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Product Talk: Green Onions


Green OnionsRaw onions were not my jam.

However, there have been certain events recently that have changed my mind.

I’ve been buying green onions because Paul loves them. Me? Not so much.

Until I got a wild hair and sprinkled them on my baked potato one night.

What had I been missing all my life?

Green onions are long and stalky. You can use the green parts and the white parts. Heck, you can eat them all the way down to the roots if you wish. Green onions are more mild than larger bulb onions. Available year-round, green onions should be chosen for their bright green, firm stalks and fresh scent.

Store them upright in the refrigerator and use them within several days.

I’ve been using them on baked potatoes, in salads, in soups, in my deviled eggs for Easter, in the brine for my Easter ham, sprinkled on tacos and even on my bagel thins on top of a schmear of whipped cream cheese.

The really cool thing about green onions is also a really cool activity to do with your kids. After you’ve chopped off the green parts of the onion, place the white bulbous base, with root pieces still attached, in a glass of shallow water and put it on a windowsill. The green parts will start to rapidly return, and you can get another use or two of the onions without losing flavor. Plus, it’s just fun to watch.



Healthy Living: Store Your Food Safely


Store Your Food SafelyI know I’m guilty of it, and I’m guessing you are, too.

I go to the fridge looking for something for lunch, pull out a container and realize the leftover chili has been in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

While it was stored properly for a short time, it’s not going to be safe to eat after two weeks.

There are right – and wrong – ways to store your food.

A store-bought loaf of bread, for example, is perfectly fine stored in your dry pantry for a week, but a loaf of freshly baked bread might not make it longer than a day or two.

I could have stored that chili in the freezer for two weeks, but I wouldn’t risk eating it out of the refrigerator from that same time period.

On the Counter
You can safely store some foods out on your kitchen counter. These include garlic, onions, shallots, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, citrus and melons. Make sure they aren’t in direct sunlight or exposed to moisture. You can also keep cakes and pies out for up to a week, wrapped tightly with aluminum foil or sealed in a food storage container or zipper-lock bag. Move fruit pies to the refrigerator after two days.

In the Pantry
Most unopened dry goods can be stored in your pantry for up to six months. After a package is opened, seal it in a food-safe container. Brookshire’s offers lots of options for long-term food storage. Your pantry is the best place for all of your spices, as it is probably dark and should be dry. Spices can last up to a year. After that, they start to lose their potency and flavor.

In the Refrigerator
Dairy must be kept refrigerated. Use the upper shelves, where temperatures stay more constant. This includes eggs, even though many manufacturers create an egg shelf on the door. The refrigerator door is the warmest place in the appliance, so save it for things like condiments and preserved foods.

Keep fruits and veggies that aren’t able to sit out on your counter in the crisper drawer, where it should be the least humid.

Cheeses should be stored wrapped in wax paper or something else porous.

Meats are best stored in the bottom of the refrigerator where it is the coldest. Remove retail packaging and rewrap the meat in foil to extend its shelf life. However, you should try to use it within four days of purchase or put it in the freezer. Fish will keep for two days wrapped in waxed paper, also on the bottom shelf, but give it the sniff test first. If it smells excessively fishy, err on the side of caution.

In the Freezer
When you do want to store things like meat for a long time, the freezer is the best option. For the freezer, leave it in its original packaging and try to remember to use it within six months.

Any time you use the freezer, make sure foods are cooled to room temperature (or put them in the fridge first), and then seal them in a way that eliminates any extra air. Some foods, like cheeses and fruits or vegetables, will change texture after being frozen, so experiment with the best ways to store these foods long-term.



Healthy Living: Avocado Toast


Avocado ToastSo, according to every other Instagram post, Avocado Toast is a thing now, a pretty big thing, judging by the sheer volume of Avocado Toast art.

It’s so deliciously simple. Toast a piece of bread of your choice, and smear it with smashed avocado when it’s fresh out of the toaster. The buttery texture of the avocado is a perfect complement to the crisp toast. Of course, you can adorn this in other ways, too, like with a piece of center-cut bacon, scrambled egg whites, tomato, slivers of onion or smoked salmon. You name it; the combinations are endless.

Aside from the wonderful play of avocado and toast, this is a great, healthy way to start your day (or for a light lunch that won’t leave you dragging).

Avocado is full of protein and good fats to help keep you full longer.

It’s packed with 20 vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin E.

They’re also loaded with fiber.

Eating avocados regularly can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

There are so many great things about avocados that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, so grab some today.



Mi Blog Hispano: ¡La Delicia de los Aguacates!


¡La Delicia de los Aguacates!¡Me encantan los aguacates!  Son sabrosísimos y muy versátiles.  Puede cortarlos de mil maneras, mezclarlos, licuarlos, o comerlos enteros.  Si busca recetas de aguacates en la red le sorprenderá la cantidad de deliciosas formas en la que puede comerlos.  Son extremadamente populares en todo el mundo y tienen muchos beneficios.

¿Sabía que la mayoría de aguacates que compra en nuestras tiendas de Brookshire’s son de México?  Me da gusto que Brookshire’s traiga este producto aquí para nosotros, y más aún que orgullo que esta delicia venga desde allá.

Tengo en mi memoria recuerdos muy vivíficos de mi mama sirviendo aguacate en la mesa cuando era niña.  Recuerdo como era tan importante escoger el aguacate perfecto en la tienda, y luego la manera tan perfecta en que mi mama cortaba el aguacate.  Siempre había diferentes formas en que lo comíamos – en pico de gallo, en salsa, en guacamole, en tortas, en tacos, etc.  Y siempre ha sido una delicia comer.

El otro día estaba leyendo diferentes planes de dietas y casi todos incluyen aguacates como productos recomendados para comer.  Si a usted le gusta comer grasas, le recomiendo sustituirlas por grasas monoinsaturadas.  La grasa monoinsaturada es un tipo de grasa saludable que ayuda absorber los nutrientes del producto.  Esta grasa se encuentra en productos como el aceite olivo, almendras, aguacates, y nueces de macadamia.  Por ejemplo, usar aceite de olivo en lugar de manteca o aceite regular es más saludable.  Otro ejemplo es sustituir el aguacate por la mayonesa.  Así que, aparte de deliciosos, los aguacates son nutritivos.

Aquí les comparto una receta que es sencilla, un poco diferente pero riquísima, y muy rápida para hacer.

Ingredientes:
Pan plano (como el pan de pita)
Limón
Aguacate
Un huevo
Aceite olivo
Queso fresco en boronas
Sal y pimienta

Caliente el pan plano un poco.  Aplaste el aguacate y úntelo en el pan.  Póngale un poco de limón, sal, pimienta, y un poco de aceite de olivo.  Cocine el huevo estrellado a su gusto.  Póngalo sobre el pan y aguacate.  Agréguele el queso.  ¡Listo para disfrutar!



Product Talk: Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce


Fresh Express Sweet Butter LettuceSalads are a big mealtime staple in my house.

It’s the boys’ favorite way to eat vegetables, and while sometimes we don’t get much variety in our weekly menus, we definitely get variety in our salads, adding different vegetables, fruits and nuts for added nutrients, as well as colors, textures and flavors.

My favorite “base” to the salad is Fresh Express Sweet Butter mix. It’s a blend of green butter lettuce and red leaf lettuce. Green butter lettuce has a sweetness to it that I just love. I also love the crisp, soft texture.

This mix is a great source of vitamins A and K, and also chock full of folate. I’ll often mix this in with Fresh Express Baby Spinach for a punch of iron, too.

Fresh Express bagged salad mixes come in a stay-fresh bag, so your lettuce is crisp and clean when you are ready to eat. There’s no washing, tearing or chopping required, so it really is as simple as just opening the bag and pouring it into a bowl.

I especially like to use mandarin orange sections with sweet butter lettuce; I think the two flavors complement each other well.

You can find Fresh Express Sweet Butter mix and other varieties refrigerated near the produce section of Brookshire’s.



Healthy Living: Salads in a Jar


Salads in a JarMy sister-in-law, Lesley, takes healthy to a whole new level. Her eating is as clean as it gets, and she puts a massive amount of time and effort into taking good care of her family’s health. She has my brother and her three sons eating super-duper healthy as well, which shows! They are an active, lean, happy family, and she takes great care of them inside and out!

Recently, Lesley hosted a salad-making party. Each guest brought one ingredient for a salad, along with five large Mason jars, and Lesley provided the leafy greens.

They set up everything they brought in salad-bar style. Guests started by placing any salad dressing they wanted (including vinegar and oil) in the bottom of their Mason jar. When you’re making these, keep dressings and wet ingredients on the bottom.

Next, add heavy ingredients like black beans, kidney beans or chick peas, or any proteins like chunks of chicken, tuna packed in water or grilled lean meats. On top of that, layer other fruits and veggies like strawberries, yellow peppers, cucumbers or tomatoes. Then, nuts, sunflower seeds or other grains are added. Finally, pack the jar with leafy greens like romaine or spinach. Cap the jar tightly, and store in the fridge for up to one week. Grab a jar each morning on the way out the door.

Turn it out onto a large paper plate, and your salad lunch is ready to go with the dressing already on top.

Enjoy!



Family Matters: Easy Meal Idea


Easy Meal IdeaI recently prepared a meal for my family that was so easy to make, and it was delicious not only for dinner but it also made a great leftover meal for the next day.

Slow Cooker Pork Loin
Cut pork loin in 3/4” to 1” pieces, and dip in a milk and egg mixture to moisten the outside of the meat. Place pieces of pork loin in breadcrumbs (flip several times to make sure they are covered). Place the breaded pork loin in a slow cooker and seal off with cover. I put 3 layers of pork chops with no problem. Do not put any type of water or juice in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove from slow cooker, and you are ready to eat. Meat comes out crunchy and tender. If your family likes gravy, it would be great on top of the finished pork loin.

Baked Diced Potatoes
Wash whole potatoes thoroughly in warm water. Cut potatoes in half and then cut into small cube-shaped pieces (as large or small as you like). Place in a large bowl, rinse with cold water and then drain. Add olive oil in the bowl and mix potatoes until they are covered. Add at least 1 package of dry ranch dressing, and toss potatoes so the seasoning is mixed in well. Bake at 400° F for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and enjoy. Potatoes are soft, full of flavor and better for you since they are baked!

Try this easy meal idea and use the extra “free time” to enjoy your family or to do something special for yourself…you deserve it! Count your blessings daily and give thanks for time with your family.



Dine In: Basil Garlic Chicken


Basil Garlic ChickenThe first time I went to Italy was around this time of year. It was cold and gray in Germany where I lived, and almost at the spur of the moment, a friend and I decided to flee south to what we hoped were warmer temperatures and sunny skies.

We got one out of two.

Crossing the Alps, chugging through Switzerland on an overnight train, lulled to sleep by the swaying rhythm of the wheels on the tracks as we lay in our tight berths, we doubted we’d ever be warm again. The snow-capped mountains didn’t give us much hope of warmer weather in Italy.

It wasn’t much warmer in the northern part of the country, but it was sunny.
We stopped first in Milan, the fashion capital of the country, if not of Europe itself.

After sightseeing all day in the cold while fairly sleep-deprived, we found a little trattoria tucked down a side street near our hotel. The lights were bright, the fireplace was blazing and the long, planked benches were crowded with festive folks.

We ordered this chicken dish, which warmed us from the inside out. The matron insisted the secret was the butter, which she probably churned herself.

I don’t churn my own butter, but I certainly enjoy making this dish at home. When tomatoes aren’t in season, you can substitute a can of diced tomatoes. Don’t skip the butter, though.

Basil Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 to 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh basil, shredded
1/4 cup salted butter
8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti

Directions:
Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Pound to an even thickness using a mallet, about one-inch thick.

Remove the chicken from the paper, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Dice the tomatoes, mince the garlic and shred the basil.

Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet. When the oil is fragrant and shimmering, add the chicken and pan fry until golden-brown on each side. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pan.

Cool pan slightly. Add tomatoes and simmer until they’ve cooked down and are releasing juices. Add the garlic and butter; combine until butter is melted. Add the chicken back to the pan and baste with the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is well-coated.

Just before serving, stir in the basil.

Drain pasta; serve with chicken and sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 571, Fat: 25.9 g, (9.5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 113.3 mg, Sodium: 64.7 mg, Carbohydrates: 49.4 g, Fiber: 3.9 g, Sugar: 5.6 g, Protein: 34.9 g.

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



Dine In: Cilantro-Lime Rice


Cilantro-Lime RiceMy parents were in town for Christmas, and we had a blast celebrating together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The day after Christmas, the six of us (my parents, me, my boys and my boyfriend) went and tried one of those escape rooms. You know, where you have to work as a team to figure out clues, open locks to get more clues and eventually escape the last lock on the door. It was so much fun! It was so DIFFICULT! The room we tried was the most difficult level. It was pitch black in the room with only glow-in-the-dark features which served the dual purpose of being clues and our only light source, save for a small flashlight. We had the benefit of knowing each other well and how the other people in the group worked together, but I can’t imagine trying this with a group of strangers. Ultimately, we did not succeed in getting out of the room in the time allotted, but I want to go back and try a different room soon.

After the adventure, we went out to eat. We grabbed Mexican food because my parents, being from Virginia, don’t have access to Tex-Mex on every corner.

The waitress suggested cilantro-lime rice to complement my dish instead of the usual Mexican rice. I don’t usually eat all the rice at a Mexican restaurant. I can take it or leave it, but I ate every morsel of the cilantro-lime dish. It was delicious enough to try to recreate it at home!

Cilantro-Lime Rice

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 Tbs butter
salt, to taste
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbs lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp lime zest

Directions:
Bring water to a boil. Add the rice and butter, and then add salt to taste. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until cooked through and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. When rice is cooked, stir in cilantro, lime juice and lime zest. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 195, Calories from Fat: 29, Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 8 mg, Sodium: 27 mg, Potassium: 66 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 3 g.

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



Dine In: Spicy Black-eyed Peas


Spicy Black-eyed PeasHappy New Year!

I love the first day of the year; there’s so much potential, so much joy, so much hope.

The best part is that the clock striking midnight or the calendar page turning over isn’t the only way to signify a new beginning. It’s my personal belief that we are constantly renewed by the grace of the Lord, and that can happen at any hour of any day!

Back to New Year’s Day… Even though I grew up in the South, I had never been introduced to the traditions of eating black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day until I moved to Germany, of all places. My friends in the apartment across the hall were invited for New Year’s, and I asked them what they wanted to eat. “Collard greens and peas” was the answer. I was shocked. I’d never heard of this! I opened up my red and white-checked Betty Crocker cookbook and went to work.

That year, I thought the collard greens stunk to high heaven when simmering all day in my small apartment, and I didn’t eat any of the black-eyed peas. I think I still had a lucky year regardless of what it was I ate, however.

I’ve come to appreciate black-eyed peas so much more. Collard greens, well, not so much, but I can always swap it out for spinach, which is still leafy green and a promise of good fortune in the new year. In fact, this recipe originally didn’t call for the spinach, but I added it in and it worked just fine, not to mention killing two traditions with one stone. Or something like that.

Happy 2016, friends!

Spicy Black-eyed Peas with Spinach

Ingredients:
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) pkg dried black-eyed peas, washed
1 (12 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water
3 cups fresh baby spinach
4 Tbs hot sauce

Directions:
In a large heavy saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, reserving the grease; crumble bacon. Set bacon aside.

Add the onions to the bacon grease in the pan and sauté until translucent and tender. Add the peas, tomatoes and green chilies, salt, chili powder, pepper and water.

Cover and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour, or until the peas are tender. Add spinach and hot sauce; cook until the spinach is wilted.

Serve topped with crumbled, crispy bacon.

Note: You can even serve this over rice for a heartier dish.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 280, Calories from Fat: 117, Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 1949 mg, Potassium: 560 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 4.5 g, Protein: 18 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.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

Shop the Sale

On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

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