4 Goat Cheese Biscuits and 1 Ugly Boot

by Shawnda on November 16, 2013

in Bread,Breakfast,Goat cheese

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Biscuits

We all deal with stress, disappointment, and defeat in different ways. At least I assume we do. Unless you tell me that you, too, head straight for your kitchen to fry up all the bacon and chop all the onions in the house. While knocking back a couple goat cheese biscuits.

To each her own, I guess.

After 5 months of marathon training, I’m down “only” 2.5 pounds (after losing the 13 I gained over the first 2.5 months), down a full pants-size, ran a personal record 15 miles at a personal record pace… and then here I am, heavy one ugly gray boot. For a minimum of 4 weeks.

The Mech Warrior Boot

“But what about my crazy expensive marathon?! It’s 60 days away!” The sad, blank stare I got back verified one thing: An orthopedic surgeon’s office would be the best place ever for a tequila shot dispenser.

So I limped to the kitchen in my unlimited edition Soul-Crushing Grey boot. And I ate goat cheese biscuits for lunch. Goat cheese and carbs alone won’t numb the disappointment so I did the only thing I knew how to do.

I dumped the last of the bacon into a pan and grabbed another biscuit.

And then I started hacking away at the onions while thinking about all the other things that we could have done with the money I spent on airfare and onsite lodging and Body Glide and park tickets. And race fees and shoes and Gu.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Biscuits

And seriously. THOSE &^%$#@! PARK TICKETS.

But I can run far. And run pretty fast. Even though right now, I feel like a Mechwarrior when I walk.


And I can totally dominate a pan of biscuits.

Tender drop biscuits infused with tangy goat cheese and lots and lots of black pepper. They’re not a cure-all. But they sure won’t make a bad situation worse.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Biscuits

A soft, peppery biscuit made with tangy goat cheese and yogurt.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 heaping tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or if desperate like me, scavenge your fridge for 3/4 cup fat-free greek yogurt + 1/4 cup 2% milk)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 425 and place a 10-in cast iron skillet in the oven to heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Take a fork and crumble the goat cheese into the dry ingredients.
  4. Cut 4 Tbsp of the butter into small cubes and add to the bowl.
  5. Cut the butter and goat cheese into the dry ingredients until there are no big pieces left (this takes 90 seconds by hand).
  6. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the "buttermilk" and then stir until all powdery traces are gone.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven and add 1 Tbsp butter, swirling to coat the bottom.
  8. Drop biscuits by heaping large spoonful (I got 10 biscuits) into the skillet.
  9. Melt the last Tbsp of butter and brush over top.
  10. Bake ~15 minutes, just until biscuits brown on top.
  11. Devour immediately. Or the next day. There are no wrong answers here.


Yields: 10 servings

Slightly adapted from Cook Like a Champion

Estimated time: 45 minutes


Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

I spent this past weekend pregaming for Part I of The Shawnda Super Bowl (not yet trademarked). Because nothing makes watching football more fun than a last-second-thriller between your two favorite teams and stuffing your face with bacon- and cheese-stuffed carbs.

The closer the game and the bigger the special teams implosion? The more you eat.

True story.

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

The idea behind those beautifully delicious and incredibly addictive pretzel rolls came from my friend Tara. She’s the gal behind one of my all-time favorite blogs, Smells Like Home. In addition to enabling my Stuff-Yo’-Face-Sunday habit, she’s also the creator of one of our favorite dinners in rotation right now: Creamy Chicken Sausage and Spinach Pasta.

That 1/2 cup of white wine needed for the pasta recipe is the perfect excuse to crack open a bottle on a Monday night. You know, if your fantasy – or real – quarterback didn’t break his collarbone and you need an excuse.

And then the justification to go ahead and polish it off because WTH is “leftover wine” and why, Aaron Rodgers, WHY?!!

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

I made just a few minor changes to the original recipe:
– I made smaller rolls, which actually worked out to a perfect 2-dozen because:
– I was forced to scale down the recipe after knocking the flour container off the countertop. And as a result:
– I used way more f-words than Tara had to (I don’t actually have any proof of this) but was thankful that:
– I didn’t get a letter from The Little’s teacher in her take-home folder yesterday, which means she didn’t repeat any “Mommy Words” at school.
– I filled the rolls with scrape-the-jar-and-lick-the-spoon bacon jam and brie. Which probably explains why:
– I’ve had to lay on the bed to zip up my jeans this week.

Hopefully those things zip a little easier by the time Part II of The Shawnda Super Bowl rolls around next month.

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

If you’re not up for making your own, HEB currently has BOGO jars of “Better Than Good” Bacon Jam. It’s a bit more savory (hello, Worcestershire!) than the popular Martha Stewart recipe than was everywhere on the internet last year and, well, some days you just can’t beat the convenience of open-jar-insert-spoon.

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

The ultimate fancy tailgating food: soft pretzel rolls filled with bacon jam and brie.


  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk
  • 2 tsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1 1/3 tsp salt
  • 5 - 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz wheel of brie, cut into ~1/2-inch x 1-inch blocks (you need 24)
  • 9 oz jar (or a generous 1 cup) of bacon jam
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Coarse salt


  1. Place the water in a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the warm milk, oil, salt, and 4 cups of the flour and mix on low until incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time at first, until the dough is still tacky but firm enough to climb the dough hook (you may not use all the flour - the dough should be soft and will not completely come off the sides of the bowl).
  4. Let the dough rise covered in a lightly-oiled boil for 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly grease or line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Bring the water, sugar, and baking soda to a simmer in a large sauce pan.
  7. Divide the dough into ~24 pieces. A scale makes this easy - my dough balls weighed in at ~2 oz each.
  8. Flatten each dough ball out, top with a chunk of brie and a small spoon of bacon jam, and then bring the edges of the dough up and and crimp/pinch to seal. Set aside on the prepared baking pans while you finish the rest.
  9. Boil the pretzel rolls in batch of 3-4 for 45 seconds on each side, drain (a slotted spatula and a stack of paper towels or napkins are your best friends), and then transfer to the baking sheets.
  10. Use a sharp knife to score 2-3 slits into the top of each roll, taking care not to cut too deeply and creating a fabulously oozy, cheesy mess.
  11. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until dark golden brown.
  12. Eat hot straight from the oven or warmed for a halftime snack.
  13. Or eat straight-from-the-fridge cold for breakfast.
  14. I don't judge.


Yields: 24 rolls

Adapted from Smells Like Home and Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Estimated time: 3 hours


Jalapeno Cheddar Cheesy Bread

What do you do when you’re trying to rid the house of non-compliant foods just days before beginning the Whole30?

You make something like this.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheesy Bread

Jason called it “The Bread of Shame,” as he felt “Desperation Bread” was a little misleading at the time (but probably pretty accurate, looking back) and “PMS Bread” was a little juvenile. And possibly sexist.

There is nothing shameful about it.


Jalapeno Cheddar Cheesy Bread

Scandalously white bread, topped with an empty-the-fridge cream cheese-cheddar-parmesan-jalapeno mixture, and shoved under the broiler just until it gets those beautiful golden brown blistered marks.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheesy Bread

And then you eat it. Straight off the pan. Because whisking water with can of condensed tomato soup is far too much work for a night like that when dinner is seemingly perfect already.

Maybe “Bread of Shame” is appropriate after all.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheesy Bread

Garlic bread gets a TexMex twist with jalapeno and cheddar.


  • 2 baguettes or 1 large french loaf, split in half horizontally
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 2 large jalepeno/serrano peppers, chopped (seeds removed if desired)
  • Tobasco sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. On a baking sheet, place the bread (cut into more managaeble pieces, if desired).
  3. Place the pan into the oven for 1-2 minutes, just to lightly toast the top of the bread so it doesn't get soggy.
  4. In a bowl, mash the cream cheese and garlic together and then stir in the cheeses, peppers, a dash of tobasco, salt, and pepper.
  5. Spread onto the top of the bread and bake until bubbly and golden brown - 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.
  7. Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat in the microwave or warm oven.


Yields: Servings vary

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes


DIY: English Muffins

by Shawnda on February 20, 2013

in Bread,Breakfast,DIY

Homemade English Muffins

“Dough! Are you making dough? I can have some dough?”

The clank of the mixer bowl snapping onto mixer sends The Little running to the kitchen from anywhere inside our fence line. She has always had super Spidey hearing. When she was a newborn, the sound of milk pouring over my cereal downstairs in the kitchen would be enough to wake her from a nap upstairs. Every single time.

Unless we’re talking about cracking eggs or making pizza/bread dough, she’s not overly interested in helping in the kitchen. And this is what it usually looks like when I ask “Do you want to help Mommy measure the flour/cut cookies/do anything else besides eat raw bread dough or crack a couple of eggs?”

do not pin

Lately, she’d rather paint or draw. Or wear a princess fairy dress.

It’s like we’re barely related some days :)

But the promise of a pinch or two of bread dough can cut a tantrum short and get my scattered toy mess of a living room picked up in no time. So we’re making a lot of bread lately.


English muffins are one of those bread things that are plenty easy enough to drop into your cart at the store but are so much more delicious when made at home, you just need to find a couple of hours on a weekend to let the dough rise and then some hands-on shaping and cooking time.

Just be warned – after eating Eggs Benedict or a breakfast sandwich on homemade English muffins, the store-bought variety will never even come close to living up to them. Even when drowned in all that magical Hollandaise sauce.

Need help deciding what to do with all those English muffins? We clearly vote for Eggs Benedict:

Eggs Oscar Eggs Trivette Eggs Benedict Burger King Crab Eggs Benedict Eggs Benedict Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce Buttermilk pancakes Eggs Spin-edict

Or this beauty that’s coming soon to a blog near you:

Homemade English Muffins

English muffins couldn't be easier to make and taste so much better than their store-bought counterpart.


  • 1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) yeast
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • Oil for bowl and hands
  • Cornmeal for pans


  1. Place milk in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and sprinkle yeast over top.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes and then add the butter, salt, sugar, egg, and flour.
  3. Mix on low until the flour is incorporated and then switch to medium and beat for 5 minutes - dough will be very soft and sticky.
  4. Scrape dough out into an oiled bowl and cover, letting rise for ~2 hours.
  5. Keeping your hands well oiled to prevent the dough from sticking, pinch golf ball sized pieces of dough off (2 oz, if you have a kitchen scale), form a ball, and place on a griddle pan that is generously dusted with cornmeal.
  6. Lightly press down on the balls once on the pan (I could fit 8-10 on my griddle and then I put the remainder on a baking sheet to cook in two batches).
  7. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Turn burner or grill to medium low and cook until golden brown, ~12 minutes on each side. (If they brown too quickly, reduce the heat.)
  9. Carefully transfer the second batch to the griddle so as not to deflate them and cook until done.
  10. Let cool completely on a rack before splitting open with a fork.
  11. Muffins will keep fresh on the counter a few days and freeze well.


Yields: 16 muffins

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

Estimated time: 3 hours