share. The Brookshire's Blog

Product Talk: Puff Pastry


What’s light as a feather, crispy as a cracker and oh-so-impressive to serve? The answer: Anything made with puff pastry! Puff pastry is a simple idea: layers of very-thinly rolled dough, layered with butter. As it bakes, the layers puff and the result is amazing. Making puff pastry from scratch is no easy task, but lucky for us, puff pastry is available at your local Brookshire’s. Look in the freezer case, near the Cool Whip and frozen fruit.

Have you ever had croissants? That’s puff pastry—all those wonderfully crisp and buttery layers. But did you know it’s as simple to make as rolling out pop-n-fresh dinner rolls? Seriously! And when something is simple, impressive and delicious, it’s the perfect choice for a kids-can-help food.

Thaw the dough in the fridge overnight, or on the countertop for 30 minutes. Unfold, roll out just a bit and then go to town. Add a filling and roll up, or cut into shapes and place yummy ingredients (sweet or savory) on top. Bake 20 minutes and you’re ready!

So what can you make with puff pastry? Pop bits of dough into muffin tins, and fill with taco meat for Mexi-puffs. Rollup ground beef, bacon and cheddar, and slice into rounds. Bake and call them Bacon Chedder Rounds. Bake squares of pastry and then top with cream cheese and smoked salmon…or ham and cheese. Wrap a thin strip of puff pastry around a stalk of asparagus and bake….the possibilities are limited only by your creativity. Kids can fill their dough with pizza toppings, sloppy joes and anything else they like.

I like to use puff pastry in place of pie crust when making chicken pot pies. Yummy, crispy golden goodness! Or make a puff pastry pizza…….or cut into small squares and enclose chocolate kisses in each. See what I mean? It’s awesome stuff! At Valentine’s Day, you can cut out heart-shaped pieces, bake and then layer with ice cream and canned cherry pie filling.

Okay, I’ll stop. The rest is up to you, though. Go to www.puffpastry.com for lots more ideas!



Family Matters: Christmas Prep


It’s that time of year again: it’s the time when there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done; when there are too many conflicting commitments; and when there are too many opportunities to pig out on food that’s not good for you.

We can’t help with the time management part, but we do have a few ideas for when it comes to food.

Overindulging: you can’t really get around it, but you can limit the damage. Consciously choose to eat small portions and skip the things that aren’t irresistible.

But for kids, one of the big issues is all those parties and events. You’ll almost always find candy, cookies and treats at these events. Lots of them. And most kids can’t resist.

Your job, as a parent and as part of a caring family, is to make the at-home times a bit healthier, to help balance out all those not-so-healthy events.

Keep good snacks readily available. In the pantry, set up a basket with ready-to-eat good treats.



Product Talk: Granola Bars


It’s just a general term. Granola bars often don’t really contain granola. They may be cereal, fruit and pasty or even a meal replacement, but we lump them all into the category of granola bars.

Because there are so many different types of bars in this category, it’s hard to compare them and come up with the best ones for your family.

You can start, though, by determining what you want this bar to do for you. Do you want it to replace a meal or just help you make it from midday till lunch? Is it more like a dessert, or more like a high-protein snack? Once you determine what you need, it’s easier to determine which products to buy.

If you’re after a healthy, all-purpose snack bar, look at the nutrition facts panel on the package. If it has less than 6 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber, it’s a pretty healthy choice. If you’re looking for a high-protein meal replacement, go for something that offers 10 or more grams of protein. And for a sweet treat or dessert? You’ve got a lot of leeway on that one. Go with whatever suits your fancy!

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Posted in: Kids, Product Talk


Family Matters: Carrots, Carrots, Carrots!


Carrots are a family-favorite vegetable. Stores recognize this, and Brookshire’s is no exception. If you cruise the produce section you’ll find full-sized carrots, baby carrots, petite baby carrots, shredded carrots and raw carrot chips.

Kids and carrots go together well. But have you ever wondered what to do with carrots other than eat them straight from the bag?  How about roasted carrots? Toss them lightly in olive oil, season with salt, pepper and cumin and cook in a 350 oven until tender and caramelized. Heat brings out the natural sweetness of carrots! You can also make glazed carrots by cutting up carrots and simmering with butter, sugar, salt and just a bit of water. When carrots are tender, uncover the pan and let the liquid reduce to a syrup.

But if your children only like raw carrots, there’s nothing wrong with that! Carrots are full of antioxidants and raw carrots maintain the vitamin A and other healthy goodness. Here are a couple of ideas that use uncooked carrots:

  • Julienned: mix up a vibrant, spicy salad of julienned (shredded) carrots seasoned with an Italian vinaigrette dressing. Toss in a few sliced almonds.
  • Sliced: Slice carrots into thin rounds. Serve alongside ranch or other dip, with toothpicks to make the dunking fun.
  • Shredded: marinate shredded carrots and dried cranberries in orange juice with a dash of vinegar.
  • Carrot-Raisin Salad: toss shredded carrots, raisins and crushed pineapple with enough mayonnaise to moisten. Chill and enjoy.


Celebrate Humble Beginnings


Chocolate Pilgrim Hats

Prep Time: 20 minutes

 

Serves 10

To make our cute Thanksgiving pilgrim cookie hats, place 10 fudge-stripe cookies,  chocolate-side up, on a tray lined with wax paper.

Heat 2 cups of chocolate chips in the microwave on medium power, until melted.

Thin to drizzling consistency with a bit of cream and a tsp of butter.  One at a time, stick a wooden toothpick into a large marshmallow, dip it into the melted chocolate, and place it in the center of the cookie. Use another toothpick to hold down the marshmallow and pull out the original toothpick. Drizzle with more chocolate, if necessary, to completely coat the marshmallow.

 

Chill hats until the chocolate sets. Use decorator icing to create belt buckles on the front of each hat.

 

 

 



Skippy Holiday Peanut Butter Cut-Outs


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Makes 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Skippy® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:
Beat Skippy® Creamy Peanut Butter, spread, sugars, egg and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in remaining ingredients at low speed just until blended. Divide dough in half.

Roll each dough half about 1/8 inch thick on well-floured board with well-floured rolling pin. Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 7 – 9 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely on wire racks. Re-roll dough trimmings to cut additional cookies. Decorate, if desired, with icing, decorative sprinkles and candies.

Nutritional Information: 
Calories Per Cookie: 34, Fat: 1 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g), Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 43 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 1g

©2009 Unilever WEST08 16094



Fancy Fruit Turkey Centerpiece


Make this adorable Thanksgiving turkey from your kitchen!

The body is a spaghetti squash and the head is a pear.

Make the face with a piece of squash for a beak, raisins for eyes and bell pepper for the waddle.

Cut red bell pepper feet. Use cheese cubes and seedless grapes to make tail feathers, and fill in the gaps with pepper slices. Gobble, gobble!

 

Items needed:

1 Bosc pear (for the head)

1 spaghetti squash (body and beak)

Cheese cubes (tail feathers)

Red bell pepper (waddle, feet and feathers)

Green and yellow bell pepper (feathers)

Raisins (eyes)

Seedless grapes (tail feathers)

Bamboo Skewers

Toothpicks

Prep time: 30 minutes

Directions:

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of the squash so that it doesn’t roll. Using a section of bamboo skewer, attach a pear head to the squash body, as shown. Attach a squash triangle beak, raisin eyes and red bell pepper waddle to the head, with sections of toothpicks. Cut red pepper feet and set them in place. Make feathers by skewering cheese cubes and seedless grapes. Insert the skewers near the back of the turkey’s body. Cut side feathers from bell peppers and pin into place with toothpicks.

 

 

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Posted in: Cooking, Kids, Produce


Product Talk: Achoo! Facial Tissues


If there’s one product to stock up on this time of year, it might be facial tissues. Cold and flu season brings runny and stuffy noses, coughs and sneezes. And the best way to fight them is with tissues.

Children can have a tough time learning the art of blowing their noses. Think about it: could you write down the steps, one at a time for successfully carrying out the mission? It’s a lot more complicated than you might think.

Blowing your nose isn’t the same as dabbing. When you blow, you really shouldn’t blow hard out of both nostrils at once. That can actually send bacteria into nasal passages. Instead, close one nostril by pressing a finger against one side of your nose; then blow gently out the open nostril.

Tissue etiquette says you should throw tissues away after use, and follow that with a thorough hand-washing (or application of antibacterial gel). Etiquette also says you should turn away from a group of people and try not to blow your nose at the dinner table.

Next time you’re shopping, pick up a few extra boxes of tissue. Chances are, if the cold or flu strikes, you won’t want to hurry out and shop for supplies. Stock up now—better safe than sorry!

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Posted in: Kids, Product Talk


Dine In: Crunchy Chicken Nuggets!


Eating healthy has its drawbacks. Sometimes you get a big ole hankering for a greasy cheeseburger, and fixing one at home just doesn’t satisfy the craving. My kids always loved chicken nuggets and fries, and try as I might, my homemade version just never made the grade.

Until I learned how to do it up right, that is. Here’s a great recipe, with no deep-frying required. As for the fries, I’ll leave that up to you. If you want to get a bag of frozen potatoes, go for it! By baking them instead of frying, you’ll already be serving a healthier version. But if you prefer to make your own oven fries, I know they’ll make everyone smile. And they’re easy, too! Just slice up potatoes into fry-sized pieces. Toss them with just a tablespoon of oil in a zipper-top plastic bag. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake at 400° F until done. Stir once.

Crunchy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, rinsed and patted dry
1 ½ cups plain yogurt (or sour cream)
3 cups crushed corn flakes (finely crushed is key to success)
3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Slice chicken breast into 2-inch strips. Marinate the chicken pieces in yogurt for one to 24 hours, refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Prepare the crust by combining the corn flakes, parsley, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Place chicken pieces, a few at a time, into the bag and shake well to completely coat. Remove chicken pieces and place on a baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick coating.

Bake about 25 minutes, or until crunchy on the outside and cooked through.

Serve with your favorite sauce.

Nutritional Information
Calories Per Serving: 260,   Fat: 3 g ( 1 g  Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 65 mg, Sodium: 506  mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 30 g.

© 2009, 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: Kids and Crafts


Kids are naturally creative. They’re not restricted by the rules of what ‘should’ be matched and how we arrange designs. If they like it, they do it! With such a liberating view of the world, it’s no wonder kids never run out of things to create.

As a parent, you balance the creativity with a little bit of order. You encourage bold, exciting ideas, but you also make sure that safety comes first. Safety often means organization. Here are some ideas for organizing your kids’ craft activities: 

  • Put materials where they’ve visible and accessible. Labeled boxes and colorful folders help children see the value in keeping everything in its place.
  • Less can be more. Stacks and stacks of paper, and boxes and boxes of crayons just get overlooked. Stock a good amount of inventory, but don’t overwhelm with too much.
  • Craft together. Kids watch how adults do things and take hints from that. If you demonstrate scissor safety and how to squeeze the most glue from a nearly-empty bottle, little ones will learn a lot.
  • Let the process guide the project. If there’s only one correct way to create a project, it can be frustrating. But if just about anything will work, that encourages expression and creativity. This isn’t about scoring points or winning. It’s about having fun!


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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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