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!
 
Ingredients
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
 
Directions
    • 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.
 
Ingredients
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
 
Directions
    • 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!
 
Ingredients

CRUST

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

CHEESECAKE

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
 
Directions
    • 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!
 
 
5 Pink Treats for Breast Cancer Awareness

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of our favorite causes to support. Communities everywhere come together to build relationships and raise awareness for those at every step of the breast cancer journey, whether it’s a bake sale, luncheon party, or 10K run. As such, we’d like to help if you’re looking for easy ideas to “think pink” with these occasions. Courtesy of our vendor partners, we’ve compiled five fun recipes below, each of which are perfectly pink for Pink Ribbon awareness.

What we love about pink themed desserts in particular is that they’re not always all sweet. Usually, these recipes feature pink fruits (strawberries, raspberries, etc.) or pink lemonade to enhance the pink theme. As such, these focal ingredients tend to add some zest to the dessert, which to us makes these recipes even more appropriate to honor breast cancer awareness. While those affected embody a stirring hope, it’s not an all-sweet journey. Often it’s quite bittersweet.

So, raise a pinky and indulge yourself with one of these treats for this month’s cause. And even when the tart raspberries bite back in the cream cake, remember there’s nothing sweeter than hope.

Read more: Find out Pharmacist Kelly Kinney's four suggestions on how to "Fight Like A Girl" when it comes to breast cancer awareness
 

Pink Together Cupcakes

 Prep: 20 min | Total: 1 hr 30 min | Servings: 24
 

Ingredients

1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box  — View your ad for special prices this week on eggs!
2 containers Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla or Whipped cream cheese frosting
Betty Crocker™ pink gel food color
 
PSST!!! Are you signed up for our text promotions yet? Join before this Thursday (10/19) and you could receive a special offer perfect for all of these recipes! To sign up, text JOIN [insert the number of the store you shop at, i.e. "25"] to 59652. If you're not sure what your store number is, you can look it up on the store's information page!
 

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  • Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • In small bowl, reserve 1 cup frosting. Frost cupcakes with remaining white frosting. Stir pink food color into reserved 1 cup white frosting until desired pink color. Spoon frosting into freezer plastic bag; cut 1/4-inch hole in 1 bottom corner. Or use decorating bag with flat tip with 1/4-inch wide opening. Gently squeeze bag to pipe frosting ribbon on cupcakes. Store loosely covered.

Read more: Organizing a luncheon? Check out these tips for a perfect pink ribbon party.

Don't forget to check out these other pink themed dessert ideas:

Visit your local Brookshire Brothers to get started! 

 
 
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!
 
Directions
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.

  

5 Fun Ways to Fix S'mores
Any day that commemorates s’mores will be a beautiful day, but #NationalSmoreDay (Aug. 10) is also likely going to be very hot. If you’re looking to bring the fun indoors while celebrating this classic campfire treat, we’ve got recipes for every need. Check it out:
 

Peanut Butter Cup S’mores Dip

 
Peanut butter cups + s’mores? We need some-more of this one! This recipe is quick to fix and popular at parties, no matter the weather.
 
If peanut butter candies hit the sweet spot for you, try out our “Reese’s Perfect Pass Snack Mix” recipe for another treat!
 

Caramel S’more Cups

Take dessert or your bake sale to the next level with this popular Betty Crocker recipe!
 
Betty Crocker also inspired these three adventurous popcorn recipes that are great for movie nights!
 

Ooey-Gooey Pancake S’mores

Who knew breakfast could taste so fun.
 

S’more Bark

If this bark has bite, it’s all delicious crunch. This super-simple recipe has three ingredients and only takes ten minutes to prep!
 
For another classic snack, check out the “Sweet and Salty Chex Mix” recipe from our Catering Coordinator Kate Rudasill!
 

Mini S’more Cookie Tacos

The pinnacle of s’more evolution—a sweet s’more taco.
 
Find a store today to get started!

 

Cooking with Kate: All About Hatch
“Hatch” chile refers to several varieties of chile peppers grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. The chile pepper plant is not native to the southwest, but thrives in the New Mexican environment with plenty of irrigation from the Rio Grande River. Although these peppers have been cultivated in New Mexico for more than 100 years, they’ve only become popular around Texas (and the U.S.) in the past 20 years or so.
 

Chile peppers are technically a fruit, although they are most often eaten as a vegetable due to their savory and spicy flavors. Roasting adds additional flavor to these fantastic peppers and makes cooking with them a snap. You can also freeze the roasted peppers so they can be used throughout the year. Hatch chiles are only available fresh during August and September, so pick some up, do a little roasting, and have fun cooking!
 
 
Hatch chile peppers aren’t the only produce in season right now! Find the greatest quality produce at the best value when you shop according to the season with our summer produce guide.
 

Fun Hatch Facts: 

  • One fresh medium-sized green chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
  • Green chiles are also a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and fiber.
  • Capsaicinoids—the chemical that make chile peppers spicy—are used in muscle patches for sore and aching muscles, as well as pepper spray!
  • You might think that green and red chiles are different types of peppers, but they are in fact fruit of the same plant picked at different times. The red chile is the fully ripened version of the green chile.
  • These spicy peppers are finding their way into everything—sauces, breads, cheeses, even ice cream! Check your local store for all the available Hatch chile products.
For a brief refresher on the nutritional merits of other summer produce, check out the blog post “Summer Fruit: A Delicious Problem” by our local registered dietitian, Angela Larson!
 

How to: Roasted Hatch Chiles

Roast green chiles using one of the methods below:
  • Broiler: Preheat broiler on high. Place chiles on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 6-10 minutes, turning often, until chile skins blacken and blister.
  • Charcoal or Gas Grill: Preheat grill and place chiles 4-6 inches from heat. Cook, turning often, until chile skins blacken and blister.
  • Gas Stove: Turn stove to high. Using tongs, hold chiles over flames, turning often, until skins blacken and blister.
Once chiles are roasted, place in a plastic or paper bag for about 10 minutes to steam. Wearing gloves, take the chiles out of the bag and remove the skins by rubbing gently. Use a sharp knife to cut pepper open and remove the stems, membranes, and seeds. Use chiles immediately or let cool completely, package in airtight freezer bags and place in the freezer until ready to use.
 
You can find other tips on storing produce and groceries in your fridge with these “Keepin’ it fresh” guidelines!
 

Hatch Chile Deviled Eggs

Ingredients
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons juice from a jar of sliced jalapeños
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
½ teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper
1 Hatch chile, roasted, skin and seeds removed, finely diced
8-12 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
paprika, for sprinkling
  
Directions
In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with jalapeño juice, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste. Cut the peeled eggs in half lengthwise and remove the hard-boiled yolks. Add the yolks to the mayonnaise mixture and mash until smooth. Stir in the chopped green chiles. Spoon mixture into a plastic zipper bag and seal. Snip off one corner and pipe the mixture into the boiled egg whites. Alternately – use a spoon to fill the whites. Sprinkle with paprika and additional cilantro. Cover and chill for up to 2 hours before serving.
 

Roasted Hatch Chile and Peach Salsa

Ingredients
4 large peaches, skin on, small dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup white onion, small dice
½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2-3 Hatch chiles, roasted, skin and seeds removed, diced
salt and pepper
 
Directions
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper and extra lime juice, as needed. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Makes 3-4 cups of salsa.
Enjoy with chips or serve over grilled fish, chicken, or pork chops.
 
That’s not all! You can find other produce-based, savory recipes on the Brookshire Brothers blog! Cool off with this  “Sweet & Spicy Strawberry Tomato Gazpacho with Citrus Goat Cheese” recipe or enjoy a garden-fresh meal with this “Fresh Summer Vegetable Sauté” recipe. 
 
 

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.

 
 
 
 
 
Seasonal Produce: Summer Refresher
In our current society of instant everything, it’s easy to forget that some things aren't so “ready-right-now.” Produce is one such thing that often requires extra time and patience. Sure, some fruits and vegetables are available to purchase all year round, but there’s usually a time and place when you can get them at their best flavor and greatest value. It may be hard, for example, not to indulge a craving for summer blueberries at any time during the year, but consider how during the winter it would take two weeks for blueberries to be shipped from Chile—with tax. Shopping according to the seasons means you’ll save money, plus you’ll prepare five-star meals with ingredients that are seasonally fresh. 
 
Our point is, it’s always good for any shopper to get a refresher on what’s currently in season and what’s not. Since it’s the beginning of August—which most of us equate with being the height of summer, according to the temperatures—let’s talk summer produce:
 

Summer Fruits

(According to the USDA)
 
Apples
Apricots
Avocados
Bananas
Blackberries*
Blueberries*
Cantaloupe*
Cherries*
Honeydew Melon*
Kiwifruit*
Mangos
Nectarines*
Peaches*
Plums*
Raspberries
Strawberries
Watermelon*
 

Summer Vegetables

(According to the USDA)
 
Beets
Bell Peppers
Corn*
Carrots
Collard Greens
Cucumbers*
Eggplant*
Garlic
Green beans
Lima beans*
Okra*
Summer Squash & Zucchini*
Tomatillos*
Tomatoes*
 
The produce marked with an asterisk(*) is only in season during the summer. All other produce is in season for more than one season.
 
Next time you visit your local store, keep this guide handy! You can always count on Brookshire Brothers to do our best in bringing quality produce to customers.
 

Looking for ideas on how to tap into your taste buds with summer produce? Check these out:

 
Healthy fruit snacks—with a twist! Here's the menu: Grape Sticks, Grilled Peach Salsa, Melon Rings, and more.
 
Corn, zucchini, squash… a whole garden of summer veggies comes together to make two garden fresh recipes from our Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.
 
In case you need another reason to fill up on summer fruit, here’s a brief overview of their nutritional merits from Angela Larson, a registered dietitian.
 
Sweet tooth? Kate’s got you covered. Amaretto Peach Parfaits and Peach Blueberry Upside-Down Cake are great recipes to send off the summer before school starts.
 
Cooking with Kate: Destination Argentina
One of my favorite things about my job is researching different cuisines from around the world for themed events. Lately, I’ve been learning about Argentinian dishes, and one food keeps coming up over and over—quince. Argentina is one of the world’s top producers of quince, and many describe the fruit as similar in texture and appearance to an apple or pear, but usually bright yellow when fully ripe. Unlike, pears and apples, quinces are rarely eaten raw because they are too hard and sour. Because this produce is high in pectin, it is often used to make jams and jellies. Commercially, quince is produced into a sweet/tart, sticky, hard paste known as dulce de membrillo. This paste is then used in sandwiches and tarts, like the pastafrola recipe below.
 

Pastafrola

Traditional Argentine Tarts with Quince Jam
Yield: 1 (9-10”) tart or 8-10 individual tarts
 
Ingredients
For the crust:
1 cup sugar
1 stick + 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
 
For the filling:
2 cups (15-16 ounces) quince jam / paste (dulce de membrillo or membrillo casero)*
2-3 tablespoons water
 
*If you can’t find quince jam, you can make a product request with your local Brookshire Brothers!
 
Directions
For the crust:
Mix the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Continue to mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Using a spoon, incorporate the flour and salt, a little at a time, being careful not to handle or overwork the dough too much. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
For the filling:
Place the quince paste into a medium bowl. Add the water and mash with a fork until you have a smooth paste.
 
To assemble: 
Separate the dough into 2 pieces: ¾ for the crust and ¼ to make the strips for the lattice topping. Roll out the larger portion of dough to about ¼” thickness. Lightly coat a pie dish or tart pan with cooking spray or butter, and press the dough into the dish. Spoon the quince paste into the crust. Roll out the second piece of dough and cut into long strips with a knife or pizza cutter. Add the dough strips to the top of the tart in the classic lattice pattern or have fun making your own design.
 
In a small bowl, mix the egg with the water. Brush the crust with a little of the egg wash, and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
 
 
Cooking with Kate: Fresh From the Garden

One of the best things about growing up in the country was our family’s summer garden—sun-ripe tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, carrots of all sizes, and so many different kinds of peas. As such, I’m forever disappointed that I did not inherit the family green thumb. Plants tend to die under my care with alarming frequency! Thus, I’m always grateful for the fresh produce available at my local Brookshire Brothers as one of my favorite recipes lets you use a whole garden of veggies!

My sweet friend, Valena Spradley, gave me this summer sauté recipe, and I’ve always loved how quickly this dish comes together, using whatever vegetables you have on hand. I’ve also included a recipe for cream peas, which can make a delicious addition to this recipe—or any summer meal! Lady Cream, Zipper Cream, Texas Cream, Crowders, Field Peas—take your pick and turn on the stove!

Fresh Summer Vegetable Sauté

Ingredients
6 slices uncooked bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 ears fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
2 yellow squash, diced
2 zucchini, diced
½ - 1 cup heavy cream
1 pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
 
Optional Additions
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), diced
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carton grape tomatoes, cut in half
 
Directions

In a large, deep-sided skillet with a lid, sauté the bacon pieces over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and place in a paper-towel lined bowl or plate, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet. Add the butter, onions, and garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the corn, squash, zucchini, and any other vegetables you are using. Sauté over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough heavy cream to lightly coat the vegetables – you do not want them swimming in cream, but need enough liquid to keep the vegetables from drying out. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and gently simmer for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add the crisp bacon to the skillet with a generous pinch of freshly ground pepper and a small pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes. Taste the vegetables before adding any salt – the bacon, butter, and cream will add some salt to the dish so you might not need to add any! Serve warm with your favorite grilled or roasted meats.

 A skillet of various vegetables that have been sautéed

The Rudasills’ Fresh Cream Peas

Ingredients
½ pound uncooked bacon, diced
½ stick salted butter
1 medium-large white onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ - 2 pounds shelled cream peas, preferably fresh but frozen can be used
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions

In a large pot with a lid, sauté the bacon pieces over medium heat until the bacon grease begins to render and the bacon is barely cooked. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and reserve for later. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the butter to the pot. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pot and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the peas, cooked bacon, and chicken broth to the pot. Add enough water so that the peas are covered by about one inch of liquid. Bring the peas to a low simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot halfway with the lid, and continuing cooking for 1 to 1 ½ hours until the peas are soft, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Taste the peas and season with freshly ground black pepper and salt, if needed. Serve warm with fresh cornbread!

Hope y’all are having a great summer!
 
Cooking with Kate: An Easy Summer Meal

With things heating up outside and the summer season upon us, I’m often looking for quick and easy meals that do not take much thought or cooking. Avocado toast is all the rage and with good reason – nutrient-dense avocados, from our farm-fresh produce selection, are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats (the good kind), Vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, folate, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Adding protein-rich eggs makes this a great meal for a quick breakfast or a busy weeknight. Enjoy!

Avocado Toast with Poached or Shirred Eggs
Makes 2 breakfast servings or 1 dinner serving

Ingredients

2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
1 ripe avocado
1 lime, juiced
2 eggs, room temperature
pinch smoked paprika
a sprig fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme leaves
salt and pepper

For shirred eggs                                                                                          

2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan or gruyere cheese

For poached eggs                                                      

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread softened butter on sliced bread; lay on cookie sheet. Set aside. As soon as you begin cooking the eggs, place the buttered bread in the oven to toast for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Scoop avocado flesh into a small bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Mash and mix well. Set aside.

For shirred eggs

In a small greased ramekin, mug, or baking dish, add eggs (not beaten). Drizzle with heavy cream, sprinkle with cheese, and season with salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes (7 minutes for runny yolks; 10 minutes for a firm yolk).

For poached eggs

Crack the eggs into 2 separate small bowls or cups. Bring a small, deep saucepan of water to a low simmer (small bubbles barely breaking on the surface). Salt the water and add 1 tablespoon vinegar. Use a spoon to create a swirling whirlpool in the water. Slowly lower the egg into the center of the whirlpool. This will help the egg white to wrap around the yolk. Add the second egg. Cover the saucepan and let the eggs cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the water. Carefully drain the eggs on paper towels.

Serving

Spread mashed avocado on buttered toast. Add shirred or poached eggs. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and paprika. Serve immediately.


Click here to see 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.

     

How to Brunch 101

Dinner parties may be in your wheelhouse, but can you transition into a 10am brunch? With the Easter season around the corner, we're here to teach you how to make your next brunch extra delightful!

Brunch Buffet

We love a good brunch because it's easy on the host, and who doesn't love good coffee cake? Most of the menu items can be prepared ahead, giving you ample opportunity to mingle and enjoy the party along with your guests.

A staple brunch recipe is some kind of egg bake, along with a breakfast meat and lots of cheese. Many casserole recipes can be interchanged for your preference of bacon or sausage. 

*Expert tip: A vegetarian dish is always a good backup idea!

Fresh Flowers

Nothing says "brunch" like a bouquet of Spring's best flowers. Pick up whatever blossoms look the prettiest at your local Brookshire Brothers and scatter informal bouquets throughout your home. 

*Expert tip: White ceramic pitches make charming vases!

Ribbons & Bows

Traditionally, brunches are a "women only" kind of gathering. The men usually stick to the football game on prime time TV, sitting on the sofa with a rack of ribs. With this in mind, don't skimp on the feminine touches. Wrapping your forks and spoons with a simple ribbon can give a bit of cheer and elegance to your brunch. 

*Expert tip: Your floral department can assist in making large bows!

Final Touches

We love seeing a host go the extra mile in creating the perfect scene for any occasion. To really set the stage for a perfect spring-theme brunch, try your hand at creating the perfect adornment for your guests' glasses below.

Easy Candied Mandarins
Recipe courtesy of Halos Mandarins

Ingredients
1/3 cup honey
1 cup water
5 Halos mandarins

Directions
1. In a wide-base pan, mix honey with water and heat over low until combined completely.
2. Slice mandarins as thin and uniform as possible, discarding the end pieces. Gently add them to the honey-water, and add a small amount of additional water if necessary to keep the mandarins completely submerged.
3. Cover and heat on low for 45 minutes to an hour, checking it occasionally to ensure that the mandarin slices don’t burn.
4. Turn the heat up to a low-medium and keep covered for another half hour, checking frequently. Remove from the stovetop as soon as they start to bubble. The honey will have formed a caramel-colored syrup that hardens as it dries.
5. Remove the mandarin slices onto a slotted stainless steel baking rack or broiler rack placed on top of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cook in a 250-degree preheated oven for thirty minutes. Turn them over and cook for another thirty minutes. Let cool completely.

Expert tip: If they’re still slightly tacky, you can dust with coconut sugar to help make them easier to handle!

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