Sunday, September 15

The Mess - {Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits}

I started this post about two weeks ago. It was a really happy story about seeing two wonderful people find each other, and the goodness that resulted.

But then life happened. So I scrapped it. And I’m starting over:

I’ve come to realize that stress and uncertainty often send me heading for the coffee shop. Maybe I shouldn’t self-medicate with sugar and caffeine, but the simple act of treating myself to something somewhat forbidden in terms of budget – both caloric and monetary – is soothing.

So, basically, if I’m at Starbucks – alone - odds are that something is wrong.

Before you worry, I’m ok. This “wrongness” is definitely not why I’ve been away from the blog. Since graduation, I’ve been busy in the most wonderfully rewarding way; growing closer to a lot of incredible people and making memories that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on.

These are amazing times, dear readers, but part of the closeness and memories I’m experiencing are sad, too. It’s really hard to see the people you care about in pain.

I’m on the outside looking in on relationships that are ended, doomed, or crushed before they’ve begun.

I’m seeing friends struggle to find work; struggle to make ends meet.

I’m seeing insecurities ruin good things, and fear prevent risk and growth.

Recently, I’ve had to be the friend who relays unwanted information. The one with a different perspective, or just the one who knows the true story. And it’s so hard, because it’s always the kind of information you know it would be so much easier to just keep to yourself. To bury it away in the back of your mind and go on encouraging your loved ones to the fullest of your heart’s ability. To lie, quite plainly, to yourself and to their face for the sake of smiles.

But friends don’t do that.

And so today, after a couple long chats, I’ve ended up at Starbucks. And I’m inhaling my drink.

And I feel better. A little helpless, maybe, but better.

It’s at least made me realize that I’m genuinely lucky that my biggest struggle these days is figuring out how to be supportive.

Which is, often, harder than it seems.

Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits, adapted from Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits

One thing I can always count on making me feel better - and more in control - is baking, of course. I love quick recipes like this because they're low effort but high payoff; which is exactly what I've been needing lately. Served to friends in need, especially with eggs and bacon aside home fries, they're sure to lift spirits.

2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter, chilled
2 Tbsp shortening
1/2 jalapeno, minced
Handful or two of shredded cheddar cheese
1 c buttermilk, chilled

Preheat your oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add in the butter and shortening and press into the flour until the mixture is somewhat sandy. Be careful not to let it get too hot – you don’t want to let anything melt.

Add in the jalapeno and cheddar and mix briefly to combine.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Pour onto a floured surface and pat gently into a rectangle. Fold the dough over itself and repeat 3-4 more times.

Pat out the dough into a rectangle about 3/4 to 1 inch thick and cut into 12 squares. Transfer to the lined sheet, spacing each square about 1/4 inch apart. Bake 15-20 minutes until nicely brown on top.


  1. Coffee and sugar are my preferred methods of self-medicating too. This recipe looks delicious - the perfect brunch treat. And I am sure your friends appreciate the support (and the baking).

  2. Looks delicious! Hope things get better.

  3. Hopefully things will start looking up for you and your friends. It's a hard thing to be a good friend, but one of the most rewarding things too.

    Maybe make them some of the biscuits. I imagine they are much like a Starbuck's coffee in the comfort department, but better :)

  4. These would be great at a tailgate ; )

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  6. I'm sorry you're having a hard time. But I'm happy to see you blogging again. I've always enjoyed your recipes and the way you write. I have made many of your cakes with great success every time.

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  8. I realy hope things get better Kaitlin. I from Portugal and now i am already following your blog, Congratulations!

  9. Hey, Kaitlin. Keep a stiff upper lip (even though it's hard to smile that way.) I thought you'd like to know I've finally started my own blog, called Random Armadillos ( and I gave you a plug in my entry today.

  10. I'm making these this morning. Not the first time and won't be the last. These biscuits rock! Hopeful that things will get better for you.

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  13. Thanks for the recipe, Kaitlin! My name is Heather and I was hoping you could answer my question about your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com I would greatly appreciate it!

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  15. why dont you ever write any new posts. i mean the last time you did one was September 15 2013, and now its April 25 2014. If you start something finish it because i personally love your work and its sad that you dont update.

  16. Hi! I haven't stopped by in a while, although I love your blog and the inspiration to be found in your photos and recipes. I notice you haven't updated in a while and hope you are doing ok.

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  19. Gosh these biscuits look so cheesy and delicious!! I recently made cheddar biscuits and now I am regretting not adding jalapeno in it!!

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  20. I have finally found a biscuit recipe to try (I've been looking for one for a while). Do you know if it's possible to replace the butter with anything (maybe oil?) or use low fat buttermilk?

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  22. Looks absolutely fabulous! I know I gained weight just looking at this breakfast! Serve it to me about 11:00!

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