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Product Talk: Philadelphia Cooking Crème


If you know me at all, you know I firmly believe cream cheese is a food group. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to all things cream cheese. I have a Philadelphia brand cream cheese cookbook at home, and I plan to someday write the definitive cream cheese cookbook.

So, imagine my delight when the Philadelphia brand (makers of all things cream cheese) came out with Cooking Crème. A more “pourable” version of cream cheese, Cooking Crème is perfect for sauces and soups. It comes in several flavors, leaving very little work for you to do when creating a delicious meal at home. Choose from Italian Herb, Savory Garlic, Creamy Pesto, Savory Lemon and Herb, or Santa Fe Blend.

Also, imagine my delight when I met a man who feels the same way about cream cheese that I do, earning him scads of points in my book. He also gets bonus points for being an adventurous eater and being more than willing to eat anything I whip up. This recipe was born on a night of “let’s see what’s in the fridge and pantry” and will become a regular meal in the rotation!

Italian Herb Cream Pasta

Ingredients:
12 oz linguine
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cups fresh spinach
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tub (10 oz) Philadelphia Cooking Crème in Italian Herb

Directions:
Boil water in a large pot. Add pasta; cook until al dente.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic, squash and bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften. Add can of tomatoes and reduce liquid by half. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add Cooking Crème and heat through. Drain pasta. Toss with sauce and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 446, Calories from Fat: 143, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 95 mg, Sodium: 583 mg, Carbohydrates: 62 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 17 g



Product Talk: Udi’s Gluten Free Lemon Streusel Muffins


Many people eat a gluten-free diet these days.

What’s gluten-free? It’s avoiding anything with gluten, a protein found in foods processed from wheat and related grains. That means bread, pasta, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, rolls, etc. Some people do it for health reasons because their bodies cannot process gluten. Other people say avoiding gluten just makes them feel better.

However, it’s not always easy to avoid your favorite gluten-laden treats. That’s why Udi’s Gluten Free is committed to providing delicious products that won’t wreak havoc on your stomach, including these muffins that caught my eye in the frozen foods section of your local Brookshire’s.

“Moist and delicious, our Lemon Streusel Muffins will definitely add lift to your morning routine. Indulge in the soft, harmonious balance of light citrus flavor and sweetness. Best served warm from the oven or microwave,” according to Udi’s Gluten Free .

I don’t eat gluten-free, but these muffins are delicious if you’re being health-conscious or just want a tasty treat.

 A package of four muffins costs $6.



Product Talk: Hot Pocket Paninis


We have hit the stage where my two boys have bottomless pits for stomachs, and I can’t keep enough food in the house.

Finding snacks for them between meals has gotten to be quite a challenge. They’ve usually gotten fruit or string cheese to tide them over between meals, but these days they need something a little more substantial.

Recently, we tried Hot Pockets Panini sandwiches, cousins of the Hot Pockets themselves and found in the frozen food section of your local Brookshire’s. We tried the Steak & Cheddar variety, but you can also choose from Bruschetta  Chicken or Deli-Style Ham & Swiss. They were ready in the microwave in just minutes, and the bread came out crispy and the fillings hot and melty, just like you’d expect from a panini you grilled yourself. The boys loved them, and they’re a quick and filling snack. You could also pair them with a tossed salad for a complete meal.

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Product Talk: Red Diamond Iced Tea


Here in the South, iced tea is practically a religion, and Red Diamond teas are worthy of the highest praise.

Red Diamond teas, sold at your local Brookshire’s, come in loose teas, bagged and ready to brew yourself, or come already prepared in the refrigerated section.

You can buy the tea to brew in regular, decaf or green varieties; in single-serving, family and group sizes. I buy the large size and brew gallons at a time! I love cold iced green tea with a touch of honey and stevia sweetener. I drink my regular iced tea un-sweet (GASP!), but the beauty of brewing your own tea is that you can make it as sweet, or not-so-sweet, as you’d like.

I always keep a gallon jug of prepared tea at work for an afternoon pick-me-up. It’s better than the diet soda I gave up six months ago.

Red Diamond makes a variety of tea and coffee products, and they’re all delicious, but start with the iced tea. I promise, it’s as good as grandma’s!

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Product Talk: Swai Fillets


Perusing the seafood counter at my local Brookshire’s tonight, I saw something I didn’t recognize: swai fillets.

Nope, not the latest dance craze, but a sweet, mild-tasting fish with a light, flaky texture that can be broiled, grilled or coated with bread crumbs and fried. It also tastes good with sauces.

Loosely, swai is a Vietnamese catfish. A 3.5-ounce serving of swai contains around 90 calories, 4 grams of fat (1.5 saturated), 45 grams of cholesterol and 50 milligrams of sodium.

Plus it’s quite economical. Try it today!

There are so many recipes for Lemon Pepper Swai. This was a good one.

Lemon Pepper Swai

Ingredients
2 swai fillets
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Directions:
Wash fish fillets and pat dry with a paper towel.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Brush flour over both sides of the fish over a plate.
Season one side of each filet with lemon pepper and quickly flip them lemon pepper side down onto the skillet. Work quickly to ensure the butter does not burn but stays hot enough.
Season the top of the filets with lemon pepper and sprinkle lemon juice over them.
Fry each side about 4 minutes on high heat.Fish will be opaque and easily flaked with the spatula when done. The sides should both look golden and crispy.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 211, Calories from Fat: 70, Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 45 mg, Sodium: 257 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 17 g



Product Talk: Refrigerated Pie Crusts


Is a cheesecake a cake or a pie?

I saw that question posted on Facebook just this morning, as a matter of fact. The general consensus was that a simple cheesecake is a pie, not a cake (lacking flour and all that jazz). But this recipe, combining the all-American favorite apple pie with the debatable cheesecake, is definitely a pie.

I love homemade piecrust, but let’s face it; I don’t have a lot of time to make it. Refrigerated pie crusts, available in the freezer section of your Brookshire’s store, near the desserts, are delicious, quick and easy. I keep some in my freezer at all times. Not only are they good for sweet pies, but perfect for a savory pot pie or empanadas as well.

Since refrigerated pie crusts are so easy to use and so quick and convenient, I’m going to make this recipe tonight for work tomorrow.

Apple Cheesecake Pie

Ingredients:

Pie
1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
5 large apples, peeled, thinly sliced (8 cups)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 

Topping
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Heat oven to 400° F. Line cookie sheet with foil; place in oven. Make piecrusts as directed on box for a two-crust pie using 9-inch glass pie plate.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the vanilla and almond extract with electric mixer on high speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into crust-lined plate. In another large bowl, toss apples and lemon juice to coat; stir in brown sugar, cornstarch and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese mixture. Unroll second crust on lightly floured work surface. With 2 to 2 1/2-inch apple-shaped cookie cutter, cut out apple shapes. Reroll scraps and cut out additional apple shapes. Using pancake turner, gently arrange apple shapes on top of pie to cover most of filling. In small bowl, beat egg white and water until blended. Brush over apple shapes. In another small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over apple shapes. Place pie on foil-lined cookie sheet in oven. Cover pie with sheet of foil to prevent excessive browning; bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Cool on wire rack; refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve cold. Store covered in refrigerator. 

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 560, Calories from Fat: 300, Fat: 33g (16g Saturated Fat), Trans Fat: 1/2 g, Cholesterol: 120 mg; Sodium: 490 mg, Carbohydrates: 59 g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 29g, Protein: 5g

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Product Talk: Stubb’s BBQ Sauce


I went to graduate school in Austin, Texas, home of the original Stubb’s Barbecue.

There was many a night my classmates and I sat in the small, enclosed yard, enveloped by hickory smoke and listening to bluesy jazz tunes, mellow folk music or contagious classic rock.

You might not be able to travel to Austin, but Brookshire’s brings Austin to you with Stubb’s barbecue sauces.

This chicken is totally drool-worthy and brings that taste of Austin right to your back yard. You won’t be singing the blues after you eat this, I promise.

Stubb’s Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Stubb’s Bar-B-Q rub
3 boneless chicken breasts
24-30 slices of bacon
1 bottle Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce
2 oz honey
1 1/3 cups brown sugar

Directions

Apply 1 tablespoon of rub to each chicken breast, spreading it evenly over both sides. Next, weave 8 to 10 slices of bacon together. Once you are done weaving the bacon, wrap it around one breast. Repeat the process for the other chicken breasts. Now, prepare your grill for indirect cooking. Cook at 280° F to an internal temperature of 165° F. This will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on your grill.

While your chicken is on the grill you can prepare your glaze. Combine 8 ounces of Stubb’s original, honey and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. The glaze should be applied during the last 20 minutes of cooking. Baste 2 to 3 times in that last 20 minutes of cooking.

NOTE: You can also prepare this dish in the oven. Cook at 300° F for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 3 

Nutritinal Information: Calories Per Serving: 1,653, Calories from Fat: 670, Fat: 75 g, Cholesterol: 296 mg, Sodium: 7761 mg, Carbohydrates: 143 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 122 g, Protein: 98 g



Product Talk: Wonton Wrappers


It’s all your fault.

YOURS!

You know who you are, Blogger-Who-Loves-Buffalo-Chicken-As-Much-As-I-Do and Employee-Who-Pointed-It-Out.

I’m lookin’ at you.

Wonton wrappers are so much fun to use for everything from egg rolls to apple pies to, yes, Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. 

These approximately 4 x 4-inch squares of thinly pressed dough are delicious and great for a variety of recipes. Stuff them with meat and veggies, wrap, bake or fry and use them as egg rolls. Line with apple pie filling, roll in cinnamon sugar, bake and call it an apple pie.

Or, make Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes.

*sigh.

It’s not a secret I ADORE buffalo chicken, OK?

And I’d taken a hiatus from writing about it…until a few days ago. But here’s one more recipe (for now), using easy, versatile wonton wrappers and my fave, buffalo chicken, for a meal easy to eat and yummy in your tummy.

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

Makes 12 regular cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
24 wonton wrappers
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray muffin tin very lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, wing sauce and 3/4 cheddar cheese (save remaining 1/4 cup for topping). You can soften the mixture slightly in the microwave if needed to make it come together. Stir in shredded chicken.

Start layering your cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Spoon about a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into each cup. Top with another wonton wrapper and add another tablespoon of chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and a little blue cheese.

Bake for 18 minutes or until edges are brown. Check cupcakes after 10 minutes into cooking, and if edges are browned, cover the cupcakes with foil for the remaining cooking time. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove, use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each cupcake out.

For mini cupcakes: Cut each wonton wrapper into 4 squares. Layer wonton, about 1 teaspoon of filling, wonton, then another teaspoon of filling. Top with shredded cheese and blue cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly; then remove from pan.

Note: Wonton wrappers can be found in the refrigerated section of your produce section usually on a wall by the mushrooms, broccoli and dressings. Just ask someone if they aren’t there.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 330, Calories from Fat: 108, Fat: 12 g, Cholesterol: 52 mg, Sodium: 603 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 16g

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Product Talk: Gorton’s Simply Bake Tilapia Signature Seasoning


I’ve wanted my kids to eat more fish for a long time now. It’s brain food, after all, with the omega fatty acids needed for optimal brain function.

But to be honest, they haven’t enjoyed it very much.  Not even the grilled salmon I adore and could eat several times a week. 

Recently we tried Gorton’s Simply Bake Tilapia Signature Seasoning. The boys loved it. It’s a more mild white fish and seasoned perfectly. We had it with steamed cauliflower and a side of wild rice.

But, best of all – you bake it in a bag! Easy cleanup and perfect for a weeknight meal. You just place the Bake Perfect Oven Bag in your oven, and it cooks up in no time. Each tilapia fillet has only 120 calories and 20 grams of protein. Try some today!

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Product Talk: Hass Avacados


I can’t get enough of avocados. The Hass variety are probably my favorite, grown in Southern California and featuring a deep, purplish-green skin. They’re large, about the size of a baseball, and their buttery, velvety flesh is beyond delicious.

Avocados are chock-full of good fats – the kind that won’t clog your arteries. They peak in June, but are available year-round.

And oh my, they are delicious!

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Immediately. I’ve now eaten it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-evening snack. It’s just that good.

Baked Avocado and Egg

1 large Hass avocado, sliced in half
2 eggs
2 Tbsp grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled

Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out just enough flesh to hold an egg. Crack egg into the avocado, place on a baking sheet and bake at 425° F until the egg is set to your preference (I like them runny, about 5 minutes). Sprinkle with cheese and bacon pieces, return to oven until cheese is melted, serve immediately.

Serves 2

Nutritional information: Calories Per Serving: 386, Calories from Fat: 289, Fat: 32g, Cholesterol: 192 mg, Sodium: 553mg, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 17g

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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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