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Shop the Sale: Roasted Butternut Squash & Cranberries


Roasted Butternut Squash & CranberriesPrep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 4

Nothing says wintertime better than crisp apples, cranberries and butternut squash, except perhaps for cinnamon and cloves. The good news is all of these and more can be found in our Roasted Butternut Squash & Cranberries recipe. Roasted to perfection with a sweet spiced glaze, your house will smell as delicious as this dish tastes. Be sure to grab some Honey Crisp Apples; they’re perfect for this recipe and on sale now.

Ingredients
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and large-diced
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cubed
8 oz fresh cranberries
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Pour into 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve hot.

Calories per Serving: 198, Fat: 4 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 8 mg, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 1 g.

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

Chef Tips

Pick a Vegetable, Any Vegetable
When it comes to roasting veggies, most people think of potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots – your typical root vegetables. While these old favorites are solid options, you have a whole crisper full of vegetables just waiting for the oven. Bell pepper, celery and zucchini all make fabulous roasting options. So does pretty much anything in the cruciferous family, so feel free to go crazy with cauliflower, broccoli or everyone’s favorite, Brussels sprouts. And don’t forget onion and garlic for big flavor.

Roasted To Perfection
Roasting is hands down the easiest way to make tasty vegetables that even fussy eaters will enjoy. There are just a few simple rules to roasting perfection:

  1. Coat the vegetables well with a tablespoon or two of good quality olive, vegetable or coconut oil.
  2. Toss lightly with some salt, pepper and any favorite herbs and spices.
  3. Give them room in the baking dish. A crowded pan will result in vegetables that are more steamed than scorched.
  4. Roast until you see some charring.


Product Talk: Gift Ideas from Brookshire’s


Gift Ideas from BrookshiresI just returned from a three-day work retreat and training, during which we have our annual holiday party and gift exchange. This year, I bought my gift for the exchange at Brookshire’s, and let me just tell you, it was among the most coveted packages in the white elephant swap.

You can’t go wrong with a high-quality bottle of wine, a wine opener and a stopper, packaged in a gorgeous bag and all available on one aisle at Brookshire’s. How easy is that?

Brookshire’s is a great place for your holiday gift-giving needs this month.

I’m often stopping there on Christmas Eve for fun stocking stuffers of small toys and candy.

It’s also the best place to pick up a gift card to one of your favorite stores or restaurants like JCPenney, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Chili’s. It’s also a wonderful way to gift someone with a Brookshire’s gift card, so they can pick up anything they need, from dog food to a Christmas turkey. Gift cards make wonderful stocking stuffers, as well as thoughtful gifts for teachers, co-workers, family and friends. In fact, I used to have an employer whose Christmas gift to the entire staff was Brookshire’s gift cards, and I looked forward to that treat every year.

The floral department also has a wonderful array of gift ideas, from festive poinsettias to fun, Christmas cactus to beautiful arrangements of cut flowers that would be stunning on a holiday table.

Need a hostess gift for a holiday party? May I suggest wine again (the wine bags are so beautiful), or perhaps a treat from the bakery she can enjoy during clean-up, or even a selection of hand creams (I love the rich, thick Burt’s Bees, especially after cleaning up after a party) from the personal care department.

Of course, Brookshire’s also has wrapping paper, gift bags, holiday cards and everything else you’ll need to make your gift, and their spirits, bright.

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Family Matters: Gifts of Time


Gifts of TimeIt’s the holidays again, and I broached the subject of Christmas gifts with my boys before Thanksgiving.

“What do you think you might like for Christmas this year?” I asked.

They both struggled for an answer.

At ages 15 (almost 16, it’s important to note) and 14 (and a half), there really aren’t many things they WANT.

They are the first to admit they’re pretty lucky guys.

They have the phones, the computers, the gaming consoles and most things kids want these days. They each have a bicycle they’ve put many miles on. They each have their own room, with their own stuff, in their own place.

They were kind of at a loss as to what to ask for.

However, one child loves roller coasters and theme parks, and it happens that a theme park within easy driving distance is getting a new roller coaster when they reopen in the spring. That child will be getting tickets to opening weekend (Shhhhh! If you see him before Christmas, don’t tell!).

The other child has poured his heart and soul into his theater class for the past three years, taking extra lessons at our local civic theater. That child is getting tickets to a premier show in a nearby big city this year.

This year, Christmas gifts are not a toy or an electronic. They’re an experience. Their tickets will come with an entire weekend away with the entire family to experience a city, it’s culture, it’s food, their favorite things and their family.

To me, and hopefully to them, that’s better than any video game you can buy.

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Posted in: Family Matters


SHOP THE SALE: ROSEMARY-GARLIC CORNISH HENS


Rosemary-Garlic Cornish HensPrep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Take your next dinner party up a notch with roasted Cornish Hen. Not only does Cornish Hen offer very tender meat, its small size makes it perfect for individual servings – and ideal for elegant holiday dinners. Serve with a medley of roasted root vegetables or rice dressing, followed by a traditional dessert like pudding or apple crumble. Tyson Premium Cornish Hens are on sale all this week, so treat your friends and family to a special meal!

Ingredients
4 Cornish game hens
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary (plus more for garnish)
30 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth

Instructions
Preheat oven to 450° F. Rub hens with 1 tablespoon oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in large, heavy roasting pan. Arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 375° F. In mixing bowl, whisk together wine, broth and remaining oil; pour over hens. Continue roasting for about 25 more minutes, or until hens are golden-brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.

Transfer hens to platter, pouring any juices into roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan. Boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half, lengthwise; arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs before serving.

Calories per Serving: 484, Fat: 34 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 169 mg, Sodium: 152 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 31 g

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

Chef Tips

What is a Cornish Hen?
As the name would suggest, the Cornish Hen is a chicken variety that originated in Cornwall, England. Most of the chickens sold as Cornish Hens in the grocery stores today, however, are actually a hybrid of Cornish and White Rock Chicken. Commercial Cornish Hens weigh under two pounds, and in another twist, can be male or female. They are only sold whole unlike other chickens such as the broiler-fryer, roaster or stewing chicken, as they are too small to be deboned.

Cornish Hen Taste & Nutrition
Here’s another surprise, they taste like chicken! The biggest difference between the Cornish Hen and its other chicken cousins, is tenderness. Being a much younger chicken, they are very tender and juicy, which along with their small size being suited to individual serving has made them a true delicacy. On the plus side for those watching their nutrition, these “spring chickens” contain less fat and slightly fewer calories than older chicken.



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.

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

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Family Matters: Safe and Fun Feline Treats for the Holidays


Safe and Fun Feline Treats for the HolidaysWhile cats don’t always eat table scraps, they are kind of sneaky about going into the kitchen and munching on your holiday feast while you’re eating in the dining room.

However, holiday indulgences that we love aren’t always good for your feline friend.

Turkey is one of them.

Turkey isn’t bad for your kitty (well, the bones are), but the richness of a roasted bird might not agree with his digestive system. You know what that means for you.

Do not give your cat anything with bulb vegetables like onions, garlic or leeks. They cause anemia in cats.

Absolutely no gravy, which typically contains garlic, onions or mushrooms.

Speaking of mushrooms, they are toxic to cats. Keep your kitty away from them.

Don’t give your cat bread: yeast also causes digestive issues.

Liver, while it sounds like a good idea, can cause organ toxicity in cats. Just avoid it.

Of course, avoid chocolate, candy or any other sweets.

Your vet probably has an emergency number for holidays. Post it on your fridge. Also, have the number for the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA). Their number is 888-ANI-HELP, or 888-426-4435.



Family Matters: What Treats NOT to Feed Your Dog During the Holidays


What Treats NOT to Feed Your Dog During the HolidaysWith the holidays upon us, it’s tempting to feed our canine best friend some treats from the table. After all, we’re indulging, so why shouldn’t he?

There are a list of good reasons why!

I want to feed my dog, Astro, all the same treats that I’m enjoying, but not everything that’s good for me is good for him.

First of all, please don’t feed your four-legged friend bones from your holiday turkey, ham or even crown roast. No bones, period, unless they come from the pet food aisle at Brookshire’s and are engineered specifically for dogs. Real animal bones can fracture and cause serious, even fatal, damage in your dog’s digestive system.

Secondly, beware of holiday plants. Poinsettias and mistletoe are both poisonous. You also don’t want your pup ingesting needles from your Christmas tree! Keep these plants out of reach of your dog, and keep him away from your tree.

Chocolate is also poisonous to your dog in certain quantities. Don’t leave out dishes of chocolate, and closely monitor any chocolate treats in the house during the holiday season.

Alcohol can also be fatal to your pooch. While he might not WANT to attack your glass of glog, keep anything with alcohol in it far away from your pet.

Onions or any other bulb vegetable (like garlic, leeks and chives) are also bad for your dog. Don’t feed him table scraps with any of those ingredients.

Raisins and grapes are also super bad for your dog, so if he gets into the fruitcake or cinnamon bread, call your vet immediately.

Most vets offer emergency service (or a backup) on holidays. Make sure you have that number handy in case your four-legged friend DOES indeed get into something he shouldn’t eat.

In the meantime, provide his favorite (dog-approved) treats and his regular foods, and give him lots of love and attention to keep him from focusing on table scraps.



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.



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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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