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Family Matters: Summertime Fun

Summertime FunSummers are a toddler’s best friend. Nothing is more fun than all the adventures you can have while traipsing about town with your toddler.

Splash pads are so much fun for you little one. Put toddler in a swim diaper, invest in a swim shirt to help protect them from ultraviolet rays, and prepare to have a great time. Splash pads are fun because there is no deep water. They can usually run in and out of jets of water at their own pace, and they have more control over how wet they get. They can even stay cool, and they have a good time from the periphery of the action if that’s their personality.

The local zoo or aquarium is a great place to visit with your toddler. If they enjoy your first visit, invest in a season pass for many memorable hours with fabulous animals.

Check out story time at your local library. Aside from developing a love of literature, story time can help you and your little one make some new friends, possibly learn some new crafts, and engage in group activities together.

Check into other group classes like music lessons, gym or yoga classes, or swim instruction. Your toddler will learn socialization skills and have a lot of fun while learning a new skill.

Plant a garden or grow a few potted vegetables with your toddler. Involve him in the process from beginning to end, and let him eat the fruits of his labor.

Visit playgrounds outside of your neighborhood. Your little one will like new scenery, and you will both make new friends.

Family Matters: Outdoor Fun

Outdoor FunSummertime is a great time to have fun with your little one outside!

Babies love bubbles! Maybe they can’t blow them yet (and you really don’t want to find out what happens if they get soap in their mouths), but they will enjoy bubbles when you blow for them! Put on a show with bubbles. Let baby “pop” them and feel them in his fingers and on his skin. You can even set up a bubble machine nearby and hear baby giggle.

Put a swing in a shady tree or set up a backyard swing set. Strap baby in safely and let him swing. Baby will love the proprioceptive discovery (the feeling of his body moving through space).

Set up a wading pool with a few inches of water, and let your little water baby splash to his heart’s content. Remember to never leave baby alone for a second! Fill the pool with baby’s favorite water toys, some sponges, some cups or other fun objects to enjoy the water. Make sure to use fresh water every time your little one is going to use the pool, as standing and stagnant water attracts mosquitoes.

A covered sand box is also a fun place to play (the cover is for when you’re NOT using it, to keep animals from using your baby’s play place as a litter box). Buckets, shovels and other scooping objects can keep baby occupied for hours, plus the sand (since you’re keeping it covered) should stay nice and cool.

Balls are fun outside toys! In all sizes and textures, balls are fun to throw, kick, roll on and bounce. Engage in reciprocal play with your baby or let him play alone.

Chalk is fun for outside play, too. Plop down on a cool sidewalk, stand at a wood fence, or even use the brick siding of your house or a stand-up easel for some creative coloring.

Taking walks, riding in a stroller, a safe bike carrier, going to the zoo or park, or even just spreading a blanket in the grass and enjoying the fresh air are great activities to do outside with your baby on a summer day.

Family Matters: Caring for Your Baby in the Heat

Caring for Your Baby in the HeatCaring for your baby in the hot weather months, especially since we live in the South, just takes a little extra care and attention than when the weather is more temperate.

Infants can’t always regulate their body temperature properly, so it’s up to you to pay attention to the cues that baby is too hot or too cool.

First of all, baby doesn’t need to be bundled up in blankets during the summer months. This includes covering their carrier or car seat. Let air circulate around your baby to help keep them cool. Swaddling at night is fine if your house is cool and air-conditioned, but don’t wrap baby up in the heat of the day or if it’s too warm in the room.

Keep air circulating around your infant, but it’s probably best not to point a fan directly at them.

Baby is too hot if she is sweating, red or flushed, or breathing rapidly.

Keep her dressed in loose-fitting, cotton clothing during the summer. Hats are great to help shield their faces and heads. Remember that babies also lose heat from their heads, so removing the hat helps cool baby off, too. Keep baby in shade and not exposed to direct sunlight if you are outdoors. Consider a window shade for your car window if baby’s car seat is next to the door.

Decrease the temperature of baby’s bath slightly in the summer months. Use cooler water for baby’s bath for a refreshing and enjoyable bath time! Water that is just about body temperature should be perfect for baby.

Make sure you are offering breast milk or water often to keep baby hydrated, as that will help her regulate her body temperature best during summer months.

Healthy Living: Eating Red, White and Blue

patriotically decorated bowl of fruitHappy Fourth of July!

One great way to celebrate is to fuel your body with all things patriotic and healthy.

Start with red.

Strawberries are packed with antioxidants, which lower blood pressure and protect your heart. Strawberries are full of essential vitamins and minerals. They are also sodium-free, cholesterol-free and fat-free.

Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene. These carotenoids have individual benefits, but they also have major synergy as a group to help ward off diseases like cancer. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium.

Raspberries can improve memory, lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and help manage obesity.

Red peppers are full of vitamin C, and they can help build immunity.

How about white foods, and we’re not talking about anything processed or out of a package?

White onions contain fiber and folic acid, a B vitamin that helps the body make new, healthy cells. They are also high in vitamin C and low in calories.

White milk is full of vitamin D, which most people do not get enough of in their diets. Vitamin D helps us absorb other vital nutrients.

Cauliflower is delicious and nutritious! One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese.

Let’s move on to blue.

Blueberries are chock full of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin B6. They support heart health. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and helps decrease the risk of heart disease.

Blueberries are a very good source of vitamin K, manganese and copper.

So, enjoy the holiday today and all the health benefits of eating red, white and blue.

Product Talk: Entenmann’s® Rich Frosted Chocolate Doughnuts

Entenmann’s Rich Frosted Chocolate DoughnutsIt’s fitting that I’m writing this post on Father’s Day, for a posting date in early July, just before we arrive in Virginia on our family beach vacation with my entire family.

You see, our family obsession with Entenmann’s® Rich Frosted Chocolate Doughnuts comes from my dad.

They are his favorite.

Somewhere along the line, he bought a box of eight doughnuts to bring to the beach. However, when we go to the beach as a family, there are upwards of 20 of us. Wait, let me count.


There are 24 people and Entenmann’s® Rich Frosted Chocolate Doughnuts only come eight to a box.  You do the math.

My dad, the grandkids call him “Pop,” made the mistake of offering one grandchild a doughnut one morning. In rapid succession, he had to offer ALL the grandchildren a doughnut, and by the time they’d all lined up with their hands extended, he had to split doughnuts into halves and thirds, amidst cries of “It’s not fair” and “He got a bigger piece.” Pop learned to never offer his precious Entenmann’s® again, or to at least buy several boxes.

Now, he brings multiple boxes to the beach with him.

In addition, whenever anyone in the family leaves to make a grocery run, they bring back several boxes with them, too. Entenmann’s® Rich Frosted Chocolate Doughnuts might just be the official breakfast food of the family beach trip. They are definitely an indulgence. Truth be told, we don’t and probably shouldn’t eat a doughnut every morning of the year. However, at the beach, rules don’t apply. Calories don’t count at the beach, right?

It is comforting to see Entenmann’s® Rich Frosted Chocolate Doughnuts at Brookshire’s because sometimes in December or on a bleak February morning, I’d like a cakey, chocolatey, delicious doughnut to remind me of my dad, and of the sunshine, laughter, food and fun that we share at the beach every summer. All I have to do to get that is go to Brookshire’s.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Dine In: Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and ParmesanRecently, we went out to dinner, and I ordered the Brussels sprouts as a side dish to my filet mignon.

I should have read the menu more closely, but I didn’t have my glasses with me. It was dusky in the restaurant, and I was starving after an hour-long wait. I almost didn’t care if I had to go pick the Brussels sprouts myself.

However, I was surprised that they came shaved. After I tasted them, though, the surprise became a pleasant surprise.

Shaving the Brussels sprouts takes away the sometimes arduous task of chewing the fibrous vegetable, which is related to the cabbage. You still get all the delicious taste but with much less of the work.

TIP: You can sauté the Brussels sprouts with the bacon, but try roasting them to develop the flavor of both components of this dish.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan

1 lb Brussels sprouts, stems and tough outer leaves removed
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 oz parmesan, shaved

Julienne or finely chop the Brussels sprouts. Mix with chopped bacon, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Toss to coat. Preheat oven to 400° F.

Spread the Brussels sprouts and bacon mixture onto a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and beginning to crisp. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with shaved parmesan and serve immediately.

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 240, Fat: 16 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 34 mg, Sodium: 651 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 16 g.

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

Shop the Sale: Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Rosemary Chicken SkewersPrep Time: 1 hour 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4

Perfect for a BBQ with family and friends or an easy dinner, these light and tasty Rosemary Chicken Skewers are sure to impress. Tip: don’t forget to build in a full hour for marinating before cooking. Serve with couscous and salad for a healthy weeknight meal or go all in with a full cookout for special events. Whatever the occasion, be sure to take advantage of Brookshire’s Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts on sale this week!

4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs), skin on or off
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbs olive oil, plus more for grill grates
2 Tbs rosemary, freshly chopped
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Metal or wooden skewers
Cherry tomatoes
Pineapple chunks
Red onion chunks
1 Tbs kosher salt

Cut chicken into 1 1/2-inch pieces; place in bowl. Mix with wine, oil, rosemary and pepper. Cover and set aside to marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove chicken pieces from marinade, reserving marinade. Thread chicken, tomatoes, pineapple and onion onto skewers; season generously with kosher salt.

Preheat grill for direct high heat. Brush grill grates with olive oil. Place chicken skewers on grill. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place on platter, and cover with foil to allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes. Plate skewers, and serve immediately.

Calories Per Serving: 402, Fat: 20 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 151 mg, Sodium: 1892 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 49 g.

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

Want to see how to prepare this recipe? Check out our How To video today!

Chef Tips

Skewer It
While Shish Kebabs made with lamb, beef or chicken and vegetables are probably the most well-known skewered food, there is pretty much a kebab-style concoction for any flavor. For an Asian inspired meal there’s Thai, Indonesian or Malaysian Satay, or you could try Portugese Espetadas or Indian Bundu Khan. For a healthy dessert, try Fruit Skewers with fruits like pineapple, melon, berries and grapes.

Proper Chicken Storage
Raw chicken can be refrigerated for several days, but for any longer period of time it should be frozen. Cooked chicken can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days either tightly wrapped or in an airtight container. Be sure to cool and then refrigerate cooked chicken as soon as possible and discard any chicken that has spent more than two hours at room temperature. Leftovers may also be frozen for up to three or four months.

Healthy Living: Taking a Time Out

Taking a Time OutDo you get tired, cranky and frustrated, seemingly for no reason?

I do, sometimes. I’ll go ahead and admit it.

It happened yesterday morning.

I’d been going, going and going. Between work, kids and life, I hadn’t taken a moment to smell the roses, so to speak, in a really long time. I hadn’t exercised, slept well or really had a moment alone that I could remember. Showering doesn’t count.

I need alone time to recharge. Usually, my alone time is going home for lunch to a quiet house. I sit for a few minutes at the kitchen table, with no electronics, no phone, no computer, no one talking, and I recharge. During the summer, my kids are home, and I love coming home and having lunch with them. However, there goes my quiet time. I guess I could wake up earlier, but I don’t.

Yesterday, I went out on the back porch (leaving my phone inside), and I sat and watched the hummingbirds come to the feeder that I have hanging on a nearby tree. I just sat there, doing nothing but watching the birds, for about 15 minutes. Then, I came back inside and tackled the world again.

Everyone needs something different to recharge. Make sure you’re getting what you need to be the best person, friend, parent, employee or boss that you can be.

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Posted in: Healthy Living

Product Talk: Lay’s® Poppables

Lay’s Poppables“Bring something new home for snacks,” my kids lamented on Day 2 of summer vacation.

Challenge accepted.

Fairly new to the shelves at Brookshire’s, Lay’s® Poppables are brand new to us, but they’ll be returning guests in our pantry.

We tried the White Cheddar snack, which is a cross between a potato chip and a cheese puff, maybe? A bite-sized, airy, full-flavored bite, these snacks were a big hit on our house.

These snacks are available in White Cheddar and Sea Salt flavors, and they’re found with the other chips, pretzels and snack foods.

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Posted in: Product Talk

Dine In: Cowboy Butter

My co-workers welcome me back to the office on Monday mornings with the same greeting, “What did you grill this weekend?”

The joke has become that it’s usually meat with a side of meat.

It’s just a joke, sort of.

We do grill pretty much every weekend. While I try to include a wide variety of proteins and I really make an effort to get creative with grilled side dishes and vegetables, we do eat a lot of meat. We also do a lot of surf and turf, since I prefer seafood while my boyfriend is a carnivore through and through.

When I do want the ultimate indulgence, steak with cowboy butter is the way to go. This cowboy butter is actually amazing on any kind of red meat, seafood (I have to try it on lobster tail!), chicken or pork (yes, so pretty much anything).

Serve it as a warm side to your grilled meats, and it’s even delicious for crusty bread or cornbread.

Tip: This Cowboy Butter can be made ahead. Just keep it refrigerated. Reheat and melt when it’s time to serve.

Cowboy Butter

1 cup butter, melted
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs prepared horseradish
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
2 Tbs parsley, freshly chopped
1 Tbs chives, freshly chopped
2 tsp thyme, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a bowl, whisk butter, lemon juice, garlic, shallots, mustard, horseradish, cayenne and paprika. Add parsley, chives and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 430, Fat: 47 g (29 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 122 mg, Sodium: 430 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 1 g.

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

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In

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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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