chicken empenadas

This past weekend my family all got together  for the weekend. Rarely does this happen, so during our time we spent catching up, we did all of our favorites, baked, played, and looked through old family pictures like the one found here.

Anyone who comes from a large family background that includes attending church on a Sunday morning, knows that if there are eight people up & getting ready, two and a half fully functioning bathrooms is hardly enough space.  I think back to heading to my grandmas for Sunday dinner and think, how did she build these enormous feasts for all of us when we’d visit and still have time to roll and set her hair, leaving on time, perfectly put together.

Lattice Apple Pie

Saturday night,  my sisters and I decided Apple Pie, ( You can find the recipe we used here.) would be a perfect fall choice for Sunday afternoon dessert, and something simple like CrockpotChicken Tacos ( I love the recipe found here so much flavor. ) , would be both easy and kid friendly.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

So, Tuesday morning rolled around and I was left with a lot of meat from the chicken tacos,  I also had a can of Pillsbury GRANDS biscuits that were intended for breakfast sitting my fridge so I began creating.

I came up with a simple Chicken Empanada,  now, its no secret that I love love love all things hot & spicy. There is truly nothing better on the palette than that perfect blend of hot & spicy.

Chicken Empenadas

1 can of GRANDS flaky layer biscuits ( individually rolled out as flat as possible)

Fill each with a small amount of shredded Colby Jack or Mexican Cheese, the left over chicken, grilled peppers, onion, a jalapeño, dash with some extra of your favorite hot sauce ( if you like it as spicy as me)

Don’t over fill with the mixture, you will want to be able to fold the dough in half, as pictured.

Chicken Empenadas

Bake in the over at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown and you’ve got easily 2 -4 meals depending on the size of your family.

Chicken Empenadas

                   The crust is super flaky, and its perfect when its still warm and right out of the oven.

 

Empanadas are so simple and really can be filled in so many ways…  what fun things would you add into yours?  Tell me in the comments below.

 

eliza

 

 

Valentines Cut-Outs (Sugar Cookies)

While I’m not the biggest fan of commercializing a holiday… I will say that Valentines Day is one of my favorite ideas of a holiday.   I love the idea of love, and doing nice sweet gestures for people.  I have never actually made cut-out sugar cookies before so I thought I would make a go at it this week in preparation of this special lovey-dovey holiday.Valentine Sugar CookiesMy little tip is add an extra tablespoon of flour to the dough mix and refrigerate while your oven is heating.

Writing with Icing

Its good to practice a few times on some paper before diving into the cookies…
Valentine Sugar Cookies 3Cookies for everyone… wish you all could taste how awesome these are. The recipe can be found here.  Hope you all have an amazing holiday and even if you don’t think you have anyone to celebrate with this year. Make some up for a friend, family or co-worker.  I don’t know many who don’t love cookies… 🙂   –Eliza

Full Disclosure :  I totally used those Betty Crocker squeeze packets with the interchangeable tips for the icing… hey you know with this being my first attempt at cut-out sugar cookies I figured why not try the whole homemade icing another day.  Plus who really wants to pass up glittery red icing?!?  not this girl…  🙂

Guinness Stout Chocolate Cupcakes

It’s no secret that I love cooking, baking and well anything that would have to do with creating. So of course, when my brother-in-laws birthday popped up on the calendar I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to play around with a recipe I’ve been curious with for a while now.  I’m such a big fan of chocolate stouts, especially the delicious one they serve around Christmas time down at the Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, AZ, and I’d heard of Chocolate Stout Cupcakes, but never tried them out myself. I have to say I was beyond extremely impressed. They turned out so moist and the flavor was phenomenal especially with the added touch of the Bailey’s Cream Cheese frosting atop.

Guinness Stout Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 c. Guinness Stout
  • 1 c.  Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 c. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 c. Sour Cream
  • 2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauce pan melt together butter, sugar and Guinness Stout, remove from heat and refrigerate to cool.  In a large mixing bowl add cake mix, eggs, and sour cream. slowly incorporate the Guinness Stout mixture and mix together until batter is smooth and silky. Divide into cupcake pans and bake for 18-22 minutes. 

Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 Package of Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 4 c. Confectioners Suger
  • 4 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream

Cream all the wet ingredients together first then slowly incorporate confectioners sugar. Spread over cupcakes once they have completely cooled.

This recipe is great for any beer lover as well as a fun treat to make during St. Patricks Day.  What is your favorite unique combination of cupcake flavors?  Comment below I’d love to learn some new recipes…

salted caramel pears

Every year around this time you see all the decadent treats and desserts start to come out in trays.  First it begins with Halloween and doesn’t stop until you finish ringing in the New Year. Last year, after getting all ready for Trick-or-Treat, we ended up barely having any visitors. So this year, I decided instead of stocking up our house with a bowl full of chocolate and confections that we would ultimately only consume.  I took our favorite flavors and began creating a new little tradition for us.  At our house we aren’t exactly die-hard fans of chocolate but last year when we had the first sampling of Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, we were hooked {on the salted caramel part that is… but quickly decided this treat is not worth the guilt when checking out the grams of fat & calories.}. While neither of us really care for apples, we just can’t get enough of fresh pears and generally have them year round. My little treat this year won’t knock us too far off our health and wellness wagon but also keep us in the spirit of Halloween.

{I cheated a little bit and just purchased the caramel bits but if you’re daring here is a recipe that comes highly recommended.}

{Helpful Hint} – Measure out 1 cup of the caramel bits and wrap the rest up and place them in the freezer to save you the temptation of munching on them until you next little treat.

{I recommend using the double boiler method as opposed to microwave, you will be able to have much greater control of the melting process}

                                   {Luxurious little Halloween treats just for two… }

After dredging the pears through the melted caramel carefully sprinkle coarse sea salt down over the tops of your treats and you will be set.  To finish place them in the fridge to cool and harden.

At our house this year, we’ve decided tomorrow evening will be filled with lots of scary movies to accompany our fun little Halloween treats.   Whether you heading out or staying in, I hope you take the time to celebrate an old tradition or maybe start a new one like we did.

Hope you all have a curvy and luxurious Halloween…