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Shop the Sale: Maple-Bacon Toffee Bars


Brookshire’s BaconI was at home alone last night, a rarity for me these days.

I had changed out of my work clothes and into comfy clothes, and I was browsing Pinterest for something totally unrelated to bacon, until I stumbled upon this recipe.

No one else in my house would eat this, but hey, no one else was in my house!

I decided to try it. I had all the ingredients at home, so there was no need to find a baseball cap and try to sneak over to Brookshire’s incognito because we all know that doesn’t work. The very minute you try to slap on a hat to hide the fact that you already took off your makeup and scrunch your T-shirt up so that no one notices the hole in the bottom left corner, you’ll run into everyone you know. And their mother. And your preacher. And your boss.

It’s practically the law.

Not that I’ve ever tried, but I’ve heard about the phenomenon from a friend.

Cough.

Cough.

So, being as that I had all the ingredients at home, I whipped up a batch of these maple-bacon bars, using the Brookshire’s Bacon I’d just bought on sale.

There were none left the next day. I think that friend must have eaten them.

Maple-Bacon Toffee Bars

Ingredients:
1 lb Brookshire’s Bacon
1 pkg Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and liberally grease the foil with cooking spray. Unroll the crescent rolls into one single plane of dough and pinch any perforations together to seal. Stretch the dough out a little with your hands so it’s even. Prick the dough with a fork all over. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook your bacon. Cook it until it’s technically safe enough to eat and just about done, but still lighter in color and not quite crispy. You don’t want it fully cooked and crispy as it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate.

Drizzle 1/4 cup of the maple syrup over the crescent roll dough. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Top with torn pieces of the cooked bacon. Drizzle the remaining maple syrup on top of the bacon pieces; top with remaining brown sugar.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until bubbling and caramelized. Remove from the oven and allow the pan to come to room temperature (or warm to the touch) before cutting or breaking into pieces. You can serve this at room temperature or slightly warmed. It tastes best the day of but can be eaten the next day, if stored in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 562, Calories from Fat: 296, Fat: 33 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 1649 mg, Potassium: 379 mg, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Sugar: 30 g, Protein: 23 g

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Healthy Living: Roasted Golden Beets


Roasted Golden BeetsI recently blogged about the Wish Night Gala we attended in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole hotel and how delicious the beef tenderloin tasted. I also warned you that I wasn’t done blogging about the amazing food at that event.

The beef tenderloin that night was served with a side of roasted spring vegetables, a healthy side that complemented the rich main course.

The best part of the vegetable medley was the roasted golden beets. I had never had them before and wasn’t sure I’d like them. They were so delicious. The lemon really brings out the flavor of the beets, and these are so simple, so bright and so healthy that they’re the perfect side dish for a heavier main course.

Roasted Golden Beets

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb golden or red beets, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces or wedges
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
2 Tbs chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried herbs, such as marjoram, oregano and/or rosemary
1 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450° F.

Combine oil, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add beets; toss to coat with the seasoning mixture.

Spread the beets evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast, stirring once or twice, until the beets are tender and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Toss the roasted vegetables with lemon juice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 118, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat, 4 g Monounsaturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Protein: 3 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sodium: 423 mg, Potassium: 564 mg

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Jumbo Flaky Homestyle Biscuits


Brookshire’s Jumbo Flaky Homestyle BiscuitsTo say my boys love biscuits is a total and complete understatement.

I recently made the perfect batch of biscuits. They were light, fluffy, airy and delicious. I slaved over them one Saturday morning. Did the boys eat them? No.

No, they did not. They wanted Brookshire’s biscuits instead.

Admittedly, Brookshire’s Jumbo Flaky Homestyle Biscuits are just as good as the ones I spent a good amount of time working on in the wee hours of a weekend morning. Better even, because getting up at 5am is not required.

They are light, fluffy, airy and delicious! My boys love pulling apart the layers, dripping with butter. Best of all, they’re simple to prepare. Just preheat the oven, open the can and voila! Bake. I like baking mine in a cast iron skillet. I melt about one tablespoon of butter in the skillet as it heats, until it’s bubbly and browning. Then, I pull the skillet out of the oven, add the biscuits, put it back in the oven and bake according to package directions. You’ll get a beautifully golden crust on the bottom of your biscuits.



Dine In: Porcini-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Sauce


Porcini-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom SauceMy cooking at home can be heavily influenced by something I’ve tried in a restaurant or at someone else’s house. I taste something delicious and can’t wait to get home and recreate it.

Last weekend, my devastatingly handsome date and I went to a gala in Dallas. Not just any gala but Wish Night, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You’ll probably see a few of the recipes from the night’s meal appearing on this blog, as everything was delicious and I couldn’t wait to make it again at home. The event was held at the Hilton Anatole in downtown Dallas, a sprawling, sophisticated, gorgeously-appointed luxury hotel.

The evening was amazing, from the luxurious table centerpieces of white hydrangeas and roses to the cleverly-folded napkins, perfectly appointed waiters and, of course, the amazing cause.

The food was superlative. It’s not easy to cook for 1,300 people at once, but clearly the expert staff at the Hilton Anatole pulled it off flawlessly.

This beef dish was the first thing I wanted to try to cook myself at home. We cook beef (a lot), but this version had a porcini mushroom crust. It melts in your mouth. I’m glad my gown had a flowy skirt because I ate every single last morsel.

Porcini-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 1/2 oz), divided
1 (3 1/2 lb) center-cut beef tenderloin
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp white pepper, divided
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray
2 cups boiling water
2 Tbs chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Place 1/2 cup mushrooms in a blender; process until finely ground. Trim fat from tenderloin. Sprinkle beef with ground mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef; cook 1 minute on all sides or until browned. Place tenderloin on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of tenderloin. Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 145° F (medium-rare) to 160° F (medium).

Place tenderloin on a platter and cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes.

Combine boiling water and 1 cup mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a medium saucepan, reserving soaking liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms. Bring reserved soaking liquid to a boil and add chopped mushrooms. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced to 1 cup (about 12 minutes). Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and butter, stirring with a whisk until butter is melted. Serve with tenderloin.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 226, Calories from Fat: 48%, Fat: 12 g (5 g Saturated Fat, 4 g Monounsaturated Fat, 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 25 g, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 0.6 g, Cholesterol: 79 mg, Iron: 3 mg, Sodium: 303 mg, Calcium: 8 mg

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Garlic-Parmesan Drumsticks


Grilled Garlic-Parmesan DrumsticksGrowing up, my mom cooked chicken drumsticks pretty frequently. I have to admit that I didn’t eat chicken drumsticks for years after moving out of the house. Ours were never seasoned (it’s hard to cook for seven people, it really is!) and usually broiled in the oven, not my favorite way to eat chicken.

This recipe changed my mind.

Chicken drumsticks are an economical choice, even more so when they’re on sale like they are this week at Brookshire’s. They’re juicy because they’re still on the bone, and they’re full of flavor. As I came to realize in my later years, what’s not to love?

I love this recipe because it’s perfect for patios, porches and picnics. Chicken on the bone is so much easier to eat outside. The delicious sauce seals in the juices and elevates the drumstick to a veritable feast.

Grilled Garlic-Parmesan Drumsticks
Serves 10

Ingredients:

Drumsticks:
5 lb chicken drumsticks
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp paprika

Garlic-Parmesan Sauce:
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, seasoning salt and paprika. Then, rub this mixture into the chicken drumsticks, making sure to get under the skin to season the chicken.

Grill the chicken on 425° F for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the garlic-parmesan sauce.

When the chicken is done cooking, spoon the garlic-parmesan sauce on top of the chicken and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 556, Calories from Fat: 275, Fat: 31 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 208 mg, Sodium: 753 mg, Potassium: 473 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Protein: 66 g



Dine In: Chicken Parmesan Sliders


Chicken Parmesan SlidersThere is nothing I love more than coming home to a meal completed in the slow cooker, except maybe if it’s coming home to an ITALIAN meal completed in the slow cooker.

I also love when I find a classic recipe that’s been repurposed (especially for a slow cooker).

This Chicken Parmesan Slider recipe is one of those.

Classic Chicken Parmesan is pounded, tenderized, breaded, pan-fried and broiled with Mama’s red sauce then finished with some parmesan cheese.

In this recipe, the breading becomes a slider roll. The tomato sauce is mixed in with the chicken, and I see nothing wrong with adding a bit of provolone (warming it just heightens the flavor profile) to the dish. If you don’t care for provolone, you can swap for mozzarella.

The best part about this dish is that it’s ready when you walk in the door from work. It’s not your traditional chicken parmesan, but then again, it’s not supposed to be.

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Ingredients:
8 slider rolls
4 chicken breasts
1 cup marinara sauce
2 Tbs garlic, minced
4 slices provolone cheese, halved
8 oz parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:
Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Top with garlic and marinara sauce. Cook on low setting for 8 hours. (can be done in advance) Shred chicken with two forks, leaving it in the marinara sauce.

Preheat broiler to low. Halve slider rolls. Top with about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture, then top with provolone and parmesan.

Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 857, Calories from Fat: 354, Fat: 39 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 182 mg, Sodium: 1758 mg, Potassium: 568 mg, Carbohydrates: 53 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 73 g

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Family Matters: Zesty Strawberries


Zesty Strawberries  Looking for a simple, refreshing and absolutely delicious dessert for summer? This recipe is great for family gatherings, weddings, showers, church events…or just a special treat for your family. Fresh strawberries are in season, and though they are sweet by themselves, why not add a little zest to make them even more of a treat. This recipe is one that I recently enjoyed at an event and then decided to make for Mother’s Day, and they were a hit with the family and friends.

Summer is a great time to plan family gatherings or picnics for the important people in your life. Try this simple and easy recipe, and add some “zest” to your family gathering that they will not soon forget. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with your family!

Key Lime-Filled Strawberries 

Ingredients:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 Tbs lime juice
1 lb fresh strawberries
zest of 1 lime (optional)

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, lime juice and lime zest. Place the creamed mixture in the refrigerator to chill. Carefully cut the strawberry tips and stems from the strawberries (be careful to not cut into the edges). Take a small spoon or metal 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon and hollow out the inside of the strawberries. Pipe or spoon the creamed filling into the strawberries and then refrigerate until ready to serve. These can be placed in the freezer for a few minutes to set the filling in case they tip over in the container. Additional lime juice may be added (up to 2 teaspoons) if more lime flavor is preferred.

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Shop the Sale: Campfire Burgers


Campfire BurgersFood always tastes better on a camping trip.

That’s my belief, and I’m sticking to it.

Last week’s camping trip was filled with mountain bike rides, a really long hike around the lake and one seriously long trek to the actual restroom facilities. Oh, then there was swimming and a paddle boat excursion, too.

I know two boys who were hungry. Ravenous, really.

The weather was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky, warm sun and cool breezes. That plus a lot of physical activity made for a great day.

Then, there was dinner.

These “Campfire Burgers” are named as such for their smoky flavor and aroma.

I don’t know whether it was the starry night, the crackling fire or the ghost stories, but these tasted just about perfect.

If you want to get really fancy, add soaked hickory chips to your charcoal fire for an extra infusion of smokiness.

Angus ground chuck, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, is perfect to pack in your camping cooler.

*Note: You can caramelize the onions in advance and pack them in your cooler. Just reheat them when you’re ready to serve. The sauce can also be mixed up in advance. You can cook the bacon up at home, or fry a bunch at the campsite and save it for the next morning’s breakfast, too.

Campfire Burgers
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Caramelized Onions:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Campfire Sauce:
1/4 cup regular mayonnaise
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Burgers:
1 lb Angus ground chuck
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
4 hamburger buns

Directions:
Caramelized Onions:
Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions; season with salt and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook for another 1­2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Campfire Sauce:
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and liquid smoke until creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Burgers:
In a large bowl, mix ground beef, cheese, bacon, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, salt and pepper until combined. Form into 4 equal-sized patties.

Preheat grill or skillet with olive oil over medium­-high heat. Add patties and cook for about 6­-7 minutes. Flip; cook for another 6-­7 minutes until cooked thoroughly.

Assemble burgers on toasted buns topped with caramelized onions and campfire sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 591, Calories from Fat: 263, Fat: 29 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 128 mg, Sodium: 1324 mg, Potassium: 660 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 46 g

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Healthy Living: Best Pizza Sauce EVER


The other night, Paul and I made homemade pizza.

It was outstanding for many reasons, including the fact that we made our own crust, grew our own basil for garnish and topping, used fresh mozzarella for the cheese, and made a so-simple-you-won’t-believe-it-sauce for the fresh pie.

It all started when Paul gave me an autographed copy of a Julia Child cookbook. Autographed by hand not a stamp, mind you. I stroked the pages lovingly and did not let anyone touch it for days on end.

Until I wanted to read it, that is.

Paul got me the cookbook because he knew I LOVE cooking, and I LOVE to read cookbooks. This masterpiece was meant to be read.

The first recipe in the book was for pizza, an incredibly simple recipe that let all the ingredients shine.

Easiest of all was the sauce, which is a great base a child can have fun helping you make. It’s made with a can of fresh whole, peeled plum tomatoes with only a few extra ingredients. It’s bright, tasty, fresh and healthy.

This would also be good tossed with fresh pasta, ravioli or tortellini, or used on top of a bruschetta.

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:
1 (48 oz) can peeled Italian whole plum tomatoes
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper

Directions:
With your hands, crush tomatoes in a large bowl until pulverized. Add spices. Add olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Spread onto pizza crust; add toppings. Bake.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 149, Calories from Fat: 64, Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1231 mg, Potassium: 22 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 14 g

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Healthy Living: Zucchini Pizza Bites


I was browsing Pinterest over the weekend (I was looking for healthy recipes, and recipes for s’mores kept popping up. I’m not sure how that happened) and noticed something on my feed: There were six or seven pins for “Foods You Should Never Eat.” Each one pictured bread, then several of the remaining pins on the page were for foods you could substitute for breads or other heavy starches.

I love my bread, but I know that it’s often “empty calories,” especially if I’m eating white bread or something similar. I know a lot of people find it hard to escape the clutches of white flour and processed carbs.

Let’s take pizza, for example. I’ve made pizza with the cauliflower crust. It was delicious, but it wasn’t “real” pizza crust.

Still, though, I’d like to enjoy the taste of pizza without the carbs and calories from the crust.

These zucchini bites are the perfect solution. They give you the added benefit of fiber and the vitamins of veggies without the calories.

Plus, you can just pop ‘em in your mouth!

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Ingredients:
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 large zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella, finely grated
1/4 cup pepperoni minis
1 Tbs Italian seasoning

Directions:
Preheat oven to broil.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add zucchini and cook, flipping once, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place zucchini rounds onto a large baking sheet. Top each zucchini round with marinara, mozzarella and pepperoni minis.

Place into oven and cook until the cheese has melted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with Italian seasoning, if desired.

Note: For some added texture, place the pepperoni minis on a paper towel; place in microwave and cook for 30 seconds. They’ll become crispy and render some of their fat onto the paper towel. Remove them from the paper towel, blotting grease before you add them to the top of the zucchini pizza bites.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 190, Calories from Fat: 125, Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 0.2 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 32 mg, Sodium: 455 mg, Potassium: 222 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 12 g

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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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