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Product Talk: Puff Pastry


What’s light as a feather, crispy as a cracker and oh-so-impressive to serve? The answer: Anything made with puff pastry! Puff pastry is a simple idea: layers of very-thinly rolled dough, layered with butter. As it bakes, the layers puff and the result is amazing. Making puff pastry from scratch is no easy task, but lucky for us, puff pastry is available at your local Brookshire’s. Look in the freezer case, near the Cool Whip and frozen fruit.

Have you ever had croissants? That’s puff pastry—all those wonderfully crisp and buttery layers. But did you know it’s as simple to make as rolling out pop-n-fresh dinner rolls? Seriously! And when something is simple, impressive and delicious, it’s the perfect choice for a kids-can-help food.

Thaw the dough in the fridge overnight, or on the countertop for 30 minutes. Unfold, roll out just a bit and then go to town. Add a filling and roll up, or cut into shapes and place yummy ingredients (sweet or savory) on top. Bake 20 minutes and you’re ready!

So what can you make with puff pastry? Pop bits of dough into muffin tins, and fill with taco meat for Mexi-puffs. Rollup ground beef, bacon and cheddar, and slice into rounds. Bake and call them Bacon Chedder Rounds. Bake squares of pastry and then top with cream cheese and smoked salmon…or ham and cheese. Wrap a thin strip of puff pastry around a stalk of asparagus and bake….the possibilities are limited only by your creativity. Kids can fill their dough with pizza toppings, sloppy joes and anything else they like.

I like to use puff pastry in place of pie crust when making chicken pot pies. Yummy, crispy golden goodness! Or make a puff pastry pizza…….or cut into small squares and enclose chocolate kisses in each. See what I mean? It’s awesome stuff! At Valentine’s Day, you can cut out heart-shaped pieces, bake and then layer with ice cream and canned cherry pie filling.

Okay, I’ll stop. The rest is up to you, though. Go to www.puffpastry.com for lots more ideas!



Product Talk: Granola Bars


It’s just a general term. Granola bars often don’t really contain granola. They may be cereal, fruit and pasty or even a meal replacement, but we lump them all into the category of granola bars.

Because there are so many different types of bars in this category, it’s hard to compare them and come up with the best ones for your family.

You can start, though, by determining what you want this bar to do for you. Do you want it to replace a meal or just help you make it from midday till lunch? Is it more like a dessert, or more like a high-protein snack? Once you determine what you need, it’s easier to determine which products to buy.

If you’re after a healthy, all-purpose snack bar, look at the nutrition facts panel on the package. If it has less than 6 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber, it’s a pretty healthy choice. If you’re looking for a high-protein meal replacement, go for something that offers 10 or more grams of protein. And for a sweet treat or dessert? You’ve got a lot of leeway on that one. Go with whatever suits your fancy!

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Product Talk: Disinfectant Wipes


Nobody needs to remind you that it’s cold and flu season. And most definitely, nobody needs to remind you that the H1N1 virus (formerly known as swine flu) is causing a panic around the world.

Whether or not you’ve had a flu shot, everyone’s awareness about germs has been raised this year. I keep a pump bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk, and lots of people pop in and use it. Here’s another way you can keep germs at bay: disinfectant wipes. They come in pop-up containers and individually wrapped packets.

The whole point is to clear away germs in a way that hand sanitizer and spray can’t. Disposable wipes have direct contact with surfaces and can give you peace of mind when you’re around germ-y areas: public waiting rooms, hotels, rest rooms and all around the house.

Because they’re portable, you can keep one with you at all times—because you never know when a contagious person may have been one step ahead of you.

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Product Talk: Achoo! Facial Tissues


If there’s one product to stock up on this time of year, it might be facial tissues. Cold and flu season brings runny and stuffy noses, coughs and sneezes. And the best way to fight them is with tissues.

Children can have a tough time learning the art of blowing their noses. Think about it: could you write down the steps, one at a time for successfully carrying out the mission? It’s a lot more complicated than you might think.

Blowing your nose isn’t the same as dabbing. When you blow, you really shouldn’t blow hard out of both nostrils at once. That can actually send bacteria into nasal passages. Instead, close one nostril by pressing a finger against one side of your nose; then blow gently out the open nostril.

Tissue etiquette says you should throw tissues away after use, and follow that with a thorough hand-washing (or application of antibacterial gel). Etiquette also says you should turn away from a group of people and try not to blow your nose at the dinner table.

Next time you’re shopping, pick up a few extra boxes of tissue. Chances are, if the cold or flu strikes, you won’t want to hurry out and shop for supplies. Stock up now—better safe than sorry!

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Product Talk: Disposable Diapers


So how do you go about choosing the best disposable diapers for your baby? There are several things to keep in mind: 

  • Fit: check the leg gathers and elasticity. Nobody wants a leaking diaper, but also, nobody wants one that pinches or irritates.
  • Dryness: varies by brand.
  • Fastening tabs: tape or Velcro should be easy to use, and re-sealable.
  • Boy vs Girl: some diapers have specially designed diapers for each gender. The absorbent padding is strategically placed.
  • Size: diapers come in several sizes, and packages come in sizes, too.
  • Cost: this can vary greatly!
  • Color and design: not necessary, but often preferred

A disposable diaper has a soft, cloth-like, waterproof outside. Inside there is a moisture-wicking layer, and an absorbent gel inner core.

That gel inner core can sometimes cause problems. If babies don’t feel wet, they don’t fuss. Sitting too long in a wet diaper can cause diaper rashes. Sometimes a less-absorbent diaper is better!

How many diapers do you use each day? Generally speaking, newborns go through 10 to 12; infants use 8 to 10 a day; toddlers use 6 to 8 and potty-learning children can still use 4 to 6 diapers every day. That’s a lot of diaper changing! No wonder disposables are so popular; the convenience alone is significant!

At Brookshire’s our store brand diapers, TopCare, are guaranteed. You’ll get your money back if you’re not pleased with their performance!



Product Talk: It’s Bacon!!


Actually, it’s not. It’s not really bacon, but if you’re trying to watch your diet, it’s the next best thing. Bacon Salt, from J&D’s, is a seasoned salt that tastes deliciously bacon-y. It comes in several varieties (regular, hickory and peppered) and a sprinkle on top of a ground turkey burger will make you think you’re having a double-bacon burger deluxe.

The only caution to advise is that it IS salt, so it IS high in sodium. Other than that, it’s fat-free, cholesterol-free and zero calories. Now THAT’s what bacony goodness is all about!

You’ll find J&D’s Bacon Salt in the spices and seasonings section of Brookshire’s.



Product Talk: Rice


What’s this week’s four-letter word? RICE. Yes, rice. Talk about plain and simple, rice can do just about anything, and there are more varieties of rice than you can shake a stick at. Brown rice, white rice, wild rice, long grain, short grain….the list goes on and on.

For most of us, the first decision is white rice versus brown rice. Brown rice is whole-grain rice, and the white version had much of the extra nutrition removed—very similar to how bread has white and whole-grain brown types. White rice cooks a little faster, but brown rice is healthier and only take about 5minutes longer to cook.

Check the package of every rice variety for cooking proportions, but much of the time, it’s two or three to one; that is, two or three parts water to one part rice. Some use a bit more or less, so read the label the first time. Rice does best when the water is brought to a boil; rice added; returned to a simmer; cover and simmer until water has been absorbed.

Once cooked, refrigerate rice in a covered container. It also freezes well. Spread it on a baking sheet, in a single layer. Freeze and then transfer to a freezer bag where you can remove as much as you need at a time. This is almost instant rice!

Have you ever made fried rice? It’s nice and simple. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and a cup each of shredded carrots, frozen peas and leftover chicken. Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of cooked rice and add soy sauce tot taste. Serve throughout and serve! (Don’t forget the chop sticks.)

Or how about green rice salad? Mix 1 ½ cups cooked rice, 1 cup thawed green peas, ¼ cup chopped parsley and about 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing. Mix and serve!

Rice has lots of carbohydrates, which makes it a good energy source. Brown rice has more complex carbohydrates, due to the whole-grained nature of it. Diabetics need to watch how much rice they eat, because of their concerns with carbohydrate balancing. People on a gluten-free diet can enjoy rice in place of pasta!



Product Talk: School Supplies


Now that school is well underway, you and your children have most likely settled into a routine. It’s amazing how that routine flows pretty smoothly until a sudden disruption throws life into chaos. How often do you get the last-minute news that your child needs to turn in a special project the next day? Maybe it’s the science club volcano or the map of Peru….but regardless, when that call goes out for the super-duper project, it’s the parents who snap to attention and make it all happen. 

The next time you’re on special-project alert, stop by our stores and see what materials we have to help you and your child come out on top. And to get the jump on those last-minute assignments, you can stock up while you’re picking up groceries. A pair of scissors, some poster board, colored pencils and report folders….they’re all right here. Won’t your young student be surprised when you calmly pull out the supplies, instead of panicking? Hey, that’s what parents are for!

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Product Talk: Pacifiers


Back when you and I were babies, there wasn’t much variety when it came to pacifiers. Nowadays, though, there’s just about any option you want to consider: orthodontically shaped ones that help tooth and jaw development, flavored ones that please the palate, color-coordinated passies that match outfits (don’t forget the matching pacifier clip!), and even models that automatically close when dropped (to control germs).

With all those choices, what’s a parent to do? Despite the many options in pacifiers in 2009, it still all comes down to one main factor: what does your baby like? Each baby has individual preferences and if they spit out the pacifier, it isn’t going to do much good, now, is it? Finding the perfect passie is going to take some trial and effort, and once you find it, take a tip from an experienced mom: buy lots of them! The last thing you need is to have a fussy baby and no pacifier in sight.

Did you know that pacifiers actually come in sizes? There’s one size for newborns, another for ages 6 to 18 months and one for babies older than 18 months. When selecting a pacifier, think of your baby’s safety, also. The best models are one piece, with the nipple and base firmly attached. If you get a pacifier with several parts, it could come apart and pose a choking hazard.

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Posted in: Baby, Product Talk


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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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