chef sarah: the perfect [chilean] empanadas

last sunday [7/17] was a good church day, filled with visiting family [and watching japan win the world cup!], resting, and cooking! i worked most of the afternoon away on these babies, but really, they don't take very much at all if you can stay focused (:

being chilean, i love empanadas, especially those con queso [with cheese, for you non-spanish speakers (; ]. i was talking to an amigo at church earlier in the day about them and my mouth started watering and i knew i had to make them as soon as i got home...so first thing when i got home i compiled all of the necessary ingredients:

note: the first set of steps = part one: just for the dough, then you let it refrigerate for four hours. then in part two you add in your filling.

3 cups flour [give or take a little extra for kneading]
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water [i used a little extra because the dough seemed a bit dry, so just add as you see fit]
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vinegar
3 tbsp shortening
1 block of cheese, or any other filling you desire!

so! first step: put your apron on (: this one is especially special, because my mama just recently gave it to me so that i can take it back out to school in utah with me this coming year. and get this: her mama, my grandma adelina, made it for her way back when she first got married - from scratch! just out of a little bit of fabric. i am already in love with it and will wear it whenever i cook/bake in the future. just love my chilean heritage/mama/grandma (:

second step: get two bowls, a small and then a medium one. 

third step: in the small one, beat the water, egg, egg white and vinegar together with a fork.

fourth step: in the medium one, mix together the flour and salt. then cut the shortening into smaller pieces if you are using stick shortening [if you use shortening from a can like i did then this really isn't an issue] and add it into the flour + salt mix.

fifth step: make a little valley/well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the liquid mixture into the center, then mix everything together with a fork until it all becomes stiff [this is where i added a little extra water, because it seemed a little too dry for my liking].

sixth step: put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and [this is the fun part!] knead it all together until it is nice and smooth and you can fit it into your hand all pretty-like.

see?? nice and smooth! give or take a few lumps, but that's okay, too.

seventh step: wrap your little bundle of joy up in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least one hour [but not any more than 24 hours - if you want to make your empanadas later than 24 hours from the time you make the dough, make sure you freeze it instead of refrigerating it or it will get yucky and too hard to work with!] you can also add a 'do not touch this...or else' sign like i did if you are worried about hungry roommates/siblings/children/spouses/parents letting their curiosity get the best of them. end of part one (:

SO! fast forward an hour or so forward, and you are ready for part two: the real cooking of your extra yummy empanadas! (:

first. set up your area where you will be rolling/cutting your empanada dough with some flour. then unwrap your dough and spread it out on your counter and get to work on rolling it out nice and thin! ps - this makes for an awesome upper-body workout, if you're doing it right (;

they should be super-duper thin! almost paper-like. just basically as thin as you can get them without them tearing apart (:

and for a good-sized empanada, make sure it fits your hand [or a small child's... i guess that is more like what my hand size is like]:

second. once you have all of your dough rolled out and cut up [this recipe yielded about 12 empanadas for me] then you place your filling on one side of the dough [so you have enough room to fold it over]. [p.s. anna, this is basically like everything you did to make those homemade pizza rolls a couple months ago!] note: we used shredded pizza cheese because that is all the cheese we had...but in the future [and for all of you!] make sure if you are trying to make all-cheese empanadas that you get a block of cheese and then cut it up so you have just one big piece of cheese in it instead of a bunch of shreds: this helps the cheese to get coated all over the inside instead of just melting on the bottom of the empanada when you fry it (:

third. using the water [which is that color because our flour-ed hands got in it], wet the outside edges of each empanada so it will close easier.

fourth. fold the empanada dough over the filling and press it down. then go back and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork so they are super tight sealed shut!

that way you won't have burninated cheese pieces hanging out of your empanada!

four. have a photoshoot with your super-hot chilean mama, modeling the right way to cook - the chilean way (;

five. get a big pot [seen above!] and fill it with like two-inches of canola/vegetable oil for frying. then once it gets mega hot, turn down the heat a bit so you don't fry yourself and then [carefully!] set 1-3 empanadas in the 'fryer' and let them cook about 1-3 minutes on each side - until they are lightly golden brown.

note: it is perfectly normal for them to bubble up like little monsters and make you think they are going to explode in your face. i promise they won't. at least none of mine did. that's just what happens! especially when you use cheese that doesn't expand... whoops. block cheese next time for sure!

six: place the cooked empanadas into a bowl/on a plate covered with paper towels, so it can soak up the remaining oil and make it slightly healthier (; you can bake empanadas, too, but they just taste better this way, in my opinion!

serve warm, and enjoy! they are perfect for a main dish [like with our family...main food groups = bread and cheese, so this of course was dinner] or even just for a snack the next day! just put them in the fridge [in a ziplock bag] overnight and you can pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and enjoy them warm!

ps if you make good enough empanadas, it will drive all of your admiring cooking fans to follow in your footsteps immediately...

only three more years until this guy is a server at bob evans, right? (;

back back back it up

i would blame my lack of updating on the large amount of pictures/documenting that i had to do for our myrtle beach trip, but let's face it: i have a knack for getting behind. at least i'm updating though, right??

anywho, let's rewind a bit and i'll try to get caught up by the end of the day... or maybe tomorrow? sure why not.

sunday [7/10] we were back at home, sweet, home in ohio! i gave my talk on keeping the sabbath day holy at church bright + early in the single's ward and mama, daddy + dk all graciously came along to hear me talk for ten minutes (: the rest of the day we all enjoyed catching up on some more R&R - much needed after such a long and faraway vacation, right?

monday [7/11] mostly all i remember was that it was crazy rainy and so dk couldn't go over to axel's and play in his pool... so axel came over here instead for the afternoon. in the morning, however, i do know [thanks to my running journal!] that i ran 3.01 miles in 28:29 on the treadmill at planet fitness! it was little rough - mostly because the whole past week i had taken a vacation from wearing shoes/socks + running on a hard surface/going absolutely nowhere because the ground is moving for you underneath your feet. aka, i definitely love running on my own much, much better than treadmill running... so once i get my garmin/decide which one to get - i will be running outside much, much more often (: worked from 5pm-8:30pm...give or take an hour or so. home, bedtime.

tuesday [7/12] i got up and ran 5.01 miles in 45:21...again on the treadmill at pf, and again - not my best run. i had to stop and walk a few times - something i absolutely hate to do. but at least i finished the five miles, and that's what counts to me! i don't remember much else from this day, except for sleeping in a bunch [as i did most of the week] and then working, 5:30pm - close.

wednesday [7/13] was the first time i picked up my camera since myrtle beach! so i can remember a little more clearly what exactly i did this day (: didn't run in the morning because i knew i'd be running [night run!!] with johnny boy later on, at night [obviously]. went to H&M with col in the morning and bought some souuuuuper cute stuff!

took this/went there mostly just for anna...just dying and dying sometimes waiting for her to get here to ohio so we can go back together!! (:

enjoyed my #1 favorite-ever dinner.. steak escape + their lemonade.. YUMMMM. col just loved, too.

after a photobooth session [i'm not sure the best way to upload photobooth pictures when they don't provide you with a web URL to get your pictures from.../i think i'm just too lazy. but they were awesome. trust me.], we headed home and i enjoyed taking DK out to menchie's for some froyo delicousness, dublin-style [and yes, anna, i will take you there when you get here (: ] after he got done with scouts. just love little ice-cream-man spoons.

after DK surprised me by dressing up with some of my recently purchased goods [guess who he's impersonating??], the fam headed off to bed,

and i went to johnny boy's house where we enjoyed a wonderful 4.5 mile outdoor night run with just the full moon [or something close to it] illuminating our run through powell... gor.ge.ous. we finished in about 38:12 but we also stopped quite a bit en route so i know my watch isn't exactly accurate.. and we went a bit off the beaten path, as well, so the mileage is more of a guess from john's perspective. whatever. runs are fun even without timing yourself (: it was just a great night. minus my dehydration and improper fueling [eating froyo right before a run = no bueno], it was grand. enjoyed a tall glass of chocolate milk post-run at his place before heading home for the night.

thursday [7/14] was fantastic! it was a rest day for me...but instead of doing cross-training i was just extra lazy and slept in. gotta stop doing that sometime...mama called when she was almost home from her errands and had me take the boys [dk + axel] to meet her at graeter's for some ice cream...is it even possible to say no to that?? even if it means dealing with these two for a little extra time:

the #1 reason graeter's will eternally be #1 ice cream in my heart: these chocolate chips chunks!!

om nom. came home + got all dolled up to go to see a midsummer night's dream - shakespeare in the park at schiller park in german village [that was a mouthful] with daddy!

we even snuck up on stage during intermission and got a few pictures with the set! it was gorgeous and the show was amazing and hilarious and incredibly well done overall - especially for a free production!!

it was a gorgeous night for a show, too. we had a great time (:

friday [7/16] rolled around and i was really feeling down from my not-so-bueno workouts earlier this week and just felt crashed and just slept in [yes, again] instead of getting a run in. boo. however, we did get to enjoy a nice visit from our favorite parsons kiddos for the afternoon!

and i demonstrated how i am still a child [not just in the way that i look like a preteen] in the fact that i still like to cut my sandwiches [peanut butter and banana.. YUM] in little triangles. it just tastes better, okay?

enjoyed going downtown for dinner and eating some yummy cane's with my ohio amigos: sara whit, mike + mikey a.

just love having good company and extra-good food in my tummy. enjoyed watching RANGO for the first time [!!!] with mama for the night while dk enjoyed a sleepover with westley + daddy was out with grandma. if you haven't seen this movie, please do yourself a favor and get it for $1 from redbox [aka what we did] or see it in the dollar theatre...or just buy it and buy me a copy too, if you feel like it. it's impossible to not laugh your head off, just imagining jdepp doing/saying all these extra-goofy things in this movie.. + all of the acting references. LOVED IT. ten stars. at least.

saturday [7/17] woke up bright + early [at like 8am, maybe] to go bike riding with daddy at a trail we'd never been on at antrim park.

i didn't have any way of tracking the mileage [garmin watch...i need you!] but we were out for about 1.5-2 hours total, enjoying a nice walk around the lake post-bike ride. got home and went to the gym [since i was supposed to get my long run in this day...] and well, that didn't happen. i didn't wanna overdo things so i just ran an easy 2 miles in 15:40. came home, helped dad pull some weeds/fix up the garden area for grass planting, then came inside and watched anna's awesome hour-long special on merrill  and their rebuilding in wisconsin post-crazy tornadoes. she's awesome. went to work shortly thereafter from 5pm - close. enjoyed a delicious peach cobbler [aka all-time favorite dessert...at bob's at least] with johnny boy post-work once we finally got outta there, then headed straight home for sleep!

mb pt. 8: homeward bound.

alas, saturday [7/9] came around all too soon, and it was our last morning on the beach. i got up right around sunrise and enjoyed my last barefoot beach run for the year in about twenty minutes of running and probably another twenty or so just walking along the beach taking pictures.

this was the cherry grove pier that i usually ran down to + back, as it was my fifteen minute/ 1.5 mile turn-around for the week:

once i turned around after i passed the pier was when i really noticed the difference in the brightness of the sky post-sunrise! it was gorgeous!

and while the beach itself may look flawlessly smooth, there were plenty of stretches of sand along the way where there were mass amounts of shells to hop over:

but! luckily i collected my fair share of pretty shells, including this gem of a [perfect!!] sand dollar that i found!

i enjoyed the sights a bit more,

and even asked a nice runner friend to snap a picture of me with my shells (:

and after [playing in the sand] taking a bunch more pictures [baby wave!],

i took one last look at our condo from the beach [top right hand corner],

and headed inside to shower, eat breakfast, pack up + get out on the road to head back home to ohio!

we passed lots of interesting sights on our way home, through the carolinas and virginias, including this huge mountain of a... mountain. that used to be a volcano! doesn't it just look like someone took a scoop of ice cream off the top of it and plopped it right next to where they took it out??

awesome. after DK ate some ice cream of his own [from mcd's, no less], and another 12-or-so hours of driving north, we made it home before 10:30pm! enough time for us to unpack, me to finish my talk, and for 
all of us to get right to bed before another sunday was upon us (:

myrtle beach, we miss you. but we'll see you next year!
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