jalapeno cheesy bacon swirl rolls

so… i try hard not to overshare on these interwebs. i say that because i’m staring at the screen trying to type something fluffy and hysterical but nothing is coming to me…. which works because it lets me talk more about these rolls!

these rolls are the next edition to my participation in the pass the cookbook club. i had a lot going on last month so i didn’t participate because the date snuck up on me. but this month i was determined not to let that happen again! {which it totally still did but not as last minute as before…}

when i first saw the choices from this month’s selection {the smitten kitchen cookbook by deb perelman}, i was immediately drawn to the sweet option… shocker right? but then i decided i needed to be brave and make these rolls.

see i have this tremendous fear of baking with yeast… what if i kill the yeast? what if it doesn’t rise? what if it turns out like a rock? what if? what if? what it?

well the recipe for these rolls hit on my love of carbs and my love of cheese so i figured it was high time i tried again! and guess what?!? i totally rocked this yeast recipe!! yay for my little yeast victory!!

and when i decided to make these, i knew i couldn’t leave well enough alone. see deb’s recipe was great and all but i felt it needed a little heat… in the form of some fresh jalapenos. oh and since we were remixing this little swirl, why not change the cheese from regular ol’ cheddar to something with some pizzazz… say maybe some smoked gouda. plus what makes any spread / filling better… roasted garlic so let’s just add that in there. and while we’re at it, let’s add the ultimate condiment…BACON!

{side note: bacon truly is the ultimate condiment. it goes with everything. for true.}

jalapeno cheddar bacon swirl rolls

jalapeno cheddar bacon swirl rolls


  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs + 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 {1/4 oz} package) instant yeast
  • 1 c warm milk (110-115F)
  • 4 tbs melted butter


  • 1/2 c grated onion
  • 1-1/2 c grated smoked gouda
  • 1 small head garlic, roasted*
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped (saving 1 tbs of the bacon grease)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

to make the dough:

  1. combine the flour, salt, pepper and 1 tbs sugar in the bottom of a large bowl. in a separate bowl, combine the warm milk, 1/4 tsp sugar and yeast; stir until the yeast dissolves and let bloom until the bubbles double in size (or until the yeast “blooms”). pour the yeast-milk mixture into the flour; add in the melted butter.  mix them together with the paddle of an stand mixer or a wooden spoon until a shaggy ball forms.
  2. if you’re using a stand mixer, switch to your dough hook and knead on low for 6 min or until a smooth, slightly sticky ball is formed. if you’re making this by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until smooth, about 8 min.
  3. place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. {you can also chill the dough for up to 3 days before bringing it back to room temp and moving on.}
  4. scoop the risen dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface. roll the dough into a 12×16 in rectangle. mix the filling ingredients and spread over the dough; leave about 1/2 in border on the shorter ends. roll short end to short end making a log. carefully cut into 1 in rounds using a sharp knife.
  5. line the bottom of either {2} 9 in / 8 in round / square pans or 1 9×13 in baking pan with parchment paper; arrange the rolls in the pan(s) with an even amount of space in between. brush the tops of the rolls with bacon grease; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled again, about another 2 hours. when almost doubled, preheat your oven to 350F. once buns are fully doubled, bake for 20-25 min, until tops are golden and cheese is bubbling. serve immediately.

*my method for roasting garlic: preheat your oven / toaster oven to 350F. cut the top off your head of garlic and place it in some aluminum foil. pour a little olive oil (about 1 tbs or so) over top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. tightly wrap the head up in the aluminum foil and let bake for 75 min.

seriously. these rolls. make them. now.


check out some of the other great things others made from the pass the cookbook club:

recipe adapted from: the smitten kitchen cookbook

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday


greek couscous salad

can we chat a bit on current events?

i’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that i’m a pretty opinionated person but i rarely talk about any type of controversial events {such as paula deen, trayvon martin, etc} because goodness knows the fire that’s out there… and i’m not going to talk about those events but there are some i just have to talk about….

first…. this kid who lost on jeopardy because he misspelled the word emancipation {he added an extra “t” – emaciptation}. dude…. for real his parents should be teaching him to be a gracious second place contestant. you were on JEOPARDY for goodness sake. it’s not like you were on some random game show that it doesn’t matter about correct spelling. this is jeopardy…. PLUS he even if he hadn’t misspelled it, he still would have been in second place!!! bow out gracefully and enjoy the experience. but in a society where everyone gets a medal for participating, this kid makes national news because he feels he was “cheated” out of the correct answer because he can’t spell and is a sore loswer. seriously kid, life’s not fair. plus there’s always spell check.

secondly… a-rod. or as i saw on a sign, a-roid. here’s my beef with it….. he flat out cheated and now he’s pissed because he got caught. seriously. when asked, he’s not saying “i’m appealing because the mlb is wrong, i didn’t use peds and i’m not in any way associated with biogenesis”. no he’s appealing because he feels like he got the short end of the stick when it comes to being suspended for 211 games. i’m sorry but with the way kids look up to professional athletes, shouldn’t we punish those caught cheating? shouldn’t he be man enough to admit he screwed up {for at least a second time}? shouldn’t we as fans be able to expect that the game is “clean”? i mean i’m just saying

anyways…. rant over.

so here’s a savory recipe for you!! i figure with labor day and football season coming up, you might need a good recipe to bring along to some cookouts / tailgates. and friends is this good! i saw it over on maria’s site and decided it had to be added to our 4th of july menu and i’ve totally been holding out on y’all…


back to the couscous salad…. this is such a great alternative to traditional pasta salad; although couscous is a pasta, it’s just not a shape {bowtie, penne, elbow} you would traditionally think of when it comes to pasta salads. but this is fantastic. i kept it pretty close to maria’s original recipe but i did make a couple little changes… first off, i don’t like olives so they had to go. i replaced them {and their saltiness} with some crumbled feta cheese because everything needs some cheese in there. also, i used dried herbs instead of fresh for a couple reasons… i have a black thumb and can’t seem to keep anything alive. also, dried herbs are more accessible to me and i figure to you too. finally i used a smaller package of couscous because it’s what the store had. since there is no mayo in the dish, it’s perfect for a cook out or tailgate!!

greek couscous salad

greek couscous salad

  • 1 (4 oz) package pearl couscous {also called israeli couscous}
  • 1 c grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (13.75 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1-1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. prepare couscous according the package directions; transfer cooked couscous to a large bowl. fluff with a fork and add tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta cheese.
  2. prepare the dressing: in a small bowl or jar, add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper. whisk / shake together; pour over the couscous mixture and stir until everything is well combined. add more salt & pepper if desired. serve.

easy peasy lemon squeezy!


recipe adapted from: two peas and their pod

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday