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Product Talk: Savory Table

Occasionally, I’ll hit a bump in the menu-planning road when nothing I do, no amount of time spent on Pinterest, no number of magazine pages I flip through or cookbooks I read give me inspiration for meals.

It just happens.

It happened last week when I was grocery shopping, when I realized that it was too hot to turn the oven on for the pork tenderloin roast I’d planned. I didn’t really have enough time left for the size of the roast I wanted to buy. What’s that quote about failure to plan?

Luckily, I was standing in the refrigerated meat section of Brookshire’s when this revelation occurred. Low and behold, what was RIGHT in front of me, but Savory Table-prepared items.

I quickly grabbed Steak & Vegetable Kebabs AND Chicken & Vegetable Kebabs, skewers already assembled with thick chunks of meat alternating with colorful cuts of vegetables. Right next to them were Bacon-Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes that we could have for a side dish. As if that wasn’t a complete meal, then I saw the Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos Stuffed with Cream Cheese.

I ended up preparing the entire meal on the grill, from appetizers to main course and side dish, without having to heat my kitchen or spend any time at all prepping or cleaning up.

That made meal-planning a lot less stressful, at least for one day.

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Product Talk: Canary Melon

Canary MelonDon’t let the name fool you: the canary, or “winter,” melon is in peak season at your local Brookshire’s right now.

Distinguishable by it’s bright yellow color, oval shape and corrugated rind, the canary melon is in season from spring until fall, peaking in mid-summer.

Its flesh is firm and juicy and a pale color, similar to a pear. The innermost part will be a blush color with seeds. Weighing 4 to 5 pounds each, they are ripe and ready to eat when there is no more green left on the bright yellow exterior.

Canary melons are high in vitamins A and C, and they have an abundance of fiber. They are also very low in calories: just 25 per half-cup. To store, keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripe. Then, refrigerate for up to five days. Refrigerate the cut melon in a covered container for up to three days.

Eat a canary melon as you would a cantaloupe, by slicing it into wedges, removing the inner seeds and pith, and scooping out the pale flesh to slice or cube. Do not eat the bright yellow rinds.

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Product Talk: Community® Porch Breeze™ Black Tea Bags

Nothing says “summer” to me like a tall, cool glass of iced tea.

My mom used to keep a pitcher in the refrigerator all summer long. It was a harvest gold Tupperware® pitcher with a lid that you had to spin to make sure the perforated edge was aligned with the pour spout. I’m pretty sure she still has it.

Because she made unsweetened tea (which is still my favorite…yes, yes, it is), we were allowed to have as much as we wanted, and I’m pretty sure we went through at least a pitcher a day, probably more.

Community®, who you probably know for roasting delicious coffee, is now offering tea bags, too.

I love their Porch Breeze™ Black Tea, which you can use for making hot or cold tea.

Community also offers Decaf, Signature Iced Tea Blend and Green Tea (which is also crisp, bright and refreshing).

It’s so easy to brew your own tea at home with Community tea bags. Simply boil fresh, cold water. Steep the tea bags in the water until the tea reaches desired strength (I leave mine in forever, like 30 minutes), and chill.

Now, I also have a plastic pitcher in my refrigerator all summer, except mine is clear with a red lid. It’s still unsweetened, and it’s still delicious because it’s Community, of course.

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Product Talk: Van Camp’s Baked Beans

Baked BeansSummer is the season of cookouts and outdoor eating, and one of my favorite things from childhood summer soirees was the baked beans.

Little did I know they were so easy to prepare, and Van Camp’s makes it even easier with a variety of baked beans that are simple to heat and serve.

Van Camp’s® Baked Beans come in three flavors: Original, Hickory and Bacon.

Original is full of sweet and savory seasonings. The Hickory is infused with the sweet smoke of hickory wood and bacon. Well, does that really need an explanation?

You can heat these on the stovetop or bake them again in the oven.

The best part is that these are great served hot or at room temperature, and they are a safe, delicious option for your outdoor event this summer.

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Product Talk: Zummo’s Sausages and Boudain

SausageWe are deep in the heart of grill season, and one of my favorite things to grill are Zummo’s sausages and boudain.

I first became acquainted with the products when I lived in Beaumont, in southeast Texas, and actually knew the Zummo family and their dedication to quality products, as well as some of the history behind their family recipes. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Zummo’s Sausages come in so many varieties that you’re sure to find one you love and one that will please a crowd at your summer cookouts. From Old Fashioned Smoked Sausage to Italian Sausage and Jalapeño Cheese Sausage to Party Time Green Onion or Garlic, each has a distinct flavor and is made with high-quality ingredients.

I love the boudain. Boudain is a Cajun favorite that came to be by having to stretch ingredients and use what was on hand in the bayous, so rice was added to the sausage mix. Again, there are many flavors, but be sure to check out the shrimp and crawfish! You’ll be transported to New Orleans by your taste buds.

You can buy these in family and party packs for your bigger meals, or in smaller sizes to meet all of your needs.

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Product Talk: Brookshire’s BLAST! Sparkling Waters

Sparkling WaterIt’s still only early June, but as we know in the South, this means that we’re already experiencing the summer heat. With temperatures hitting the 100s, it’s important to stay hydrated.

I love anything that helps me stay hydrated without having to drink plain water. I also drink my share of that, but I also like to jazz things up. Brookshire’s BLAST! Sparking Water helps me do just that. It’s carbonated, so it’s got a fun fizz to it. It comes in fun, natural flavors.

It’s zero calories, zero caffeine and zero sodium, so it doesn’t detract from your hydration at all.

It comes in 12-packs and 2-liter bottles, and flavors include Key Lime, Pineapple Coconut, Fruit Punch, Pineapple and Grape.

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Product Talk: Mezzetta® Italian Mix Giardiniera

Mezzetta® Italian Mix GiardinieraIn my last blog, I mentioned that I’d been making a lot of charcuterie boards, which are fun for parties, appetizers and even, if you’re like me, an entire meal. Charcuterie is a French word for cured or smoked meats, but you can add anything that you like to the board.

I love adding Mezzetta® Italian Mix Giardiniera, a pickled veggie relish, if you will. The acid from the pickled vegetables complements the fats from the meats and cheeses perfectly to balance off your meal.

Giardiniera is a classic Italian relish made up of an assortment of vegetables. Mezzetta’s veggies are harvested at the height of the season in northern California, and then pickled for use throughout the year.

The typical combination includes carrots, cauliflower, celery, pickles, onions and peppers, and they are pickled in vinegar and sea salt.

This side dish, or topping, is low in fat and sugar, and it is also delicious on sandwiches. It comes in a “hot” variety as well, with peppers added to the mix.

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Product Talk: Red Apple Hickory Smoked Bourbon Gouda

Red Apple Hickory Smoked Bourbon GoudaI’ve been a little obsessed with charcuterie boards lately. I love to snack on meats, cheeses, maybe some giardinia (a pickled Italian veggie mix), olives, pepperoncini, raw veggies, fruits and nuts.

The best part is, you can mix and match with whatever you have on hand.

I’ve even been known (frequently lately) to make a small charcuterie board for dinner. “Charcuterie” actually is a French word for dried, cured or smoked meat, but it can include cheeses, vegetables, fruits, nuts and even some sweets. It’s also a really fancy way of saying I prepare my meal in a fuss-free way on one plate (or a cutting board) and eat it with my fingers.

I picked up a wheel of Red Apple Hickory Smoked Bourbon Gouda at Brookshire’s recently because, 1. I love Gouda; 2. I love hickory; 3. I do not love bourbon, but the hint of it sounded intriguing with the smokiness of the Gouda and the hickory. So I tried it.

I was not disappointed. It’s smoky, creamy, rich and so satisfying. You only need a sliver to pair with a pancetta or a salami. I’d recommend a hard salami and a tart pepperoncini in one, perfect bite.

Next, I want to try this in Mac-and-Cheese!

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Product Talk: Chicago’s Home Run Inn® Frozen Pizza

Chicago’s Home Run Inn Frozen PizzaIf it’s Friday, that means we’re probably eating pizza.

We’ve had it delivered the past few weeks, which is great after a hectic week.

Last Friday, storms were rolling in, and there was severe weather in the forecast. Wind, hail, rain, lightning and possible tornadoes loomed on the darkened horizon.

Luckily, I’d planned ahead, and I’ve never been happier that I did because we wouldn’t have discovered Chicago’s Home Run Inn® Frozen Pizzas.

Don’t let the unassuming cardboard box, found in the frozen aisle at Brookshire’s, fool you. Inside is the most cheesy, saucy, buttery-crust pizza you could ever get in the South, and it comes right out of Brookshire’s freezer to yours.

Home Run Inn® frozen pizzas are made with the same recipe that the Chicago pizza giant uses in their nine restaurant locations. So, if you can’t get to Chicago, you can bring Chicago to you through this pizza.

Brookshire’s carries Classic Pepperoni (made with the Inn’s 1947 recipe) and Classic Sausage. The crust is truly inspiring: buttery, crisp, flaky and delicious. The pepperoni is uncured with no nitrates, and the sausage is homemade Italian.

I’m sorry that I didn’t buy more of them. I’m ready to go back to Brookshire’s, so I’ll always have one in my freezer.

You can even grill them! Next time, I might try that for some smoky flavor.

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Product Talk: Trimino™ Protein Water

Trimino Protein WaterI have a hard time drinking plain water throughout the day, so any time I find a product that enhances the flavor of water and can give me other benefits to boot, I latch on!

I found Trimino™ Protein Water in the refrigerated section of Brookshire’s near the produce.

Each bottle provides about 7 grams of protein through whey protein isolate, while only adding about 28 calories and a plethora of B vitamins to your diet. Best of all, there’s no sugar.

I tried the peach first, but have since gone back for the watermelon and coconut pineapple flavors. They’re all delicious.
There’s no caffeine, no carbs and no sugar. They are also gluten-free and lactose-free.

If I drink one in the morning, it keeps me full until lunch.

These are a great alternative to shakes or other heavier protein drinks. They’re light, refreshing and so good for you.

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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.

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