The tans may fade, but the memories will stay. As summer begins to wrap up, spend time with your family and take a last minute vacation! We make vacation planning easy so you can hold on to summer's daylight as long as possible.
Fortunately, living near the coast allows for easily planned beach vacations. However, for our non sand-loving friends, there are many parks, lakes, and rivers that we have access to. And finally, for the adventurous family who loves to travel, there are countless memorable sites to see. Whichever vacation week you choose, let us give you advice on how to make it the best "Summer Send Off" Vacation possible!
Every vacation centers around what meals are going to be consumed throughout the week. Check out these family friendly snacks and meals:
- Fruit Kabobs - Assemble these the night before you leave and pack in tupperware container in your cooler. These will keep the entire family snacking until you make it to your final location!
- Just for the campers: Build a campfire and make s'mores with a twist... Try S'Mores on a Stick
- For the sun-kissed beach bum: Take advantage of the fresh seafood available! You'll love this idea... Grilled Shrimp and Scallop Kabobs
- Road trip warriors: Don't stress about keeping your cooler full of ice. Limit your stops and keep your hunger at bay by trying your hand at homemade granola bars! Raspberry Granola Bars
What to do
- For every vacation spot, there are local attractions that can be discovered. Talk up the locals to find out the best places to visist.
- Have family time. Don't get bogged down with the itenerary. Spend the day having no plans!
Wrap up summer and enjoy the relaxation of laughter, sun, and fun. Happy vacationing!
Summer is a beautiful time of year, and spending time outside is an excellent way to improve your mood and outlook. Whether you just have a few minutes or a whole afternoon, discover your outdoor 'Me Time' style and get some fresh air – you deserve it!
Unwind with a Great Book
Dine al Fresco
Look to the Sky
With summer, burgers and beer, where does that leave the wine? Don't stress, we've got great recipes that pair with your favorite glass of wine!
1. With wine, guests will gobble these up.
Let’s talk turkey: These burgers are best with a glass of Pinot Grigio... The Casablance Bisteeya Burger
2. Let us steer you in the right direction.
Take this burger beyond Grade A with a juicy Zinfandel, rich with blackberry flavors and a hint of black pepper... The Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burger
3. This little piggy goes to the market for red.
Well, hello again, Zinfandel. Pour a glass while whipping up this recipe... The Kansas City Barbeque Pork Combo Burger
4. Venture beyond cheddar.
Burgers stacked with Manchego or Jack? Zinfandel comes out on top. Set out a glass for me too... The Chorizo Beef Burger
5. And patties made from pork too.
Pour some Pinot Grigio and your guests will squeal with delight at such a brilliant pairing... The 'Ono 'Ohana Burger
Stock your pantry with these must-have ingredients and enjoy stress-free meals all summer long.
1. Fresh Produce
Fruits and vegetables are at their peak in the summer, which also means they are at their cheapest. Make this the summer of experimentation with fresh produce. Try making salsa out of watermelon, or better yet, grill it! Mix veggies and fruits next time you’re making kabobs. Give pickling fresh vegetables a go (peppers, perhaps?). And when fresh produce isn’t an option, make sure your freezer is stocked with frozen vegetables and frozen fruit. Frozen produce and fruit is preserved at the peak of freshness so it has all the nutritional value and flavor of the fresh stuff.
2. Suddenly Salad
Summer wouldn’t be summer without the increase of impromptu picnics and get-togethers. Stock your kitchen with a few boxes of Suddenly Salad, and you’ll be prepared for spontaneous summer gatherings. It’s an awesome item to have on hand because it’s so easy to customize! Simply toss in whatever fresh veggies you have on hand—cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers, chopped spinach, etc.—and some olives, cheese, chopped bacon or nuts. In mere minutes, you’ll have a party-ready side dish. (The Cranberry, Bacon and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad recipe, pictured above, gets it right.)
3. Salad Dressing
Salad dressing is one thing I almost always make homemade. Why? One, it’s easy. Two, it tastes better. Three, because it saves me money. The most basic of vinaigrettes uses three parts olive oil to one part vinegar (like balsamic or red wine vinegar, but feel free to experiment with what you’ve got on hand). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and some fresh or dried herbs. Place ingredients in a lidded jar, shake vigorously and voila, it’s ready to go.
Beyond this basic vinaigrette, I’d recommend learning a few additional homemade dressing recipes like Raspberry Vinaigrette and this iteration of Buttermilk Green Goddess (pictured above). Once you’ve mastered the basics, you may never go back to bottled dressing again!
Yogurt is a must-have ingredient any time of the year, but it’s especially delicious and refreshing in the summer. For a quick, filling breakfast, I top yogurt (Greek, preferably) with fresh or frozen berries, chopped almonds and a drizzle of honey.
5. Taco Fixings
If you stock your kitchen with Old El Paso taco shells, beans and seasonings, you’ll always be prepared for a last-minute Tex-Mex meal. All you need to add are grilled meat (look for what’s on sale), fresh, in-season veggies, cheese and sour cream.
6. Canned Beans
Beans are both versatile and low-cost, making them a year-round staple in my kitchen. Progresso black beans, cannellini beans, and garbanzo beans are some of my favorites for use in summer salads and soups. When I’m feeling creative and have a little more time, I like to make Black Bean Sliders (pictured above) or homemade hummus.
A cold glass of lemonade can make any day feel like summer. No matter what kind you make—homemade, frozen or powdered—you can’t go wrong. Serve it up in a jar and garnish with fresh strawberries for an inexpensive, fancy-feeling upgrade.
8. Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are a quintessential, all-American summer food. This summer, take it up a notch and set up a build-your-own hot dog bar. For toppings, try chopped jalapeño peppers, shoestring potatoes, refrigerator pickles, shredded cheese, chopped bacon or chili. In addition to the requisite ketchup and mustard, try hot sauce, ranch dressing and cheese sauce.
With these tips in mind, you can enjoy all of summer’s bounty without breaking the bank. Have fun, and let me know if there are other money-saving summer staples I should add to my shopping list!
We've all heard the saying... "The only way to a man's heart is through his stomach." All children understand this old adage as well. Sure, all fathers could use a tie, but how about an edible tie? Keep your spot in Daddy's heart with this quick, easy, cute and most of all yummy recipe.
Father's Day Marshmallow Pops
- 12 Jet-Puffed s'moremallows marshmallows
- 4 oz. of each icing variety (white and blue)
- 1 Tbsp. nonpareils
- 12 paper straws
- 1 wooden toothpick
- Dip toothpick into water and insert on the bottom side of the s'mores mallow going half way up. Wiggle toothpick around several times to expand hole. Remove toothpick and immediately insert paper straw into hole. Repeat for all marshmallows. Set aside.
- Fill a piping bag with a round decorating tip or a sandwich size zip-top plastic bag with the icing. If using plastic bag, snip a tiny opening on one of the bottom corners with kitchen shears. You can also buy icing already in tubes!
- Using white icing, pipe shirt's collar and side pocket onto s'mores mallow. Repeat for all pops. Using blue icing (or any other color), pipe tie right below collar. Immediately attach nonpareil decorations using tweezers. Only pipe one tie at a time as icing tends to dry really fast and it must be wet in order for nonpareils to adhere.
- Set aside and let dry. You may cut the straws a little shorter and insert them into the center of frosted cupcakes for adorable Father's Day cupcakes!
We are happy to once again sponsor the 26th annual Texas Blueberry Festival happening June 13, 2015! The most delicious festival in the Lone-Star State attracts thousands of blueberry-lovers to the downtown square of Nacogdoches, Texas. Guests of all ages will be entertained starting at 8AM and lasting through the day to 4PM. Live music, shows and activities can be expected, but here is a list of the tastiest attractions.
Blueberry Pie Shoppe
Join us at the corner of N. Mound & Main St. to purchase your fresh, hand-made blueberry pie. Beginning at 8AM, Brookshire Brothers' pie experts will be selling a limited amount of delicious pies for $10/piece. Keep it for yourself or give as a gift! The pies will be plated in a nice glass dish perfect for a special presentation. But be sure to stop by first thing, because when the pies are gone, they're gone!
Blueberries for Sale
2015 is a historic year for blueberry sales as we will have a record-breaking number of flats of blueberries available. At $25/flat or $2.50/pint, these Texas-Grown blueberries are sure to sell quick! And no need to worry about transportation of blueberries to your car - we will have a golf cart available to escort you and your berries safely. Don't want to wait until the day of the festival to get your favorite blueberries? Stop by your local store to get the same Texas-Grown quality blueberries.
Blueberry Pie Baking Contest
"It's easy as PIE!" The highly anticipated bluebery pie baking contest is back and bringing multiple prizes with it! You could win up to a $100 Brookshire Brothers gift card by entering your family recipe. Participate in the contest by downloading the form below and returning to a Nacogdoches Brookshire Brothers stores or the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce. Entries will also be accepted the day of until 10AM at the Visitors Center, 200 E. Main St. We hope to see you there!
Click here for more information on the 2015 Texas Blueberry Festival.
Blueberries couldn’t be a more effortless fruit. There’s no peeling, coring or cutting — just pick and enjoy! This native North American fruit has been prized for centuries.
Types of Blueberries
- Highbush, or cultivated, blueberries are grown for primarily commercial use.
- Lowbush, or wild, blueberries occur naturally and grow in carpetlike vines in northern areas
When you’re picking blueberries, make sure they are plump and firm and are a frosted indigo color. Blueberries do not ripen after picking, so avoid picking berries that aren’t fully ripened.
Blueberries are in peak season from late May to mid-August. One pint of blueberries is equal to 2 cups. Cover berries and store in the refrigerator after purchasing or picking. They will keep up to 10 days. Wash just before using.
Freezing blueberries is easy. Do not wash blueberries before freezing. The waxy coating protects them when frozen.
Spread berries on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan, and freeze until berries are frozen. Transfer them to a freezer container or a plastic freezer bag. If you’re planning to use frozen blueberries in baked goods, the color may bleed into the batter. To prevent this, be sure the berries are frozen solid and stir them into the batter just before baking.
Blueberries and Nutrition
Don’t let their small size fool you! Blueberries are a superfood with high nutritional value.
- Blueberries are sometimes referred to as “brain berries” or brain food, because they are a top source of antioxidant phytonutrients. Early research suggests that regular consumption of phytonutrients may support healthy brain function.
- Blueberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are thought to prevent harmful cell damage and reduce “free-radicals” in the body. These may help slow the aging process.
- Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C, as well as potassium, magnesium and fiber.
- Blueberries are lower in calories than many fruits and have zero fat.