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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Spices


Brookshire’s SpicesIf you could see my spice cabinet, you’d think I need an intervention.

Yes, I said spice CABINET, not just spice rack.

A million years ago when I first moved out on my own, someone gave me a counter-top spice rack. It was adorable. It spun. It held 12 jars.

Twelve.

I think I outgrew it the first time I went grocery shopping.

The newest additions to my spice cabinet are the Brookshire’s Get Spicy line.

These fun and funky flavor combinations will have you getting spicy in no time.

9-Oh!-3 (get it?? 903???) is an all-purpose spice with the East Texas flavors of peppers and three salts. I use it to rub on meat.

Cluck It Up is a chicken rub that’s also delicious on turkey and pork.

Jal-uva can be used in place of lemon pepper in your recipes. It’s amazing on chicken and pork, and it’s delicious on roasted potatoes.

Taco Y Mas is perfect for classic Tex-Mex dishes like enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas and burritos.

Bayou B’s adds a little Louisiana flavor (we are only a stone’s throw away, after all) to your next meal.

Beef It Up is a hearty blend of spices for your next grilling or smoking adventure. I love this for all red-meat rubs!

Smoked Sausage with Black-Eyed Peas

Ingredients:
1 lb smoked sausage
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Bayou B’s Cajun Seasoning
4 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tsp parsley, finely chopped
8 cups chicken stock
1 lb black-eyed peas
1 Tbs green onions, chopped

Directions:
In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté sausage for 5 minutes or until it starts to render.

Stir in the onions, salt, Bayou B’s Cajun Seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are wilted. Stir in the chicken stock and peas.

Bring the liquid to a boil, and immediately turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the peas are tender. Serve garnished with green onions.

Serves 4

CHEF’S TIP: Serve over steamed white rice or crumbled, homemade cornbread.

Per Serving:
Calories: 510, Fat: 35 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 95 mg, Sodium: 2700 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 3; Protein: 30 g.

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Family Matters: Potty Training Tips


Potty training may start during this time period in your child’s life, but let me just stress to you that if it doesn’t, don’t fret and don’t push it.

While some little girls may potty train right around age 2, some little boys might not be ready until they’re well over age 3. They will do it when they’re ready. From my experience, there’s only so much you can do until they are ready!

In the meantime, let them pick out some fun underpants! For my younger son, potty training amounted to a basic request, “Don’t pee pee on Thomas the Train, okay?” He didn’t. My older son didn’t care who was on his underwear, however.

Get a potty chair that your child likes. For some, this is a small, freestanding chair. Others might prefer a stool with a potty insert for the “big” potty, like they see mommy, daddy or an older sibling using.

Plan to stay home in the early days of potty learning, and bring them to the potty often. Read books about the potty. Sing songs about the potty. Watch videos about the potty. Camp out on the potty, if necessary. Some children’s first success on the potty is by accident! They just go, realize that’s what all the fuss is about, and that helps them learn.

Some parents choose a reward system. My mom kept a jar of M&M’s® in the bathroom (eww, maybe in the kitchen instead). My brother got one every time he went, after he washed his hands of course. For him, this was major motivation. For your child, it might be a sticker or a success chart.

Praise him when he goes and expect some accidents along the way. Again, just wait until he’s ready!



Family Matters: Teething Pain


Right around this time, if not already, your baby will be sprouting teeth!

For some, this is a painless process, and they seem to wake up one morning with a pearly white popping through their gums. That’s how it was with my first baby; I didn’t even know he was cutting a tooth until he bit me!

My second son didn’t have it so easy. He drooled so constantly that we had to change clothes frequently. His gums were swollen and irritated. He was irritable and didn’t sleep.

There are many ways to help relieve teething pain.

You can give your baby something to gnaw on, like a teething biscuit or a toy designed for teething that’s made of hard plastic that has textures that feel soothing to baby’s gums. My son liked a soft, rubbery teething toy that we kept in the freezer, and I let him gnaw on it when he needed relief. He also liked a cold drink in his sippy cup to help relieve some pain.

A small dose of Tylenol® or ibuprofen is probably fine to help relieve pain, too. Just check with your pediatrician on the correct dosage for your little one.

Some doctors recommend a topical pain reliever, like Orajel™, applied directly to the gums.

Sometimes, you’ll need to try all of the above, but know that this too shall pass!



Family Matters: Sucking to Soothe


Studies (and tons of moms and dads) have shown that most all babies use sucking as a soothing mechanism.

Whether it’s the breast, a bottle, a finger (yours or his own), pacifier or other object, sucking is reflexively soothing to your infant.

You can help facilitate baby learning to self-soothe by leaving his hands free (no mittens or hand coverings) so he can find his fingers, or by providing a pacifier for the times he’s not eating.

Besides sucking to soothe, some babies like motion, white noise or skin-to-skin contact. You might have to try all of these, sometimes in combination, to help meet your baby’s needs. He’ll eventually learn to seek out what he needs and provide it for himself.



Shop the Sale: Candied Bacon


Candied Bacon and French Toast.Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 10

Candy and bacon? Um, yes please! The perfect treat as a unique dessert or part of a decadent brunch, Candied Bacon is a fabulous recipe for the holiday season. Quick and super easy to make, your guests will love it just as much as much more complicated (and time consuming) sweets. And there’ll be plenty to go around with Wright Brand Sliced Bacon on sale all this week.

Ingredients
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs chile powder
20 slices thick-cut bacon (1 1/2 lbs)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk brown sugar and chile powder together. Arrange bacon strips on foil/parchment; coat tops heavily with chile-sugar mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until caramelized and almost crisp. Transfer bacon to a rack set over a sheet of foil to cool completely before serving. (Optionally, you can flip halfway through cooking process and coat other side for a more intense sweet-spicy flavor.)

Calories per Serving: 177, Fat: 9 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 30 mg, Sodium: 532 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 8 g.

Chef Tips

Bacon Isn’t Just For Breakfast
Although most of us think of the delicious cured pork meat as a breakfast food, bacon can – and should! – be used for so much more. And while you might be more familiar with bacon-inclusive meals like pasta carbonara, BLT’s or quiche, there are some pretty interesting ways to use bacon that you might not have heard of. Like bacon sushi or bacon guacamole. How about hot bacon dip or bacon quesadillas? Or what about bacon maple cheesecake? The options are endless (yay)!

On The Lighter Side
While bacon isn’t exactly a health food, there are healthier options when it comes to bacon recipes so you can enjoy your bacon without the guilt. A lot of these meals focus on using small amounts of bacon to add the same delicious flavor without the fat and calories of a pile of bacon. Great options include bacon muffins, breakfast frittatas, spinach salads and vinaigrettes, bacon zucchini spaghetti and soups.

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Party Trays


Brookshire’s Party TraysIs the holiday season as hectic for you as it is for me? I’m betting that it is.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I love the class parties, the work potlucks and the glittering celebrations under the mistletoe, but sometimes preparing for all those things is beyond my supermom capabilities.

That’s where Brookshire’s comes in. Brookshire’s Party Trays make the holidays a breeze. I can order a party tray, pick it up laden with savory meats and cheeses, and voila! The work potluck or evening event is taken care of in a flash.

Party Trays do need to be ordered 24 hours in advance, and there’s a variety to choose from, including meats and cheeses, deli sandwiches, cheese and crackers, seafood and, of course, desserts. The deli specialist at Brookshire’s can help you decide how large of a tray you’ll need, what ingredients you’ll want on it and how far in advance to order.



Product Talk: Fresh Cranberries


Seasonal, fresh cranberries are one of my favorite things ever. They’re tart, tasty and so good for you.

You’ve probably already seen all of the amazing things you can do with cranberries in the November/December issue of Celebrate Cooking, but did you know how good they are for you as well?

Often referred to as a superfood, cranberries are rich in antioxidants and only contain 25 calories per one-half cup. Studies have shown that the nutrients in cranberries have been linked to a lower risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function and decreased blood pressure.

Cranberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. They also contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), an antioxidant that may help prevent a range of diseases.

There are so many ways to incorporate cranberries into your dishes. Here’s a tasty one!

Apple-Cranberry Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1/4 cup cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs light mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Combine chicken, celery, apple and cranberries in large bowl. In smaller bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Gently fold dressing mixture into the chicken mixture. Chill to blend ingredients.

*Chef’s Tip: Use leftover holiday turkey in place of the chicken.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 625, Fat: 13 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 286 mg, Sodium: 324 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 9 g; Protein: 108 g.



Product Talk: Southern Comfort® Egg Nog


Southern Comfort Egg NogMy older son loves eggnog so much that he starts asking for it before Halloween. I start keeping an eye on the Brookshire’s dairy case around that time, too, because it usually appears right after.

Southern Comfort® Egg Nog is his favorite (Note to shoppers: It comes without the southern comfort). It’s thick, rich and creamy, and he enjoys it with a dash of Vietnamese cinnamon on top.

Southern Comfort® Traditional Egg Nog is ultra-pasteurized, Grade A and only available during the holiday season.

Today, we had a brainstorm while making breakfast. We replaced most of the milk in our waffle batter with Southern Comfort® Egg Nog. My son LOVED it. You need to keep some of the milk to make the batter the right consistency, but he said these were delicious.

Southern Comfort® Egg Nog Waffles

Ingredients:
2 cups baking mix
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup Southern Comfort® Egg Nog
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon

Directions:
Combine baking mix, oil, egg, eggnog, milk and cinnamon in large bowl. Whisk batter to combine. It will be slightly thicker than traditional waffle batter. Spray waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray, and heat according to your iron’s directions. Cook waffles until golden-brown.

Makes 10

Calories Per Serving: 166, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 32 mg, Sodium: 315 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 4 g.

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



Family Matters: Thanksgiving Fun for the Kids


Thanksgiving Fun for the KidsGrowing up, Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family was a big, raucous affair.

We’d load into the three-seat station wagon (you know, the kind with the rear seat facing backward) early that Thursday morning and head north to my aunt and uncle’s home about two hours away, depending on traffic.

When we got there, we’d tumble out of the two-toned station wagon: ourselves, the bountiful side dishes we’d provided and usually a few boxes of hand-me downs for assorted cousins or gear promised to various relatives. “Do you want Amy’s box of old Nancy Drew books for Megan?” “Sure, just bring them at Thanksgiving.”

Then, the food preparation would ensue, and the kids would be left to their own devices, which usually involved messing with Uncle Jerry’s big-screen TV (the very first of its kind) in the basement, or knocking cans of soda off the soundproof wall onto the Beltway below. Neither were sanctioned activities.

The adults finally caught on to the fact that they needed to keep us busy in order to direct our energies into a productive manner, so they put us to work making fun foods for the holiday meal.

One year, we made Thanksgiving cornucopias.

We took ice cream sugar cones, dipped the openings in melted chocolate, let them dry, and then filled them with candy corns and candy pumpkins. We set them on top of each plate for decoration. They were a sweet treat and lovely table décor for that year’s feast.

One year, we made turkey cookies. You could use Brookshire’s bakery sugar cookies. Then, you simply need white piped icing from the bakery aisle to pipe on a half-moon, outlining the top of the cookie. Line about a dozen candy corns over the icing (the icing adheres the candy corn to the cookie) to make the turkey “feathers.” Pipe on an icing face and use as a fun dessert! You can also use M&M’s® chocolate candies for the eyes instead.

One of our favorites was the “acorns” that we made for dessert one year. We took doughnut holes from the bakery, dipped them in melted chocolate bark found on the baking aisle, and then rolled them in crushed pecans (or the nut of your choice). They were delicious!

You can also make a turkey appetizer platter using pepperoni, salami and assorted cheeses to make a “turkey” on a platter or cheese board. Start by cutting a round head from a slice of cheddar, and then cut an oval body from a slice of Colby-Jack. Under that, fan an arrangement of pepperoni to represent the first layer of feathers. Under that, lay squares of cheese in a fan arrangement for the next layer of feathers. Alternate cheese and meats until you have a full plate and a festive turkey. You might have to visualize this from the outer layer to the inner layer, though, to make it easier to execute.

There are so many fun ways to include your kids in the holidays, and we have so many options to make it easy at Brookshire’s.



Shop the Sale: Roasted Turkey


Roasted TurkeyRoasted Turkey

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Serves: 8-10

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Brookshire’s has everything you need, including our own roast turkey recipe and Honeysuckle White Fresh Turkey on sale. Make this Thanksgiving your best yet with a perfectly roasted turkey and all the trimmings the family loves. And check out our chef tips for ways to make things easier before – and after – the big day.

Ingredients
1 (8 to 10 lbs) fresh turkey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, quartered
1 bulb garlic, halved
Several sprigs fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary and sage)
2 bay leaves
8 Tbs butter (1 stick), melted

Instructions
Adjust oven rack to lowest position; remove other racks. Preheat oven to 325° F. Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavities. Reserve for other uses, if desired. Dry bird well with paper towels, inside and out.

Salt and pepper inside of breast cavity. Stuff the onion, garlic, herbs and bay leaves inside. Set turkey on roasting rack in roasting pan, breast-side up. Brush generously with half of butter; season with salt and pepper. Tent the turkey with foil.

Roast the turkey for 2 hours. Remove foil; baste with remaining butter. Increase oven temperature to 425° F. Continue roasting until instant-read thermometer registers 165° F in thigh of turkey, about 45 more minutes. Remove turkey from oven; set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Calories per Serving: 710, Fat: 28 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 299 mg, Sodium: 320 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 107 g.

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

Chef Tips

Make Turkey Day Easy
You have enough to do on Thanksgiving between cooking, keeping drinks filled and maybe even taking some time to enjoy yourself. Take the hassle out of the big day with easy side dishes you can prepare in advance. Many Thanksgiving favorites can be prepared before Turkey Day, such as Potato Gratin or Mashed Potato, Cornbread Stuffing, Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Corn and Bacon Casserole, Stewed Collard Greens, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cranberry Sauce and Green Bean Casserole. Better yet, invite your guest to bring a side dish!

Thanksgiving Leftovers
What’s the second best thing about Thanksgiving? Turkey Day leftovers! With so many ways to use up leftover turkey, you’ll wish Thanksgiving came every month. Some of our favorites include Turkey Pot Pie, Turkey-Cheddar Casserole, Turkey Enchiladas, Turkey Primavera Pasta, Turkey Rice Casserole, Turkey Soup and of course, Turkey Sandwiches – just to name a few! And you can go as simple or gourmet as you like. For example, ramp up your turkey sandwiches with melted Brie cheese and cranberry sauce on toasted focaccia or go for a creamy pesto sauce and bacon for a delicious turkey pasta dish.



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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.

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

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Ideas for the whole family come to you every Thursday.

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