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Product Talk: Snyder’s Pretzels


Beer and Cheese DipWhen I lived in Germany, I was able to attend Oktoberfest in Munich several times. It’s practically a law in the county that you have to go at least once.

Oktoberfest, which actually starts in September, is the quintessential celebration of all things German, especially good food, good beer and a lot of celebrating.

There are two big things you see at Oktoberfest: liter-sized steins of beer and pretzels as big as your head.

Snyder’s has been making pretzels in the United States since 1909. Of German descent, the Snyder family opened a bakery in Pennsylvania, and their products have grown and expanded ever since.

I usually have a bag of the Pretzel Snaps (they look like a checkerboard) in my desk at any given moment for snacking throughout the day. I love all the flavors (Bacon Cheddar or Hot Buffalo Wing, anyone?) and varieties that Snyder’s offers.

This is a fun recipe using Snyder’s Pretzel Rods for dipping.

This is a recipe from Synder’s.

Beer and Cheese Dip
Ingredients:
1/4 cup Stout or Porter beer
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (16 oz) bag shredded sharp cheddar
1 jalapeño, minced (optional)

Directions:
Combine the beer, mustard, butter and cayenne pepper in a saucepan on medium heat until well-mixed.

Gradually add the cheese in 1 cup batches, whisking until the texture is smooth. Stop adding cheese once you have achieved your desired thickness; remove from heat and stir in minced jalapeño.

Note: For a tangier taste, reduce the shredded cheese to 8 ounces and add one 8-ounce package of cream cheese.
Serve with Snyder’s Pretzel Rods for dipping.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 501, Calories from Fat: 370, Fat: 41 g (26 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 127 mg, Sodium: 903 mg, Potassium: 150 mg, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 29 g.

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Product talk: Hershey’s Hot Cocoa


Hershey CocoaIt’s that time of year when hot chocolate goes hand in hand with football, hoodies and Halloween.

Hershey’s Cocoa is the gold standard of cocoas.

For many years, Hershey’s Cocoa unsweetened, natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder has been ideal for hot cocoa, frostings, cakes, brownies and other chocolate desserts.

Sold in 8-ounce containers of fine powder, Hershey’s Cocoa also comes in a Special Dark chocolate variety.

Hershey’s Hot Cocoa

Ingredients:
2 Tbs sugar
2 to 3 tsp Hershey’s Cocoa
dash of salt
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in large mug.

Heat milk in microwave at HIGH (100%) for 1 1/2 minutes or until hot.

Gradually add hot milk to cocoa mixture in mug, stirring until well-blended.

Stir in vanilla.

Serves 1

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 222, Calories from Fat: 48, Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 20 mg, Sodium: 115 mg, Potassium: 142 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 35 g, Protein: 8 g.

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

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Product Talk: Slow Cooker Cube Steak with Gravy


Slow Cooker Cube Steak with GravyFor a long time, I had no idea what a cube steak was, so I never cooked with it. Then, I found out that it’s the most commonly used cut of meat for chicken fried steak, so if it’s used for that, it can’t be all that bad, right?

Cube steak is a simple cut of beef, usually a top round or top sirloin, that’s been tenderized using a meat tenderizer or an electric meat tenderizer. The name refers to the shape of the indentations left by that process, which is called “cubing.” See? Nothing to be afraid of.

A top round or top sirloin isn’t the most tender cut of beef to begin with, so this process helps things along. Slow cooking also helps tenderize the meat, as in this recipe for a slow cooked cube steak with gravy. You can serve this over rice or mashed potatoes like the recipe calls for, but my boys also like it over egg noodles.

Slow Cooker Cube Steak with Gravy

Ingredients:
1 cube steak family pack (includes about 6)
2 cans reduced fat and/or low-sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
3/4 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place cube steaks in a slow cooker. Stir all other ingredients together and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low setting all day. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 643, Calories from Fat: 155, Fat: 17 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 258 mg, Sodium: 1347 mg, Potassium: 1048 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 104 mg.

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



Product Talk: Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes


Betty Crocker Cookie MixesWhen I was growing up, my mom made everything from scratch. Everything.

She never would have dreamed of using a mix for anything, and that’s how I learned to cook. She also woke up at some time well before the sun rose to accomplish some of the tasks, like baking and making things from scratch.

Thank goodness for Betty Crocker. She also gets up well before dawn to make sure I don’t have to. With Betty Crocker cookie mixes, my cookies taste like homemade, but I don’t spend a lot of time measuring out sugar and baking soda.

Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes come in a convenient pouch with all the dry ingredients already included. They come in a variety of flavors like chocolate chip, double chocolate chunk, molasses, oatmeal and peanut butter, as well as sugar and white chip macadamia nut. These could fool my mom, I’m telling you! All you do is add a few extra ingredients and bake!

With their limited edition holiday flavors as well, I’m set for the year.



Product Talk: Butterball Everyday Turkey Bacon


Butterball Turkey BaconWe can put away the bacon in my house.

Seriously, between two growing boys (and me!) we love some bacon.

Generally, I choose a center-cut variety of regular bacon, but we’ve also gotten hooked on Butterball Everyday Turkey Bacon.

One slice contains 25 calories and 2 grams of fat. While it provides 2 grams of protein as well, there are also only 80 mg of sodium, which is lower than regular bacon on all counts. That’s about 65 percent less fat and 40 percent less sodium than pork bacon.

The other thing I love about turkey bacon is that it’s easier for me to cook – and clean up! Whereas pork bacon splatters, turkey bacon is cooked through, crispy and without a mess on a paper towel in the microwave. My stove doesn’t get dirty, and it’s quick and easy. The paper towel absorbs some of what little fat is in turkey bacon.

Our favorite way to eat turkey bacon is on a BLT with avocado! I’ve been packing this for school lunches, but I pack all the ingredients separately. (I use baby spinach in place of lettuce.) I let them assemble the sandwich when it’s time to eat. That way nothing gets soggy.



Product Talk: Scottish Salmon


Scottish SalmonI have to admit that I have a little crush on the man who works at the seafood counter at my local Brookshire’s. He’s super friendly and has never, EVER been wrong about anything he’s recommended.

Recently, I went to the counter to order some salmon, my usual, and he recommended that I try the Scottish salmon they had on special that day. I decided to spend a little extra because he promised the flavor was even more melt-in-your-mouth and buttery than the variety I usually buy.

He was right, again.

Scottish salmon is Scotland’s No. 1 food export. They are raised on farms in the ocean to ensure high quality control. Their flesh is bright pink and firm, and they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

At Brookshire’s, Scottish salmon is sold whole, or the nice man or lady behind the counter will fillet it for you (I always have them do this!). I usually grill my salmon, and today the nice man behind the counter suggested that I try making a “salmon salad” with any leftovers. I’ll probably listen. 



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Fat Free Refried Beans


Brookshire's Fat Free Refried Beans

One of my favorite guilty pleasures at Mexican restaurants is the refried beans. I love them. I’ve even been known to order double beans, no rice. However, the secret to real Mexican refried beans is the lard, and ain’t nobody got time for lard in their food, at least not on a regular basis.

Thank goodness for Brookshire’s Fat Free Refried Beans. While they taste like the “real thing,” they contain zero fat.

The only ingredients in the can are pinto beans, water and salt. You prepare them just like you would any refried beans, heating them in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot, stirring frequently.

They’re great as a side dish, on nachos, on tostadas, in burritos, in a casserole, in migas for breakfast or any other way you’d use the full-fat variety. 

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Product Talk: Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch Bars


Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch BarsI’ve loved Nutri-Grain bars forever. My boys love them, too.

Not too long ago, I discovered Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch Bars in the apple cobbler flavor. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving (one serving equals two bars), these portable treats contain only 190 calories and 7 grams of fat. They also provide 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calcium and come in at 3 grams of fiber.

Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch Bars are made with whole-grain oats, dried apples, honey and cinnamon. At five pouches to a box, they are perfect for after-school snacks or school lunches. 

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Product Talk: Soppressata


SoppressataLast night on our first night of vacation, we sat on the porch of the big yellow house, mesmerized by the ocean waves, the pinks and oranges of the sun setting behind us, and the soaring pelicans flying and dipping into the blue water.

Dinner was cooking, but while we were waiting, we sliced some savory soppressata and served it with a tangy, sharp parmesan.

Soppressata is dried, cured Italian hard salami, and it’s found with the specialty cheeses at Brookshire’s stores. While the varieties of soppressata vary among the different regions of Italy where it’s from, the basic sausage is made of pork, pressed and dried flat. It can also be shaped.

Soppressata is traditionally served on an antipasto platter with cheeses, olives and peppers. Currently, on-trend chefs throughout the United States are substituting it for pepperoni on artisanal pizzas and in red sauce with pasta dishes. 

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Product Talk: Sushi


Sushi

One of my favorite indulgences in the entire universe is sushi. I love it. I crave it. I can’t get enough.

Let’s face it: restaurant sushi is an expensive habit. It’s delicious, but you’re largely paying for ginger rose garnishes.

Imagine my delight when Brookshire’s stores started serving in-house sushi, prepared right before your eyes and with the same quality sushi and sashimi grade ingredients used in the fancy restaurants with dragons made out of cucumbers.

There might not be any mythical vegetables, but Brookshire’s sushi is a delicious, fresh and affordable treat.

I’m partial to the spicy shrimp roll with fresh shrimp, sticky rice, nori and a special sauce, but I also love getting the rainbow roll, expertly festooned with slivers of avocado, tuna and yellowtail. I introduced my boys to nigiri, a fresh piece of fish atop a wedge of sticky rice. Dipped in a little bit of soy sauce mixed with wasabi (provided in the container with pickled slivers of ginger), this makes a splendid meal or appetizer.

They also make a mean California roll with avocado, cucumber and cream cheese. When I can’t decide, I get a combination platter, sometimes with crab, tuna AND California rolls. The sushi counter also has other treats like octopus, which I’m working up the nerve to try.

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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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