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Family Matters: Making Memories


Making MemoriesAs I’m writing this, my boys are gone on a spring break trip with their dad. By the time you read this, they will be home and my heart will be full. Right now, they’re on an adventure and making memories.

They’re going camping at a national park that they’ve never explored before, and I’m excited for them.

When it comes down to it, they’ve been pretty spoiled by spring break trips. They’ve been to the beach, to the Grand Canyon, to Arkansas and camping all around the state of Texas.

You don’t have to take a spring break trip to make memories, though. A weekend staycation or small trip to somewhere special makes memories just as significant as flying over the Grand Canyon, I promise you.

Look into hiking your closest state park. You don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy the great outdoors. We take day trips and make use of the day-use sites, where we can still grill out over an open fire, make a fire pit and hike the trails without having to sleep on the ground if we choose not to.

Find some local museums, or visit ones in a city nearby. You never know the gems you’ll find, or the people you’ll meet, inside.

Tour a few historic landmarks in your area. You might want to explore an old cemetery, being utterly respectful, of course. The artistry and history can be captivating.

Go to an amusement park for the day, and ride one ride that terrifies you.

Most of all, take pictures. Put together a photo book from a photo-sharing website, and the memories will last even longer.



Shop the Sale: Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-Fry


Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-FryYou know it’s spring when fresh, bright, firm stalks of asparagus are on the shelves at Brookshire’s.

These green stalks, standing tall, are a delicious and nutritious way to welcome warmer weather.

Asparagus is full of vitamin K, more than 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance for vitamin K as a matter of fact. It’s also very high in folate, copper and vitamin B1.

Asparagus has significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, too.

Asparagus stalks should be rounded and not twisted. The buds on top can have purple striations, but they should be closed and tightly firm. To serve asparagus, break the stalk from the woody stem – you’ll feel where the natural give is – and remove the tough part. If the stalks are ripened, the stems may be firm and you will choose to peel it. It’s not necessary, though.

Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-Fry

Ingredients:
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
1 lb asparagus
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce

Directions:
In a wok or other large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until oil is fragrant and shimmering. Add the shrimp; season with salt and red pepper. Sauté until the shrimp is pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add asparagus, ginger, garlic and the other half of the salt. Sauté until asparagus is crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp back to the asparagus. Pour in soy sauce. Stir until well-combined and heat through. Add lemon juice, and serve immediately with rice.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 287, Calories from Fat: 145, Fat: 16 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 239 mg, Sodium: 1086 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 29 g.

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



Mi Blog Hispano: Ideas Para el Ejercicio en Familia


Ideas Para el Ejercicio en FamiliaLo admito, necesito hacer más ejercicio. Muchas veces lo planeo, pero acabo no haciéndolo y tengo mil excusas – que tengo que cocinar, que tengo que ayudar a las niñas con tarea, que estoy demasiado cansada, que me duele la cabeza, que tengo mucha ropa que lavar, que tengo que limpiar la casa, y sigue la lista de mis mil excusas. Tengo tres hijas que les encantan los electrónicos, ver tele, y leer libros. No digo que es malo, simplemente digo que es necesario pararnos del sofá más frecuente. Esto tiene que empezar con mi esposo y yo, ya que somos los padres y tenemos que poner un buen ejemplo a nuestras hijas enseñándolas a que les guste hacer ejercicio. Esto puede ser un gran reto, pero por amor a mi familia y el deseo de que estén saludables, lo hare.

Aquí están unas ideas para que juntos nos motivemos a hacer más actividades físicas:

  • Andar en bicicleta
  • Brincar riatas
  • Ir a nadar o a patinar
  • Después de la cena, ir a caminar alrededor de la cuadra
  • Si tiene un perrito en casa, llévelo a caminar al parque con toda la familia
  • Regístrese para correr en carreras benéficas que son para una buena causa
  • Vayan al gimnasio juntos en familia

Les animo a que juntos hagamos más ejercicio ya que esto nos ayudara a estar más saludables y también a alargar nuestras vidas.

¡Viva la salud!



Healthy Living: Sinus Allergy Relief Drink


Sinus Allergy Relief DrinkIt’s allergy season in the South, and it feels like it came back a little sooner this year than most.

Allergies are a histamine reaction to things in the air this time of year, like grass, pollen, ragweed, mold and any other host of things that are blooming nearby.

You might need to see your doctor about combatting seasonal allergies, but there are natural home remedies you can also use to alleviate symptoms, such as a stuffy nose and sinus congestion.

One of them is this drink.

Made with all natural ingredients, a wise, older woman that I know swears by this concoction. She drinks one portion daily and swears that it helps keep her sinuses from becoming inflamed, thus keeping her breathing easily.

Even if it doesn’t have magical, medicinal properties, it IS healthy for you, no matter why you’re drinking it.

If you don’t have a juicer, peel and chop all of your ingredients. Add about 1/2 cup sparkling water, and process in a food processer until desired consistency.

Sinus Allergy Relief Drink

Ingredients:
2 large carrots
2 oranges
1 green apple, cored
1 small piece ginger, peeled

Directions:
Put all ingredients in juicer, and process according to manufacturer’s directions.

Serves 1

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 437, Calories from Fat: 23, Fat: 3 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 95 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 21 g, Sugar: 65 g, Protein: 7 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Smoked Sausage Low Country Boil


Smoked Sausage Low Country BoilIt is full-on crawfish season in the South, and there’s nothing better on a spring night than to sit out around the propane boiler with friends and family cooking crawfish, listening to music, letting the kids run and play (far away from the propane, of course) and enjoying some food and fun.

There’s one problem, though: My kids don’t really like crawfish, so I make them (and any others who don’t eat mud bugs) a slow cooker low country boil that captures the spirit of the crawfish boil without having to twist off any heads.

Smoked Sausage Low Country Boil

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes
1 lemon, sliced
1/4 cup Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil, or Old Bay Seasoning
6 cups water
1 lb Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 ears fresh or frozen corn, cut into thirds
2 lbs fresh or frozen shrimp, with shells on

Directions:
Spray the liner of a 6 to 7-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Spread potatoes across the bottom. Layer on lemon slices, seasoning and water. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Add smoked sausage and corn. Cook on low for 2 more hours. Add shrimp, and stir mixture carefully. (Slow cooker will be full.) Turn temperature to high. Cook for 30 more minutes until shrimp are cooked through. Drain and serve.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 453, Calories from Fat: 171, Fat: 19 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 286 mg, Sodium: 1678 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 41 g.

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

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Posted in: Shop the Sale


Healthy Living: Healthy Oat Cookies


Healthy Oat CookiesMy 13-year-old son told me he wants to eat healthier.

Big picture, he IS a healthy eater, but that kid can also put away some junk food after school.

We had to come up with a solution that would still let him feel like he was having some of the treats he likes but in a healthier way. Now, after school, he reaches for fresh fruit instead of the little, square, orange crackers he used to favor. I love that he’s doing this, and it’s motivated the rest of us to reach for more fresh fruit and vegetables, too.

Every once in a while, he wants a cookie or something sweet.

These are the perfect solution. Originally they were called “Three-Ingredient Cookies,” but I throw in some extra ingredients!

Healthy Oat Cookies

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or nuts, crushed

Directions:
Mash bananas in a large bowl. Stir in oats, raisins, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds or nuts.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Scoop dough into 16 balls, and place evenly around a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Makes 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 60, Calories from Fat: 12, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Protein: 2 g.

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Product Talk: Galbani Mascarpone Fresca


Galbani Mascarpone FrescaOne of the staples of Italian cooking is fresh mascarpone cheese.

Labeled as Italian-style cream cheese, mascarpone isn’t what we think of as American cream cheese.

Mascarpone is a triple cream cheese that can work equally well in a sweet or savory dish. For instance, you can use mascarpone as the filling in a cannoli or the creamy layer in tiramisu, or use it as the cheese layer in lasagna or stuff it into manicotti.

This fresh mascarpone is made in the United States using Italian tradition. It’s smooth and silky, creamy and full-flavored. You’ll find it in the specialty cheese case at your local Brookshire’s store.

Try it spread on a slice of bruschetta drizzled with honey.

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Posted in: Product Talk


Dine In: Rosemary Olive Oil Bread


Rosemary Olive Oil BreadOn Fridays, my office closes early.

I get to leave two heavenly hours early, every single week. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my job, and I can’t wait to get into the office each day. In fact, sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming about working for such a great organization.

I do love the job perk of early Fridays because those extra two hours mean I can do something like bake homemade bread that I might not get the chance to do on a weeknight.

This bread makes Friday nights special, especially if you’re staying home and gathering around the dinner table with your family.

It’s wonderful for sopping up a hearty marinara sauce or the juices for a pork tenderloin roast.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water (100° F to 110° F)
1 Tbs cane sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked plus 1 Tbs water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

Directions:
In a large bowl, stir together warm water and sugar. Sprinkle with the yeast, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Gently stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil and whole-wheat flour. Add the bread flour, and stir until the dough forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to keep dough smooth and supple.

Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, and cover it with a clean towel. Let rise in a place free of drafts (a room temperature oven is good) until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, and form it into a round loaf.

Place the loaf on a baking stone/ sheet or pizza peel dusted with cornmeal or covered in parchment paper. Let rise until it’s doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven (after you take the rising dough out) to 400° F. Brush the dough with an egg wash, and sprinkle with dried rosemary and some sea salt.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 148, Calories from Fat: 43, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 300 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Family Matters: Snakes


SnakesI have bad dreams about snakes.

My sister, who is a therapist, explained that I need to get over my fear of snakes.

I’m not sure I can.

However, they can make good pets.

Corn, King, Gopher and Ball Pythons are wonderful to keep in your house.

For health reasons, a snake should be able to stretch out two-thirds of its body length inside its own cage. If your pet snake reaches an adult length of six feet, its container should be 4 feet in length.  You don’t want your pet snake to have to stay curled up at all times.

Make sure that the type of snake you secure for a pet has a good temperament, as do the four mentioned above. Don’t try to tame an unruly snake; it’s not going to happen.

Take into account their feeding habits. Corn, King and Gopher snakes will accept frozen rodents as feed. Ball pythons are much more finicky, but be prepared to handle rodents, no matter what.

Don’t force the situation. The four snakes listed above thrive in captivity. Not all snakes do so without expert care.

Don’t buy a pet snake because you think it’s cool without careful consideration and study.



Family Matters: Leaving your Dog Alone


Leaving your Dog AloneOver the summer, I went on vacation.

I was gone for a week.

I brought my dog, Astro, to a local boarder who has a deluxe operation for taking care of pets when their people are on vacation. I mean, this place has TVs for each dog, a pool, a run yard and lots of great care.

Astro hated it. I mean, hated with a capital “H.” He jumped out of the car, but he refused to go in. He laid down on the concrete and wouldn’t budge. He had to be carried in, and let me just tell you; he’s pushing 100 pounds easily.

There are so many great options for taking care of pets while you’re gone, but you have to find the right one for your pet.

  1. Your vet might offer boarding. Your dog will already be familiar with going there, so that could be a great option.
  2. There are lots of places all over that board dogs, and it’s the only thing they do. See above. They are fabulous if your pet is social and accustomed to leaving the house. Make sure they have all their shots and records from your vet when you make reservations.
  3. Pet sitters. I now use a service that comes to my house on my (or in this case, Astro’s) schedule. They come every morning, love on him, let him out, feed him, make sure he has water and play with him. They do the reverse at night, letting him inside for the night. It’s about the same price as the full-service boarding, and he gets to stay home, no carrying required.
  4. Use a teenager or responsible child in your neighborhood. My boys, young teenagers, dog sat last summer and thought it was the best gig ever. That pup got more attention than our own dog receives because they were so intent on doing a great job.

There are a few things to remember before leaving your pup alone.

Make sure he has all his shots.

Make sure he has on a collar and tags, in case he does get lost. Even better, get him chipped. Many pet facilities offer this for no-to-low cost.

Make sure your sitter/facility has plenty of food (if you’re boarding him, you might need to provide your own food to avoid intestinal distress) and treats.

Make sure his caregiver has access to his favorite toys and knows his schedule, routines and any quirks. For instance, Astro will not eat if anyone is in the room, and I’ve trained him to only accept treats in one particular spot in the house.

Leave emergency contact information, and make sure there’s an in-town backup person if necessary.

LOVE your dog when you get home! He’ll have missed you as much as you missed him.



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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.

Mi Blog Hispano

De Todo un Poco