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Find Your Southern Comfort

With the first break from the heat with cooler weather, people start flocking to their grocers with their lists for their menu’s of their favorite comfort foods.

The term Comfort Food was actually added to the Webster’s Dictionary in 1972.
The term is defined as food that brings some form or measure of comfort, a sense of well being. WARNING: Comfort foods usually mean calories and carbs—lot’s of them.

Here in the South, comfort foods consist of Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Grits, Biscuits, Gravy, Corn Bread, Fried Chicken, Baked Chicken, Smothered Pork Chops, Casseroles, Soups, Black Eyed Peas, Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes and Okra. Southern cooks, traditionally, serve good ol’ Sweet Tea and some type of delicious dessert such as a fruit cobbler or a handed down recipe for Chocolate Cake.

An actual study was done on preferences of comfort foods between men and women. Men preferred hearty foods as mentioned above and women preferred the snack related foods such as chocolate and ice cream.

Hearty breakfasts are always popular when craving comfort foods. A recipe you can cook up the night before, refrigerate it and then pop it in the oven before Sunday morning Church is the Country Breakfast Casserole. Sausage, gravy, eggs, cheese and toast---all in one dish.

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz.) package of pork sausage
1 chopped green onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup water
½ cup milk
1 (2.64oz) package of country gravy mix
6 slices of bread, cut in 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter
Paprika to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease an 11X8 baking dish
Brown the sausage and drain.
Combine the sausage with the green onion and spread evenly across the bottom of the baking dish.
Top with shredded cheese.
Whisk together eggs, water, milk and gravy mix.
Add Mixture to your baking dish.
Arrange bread squares evenly on top.
Drizzle melted butter over top and sprinkle with Paprika.
Bake 40 minutes in your preheated over or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with frosty glasses of orange juice and hot coffee.

What is more southern than grits? I actually have a recipe for a Grit Gooey Butter Cake! For now, however, try the recipe below as another breakfast pleaser on a cool or cold morning...guaranteed to bring comfort.

Garlic Cheese Grits

Ingredients:
1 cup quick cooking grits
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
Dash of ground red pepper
2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare grits according to package directions.
Add 1 cup of the cheese, the butter, salt, garlic powder and the dash of ground red pepper.
Stir until cheese and butter are melted.
Gradually stir ½ of the beaten mixture into the beaten eggs.
Stir the egg mixture into the remaining grits.
Pour into a greased 2 qt casserole.
Top with remaining cheese.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes until set.




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