share. The Brookshire's Blog

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. 



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Famous Fried Chicken!


A few weeks ago I was asked to teach a “simple summer entertaining” cooking class to some ladies from Marvin Methodist Church in Tyler, Texas. We met one evening out at one of the church member’s lake houses. The setting was beautiful, and it was so much fun to cook, eat and talk with women of all ages. 

Some of the ladies and I got to talking about fried chicken, which is not that unusual when it comes to potluck conversation in the South! One thing I noticed was that many of the older ladies talked about how their mothers and grandmothers would fry the Sunday dinner chicken early that morning, cover it with a sheet or paper towel, leave it on the counter, and go to church. 

But most of the women no longer fry their own chicken, especially the younger ones and the ladies cooking for only one or two people. The women mostly said, “We just pick it up at Brookshire’s!” 

Brookshire’s fried chicken gets rave reviews from our customers all across our stores. We have worked hard to perfect our recipe and train our partners in the stores so that you can be certain you will get the same juicy, crispy chicken you’ve come to love – no matter which store you visit! And we keep it at a price point that definitely makes it worth not messing up your clean kitchen! 

Family food traditions are important parts of our memories, but a good tradition doesn’t have to mean you’ve spent early Sunday morning in the kitchen! Just pick it up on your way home from church or work, put it on your own platter, and we’ll keep your secret! 

Enjoy!

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Posted in: Product Talk


Product Talk: Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas


I adore buffalo chicken. I mean, LOVE the stuff. I even have a board on Pinterest called “Ode to Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese.” I like it that much.  So when I was browsing through my local Brookshire’s lately and saw a new product on the shelves, I stopped short.

Knorr has a new Rice Sides flavor called (you guessed it) Buffalo Chicken.  Oh. Happy. Day.

I grabbed it off the shelf and immediately began fantasizing about what I could do with it as soon as I got it home. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was going to make enchiladas with the rice, which cooks in just seven minutes.  I suppose rice isn’t a traditional ingredient in enchiladas, but I like the texture and it helps stretch the recipe to make it more budget-friendly. I like my buffalo chicken spicy, but you can adjust the amount of hot sauce you use according to your taste. Sometimes I actually prepare two batches of filling – one that is spicy enough for me, another that won’t cause complaints from my two boys. I just mark my enchiladas in the pan with tooth picks.

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

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 package (8) Mission 96% Fat-Free Medium Flour Tortillas
1 1/2 lbs Brookshire’s Chicken Breast Tenderloins, trimmed
2 stalks celery, washed and diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 5.3 oz package Knorr Rice Sides, Buffalo Chicken flavor
8 oz Food Club cream cheese
1/2 cup Food Club Chicken Wing Sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles 

Sauce:

1 1/2 Tbs Food Club unsalted butter
3 Tbs Food Club all-purpose flour
1‑1/2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
4 tsp Food Club dry ranch-style salad dressing mix
1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
2 cups (8 oz) Food Club 2% mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside to cook.

In a medium sauce-pan pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, cook the onion, celery and chicken tenderloins until the chicken is cooked through.  When the chicken is cooked, drain fat and add cream cheese to the pan. Return to low heat until cream cheese is soft and melted. Stir in the wing sauce, blue cheese crumbles and rice. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Fill all 8 flour tortillas with chicken mixture, roll and place seam-side down in a 9x 13 baking dish, also sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Using wire whisk, stir in milk; bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in dressing mix and pepper.

Pour over enchiladas in pan. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 436;  Calories from Fat 205;  Total Fat 22.8g;  Cholesterol 116mg; Sodium 961mg; Total Carbohydrates 24.3g; Dietary Fiber 1.9g; Sugars 4.5g; Protein 31.9g.



Product Talk: Naturally Nutritious Pistachios


Pistachios are addictive, but the good news is that among nuts, pistachios are one of the most nutritious. A one-ounce serving of pistachios, gives you a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. But if you are like me, I have a hard time stopping once I get started popping those little nuts into my mouth. 

At 170-calories a serving, if I am not careful I might have several servings before realizing what I’ve eaten! This past weekend, I tried to think of some new ways to enjoy my cravings for pistachios while making sure I don’t eat the whole bag! This delicious recipe for Chicken with Pistachio Pesto Pasta uses one cup of pistachios, spreading out the calories and fat without sacrificing any flavor. It’s different and perfect served warm…and tasted equally as good when I ate it cold straight from the fridge late one night when I needed a bedtime snack.  It would also be great for your summer picnic table. 

Enjoy! 

Chicken with Pistachio Pesto Pasta
Serves 4-6 

For the pesto: 

Ingredients:
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup crushed pistachios
1/2 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/4 cup packed parsley leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper 

For the chicken and pasta: 

Ingredients:
16 oz uncooked bowtie pasta
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped 

Directions:
For the pesto, combine Parmesan cheese, pistachios, olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor and process to a thick paste. Set aside ½ cup of the pesto for this recipe and freeze the rest for future use.

For the chicken and pasta, cook bowtie according to package directions, and drain. Combine olive oil, vinegar and garlic salt in a skillet. Add chicken and cook until cooked through and no longer pink. 

Combine pasta and chicken in a large serving bowl. Add pesto and toss to coat well. Serve immediately. 

Nutritional Information:  Calories per Serving: 790, Fat: 41.6 g (8.4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 517 mg, Carbohydrates: 64.8 g, Fiber: 5.2 g, Protein: 42.6 g.



Product Talk: Cream Cheese


I love cream cheese.

I REALLY love cream cheese. In fact, I consider it a food group unto itself. I even have a board on Pinterest titled, “Ode to Cream Cheese.”

Someday, I plan to write the definitive cream cheese cookbook. There’s no time like the present to get started.

Cream cheese is made from un-skimmed milk enriched with additional cream. In the refrigerated section of Brookshire’s stores, you can find full-fat, one-third less fat and fat-free varieties of the lovely white stuff. It comes flavored, whipped, herbed and fruited. You can buy it in a brick or in a tub. The options are endless but the taste is ever-so-delicious.

Of course I like to eat cream cheese on a bagel (sesame, toasted). I also like to use it as a party spread, simply placing a block of cream cheese on a chilled platter and topping it with hot pepper jelly and serving with crackers. I use a thin spread of cream cheese in place of shredded cheese on a grilled pizza, under fresh tomato and fresh basil. And I cook with it every chance I get. My kids’ favorite slow cooker meal uses cream cheese: Place four frozen chicken breasts, one can of drained black beans, one 12-ounce bag of frozen corn, one jar of salsa, one jar of salsa verde and one block of cream cheese in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.

But usually my favorite cream cheese recipes involve desserts. I made this dish for a cook-out last weekend. Keep it refrigerated until time to serve and it’s even better the second day.

Cream Cheese Dream

Makes one 9×13 pan
Serves one (if it’s me), or about 12

Crust:
Ingredients:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick Food Club butter, softened
1 cup Food Club all purpose flour

First Layer:
Ingredients:
1 cup Food Club powdered sugar
1 cup Food Club whipped topping (from a large container)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Second and Third layers:
Ingredients:
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding
2 cups milk

Directions:
Mix together first three ingredients and press in ungreased 9 x 13 glass pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Mix together next three ingredients and spread on cool crust.

Beat together vanilla pudding and one cup milk  and chocolate pudding and one cup milk and spread on as two creamy layers.

Cover top with the rest of the whipped topping. Refrigerate.

Variations:
•Use pistachio and chocolate puddings.
•Top layer of whipped topping with Heath Bar bits, crushed Butterfinger candy bars, mini-chocolate chips, peanuts, sprinkles or whatever you like.
•Substitute chocolate-flavored whipped topping for regular on top of the dessert.
•Use chocolate milk for an extra chocolate kick.
•Add a third layer of pudding in your choice of flavor.



Product Talk: Summer Refresher


Bananas might not be the first ingredient you think of using when it comes to making a refreshing batch of frozen margaritas, but after my first one last month, I’m a big fan!

Our corporate chef, Glenn Terrell, is a magician when it comes to creating wonderful flavor combinations, such as his Cucumber-Jalapeno margarita and this delicious Banana Margarita.

The ingredients in this recipe are not classic margarita flavors, as Glenn has added the creaminess of coconut milk and a hint of vanilla to make it more of an island-inspired tequila concoction.

I served these wonderful drinks with fish tacos and homemade chips and guacamole. It was the perfect end to a summer day!

Enjoy!

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

Banana Margarita

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 vanilla bean
3 oz tequila
2 oz triple sec
2 oz coconut milk
4 large bananas
1/2 (12 oz) can frozen limeade concentrate
6 cups ice
Coarse sugar for rimming glasses

Directions:
Scrape vanilla bean into blender along with remaining ingredients, except sugar and 1 banana for garnish. Blend until frozen consistency. Add sugar to rims of glasses. Pour margarita into glasses and garnish with a sliced banana.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Product Talk: Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil


I have a confession to make: I have lived in Texas for 15 years and I lived in parts of Louisiana for four years as a child and I have NEVER been to a shrimp boil.

Since it’s almost an official state pastime, I’ve been more-than-a-little embarrassed over my lack of shrimp-boiling prowess. I decided summertime was the perfect time to rectify that problem.

First stop: Brookshire’s for Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil, gorgeous 16/20 shrimp in the shells, earthy red potatoes and bright ears of corn on the cob. Let me just tell you, I love me some Zatarain’s. And while I’m at it, I have another confession: I always thought my mom’s red beans and rice was the best in the universe, but Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice gives it a run for its money! (Please don’t tell my mom). So it was practically a no-brainer to use a Zatarain’s product for my first shrimp boil.

Second stop: My very own kitchen to dig out my beautiful blue and white enamel stock pot, the one I’d use if ever called upon to cook for a small army.

I was ready.

The Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab boil is exactly as its name promises: a concentrated, spicy blend of red pepper, bay, clove, black pepper, thyme, marjoram and other spices. It comes in an 8-ounce bottle and you really only need a capful per two quarts of water, unless you really want to spice up your party. It’s easy to use and you don’t need any other spices or flavorings.

A shrimp boil is an extremely quick, easy party meal and fun for the whole family. I’d recommend spreading newspaper out on your table so you can dig in and enjoy your shrimp and not worry about the mess!

Southern Shrimp Boil

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
2 quarts water
2 Tbs salt (optional)
2 lbs large shrimp with shells on (21 to 30 count)
4 ears of corn on the cob, shucked and sliced in half
8 red potatoes, whole
1 lb cooked smoked sausage (optional)
2 tsp Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil

Directions:
Bring water and salt to boil in large stock pot.
Add potatoes and corn, cook for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Stir in shrimp, sausage if using, and Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil. Return to boil; cover. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat. Let stand 2 minutes. Drain well. 



PRODUCT TALK: Blueberry Crumble


Blueberries are bursting with flavor and are in peak season across the South right now.

When my boys were younger, we’d go pick blueberries straight from the bushes, eating as many as we bagged to bring home (blueberry bushes are naturally insect repellent, so farmers rarely use pesticides on them and you can eat while you pick). These days, I live within walking distance of a Brookshire’s store, so at the beginning of the summer, I walk straight to the store and buy pints of the beautiful, juicy berries.

One of my favorite things to make with them is a blueberry crumble. I have to admit, I love the brown sugar crust almost as much as the sweet, gooey filling. My mom had the best crumble recipe. In fact, I remember emailing her, asking for it, the day before I ran my first staff meeting as the supervisor to three other employees, some 11 years ago. I planned to serve it warm, with a healthy dose of re-organization.

She emailed back the recipe, adding, “You’re a good boss, Amy.”

I didn’t know about all that. My strategy was to earn my way into their professional hearts through their stomachs. It must have worked; we remain friends to this day and when I left the company some time later, they all paid me kind compliments that had nothing to do with my culinary skills. Apparently the Blueberry Crumble – or the massive reorganization of the department – must not have been too bad. 

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

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE 

Ingredients:
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 Tbs lemon juice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:
Spread blueberries in square, 8 x8 baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix remaining ingredients, sprinkle over berries.

Heat oven to 375 F. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is light brown and berries are hot. Delicious served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.



Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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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