PPQ: Ham and Cheese Kolache

by Shawnda on August 12, 2012

in Bread,Breakfast,Project Pastry Queen,Texas

Ham and Cheese Kolache

This week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge was selected by Emily of She Makes and Bakes. And it’s one of my very, very favorite recipes in the entire book: Kolache.

Kolache are czech breakfast pastries that are very popular in Texas. While traditionally topped with a cream cheese or fruit mixture, it was the savory versions that sold out day after day at my parents’ bakery. Sausage, ham and cheese, and jalapeno sausage & cheese were the most popular varieties.

Ham and Cheese Kolache

There’s almost no better breakfast during the summer than a peach kolache but I chose to make a few changes to the recipe and make ham & cheese kolache this week:
– I let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. The recipe suggests at least 4 hours but the long overnight rise makes the dough more flavorful.
– I used 2 oz of dough per kolache (a little smaller than a golf ball), flattened the dough into a circle, and topped with a pinch of shredded cheddar and a spoonful of cubed ham.

Ham and Cheese Kolache

– 1 lb of ham (I got two 1/2-inch slices from the deli counter) and 4 ounces of shredded cheddar will get you about 20 kolache from a half batch of kolache dough.
– Adding fresh jalapeno slices to the filling is optional. Recommended, but optional.

Check out Emily’s blog for the full recipe and see how the other PPQ members tackled kolache this week.



Jalapeno Cheddar Hamburger Buns

Aside from the Alamo, the Lone Star, and some binge-watching of Friday Night Lights, there might be nothing in this world that’s more Texas than a Frito Pie Hamburger on a Jalapeno Cheddar or a Shiner Bock bun.

And being from Texas, I can make such a claim :)

We spied the Frito Pie Burger on a “fancy” burger menu on a trip to Austin once – completely genius. We usually have Frito Pie Burgers the night after having Frito Pie. It’s the perfect way to use up that little bit of leftover chili we always seem to have. You know the dilemma – it’s too much to throw away but not enough to make another bowl.

Since the burger buns keep so well in the freezer, I always just grate a little extra cheese and slice an extra jalapeno so that burger night only involves grilling the burgers – which is only slightly more work than actually having Frito Pie.

Jalapeno Cheddar Hamburger Buns

Frito Pie Burgers

The Texas specialty on a burger topped with Fritos, chili, and cheddar.


  • 1/3-lb ground beef patties, seasoned and cooked to your preference
  • Burger buns (Jalapeno Cheddar Buns or Shiner Bock bun are solid choices)
  • Fresh jalapeno slices
  • Fritos (Original, not Scoops)
  • Chopped white onion
  • Chili
  • Grated cheddar


  1. Heat the chili to very hot.
  2. Place the burger on the bottom bun and then layer the toppings: Fresh jalapeno slices, a small handful of Fritos, a pinch of chopped white onion, a large spoonful of chili, and a large handful of grated cheddar.
  3. Serve immediately. Possibly with a fork.


Yields: Servings vary

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 20 minutes



Summer in Texas: Texans Training Camp

by Shawnda on August 3, 2012

in Texas

I really don’t always think about food. But as I was standing there watching the d-line do some light drill work on day 2 of camp, all I could think about was frito pie and beer. At 8:45 in the morning.

Shoulder pads and whistles. Conditioning drills and helmets. Fantasy football drafts and trash talking with a Cowboys fan. There really is no greater sound in this world than the helmet and shoulder pads of two linemen colliding. It’s… magical.

And there’s no sight more panic-inducing than seeing your star receiver watching the rest of the team practice with a towel on his head.

Can you believe it’s August already? School starts in about 3 weeks and there’s almost an end in sight to the oppressive heat and humidity… sort of. Almost. That usually comes in November.

But the best part of late summer in Texas? FOOTBALL. And after the most exciting Texans season ever, and most disappointing Colts off-season ever, we are seriously ready for some football in southeast Texas.

I’ve been a huge football fan for… as long as I can remember. My dad wouldn’t have it any other way. I think he had only two goals for me: 1) to make sure that I knew more about football by age 11 than most grown men; 2) go to college. He paraded his little girls around clad in Luv Ya Blue and I Still Luv Bum t-shirts.

I can only hope to be half as great a football mom as he was a dad :)

But I think we’re off to a decent start.



Summer in Texas: A Celebration of Service

by Shawnda on July 4, 2012

in Texas

Growing up, I remember the sleepy Sulphur Springs town square surrounding the old courthouse as full of paved parking lots, vacant store fronts, and dusty, buckled cobblestone streets. But now, Main Street is full of shops and restaurants (even a sports bar!) and those paved parking lots have been replaced by a moving tribute to those who have unselfishly served over the decades. Service that has afforded us the opportunity to celebrate the liberties and freedoms we have today.

We hope your Independence Day is a safe & happy one!