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Shop the Sale: Campfire Burgers

Campfire BurgersFood always tastes better on a camping trip.

That’s my belief, and I’m sticking to it.

Last week’s camping trip was filled with mountain bike rides, a really long hike around the lake and one seriously long trek to the actual restroom facilities. Oh, then there was swimming and a paddle boat excursion, too.

I know two boys who were hungry. Ravenous, really.

The weather was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky, warm sun and cool breezes. That plus a lot of physical activity made for a great day.

Then, there was dinner.

These “Campfire Burgers” are named as such for their smoky flavor and aroma.

I don’t know whether it was the starry night, the crackling fire or the ghost stories, but these tasted just about perfect.

If you want to get really fancy, add soaked hickory chips to your charcoal fire for an extra infusion of smokiness.

Angus ground chuck, which is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, is perfect to pack in your camping cooler.

*Note: You can caramelize the onions in advance and pack them in your cooler. Just reheat them when you’re ready to serve. The sauce can also be mixed up in advance. You can cook the bacon up at home, or fry a bunch at the campsite and save it for the next morning’s breakfast, too.

Campfire Burgers
Serves 4


Caramelized Onions:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Campfire Sauce:
1/4 cup regular mayonnaise
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/8 tsp liquid smoke

1 lb Angus ground chuck
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
4 hamburger buns

Caramelized Onions:
Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions; season with salt and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook for another 1­2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Campfire Sauce:
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and liquid smoke until creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, mix ground beef, cheese, bacon, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, salt and pepper until combined. Form into 4 equal-sized patties.

Preheat grill or skillet with olive oil over medium­-high heat. Add patties and cook for about 6­-7 minutes. Flip; cook for another 6-­7 minutes until cooked thoroughly.

Assemble burgers on toasted buns topped with caramelized onions and campfire sauce.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 591, Calories from Fat: 263, Fat: 29 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 128 mg, Sodium: 1324 mg, Potassium: 660 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 10 g, Protein: 46 g

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

Healthy Living: Best Pizza Sauce EVER

The other night, Paul and I made homemade pizza.

It was outstanding for many reasons, including the fact that we made our own crust, grew our own basil for garnish and topping, used fresh mozzarella for the cheese, and made a so-simple-you-won’t-believe-it-sauce for the fresh pie.

It all started when Paul gave me an autographed copy of a Julia Child cookbook. Autographed by hand not a stamp, mind you. I stroked the pages lovingly and did not let anyone touch it for days on end.

Until I wanted to read it, that is.

Paul got me the cookbook because he knew I LOVE cooking, and I LOVE to read cookbooks. This masterpiece was meant to be read.

The first recipe in the book was for pizza, an incredibly simple recipe that let all the ingredients shine.

Easiest of all was the sauce, which is a great base a child can have fun helping you make. It’s made with a can of fresh whole, peeled plum tomatoes with only a few extra ingredients. It’s bright, tasty, fresh and healthy.

This would also be good tossed with fresh pasta, ravioli or tortellini, or used on top of a bruschetta.

Pizza Sauce

1 (48 oz) can peeled Italian whole plum tomatoes
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper

With your hands, crush tomatoes in a large bowl until pulverized. Add spices. Add olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Spread onto pizza crust; add toppings. Bake.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 149, Calories from Fat: 64, Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1231 mg, Potassium: 22 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 14 g

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

Product Talk: Borden’s Grilled Cheese Melts

Borden’s Grilled Cheese MeltsGrilled cheese isn’t only a comfort food; it’s a delicacy.

Yes, really.

There’s at least one restaurant in Austin, Texas, dedicated to nothing but grilled cheese. I hear they start at $15.

You can make a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich much more cost-effectively in your own home.

It starts with Borden’s Grilled Cheese Melts, individually wrapped slices of cheese specially formulated to melt blissfully into the buttery, bready goodness of your sandwich.

Borden’s Grilled Cheese Melts are an American cheese food product designed to dissolve into melted goodness in your sandwich.

My little guy was sick last week, and he wanted grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch. So when I ran to Brookshire’s after dropping his big brother off at school, I grabbed a package of these slices, knowing it would make lunchtime easier.

The slices were delicious, melting beautifully while maintaining tons of flavor, but we didn’t stop at your basic grilled cheese.

You see, a friend of mine had posted a recipe on social media for a grilled sandwich crusted in parmesan cheese. I had to try it!

Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese

4 slices whole-wheat bread
2 Tbs butter, softened
4 slices Borden’s Grilled Cheese Melts
4 Tbs parmesan cheese, grated

Place 2 slices of Borden’s Grilled Cheese Melts between 2 slices of whole-wheat bread, adding whatever extras you desire (bacon, avocado, tomatoes, etc…). Press sandwich together firmly, but be careful not to “smush” it. Butter each side of the bread. Press buttered bread into grated parmesan, dividing evenly across the entirety of the bread. Heat griddle to medium. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place bread onto griddle; cook until bread and cheese are golden-brown and filling is beginning to melt, about 4 minutes. Flip; grill until bread and cheese are crispy and golden-brown, about another 4 minutes. Slide onto plate and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 553, Calories from Fat: 351, Fat: 39 g (24 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 111 mg, Sodium: 1251 mg, Potassium: 146 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 25 g

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

Dine In: Crusty Fish and Jalapeño Pasta

My best friend and I have Girls Night Out every Thursday.

Well, not EVERY Thursday. Life has gotten in the way, but we try to meet as often as possible, if only for an hour or two.

Our favorite restaurant is the same (that’s part of the reason we’re BFFs), and we go there as much as we can. The restaurant is in an old mansion on a hill, and we love sitting out on the expansive deck decorated with lights, comfortable with a fan and under the webbing of trees, shade and sanctuary.

I also love their jalapeño fish pasta.

It’s spicy, yet mild. It’s creamy, yet bold.

Delicious! You can probably make this with any kind of hardy white fish you want.

Crusty Fish and Jalapeño Pasta

2 (4 oz) tilapia fillets
1/2 cup white flour
2 oz melted margarine
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup jalapeño, diced
1 cup de-stemmed fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 pinch garlic salt
4 oz heavy cream
1/4 cup lemon butter (1/4 cup butter mixed with 4 Tbs lemon juice)
5 oz angel hair pasta
1 tsp fresh parsley
1/8 cup Roma tomatoes, diced

Dredge the tilapia fillets in the flour; add them with the melted margarine and garlic to a medium temperature sauté pan.

Once the tilapia has finished cooking on one side, flip the fillets over and add the jalapeños, spinach, salt, pepper and garlic salt.

Prepare the angel hair pasta in boiling water. Allow it to cook 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the temperature of the water.

As the fillets begin to flake, add the heavy cream, then bring it to a slight boil.

Once the cream begins to boil, remove the pan from the fire, and reduce the lemon butter into the sauce.

Place the pasta in a bowl, and pour the fish with the sauce over the pasta.

Garnish with fresh Roma tomatoes and parsley.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 2226, Calories from Fat: 1284, Fat: 142.6 g (67.9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 398.7 mg, Sugar: 5.8 g, Sodium: 1295.3 mg, Carbohydrates: 163.3 g, Fiber: 8 g, Protein: 75.7 g

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

Shop the Sale: Shredded Beef Tacos

I think I’ve mentioned before that we have Taco Tuesday at my house.

Well, to be honest, it’s more like Taco Wednesday (which does not have the same alliterative value) because we have soccer until 8pm on Tuesdays and only get home in time to gulp something out of the slow cooker.

Point being, we eat good on Taco WhateverDayItIs.

We have tried a lot of different taco fillings. I have a limit on the ground beef filling, even though I’ve perfected my own spice mixture.

Once, I did shredded beef with a green salsa verde mix, but last week, I tried slow-cooking a rump roast without adding anything to the beef. It was amazing.

I think the beauty of this roast came in searing it first. It sealed all the juices in during cooking and created a tender, flavorful taco filling.

One rump roast easily fed four people with at least four taco servings left over.

Shredded Beef Tacos

4 lb rump roast
4 Tbs cumin
4 Tbs chili powder
4 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs red pepper
4 Tbs David Wade’s Worcestershire Powder (or sauce)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup salsa
tortillas, salsa, cheese, avocado slices, sour cream

Mix all seasonings together and rub all over meat.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until oil starts to smoke. Sear meat, about 1 minute per side, until crusty and browned.

Remove rump roast from cast-iron skillet and set slow cooker to low heat.

Place rump roast and all the juices from the pan into slow cooker. Add 1/2 cup salsa. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove beef from slow cooker. Shred beef. Return to slow cooker. Turn to high heat. Cook for another hour.

Serve in tacos with flour tortillas, salsa, cheese, avocado slices and sour cream.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 451, Calories from Fat: 134, Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 432 mg, Potassium: 176 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g

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

Mi Blog Hispano: Familia el Mejor Regalo

Familia el Mejor RegaloLa familia es el tesoro más valioso que tenemos. Son esas personas que nos rodean, allegados o esos amigos cercanos que se han ganado el título de también ser llamados familia. La familia da forma a nuestra historia ya que están allí a lo largo de nuestra vida  en las buenas o en las malas.

A veces no tenemos conciencia de lo importante que son, hasta que por alguna situación los perdemos o estamos lejos de ellos. En mi caso soy la mayor de 5 hermanos y crecí rodeada de juegos y amor de parte de mi familia. En mi casa siempre sobraban los motivos para celebrar; cumpleaños, graduaciones, Navidad, cualquier pretexto nos abría las puertas a fiestas y alegría. Hoy me encuentro lejos y los pienso y los extraño cada segundo.

Aunque seamos de diferentes personalidades o temperamentos cuando se habla de familia siempre hay algo que nos une y es la sangre o el amor. La solidaridad familiar no tiene precio, el saber que tienes una mano y un abrazo disponible es una bendición.

Hoy no tengo a mis padres, hermanos, sobrinos o amigos del alma cerca. Pero Dios me ha regalado a mi esposo, hijos y nuevos amigos que se han convertido en mi nueva familia. Una familia muy diversa de diferentes países y que hablan distintos idiomas. Ellos alegran mi vida y me acompañan y estoy súper agradecida de tenerlos. Además,  gracias a Facebook y a la tecnología puedo saber qué pasa con mi familia que está lejos y sé que a pesar de las distancias el cariño siempre es el mismo.

A la familia debemos disfrutarla siempre y aprovechar cada minuto que se pueda para compartir y demostrar el afecto. Es importante darle prioridad y tiempo para compartir y escucharnos. Ninguna cosa creada o ganancia material se iguala a la dicha y felicidad de compartir con la Familia. Los pequeños gestos y detalles siempre ayudaran a enriquecer la relación familiar, también aprender a escuchar, pedir disculpas y perdonar ya que en medio de la convivencia siempre será necesario mantener un ambiente familiar sano.

Los invito en este día a tomar la iniciativa y tener un gesto especial con su seres amados, hágale una llamada y dígale cuanto los quiere y aprecia. Y recuerde siempre que la familia es el mejor regalo que usted ha recibido.

Healthy Living: Zucchini Pizza Bites

I was browsing Pinterest over the weekend (I was looking for healthy recipes, and recipes for s’mores kept popping up. I’m not sure how that happened) and noticed something on my feed: There were six or seven pins for “Foods You Should Never Eat.” Each one pictured bread, then several of the remaining pins on the page were for foods you could substitute for breads or other heavy starches.

I love my bread, but I know that it’s often “empty calories,” especially if I’m eating white bread or something similar. I know a lot of people find it hard to escape the clutches of white flour and processed carbs.

Let’s take pizza, for example. I’ve made pizza with the cauliflower crust. It was delicious, but it wasn’t “real” pizza crust.

Still, though, I’d like to enjoy the taste of pizza without the carbs and calories from the crust.

These zucchini bites are the perfect solution. They give you the added benefit of fiber and the vitamins of veggies without the calories.

Plus, you can just pop ‘em in your mouth!

Zucchini Pizza Bites

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 large zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella, finely grated
1/4 cup pepperoni minis
1 Tbs Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to broil.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add zucchini and cook, flipping once, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place zucchini rounds onto a large baking sheet. Top each zucchini round with marinara, mozzarella and pepperoni minis.

Place into oven and cook until the cheese has melted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with Italian seasoning, if desired.

Note: For some added texture, place the pepperoni minis on a paper towel; place in microwave and cook for 30 seconds. They’ll become crispy and render some of their fat onto the paper towel. Remove them from the paper towel, blotting grease before you add them to the top of the zucchini pizza bites.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 190, Calories from Fat: 125, Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 0.2 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 32 mg, Sodium: 455 mg, Potassium: 222 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 12 g

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

Product Talk: Simply Limeade

Simply LimeadeI don’t know how I’ve made it fortysomething years without having tasted a limeade, but I hadn’t had one.

All that changed today.

We slept in, as it was a Sunday, then decided to make breakfast. My sons wanted biscuits. I didn’t have any regular flour, so this was going to require a run to Brookshire’s. I threw on a sweatshirt (didn’t even wash my face) and ran down the street to the closest store.

When I got there, I realized I was running out of time, and if we wanted breakfast before church, I was going to have to go with refrigerated biscuits from the can. I was zooming over to the refrigerated section when I passed the refrigerated drinks.

There, I saw it: limeade.

Limeade from Simply is with the refrigerated teas, orange juices and lemonades in your neighborhood Brookshire’s.

I glanced at it but kept going, my mind on the biscuits and the biscuits on my mind.

I thought about limeade all morning.

As the biscuits were baking, I thought, “Wouldn’t a tall glass of icy limeade taste good right about now?”

I thought about limeade in church and while I was doing chores around the house. I thought about limeade obsessively.

When it was time to get lunch together, I couldn’t resist any longer. Under the guise of “forgetting” that I hadn’t bought chips to go along with the sausages we were grilling, a trip back to Brookshire’s became a necessity.

I left with not only limeade but raspberry lemonade by Simply as well.

Simply Limeade has the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It’s made with real lime juice, not concentrate, and it tastes fresh, crisp and delicious. It’s oh-so-refreshing.

Simply also makes Orange Juice, Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Blueberry Lemonade, Orange Juice with Mango, and a whole other host of fruity beverages.

Check them out today.

Dine In: Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant ParmesanIt’s Mother’s Day weekend, so for at least one meal over the next three days, I would like one of my favorites (just saying, to anyone who might be reading this).

Growing up, eggplant parmesan was one of my favorite dishes. It was often requested as a birthday or special occasion dinner.

Never mind that my mom initially tricked us into liking eggplant, cutting it in wedges and frying it.

“Oh, they’re french fries,” she’d say.

I don’t remember if I believed her or not, but I did love eggplant no matter how she cooked it, ESPECIALLY with red sauce and cheese on top.

Growing up, I realized that you didn’t really have to fry the eggplant to make a delicious parmesan dish. Besides, too many people don’t fry correctly and the eggplant becomes soggy with grease (I know this because I try it in almost every new Italian restaurant I discover). So, this is a lightened-up version, and it would taste delicious tonight (again, just saying, in case anyone I know is reading this).

Eggplant Parmesan


2 egg whites from large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbs water
2 cups panko
1/4 cup (1 oz) fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 (1 lb) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
cooking spray

1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
1/4 cup (1 oz) fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 (16 oz) ctn part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 (24 oz) jar premium pasta sauce (or homemade)
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
3/4 cup (3 oz) fontina cheese, finely grated

Preheat oven to 375° F.

To prepare eggplant, combine 2 egg whites and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant slices 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).

To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce. Spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° F for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 318, Fat: 15.1 g (8.2 g Saturated Fat, 2.7 g Monounsaturated Fat, 0.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 19.3 g, Carbohydrates: 26.8 g, Fiber: 4.8 g, Cholesterol: 99 mg, Iron: 1.6 mg, Sodium: 655 mg, Calcium: 365 mg

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

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Family Matters: Protecting Your Outside Pet from Fleas and Ticks

Protecting Your Outside Pet from Fleas and TicksMy dog, Astro, spends most of the day outside while I’m at work. Luckily, I have a large, covered patio that keeps him out of the direct sun when he wants to cool off and take a break. I’m toying with the idea of getting a hard plastic kiddie pool for him, but I’m afraid that would be a mosquito magnet.

Speaking of small, pesky insects, summer is prime time for fleas and ticks to hitch a ride on your outdoor pet.

Fleas and their eggs can live outside in grass, soil and even crevices in sidewalks, while inside they live in rugs and carpets, cracks in floors, bedding, etc. Ticks can thrive in trees, bushes, tall grasses and shrubs.

Comb your pet regularly with a flea comb, vacuum frequently and dispose of the bags immediately after use. Mow areas of the lawn where your dog spends time, wash pet bedding weekly and wash your pet with a pesticide-free pet shampoo.

Invest in shampoos, sprays, powders, monthly treatments and other products to control ticks and fleas; discuss these with your veterinarian first.

You can also have your yard treated by a pest control company to help reduce the incidence of fleas and ticks.

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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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