Comfort Foods and Indulgences

ImageLet start by saying that the flavor in this breakfast bake is absolutely fantastic. We couldn't stop eating it. My husband came out of his cave (office) four times while I was making this. The aromas were just so hearty and comfort-food-smelling, he couldn't stay away.

Between the knock your socks off flavor, the crisp bottom and the chewy moist bread? Oh my goodness, this is a breakfast I want to wake up to. The truth is, it's great for dinner too. It's one of those meals that you take the first bite and throw your head back as you are experiencing the incredible flavors.

If you ever have a houseful of guests coming over, I recommend making this...however, with food this good, they may not go home!!

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pizza-dough.jpgThere are some things in life that are so commonplace, you just assume that no matter where you live, they'll be there. Like supermarkets, gas stations, McDonald's, and pizza dough.

Every weekend of my life in Rhode Island, I went to Crugnale's Bakery to pick up 3 lbs. of pizza dough for $1. Like eggs and milk, it was a staple in our house.

Rhode Island – the state with the highest percentage of Italian-Americans – has an extraordinarily high number of bakeries, all of which sell pizza dough.

Imagine my shock when we moved to North Carolina and discovered that not only were there no Italian bakeries to be found, but people didn't even know what I meant when I asked for pizza dough.

I searched markets, delis, and bakeries:

Me: "Excuse me, do you sell pizza dough?"

Guy: "We don't sell pizza, Ma'm."

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biscuitsgravyBiscuits and gravy is a popular breakfast dish in the South. It consists of buttermilk biscuits covered in thick "country" or "white" gravy made from the drippings of cooked pork sausage, white flour, milk, and often bits of real sausage, bacon, ground beef, or other meat.

It’s usually served with a couple of eggs on the side. The gravy is usually flavored with black pepper, fennel and sage. In some parts of the southern United States this is also called sawmill gravy.

You can try any kind of ground sausage; Whole Foods offers a great variety. Turkey sausage works very well with this recipe.

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beerburgerWowzer. That's all I can say. Dad is going to love this one! But then again, why wait until Father's Day, have it tonight.

Food Network Magazine had a section on burgers this past month and there were a few I had to try...this was one of them.

The sauce was made with beer, sharp cheddar and horseradish. It is a nice addition to a meaty burger, and the cheese sauce adds some nice complexity.

It has your name on it, you must try it. You could easily make them into sliders as well.

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tart.rockyroadChocolate, almonds, and marshmallows are one of my all time favorite combinations.  Thus, I love, love, love a “rocky road” anything. My kids also love this combo. As well as anything with caramel, blueberry muffins, a fruit tart, any kind of cookie and  s’more.  S’mores = Summer. They could care less if it is made over a camp fire or on the stove.  It is the all time favorite summer dessert and I am embarrassed to say that they eat way more than I care to admit.

A couple of years ago I came up with way to combine the two.  Sometimes, I add a bit of chocolate chunks right into the ganache.  I have been known to make some homemade marshmallows and last year I made a marshmallow meringue top – torched it and made a group of 12 year old boys very, very happy.

Last month, I had made some homemade graham crackers.  A few of them got a bit over done so I stuck them in the freezer (I think you all know by now, I hate wasting anything). Instead of using store bought, I made my crust using the “not so perfect” graham crackers and no one knew the difference.

A rocky road tart gives us the perfect combo of a s’more and a rocky road candy bar. One cannot really go wrong with graham crackers, creamy chocolate ganache wtth a bit of marcona almonds and marshmallows on top!

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