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Shop the Sale: Sweet Potato Oranges


Sweet PotatoesOnce upon a time, there was a little girl, who may or may not have been related to me, who hated sweet potatoes more than I did.

I was cured by sweet potato fries with a healthy dose of cayenne pepper, but for her, we had to get much more creative.

After all, she’d eat mashed potatoes out of an ice cream cone or broccoli out of a “tree garden.” Let’s just be honest; we had to be inventive.

We finally happened upon the recipe, or gimmick, that made this one little girl, who loved fairy wands and tiaras, happy.

We had to stuff the potatoes into orange peels.

Yep, you heard me. Orange peels.

Amazingly, I loved this recipe as much as she did, even though it was sweet.

She still makes this recipe every holiday season, especially if she has guests, and they always “oooooo” and “ahhhh” over it.

Sweet Potato Oranges

Ingredients:
6 oranges
3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened, divided
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp all purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
Prepare oranges by cutting tops off, 1/4 to 1/2 inch down. Spoon out the flesh, leaving a shell.
In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, white sugar, orange juice, eggs, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup butter and grated orange peel. Spoon mixture into orange shells. Place in a deep casserole dish.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans. Cook until sugar dissolves in melted butter. Spoon over oranges. Fill casserole dish with water to reach 1/2 inch in depth.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 854, Fat: 45.9 g, Cholesterol: 152 mg, Sodium: 293 mg, Carbohydrates: 110.1 g, Fiber: 10 g, Protein: 8 g

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Shop the Sale: Sugar and Spice Spiral Ham


HamI truly think Christmas Eve is my favorite night of the entire year.

I love the anticipation and expectation of Santa’s nocturnal arrival. I love being surrounded by family and friends, and I always get a sense of peace, hope and complete happiness at the Christmas Eve church service.

Our church service always falls around supper time, so it’s somewhat of a challenge to prepare a meal that’s both festive and will work with the evening’s festivities. I often make a lasagna that will bake while we’re at church, but last year I had an extra ham begging to be eaten. I found this recipe in a cookbook that I’ve probably had for 20 years, a gift from a friend’s church in Petersburg, Va. I loved it because the pecans give the ham an unexpected flavor and wonderful texture to the sweetness of the rub and the saltiness of the ham.

Sugar and Spice Spiral Ham

Ingredients:
1 Hormel Spiral Sliced Ham
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
22 to 25 pecan halves, finely chopped

Directions:
Heat oven to 250° F. Remove ham from all packaging materials. Place ham face down in roasting pan. Cover pan with aluminum foil; bake ham 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare sugar rub. Combine brown sugar with dry mustard, lime rind, ginger, pepper, allspice, cloves and finely chopped pecans in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a fork. Stir in lime juice to moisten sugar mixture evenly. Set rub aside.

Remove ham from oven and uncover pan. Pat and rub sugar mixture over warm ham, covering top end first then smearing mixture down the sides as evenly as possible.

Return ham to oven. Bake uncovered 30 to 45 minutes, basting meat with pan juices every 15 minutes. Ham is done when center reaches 150° F on meat thermometer. (Please refer to label for proper cooking instructions.) Remove ham from roasting pan; place on a ham rack and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 526, Calories from Fat: 373, Fat: 41 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 48 mg, Sodium: 1067 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 18 g, Protein: 20 g

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Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli


Beef BroccoliWhen I was in sixth grade, I was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society at school.

It was a big deal, not so much for the affirmation of my good grades but because my mom got me all dressed up that evening and my dad took me out to dinner. That never happened in my house. “Out to dinner” was pretty much limited to once a year for pizza while we were on vacation at the beach.

So, it was an even bigger deal when we went out for Chinese food, not pizza or McDonald’s Happy Meals.

I felt like a grown-up.

To this day, I remember the restaurant, located in the corner of a strip center not far from our house. It was sleek and modern on the outside with walls lined in pink silk screened with the outline of cherry blossom trees and birds in flight. The chairs were upholstered in sea foam taffeta, and I remembered wondering how on earth they’d stay clean.

Of course I remember what I ate: beef and broccoli. It remains a favorite to this day. I tried this slow cooker recipe earlier in the week (I had the leftovers for lunch today), and I can honestly say it’s the best I’ve tried. It melts in your mouth.

With boneless top round roast on sale this week, you can put this on your grocery list.

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs boneless top round roast
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp sauce from the slow cooker after being cooked
16 oz broccoli florets

Directions:
Combine broth, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic in the slow cooker. Slice beef into thin strips (It helps if you freeze the beef for about 30 minutes prior to slicing). Place beef in sauce; cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

Remove about 4 tablespoons broth from the slow cooker after cooking. Mix with 4 tablespoons cornstarch until you make a paste. Stir into sauce in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for about 30 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Serve over brown rice.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 163, Calories from Fat: 50, Fat: 6 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 46 mg, Sodium: 1180 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 19 g

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Shop the Sale: Hungarian Potato Goulash


Hungarian Potato GoulashDuring the almost four years I lived in Germany, I had the amazing opportunity to travel all over Europe.

I quickly discovered that all my preconceived notions of fabulous cities overseas were just that, notions. Sure, Paris was awe-inspiring. Where else can you stroll by the Mona Lisa, then take a boat ride down the Seine to Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower? Rome was thought-provoking with St. Peter’s Square, the Coliseum and Vatican City. London was distinguished and noble. Amsterdam was eclectic and innovative.

However, the city I fell in love with was Budapest.

Budapest, Hungary, straddles the Danube River with “Buda” on one side and “Pest” on the other. When I lived overseas, in the mid-to-late 1990s, Budapest was largely untouched by Western civilization. In fact, I went in 1994 and again in 1996. When I went in 1996, there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Nike store opening just a stone’s throw from one of the historic markets where you could bargain for hand-embroidered linens and pungent paprika near one of the ancient opera houses (which was still in use). It made my heart hurt.

The beauty of Budapest, to me, was that it was untouched by American influence, at least it was then.  As always, the food of a particular city, country or region captured my heart. I loved the hearty flavors of Hungarian cuisine.

I found this recipe recently that seems to mimic some of my Hungarian favorites closely.

Try it with russet potatoes, on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Hungarian Potato Goulash

Ingredients:
olive oil
salt
1 (14 oz) smoked sausage, sliced on the bias into thin medallions
2 Tbsp butter
2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed through garlic press
3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika
6 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick circles (about 2 3/4 lbs)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Place a large, deep, non-stick pan over medium-high heat, and add in about 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the smoked sausage medallions, and caramelize them for a few minutes until they become a deep brown color. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

To the same pan or pot, add in the butter and allow it to melt. Add in the sliced onions, and caramelize those in the butter and sausage drippings until a rich, golden-brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic, a couple pinches of salt, the freshly cracked black pepper and the paprika, and stir to combine with the onions. Sauté just until the garlic becomes aromatic.

Next, add in the sliced potatoes and fold them into the caramelized onions/garlic to coat them well. Add in the chicken stock and stir to combine, then push the sliced potatoes down into the stock/onion mixture as much as possible to allow them to cook evenly. Cover the pan/pot with a lid that is askew to allow some steam to escape, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring gently once or twice during this time. Uncover the pan/pot and allow the potatoes to continue simmering for another 10 minutes, or until they are tender and the sauce is a bit thickened, stirring once or twice during that time. (It’s perfectly fine for some of the potatoes to break up in the sauce as it helps to thicken it, just take care not to break them too much.)

Finish the goulash by adding the caramelized smoked sausage back into the pan/pot, as well as the parsley, and gently fold those in to incorporate. Add a little drizzle of olive oil, and add a couple more pinches of salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot with bread, if desired.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 663, Calories from Fat: 342, Fat: 38 g, Trans Fat: 0.2 g (13 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 99 mg, Sodium: 1090 mg, Carbohydrates: 55 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 26 g

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SHOP THE SALE: HONEY ROASTED PORK LOIN ROAST


Honey Pork LoinMy brother hates vegetables. I learned this over the summer at the beach. We all took turns providing meals, and each night my brother would politely pass up the dish of whatever was a green component of the meal. Someone finally called him on it.

“I hate vegetables,” he said, plainly and simply.

How can you hate vegetables?

Of course, we teased him about it relentlessly throughout the August beach week.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. His wife, my sister-in-law, sent out a frantic email to me, my sisters and my other sister-in-la
w. “I don’t know what to cook!” she wrote. “He won’t eat anything.”

Bottom line: he’s a meat and potatoes guy (apparently that’s a vegetable he WILL eat), and she has to sneak veggies in wherever she can. However, she also gets tired of eating the same proteins over and over. This is one of the recipes I sent her. She can roast the pork loin, on sale this week at Brookshire’s, and add potatoes or vegetables for herself without changing the integrity of the main course! It’s a win/win.

Honey Roasted Pork Loin Roast

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless pork loin roast
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp orange juice 
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1/2 tsp thyme 
1/2 cup chicken broth 

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Season the pork and place in a roasting pan. In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, juice, oil and thyme. Pour over the pork. Add the broth to the pan.

Bake until internal temperature reaches 150°F (45-60 minutes). Baste frequently. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan. Reduce until slightly thickened.

Serve over the sliced pork.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 611, Calories from Fat: 348, Fat: 39 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 136 mg, Sodium: 190 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 18 g, Protein: 46 g

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SHOP THE SALE: CAJUN SPICED SPARERIBS


Cajun Spiced RibsOne of my good friends had a birthday not too long ago, and I offered to help with the food for the celebration.

“What would you like?” I asked.

“Ribs,” was the reply.

Ugh.

That’s the one thing I’ve never absolutely perfected. Ok, it’s ONE of the things I’ve never absolutely perfected. I debated picking them up at Country Tavern, a local barbecue  joint I love, but that felt like cheating.

One of my problems with ribs is that the meat is never fall-off-the-bone tender. Well, this recipe changed all of that.

I love the spice added to the sweet tanginess of the sauce. Baking them seemed to make all the difference as well.

This week, Hormel pork spareribs are buy one, get one for a penny! A PENNY! Run. Don’t walk.

Cajun Spiced Spareribs

Ingredients:
1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb) rack of pork spareribs
1/4 cup Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
1 large lemon
1 cup ketchup
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, quartered
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup mild honey
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Pat ribs dry and rub Cajun seasoning all over them. Place in a large, sealable plastic bag; marinate, chilled, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Put rack of ribs, bone side up, in roasting pan and pour 3 cups of water around ribs (water will not cover ribs). Bake, uncovered, basting with liquid and turning meat over every 30 minutes until meaty side of ribs is browned, 2 hours total.

Meanwhile, halve lemon and squeeze 1/4 cup juice into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add lemon halves and stir in remaining ingredients. Bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until thickened (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Discard lemon halves.

Pour off and discard water from roasting pan, then coat ribs with 2 cups of sauce. Arrange ribs, meaty side up, in roasting pan; bake until ribs are tender and sauce is baked onto ribs, 40 to 50 minutes more. Serve ribs with remaining sauce. 

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Shop the Sale: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan


Chicken ParmesanGrowing up, one of my favorite foods was chicken parmesan. I’d get to help my mom as she pounded the boneless, skinless chicken breasts to a thin filet, then dredge them in buttermilk, bread crumbs, more buttermilk, more bread crumbs and fry them quickly, adding cheese and sauce after the chicken cooked thoroughly.

It was delicious but a bit painstaking, if I’m being honest. In addition, the house smelled like fried food for days after, and again being honest, I can’t stand that smell.

This version is much less labor-intensive and just as yummy, with the added bonus of your house smelling heavenly when you come home from work! The icing on the cake is that Brookshire’s boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders (you can use either) are on sale this week!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN PARMESAN

Ingredients;
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
favorite jarred marinara sauce

Directions:
Spread the 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of your slow cooker.
Beat the egg with a fork in a separate bowl.
Mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the parmesan cheese in another separate dish.
Dip the chicken into the egg then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings.
Place the chicken breast pieces into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Layer 2-3 slices or 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top, depending on how much cheese you like.
Cover chicken and cheese with entire jar of marinara sauce.
Close lid and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or on high heat for 3 hours.
Serve with your favorite pasta.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 310, Calories from Fat: 117, Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 146 mg, Sodium: 638 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 42 g

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Shop the Sale: Boneless Chuck Roast with Bourbon and Coke


ChuckRoastSunday roast is a classic, but have you ever made one on the grill? With a twist on a popular Southern drink?

Don’t worry. The alcohol burns off when you cook it, but the flavors imparted by the sweet of the Coke and the sour of the bourbon meld together to make a beautifully caramelized crust on this boneless chuck roast, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s.

Boneless Chuck Roast with Bourbon and Coke

Ingredients
2 1/2 lbs boneless chuck roast
1 (12 oz) can Coke (not diet)
3 oz bourbon
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp allspice berries
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place chuck roast in a 1-gallon zippered-top plastic bag. 
Combine remaining ingredients in medium-sized bowl, pour into bag, seal and let marinate in refrigerator 2 to 3 hours, turning bag once or twice. 

Preheat grill with all burners on high heat for 10 minutes with lid down. 
With all burners still on high heat, place chuck on grill, close lid and sear 5 minutes per side. 
After searing, turn all burners to medium heat. Close lid and cook roast another 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning once midway through. 
Remove steak to platter, loosely tent with aluminum foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 1491, Calories from Fat: 431, Fat: 48 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (18 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 187 mg, Sodium: 342 mg, Carbohydrates: 219 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 53 g

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SHOP THE SALE: SLOW COOKER APPLE BUTTER


Apple ButterI love apple butter! It reminds me of growing up in Virginia where we’d go west every fall to pick apples, sip fresh cider and take home Mason jars full of homemade apple butter. I ate it on toast, as a dip for apple slices and on sandwiches as a spread. You name it, I ate it. Yes, I even ate it out of the jar with a spoon. (No, I didn’t double dip.)

My friend, Steph, makes great apple butter in her slow cooker. It definitely doesn’t get much easier than that!

With Honeycrisp apples on sale this week, try this recipe and be sure to save some for a taste of fall all year long.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Ingredients:
6 lbs Honeycrisp apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
juice of one lemon

Directions:
Peel, core and slice apples. Drench them in the juice from one lemon.

Put the apples, sugar and spices in a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger), cover and cook on high for one hour.

Remove the lid, and cook on low (stirring occasionally), until the apple butter reaches a spreadable consistency and is dark brown in color.

Transfer to hot, sterilized jars, taking care to not fill past the headspace line.

To Can: Process the jars for 10 minutes in a water bath canner. Refrigerate any jars that fail to seal properly.

To Freeze: Allow the jars to cool. Then, place in the freezer. Use within a year for the best quality.

Serves 24

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 91, Calories from Fat: 2, Fat: 0.2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 20 g, Protein: 0 g

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SHOP THE SALE: PORK CHOPS WITH CINNAMON AND APPLES


Pork ChopsWe’re fully into fall now, and when that happens, I tend to favor the savory smells of cooking inside. This combination of pork, apples and onions will make your house smell heavenly. I promise. The secret ingredient? The cinnamon butter! Trust me on this. With boneless pork chops on sale this week, you can make this twice!

Pork Chops with Cinnamon and Apples

Ingredients:
4 (3/4-inch thick) boneless pork chops (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar butter spread, such as Land O’Lakes
1 tart apple, unpeeled, cored, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh garlic

Directions:
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Melt cinnamon sugar butter spread in a 12-inch skillet until sizzling; add pork chops. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove chops to serving platter; keep warm.

Place apple and onion slices in same skillet with pan juices. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; continue cooking 2-3 minutes or until garlic is softened. 

Return chops to pan; continue cooking 2-3 minutes or until internal temperature of pork reaches at least 145°F and is no longer pink.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 270, Fat: 12 g, Cholesterol: 80 mg, Sodium: 370 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 24 g



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