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Family Matters: Pumpkin Butterscotch Fudge Bars


Fall has always been my favorite time of year. It has nothing to do with the fact that I was born in October. (No, really, it doesn’t, I promise) And fall is rapidly becoming my boys’ favorite time of year, too.

First of all, there’s the weather. When it got chilly last weekend, the first thing my older son asked for when he woke up was hot cocoa. Who doesn’t love a steaming mug of chocolaty goodness on a crisp fall morning?  With the cooler weather comes camping, one of our favorite family activities. There is nothing better than spending the day hiking, crunching along in the colorful leaves, then cooking over an open flame, making melty, delicious s ‘mores and going to sleep under the stars – after the ghost stories, of course.

Fall is also soccer season. My younger son plays and is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Saturdays at the soccer field, cheering him on, are a fun way to spend a family day too.

Fall means corn mazes, pumpkin patches, haunted houses and hayrides. Last weekend we visited four haunted houses at a local amusement park and crept through them, alternately laughing hysterically and clutching each other in anticipation of what was going to pop out from behind the next corner. We go to a nearby corn maze every year, too, and luckily for me my boys have a better sense of direction than I do, because they can sniff our way out much more quickly than I can. We pick up our pumpkins at the same place, searching the extensive field for just the right gourd to take home for our jack o’ lantern.

Fall also means baking. Lots of baking. Pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, spice loaf, peanut butter cookies and these pumpkin butterscotch fudge bars that combine all the delicious flavors of my favorite season.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Fudge Bars
Makes 4 dozen

Recipe Courtesy of Quaker Oats  

COOKIE BASE:
Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) 
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut 
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
12 Tbs (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted 

FUDGE: 
2 Tbs stick butter or margarine 
2/3 cup evaporated milk 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 tsp salt 
2 cups (4 oz.) miniature marshmallows 
1-2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) butterscotch chips 
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided 
1 tsp vanilla   

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F. Line 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with foil. 

For cookie base, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, coconut, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda in medium bowl; mix well. Stir in butter; mix well. Press into jelly-roll pan.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.  

For fudge, combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Boil, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, chips, 1/2 cup nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour over cookie base; sprinkle with remaining nuts. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars.

Nutritional Information (per bar):Calories 128;  Calories from Fat 56; Total Fat 6 g; Cholesterol 9 mg; Sodium 84 mg; Total Carbohydrates 17 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 12 g; Protein 2 g

 



Dine-In: Buffalo Chicken Dip


My mom used to serve what she called a ‘munch lunch’ on weekends. I think basically this meant that she was trying to clear out any leftovers she had in the fridge from the week, and we could take it and do with it what we wanted for lunch. Sometimes it was “real” food like leftover meatloaf we could make into a sandwich, but sometimes it was cheese, crackers, some leftover tuna salad or other bits and pieces of former meals we could “munch” on for lunch. 

Sometimes my boys and I purvey this idea into a fun Friday night dinner. Somehow it just feels festive to snack in front of a good movie on a Friday night. 

This Buffalo Chicken dip is a family favorite. You can serve it on crackers, pitas or with celery or carrot sticks. We’ve also been known to dip chicken wings in this Buffalo Dip! 

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

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serves 10 – 12

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 12-oz bottle Frank’s Hot Wing Sauce
8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
8 oz lite ranch dressing
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.  Poach the chicken breasts in boiling water until cooked through. Drain, let cool and then pull meat apart with a fork. In a 9-inch casserole dish, spread out the chicken and pour the wing sauce over. Mix well and spread out, covering the entire bottom of the dish. In a medium sized saucepot, combine the cream cheese and ranch dressing.  Whisk while heating until smooth. You don’t want any cream cheese clumps! Pour the cream cheese mixture over the chicken and spread out. Sprinkle the celery on top. Bake for fifteen minutes.

After fifteen minutes, sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and continue baking for another ten to fifteen minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. Remove from oven and let sit for ten minutes. Stir well and serve with chips, celery sticks and buffalo chicken wings.

Nutritional Information: Calories 306; Calories from Fat 184; Total Fat 21g;  Cholesterol 98mg; Sodium 1076mg; Total Carbohydrates 5g; Sugars 3g; Protein 25 g



Family Matters: New Year…New You


As we celebrate the New Year, let us all take a few minutes to reflect on the past year and look ahead at what we want to accomplish this year. 

Whether you focus on marriage, family, friends, work, or life in general, there are things we can do (without much effort) that would make a difference in all of areas of our lives. 

Think about compassion, patience, generosity, respect, kindness, self-control, integrity, gratitude, faithfulness and, most importantly, love. 

When is the last time you showed compassion, had patience, expressed generosity, practiced respect, acted out of kindness, used self-control and upheld integrity?  What about showing gratitude, faithfulness and expressing love to others? 

Everyone likes to receive these types of things, but we ourselves often fall short of extending them to others on a daily basis.  There are no greater attributes we can teach our children or accomplish as a family than having a passion to make the world around us a better place to live.  We are all extended mercy and grace daily, and we receive blessings we never acknowledge.  

My prayer, for you and your family, is that you to find joy, hope and the courage to be different and to make a difference, in the lives of others this year. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you have to share with your family. 



Family Matters: Homemade Ornaments


Does it feel like the holidays rush by every year, and they’re over before you’ve even had a chance to relax and enjoy them?

This year, make a promise to slow down and create some special holiday memories with your family – in the kitchen, of course. These old-fashioned dough ornaments are fun for the whole family to make, and easy enough that even the littlest kids can get in on the act. Double or triple the recipe and you’ll have enough dough to invite friends, neighbors and cousins for an ornament-making party. While the ornaments are baking, serve hot chocolate and play board games, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

The basic dough recipe is below, but you can find illustrated step-by-step directions in the December issue of Celebrate Cooking. You can pick up your free copy at your local store, or view the digital edition online at brookshires.com.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Dough Ornaments

Ingredients:
4 cups Food Club Flour
1 cup Food Club salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
Red and green food coloring

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead by hand until elastic and smooth.

Divide dough into roughly three equal pieces. Leave one portion white. In the other two portions, work in red and green food coloring by kneading,  adding color until you reach the desired hue.

Roll small pieces of dough into long, thin ropes and twist together to form candy canes and wreaths. Hand-cut small bows of red or green dough to decorate wreaths. Place ornaments on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake until hard, about one hour.



Macaroni and Cheese Cups


Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 24 

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Food Club All-Purpose Flour
3 cups Full Circle Fat Free Milk
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
1 lb elbow macaroni noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 tsp Food Club Salt
1/2 tsp Food Club Ground Black Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. 

In a medium saucepan melt butter. Add flour to saucepan, stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and continue until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. 

In a large bowl add noodles and cheese mixture; mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of macaroni mixture into each cup of mini muffin pan. Bake macaroni and cheese for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. 

Nutritional Information:  Calories Per Serving: 207, Fat: 10 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 245 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 11 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.

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Family Matters: Table Manners


The holidays are stressful! All that last-minute cleaning, cooking, and preparing for guests, so take care of something now that doesn’t need to wait till the last minute – improving your children’s table manners. 

Holiday dinners can be stressful for kids too – all those adults at the table, all that fancy food. And, you can’t expect your children to have perfect manners overnight. You must work with your kids now to teach them good manners. As parents, you must lead by example. If your elbows are on the table and you’re talking with your mouth full, don’t expect your children not to do the same. 

Don’t make dinner a time of lectures and scolding. Praise your children for doing the right things instead of scolding them for doing the wrong. The key is to praise and reinforce. Here are a few table manners you and your family can work on now so they are ready for the holidays: 

  • Before and after meals, make sure to wash your hands.
  • No pet, toys or electronics should be brought to the table. This includes cell phones.
  • Remove any hats before coming to the dinner table.
  • Place your napkin in your lap.
  • Wait until everyone is seated at the table before eating.
  • Ask politely if you need anything passed at the table. Don’t forget to say please and thank you.
  • Remember eating is not a race. Take your time and chew your food.
  • Don’t stuff your mouth. Only eat what you can.
  • When eating your food, keep your mouth closed.
  • If someone asks a question while you have food in your mouth, wait until you have swallowed before answering.
  • Avoid eating with your hands, unless appropriate.
  • Bring your food to your mouth rather than leaning too far into your plate..
  • Leave a little liquid in your glass to prevent slurping.
  • Ask to be excused before leaving the table.


Peaches and Cream Tart


Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus chilling
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 1/4 cups Food Club All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbs Food Club Light Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Food Club Salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cold water

Filling:
2 oz Food Club Fat Free Cream Cheese
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp Food Club Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs Food Club Honey
1 to 2 peaches, sliced
1/4 tsp Food Club Ground Cinnamon

Directions:
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture. Slowly add water while stirring with a fork. Roll dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill dough for 1 hour.

In a medium bowl whisk cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add yogurt, vanilla and honey; blend well.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll chilled dough out into a circle and place on baking sheet. Spread cream mixture over center of the dough about 2 inches away from the edge. Place sliced peaches on cream mixture. Fold sides on dough over to make a crust. Sprinkle cinnamon over tart. Bake tart 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Nutritional Information: 
Calories Per Serving: 229, Fat: 14 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 39 mg, Sodium: 180 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3g
.



Shrimp with Rosemary Skewers


Grilling Goodness!

Ingredients:
6 (6-8 inch) Rosemary sprigs
12 Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined (keep tails on)
2 teaspoon Olive Oil
3/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder with Parsley

Directions:
Remove rosemary leave to within 2 inches of the tip.  Soak sprigs in water for 4 hours.  Remove sprigs from water.   Skewer 2 shrimp per sprig.  Brush each side of shrimp with oil and sprinkle with Seasoned Salt and Garlic Powder with Parsley.  Grill over medium-high heat, until shrimp turn opaquie and pink about 2 to 4 minutes.  Turn once during grill time.

Recommended wine pairing:  Chardonnay, Moscato or Sweet Red



Tex-Mex cheese steak nachos


Ingredients:
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup chopped poblano pepper
1 cup chopped white onion
6 oz sirloin, flank steak or rib eye, sliced into strips and then cut into bites
1 jar Leigh Oliver’s White Queso, any flavor
Salt and pepper
1 can refried beans or refried black beans
6 oz tortilla chips 

Garnish: sour cream, chopped tomato, guacamole, chopped onion, jalapeño

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions
and sauté for about 4 minutes, until tender. Remove peppers and onions from
skillet and set aside. Sprinkle sirloin with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook
over medium-high heat until brown, but still medium-rare, about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat. Heat refried beans in microwave until warmed throughout,
about 2 minutes, stirring once. 

Arrange chips on serving platter and top each with a dollop of refried beans and a slice of sirloin. Drizzle with Leigh Oliver’s White Queso and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.



America’s Dessert with a Cherry on top


No dessert could be simpler than the
ice cream sundae–a scoop of ice cream,
a sweet topping, and the ubiquitous whipped cream and cherry at the top.

However, icons are never really that simple,
and, perhaps more than any other dish,
the sundae is an American icon. 

Like people, nations are what they eat. More than any other native dish, the ice cream sundae is an essential reminder of the American genius for invention, passion for indulgence, and reputation for wackiness…it’s as messy and irresistible as democracy itself.     

Source: icecreamsundae.com



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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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