How to Make a Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Fall is here and that means fall festivals, hayrides, and crisp weather is right around the corner. So we hope you enjoy making this Fall / Winter staple at home with this Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe we have below for you.
Pumpkin Spice Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

      • 2 cups milk
      • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
      • 2 tablespoons white sugar
      • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
      • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
      • 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
      • Canned whipped cream
      • Cinnamon
      • Add the milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice to a small sauce pan over medium heat.
      • Bring almost to a boil.
      • Remove from heat and add to a blender. 
      • Blend on high until the milk starts to froth, this takes about 2 minutes.
      • Divide milk mixture equally between two mugs.
      • Slowly add the coffee down the side so you do not disturb the milk froth, add a squirt of whipped cream and a pinch more of the pumpkin pie spice.
      • Sprinkle cinnamon on top, and enjoy.
Find all of these Pumpkin Spice Latte ingredients and more at your local Brookshire Brothers!
Thanksgiving: The Make-Ahead Menu
There are four things you never want to be late for: weddings, funerals, airplane flights, and—you called it—Thanksgiving dinner. Being early for Thanksgiving—particularly if you’re a contributing chef—is key to a healthy, happy holiday for everyone. Here are three recipes based on classic Thanksgiving dishes to help you get a jump-start on the ultimate feast, whether you’re a host or honorary guest.
Find a nearby Brookshire Brothers for all your needs and get started today!

Make-Ahead Baked Sweet Potatoes

(Recipe courtesy of our valued vendor partner Betty Crocker)
Make-Ahead Baked Sweet Potatoes
Prep: 15 min | Total: 1 hour 20 min | Nutrition information
This healthy side dish only takes 15 minutes to prepare—and it keeps well for up to 24 hours! Who knew saving time could taste so delicious?
Read more: Another great option is this crock-pot recipe for a sweet potato casserole!
6 medium sweet potatoes (2¼ pounds)
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
⅛ teaspoon salt
    • Heat oven to 375ºF. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork to allow steam to escape. Bake about 45 minutes or until tender.
    • Cut thin lengthwise slice from each potato; carefully scoop out inside of potato, leaving a thin shell. Mash potatoes in a large bowl until no lumps remain. Beat in sour cream and milk. Beat in brown sugar, butter, and salt until potatoes are light and fluffy.
    • Place shells in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Fill shells with potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate no longer than 24 hours.
    • Heat oven to 400ºF. Bake uncovered about 25 minutes or until potato mixture is golden brown. If baking filled shells immediately after mashing potatoes, bake about 20 minutes.
Read more: For another healthy idea, Angela Larson (R.D.) suggests brussels sprouts as a Thanksgiving side dish.


Slow-Cooker Chive-and-Onion Creamed Corn

(Recipe courtesy of our valued vendor partner Betty Crocker)
Slow-Cooker Chive-and-Onion Creamed Corn
Prep: 20 min | Total: 3 hour 0 min | Nutrition information
Keep things worry-free with this comforting side dish that’s crock-pot easy and bursting with sweet flavor.
Slow Cooker Liners
4 slices bacon
4½ cups frozen whole kernel corn (from two 1-lb bags), thawed
½ medium red bell pepper, chopped (½ cup)
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 container (8 oz) reduced-fat chive-and-onion cream cheese
    • Place a slow cooker liner inside a 5 to 6½ quart slow cooker bowl. Make sure that the liner fits snugly against the bottom and sides of the bowl, and pull the top of the liner over the rim of the bowl.
    • In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon.
    • Mix corn, bell pepper, milk, butter, sugar, salt, pepper and half of the bacon in the cooker. Refrigerate the remaining bacon.
    • Cover and cook on a High heat setting for 2 to 2 ½ hours.
    • Stir in cream cheese. Cook on a High heat setting for 10 more minutes. Stir well and then sprinkle with remaining bacon. Corn can be kept warm on a Low heat setting for up to 1 hour.
Read more: Catering Coordinator Kate Rudasill shares some favorite family traditions that she’s thankful for, including homemade yeast rolls and cheesy broccoli casserole!


Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

(Recipe courtesy of our valued vendor partner Betty Crocker)
Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
Prep: 40 min | Total: 10 hour 35 min | Nutrition information
This highly-rated cheesecake recipe doubles the flavor with a layer of classic vanilla stacked with a layer of spiced-up pumpkin. Make it up to 24 hours ahead of your Thanksgiving get-together!
Read more: Pumpkin’s great for breakfast too. Check out this nutritious Pumpkin Seed Pecan Oat Granola recipe from our Cooking with Kate blog series!


2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted


4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Heat oven to 300°F. Grease 9-inch springform pan with shortening or cooking spray. Wrap foil around pan to catch drips. In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press crumb mixture in bottom and 1 inch up the side of the pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes.
    • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until just smooth and creamy; do not overbeat. On low speed, gradually beat in sugar. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, until just blended. Spoon 3 cups of the cream cheese mixture into pan; spread evenly.
    • Stir pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into remaining cream cheese mixture; mix with wire whisk until smooth. Spoon over mixture in pan.
    • Bake 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.
    • Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven; place on cooling rack. Without releasing the side of the pan, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
    • Run knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cheesecake again; carefully remove the side of the pan. Place cheesecake on serving plate. Store cheesecake covered in refrigerator.
Still short on time? We’d LOVE to help you put an effortless holiday dinner on the table. Visit a Brookshire Brothers deli to order a dinner today!
Nine for November: Try Something New

Nine New Foods and Drinks to Try this Month

What better way to celebrate the changing leaves than by eating something different?  Whether it’s a totally new-to-you food or an old favorite done a new way, challenge yourself to taste nine new things this month to add real fresh, real delicious variety to your life.  Here are nine ideas you can use to get started, but don’t let me limit you – just head to your local Brookshire Brothers grocery store for inspiration.

Nine New Foods and Drinks to Try in November 2017



This probiotic fermented tea is a totally fresh way to get your daily dose of healthy bacterial goodness. This probiotic bacteria can do beneficial wonders for your gut and immune system. Better yet, kombucha is a perfect alternative to soda because it is bubbly, tangy, low in carbohydrate, and comes in a variety of flavors.


These grains and seeds have recently become trendy, but, ironically, their consumption was common before the advent of modern food production.  Because grains are actually just seeds, they can be soaked and sprouted prior to consumption.  Sprouting unleashes a seed’s potential because they keep their nutrition stores locked up until germination—a process that sends a signal to the seed to release the nutrients needed to grow a plant.  Sprouting thus increases digestibility and the availability of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and even protein. Most of these nutrients are hard to get enough of—especially for those with limited meat intake—which makes sprouts extra beneficial.  These foods—rice, wheat, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and a variety of others—are “sprouting” up regularly now, so give them a try!

Not seeing some of these items in your local store? Make a product request today!


So maybe you tried radishes once or even twice, and you subsequently wrote them off as something on the “don’t like” list.  Please, TRY THEM AGAIN.  You see, radishes are not the kind of thing you should just bite into and decide whether you like them.  Instead, they belong as a beautiful complement to other foods.  Slice radishes thinly and add them to salads for a beautiful pop of color and a zesty crunch with a faintly peppery bite.  Better yet, toss them in with a batch of roasted veggies.  When roasted they lose their peppery bite and become sweet little veggie orbs. Here’s the deal: Olive oil, salt, and pepper + any other roasting veggie of your choice + 425F degrees for about 20 minutes = RADISH MAGIC. You can even throw in the radish leaves with your roasted veggie mashup and they’ll crisp up in the oven to make nicely toasted chips.


Turnips are cooked like potatoes and have a similar flavor, except they’re very low calorie and extremely nutritious.  Consider shaking your next soup up with turnips in place of potatoes—and don’t toss the turnip greens!  With a little butter, salt, and pepper, sautéed turnip greens make for a delicious side dish. Or, try tossing the greens in your vegetable soup similar to the way you would use spinach.  Delicious, nutritious, and thrifty—turnips have it all.

Read more: Turnip the volume with this real fresh, real delicious Vegetable Beef Soup recipe!


Fennel has a surprisingly diverse flavor reminiscent of licorice or anise.  The flavor may sound strange for a vegetable, but it is very complimentary to many foods.  Sliced, raw fennel bulbs make a wonderful addition to salads and even coleslaw.  Fennel also makes for a great soup, sautéed side dish, or roasted accompaniment to chicken or pork.  Moreover, the fronds look similar to dill, making for a lovely garnish.


Kefir is a probiotic fermented milk product that is similar in flavor to yogurt, but typically has many more strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast. AKA, it’s great for gut health.  You can find it in a variety of flavors similar to smoothie drinks.  However, be aware that—like yogurt—it often has added sugars, so keep an eye on portion size or choose plain products.  A fun twist on kefir is to make it savory rather than sweet by choosing plain kefir and adding salt to taste.

Lentils: Nine New Foods and Drinks to Try in November 2017


Lentils are nutrition powerhouses.  They are an excellent source of protein and rich in a variety of nutrients, including folate, vitamin C, iron, zinc, vitamin K, choline, and the other B vitamins. Lentils are most frequently found in soup recipes, but they can also be used in salads, rice dishes, or standalone side dishes.



Sauerkraut may have a funny name, but it’s definitely a star when it comes to adding a salty crunch to sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, or even as a snack.  Fermentation is the simple process of adding salt to the cabbage to create brine; thus, sauerkraut is traditionally made without heat canning.  If the right amount of salt is added, the conditions are perfect for the beneficial bacteria naturally present on the vegetable’s surface to multiply and “cure” the cabbage, creating flavorful compounds. The bacteria even improve the nutritional qualities of the cabbage because it can produce nutrients as the cabbage cures.  Fermented sauerkraut that has never been heated retains its wonderful probiotic qualities, plus it’s crispier than canned or cooked varieties. Better yet, you can even find different flavors, such as my favorite— Farmhouse Cultures Smoked Jalapeno Sauerkraut.

Read more: Don’t forget to see what our Pharmacy recommends for heart healthy nutrition.


Okay, so most people like butter, so it shouldn’t be a big ask to get you to try a new brand.  Kerrygold butter is worth a try because the flavor is rich and the beautiful golden hue is due to the high beta-carotene content of the premium quality milk. Once you taste it, you’ll never look back.


Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
Cooking with Kate: Wicked Good Snacks

A fall take on a summer favorite. 

With our Texas weather fickle as ever, it’s no surprise that we’re looking at a fairly warm Halloween this year. It seems like summer just won’t say goodbye! To mix up the summer temperatures with some fall spirit, here’s an easy-to-make, sweet snack recipe. Basically, think Rice Krispies Treats but with fall flavors and fun topping ideas. Even better, this snack mix makes for a quick, easy party favor for a Halloween bash and trick-or-treaters. Visit your local Brookshire Brothers today to find these ingredients and other wicked good snacks! 

Rice Krispies Treat Snack Mix

(Pictured left as seen at the 7th Annual Lufkin's Bistro | Photo credit: Lisa Crow Photography)
1 (12 oz) box crisp rice cereal
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (7 oz) container marshmallow fluff / crème
    • In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar until sugar dissolves.
    • Add the cereal to a large bowl and toss with the melted butter mixture until all the cereal is coated.
    • Add the marshmallow fluff and gently mix into the cereal until most of it is mixed in but you still have small clumps of coated cereal (the rice krispie “treats”).
    • Add in ingredients for flavor combinations (see below) or make up your own!
    • Chill mix for at least 2 hours before serving (it’s a LOT less messy if you serve it cold) and ENJOY!
Read more: Pull out all the potluck stops with toothy apples and spiced apple cider.


Citrus-y Cranberry
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 (12 oz) bag mini chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 (3 oz) package dried cranberries
Movie Night Magic
1 (11 oz) bag Kraft caramel bits
1 (12 oz) bag mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coarse or flaky sea salt
Read more: Make your scary movie night really pop with these three fun popcorn recipes.
White Christmas Mint
1 (12 oz) package white chocolate chips
1 (4-6 oz) package soft peppermint candy, crushed
Tropical Oasis
1 (12 oz) bag white or chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) package shredded coconut, toasted
1-2 cups dried tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, etc.)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Read more: These fruit-filled recipes are frightfully good—and healthy!
After School Snack
1 (10-12 oz) bag peanut butter chips
1 cup dried strawberries or raisins

View other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.
Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.
6 Nutrition Tips for Surviving Midterms

Healthy suggestions for making the most of your brain when it's needed most

It’s that time of the year again. Fall is full-on pumpkin, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and—dun dun DUN—college midterms are here! For those of you who know a student—or you yourself!—that could use a little extra brainpower during the long study sessions and test taking, I’m here to save the day with my favorite brain-boosting study foods, plus some tips and tricks for acing those exams.
(P.S. – While these tips are particularly important during times when the brain is working extra hard—like midterms—they’re also great to keep in mind for your everyday habits!)
Read more: Brighten a college student’s spirits with a care package during midterms—order one online today!

Fatty Fish

You may have heard it before, but I’m telling you again omega-3 fats really are good for the brain. Keep your noggin filled with good vibes by eating at least 3-4 oz each week of fatty fish like salmon or sardines.  Your dorm mates or coworkers don’t appreciate you microwaving a filet of salmon? No problem. Try ready-to-eat foods like canned sardines instead, or—my favorite—packages of wild caught Alaskan salmon. Slap it on some bread with mayo and a little relish, and you’ve got a full-fledged feast that’s on-the-go convenient.  Thank you… your brain says.

Read more: How to grocery shop on a college student budget—the ultimate guide

Dark Chocolate

Do I really need to give you an excuse to eat chocolate?  Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and brain-boosting minerals like iron and magnesium.  Best of all, it has a little bit of caffeine to get you through a slow slump, and I would wager that snacking on such a treat would help ease some anxiety (exam-related or otherwise).


Nuts and Seeds

Take your snack a step further by pairing the dark chocolate with some nuts and seeds. When you eat a variety of nuts and seeds, you also get a variety of brain boosting benefits.  Case in point: brazil nuts are loaded with the antioxidant selenium; walnuts are rich in omega-3;  almonds are full of vitamin E; and pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc and magnesium.  Mix up some trail mix and munch away.

Read more: Try this Cocoa Almond Trail Mix recipe from our catering coordinator Kate Rudasill! 


Okay, so not exactly a nutrient, but listening to some calming yet stimulating music can help maintain focus—a particularly useful perk during long study sessions.  Besides, Mozart was pretty smart, so maybe listening to his music will make you smarter by osmosis.

Read more: Music is one way to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Here are six other healthy habits  

Coffee or Green Tea

A little caffeine has been shown to improve alertness and mental acuity, so an hour or so before heading into an exam (or, say, a major meeting) have a small cup of coffee or green tea.  Be cautious, however, about using caffeine to stay up late to study or work. It may interfere with your much-needed sleep.

Read more: Don’t forget about breakfast! Check out this recipe for Avocado Toast with Poached or Shirred Eggs.


One last trick to use is to pop a peppermint into your mouth before the big event (test, meeting, interview, etc). Studies have show that eating a mint is stimulating and can help improve blood flow to the brain.

While these tips will help sharpen your memory and ace that test, they’re also just great way to keep eating real fresh, real delicious. Don’t forget to visit a local Brookshire Brothers to pick up what you need—and good luck!!

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
NFL + MLB + NBA = OMG game day snacks!
Fall football is in full swing, MLB postseason is up for bat, and the start of the regular NBA season is just around the corner. You know what this means? Game day food! Whether you’re attending a blowout watch party or you’re enjoying the quieter company of you and your TV, you can’t discount the importance of a good snack. It’s one of the three most important ingredients (per the proverbial saying): good company, good drinks, and good FOOD. This recipe (courtesy of our vendor partner Bar-S Foods) for Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Layered Dip hits all the top marks for good ‘ole-fashioned finger food: quick and easy to prepare, good for the budget, and bacon. It sounds so good you can almost taste the salty crunch and carbonated swig, while the crowd cheers in the background. Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to get started!
P.S. – October is #NationalPorkMonth, so fixing a recipe with bacon is basically equivalent to fulfilling a patriotic duty. #Motivation
Read more: No time? No problem. Check out the party trays from our deli.

Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Layered Dip

 Total time: 25 min | Servings: 14 | $1.06 per serving*


1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, 1. softened
1⁄2 cup ranch dressing
6 slices Bar-S Smoked Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled — View your weekly ad for special prices!
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped green onion
1⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips or assorted crackers


    • In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and ranch dressing. Spread in a 9-inch pie plate or other shallow bowl. Sprinkle with bacon, tomato, green onion and cheddar cheese. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
    • Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
 Tip: Serve this fun dip on a baked potato bar for all the fixins’ of a loaded potato in one place.
*Cost of ingredients may vary by location and seasonality | © Bar-S Foods 2016 |
Don't forget to check out these other game day recipes from Bar-S Foods as well!
Read more: Score big with this tried and true Sweet & Salty Chex Mix Recipe from our catering coordinator Kate Rudasill.
Cooking with Kate: Almost Autumn...

A Fall Favorite Recipe: Pumpkin Crumb Muffins with Maple Icing

 While this past week was the Autumnal Equinox and the first official day of fall, Texas rarely gets that memo in September. Still, we can look forward to cooler temperatures just around the corner—and that means favorite fall recipes too! Pumpkin spice everything is always popular this time of year and, while it’s not my coffee preference, I love pumpkin bread and muffins. One particularly quick recipe I love to fix is Pumpkin Crumb Muffins. What’s great about this easy recipe is that it includes a wonderful crumb topping and maple icing. Don’t forget, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and beta-carotene, which actually helps keep these muffins moist and delicious. Visit a nearby Brookshire Brothers to get started today!

Read more: While we love pumpkin treats, don't forget to check out Kate's savory pumpkin recipes too!

Pumpkin Crumb Muffins with Maple Icing

Yield: 15 large muffins or 28-30 mini muffins
Ingredients - Muffins
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup milk, at room temperature
Crumb Topping
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
6 tablespoons butter, softened
Maple Icing (optional)
1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon milk
 Read more: Pumpkin's not the only fall favorite produce—check this winter squash recipe from Angela Larson (RD) too!
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray (2) 12-count or mini muffin pans with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs and milk together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain. Spoon the batter into liners, filling them ¾ full.
Make the crumb topping: Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice together until combined. Cut in the softened butter until crumbs form. Spoon crumbs evenly on top of the batter and gently press them down into the batter so they stick.
Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for an additional 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total bake time for these muffins is about 21-22 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin pan as you make the icing.
NOTE: For mini muffins, bake for 15-18 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make the icing: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together until combined and smooth. Drizzle over muffins and serve warm. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze muffins (with or without icing) for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired.


You can find all of the ingredients to the ‘Pumpkin Crumb Muffins with Maple Icing’ recipe at a Brookshire Brothers location near you. For Brookshire Brothers location information please visit our location finder page here.


View other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.

Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.


Fall in Love with this Winter Squash Recipe
That first cool front of fall forever brings fresh inspiration to my kitchen. Visions of fall-flavored treats start dancing through my head—all things cinnamon-spiced and pumpkin-orange.  One thing that always makes its way onto my table during the season is winter squash.  What is winter squash exactly? While most people eat it as a vegetable, winter squash is a fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) of many different colorful types—all of which are great for you and easily found in the produce section of your local Brookshire Brothers.  Butternut squash is one of my favorite winter squash varieties because of its delicious buttery undertones, plus it’s easy to prepare and oh-so-nutritious!  Specifically, this squash is a good source of hard-to-find nutrients such as folate, beta-carotene, several B vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like potassium, iron, and magnesium.  In honor of all this nutritional goodness—and the start of cooler weather—I’d like to share one of my favorite butternut squash recipes with you!  Happy Fall!!
Read more: Consider turning your soup into a neighborhood supper!

Gingered Winter Squash and Fennel Soup

Adapted from My French Family Table by Beatrice Peltre
Serves 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil — Read more: An Ode to Olive Oil
2 celery stalks, diced
1 red onion or shallot, diced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 winter squash such as butternut (about 3 lbs), peeled, seeded, and diced (to make about 1 ¾ pounds)
1 fennel bulb, diced, reserving fronds for garnish
1 pinch nutmeg
4 ½ cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
For serving
Sour cream
Parmesan cheese (grated)
Reserved fennel fronds
Read more: Eating healthy squash is only half the fun—don’t miss our fitness tips for the fall too!
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat; add the olive oil.
Add the celery, onion, and ginger and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, without browning.  Add the garlic, rosemary, and oregano and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute until fragrant.  Add the tomato and cook for 1 minute.  Add the diced winter squash and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the nutmeg and chicken stock, increase heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, discard the sprig of rosemary, and transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, croutons, grated cheese, and fennel fronds to garnish.
Read more: Check out “Cooking with Kate” for recipes from our Catering Coordinator as well!

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods and nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does outreach education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. In addition to the Brookshire Brothers blog, look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
Fall Neighborhood Soup Supper

A fun, affordable way to bring the whole neighborhood gang together is to stir up a pot (or two). Soup makes the perfect hearty meal for a casual crowd on a crisp fall day—it requires little fuss, it can be made well in advance, and neighbors can ladle it up themselves. Start up the fire pit or indoor fireplace, pull out a football and a few Frisbees, open your door and welcome the neighbors inside.

The Soups

  • Serve two or three soups for variety, making sure at least one is vegetarian. Offer a creamy soup and a broth-based soup to provide a good flavor balance. 
  • Prepare your soups a day or two in advance (soups taste better when the flavors have had time to meld) and borrow crock pots so you can warm the soups up in your kitchen the day of. 
  • For your third soup, consider starting a "stone soup" tradition—a potluck with a twist—where each neighbor contributes a little bit to the empty pot. Invite everyone to bring a basic pantry item or some good scraps from the fridge—cans of chicken broth, leftover veggies, potatoes, chunks of chicken, noodles, rice, herbs, Parmesan cheese. Stir it all together for a true taste of community. Have one of the eldest kids gather the younger ones around to read Marcia Brown’s famous "Stone Soup" book to tie in with the theme. 

Simple Setup 

  • To make a simple centerpiece, collect fall leaves from the yard and scatter them around the table and mix them in with the flower arrangements. Fill glass bowls and baskets with apples, and pile up pretty pumpkins and squash. 
  • Fill a percolator with spiced cider and provide juice boxes for the kids, but ask guests to bring their own beer, wine and libations to contribute to your fridge and coolers. 
  • Label each soup and set out ladles; make sure everyone’s kids know that serving the hot soup is an "adults only" task. 
  • Provide small bowls of soup toppings around the table for the garnish lovers. Options might include Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, toasted sunflower seeds, yogurt or sour cream, croutons and fresh herbs. For sides, choose an easy appetizer like a cheese platter and a couple of green salads. 

Block Party

The best part about the entertainment is that you have the run of the block—let the kids dash from yard to yard playing tag and Red Rover. Set out your lawn games and get a game of bocce or touch football going. Light up a fire pit and ask someone to bring a guitar for a sing-along. 

Take-Home Treats

Make a big batch of home-baked cookies in fall flavors and send the guests home with brown paper bags filled with the treats.

Turnip the Volume: Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe
TURNIP the volume on dinner with summer vegetable beef soup, featuring the oft forgotten and lowly turnip.  Turnips are a delicious low-carb alternative to potatoes with less than half the calories and carbs.  They are rich in minerals, B vitamins, and vitamin C, but most importantly in flavor.  Prepare them just like you would a potato by peeling and throwing in the soup pot until they are tender. 

Turnip the Volume:  Vegetable Beef Soup


7-bone steaks or blade steaks- about 2 lbs (2-3 steaks)
2 Tbs Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 oz tomato paste (1 small can or jar)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef stock, reduced sodium or homemade
4 cups chicken stock, reduced sodium or homemade
2 stalks celery, small dice
4 medium turnips, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups petite baby carrots
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2-3 fresh tomatoes, diced (optional)
10 oz frozen corn (1 small bag)
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
2 dried bay leaves
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

1.  Season steaks with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pat steak surface dry with paper towels. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add steak and cook until well browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes per side. Remove steak and set aside.  
2.  Add onion and tomato paste to the pot and sauté for 3 minutes until just softened. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Return steak to the pot. Add beef stock and simmer steak gently for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.  
3.  Remove steak from the pot and set aside. Add chicken stock, celery, turnips, baby carrots, diced tomatoes with juices, fresh tomatoes, frozen corn, fresh thyme, and bay leaves. Allow to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. When steak is cool enough to handle, shred beef, discarding any bones, and return shredded beef to soup pot. Add additional broth or water as needed to thin soup to desired consistency.  
4.  Remove bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh parsley off heat. Serve.  

Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious healthy foods and providing nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does community education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. Look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.