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Family Matters: Maintaining a Healthy Family

That New Years resolution to get your family healthy may be in the back of your mind but don’t give up.

If you start your child out young with healthy food choices they will grow into loving fruits and vegetables.

Fruit is not normally hard to get into your child’s diet because they are sweet, but vegetables can be a little difficult.

There are many different ways you can add more vegetables into your child’s diet.

  • You may need to hide the vegetables by adding them to sauces and pureeing them. You can add pureed vegetable into your child’s favorite foods, like chicken nuggets. Make your own batter for chicken nuggets by adding a little pureed vegetable.
  • If you add a side salad to lunch and dinner you will be adding more vegetables to your meal than you realize. You can add tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, avocados and your favorite vegetables.
  • Be creative with your foods. Make your vegetables into animals and flowers to get your kids excited about eating vegetables.
  • Kids love pizza, right? Start having a pizza night at home and make your own homemade pizza. When making the pizza, go easy on the cheese but stack it full of vegetables like corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
  • Think small. Kids are little so they like little foods. They will love baby carrots, baby corn and small cherry tomatoes that they can just pop in their mouths!
  • Find out how your children like their vegetables prepared. Maybe they do not like broccoli because it is cooked, see if they like it raw. Try cooking the vegetables different ways like roasting, baking or grilling.

Celebrate Kids

It’s never too early to get the kids cooking!

Get your children involved in the kitchen by introducing them to measuring tools that will have them pouring, sifting and whipping up a big batch of fun!

  1. sifting – Fill sifter with flour and gently squeeze the handle to sift flour into a dry, clean bowl.
  2. measuring liquid – Pour liquid into a liquid measuring cup, then bend over at eye level to check the marks; the liquid should be at the mark, not above or below.
  3. Leveling – Fill measuring cup to overflowing, then use the back of a knife to sweep over the cup’s top edge to level off at brim.
  4. separating an egg – Carefully crack egg open; gently pass yolk back and forth in the shells while the white drips into a bowl.

Recipe-writers love shorthand; these abbreviations are near-universal:

• T or Tbs = tablespoon
• t or tsp = teaspoon
• c = cup
• oz = ounce
• gms or g = grams (1 ounce = about 28 grams; if a recipe calls for 100 grams, it’s equivalent to about 1/2 cup)

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids

Peppermint Candy Cookies

Peppermint Candy Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1 (17.5 oz) pkg Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup Gold Medal All Purpose Flour
1 (12 oz) Ctn Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Frosting
1 tsp peppermint extract
Red sugar

Heat oven to 375° F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg and flour until dough forms. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with bottom of glass.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

In small bowl, mix frosting and peppermint extract. Spread each cookie with frosting. Using small spoon, sprinkle red sugar onto cookies in spiral design to look like peppermint candies.

Recipe provided by Betty Crocker

How should you store baked cookies?

First, cool them completely. Then put them in an airtight bag or container and keep at either room temp or in the freezer. Cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. If the cookies are frosted, make sure the frosting is dry before you store them. If you stack the cookies, put a layer of waxed paper between them so they don’t stick together.

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids

Family Matters: Puzzle Past Time

Every since I was a child I have received a puzzle for Christmas.  We would sit up a card table in the house, pour out the puzzle and each day you would see someone from the family sit for a few minutes to find a few pieces and then someone else would pass by and sit and before you knew it several of us were sitting, visiting and laughing as we were trying to find just the right piece.  Depending on the size of the puzzle it might take us a week or maybe even a month to finish but it never seemed to matter and no one got in a rush, I think because we all enjoyed the time together.  What an accomplishment we felt when it was finally done and we knew we had worked together as a family.

Now with children of my own it is a nice tradition to keep going with my family.  There are a lot of unique and fun puzzles today and as simple as it sounds, just the extra few minutes with your kids makes a difference.  It is also a time for your kids to bond and share with each other without parents. Puzzles are inexpensive, mind challenging and are great family entertainment.  Remember as you search for just the right piece…you are making the right choice in spending quality time with your family.  Throw in some snacks from Brookshire’s and make it a fun past time for everyone!

Don’t forget to set aside time this week for your family.  Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you share with them.

Window Pane Cookies

These fun cut out cookies have a melted candy center that has the appearance of a window pane.

They’re easy to make and kids love mixing and matching the candy colored centers.

Window Pane Cookies

1. flour the dough – Add 2 Tbs flour to store-bought sugar cookie dough to help cookies hold their shape.
2. roll the dough – Roll the dough out onto the back of a cookie sheet to make cutting shapes easier.
3. cookie cutter fun
4. add the Starburst® – Use a smaller sized cookie cutter in the center of each cookie to create an inner shape to hold the candy. Place half a Starburst® candy in the center of each cookie, or mix up candies to get interesting color combinations.

Cooking with store-bought cookie dough and candy can result in fun, but unpredictable shapes and color. For more consistent results follow these tips: Roll your cookie dough out onto oven safe parchment, a silicone baking sheet or a greased baking pan to make the cookies easier to remove. Bake cookies for 5 minutes in a 350˚ F preheated oven. Remove cookies, fill center with 1/2 a Starburst® candy. Place cookies back into oven and carefully watch until candy begins to bubble (about 4 to 6 minutes). Remove immediately and cool before serving.

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids

Dine-In: Snowman Macaroni and Cheese

Snowman Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10

1 lb elbow macaroni
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs Food Club All-Purpose Flour
1-1/2 cup Full-Circle 2% Milk
1 cup shredded Monterery Jack cheese
1 cup shredded 2% mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
5 cherry tomato, halved
1 baby carrot

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil and add noodles. Cook noodles for 9 minute; drain. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and add flour; stir constantly. Slowly add milk and whisk until thickened.

In a large bowl, add drained noodles, milk sauce, 1/2 cup Monterery Jack 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese; mix well. Pour noodles into round casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of noodles. Place casserole dish in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Once macaroni and cheese is cooled, place 2 cherry tomato halved onto macaroni and cheese as eyes. Then place the remaining cherry tomato halves as the smile. Use the baby carrot as a nose.

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 293, Fat: 9 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 249 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 14 g.

© 2010, 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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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In, Kids

Family Matters: Hope’s Traditional Sugar Cookies

Tis the season for the holiday traditions to began. I love this time of the year – digging out all the ornaments that my kids have made over the years, baking my husband’s favorite pecan pie, going to the mall on Christmas Eve for pictures with Santa and decorating sugar cookies with my kids. Carrying out family traditions and creating new traditions for my family brings me so much joy.

My oldest holiday traditions began around the age of 10 when I started doing the baking for my mom. To this day, if I do not bring the decorated sugar cookies to the family gatherings, everyone gets really upset with me! For a while, even turkey shaped sugar cookies made an appearance on Thanksgiving! Happily, I have now passed this tradition down to my nine-year-old daughter!

Hope’s Traditional Sugar Cookies 

1 cup Crisco
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs milk
3 cups flour

Cookies: Add Crisco, sugar, eggs, vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until creamy. Stir in baking powder then gradually add flour and stir until blended together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least up to three hours.

Lightly sprinkle an inverted cookie sheet and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough out onto an inverted cookie sheet. Press cookie cutter into dough and remove excess dough around cutter. Work excess cookie dough back into a ball and repeat process. Bake cookies for 8 minutes (they should not turn brown).

Icing: you can make your own Royal icing or use Betty Crocker Cookie Icing in a pouch.

What ever your tradition is during the Christmas season, remember that time spent with family is by far the best tradition of all.

Sweet and Salty – Delicious and Savory

For the best of both worlds, satisfy your taste for the sweet and salty with four delicious and savory treats.

Our chewy Tuxedo Pretzels and moist Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies pair well with crunchy Graham Cracker Bark, while everyone will be sure to delight in an indulgent, melt-in-your-mouth Almond Truffle.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 12

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
12 Hershey Kisses

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cream together butter, sugar and egg yolk. Add vanilla, flour and salt; mix well. Roll dough into balls. Roll balls into egg whites and then into walnuts. Place balls onto cookie sheet. Press finger into middle of each ball and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Immediately after getting cookies out of the oven place one Hershey Kiss into center of the cookie.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 309, Fat: 21 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 73 mg, Sodium: 174 mg, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 5 g

Graham Cracker Bark
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 16

1/2 box graham crackers
1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 10×15 baking dish with parchment paper. Place graham crackers on top of parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in sugar; bring to a boil. Stir occasionally until candy thermometer reaches 310° F. Pour sugar mixture over graham crackers and then chocolate chips. Place baking sheet in oven and cook for 5 minutes. With a fork swirl chocolate on bark. Add chopped pecans and toffee bits to bark. Place bark in refrigerator for 2 hours and then break apart.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 281, Fat: 18 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 16 mg,  Sodium: 130 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 2 g

Tuxedo Pretzels
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

oz white chocolate
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 (10 oz) bag twisted pretzels

In a microwave safe bowl, add white chocolate and microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave in intervals of 15 seconds until melted; stir after every microwave. Repeat with semi-sweet chocolate. Dip half a pretzel in the white chocolate and place on wax paper to harden. Once white chocolate is hard, dip the other half in semi-sweet chocolate and place back on wax paper to harden.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 138, Fat: 4 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 1 mg,  Sodium: 325 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3 g

Almond Truffles
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus chill time
Serves: 12

1/2 cup Food Club Heavy Cream
2 Tbs butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup chopped almonds

In a saucepan, bring heavy cream and butter to a boil. In a metal bowl, combine chocolate chips and hot cream. Once chocolate is melted add almond extract. Place chocolate in refrigerator and chill for 2 hours. Roll chocolate into balls and place back the freezer for 6 hours or over night. Roll balls into chopped almonds.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 171, Fat: 12 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 32 mg, Sodium: 32 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3 g

Shop the Sale: Chex Cereal

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire sure sound nice, but who has time for that? Sometimes it’s nice to spend less time in the kitchen so you can enjoy the party. Chex Cereal has always been one of my favorite go-to recipes. You can add just about anything to Chex Cereal and you are ready to go!

After the party, the leftovers make for a nice surprise in the kids’ lunchboxes. Pick up the November issue of Celebrate Cooking Magazine for a free offer from General Mills. Enjoy FREE Chex Cereal (Selected Varieties 12.8 oz To 14.25 oz Box) when you buy TWO General Mills Chex Cereal (Selected Varieties 12.8 oz TO 14.25 oz Box).

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Posted in: Kids, Shop the Sale

Family Matters: Cooking with Toddlers

Thanksgiving is a holiday that requires a lot of cooking and with hot foods cooking it can be scary with little ones running around. Keep a close eye on your children while cooking. You may want to put a movie on for your children to watch while you are busy at work in the kitchen.

When cooking on the stove, place pot and pan handles away from children’s reach, to prevent them from accidently pulling the hot food down on them. Make sure that the floor in the kitchen does not have any spills to ensure that you will not slip on anything that would cause you to fall with hot food in your hands. Always wear non-slip shoes while cooking to prevent falling and spilling hot food on yourself or someone else.  

Copyright © 2010-2017, 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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