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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.

6236-A-TX-Network-Change-Clarification-Letter-(1)





FRESH 15 Announces Scholarship Program for High School Runners

Brookshire Grocery Company is proud to announce a scholarship program through the FRESH 15k for graduating high school runners. The FRESH 15k scholarship program is designed to award local athletes for their dedication to the sport of running, teamwork, athletic achievements and outstanding academics.

Coaches are encouraged to nominate runners by downloading and filling out the application form, which can be found online, then submitting it via email or mail. The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2016.

Selected athletes will receive $1,000 toward their continued hard work as a student at a junior college or four year institution. They will also receive a free entry to the 2016 FRESH 15k and the privilege of lining up with elite athletes at the race start.

The application, as well as further instructions, can be found here. Please email questions to FRESHscholarship@brookshires.com.





Keeping Cool at the FRESH Grill & Patio

FRESH Grill + PatioSeptember is always a great month for East Texas weather. The summer heat is fading, evenings are cooler and it’s the perfect time to take advantage of outdoor dining.

That means a visit to the FRESH Grill & Patio is a fun and casual way to enjoy lunch, dinner or relaxing time with friends. The area was recently renovated to better serve our guests, and new items have been added to the food and drink menus.

Open daily, the FRESH Grill menu features an assortment of appetizers, salads and casual entrees like burgers, tacos and hot dogs. You can also purchase food from inside the store to enjoy on the patio.

The FRESH Grill is also a great stop for happy hour. From 4pm to 7pm on Monday through Thursday, enjoy $1 off beer, wine and mixed drinks, and 1/2 price appetizers every Thursday. Order a cool cocktail like the Lemon Sunset, Patio Mojito, Vino-Rita or Sriracha-Lada, and enjoy live music on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s the perfect atmosphere for a casual evening with friends or family.

Hours: Daily 11am-9pm





Find the FRESH Finds throughout the Store

FRESH FindsAs you walk through the aisles at FRESH, you might have noticed some items marked with a FRESH Finds tag. What does it mean? Why is this product a FRESH Find?

The FRESH Finds program was created to point out unique and exclusive products that we offer. You will see the tags in every department, and they can help you navigate the aisles and notice items you might have overlooked. After all, there is a lot to look at when you shop in the store.

The program is ongoing, and the items will change every month in order to share a wide variety of products with guests.

Products are chosen by FRESH partners – managers and leaders – who want to share their knowledge with shoppers and highlight products that are useful and delicious for that particular month.

Be sure to notice the FRESH Finds tags while you are shopping, and try some new products that you might enjoy. Who knows, you might find some new favorites!

Here are a few of the FRESH Finds for August. I noticed some new things on the list that I can’t wait to try and, of course, some favorites that always find their way into my basket.

Delice de Bourgogne – A classic, French triple crème brie with a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich flavor. Originating from the Burgundy region of France, it is made by blending full-fat cow’s milk with crème fraîche. A must for any cheese platter.

Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa – This famous salsa dates back to 1940. George Renfro and his wife, Arthurine, co-founded George Renfro Food Company in the garage of their Fort Worth home. The rest was Renfro history, and today there is a full line of Renfro salsas, sauces, seasonings and peppers.

Stanley’s Famous BBQ Sauce – This sauce is a staple in my refrigerator. It’s as important as ketchup or mustard, and I can’t grill burgers without it. Stanley’s has been family-owned and operated in Tyler since 1958, and it was started by J.D. Stanley who ran the operation until 2000. Now owned by Nick and Jennifer Pencis, they have been proud to carry on its legacy and garner national attention for their restaurant, food and products. Now, you can take home Stanley’s BBQ Sauce to share with your family!

GURU Natural Energy Drink – Energy should not come at the expense of health. That’s why GURU is crafted with natural and organic ingredients. GURU’s authentic preparation of infused and brewed botanicals results in a 100-milligram dose of naturally-occurring caffeine in every can, making it strong and effective.

Natura Malbec – A favorite wine from Argentina, Natura Malbec is deep ruby-red in color with intense aromas of black plum and blackberries, elegantly combined with mild notes of white pepper. Medium-bodied on the palate with silky, ripe tannins and a long, broad finish. An elegant wine that is easy to drink.





FRESH Ideas Turns 200

Christine Gardner filming FRESH Ideas at the FRESH Taste KitchenOn Tuesday, October 4, 2011, the very first FRESH Ideas aired on CBS19 News at 5:00. Has it really been that long? That means that every week, for more than 200 weeks, I have created a new recipe to share with viewers. Wow! That’s a whole lot of recipes and countless hours of cooking.

You might have also seen the segment during its reairing on Wednesdays during CBS19 News This Morning between 5:30am and 7pm. There are also the videos and recipes that can be found on cbs19.tv and on our YouTube page.

The final result is what everyone gets to see on the air, but you wouldn’t believe all the work that goes on behind the scenes.
It takes a lot of planning, preparation and time to film each recipe. I work with the FRESH marketing team to decide what foods we should feature. We look at what’s in season, new products and popular food trends.

Also, certain times of the year call for particular recipes. September is back to school and settling into fall routines, so we try to feature simple, quick and healthy entrées. In summer, it’s all about grilling and fresh produce, while the holidays need to feature new ideas for entertaining.

Then, we need to consider the theme of the segment – FRESH Ideas. It’s important to challenge ourselves to put a fresh twist on each recipe, and to offer tips and ideas that are helpful, new and delicious.

Once we come up with a list of what to feature, then it’s up to me to create the recipes. That’s the fun and creative part. I often look to the store shelves for inspiration and try to think outside the box. For example, roasted chicken is a common dish, but what if it’s rubbed with pesto and butter as a seasoning. How different will that be than typical roasted chicken? The results were moist and delicious, and that recipe made it on the list.

We then schedule a shoot date with the CBS19 crew, and I begin gathering all of the ingredients for the recipes we will be taping. We tape 3 to 5 recipes at a time, depending on the amount of time each recipe will take to film.

On the day before the shoot, I am busy chopping and portioning all of the ingredients. If the recipe is for something that needs to be baked for longer than 20 minutes, then I will make a duplicate that can be shown as the final dish at the end of the segment.

This swap-out, as it is called in food television terms, saves us a lot of time on the set and allows me to demonstrate key parts of the preparation then show the final result. Of course, many things like sautéing shrimp or vegetables can be done quickly and will be cooked while taping, and the longer parts of the cooking time are condensed when the segment is edited.

When it comes to scripting the segment, the recipe and cooking technique are my guide. I will talk about the recipe, ingredients and directions as though I am showing someone how to do it in my own kitchen. There’s no teleprompter or cue cards. I’ve gotten used to remembering the important tips that need to be shared and talking through parts of the recipe as they happen during filming.

That’s where flexibility comes into play. Food is an unpredictable costar – just like what they say about filming with children or pets – you never know what’s going to happen. The pan may be too hot or not hot enough, things spill, other things take too long to pour, ingredients are too cold, blenders won’t turn on, meat sticks to the pan or, inevitably, something burns. Filming has all the same variables we deal with in our own kitchen, but at home, no one is watching. Cooking takes a sense of humor, especially when you do it on television.

Currently, we are counting down to number 200 on Tuesday, August 11. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been featuring some favorite FRESH Ideas recipes, and I have something special planned for 200. Be sure to watch and check the websites to see some of the favorites.

I remember when we filmed number 100 and what a milestone that felt like. I never imagined making it to 200. So, what’s next? The possibilities are as endless as the ingredients that are available. Trying new things and creating new flavors is fun, and the best part is sharing it with others.

One thing is for sure – we will continue to keep it FRESH!





Break Open the Bubbly for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day ChampagneHave you started your Valentine’s Day checklist: flowers, chocolates, romantic card, dinner plans and champagne?

Wait, did you notice the large selection of bubbly on the wine aisle? It’s not just Champagne on the shelf but also Prosecco, Cava, Asti and many other varieties of sparkling wine.

The terms “sparkling wine” and “champagne” are often used interchangeably, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Champagne must actually come from the Champagne region of France, and sparkling wine from other regions or countries cannot be called Champagne.

Champagne is made from three grape varieties that are indigenous to the region – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The method used for making Champagne must be adhered to in order for a wine to be officially labeled as Champagne. It is the “Méthode Champenoise.” What is important to know is that the bubbles in Champagne occur naturally from the wine continuing to ferment in the bottle, not from a carbonation method or from adding CO2.
Of course, the most notable champagnes are Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot. However, when shopping for other varieties of bubbly, here are some of the terms worth noting.

Prosecco: A sparkling white wine that is made from Glera or Prosecco grapes grown primarily in the eastern part of Italy’s Veneto region. Its flavor is crisp and appley, and it ranges from sweet to dry.

Cava: Called Cava because it was traditionally stored in caves in Spain, this sparkling wine is modeled after Champagne in France and the same method of production is followed. It comes from a few official areas in Spain, specifically the Penedès region near Barcelona. Penedès is home to some of the major Cava brands, such as Freixenet, Segura Viudas and Cristalino. Most of these Cavas are made from 2 or 3 native Spanish grapes. Because of the production method, Cava is probably the most Champagne-like sparkling wine outside of France and is usually a good value for the price.

Asti: This sparkling wine is made in the southeastern part of the Piedmont region of Italy near the town of Asti. This area produces Italy’s most famous sparkling wine: Asti Spumante, a semisweet sparkling wine, and another variety called Moscato d’Asti that is sweeter in flavor.

Blanc de Blancs: Sparkling wine made from white grapes, typically Chardonnay.

Blanc de Noirs: Sparkling wine made from red grapes, typically Pinot Noir.

Other Sparkling Wine: You may assume that sparkling wines are only available in white, but they can be rosé or even red. Look for varieties made from many different grapes such as Riesling, Cabernet, Shiraz or Malbec.

Brut: This term refers to the wine’s sugar content. Brut means the wine contains less than 15 grams of sugar per liter. Other common terms include extra brut, which is slightly drier than brut; brut zéro, which is the driest; extra dry, which is between sweet and dry; and sec or demi-sec, which is sweet and semisweet.





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.





A FRESH Point of View: PLAYhouses

Have you noticed a recent addition to the green space in our north parking lot? If you haven’t walked over to check them out, you must take a look at the four PLAYhouses that are temporarily housed here at FRESH.  These architectural wonders are not only fun to look at, but are helping raise money for one of our favorite local charities, Habitat for Humanity.

Fitzpatrick Architects, the local firm that designed FRESH, has teamed up with Tyler high school students to lend hands-on design and construction experience.  More than 20 Robert E. Lee High School students, involved in the architecture and construction programs, designed and built the playhouses that will be auctioned off to raise money for Habitat for Humanity of Smith County.

Fitzpatrick has a long history of engaging with local organizations to get involved in mentoring and education in Tyler.  As luck would have it, Deanna Harrison, director of development for Habitat for Humanity, approached them with the idea of building playhouses to auction off and the two missions converged into PLAYhouse.

A true model for mentoring, this project has allowed the participating students to get a true to life experience.  These students, should they choose to move forward and pursue a career in architecture, have a great advantage.  They have experienced a very similar environment to their first college class.  They have seen an architect’s office, and know how the joys and frustrations of seeing a project through from start to finish.  And now, they have something to add to their entrance portfolio.

The project also took life in the construction department. Local contractors sponsored each of the PLAYhouses (RPR construction, WRL construction, Garrett Construction, and HGR construction).  The contractors have worked tirelessly with the students, donated materials, and mentored them in the building process.

Take a look at the story on Facebook:  PLAYhouse

The silent auction for the four PLAYhouses began on November 9th.  You are able to bid and see renderings of the PLAYhouses at this website: 32auctions.com/PLAYhouse

I encourage everyone to come out to FRESH and take a look at these impressive structures and then go online and bid!  One of these could make the perfect Christmas gift!





A FRESH Point of View: Choosing the Right Cutting Board

Cutting boards are one of the most important tools in the kitchen.  However, with the numerous options available today, shopping for one can be a challenge.  Knowing the basics of the materials, shapes, and care requirements can help make the purchase easier.  Below are some details that I hope will help you pick out the perfect cutting board for your kitchen.

There are three general materials categories – glass, plastic and wood.

Glass boards are attractive to leave on display as they are patterned to suit almost any decor. They are very durable, resistant to heat, and are the most sanitary and easy to clean. However, glass boards are the hardest on knife edges.

Plastic boards are generally considered the safest as they are the easiest to clean and sanitize.  Plastic is dishwasher safe, providing a huge convenience factor.  However, plastic shows knife marks more easily and there is a greater likelihood of the board harboring bacteria in deep cuts.

Wooden boards are easier on knives but are generally harder to clean and are not dishwasher friendly. They can suffer cuts and cracks which can also harbor bacteria.  Wooden boards were traditionally made of maple hardwoods. Today, however, other woods and patterns are used, and bamboo, which is actually a grass, has become very popular due to its hardness and resistance to bacteria.

At FRESH, we offer three main lines of cutting boards:

Epicurean®

Their cutting surfaces are made from organic fibers which are layered together and pressed with a food-safe resin to form a durable sheet.  They are durable, dishwater safe, and made in the USA. Epicurean® gourmet cutting boards have a slightly thicker profile and heavier weight. They feature a juice groove on one side to keep things tidy and a flat food prep surface on the other.  Their non-slip cutting boards are perfect for smooth, damp food preparation areas. Non-slip silicone corners elevate these boards off of the countertop and hold them in place to prevent them from sliding around.  Lightweight Epicurean® kitchen cutting boards are designed for everyday use and effortless handling. Their thin profile and built-in utility hole make them easy to store in a rack or display on the wall.

Bambu

This company designs and creates home and lifestyle products made from renewable resources. Renewable materials are defined as substances derived from trees, plants or ecosystems which have the ability to regenerate themselves.

Bamboo is a highly renewable material. It is one of the earth’s fastest growing plants. Bamboo needs no replanting, grows without fertilizers or pesticides and is harvested from controlled stands with an astounding growth cycle of three to five years.

Totally Bamboo

Tom Sullivan & Joanne Chen of Totally Bamboo developed the world’s first bamboo cutting board after noting that this material was significantly harder and more durable than maple.

Regardless of the type of material, cutting boards should be washed in hot soapy water immediately after use, and occasionally sanitized by adding chlorine to the water.  Avoid slicing foods with the same board and knife that was used earlier for raw food preparation. Change boards and knives to prevent contaminating other foods.  Finally, always cut raw meats, fish and poultry on a board that is very easy to sanitize.





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