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Dine In: Buffalo Chicken Casserole


Buffalo Chicken CasseroleSometimes, I need a buffalo chicken fix like nobody’s business.

It happened not too long ago on a Friday night when my kids weren’t home. My sweetie and I had the option to go to a nice restaurant for an adult meal at a place where there were no video games or TVs playing sports, where they put wine glasses on the table, and where they don’t hand you a roll of paper towels to clean your hands.

Did we do that? No.

“Um, can we go get wings?” I asked.

Wings it was; my sweetie is quite accommodating that way. I pile-drived through a basket of spicy buffalo wings, and I don’t even think I came up for air. Yes, there was a roll of paper towels on the table.

When I saw this recipe, I knew I was going to pile-drive through it, too. It’s a super fun recipe for a Friday night, and who doesn’t love fun on Friday? I know I do!

You can adjust the heat in this recipe; I tend to make it hotter.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Ingredients:
6 small chicken thighs
6 slices bacon
3 medium jalapeños, seeded and pithed
12 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Debone chicken thighs, and season with salt and pepper. Bake chicken thighs at 400° F for 40 minutes or until cooked through.

Chop up bacon slices, and cook until crisp. Just before the end of cooking, add jalapeños to the pan; cook until soft. Drain fat.

Return the pan to the stove (turn off heat). Add cream cheese, mayonnaise and hot sauce. Mix together until smooth.

When chicken is cool to the touch, remove skins. Place in a casserole dish, and top with cream cheese mixture. Then, add a layer of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Return to 400° F oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 711, Fat: 462 g (24 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 222 mg, Sodium: 1165 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 55 g.

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Shop the Sale: Southern Slow-Cooked Steaks


Southern Slow-Cooked SteaksI didn’t grow up with the tradition of the Sunday dinner (or as I’d have called it: lunch). However, since I moved to Texas, I’ve discovered that the Sunday dinner, which takes place after church and before the Sunday nap, is the main meal of the day.

We’ve recently come to adopt this tradition. Although, we tend to eat a big breakfast, skip lunch, and then have a big dinner in the late afternoon, before we have to start easing back into the Monday mindset.

This recipe is perfect for a Sunday lunch or dinner, whatever you want to call it and whenever you want to eat. However, it is slow-cooked, so you might want to adjust your timing accordingly.

Top sirloin steak is available at Brookshire’s today, so stock up and save for your Sunday supper.

Southern Slow-Cooked Steaks

Ingredients:
2 lbs top sirloin steaks, cut into 3 to 4-inch pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 cups water, divided
1 beef bouillon cube
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Directions:
Sprinkle the steak pieces with the salt and pepper; toss to coat. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is fragrant and sizzles, add half the steak pieces, and brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to the slow cooker, and brown the remaining steak. (Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as the steak will steam instead of brown.)

Pour 2 cups of the water into the hot pan along with the bouillon cube and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium; bring to a simmer.

Whisk flour, garlic powder and onion powder into the remaining 1 cup of water. Slowly pour this into the simmering liquid in the pan, stirring well to incorporate. Stir until the mixture thickens. Pour over steak in the slow cooker.

Optional: Add a cup of sliced onions or mushrooms before slow cooking.

Cover with the lid. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, cornbread or noodles.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 346, Fat: 14 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 135 mg, Sodium: 617 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 47 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Pork Chop Potato Bake


Pork Chop Potato BakeMy kids like anything I make in the slow cooker that has a creamy, cheesy sauce.

I have a go-to recipe for a creamy pork dish minus the cheese, but I generally serve it over rice. Sometimes, I like to shake things up and serve meals over potatoes instead. Wild and crazy, huh?

I love this dish because you can make it in the oven or in the slow cooker. I’m a fan of the slow cooker, myself.

I also love it because boneless pork chops or a boneless pork loin (you can cut your own chops from it!) are available at Brookshire’s. This is on my grocery list, for sure.

Pork Chop Potato Bake

Ingredients:
6 boneless pork loin chops
2 white onions, chopped
2 Tbs butter, divided
4 cups potatoes, thinly sliced
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter or grease a casserole dish, or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to bubble, brown pork loin chops in the pan until they are golden on each side, about 1 minute per side. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same skillet, sauté onions until they are soft. Add the soup and whisk in the milk. Set aside.

Slice the potatoes thinly using a mandoline. Spread potatoes in a single layer in the casserole dish and top with pork chops. Pour the soup and onion mixture over the pork chops. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cook until cheese is melted and bubbly.

To prepare in a slow cooker, follow recipe up through sautéing the onions and making the soup sauce. Butter the crock of the slow cooker, and place potatoes on the bottom. Top with pork chops. Pour in the sauce. Cover and cook for 8 hours on high. Sprinkle with the cheese and let melt. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 479, Calories from Fat: 207, Fat: 23 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 137 mg, Sodium: 520 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 43 g.

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



Dine In: Chili Hot Dog Bake


Chili Hot Dog BakeI’m trying to eat a low-carb diet.

This isn’t always easy.

Case in point, my family went out to dinner last night to a local pizza place where the crust is sublime. Best crust ever. Do you know how hard it is to scrape the pepperoni and cheese off your pizza and abandon the crust at the side of your plate? It’s excruciating.

So is eating a salad when your family is pile-driving pizza.

It’s been worth it, though. I’m getting my weight back to a healthy level, and I’m eating a ton more veggies because veggies are good carbs, if you didn’t already know.

One of the things that helps with a low-carb diet is eating more fat. Now, this sounds counterintuitive. Eat fat to lose fat, but it actually helps you stay full longer, so you don’t eat as much or snack as often.

This recipe has a lot of protein and fats to give you energy and to keep you full. Use a hot dog like Hebrew National, made with a lot of great ingredients, to make this recipe a little “cleaner.”

This comes together quickly on a Friday night, and you can serve it topped with some extra diced onions.

Hold the mustard.

Chili Hot Dog Bake

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 cup onions, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup water
8 all-beef hot dogs, sliced lengthwise and cut in half
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Combine the ground beef, onions, bell peppers and garlic in a large cast-iron skillet. Sauté until beef is browned. Drain the fat.

Add in the spices, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water. Stir to combine, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Lay hot dogs in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with the chili mixture. Top with cheese. Bake at 400° F for 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 440, Calories from Fat: 255, Fat: 28 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 118 mg, Sodium: 1447 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 35 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Grilled Honey-Lime Chicken


Grilled Honey-Lime ChickenOne of the easiest things to do for dinner in the summertime is to throw some chicken on the grill!

It’s even tastier if you’ve marinated it overnight. This is a great recipe for an evening after a long Monday. I make it up on Sunday afternoon and leave it in the refrigerator until I need to grill it on Monday night. The only prep work you have to do on Monday is throw together a few side dishes (hello, baked potatoes and salad).

The lime juice is a wonderful acidic touch to the sweetness of the honey in this dish. I love adding heat to sweet, so I added the Sriracha to the marinade. You don’t have to include it, but I think it adds a depth of flavor that really complements the chicken.

Brookshire’s Combo Packs of chicken are on sale this week. Since this recipe doesn’t call for a specific piece of chicken, it’s perfect and definitely will please everyone in your family. Bone-in chicken is great for the grill because the bones help keep the juices in the meat somehow. Maybe it’s magic or maybe it’s the marinade, but it’s delicious anyway.

Grilled Honey-Lime Chicken

Ingredients:
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs Sriracha
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lbs Brookshire’s Chicken Breasts, Thighs, Wings and Legs, skin removed

Directions:
Mix lime juice, honey, soy sauce, olive oil, Sriracha, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper in a gallon-sized zip-top lock bag. Add the chicken, and place in the refrigerator. Marinate a minimum of 3 hours up to overnight.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill each side of the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked through and juices run clear.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 410, Calories from Fat: 75, Fat: 8 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 140 mg, Sodium: 731 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 28 g, Protein: 53 g.

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Chicken Peach Salad


Grilled Chicken Peach SaladSummer is prime time for a salad supper, which is super easy when Fresh Express Salad mixes are available at Brookshire’s today. For $6, you get three bags of crisp, fresh lettuce mixes, and you have the base for three fabulous summer salads.

I love to offer this meal at parties. Make up three salads, and let guests mix and match. It keeps guests cool and keeps prep work simple.

I was picking up a few Fresh Express salad mixes recently when a Brookshire’s employee in the produce department gave me a helpful tip.

When buying Fresh Express salad mixes, choose the flattest bags. That means most of the air was squeezed out of them at processing for the crispest, freshest leaves inside.

Thanks for that!

Grilled Chicken Peach Salad

Ingredients:

MARINADE:
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 

VINAIGRETTE:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

SALAD:
10 oz Fresh Express Spring Mix or Spinach
1 lb peaches, sliced (about 3 small)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup) and soaked in ice water for 30 minutes to remove harshness
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:
For the marinade, whisk olive oil, basil, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl, muddling the basil as you stir to help flavor seep from the leaves.

Place chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper, and pound each to about 1-inch uniform thickness. Place chicken breasts in a zipper-lock bag, and pour marinade over chicken. Place bag with chicken in refrigerator, and let it marinade at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest. When chicken is well-cooled, slice into strips or dice.

Blend all vinaigrette ingredients well. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. This can be made ahead of time.

In a large serving bowl, toss Spring Mix, peaches, pecans, onions and chicken together. Sprinkle with vinaigrette, and top with goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves 5

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 534, Fat: 37 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 215 mg, Carbohydrates: 16.5 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 12 g, Protein: 36 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Summer Salad


Summer SaladBack when I was growing up, we always ate dinner on our screened-in back porch during the summertime.

We had a long, wooden picnic table on the porch, and all seven of us would snuggle in with only minimal complaints of “He’s touching me” or “She kicked me when she got up!” By the time dinner rolled around on a summer evening, we were all pretty tired from an afternoon at the pool and a day of playing with the neighborhood kids in the fort my father built in the backyard.

Mom would set the table with a vinyl tablecloth, which we’d scour clean after every meal, and it was my job to lay out the plates, forks, spoons, knives and napkins in the proper positions. It was also my job to either “wipe” or “sweep” after each meal, alternating the task with the brother next in the birth order.

About once a week, Mom would bring a large bowl of “Summer Salad” to the table. Years later, I’ve realized summer salad was pretty much a very clever way to use a lot of leftovers from earlier in the week, and I learned that preparing dinner in the early morning hours before it got so hot was a chore, not a joy. Summer Salad had various combinations: pasta with ham from Sunday dinner, potatoes with bacon from breakfast or another type of pasta with leftover grilled chicken. Throw in the cold peas from Sunday supper or the steamed broccoli from Tuesday then add a little cheese and dressing, and you had yourself a main course meal in one bowl. It was cool, filling and refreshing on a hot, summer night.

Since we’ve had a big problem with not eating leftovers this summer, I think there’s a Summer Salad in my near future. You can use any pasta, any protein and any add-ins you want!

One thing that always tastes good in Summer Salad, no matter what else you put in it, is bacon! So, after you buy it at your local Brookshire’s, cook some for breakfast, and then crumble the extra into the salad. (Is there such thing as extra bacon? You probably should plan to cook a few extra slices!)

Summer Salad

Ingredients:

SALAD:
12 oz spiral pasta, uncooked
3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
6 pieces Brookshire’s Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

DRESSING:
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Cook pasta to al dente, and let cool completely. Combine chicken, bacon, tomatoes, zucchini and cheese in a large bowl with pasta.

Mix all dressing ingredients thoroughly. Pour dressing over the salad; toss to coat.

Refrigerate for several hours for flavors to blend.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 421, Calories from Fat: 192, Fat: 21 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 93 mg, Sodium: 610 mg, Carbohydrates: 33 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 24 g.

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



Dine In: Mexican Chicken Bake


Mexican Chicken BakeLast Friday night, we took the boys out to dinner to a local Mexican restaurant.

They protested a little.

“We just WENT here,” they said.

Well, yeah, we like Tex-Mex food!

So, this Friday night, to prevent the abject horror of having to subject them to a meal out, I made something at home. This is a recipe I found on Pinterest and added some spices to make it my own.

We ate dinner on the patio that night under the solar lights, and we had a regular, relaxing fiesta.

We served this with a side of rice and chips with salsa, of course.

Mexican Chicken Bake

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 lb Velveeta, cut into cubes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Spray a 9 x 13 dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Sprinkle cumin, salt, pepper and garlic onto chicken breasts; rub in to set the seasoning.

Place chicken breasts in pan. Top with corn, black beans and tomatoes. Cover the dish with cubes of Velveeta.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until juices from the chicken run clear.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1091, Fat: 40 g (18 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 232 mg, Sodium: 2090 mg, Carbohydrates: 96 g, Fiber: 19 g, Sugar: 15 g, Protein: 95 g.

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Shop the Sale: Steak with Cuban Marinade


Steak with Cuban MarinadeI’m fascinated by the thought of going to Cuba.

When I was in second grade, we got a new kid in class, a boy from Cuba. At that point, Cuba might as well have been in outer space. You just didn’t hear about kids from Cuba or anyone from Cuba, for that matter.

That all changed at the beginning of 2013, when the Cuban government made it easier for people to travel out of and into Cuba.

Cuba, located just 90 miles south of the tip of Florida, has a rich island culture flavored with the influences of both Spain and Africa.

The cuisine is based on both cultures, with a heavy dose of Caribbean influence as well. A typical meal could include sweet plantains, savory black beans and fragrant rice with shredded beef, pork with onion and tropical fruits. Meat dishes are generally slow-cooked with light sauces, heavy with garlic, cumin, oregano and bay leaves.

Sirloin steak is available at Brookshire’s, and summer is the perfect time to blend the flavors of the Caribbean with staples we already have on hand. If we can’t go to Cuba this summer, at least we can bring Cuba to us.

Steak with Cuban Marinade

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs boneless sirloin strip steak
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
juice of 1/2 fresh lime
grated lime zest

Directions:
Combine all ingredients, except beef, together in a bowl. Mix well.

Place the steak in a zip-top bag. Add the marinade, and turn to coat both sides.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, preferably longer as the steak will absorb more flavor.

Grill the steak on medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 145° F.

Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 266, Fat: 12 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 101 mg, Sodium: 76 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 35 g.

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



Dine In: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs


Buffalo Chicken MeatballsToday, I made a mistake.

A huge mistake.

I sat down to eat leftover Buffalo Chicken Meatballs in front of my 14-year-old son, a.k.a., the Human Garbage Disposal.

“What’s that?” he asked because I had prepared them for the first time as a “test” on a night my kids were not home.

“Buffalo Chicken Meatballs,” I told him.

“Can I have them?” he asked.

“Well, these are mine, but you can have the other two that are left,” I said, feeling a little territorial over my lunch as he had just practically inhaled a Philly cheesesteak I’d come home from work to make him.

He inhaled the meatballs, too.

“Let’s make these again,” he said.

I agreed.

“How about Friday night?”

Done.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thick bleu cheese salad dressing, like Marie’s
1/4 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce, plus more for serving
1 egg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 500° F, and line a baking pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well-combined. Your mixture will feel a little loose, but they will bake into tender meatballs. Shape into 9 meatballs, and place them on the parchment paper. They will spread a little during baking.

Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with a drizzle of hot sauce and extra blue cheese dressing or ranch, if you prefer.

Makes 9 meatballs

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 176, Calories from Fat: 80, Fat: 9 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 68 mg, Sodium: 313 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 17 g.

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



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