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Family Matters: Grilling Out with Your Dog


Grilling Out with Your DogWhenever we cook out, my dog sits faithfully right next to the grill, waiting, hoping and praying for us to drop something, preferably a ribeye.

Sadly for him, it has yet to happen.

That’s also a good thing, as cooking out around your pup can mean some hidden dangers for him.

Make sure your grill is sturdy. You don’t want your dog to be able to knock it over and get burned, start a fire or injure someone else. If he’s prone to jumping up on things or putting his paws up on countertops or tabletops, make sure the grill is in a protected area where he can’t access it at all.

Keep charcoal, matches and lighter fluid away from your dog. Any of these can be fatal if ingested.

Don’t let him eat the scraps, especially if you’re serving something with bones. Most people food that has bones isn’t good for dogs. The bones are too soft, and they can splinter and fragment in a dog’s jaws too easily.

During a cookout, don’t leave alcohol unattended around your dog.

Make sure citronella candles and sprays aren’t in your pups reach, either.



Family Matters: Traveling with Your Cat


Traveling with Your CatSummer is here, and it’s time for a vacation road trip!

Cats are pretty portable, so you might want to take your feline friend on vacation with you. Before you do, have your cat checked out by your vet to make sure he’s healthy enough to travel. Have him weighed, and get your vet’s recommendation on what to do if he gets carsick. Many recommend human Dramamine®, and knowing his weight will also tell you the correct dose to give him.

Make sure he’s wearing tags with updated contact information. Better yet, get him a microchip as well, in the horrible event he gets lost during the trip.

If your cat isn’t accustomed to riding in the car, take him on short jaunts to prepare him for the longer journey. If he’s not accustomed to being in a crate or carrier, practice keeping him in one of those as well. Put familiar toys or blankets in the carrier to help him feel comfortable.

Bring a leash and teach your cat how to use it for pit stops. You might want to pack a portable litter box for bathroom breaks if he’s not accustomed to using the potty outside.

Of course, bring food and water with you, and never leave your cat alone in the hot car.



Family Matters: Keep Your Bird Cool in Summer


Keep Your Bird Cool in SummerTemperatures are heating up, and it’s time to pay closer attention to keeping your bird cool in the summer heat.

Birds don’t have sweat glands like humans do, and they don’t regulate their body temperatures the same way we do. Unlike mammals, a bird’s body temperature runs a little higher on average.

To cool down, birds will pant rapidly, breathing through their mouths. They will also vibrate their throats. They also lose water through evaporation on their feet and skin surface.

During the summertime, it’s important to keep your bird out of direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day. Keep his cage in a place that provides light but also provides shade and adequate ventilation. This might mean providing a fan nearby to keep air circulating, extra water in his cage or water bottle, or shading nearby windows during peak hours.

Misters and birdbaths are also options, and they provide a playful option for your bird to stay cool.

Birds don’t need as much fuel during summer months, so don’t be surprised if your bird doesn’t eat as much.



Shop the Sale: Eggs-In-a-Hole Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Eggs-In-a-Hole Bacon Grilled Cheese SandwichPrep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serves: 2

While this might not be our healthiest grilled sandwich ever, it may just be one of our tastiest. With thick cut bacon, eggs and cheese on fresh sourdough bread, it really doesn’t get better than this for a decadent breakfast or brunch. And with our Buy One Get One For A Penny deal on Hormel Black Label Bacon, there’s never been a better time to break out the skillet.

Ingredients
4 slices thick-cut bacon
2-inch cookie cutter
4 (3/4-inch thick) slices sourdough or country-style bread
4 large eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
4 slices cheddar cheese
Hot sauce

Instructions
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp, turning halfway through cooking time. Use cookie cutter to punch out circle in center of each bread slice. Transfer bacon to cutting board; cut in half crosswise. Carefully, pour half of bacon drippings into small bowl. Place 2 bread slices in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until bottom sides are golden-brown, about 3 minutes.

Crack 1 egg into each hole in bread (some of the white may pool on top of bread). Cover and let cook for about 4 minutes. Season eggs with salt and pepper; cook until underside is set. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; swirl skillet to distribute butter around bread. Carefully, flip bread again. Top 1 slice with half of cheese. Remove pan from heat; let sit for about 1 minute to soften cheese. Top with half of bacon and some hot sauce. Close up sandwich, and transfer to a plate. Repeat process with remaining bacon drippings, bread, eggs, butter, bacon, cheese and hot sauce to make another sandwich.

Calories Per Serving: 786, Fat: 51 g (26 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 487 mg, Sodium: 1617 mg, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 43 g.

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

Chef Tips

A Little Bacon History
You’ll be “bringing home the bacon” – literally – this week with Buy One Get One For A Penny deal on Hormel Black Label Bacon, but did you know that the original term had nothing to do with making money? There is some debate over whether it started in England during the 1500’s with the sport of catching a greased pig at county fairs where the winner took the pig home, or if it indeed had already been around for hundreds of years. While the greased pig contest story seems plausible, the older story is the more interesting. Dating back to the 1100’s in Essex, England, a church awarded a side of bacon to any man who could honestly state that he had not argued with his wife for a year – and one day – thereby “bringing home the bacon”. Wherever it stems from, we’re just happy to bring it home to our modern refrigerators.



Healthy Living: Spiralized Zucchini with Lemon Zest


Spiralized Zucchini with Lemon Zest I broke down last week and bought a kitchen gadget.

Usually, I’m of the firm belief that all you need is a sharp chef’s knife and some high-quality pots and pans. I’m sticking to that.

However, I bought a gadget last week that’s super fun, and I’ve used it probably 17 times since purchasing. I bought one of those slicers that turns vegetables into thin, spiral slices. It’s wonderful.

I’ve done zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, carrots and sweet potatoes. I’m sure you can do anything that you can press through the barrel of the slicer, but that’s what I’ve done so far. I’ve gone so far as to swap out zucchini for pasta noodles and served them under marinara sauce. They didn’t fool my kids for a second, but I was happy with them.

This has become my favorite side dish lately. It’s super quick and super healthy.

Spiralized Zucchini with Lemon Zest

Ingredients:
1 large zucchini
zest from 1 lemon
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Spiralize zucchini. Toss with lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place zucchini in pan. Sauté quickly until tender but still firm in the middle (about 3 minutes). Serve immediately.

Serves 2 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 35, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 489 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 2 g.

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



Product Talk: Johnsonville Brats


Johnsonville BratsAfter I graduated from college, I lived in Germany for 3 1/2 years, on the adventure of a lifetime.
During those years, I lived, worked and played in that amazing country and assimilated myself into the country and culture as much as I possibly could.

While German food hadn’t been a cuisine that I’d been exposed to prior to my sojourn in Europe, I quickly came to love the hearty, homestyle fare of my host country.
In Germany, you can find an imbiss with bratwurst just as frequently as you can find a fast-food restaurant in the United States.

An imbiss was usually a stand-alone, very small restaurant, a little more than a stand, with a walk-up window that served four or five items, almost always bratwurst mit brochen (bratwurst sausage with a hard, crusty roll), usually pommes frites (french fries) with mayonnaise and generally some derivation of the sausage, like in a curry sausage. The imbiss served the ultimate street food in Germany.

I’d grab a bratwurst and walk along the marketplace while I was doing my daily grocery shopping.
I missed the imbiss and the bratwurst when I moved home to the United States. There’s nothing like an imbiss, but luckily Johnsonville makes a bratwurst just like I had in Germany.

They’re made with pure pork and are begging to be slapped on a grill. They are full of a rich, meaty flavor and come out tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, especially when you grill them. They also pick up a smoky flavor from your grill.

They’re perfect for a summer picnic, party or tailgate.

With all the varieties of Johnsonville brats, you’re sure to find one everyone in the whole family will love.

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Family Matters: Traveling With Your Baby


Traveling With Your BabyIt’s summer time! Your baby is ready to travel, but are you ready to travel with baby?

This is a tough age to travel with your little one because they’re a little more mobile and don’t sleep quite as much, but with a little prior planning, summer travel is easily doable.

Try to plan trips during baby’s regular nap times. Does baby take a long afternoon nap? Try to book your flight or plan your drive during that time. Or, fly or drive in the evening, if necessary.

Keep baby on schedule, if possible. This will make everyone’s vacation more enjoyable. If the schedule gets disrupted, get back on track as quickly as possible.

Travel with baby’s regular blankets and a few comfort items, so he’ll feel more at home sleeping in a strange place.

It’s great if you have your own car seat with you, and that will help baby feel right at home, too.

Travel with plenty of snacks, toys, formula, water, juice (depending on baby’s age) and books. If you are flying, make sure baby has a pacifier or is sucking during landings and take-offs, as the change in air pressure can be uncomfortable on their ears. Sucking can help alleviate that pressure.



Family Matters: Fun in the Pool


Fun in the PoolWhen you should teach your baby to swim is a personal preference, but it’s never too early to get them used to the water, in my book.

That doesn’t mean you have to throw them into the deep end and hope they doggie paddle (although that IS one method). You can certainly take your infant into the pool with you and let him enjoy the water.

By the time your baby is a year old, she probably loves the water. Some kids will jump right in; others are a little more hesitant.

First things first: toddlers should wear swim diapers, not regular diapers.

Secondly, they should never be left unsupervised at a pool, not even for an I’m-just-running-back-inside-for-sunscreen second.

In the water, don’t rely on water wings, swim rings or any other flotation devices other than Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

You can start by having your child blow bubbles in the water without putting her whole face in. She can kick her feet and move her arms without having to swim. When she’s comfortable with this, she can mimic these swimming motions with you supporting her stomach and build up to actually swimming. For some kids, this won’t gel until long after age 3, but you can certainly get them comfortable in the water during the early toddler years.



Family Matters: First Father’s Day


First Fathers DayThe first Father’s Day for your main man and your little one is coming right up.

Sure, your infant won’t remember much, but his dad certainly will.

There are lots of cute and meaningful gifts you can make your honey to commemorate his first Father’s Day that are easy and inexpensive.

“Following in Daddy’s Footsteps/Big Shoes to Fill” picture. Take one of Dad’s pairs of shoes. Dip it lightly in paint and stamp it on a large sheet of white poster board. (Use washable paint.) Let dry. Dip baby’s foot in a contrasting paint color, and stamp it on top of the shoe print. Let dry. Trim poster board, mat and frame as desired.

Photograph your little one holding a sign (or propped up with a sign) that says, “You have my heart, Daddy!” Frame the picture for his desk.

Compile a digital photo frame of pictures of baby and Daddy.

If Dad is a sports fan, take a new ball from his favorite sport, and cover it in baby’s handprints stamped in paint.

Baby can also stamp handprints or footprints on a tie with fabric paint.

Photo gifts are super fun. Baby’s picture can go on a beverage koozie, mouse pad, Christmas ornament, guitar pick or almost anything you can imagine.

Write a letter to your husband about what this day means to you. Write him a letter every year, and keep adding to his collection. Pretty soon, baby will be able to join in.



Shop the Sale: Deviled Eggs


Deviled EggsPrep Time: 30 mins
Serves: 24

Bring out your devilish side with this classic party favorite. Feeling particularly daring? Take a walk on the wild side and try adding smoked salmon, red onions and capers or bacon, cheese and chives. Check out these and more variations in the instructions below for some new ideas. And don’t forget to pick up a fresh carton of eggs, on sale all this week at Brookshire’s.

CLASSIC BASE RECIPE

14 hardboiled eggs, cooled and peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks, and place in medium-sized bowl. Reserve 24 white halves. Finely chop remaining 4 white halves. Mash yolks with fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and pepper; mix well. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon yolk mixture into each reserved egg white half. Add desired toppings. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered.

*Note: You can use a zip-top storage bag to “pipe” yolk mixture into egg whites. Fill bag about halfway full, and cut bottom corner of bag. You can squeeze mixture into egg white halves for a cleaner result.

Variations
Herbed peas, sugar snaps
Smoked salmon, red onions, capers
Pickled okra and pickles, green beans
Pico de gallo, jalapeño
Prosciutto, parmesan, arugula
Purple potato chips, chives
Bacon, cheese, chives

Calories Per Serving: 57, Fat: 4.3 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 97 mg, Sodium: 86 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 3 g.

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

Chef Tips

Better the Devil You Know
“Deviled” is a culinary term devised by the British to describe dishes seasoned with spicy ingredients that are boiled or fried. Although the word first appeared in the Oxford Dictionary in 1786, it’s believed that people were “deviling” foods as far back as Ancient Rome, where eggs were boiled, seasoned with spice and served at the beginning of a meal – at least by the wealthy. Deviled Eggs today are also called “Stuffed Eggs” or “Dressed Eggs” by some to avoid the term “devil”.

Egg-cellent Storage Tips
Here are some simple ways to keep eggs fresh once you get them home from the store:

  1. Keep them in the carton. This protects the eggs and prevents them from absorbing odors from the other foods in your fridge.
  2. Place them in the main part of your refrigerator rather than the door to ensure a consistent temperature.
  3. For storing raw egg whites or yolks in the fridge, seal them in an airtight container. To keep yolks from drying out, cover with a little cold water before sealing.
  4. Check the use-by date for fresh eggs before eating, and for leftover yolks or whites, use within 2-4 days. Hard boiled eggs and egg dishes can last up to 3 or 4 days.


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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.

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