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Product Talk: Herdez® Guacamole Salsa


Herdez® Guacamole SalsaThe first time I saw this product on the shelf at Brookshire’s, the bright green color caught my eye. It IS springtime after all, and this is just pretty.

It sounded intriguing, too. I love green salsa and guacamole, so I figured the combination of the two must be pretty spectacular.

I wasn’t wrong.

I first ate it with chips as a dip, but then I decided I needed to make something with it. I made chicken-cheese enchiladas and used this as the sauce. They were amazing.

Herdez® Guacamole Salsa blends avocado with tomatillos, onions, jalapeño peppers and cilantro. It definitely has a spicy kick to it but with a wonderful complex heat that leaves you wanting more.

I’ve since used this as a dressing for salad, as a sauce on soft tacos and as a topping for scrambled eggs in the morning.

There will always be a bottle in my pantry and refrigerator from here out.



Dine In: Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole


Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken CasseroleWe’re right on the cusp of warm, spring and summer weather. With hot days and cooler nights, it’s almost time to shed the heavy comfort foods of winter, and enjoy spring and summer’s bountiful vegetables and lighter meats.

Almost.

Sometimes, it’s just satisfying to work a full week of challenges, take care of your family, take care of yourself and come home to a comfort meal on Fridays.

This dish is warm, creamy, cheesy and filling, all the requirements (at least for me) for comfort food. While the serving size of this recipe is for two, you can easily double or triple (if you have teenagers in the house, I definitely recommend tripling this recipe).

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

Ingredients:
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 slices Canadian bacon, diced
4 Tbs unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 stalk scallion (green part only), cut into small rounds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat a 9 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk salt, sugar and black pepper into whipping cream, stirring to combine.

Layer the potatoes and chicken in the baking dish. Sprinkle with bacon and butter pieces. Top with half of the sharp cheddar cheese and scallions.

Pour whipping cream mixture over the casserole.

Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes.

During the last 10 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake until bubbly.

Serve immediately.

(This recipe can easily be doubled.)

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 898, Fat: 58 g (33 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 256 mg, Sodium: 1324 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 57 g.

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Healthy Living: Sweet Potato Power Bowl


Sweet Potato Power BowlBetween two family birthdays and a trip out of town, I feel like I’ve done nothing but eat rich, decadent foods for days on end.

I don’t just feel that way; it’s pretty much reality.

Time to get back on the healthy bandwagon!

I’ve been on a sweet potato kick.

I’ve also been on a “bowl” kick. (you know, when you can fit your meal into one, healthy bowl?)

So, this recipe looked like a perfect way to incorporate both of my current favorite things.

I added some black beans to the original recipe for protein. You’re getting lots of healthy ingredients and a lot of vitamins and nutrients with very little fat or anything else artificial!

Sweet Potato Power Bowl

Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato, diced
4 oz Brussels sprouts, halved
4 oz cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Toss sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and tomatoes with olive oil. Spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for 50 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper. Toss with black beans. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 670, Calories from Fat: 85, Fat: 9 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1279 mg, Carbohydrates: 123 g, Fiber: 28 g, Sugar: 25 g, Protein: 30 g.

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Posted in: Cooking, Produce


Dine In: Parmesan Rosemary Potato Chips


Parmesan Rosemary Potato ChipsOver the weekend, I took a trip to a small, historic city about 90 minutes away from where I live.

I stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast there, with the most delightful owners. When I checked in on Friday night, the lady of the house assured me that breakfast would be bountiful and would start with dessert.

She wasn’t kidding.

She brought out a deep-dish French toast topped with a peach compote, a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of freshly grated cinnamon.
The next course was an Italian quiche served with a grilled melon salad and parmesan rosemary potatoes.

It was delicious.

When I got home, I searched for recipes similar to what she’d served at that first breakfast, and I found a recipe for Parmesan Rosemary Potato Chips and knew I had to try them.

While I didn’t eat these for breakfast at that charming little inn, these chips were definitely inspired by the lady with the huge smile and miles of hospitality.

Parmesan Rosemary Potato Chips

Ingredients:
1 large russet potato
1 1/2 Tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmesan, finely granted
sea salt, to taste
canola oil, for frying

Directions:

Slice potatoes thinly using a mandolin. Submerge potatoes in an ice water bath while you work, to keep them from browning. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large stockpot, fryer or wok to 350° F. Dry potatoes with a clean towel.

Drop about 8 to 10 slices into the oil, and fry until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Drain well with a slotted spoon, and place into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, rosemary and parmesan. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 165, Calories from Fat: 76, Fat: 8 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 27 mg, Sodium: 355 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 0 g, Protein: 13 g.

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Shop the Sale: Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-Fry


Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-FryYou know it’s spring when fresh, bright, firm stalks of asparagus are on the shelves at Brookshire’s.

These green stalks, standing tall, are a delicious and nutritious way to welcome warmer weather.

Asparagus is full of vitamin K, more than 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance for vitamin K as a matter of fact. It’s also very high in folate, copper and vitamin B1.

Asparagus has significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, too.

Asparagus stalks should be rounded and not twisted. The buds on top can have purple striations, but they should be closed and tightly firm. To serve asparagus, break the stalk from the woody stem – you’ll feel where the natural give is – and remove the tough part. If the stalks are ripened, the stems may be firm and you will choose to peel it. It’s not necessary, though.

Asparagus and Shrimp Stir-Fry

Ingredients:
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
1 lb asparagus
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce

Directions:
In a wok or other large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until oil is fragrant and shimmering. Add the shrimp; season with salt and red pepper. Sauté until the shrimp is pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add asparagus, ginger, garlic and the other half of the salt. Sauté until asparagus is crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp back to the asparagus. Pour in soy sauce. Stir until well-combined and heat through. Add lemon juice, and serve immediately with rice.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 287, Calories from Fat: 145, Fat: 16 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 239 mg, Sodium: 1086 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 29 g.

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Product Talk: Fresh Crawfish


Fresh CrawfishEach spring, crawfish come into season in the South, and there’s only one place to get the freshest crawfish without having to catch it yourself: Brookshire’s.

The friendly fish monger behind the seafood counter will take your order. I recommend ordering your crawfish at least three days in advance of when you need it (preferably about a week), so Brookshire’s can make sure to have your order in the store when you need it.

You probably want to order 3 to 4 pounds of crawfish per person, maybe a little less for a child and maybe a bit more for your crawfish-loving friends.

Bring a cooler large enough to carry the crawfish when you pick it up from the store. It’ll likely come in a netted bag, and you want to keep it on ice until you’re ready to clean it and cook it. You should plan to cook it on the same day you pick it up from the store.
Be sure to clean your crawfish first by submerging them in a large, clean sink. Any crawfish whose tails are straight should be discarded (they are dead). Any crawfish that are obviously dead also need to be discarded. You might need to change the water in the sink more than once, until the water stays clear. Cook the crawfish immediately.



Dine In: Corned Beef


Corned BeefWe didn’t eat much corned beef growing up.

I am Italian, after all.

As an adult, it seems like a lot of the people I really enjoy in life have Irish heritage, so I’ve been forced to learn a little bit about Irish cuisine. Happily forced, that is.

Now, it turns out that corned beef is not a traditional Irish dish, but it was introduced into the cuisine by a melding of Irish and American culture, where the cured beef was substituted for bacon by Irish-American immigrants in the late 19th century.

It then became a quasi-traditional dish to eat on St. Patrick’s Day (today, that is). Corned beef is usually eaten with potatoes and cabbage.

Corned beef is basically pickled brisket. Not THOSE kind of pickles, but cured brisket, simply stated.

You can purchase it pre-cured and reheat for tonight’s homage to all things Irish, or you can make it yourself!

Corned Beef

Ingredients:
1 (4 to 5 lb) beef brisket
2 quarts water
1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup raw cane sugar or organic brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon or about 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 Tbs mustard seeds
1 to 2 Tbs black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp allspice berries (optional)
1 Tbs coriander seeds
1 tsp juniper berries (optional)
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 to 3 bay leaves, crushed

Directions:
In a large, heavy stockpot, combine water, salt, sugar and spices; stir until dissolved.

Heat to a simmer; remove from heat and let cool by using two cups of ice if needed.

Refrigerate until very cold. Brine must be chilled through before it is used for the meat.

Trim the brisket, and place inside a 2-gallon, zip-top bag. Add brine. Make sure brisket is covered completely and totally surrounded by liquid. Place bag inside a smaller bowl if needed to help conform to a shape that keeps the meat fully submerged in liquid.

Place bag in the refrigerator, and let sit for 3 to 5 days. Every day, flip bag and move brine around.

After the brisket has finished brining, remove from bag; rinse well in warm water.

Place in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 to 12 hours.

Slice and serve with cabbage and potatoes.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 576, Calories from Fat: 164, Fat: 18 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 253 mg, Sodium: 11774 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 87 g.

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Dine In: Rosemary Olive Oil Bread


Rosemary Olive Oil BreadOn Fridays, my office closes early.

I get to leave two heavenly hours early, every single week. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my job, and I can’t wait to get into the office each day. In fact, sometimes I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming about working for such a great organization.

I do love the job perk of early Fridays because those extra two hours mean I can do something like bake homemade bread that I might not get the chance to do on a weeknight.

This bread makes Friday nights special, especially if you’re staying home and gathering around the dinner table with your family.

It’s wonderful for sopping up a hearty marinara sauce or the juices for a pork tenderloin roast.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water (100° F to 110° F)
1 Tbs cane sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked plus 1 Tbs water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

Directions:
In a large bowl, stir together warm water and sugar. Sprinkle with the yeast, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Gently stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil and whole-wheat flour. Add the bread flour, and stir until the dough forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to keep dough smooth and supple.

Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, and cover it with a clean towel. Let rise in a place free of drafts (a room temperature oven is good) until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, and form it into a round loaf.

Place the loaf on a baking stone/ sheet or pizza peel dusted with cornmeal or covered in parchment paper. Let rise until it’s doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven (after you take the rising dough out) to 400° F. Brush the dough with an egg wash, and sprinkle with dried rosemary and some sea salt.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 148, Calories from Fat: 43, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 300 mg, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 5 g.

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In


Dine In: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Panela


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and PanelaWarning: Wine Country recipes ahead.

I spent last weekend visiting my sister in California, in the heart of wine country. Apparently, there are 43 wineries in the immediate vicinity of her house. Alas, it was only a weekend trip, so we only hit three of them. Luckily, there are more visits to be planned.

Aside from enjoying some seriously valuable sister time, I ate and drank my way through Wine Country, and it was well worth every single calorie.

Our first stop on Saturday was at Oak Mountain Winery, where we had lunch reservations to eat in the Cave Café. The cave clings to the side of the steep hill where the grapes are grown, and it is quite an extensive storage area for casks of wine. It also has an amazing atmosphere for a fine meal.

There were seven of us, so we opted for a bottle of sangiovese and a bottle of zinfandel. We shared a charcuterie board and the most amazing Brussels sprouts that I’ve ever eaten. Their recipe includes a roasted guajillo sauce, but I didn’t recreate that part at home.

If you can’t find panela cheese, use Mexican queso fresco instead.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Panela

Ingredients:
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup shallots, minced
3 Tbs garlic, minced
1/4 cup almonds
8 oz panela or queso fresco

Directions:
In a large cast-iron (or other ovenproof skillet) over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until fragrant and shimmering.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

When the oil is ready, sauté shallots and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Toss in almonds and stir.

Remove from heat; stir in Brussels sprouts and Balsamic vinegar.

Season with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until leaves are browned and Brussels sprouts are crisp outside and tender inside.

Toss with cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 236, Calories from Fat: 136, Fat: 15 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 19 mg, Sodium: 258 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 13 g.

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Healthy Living: Mardi Gras Salsa


Mardi Gras SalsaToday is Fat Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to the excess and temptation that is synonymous with Mardi Gras.

You can eat healthy and still celebrate with family, friends, and a lot of beads and trinkets (necklaces are zero calories, after all).

I love this salsa because it’s the colors of Mardi Gras: gold, purple and green. It combines fresh flavors with a lot of healthy ingredients.

The pineapple is great for vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, thiamin, B6 and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber.

Black beans provide protein.

Garlic, limes and onions provide antioxidants.

Serve this with whole-grain pita wedges or other veggies like cucumber rounds or celery.

Mardi Gras Salsa

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pineapple, cored, peeled and diced
1 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped (to taste)
1 small red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 limes, juiced
1 jalapeño, minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; toss gently to mix. Refrigerate for several hours while flavors meld. Serve with pita wedges or veggies.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 377, Calories from Fat: 14, Fat: 2 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 7 mg, Carbohydrates: 72 g, Fiber: 16 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 22 g.

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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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