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Family Matters: Car Seat Safety in Winter

Car Seat Safety in WinterOver the past year, studies have shown that babies and toddlers should not wear heavy, puffy coats or buntings in their car seats.

The reason is that the bulkiness of the coat adds about four inches to the length of the strap on the seat, and tests conducted have shown that baby is more likely to be dislodged from the seat during a crash than without lengthening the straps to accommodate a coat. A study from the University of Michigan showed in a crash test that the dummy child wearing a puffy winter coat was much more likely to be thrown from the seat on impact.

Luckily, you can still keep your child warm and safe in the colder months. Dress your baby in layers if you’re going on a car trip. Put him in a long-sleeved onesie with fleece pants, socks and shoes. Then, layer a fleece jacket over his onesie and strap him into his car seat. Use a heavy blanket or quilted car seat cover to put OVER the baby and the straps, so nothing is obstructing the safe and correct use of the car seat straps. Baby will be snuggly for the ride.

Family Matters: Cold Weather Skin Care

Cold Weather Skin CareIt’s hard enough to keep adult skin in tact during winter months, so it’s even more of a challenge to keep baby’s tender skin in tip-top shape when it gets cold and dry.

Babies are sensitive to temperature changes, so bundling baby up to go out in the cold might do as much damage to their skin as cold air. When baby overheats, red bumps will appear. Dress baby in layers instead of heavy garments, so you can help her regulate her temperature. Treat bumps with a 1 percent hydrocortisone lotion if they appear.

Babies get chapped lips, too. Use a thin layer of petroleum jelly or lanolin to keep your baby’s lips protected, especially before and after they eat.

If baby is going out in the cold, apply some Eucerin® or Aquaphor® lotion (or petroleum jelly) to his cheeks and nose, which can take the brunt of exposure.

Don’t over-bathe baby in the winter months, once a day at most. Follow the bath with a baby massage using lotion while her skin is still slightly damp to help her absorb the lotion best.

Lastly, keep baby hydrated. A little extra water, breast milk or formula will help hydrate their skin from the inside out.

Shop the Sale: Big Game Ribeyes with Bleu Cheese and Crispy Shallots

Big Game Ribeyes with Bleu Cheese and Crispy ShallotsThe Big Game is this weekend, and it’s the perfect time to wow your family and friends with some outstanding steaks.

Prepare these before kickoff, so you have a long time to savor your steak and so you don’t miss a minute of Lady Gaga at halftime.

Ribeyes are full of flavor from the beautiful marbling in each piece of meat. You can balance that full flavor with the sharp taste of bleu cheese and the crisp crunch of a fried shallot. The combinations of flavors is worthy of a championship ring, for sure.

Big Game Ribeyes with Bleu Cheese and Crispy Shallots

2 shallots, sliced into rings
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying
sea salt
2 cups bleu cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs Worcestershire powder
4 ribeye steaks, about 20 oz each

For the bleu cheese sauce, whisk together bleu cheese and cream. Season with pepper. Refrigerate until needed (can be done a day ahead of time).

For the crispy shallots, pour milk into a large, shallow bowl. Add shallot slices; soak for about 30 minutes.

In another small dish, stir together flour, cornstarch, red pepper and black pepper. Dredge each shallot ring in flour mixture, coating evenly. Lay out individually on a sheet of waxed paper.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat vegetable oil to 350° F. Working in small batches, fry battered shallots until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels. Season with sea salt, and set aside.

For the steaks, heat grill to medium-high heat. Bring the steaks to room temperature. Season both sides of each steak with salt, pepper and Worcestershire powder.

Grill steaks for 6 minutes on the first side. Then, flip and grill for 6 more minutes on the other side. Remove from grill. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes before serving. Top with bleu cheese sauce and crispy shallots.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 993, Calories from Fat: 527, Fat: 59 g (30 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 308 mg, Sodium: 1106 mg, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 84 g.

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Healthy Living: Homemade Noodle Bowls

Homemade Noodle BowlsMy sister-in-law, Lesley, is the healthiest person I know. She doesn’t put anything into, onto or near her body that isn’t of the purest, utmost, best quality.

She eats organic, doesn’t use chemicals to clean in her house, doesn’t use chemicals on her body, and only puts food in her body that is not processed at all, or minimally processed if necessary.

She’s also super mom, super physically fit and looks 25 when in reality she’s quite a bit older.

I want to be like her.

Or more like her because I know, for me, I can’t be quite that dedicated. I do enjoy the occasional Diet Coke or cupcake.

But really, she’s my health hero.

While this recipe isn’t Lesley-approved (only because I didn’t run it by her), it is Lesley-inspired.

She makes salads in Mason jars and eats them for lunches on the go. I love a hot lunch, and I REALLY love soup or soup-like meals. These jars are something I can control what goes in and how I eat them.

Plus, they’re super easy and portable!

Healthy Noodle Bowls

Ingredients: (listed per jar)
1/2 cup protein, such as cooked shredded chicken, shrimp, slices of beef or pork, cubed tofu, etc.
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp Sriracha
1/4 tsp lime juice
1 chicken stock bouillon cube or 1/2 spoonful chicken broth paste
1 pkg dried rice stick noodles
vegetables, such as spinach, shredded carrots, julienned red peppers, cabbage, green onions, diced onions, small broccoli or cauliflower florets, sliced mushrooms

Prepare 4 to 5 clean, dry Mason jars for the week.

Create an assembly line by lining up all your jars and ingredients.

Start with wet ingredients on the bottom, pouring lime juice, Sriracha, soy sauce, and chicken broth paste or bouillon onto the bottom of the jar, then add protein.

Top with vegetables and then dry rice noodles, dividing between jars. Add any dry seasonings. Seal jar.

When ready to eat, boil 1 cup water (or equivalent measure to 2/3 the volume of the jar). Pour boiling water into jar; let sit for 2 minutes. Stir and eat.

You can make any combination of flavors, proteins and vegetables for these healthy, fun jars.

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

Product Talk: Talk O’ Texas Crisp Okra Pickles

Talk O’ Texas Crisp Okra PicklesWe all know that being from the true South means we know our way around a kitchen and a cast-iron skillet.

We also love things like cornbread, beans and rice, and okra.

Oh my, do I love okra.

These Talk O’ Texas Crisp Okra Pickles are one of my favorite snacks.

They’re from Texas (no arguing Southern origins there), and they’ve been produced in Central Texas since the 1940s. First sold at Neiman Marcus, the Okra Pickles are hand-packed for the highest quality and flavor.

These delightful okra pickles are low-calorie, low-carb and go through a five-step quality assurance process before being jarred and shipped out to your local Brookshire’s. In hot or mild flavors, they are delicious in a Bloody Mary, a martini, chopped up for cornbread or served on a relish tray.

A Recipe for Disaster

A Recipe for DisasterIt’s happened. You’ve accidentally bumped the pan, and the cooking oil you were heating up is now in flames. This can be a very serious situation with dire consequences. A decision must be made quickly. Rule #1 – don’t panic.

There are a few simple ways you can put out this fire without injury to you or your home. First, turn off the heat. Then, you need to cut off the fire’s life supply: oxygen. Find a flat metal object like a cookie pan to place over the pan to cut off the oxygen supply to the fire. Do not use glass, as it may shatter.

If this does not work, there are other remedies. Put baking soda onto the flame source until it is out. This is best for small fires. Be careful not to get too close to the flame, so you do not get burned. Wear gloves if quickly and easily accessible! Also, if you have a vat of grease, do not dump the baking soda until it is safe to do so. If you dump something large into that grease at once, it may force the grease out of the pan, which may still be on fire.

The last resort is using a fire extinguisher. This will make your kitchen quite messy, but it’s a better alternative than your house burning down. An ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher works best. If even this does not work, evacuate and call 9-1-1. If you happen to catch fire yourself, STOP, DROP and ROLL!

What NOT to do:

  • Put water on a grease fire. This will only make it spread.
  • Swat the fire with cloth, whether it is wet or dry. The grease or fire could catch on the cloth and spread it to other places around your kitchen.
  • Pick up flaming pan and run with it. It is best not to touch the pan at all, as the temperature will have risen significantly in a short amount of time. It is up to you if you want to inch the pan out of the house, but burns will most likely be imminent. If you are to pick up the pan at all, grease will still be in motion and can spill out as you hold it – onto you, the floor where you’re standing and all of your surroundings.

A grease fire is a scary situation. I hope none of you ever have to experience it. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help prevent a grease fire from ever happening.

A grease fire happens when your cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then start smoking before eventually catching on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450° F, while animal fats will start smoking around 375° F.

Whenever you’re heating any type of oil, stay in the kitchen. If possible, use a pot or pan with a solid metal lid. Keep an eye on the oil as it heats. If you see wisps of smoke or it doesn’t smell right, immediately turn down the heat or remove the pot from the burner completely. The oil won’t catch fire once it starts smoking, but smoke is a danger sign that it’s well on its way.

Be mindful in the kitchen and always be prepared. Have a fire extinguisher handy. Make sure you and your family know how to use it. Keep a stock of baking soda somewhere you can grab it easily, and make sure it is not used for anything else. You wouldn’t want to reach over and it be empty if you needed it. Did you know that Brookshire’s sells its very own baking soda? It’s just as good as the national brand and less expensive, so stock up!

Hopefully, you will never have to experience a grease fire, but with these things in mind, you could potentially save your family and your house from this kitchen disaster. With anything, make sure your entire family knows how to handle these situations. You never know when things could go wrong.

So, have a creative and joyful experience cooking up the recipes you love or would love to try! Just remember to be safe and alert when dealing with anything that may become a recipe for disaster.

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Posted in: Cooking

Dine In: Queso-Smothered Chicken

Queso-Smothered ChickenFrequently on Friday nights, we go out for Mexican food.

There’s just something about warm rice and beans, soft flour tortillas and, of course, chips and salsa that’s a great way to end the week.

Eating out gets expensive, and this family is saving up for some big adventures in 2017. So, we’re eating at home more often on Friday nights.

That doesn’t mean we have to give up Mexican food, though. This chicken dish is smothered in cheese and served over orzo pasta, which you infuse with Mexican flavors. You could swap it out for rice if you wanted, and you can always serve with a side of beans.

Queso-Smothered Chicken

1 bottle Lawry’s Baja Chipotle 30 Minute Marinade
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup orzo
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
8 oz Velveeta, diced
1 can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies

Place chicken in a plastic, zip-top bag, and pour marinade over the chicken, turning to coat. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from marinade, and grill over medium-high heat until cooked through. In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil until fragrant and shimmering. Stir in the orzo, cooking and stirring until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, tomato paste, chili powder and paprika; bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In another large saucepan, combine Ro-Tel and Velveeta over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until melted. To serve, scoop 1/4 of orzo onto a plate. Top with sliced chicken breast and queso. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 821, Calories from Fat: 322, Fat: 36 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 192 mg, Sodium: 3457 mg, Carbohydrates: 58 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 19 g, Protein: 67 g.

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Family Matters: Vacation Jar

Vacation JarThis year, we implemented the Vacation Jar.

We already had the Treat Jar. It’s a one-gallon, pottery jar with a red, white and blue motif I bought years ago on a trip to Poland. We drop our spare change into the jar and save it all year for a dinner out, or a treat we otherwise wouldn’t have.

This year, we decided we’d have a goal for our jar.

We sat down one night with pads of paper, and we all wrote our vacation goals on the pink, lined notebook paper.

Curt wants to go on a Disney Cruise.

Luke wants to go mountain climbing in Colorado.

Paul wants to go to a secluded beach in Mexico.

I want to go back to Bermuda with my family.

Ok, so a gallon jar full of change might not get us to any of those places in one year. It will allow us to go paddle boarding on the Back Bay on our beach trip this year, and possibly stay an extra night so we can visit Colonial Williamsburg while we’re in Virginia.

If we hadn’t planned a vacation already, it might have paid for a weekend in a nearby big city with a hotel stay, some museum admissions and a fun dinner out.

It’s a great goal to save as a family. It teaches the kids exactly what it takes to reach a financial goal for a family vacation. It gives them a sense of pride and ownership in the trip, and it’s fun all around.

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Posted in: Family Matters

Mi Blog Hispano: El Cafecito

El CafecitoNo sé ustedes, pero yo no puedo estar sin mi cafecito por la mañana. Precisamente, en este exacto momento, estoy tomando uno que esta riquísimo. Me gusta tomarlo todos los días, al empezar mi día y a veces al acabarlo también, especialmente cuando siento frio. El aroma del café, su fragancia, su calorcito, y su sabor causa que sea una maravilla de bebida. Quizás es porque siento que despierto al tomarlo y a la vez me siento relajada, o simplemente me da un poco más de energía para empezar mi día. Me da esa inspiración que necesito para trabajar, escribir, dibujar, y continuar el día.  Y no niego que la taza tiene mucho que ver en lo a gusto que me siento al tomarlo.

Ese cafecito que nos encanta a nosotros los latinos es parte de nuestra cultura. Recuerdo de chica que mi mama siempre ofrecía café a las personas que venían a visitar, “¿Gusta un cafecito?” Los visitantes siempre lo aceptaban. Platicaban y reían juntos por largas horas tomando el cafecito con unas galletas o un pan dulce. Es como un gesto de amabilidad, de bienvenida, servicial, que al momento anima el alma y pone a todos en tan buen humor. Creciendo vi a mis padres tomar su cafecito a diario y ahora lo hago yo.

¿Sabía que el café origino en Etiopia, un país localizado en África? De allí paso a Arabia y luego a la India. Hoy día crece en varios países y es dispersado por todo el mundo por la demanda que hay para consumirlo. Que interesante es conocer más sobre el origen del café. Sobre todo, cuando es en una buena platica con unos buenos amigos y ¡un muy buen café!

Escribiendo este blog me ha dado ganas de otro cafecito hoy. En un rato voy por más porque en esa taza en la que me lo tomo se encuentra un poquito de mi cultura, un sabor maravilloso, una buena platica, memorias, relajación, energía, e inspiración.

Shop the Sale: Bacon and Shrimp Chowder

Bacon and Shrimp ChowderI went out to lunch with my best friend last week, and seeing that it was a rare, bitterly cold day in Texas, we wanted soup.

Being our usual, indecisive selves, we hemmed and hawed over the menu choices until our wonderful waiter brought us both a tasting cup of each of the soups to help us make up our mind. She went for a crab bisque, and I went for the seafood chowder, which was enhanced with a lovely infusion of bacon that really added a depth of flavor.

John Morrell Bacon is on sale this week at Brookshire’s, and you certainly don’t have to wait for a bitterly cold day to enjoy this hearty soup.

Bacon and Shrimp Chowder

8 oz John Morrell Bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 Tbs all purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
1 russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped scallions, divided
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs hot sauce
1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped

In a large stockpot, cook bacon until brown and crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate.

Add onion to the bacon grease, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour and whisk to make a roux, about 1 minute.

Stir in chicken stock, half-and-half, potatoes, half of scallions, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Simmer on medium until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes

Remove half of mixture to food processor, and pulse until blended. Add back to stockpot. Add in shrimp, and simmer until shrimp is cooked through and pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in half of the bacon. Serve immediately, topped with the remaining bacon and scallions.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 535, Calories from Fat: 344, Fat: 38 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 107 mg, Sodium: 3290 mg, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 27 g.

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Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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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