Ok, this one has words, but I had to meme Josie…
Jonathan and I went to a Spanish tapas bar for our date night last week and it was delicious! I love grazing on my dinner like cattle…truly I do, and tapas give me an excuse to try a bit of everything. I’ve been scheming ways to make some at home every day since. While our schedules don’t currently allow for hosting a tapas party, I knew I needed to make something at home to satisfy my urges.
Enter stage right: beef empanadas.
I tend to shy away from making pastries or frying food at home because it can be a lot of work. However, I happened to have a few pie crusts hanging out in my freezer that needed love and attention. You can easily use Pillsbury crescent rolls if you want to cut out a few steps and save time. As for the frying? Well, you can bake these puppies instead, but why would you do that to yourself?
These beef empanadas are packed with flavor and have a perfect flaky and buttery crust. I love that they are only three bites, which makes me feel a little better about eating fried foods. So if I’m doing my math right, eating 6 of them is practically a health food. Math is hard!
Makes approximately 20 empanadas with beef filling to spare!
Notes on this recipe: I’ve been saving bacon grease in a mason jar in my fridge lately. It feels a little Howard Hughes-esque, but my life has significantly improved now that I have bacon grease on hand for sautéing vegetables and other things. If you happen to keep a jar of the stuff (you are a champion), then feel free to use it to sauté the onions, but you could easily substitute olive oil.
You should buy tortillas to go with this recipe because you will have extra filling, but lucky for you, the filling tastes great as tacos too!
One more little note…crimping the edges of empanadas, and any pies for that matter, is my kryptonite. I would like to show you my two trial run empanadas just to stay humble:
Do not be like me. Be delicate and graceful and an empanada savant.
Do not attempt to glue the rips in the dough together with more dough. Your food will look like a burn victim and it will appetize no one.
There’s a solid chance I rolled out the dough too thin. Don’t do that.
If you are like me (bless you!), don’t worry. Hot fry oil cures all ails. Pop those bad boys in their little jacuzzi until golden brown!
Can you hear them sizzling?
I already miss them. Their poor little lives were cut too short. Until we meet again, my fried friends.
You might remember previous posts about my One Kitchen Many Hearts friends…you know, the ones who mail each other boxes filled with goodies every other month? Well, we all haphazardly met through our blogs and decided it was kismet and became friends. In February, we met in person at Jeanne (Inside NanaBread’s Head) lovely home in Houston, TX!
Jeanne made us all feel welcome with hand-crafted monogrammed pillows (see tutorial here), individual coasters, and lip balm.
She and her husband, “The Complete Package”, cooked feasts for us for every meal. I didn’t take a single food picture because I was too busy shoving my face full of deliciousness. None of my pants fit by the end of the weekend, but that’s precisely how it should be. Noteworthy favorites: homemade horchata, peach cobbler, ranch beans, smoked brisket, french toast waffles, fried pies, Mexican martinis, and biscuits and gravy.
After a huge debacle with Thrifty rental company (I will never use them again), we finally rented a molester van from Avis. I was able to drive it and my pal, Kevin the Donkey, all around Houston for the weekend.
Besides feasting, we also chatted late into the night, shopped until we dropped, laughed until we cried, and hung out with real donkeys! I’ll show the rest of the weekend in pictures before this post turns into a TLDR post.
On top of the entire weekend of festivities, we were also able to exchange our gifts in person. Kirsten (Comfortably Domestic) got me such wonderful treats. Thank you, Kir!
I had an absolute blast and I cannot wait for our OKMH: 2015 reunion. A year is so long to wait!
Thank you to Jeanne and The Complete Package for letting 7 women descend upon your house! Thank you to Kirsten for the wonderful gifts! Thank you to Allison, Kat, Beka, and Megan for being such wonderful travel companions! And thank you to Katie for meeting us in Brenham for a day of fun! I seriously loved every minute of our adventure.
I’ve been living in SoCal for almost 4 years, and I’ve noticed some major differences between California and Minnesota, particularly LA vs. Minneapolis. There are so many differences, but these stand out to me as the most absurd:
If you go anywhere in LA (including running errands) and you are not in full hair and makeup, you might be suffering from a complete emotional breakdown. In Minneapolis, it is perfectly acceptable to wear sweatpants, boots, and a messy bun almost anywhere.
This leads to my next point…on a scale of attractiveness, if you are a 5 in LA, you are a 7 in Minneapolis. There is an automatic 2 point increase on the “hot or not scale” when in Minnesota. I was hit on more often in my week visit to Minneapolis than my entire 4 years of living in SoCal.
LA is a dog eat dog world where individuals only care about surviving the rat race and will mow you over in the process. The perfect example of this is what happens at bus stops. You can be the only person at a bus stop waiting for 15 minutes, but two minutes before the bus arrives, hoards of people will bust out of the bushes only to budge in front of you and steal the last open seat on the bus. This has happened to me countless times, elbows fly, and no apologies are made, except for perhaps a quietly murmured, “Sorry you weren’t fast enough.”
This is not to say that Minnesotans are any better with their sugary sweet niceties that are often disingenuous. If a Minnesotan ever invites you to “get together sometime”, please know that they have no intentions of getting together with you. Ever. Phrases like “that’s interesting” are the Minnesotan way of saying something is terrible. Merging onto the highway in Minnesota is the most excruciating process because everyone thinks, “You go first,” “No, you go first,” “Please, I insist you go first,” for an eternity.
People in Minnesota talk endlessly and enthusiastically about the weather. It’s not just small talk, it’s whispered between lovers in dark corners of coffee shops. Minnesotans love talking about the weather so much, sometimes it’s the only news reported for weeks on end. Similarly, Californians could talk about traffic until they are blue in the face. What’s happening on the 405? I’ll tell you in lengthy detail and discuss possible alternate routes and the pros and cons of said routes. Are you late to work? Of course you are; let’s chat about it.
Those thin papery toilet seat covers provide almost no protection between your body and whatever butt diseases are on the toilet seat. LA provides them in every restaurant, bar, and public space. If toilet seat covers don’t exist, you might be in a sketchy part of town. In Minneapolis, those seat covers are almost non-existent and
the minuscule bit of OCD relief they provide is sorely missed.
Can you think of any major differences that I missed? What crazy things are different about where you live?
It’s Pizza Week and my favorite group of bloggers has come together to give you yet another week filled with delicious recipes. I made Tangy BBQ Chicken Pizza!
Pizza Week (aka my favorite themed week thus far) could not have come at a more inopportune time. I’m still on my elimination diet and cheese is still off-limits. However, I’ve made this pizza enough times to know it is superb, and my handsome taste-tester agrees with me.
It’s based on one of my favorite pizzas of all time, The Wrangler, from Pizza Luce. The tangy BBQ sauce plays nicely with the crunch of red onion and the zip of banana peppers. This pizza has a lot of bold flavors that give it a POW! ZAP! BANG!
Now, pizza is an extremely subjective experience, so feel free to adjust the ingredients to your tastes. I love cilantro, so I pile it on. Banana peppers are very strong for me, so I only need a few to get the full effect. You get the idea…
For the chicken:
For the pizza:
Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and liberally salt and pepper the bits. Toss with BBQ sauce and garlic in a ziplock bag. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, you can prep all of the other ingredients. I almost always use block cheeses when cooking because the pre-shredded cheese has added chemicals to keep it fresh, which funks up the taste and also causes problems when you want to melt it.
Put a skillet on medium heat with 2 tsp. olive oil. Once the oil is just shimmering, add the chicken and cook until heated through (approx. 6 minutes). Remove the chicken from heat and set aside.
Roll out the pizza dough, top with onions, banana peppers, chicken, cheese, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Pop in the oven and bake according to the pizza crust package.
Once you pull it out of the oven, top with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy!
Friday: Jeanne – Pepperoni Rolls-Two Ways / Lauren – Caramelized Onion, Sausage and Barbecue Pizza with Ranch Dressing