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Product Talk: Original Natchitoches Meat Pies


Original Natchitoches Meat PiesA few summers ago when driving from Texas to Virginia on vacation, we decided to take the road less traveled and take a slightly more meandering route to visit some places to have some experiences we might have missed staying on the highway.

We decided to stop in Natchitoches, Louisiana. We knew it was the oldest town in Louisiana. We knew it was the bed and breakfast capital of the state. I knew that the movie “Steel Magnolias” was filmed there. What we did NOT know was anything about the meat pies.

Original Natchitoches Meat Pies came into existence about 30 years ago as a hand-held treasure in a flaky crust. Most closely resembling an empanada, the meat pie originally contained ground beef or pork filling.

They are heavenly.

Brookshire’s carries these meat pies in the frozen foods section, so you can have a taste of Louisiana at your fingertips.

The original Natchitoches Meat Pie Company has expanded, creating new flavors to tempt the taste buds of loyal – and new – customers. Along with Original, Spicy and New Orleans Style, there are now the Crawfish Pie, described as “etoufee in a pie crust” and the Shrimp Pie. There are also breakfast varieties including Chorizo with Egg & Jalapenos, and Sausage, Egg & Cheese.

You can cook them up individually or make a box at a time! They are also sold in meal or appetizer sizes, which would come in handy for holiday parties!

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Product Talk: Tyson Premium Cornish Hens


Tyson Premium Cornish HensThis year, I cooked for a crowd on Thanksgiving. However, it’s just been me and a friend, or me and the boys in past years. Same with Christmas.

Cooking for two or three is vastly different from cooking for a crowd, and in previous years, I’ve had enough turkey left from holiday meals to feed malnourished children in third world countries for a week. It’s hard to use that many leftovers.

Recently, I was shopping the frozen foods aisle at Brookshire’s, and I saw Tyson Premium Cornish Hens.

They are the PERFECT size for a festive meal for a small group, and they can be used just like you would a turkey or roast chicken. Hens are also flavorful and juicy with very little preparation required.

The Tyson twin-pack of Cornish hens is 100 percent natural with no hormones or artificial ingredients. Each Cornish hen is individually bagged to protect the product from frost or freezer burn.

Tyson recommends seasoning them with salt and pepper, and basting with butter while they roast for about an hour. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

You can serve them like turkey with dressing on the side, and make an impressive main dish for someone special this holiday season.

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Product Talk: Stuffed Tur-Duc-Hen Roll


Tur-Duc-Hen RollIt’s a turkey.

It’s a duck.

It’s a chicken.

Plus, there’s sausage!

It’s Big Easy Food’s Stuffed Tur-Duc-Hen Roll, available in the frozen foods section of your local Brookshire’s.

It’s the best of all worlds, really.

Before, you had to special order this holiday favorite and likely pay a pretty penny at some out-of-the-way food mart. Now, though, you can celebrate the holidays in style while pleasing everyone at your dinner table.

The Tur-Duc-Hen Roll is pre-seasoned turkey breast wrapped around layers of duck breast meat and chicken thigh meat with creole pork sausage in the middle.

You can cook this frozen or thawed, and you can bake it or grill it.

At about four pounds, it’s perfect for a smaller gathering or intimate dinner party.

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Product Talk: Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast


Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust YeastIt says right on the package, “Fast and easy!”

Fast and easy was what I needed, especially when it came to throwing together dough for grilled pizzas on a recent Sunday afternoon when I had 30,000 other things to do, and I wasn’t feeling very motivated to do any of them.

After all, homemade pizza dough isn’t a “fast and easy” process.

You have to mix it, knead it, let it rest, let it rise, punch it down, let it rest again, let it rise another time, roll it out, bake it…you get the idea.

So, yes, I was a bit skeptical when I plucked the green envelope of Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast off the Brookshire’s shelf, near the rest of the yeasts on the baking aisle.

However, I was willing to try it.

I was so pleasantly surprised! The pizza yeast produced a dough that was quick to make, easy to work with and delicious when I cooked it. One envelope of yeast produced either one large thin-crust pizza or two smaller pizzas. I opted for two crusts since I planned to grill them for two people.

I made the dough in an electric mixer, turned it out onto my countertop, kneaded it a few times, rolled it out and voila! It was ready to bake.

For a grilled pizza crust, I baked the two crusts at the required temperature for about 8 minutes, then took them out and finished them on the grill. Baking them in the oven first allows them to be firm before trying to toss them on the grill. Trust me; it’s better all around that way.

The crust was thin, but chewy and crispy at the same time. It held up to heavy toppings like fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella very well. I can’t wait to use the other two envelopes!

It really was “fast and easy.”

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Product Talk: Russell Stover Big Bite S’mores Bar


Russel Stover S'mores Big BiteMy friend, Leslie, LOVES s’mores.

She loves them outside around a fire or inside over a fondue pot. She’s made s’mores brownies, s’mores cookies and s’mores candy.

So, when I was cruising through Brookshire’s this morning before work (because where else would you stop to get breakfast?), I saw a s’mores product by the register and just had to stop and look. For her, of course.

Russell Stover now makes a pre-wrapped s’mores candy, no mess, no cleaning up sticky skewers (or fingers) from melty marshmallows.

“Featured on the popular ‘Unwrapped’ series from Food Network, our Big Bite S’mores Bar is a thick pillow of marshmallow covered in milk chocolate and sandwiched between two crunchy graham crackers,” the Russell Stover website says.

It also promises that “you’ll feel like a kid again!”

I bought a bunch and handed them out to all my friends. Neither my kids nor Leslie got one…yet. Back to Brookshire’s I go!

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Product Talk: Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie Bar


Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie BarEvery holiday season, I tell myself I’m going to plan in advance, prepare foods in advance and get plenty done in plenty of time so I can make everything homemade and fresh from scratch.

Who am I kidding?

While I do try to prepare everything homemade and fresh, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

Thank goodness there are products like Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie Bar mix that makes life easier for me.

This mix, found on the baking aisle, lets me whip up a delicious and interesting dessert in a matter of minutes.

With a gingersnap crust and a creamy filling, all the ingredients you’d need to add to this mix are probably already in your refrigerator: eggs, butter and water.

With about five minutes of prep time and 30 minutes to bake, your friends and family won’t think twice about this being homemade.

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Product Talk: Dr. Teal’s


Dr. Teal's Epson Salt Soaking SolutionI recently discovered one of those “where-have-you-been-all-my-life” products on the shelves at Brookshire’s.

Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution Soothe & Sleep with Lavender and Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath Relax & Relief with Eucalyptus Spearmint came home with me, and I couldn’t wait to try them both. The Epsom salts are perfectly scented with essential oils (they have other scents as well), and I just poured a cupful into a warm bath and soaked myself right to sleep. Almost literally.  The foaming bath is not only therapeutic but extremely relaxing as well. It’s like getting a massage in your very own bathtub.

Dr. Teal’s bath and body products claim to “soothe the senses, relax tense muscles and promote well-being.”

I can attest that they do exactly what they claim to do.

I have sleep issues and horrible restless leg syndrome that I try to treat with natural remedies, and I will make sure that I forever have some Dr. Teal’s stocked in my bathroom cabinets.

When it comes to therapeutic bath products, the doctor is definitely in.

Other scents include Rosemary & Mint to promote reducing tension, Milk & Honey for softening skin, Comfort & Calm to ease your mind (I have to try that one!), and Foaming Vapor Bath for Tension & Fatigue (I could use that one every night).

I can’t wait to see how the others work.

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Product Talk: Tajín Seasoning


Tajín Orange Mango SaladI was shopping in Brookshire’s this morning and looked at the pre-cut fresh fruits because I needed to grab something for my boys’ school lunches.  Let’s face it, I don’t always have the time to process a pineapple or to peel and slice apples. Brookshire’s can do it for me!

While I was perusing the aisle, making my selections (mango, pineapple, strips of bell peppers, kiwi), I saw a jar I’d never seen before.

Tajín seasoning.

It said it was a great seasoning for fruit.

I’d never heard of a seasoning for fruit, so I bought some, of course.

Tajín Clásico Seasoning is a blend of Mexican chiles with lime and salt. You can sprinkle it directly onto fruit, or use it on veggies or with soups and stews. I’m probably one of the rare people who doesn’t like the sweetness of fruit, so I thought I’d try it on the fresh pineapple to see how it cut the sweetness.

It is delicious!

The chile and lime brought out the flavors of the pineapple without masking the fresh natural flavors. I can’t wait to try it on more things.

Tajín Orange Mango Salad (recipe from Tajin.com)

Ingredients:
1 head romaine lettuce, washed
1 cup spinach leaves, washed
1 orange (half in wedges and half for juice)
1 mango, sliced
1 small onion, cut into slices and soaked in water with lime*
TAJÍN Clásico Seasoning®, to taste

Directions:
Divide half of the orange into wedges and juice the other half. Reserve the juice.

Break the head of lettuce into pieces with your hands. Arrange the leaves on a platter, spread the spinach leaves on top of them and then alternate the orange wedges, mango and onion slices. Finally, add the orange juice and TAJÍN Clásico Seasoning® to taste.

*This removes some of the bite from the onion. Soak the slices in ice cold water with a touch of lime or lime juice for about 10 minutes.

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

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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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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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