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Family Matters: Summer Saving Ideas


Summer Saving Ideas

During the summer months with teenage kids at home, our electric and grocery bills greatly increase. So, during this time especially, we try as a family to make good use of resources and find ways to cut back and save. A few ideas:

  • Plan meals the kids can cook for supper. This keeps parents from picking up fast food on the way home. 
  • Use your slow cooker. Go through the freezer and find meat you have not had time to prepare. Put the meat in the slow cooker when you leave for work, and when you arrive home, the main dish will be ready. Just open a few cans of vegetables or make a salad. 
  • Freeze leftover vegetables from meals and use them to make a stew, soup or pot pie one night.  Do not throw out any leftovers. Use for another meal or make something else later.
  • Refrigerate leftover breakfast foods like eggs, sausage or biscuits to be eaten the next day.
  • If you want fast food, find a cheap burger deal and make fries and drinks at home.
  • Rent a new release and watch at home as a family instead of going to the movie theater.
  • Cook a pot of pinto beans and cornbread one day, and then add beef and chili seasoning to leftovers and have chili for another meal. 
  • Teach the family to be mindful:
    • Don’t pour more milk than you need for cereal. If you do, drink it.
    • Don’t forget to tie the bread package so it does not dry out.
    • Don’t forget to close the chip package so they do not get stale.
    • Watch TV with lights off, especially during the day. 
    • Wash full loads of clothes, not just an outfit or two. This may just be a girl thing!
    • Hang clothes on a clothes line outside to dry, and then toss them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up.
    • Push the thermostat up when you leave for work. Anything cooler than outside, the kids will be fine.

With the cost of living and food prices rising, we need to all look for ways to save. Some things don’t appear to be big, but in the end, it all adds up. Teach your children to be good stewards of time and money, a great lesson in responsibility. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the opportunities we have to work together as a family!    



Shop the Sale: White Beans and Ham


I was cleaning out my freezer recently and I found leftover ham. From Easter. 

I promptly defrosted it, diced up the leftovers and served it baked into macaroni and cheese. 

I also promised myself I wouldn’t cook ham only at Easter any more. It’s so versatile and there are always great ways to repurpose leftovers. 

I was excited this week to see that Double-G Brands Ham Portions are on sale at Brookshire’s. I have just the recipe waiting for the succulent and smoky ham! I also love using my slow cooker during the summer because it doesn’t heat up my entire kitchen.

Click here to print recipe or add items to My Shopping List.  

White Beans and Ham for the Slow Cooker
Serves 8 

Ingredients:
1 (10 oz) bag dried Great Northern Beans
1 to 2 lbs Double-G Brands Ham Portions, Bone In
1 white onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs pepper
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs rosemary
1 tsp ground cumin
water 

Directions:
Wash beans carefully and place in slow cooker.

Remove ham from bone and dice. Place in slow cooker with beans.

Add ham bone, carrots, celery, onion and spices to the slow cooker and cover with water about an inch higher than ingredients. 

Cook on high heat 6 to 8 hour or low 8 to 10 hours.

Note: Monitor the water level when cooking as beans will absorb much of the liquid. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 195; Calories from Fat 24; Total Fat 3g; Cholesterol 27mg; Sodium 708mg; Total Carbohydrates 26g; Dietary Fiber 8g; Sugars 2g; Protein 18g



Family Matters: Packing a healthier lunch


What’s in your child’s school lunch? More people – including British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver – have been asking that question lately, hoping to encourage parents and schools to give children a more nutritious mid-day meal.

The best way to influence your child’s lunchtime habits, of course, is to pack it yourself. But how do you pack a healthier lunch and end up with something they’ll actually eat, and not toss in the trash, so they’re ready for an afternoon of learning, playing and growing? Get started here:

Get kids involved in planning: If your children go along when you do the grocery shopping, let them select some or all of their lunch components. (This works best, obviously, if you narrow down their choices first to just a few choices, so you don’t spend all day in the store.) If they don’t accompany you, ask for their requests before you head to the store. Again, this works best if you have a list of good choices to start from.

Get the proper packaging: Since kids don’t have access to microwaves or refrigerators, a small investment in thermal containers and coldpacks is worth it. It will allow much more creativity in lunch-packing – soups, pastas, cool desserts – and more importantly, it will keep cold and hot foods safe and appetizing to eat.

Pack ahead: Mornings are a rush job in most households. If you only have two minutes to throw lunch together, it’s far too easy to rely on leftover pizza and a bag of chips. Instead, pack the night before, right after dinner, before you’ve cleaned up the kitchen. Make it a family project; older kids can make their own lunches while you load the dishwasher, or younger ones can help pull out lunch components  with your supervision.

Make simple substitutions, and phase them in gradually: You don’t have to make drastic changes, at least not right away. A few small substitutions will get you on the way to healthier lunches fast. For instance, substitute yogurt-covered raisins, trail mix, or plain dried fruit for candy. Use mustard or fat-free mayo instead of full-fat mayonnaise or sandwich spread. Send pretzels or carrots with ranch dressing instead of chips; lean turkey instead of fatty pepperoni or bologna on a sandwich.

Experiment a little: We all tend to end up in a lunch rut. Get away from the sandwich-chips-fruit combo. Why not hummus and pita chips, or bean dips and baked tortilla chips, or even a container of edamame? Make that sandwich on pita bread, a whole-wheat bagel, or a tortilla. Try a Greek yogurt cup instead of pudding.

Allow the occasional surprise treat: Nobody can be perfect all the time, so it’s fun for kids to discover the occasional unexpected treat. A fun-size candy bar, a small bag of chips, a cookie – anything that’s school-approved should be included at least once in a while, to mix things up and remind kids that moderation is the goal.



Dine-In: Oven-roasted beef stew


This time of year just calls out for a nice big pot of soup or stew, something to warm you and the whole house while it cooks. This recipe gets a deep color (and a rich flavor that’s more sweet-savory than spicy) from a big dose of sweet paprika and roasted red peppers.

This takes a little work upfront, prepping and sautéing the vegetables and spices. But then it roasts slowly in the oven, with little attention needed, so it’s a perfect dish to try out on a lazy weekend afternoon.

HUNGARIAN BEEF STEW

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast
Kosher Salt
1/3 cup sweet paprika
1(12-ounce) jar                 roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 large onions, diced small (about 6 cups or 2 lbs.)
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick rounds (about 2 cups or .5 lb.)
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup sour cream, optional
Fresh Ground black pepper
Cooked egg noodles

Directions:
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle meat evenly with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and let stand 15 minutes. Process paprika, roasted peppers, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in food processor until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.

Combine oil, onions, and 1 teaspoon salt in large Dutch oven; cover and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften but have not yet begun to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in paprika mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions stick to bottom of pan, about 2 minutes.

Add beef, carrots, and bay leaf; stir until beef is well coated. Using rubber spatula, scrape down sides of pot.

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat is almost tender and surface of liquid is 1/2 inch below top of meat, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Remove pot from oven and if needed add enough beef broth so that surface of liquid is ¼ inch from top of meat (beef should not be fully submerged). Return covered pot to oven and continue to cook until fork slips easily in and out of beef, about 30 minutes longer.

Skim fat off surface and add sour cream, if using. Remove bay leaf, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, and serve.



Shop the Sale: Naturally low-fat chicken breasts


If you overindulged both diet-wise and budget-wise over the holidays, it’s time to get back on track. So we are helping out with some terrific buy-one, get-one-for-1-cent deals this week at your neighborhood store.

And that includes some staples that will help both your wallet and your waistline, like Pilgrim boneless skinless chicken breasts. Buy a package, get another for a penny. And because the skin – by far the fattiest, most calorie-laden part of poultry – has already been removed, you start out with a lean, protein-dense main ingredient.

Need some inspiration? Search for some on our recipe database, on our newly redesigned website.  You’ll find hundreds of easy, delicious recipes to jumpstart your menu planning, like this chicken and brown rice pilaf , ready in just 20 minutes!

Or, here’s a simple baked chicken recipe that gets lots of flavor, but not too much fat, from Parmesan cheese and garlic. Pair with rice pilaf, a green vegetable, and fruit for dessert, and you won’t break the budget OR your diet.

Parmesan-lemon chicken

Serves four

Ingredients:
Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a garlic press
Juice of three lemons
6 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shredded or grated, divided
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add minced garlic and saute until soft, two-three minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes. Add lemon juice, four tablespoons parmesan, parsley, chili flakes if using, and a dash of salt and pepper. If mixture is too thick, thin with a little water or chicken broth.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in pan and pour butter-lemon-parmesan mixture over them. Bake for about 20-25 minutes; remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 165 to 170 degrees.



Dine-In: Gingersnap Cookies


Three years ago I had no interested in having ground ginger in my spice cabinet.

In my last semester of college I had to write a huge paper on a functional food. After class we lined up to draw the topic that would consume our lives for the next 2 months. As soon as I pulled the little piece of paper apart my smile went right to a frown. I was really hoping for green tea, but I got ginger. I did not even like ginger and I was going to write a huge paper on it. 

Over the next 2 months I learned many interesting facts about ginger. Ginger has historically been used to treat colds, fever and digestive problems. In a study by Hoffman in 2007, ginger was found to lower cholesterol and thin the blood to lower the risk of developing heart disease. Growing up my mother would always tell me if I did not feel good to drink ginger ale. My mother was right! Ginger is in fact known medically to reduce nausea. However the mechanism of how ginger prevents vomiting is unknown. How could I not like something that had so many possible health benefits? 

I soon learned I did like ginger. Ginger was in my favorite winter drink, chi tea and I loved ginger snap cookies. Now when the weather turns cold I make sure I have ginger to make some of my favorite winter treats. 

Ginger Snaps

Serves: 36

Prep Time: 15 minutes        Cook Time 12 minutes 

Ingredients:
1 cup packed Food Club Brown Sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp Food Club Vanilla Extract
1 egg
1 cup Food Club All-Purpose Flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Food Club Salt
1 tsp Food Club Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup Turbinado sugar, or to taste 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl combine brown sugar, oil, molasses, vanilla extract and egg. In a medium bowl combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Slowly combine molasses mixture with flour mixture; mix well. Roll dough into 1 1/4 –inch balls. Roll each ball in Turbinado sugar and place on baking sheet. Bake cookies 10 to 12 minute. 

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 97, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 5 mg, Sodium: 91 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 1 g 

© 2011, Brookshire Grocery Co.  Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number.  All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.



Dine-In: Wild-rice dressing


If you’re like most of us, you end up enjoying not just one turkey-and-dressing feast during the Thanksgiving-to-New-Year’s stretch. You have two or three or four, when you add in dinner at both sides of the family, the church supper, the office potluck and other festivities. 

So if you’re looking for something to make the next holiday meal a little different from the others, here’s a new take on traditional dressing. It has some of the familiar flavors, such as sage and thyme, but instead of dried bread or cornbread, this uses a combination of white and wild rice, and includes dried fruit as a complement to the onion and celery. 

This dressing goes well with turkey, but it also makes an excellent side dish for roast pork or even a mild baked fish. 

Wild Rice-Cranberry Stuffing

Makes about 8 cups 

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups red onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
5 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cup wild rice
1 1/4 cups long grain white rice
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup golden raisins
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. sage, dried
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped coarsely
Salt
Pepper 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 casserole or baking dish, and set aside. 

In skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.  In a large pan, bring stock to boil. Add wild rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in white rice, cover and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, about 15 minutes. 

Stir in cranberries, thyme, sage, onions, celery and remaining two tablespoons of butter. Cover and simmer about 3 minutes. Stir in pecans. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish and cover with lid or aluminum foil. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until heated through.



Tex-Mex cheese steak nachos


Ingredients:
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup chopped poblano pepper
1 cup chopped white onion
6 oz sirloin, flank steak or rib eye, sliced into strips and then cut into bites
1 jar Leigh Oliver’s White Queso, any flavor
Salt and pepper
1 can refried beans or refried black beans
6 oz tortilla chips 

Garnish: sour cream, chopped tomato, guacamole, chopped onion, jalapeño

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions
and sauté for about 4 minutes, until tender. Remove peppers and onions from
skillet and set aside. Sprinkle sirloin with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook
over medium-high heat until brown, but still medium-rare, about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat. Heat refried beans in microwave until warmed throughout,
about 2 minutes, stirring once. 

Arrange chips on serving platter and top each with a dollop of refried beans and a slice of sirloin. Drizzle with Leigh Oliver’s White Queso and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.



Dine In: Well, hot dog!


Nearly every kid loves hot dogs, but a lot of adults do, too. After all, Americans will eat 7 billion hot dogs this summer, so kids can’t be eating all of them! 

July is National Hot Dog month, so it’s a great time to throw some ‘dogs on the grill for an easy summer cookout. (If you’re worried about the fat content, look for all-turkey dogs, or low-fat or non-fat varieties that can have as few as 50 calories each.) 

And how will you dress your dog? The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, which tracks such things, says mustard is the most popular condiment, followed by ketchup and then chili, with relish and onions far behind. But why not mix it up a bit? Check these ideas for bringing some unusual, gourmet, or regional flavors to your table: 

  • Top with fried onions (like Durkee’s) and spicy mustard.
  • Top with ranch dressing and cooked, crumbled bacon. A more adult alternative: Use blue cheese dressing and crumbled blue cheese along with the bacon!
  • Instead of offering chopped raw onions, grill or sauté slices of onions and red and green bell peppers, similar to the topping you typically get on Italian sausage.
  • Frito-pie dog: Top with chili, grated cheese, and crumbled Fritos.
  • Make it Asian style: Instead of ketchup, use teriyaki sauce; soy sauce; sriracha sauce, a spicy, Asian-inspired chile sauce; or hoisin, a slightly sweet, slightly spicy Chinese-style sauce.
  • Chicago ‘dog: Load it up with yellow mustard, relish, chopped raw onion, tomato slices, celery salt, and serve in a soft poppy seed bun. A dill pickle spear can be stuffed in the bun as well.
  • Kansas City ‘dog: Melted Swiss cheese and warm sauerkraut, stuffed into a sesame-seed bun.
  • Mexico ‘dog: At streetside stalls across Mexico, the hot dog is given star treatment: It’s wrapped in bacon and grilled, then topped with chopped raw onion and tomato; tomatillo (green) salsa; and a squirt of hot sauce, and served in a soft egg bun. You can then add mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard if you please.

This easy topping recipe is billed as a Texas-style ‘dog, thanks to its barbecue sauce and pickle-spiked coleslaw.

http://brookshires.mywebgrocer.com/RecipeDetails.aspx?Pos=0&Search=hot%20dogs&SRC2=0&RecipeID=53616&cc=1&s=158775443&g=3a38de0d-8f21-4a24-b69a-4468a4b3a35c&uc=DC97B 



America’s Dessert with a Cherry on top


No dessert could be simpler than the
ice cream sundae–a scoop of ice cream,
a sweet topping, and the ubiquitous whipped cream and cherry at the top.

However, icons are never really that simple,
and, perhaps more than any other dish,
the sundae is an American icon. 

Like people, nations are what they eat. More than any other native dish, the ice cream sundae is an essential reminder of the American genius for invention, passion for indulgence, and reputation for wackiness…it’s as messy and irresistible as democracy itself.     

Source: icecreamsundae.com



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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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