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Shop the Sale: Northwest Gala Apples


I grew up not far from Charlottesville, Virginia, where Carter’s Mountain orchard is a stone’s throw from the homestead of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello.

There, in the shadow of the historic rotunda, is a family-owned orchard where you can pick your own apples in the fall and fill up on homemade cider and apple butter while your eyes feast on the palette of fall colors in the magnificent foliage.

One of the joys of picking your own apples is eating them fresh from the trees, with nothing more than a quick buff on your flannel shirt. The other is devouring the tasty treats you can make from apples.

Northwest Gala Apples are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. See what you can make with them.

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

Apple Butter Bread 

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 pint (1 1/2 cup) apple butter, divided
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup finely diced Northwest Gala apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

Directions:
Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup apple butter, apple juice, margarine and egg. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Spread remaining 3/4 cup apple butter over batter. Gently pour remaining batter over apple butter. Bake at 350° F for 65 to 75 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan and continue cooling on rack. Makes 1 loaf. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 440; Calories from Fat 103; Cholesterol 20 mg;Sodium 318 mg;     Total Carbohydrates 81 g; Dietary Fiber3 g; Sugars 48 g; Protein 7 g

Recipe from Carter’s Mountain Orchard 



Shop the Sale: Mushroom Risotto


Once upon a time, I was too scared to attempt to make risotto. 

The Italian rice dish of my dreams was supposed to be creamy, complex and time consuming. 

Admittedly, it is creamy. It is complex in its developed flavors and it does take some time to reduce the cooking liquids into a delicious bath of thick broth. But actually risotto is an amazingly simple dish with spectacular results. 

Harvest Club White Mushrooms are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. The addition of this simple ingredient elevates the flavors of risotto to angels-singing-at-the-gates-of-heaven proportions. While you do have to give yourself some time to bring this dish together, the minutes will be well spent. I promise. 

No fear involved. 

Click here to print recipe or add ingredients to My Shopping List 

Mushroom Risotto
Serves 6 

Ingredients:
6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 lb portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbs finely chopped chives
4 Tbs butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information: Calories 654; Calories from Fat 176;Total Fat 20 g;Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 966 mg;Total Carbohydrates 85 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 2 g; Protein 29 g



Shop the Sale: Autumn Salad


Fall is definitely in the air.   

I’m ready to wear my tall black boots, go on campouts, crunch the leaves on the local walking trail and hike at the nearby state park.  

I’m also ready to use apples in as much of my cooking as is humanly possible.  

This week, Northwest Honey Crisp Apples and Fresh Express Salad Blends are on sale at Brookshire’s, so it’s the perfect time to toss together an Autumn Salad, full of fall’s bright flavors and colors. You can add chicken to make this a main course meal. I like this with a poppyseed or raspberry viniagrette, but you can certainly use the salad dressing of your choice.  

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

Autumn Salad 
Serves 4 as a side dish  

Ingredients: 
1 bag Fresh Express Salad Blends 
3 Northwest Honey Crisp apples, chopped 
2 cups dried cranberries 
1 cup sunflower seeds 
1 cup red grapes, sliced 

Directions:
Toss all ingredients together. Add your favorite salad dressing. Enjoy. 

Nutritional Information: Calories  185; Calories from fat 57; Total fat 6 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 9 mg; Carbohydrates 32 g;  Dietary fiber 7 g; Sugars 18 g; Protein 3 g



Shop the Sale: T-Bone Steaks with Compound Butter


If you’ve never had a sizzling T-bone steak covered with a dollop of savory, flavorful butter, you’ve been missing out.

At first glance, putting butter on a steak seems like overkill. After all, butter is for rolls and for baking, right?

Not anymore.

There are so many way to enhance the flavor of your steak with a few simple compound butters. Compound butter is easy to make and imparts flavor and juiceness to any steak or cut of meat. Basically you just mix ingredients into your softened butter. I like to use salted butter, but that’s your choice. You can mix almost anything into your compound butter. I’ve provided one simple recipe, but I like to use this as my base recipe and jazz it up with blue cheese or hot sauce or chopped jalapenos.

T-bone steaks, on sale this week at Brookshire’s, are already juicy and flavorful, thanks to the particular cut and to the bone. With a T-bone,  it’s almost like getting two for the price of one as the T-bone has both the strip steak and the tenderloin, separated by the bone. As meat closer to the bone tends to be juicer, this steak is already rich and full of flavor. The compound butter will, as Emeril says, “kick it up a notch.”

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

Grilled T-Bone Steaks with Compound Butter

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 large T-bone steak
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, diced
1 tsp dill
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:
Combine butter, garlic, rosemary, dill and lemon juice. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

Prepare a grill over high heat. Sear your steak on both sides, about 1 minute per side.

Reduce heat to medium. Continue to grill until steak reaches desired doneness.

Remove steak from the grill, let it rest at least five minutes befores slicing.

Place a tablespoon of butter on top of the steak right before serving. It will melt and add delicious flavor.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 1,006; Calories from Fat: 554; Total Fat: 62 g; Carbohydrates: 64g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 49 g



Shop the Sale: Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers


I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the fall. 

Cooler, crisp weather. Football games. Leaves crinkling underfoot. Delicious aromas wafting through the house after a day spent outside hiking. 

This recipe reminds me exactly of that. 

I love using ground turkey in slow cooked dishes. It stays a bit more tender than ground beef and positively melts in your mouth after a day in the slow cooker. The fall-colored peppers are even on sale this week, so you can stock up and freeze extras for another day. 

Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers (for the slow cooker)
Serves 4 

Ingredients:
4 hothouse grown bell peppers (red, gold or orange) tops removed and seeded
1/2 cup brown rice

20 oz lean ground turkey
1/2 cup black beans
1 cup flash frozen corn kernels
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs cumin
28 oz canned tomatoes, divided and crushed 

Directions:
Remove tops from bell peppers, core and seed.  Cook rice according to package directions. Let cool slightly.  Combine turkey, beans, rice, corn, garlic and cumin. Mix with about 3/4 cup of the tomatoes. Stuff turkey mixture into peppers (you’ll probably have a bit extra). Place peppers in slow cooker. Top with rest of tomatoes. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. 

Nutritional Information: Calories: 614; Calories from fat: 189; Total Fat: 21 g; Cholesterol: 145 mg; Sodium: 172 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 57 g; Dietary Fiber: 11 g; Sugars: 12 g; Protein: 50 g. 



Shop the Sale: Pork and Apple Tagine


I’ve been breaking my former rule of ‘no fruit and meat together’ more and more frequently these days and let me just tell you, it’s quite liberating. Why did I resist the delicious combination of fruits and meats for so long? 

I’ve been making up for lost time and this recipe, which combines two items on sale at Brookshire’s this week: Hormel Boneless Pork Tenderloin Roast and Royal Gala Apples. 

As soon as I read this recipe, I knew I had to try it. It reminds me of fall and is perfect for back-to-school. Don’t be intimidated by the word “tagine,” either. A tagine is simply an earthenware vessel popular in Africa and used to cook stews such as this one. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. I don’t either. I simply used a large stock pot. 

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

Pork and Apple Tagine
Serves 4

Source:  Recipe from Aussie Apples 

Ingredients:
400 g Hormel Boneless Pork Tenderloin
1 Tbs plain flour
2 tsp olive oil
2 red onions, cut into 6 wedges
1 bunch baby (or Dutch) carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 1/2 cups low salt vegetable stock
2  Granny Smith apples
2 Royal Gala apples 

Directions:
Cut the pork fillet into strips. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper. Dip the pork into the flour, so it’s lightly coated. Shake off any excess flour. Heat olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish, over a medium-high heat. Once heated, add the pork in small batches and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until browned on all sides. Transfer browned pork to a plate and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium – low. Add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pork and spices to the pan and cook for a further 30 seconds, until all the ingredients are coated with the spices. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, place the lid on top and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Cut the apples into quarters and remove the core (leave the skin on). Add apple to the pork and vegetables. Stir gently and then replace the lid. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until the pork is cooked through.

Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick. Serve the apple and pork tagine with a large green salad and couscous.

Nutritional Information: Calories 250; Calories from Fat: 54; Total Fat: 6.0 g; Cholesterol: 54 mg; Sodium: 571 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 33 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugars: 21 g; Protein: 21 g



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



Shop the Sale: Chicken Broccoli Calzones


During my college years in a small city in Virginia, I often escaped dorm life – and dorm food – for the weekend by going home with a dear friend. She lived in an even smaller town about an hour away from where we went to school, but her mother would pamper us and her house was like a second home to me.

It was on one of these weekend trips that she took me to this little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, because “joint” is really the only word to describe this establishment with the cracked linoleum countertops, the torn vinyl seating and the scratched tile floors.

But the aromas in this mom-and-pop Italian restaurant made you instantly forget the décor. If I remember correctly, the proprietor’s name was Joe. His father’s name was Joe and his son’s name was Joe.  He had a dark-haired, fiery Italian mama who worked the counter and stirred the red sauce and he had a little daughter (who, as I reflect back on that restaurant and our times there, is probably grown by now). And they served up the best calzones I’ve ever had. The crust was crispy and you had to eat them with a knife and fork to make sure you got every bit of the cheesy, saucy goodness.

Since then, I’ve loved making my own calzones. The only difference is that mine aren’t quite as messy. I’ve also tried to make them a little more healthy.  With items on sale at Brookshire’s this week, like Brookshire’s Fresh Chicken, fresh broccoli browns, tomatoes on the vine, yellow onions and refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust, you can make this delicious calzone as a quick weeknight dinner or a delicious weekend treat – no travelling required. 

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

Chicken Broccoli Calzones

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tube refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust
3 large Brookshire’s Fresh Chicken Breasts
1/2 lb fresh broccoli crowns
3 large tomatoes on the vine, cored and chopped
1 large yellow or white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
4 Tbs olive oil, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet.

Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add chicken, broccoli crowns and garlic. Saute until chicken is cooked through and golden brown. Add seasoning and chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to release their juices. Cover and set aside.

Remove pizza dough from tube. Divide into four equal pieces. Gently flatten pizza crust into four rounds. Divide filling into four parts. Place filling on half the dough rounds, fold over into a half moon. Crimp edges together so the filling won’t leak.

Place on a large baking sheet or cooking stone. Brush with remaining  2 TBS olive oil. Bake at 400 until crusts are golden.

Nutritional Information: Calories 316; Calories from Fat 159; Total Fat 18g; Cholesterol 51mg; Sodium 274mg; Total Carbohydrates 18g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 4g; Protein 21g



Shop the Sale: Pear and Walnut Salad


One of my first loves was blue cheese. Strange, I know, for a child to fall in love with stinky cheese. But as soon as I tasted it, I was hooked. One of my all time favorite salads uses blue cheese with walnuts, fresh greens and succulent, ripe pears. The sweet, savory and tangy combines for an amazing umami.

Bartlett pears are in season right now. Buy them when they’re firm and green. As they ripen, their skin will begin to yellow and the flesh begins to soften. I prefer them when they’re somewhere in between. They have to yield to the touch, but not be mushy.

Serve this salad with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette.

Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 (10-oz) bag Fresh Express Salads
2 medium Bartlett pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese

Directions:
Toss all salad ingredients. Top with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 224; Calories from Fat 128; Total Fat 14 g; Cholesterol 13mg; Sodium 287mg; Total Carbohydrates 18g; Dietary Fiber 5g; Sugars 8g; Protein 10g



Shop the Sale: Stuffed Baked Potatoes


A staple meal of my college days and early single life was the baked potato.

I could toss them in the oven or microwave and forget about them while they baked and they’d emerge fluffy, light, steamy and delicious. I’d top them with broccoli and cheese, sour cream and cheese, butter and cheese, or basically anything with cheese.

These days, I still love making baked potatoes a meal, but I try to avoid the cheese. And the sour cream.  And the butter. A baked potato is high in carbohydrates and vitamin C, but I try not to add a lot of extra fat with (admittedly delicious) dairy products.  I also make sure to eat the skin of the potato, which is super-high in potassium, something that helps alleviate the symptoms of my restless leg syndrome and helps your muscles recover more quickly after a workout.

Russet potatoes are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. Stuffed with this vitamin-laden and colorful salsa, they are an easy meal in itself. Almost all the ingredients are on sale, so take advantage of this in-season special this week. The salsa is almost meatless, but the bacon imparts a nice, smoky flavor and adds depth to the meal. You won’t even miss the butter.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 large Russet potatoes
4 strips Wrights’s brand smoked bacon, cooked crisp
1 medium yellow squash, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 Hot House orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 Honey Sweet Yellow onion, diced
1 cup Bird’s Eye Steamfresh corn, lightly steamed
3/4 cup Pace Picante Sauce

Directions:
Scrub Russet potatoes. Prick with a sharp knife and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.

While potatoes are baking, cook bacon. Reserve drippings for another use. Crumble bacon in a large bowl.

Add zucchini, squash, corn, onion, pepper and picante sauce. Stir to mix. Serve on top of the baked potato, fresh out of the oven. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 403; Calories from Fat 64; Total Fat 7.1g; Cholesterol 10mg; Sodium 645mg; Total Carbohydrates 74.9g; Dietary Fiber 12.7g; Sugars 12.6g; Protein 12.0g



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