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Dine-In: Fondue


I admit it. I had a horrible case of the winter doldrums last week during the extreme temperature changes and the endless rain. I also had a challenging week at work and a host of other annoying things crop up like needing new rotors on my car and both of my kids busting holes in their school shoes.

By the time Friday rolled around, I didn’t want to even exert the energy to order pizza. Plus, with my new year’s fiscal resolution in place, I didn’t want to spend that money, either.

I knew I needed something to cheer us all up, kick off the weekend right and make our dine-in Friday night a pleasant way to end a rough week.

What’s more fun than fondue?

I got a fondue pot for Valentine’s Day a few years ago, but you don’t have to have any special equipment to make fondue a fun feast for the family.

You can do meat, cheese, or dessert varieties.

I opted for cheese, but you’re only limited by your imagination. It only took about 15 minutes and we all had a blast cooking and eating.

Basic Cheese Fondue
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1/2 lb Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 lb Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg
Assorted dippers

Directions:
In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, and then discard.

Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in mustard and nutmeg.

Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. You could also use apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers.

Nutritional  Information: Calories: 343, Calories from Fat: 205,Total Fat: 23 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Cholesterol: 76 mg, Sodium: 202 mg,Total Carbohydrates: 6 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 22 g 

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Posted in: Cooking, Dairy, Dine In


Product Talk: Eggnog


My favorite night of the entire year is Christmas Eve.

To me, it’s better than Christmas morning – the anticipation of the birth of Christ and the festivities of the next day practically charge the air with electricity. I love leaving evening church services and coming home to a big meal – it’s traditionally lasagna in my house – and wrangling the kids to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Then, of course, it’s time to wait for Jolly Old St. Nick to bound down the chimney.

While you’re waiting, you can indulge in a treat we really only see once a year — eggnog.

Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs (which gives it a frothy texture). Brandy, rum, whisky, bourbon, Kahlúa, vodka, or a combination of liquors are often added. The finished serving is often garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

Here’s one eggnog recipe my family has enjoyed at Christmas Eve gatherings. Purchase pre-made eggnog from the dairy case at Brookshire’s to get you started.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Golden Blizzard Eggnog

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups eggnog
2 shots Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps
2 shots Arrow peppermint schnapps

Directions:
Add the shots of Goldschlager and Arrow to a mason jar, then fill with eggnog. Shake and pour into 2 cups.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 505,Calories from Fat: 128, Cholesterol: 112 mg, Sodium: 103 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 42 g, Sugars: 33 g, Protein: 7 g.

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



Product Talk: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


Today is Labor Day, the last official holiday of the summer.

What better way to celebrate than with a batch of homemade ice cream you don’t even need any special equipment to make? Just remember to start this recipe a day ahead to give it time to freeze.

This ice cream is made with Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Sweetened condensed milk is cow’s milk from which the water has been removed, with sugar added. Sweetened condensed milk is a very thick, sweet product which, when canned, can last for years without refrigeration if unopened.

Use Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk to make this tasty holiday treat today.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 oz Food Club cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/3 cup Food Club heavy whipping cream
2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
3 Food Club honey graham crackers, coarsely chopped 

Directions:
Mix first four ingredients with mixer until blended. Freeze 4 hours or until almost solid.

Beat the cream cheese mixture until smooth and creamy. Blend strawberries in a blender until s mooth. Add to cream cheese mixture with chopped graham crackers. Mix well. Freeze 8 hours until firm.

Remove dessert from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories 382; Calories from Fat 153; Total Fat 17g; Cholesterol 63mg; Sodium 220mg; Total Carbohydrates 51g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 47g; Protein 9g



Family Matters: Only Use Car for Emergency


The other weekend, my husband and I went out of town with some friends to hear Mat Kearney in concert at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas.

We had been planning the night away for months, which meant we had also painstakingly arranged for our boys to stay with friends while we were gone. 

But as the date approached, our 15-year-old son decided he was old enough to stay home alone, and thus began his campaign to convince us that he indeed could handle any possible problem that could come his way. 

I now know he is destined to be an attorney, God help him. I’ve never heard any trained lawyer more eloquently or determinedly develop a rational argument to explain why his or her side is the right one. 

If only all attorneys approached their work with such determination and passion! 

Well, either way, he wore us down. By Friday he convinced his father and I that he was up to the task. We decided this was one of those moments we needed to listen to him and give him an opportunity to be responsible. We didn’t tell him that we had every neighbor in a three-mile radius checking on him and checking in with us all night long. 

I should also tell you we have a 100-pound German Shepherd who would kill anyone who tried to enter our home unannounced. So, all in all, we thought we were good to go. 

Apparently, our 13-year-old son stopped in that night to get a change of clothes while the older one was still at baseball practice. When we got home the next morning, we found this note from the younger to the older on the kitchen counter: 

ONLY USE CAR FOR EMERGENCY
(NO POT OR BEER OR GIRLS) 

And here all this time I was worried they would simply forget to brush their teeth and say their prayers. 

All joking aside, my boys are great, and I don’t have to worry about these things in their lives just yet. But it’s a much harder world than when I was their age, so I think I will choose to be grateful for each day with no pot…or beer…or girls. 

Parents are Gone Pepperoni Bread
(OK, you know as well as I do he ordered Domino’s. If I were home, we would have this homemade!)

Ingredients:
12 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls or 1 Loaf Rhodes™ Bread Dough, thawed & risen
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 ounces sliced pepperoni
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Roll loaf or combined dinner rolls into a 12×18-inch rectangle. Combine butter with seasonings. Brush mixture on dough, reserving a small amount to brush on top later. Arrange pepperoni on top of seasoning mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly roll style. Tuck ends under and place, seam side down, on a large sprayed baking sheet. Using a sharp serrated knife cut several vents in the top. Brush with reserved seasoning mixture. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes.



Product Talk: Exploring Hispanic cheeses


Cheese is an important part of Mexican and Latin American cooking –but not just any cheese. There’s a whole world of specialty Hispanic cheeses out there. Mild crumbly cheeses to garnish a salad. Creamy, rich, meltable cheeses for sauces and pasta. Hard, intensely flavored cheeses to perk up any dish.

Smart U.S. cooks are finding out just how versatile these cheeses are, too. They not only make your Mexican dishes more flavorful and authentic, but they are a good, value-conscious substitute for many other kinds of commonly used cheeses. Here’s a starter guide to some of the most commonly found Hispanic cheeses – look for these varieties in the market section of your local store.

Asadero: Traditionally used in queso fundido – a kind of Mexican fondue that is similar to the chile con queso that’s popular in the U.S. It’s smooth, has just a bit of a bite, and melts easily, so it’s a good substitute for any melting cheese like Monterey jack, Colby-jack, fontina or American cheese.

Cotija: This is a firmer, stronger-tasting cheese that is typically crumbled or grated. Often called the “Parmesan cheese of Mexico,” it can be sprinkled over pasta or refried beans, over salads, or used to flavor tostadas or tacos. It’s salty and flavorful so you don’t need to use very much. Use instead of Parmesan, Romano, grana padano, or other hard, stronger cheeses.

Manchego: Creamy and meltable, with a nuttier, slightly stronger flavor than many of these other types. It’s good in sandwiches, pastas, or simply served with bread, crackers or olives. Mexican-style manchego is softer and milder than most Spanish-style manchego cheeses.

Panela: Mild and soft, this fresh cheese is often crumbled into tacos and burritos, or is good as a snack. It’s so mild that children will eat it like string cheese. It doesn’t melt well, though.

Oaxaca: The state of Oaxaca, in the southern part of Mexico, contributed this mild cheese, which is sometimes referred to as Mexican string cheese, as you can separate it into strands before eating or cooking. It’s somewhat similar in taste and texture to mozzarella, and good in quesadillas or even pizza.

Queso Fresco: A mild, crumbly cheese that’s often used atop beans, salads or tostadas; it doesn’t have the bite of cotija. You can substitute it for feta, which has a similar texture, but queso fresco doesn’t have quite as strong a taste as that traditional Greek cheese.

Quesadilla: A very mild, meltable cheese, perfect for grating and using in quesadillas, but also good in sandwiches, panini, or even melted on cheeseburgers. You may also find this cheese in a jalapeno flavor; it’s got the same texture but a hint of heat. It’s a great substitute for American, Monterey jack or Colby cheese.



Product Talk: Home-grown milk


When I say that Food Club milk, produced right in Brookshire’s hometown of Tyler, Texas, is some of the best you can buy, I’m not just bragging.

I’m talking about the awards it has won – most recently, at the dairy products championship at the World Dairy Expo, in Madison, Wisconsin, a kind of Super Bowl for milks, dips, yogurts and cheeses. There, we competed against some of the biggest producers from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and took third place for our 1 percent milk. (And we placed even higher with our blueberry yogurt, sour cream, and sour cream ranch dip, all starting with our great milk – but that’s a story for another day.)

And I’m also talking about the high standards we hold for every drop of milk that comes through our plant.

It starts with our suppliers. We work with a dairy cooperative that provides our plant with farm-produced milk, most of it from the dairy farming areas around Texas. Because of our relationship with these dairies, some of them small family operations, we receive only the highest-quality milk they produce.

We test all of our milk before it arrives in our plant, to weed out any that contains several different antibiotics or high microbial counts, which would indicate unhealthy cows or unsanitary procedures on the farm, among other things. We want our milk to be natural and healthy, so we don’t accept milk that shows traces of these substances.

Once it arrives at our plant, we process it using our state-of-the-art technology. Then we rush it on to our stores so you get it at the peak of freshness. And because we keep the whole process in-house, we are able to offer our Food Club milk at a value-conscious price.

But don’t just take my word for it – or even the word of those judges at the World Dairy Expo. Our Food Club milk comes in comes in fat-free, 1%, 2% and whole milk, as well as chocolate milk, buttermilk and Bulgarian buttermilk. (Those last two are terrific for baking.) Pick up the variety your family drinks and give it your own taste test.

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Posted in: Dairy, Product Talk


Dine-In: Pumpkin Pudding


I love pumpkin! On cool fall mornings, I enjoy a warm pumpkin spice latté, and on Thanksgiving, you’d better be prepared to fight me for the last piece of pumpkin pie. 

What can you not like about pumpkin when it has a NuVal score of 94! (That’s just six points away from the perfect NuVal score of 100, meaning it’s about a nutritious a food as you can get.) One cup of pumpkin has 763% of your daily recommendation of vitamin A.  Vitamin A not only helps fight infections, but it helps prevent night blindness and contributes to red blood cell production, growth and development. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, iron, potassium and fiber. 

When Thanksgiving rolls around, skip the 316 calories, 14 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat in a slice of pumpkin pie and go for a lower-fat pumpkin treat. This year, I’ve been asked to make this pudding instead of the traditional pie. Serve this pumpkin pudding over crushed gingersnaps and you won’t even miss your pumpkin pie.  

Easy Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus refrigerating   

Ingredients:
2 (1.34 oz) boxes Food Club Sugar Free Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 cups Full Circle Fat Free Milk
1 cup Food Club Canned Pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Food Club Fat Free Whipped Topping
1/4 cup pecan, chopped

Directions:
In a large bowl prepare pudding with milk. In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold pumpkin into pudding. Spoon filling into glasses. Refrigerate glasses for 1 hour. Garnish with whipped topping and pecans. 

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 114, Fat: 3 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 2 mg, Sodium: 496 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 5 g 

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician. 



Product talk: Eggnog: A BGC tradition


Nobody’s really sure who invented eggnog. The holiday tradition is usually credited to the English, but some food historians seem to think it’s just a modernized version of a milk-based toddy that has been enjoyed in the winter since the Middle Ages.

What I do know is this: We make some pretty fine eggnog right here at Brookshire’s.

Our Food Club eggnog, made locally, is now in stores, carrying on a tradition that has now been going on for nearly 20 years.

The recipe for our rich, fragrant eggnog was developed in 1992 in our own BGC Dairy. It uses a secret blend of spices and vanilla, and fresh whole milk that comes to us from family dairy farmers in the nearby countryside.

And it’s part of an even bigger dairy tradition that dates back to 1927, when the first working dairy was founded on the site of the current BGC plant in Tyler, Texas.  The dairy changed hands several times before Brookshire’s purchased it in 1990 in order to bring its own fresh milk products to customers.

We’re proud of our dairy’s strong history of quality. In spring 2005 the dairy became the first dairy in Texas certified to process organic milk. And we’ve won the All Star Dairy Association’s “Best Fluid Plant” Award the last 5 out of 7 years.

At the dairy, we gear up to make eggnog just in the fall, in time for all those holiday parties. It’s available by the quart, perfect for enjoying yourself, or the half-gallon, enough for the whole family or special holiday parties. Dust it with ground cinnamon or nutmeg, top it with real whipped cream, or even spike it with a little brandy or rum, if you are so inclined.

Just make sure you enjoy it while you can; at the end of the holidays, it will disappear again from our stores, not to return until the 2012 winter holiday season.



Meet the Cheese Maker: Alessandro Cubeddu


 Presenting the cheese of the month along with recipes.

Cheese making is more than a science; it is an art form requiring the experience, education and passion of a skilled craftsman.

Alessandro Cubeddu’s journey began in the lush hills of Sardinia, Italy where his family has been making handcrafted Pecorino Romano cheese using time honored methods for over 30 years. 



Ham & Cheese Frittata


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6 

Ingredients:

12 large eggs
3 Tbs half-and-half
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/4 tsp Food Club Ground
Black Pepper
1/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup asparagus, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz deli style baked ham (thick sliced), chopped small
1/4 cup chopped green onion 

Directions:

Set oven to broil and adjust rack about 5 inches from broiler. In a large bowl whisk eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper together. Stir in cheese. Add asparagus, chopped ham and green onions. Pour egg mixture into oven safe baking dishes. 

Bake ham and eggs 30 to 35 minutes, or until set. 

Nutritional Information:  Calories Per Serving: 207, Fat: 14 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 441 mg, Sodium: 593 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 18 g



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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.

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