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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



Product Talk: Barbecue Seasoning


Last night I got home from work late, as it is more often than not these days. I didn’t want to cook anything, but I’d already eaten my way through all the leftovers I had from earlier in the week. 

I stopped by Brookshire’s on my way home because I knew that I’d find something delicious in their prepared foods department. But I found myself wandering over to the butcher and meat counter to see what they had. 

As always, they had a bounty of delicious looking, ready-to-cook meats. I saw one I didn’t know anything about, so I asked the very helpful gentleman behind the counter. 

“Can you tell me about that one,” I said, pointing to a scrumptious looking roll of chicken and bacon. 

“That,” he said, “Is the Chicken Tickler.” 

I laughed. (Good name) 

“It’s a butterflied boneless, skinless chicken breast, wrapped around a whole jalapeno pepper stuffed with cheese, and rolled up, covered in barbecue seasoning and then wrapped in bacon on the outside.” 

I was sold.  But I’d never heard of barbecue seasoning. Sauce? Yes. Seasoning, not really. 

McCormick’s Grill Mates indeed has a spice they call “Barbecue Seasoning.” The helpful gentleman behind the meat counter took me to correct aisle and showed me. 

It’s a blend of  brown sugar, salt, tomato, garlic, onion, red bell peppers, parsley, paprika and hickory smoke. 

Let me just tell you, it was delicious on the baked Chicken Tickler and I bought some to use to flavor all my meats when I grill them. It’s a brilliant way to season your meat before adding barbecue sauce at the end of the grilling process (if you add sauce too early, it will just burn). Found on the spice aisle, and on delicious ready-to-cook products on the meat counter, McCormick’s Grill Mates Barbecue Seasoning is sure to become one of my new favorites.



Product Talk: Back-to-School Healthier Pancakes


You don’t automatically think of pancakes as one of our healthier breakfast choices, but think again! These fruity, nutty pancakes are packed with flavor – and nutrition. We played around in the kitchen until we came up with the perfect combination of oats and whole-wheat flour to give your morning a delicious start, not to mention extra fiber and heart health! 

So why the whole-wheat flour? Changing from white to whole-wheat adds extra wholesomeness and whole grains to your daily diet, something we all need to do for better digestive and heart health. 

And the good news, these are kid-friendly. Adding bananas and berries to the batter make each bite sweet and tangy. If your kids don’t like the texture of the oats, simply process them in your blender or food processor for about 30 seconds before mixing with the flour. 

Back-to-School Healthier Pancakes 

Ingredients:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 cup fat-free milk
1 egg or egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries 

Directions:
Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to medium heat. In a bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, oats, almonds, baking powder and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix mashed bananas with milk, egg (or substitute) and vanilla extract. Combine with dry ingredients, and stir until smooth. Gently fold in berries. Spray heated griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into skillet, about ¼ cup at a time. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping when bubbles start to form.

Nutritional Information: Per Serving (2 pancakes): Calories: 330; Fat: 8 g; Carbohydrates: 57 g; Fiber: 8 g; Protein: 11 g



Product Talk: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


Today is Labor Day, the last official holiday of the summer.

What better way to celebrate than with a batch of homemade ice cream you don’t even need any special equipment to make? Just remember to start this recipe a day ahead to give it time to freeze.

This ice cream is made with Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Sweetened condensed milk is cow’s milk from which the water has been removed, with sugar added. Sweetened condensed milk is a very thick, sweet product which, when canned, can last for years without refrigeration if unopened.

Use Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk to make this tasty holiday treat today.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 oz Food Club cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) Food Club Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/3 cup Food Club heavy whipping cream
2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
3 Food Club honey graham crackers, coarsely chopped 

Directions:
Mix first four ingredients with mixer until blended. Freeze 4 hours or until almost solid.

Beat the cream cheese mixture until smooth and creamy. Blend strawberries in a blender until s mooth. Add to cream cheese mixture with chopped graham crackers. Mix well. Freeze 8 hours until firm.

Remove dessert from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories 382; Calories from Fat 153; Total Fat 17g; Cholesterol 63mg; Sodium 220mg; Total Carbohydrates 51g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 47g; Protein 9g

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Posted in: Product Talk


Product Talk: Turkey Roll Ups


Turkey lunchmeat always reminds me of school lunches. 

My mom would make the best turkey sandwiches for my Holly Hobbie metal lunchbox. I don’t really know if putting lunchmeat on white bread with mustard constitutes making a great sandwich, but I do know it was always one of my favorites. 

Turkey sandwiches remain my favorite to this day. I’ve discovered the quality of the turkey lunchmeat you buy definitely does make for a better sandwich. I love Brookshire’s Hickory Smoked turkey breast. The flavor of the tender lunch meat is enhanced by the hickory smoke. 

I don’t always take a turkey sandwich with me to work (and I don’t carry a Holly Hobbie lunch kit any more either) but I love to use turkey in these delicious roll-ups for dinners. Leftovers ARE great for lunches! 

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

Turkey Roll Ups 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 burrito-sized flour tortillas
1 lb Brookshire’s Hickory Smoked turkey breast
8 Tbs Food Club cream cheese, flavored with onions and chive
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 Tbs olive oil

Directions:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook over medium heat until onion begins carmelizes, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Spread each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, top with one-fourth of the turkey breast, two strips of bacon and one-fourth of the carmelized onions. 

Roll up and enjoy! 

Nutritional Information: Calories 614; Calories from Fat 299; Total Fat 33g; Cholesterol 100mg; Sodium 2493mg; Total Carbohydrates ; 39g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 3g; Protein 35g



Product Talk Monday: Cookie Cake


My younger son’s birthday is coming up in just over a week and, as always, he’s requested a giant chocolate chip cookie cake.   

Brookshire’s bakery cookie cakes have become the birthday celebration staple in our house. Both of my sons ask for them every year and, truth be told, we sometimes eat cookie cake for birthday breakfasts.  

The cookie cakes are generously sized and we’re able to feed our family, plus birthday guests with one or two cakes. The friendly staff at Brookshire’s bakery has always helped me get just the cake my boys want. Last year, Luke wanted a soccer cookie cake. Curt chose primary colors with EXTRA icing and sprinkles for his 10th birthday last January.  

The cookies are deliciously chewy and chock full of chocolate chips. You can get icing in any color or colors with sprinkles and candy confections if that’s what your heart desires. They’ll also write a message on the cake. My boys love seeing their names in sugary icing.  

The only thing wrong with Brookshire’s cookie cakes is that they disappear too quickly in my house. 

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Posted in: Kids, Product Talk


Product Talk: Fat-Free Half and Half


The definition of an oxymoron is, “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words.” For example, “pretty ugly” and “jumbo shrimp” are both oxymorons. 

I haven’t thought of the term “oxymoron” in years – maybe since my English major days at Baylor – until the other day strolling the dairy aisle to pick up a pint of “fat-free half-and-half.” 

Regular half-and-half contains half milk and half cream, which makes it usually about 12 percent butterfat. To make the half-and-half fat-free, dairies replace the fat with other ingredients (such as corn syrup and other thickeners) that “feel” like the fattening version. 

I have used fat-free half-and-half in my coffee for years, and I don’t miss the fat one bit. However, I have been reluctant to try it in actual cooking, as I haven’t had great luck with using modified versions of fattening foods when it comes to baking or making sauces. 

The other day I decided to make these Green Chile and Egg Cups, a healthful morning “muffin” recipe my mother had given me. She adapted it from a South Beach Diet recipe, which called for the fat-free half and half. They are delicious and you won’t miss the fat one bit. 

To make them even more healthful, use egg whites or an egg substitute in place of whole eggs. Sometimes I also throw in a handful of whatever leftover vegetables I might have on hand, such as chopped spinach, tomatoes, peppers or onions. 

Enjoy! 

Green Chile and Cheese Egg Muffins 
Makes 12

Ingredients:
12 eggs
1 (4-oz) can diced green chiles
1 1/2 cups grated low-fat cheddar cheese
2 Tbs fat-free half and half
1 tsp seasoned salt
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray baking cups with nonstick spray. In each muffin cup put a very generous pinch of grated cheese. The muffin cup should be about 2/3 full of cheese before you put the egg in.

Break eggs into bowl, add half and half if using, and beat well. Add spices and green chiles, and mix into eggs.

Pour egg mixture over cheese so each muffin cup liner is full. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until all muffins are puffed up and the top is starting to brown.

Egg muffins will keep in the freezer for a month or in the fridge for one week. To reheat, put on small plate and microwave on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Check carefully, as if you overcook they will be rubbery.  

Nutritional Information:  Calories Per Serving: 123, Total Fat: 9.1g, Saturated Fat: 4.3g, Sodium 1567 mg, Carbohydrates15.3, Fiber: 5.3g, Protein: 9.1g



Product Talk: Northwest Cherries


I used to have a very strict “no fruit and meat” policy.  In other words, I wouldn’t mix fruits and meats of any kind. And then I tried a raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce on pork tenderloin and I became a convert. The acidity in fruit actually complements most meats and proteins brilliantly, tenderizing them to mouth-watering morsels. 

The stunning array of flavors you can get with oranges, pineapples, limes, lemons and berries is amazing.  So when I saw a recipe for a cherry sauce that was savory and slightly spicy, I knew I had to try it.

Cherries are my favorite summer fruit but they aren’t in season for very long. Usually they’re on the Brookshire’s shelves from June to the end of August. This is a fun way to use cherries in something other than a dessert and I like this sauce because it combines the sweet and the spicy.

Spicy Cherry Sauce

Adapted from www.nwcherries.com

Ingredients:
3 cups pitted, fresh sweet cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 Tbs local honey
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp crushed, dried red ancho chiles
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Tbs oregano

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in heavy saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 30 minutes or until mixture thickens; stir frequently.

Serve as a sauce on baked or grilled chicken, fish or pork. If using it with a grilled meat, apply during the last minute or two of cooking so the sauce doesn’t scorch.

Nutritional Information: Calories 104; Total Fat, 1g; Carbohydrates 22g; Protein 1g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Fiber 2 g; Sodium 154 mg. 



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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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