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Product Talk: Ultimate Oranges


Ultimate OrangesUltimate Oranges are back, just in time for cold and flu season.

These perfectly ripe, juicy, succulent oranges are chock full of vitamin C, which helps ward off colds at the peak of the sickness season.

Navel oranges from California are known for their large size, their sweet flavor and their juiciness. Navel oranges are known from the way the skin puckers into the shape of a belly button. They are known for being easy to peel and easy to segment, and they are great for snacking, for salads, for relishes, for marmalades or for fruit trays.

The history of the navel orange heralds back to the early 1800s.

In 1820, monks grew these oranges in a monastery garden in Bahai, Brazil. They sent a dozen of the trees to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. in 1870.

In 1873, Mrs. Eliza Tibbetts of Riverside, California wrote to the U.S.D.A. requesting two of the new Navel orange trees, and she planted them in sunny California.

The Bahia Navel was renamed the Riverside Navel, but it was renamed again the Washington Navel after George Washington for a more national appeal. All new varieties of navel oranges can trace their roots back to the Washington Navel in the United States.



Healthy Living: Hot Spiced Fruit Bake


Hot Spiced Fruit BakeI said fruit BAKE, not fruit CAKE!

Of course, if fruitcake is your thing, you might really love this hot, spiced fruit bake.

It’s hard to resist so many delicious treats during the holidays, but you can enjoy this delicious indulgence guilt-free by keeping calories low and loading up on the nutrients found in winter fruits.

Winter fruits like apples, pears and citrus are a great way to get antioxidants, which help fight colds this time of the year.

This is a great alternative to heavier treats laden with flour and sugar.

Enjoy this for breakfast or for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if you must.

Hot Spiced Fruit Bake

Ingredients:
2 cups apple slices
2 cups pear slices
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup pineapple chunks (juice reserved)
lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut sugar or raw sugar
1 Tbs agave or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300° F. In a large bowl, toss fruit with lemon juice. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, spices and coconut oil. Add in honey and about 1/3 cup pineapple juice. Stir into fruit, and mix thoroughly to coat.

Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake for 1 hour. Top with nuts. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 492, Calories from Fat: 327, Fat: 37 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 61 mg, Sodium: 166 mg, Potassium: 395 mg, Carbohydrates: 43 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 30 g, Protein: 3 g.

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Healthy Living: Winter Fruit Salad


Winter Fruit SaladFresh fruits and veggies define the summertime months, but you don’t have to, nor should you, give up your fruits just because the weather is colder.

Fruits provide some vital nutrients that help you through the winter months, most notably vitamin C, which helps you fight off colds. They also provide vitamin A, an important antioxidant; zinc, which also helps prevent colds and fights germs; and vitamin D, which we usually get from sunshine.

I’ve found fruit salad, using fruits that are suited to the winter for becoming ripe, is a great way to get vitamins and nutrients when the skies are gray and cloudy. This is almost like sunshine in a bowl.

You can even skip the “dressing” and just eat this medley of super fruits plain.

Winter Fruit Salad

Ingredients:
2 red apples, cored and diced
2 pears, cored and diced
4 clementine oranges, peeled and segmented
3 kiwifruit, peeled and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 Tbs fresh lime juice

Directions:
Combine all the fruit in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together lime juice and maple syrup. Pour dressing over salad, and toss to coat. If delaying serving, toss dressing with fruit immediately before serving.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 317, Calories from Fat: 35, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 80 g, Fiber: 13 g, Sugar: 56 g, Protein: 4 g.

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Dine In: Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts


Spinach-Stuffed Chicken BreastsBack in my single days, my friends and I would go out to eat on Friday nights, and we’d almost always get an appetizer of bubbling, warm, cheesy spinach dip with pita chips.

We’d talk and laugh and eat so much spinach dip that we often weren’t hungry for dinner after we finished.

I still love to go out on Friday nights, but I also love to stay home, especially this time of year when the stores, restaurants and roads are packed to overflowing, and you sometimes wait as long for your meal, or to get a table, as it would just to make the same thing at home.

I tried to come up with something recently that would channel the flavors of the spinach dip that I loved in a date night dish that would be perfect for a Friday night at home.

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, about 3/4 lb
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Italian cheese blend
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
16 oz jar marinara sauce, or homemade
parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until shimmery and fragrant.

Add spinach and parsley; sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook until spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise halfway through until they open like a book. Pound until each is about 1/4 inch thick. In a small bowl, mix together ricotta, Italian cheese blend and spinach mixture; add salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture onto the middle of the flat chicken breasts and roll, securing with a toothpick.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet until shimmery and fragrant. Brown chicken on all sides. Place in oven, and cook for 35 minutes. Pour marinara sauce over the chicken, and cook for another 10 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese, and broil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 843, Calories from Fat: 406, Fat: 45 g (14 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 190 mg, Sodium: 1339 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 20 g, Protein: 69 g.

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



Healthy Living: Cranberry Pear Crisp


Cranberry Pear CrispMy first thought after someone mentions “holiday meal” is usually “holiday desserts.”

I can’t help it; I love a sweet treat.

This holiday season, I’m going to try to eat fewer slices of pecan pie or bouche de noel and make healthier choices.

One thing I really love about the holidays is the abundance of fresh cranberries, so I like to incorporate those into my foods as frequently as humanly possible.

This dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth, but it won’t stack up the calories or amount of sugar you’re consuming. The tartness of the cranberry plays well against the sweet pear, and the crisp topping adds texture and pulls all the flavors together.

It’s also much healthier than eating something laden with chocolate and sugar.

Cranberry Pear Crisp

Ingredients:
For the filling:
2 Anjou pears, cored and diced
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal
1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar, or 2 Tbs Splenda Brown Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs coconut oil, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F, and spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
Roughly chop cranberries; toss them with diced pears, cornstarch, syrup and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping mixture over the filling, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 375, Calories from Fat: 128, Fat: 14 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 7 mg, Potassium: 405 mg, Carbohydrates: 58 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 31 g, Protein: 6 g.

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



Product Talk: Louisburg Honeycrisp Apple Cider


Louisburg Honeycrisp Apple CiderLouisburg Honeycrisp Apple Cider reminds me of picking apples on Carter’s Mountain and being able to taste the cider pressed right after the apples came out of the field.

Louisburg Cider Mill aims for exactly that flavor. It captures the freshness and bright sweetness of a honeycrisp apple, and bottles it for Brookshire’s customers.

The Mill in Louisburg, Kansas processes apples at the peak of freshness, so your cider tastes like it was just poured from the tree itself.

“Our cider-making method dates back 2,000 years, and it still produces the best quality cider,” the Louisburg Mill website says. “We continue our old-fashioned methods in the manufacture of our many other products as well.”

Look for Louisburg Honeycrisp Apple Cider near the honeycrisp apples in your Brookshire’s produce department. This cider is delicious at room temperature, chilled or even served warm, with a cinnamon stick for stirring.



Food Watch: Prepping for Natural Disasters


Prepping for Natural DisastersOn a venture to visit friends during what seemed to be a light rain, I came to find how unprepared you can be going into natural disasters. My drive was great until I reached the road before theirs. My phone made a resounding alarm that made me jump: “TORNADO WARNING IN THIS AREA. TAKE SHELTER NOW.” I looked toward the direction in which I’d be going, and I saw dark, swirling clouds starting to rotate around each other.

Once I arrived, everyone was on their phone trying to figure out what was going on. The wind picked up, and then it was silent. Next, quarter-sized hail showered down around the house, followed by a torrent of wind and rain. At that moment, we decided to run to the storm shelter. We went to the storm shelter twice that night – six of us along with the family dog – and the realization of how much we lacked set in.

It was a great opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of storm shelter use. However, since I work in grocery, I thought mostly of what foods could keep for extended periods of time to not only prepare for such an event, but to help keep you alive if you were trapped. Food should have a long shelf life with little to no cooking required, and it must meet the needs of all family members (including pets).

Canned meats and vegetables can keep a few years on average depending on the product. Highly acidic canned goods like fruit and juice store well for less time (12 to 18 months). Water can also last quite a long time.

Thankfully, Brookshire’s has a plethora of high-quality canned products that will help you stock up if need be. I really like their vegetable assortments, which are picked at the peak of freshness and come with a handy pop top. No can opener needed!

Also, consider how your food is stored. If you’re preparing for a natural disaster, make sure that your food and water are stored away from the outside door, away from the elements. Keep these items elevated and, if possible, in a storage area of their own.

You most likely won’t need to hide in your storm shelter for years at a time, but you never know when a natural disaster may hit. It’s best to prepare in advance, and that will be one less thing to worry about when the time comes.



Dine In: Bacon-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts


Bacon-Balsamic Brussels SpoutsI was slicing the stems off of some Brussels sprouts last week, planning to toss them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper before I roasted them, as I usually do.

Then, I got an idea for something a little different. I very well may have seen it somewhere else, but it struck me as an original idea at the time.

I added in a little bacon and some balsamic vinegar. Oh my goodness, the result was amazing. The bacon added smokiness, and the balsamic cut the sometimes bitter flavor of the Brussels with its sweetness.

The veggies end up roasting in some of the bacon fat that’s rendered, and the result is a delicious, filling dish.

This would make a great side dish for a medium-rare ribeye, grilled to perfection and served on your back porch next to a roaring fire.

Bacon-Balsamic Brussels Spouts

Ingredients:
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 slices bacon, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Whisk the olive oil with the balsamic, salt and pepper. Pour over Brussels sprouts. Stir in chopped bacon. Spread on a baking pan, and roast in preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves 2 to 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 210, Calories from Fat: 118, Fat: 13 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 475 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 12 g.

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Healthy Living: Baked Spinach and Eggs


Baked Spinach and EggsI love a hot, cooked breakfast.

I try to make do with cold hard-boiled eggs because I can make those in advance, or with Greek yogurt or, occasionally, breakfast cereal and milk, which are all healthy choices. I love a hot breakfast and try to make sure I get up early enough so that I’m organized and prepared enough to enjoy my favorite meal of the day.

I love this dish because it’s so simple. It comes together so quickly, and it can bake while I finish getting ready in the morning. The spinach is packed with iron, and the fiber helps keep you full. The eggs are also full of iron and protein, and they also help ward off the mid-morning munchies. I love the salty taste of the feta, which adds a little more fat to the mix for a satisfying, healthy morning meal.

I’ve been known to eat this for dinner, too, with a drizzle of hot sauce.

Baked Spinach and Eggs

Ingredients:
6 cups fresh baby spinach, firmly packed
4 eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 Tbs feta cheese, crumbled
nonstick cooking spray or 1 Tbs olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray or rub olive oil into individual glass ramekins, individual cast-iron skillets or other small oven-proof bakeware. Set aside.

In a cast-iron skillet, wilt the spinach over medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes. Distribute the spinach evenly into baking containers.

Crack one egg over spinach in each container. (If using one baking dish, just distribute the eggs evenly over the spinach.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper; top with crumbled feta. Place the baking dishes on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked though and the yolks are set to your preference.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 98, Calories from Fat: 59, Fat: 7 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 172 mg, Sodium: 202 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 8 g.

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Dine In: Chile Relleno Soup


Chile Relleno SoupThere was a time when I made it my mission to taste every chile relleno at every Mexican restaurant in a 100-mile radius.

I think I was pretty successful; there’s really no more relleno dishes left that I haven’t taste-tested. I know to avoid the soggy, greasy dish at one certain restaurant. I know that at another, the golden, crisp goodness and gooey cheese is what I’m going to eat before I even open the menu.

I’ve tried making chile rellenos at home, with varying degrees of success.

However, this soup highlights the essence of the dish, without having to deep-fry anything.

The best part is that you can eat it at home on your back porch in front of a roaring fire on a lazy Friday night. No reservations or gratuity required.

Chile Relleno Soup

Ingredients:
4 poblano peppers
4 Tbs butter
1/4 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
3 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions:
Roast the peppers over a gas flame or in the oven under the broiler on high heat until pepper skin is charred and blistered. Put peppers into brown paper bag, and close bag. Let steam and cool for about 20 minutes. Rub the skin to remove as much char as possible. Then, remove seeds and pith; finely chop.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and cook until foamy. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and poblano peppers. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add in the chicken broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the chicken, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Incorporate cream cheese and cheddar cheese into the broth, whisking until smooth. To serve, divide into bowls, and then top with remaining cheese. Serve immediately with finely diced tomatoes and minced fresh cilantro, optional.

Nutritional Information: Calories from Fat: 341, Fat: 38 g, Carbohydrates: 10.24 g, Fiber: 2.64 g, Protein: 41.11 g, Cholesterol: 183 mg.

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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