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Pumpkin Season is Underway

Cucina Antica Pumpkin SauceEverything is coming up pumpkins. Yes, that’s right – October is the month for everyone’s favorite fall gourd. They seem to be everywhere, and I can’t believe all of the pumpkin-flavored products located throughout the store.

The bakery is even jumping on the pumpkin wagon with FRESHmade pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin rolls and pumpkin bread. There will even be a pumpkin-flavored gelato.

Here are some other featured products that you will want to try before the pumpkin season has passed:

ThinkThin Pumpkin Spice Bars: Created by Lizanne Falsetto, ThinkThin encourages people to forget the scales, measuring tapes and guilt. Instead, it’s important to eat well, live well and feel great. That’s why every wholesome and delicious ThinkThin product is full of ingredients that give your body plenty of balanced nutrition and the energy to think positive.

G.H. Cretors Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn: Made without any artificial color or flavors, their priority is to make the best tasting popcorn you’ve ever tried. Each batch is handcrafted in old-fashioned copper kettles and made with brown rice syrup to add crisp sweetness while keeping glycemic levels low.

Bark Thins Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed: This delicious snacking chocolate is packed with delicious pumpkin seeds. Products are non-GMO, kosher and full of protein.

Barbara’s Pumpkin Puffins: A wonderful cereal that is lightly sweetened and wheat free. These crunchy pillows come in a variety of flavors that contain yummy corn, multigrain or honey-flavored rice.

Cucina Antica Pumpkin Sauce: This flavorful sauce is an artisanal blend of peak harvested pumpkin, flavorful San Marzano tomatoes, and an aromatic combination of garlic, rosemary and sage. It is simmered with a touch of cream and made perfect through small batch production. With a delicate hint of honey and cinnamon, the sauce has a well-balanced, earthy character robust enough to be tossed with cheese ravioli, and yet light enough to drizzle over a sautéed medley of fresh vegetables. Simmer with cream for a Cream of Pumpkin Soup. Cucina Antica pasta sauces have no preservatives, no added sugar, no added water, and are made with real tomatoes, not paste.

Doctor Kracker Pumpkin Seed Cheddar Crispbreads: Whole grain seeds and whole grains are packed with vitality, protein, fiber and essential fatty acids. They are nature’s nutritional powerhouse and form the basis of Dr. Kracker’s award-winning flavors. With Dr. Kracker you get the rich, toasty taste of organically grown whole grains and whole seeds as well as an abundance of plant-based protein, heart-healthy fiber and essential micronutrients. All this is in a hearty cracker that can be enjoyed alone or paired with almost anything.

Go Raw Pumpkin Seeds: If you loved pumpkin seeds as a kid around Halloween, you’ll be addicted to these sprouted Pumpkin Seeds. Crunchy, full of flavor and with a kiss of Celtic sea salt, these seeds are so versatile, you’ll find yourself putting them on everything!





FRESH and Festive: Valentine’s Day

Valentines DayValentine’s Day can be celebrated in an abundant number of ways. Your way of doing that may be going out to a fancy dinner, staying home and listening to music, or going out to the movies. Whatever the expression may be isn’t the important thing. The important thing is to express it in whatever form that may be. Whether it is said with champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries, a handwritten note, a flashy arrangement of exotic tropical blooms or a simple bouquet of hand-picked flowers, it isn’t the actual gift that’s important; it’s the heart that the giving comes from and communicating the thought, “You are important to me and I am glad you are a part of my life.”

To me, in many ways, food means love. Feeding someone is very nurturing, and cooking for someone is one of the ways we can show that person that we love them, every single day. So, a romantic meal, whether you cook it yourself, make a reservation to a restaurant or call in an order to pick up, is one of the most personal things you can do for your sweetheart.

FRESH will be offering a special FRESH for 2 meal. Grab your meal consisting of thyme-scented, grilled filet mignon with bacon chive butter, herb-grilled Gulf shrimp, roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, garden salad and brioche rolls, all for $34.99. Order your meal ahead of time to ensure your Valentine’s dinner will be wonderful. You can order this meal through our Catering Department until February 12. You can contact them at 903-747-3512. Extra meals will be available in our Grab and Go cooler but in limited quantities so order now!

Surprise your honey this Valentine’s Day by making your way to the FRESH tent located on the West entrance parking lot on the 13th and 14th to get your better half the perfect present. Romantic floral arrangements created by Flowers by FRESH Floral Manager Shellie Jacob will be available, along with chocolate-covered strawberries and other festive treats.

Remember that the day of love’s true message is to give you the chance to tell that special someone how much you mean to them. Whether the message is through an overabundance of chocolates, flowers, presents or just a single rose, make Valentine’s Day an unforgettable one for the one you love.

 





FRESHIE Fave: Pumpkin

FRESHieFaveWith the vast display of pumpkins and the comforting aroma of a Thanksgiving dinner, FRESH is officially in the holiday spirit! The overwhelming color of orange illustrates the importance of pumpkins during this time of the year. Pumpkins are displayed as home decorations, and more importantly, they are widely used for many goodies and meals.

Besides being a flavorful vegetable (Did you know that it is actually considered a type of squash?), pumpkins are very nutritious. They contain a fair amount of antioxidants, and many know that antioxidants help strengthen your immune system. In addition, pumpkins contain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, calcium and iron. It is also said that pumpkin seeds can prevent kidney stones.

Pumpkins can be utilized in a variety of food items such as smoothies, breads, dinner sides and more. Many roast pumpkin seeds and eat them as a snack. Pumpkins, however, are most widely featured in the tradition of Thanksgiving as a dessert and are mainly consumed in pies.

With that being said, I have provided a recipe outside of your typical pie and bread ingredients. In case you weren’t aware, FRESH by Brookshire’s website offers you a vast collection of kitchen-friendly recipes, ranging from appetizers to desserts. It’s very convenient in that a search bar is even available to locate specific recipes.

Pumpkin Custard is a great dessert substitute for those watching their calorie consumption. If you can’t bear the thought of not having delicious pumpkin pie after your turkey dinner, then this pudding-like dessert is a great means to have your cake and eat it, too. Don’t let the constriction of healthy eating exclude you from this Thanksgiving tradition!

Pumpkin Custard

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
2 cups half and half
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves or allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter eight 8-ounce ramekins; set cups or ramekins in a roasting pan. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips; beat until smooth and well-blended. Spoon evenly into prepared cups or ramekins, filling 3/4 full. Place in oven and pour very hot water into the roasting pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until custard is set in the center. Put in refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.

Add melted chocolate to a zip-top bag and cut the corner of the bag. Drizzle melted chocolate on parchment paper in different designs. Allow chocolate to harden. Garnish custards with chocolate designs.





FRESH AND FESTIVE: October Events

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but can you believe we are only a few months away until the launch of a new year? With all that goes on in the busy lives of working citizens, days and nights run together, and ‘fun’ and ‘excitement’ are words that end up missing in one’s vocabulary. Every once in a while it’s nice to stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy a simple day. Having fun shouldn’t be a non-existing occurrence in your lifestyle, so I took the pleasure of listing out all of the enjoyable events that are up and coming at FRESH in October that will be sure to revive your routine.

FUN EVENTS IN OCTOBER

Oktoberfest: October 1st through 5th

Come have fun at this German Celebration without having the expense of traveling across the world! You will be able to learn and taste the history of Oktoberfest which will include 801 Grill food and drink specials. This is an all-week event, but you do NOT want to miss out on dancing the night away with Austin’s Polka band, the Flying Balalaika Brothers.  If you get the chance, check them out on YouTube; you will not be disappointed!

FRESH Bridal Show: October 13th

If you’re a bride-to-be, you do not want to miss this! Local vendors will be at your beckon and call to answer any questions or concerns you have for your big day. Two fashion shows will be hosted by Brides and Belles and Weddings A-Z that will show off the latest trends. Delight in the wonders of our Fresh Floral and Catering Department and take advantage of giveaway opportunities. Mark your calendars now!

Pie Palooza: October 23rd through 30th

Who loves pie? EVERYBODY loves pie! This Pie Palooza will be all things pie-related, giving you a plethora of pies to sample and buy. Pies ranging from apple pies to Frito pies and even pizza pies will be available all throughout the store. It gets better- for every pie you purchase in our Bakery department, you receive a free pint of Goldenbrook Ice Cream. For those with kiddos, don’t miss out on our movie night, which will be held on Friday, October 25th, starting at 7:30 P.M. We will be showing Ratatouille on a 25-foot screen, so come enjoy the show and eat some delicious popcorn.

I am excited for a full month of fun Fall events, and I hope to see each and every one of you there!





Freshie Fave: We have the recipe for romance!

The countdown has begun! Valentine’s Day is this week; Thursday to be specific. FRESH has the recipe for romance; no worries about reservations or taking out a short-term loan to woo your sweetheart!

1 bunch of FRESH Flowers – Nothing says, “I love you, Lots” like a bountiful bouquet of blossoms. We will have flowers of all shapes and sizes.

1 FRESH for Two – Order your restaurant quality surf and turf meal. Grab and Go area; limited quantities. To reserve your meal for pick up on February 13 or 14, please call 903-747-3512.

1 bottle of Wine – No matter if you are a wine newbie or seasoned connoisseur; our experts can help you find the perfect pairing.

Mix all together and enjoy!

 





Freshie Fave: How Sweet It Is!

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Is that panic I see on your face? You have no plans? No problem. We have it covered.

Your sweetie will fall in love with floral fashions from our top designers. This year, say “I love you” with a beautiful bouquet of blossoms uniquely created for your special someone.  Choose from our carefully crafted pre-made arrangements or custom-order fabulous florals that will make their heart beat faster.

Everything in our bakery is made with love. From delicate croissants to decadent cakes and perfect pastries, our bakers infuse everything from the buttercream to the baguettes with a healthy dose of amore. Pick up colorful cupcakes for your little Cupid’s class party or select something sweet for a romantic dinner for two.

Dinner, candles, wine…?  The secret ingredient for a romantic evening could also be a bottle of Brut, a swirl of Shiraz or a glass of Grenache. No matter what tickles your taste buds or tantalizes your palate, the wine professionals at FRESH will help you select a vintage you may just fall in love with.

Would you love to have your own personal chef? At FRESH by Brookshire’s, you get the next best thing: chef-prepared meals made in portions sure to please.

Would you like to enjoy a romantic dinner and avoid the crowds and high prices? Then make a selection from our special Valentine’s Day FRESH for 2 menu for a restaurant-worthy meal. For $34.99, you get thyme scented, grilled filet mignon with bacon chive butter;  herb-grilled Gulf shrimp; creamy potatoes au gratin; grilled asparagus; fresh garden salad; and our house-baked brioche rolls. These will be available in our Grab and Go area in limited quantities, but we suggest you call 903-747-3512 to reserve your meal for pick up on February 13 or 14.





FRESH and Festive: FRESH Market and Seafood

At FRESH, we know there isn’t one type of meat or seafood that’s best for everybody, or every occasion. So we take pride in offering a wide selection of the finest types available, so you can always find what’s right for you and your family – whether you prefer beef cuts that are steakhouse-tender or seafood fresh from the water.

Here is a snapshot of our FRESH Market and Seafood offerings:

MARKET

Natural Prime Beef
With  all of the qualities and health benefits as Fresh Natural beef, it has been awarded the USDA Prime grade due to its outstanding marbling and eating qualities. This is our top of the line product.

Certified Angus Beef
Considered better than USDA Select, Choice or Prime due to the ten additional selection criteria. The top selling Angus brand commands 80 percent of the Angus sales in the U.S.

Fresh Natural Beef
This Never Ever beef has never been given growth hormones, antibiotics, or fed animal proteins. Also, no pesticides or fertilizers are used in raising this beef.

Fresh Natural Pork
This pork is scientifically selected by Ph balance. By passing this selection process it is processed naturally and shipped with no added chemicals and no water weight. It has also been raised naturally with no hormones, pesticides or antibiotics.

Ground Meat Products
We grind all of our beef and pork products in house. We have our own line of gourmet meatballs and beef patties. We also grind turkey daily and produce turkey link sausages in-house.

Other House Recipes
We produce our own products like chicken and beef fajitas, meatloaf, stuffed pork chops and chicken breasts. All of our products, in the full service glass case, are made in house.

Sausages
Our over 50 recipes of sausage are made fresh in-house. We use no nitrates or nitrites. We use no MSG and no meat by products. Our sausage is exclusive to FRESH, meaning you will not find this in any other retail store in East Texas. It is fresh made from fresh products with no chemicals and no preservatives. 

SEAFOOD

Most of our Seafood comes in fresh, typically two days out of the water when we get it. Most other retailers buy and sell only frozen fish.

We carry the largest variety of seafood in East Texas and the only fresh Gulf shrimp in East Texas, when available. To ensure freshness, some of our fish is shipped whole four times weekly and cut in our market.

For traceability, quality and their ability to provide fresh wholesome product time after time, we’ve selected our seafood vendors very carefully. Our farm raised ocean fish are raised in large pens built in the ocean in clear water with natural currents. It is the latest state-of-the-art  aquaculture.

Our ready to cook seafood entrées are prepared fresh from chefs’ recipes and made daily. All FRESH Seafood is all natural. No chemicals added.





FRESH and Festive: FRESH Market and Seafood

At FRESH, we know there isn’t one type of meat or seafood that’s best for everybody, or every occasion. So we take pride in offering a wide selection of the finest types available, so you can always find what’s right for you and your family – whether you prefer beef cuts that are steakhouse-tender or seafood fresh from the water.

Here is a snapshot of our FRESH Market and Seafood offerings:

MARKET

Natural Prime Beef
With  all of the qualities and health benefits as Fresh Natural beef, it has been awarded the USDA Prime grade due to its outstanding marbling and eating qualities. This is our top of the line product.

Certified Angus Beef
Considered better than USDA Select, Choice or Prime due to the 10 additional selection criteria. The top selling Angus brand commands 80 percent of the Angus sales in the U.S.

Fresh Natural Beef
This never-ever beef has never been given growth hormones, antibiotics, or fed animal proteins. Also, no pesticides or fertilizers are used in raising this beef.

Fresh Natural Pork
This pork is scientifically selected by Ph balance. By passing this selection process it is processed naturally and shipped with no added chemicals and no water weight. It has also been raised naturally with no hormones, no pesticides, and no antibiotics.

Ground Meat Products
We grind all of our beef and pork products in-house. We have our own line of gourmet meatballs and beef patties. We also grind turkey daily and produce turkey link sausages in-house.

Other House Recipes
We produce our own products like chicken and beef fajitas, meatloaf, stuffed pork chops and chicken breasts. All of our products, in the full service glass case, are made in-house.

Sausages
Our over 50 recipes of sausage are made fresh in-house. We use no nitrates or nitrites. We use no MSG and no meat by-products. Our sausage is exclusive to FRESH, meaning you will not find this in any other retail store in East Texas. It is fresh made from fresh products with no chemicals and no preservatives. 

SEAFOOD
Most of our seafood comes in fresh, typically two days out of the water when we get it. Most other retailers buy and sell only frozen fish.

We carry the largest variety of seafood in East Texas and the only fresh Gulf shrimp in East Texas, when available. To ensure freshness, some of our fish is shipped whole four times weekly and cut in our market.

For traceability, quality and their ability to provide fresh wholesome product time after time, we’ve selected our seafood vendors very carefully. Our farm raised ocean fish are raised in large pens built in the ocean in clear water with natural currents. It is the latest state of the art aquaculture.

Our ready to cook seafood entrées are prepared fresh from chefs’ recipes and made daily. All FRESH Seafood is all natural. No chemicals added.





FRESH and Festive: Stollen

A German Christmas tradition, this sweet yeast bread is packed with raisins, currants, citrus and tart cherries. Usually eaten during the Christmas season, this scrumptious treat may also contain almonds and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon.  Stollen was designed to symbolize the infant Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and is very similar to Italian pannetone.

The original Stollen of the 1400s was not the delicious masterpiece that you will now find.   Because it was traditionally baked during the Christian Advent season, a season of fasting, it only contained flour, yeast, water and oil.  Butter and spices were banned from the bakery due to church restrictions.  Luckily, in the 1650s, a hero by the name of Prince Ernst von Sachsen successfully petitioned Pope Urban VIII to lift the restrictions on the use of butter during Advent. The restrictions were lifted only in Dresden, at the request of the bakers, and thus began a baking tradition that continues to this day.

Rum, fruit, citrus, nuts, spices and butter all mingle together to create a flavorful Christmas bread that has been lovingly prepared for centuries. It may be topped with powdered sugar icing, marzipan, or cinnamon and sugar coating.

Come and try FRESH Stollen this season.





FRESH AND FESTIVE: Poinsettias

If you are like most of us Americans, it isn’t Christmas without a few beautiful poinsettias in your home.  Although I have always known that poinsettias are native to Mexico, I never really knew the real history behind the flower, how it became associated with Christmas, and how it made its way to the United States.  So, I did some research and wanted to share what I found.

A legend tells of a young girl in 16th century Mexico who was too poor to provide a gift for the Christmas celebration.  This child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds and place them in front of her church altar.  And so the story goes, beautiful red “flowers” sprouted from these weeds and grew into what we know as the poinsettia.  The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem and the red color represents the blood of Jesus, sacrificed for our sins.

Poinsettias were brought to the United States in 1825 by Joel Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico.  They are now commercially grown in all 50 states and there are over 100 varieties available.  California is the top producing state but we get our poinsettias at FRESH from right here in the state of Texas.

We are offering a variety of beautiful Texas grown poinsettias from now until Christmas in our Floral Department.  This week, our 14-inch poinsettias are all on sale for just $30.  You save $5!

Have a great Christmas!





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