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Shop the Sale: Marshmallow Cereal Treats


Marshmallow Cereal TreatsPrep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time:  20 mins
Serves: 12

If you’re looking for a fun cooking project (especially for kids), then check out our quick and easy Marshmallow Cereal Treats recipe. With just three ingredients and only a handful of minutes cooking time, this simple recipe is a great way to whip up a sweet treat without spending hours in the kitchen. Plus, it’s one you can enjoy over and over by switching out the cereal for a whole new flavor experience, so stock up on all of your favorite Brookshire’s brand cereals on sale this week.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
10 oz Marshmallows
6 cups Brookshire’s Brand cereal

Stove Top Instructions
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add cereal and stir until well coated.

Using a buttered spatula or wax paper, press mixture evenly into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day, but can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for two days or frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Microwave Instructions
Heat butter and marshmallows in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

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

Chef Tips

Liven Up Your Breakfast
While there’s nothing wrong with pouring milk over a bowl of cereal, there are other alternatives to spice up your morning meal. You could try substituting milk with Greek Yoghurt for a new twist or you can add some fruit and make a gourmet parfait. You can also whip up a smoothie with cereal, milk, peanut butter and a banana or you can use your favorite cereal to make granola bars for mornings on the go. You can even use it as a coating on your French Toast for some extra crunch! Don’t get bored with your cereal – get creative!

Cereal…Not Just For Breakfast
There are many ways to use cereal for more than the breakfast bowl. From appetizers to the main course and dessert, cereal can come in handy for any course. For starters, there’s DIY Chex Mix that’s perfect for parties, and for main meals you can use it as a breading for Cereal Crusted Chicken or in place of croutons in salad. And of course, there are a host of sweet recipes for dessert from cookies and squares to cakes and more.

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Family Matters: Snacks for Spring


Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® Treats™This time of year, the pace of life seems to increase exponentially. There are track meets, soccer games, spring musical rehearsals, band competitions, academic competitions, school dances, graduations, weekend trips…you get the idea.
That level of activity requires a lot of on-the-go and a lot of snacking on-the-go!

One of our favorites is the single servings of guacamole that are sold in the produce section of Brookshire’s. Paired with some baby carrots or celery sticks, these are portable and pack a lot of nutritional punch. You’re getting good protein that will keep you running and good fat that will keep you full in between meals.

Another snack we love is pre-sliced apples, also found in the produce section at Brookshire’s. Eat with some cheddar cheese and almonds or peanut butter (You can also get peanut butter in single-serving sizes at Brookshire’s), and you have a snack powerhouse. Protein bars, like Luna® brand, also come in handy in a pinch.

Hands down, my boys’ favorite snack is Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Treats™. Also sold in single-serving packages (do you see a theme here?), these classic kid favorites are just fun and tasty. They even come in fun flavors now, like Cookies ‘N’ Crème, Birthday Cake, M&M’s® and Chocolatey Drizzle. They are made with the quality Rice Krispies that we have loved since our own childhoods. I love to see my kids enjoying something I loved so much as a kid, and they love seeing that Rice Krispies® Treats™ wrapper in their backpack or gym bag.



Family Matters: Baby Survival Must-Haves


Baby Survival Must-HavesWellements™ has the baby remedies you need for the first year and beyond. You can feel good about using them, too!

At Wellements™, the employees are also parents, so they understand that making choices about what you give your little one is a big deal! That is why they put love, countless hours and research into every product. They have created safe, high-quality products that are consistent with the company’s belief that ingredients do matter.

All of the Wellements™ products are:

  • Certified-Organic
  • Preservative-Free
  • Made in glass packaging: No harmful plastics!

Organic Gripe Water: When the crying and fussing just won’t stop!
Wellements™ Organic Gripe Water is an herbal supplement that safely and effectively helps ease occasional stomach discomfort and gas often associated with colic, fussiness and hiccups.*

Baby Tooth Oil: Teething turned happy!
Wellements™ Organic Baby Tooth Oil has a touch of sweetness to help make teething a happier time. The benzocaine-free, belladonna-free and alcohol-free formula is specifically designed to be gentle on baby’s gums.

Baby Move for Constipation: Help your little one move things along!
Wellements™ Organic Baby Move relieves occasional constipation and promotes regular bowel movements.* Designed without the use of harsh laxatives, this organic prune and prebiotic formula is safe and gentle for infants and toddlers starting at 6 months of age.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and they are the own opinions of the Wellements™ company. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.



Family Matters: Cake Mix Pancakes


Cake Mix PancakesOver the holiday break from school, my son reminded me of something we’d made a long time ago that we hadn’t tried again since: Cake Mix Pancakes.

So, we decided that we needed to make some of these delicious treats again as soon as possible.

These are so simple and super fun to make with kids. You basically use a boxed cake mix as a pancake batter, and then add just a few other ingredients. You can use any kind of cake mix. We’ve used red velvet for Christmas, and that would be fun for upcoming Valentine’s Day as well. Our first foray into Cake Mix Pancakes was with Devil’s Food; that was delicious. We’ve also tried vanilla and lemon. I’d love to try a spice mix, too!

This is a great recipe to make with kids because they can easily stir the batter and help flip the pancakes.

Top these fun and festive pancakes with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate chips or anything else you like. They’re fun for holidays, birthdays or just a plain, old Saturday morning.

Cake Mix Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 box Brookshire’s Devil’s Food Cake Mix (or your choice of flavor)
1 cup milk
1 egg

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together until a thick batter forms. This will be thicker than regular pancake batter, but you still want it to be pourable. Heat a griddle sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to medium heat. Drop 4 heaping tablespoons of batter onto the hot griddle. It will spread, so give yourself plenty of space. Cook on first side until spatula easily slides under cake (the chocolate will burn easily, so watch it closely). Flip and continue to cook through. Remove and serve immediately with butter, syrup or powdered sugar.

Makes 12 pancakes

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 101, Calories from Fat: 23, Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 212 mg, Potassium: 17 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 2 g.

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

 

Chef’s Tip:

Use less milk if you’d like a thicker pancake. The exact number of pancakes will depend on how much milk you use and how big you make the pancakes.



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.



Family Matters: Caramel Popcorn


When I was growing up, my mom would make popcorn every night after we went to bed. I suppose it was her treat after surviving the day with five kids.

When I was old enough to be aware of the popping sound coming from the stove downstairs, the sound of the Revere™ Ware pan shaking across the electric elements and, of course, the delicious aroma wafting up the staircase, I vowed that as soon as I was old enough, I’d make popcorn every night, too.

It turns out that I don’t, but that’s okay because my mom will still make it for me every time I go home. I’m pretty sure she even still uses the same pan.

When I was a teenager, I’d stay up with her, and she’d make us each a bowl. We’d talk every evening over our bowl of popcorn. I think some evenings, it was the only time I’d emerge from my room after a busy day of school, field hockey practice and homework. I think some days, it probably served as my main meal of the day, if whatever she left me on a plate under a piece of waxed paper got carefully packaged back up and put in the refrigerator for leftovers if I got home way too tired to heat it up.

It’s funny how I was never too tired for popcorn, though, and for stories about how mean the coach was at practice that day, or how Tina J. had said something rude about Kimberly D’s double-layered socks in the hallway at school, or how frustrating it was to have a bottom locker, or how difficult it was to make it all the way to the math hallway in only 3 minutes after fourth period English class. Mom listened, and munched.

In the fall, she’d make double batches of popcorn at night. The next day, we’d use the cool bowls to make caramel corn. Then, we’d have huge batches of sweet stuff that she’d store in a big, white Tupperware® container that also doubled as a cake plate if you flipped it over and used the lid as the base of the cake plate. This was my brother, Jim’s, favorite way to eat popcorn and what he most often requested for his birthday treat to bring to school for his class, which happened to fall the day after Halloween. We’d package up baggies full of caramel popcorn to send in instead of cupcakes. If my memory serves me correctly, we also packaged up bags of caramel popcorn to send home with guests after his wedding 15 years ago, too.

Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients:
10 cups popped popcorn
salt
1 cup salted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:
Pop popcorn on stove according to package directions. If using microwave popcorn (use plain, not buttered), pop in package. Salt and let cool.

Melt 1 cup of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, and stir until thoroughly combined. Stirring continuously, bring the butter and sugar mixture to a boil.

Boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Add the vanilla; stir to mix. Boil for 1 more minute, and add the baking soda.

Remove from heat. Spread the popcorn on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Drizzle the caramel over the popcorn. Stir, coating all the kernels. Let cool.

Chef Tip: Store this in an airtight container, or it will get sticky and messy.

If you’d like to make this into popcorn balls, form them into a ball shape right after pouring the caramel over the popcorn. You might want to wear food-grade gloves to protect your hands.

Add Ins: Mix in nuts, marshmallows, chocolate candies or other treats to make a fun, festive snack mix.

Serves 10

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 251, Fat: 19 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 49 mg, Sodium: 664 mg, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 14 g, Protein: 1 g.



Family Matters: Making School Lunches with Your Kids


Dinner is finished.

The kitchen is cleaned up.

Homework is completed.

Now comes the time of the evening we like to prepare school lunches for the next day.

I used to do it in the morning when the kids were small. Now that my boys can help, we prefer to have it done the night before and save the extra minutes in the morning. It also helps that my older son has to be at school when it’s still dark for cross country practice, so getting lunch packed the night before gives us both peace of mind that he’ll be ready to roll out the door in the morning with a nutritious lunch.

Your kids can help you pack their own lunches from an early age. It’s a nice time to talk and be together, and when they help, it guarantees they’re getting things in their lunches they’re eating, not trading.

If you haven’t gotten a lunch kit yet or are using brown paper bags, Brookshire’s has some great ones still on the shelves, like the cute Fit & Fresh thermal lunch kits with adorable designs, the super practical and stylish Bento Lunch Kit with insulated bag and removable ice packs (I’ll just go ahead and confess: I got one of those for myself to bring to work), the Fit Fresh bag in sweet patterns like Riley Ladybug, or the durable Lifoam Lunch Plus Soft-Sided Lunch Kit that comes in styles and colors great for boys.

I try to make sure we’re packing a large bottle of water, a sandwich or good protein, a fruit, a veggie and some kind of snack. Because let’s face it, lunch is more fun with a snack. I’m an “everything in moderation” kind of mom. My sister-in-law doesn’t send any “junk food” to school with her kids, and I admire that tremendously. If you do, no judgment here.

My boys like things like ham sandwiches on King’s Hawaiian® rolls, turkey and cheese roll-ups on whole wheat tortillas, Flatout® wraps stuffed with baby spinach and Roma tomatoes, or good old peanut butter and jelly on Sara Lee® Delightful™ slices of whole-wheat bread.

They love almost any fruit, so that’s easy. They favor bananas, peaches, apples or anything that’s “easy” to eat at school. Veggies are easy, too: baby carrots or celery with hummus, cucumber slices or spears, small bowls of salad in take-home containers, strips of bell peppers. Again, anything easy to eat!

Little bags of almonds are great protein and brain food for the day, as are slices of apple with peanut butter. The options are endless!

One thing we like to do is pack up plastic, zip-top bags of veggies and snacks for the week, so the process in the evening is more streamlined.

These no-bake granola bars are also a great snack option (I categorize them somewhere between a snack food and something healthy). Kids love them. They can help you make them, and you can feel good about packing them!



Family Matters: Treasure Hunt


We’re about to go on vacation, and every year, we go to the beach with my entire family.

The highlight of the trip, for the kids, is the night the “Pirates” come and visit.

The Pirates leave a clue somewhere in the beach house that one of the kids will find the next morning. The clue leads to another clue, which leads to another clue, which leads to another (you get the idea), which ultimately leads to digging for buried treasure on the beach.

You might not have a beach nearby, but you can still put together an awesome treasure hunt with a few simple supplies from Brookshire’s.

Start in the school supply aisle. Pick up a package of white paper (it could be notebook paper, copy paper or construction paper). Any white paper will work. Grab a felt marker or two as well. Then, head over to the aisle with the teas and coffee, and pick up a box of black tea. It doesn’t matter which variety. Then, stop over to the housewares and get a roll of twine.

When you get home, brew a cup of really strong black tea using four or five tea bags. After the tea cools, pour it into a baking sheet with a narrow lip. Dip several sheets of the white paper into the tea solution to make the paper look aged. Remove quickly and lay flat on top of newspapers or a dry towel to let dry. Dry the paper completely. You can burn or tear the edges of the paper slightly to make it look aged or rugged if you wish.

Write clues on the paper with the felt markers. Roll the clues (number them faintly in pencil on the outside so only you can see it to keep them organized), and bind them lightly with some twine (you can also dip the twine in the tea to age it as well). The clues can be something like, “Count off twelve paces north, then turn to the right and dig under the weeping willow.”

Now, you need something for the treasure! What do your kids love? You can find all kinds of treasures at Brookshire’s! Whether it’s gift cards to their favorite restaurant, movie theater, clothing store or phone app; a favorite magazine; hair care product; makeup brand or maybe a favorite snack, you can find it at Brookshire’s. (I wouldn’t hide or bury a YUMS cupcake though.) Get some fun gift wrap for the “treasure” and hide the bounty in a clever spot with clues leading your kids to it.

The treasure hunt will be a fun thing for you and your kids to experience!



Family Matters: Kids and Books


Yesterday, we cleaned out a spare room in our house, as it was way overdue for a thorough cleaning.

We had a wonderful trip down memory lane as we did so, boxing up what turned out to be hundreds of books from my boys’ childhoods.

My sons are 13 and 15 now, and we still had bookshelves full of toddler, preschool and elementary school readers that they loved. We had fun talking about the countless hours we’d spend flipping through picture books, reading chapter books, sounding out words as they learned to read, and talking about the imaginary endings they’d make up for some of their favorite stories.

Books were such a big part of their childhood, and it was a little sad to pack so many away. Both boys still read, although mostly for school these days. I have high hopes that all the hours spent with a book in the early days will circle back around, and they’ll read for pleasure when they have more free time.

We sorted the books into piles. Each son got a pile of books that were given to them with special messages written inside from grandparents, aunts and uncles. Then, childhood favorites were added to those piles. “Frog and Toad” for one son, all the hardback Dr. Seuss classics for the other. We boxed those up and put their names on them.

We also made another pile of childhood classics from our shelves, some of which were mine as a child, that we’d keep at my house, and maybe their children can enjoy someday when they come to visit. We boxed those up and labeled them as books to save.

After that, we still had almost 200 books left. We boxed those up, and I made a post on social media about “books free to a good home.” The first respondent claimed them and picked them up two hours later. Those books are now at home with two more little boys on their shelves and hopefully will provide hours and hours of enjoyment, just as they did for mine.

There’s nothing better than a good book for imagination and relaxation. Maybe visit the local library, little library, second-hand bookstore or a yard sale soon to see what treasures you can find.



Family Matters: Bootcamp Summer


Bootcamp Summer

I’m writing this on the first official day of summer vacation, and I’ve been doing some thinking over the weeks leading up to this day. My goal for this summer is that, come August, my teenage boys are ready to be self-sufficient and lead independent, productive lives. I’m calling it “Bootcamp Summer.”

It’s not that I’m not willing to whip up some pancakes and wash their bath towels for several more years, but all kids need to have the life skills to live on their own by the time they graduate from high school, in my opinion.

My introspection was prompted by a couple of things. First, I ran into a friend of mine who told me, in all seriousness, that her son brought an entire semester’s worth of dirty clothes home from college because he didn’t know how to do laundry.

Then, another friend who works in a call center for a local cable service had to work with a college student on the phone who didn’t know her address because her mom handles all her mail and her correspondence, including bills.

I started compiling a list of things that I wanted to do with my boys this summer to make sure they had all the skills they will need by the time they graduate from high school. We started out by ironing dress shirts the right way. Then, we filled out bank deposit slips (you know, the “old fashioned” kind) for their bank deposits.

They also cut the grass, weeded flower beds and put down mulch. They’ve been doing their own laundry and cleaning their own bathroom for several years now, so I polled my friends to see what other skills would be essential to know before they left the nest. Here’s what they said:

  • Cooking a few good meals, from planning, budgeting, shopping and executing, including re-purposing leftovers
  • Writing a check
  • Putting gas in a car
  • Changing a tire
  • Jump starting an engine
  • Washing dishes by hand
  • Loading a dishwasher correctly
  • Vacuuming
  • Changing/cleaning air filters in household appliances
  • Making their own appointments
  • Using a calendar and scheduling
  • Reading instructions and following them
  • Making a budget and sticking to it
  • Using public transportation
  • Establishing and maintaining good credit
  • How to check oil levels and replace oil in your car
  • Sew a button on shirt/pants
  • How to manage a retirement plan/401K
  • Fill out employment paperwork
  • How to (correctly) apply for a job, fill out a job application, ask for references and provide them
  • How to make your bed and change your sheets
  • How to send mail at the post office with insurance/overnight/signature-needed requirements
  • How to set up accounts in their name for utilities, etc… This might be hard to show them without actually doing it, but if you have the opportunity to do it yourself, bring them along for the process.
  • Familiarize them with their own important documents, social security cards, birth certificates, etc.
  • Using basic household tools
  • How to address an envelope and write a proper letter

What would you add to this list?



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