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Shop the Sale: Candied Bacon


Candied Bacon and French Toast.Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 10

Candy and bacon? Um, yes please! The perfect treat as a unique dessert or part of a decadent brunch, Candied Bacon is a fabulous recipe for the holiday season. Quick and super easy to make, your guests will love it just as much as much more complicated (and time consuming) sweets. And there’ll be plenty to go around with Wright Brand Sliced Bacon on sale all this week.

Ingredients
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs chile powder
20 slices thick-cut bacon (1 1/2 lbs)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk brown sugar and chile powder together. Arrange bacon strips on foil/parchment; coat tops heavily with chile-sugar mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until caramelized and almost crisp. Transfer bacon to a rack set over a sheet of foil to cool completely before serving. (Optionally, you can flip halfway through cooking process and coat other side for a more intense sweet-spicy flavor.)

Calories per Serving: 177, Fat: 9 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 30 mg, Sodium: 532 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 8 g.

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

Chef Tips

Bacon Isn’t Just For Breakfast
Although most of us think of the delicious cured pork meat as a breakfast food, bacon can – and should! – be used for so much more. And while you might be more familiar with bacon-inclusive meals like pasta carbonara, BLT’s or quiche, there are some pretty interesting ways to use bacon that you might not have heard of. Like bacon sushi or bacon guacamole. How about hot bacon dip or bacon quesadillas? Or what about bacon maple cheesecake? The options are endless (yay)!

On The Lighter Side
While bacon isn’t exactly a health food, there are healthier options when it comes to bacon recipes so you can enjoy your bacon without the guilt. A lot of these meals focus on using small amounts of bacon to add the same delicious flavor without the fat and calories of a pile of bacon. Great options include bacon muffins, breakfast frittatas, spinach salads and vinaigrettes, bacon zucchini spaghetti and soups.

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s Party Trays


Brookshire’s Party TraysIs the holiday season as hectic for you as it is for me? I’m betting that it is.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I love the class parties, the work potlucks and the glittering celebrations under the mistletoe, but sometimes preparing for all those things is beyond my supermom capabilities.

That’s where Brookshire’s comes in. Brookshire’s Party Trays make the holidays a breeze. I can order a party tray, pick it up laden with savory meats and cheeses, and voila! The work potluck or evening event is taken care of in a flash.

Party Trays do need to be ordered 24 hours in advance, and there’s a variety to choose from, including meats and cheeses, deli sandwiches, cheese and crackers, seafood and, of course, desserts. The deli specialist at Brookshire’s can help you decide how large of a tray you’ll need, what ingredients you’ll want on it and how far in advance to order.



Product Talk: Fresh Cranberries


Seasonal, fresh cranberries are one of my favorite things ever. They’re tart, tasty and so good for you.

You’ve probably already seen all of the amazing things you can do with cranberries in the November/December issue of Celebrate Cooking, but did you know how good they are for you as well?

Often referred to as a superfood, cranberries are rich in antioxidants and only contain 25 calories per one-half cup. Studies have shown that the nutrients in cranberries have been linked to a lower risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function and decreased blood pressure.

Cranberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. They also contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), an antioxidant that may help prevent a range of diseases.

There are so many ways to incorporate cranberries into your dishes. Here’s a tasty one!

Apple-Cranberry Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1/4 cup cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs light mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Combine chicken, celery, apple and cranberries in large bowl. In smaller bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Gently fold dressing mixture into the chicken mixture. Chill to blend ingredients.

*Chef’s Tip: Use leftover holiday turkey in place of the chicken.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 625, Fat: 13 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 286 mg, Sodium: 324 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 9 g; Protein: 108 g.

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



Product Talk: Southern Comfort® Egg Nog


Southern Comfort Egg NogMy older son loves eggnog so much that he starts asking for it before Halloween. I start keeping an eye on the Brookshire’s dairy case around that time, too, because it usually appears right after.

Southern Comfort® Egg Nog is his favorite (Note to shoppers: It comes without the southern comfort). It’s thick, rich and creamy, and he enjoys it with a dash of Vietnamese cinnamon on top.

Southern Comfort® Traditional Egg Nog is ultra-pasteurized, Grade A and only available during the holiday season.

Today, we had a brainstorm while making breakfast. We replaced most of the milk in our waffle batter with Southern Comfort® Egg Nog. My son LOVED it. You need to keep some of the milk to make the batter the right consistency, but he said these were delicious.

Southern Comfort® Egg Nog Waffles

Ingredients:
2 cups baking mix
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup Southern Comfort® Egg Nog
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon

Directions:
Combine baking mix, oil, egg, eggnog, milk and cinnamon in large bowl. Whisk batter to combine. It will be slightly thicker than traditional waffle batter. Spray waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray, and heat according to your iron’s directions. Cook waffles until golden-brown.

Makes 10

Calories Per Serving: 166, Fat: 8 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 32 mg, Sodium: 315 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 4 g.

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



Family Matters: Thanksgiving Fun for the Kids


Thanksgiving Fun for the KidsGrowing up, Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family was a big, raucous affair.

We’d load into the three-seat station wagon (you know, the kind with the rear seat facing backward) early that Thursday morning and head north to my aunt and uncle’s home about two hours away, depending on traffic.

When we got there, we’d tumble out of the two-toned station wagon: ourselves, the bountiful side dishes we’d provided and usually a few boxes of hand-me downs for assorted cousins or gear promised to various relatives. “Do you want Amy’s box of old Nancy Drew books for Megan?” “Sure, just bring them at Thanksgiving.”

Then, the food preparation would ensue, and the kids would be left to their own devices, which usually involved messing with Uncle Jerry’s big-screen TV (the very first of its kind) in the basement, or knocking cans of soda off the soundproof wall onto the Beltway below. Neither were sanctioned activities.

The adults finally caught on to the fact that they needed to keep us busy in order to direct our energies into a productive manner, so they put us to work making fun foods for the holiday meal.

One year, we made Thanksgiving cornucopias.

We took ice cream sugar cones, dipped the openings in melted chocolate, let them dry, and then filled them with candy corns and candy pumpkins. We set them on top of each plate for decoration. They were a sweet treat and lovely table décor for that year’s feast.

One year, we made turkey cookies. You could use Brookshire’s bakery sugar cookies. Then, you simply need white piped icing from the bakery aisle to pipe on a half-moon, outlining the top of the cookie. Line about a dozen candy corns over the icing (the icing adheres the candy corn to the cookie) to make the turkey “feathers.” Pipe on an icing face and use as a fun dessert! You can also use M&M’s® chocolate candies for the eyes instead.

One of our favorites was the “acorns” that we made for dessert one year. We took doughnut holes from the bakery, dipped them in melted chocolate bark found on the baking aisle, and then rolled them in crushed pecans (or the nut of your choice). They were delicious!

You can also make a turkey appetizer platter using pepperoni, salami and assorted cheeses to make a “turkey” on a platter or cheese board. Start by cutting a round head from a slice of cheddar, and then cut an oval body from a slice of Colby-Jack. Under that, fan an arrangement of pepperoni to represent the first layer of feathers. Under that, lay squares of cheese in a fan arrangement for the next layer of feathers. Alternate cheese and meats until you have a full plate and a festive turkey. You might have to visualize this from the outer layer to the inner layer, though, to make it easier to execute.

There are so many fun ways to include your kids in the holidays, and we have so many options to make it easy at Brookshire’s.



Shop the Sale: Roasted Turkey


Roasted TurkeyPrep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Serves: 8-10

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Brookshire’s has everything you need, including our own roast turkey recipe and Honeysuckle White Fresh Turkey on sale. Make this Thanksgiving your best yet with a perfectly roasted turkey and all the trimmings the family loves. And check out our chef tips for ways to make things easier before – and after – the big day.

Ingredients
1 (8 to 10 lbs) fresh turkey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, quartered
1 bulb garlic, halved
Several sprigs fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary and sage)
2 bay leaves
8 Tbs butter (1 stick), melted

Instructions
Adjust oven rack to lowest position; remove other racks. Preheat oven to 325° F. Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavities. Reserve for other uses, if desired. Dry bird well with paper towels, inside and out.

Salt and pepper inside of breast cavity. Stuff the onion, garlic, herbs and bay leaves inside. Set turkey on roasting rack in roasting pan, breast-side up. Brush generously with half of butter; season with salt and pepper. Tent the turkey with foil.

Roast the turkey for 2 hours. Remove foil; baste with remaining butter. Increase oven temperature to 425° F. Continue roasting until instant-read thermometer registers 165° F in thigh of turkey, about 45 more minutes. Remove turkey from oven; set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Calories per Serving: 710, Fat: 28 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 299 mg, Sodium: 320 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 107 g.

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

Chef Tips

Make Turkey Day Easy
You have enough to do on Thanksgiving between cooking, keeping drinks filled and maybe even taking some time to enjoy yourself. Take the hassle out of the big day with easy side dishes you can prepare in advance. Many Thanksgiving favorites can be prepared before Turkey Day, such as Potato Gratin or Mashed Potato, Cornbread Stuffing, Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Corn and Bacon Casserole, Stewed Collard Greens, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cranberry Sauce and Green Bean Casserole. Better yet, invite your guest to bring a side dish!

Thanksgiving Leftovers
What’s the second best thing about Thanksgiving? Turkey Day leftovers! With so many ways to use up leftover turkey, you’ll wish Thanksgiving came every month. Some of our favorites include Turkey Pot Pie, Turkey-Cheddar Casserole, Turkey Enchiladas, Turkey Primavera Pasta, Turkey Rice Casserole, Turkey Soup and of course, Turkey Sandwiches – just to name a few! And you can go as simple or gourmet as you like. For example, ramp up your turkey sandwiches with melted Brie cheese and cranberry sauce on toasted focaccia or go for a creamy pesto sauce and bacon for a delicious turkey pasta dish.



Product Talk: Holiday Deli Dinners


Thanksgiving can be an intimidating holiday.

Holiday Deli DinnersJust ask my friend Megan. She’s not a cook. She’s a brilliant attorney and a tri-athlete. She also has three kids under the age of 5. She doesn’t enjoy cooking, though. She’s not very adept at cooking, and she’d rather just skip it all together.

Thank goodness there’s Brookshire’s because, otherwise, Megan’s Thanksgiving holiday would be spent in abject misery, trying to put a meal on the table of which Martha Stewart would approve.

Instead, she can buy a Holiday Deli Dinner from Brookshire’s. For just $49.99 (and you just go ahead and calculate how much money that saves you), you can get a 10 to 12-pound smoked turkey with 2 pounds of cornbread dressing, 2 1/2 pounds of mashed potatoes, 1 pound of giblet gravy and 1 pound of cranberry relish. That will easily feed a family of 8.

If you want to do something different or in addition to turkey (or if you’re looking ahead to Christmas), you can also get a 7 to 9-pound spiral cut ham, 2 1/2 pounds of green bean supreme casserole, 2 pounds of broccoli rice casserole and 2 1/2 pounds of seasoned mashed potatoes for the same price.

All you do is thaw, heat and serve.

This frees up your time to enjoy your holiday, visit with family and friends, (or in Megan’s case, probably run a Turkey Trot race) and relax. These are great for family get-togethers, Friendsgiving, work affairs, potlucks and any other holiday occasion you can think of.



Family Matters: Choosing Your Dog’s Food


Choosing Your Dog's FoodWhen Astro first bounded out of his foster mom’s car onto my driveway, I had two immediate thoughts.

The first was, “Oh my gosh, he’s huge.” The second was, “Oh my gosh, he’s so cute.”

I picked Astro off the SPCA Facebook page. My boys and I were ready to get another dog, and we (I) fell in love with Astro’s soulful eyes and his hound face. We adopted him sight unseen.

We found out later that the SPCA was overjoyed because dogs his size are difficult to adopt out. People tend to be frightened of them, but little do they know that our gentle giant is the kindest, most docile, most loving, most friendly dog in the history of dogs.

Back to the issue at hand though… When we got Astro, he was still a puppy, and he needed puppy food.

You wouldn’t feed your baby a steak, right? So, you don’t want to feed your puppy any food that’s formulated for an adult or senior dog.

Now, I’ll be honest. It probably won’t hurt a dog like a steak would hurt a baby. However, take care of your puppy like you would your baby, and you and your four-legged family member will have lots of good years together.

Puppy formulations are designed to give your dog the best nutrients for growth; to develop the building blocks he needs for a long, healthy life; and to sustain his playful energy.

Brookshire’s Paws Happy Life™ foods have Puppy Formula that will do exactly this for your growing pup.

As your dog grows, he needs more protein, more balance or other formulations to serve him well through his life. Paws Happy Life™ helps with that, offering Butcher’s Choice, Kibbles, Complete, Lamb Meal & Rice, and Nutritionally Complete formulas. Paws Happy Life™ also offers formulations in cans and pouches that your dog will love, including beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, filet mignon and more.

Now that Astro is a 4-year-old, 100 lb. adult, we give him a variety designed to meet his large-breed, adult needs. I can personally attest that he is healthy, happy, and loves his morning and evening meals.



Family Matters: Choosing Your Cat’s Litter


Choosing Your Cat's LitterDuring the years that my boys begged to get a cat and I denied them time and time again, the reason was always that I did not want to mess with a litter box.

Clearly, cat litter technology has changed since the last time I had a cat.

With Brookshire’s Paws Happy Life™ Cat Litter, it’s almost like not even having a cat litter box in the house. Now granted, we have one that is hooded, vented and sealed from almost every angle, but I also use Paws Happy Life™ Lightweight Clumping, Fragrance-Free Cat Litter. I also have a great textured mat by the exit of the box that catches any stray spills.

This cat litter traps all the odors of a cat box and holds them together, making it easy to scoop on a regular basis and keep the cat box clean for Carl, our cat, and also for me (not sure who is more important here).

It’s not messy for either of us. It’s easy to scoop, and it’s virtually odor-free. Lightweight technology means it doesn’t make a mess either in or out of the cat box. Whether you have one cat or more than one, Paws Happy Life™ offers a kind of cat litter that will work best in your home.



Cranberry-Lime Pie


Cranberry-Lime PiePrep Time: 1 hour 20 mins, plus chilling
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8

Move over Pumpkin Pie! Take your taste buds on an exciting new pie journey with our Cranberry-Lime Pie. This decadent dessert is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, making it a refreshingly sweet treat after even the heartiest Thanksgiving dinner. Wow your guests with something new this year, plus enjoy the savings with Ellis Pecans on sale!

Ingredients
Crust:
4 oz gingersnap cookies
1 cup pecans
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbs light brown sugar

Filling:
1 (12 oz) pkg fresh cranberries, plus 4 oz for serving (divided)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
2 tsp lime zest, finely grated (divided)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature), cut into pieces
Whipped cream, for serving

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Pulse cookies in food processor until very finely ground. (You should have about 1 cup). Add pecans; pulse until finely ground. Add melted butter and brown sugar; pulse to combine. Transfer to deep 9-inch pie dish. Using measuring cup, press firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake until firm and slightly darkened in color, about 10 to 15 minutes. If crust slides down sides, gently press back up. Let cool. (Crust can be baked one day ahead of time. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.)

Bring 12 ounces cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer until cranberries burst and most of liquid evaporates, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Puree in blender until very smooth.

Cook the puree, eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon lime zest, lime juice, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water) until curd thickens and coats spatula, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula and scrape down sides of bowl often. Let cool until just warm.

Using electric mixer on medium-high setting, beat curd until curd looks lighter in color and texture, adding butter a piece at a time and incorporating after each addition (about 5 minutes). Scrape into crust and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Bring 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add remaining 4 ounces cranberries. Cook until barely starting to soften, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Chill until no longer sticky, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Toss remaining 1/2 cup sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon lime zest in small bowl. Toss cranberries in lime sugar. Top pie with cranberries; serve with whipped cream.

Note: Pie (without topping) can be made 2 days ahead. Cover once filling is firm and keep chilled. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours before serving.

Per Serving:
Calories: 599, Fat: 30 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 183 mg, Sodium: 304 mg, Carbohydrates: 82 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

Chef Tips

Cranberry Goodness
We’re not going to lie and tell you that pie is good for you, but we can attest to the huge health benefits of the cranberries that go into said pie. Comprised of almost 90% water and 10% carbohydrates and fiber, cranberries are rich in vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Manganese, Vitamin E and Vitamin K1. So sprinkle them on your cereal, add them to smoothies or make them into a pie!

What To Do With Pecans
I’ve got too many pecans…said nobody ever. Aside from delicious snacks all by their raw selves, there are loads of things you can do with pecans if you do find yourself in the unusual position of having too many. Some of our top choices are Strawberry & Feta Balsamic Salad, Baked Oatmeal or Granola, Pecan Crusted Chicken, Buttery Cinnamon Pecans, and of course, Pecan Pie. (This is a pie blog after all.)

 



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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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