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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Best Premium Coffee


Brookshire's Best Premium CoffeeA perfect weekend starts with a morning on the porch.

A perfect morning starts with Brookshire’s Best Premium Coffee. I happen to love the White Chocolate Truffle flavor.

I brew a pot, then pour a cup and head out to the porch where I can sit in silence for sometimes up to as much as an hour while my boys sleep peacefully inside.

I listen to the chimes hanging from the porch roof, if there is a breeze. I watch the robins play in the grass, collecting food for their young, and I watch the new dog lope around the backyard on his long, gangly legs.

All the while, I smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and sip the liquid, which is warmth to my soul.

I am centered for the day.



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Classic Instant Mashed Potatoes


Brookshire’s Classic Instant Mashed PotatoesMy younger son doesn’t like mashed potatoes. I almost took him for counseling because of that one. I just don’t understand how someone can’t love a pile of pillowy, creamy, delicious carbs.

He doesn’t, or didn’t, until now.

I was running short on time lately (all the time, if I’m being honest), and I ran into Brookshire’s for some mashed potatoes to go with my mom’s recipe for Salisbury steak. You need potatoes to soak up all that rich, yummy gravy.

I was already running late and I really didn’t have time to peel, boil and mash potatoes by hand. I grabbed a box of Brookshire’s Classic Instant Mashed Potatoes. The box even advertises, “Just add milk and margarine, ready in 3 minutes.” Score.

I went home, fixed dinner and while the main course was cooking, I whipped up those potatoes. In my hurry, I plated my younger son potatoes under his heaping mound of meat and gravy.

He looked up at me with those big, brown eyes, trying to mask his disappointment.

“I don’t really like mashed potatoes,” he said, trying to be polite.

“Oh please, just TRY them,” I implored. “I can’t really scrape them off at this point.”

Because he’s a super good and obedient kid, he did.

“Mom, these are GREAT!” he said.

So, now I keep a box of potatoes in my pantry for those meals that we crave potatoes, and I can give my younger son his favorite.

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Product Talk: Deli Chicken Pot Pies


Deli Chicken Pot PiesWhen I was little, kindergarten and first grade, I always loved going over to my friend Kitsy’s house to spend the night. In addition to the nachos her mom would make us with refried bean dip from a can and slices of American cheese, she’d give us pot pies for dinner.

Not just any pot pie, frozen pot pies in individual serving tins. I’m pretty sure that’s when I learned that everything tastes better in an individual serving container. Yes, my mom made homemade pot pies at my house, but these were special. When they came out of the oven, I didn’t have to share mine with anyone. I didn’t get a wedge with filling spilling out dumped onto my plate. Instead, I got a golden-brown, perfectly preserved pie where I could cut into the tender, flaky crust myself and scoop out the filling before it escaped.

I’ve loved pot pies forever and now I have a new favorite. A glorious, delicious version that marries the best of both worlds: homemade and in an individual serving. Of course, I’m talking about the chicken pot pies from the Brookshire’s Deli.

The chicken pot pies are homemade but nestled in an individual serving tin that’s easy to reheat, with no sharing required. The crust is made on-site so it has that buttery, homemade flavor baked in, just like the creamy filling, full of chicken and vegetables.

The serving size is generous, so you might want to think about sharing, or then again, maybe not.

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Product Talk: Rhodes White Bread


Sausage RollI remember the first time I read a recipe that called for frozen bread dough.

I’ll go ahead and confess: I didn’t know what it was.

My mom’s head would spin, and she’d look like the woman out of “Poltergeist” if I even thought about using frozen bread dough. (So, we won’t tell her, right?)

My mom stayed at home with us during the day so she had time to bake. I don’t always have that time, so I figured I’d try frozen bread dough. It couldn’t be as good as my mom’s, I knew, but I was willing to take that risk.

I was wrong.

I bought a package of Rhodes White Bread dough. It’s frozen loaves, essentially, and you can thaw it in a variety of ways depending on how much time you have.

The first time I used it, I baked it as a traditional bread loaf to serve with an Italian meal that night. It’s as easy as spraying a loaf pan with non-stick spray, letting the bread rise and turning on the oven. Your house smells amazing, and your guests (or kids or mother-in-law) think you’ve spent all day in the kitchen. Fooled them.

Since then, I’ve branched out in my use of frozen bread dough.

My kids made this for dinner last night using a loaf, and it was gone so quickly that we wish we’d made two.

Sausage Roll

Ingredients:
1 loaf Rhodes White Bread frozen dough
1 lb sausage
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 onion, chopped
6 Tbs butter

Directions:
Thaw bread dough according to package directions. Once thawed, roll out on a lightly floured surface until dough is approximately 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

Brown sausage in a non-stick skillet. Drain fat. Cook onion in the same pan. Mix into the sausage.

Sprinkle cheese down the center of the dough, from end to end. Top with sausage and onion mixture. Fold over, sealing meat and cheese in the center of the dough by pinching the edges closed.

Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place dough in the pan, forming a ring. Melt butter inmicrowave; pour over bread dough.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake for about 20 minutes, until dough is golden-brown. Turn out on a tray, slice and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 707, Calories from Fat: 427, Fat: 48 g, Trans Fat: 0.2 g (22 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 134 mg, Sodium: 1219 mg, Potassium: 289 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 31 g.

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

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Product Talk: Barilla Thin Spaghetti


Barilla Thin SpaghettiI love pasta.

I’d blame it on my Italian heritage, but I’m pretty sure I’d love pasta if I was from the North Pole.

There are so many delicious varieties on the market these days, and I think I’ve tried most of them.

I really love Barilla pastas, especially the thin spaghetti, which comes in a whole grain variety.

While thin, the whole grain flavor really holds up well to different sauces like marinara, arrabbiata or Alfredo.

Barilla whole grain pasta is made with 51 percent whole wheat in the form of durum wheat flour with semolina and oat fiber.

Each serving contains 6 grams of dietary fiber and 7 grams of protein, with 1.5 grams of fat and 200 calories.

We had it for dinner recently with a chunky marinara sauce made with fresh tomatoes from Brookshire’s, and it was heavenly.

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Product Talk: Food Club All-Purpose Baking Mix


Strawberry ShortcakeSometimes I love to make things from scratch and sometimes I like taking shortcuts.

This is where Food Club All-Purpose Baking Mix comes in handy.

On school mornings, or any morning, really, it’s so much easier to open a box of baking mix and add milk or eggs for pancakes or waffles than it is to measure out ingredients when I’m bleary-eyed and haven’t had my coffee yet. Come to think of it, that could be downright disastrous.

Baking mix is so versatile it can be used for waffles, pancakes, biscuits, chicken and dumplings, shortcakes and much more.

I’m going to use it tonight for strawberry shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:
2 1/3 cups Food Club All-Purpose Baking mix
3 Tbsp sugar
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups whipped topping
3 cups strawberries, sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine baking mix and sugar; add milk and butter. Stir with a fork to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 20 strokes. Pat dough into ½-inch thick circle. Cut out six 3×3 inch biscuits. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool to room temperature. To serve, split each biscuit, top with 1/3 cup whipped topping and strawberries.

Nutritional Information: Calories 348, Calories from Fat 159, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 33 mg, Sodium 643 mg, Potassium 225 mg, Total Carbohydrates 43 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 17 g, Protein 5 g

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

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Product Talk: Sesame Oil


Rainbow Thai Chicken SaladSesame oil is exactly what it sounds like: an oil derived from sesame seeds.

Sesame oil, fragrant and pungent, is used as a cooking oil in South India and as a complimentary flavor in Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Korean and Southeast Asian cuisines. I would venture to guess that most Americans find the flavor too overpowering to use as a primary cooking oil, but it’s delicious as an added flavor in so many foods.

Some also use sesame oil as an alternative medicine. The antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats in sesame oil have been shown to help control blood pressure and relieve stress.

This recipe, which uses sesame oil in the dressing, might be the most visually appealing dish you’ve ever made. Along with a burst of flavor, it’s beautiful to look at, too.

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

Thai Chicken Salad:
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 avocado, diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 (large) carrot, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, cored and julienned (or diced)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cashews or peanuts, chopped

Peanut Dressing:
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2-3 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp sesame oil
juice of 1 lime
pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

To Make The Salad:
Toss all salad ingredients together until combined. Drizzle with dressing or toss to combine, then serve immediately.

To Make The Dressing:
Whisk all ingredients together until combined. If the dressing is too thick, add hot water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire.

Serves 4-6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 415, Calories from Fat: 201, Fat: 22 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 54 mg, Sodium: 369 mg, Potassium: 562 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 15 g, Protein: 30 g.

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

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Product Talk: Almond Milk Smoothie


Almond Milk“You’ve got to try this,” my friend said, handing me a glass with a suspiciously milky-looking substance in it.

Not that I have anything against milk: I grew up on 2 percent cow’s milk, and I think my mom served it at every meal until I left for college.

True story.

However, I can’t say it’s been my drink of choice since I moved out on my own. Still nothing against milk; it’s great for you and necessary for bone health, but I just don’t love it.

So, it was with great skepticism that I sipped from the glass she handed me.

It was good.

“It’s almond milk,” she said.

Milk? Out of almonds?

Exactly!

Almond milk is made from ground almonds and contains neither lactose nor cholesterol, which is another bonus for me as I’m trying to lower my total cholesterol.

It’s good for vegans and vegetarians, and it comes in flavors like vanilla or chocolate.

Although almond milk has less protein than cow’s milk, it is rich in nutrients including fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, tryptophan, copper and calcium.

Try this smoothie made with almond milk. It tastes just like a Wendy’s frosty!

Almond Milk Smoothie

Ingredients:
3/4 cup almond milk
about 15 ice cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 of a banana

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until you’ve achieved desired consistency.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 467, Calories from Fat: 393, Fat: 44 g (39 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 29 mg, Potassium: 700 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 6 g.

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



Product Talk: All Whites


Hash brown CasseroleI love eggs and could eat them at every meal. Every single meal, no joke.

However, my doctor told me to watch my cholesterol intake. Eggs don’t have a ton of cholesterol, but it’s enough when your doctor says to watch it.

Luckily, there are products like All Whites on the market. Found in a carton in the refrigerated section of Brookshire’s, All Whites is simply what it says: egg whites.

Three tablespoons, about the equivalent of one egg, is only 25 calories and zero cholesterol or fat.

Now, I use them for breakfast all the time!

Hash Brown Casserole

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
1 small zucchini, cut in half crosswise and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup (8 oz) All Whites egg whites
1 cup milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Heat oven to 375° F. Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass pie plate. Firmly press hash browns on bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook Italian sausage in a 10-inch skillet until browned. Drain fat. Combine cooked sausage, zucchini, red bell pepper, All Whites, milk and mustard in a large bowl; mix well. Pour All Whites mixture into crust.

Return to oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until center is set. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 188, Fat: 11 g, Cholesterol: 29 mg, Sodium: 470 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 13 g, Calcium: 119 mg.

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

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Deli Fried Chicken


Fried ChickenI was craving fried chicken the other day.

I never crave fried chicken or anything “fried,” usually.

One Sunday recently, I wanted chicken, egged on by my boys who spurred on my craving by suggesting an “old-fashioned” picnic in the park.

Who am I to say no to that?

I wasn’t going to make fried chicken (previous attempts have taught me to leave it to the experts), so we went to the Brookshire’s Deli to pick up a box of their fried chicken.

It was heavenly. It was crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned. The boys devoured several breasts a piece, and then lay on the picnic blanket in the sunshine, holding their bellies and groaning.

Brookshire’s fried chicken, at the deli counter, is prepared daily. You can get assorted pieces, like breasts, wings, drumsticks or thighs. Best of all, it’s affordable and delicious, and you don’t have to scrub down your kitchen afterward!

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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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