smoky flavor and pulls all the flavors together.

Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Chicken

Ingredients:
3 slices John Morrell Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pint fresh button mushrooms
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
6 slices Swiss cheese

Directions:
Spray the crock of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Top with mushrooms and cream of chicken soup. Cook on low for 8 hours. Top with Swiss cheese, and cover lid until cheese begins to melt. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 484, Calories from Fat: 200, Fat: 15 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 175 mg, Sodium: 890 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 63 g.

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



Dine In: Cheeseburger Hand Pies


Cheeseburger Hand PiesOne of our favorite family activities is to go to the drive-in movies on a Friday night.

We get there early, spread out a few picnic blankets, set up camping chairs and unpack the cooler. We have dinner there in the fading light and pack extra snacks for the movie, of course!

Having dinner at the drive-in is the best. I’ve often said food tastes the most delicious outdoors, and on a picnic blanket in front of a huge screen is no exception. After we eat, we usually kick around a soccer ball or throw a tennis ball until the sun sinks over the horizon and the big screen crackles to life.

One of the best parts is that we’re so busy enjoying each other, that phones and other electronics get left inside the car!

When the movie starts, we pile blankets in the trunk and settle in under the stars. It’s really a perfect Friday night.

I found that I can make these Cheeseburger Hand Pies ahead of time and heat them up before we go, storing them in an insulated bag to keep them warm until we’re ready to eat.

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Ingredients:
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
1 (8 ct) pkg refrigerated biscuits
8 slices American cheese
mustard and ketchup, to taste
olive oil

Directions:
Mix ground beef with seasoned salt and pickles. Form 8 burger patties. Grill or pan-fry until cooked through to desired doneness.

Preheat oven to 350° F, and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove the biscuits from the package. Place on baking sheet, carefully separating biscuits into two pieces horizontally.

Press bottom biscuit to flatten. Top with a burger, cheese, mustard and/or ketchup, if desired. Press the other half of the biscuit on top; fold edges of the bottom biscuit piece up to seal.

Repeat with all burgers and biscuits.

Brush with olive oil. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden-brown and burgers are heated through.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 392, Calories from Fat: 187, Fat: 21 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 68 mg, Sodium: 1527 mg, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 24 g.

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



Family Matters: Leftovers


LeftoversSometimes, no matter how well we plan, some leftovers are inevitable, which is perfectly fine with me. This means a night of hassle-free cooking after working all day.

This week on Monday, I put a roast, carrots and potatoes in the slow cooker to cook on low heat all day. This recipe is so easy. You just add a can of fat-free cream of mushroom soup and a packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix to the slow cooker with your roast and vegetables. It’s really yummy, and you could eat leftovers of this for the next day. However, my family isn’t crazy about having the same meal the next day.

The next day, I took the leftover meat only and put it in the slow cooker with a chopped onion and barbecue sauce to make barbecue beef sliders. This meal was so easy to throw together using the leftovers from the night before, and it was a huge hit with my kiddos.

So, clean out the fridge at least once a week and get creative! Cooking is about creating not wasting, and using leftovers is actually a great way to make something new!



Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Ragu


Slow Cooker RaguWhen I was visiting Italy, one of my favorite meals, not only of the trip but of all time, was a slow cooked ragu over polenta.

A ragu is simply a meat sauce, slow-cooked until the meat is fork-tender and melts in your mouth, with tomatoes and spices.

In fact, most “sauces” you see in Italy are more a ragu than the marinara we know well in America.

You can make a ragu with almost any meat. I’ve had pork ragus and beef ragus. They’re delicious if you leave the bone in your meat during the cooking process, but it’s just as tasty if you use a boneless cut of meat, like this boneless rump roast on sale at Brookshire’s this week.

The trattoria where I ate my ragu in Italy was on a cobbled side street in Venice with a small garden with a tiny view of the water, covered in a pergola weighted down with flowering vines.

The whole street was resplendent with the smell of cooking meat and spices.

You can serve this over pastas or mashed potatoes, but the polenta provides a bit of bite that complements the heavy sauce.

Slow Cooker Ragu

Ingredients:
2 Tbs olive oil
3 lbs beef rump roast or round roast
1/2 cup white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Wait until it is fragrant and starting to bubble, then add rump roast. Sear on each side, about 5 minutes per side.

Place rump roast in the slow cooker with onions, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, basil, oregano, bay leaves, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred with a fork and remove bay leaves.
Serve over polenta, a hearty pasta or mashed potatoes.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 461, Calories from Fat: 189, Fat: 23 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 29 mg, Sodium: 1099 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 31 g.

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



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.



Product Talk: Hunt’s Meal Starters


Hunt’s Meal Starters“I have a Product Talk product for you to write about,” Paul told me recently.

Of course, I wanted to know what it was.

Of course, if I was going to write about it, we had to try it.

“It’s kind of tricky to find on the shelves,” he said.

(It was.)

Once we found it, it was definitely worth the search.

Hunt’s Meal Starters are shelved with the canned tomato products. There is Hunt’s Mild Chili Starter, Hunt’s Green Spices for Medium Chili, Hunt’s Chipotle Spices for Hot Chili, and Hunt’s Seasoned Tomato Sauce for Meatloaf.

We picked up the can of the meatloaf starter.

The tomato sauce (Hunt’s premium, of course) is seasoned with all the herbs and spices you’ll need to get a slow-baked meatloaf flavor out of a dish that comes together in 30 minutes. (We made individual loaves and topped them with the sauce.) The sauce gives the meat a slow-cooked flavor, which is a combination of smoky, tangy and savory. It would also be a delicious addition to mix into the meat mixture for your loaf as well as pouring some on top.

I especially loved how it made putting together a meal so quick and simple.

We’ll be trying the other varieties as well.



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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.

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