share. The Brookshire's Blog

Product Talk: Brookshire’s Bacon


I’ve tried a lot of bacon in my day (Who hasn’t? Just admit it!) and hands down, Brookshire’s brand original sliced,  hickory smoked is my favorite. 

It crisps nicely when cooked, either in the microwave or on the stovetop, it’s not too salty, it’s full of hickory flavor and it doesn’t tend to burn. 

I could probably write 97,351 blog posts using bacon, but this is one I made last week and my family has already asked for it again. 

It combines the flavor of a jalapeño popper with chicken and, of course, bacon. The traditional jalapeño “popper” is a deep-fried, breaded jalapeño stuffed with cream cheese. This take on it makes a mouthwatering meal that would be great for a family dinner or  a special occasion. 

Jalapeño Popper Chicken 
Serves 4 

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/3-inch
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz cheddar cheese
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
1 Tbs hot sauce
12 strips Brookshire’s Original Sliced, Hickory Smoked Bacon
Toothpicks 

Directions:
Pound chicken breasts until they are about 1/3-inch thick.  Soften cream cheese. Add cheddar, jalapeño and hot sauce. Mix well.

Place about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture on one end of chicken. Roll chicken around filling. Wrap chicken with three slices of bacon, secure with a toothpick. 

Bake at 400° F for 25 to 30 minutes (I had to finish mine under the broiler to “crisp” the bacon).

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 614, Calories from Fat: 366 g, Total Fat: 41 g,Saturated Fat: 20 g, Cholesterol: 213 mg, Sodium: 1069 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 2 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 58 g.



Product Talk: Cranberries


It’s cranberry season, and it’s time to try something new with these deliciously healthy berries! Most of us stick to our tried-and-true cranberry sauces and relishes for holiday meals, but this delicious Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa combines some of the best flavors I know to make a wonderful chunky salsa. You could easily use it as the relish for your turkey and dressing too!

And if you want to feel even better about adding real cranberries to your diet, scientific research shows that cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Enjoy!

Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa
Makes 8 appetizer servings

Ingredients:
3 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 medium red onion, quartered
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved (use less for milder flavor)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
Dash kosher salt

Directions:
Place all ingredients in food processor. Pulse 8 times, until coarsely chopped. Scrape sides of bowl midway through pulses. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Tastes great served with sweet potato chips!

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 86, Total Fat: 0 g, Sodium 114 mg, Carbohydrates 23 g, Protein: 0 g



Product Talk: Canned pumpkin


I bet canned pumpkin flies off the shelf more in November than in any other month. I have no scientific evidence or statistics to back this up, mind you, but it’s a gut feeling I’d be willing to back up with money that this is correct.

I use pumpkin all year long because I love it. Ironically, I don’t eat pumpkin pie. Ever. But I love pumpkin in just about anything else. Recent favorites are in pancakes, waffles, trifles and hot breakfast oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal. My children cringed when their breakfast cereal came out a happy bright color recently, but with the addition of some cinnamon, cloves and allspice, it was like a pie in a bowl, more or less.

One of my favorite things to do with pumpkin is stump my friends. No, this isn’t a trick or treat, just a great way to make a fun favorite a little healthier – and leave my friends guessing. If I don’t tell them, and even after I do, they never suspect that pumpkin is the secret ingredient in these decadent muffins. 

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

Devil’s Food Pumpkin Muffins
Serves 12

Ingredients:
1 box Food Club Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 (14.5 oz) can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Directions:

Empty dry contents of cake mix into large bowl. Add can of pumpkin (nothing else). Mix together until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Spoon mixture into a well-greased cupcake pan or cupcake liners.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 198, Calories from Fat: 44, Cholesterol: 0 mg,Sodium: 292 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 37 g,Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 25 g,Protein: 3 g.



Product Talk: Sweet Potatoes


It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered the wonderful flavor of sweet potatoes when NOT prepared in the traditional super-sweet casserole – hidden under marshmallows or corn flakes or tons of brown sugar and pecans. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the buttery brown sugar topping my mom makes every Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I would eat that more than one day each year! 

I was actually eating in an Italian restaurant when I saw sweet potato ravioli on the menu. It was prepared with sage and browned butter, similar to how I have seen butternut squash and pumpkin. It was delicious! 

The ravioli dinner made me curious to research other ways to eat sweet potatoes, and I ran across a version of this sweet potato soup recipe from my friend Courtney. She had given it to me a few years ago, and honestly, I forgot I had it until now. 

The healthiest way to enjoy a sweet potato is plain, of course. And honestly a plain baked sweet potato has tons of flavor without adding any butter or brown sugar. One regular-sized sweet potato will add about 100 calories to your day’s diet – and less than one gram of fat. It’s loaded in Vitamin A and healthy carbs too. 

The soup recipe below also works great if you’ve baked a few extra sweet potatoes. Just skip the boiling part and add the cooked, peeled potatoes when you add the broth. 

Enjoy! 

Texas-Style Sweet Potato Soup 
Serves 6

Ingredients:
5 lb sweet potatoes, cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup pickled sliced jalapenos
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup half-and-half (fat free works too)
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:
Place sweet potato quarters in large pot. Add water to cover, and boil until potatoes are softened. Drain water, and peel potato skins when cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot. Add bacon, onion and garlic. Sauté on medium-low heat until bacon is cooked through. Add chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and puree with a hand blender – or blend in a regular blender in small batches. Stir in jalapenos, cumin, cilantro and half-and-half. Taste for salt and pepper. Heat through and serve warm.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 751, Total Fat: 27.7 g, Sodium 1298 mg, Carbohydrates 111.0 g, Protein: 17.0 g



Product Talk: Miniature Candy Bars


You can’t walk past an end cap in your local Brookshire’s right now without pumping into a boo-tiful display of Halloween candy. Sweet Tarts, lollipops, gummy bears. You name it; you can buy it in bulk right now.

Personally, I go straight for the chocolate and I love the miniature-sized candy bars are the best. Luckily for me, I have one son who loves chocolate, and one who doesn’t, so I have carte blanche to raid his Halloween pumpkin and pillage all the bite-sized Butterfingers and Snickers.

This recipe is a fun way to use leftover Halloween candy. It’s also great for a holiday party or just a wonderful way to use those bulk bags of mini candy bars.

Snickers Puffs (or Milky Way Puffs)

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) can Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls
2 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
4 (snack size) Milky Way or Snickers candy bars

Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp cocoa
2 or 3 tsp milk
Colored sprinkles

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each candy bar in half crosswise. Place one candy piece on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up. Start at shortest side and roll to opposite side. Pinch edges of dough to seal. Dip one side in melted butter. Place rolls point side down in ungreased muffin cups. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Cool slightly.

In small bowl, combine all glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls. Garnish with sprinkles.

Nutritional Information:  Calories 208; Calories from Fat 78; Total Fat 9 g; Saturated Fat 5 g; Cholesterol 11mg; Sodium 212 mg; Total Carbohydrates 30 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 14 g; Protein 4 g;



Product Talk: Autumn’s Perfect Apple Salad


My family has certain must-have foods during the fall season. From pumpkin bread to butternut squash soup, we each have our favorites that rise to the top of the menu when cool weather finally hits our part of the country.

One of our relatively new favorites to enjoy each fall is the Honeycrisp apple. Although they are perfectly delicious eaten by themselves, I like to add them to my green salads for a bit of crunchy sweetness. This recipe is a great combination of spicy pecans, apples and just a tangy mustard vinaigrette.

Enjoy while Honeycrisps are in season!

Green Salad with Honeycrisp Apples and Spicy Pecans 
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 2/3 cups pecan pieces
1 large Honeycrisp apple
2 tsp lemon juice
1 head Boston lettuce, chilled, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 head red leaf lettuce, chilled, torn into bite-sized pieces
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Place butter on baking sheet with sides. Heat in oven until melted. Stir in pecans. Toss together the salt, cinnamon and cayenne, and sprinkle evenly over pecans. Stir to coat pecans. Bake for 15 minutes or until pecans are aromatic and golden brown. Cool in baking sheet on wire rack. To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar and Dijon mustard. Whisk in olive oil, salt and pepper, until slightly thickened. When ready to serve, cut apple into thin slices and sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine lettuces, apples and feta cheese in large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad. Top with spiced pecans.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 400, Total Fat: 39 g, Saturated Fat: 10 g, Sodium 664 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Protein: 7 g.



Product Talk: Butter Toffee Popcorn


I was so excited to find out that Brookshire’s now carries a line of Microwave Popcorn. 

Popcorn is a food group, after all. 

Gracing the shelves of a store near you are now boxes of Original Butter, Extra Butter, 98% Fat Free and Kettle Corn. Popcorn is a great snack at any time and sometimes a meal when the kids aren’t home. Did I say that out loud? Yes, yes I did. 

Fall is one of my favorite times to make toffee popcorn, like caramel corn but with more of a candy coating and buttery flavor. Over the years, I’ve found that microwave popcorn works best for this recipe, as popping your kernels in oil sometimes doesn’t produce a good popcorn for the coating to adhere to. Plus using microwave popcorn makes the whole process faster. 

You can be sure I’ll be stocking up. 

Butter Toffee Popcorn
Serves 8-10 

Ingredients:
2 bags Brookshire’s Original Butter Microwave Popcorn
2 sticks butter
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Grease two large rimmed baking sheets and set aside.

Pop the popcorn according to package directions. Vent bag and let cool.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When melted add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring. Once the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, for 3 minutes. The mixture will be slightly thickened. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will bubble so be careful. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix slightly until the popcorn is evenly coated.

Turn the popcorn out onto the baking sheets, spreading into an even layer. Bake the popcorn for one hour, stirring and tossing every 20 minutes. Move the bottom tray to the upper rack and vice versa each time you stir. The popcorn will deepen in color and harden a bit as the caramel bakes and sets. Cool the popcorn to room temperature. Store in an airtight container. I’ve found the popcorn will keep, stored tightly, for 1-2 weeks. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 386; Calories from Fat 181; Total Fat 20 g;  Cholesterol 49 mg; Sodium 444 mg; Total Carbohydrates 53 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 39 g; Protein 1 g



Product Talk: Spicy Pumpkin Seeds


When picking your pumpkin for Halloween, you might want to select one that is just as delicious to eat as it is scary on your porch! Not surprising, the “Jack-O-Lantern” pumpkin is the perfect one for carving, and if you save the seeds, you can make these delicious Spicy Pumpkin Seeds!

Now I admit, it’s a lot of work to clean and shell those seeds, so you can just as easily pick them up at Brookshire’s – already ready to go!

Another helpful hint for cooking with pumpkins: Look for the “Sugar Pie” pumpkin to make the most delicious bread and pies this holiday season!

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

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
1 tsp Food Club salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs Food Club olive oil
2 cups unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs Food Club sugar

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together salt and cayenne pepper; set aside. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat oil. Add pumpkin seeds and cook for 5 minutes, or until evenly toasted. Seeds should pop. Sprinkle seeds evenly with sugar, salt mix and pepper; mix well. Transfer pumpkin seeds to baking sheet to cool. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information: Calories per serving:  417, Fat: 35 g, Cholesterol, 0 g, Sodium 594 mg, Carbohydrates 16 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 17 g.



Product Talk: Deli and Produce Platters


What do you get when 12 of your closest friends decide to move the football party to your house because the previous hostess had a plumbing leak?

Panic. That’s what you get. Sheer panic.

I know because this happened to me not too long ago.  Luckily, I had about 48 hours advance notice. Unluckily, about 46.5 of those hours were already committed to things other than party preparation.  That’s where Brookshire’s comes in. Let’s be honest: that’s where Brookshire’s saved my sanity.

A quick call to the closest store and I was not only in business, but would be proclaimed the hostess with the mostess after my friends saw the spread.  My secret? Deli and produce platters from your nearest Brookshire’s store.

I ordered the Fruit and Cheese explosion, a beautifully decorated platter chock full of baby Swiss, cheddar, Jackby and Muenster cheeses, green and red grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple and strawberries. It has a little something for everyone.

I also got the Drum Drums, where spicy chicken wing drumettes and crispy celery sticks are lined up and ready to be dipped in creamy ranch dressing.

To round off the meal, I ordered the Rounders, a tray piled high with slightly-sweet Hawaiian rolls filled with turkey breast, cooked ham, roast beef and yellow American cheese.

I could have also chosen from platters of fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, finger sandwiches, sandwiches on buttery croissants, snack wraps, salads, just meats and more. The options are endless and your deli staff can even work with you to create a custom offering.

“How did you pull this off?” my friends wondered.

Easy. Brookshire’s. 



Product Talk: Food Club Black Beans


I love beans. Black beans in particular.  Stop with the jokes. NOW.

Beans are great for protein and lend themselves well to ‘Meatless Monday’ dishes.

Plus they’re just delicious.

This dish combines the hearty flavors of black beans with a southwestern style casserole the whole family is sure to love.

Food Club Black Beans are savory and a great addition to any meal.  In most recipes,  you’re instructed to drain and rinse your black beans. Definitely drain them, but I’d challenge you not to rinse the beans. The residue makes for a thicker sauce.

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

Southwestern Black Bean Casserole
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz) cans Food Club black beans, drained
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
4 low-sodium, whole wheat tortillas OR 6 corn tortillas
12 oz salsa
1 cup shredded 2% cheese
Salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Drain beans and set aside. In the meantime, in a medium skillet, add oil, heat over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add black beans and broth and continue cooking approximately 3 minutes. Add cumin, black pepper, salt and cilantro. Stir to combine.

Spray the bottom of an 8×8 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add a tortilla, ¼ cup black bean mixture, ¼ cup salsa and ¼ cheese; continue layering until all ingredients have been used. Top casserole with remaining  ¼ cup cheese.

Cover casserole dish with foil and bake approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil and continue cooking 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with sour cream, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories 259; Total Fat 5 g; Saturated Fat 2 g; Cholesterol 4 mg; Sodium 436 mg; Carbohydrates 40 g; Dietary Fiber 9 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 12 g



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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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