Real Fresh, Real Delicious: Family Meal Traditions with Italian Flatbread Pizzas with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
September is Family Meals Month, which is a great time to pause and reflect on what family means to you.  The term “family meals” often brings up images of special holiday occasions and nostalgia about simpler times. But for many, busy schedules have gotten in the way of making family meals a regular habit.  
Making family meals a priority has more power than you could ever realize.  Connecting as a family around a shared meal or snack creates a pause in the day where the rest of the world is suddenly less important than the connections within that family unit.  Creating a family meal ritual that is predictable and free of distractions is a wonderful way to share delicious food and make memories.  Researchers have found time and time again that families who regularly share meals enjoy many surprising benefits such as lower chance of risky or harmful behaviors in adolescents and better health outcomes for everyone in the family.  
For every family, there are many unique ways that family meals can be made a greater priority. In my family, my girls love to come through the kitchen and grab a taste of things I’m working on prepping.  My two and four year olds also love to help with any cooking tasks they can do safely, and they are getting more competent in the kitchen every time they do.  Almost every day, we sit down together as a family for dinner.  At times, meals with toddlers can be stressful, but because they know what to expect most family meals are pleasant and full of laughter and sweet conversation. My girls love visiting our neighborhood Brookshire Brothers store and helping shop for ingredients, how different foods taste, and discussing what we will be eating that week.  
Try some of these simple ideas to help enrich your own special family meal traditions: 
      • Choose one day a week to always cook and eat together as a family.  Getting your kids involved in cooking is a great way to encourage adventurous and eager eaters.  Give your special meal day a memorable such as “Tasty Tuesday” or “Family Dinner Thursday.” 
      • Involve kids in the process of meal planning and shopping at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers. 
      • Set goals that work with your schedule.  Based on your schedule, aim to eat particular meals or snacks together for certain meals and days of the week.  
      • Keep the family table distraction-free without technology or reading materials to keep the focus on conversation.
      • Use conversation starter tools or games to help make conversation more exciting and fun.  
      • Plan a special baking project once a month to do with your kids, and enjoy a treat!  
      • Start an after dinner routine of taking a walk or a bike ride after a family dinner to really enrich and make the most of family time.  
      • If you’re children are older, assign certain meals or dishes completely to them, and take the backseat to help them as their sous chef rather than always being in charge of every meal.
      • If evening schedules are busy, try to make breakfast, lunch, or snack time a family meal opportunity whenever possible.  
      • Even if a meal isn’t home-cooked, it can still be enjoyed together.  Try the Brookshire Brothers Deli or some of the frozen or fresh-prepared options in your neighborhood store for easy family dinners.  
Need a fun family dinner idea to help you get started?  Try these tasty flatbread “pizzas” that are fun and easy to assemble with helpers of all ages.  
Flatbread Pizzas with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Italian Flatbread Pizzas with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients
      • 4 Stonefire Naan Flatbreads of desired size, or another type of pita or flatbread
      • 1/2 cup pre-made basil pesto
      • 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, drained if packed in oil
      • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
      • Salt and pepper to taste
Optional additional toppings:
      • Fresh mozzarella cheese pearls
      • Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
      • Fresh parsley or basil, roughly chopped or torn
      • Balsamic vinegar, thicker varieties work best
      • Extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions:
      • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
      • Position oven rack in middle of the oven.  
      • To assemble flatbreads, spread basil pesto on each bread, sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella on top. 
      • Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
      • Add any optional ingredients of fresh mozzarella or cherry tomatoes as desired.  
      • Bake flatbreads for 9-11 minutes, until cheese is melted and they are heated through and slightly brown on the edges.  
      • After removing from oven, sprinkle optional fresh herbs over flatbreads, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  
      • Serve with a simple garden salad.  
Bon appetit!
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your real fresh, real delicious ingredients!

 
Angela Larson
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious foods.  Delicious food is her passion, so she loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of health and nutrition.  When Angela isn't working with Brookshire Brothers, she's a mostly stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors with her husband, Austin, and their two daughters.
Gather For Family Meals Month
September is National Family Meals Month™. Let’s celebrate by sharing one more family meal per week! Kids who eat with their families regularly are better nourished, have lower rates of obesity and do better in school. Join the fun and help us bring awareness to these benefits with these coloring sheets! Children can complete either sheet for a chance to be featured on our social media during September. At the end of the month, one drawing will be selected to win a special prize!
Family Meals Month 2019
Easily download the Raise Your Mitt or the What's Your Favorite Family Meal color pages for your kids!
 
To submit, please use one of these options and include the first name and age of your child.
Via Social Media: You may upload your pictures to social media and tag us at the following handles:
Facebook: @BrookshireBros
 
Email: Please email a picture or scan of the completed drawing to: customerexperience@brookshirebros.com
 
Mail: Please address completed drawings as
Brookshire Brothers
ATTN: Digital & Loyalty
1201 Ellen Trout Dr, Lufkin TX 75904.
 
All drawings must be submitted by August 24. For questions, please contact Customer Experience at 1-866-252-7592.
Cooking With Kate: Slow Cooker Saves
Cooking trends reveal that parents want less prep time and less cleanup because time is short and convenience is best. We hear you! Save your valuable time during this busy season with these slow cooker shortcuts from Kate Rudasill, our 1921 Catering Coordinator.
 
Cooking With Kate: Slow Cooker Saves
 
September is National Family Meals Month—a nationwide movement to raise awareness about the benefits of eating meals together as a family. Brookshire Brothers believes that FAMILY MEALS MATTER, and so do I. To celebrate, I’m sharing three of my own family’s favorite recipes for this month’s “Cooking With Kate” blog. These recipes are delicious and affordable, plus they’re all prepared in a slow cooker—the ultimate time-saver! 
 
As an added bonus, these recipes are easy enough that the kids can join you in the kitchen! Whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I hope these recipes inspire you to gather around the table and share one more meal with your family!
 

Slow Cooker Overnight Steel Cut Oats

 Rustic handmade pottery bowl filled with oatmeal made from steel cut oats. Garnished with apples, honey, and cinnamon.
INGREDIENTS
Oatmeal Base Recipe
2 cups milk or almond milk 
1 ½ cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
3 tablespoons Food Club brown sugar
2 tablespoons Food Club butter 
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
¼ teaspoon Food Club salt
 
Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into ½-inch pieces (2 ½ to 3 cups chopped)
 
Cherry Almond Steel Cut Oats
½ cup Food Club unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon almond extract
 
Don't forget to check your weekly ad or the latest digital coupons for extra savings on the ingredients!
 
DIRECTIONS
  • Generously coat the inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients for the oatmeal base recipe to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Add additional ingredients depending on which flavor of oatmeal you are making (Apple Pie, Cherry Almond, etc). Stir to mix, cover, and cook on low for approximately 6-7 hours (slow cooker times can vary).
  • Serve with additional milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, and/or toasted nuts.
  • Cooked oatmeal stores great in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave with a splash of milk.
  • Recipe can easily be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time by 1 hour.

Beef Stroganoff Meatballs

 Buy 1, choose any 4 FREE!
INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cans beef broth or consommé
1 can golden mushroom condensed soup
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
1 packet dry Lipton onion soup mix
1 large bag frozen meatballs (original flavored, not Italian)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup water
8 ozs sour cream
 
DIRECTIONS
  • In a large slow cooker, add the melted butter and sliced onions. Cover with the lid, and cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add the broth/consommé, golden mushroom soup, sliced mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, and onion soup mix. Mix well. Add frozen meatballs and toss to coat in the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water to make a thin paste. Add cornstarch mixture to slow cooker and stir well. Continue to cook, covered, for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until sauce is thick and glossy. Stir in sour cream just before serving.
  • Spoon over mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

 Happy mother talking to her small son while cooking meal in the kitchen. Focus is on boy.
INGREDIENTS
1 pound uncooked (dry) red kidney beans OR 6 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (12 ounce) package Andouille (or other smoked) sausage, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, cored and diced
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon hot sauce, more/less to taste
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
7 cups chicken or vegetable stock* 
*NOTE: If using canned beans, reduce to 2 cups chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
cooked white or brown rice
thinly-sliced green onions blades
 
DIRECTIONS
  • For dry or canned beans, rinse the kidney beans thoroughly under water.
  • Add the kidney beans, sausage, garlic, celery, onion, bell pepper, Creole seasoning, hot sauce, dried thyme, bay leaves, and chicken stock to a large slow cooker, sprayed with non-stick spray. Stir to combine. Cook on high for 6-8 hours*, or until the kidney beans are soft and cooked through. *NOTE: If using canned beans, reduce cooking time to 3-4 hours. 
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. For additional spice, add in more hot sauce. Remove and discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve over cooked rice, garnished with green onions.
Visit your local Brookshire Brothers for all your slow cooker needs!
 

View other recipes from Kate Rudasill, Coordinator for 1921 Catering by Brookshire Brothers.
Kate knows food. She grew up with the Southern tradition of good food with the hospitality to match.  A graduate of Texas A & M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate’s greatest joy is bringing people together over a scrumptious meal.
 
 
 
Celebrate Family Meals Month

Brookshire Brothers Commits to Helping Families Eat at Home Together More Often During National Family Meals Month

The proven health and societal benefits of family meals inspire a month-long event aimed at helping families get back to the table
 
Family Meals Months Facts
 
Lufkin, TX (August 31, 2018) - September is National Family Meals Month,™ an industry-wide movement to raise awareness about the benefits of frequent family meals. Brookshire Brothers has joined the initiative to encourage families to spend more time this month enjoying a meal together. In support, customers will enjoy special savings on ready-to-cook options and grab-n-go solutions all month long, as well as special deals and recipes every week. We’re bringing value and ease to family meal times because we believe FAMILY MEALS MATTER.
 
A family around a table watches mum serving out spaghetti
 
Did you know?
 
    • Kids and teens who share meals with their family three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders. 
    • With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of depression, less likely to use/abuse drugs and less likely to engage in delinquent acts.
    • People who eat most the most home-cooked meals eat healthier and consume about 130 fewer calories daily, on average, compared to people who cook less or not at all. 
Raise Your Mitt to Commit 
To get the month started, Brookshire Brothers and its employee-owners across Texas and Louisiana raised their mitts to commit to one more family meal at home. You, too, can raise your oven mitt to commit to making more memories around the kitchen table with those you love. Make it official, and shareable, by posting a selfie wearing your favorite oven mitt with the hashtag #familymealsmonth #brookshirebrothers. Follow Brookshire Brothers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to join the conversation this September. 
 

Gather 'Round The Table

September 5 through September 11
 
Meal Deal: Pizza Night!
  

Week 1: Bring the family together for PIZZA NIGHT

 
FREE:
Fresh Harvest Salad (6-11oz)
Food Club Salad Dressing (16oz)
Fresh Harvest Tea (128oz)
 
WHEN YOU BUY:
3 Digiorno Pizzas (13.6-34.2oz)
 
 
For a fresh take on frozen pizza, check out these real fresh, real delicious tips from Angela Larson, RD!
 

Meal In Minutes

September 12 through September 18
 
Meal Deal: Mom's Night Off
  

Week 2: Mom's Night Off

 
FREE:
Fresh Harvest Salad (6-11oz)
Fresh Harvest Tea (128oz)
 
WHEN YOU BUY:
2 Fresh Take Entrées (14.76-19.08oz)
King's Hawaiian Roll (4pk)
David's Gourmet Cookies (10ct)
 
 

Let's Taco 'Bout Family

September 19 through September 25
 
Meal Deal: Taco Night
  

Week 3: Taco Night

 
FREE:
1 Old El Paso Taco Shells (12 ct)
1 Fresh Express Shredded Lettuce (8 oz)
1 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning (1 oz)
 
WHEN YOU BUY:
1 Ground Beef Chuck (1 lb)
1 Food Club Shredded Cheese (8 oz)
 
 

Slow Cooker Shortcuts

September 26 through October 2
 
Meal Deal: Slow Cooker Shortcut
  

Week 4: Slow Down For Dinner

 
CHOOSE ANY 4 FREE:
1 Kraft BBQ Sauce (18 oz)
1 Libby Micro Pouch (14 oz)
1 McCormick Slow Cooker Roast (1.3 oz)
1 Food Club Broth (14.5 oz)
1 Lipton Soup Mix (1.8-2.6 oz)
1 Fresh Harvest Brown 'N Serve Rolls (10 oz)
1 Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (8.5 oz)
1 Food Club Gravy Mix (.75 - 1.37 oz)
 
WHEN YOU BUY:
Any Pork or Beef Roast (3.5 lbs or larger)