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Family Matters: Homemade Banana Bread


Homemade Banana BreadAbout a year ago, I found a recipe for banana bread made with buttermilk that is fantastic; it is so moist and has the best flavor. This is now our favorite bread recipe…it is delicious for breakfast (quick and easy for kids before school), snack time or a bedtime treat. You can heat a slice in the microwave and add a little butter – my husband’s favorite thing to do! It has been a family tradition to bake loaves of strawberry bread and give as gifts to close friends and teachers, and serve at family gatherings. Now, we have added this banana bread. If you enjoy bananas, this is a must-try recipe!

Homemade Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup Brookshire’s Buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups  ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
Cream together the sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time using a mixer. Stir baking soda into buttermilk then add to the mixture. Sift flour and baking powder; add to the mixture. Add vanilla and mashed bananas next; mix in and stir in pecans as the last item. Pour in a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans, less cooking time). Bake at 300° F for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until bread is done (check with toothpick). Let cool shortly before removing from pan, or cut immediately and enjoy fresh hot bread with a glass of milk. Note: Bake it in a bundt pan for a fancy look and sprinkle with powdered sugar; it is a great party item.

Plan an afternoon and try this banana bread recipe – time in the kitchen with your family is an opportunity to bond and grow relationships. It may become a favorite family recipe that you can pass on for generations to come. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with your family!



Family Matters: Lucky Ice Cream Floats


Lucky Ice Cream Floats St. Patrick’s Day may be over, but you can still have some “green” fun in the kitchen this weekend. Your kiddos can still feel lucky with delicious – and decidedly green – ice cream floats that are simple for kids of all ages to make.

Start out by chilling the glass you will be using in advance, so the ingredients stay nice and cold. With an ice cream scoop, dip 2 to 3 scoops of Goldenbrook Farms Lime Sherbet into the glass. With a steady hand, carefully and slowly pour in the Brookshire’s BLAST! Lemon Lime. The combination will begin to foam. Stop pouring before the foam reaches the top of the glass. Add a fun straw to the drink and enjoy every sip!

For more kid-friendly recipes, pick up a free copy of Celebrate Cooking Magazine available online or at your local Brookshire’s.



Family Matters: Bathtime for Your Pets


Bathtime for Your PetsLast weekend, we gave my 95-pound rescue dog, Astro, his first bath. Well, at least the first time we’d bathed him since we got him in July.

Yes, it was long overdue.

The most difficult part was getting Astro into the bathtub. He didn’t like it, at all. He dodged and ran into my closet, which is an adventure in and of itself. (In the summer, we’ll bathe him outside, but it was too cold last weekend for an outside bath.) Then, he slipped through our grasps and got into the bedroom. He tried to hide under the bed, but a dog that stands hip height can’t quite make it. We finally got him into the bathroom and got the door closed, and two of us lifted him into the tub. Once in the tub, he didn’t mind at all, and I think he kind of enjoyed the warm spray from the shower head and the lather. (It took three times of lather, rinse and repeat to get him clean!)

According to the ASPCA, what we should have done was spend a few days slowly introducing him to the concept of bath time by bringing him into the bathroom, teaching him to step in and out of the tub by himself, using treats and rewards, and letting him hear the running water and get accustomed to it.

That would have helped.

Another way to give your pooch a good bath time memory is to give him treats AFTER the bath and to play with him. Trust me. I’ve filed all this information away for next time.



Family Matters: Splish, Splash, Baby was Taking a Bath


Splish, Splash, Baby was Taking a BathI think babies come in two categories when it comes to bath time: they either love it or they hate it.

I had two lovers, but my nephew was a hater of epic proportions. Getting him into the bath was akin to dunking him in a tub of scalding water.

There are lots of things you can try to make bath time a fun and relaxing experience for all involved.

First, you might want to try to experiment with different temperatures of water. Baby might like it warmer or cooler than what you expect.

Secondly, play some music in the bathroom. Classical is relaxing, but anything he’s accustomed to hearing will help him relax.

Fill the tub with fun toys! Floating animals, soap crayons, small cups, sieves or water wheels are all entertaining in the tub. A stick-on mirror could make for hours of fun in the tub if you put it at baby’s eye level. Sponges, washcloths and anything tactile could distract baby while you wash her hair and body.

Try lavender-scented baby wash. Lavender is supposed to have a calming effect, and the scent might just work on baby, too.



Family Matters: Bottoms Up!


Keep Baby’s Diaper Area Clean and DryThere is nothing more miserable than a baby with a bad case of diaper rash – for the parents or for the little one!

Luckily, with products and techniques available today, diaper rash is both preventable and treatable.

Diaper rash is usually caused by leaving a wet or dirty diaper on too long, rubbing or chafing against the diaper itself, a yeast infection, allergic reaction to the diaper or something the baby ate that comes out the other end and causes a reaction.

Babies get diaper rashes more often when they get older, sleep in a dirty diaper, have diarrhea, start eating solid foods or take antibiotics.

To prevent diaper rash, make sure baby is changed frequently. If they don’t tend to wake up at night when they’re dirty, a thin layer of diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly can protect their bottom for several hours.

To treat diaper rash, let baby “air” out between diaper changes for a few minutes. Treat the rash areas with a diaper rash ointment. If diaper rash persists, you might have to eliminate certain things from his diet that cause severe irritation or change diaper brands.



Family Matters: Drink Up!


Transitioning Your Baby from a Bottle to a Sippy CupWhen your little one is about a year old, it’s time to transition from a bottle to a cup.

At this point, they have developed enough fine and gross motor skills to handle a cup and the sucking reflex has diminished significantly.

Some babies are ready for a cup much earlier than others, sometimes as early as six months old.

To start transitioning your baby from a bottle to a sippy cup, start by skipping a bottle-feeding every five to seven days.

Put whatever liquid your child is used to in his sippy cup — whether it’s breast milk or baby formula.

Put a little more liquid in baby’s cup and a little less in his bottle each time.

If your baby is old enough to show his preferences, let him get involved in selecting the cup; he’ll be more likely to use it.

Give your little one the liquids he likes best in the sippy cup and the ones he likes least in his bottle.

You can also go cold-turkey (my preferred method). Just hand your (developmentally ready) toddler a cup one day and go to town!

Transitioning can take anywhere from a day or two days to about a month, depending on the child and the consistency of the parents.



Family Matters: Does it really matter?


Does it really matter?As I sit in the hospital room where my youngest brother lies battling terminal cancer, I am brought to tears. When I talk to people and they mention fighting among their siblings and families about things that are so small and petty, it pains me. I have such a great relationship with my three brothers. We have always been close and supported each other and our families. I consider this as one of my greatest blessings.

As my brother would say, “put on your big girl panties” – meaning, grow up and learn to just move on when something upsets you. In the picture of life, do those small things that irritate you really matter? We are not promised tomorrow. We must learn to live each day to the fullest and to not leave things unsaid or undone that you would regret. In every situation, just ask: does it really matter?

I promise that if you find yourself (or a family member) faced with a life-threating situation, it will change how you look at life and how you live. So, why wait? Look for the good in each situation and find just one positive when it appears all negative. If you just take a few minutes each day, you will find the glory you are surrounded by and the small blessings you miss daily because you don’t take time to see them.

We are all blessed beyond measure of what we deserve, and it is a shame that it goes unnoticed. Take a moment each day to get on your knees, close your eyes and listen…God speaks to us daily. If we take time to speak to Him, you will view each day and every situation differently. If you don’t think it is for you, try it anyway. I promise you that it will change your life and the lives of those around you. Does it really matter…yes, when prayer is concerned and loving those around you like it is your last day…it does.

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Family Matters: I Love You A Wafflelot


Cinnamon Roll WafflesValentine’s Day may be over, but you can still show your family you love them a “wafflelot!” Sweet or savory waffles with various toppings, syrups and fillings will generate the love inside and out, and prove that you love them a “wafflelot.” Get in the kitchen with your kiddos or hubby and try your hand at making cinnamon roll waffles, savory cornmeal and chive waffles with salsa and eggs, maple-brown butter dessert waffles or lemon-ricotta waffles with poppy seeds.

Waffles and toppings go together like peanut butter and jelly, or love and marriage! Top your waffles with fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, whipping cream, cream cheese, nuts, bacon, chives, brown sugar, sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, honey, ice cream, granola, sausage, Nutella, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, raisins, chocolate syrup, jams, apple butter, pretzels, candy, peanut butter and more!

CINNAMON ROLL WAFFLES
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

WAFFLES
1 3/4 cups Food Club All Purpose Flour
2 Tbs Food Club Sugar
1 tsp Food Club Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Food Club Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Food Club Salt
2 large eggs
2 cups Brookshire’s Buttermilk
1/4 cup Brookshire’s Canola Oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

CINNAMON TOPPING
1/2 cup Brookshire’s Butter, melted
3/4 cup Food Club Brown Sugar, packed
1 Tbs Food Club Ground Cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE TOPPING
4 Tbs Brookshire’s Butter
2 oz Brookshire’s Cream Cheese
3/4 cup Food Club Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

WAFFLES
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened; batter will be slightly lumpy. Preheat a waffle iron and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron grid and close the lid. Bake until waffles are completely done. Keep waffles warm until ready to serve. When ready to serve, drizzle cinnamon topping over waffles and then drizzle cream cheese topping.

CINNAMON TOPPING
In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip-top bag and set aside.

CREAM CHEESE TOPPING
In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese for 30 to 60 seconds, just until melted. Stir together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Do this last as it will thicken quickly as it cools.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 655, Fat: 38 g, Cholesterol: 137 mg, Sodium: 508 mg, Carbohydrates: 70 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 10 g

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



Family Matters – Leash Training Your Pets


Leash Training Your DogI took my dog, Astro, to the park last weekend. I’ve never walked Astro on a leash before, but for whatever reason (the beautiful weather must have given me a touch of spring fever), I decided that day would be a good day to try. At the park. With 9 million other dogs. Astro is about 95 pounds of pure muscle, and he’s about two years old. What I’m saying is, he’s big and he’s enthusiastic. Do you see where this is going? Walking Astro on a leash in a crowded park was not the best idea. Since then, I’ve gotten him a no-pull harness (which is gentler on his neck), and I’ve read up on teaching him how to walk on a leash. Here are some tips I’ve read from an article on BuzzFeed about getting started. I plan to try again this weekend.

  • Until your dog learns to walk without pulling, consider all walks as training sessions. Keep training sessions frequent, short and fun for your dog.
  • Since loose-leash training sessions will be too short and slow to provide adequate exercise, find other ways to exercise your dog until he’s mastered loose-leash walking. In fact, you’ll succeed more quickly if you find a way to tire your dog out before taking him on a training walk. Dogs pull, in part, because they’re full of excess energy. So, unless you can expend that energy, your dog will find it hard to control himself. Before you train, play fetch in a hallway or your backyard, play a vigorous game of tug or drive your dog to the park so that he can play with his buddies.
  • Teaching a dog to walk without pulling requires plenty of rewards. Use highly desirable treats that your dog doesn’t get at other times. Soft treats are best so your dog can eat them quickly and continue training. Most dogs love wieners, cheese, cooked chicken or ham, small jerky treats or freeze-dried liver. Chop all treats into small, peanut-sized cubes.
  • Walk at a quick pace. If your dog trots or runs, he’ll have fewer opportunities to catch a whiff of something enticing, and he’ll be less inclined to stop and eliminate every few steps. Additionally, you are far more interesting to your dog when you move quickly.
  • If you expect your dog to control himself while walking on a leash, you must also expect him to control himself before you go for a walk. If he gets wildly excited as you prepare for a walk, you need to focus on that first. Walk to the door and pick up the leash. If your dog races around, barks, whines, spins or jumps up, just stand completely still. Do and say absolutely nothing until your dog calms down a bit. As soon as he has all four paws on the floor, slowly reach toward him to clip on the leash. If he starts to bounce around or jump up on you, quickly bring your hands (and the leash) back toward your body. Wait until your dog has all four paws on the floor again. Then, slowly reach toward him again to attach his leash. Repeat this sequence until your dog can stand in front of you without jumping up or running around while you clip on his leash. This may seem like a tedious exercise at first, but if you’re consistent, your hard work will pay off. Eventually, your dog will learn to stand still while you attach his leash.


Earth Mama Angel Baby


Earth Mama Angel Baby

When I was pregnant with my boys and in the months after giving birth, I was so conscientious about what I put in – and on – my body.

Many mamas are, so Melinda Olson began formulating organic herbal remedies for friends in her Oregon kitchen, an endeavor which led to Earth Mama Angel Baby products.

Earth Mama Angel Baby products are safe, hospital-recommended, certified-organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. These natural, herbal personal care products, gentle castile soaps and teas are specifically formulated to support the entire journey of childbirth, from pregnancy through postpartum recovery, breast-feeding and baby care.

Melinda Olson is an expert in the benefits of plant medicine, and continually balances her trust and care of traditional herb wisdom with evidence-based research. She formulated her herbal pregnancy, postpartum, breast-feeding and baby care products to be safe and effective without worrisome ingredients. Of course, they are also baby-safe with no synthetic fragrances or preservatives.

Products include Angel Baby Lotion, Angel Baby Bottom Balm, Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, New Mama Bottom Spray, Natural Nipple Butter and Organic Milkmaid Tea.

All are available at Brookshire’s.



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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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