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Buffalo Chicken Empanadas

Honestly? These are kind of like homemade hot pockets. At least that’s what the hubby tells me. I’ve never personally had a hot pocket. Just add it to the list of things “all” children of the 80’s have eaten that I haven’t. Also included are pop tarts & hamburger helper. What can I say? My childhood was full of home-cooked awesome. I don’t know the origin of hot pockets, maybe a vindictive evil genius in a basement discovered they were the perfect vehicle for scalding the mouths of children across the country? It’s possible. Empanadas on the other hand originated in Spain and eventually made their way around the world in various forms. The name comes from the verb empanar meaning to wrap in bread. Some countries fill the dough with meat, some with sweet fillings or vegetables. I decided to combine the standard fare of the midwest (BBQ) with the Spanish tradition of empanadas. The result? Buffalo chicken awesomeness.

Start by cooking up some chicken, bell pepper and onion.

Then add a hit of BBQ sauce. I’m a big fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s cause it’s so thick and delicious – but you can whatever brand you like.
Roll out some buttermilk biscuits and then start filling. First, some of the saucy chicken mixture.
Topper of cheese (jack, co-jack, pepper jack…all are awesome).
Then fold it up.
And press the edges to seal in all that BBQ goodness. Bake and enjoy!
You can hold these right in your hand and munch away. Glorious! A pocket of bready barbecue goodness.
Mmmmmm. Filled with cheesy, chicken deliciousness.
Yum yum yum!
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas

1 lb. chicken breast, cubed

1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/3 – 1/2 cup barbeque sauce (depending how saucy you like things)
1 (16.3-oz.) can Pillsbury refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream or ranch salad dressing, if desired
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Sautee onions, pepper and chicken in large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Add barbeque sauce; mix well. Remove skillet from heat.
2. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press or roll each to form 6-inch round. Spoon beef mixture evenly onto half of each biscuit round. Top each with a sprinkle of cheese. Fold dough over filling; press edges to seal. Place on ungreased large cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 375°F. for 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream or ranch for dipping and a mexican salad.
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BBQ Pulled Pork

Why is it when working out at the Y, the only good thing on TV is the Food Network? It kills me to watch fabulous dishes being made while I’m dripping sweat and struggling to breathe. But, since I don’t have cable television in my house (mostly because if I did, all I’d do is sit and watch the Food Network), I’m thankful for the great ideas I get from watching Rachel, Ina, Paula, Bobby and Guy at the gym. This week it was Paula Dean. This is the first recipe I’ve ever tried of hers. They always look amazing, but I’ve never actually remembered to look up the recipe once I get home. I think I’m in an indoor BBQ kind of mood because apparently in Seattle we’re going to skip right over Spring this year and go directly from Winter to Summer sometime in July. Seriously…I think there was a frost this week and I broke out my flip flops yesterday because it was going to be a whopping 58°. [Read more…]

Buffalo-Style Empanadas

Empanadas originated in Spain and eventually made their way around the world in various forms. The name comes from the verb empanar meaning to wrap in bread. Some countries fill the dough with meat, some with sweet fillings or vegetables. I decided to combine the standard fare of the midwest (BBQ) with the Spanish tradition of empanadas. Mmmmm. Tasty. I know, it’s not really a traditional Mexican food. But for many years I’ve made enchiladas or tacos on Cinco de Mayo and today I wanted a little something different.
[Read more…]

Crispy Cheese Pulled Pork Tacos with Sesame Slaw

It’s Taco Tuesday! I have died and gone to over-eating heaven. Seriously. Dinner tonight was quite possibly the most delicious food I’ve had all year. Possibly in the past 5 years. I cannot remember the last meal I enjoyed more than what I shared with my family tonight. My daughter declared “Mommy, this is so good, because it makes my brain smarter” – apparently beyond being simply and utterly delicious, it also fuels the mind.  What could make me rave so much? Get this…BBQ pulled pork wrapped in a crispy cheese shell, topped with a tangy creamy sesame slaw. Oh yeah baby. That is  just phenomenal food. Have I ever mentioned how much I am in love with cheese? Especially the crispy kind. If you’re like me and seek out the crunchy parts on the edges of scalloped potatoes, casseroles, nachos etc — you’re going to pass out from pleasure when you taste these things. [Read more…]

Easy Chicken Marinade

This is a quick and easy way to make delicious, flavorful chicken. I use fresh lemon and herbs, but if all you have is the green lemon juice bottle and some dried spices – they’ll work in a pinch. Serve up with some rice and veggies. Perfect, simple, fast meal. Photo of the completed meal is below the recipe – here it is in the Ziploc doing it’s marinade thing while it defrosts.

Easy Chicken Marinade

BBQ Wagon Wheel Stew

We came back from sunshine and 80 degrees yesterday and woke up this morning to blustery rain and a chilly temperature of 55. Seemed like a good night for stew. My daughter saw wagon wheel pasta at the store our last trip and has been begging for it ever since. This stew was the perfect solution to satisfy her wagon wheel craving and my desire for a hearty warm meal.

BBQ Wagon Wheel Stew

BBQ Wagon Wheel Stew

1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 C wagon wheel pasta, uncooked
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
1 1/2 C water
2 cubes chicken bullion (or you could just use chicken stock instead of the water and bullion)
10 oz frozen peas
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 C barbecue sauce (I love Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat large skillet and cook onions over medium heat until slightly soft. Add beef and cook until  well browned, about 5 minutes. Drain any fat.
2. Dissolve bullion in water then add to skillet along with pasta, tomatoes, peas, carrots and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low;  cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

I served this up with warm Buttermilk Cornbread and Honey Butter. Mmmmmm.

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