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Shop the Sale: Mardi Gras Shrimp and Grits


Mardi Gras Shrimp and GritsMardi Gras is right around the corner, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a meal that lets the good times roll. I love this time of year because not only is it festive, but seafood is back in season, too.

This dish reminds me of spending a few years living in New Orleans as a child. I remember going to the family-friendly Mardi Gras parades with my parents, brothers and sisters. My dad built a “viewing tower” for us, which was essentially a wooden bench screwed into the top of a wooden step ladder. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how they thought that was safe, but at least we were contained and not being trampled by crowds. We’d wave our arms in the air and scream, “Throw me something, mister,” and we’d be pelted with colorful beads, gold coins, plastic trinkets, logo cups and whatever other treasures the crewes were throwing.

I remember it being an exciting, loud time! Now, I just prefer the food to the crowds and chaos.

Mardi Gras Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients:
SHRIMP:
1 lb 26/30 Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup purple onion
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs flour

GRITS:
2 cups water
1/2 cup instant grits
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
Bring water for grits to a boil over medium-high heat. Add salt, pepper and butter. Stir instant grits. Reduce heat to low, stirring and cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed and it’s your preferred consistency. Stir in cheese; set grits aside.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, warm butter until melted. Add the flour; whisk until a roux has formed. Add peppers and onions; cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cream, and stir until the mixture is blended and creamy. Add the milk and then the lemon juice; whisk to combine well.

Add shrimp, garlic and Tony Chachere’s. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until shrimp is pink and tender. Serve over grits, adding more cheese if necessary.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 373, Calories from Fat: 166, Fat: 19 g (11 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 287 mg, Sodium: 1131 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 6 g, Protein: 32 g.

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Healthy Living: One-Pan Roasted Sausage and Vegetables


One-Pan Roasted Sausage and VegetablesI was telling my best friend recently that I prefer vegetables to most fruits, and she thought I was crazy.

That’s fine; I’ll take a little crazy.

It’s true, though. I do prefer vegetables to fruits (although I definitely eat fruit, too), and I love roasting veggies for an easy, one-pan, healthy meal.

You can add almost any kind of vegetables to this dish. I often use Brussels sprouts instead of peppers or throw in some cauliflower as well. Make sure to dice the sweet potatoes in small pieces, so they cook as quickly as the rest of the veggies. You could also steam them for a few minutes before you add them to the roasting pan. You could also toss in a few pieces of diced apple for some sweetness.

Chicken sausage doesn’t have much fat, so you do need the olive oil. Although, I don’t usually use all of the six tablespoons.

I love making this one night for dinner then enjoying the leftovers the next day for lunch.

One-Pan Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3/4 lb fresh green beans
1 large head broccoli, chopped
2 large green bell peppers, chopped
9 oz chicken sausage links
6 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (if using foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray).

Chop all veggies, and add to a large bowl. Slice sausage into bite-sized pieces; add to bowl. Add in spices, and drizzle in olive oil. Toss to coat.

Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, and then stir before roasting for 15 more minutes.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 686, Calories from Fat: 411, Fat: 46 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 453 mg, Carbohydrates: 67 g, Fiber: 17 g, Sugar: 8 g, Protein: 12 g.

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



Product Talk: Bakery Italian Bread


Bakery Italian BreadNothing smells more heavenly than walking through the bakery in your local Brookshire’s store.

I was drawn to the bakery the other day like I was being pulled in by a tractor beam, lured by the scent of the fresh bread. I happened to walk by just as they were taking a tray of Italian bread out of the oven.

“Can I have one of those?” I asked, pointing to the fresh, hot loaves.

The helpful associate bagged one up for me. I took it home, resisting the urge to slather butter on the still-warm loaf and eat it myself before dinner.

Instead, I made garlic bread for the family, but I’m thinking I might have to go back to Brookshire’s tomorrow and get another loaf for myself.

In addition to the Italian bread, which is my favorite, they have French bread, artisan bread, rolls, homemade tortillas and any kind of baked treat your heart desires. Visit the Brookshire’s bakery today!

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Dine In: Sirloin Steak Bites


Sirloin Steak BitesI know that I complain sometimes about the picky eaters in my house. My younger son and my boyfriend, who eats dinner with us every night, are a bit more challenging to cook for than my older son, and goodness knows I’ll eat anything.

Then, I remember that my younger son is the same kid who rushes out to help me unload groceries every week when I’m slogging bags in from the car. He opens doors for me to walk through and refills my coffee cup when it gets low. He checks to see if I want the last cookie before he tears into it, and he is always quick to tell me that he loves me.

The boyfriend, while he might not eat any sauce that is white or any beans that are not, is the one who missed his all-time favorite musician when he came to town to instead go out for a birthday dinner with us. He’s the one who remembered that I mentioned I wanted to read a new magazine that has just come out. No one can put their hands on it because it’s so popular, so he ordered me a subscription instead. He’s the one who gives my dog a bath and fills up the dog food bin without me asking.

Among many, many other things.

So really, the fact that sometimes I have to serve sauce on the side or not at all, or skip eating comfort food casseroles, or have to swap kidney beans for Great Northern really isn’t a big deal. These guys of mine deserve the foods they love (like the sirloin steak bites) because they’re so good at loving me.

Sirloin Steak Bites

Ingredients:
2 lbs sirloin steak, trimmed and cubed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar or soy sauce
2 Tbs garlic, minced
2 Tbs parsley, dried
2 Tbs basil, dried
lemon zest, grated
olive oil, for cooking

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except sirloin in a large, zip-top bag; mix well. Add sirloin bites and marinate, refrigerated, for several hours or overnight.

Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering and fragrant. Using a slotted spoon, remove steak bites from marinade in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes per batch for medium-rare. Remove steak from pan and set aside, keeping warm. Repeat with remaining steak until it’s all cooked. Don’t overcrowd the pan as that will steam the meat, not sear it. Discard marinade.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 663, Calories from Fat: 354, Fat: 39 g (9 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 203 mg, Sodium: 317 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 69 g.

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



Family Matters: Babysitters


BabysittersSometime in your baby’s life, you might need to ask the grandparents to babysit.

That’s the position my sister found herself in this week. She had a once-in-a-decade opportunity to accompany her husband on a business trip to somewhere fabulous, and she decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

So, my parents in their late 60s flew across the country to stay with her four kids, ages 2 to 10 (in fact, the twins just turned 2 yesterday).

It’s not always easy for a grandparent to step in, but there are ways you can facilitate an easy transition.

  • Have a backup plan. Leave the caregiver the number of a neighbor or a friend who is very familiar with your children and can step in to help if necessary.
  • Enlist this same friend to take a child or two off the grandparents’ hands for an afternoon.
  • Prepare meals to leave in the freezer for the grandparents to easily reheat. Even if they are adept at parenting, they are parenting children they are not used to, and things will take them longer to accomplish. Plus, they are older than when they were parenting you and may wear out more easily, even if they are in the best of health. As an alternative, leave a gift card for a delivery meal.
  • Write down a schedule. Don’t assume they know that one child needs a sippy cup of water and a stuffed giraffe to go to sleep while he’s laying upside down in his bed with a nightlight shining. Write it all down.
  • Call your littles every day while you’re away and FaceTime if necessary. If this upsets them too much, skip this step, but it’s probably for their benefit.
  • If you have time, leave them hidden notes or a scavenger hunt that they can find during the days you’re gone.
  • Bring them back a treat and celebrate your return!


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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

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



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

Directions:
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.



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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.

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