Dangers of Energy Drinks four Loko

Colleges across America battle influences of alcohol upon their campuses on a regular basis.  Though other drugs make their way into the fraternity and sorority house parties, the main drug culprit on college campuses continues to be alcohol. According to the website “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, “Alcohol and other drug use is a factor in many accidents, injuries, vandalism, and crime on campuses and is frequently a key factor when students encounter problems with their coursework.” Beer and other liquors promote potential hazards on our university campuses, and now a new drink threatens to be even a greater menace for college administrators.

College officials across America are expressing concern over an energy drink called “Four Loko.” Dubbed “liquid cocaine” by some users, this high energy drink is comprised of 12 percent alcohol. Packaged in a can similar to other energy beverages, this drink costs little and packs quite a punch, making the product popular with those wanting a quick buzz. Fruity flavors such as watermelon and grape add to the drink’s popularity and drink-ability.

Several colleges have already banned the product from their campuses because of dangerous consequences. The President of Ramapo College in New Jersey chose to ban the drink because several students ended up in the local emergency room. “Four Loko’s” packs 12 percent alcohol in a 23.5 ounce can. Depending upon the source, “Four Loko” is the equivalent of drinking three to five 12 ounce beers.

College students intent on “having a good time” fail to recognize the risks of downing a can of “Four Loko”.  Dr. Manny Alvarez, a Fox News contributor, states that a mixture of caffeine and alcohol is a recipe for disaster. He says, “You have to understand that caffeine reduces the drowsy feeling of being intoxicated, so people tend to drink more.” Drinking more “Four Loko’s” leads to devastating consequences. Downing multiple “Four Loko” beverages may lead to people experiencing another of its nicknames, “blackout in a can.”

Disguised in a container eerily similar to other high energy drinks, “Four Loko” tempts underage drinkers to indulge. College students and teenagers alike consider “Four Loko” to be a big “bang for the buck.” Stores carrying the product sell the drink for under $3.

Though other energy drinks can lead to medical problems, mixing alcohol and caffeine sets one up for a potential lethal combination.

 Sources:  Reading Eagle, My Fox New York

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Cookie Comparisons Cookie best Buys best Tasting Cookies Consumer Reports Cookies

Consumer Reports compared 13 packaged, store-bought cookies for taste and texture.

The “trained sensory panel” was asked to rate the cookies for their sensory quality. None was judged as good as home-made, but two were rated “Very good.” Nutrition information is given as listed on labels.

Cookies were rated for taste, cost per one-ounce serving, the number of calories contained in that serving, and the total amount of fat (in grams) per serving.

Rating “Very Good” meant the cookies were “Well blended, flavorful, good chip-to-cookie ratio, crunchy but tender.” Only two were in this category.

1. Health Valley Mini cost 54 cents for 4 cookies (1 oz.), which contained 140 calories with 6 g. of fat.

2. Keebler Chips Deluxe Original [formula will not contain palm oil after February] cost 22 cents for 2 cookies, which contained 170 calories with 9 g. of fat.

These two were rated “more tender” with more chocolate flavor than most. Keebler is more like shortbread; HV had a more buttery taste and cost more than twice as much.

In the top category, Keebler was rated CR’s “Best Buy” for price and taste.

[The rated Keebler cookies contained palm kernel oil. Although the manufacturer said these would no longer have palm kernel oil after February, the new formula was not in stores by March for re-testing.]

Rating “Good” although commercial-tasting:

1. Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Real Chocolate [formula was due to change this summer] cost 25 cents for 3, which contained 160 calories with 8 g. of fat.

2. Trader Joe’s Dress Circle Crispy Crunchy cost 23 cents for 12 cookies, which contained 150 calories with 9 g. of fat.

3. Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk cost 36 cents for 2 cookies, which contained 130 calories with 6 g. of fat.

4. Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Soft Baked Chocolate Chunk Dark cost 43 cents for 1 cookie, which contained 150 calories, with 8 g. of fat.

5. Great Value (Walmart) cost 7 cents for 2 cookies, which contained 130 calories with 6 g. of fat.

6. Mrs. Fields Semi-Sweet cost 43 cents for 1 cookie, which contained 160 calories with 8 g. of fat.

7. Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Real Chocolate Reduced Fat [formula was due to change this summer] cost 25 cents for 3 cookies, which contained 140 calories with 5 g. of fat.

8. Newman’s Own Organics Champion Chip Cookies cost 47 cents for 4 cookies, which contained 160 calories with 7 g. from fat.

9. Famous Amos Bite Size [will no longer contain palm oil after February] cost 24 cents for 4, which contained 150 calories with 7 g. of fat.

The following rated “Fair” and were judged to be “bland, very dry, slightly stale.”

1. Archer Farms Organic Petite (Target) cost 45 cents for 3 cookies, which contained 120 calories with 5 g. of fat.

2. Pamela’s Products Chunky Gourmet all Natural (wheat and gluten free) cost 44 cents for 1 cookie, which contained 120 calories with 6 g. of fat.

CR noted that the Walmart (# 5) cookies had more cookie than chocolate and had a toasted taste. They were the least expensive of all at 7 cents per ounce.

Package sizes ranged from 7 to 18 ounces, and costs were based on those sized packages.

Three brands were labeled organic and “varied widely in quality.” Those included Health Valley (# 1 in the “very good” category), Newman’s Own (# 8), and the wheat and gluten-free Archer Farms (# 1 in the “fair” category).

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Citrus Beets

Citrus Beets

This is beet salad at its simplest: just beets with a dressing of orange and lemon juices, seasoned with nutmeg and a dash of ground cloves. It makes a good addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and to other festive occasions.The sweetness of the beets combines with the sweet and sour citrus juices to make a salad that is also a treat, surprisingly palatable even to many who dislike beets.

This recipe calls for freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice. You want to end up with about twice as much orange juice as lemon. If you do not have fresh oranges or lemons, ready made juice may be used, but it must be 100% juice, no added sugar, no juices besides orange and lemon.


• 1 to 3 bunches of beets, roots only (greens can be used in any spinach or chard dish)
• Juice of 3 to 6 oranges and 2 to 4 lemons, approximately.
• 1 to 3 pinches nutmeg
• Dash of ground cloves


1. Wash the beets. Pat dry.

2. Place the beets in a steamer basket, with about 2 – 3 inches (5 – 8 cm) water in the pot. If you do not have a steamer basket, you can cook the beets directly in the water.

3. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn down the heat as low as it will go and continue to boil. Let the beets steam until they are soft enough to give easily when poked with a spoon or fork, and the skin comes off easily. This will probably take about 20 – 40 minutes, depending on the size of the beets and on how many there are. They can also be steamed in a slow cooker, following its directions.

4. While the beets are cooling, juice the oranges and lemons. In a medium to medium large mixing bowl, whisk the juices together. Remove any seeds.

5. Add the nutmeg and cloves to the juice mixture. Whisk.

6. When the beets are cool enough to comfortably touch, cut off the ends. Remove the skins. If the beets are cooked well enough, their skins will just slip off when you rub them with your fingers.

7. Slice the beets. Place the beet slices in the juice mixture. There should be enough liquid to just cover the beets. If necessary, add more lemon and/or orange juice.

8. Cover. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

One bunch of beets will serve about 4 to 6. If expecting a much larger crowd, more should be used. For best results, make citrus beets the night before. The longer it chills, the more time the flavors have to marry.

Acknowledgement: Inspiration for this recipe came from “Food,” by Susan Powter, Simon & Schuster, 1995. Powter provides very basic directions, with no precise measurements or proportions, for a dish called “Beets in Citrus Dressing,” which has much the same ingredients as this recipe. The numbers and proportions, and the inclusion of nutmeg, are my own invention.

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Carving Decorative Vegetables

Carving decorative vegetables is an art form that uses a tasty pallete! Vegetables can be cut and arranged into a mosaic, ready to eat or can be used as a decorative center piece to compliment their accompanying dishes. Artful veggies are a great way to attract kids and kids at heart to try vegetables.


Easy Vegetable Blooms

Use a slice of celery stalk as a “stem.” Sliced and halved cucumber slices make perfect “leaves.” A halved cherry tomato makes a cheery “flower center” and carrots in circles or strips can be arranged as “petals.” Of course many variations. Green pepper strips can be used for stems or leaves. Red and yellow pepper rings can top for a flower outline with slices of radish layered for centers. Create “grass” at the bottom of the plate by drizzled a favorite dressing up and down.

Don’t leave off veggies you think your kids don’t like. One half of a cherry tomato is not so intimidating as a bowl. Kids often need to be exposed to a food at least ten times before they try it. Kids are also more likely to try something they were involved in making. Let kids make their own “blooming” salads.

Cucumber Boats

Slice one end off of a cucumber. Slice just enough off of the bottom so that it will sit. Starting at the cut end, slice off peel almost to the other end. Now make a thin slice from the same end and stop before you get to the peel on the other end. Gently lift this still attached slice and stand with a tooth pick to create a sail. Fill the cucumber boat with slices of carrots, flowerettes of broccoli, cherry tomato or any small pieces of favorites.

Make an individual boat for each guests and create “waves” around the boat with a tasty dressing.


Peppers with Personality

Pick up a pepper; red, green or yellow. Hold it with the stem side facing you. Almost every pepper has a personality. The stem makes an interesting nose and the creases are a perfect place to pop in black eyed pea eyes. You can create small slits and insert slices of other veggies for ear, depending on what creature you “see.” Using these “creatures” on a tray of greens makes a great conversation piece for your table or buffet.

Pepper Pots

Especially fun if you’re serving stuffed peppers, choose a pepper of any color or a combination ensuring that each one stands well. Cut off the top and put aside. You can create a trio by putting dressing in one pot and putting carrot sticks, pepper slices or celery sticks and standing in the others. Another nice touch is to put fresh cut flowers into one!

Carving decorative vegetables to serve or to decorate is fun to do and sure to bring smiles to the table!

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Cobra Beer

Originally when Cobra beer first started being produced in 1989 it was brewed in Bangalore, now production has moved to sunny Fulham. Originally the beer was to be called panther but the name was changed after tests suggested panther was not a popular name.

I have seen cobra available in lots of supermarkets but where I encounter it most often is in the curry house. The beers major selling point is as a less gassy alternative to other lagers, it is said to go perfectly with a curry.

Now, I adore spicy food but I do have a tendency to hiccup quite loudly whilst tucking into my phaal, therefore Cobra (you would think) seemed like a perfect choice.

First thing to notice about this beer is that it’s most commonly sold in large bottles, 660ml instead of 330ml, this is a good start you see because when the missus asks you how much you’ve had to drink tonight you can honestly reply….’why, a mere 8 bottles my dear’ and actually mean it.

Another point worth noting is that the bottle itself is aesthetically alluring, the brown of the glass and the yellow label are pleasing on the eye, also the bottle is covered with various Indian inspired motifs such as elephants and exotic plant life. While I’ve never met a soul who chooses their beer by the way the bottle looks, it’s good to know these things so you can keep your eye out for it.

Onto the beer itself, I have never had a beer I didn’t like (with one appauling exception which contained high levels of glucose syrup in it!)
But I have to say I don’t rank Cobra as a high favourite. The lower gas content is well suited for curries and I did notice a reduction in the volume and frequency of my embarrassing hiccups, and yet there just isn’t enough flavour there to warrant ordering another. I’d take the extra hiccups for a more delicious beer.

It’s alcoholic content is 5% so middle to high in strength. The lack of gas would make this a good choice for people who feel too bloated drinking regular lager all night. Also a good choice for the last few drinks of the evening (especially after a filling curry).

As I say, a beer has to go pretty out of it’s way to be bad and Cobra is certainly not ‘bad’, it just lacks the depth of flavour and full bodied robust qualities of some other lagers out there.

It’s low gas will appeal to some and Cobra definately fills a niche, it’s just not got quite enough to become a regular drink of mine.

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Coffee History

Coffee has a long history. The history of coffee started somewhere between the years 575 and 850. It is presumed that the Ethiopian and Kenyan tribes took coffee seeds with them on their journey to Arabia.

According to other historians and their opinion of the coffee-history, the Arabian Soefi’s (A mystic sect), brought the coffee seeds from their invasion into Ethiopia. But the literature has confirmed that the grandmaster of the Soefi, Ali ben Omar al Shadili was responsible for this. The Arabian al Shadili established a monastery in the port town of Mokka (Al Mokha). After this he became familiar with coffee which he took to Arabia. The people discovered that coffee did not only help against tiredness and sleepiness, but that it also tasted very delightful. 

There were lot discussions about the first usage of coffee. The documents of the European explorers and botanists are telling that the Ethiopians were chewing on raw coffee beans in that time. The coffee beans were also crunched. However, instead of mixing it with water, it was mixed with animal fat. After that it was shaped into small balls that were used as an energy source during long travels. It is also known that with the use of the juice from coffee-berries, wine was made. The wine was called “quahwah” and was used later on for the coffee-drink we know nowadays. 

Coffee was initially used only as a part of a religious ceremony or as a medicine. It was prescribed for the weirdest kinds of ailment like gouty diathesis and kidney stones. 

The history of coffee did not come to an end with this. After the drinking of coffee became generally accepted in Arabia, it got spread to other places like Egypt, Syria, Persia and Turkey. At the end of the 16th century, Europe got to know about coffee. The Venetians were the first ones to start with trading the coffee with the Arabians. After this the Dutch also noticed that there was a good business in coffee. A Dutch trader was able to steal a coffee-plant from Mecca and experimented on the East-Indian colonial Java. After this, a lot of coffee plantations were started on Sumatra, Timor, Bali and Celebes. The real European breakthrough happened when a coffee-plant was given by the mayor of Amsterdam to Luis XIV in the year 1715. Because of this, France became the largest consumer of coffee products. While years were passing coffee became familiar to the whole world.

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Chicken Salad

You can make a chicken salad a hundred ways and they all would be great. Especially if you use a roasted or smoked chicken. But if I was going to make one I would do it like this. 

60g/2½oz Chicken meat (From a roasted or smoked chicken beat to have a mix of leg and breast meat is best.)

400g/14oz Salad leaves

25g/1oz Fresh chives

25g/1oz Fresh parsley

2 Sprigs fresh thyme

3 Rashers of Streaky bacon

60g/2½oz Boiled salad potatoes

50ml/4tdsp extra virgin olive oil

10ml/2tsp Lemon juice

10ml/2tsp Runny honey

15g/3tsp Whole grain mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

First you get your chicken and then cut it in to strips. Unless the skin is very crispy I normally take it off as cold chicken skin is not as nice as hot chicken skin. Then place it in to a nice big bowl.

Then add the salad leaves to the bowl and a goo amount of fresh herbs. If you can pick you salad leaves I would go for the more robust ones that will take a little heat as you will see why latter. As for the herbs I like to use chives, parsley and the leaves of fresh thyme as well.

Now the next thing to do is get a pan on the stove and heat that up. Dices the streaky bacon and start to fry it in the pan. You want to cook it so that it becomes rather crispy. As the bacon cooks take your cold salad potatoes and add them to the pan so that every thing can sauté together. This way all the lovely crystallizing juices from the bacon start to stick to the potato. You have no need to add any oil or any thing like that as plenty come from the bacon. Also I like to season the potato and bacon with a good grind of black pepper as well. 

Now back in you large bowl add some runny honey, whole grain mustard and olive oil. Start to toss everything together. Once you have got everything nicely cover then add the potato and bacon and quickly toss everything once more. Then present it all in a nice bug bow and eat straight away.

Now I know that with a salad you do not want to be cooling things and you can make it with out the warm bacon and potatoes, but trust me it gives it a lift that you will find well worth doing.  

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Best Death Themed Halloween Cocktails Drinks

Any and all of these death themed Halloween cocktail drinks will add some life to your party. (Pun intended.) They are the best death themed Halloween cocktails, as they all taste great and are simple to make. These are great additions to any adult Halloween party menu ideas.

Red Death Cocktail Recipe – Watch out, or this Halloween cocktail drink will literally floor you!

Red Death Halloween Drink Ingredients
1 ounce each – vodka, sloe gin, Southern Comfort, amaretto liqueur
1 ounce – triple sec
1/2 ounce – grenadine
1/2 ounce – lime juice
3 ounces – orange juice
ice cubes

Put all of the cocktail drink ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the cocktail shaker until the ingredients have chilled, about 30 seconds. Pour into a highball glass.

I’ve never tried the following death themed Halloween drink before. It just seems weird, but I know people that really like it. So here it is:

The Black Death Cocktail Drink Recipe:
Use 1 1/2 ounces of vodka and 1/2 ounce of soy sauce. Add both to a cocktail shaker and shake til mixed well. Pour over ice into an old-fashioned glass.

The following is a very easy Halloween themed cocktail drink to make:

Death Wish Halloween Cocktail Drink Recipe
Mix equal parts peach schnapps and Dr. Pepper soft drink in a mug. That’s it! It’s really good.

Death by Shot Cocktail Recipe – Only the very brave dare try this Halloween themed drink!
You need: 1 ounce tequila and Tabasco sauce
Add the white tequila to a shot glass. Layer 8-10 drops of Tabasco on top. Let the Tabasco settle before drinking.

Death of a Virgin Halloween Drink Recipe
Cocktail Drink Ingredients:
1 1/2 ounces each: peach schnapps and vodka
1 ounce each: orange juice, lime juice, and Sprite soft drink

Pour the alcohol and lime juice into a mug . Add enough orange juice to fill the mug halfway. Top off with Sprite. Stir. Serve.

Be careful making the following Halloween cocktail. It shouldn’t be attempted after the party has been in swing for too long:

Death From Above Cocktail Drink Recipe
You need:
1 ounce each of Bacardi 151 rum and gin
3 ounces of cola

Pour the alcohol into a chilled old-fashioned glass. Carefully set it on fire.
Wait a few seconds, then add the cola.
Drink and enjoy!

These death themed Halloween cocktails will be the finishing touch to your Halloween party. For some more Halloween cocktail drinks, see Best Devil Themed Halloween Cocktails. Enjoy Halloween, and drink responsibly!

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Bollywood Adelaide Review

We stayed in a hotel in central Adelaide for a few days (waiting for a train, believe it or not!) and one of those days, tired after long hours of sightseeing, we ordered a take away from what we thought would be a good bet – an Indian restaurant. This showed British kind of thinking (I have been consistently disappointed in Indian food in Australia, New Zealand and, to lesser extent, Canada too), as IMHO it’s hard to completely mis-cook a curry, and as the few reviews on Google were good, we thought we would be fine with Bollywood.

We should have ordered a pizza: we have never, ever, in our whole, long lives of curry eating (and that included some really not-that-great British take awayas, many fairly mediocre restaurant meals and quite a few imperfect products of our own cooking) we ever had such a horrible Indian (?) meal. What we received from Adelaide’s Bollywood was not only the worst curry take away I have ever had, it was quite possibly the worst (and I only hesitate due to a memory of some horrible, cheese-flooded, oil-soaked Polish pizza) take away I ever had, and in the league down there with the worst meal I have ever had a misfortune to pay for.

Considering that it also happened to be possibly the most expensive take away we ever had (we paid 75 Australian dollars for the abomination, which at the time was close to 50 pounds), I am less than happy with our Bollywood experience.

We ordered three curries: a beef Bhuna, a beef Madras, and Dal Ghost (lamb). We also had onion bhaji and mix vegetable pakoras, plus naan and rice.

Well, the rice was OK, and the naan was pretty good, although not outstanding. Of the rest, the onion bhaji, although made with spring onions and coming in a rather strange loose format (i.e. individual strings of the stuff fried in chick pea batter) was just about edible, though a bit stringy and not quite what I expected – but then maybe Aussie onion bhajis are different.

But the curries? The curries, that, according to my own opinion, are so hard to completely muck-up?

They were inedible. I don’t exaggerate: not inedible as not-particularly-enjoyable-but-that’s-all-we-have so-it-will-do, not even just not-worth-the-money. Inedible, as in: throw-in-the-bin and-take-downstairs-and-we’ll-have-some-dried-bread-please.

Now, I am not a fussy or overtly sophisticated eater (which is amply demonstrated by my ample girth). I like nice food, but can enjoy junky fast food, and will forgive a lot if a sauce is laden with spices and chilli. And I tried all three of the curries: and they were all below par. This shows clearly that it could not have been an accident of mis-matched taste or one-off cock-up. All three dishes we had were bad.

The “Madras” takes the prize for Bollywood horrors. The sauce (the “sauce”?) was thin and runny, but with a gooey stringiness to it. It was pale in colour, and tasted as if it was cooked by throwing a lot of ready-made Madras curry powder into the pot, boiling once and then throwing in some more, possibly with extra turmeric for bitterness. The meat was in thin, slimy slices that tasted plain wrong. This was left completely uneaten.

The Bhuna was just a little better. The meat was the same (as thin, as slimy and as horribly-tasting), but the sauce was thicker than the excuse for Madras and bordered on edible, in small quantities and with a big dollop of rice or a chunk of naan. Still, it was too tomatoey and lacked any subtlety or development of flavour. Some of this (sauce only) was eaten, most went in the bin.

The Dal Ghost was the best of the three, as in this one the meat was – just – edible, although not exactly nice, consisting of cubes of (not slimy, yipee!) lamb that was, however, too gristly to be enjoyable. The thick, green-brown lentil based sauce would have been interesting if it wasn’t as bitter as it was, but mixed with some rice it wasn’t as bad as the other two. This one was mostly eaten (but without enjoyment).

On the initial bite into the pakoras I though they were a saving grace for Bollywood, as the outside was nicely fried, well spiced and a bit chewy. The inside (as in: about half of each fritter) was, however, and very disappointingly, uncooked, with a cold and bitter blob of raw chickpea batter sitting in the middle.

Altogether, an unmitigated disaster.

I would have gone or phone to complain (and I don’t do it normally just because I don’t like the food) but we were leaving and thus I am using this review to warn potential customers: do keep away, and if you want to risk it, go inside and check first (the good reviews were of the eat-in, maybe they give the yesterday’s rejects to take away customers), but whatever you do, do not on any account order a take away!


17 Leigh St

Adelaide SA 5000

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Breakfast Pizza

How many times has your teenager turned up their nose at breakfast and wanted pizza instead? Why not give them pizza? I have tried many times and many ways to get my children to eat a healthy breakfast and nothing seems to work; then I tried severing pizza for breakfast.

Breakfast pizza may take a little longer to prepare than normal breakfast, but the reward and the fun is worth it. What I do is take a can of biscuits or if you really want to be creative you can make your own dough from scratch. Roll all the biscuits together, and then roll them out to make a round disk shape. You have your base start.

Then you start making white gravy for the second layer. This takes the longest to make because the gravy has to thicken. In the mean time you can be cooking your bacon. Make the bacon crisp so it can be easily crumbled, or you can use bacon bits – either one is good.

After your gravy is thick and the bacon ready, you can start scrambling your eggs. Be sure to make them light and fluffy. Also have cheese ready, packed shredded is good or you can shred your own. With everything ready it’s now time to assemble your pizza.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take the biscuit dough that you rolled out and place it in a lightly well-greased dish or on a cookie sheet. If you use a cookie sheet roll the edge’s up slightly so the gravy will not run out.

After you have placed your dough, take a large spoon and spoon the gravy on the top of the dough. Spread the gravy evenly over the dough. The next step will be your eggs. Crumble them up and scatter them evenly all around the top.

The bacon is next.

Crumble it up or if you are using bacon bits sprinkle them in your hand and scatter them over the eggs. What is a pizza if there is no cheese? Take some shredded cheese any flavor you or our family likes and cover the entire the top of your pizza.

It is now time to cook your pizza.
Place the pizza in a pre-heated oven for the same time that you cook your biscuits, about 10-15 minutes. When the biscuits are golden brown around the edges and the cheese melted, your pizza is ready. I would wait about five to ten minutes before cutting and severing it. The gravy can get boiling hot at this point.
After the cooling down time, cut and enjoy. My son has not missed breakfast since I have started serving pizza at anytime. This is a simple recipe, but it is will worth the effort and time to see them eating and smiling at the breakfast table.
Using this same recipe you can also make little croissants molding the biscuits in a muffin pan. These make wonderful little bit size tidbits for children and are just plain fun.

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