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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



Shop the Sale: Chili Rubbed Pork Chops


I’m just going to be honest – my weight has been up and down over the years and I can’t blame it all on giving birth twice.

You see, I love food and I love cooking. What I forget sometimes is that food doesn’t have to be high in fat or calories to taste delicious.

When I saw the boneless pork chops on sale this week I was reminded of one of my favorite recipes from my ‘Healthy Foods’ files.

There’s so much flavor you won’t even miss the fat or extra calories.

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

Chili Rubbed Pork Chops with Lemon Green Beans

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
4 Hormel boneless pork chops
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
Juice of one lemon

Directions:
Preheat broiler or grill and coat pan or grill grate with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine chili powder, brown sugar, cumin and garlic powder. Add Worcestershire sauce and stir until a paste forms.

Rub paste onto both sides of pork chops. Place on prepared pan/grill and broil or grill until pork is no longer pink – about four minutes each side.

Steam string beans. Drain. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

Nutritional Information: Calories 271; Fat 8.5 g; Carbohydrate 15.1g; Fiber 5.3g; Cholesterol 78g; Protein 33.7g



Shop the Sale: Soda Can Chicken with Grilled Peaches


If you’ve never tried this method of cooking chicken you’re in for a real treat. Soda can chicken keeps your whole bird moist and infuses it with flavor.

It’s super fun to do with kids, too, especially if they’re pre-teen boys. Don’t have a pre-teen boy? Then just use your imagination and giggle when appropriate. When we tested this recipe at my house, it was pretty much non-stop laughter.

You can roast this chicken in the oven, like I did, or grill it if your charcoal or gas grill is large enough.

Grilled peaches have become a summer staple at our house.  Here, I use them as a side dish because the sweetness in the peach compliments the slightly sweet flavor in the chicken. We also like to grill them and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for a delicious dessert.

Soda Can Chicken with Grilled Peaches

Serves 8 (about ½ pound of chicken per person)

Ingredients:
1 (4 lb) Brookshire’s whole chicken
1/4 cup Food Club salted butter, melted
2 Tbs Food Club brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 fresh lemon, divided
1 (12 oz) can lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite®)
1 small whole onion, peeled
1 squeezed lemon half

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the giblets and rinse chicken inside and out with water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Stir together melted butter, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper, and half the lemon juice in a bowl. Rub the mixture over the entire chicken, including the cavity and beneath the skin.

Discard 1/2 of soda, leaving the rest in the can, and pour the remaining lemon juice into the can. Place the can on a baking sheet, and set the chicken upright on the can, inserting it into the cavity of the chicken. Plug the neck opening of the chicken with the onion and a squeezed lemon half to retain steam.

Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 F. Remove the chicken from the oven, discard the soda can, and cover chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information: Calories 463; Calories from Fat 187; Total Fat 20.8g; Cholesterol 185mg; Sodium 220mg; Total Carbohydrates 8.7g; Sugars 8.0g; Protein 56.9g. 

While the chicken is resting, grill your peaches.

Grilled Peaches

Serves 8 (one serving equals 1/2 peach)

Ingredients:
4 California peaches, pitted and sliced in half
2 Tbs Food Club salted butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Whisk together melted butter and cinnamon. Brush on both sides of peaches.

Preheat grill to medium.

Place peaches, cut side down first, on grill. Grill until soft and beginning to char, about 3 minutes on each side.

Nutritional Information: Calories 45; Calories from Fat 23; Total Fat 3.0g; Cholesterol 7 mg; Sodium 21mg; Total Carbohydrates 4.7g; Dietary Fiber .8g; Sugars 4.1g; Protein .5g. 



Shop the Sale: Everyday Roast


As a child, I’d find every excuse in the book to wiggle out of the house on Sunday afternoons and find my way into a friend’s house down the street. All because it smelled SO good. Every Sunday morning her mom would put a roast in the slow cooker so the house was fragrant with rich, savory smells when they arrived home from church. On Sunday afternoons, they’d sit down to their slow-roasted masterpiece. If I timed it right, I’d be lucky enough to be invited.

This week, Brookshire’s has eye of round roasts on sale. Eye of round is a perfect cut for braising, stewing or simmering – in other words, this lean cut is almost custom-made for a slow cooker.  But you don’t have to wait for Sunday to enjoy this complete meal (potatoes and tomatoes are on sale, too!), it would be good for any day of the week. This roast is quick, easy, won’t heat up your kitchen and, if you’re lucky, there will be enough for leftover sandwiches.

Everyday Roast
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 5-lb Eye of Round roast
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large white onion, chopped
3 Vine-clustered or red hothouse tomatoes, chopped
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbs fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Pat roast dry. Rub liberally with salt and pepper. Place into slow cooker. Arrange potatoes, carrots, onion and tomatoes around the roast. Sprinkle with rosemary. Pour beef broth over the roast and vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Nutritional Information: Calories 792; Calories from Fat 146; Total Fat 16.3g; Cholesterol 208mg; Sodium 307mg; Total Carbohydrates 39.5g; Dietary Fiber 5.6g; Sugars 5.7g; Protein 116.5g.



Shop the Sale: The first cake I ever made


It was the summer of 1974, and I wanted to make my Daddy a birthday cake. I was five years old, but already knew my way around my mother’s kitchen fairly well. She had shelf after shelf of cookbooks, and learning to read recipes was one of the ways I actually learned to read words – and perform simple math problems. 

I found an old cookbook in the cabinet above Mama’s built-in desk, and I can still see it today as clearly as I did almost 40 years ago. It had a red-and-white gingham cover and the title was “Our Groaning Board.” I thought that was the weirdest title I had ever heard of for any book, much less a cookbook, so I pulled it down and started reading the cake section looking for the easiest, shortest recipe I could find. 

Around that same time, I am embarrassed to admit I was fond of Jell-O. I loved the jiggly, fruity dessert and jumped at the chance to incorporate Jell-O into any and all recipes and creations, for better or for worse. 

This cake recipe started from a mix, which was good for a beginner, and it also called for my beloved gelatin. I decided this was sure to be a winner for Daddy’s birthday cake. 

And it was. To this day, I am asked for the recipe for this cake more than any other cake I make. I’ve learned to bake some fancier ones since 1974, but most people are like I am when it comes to enjoying good food. We seem to return to the simpler, more satisfying tastes of life. 

Enjoy! 

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

Daddy’s Favorite Lemon Punch Cake 

For the cake:

Ingredients:
1 (18.9-oz) Pillsbury yellow cake mix
1 (4.3-oz) box lemon gelatin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs 

For the glaze:

Ingredients:
1 (1lb) box powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 

Directions:
For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all cake ingredients together in a bowl of an electric mixer until well blended. Bake in a 13 x 9-inch rectangular pan for 30 minutes or until it springs back when touched in middle with fingers. Immediately prick cake several times with an ice pick (all the way to the bottom of the cake) and spoon glaze over entire cake while hot. Serves 10-12. 

For the glaze, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, stirring to remove any lumps. 

Nutritional Information:  Calories per Serving: 330, Fat: 15.1 g (3.1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 55 mg, Sodium: 83 mg, Carbohydrates: 48.2 g, Protein: 2.4 g



Shop the Sale: Southern-Style Cola Barbecue


It wasn’t until I moved to Texas that I learned that you could cook with cola.

I admit I was skeptical at first, but when a friend introduced me to sausage links simmered overnight in the slow-cooker in a combination of cola and barbecue sauce, I was hooked. The meat becomes melt-in-your mouth tender.

I’ve come to use that combination of cola and barbecue sauce to cook almost any meat. I especially love being able to use my slow-cooker during the hot summer months when turning on my oven is almost unbearable.

This week, the Brookshire’s sale circular is chock full of great goodies to use in slow cooker barbecue.

Southern-Style Cola Barbecue

Ingredients:
2 lbs Hormel Assorted Pork Chops OR Eckrich Smoked Sausage Links OR Brookshire’s Split Chicken Breasts OR Boneless Beef Short Ribs
2 cups Food Club cola
1/2 cup Food Club orange juice
2 cups Food Club barbecue sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large slow cooker and simmer on low heat for 8 hours. 

You can shred the pork or chicken and serve on a sandwich, or serve whole alongside potato salad and corn on the cob. The sausage is great for parties alongside whatever you’re making on the grill and the short ribs are amazing with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. 



Shop the Sale: Asian-Style Loin Back Ribs


It’s easy to tell the difference between beef and pork ribs. But it’s also important to know what kind of beef or pork ribs you’re eating in order to prepare correctly. It’s all about location, location, location. Today, I’m just talking about loin pork ribs because they are on sale this week at Brookshire’s. 

Loin back ribs come from the same part of the hog as pork chops. They are also called “baby back ribs” in the grocery store. Loin ribs are smaller in size than spare ribs and are less meaty and less fatty. They are also more tender than spareribs.  

This week, shop the sale to find a great deal on Hormel loin back ribs at your local Brookshire’s, and try our oven-prepared Asian-Style Ribs. Not all of us are master grillers, and this delicious recipe gives you a way to stay cool indoors and enjoy a new twist on tender pork ribs. 

I like to serve these ribs with Asian slaw and an egg and scallion fried rice. Easy and delicious! 

Enjoy! 

Asian-Style Loin Back Ribs 

Ingredients:
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbs peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger
3/4 cup purchased jalapeno pepper jelly
1/2 cup purchased hoisin sauce (on the Asian aisle)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup rice vinegar
6 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs sesame oil
2 Tbs Chinese chili-garlic sauce (on the Asian aisle)
9 lbs Hormel meaty loin back ribs

Directions:
In a food processor, combine everything except ribs. Pulse until smooth. Set the racks in a large baking dish and slather with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before continuing. 

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F, and cover three large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Remove the ribs from the marinade, reserving marinade. Cut each rack so that each piece has 4 to 5 ribs. Place ribs on baking sheets, meaty side down. Roast each sheet in batches for 30 minutes, turning over halfway through. Also, baste ribs with the reserved marinade at least three times throughout roasting, including once at the end. Remove from oven and preheat broiler of oven. 

Broil ribs 3 inches from the heat for 3 minutes. Let ribs rest for 10 minutes, before slicing and serving. 



Shop the Sale: Mexican Quiche


You can thank Bruce Feirstein that “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.” His 1982 book by the same name asserted that masculine men simply don’t eat egg and cheese-based pie.

I never understood Feirstein’s odd obsession of associating quiche with femininity, except for perhaps the French origin of the word “quiche.” Otherwise, a pie crust filled with meat, egg and cheese seems like a hearty enough meal for anyone!

And quiche is also as such a versatile dish, fitting your menu anytime of the day and for most any occasion. They also double, freeze and reheat easily for an easy option when you need something quick.

Shop the Brookshire’s sale this week to find four of the ingredients you need to make this delicious Mexican Quiche: Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, Brookshire’s Best pork sausage, Julio’s refrigerated salsa and Sargento shredded cheese. It’s the perfect week to try a new recipe for your family’s table – breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Enjoy!

Mexican Quiche
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
1 lb Brookshire’s best ground pork sausage, mild or hot
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Julio’s salsa, mild or hot
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups Sargento shredded Cheddar Jack or Authentic Mexican Cheese
Garnishes: Sour cream and additional Julio’s Salsa

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Brown ground sausage in a large skillet, adding onion and garlic halfway through cooking time. Drain grease from sausage, and add cumin and salt and cook two more minutes. Remove from heat and add salsa, eggs and cheese. Pour into pie crust and bake 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and eggs are set. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Cut into 6 or 8 wedges and top each wedge with a dollop of sour cream and additional salsa.



Shop the Sale: Watermelon Sherbet Slices


With the temperature creeping upwards, we need to find easy ways to cool off and have fun indoors when it’s too hot to be outside. 

In our home, nothing welcomes summer better than the arrival of Goldenbrook Watermelon Sherbet in our local Brookshire’s stores! Not only is the sherbet delicious all by itself, I also enjoy making Watermelon Sherbet Freezes by blending the sherbet with club soda or lemon-lime soda and processing until smooth. It’s an easy summer frozen drink for all ages!

Another fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen during their summer vacation is to make these adorable Watermelon Sherbet Slices. Each slice looks like a wedge of watermelon, and they are so easy to make. In no time at all, your kids will see success from their hard work, which makes this worth the time and effort – not to mention it’s just old-fashioned summer fun.

Goldenbrook Watermelon Sherbet is on sale this week at your local Brookshire’s, so it’s a great time to stock up for the hot days ahead. Enjoy!

Watermelon Sherbet Slices

Ingredients:
1 half gallon Goldenbrook lime sherbet
1 half gallon Goldenbrook Homemade Vanilla ice cream
1 half gallon Goldenbrook Watermelon Sherbet

Directions:
Prepare a round springform pan by covering the bottom with wax paper. Allow lime sherbet to soften and spread a 2-inch ring around the outer edge of the pan to form the “rind,” leaving the middle of the pan empty. The ring of lime sherbet should be about two inches in height as well. Return to freezer to harden.

Allow vanilla ice cream to soften and spread a 1/2-inch ring around the pan, just inside of the lime sherbet “rind” layer. Return to freezer to harden.

Allow watermelon sherbet to soften and fill the center of the pan to form the “meat” of the watermelon. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, smooth the top of the sherbet across the entire surface. Return to freezer to harden.

When ready to serve, run a knife around the edges before removing springform pan. Serve in slices, using a sharp knife to cut through. The slices will look like watermelon wedges!

NOTE: Goldenbrook Watermelon Sherbet has candy “seeds” already in the sherbet. Sometimes I add additional miniature chocolate chips if I want the look of additional seeds. 

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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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