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Product Talk: Winter Oreos


Winter OreosI’m a sucker for a holiday spin on an everyday product.

Oreos are no exception.

I mean, who doesn’t love the Oreo? I love it even more with red cream sandwiched between the chocolate wafers. Admittedly, it doesn’t taste any differently than the regular cream, but it’s so much more festive with the holiday look.

Nabisco took it a step further by stamping four, fun winter shapes into the chocolate wafers: a penguin, a snowman, a snowflake and ice skates.

The Winter Oreo will be available for the next several weeks, according to the Nabisco website. I’m going to stock up to keep the spirit bright all winter long.

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Product Talk: Clementines


ClementinesI was thrilled to walk into Brookshire’s last week and see a bag of tiny, tender, juicy clementines!

I love this winter citrus and so do my kids (they’re so perfect for school lunches).

A clementine is sort of a cross between a tangerine and an orange. It’s Spanish in origin and features a dark, glossy orange skin that is easy to peel with super-juicy segments inside.

Less acidic than oranges, a clementine is very sweet and sometimes hard to distinguish from a mandarin orange.

At only 35 calories per fruit, it provides 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

One of the greatest things to do with a clementine this time of year is to peel it, eat the flesh and simmer the peel, along with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, in some water on your stove for a wintry aroma.



Product Talk: Brookshire’s Cake Mix Pancakes


Brookshire’s Cake Mix PancakesWhen you are me, the likelihood of having a Pinterest win is just as likely as a Pinterest fail, as was the case on recent weekend mornings. My sons love pancakes. Pancakes (sometimes waffles) are their most-requested weekend breakfast, hands down.

We’ve made chocolate chip pancakes, blueberry, strawberry and pumpkin. Then, feeling confident, I tried cinnamon swirl pancakes because I saw them on Pinterest, and they looked so easy. The pancakes were delicious, but they were an epic fail in execution. My cinnamon sugar didn’t set correctly, and it certainly didn’t swirl beautifully into my batter. However, they still tasted great, and, most importantly, the boys loved them.

When I saw another clever pancake hack on Pinterest, I thought it looked easier than swirling cinnamon sugar into our pancakes. Turns out, it was! Who knew using a Brookshire’s cake mix for something other than cake would yield such delicious results?

Using a Brookshire’s Devil’s Food Cake Mix, we made the boys’ favorite pancakes to date. My mom teased me that it was really cake in the shape of pancakes, but call it what you will; they were delicious (they’d make a good dessert, too). We used Devil’s Food (boys’ choice), but these would also be delicious with yellow cake or spice cake).

Cake Mix Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 box Brookshire’s Devil’s Food Cake Mix (or your choice of flavor)
1 cup milk
1 egg

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together until a thick batter forms. This will be thicker than regular pancake batter, but you still want it to be pourable. Heat a griddle sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to medium heat. Drop 4 heaping tablespoons of batter onto the hot griddle. It will spread, so give yourself plenty of space. Cook on first side until spatula easily slides under cake (the chocolate will burn easily, so watch it closely). Flip and continue to cook through. Remove and serve immediately with butter, syrup or powdered sugar.

Makes 12 pancakes

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 101, Calories from Fat: 23, Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 212 mg, Potassium: 17 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Product Talk: Back to Nature Granola


Back to Nature GranolaOne of my favorite cereals growing up was granola. I loved the crunch, the flavors and everything about it.

It wasn’t until I got older that my hopes and dreams about the “healthy” cereal I was eating were dashed. It was high in fat, not good fat either, but bad fats like hydrogenated oils. It was high in sugar, not natural sugars either. It was high in calories, carbohydrates and pretty much everything it shouldn’t have been.

Recently, I found Back to Nature Granola at Brookshire’s. Made with all-natural ingredients, Back to Nature Granola is granola how it was intended to be! You can read, pronounce and recognize all the ingredients on the label, and it’s delicious as well as nutritious!

My favorite, Pecan Cranberry, contains whole-grain rolled oats, whole-grain wheat, brown sugar, dried cranberries, oat fiber, brown rice flour, safflower oil, pecans, whey, dried apples, brown rice syrup, dried coconut, naturally-milled cane sugar and vitamin E to help protect natural flavor.

The granola also comes in Classic, Chocolate Delight, Apple Blueberry, Vanilla Almond Agave, Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds, Almond Chia, Banana Walnut, Apple Cinnamon, Orange Crunch and Maple Pecan.

I love it mixed in with vanilla Greek yogurt!



Product Talk: Spontex One-Use Disposable Gloves


Spontex One-Use Disposable GlovesI was never the type for wearing dishwashing gloves. While I know they go a long way in keeping your hands soft and supple, and protecting your jewelry and nails, but to me, it was just too much hassle to pull them on and off, dry them, store them, etc.

However, there is definitely a time and place for protecting your hands from household tasks.
Case in point: Cleaning the boys’ bathroom.

This weekend, we had the additional task of having to remove an old toilet seat and replace it with a shiny, new (CLEAN) one. While we do clean the bathroom on a regular basis, the nuts and bolts of the toilet seat are a place that the boys clearly overlooked in the cleaning process.

Gloves to the rescue.

These close-fitting, sturdy, durable gloves allowed us to maneuver the nuts and bolts easily to remove the seat without getting our hands messy.

Now, my boys want to wear them for ALL the bathroom cleaning needs.

I also used them this week when I needed to clean something with bleach and didn’t want to get it all over my hands.

Inexpensive, disposable and oh-so-hygienic, these gloves now have a permanent place in my cleaning cabinet!

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Product Talk: Alpine Spiced Apple Cider


Alpine Spiced Apple CiderLast week, Texas got rain for the first time in four months.

As with everything, we do it bigger in Texas. We didn’t just get a little rain; we got inches upon inches upon inches. I’m not sure of the final tally, but it was somewhere between a drizzle and build-an-ark.

Needless to say, last week was swampy. Your clothes never completely dried out between mad dashes to your car from the office or into Brookshire’s. Your feet were never warm, and there was no point in even trying to fix your hair.

But suddenly, there was sunshine in a mug! A co-worker brought Alpine Spiced Apple Cider drink mix to work, and we made steaming cups full of fall-scented goodness.

Caffeine-free and fortified with vitamin C, Alpine Spiced Apple Cider is a blend of apples and cinnamon that can be served hot or cold. The sugar-free variety has only 15 calories! We had the traditional, but I’d love to go back and try the Pumpkin Spice as well.

In single-serving pouches, a mug of warm cider was easy to prepare, but the process could be made even easier with single-serve cups for single-serve coffee machines.

It was so good that I braved the weather that evening to stop at Brookshire’s to buy some for my family, too.

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Product Talk: Bigelow Teas


Bigelow TeasIt is a salted caramel tea morning if there ever was one!

It’s drizzly, foggy, overcast, dank and dark, and I couldn’t wait to get to work and brew a cup of Salted Caramel Tea from Bigelow.

Or, maybe it will be Pumpkin Spice or Apple Cider Tea. I’ll decide when I get there; I have a whole stash in a basket in the work kitchen.

Bigelow Teas are comfort in a little bag that blossoms when you steep it in just-under-boiling water (you want your water to actually come to a boil when you make tea, as that helps to oxygenate your water and bring out the full flavor of your tea).

Each Bigelow tea bag is sealed inside a foil bag for optimal freshness, and is made with the freshest of ingredients to give you full flavor and lots of health benefits.

Tea healthy? You betcha. Teas are filled with antioxidants, the kinds of things you need to fight cancer. Tea helps protect against heart disease and high blood pressure. It also gives your brain a boost (maybe I should start having a cup at around 3pm when I start to tank every afternoon).

Best of all, it’s just delicious. Bigelow Teas come in so many varieties that you’re bound to find at least one you love. I just came off of a peach tea kick, which I drank either hot or cold all summer.
Find a great selection at your nearest Brookshire’s.

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Product Talk: Kiwi Berries


Kiwi BerriesPaul and I went shopping in Brookshire’s yesterday, and as we were almost finished and headed to the checkout, Paul wanted to go back to the produce section one more time. “I have to see if they have something,” he said.

He was looking for kiwi berries, a fruit I’d never seen before.

They look like a large grape and taste like a kiwi (without the fuzzy skin). They are delicious, and Paul eats them like candy. In fact, he said they usually don’t make it home from the grocery store. I think the only reason they did yesterday was that we wanted to share them with my older son who LOVES kiwi.

These are great for school lunches because I’ve been sending him with a whole kiwi and a plastic knife and spoon to eat it with (he cuts the kiwi in half horizontally and scoops out the green insides with his spoon), but schools these days frown upon knives of any kind, even the plastic ones. With kiwi berries, he can just pop them into his mouth!

Kiwi berries are high in vitamin C and naturally low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also high in fiber and a great source of potassium, vitamin E and magnesium. Kiwi berries are nutritionally dense and considered a super-food.

Kiwi berries should be stored in a cool, dry place and eaten soon after purchasing. Get them while you see them because their season is very short.



Product Talk: Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark


Dark Chocolate PuddingHershey’s Cocoa has been a baking staple since the first Hershey’s factory was erected in 1903! For more than 100 years, we’ve been enjoying the rich flavors of Hershey’s Cocoa.

Who doesn’t love a delicious brownie, or a mug of steaming hot chocolate? I know I do. However, I’m partial to a dark chocolate, with a higher cacao ratio.

Hershey’s now makes their cocoa in a Special Dark variety, and let me tell you, it is spectacular. The formula, which is 100% cacao, is a blend of natural and dutched cocoas. Dutched cocoa is a cocoa that has been washed with a potassium carbonate solution, which neutralizes cocoa’s acidity to a pH of 7. Basically, it’s a darker cocoa with a smoother, more mellow flavor that some describe as “woodsy.”

Whatever they do, I love it.

So when I found out recently that one of Paul’s favorite desserts is chocolate pudding, I knew I wanted to make him some with Hershey’s Cocoa: Special Dark.

I topped it with homemade whipped cream and we ALL devoured this tasty treat. It’s super-fast to make, and super-delicious to eat.

Dark Chocolate Pudding
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa: Special Dark
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbs butter
2 tsp Mexican vanilla or pure vanilla
whipped cream or other toppings, to taste

Directions:
In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Gradually pour in milk and cream, stirring to combine.

Bring to a boil slowly. Once mixture starts to bubble, stir rapidly for two minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter, mixing well to combine. Pour into individual ramekins, or leave in pot and chill.

When set and chilled, serve with whipped cream or other toppings.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 196, Fat: 4 g, (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 2 mg, Sodium: 244 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

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Product Talk: Foster Farms Buffalo Wings


Foster Farms Buffalo WingsOn vacation last summer, we spent a dreary, drizzly day touring the USS Wisconsin, a naval warship dry docked in Norfolk, Va. We spent hours on the ship, where a very enthusiastic and loquacious World War II-era volunteer (who had served on the ship) taught us how to tie every kind of knot that you might ever need in your whole entire lifetime. He went into great detail. Very great detail.

Point being, by the time we ended that adventure, we were hungry. No, starving.

Being in unfamiliar territory, we didn’t want to venture too far off the beaten path to look for lunch. I was willing to Google some great places to eat, but the teenagers in the backseat weren’t as accommodating. We ended up eating at a national chain restaurant that served chicken wings.

Now, you KNOW I love buffalo chicken, so I ordered the buffalo chicken hot wings.

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.

I love hot food. I love spicy food. I love hot, spicy food.

However, for whatever reason, these wings bamboozled me, setting my mouth (and my stomach) on fire. No amount of water quelled the flames I was facing (and I wasn’t desperate enough to drink milk, even though dairy products are the most effective at cutting the heat from fiery foods).

I swore I would never eat wings again.

That was until I was tempted to try a frozen brand from Brookshire’s. You know how the “never” word works!

Foster Farms Hot & Spicy Buffalo Wings ARE hot and spicy, but not enough to require an oral lavage and case of antacids.

They bake up crispy, yet saucy, and have a deep tang with a burst of flavor that satisfies all the senses.
Best of all, you don’t have to work with the raw chicken; you just pop them in the oven and heat them quickly.

These have become a favorite in our household, and I’ll keep choosing them over mouth-burning, stomach-churning wings any day.



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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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