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Product Talk: Canada Dry Ginger Ale


Canada Dry Ginger AleThe entire first trimester of my second pregnancy, you’d never see me without a glass of Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I had to sip it from a glass (don’t even TRY to give it to me in a plastic cup). It had to have a straw, and it had to have three ice cubes. Not four, not two, not crushed ice. Three ice cubes. Three.

Pregnancy neuroses aside, Canada Dry Ginger Ale has been an enduring favorite.

It was always what my mom brought to my bedside to sip on during my sickly days as a child.

It sees me through many a baby shower, bridal shower or brunch where some sort of fabulous, fizzy punch drink is required.

It’s also great to settle the stomach of a couple of guys who get overheated or eat too fast.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale is made with 100 percent real ginger. It was first made in Canada over 100 years ago. It became popular in the United States during Prohibition, and its popularity has been going strong ever since.

Gold Coast Punch

Ingredients:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cans orange juice, frozen concentrate
2 quarts Canada Dry Ginger Ale
1/4 cup maraschino cherries

Directions:
Combine lemon juice, pineapple juice and concentrated orange juice. Mix well. Pour over ice in punch bowl. Fill the bowl with ice-cold Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Garnish with maraschino cherries.

Serves 25

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 44, Calories from Fat: 1, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 7 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 0 g.

Recipe from Canadadry.com

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Pancake Syrup


Brookshire’s Pancake SyrupI tiptoed through the darkened house this morning, dodging pillows, stepping over sleeping boys and crunching rogue Doritos under my feet. It must have been a really good party. Sleepover, that is, as Luke keeps reminding me. “It’s NOT a SLUMBER PARTY, Mom!”

Oops. Note to self: Only girls call a sleepover a slumber party.

I made my way to the kitchen to start breakfast. Luckily, I had read my son and his friends the riot act before retiring to my room last night. They knew it would not be good if I woke up this morning, and they had not gone to bed yet. That’s what happened last time these kids got together, and it made for a really, really long day that day. I hated to return two boys to their parents without any sleep. Truth be told, I think they learned their lesson, as they retired at a reasonable hour last night.

Before I left them alone to play video games, eat Doritos and Hot Tamales, and laugh a lot, one of my son’s friends asked, “Are we having pancakes for breakfast?”

Well, yes! The last time they were here, we went through two pounds of bacon and more pancakes than I could keep up with at the griddle for breakfast.

So, I popped the bacon into the oven (best way ever to cook an entire pound at one time) and heated up the griddle.

Of course, there was Brookshire’s Pancake Syrup to douse over the pancakes.

As the boys were preparing their plates with the usual jocularity and good-natured ribbing, I heard my son ask, “Are you going to drown that pancake in syrup?”

I looked over and his friend had more Brookshire’s Pancake Syrup on his plate than actual food.

“I like it this way!” he said.

Brookshire’s Pancake Syrup has a rich, maple flavor and a thick consistency that clings to your pancakes to enhance them with the perfect flavor.

I’d better buy more for the next SLEEPOVER.



Shop the Sale: Boneless Glazed Pork Chops


Boneless Glazed Pork ChopsMy son returned home from spending the night at a friend’s house (apparently boy moms are NOT supposed to say “sleepover”), and after a two-hour nap, he couldn’t stop chatting about the great time he’d had with his school buddy.

They stayed up all night (of course) playing video games, flashlight tag, soccer, hide-and-seek, and slept on the living room floor in a blanket fort. They had pigs-in-a-blanket and doughnuts for breakfast, and for dinner, they’d had balsa wood pork chops.

Wait, what?

What is a balsa wood pork chop, I asked him, thinking maybe they smoked the pork chop over balsa wood, although I’d never heard of this and knew that balsa wood is super soft and probably doesn’t lend itself well to smoking. My mom used to craft dollhouse furniture out of balsa wood and could use a small craft knife to slice through it. More importantly, I had no idea how balsa wood would taste!

He set me straight pretty quickly.

You know, he said, that brown stuff that you pour on the pork chops, and it makes them taste good.

I wracked my brain.

They were really juicy, he offered. Kind of spicy, too.

It was driving me crazy. I went to the pantry, opened it and figured it out immediately.

Balsamic vinegar? I asked.

I opened the bottle, he smelled it and immediately, the mystery was solved.

That’s it, he said.

Boneless Glazed Pork Chops

Ingredients:
4 boneless pork chops
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
In a bowl, combine brown sugar with balsamic vinegar and all the spices until a paste forms. Rub boneless pork chops with the olive oil, and then rub with the paste.

Heat your grill to medium-high heat, and grill chops about 5 minutes per side, only flipping once and keeping the lid closed between turns.

Remove pork from the grill when the internal temperature reaches 150° F; let rest until internal temperature reaches 160° F.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 625, Calories from Fat: 444, Fat: 49 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 146 mg, Sodium: 430 mg, Potassium: 611 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 39 g.

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Dine In: Merry Christmas


Cranberry ChutneyMerry Christmas!

It’s one of my favorite days of the year. Not only do I get to wake up to the squeals of excited boys, but my parents are here visiting from Virginia. My heart is full to overflowing.

Growing up, we always had a big Christmas breakfast. Mom would start the day before, making cinnamon roll dough from scratch. It would rise twice and then she’d roll it out, covering it liberally with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. The rolls would rise again overnight and be ready to be popped into the oven Christmas morning then topped with a warm, gooey glaze as they were served. We had those with Little Smokies sausages. Seriously, I could have eaten those out of the pan. We never seemed to have them any other time but Christmas, so I took full advantage when they were simmering on the stove.

The rest of the day, we usually snacked. It was such a novelty not to have to sit at the table and eat a well-balanced meal three times that day that we all loved it! Often, “lunch” would be one of the many varieties of Christmas cookies my mom had baked: sugar (which we decorated, another family tradition), snowballs (or Mexican wedding cookies, my favorite), peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies (peanut butter is a viable lunch, right?) or a peanut butter chocolate swirled roll-up cookie that I also loved.

Sometimes she’d set out bowls of nuts or plates of appetizers like cheese and crackers or an appetizer dip.

I think I’m going to do the same thing today. We’ll grill steaks later, but for midday, it sounds like the snacks have it!

Merry Christmas and happy eating!

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, finely diced
3 Tbs prepared horseradish
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
assorted crackers

Directions:
In a heavy pan, stir water and sugars together to mix. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in cranberries; return to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in apple, horseradish and mustard.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Place a block of cream cheese on a decorative plate and surround with assorted crackers. Spoon a heaping mound of the cranberry chutney on top of the cream cheese to cover it.

Scoop the cranberry cream cheese mixture on top of a cracker and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 178, Fat: 8 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 114 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 2 g.

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Family Matters: Birthday Hot Chocolate Bar


Classic Hot ChocolateNothing says “comfort” during the cold months more than a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and that’s just what we enjoyed for my daughter’s birthday.

This year, we hosted Grace’s 14th birthday party at our home and let her invite a few friends over for a Tacky Christmas Sweater Birthday Party. We prepared a hot chocolate bar along with a batch of Christmas sugar cookies and a Christmas birthday cake. I prepared the hot chocolate on the stove and then transferred it to a slow cooker to keep it warm so the girls could dip it out for themselves.

The best part of the hot chocolate bar was all the delicious and fun toppings. Our bar consisted of marshmallows, peppermint bars, chocolate chips, chocolate dipping spoons and candies, of course!

The girls had a fun time making their custom hot chocolate, and then they all went outside to enjoy the colder weather with hot chocolate in hand. It was a perfect birthday party, and the hot chocolate bar must have been a success because they didn’t leave a drop for Mom! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to our Lord and Savior.

Classic Hot Chocolate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

1 quart Brookshire’s Whole Milk
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Reddi-wip®, mini marshmallows and cocoa powder, for garnish

Warm about 1/3 of the milk with chopped chocolate and salt, stirring until chocolate is melted. Whisk in remaining milk, heating until mixture is warmed through. Use whisk to mix hot chocolate until completely smooth. Serve very warm, garnished with Reddi-wip®, mini marshmallows and sprinkled cocoa powder.

Calories Per Serving: 570, Fat: 33 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 274 mg, Carbohydrates: 64 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 12 g.

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Dine In: Meatball Sub Bites


Meatball Sub BitesIt’s Christmas party season, and I have two to go to this weekend!

I love good holiday party food. I mean….a good holiday PARTY. Family, friends, food. Did I mention the food? I love the food.

Party food is just fun, and I love gatherings where guests bring their favorite dish. There’s never a shortage of delicious and varied treats.

I also just love a good party atmosphere, too. Laughing, talking, mingling and reconnecting with family and friends make the season bright for me.

I try to make something different when it’s up to me to bring a dish to share. I’m going to bring these Meatball Sub Bites to a party this Friday night. I have a little extra time on Fridays to bake these, as the workday ends a few hours early on Fridays. I’ll probably triple the recipe, too.

Meatball Sub Bites

Ingredients:
1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
12 frozen meatballs
1 1/4 cup marinara sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.

Roll crescent roll dough into a rectangle; press seams together. Cut dough into 12 squares, and press each square into muffin pan.

Mix cream cheese with Italian seasoning and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Place a heaping spoonful of the cheese mixture on top of dough in each muffin cup. Top with a meatball. Drizzle with desired amount of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden-brown.

Makes 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 306, Calories from Fat: 158, Fat: 18 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 37 mg, Sodium: 718 mg, Potassium: 133 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 14 g.

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Mi Blog Hispano: 5 Ideas Para Alegrar La Fiesta Navideña


¡Cómo pasa el tiempo!  Ya queda solo un par de semanas para el gran día de Navidad.  Me encanta este tiempo festivo porque se empieza a sentir una armonía diferente.  Sales a la calle y se respira un aire navideño.  El olor a pinos, a fuego lento, a menta, canela, y manzanas llenan nuestros hogares.  Las tiendas están vestidas de colores rojos y verdes, se ven pinos decorados por doquier, se escuchan canciones navideñas en todas partes, y andamos buscando regalos para nuestros seres queridos.  Casi todos andamos sumergidos en esta época de alegría, paz, amor, y esperanza sin importar que creencias o religión tengamos.  Que hermoso tiempo para estar unidos entre familia y amistades.

Claro que esta época también puede ser un reto para nosotros si es que estamos preparando nuestro hogar para la gran fiesta navideña.  Usualmente, mi familia y yo festejamos en mi casa.  Hoy, comparto con ustedes algunas de nuestras tradiciones.  Cada año estas ideas me han ayudado a mantener el ambiente lleno de alegría.  ¡Me encanta ver a todos mis invitados felices y divirtiéndose!

5 ideas para alegrar y disfrutar su fiesta navideña:

  1. Cuelgue el muérdago de Navidad (mistletoe) – Cada año cuelgo dos muérdagos de Navidad en mi casa. Uno a la entrada, y el otro al pasar de la sala a la cocina.  Aunque esta tradición no es mexicana, es tan divertida y a mis invitados les encanta.  Viene de un viejo mito de Europa que dice que si dos personas pasan por debajo de una rama de muérdago de Navidad, tienen que besarse.  Así que al entrar los invitados, tienen que darse un beso, sin importar quien sea.  A mis hijas les encanta pasar por debajo de ella porque saben que las abrazare y las llenare de besos.  Al entrar los abuelitos, también tienen que darse su beso.  ¡Nos divierte tanto esta plantita hermosa de la Navidad porque llena el ambiente de amor y felicidad!
  1. Escoja un lema de vestidura divertido para la fiesta – Cada Navidad escogemos un lema de vestidura.  Por ejemplo, una Navidad todos nos vestimos en pijamas navideñas.  En otra Navidad, nos vestimos con memelucos.  ¡Que diversión fue esta!  Otra navidad tuvimos un concurso para ver quien usaba el suéter de navidad más feo.  De tanto que disfrute ver la creatividad que cada quien puso en hacerse el suéter más feo, todos se me hicieron bonitos.  ¡Nos reímos tanto!  Esta idea de un lema de vestidura siempre ha sido un éxito.  ¡Se lo recomiendo!
  1. Saquen la guitarra y a cantar música navideña – Claro que es necesario tocar música navideña mientras llegan sus invitados. Yo pongo música en mi tele o en mi teléfono con bocinas, pero también es buenísimo que la música sea en vivo.  En nuestra fiesta navideña, nunca falta la guitarra.  Al acabar de cenar, hacemos tiempo para escuchar a mi padre y a mi sobrina cantar y tocar la guitarra.  Se siente tan bonito disfrutar de esta música.  Así que si tiene un músico en su familia, dígale que se traiga el instrumento.
  1. Tenga una mesa para entretener a los niños – Los niños son tan importantes en nuestras familias latinas. Queremos que ellos se sientan importantes, y siempre los tomamos muy en cuenta.  Así que vamos a continuar eso preparándoles una mesa especial donde pueden ser creativos.  Forre la mesa con papel grueso (butcher paper).  Puede usar los rollos grandes de papel blanco o color café.  Ponga vasos llenos de colores y marcadores.  Déjelos que se sienten a colorear y pintar en el mantel de papel.  Ellos se van a entretener tanto decorando este mantel.  Al final de la fiesta tendrá una gran pieza de arte para enseñar a los invitados.  En esta misma mesa puede poner rompecabezas o hacer alguna artesanía con ellos.
  1. Haga el juego de los regalos del elefante blanco – Este juego es aparte de los regalos que se dan entre familia. Antes de la fiesta dígale a sus invitados que cada quien traiga un regalo de $1 a $5, o usted puede escoger el precio.  Estos regalitos no llevan nombre.  Se ponen los regalos en una mesa.  Escriba números en papelitos para que cada persona saque uno sin ver.  Quien tenga el número 1 va primero y escoge un regalo de la mesa.  Lo tiene que abrir en ese momento y mostrarlo a todos.  La persona con el numero 2 hace lo mismo, pero esta persona tiene que elegir quedarse con su regalo o intercambiarlo con el regalo que le toco al número 1.  Continúe abriendo los regalos, pasando en orden numérica.  Cada persona tiene la opción de quedarse con el regalo que le toco o intercambiarlo con uno que le ha tocado a otra persona.  El juego sigue hasta regresar con la persona del número 1, quien hace el intercambio final y podrá escoger entre todos los regalos.  ¡Este juego es divertidísimo!  Mi familia y yo lo hemos jugado y nos mantiene súper entretenidos porque estos regalitos pueden ser muy chistosos.

Espero que estas ideas le ayuden a entretener a sus invitados en su fiesta navideña, y que disfruten de lo máximo con su familia y amigos.

¡Les deseo una muy feliz Navidad!



Shop the Sale: Smoked, Glazed Spiral Christmas Ham


Smoked, Glazed Spiral Christmas HamAre you making ham for Christmas this year?

I wasn’t going to until I found this recipe that explains how to smoke a spiral-sliced ham to glazed, grilled goodness.

Hormel and Brookshire’s spiral-sliced hams are precooked, but that lends them to being perfectly smoked before serving them on Christmas Day!

This year, I have guests coming for Christmas, so it won’t be just the four of us, which is a great excuse to get a big ham. I never really need an excuse to grill or use the smoker, but Christmas and company are an added benefit. Plus, Paul’s smoker recently came to visit my back porch, and it hasn’t left yet. So, I’m going to take as much advantage of it as I can before he decides he wants it back at his house. If you needed further convincing, using the grill or smoker for your ham frees up your oven for things like cherry pies, bouche de noel or Christmas cookies!

Smoked, Glazed Spiral Christmas Ham

Ingredients:
1/2 cup apricot jam (or grape jelly)
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ancho chile powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sage
1/16 tsp ground cloves
1 (8 lb) spiral-sliced ham

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, except the ham.

Place the ham in a heavy-duty aluminum pan, and slightly separate the slices. Brush between each slice with the glaze, and coat the outside of the ham generously.

Cover the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Preheat the smoker or grill with a side for indirect grilling.

Place the pan over indirect heat. Cooking time is about 12 to 13 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 140° F to 150° F.

Baste ham with the glaze about every 20 minutes during the cooking process.

Remove the ham from the smoker when it reaches 140° F; let stand, covered, until it reaches 150° F.

Serves 12 to 14

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 676, Calories from Fat: 326, Fat: 36 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 148 mg, Sodium: 3336 mg, Potassium: 35 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 31 g, Protein: 53 g.

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Dine In: Baked Jalapeño Chicken Sliders


Baked Jalapeño Chicken SlidersLast year, some girlfriends and I got together on a Friday night in mid-November before the chaos of the holidays really kicked into high gear, and had a wonderful evening of food, fellowship and creating fun Christmas presents for teachers and co-workers. We each brought a dish and sampled each other’s favorites, while helping each other “mass-produce” the cutest Christmas gifts! One friend set up a coffee and hot chocolate bar, so the evening ended around the fireplace with a peppermint mocha espresso for me and whatever else my friends could dream up.

The gifts were easy and adorable. We bought tubes of Brookshire’s Sugar Cookie Dough. Super simple. We purchased metal cookie cutters in bulk, as well as clear glass ball Christmas ornaments. We carefully removed the “hangers” from the ornaments, and filled the glass bulbs with different kinds of cookie sprinkles and jimmies in holiday colors. Red sugar, green sugar, silver jimmies, multi-colored holiday jimmies and anything else festive we found. Then, we packaged several Christmas ornaments in assorted varieties with some sugar cookie dough and a cookie cutter! Voila, instant gift! (You might want to keep the dough refrigerated up until the time you give the gift, however.)
The food was fabulous as well. I made these super-easy sliders that were a huge hit.

Baked Jalapeño Chicken Sliders

Ingredients:
12 King’s Hawaiian rolls
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
5 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and diced
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 large jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 1/2 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Remove rolls from the foil tray, being careful not to separate rolls. Using a serrated knife, slice through the rolls horizontally, so they each have a top and a bottom. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and place the bottom layer of rolls into the dish.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and half the Monterey Jack cheese. Add in the crispy bacon, chicken and jalapeño. Mix well.

Spread the chicken mixture over the bottom layer of the rolls. Sprinkle the top of filling with the remaining cup of cheese. Addtop layer of rolls.

Mix the melted butter with garlic salt. Brush over rolls. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are golden-brown. Serve warm.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 247, Calories from Fat: 178, Fat: 20 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 71 mg, Sodium: 477 mg, Potassium: 139 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 15 g.

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Dine In: Fourth of July Dessert Kebabs


Fourth of July Dessert Kebabs	One elementary school teacher, perhaps Mrs. Riley in the second grade, told us that the way to remember how spelling “dessert” was different from spelling “desert” was that “dessert” has a second “s” because you always want seconds of desserts!

That theory worked for me.

That’s why these patriotic dessert kebabs don’t just stop at “red, white and blue.” They go for the bang with the addition of brownie bites! Two desserts on a kebab can’t be a bad thing, right?

Aside from this dessert being so simple, it’s almost not fair; it’s so cute, super sweet and so delicious that it’s not even funny. I like it because it appeals to adults, kids and everyone in between. They’re easy to prep ahead of time for a party, low maintenance at an event, portable and easy to eat at a picnic, cookout or Fourth of July fireworks show!

They’re also easy enough for your kids to make, as long as they don’t resort to sword fighting with the wooden skewers (that would happen in my house).

Use any combinations you want on the skewers and enjoy!

Fourth of July Dessert Kebabs

Ingredients:
1 pint blueberries, washed and dried
2 pints strawberries, stems removed
1 (12 oz) pkg jumbo marshmallows
1 pan brownies, cut into 1-inch squares
wooden kebab skewers

Directions:
Assemble fruits and desserts onto a wooden skewer in a red, white, blue and brownie pattern!

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 249, Calories from Fat: 77, Fat: 9 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 120 mg, Potassium: 117 mg, Carbohydrates: 43 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 18 g, Protein: 2 g

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



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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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