Salaam ya'll! As you probably know by now I'm a pretty decent cook with an adventurous appetite. However other than quick breads, biscuits and cornbread (along with the occasional cake mix) I have stayed faaar from baking. My first experiment with yeast in 2000 resulted in a dense loaf smaller than before I baked it! LOL I deemed it a monumental waste of time and never bothered again.
However Cap'n is a professional baker (not by trade any longer but by education) and I really wanted to try my hand at it. So yesterday we made nutty cinnamon rolls and today, empanadas! They are basically yummy little handheld pockets of meaty goodness.
Here are the cinnamon rolls; I showed most of the steps. I used a recipe I googled from the Betty Crocker cookbook; it's nice and basic and easy to follow. :)
|My sis made this vinyl sticker for me; I love it!|
|Dough after first rise; it should keep indentions!|
|All rolled out and ready to fill!|
|I opted for sugar, cinnamon, cardamom (a small amount!) and nuts, glorious nuts! Toasted first of course. ;)|
|All rolled up and ready to go! Or you know, be cut. :)|
|Aaminah had her own dough and made baby ones ma shaa Allah. This is before baking.|
And above is the finished, ready to be devoured, product! It did take quite a bit of time but as I'm pretty much a homebody (with wandering tendencies) it works out just fine. :)
Now on to the empanadas! Oh em gee these are delicious! I started with my meat filling; I used about a pound and a half of ground beef. It doesn't really matter, a pound is good, but I had that much frozen together so I just used it all. :) Cook til no longer pink and add some frozen corn, about a half cup or so. Brown the beef and add some onion powder and smoked paprika. Then I added a good squirt or two of ketchup (I wanted to use tomato paste but I was out and I can improvise!) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. 2 good tsp of pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and you have some spicy goodness! I cooked it for another 20 min or so, stirring ever 5 to 7 minutes, just to help tame the sugars and caramelize it a bit.
Oh and I added a tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder and a splash of coffee. Trust me, it will develop layers of flavors and your mouth will thank me! ;)
|Spicy, beef, corny goodness!|
So the super-yum filling was ready; now on to the dough! Lil Miss made me promise to wait until she was home as she is quite the fan of learning through play. Here are our pics:
|I didn't show how I made the dough; I followed a recipe online for "yeast empanada dough", then rolled it out and we filled it with the meat and some chihuahua cheese. OK not a dog, it's actually a region in Mexico. :)|
|She's cutting the dough circles!|
|Before baking, brushed with an egg wash for crispy goodness.|
|And voila! The finished product with a stunning door in the background! ;)|
These are addictively delicious! Some came out smaller than others (I am a firm believer in letting Li'l Miss learn hands-on) so the bigger ones did have a better filling to pastry ratio but we are very pleased! Definitely a labor of love but isn't that why we cook for family anyway? :) Well, you know, when we have time and aren't exhausted and the baby isn't crying and the laundry is done up and, and, and... ;)
As I said above, I've been very homebodyish lately. When you have a chronic, severe illness things like parking distance and temperature really help make your decisions! Also we live in a smaller city and sometimes I just can't be the face of Islam for every person I meet. My home is my little cozy sanctuary and I'm so blessed to have it! So I like to busy myself with little projects; making the skillet handle cover, baking yummy treats, etc. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment without having to leave the comforts of home. :D
Oh I started at Amazon today! Yay me! If anyone reading is interested they hire work-from-home from several states (not all). Just log onto www.amazon.force.com and search VCC (virtual call center) or work from home. It will let you know the requirements. If you have a good internet connection, good pc (or Mac) with at least a 21" monitor and live in a participating state you are well on your way! It's a great option for hijabis who might have a more difficult time getting hired in conventional workspaces.
But you need to be away from family noise and you cannot have your children running around; if they still depend on you to keep close tabs this wouldn't work. Li'l Miss is 8 now and can handle herself in the house but not necessarily the same room as I am. She will wander in occasionally and chit chat (if I'm free) but I take my breaks and spend time with her.
Alrighty, I think that gets up up to date. Catch ya'll later; ma salaama!