share. The Brookshire's Blog

Family Matters: For the Birds


My mom loves birds (except blue jays, but that’s an entirely different story).  Her backyard, resplendent with her flowers and fragrant with her vegetable garden, is also home to dozens of species of feathered friends. She catalogs them with a field guide to birds she keeps handy in her sunroom, which faces the yard on the back of my parents’ home. The well-thumbed-through book sits right next to the binoculars, for a better look at the birds, and the pellet gun.

Oops. Did I say that out loud? I can neither confirm nor deny that there MIGHT be a pellet gun in her sunroom.  Not to hurt the birds, mind you, but to scare off the squirrels which are conniving and constantly finding their way into her bird feeders. She doesn’t hurt the squirrels either, just scares them a bit (not that it works long term, but it deters them for a few minutes, at least.)

All that aside, my mom must have a half dozen different varieties of bird feeders (she won’t stop until she finds one that is truly squirrel-proof). My favorite was always the hummingbird feeders because I am in awe of those amazing birds. I could sit for hours in my mom’s sunroom, and more recently on my own back porch, watching the dance of the hummingbirds as they swoop in to eat, defend their territory and execute age-old mating rituals with each other.

The hummingbird feeders on my back porch are constantly abuzz with activity. The food is super easy and super-inexpensive to make. Store bought hummingbird food and mixes often contain red dye, because hummingbirds are attracted to the color red.

Don’t use it.

It can be harmful to the birds. If the feeder itself doesn’t already contain the color red, then tie a red ribbon onto it. That’ll do the trick without harming the birds.

Homemade Hummingbird Food

Ingredients:
1 cup Food Club sugar
4 cups water

Directions:
This recipe is always in a 1:4 part ratio so make as much as you’d like at a time. You can store the leftovers in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Using a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Slowly add in the sugar, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is added remove the boiler from the heat and continue to stir until the sugar is well blended.

Allow it to cool completely and add to your hummingbird feeder.

Another fun way to feed the birds and let your children in on the action is to make homemade bird feeders. We’ve all coated pine cones with peanut butter and birdseed, but I don’t have any pinecones in my yard. So my boys and I improvised and it works just as well.

Homemade Bird Feeders

1 empty cardboard toilet paper roll
Peanut Butter
Valu-Time bulk birdseed

Cover toilet paper roll in peanut butter. Roll in birdseed. Slip over a branch outside and watch the birds flock to their new feeder.



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.



Healthy Living: Sunscreen


This blog is going to be a little bit like preaching to the choir, because I know ALL of you wear sunscreen on a regular basis.

Right? Don’t you? Oh yes, me too.

That’s why I spent Saturday night slathered with aloe under cool compresses of wet washcloths.

Yes, I’m blushing, but you can’t tell underneath my sunburn.

I know better than to skimp on sunscreen. I know you should apply about 2 TBS all over your body every two hours out in the hot sunshine. I know to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and I know to reapply more often if I’m swimming. I know not to neglect my lips, which can suffer from skin cancer as well.

But for whatever reason Saturday, I forgot. Or wasn’t diligent. My boys stayed sunburn-free, thankfully. I slather them up to such excess they can still scrape a layer of sunscreen off their skin days later. But they never get sunburned, so that’s OK with me. I’m going to blame the exhilaration of spending the day at the lake for my negligence. Let’s see if that excuse holds up when I’m having skin cancer removed from my shoulder in the future.

Let’s start with some facts about skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.  More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
  • About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Now what do we do about all that?

WEAR SUNSCREEN! WEAR SUNSCREEN! WEAR SUNSCREEN!

Brookshire’s sells sunscreens from SPF 4 to SPF 70 in all forms – lotions, gels, sprays, sticks (great for faces because they don’t drip and run into the eyes). Sunscreen comes in so many handy forms (non-allergenic, non-scented, coconut scented, sport, baby, face-only) that there’s no excuse for not using it. We SHOULD use sunscreen every day, all year long. Don’t think you can get away with skipping sunscreen on an overcast day; clouds don’t block ultraviolet rays.

To protect yourself from sunburn, early skin aging and skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen that offers:

  • Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays).
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or greater.
  • Water resistance

Also do as I say, not as I DID (I won’t be making that mistake again). Apply liberally, at least every two hours. Use about two ounces a time. Apply BEFORE going outside. If you don’t have someone to help you cover those hard-to-reach spots, use a spray. Don’t forget a lip product that contains a broad spectrum SPF. If at all possible, wear protective clothing – hats with a broad brim, sunglasses, lightweight clothing that covers. Don’t miss your ears or the tops of your feet (yep, guilty of that as well).

But if you DO miss a spot, Brookshire’s sells aloe vera gel that is just heavenly applied straight out of the refrigerator!

| Permalink | Print
Posted in: Healthy Living


Dine-In: Sausage-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin


Fridays are the gateway to the weekend and, to me, the perfect time to celebrate a few days off with a festive meal. I love the feeling of Friday nights – the anticipation of soaking up the sun on Saturday, enjoying time with friends, resisting the hustle and bustle of the work day and being able to play epic games of Battleship or Clue with my two boys.

I also love weekends because they give me time to try new recipes and I don’t have to fight crowds at local eateries.

I originally saw something like this recipe posted on Facebook. It caught my attention because it had all my favorite words in it: “bacon,” “sausage” and “pork.” Go ahead, admit it – those words caught your attention too. Initially, I didn’t even READ the recipe my Facebook friend linked to and as it turns out, this recipe I’ve developed from those key words is vastly different than the version of pork paradise he posted.  His version, however, was cooked in a smoker. I don’t have a smoker at home, but the addition of a little liquid smoke in the stuffing plus slow-roasting the pork in the oven produced just as good of a result.

Sausage-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, or, Heaven On A Plate
Cooking time: One hour, 5 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves 10

Ingredients:
1 (5 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
1 lb reduced-fat bulk pork sausage
1/2 large white onion, diced
3/4 lb center-cut bacon
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbs liquid smoke
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper
Kitchen twine

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a cast iron skillet or skillet with an oven-proof handle, brown bulk sausage with onion until sausage is cooked through and onion is translucent.  Transfer from skillet into a large bowl. Mix with panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add beaten egg and liquid smoke. Mixture should be slightly damp.

Cut a pocket three-quarters of the way through the pork tenderloin, lengthwise.  Pack sausage stuffing into the pocket.

Place stuffed tenderloin back into the skillet.

Bind with three pieces of kitchen twine.

Using almost the entire pound of bacon, criss cross slices in an alternating pattern, covering the top of the stuffed pork tenderloin, tucking ends underneath.

Cover.

Roast at 325 F for an hour, or until internal temperature of the pork reaches 145 F.

Remove cover, turn broiler to high and brown the bacon, about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. 

Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 713, Fat: 30 g (10.6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 250 mg, Sodium: 600 mg, Carbohydrates: 16.2 g, Fiber: 1.1 g, Protein: 88.6 g

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



Product Talk: Cream Cheese


I love cream cheese.

I REALLY love cream cheese. In fact, I consider it a food group unto itself. I even have a board on Pinterest titled, “Ode to Cream Cheese.”

Someday, I plan to write the definitive cream cheese cookbook. There’s no time like the present to get started.

Cream cheese is made from un-skimmed milk enriched with additional cream. In the refrigerated section of Brookshire’s stores, you can find full-fat, one-third less fat and fat-free varieties of the lovely white stuff. It comes flavored, whipped, herbed and fruited. You can buy it in a brick or in a tub. The options are endless but the taste is ever-so-delicious.

Of course I like to eat cream cheese on a bagel (sesame, toasted). I also like to use it as a party spread, simply placing a block of cream cheese on a chilled platter and topping it with hot pepper jelly and serving with crackers. I use a thin spread of cream cheese in place of shredded cheese on a grilled pizza, under fresh tomato and fresh basil. And I cook with it every chance I get. My kids’ favorite slow cooker meal uses cream cheese: Place four frozen chicken breasts, one can of drained black beans, one 12-ounce bag of frozen corn, one jar of salsa, one jar of salsa verde and one block of cream cheese in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.

But usually my favorite cream cheese recipes involve desserts. I made this dish for a cook-out last weekend. Keep it refrigerated until time to serve and it’s even better the second day.

Cream Cheese Dream
Makes one 9×13 pan
Serves one (if it’s me), or about 12

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick Food Club butter, softened
1 cup Food Club all purpose flour

First Layer:
Ingredients:
1 cup Food Club powdered sugar
1 cup Food Club whipped topping (from a large container)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Second and Third layers:
Ingredients:
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding
2 cups milk

Directions:
Mix together first three ingredients and press in ungreased 9 x 13 glass pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Mix together next three ingredients and spread on cool crust.

Beat together vanilla pudding and one cup milk  and chocolate pudding and one cup milk and spread on as two creamy layers.

Cover top with the rest of the whipped topping. Refrigerate.

Variations:
•Use pistachio and chocolate puddings.
•Top layer of whipped topping with Heath Bar bits, crushed Butterfinger candy bars, mini-chocolate chips, peanuts, sprinkles or whatever you like.
•Substitute chocolate-flavored whipped topping for regular on top of the dessert.
•Use chocolate milk for an extra chocolate kick.
•Add a third layer of pudding in your choice of flavor.



Family Matters: Lavender Baby Bath


As most parents know, multi-tasking becomes a way of life when you have small children, especially babies.

My boys are close together in age, about 18 months apart, so the ability to multi-task was critical to the smooth flow of our household.

Plus, as a new parent, I was tired. Did I mention, TIRED?  Luke, my younger son, needed to eat every 90 minutes, at most, for the first several months of life. I remember waking up to his hunger cries, incredulous that he was hungry again. But sure enough, he’d eat vigorously and fall back to sleep…until the next time his belly needed filling.

Needless to say, I was exhausted and more-than-a-bit stressed out those first months of both boys’ lives, but then I discovered a way to double up on a task and get much-needed-relaxation.

Enter Lavender Baby Wash – Brookshire’s carries several brands of the lavender scented-baby wash.

Each evening, I’d fill my large bath tub (it was such a blessing to have!) with warm water and add a capful of lavender-scented baby wash, which bubbled up just enough to entertain the babies.  I’d put the boys in the tub together and inhale the soothing, steamy scent of the lavender-scented bath water. Both boys were bathed at once and we’d take advantage of the comforting, tranquil properties of lavender at the same time.

Lavender, sometimes called the “Mothering Oil,” is known for its relaxing properties and is used to alleviate not only stress but also anxiety. The ancient Egyptians added it to their baths for extra relaxation. Lavender settles irritability and is gently sedating, restoring mind and body to a state in which healing – and rest – can take place.

In closing, I have a confession: my boys are now 8 and 10 years old and I will STILL buy lavender baby wash.

No, they don’t use it; it’s for me.



Healthy Living: Cookin’ With Cast Iron


Cooking with cast iron isn’t just for frying chicken any more.

Using that beautifully black, superbly seasoned, wonderfully weighty cast iron skillet that your grandmother handed down is a smart way to help get chemicals out of your kitchen and more nutrients into your food.

Did you know that studies show that cooking your food, especially something acidic like tomato sauce, in a cast-iron skillet can increase iron content by as much as 20 times? Unlike some non-stick pans, cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals into your food, but it does release iron, supplementing the elemental mineral content in your cooking.  In addition, you remove the presence of PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a substance found in the non-stick coating of some pans that can be released into your food when you heat your pans over high heat or accidentally nick or scratch their surfaces.

Because well-seasoned cast iron is naturally non-stick, you can cook with less oil. To properly season your cast iron, wash with hot water after use (no dish soap, please), dry thoroughly and rub with a light application of cooking oil. Buff with a paper towel or soft cloth and store near your oven. In fact, because I have double ovens, I store my cast iron skillet in the oven I don’t usually use, but the heat from the unit helps keep my pan perfectly seasoned.  When I sauté something in my cast iron skillet, I often use no oil at all, unless it’s a touch of extra-virgin olive oil to add flavor.

Zucchini Tomato Gratin

Ingredients:
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 sweet onions, sliced in rings
3 large zucchini, thinly sliced
3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup panko
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 TBS fresh basil or oregano

Directions:
Place a layer of sweet onion rings on the bottom of cast iron skillet. Drizzle with 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil.

Top onions with a layer of tomatoes and zucchini slices, alternating.

Toss panko with cheese and spread over vegetables.

Bake in a 425 degree oven until vegetables are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

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



Dine-In: Mangia! Meatballs


Ever since Lady and The Tramp canoodled over a plate of pasta, spaghetti and meatballs has been, in my mind, a sweet date night dish.

It doesn’t get much better on a Friday night than to sit down with your sweetie over a plate of mouth-watering , homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

I’ve been working on my meatballs and marinara sauce for years. I finally have my marinara sauce as close to perfection as it’s going to get, but I hadn’t yet been satisfied with my meatballs. That  all changed last Friday night.

These meatballs melt in your mouth, which was just the consistency I was going for. In the past, my meatballs had gotten tough, but these are tender, moist morsels. Don’t over bake these beauties; pull them out of the oven when they’re still pink inside and let them continue simmering in your sauce. They’ll infuse your sauce with a savory goodness and the sauce, in turn, adds tenderness to the meatball.

Meatballs
Makes 12

Ingredients:
1 lb 85% lean ground beef
1 lb bulk sausage
1 large egg
1 cup panko
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs dried basil

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix by hand until well incorporated. Roll gently into rounds slightly larger than golf balls. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven while the centers are still pink and place into pot of simmering marinara to finish cooking, at least 30 minutes. If you’re not going to use the meatballs immediately, cook through in the oven. These freeze well.

*Note, a friend of mine hates to put her hands into raw meat, so she combines all her ingredients inside a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag and “squishes” the bag until all ingredients are well incorporated.

 

| Permalink | Print
Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Product Talk: Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil


I have a confession to make: I have lived in Texas for 15 years and I lived in parts of Louisiana for four years as a child and I have NEVER been to a shrimp boil.

Since it’s almost an official state pastime, I’ve been more-than-a-little embarrassed over my lack of shrimp-boiling prowess. I decided summertime was the perfect time to rectify that problem.

First stop: Brookshire’s for Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil, gorgeous 16/20 shrimp in the shells, earthy red potatoes and bright ears of corn on the cob. Let me just tell you, I love me some Zatarain’s. And while I’m at it, I have another confession: I always thought my mom’s red beans and rice was the best in the universe, but Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice gives it a run for its money! (Please don’t tell my mom). So it was practically a no-brainer to use a Zatarain’s product for my first shrimp boil.

Second stop: My very own kitchen to dig out my beautiful blue and white enamel stock pot, the one I’d use if ever called upon to cook for a small army.

I was ready.

The Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab boil is exactly as its name promises: a concentrated, spicy blend of red pepper, bay, clove, black pepper, thyme, marjoram and other spices. It comes in an 8-ounce bottle and you really only need a capful per two quarts of water, unless you really want to spice up your party. It’s easy to use and you don’t need any other spices or flavorings.

A shrimp boil is an extremely quick, easy party meal and fun for the whole family. I’d recommend spreading newspaper out on your table so you can dig in and enjoy your shrimp and not worry about the mess!

Southern Shrimp Boil
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 quarts water
2 Tbs salt (optional)
2 lbs large shrimp with shells on (21 to 30 count)
4 ears of corn on the cob, shucked and sliced in half
8 red potatoes, whole
1 lb cooked smoked sausage (optional)
2 tsp Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil

Directions:
Bring water and salt to boil in large stock pot.
Add potatoes and corn, cook for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Stir in shrimp, sausage if using, and Zatarain’s Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil. Return to boil; cover. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat. Let stand 2 minutes. Drain well.



Family Matters: Oobleck


On the last day of school one year, my older son, Curt, came home with a bag of slime.

No, it wasn’t the contents of a long-lost lunch bag, it was, as he explained to me in great detail, oobleck.

I watched him extract the green oobleck from the plastic bag, stretching it the length of his arm as he did so. Then he and his brother, Luke, proceeded to play with the oobleck for two hours.

Named for a slime in a Dr. Seuss book, “Bartholomew and Oobleck,” that had the power to gunk up a whole land, oobleck , besides looking like green gunk, has properties of both solids and liquids. Oobleck wiggles and jiggles like a liquid or jelly, but if you squeeze it in your hand, it will seem like a solid. In the scientific world, oobleck is called a dilatant, a substance that causes another to expand. If you slowly lower your hand into oobleck, it will sink, but it’s much, much harder to remove your hand without taking all the oobleck and its container with you. But in the real world, oobleck is just plain fun and easy to make with ingredients you probably have right in your pantry, perfect for a craft – or science experiment – on a hot summer’s day.

Oobleck

Ingredients:
Corn starch
Water
Food coloring (optional)

Directions:
Mix 1 part water with 1.5 to 2 parts cornstarch. Start with 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 cups of cornstarch, then work in more cornstarch if you want a more ‘solid’ oobleck.

Mix for about 10 minutes to get the right consistency. If you mix oobleck in a plastic bag with a zipper lock, kids can “squish” it to the right consistency.

Mix in a few drops of food coloring if you want colored oobleck.

Try this:
Squeeze or punch the oobleck. The cornstarch particles will not move out of the way quickly, so the oobleck will feel solid.

Mold oobleck in a container, but when you remove the mold, watch the oobleck lose its shape.

| Permalink | Print
Posted in: Family Matters


Page 56 of 57« First...48495051525354555657
Copyright © 2010-2017, 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.

Product Talk

Each Monday we feature a new or interesting product.

Healthy Living

Tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, every Tuesday.

Shop the Sale

On Wednesdays, get a tip or idea on using an item in the circular.

Family Matters

Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

Dine In

Stop fighting the crowds, save money and dine in, every Friday.

Mi Blog Hispano

De Todo un Poco