Steffen Peters Clinic | February 6, 2021

We were beyond lucky to host the four-time Olympian, three-time USEF Horseman of the Year and one of my absolute favorite riders to watch in person. We had a fantastic day learning from the best and it’s safe to say that our expectations of ourselves are firmly elevated. We’re all still basking in the glow of the enlightenment . Where do I even begin?

Let’s start with expectations.

If you’re enthusiastic enough to watch a full clinic with any trainer, you’ll generally notice that there is a common message that applies to every ride, no matter the level. With Steffen, it was undoubtedly that our expectations need to be elevated.

When I say that he elevates your expectations of yourself and your horse, I mean it in the truest sense. He was by far the most exacting coach I’ve ever ridden with. He didn’t expect us to be perfect, but he expected us to keep trying until we got it perfect. He said, “if you accept less than perfect, you will continually get less than perfect.”

An almost-perfect transition is not perfect, so try again. There was no bark to this demand, simply the fact that we should all expect more than we were. He was e x a c t i n g.

In the best way possible. He forced us to refine aids, transitions, movements, that we didn’t even realize could be refined to that level. Each rider expressed to me that his standards were eye opening. Our ‘good enough’ has flown right out the window. He mentioned more than once that the horse might break or show confusion multiple times, that is the actual training moment. Don’t be afraid of the mistakes, use them to train. Eventually they will realize, ‘oh ok, she’s going to be a stickler about this’ and rise to the standard we have set. He said, “it’s all in your expectations and your standards, how you expect them to listen to your aids.” For me, it was that I was continually asking for forward whereas I should ask for forward and expect the horse to continue without constantly nagging. For another rider, he reminded her not to carry the horse when he was heavy or long. He said, “I absolutely refuse to push him every stride.” Show him what you expect and tell him to keep it there. Set your intention and have high expectations for the response. When you don’t get the exact right response, try again, don’t accept almost-right.

“It’s all in your expectations and your standards, how you expect them to listen to your aids”

– Steffen Peters

Do you guys realize how much almost-right we all were accepting? I find it hard to explain how inspiring this new standard of expectation feels without it sounding like we want to be drill sergeants who suck the fun out of riding. Because that’s the opposite of what this feels like and what we intend. So here’s the thing… absolutely nailing it is SO MUCH FUN. It’s so fun to feel the difference in the perfect transition compared to the prior not-so-perfect transition. It’s SO fun to feel the difference in the perfect collected canter versus the really hard to maintain collected canter. There’s no ego, there’s no getting mad at the horses when they’re taking an easier way, it’s just the absolute dedication to nailing it. Every time. And being so proud and appreciative to the horse when you do. Hurrah.

We’ve all heard it before that every moment with horses you’re training, but he cemented it as he said to one rider, “every time you pick up the contact you’re training.” Every time, guys. He said, “we should teach our horses every single day. We should train them. Dressage at the end of the day is teaching.” He told us that they are entitled to their opinions, entitled to tell us that the work is hard or that they don’t understand, but they don’t need to argue about it. So we maintain consistent expectations for responses to aids and then the horse has clarity in our consistency.

He also reminded us regularly to ‘make a difference’ with the aids. He repeated to several riders that we should make a difference when we use the spur in particular, don’t just use it to maintain the movement. When one horse needed to move off the right leg and then had a very clear reaction when the right spur was applied well, he said, “make a difference with the right spur, yes! That to me is training!” A clear concise aid was given, and a clear concise answer was received. It was beautiful to see lightbulbs flicker all day.

The same thought about making a difference applied within the gaits as well. To one rider he said, “Never have the feeling that you’re struggling through a movement, make a difference.” Meaning, don’t just say this is hard for us, let’s just get through it. The point of this adventure is not to struggle through.

I was struck that for every pair, he worked with us to find what worked for that horse in particular. He told one rider, ‘we want to find for every horse the most appropriate frame where they say ‘here I can carry myself here I get a little bit lighter’. For my mount in particular, I hadn’t even realized how long he gets from the base of the neck. We are generally well connected in the bridle and seemingly through, but he was consistently wanting to stretch. Steffen told me that the stretch is (of course) a good thing at the right moment, but for this horse it’s where he wants to go constantly but it isn’t best for his body. We worked diligently to find a new balance where he can take weight off his forehand. As Steffen said, the horse as a creature is not designed to carry weight on the forehand. So if we teach them to carry behind, we’ll preserve them and do their bodies a service.

Expectations, it turns out, are everything. When I went from (what for me was a difficult to achieve) collected canter back out to medium, I kept encouraging him forward with my hand rather than keeping the neck up where it needed to be to keep him loaded behind. This very basic but difficult task brought everything full circle for me. Insert lightbulb here. If I’d had higher expectations of our level of forward from the beginning, it would have been lightyears easier to achieve a balanced forward out of the collection.

There is so much that I’m not touching on, but I can confidently say that all of our riders (and hopefully our auditors) all walked away from our day with Steffen with exceptionally raised expectations of ourselves and the clarity of our aids.

We had better do our homework because we’re insanely lucky to have Steffen returning to us for a half day on Saturday, February 20th! Somebody pinch me, I can’t believe our good fortune! We would love to invite friendly, socially distant, eager to learn auditors to join us again. Can’t wait to see you all soon!

Some of my quick notes:

  • Every time you pick up the contact you’re training.
  • To me it’s all about two things; the horse can either accept the bit and respect the bit or they spend the rest of their life working against the bit. They have to accept the leg aid seat aid and just as much they have to accept the rein aid. 
  • You don’t want to use the whip to punish him but you can use the whip a little bit the next time he goes against you when you pick up the rein.
  • Make a difference with the spur, don’t just use it to maintain the movement. 
  • We should teach our horses every single day. We should train them. Dressage at the end of the day is teaching. 
  • Never have the feeling that you’re struggling through a movement, make a difference. 
  • It’s all in your expectations and your standards, how you expect them to listen to your aids.
  • We want to find for every horse the most appropriate frame where they say ‘here I can carry myself here I get a little bit lighter’.
  • You can check in there, did my horse yield to the leg and yield to the rein? At the end of the day they should use their. muscles to carry themselves, not your muscles. Use your strength briefly to make a difference.
  • That needs to sink in, this giving in the top line (Proper connected halt walk transition) 
  • Stay on top of it. He’s entitled to an option about the contact but he doesn’t need to argue about it. 
  • A half halt in the most simplistic way needs to be totally understood and respected – in that order.
  • They have to understand the meaning of the half halt and the result of the half halt.
  • Make a difference with the right spur. Yes, that to me is training! 
  • They learn to offer the movement – if you have to force the rein back it’s always trouble. 
  • When you squeeze into the bridle he needs to respond.
  • When I have a horse that wants to dive a little, I do lots of transitions within the gait.
  • Don’t be too tough on yourself, if you give the right aid he should respond behind.



  hours  minutes  seconds


Steffen Peters returns to Copper Light!

About Steffen:

Memorably, at the Atlanta Olympic games, Steffen won team bronze on the U.S. Olympic team with his horse Udon purchased by his father as a three year old. In 2009, he rode Ravel to win the FEI Rolex World Cup finals, then swept the Grand Prix, the Special and the Freestyle at Aachen – a feat no American had ever done. That same year United States Dressage Federation named Ravel horse of the year. He earned both Individual and Team Bronze at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2010, also on Ravel. Steffen won Team and Individual Gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games (on Weltino’s Magic and Legolas 92, respectively).

Most recently, at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI4*, Steffen and Suppenkasper landed at the top of the leaderboard in both the Grand Prix and the Special, which he told Chronicle of the Horse is his favorite test with its “beautiful transitions from extended trot to passage.” For more information about Steffen and his training, please visit

Carl Hester Masterclass Recap

If you were lucky enough to attend the Carl Hester Masterclass at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala this weekend, then you’re lucky enough.

What an absolutely fantastic day of training. Carl’s sensible and relaxed yet demanding approach to each horse and rider pair made for very educational rides.

In addition to the under saddle portion of the clinic, I was quick enough to snag tickets for the “private audience” that followed the riding.  We were treated to a private conversation with Carl led by the insightful Betsy Juliano. Carl’s candor struck me most, and it was so generous of him to share his life experiences with us. To that end, I’m excited to share my notes (mostly in the form of direct quotes) from the clinic but I’m not sharing anything that he spoke about during that fireside chat-esque gathering. It was too special and too kind. So thank you again, Carl & Betsy for that memorable evening. 

Here are some of my favorite takeaways from the Masterclass:


From the very first ride to the last, we saw him dig into improving the rhythm within the gaits before working on anything else. He reminded us that in the training pyramid, rhythm is the foundation and that “bending and one-sidedness is something that you will work on all the way through their career.” So it’s not just my six year old gelding?! Phew. 

It might come as no surprise that he worked on a lot of transitions, particularly with the young horses. Do more transitions than you think you need to. He noted that, “trot to canter is a pushing stride and canter to trot is to get the horse to swing. Every horse has a swing speed, where is is naturally in his own balance.”  He said that we are always looking for flexibility without tension. 

“If you just remember one thing; stretch, collect, bend, straighten.”

There was one rider wanted some help developing expression, something so relatable to most of us, to which Carl instructed, “You need to teach her to canter more on the spot. You need her to wait more. You must ride forward in canter-walk, the horse should land and step forward. Always think inside hind leg between the front legs.”

“Good collection makes good extension. Have to have the horse pushing to your hand. Put the life in and then you take it forward. A top dressage horse has to push.”


I’ve heard/read several times before that hacking is a big element in their program and he reiterated that point several times. He told us that in his experience the horses go best with two days of work, one day hacking, two days of work, one day hacking and then an off day. 

I found it interesting that the hacking wasn’t just for loosening joints and muscles or letting the horses see something besides the sandbox. He said, “We hack so that they learn to use their necks. The head and the neck has to move. You have to use your arms and your upper body to push the head and neck away.” Even leisurely strolls can help develop a star.


You don’t want crazy and you don’t want a police horse.

Reactions are what helps train the horse to Grand Prix.

Generally you always have to do the opposite of what you’ve got. If you’ve got a horse with huge paces you have to make them small, if you have a horse with small paces you have to make them big.


We had a fair amount of discussion about rider position, particularly the hands. Now mind you, these were all gorgeous riders, but it was so helpful to have details that the every-man (hi!) can work on. We don’t all have that Charlotte Dujardin seat after all. 

He wants our hands in front of the saddle, closed on the reins (no flappy opening hands everybody!), elastic elbows, with thumbs upward and carried. There was a bit of work regarding giving the hand, and it was in many situations for many different reasons. Spooky baby horse that you don’t want to let go of? Needs to learn to not rely on the hand. Grand Prix horse that looks a little heavy but actually is in self carriage? Let go with the hand.  I loved that he told us several times, “the horse has to always feel like the door is being opened. Don’t push and pull at the same time.”

It was a little relegating to me when he said, “remember when I said I needed to see your hand move? When he’s loose in your hand then you can influence his hind legs.” LIGHTBULB. Everything comes from the hind, if the horse is in self carriage and through his body, we can affect the hind end. And alternatively, “if he gets too light it is your job to move the bit into the corners of the mouth until you feel the contact.”

He didn’t forget our lower body either. “Good riders have a good pelvis and can absorb the movement. Good riders follow the movement. You’re not supposed to just sit still.” He never wanted anyone to push with their seat, but to follow the motion quietly through a flexible pelvis. He differentiated between a working seat and a relaxed seat by saying, “a working seat is engaged, the relaxed seat is the horse is already taking me.”

No aid is meant to be applied and left on. “Your leg has to breathe.” As I’ve heard other great trainers explain as well, busy aids will make the horse tune them out. Carl took it a step further and told us, ‘if your leg is just on the horse doesn’t have a chance to come back the other way.”


I’ve been working hard on my halt halt and leg timing as I approach half steps with my young horse so I found it very timely that he discussed half halts in some way with most of the riders. He encouraged separating the aids. Some direct quotes because it’s best explained through his words; 

When you do a half halt bring your hips through your hand 

Wait until the horse rests in the hand and finds balance 

When you give a half halt, I need to see the rein go loose immediately after

 When you make a half halt, he still needs to think forward 

Think forward in the half halt. The minute the horse comes back , you go forward. The minute he goes forward, you come back. So the horse gets more energetic.


We had a couple of really interesting and helpful examples of horse positioning through certain movements. 

One pair wanted clarification of the angle in shoulder in. He told us that his outside toe and eyes will face the letter on the short side he’s traveling toward (a or c). 

In travers into their bend the horse should look straight into the corner. And in general, you have to see the letter that you’re traveling toward through the horse’s ears.

When you ride walk pirouette it has to come from shoulder in. You have to be able to half pass in walk. Half pass out of it so you keep teaching the horse to keep their hip in.

He talked a bit about self carriage throughout the day. Saying, “Lots of people think about over the back but I also think about the underneath of the neck so it has to come up and carry the head.” Reflecting on that image, can’t you just picture beautiful Nip Tuck and En Vogue’s perfectly arching without strain necks? “If there’s wrinkles in front of the saddle then there’s a retraction in the neck. Those wrinkles need to be ironed out.” What an image!

As with most professionals, he liked the canter for evaluation of the horse’s quality but told us that he gets a lot of information from the walk. “For other people, watching the walking is usually the most boring, but for me it’s the most interesting because I can see his natural movement; Where is the horse going to take my hand?”


He highlighted the importance of straightness in changes. If teaching Iofnteaching tempis) or working on straightness in general it was best to use the wall. In terms of rider positioning, he told us, “The horse does the flying not the rider. Flying changes come from your leg and your seat down. Keep your body straight and it’s just from your lower leg…The most important thing of the changes is the horse must follow you.”

With a horse that was rushing the ones he told us, “It’s a very good problem to have a horse that’s in front of you thinking forward.” Forward and energetic is something to work with as opposed to behind the leg. 

And one of my favorite lines was about committing to the request. “Be positive. Don’t do those little tickly little lady aids.”  We all know what he means and this sound bite will live rent free in my head for all time. 


We all (audience and rider alike) had a slow time grasping the concept that we should know how many strides our horse takes in twenty meters. NOT a twenty meter circle, but twenty actual meters. The horse in the ring did it in eight (so we learned) and so it was four strides across to the centerline, meaning that’s where the flying change should occur. This is a sport of precision after all!

The horse has to react forward but you have to open the door to be fair to the horse.

When you train them you have to stick to the same thing. 

It doesn’t matter if you can’t do it perfectly it matters that you keep attempting. 


And my most favorite thing he said all day;

‘They’re dreams aren’t they? All the young horses are dreams. 
Always have the hope that your horse can make Grand Prix. You’ve got to have that belief that they’re going to do it. Not all of them will have the super star edge but you have to believe in them.”

Class 3b Cold Laser Therapy Now Available

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Equine Cold Laser Therapy or Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a painless treatment that uses clinically tested wavelengths of light to stimulate natural biological processes leading to faster healing and pain relief.  Like plants absorbing sunlight through photosynthesis, cells in the body absorb laser energy that stimulates the body to release pain relieving compounds, increases circulation and energizes the cells to participate in the healing process.  There are no side effects and many times laser therapy can take the place of pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat long-term, degenerative diseases.

Laser Therapy can help reduce inflammation and pain in addition to accelerate healing.

Laser Therapy can be used on a weekly basis for prevention and in conjunction with massage and chiropractic sessions to help keep top-performance horses in elite condition.

Acute conditions can be resolved with just a few treatments however it is not unusual for a chronic condition to require a number of treatments over a period of several weeks. Most treatments take from 15-30 minutes and are completely pain-free for the patient. In fact, depending on the condition, some horses experience immediate relief.

Optimal treatment protocols are a direct result of the veterinarian or therapist knowing the horse and responding to that animal’s unique condition and needs. We do provide protocol guidelines and are available seven days a week to answer any treatment inquiries as it relates to your horse’s specific condition.

Laser Therapy can be used either as a preventative to injury, especially for animals involved in competition, or to treat specific conditions such as:

  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Tendon and Ligament Tears
  • Joint Conditions
  • Neurologic Injuries
  • Suspensory tears (soft tissue injury)
  • Stifle Injury
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Laminitis
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • SI Pain
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  • Kissing Spine
  • Superficial Flexor Tendon
  • Capped Elbow
  • Wounds and more

How critical is wavelength to the effectiveness of laser therapy?

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  • – 670nm visible red light: optimal efficacy for wound healing and dermatology.
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Eat | The Best Ever Buttermilk Biscuits

As we were indulging in a delivery meal from one of our local favorite restaurants, Southern Social, and devouring their craaazzyy good deviled eggs, the man of the farm said, “I don’t even like deviled eggs but these are the best ever.”

We started thinking of beloved comfort foods and reminiscing over favorite meals that would be fun to recreate. We already have a few that I would place firmly in the winner’s circle; meatballs, pancakes, massaman curry, a mean peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie…

And so an idea for a quest was born. I’m on a mission to find the BEST EVER recipes of classic dishes. Starting with the Best Ever Buttermilk Biscuits.

I grew up with biscuits as a household staple, made by my proud southern mama who never makes the same recipe twice. I’m attempting four different recipes in the hopes of finding a standout. Who will win? Will one of them come close to perfection?! The contenders:


click to go directly to the winner of the BEST EVER BISCUITS



  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  1. Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450°F.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Grate the butter: Place a box grater over a small piece of parchment paper. Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box grater. When you get down to a small nub of butter, chop that nub into 5 to 6 small pieces.
  4. Add the butter to the dry ingredients: Use the piece of parchment paper to transfer the butter to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to sift the butter into the flour and break up any clumps of grated butter.
  5. Mix in the buttermilk: Pour in the buttermilk and beat it in with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Fold the biscuits: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured cutting board. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick rough rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour, if needed.
  7. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom, then pat it back down into its original shape.
  8. Repeat with the folding and patting, alternating folding from each side, the bottom, and the top until you have completed a total of 8 folds. At the end, the dough should be a little springy to the touch.
  9. Cut the biscuits: Pat the dough into a 1-inch thickness. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut the dough into 6 biscuits. If you don’t get 6 the first time around, refold and pat down the excess dough and cut more as needed. Discard the scraps of leftover dough.
  10. Bake: Arrange the biscuits in a 10-inch cast iron skillet so that the biscuits touch each other, but not the sides of the pan. Put the skillet in the oven and increase the oven temperature to 500°F. Bake until the biscuits are golden-brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
  11. Serve: Remove the skillet from the oven and immediately remove the biscuits from the pan to a clean tea towel.


I think perhaps she overcomplicates this a bit but you won’t be sad eating these.

  • The 8 folds seems to be my preferred way to biscuit. Don’t roll them, don’t fold 4 times or 6 times. Eight. She wins in that category.
  • I didn’t hate the concept of frozen butter or grating it in, but I don’t think it’ll ruin your biscuits if you didn’t do either. The parchment paper is wholly unnecessary, as is a wooden spoon. (I prefer a spatula btw)
  • I also don’t think you need to raise the oven to 500.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons unflavored shortening, chilled
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled


  1. Heat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
  3. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)
  4. Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.


My first impression upon first bite is that these were pretty close to ideal. I liked the height, I liked the fluffiness. They needed more flavor but like Carrie’s below, I think they’re just a little light in the pants in the butter department. The next time I made them I added 2tbs butter and butter brushed the tops of the biscuits two minutes prior to the end of baking. That definitely helped.

  • Close!
  • Hubby said, ‘but there’s no difference between the top of the biscuit and the insides.’
  • Needs more butter / flavor
  • I probably made taller than recipe called for but loved the height
  • A little too dense for me after they had cooled. When hot I didn’t notice as much



  • 2 cups (240 grams) White Lily Self-Rising Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) salted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) cream cheese, softened, cut into cubes
  • ¾ to 1 cup (180 to 240 grams) whole buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) salted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and room temperature butter, using your fingers to break up the butter. The result should resemble grated Parmesan.
  3. Add cream cheese, using your hands to mix it in, leaving a few larger pieces. Add buttermilk, and stir until dough is sticky and wet but not sloppy. (All flour should be incorporated.)
  4. Turn out dough on a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top of dough with flour, and roll to 1½-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut dough. Arrange biscuits, with edges touching, on prepared pan. Brush with melted butter.
  5. Bake until tops are golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cool on pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm.


There are a few things about this recipe that confuse me to my biscuit-loving core. Room temp butter?? Only 4tbs?? No folding? What the heck is happening. Those lapses aside, I’ve had her biscuits from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and was willing to give it a try in the name of science, I mean baking. My notes right after cooking:

  • Definitely needs some baking soda and powder. I ignored instructions and added 2tbs baking soda and the 1/4 baking powder. Probably will do the full 4 of the soda next time, they did not rise as much as I’d like
  • Also added a few cranks of salt
  • I think melted butter should go on a few minutes before the end, not on raw dough
  • Was the wettest of all my doughs
  • Dense, has more the interior consistency of cheddar bay biscuits
  • Is she crazy using room temp butter? Sacrilege. I couldn’t bring myself to do that and chopped my cold butter and mixed in with fingertips at the same time as cream cheese
  • Baked full 18 min on 450



  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board (if you can get White Lily flour, your biscuits will be even better)
  • 14teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold *BROTHER ALTERATION – Use 1 whole stick of butter, frozen
  • 1 cup buttermilk (approx)
  • BROTHER ALTERATION – add a smidge sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
  4. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
  5. Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
  6. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
  8. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
  9. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
  10. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
  11. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.
  12. If you like”crusty” sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
  13. Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
  14. Do not overbake.
  15. Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
  16. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
  17. I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there’s less chance of overmixing.
  18. You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
  19. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
  20. Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
  21. When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.


These are actually my brother’s notes:

He says, “Its all about the technique, cold butter. Minimal handling. The secret is that it you have to use food processor, frozen butter, not too moist, hand knead and pat into a flat round for cutting biscuits. Use biscuit cutter. The food processor is so much better, cuts butter into flour really well and then a few pulses with buttermilk in it and dump onto board and kneed/fold with hands to finish mixing dry bits at bottom.”

He’s not wrong. Minimal handling and keeping the butter cold does help produce a fluffier biscuit. This was my standard recipe… until now.


And we have a winner!

If you made it through all of this, you may not be surprised to learn that our best biscuit winner is made from a combination of these stellar recipes. Not that I’m a food blogger by any stretch, but generally when developing recipes I wouldn’t think to show you all the previous iterations – just get to the good stuff. That’s what we’re all here for. But I thought some of you, like myself, might be on a similar journey to biscuit-dom. Everyone has different preferences for biscuits; slightly crunchy sides, tall and light, dense and small. So I wanted to let you benefit from my trials and comparisons in the event your idea of ‘best ever’ varies from my own.

To me, the Best Biscuit Ever has a light and fluffy interior, a crispier top, a good heaping of butter and a touch of saltiness. I want to be able to eat it with sausage gravy but also to want to enjoy it solo. It should be the star, not an afterthought. This winning recipe I couldn’t take a photo of the whole batch because I was eating them so ravenously. BINGO!


  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (by preference)
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter, cold
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, cold
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk, cold


  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted to brush on tops
  • Crisco or butter to grease skillet, dusting with flour is acceptable too
  • Cast iron skillet
  • 3” biscuit cutter


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly butter/grease/flour dust a cast iron skillet. Lightly flour a large cutting board.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Touching and handling the butter as little as possible, cut cold (or frozen) 5 tbs butter into small pieces and add to dry ingredients.

4. If using stick cream cheese, chop as you did the butter. If using softened cream cheese, simply scoop out 3tbs, and add to dry ingredients.

5. Mix all ingredients with the tips of your fingers, breaking up the cream cheese and butter into small bits. The mixture will look like coarse sand.

6. Make a well in the center of your mixture and add 1 cup cold buttermilk. Mix with spatula until just combined. Mixture will be fairly wet and sticky.

7. Form your dough into a ball and scoop up any remaining bits of batter from the bowl.

8. Turn your dough out onto the floured cutting board. Lightly flour your hands and proceed to pat the dough into a long 1/2” thick rectangle.

9. Fold the dough over on itself 6 times. Pat down slightly between folds. I like to let the folded dough rest just a few minutes.

10. Pat dough out gently into a 1” thick rectangle or circle (your preference) and use your biscuit cutter straight up and down cut biscuits (I usually get five and then reform dough for one leftover soldier). Place biscuits touching but not cramped in cast iron skillet.

11. Cook at 450° for 18 minutes, turning the pan halfway through.

12. Brush tops with melted butter with three minutes left to cook.

13. Remove from oven and place in tea towel lined dish, cover until ready to serve.


  • Use a good butter. BUTTER MATTERS. Use a high quality salted butter. These are a few of my favorites.
  • Salt to your taste. Some days I want a little less salt, some days I want more. If you are not brushing the tops with salted butter, be sure to use full 3/4 tsp.
  • Handle the butter efficiently. If you want to freeze your butter and grate it, it won’t hurt! If you want to use a stand mixer, go for it! Handling the butter efficiently helps to not break down the fats and gives you a good fluffy biscuit, but I don’t know that any of the tricks make an absolute world of difference. Just don’t be a ninny when handling the butter. Get the job done as quick as you can.
  • Use a cast iron skillet. That’s all.
  • Do NOT use a rolling pin. Rolling the dough will compress it beyond fluffy repair. Gently, quickly pat your dough out to desired shape or thickness. No beating required.
  • Use a biscuit cutter. I use an old 3” biscuit cutter but if you prefer a smaller biscuit or need to make your batch feed more than six people, a 2” will do just fine. Be sure to cut and remove the biscuit directly straight up and down.

Eat | Crockpot BBQ Chicken & Easy Coleslaw

Some days you just need something seriously easy to cook after a long day in the barn. Enter the world’s easiest Bbq chicken + the world’s easiest coleslaw. Add a little veggie and you’ve got yourself a tasty treat.


  • 1 16oz bag of premixed coleslaw
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a bowl, stir the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper together. Taste for acidity and seasoning then adjust as desired. In a larger bowl, add shredded cabbage and carrots. Pour dressing over and mix well.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken:

  • 2-3 lbs chicken breast
  • 2 jars of your favorite bbq sauce, I love Sonny’s golden
  • Hawaiian slider rolls

Ok are you ready for the easiest recipe ever? Plop chicken into crockpot. Pour jar of sauce over said chicken. Set to high and cook for three hours. Forget you were cooking and come back to house to yummmmyyyy scents wafting through the door. Transfer chicken to skillet, shred with fork, pour sauce over chicken to your moisture preference, cook for a few minutes until sauce caramelizes slightly. Serve on Hawaiian rolls with a dollop of coleslaw.