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Shop the Sale: Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Salisbury Steak MeatballsWe’ve been eating a lot of red meat in my house these days.

First of all, Paul likes it. (Well, we all do!). Secondly, I’m always pretty seriously anemic, which means I have low iron counts in my blood. Red meat is a great source of iron and so is spinach. It’s a good thing that it’s my favorite vegetable. So, I eat a lot of both. I mix spinach into my eggs whites in the morning for a delicious scramble, and we toss a lot of meat on the grill.

However, I don’t want grilled meat every night. (Did I REALLY just say that?) On nights we don’t grill, I often employ the cast-iron skillet. (The iron from the skillet is said to transfer into your cooking and add nutrients to your food as well.)

This dish is a delicious and easy way to get your iron, enjoy your Angus ground chuck (which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s), and enjoy a meal the whole family is sure to love.

I’ve mentioned before that my sons can live off of rice, so serve this over a bed of white or brown rice,  or mashed potatoes. A side of spinach never hurt, either.

Salisbury Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs Angus ground chuck
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs garlic powder
5 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion, sliced into 1/2 rounds
2 Tbs all purpose flour
1 pkg brown gravy mix
1 1/3 cups cold water

Heat cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Mix Angus ground chuck with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Form into large meatballs.

Place meatballs into the center of the skillet and surround with onion slices. Drizzle the meat and onions with Worcestershire sauce. Sear meatballs, turning frequently to brown all sides. Stir onions while meat is browning so they do not burn.

Slide meat and onions to one side of the pan, and add flour to drippings on other side of the pan. Whisk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to make a thick roux.

In a small bowl, combine gravy mix and water. Add a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Pour into skillet; stir into the meat and onion mixture. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through and the gravy is bubbly. If you don’t have a cover for your cast-iron skillet, place a baking sheet over the skillet.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 117, Calories from Fat: 41, Fat: 5 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 22 mg, Sodium: 703 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 8 g.

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Shop the Sale: Brookshire’s Bacon Dip

Brookshire’s Bacon DipA few weekends ago, my parents were invited to go boating with my sister and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend owns a boat, which he keeps moored in a marina in a wide, deep river near their home. I wish my sister lived closer for lots of reasons, weekends on the boat notwithstanding.

I have to admit that I was a little envious of my parents’ visit and boat ride. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than being on the water, and while I know owning a boat requires lots of hard work and dedication, the payoff of spending the day with the sun sparkling on the water seems to be a great payoff.

I couldn’t wait to hear about the trip. When I talked to my mom, she told me all about the cool breezes, the little crab shack downstream where they stopped for lunch and how fast the boat could go. She also told me that there are places on the river where the boats will just stop to drop anchor, and all the boat people will visit and hang out. It sounded heavenly. What my mom really couldn’t stop talking about was an appetizer dip my sister had made for snacking on the boat ride. Super simple, super easy and super delicious, make this a few hours ahead of time to let the flavors meld. Of course, if you’re bringing it on a boat (or on a picnic, to the lake or to a party), keep it chilled.

Brookshire’s bacon is on sale this week, just in time for the holiday weekend and lots of cookouts and celebrations.

Brookshire’s Bacon Dip

8 oz Brookshire’s Bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with celery, carrots, pita chips or crackers.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 253, Calories from Fat: 191, Fat: 21 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 718 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 10 g.

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Product Talk: Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas

Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for FajitasYesterday morning, I got the text I love from Paul.

“Hey, I’ll take care of dinner tonight.”

Now in all fairness, he does that quite frequently, but it was especially wonderful yesterday as I was trying to shake a two-day migraine and wrangle soccer games, regular weekend tasks and the flurry of things to keep up with at the end of the school year.

I love it when Paul cooks because, very often, he makes something I’ve never had before.

Last night was no exception.

He brought Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas. I’d never seen this product before, but it’s not the last time I will buy it, I assure you.

The Texas Meat Packers website describes this melt-in-your mouth beef as, “Texas Style Fajitas brings a slow-cooked smoky edge of hardwood mesquite flavoring to a TexMex Classic! Our approach accentuates flavors and aromas of old-world peppers and spices, and that sneaky lingering heat you get from Hatch green chilies.”

The fajita beef was fork-tender and delicious grilled. Texas Meat Packers also makes chicken fajitas and will offer pork soon.

We didn’t make fajitas with it, but here’s what we did do!

Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Steaks

2 pkgs Texas Meat Packers Seasoned Beef for Fajitas
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Pico de Gallo:
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions (white and green parts), diced
1 jalapeño, diced
Juice from 2 large limes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare pico de gallo, and place in refrigerator to let flavors blend.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Grill steaks, about 3 minutes per side, until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from grill; top with pico de gallo and cheddar cheese. Place under broiler on high heat until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 401, Calories from Fat: 194, Fat: 22 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 109 mg, Sodium: 236 mg, Carbohydrates: 3.4 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 46 g.

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

Dine In: Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Jalapeño Sausage BallsI tend to get stuck in a pattern for Friday night meals. When I lived overseas in Germany, my best friend Susan and I walked down to our favorite Greek restaurant every single Friday night.

When I had kids, I continued a tradition that my mom started by serving pizza on Friday nights.

Now, I tend to use the smoker for Friday night festivities. I run home at lunchtime to put dinner on to smoke (or prep it in the morning, depending on what we’re smoking), and it’s done by the time we’re home from work and relaxing on the back porch.

I saw a smoked dish on Instagram that I wanted to try, and it only takes about two hours on the smoker. Even if you don’t have time to run home at lunch on a Friday, you can still enjoy this on your porch on Friday evening.

You can switch up the fillings, too. I have one person in my family who doesn’t like cream cheese, so he just gets cheddar. I have another who doesn’t like jalapeños, so he just gets cheese pressed into the middle of the sausage ball. I like bleu cheese, so I’ll mix that in with mine. The sky is the limit.

Jalapeño Sausage Balls

12 jalapeño peppers, tops removed, seeded and pithed
6 Tbs whipped cream cheese
6 Tbs sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tbs white onion, finely minced
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 lbs Owens Pork Breakfast Sausage
12 strips bacon, uncooked

Remove the tops from the jalapeño peppers. Slice a slit through lengthwise, not cutting all the way through. Remove pith and seeds.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions and cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stuff each pepper with a heaping tablespoon full of the cream cheese mixture.

Using your hands, mold sausage around pepper, forming a ball and completely covering the pepper. Wrap sausage ball with two strips of bacon; secure with toothpicks.

Prepare smoker. Place sausage balls on rack, and smoke for about 2 hours or until cooked through. Alternately, place on the grill over indirect heat (the bacon will cause flare-ups if it’s not indirect) and cook through, several minutes on each side.

Serves 12

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 460, Calories from Fat: 330, Fat: 36 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1576 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 29 g.

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

Shop the Sale: Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked Chicken

Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Slow-Cooked ChickenIn a house with two picky eaters, one dieter and one kid who eats everything but the kitchen sink (and that’s only because I’ve never put hot sauce on it and put it on a plate), dinner can sometimes be a challenge to put together without repeating the same dishes over and over.

One kid doesn’t like mushrooms. One man doesn’t like white cheese or white sauce. One dieter doesn’t eat carbs.

Does anyone else feel my pain?

Luckily, bacon makes everything better, especially John Morrell Bacon on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

For whatever the reason (likely the bacon), this dish passed muster with everyone in my house. (I’ll just pretend I didn’t see one kid picking out the mushrooms).

This is delicious served over rice (cauliflower rice if you’re the low-carb dieter) with a side of steamed green beans or a fresh salad.

The bacon gives this dish a smoky flavor and pulls all the flavors together.

Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Chicken

3 slices John Morrell Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pint fresh button mushrooms
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
6 slices Swiss cheese

Spray the crock of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Top with mushrooms and cream of chicken soup. Cook on low for 8 hours. Top with Swiss cheese, and cover lid until cheese begins to melt. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 484, Calories from Fat: 200, Fat: 15 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 175 mg, Sodium: 890 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 63 g.

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Dine In: Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Cheeseburger Hand PiesOne of our favorite family activities is to go to the drive-in movies on a Friday night.

We get there early, spread out a few picnic blankets, set up camping chairs and unpack the cooler. We have dinner there in the fading light and pack extra snacks for the movie, of course!

Having dinner at the drive-in is the best. I’ve often said food tastes the most delicious outdoors, and on a picnic blanket in front of a huge screen is no exception. After we eat, we usually kick around a soccer ball or throw a tennis ball until the sun sinks over the horizon and the big screen crackles to life.

One of the best parts is that we’re so busy enjoying each other, that phones and other electronics get left inside the car!

When the movie starts, we pile blankets in the trunk and settle in under the stars. It’s really a perfect Friday night.

I found that I can make these Cheeseburger Hand Pies ahead of time and heat them up before we go, storing them in an insulated bag to keep them warm until we’re ready to eat.

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

1 lb 80/20 ground beef
1 Tbs Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
1 (8 ct) pkg refrigerated biscuits
8 slices American cheese
mustard and ketchup, to taste
olive oil

Mix ground beef with seasoned salt and pickles. Form 8 burger patties. Grill or pan-fry until cooked through to desired doneness.

Preheat oven to 350° F, and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove the biscuits from the package. Place on baking sheet, carefully separating biscuits into two pieces horizontally.

Press bottom biscuit to flatten. Top with a burger, cheese, mustard and/or ketchup, if desired. Press the other half of the biscuit on top; fold edges of the bottom biscuit piece up to seal.

Repeat with all burgers and biscuits.

Brush with olive oil. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden-brown and burgers are heated through.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 392, Calories from Fat: 187, Fat: 21 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 68 mg, Sodium: 1527 mg, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 24 g.

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

Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Ragu

Slow Cooker RaguWhen I was visiting Italy, one of my favorite meals, not only of the trip but of all time, was a slow cooked ragu over polenta.

A ragu is simply a meat sauce, slow-cooked until the meat is fork-tender and melts in your mouth, with tomatoes and spices.

In fact, most “sauces” you see in Italy are more a ragu than the marinara we know well in America.

You can make a ragu with almost any meat. I’ve had pork ragus and beef ragus. They’re delicious if you leave the bone in your meat during the cooking process, but it’s just as tasty if you use a boneless cut of meat, like this boneless rump roast on sale at Brookshire’s this week.

The trattoria where I ate my ragu in Italy was on a cobbled side street in Venice with a small garden with a tiny view of the water, covered in a pergola weighted down with flowering vines.

The whole street was resplendent with the smell of cooking meat and spices.

You can serve this over pastas or mashed potatoes, but the polenta provides a bit of bite that complements the heavy sauce.

Slow Cooker Ragu

2 Tbs olive oil
3 lbs beef rump roast or round roast
1/2 cup white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste


Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Wait until it is fragrant and starting to bubble, then add rump roast. Sear on each side, about 5 minutes per side.

Place rump roast in the slow cooker with onions, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, basil, oregano, bay leaves, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred with a fork and remove bay leaves.
Serve over polenta, a hearty pasta or mashed potatoes.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 461, Calories from Fat: 189, Fat: 23 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 29 mg, Sodium: 1099 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 31 g.

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Dine In: Steak and Cheddar Quiche

Steak and Cheddar QuicheSunday is Mother’s Day and while perusing recipes for this blog post, I came to realize one consistent truth: Mother’s Day is about brunch.

I love brunch. I seriously love brunch. The combination of breakfast and lunch is glorious.

This mama wants a steak for Mother’s Day though.

Then, I got to thinking. How can I have steak at brunch?

Well, I could just grill one and serve it aside fluffy scrambled eggs, or grill a steak and slap a fried egg on top and let the golden yolk smother the steak in velvety goodness.

Or, I could embrace the Mother’s Day brunch and make a breakfast full of steak, eggs and cheese, pretty much all my favorite things!

The beauty of this recipe is that you can grill a HUGE steak on Friday or Saturday night, enjoy it as a meal, and then use the leftovers for this quiche. Or, when you’re grilling your Friday night steak, throw an extra cut on the flames in preparation for this recipe.

You can never have too much steak. Just don’t tell my cardiologist.

Steak and Cheddar Quiche

1 lb grilled steak, diced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
1 medium white onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs butter
8 oz Cabot Sharp Cheddar, shredded
16 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs dry mustard
sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 single-crust, deep-dish pie crusts

Separate pie crusts, and defrost while oven preheats to 375° F. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet. Sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Add spinach, and heat until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Whisk eggs and heavy cream together in a large bowl. Season with mustard, salt and pepper; thoroughly combine. Spread half of the grated cheese in the bottom of each pie crust, and then top with the vegetables. Layer the steak on top of the vegetables in each pie pan. Pour the egg mixture on top of the steak, dividing by half.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden-brown and the filling is set.

Serves 16
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 254, Calories from Fat: 136, Fat: 15 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 206 mg, Sodium: 238 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 21 g.

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Product Talk: Grub Rub

Gordon’s Grub RubToday, we are smoking pork ribs, and there’s only one thing Paul wants to put on them: Grub Rub.

Gordon’s Grub Rub is a seasoning, tenderizer and marinade all in one delicious blend of spices. Seriously, you can use it for anything.

Gordon’s Grub Rub is an old family secret, and according to their website, their claim to fame is that their rub doesn’t RUB off of meats and veggies, excuse the bad pun. The website says that as soon as the rub becomes damp, it clings to the meat, a claim we’ve definitely found to be accurate. Because it clings so much better, it not only flavors and tenderizes the meat, but it forms a beautiful crust as the meat is cooking.

Made in Katy, Texas, Grub Rub is sold on the spice aisle of your local Brookshire’s in a 13-ounce shaker. It contains 3 calories for 1/3 teaspoon, 87 milligrams of sodium and zero fat. They don’t really give away the blend in the ingredients listing, though, or on the website. The label simply reads “sugar, salt, pepper, spices, garlic, onion and tenderizers.”

Grub Rub is gluten-free, has no preservatives, and has no MSG.

As they say (it’s true!), “there’s no need to add anything else.”

Shop the Sale: John Morrell Bacon Egg Salad

John Morrell Bacon Egg SaladWhen I was little, my favorite sandwich was egg salad.

I used to have it in my lunch on Fridays usually (because we didn’t eat meat most Fridays, not just during Lent), and this was back in the days before we packed school lunches in insulated bags with ice packs. Believe it or not, I survived the five-hour-old egg salad sandwich.

I also loved egg salad because it meant I got to help my mom make it and use her nifty harvest-gold colored egg slicer. The little guillotine wires sliced the egg into perfect little rounds, and then I could turn the egg sideways and slice again, cutting it into tiny little pieces.

That’s how I still slice my eggs, although my egg salad has evolved beyond the mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Now, I add bacon to my egg salad because bacon makes everything better. John Morrell Bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s. This crisp, smoky bacon adds a nice hickory flavor to the egg salad, and if you wait to stir it until just before serving, a great pop of texture, too.

Try this for breakfast on a whole-grain bagel thin or in your lunch, refrigeration recommended.

Bacon Egg Salad

3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
6 strips John Morrell Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1 Tbs green onions, chopped
8 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Mix together the Greek yogurt, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, mustard, salt and pepper.

Gently stir in the bacon, red onions and green onions. Carefully fold into the eggs until they’re completely coated with the dressing.

Chill well.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 395, Calories from Fat: 248, Fat: 28 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 376 mg, Sodium: 1418 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 32 g.

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

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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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