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Product Talk: Wonton Wrappers

Buffalo Chicken CupcakesIt’s all your fault.


You know who you are, Blogger-Who-Loves-Buffalo-Chicken-As-Much-As-I-Do and Employee-Who-Pointed-It-Out.

I’m lookin’ at you.

Wonton wrappers are so much fun to use for everything from egg rolls to apple pies to, yes, Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes.

These approximately 4 x 4-inch squares of thinly pressed dough are delicious and great for a variety of recipes. Stuff them with meat and veggies, wrap, bake or fry and use them as egg rolls. Line with apple pie filling, roll in cinnamon sugar, bake and call it an apple pie.

Or, make Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes.


It’s not a secret I ADORE buffalo chicken, OK?

And I’d taken a hiatus from writing about it…until a few days ago. But here’s one more recipe (for now), using easy, versatile wonton wrappers and my fave, buffalo chicken, for a meal easy to eat and yummy in your tummy.

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes
Makes 12 regular cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
24 wonton wrappers
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray muffin tin very lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, wing sauce and 3/4 cheddar cheese (save remaining 1/4 cup for topping). You can soften the mixture slightly in the microwave if needed to make it come together. Stir in shredded chicken.

Start layering your cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Spoon about a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into each cup. Top with another wonton wrapper and add another tablespoon of chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and a little blue cheese.

Bake for 18 minutes or until edges are brown. Check cupcakes after 10 minutes into cooking, and if edges are browned, cover the cupcakes with foil for the remaining cooking time. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove, use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each cupcake out.

For mini cupcakes: Cut each wonton wrapper into 4 squares. Layer wonton, about 1 teaspoon of filling, wonton, then another teaspoon of filling. Top with shredded cheese and blue cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly; then remove from pan.

Note: Wonton wrappers can be found in the refrigerated section of your produce section usually on a wall by the mushrooms, broccoli and dressings. Just ask someone if they aren’t there.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 330, Calories from Fat: 108, Fat: 12 g, Cholesterol: 52 mg, Sodium: 603 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 16g.

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

Dine In: Dolmadakia


The best Greek food I’ve ever eaten was in Germany. Go figure. But of course, that’s probably because I haven’t been to Greece…YET. (Visiting there is first on my to-do list.)

There was a little restaurant called the Poseidon, full of every Greek kitsch you can imagine – statues of Greek gods, faux-crumbling columns, brightly colored frescoes of sea sides, whitewashed houses and blue skies, a model of the Parthenon…you get the picture.

But the food was amazing. Every Friday night, for the better part of two years, my partner in crime, Susan, and I walked from our apartment building, on the grounds of a German military artillery school, to the Poseidon and sat outside on the patio every time weather permitted (which in Germany, doesn’t happen often).

Each meal there started off with an ice-cold shot of ouzo, a Greek liquor with a licorice flavor. They said it opened your digestive tract. Then we’d usually get a slab of goat cheese, milky-white, salty, and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and some capers. I almost always ordered the dolmadakia – as an appetizer they were served cold, or they came baked in a rich tomato sauce as a main course. Dolmadakia are grape leaves stuffed with a combination of meat, often lamb, and rice. We’d sip on a kristallweizen (a light, crisp, German wheat beer) during the meal, and, at the conclusion of the feast, the waiter would bring a snifter of metaxa, another Greek liquor, on fire. You blew out the colored flame and sipped it, closing your digestive tract.

Recreating the ‘dolma’ at home is a little time-consuming, but once you master the art of wrapping the grape leaves, it’s a great date-night, dine in meal.

Serves 8

2/3 cup raw rice
1 (1 lb) jar grape leaves
6 small onions, finely chopped
3/4 lb ground lamb or ground beef, uncooked
1 tsp crushed dried mint
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
Chicken broth or water
2 lemons
2 egg yolks

Do not cook the rice, but soak it in boiling water 5 minutes and drain in a sieve. Unfold the grape leaves and rinse under cold running water.

In a bowl, combine the rice, onions, meat, mint, parsley, seasonings and oil; mix together with clean hands.

Form 1 tablespoon of the mixture into an oval shape, place on a grape leaf and roll up, turning the ends in to seal; repeat until all the stuffing is used. Arrange stuffed leaves closely packed in layers in a small flame-proof baking dish.

Pour in the broth or water to cover; sprinkle with the juice of 1 lemon. Place a heat-proof plate on top of the grape leaves to weigh them down. Cover with foil, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour over very low heat. Let the leaves cool slightly in the broth and remove from broth, reserving the broth.

Beat the egg yolks. Add the juice of the other lemon to the yolks. Heat the yolk mixture, slowly adding some of hot broth from the dolmadakia while heating. Remove from heat, stir into rest of broth and let stand 5 minutes to thicken.

Serve immediately while sauce is warm.

Nutritional Information:Calories Per Serving: 286, Calories from Fat: 141, Fat: 16 g, Cholesterol: 78 mg, Sugars: 2 g, Sodium: 1941 mg, Carbohydrate: 28 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 12 g

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Posted in: Dine In

Family Matters: Social Interaction

When your toddler is about 2 years old, he’ll really like social activities like story time. However, don’t expect him to get down and interact with all the other kids. Little ones at this age still primarily parallel play, that is, they engage in their own activity next to another child. This is perfectly OK. You don’t have to force Jacob to share with Sophie or even be interested in her toys or acknowledge she’s there. He’s still primarily interested in his caregiver and whatever toy he finds most amusing at that given moment. But introducing him to other kids in group settings (whether that be one other child or 10) is good for his development at this point. So maybe try a library story time, or a group music class, or just take your toddler to the park and let them sort out the early social cues.

TIP 12 to 36 Months: Say no to your toddler. That’s right. A simple word, “No.” This is what a toddler can understand. Rationalizing with them, “Do you think that’s a good choice?” is more appropriate for a school-age child. But when they’re 2 and 3, keep it simple!

Family Matters: Car Seat Safety

Your baby is probably big enough now to transition from an infant carrier car seat to a convertible seat. But always, always, always keep it rear-facing. A lot of experts are now recommending that you keep baby in a rear-facing position longer than age 12 months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, based on a 2007 study from the University of Virginia, “children under 2 are 75 percent less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a crash if they are facing the rear.”

“A baby’s head is relatively large in proportion to the rest of his body, and the bones of his neck are structurally immature,” said the statement’s lead author, Dr. Dennis R. Durbin, scientific co-director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If he’s rear-facing, his entire body is better supported by the shell of the car seat. When he’s forward-facing, his shoulders and trunk may be well restrained, but in a violent crash, his head and neck can fly forward.”

What more information do you need?

TIP 7 to 12 Months: Babies this age are now eating solid foods. To help them stay full, make sure to provide about 3 full tablespoons of protein at each meal.

Product Talk: Gorton’s Simply Bake Tilapia Signature Seasoning

I’ve wanted my kids to eat more fish for a long time now. It’s brain food, after all, with the omega fatty acids needed for optimal brain function.

But to be honest, they haven’t enjoyed it very much.  Not even the grilled salmon I adore and could eat several times a week.

Recently we tried Gorton’s Simply Bake Tilapia Signature Seasoning. The boys loved it. It’s a more mild white fish and seasoned perfectly. We had it with steamed cauliflower and a side of wild rice.

But, best of all – you bake it in a bag! Easy cleanup and perfect for a weeknight meal. You just place the Bake Perfect Oven Bag in your oven, and it cooks up in no time. Each tilapia fillet has only 120 calories and 20 grams of protein. Try some today!

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Posted in: Product Talk

Product Talk: Hass Avacados

Baked Avocado and EggI can’t get enough of avocados. The Hass variety are probably my favorite, grown in Southern California and featuring a deep, purplish-green skin. They’re large, about the size of a baseball, and their buttery, velvety flesh is beyond delicious.

Avocados are chock-full of good fats – the kind that won’t clog your arteries. They peak in June, but are available year-round.

And oh my, they are delicious!

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Immediately. I’ve now eaten it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-evening snack. It’s just that good.

Baked Avocado and Egg
Serves 2

1 large Hass avocado, sliced in half
2 eggs
2 Tbsp grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled

Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out just enough flesh to hold an egg. Crack egg into the avocado, place on a baking sheet and bake at 425° F until the egg is set to your preference (I like them runny, about 5 minutes). Sprinkle with cheese and bacon pieces, return to oven until cheese is melted, serve immediately.

Nutritional information: Calories Per Serving: 386, Calories from Fat: 289, Fat: 32g, Cholesterol: 192 mg, Sodium: 553mg, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 17g.

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

Product Talk: V8 V-Fusion® + Energy

V8 V-Fusion® + EnergyI came dragging into church last Sunday after what was perhaps the most intense work week of my entire professional career.

I slumped down next to my friend and plopped my study book down on the table. When I plopped my book down, it rattled the drink can she had sitting on the table and almost knocked it over.

I grabbed it before it toppled, but then I was interested.

It was a new V8 V-Fusion® + Energy drink.

I needed energy, for sure, and most energy drinks on the market gross me out. I already love V8 drinks, so I was intrigued.

V8 V-Fusion® + Energy contains one combined serving of vegetables and fruit with the delicious taste of fruit, is an excellent source of B vitamins, has 50 calories and is available in a 6-pack of 8-oz. cans, according to the company website. The all-natural drink gives you natural energy from green tea extracts and B vitamins and has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It also has no added sugar.

Since I gave up soda months ago and I’m trying to limit caffeine, I definitely wanted to try these. I bought all three varieties – Pomegranate Blueberry, Peach Mango and Orange Pineapple, and I have not been disappointed yet. I drink them mid-afternoon to get me through the rest of the day.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Shop The Sale: Marinated Thai Style Pork Ribs

Marinated Thai Style Pork RibsMy friend Jon is traveling the world. He retired early, in his mid-40s, after years as an air-traffic controller and took off with a backpack and his camera.

He spent his first year in Mexico.

He’s now in the Far East and enjoying every minute.

He posts pictures (I first met him through his photography) and I can only imagine that the caramelized brown, crispy-juicy ribs he posted recently were this recipe.

They taste even more succulent when they’re on sale at Brookshire’s, like they are this week.

Marinated Thai Style Pork Ribs

1 cup sliced shallots
10 scallions, coarsely chopped
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
8 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro including thin stems (and roots, if possible)
6 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp sugar
4 lbs pork spareribs, cut by your butcher across the bone into 2- to 3-inch “racks,” each rack cut between the bones into individual 2- to 3-inch-long riblets

Put the shallots, scallions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a loose, finely chopped paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

Place pork ribs in a large bowl or a pair of heavy resealable plastic bags. Thoroughly coat the ribs with the marinade, massaging the paste into the flesh for a minute or so. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours or up to 5 hours in the refrigerator, tossing the ribs once or twice during this time.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread the ribs out, bone-side down, on two large parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until ribs are deeply colored and very tender but not yet falling from the bone, about 1 1/2 hours, occasionally rotating the pans to encourage even cooking.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 1,201, Calories from Fat: 606, Total Fat: 67 g, Cholesterol: 422 mg, Sodium: 2672 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 18 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein:  124 g

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Posted in: Shop the Sale

Healthy Living: Spinach

Garlic Sautéed Spinach Spinach gets a bad rep, and it shouldn’t!

I mean, yeah, Popeye ate it to pop big biceps, but it’s so amazingly good for you otherwise. Spinach is rich in antioxidants, especially when prepared with little fuss, such as steamed or quickly boiled.

Spinach is HUGE in iron (that’s why Popeye liked it). It’s also high in calcium.

I like spinach every way, but a light sauté, finished with heart healthy olive oil, is perfect.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs baby spinach leaves
2 Tbsp good olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped garlic (6 cloves)
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Sea or kosher salt, optional

Rinse the spinach well in cold water to make sure it’s very clean. Spin it dry in a salad spinner, leaving just a little water clinging to the leaves.
In a very large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute but not until it’s browned. Add all the spinach, the salt, and pepper to the pot, toss it with the garlic and oil, cover the pot and cook it for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook the spinach for another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl and top with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of sea or kosher salt. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 109, Fat: 3 g, Protein: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Sugar: 0 g, Fiber: 6 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Sodium: 821 mg


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Posted in: Healthy Living

Healthy Living: Race Day Fuel

In a couple of weeks I’m running my second half marathon, and let me tell you, I’m starting to get rather nervous. Over the past few years I have run several 5Ks and a couple of 10Ks, so I’ve gotten my pre-race rituals down to an art.

The day before the race I like to take it easy. For dinner, I have a pasta dish and avoid anything greasy or creamy. Before going to bed I always lay out my race-day outfit and paint my toenails. Painting my toenails is sort of my good luck charm; I have painted them before every race.  I always try to go to bed early, but I’m so nervous and excited I really don’t think I get very much sleep.

The morning of the race I wake up early and try to take it easy until it’s time to leave for the race. After waking up, I enjoy peanut butter toast and lots of water.

Eating breakfast before a race is one of the most important meals of training. Breakfast restores your liver glycogen from the depletion from the night before. Liver glycogen helps maintain your blood sugar level during exercise. Your pre-race meal needs to be mostly carbohydrates since that is your body’s preferred form of fuel. You will need to add in a little protein to prevent getting hungry during the race. Limit the amount of fiber and fat in your pre-race meal. Fiber can leave you bloated, and fat will take too long to digest.

Don’t try anything new on race day, from clothing to food. In weeks leading up to the race, try out different food options to see what works best with your body. Good examples of a pre-race breakfast are toast and peanut butter, oatmeal with milk and fruit, waffles with syrup and fruit, or an egg sandwich. The most important thing is to find what foods work best for you.

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Posted in: Healthy Living

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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.

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.

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