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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ImageWho doesn't love crispy fried shrimp?  It's such a quick and easy meal to throw together.  I always keep a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer, which makes serving this that much simpler. 

We are definitely shrimp lovers in our household, I know I've said that before.  What I like about using cornmeal is the coating doesn't become too thick and you can actually taste the shrimp and the seasoning as opposed to a mouthful of breading.  My kids really appreciate this.

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minty-chocolate-avocado-shakeWell folks I hate to admit it, but this is the only type of "green" shake I can get behind. And look, it's not even green, even though it sounds like it should be. 

But really, for those of you who have not experienced the rich and creamy avocado as a substitute for ice cream, it's a must. My family was clueless I had used it in their dessert. They were happily sipping away on their luxuriously thick chocolate shake when I dropped the A-bomb on them. My youngest said, "We're drinking guacamole?" Ummm....no, you're not.

This shake is almost dairy free if that is important for you, but you would have to use non-dairy chocolate chips for it to truly fit that bill. And let's not forget the health benefits of the avocado; lots of potassium, fiber, vitamins C & K, B6 and folate. One whole avocado boasts lots of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, more than a 1/3 of your daily vitamin C needs and more than half of your daily requirement of vitamin K. What more could you ask for in a chocolate shake?

I wanted to satisfy my urge for a Shamrock Shake this month so out came the mint chocolate chips. They were the perfect addition and left behind these cute green specks in the shake after blending with my trusty Blendtec blender.

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saffronpeapasta.jpgMy mom says I have expensive taste. You wouldn’t know it by the stores I go to, such as Marshall’s and Loehmann's. Yet, when it comes to eating, I like high quality foods and am more than willing to splurge.

That’s why I didn’t hesitate to buy saffron. Well, that’s not really true. I did hesitate. Not because of the price; because I have an uneasy relationship with saffron. It’s sort of like kissing someone, and the "wow" factor just isn’t there. You know, he’s a nice guy, but there aren’t any fireworks. So, you give him another try, and it’s great. Then the next time it's only so-so. You know what I mean? That’s been my experience with saffron. (Not with guys; Jeff has always been a great kisser).

I’m unequivocal when it comes to food – when I don't like something, I don't usually try it again. Which is why I’m surprised about my willingness to give saffron another chance. When I first tasted it in a great Indian restaurant, I found its floral overtones unpalatable. I thought I would be put off saffron forever after that. However, another delicious Indian restaurant redeemed saffron for me by serving it in a lovely rice and pea dish. Since then, I've had it in Spanish and Middle Eastern dishes and have begun cooking with it (to mixed results). Yet, the recipe I share today is a keeper. And coming from me, that is high praise.

 

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buttermilkbiscuitEveryone is always moving on to the next big thing. What is up with you people? That cupcake fad sure took off. I knew why, and I was on it so fast. I’m still on it in case anyone asks. Like someone will. In the same way that I always came home from a trip to London, Paris or even New York sporting a new fashion trend, I was carting back boxes of Magnolia cupcakes from the bakery’s West Village location as gifts for friends. Turning them all on to my addiction.

I’m not fickle. In fact I’m the opposite, loyal through and through. All y’all have moved on to pies or those fancy small French macaroons. I’m sticking by the cupcake. Oh, yes I am.

So, how come it took you so long to get into the biscuit craze? Can I toot my own horn here and tell you how long I’ve been a fan of the biscuit? Jumping in to answer before you say no. A long-ass time. My whole life, in fact. My southern grandmother, we called her Granny, made them for me. Pretty sure she dunked them in some bacon fat before they went into the oven. Those buttery, flakey biscuits came out perfect. Served piping hot, butter melting everywhere, dripping onto the plate for my first unforgettable bite. There is nothing quite like it. Until now.

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