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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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Product Talk: V8 V-Fusion® + Energy


I came dragging into church last Sunday after what was perhaps the most intense work week of my entire professional career.

I slumped down next to my friend and plopped my study book down on the table. When I plopped my book down, it rattled the drink can she had sitting on the table and almost knocked it over.

I grabbed it before it toppled, but then I was interested.

It was a new V8 V-Fusion® + Energy drink.

I needed energy, for sure, and most energy drinks on the market gross me out. I already love V8 drinks, so I was intrigued.

V8 V-Fusion® + Energy contains one combined serving of vegetables and fruit with the delicious taste of fruit, is an excellent source of B vitamins, has 50 calories and is available in a 6-pack of 8-oz. cans, according to the company website. The all-natural drink gives you natural energy from green tea extracts and B vitamins and has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It also has no added sugar. 

Since I gave up soda months ago and I’m trying to limit caffeine, I definitely wanted to try these. I bought all three varieties – Pomegranate Blueberry, Peach Mango and Orange Pineapple, and I have not been disappointed yet. I drink them mid-afternoon to get me through the rest of the day.

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Product Talk: Corn Tortillas


I seriously love corn tortillas. For the longest time, I wasn’t sure why anyone would choose a corn tortilla over a chewy, delicious flour variety. Then I tasted one. I was hooked, and now I’ll choose corn over flour any day.

Corn tortillas are made from ground maize and actually pre-date the flour variety. They are also higher in nutrients and B vitamins than tortillas made from white flour. Given their versatility, there’s not much you can’t use a tortilla for: as a sandwich wrap, for tacos and burritos, for a pizza crust, a soup binding, a chip and much, much more.

You know I love my slow cooker, so here’s a recipe I tried recently. My kids LOVED it.

Slow Cooker Beef Tamale Casserole

Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped mild green chiles
1 (11 oz) can Mexican-style corn, drained
1 (10 oz) can mild enchilada sauce
9 (6 inch) corn tortillas
6 (3/4 oz) slices white American cheese

Sour cream, if desired
Sliced green onion, if desired
Salsa, if desired

Directions: 

Spray 4-quart slow cooker with no-stick cooking spray; set aside. 

Cook ground beef and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink; drain, if necessary. Stir in green chiles, corn and enchilada sauce. 

Place 3 tortillas in bottom of slow cooker and top with 1 1/3 cups of the meat mixture and 2 cheese slices. Repeat layers twice except last 2 cheese slices.

Cover; cook on low heat setting 3 to 4 hours or high heat setting 2 to 3 hours, or until bubbly. Turn off heat. Top with remaining 2 cheese slices. Cover; allow cheese to melt.

Dollop each serving with sour cream; top with sliced green onion and salsa, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 299, Calories from Fat: 114, Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 87 mg, Sodium: 620 mg, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 28 g

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Product Talk: Zucchini


My garden is planted, and it’s full of tomatoes, cucumbers and, one of my favorites, zucchini.

I can’t wait until my garden grows to enjoy one of my favorite vegetables.

Zucchini is a squash and is stocked on the produce shelves at Brookshire’s year-round. However, it’s summertime when zucchini, with its deep green skin and mild, earthy flesh, is at its peak.

The options with zucchini feel limitless: it can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques, including steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, barbecued, fried, or incorporated in other recipes such as soups. It can also be baked into bread or mixed into a cake. Zucchini flowers can be eaten stuffed and are a delicacy when deep fried, as tempura.

I love to slice zucchini lengthwise and grill it with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Recently I discovered these crisps, which my boys LOVE.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Ingredients:

1 lb zucchini or squash (about 2 medium sized)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan (heaping)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (heaping)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with vegetable spray.

Slice zucchini or squash into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Toss rounds with oil, coating well.

In a wide bowl or plate, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper.

Place rounds in parmesan-breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides of each round, pressing to adhere. The mixture will not completely cover each round, but provides a light coating on each side.

Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheets. Sprinkle any remaining breadcrumb mixture over the rounds.

Bake for about 22 to 27 minutes, until golden brown. (There is no need to flip them during baking – they crisp up on both sides as is.)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 102, Calories from Fat: 53, Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 6 mg, Sodium: 304 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 5

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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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