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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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Shop the Sale: Keebler Club Cracker Bars


My mother had a rule for me when I was in elementary school: No talking until after you eat your after-school snack. 

It seems that I was a bit grouchy each afternoon when she picked me up from school. The brown-bag ham sandwich, chips and apple I ate for lunch each day were nowhere to be found in my empty body by 3 p.m., and until my mother refueled me, I apparently wasn’t the most pleasant of people to be around. Most days, Mama made sure I had a healthy snack with a lot of protein and complex carbs, but every blue moon, she surprised my siblings and me and had these dessert bars waiting for us after school.

I think this recipe has all of my favorites in one place, making it a salty, sweet treat that will disappear as fast as you can get home from carpool! 

School is almost out, and now might be a good time to celebrate with your kids an unexpected end-of-the-year snack. And even better, Keebler Club Crackers are on sale this week at your local Brookshire’s! 

Keebler Club Cracker Bars 

Ingredients:
Keebler Club Crackers to line bottom and top of a 9×13-inch pan (about 60 total)
1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cup peanut butter, crunchy or creamy 

Directions:
Line the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with Keebler Club Crackers. In a saucepan, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, milk, sugar and brown sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over bottom layer of Keebler Club Crackers. Top with second layer of Keebler Club Crackers. For the icing, melt together the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter on medium-low heat. Whisk carefully and pour over bars. Let cool before cutting into bars. Store in the refrigerator.



Shop the Sale: Mango Buttercream


One of the reasons I enjoy being on Facebook is the many wonderful people in the world I would have never known otherwise. I think we are created to enjoy making connections with each other, and although there are legitimate negative aspects of social networking, Facebook has been a fun, informative way for me to connect with others around the world.

William Watson is one of these people. He lives in Florida, but is from Tyler, Texas, where I live now. I didn’t know him when he lived here, but a mutual friend put us in contact with each other because I like to eat and write about all things food, and William is deeply involved with the International Mango Board.

The International Mango Board has become a good source for me when looking for mango-related information, and not only that, it’s been great fun becoming friends with William and realizing we do share many common interests – not just a love of mangoes!

William was in town recently and kindly brought me an entire case of mangoes. We still didn’t get to meet in “real life,” but I did get to stop by our mutual friend’s office to pick up the fruit and enjoy a wonderful Friday afternoon conversation.

Friends are a rare treat in this life, and I’ll take them wherever I can find them – whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or the porch next door. I’m grateful for all the good connections I am given. 

Enjoy this delicious recipe for Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with a Mango Buttercream from the International Mango Board website, www.mango.org. The website has tons of recipes, tips and ideas for those of us who like to eat mangoes. And now is the perfect time, as they are on sale at your local Brookshire’s. 

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream

Source: International Mango Board

Ingredients:
1 (15.25-oz) box vanilla cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 large mangoes (about 2 lbs), pitted, peeled and diced
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line miniature muffin tins with cupcake liners. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed about 30 seconds, increase speed to medium and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes then cool completely on wire rack.

For the Mango Buttercream

Puree one and a half diced mango in food processor or blender until smooth, set aside (will yield about 3/4 cup). Reserve remaining diced mango for garnish.

In a large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth; slowly add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition.

Add 3/4 cup mango puree. Increase speed to high and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a pastry tip or a large zip top bag and top cooled cupcakes with buttercream. Top with 1 piece diced mango and sparkling sugar if desired.

Nutritional Information: Each serving (1 mini cupcake) contains 163 calories, 22 g carbohydrate (7% Daily Value), 0.1 g fiber (1% Daily Value), 1 g protein (2% Daily Value), 8 g fat (13% daily value), 4 g saturated fat (18% Daily Value), 24 mg cholesterol (8% Daily Value), 78 mg sodium (3% Daily Value), and 27 mg potassium (1% Daily Value).



Shop the Sale: Chicken Parmesan


Does your family have a few tried-and-true favorite weeknight dinners that you find yourself going back to again and again…because you know everyone likes it and no one will complain? 

I do try to introduce new flavors and recipes to our family table as much as I can, but when time is short and I’m racing through the grocery aisles for something to cook that night for dinner, I automatically return to our list of Taco Soup, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry, and Parmesan Chicken. They may not be the most exciting meals you can imagine, but they are family-pleasing main dishes that help ensure a successful weeknight dinner. 

My family likes spicy food, so I add a bit of red pepper flakes to our marinara sauce when heating. All you need to add is a green salad and some hot, crusty French bread. The best part of this meal is that the chicken, spaghetti, Parmesan cheese and marinara sauce are all on sale this week at your local Brookshire’s! 

Chicken Parmesan with Spicy Spaghetti Marinara 

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup dried bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 lb skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, patted dry with paper towels and cut into 2 x 2 –inch chunks
1 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 (24 oz) jar Classico Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium-sized bowl, combine garlic with melted butter. In another medium-sized bowl mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, Italian seasoning and pepper. Dip chicken breasts first into garlic butter, then into crumb mixture to coat well, pressing with fingers as needed. 

Place coated chicken pieces into baking dish. Drizzle with any leftover garlic butter. Bake uncovered 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. 

While chicken is cooking, heat the pasta sauce along with the red pepper flakes if desired.

To serve, divide cooked spaghetti over 4-6 plates (depending on your family’s appetites!) and top with chicken pieces and a ladle of warm pasta sauce.



Shop the Sale: Boneless Beef Short Ribs


Last week, I wrote about “The Return of the Slow Cooker” for our company’s blog. We had such a big response from readers that I thought I would send you another one of my favorite slow cooker recipes for Boneless Beef Short Ribs. These ribs are on sale this week in all Brookshire’s, so it’s the perfect time to try something new! 

I used to always serve mashed potatoes with these short ribs, as it just seems to be the perfect pair. One night when the ribs were almost ready to serve, I realized I had forgotten the potatoes and didn’t have time to go to the store. I have teenage boys who need some sort of carbohydrate on their plates or they feel like they are on a diet, so I opened the pantry and started thinking creatively. 

Growing up in the South, grits weren’t just for breakfast. We eat them at supper time with our shrimp, quail and grillades, which is just a fancy way of saying smothered steak or veal. It had never occurred to me to try my favorite grits with short ribs, but I thought, “Why not?” In fact, the more I thought about it, I realized how often the Italian version of grits, polenta, is served now in nicer restaurants as one of their side dish choices. 

I’m including my favorite recipe for Creamy Grits. I admit it’s not the healthiest recipe, but it’s really the best. If you want, you can use half-and-half instead of the cream, but the grits will be a bit thinner than if you used cream. Either way, it’s delicious and easy to prepare alongside the Slow Cooker Short Ribs. 

We would love to hear what slow cooking recipes you enjoy making and share them with our other readers to enjoy. Please send these recipes to askleigh@brookshires.com. Enjoy! 

Slow Cooker Boneless Beef Short Ribs 

Ingredients:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
1/4 cup butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup beef broth
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce (a garlic chili sauce on the Asian aisle)
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder 

Directions:

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large plastic resealable bag. Add the short ribs, and seal the bag. Shake to make sure all ribs are well-coated with flour mixture. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, and add ribs. Turn ribs occasionally to make sure they are browned on all sides. Place the ribs in the slow cooker and cover. 

Using the same skillet, add onion, broth, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and chili powder.  Stir well to combine. 

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure you have the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Pour over the ribs. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until meat falls apart when pierced with a fork. 

Creamy Grits 

Ingredients:
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup grits (not instant)
2 chicken bouillon cubes 

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, melt butter in the cream over moderate heat, but don’t let it boil. Add grits and bouillon cubes. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until grits are done.



Shop the Sale: The Return of the Slow Cooker


People often ask me what appliance or kitchen tool I could never live without. I used to say my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and Cuisinart food processor, until last year when I was asked to teach a cooking class on slow cookers – or Crock Pots as they have been called since the decade of shag carpet and avocado green dishwashers.

All the major food magazines, networks and cooking shops have re-introduced this trend, but it seems now the new, more hip term is “slow cooker.” And with the popularity of the cookers, foodies everywhere are flooding the marketplace new recipes and healthier ideas. No longer do we start every recipe with cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix!

Now that baseball season is here and I find myself racing between work and games, I don’t think my family would ever enjoy dinner before 10 p.m. unless I was using my slow cooker all the time. And with the new slow-cooker insert bags you can find at the store, clean-up is as easy as throwing away the bag!

Brookshire’s has boneless pork roasts on sale this week as a buy one get one free item. This is the perfect time to pull out that old Crock Pot and bring something new to your family table: Balsamic Glazed Pork. My family loves this recipe with mashed potatoes (I mix in a little goat cheese) and fresh steamed green beans with caramelized shallots.

Balsamic Glazed Pork

Ingredients:
For the pork:
2 pound boneless pork roast, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
1/2 cup water

For the glaze:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce 

Directions:
Combine salt, pepper and garlic, and rub over the roast. Place roast in slow cooker, and pour the 1/2 cup water around the sides. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. To make the glaze, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker, shred and place on a platter or plate. Drizzle the glaze over pork and serve.



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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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