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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Spices


Brookshire’s SpicesIf you could see my spice cabinet, you’d think I need an intervention.

Yes, I said spice CABINET, not just spice rack.

A million years ago when I first moved out on my own, someone gave me a counter-top spice rack. It was adorable. It spun. It held 12 jars.

Twelve.

I think I outgrew it the first time I went grocery shopping.

The newest additions to my spice cabinet are the Brookshire’s Get Spicy line.

These fun and funky flavor combinations will have you getting spicy in no time.

9-Oh!-3 (get it?? 903???) is an all-purpose spice with the East Texas flavors of peppers and three salts. I use it to rub on meat.

Cluck It Up is a chicken rub that’s also delicious on turkey and pork.

Jal-uva can be used in place of lemon pepper in your recipes. It’s amazing on chicken and pork, and it’s delicious on roasted potatoes.

Taco Y Mas is perfect for classic Tex-Mex dishes like enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas and burritos.

Bayou B’s adds a little Louisiana flavor (we are only a stone’s throw away, after all) to your next meal.

Beef It Up is a hearty blend of spices for your next grilling or smoking adventure. I love this for all red-meat rubs!

Smoked Sausage with Black-Eyed Peas

Ingredients:
1 lb smoked sausage
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Bayou B’s Cajun Seasoning
4 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tsp parsley, finely chopped
8 cups chicken stock
1 lb black-eyed peas
1 Tbs green onions, chopped

Directions:
In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté sausage for 5 minutes or until it starts to render.

Stir in the onions, salt, Bayou B’s Cajun Seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are wilted. Stir in the chicken stock and peas.

Bring the liquid to a boil, and immediately turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the peas are tender. Serve garnished with green onions.

Serves 4

CHEF’S TIP: Serve over steamed white rice or crumbled, homemade cornbread.

Per Serving:
Calories: 510, Fat: 35 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 95 mg, Sodium: 2700 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 3; Protein: 30 g.

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Party Trays


Brookshire’s Party TraysIs the holiday season as hectic for you as it is for me? I’m betting that it is.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I love the class parties, the work potlucks and the glittering celebrations under the mistletoe, but sometimes preparing for all those things is beyond my supermom capabilities.

That’s where Brookshire’s comes in. Brookshire’s Party Trays make the holidays a breeze. I can order a party tray, pick it up laden with savory meats and cheeses, and voila! The work potluck or evening event is taken care of in a flash.

Party Trays do need to be ordered 24 hours in advance, and there’s a variety to choose from, including meats and cheeses, deli sandwiches, cheese and crackers, seafood and, of course, desserts. The deli specialist at Brookshire’s can help you decide how large of a tray you’ll need, what ingredients you’ll want on it and how far in advance to order.



Product Talk: Fresh Cranberries


Seasonal, fresh cranberries are one of my favorite things ever. They’re tart, tasty and so good for you.

You’ve probably already seen all of the amazing things you can do with cranberries in the November/December issue of Celebrate Cooking, but did you know how good they are for you as well?

Often referred to as a superfood, cranberries are rich in antioxidants and only contain 25 calories per one-half cup. Studies have shown that the nutrients in cranberries have been linked to a lower risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function and decreased blood pressure.

Cranberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. They also contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), an antioxidant that may help prevent a range of diseases.

There are so many ways to incorporate cranberries into your dishes. Here’s a tasty one!

Apple-Cranberry Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1/4 cup cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs light mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Combine chicken, celery, apple and cranberries in large bowl. In smaller bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Gently fold dressing mixture into the chicken mixture. Chill to blend ingredients.

*Chef’s Tip: Use leftover holiday turkey in place of the chicken.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 625, Fat: 13 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 286 mg, Sodium: 324 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 9 g; Protein: 108 g.



Product Talk: Southern Comfort® Egg Nog


Southern Comfort Egg NogMy older son loves eggnog so much that he starts asking for it before Halloween. I start keeping an eye on the Brookshire’s dairy case around that time, too, because it usually appears right after.

Southern Comfort® Egg Nog is his favorite (Note to shoppers: It comes without the southern comfort). It’s thick, rich and creamy, and he enjoys it with a dash of Vietnamese cinnamon on top.

Southern Comfort® Traditional Egg Nog is ultra-pasteurized, Grade A and only available during the holiday season.

Today, we had a brainstorm while making breakfast. We replaced most of the milk in our waffle batter with Southern Comfort® Egg Nog. My son LOVED it. You need to keep some of the milk to make the batter the right consistency, but he said these were delicious.

Southern Comfort® Egg Nog Waffles

Ingredients:
2 cups baking mix
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup Southern Comfort® Egg Nog
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon

Directions:
Combine baking mix, oil, egg, eggnog, milk and cinnamon in large bowl. Whisk batter to combine. It will be slightly thicker than traditional waffle batter. Spray waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray, and heat according to your iron’s directions. Cook waffles until golden-brown.

Makes 10

Calories Per Serving: 166, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 32 mg, Sodium: 315 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 4 g.

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



Product Talk: Holiday Deli Dinners


Thanksgiving can be an intimidating holiday.

Holiday Deli DinnersJust ask my friend Megan. She’s not a cook. She’s a brilliant attorney and a tri-athlete. She also has three kids under the age of 5. She doesn’t enjoy cooking, though. She’s not very adept at cooking, and she’d rather just skip it all together.

Thank goodness there’s Brookshire’s because, otherwise, Megan’s Thanksgiving holiday would be spent in abject misery, trying to put a meal on the table of which Martha Stewart would approve.

Instead, she can buy a Holiday Deli Dinner from Brookshire’s. For just $49.99 (and you just go ahead and calculate how much money that saves you), you can get a 10 to 12-pound smoked turkey with 2 pounds of cornbread dressing, 2 1/2 pounds of mashed potatoes, 1 pound of giblet gravy and 1 pound of cranberry relish. That will easily feed a family of 8.

If you want to do something different or in addition to turkey (or if you’re looking ahead to Christmas), you can also get a 7 to 9-pound spiral cut ham, 2 1/2 pounds of green bean supreme casserole, 2 pounds of broccoli rice casserole and 2 1/2 pounds of seasoned mashed potatoes for the same price.

All you do is thaw, heat and serve.

This frees up your time to enjoy your holiday, visit with family and friends, (or in Megan’s case, probably run a Turkey Trot race) and relax. These are great for family get-togethers, Friendsgiving, work affairs, potlucks and any other holiday occasion you can think of.



Product Talk: National Nachos Day


Today is National Nachos Day, and I hope you’re celebrating.

We are celebrating it.

My kids think the “National Food Holidays” are the funniest things, but go ahead, look it up for yourself.  You’ll see that I’m right.

What better way to celebrate than with a heaping pile of Brookshire’s Tortilla Chips with your favorite toppings?

Brookshire’s is full of products designed to make your nachos as unique as you are.

Start with the chips, of course.

Then, you could add browned ground beef, simmered with taco seasoning. You could add shredded brisket, smoked over the barbecue pit yesterday for Sunday supper. Chorizo is always a good choice! Maybe your protein of choice is diced rotisserie chicken from Brookshire’s deli, or even drained Brookshire’s black beans for a meat-free option. My kids will choose the ground beef every time. I opt for the black beans or a can of fat-free refried beans, myself.

One of my sons likes things spicy; the other does not. For the spice lover, slice up a few jalapeños from the produce section. Just be careful to remove the seeds and pith, and don’t wipe your eyes after you cut them. (I’ve made that mistake too many times.) Or, you could add a can of Old El Paso Diced Green Chiles. They give good flavor, some tang and nice heat without overwhelming spice.

The great thing about nachos is that everyone can have them their own way. If you’re serving them for dinner, you just put out assorted toppings, and everyone creates their own.

My older son loves diced black olives. Younger son? Not so much.

I love mine piled with diced avocado, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and Brookshire’s Chunky Tomato Salsa. Oh, don’t forget the cheese! I put it on top of the chips, put it under the broiler, and get that all melty before adding the other toppings. I like Brookshire’s Mexican Cheese Blend in the refrigerated section. You can also opt for queso fresco crumbled on top, or melted queso using Velveeta® cheese product and a can of Ro-Tel®.

Finish your nachos off with sour cream, hot sauce and cilantro. Happy National Nachos Day!

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Product Talk: Louisburg Apple Cider


Louisburg Apple CiderThis morning, I was sitting out on the patio with my son, watching the sunrise and enjoying the chill in the early-morning October air.

Being that we’re in the South, I know that the cool October mornings bring warm October afternoons. By this time of the month as we head into November, we do get cooler days and definitely cooler nights and mornings. In other words, it’s perfect cider weather!

Louisburg Apple Cider is sold in the produce section at Brookshire’s because it’s just that fresh. Made from apples that come from the Missouri River Valley for the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness, the cider is milled right after the apples are harvested. They are shipped right to the store during peak season (now), so you can enjoy fresh cider during the best part of fall.

Enjoy your cider warm, cool or at room temperature. Stir it with a cinnamon stick, or enjoy with a wedge of lemon.

No matter how you like your cider, you’ll love the flavor of fall in your cup when you enjoy Louisburg Apple Cider available at Brookshire’s.

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Product Talk: Pumpkin Spice Cheerios™


Pumpkin Spice CheeriosYou can’t do a post in October without talking about Pumpkin Spice something.

Today, it’s Pumpkin Spice Cheerios™.

I grabbed them the other day while going for my regular Honey Nut variety. My teenage son was appalled when I brought them home. Then, he tried them. “These aren’t so bad,” he grudgingly admitted, “but don’t tell any girl I like them.”

Okay, I won’t.

For a limited time, General Mills will produce Pumpkin Spice Cheerios™ for all the lovers of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. It’s pretty much autumn in a box.

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios™ are gluten-free with only 8 grams of sugar and 110 calories per serving, plus 17 grams of whole-grain. They’re also made with real pumpkin puree. Serve with your favorite milk, and you’ll have a balanced breakfast to start the day or a great snack for any time!

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Product Talk: Stonefire® Tandoor Baked Naan


Stonefire Tandoor Baked NaanThis morning, I was in Brookshire’s picking up breakfast from the deli (scrambled eggs and bacon because I was running too late to cook at home and didn’t want fast food). I noticed the rack of Stonefire® Tandoor Baked Naan hanging right near the deli counter, so I grabbed some for lunch, along with a container of hummus.

The first time I had naan was actually in Luxembourg in Europe at a Indian restaurant. Naan is an unleavened bread, originally from Central and South Asia with a Middle Eastern influence. It’s cooked in a tandoor (a hot, earthen oven), and usually stretched by hand and basted with a ghee, or clarified butter. You use it to scoop up other foods, stuff it or fill it with something else. I think that day in the Indian restaurant, we all piled our naan high with spicy eggplant curries and tandoori chicken.

Today, I just ate it at my desk, breaking off small pieces while I worked and scooping up mounds of savory hummus. It was a delicious snack that sustained me throughout the day.

Stonefire® nann is made in a traditional way with an authentic look and taste. It’s hand-stretched and made in small batches. It’s baked in high heat in a tandoor oven so it has the large bubbles, smoky flavor and airy texture of traditional naan. While it’s made with authentic ingredients such as buttermilk and ghee, it can be frozen and comes two to a package.

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Product Talk: Slow Cooker Liners


Slow Cooker LinersIt’s the day before my birthday, and I think I’ll treat myself this year…by not cleaning up.

Slow cooker liners are pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

Reynolds® brand makes a variety of slow cooker liners, and they’re found with the foils, plastic wraps and parchment papers.

If you use your slow cooker at least once every week like I do, these are a lifesaver, especially on Tuesdays when the 14-year-old needs to be downtown at 5:15PM and the 15-year-old needs to be picked up south of town at 5:15PM. I can’t be at both places at once, so one has to be dropped off early and once has to be picked up late. Either way, dinner has to be prepared in the slow cooker or no one is eating until Midnight.

Slow cooker liners make for super easy cleanup and are fabricated with heat-resistant nylon that will not leach into your food. Slow-cooked food is infamous for baking-on; now you don’t have to worry about scrubbing your crockery for hours after your slow-cooking accomplishment.

This is a great go-to recipe for slow cookers that my boys love.

Slow Cooker Cubed Steak with Gravy

Ingredients:
1 can French onion soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg au jus gravy mix
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 to 2 lbs cubed steak
3 Tbs cornstarch
3 Tbs cold water

Directions:
Place crockery into slow cooker; drape liner inside to cover completely.

Combine French onion soup, cream of chicken soup, au jus mix and 1/2 cup water in bottom of liner. Stir well. Place cubed steak in bottom of liner with gravy mixture. Cover slow cooker. Cook steak on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Whisk cornstarch and cold water in separate bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir into gravy mixture. Turn to high; cook for 30 minutes or until thickened. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 196, Fat: 7 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 56 mg, Sodium: 635 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 22 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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