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Crosse & Blackwell, not just for Holiday Ham

Crosse & Blackwell, not just for Holiday HamBaked ham is a staple at holiday meals, beautifully studded with cloves and glazed with a traditional sauce like the Cross & Blackwell Ham Glaze. I remember my grandmother using it when I was a kid. I can still taste the fruity, spicy combination of pineapple, cherries, cloves and mustard.

The Crosse & Blackwell brand has been a beloved British tradition since 1706. Their sauces bring out the best in ham, beef, lamb or other meats as a bold and flavorful accompaniment. Spicy, sweet and tangy notes are ideal complements to almost any roasted meat.

The sauces also possess a versatility that lends their flavor to so many recipes. Delicious as a sandwich spread or added to stuffing, I like to use the Crosse & Blackwell Ham Glaze to make cocktail meatballs.

It’s a great recipe for holiday parties, and it captures some of that familiar flavor that everyone knows from delicious glazed ham.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 jar Crosse & Blackwell Premium Ham Glaze
1 cup chili sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp freshly grated ginger (do not substitute dry ginger)

Heat oven to 400° F. Combine meat, onions, breadcrumbs, garlic and soy sauce in medium bowl. Mix thoroughly. Roll into 1 1/2-inch meatballs, and place in baking pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. While meatballs are baking, combine ham glaze, chili sauce, red pepper flakes and ginger. Heat until hot and bubbly. Remove meatballs from oven. Toss with sauce and serve hot.

Note: There are a few whole cloves in the jar of ham glaze. You may want to remove the cloves before serving, so your guests don’t bite down on them.

Attention Valued Blue Cross/Blue Shield Customers!

You may have received a letter from Prime Therapeutics dated October 24th that contained incorrect information. You should be receiving a corrected letter, letting you know that your Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods & FRESH by Brookshire’s pharmacies CONTINUE TO BE IN THE NETWORK. Below is a copy of the template that was used for the correction.

We value your business, and want to continue to serve your prescription needs.


BREW CLUB Brewery: True Vine Brewing Company

True Vine Brewing CompanyMore than just an East Texas brewery, True Vine strives to create true, authentic community through integrity. From artistically driven beers that are growing in availability throughout the East Texas region to their OPEN TAPS events in their BackYard, their goal is to produce each with excellence. Every specialty handcrafted beer at True Vine represents depth of concept and flavor, and it is meant to be enjoyed around a table with old friends and new.

Founded in 2011 by friends with a passion for life, quality crafted beer and creative expression, True Vine is a family-based microbrewery. With over 12 years of combined brewing experience and countless years of entrepreneurism, the True Vine team has been on a relentless mission to hone their craft and help build the craft beer scene in East Texas. They began in a garage brewing 10-gallon batches, transitioned to a 1,400-square-foot space and started brewing 50-gallon batches of beer. The first official True Vine kegs were sold in January of 2014.

Just West of downtown in Tyler, their tiny beer factory has been in production mode since the fall of 2013. They began with a 1.5-barrel system and 3-barrel fermenters, and they cranked out many small batches of True Vine beer.

In the summer of 2015, they were able to finish a 10-barrel brewhouse expansion. New brewhouse, tanks, cold room and the works are now fully functional and capable of brewing 1,200 percent more than before.

In the summer of 2016, they began canning some of their brews and started distribution throughout the East Texas region. Their future plans include a redesigned BackYard space at the brewery.

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WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Red Blends

Red BlendsBlended reds are wines created by combining two or more red varietals. They are typically complex in taste and structure and often express the creativity of the winemaker. There are no regulations that restrict how the blends are crafted or labeled.

Blends usually consist of 40 to 50 percent of one varietal and then a small percentage of one or more other varieties of grapes. The grapes used in a blend are often chosen because of where they are grown, their particular flavors or aromas, their body, concentration and finish.

Blending adds complexity to each chosen grape varietal and results in a wine that is more well-rounded and complex than the one varietal could have been on its own.

Food Pairings
Red blends pair well with many types of food. Because the aromas, flavors and body of the wine vary depending on the type of varietals in the blend, it is best to check with the individual winery to find recommendations. The typical red pairings of grilled meats, sharp cheese or pasta with a heavy sauce are always a good choice.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine

Holiday Cheese Platter Made Easy

Holiday Cheese Platter Made EasyThe holidays are a time for entertaining, parties and last minute guests. But there’s not a lot of time for planning, shopping or cooking. That’s why I like to keep my refrigerator stocked with an assortment of items from FRESH’s Cheese & Charcuterie department.

It’s easy to build a quick cheese platter that includes sliced meat, various cheeses, artisanal crackers, olives, dried fruit and spreads. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, and there are so many great options.

I generally start with three cheeses. The first one being a hard cheese – something like Gruyere, Grana Padano, manchego or a sharp English cheddar. The next cheese will be something soft – brie, goat, Camembert or a marinated mozzarella. The last cheese I choose is blue. There are many varieties of blue cheese that are very nice with rich flavors that are sweet and nutty. Some great examples are Gorgonzola, Roquefort or some of the American artisanal blues like Point Reyes.

For the charcuterie, some good choices are Prosciutto di Parma, speck, Italian salami, mortadella or, from Spain, serrano or chorizo. Pâté can also be served in cubes or as a spread.

Finish it off with a fruit spread, artisanal honey, dried fruit or Marcona almonds. Be sure to grab some of the artisanal crackers or flatbread located by the Olive Bar, and then, head over to the Bakery for a sliced baguette, Italian loaf or hard rolls.

Here are a few items to try when building your cheese platter.

Leoncini Mortadella: Known as the original bologna, this typical charcuterie product from Italy is characterized by an exclusive and delicate flavor that is hearty, yet delicate and mild.

Alexian Chicken & Veal Pâté: Traditional, country-style pâté to be served by the slice or cubed and placed on toothpicks. Can also be used as a spread on artisan bread. Made with veal, chicken breast, chicken liver and cognac.

Kerrygold Blarney Castle: 100 percent natural, grass-fed cheese that is mild and creamy with rich and velvety undertones. Taste and texture is similar to a young Dutch Gouda.

Cana de Cabra Goat Log: Cana de Cabra is a soft-ripened cheese made from pasteurized goat’s milk, in Murcia, Spain. This creamy, buttery, mild and delicious cheese has a bloomy rind with semi-soft texture. Aged for 21 days, as it ages, the flavor intensifies.

Point Reyes Original Blue: Artisanal, American Farmstead cheese from California. This blue is creamy with layers of full flavor. It is sweet and milky with a medium-to-strong punch of blue flavor.

Celebrate the Season with Sweet Italian Treats

Chocolate-Dipped CannoliThe holidays are filled with sweet treats, great parties and plenty of reasons to celebrate. Around the world, everyone is gathering with family and friends to honor the season.

I love to find new recipes from international cuisines that represent how each culture celebrates. From lebkuchen in Germany to plum pudding in England, each country has its own sweet tradition. One of my favorites is Italian cannoli, and you can’t talk about Italian desserts without mentioning tiramisu.

For both, you will need to venture down the cookie aisle to find Alessi Cannoli Shells and Alessi Ladyfingers. Alessi Foods was created by the Vigo Importing Company to bring Americans the specialty foods that capture the best of traditional Italian cuisine. From the sun-kissed peaks of Sicily to the northern vales of Tuscany, every facet of Italian culture can be tasted and experienced.

Also known as savoiardi, ladyfingers are delightful and delicately light cookies that have been enjoyed by Italians for generations. Eaten as a snack alongside a glass of milk, children love their simple goodness. Adults also enjoy nibbling on them between sips of espresso or cappuccino. They are best known for tiramisu, where they are dunked in coffee and layered with a cream filling.

Cannoli also has an interesting origin. With the Arab introduction of sugar into Sicily in the ninth century, the cooking style changed forever. Ricotta had long been an essential part of Sicilian cuisine as well as pine nuts and currants. Resourceful Sicilians added the natural sweetness of sugar to these staple foods and wrapped them in a fried but delicate pastry tube, hence the birth of cannoli. Originally enjoyed by Sicilians only at Carnival time, word spread quickly of their goodness. The wonderful legacy of this Sicilian invention now enjoys worldwide popularity.

Both of these classic desserts are easy to make and always a hit at parties. Make some today, and start your new holiday tradition.

Chocolate-Dipped Cannoli

1 pkg cannoli shells
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cream

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar, cinnamon and chopped chocolate. Stir to combine and set aside. In a double-boiler, add chocolate chips and cream; melt over medium heat. Dip bottom of cannoli shells in the chocolate deep enough that the inside and outside of the bottom of the shell are covered in chocolate. Also, dip each end in the chocolate. Place the shells upside down on a plate, and let chocolate cool and harden. Using a pastry bag, pipe ricotta filling into shells from both ends. Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Serves 6

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

Alessi Tiramisu

5 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
4 Tbs sugar
1 lb mascarpone cheese
2 cups coffee
1/2 cup brandy or marsala
1 Tbs vanilla
14 oz Alessi Ladyfingers
3 Tbs cocoa powder

In the top part of a double-boiler, beat eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow in color. Place egg yolk mixture over water; gradually add marsala wine, beating continuously. Scrape bottoms and sides of pan occasionally, and cook for 6 to 10 minutes or until soft mounds can be formed. Transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Make the mascarpone filling by whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in mascarpone and prepared egg mixture; mix until well-blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a separate bowl, mix espresso, 2 tablespoons sugar, brandy and vanilla. Arrange 16 cookies on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Carefully spoon about 1 tablespoon of the coffee mixture over each cookie, so they are well-saturated but not falling apart. Spoon 1/3 of cheese mixture over cookies, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cocoa. Add another layer of cookies; repeat steps two more times, ending with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight, so the cookies soften as they absorb moisture.

Serves 8

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

Sahale Snacks Bring Flavor to Sweet Potatoes

Sahale Snacks Bring Flavor to Sweet PotatoesSometimes change is good, and putting a twist on Thanksgiving recipes can usher in a new tradition of flavor. For years, my family always had sweet potato casserole topped with melted marshmallows. Once you graduate from the kids’ table to the adult table, marshmallows may not be so cool.

My new favorite way to make sweet potatoes is to add a crumble to the top. I recently discovered Sahale Snacks, and they are one of my favorites for snacking and a quick boost of protein.

For Sahale Snacks, it all started with a climb up Mount Rainier in Washington State in August 2003. They had a beautiful trip but nothing delicious to eat. The trail mix and stale nuts helped replenish lost energy, but they did nothing to satisfy their desire for something great tasting, nutritious and as adventurous as their travels. That experience inspired them to create Sahale Snacks. They began experimenting with unique combinations of premium nuts, dried fruits and exotic spices, each reflecting a beautiful location, culture or culinary tradition somewhere in the world.

They use whole ingredients in their natural form, such as cashews, almonds, pecans, and pistachios, and combine them with naturally dried and preservative-free fruits. Then, they add fabulous ingredients like honey, lemongrass, balsamic vinegar or pure ground Madagascar vanilla beans. They are delicious snacks that go beyond ordinary.

They carefully select nuts from the best growers, and then they dry roast them to bring out the natural flavors. Some snack companies use sulfites to boost color or extend shelf life. They always use unsulfured fruit, which has been naturally preserved with sugar or a combination of sugar and fruit juice concentrate. Their secret glazing process uses tapioca syrup and cane sugar as a base; they then add fruit juices and spices.

Available in a variety of flavors, for the sweet potato recipe I used the Sahale Valdosta Pecans. It’s the perfect combination of black-peppered pecans, sweet cranberries and a pinch of orange zest. Just do a quick grind in the food processor and stir together with some melted butter. Use what you need, and save the rest for snacking. Be sure to try some of the other Sahale flavors. I know you will find a favorite.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan-Cranberry Crumble

4 medium sweet potatoes
2/3 cup milk
4 Tbs butter, room temperature
2 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 bags Sahale Valdosta Pecans
2 Tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375° F. Pierce sweet potatoes, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until soft. Let cool to room temperature. Peel skin from potatoes, and scoop flesh into a large microwave-safe bowl. Add milk, butter, honey and salt. Use a potato masher to completely combine. Spoon into a baking dish, and place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

For the topping, place Sahale Snacks in a food processor, and pulse for a few seconds to roughly chop. Stir in the melted butter. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, and scatter the chopped pecans over the top. Spray the top with nonstick cooking spray. Place under the broiler for 2 minutes or until top begins to brown. Watch closely to prevent burning.

Serves 6

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

BREW CLUB Brew of the Month: True Culture Oatmeal Coffee Porter

True Culture Oatmeal Coffee PorterA true Tyler, micro-beverage collaboration brew with Porch Culture Coffee Roasters, TRUE CULTURE is as dark as night. It has been brewed to highlight the rich and classic porter character and maintain a bold coffee influence from the fair-trade dark roast, cold-brew addition. It has a serious coffee aroma with vibrant notes of dark chocolate. Smooth yet punchy, this is the coffee porter for Texas.

Brewed with 2-row barley, chocolate, caramel malts and flaked oats. Northern brewer hops. Porch Culture Dominican Dark Roast coffee. Fermented with English ale yeast.

Recommended Food Pairings:
Pound cake, glazed donuts and tiramisu. Also, brisket and roasted meats.


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WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Pinot Noir

Pinot NoirThe Pinot Noir grape elicits quite a bit of emotion in the wine world. Its admiration is due to the grape being very difficult to grow, thus making a great bottle of Pinot Noir wine a challenging find.

Pinot Noir was born in the Burgundy region of France, so this is where it grows the best. In France, it is often referred to as a Red Burgundy instead of Pinot Noir. The wines from Burgundy have flavors of ripe red berries, sweet black cherries, mushrooms and what sommeliers call forest floor, that smell you get from freshly fallen damp leaves.

Today, many great and affordable Pinot Noir wines are being produced in California, Oregon, Australia, Chile and New Zealand. Pinots from these regions tend to be bigger and richer in flavor, tasting fruitier than the Pinots from France.

The modern history of Oregon wine dates back only to 1966, when David Lett founded the Eyrie Vineyards. Lett had the belief that Willamette Valley, just south of Portland, could be an American paradise for Pinot Noir. Today, there are some 250 Oregon wineries, almost all producing Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned wine grape that develops a natural defense against botrytis (mold) in the moist, cool Oregon climate: the antioxidant resveratrol. It is also the most widely used grape for champagne production.

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Stock Up on Full Circle Spices

Stock Up on Full Circle SpicesIt’s almost time for Thanksgiving, and that means stocking the pantry with necessary ingredients. I also like to use this time to clean out my spice cabinet. It’s time to check for outdated spices and get rid of anything that has lost its flavor.

Replenishing the cupboard with quality spices can sometimes be expensive. That’s why I look to Full Circle for organic spices. They believe in purity over preservatives and truly good taste.

Full Circle is Brookshire’s wellness and USDA-certified organic brand that provides a healthy, environmentally conscious eating and living experience for the entire family at an affordable price. From farm-fresh produce to responsibly caught fish, all-natural snacks to gluten-free frozen dinners, and environmentally safe detergents to 100% recyclable paper towels, Full Circle provides a wide variety of items the way Mother Nature intended. Hundreds of Full Circle choices are currently available throughout the store, making it easy to shop for organic and wellness products.

For my Thanksgiving pantry, a few spices are essential. I must have ground ginger and fresh cinnamon for baking, pies and sweet potato recipes. For the savory, a new bottle of bay leaves is needed for cooking the turkey, and making broth and the leftover turkey soup.

Full Circle – it’s a brand I can trust for affordability, quality and flavor.

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Stock

5 lbs leftover turkey bones (with some meat still attached), broken into large sections if necessary
1 lb yellow onions, halved or quartered depending on size (skins on)
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 4-inch lengths
1/2 lb celery stalks, cut into 4-inch lengths
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
8 sprigs parsley
3 bay leaves

In a 3-gallon stockpot, combine all ingredients, and fill with enough cold water to cover everything by 3 inches when submerged (about 6 quarts). If you don’t have a large stockpot, use two smaller pots.

Bring to a rapid simmer over high heat. Reduce heat until bubbles barely break the surface. Simmer until flavorful (about 2 hours), skimming stock with a ladle every 30 minutes. Keep the stock at a light simmer; do not boil. Any remaining fat can be easily removed once the stock is chilled. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard all vegetables, herbs and bones. Let stock cool completely before refrigerating. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

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