Happy National Empanada Day!

Happy National Empanada Day!
This morning, in honor of the holiday, National Empanada Day, I decided to make some empanadas.  In deciding what kind to make I considered all the different kinds I could make.  There are sweet, desserty empanadas like fruit filled empanadas.  That would be good for breakfast, but lack of planning on my part left me with no fresh fruit for that option. 

Then there are the savory empanadas, like beef filled, chicken filled or even cheese filled.  I decided on turkey filled because using ground turkey is similar to ground beef, and I like to save my red meat for steaks and roasts.  I always substitute ground turkey for ground beef, mostly because it's just the healthier option.

Click here for my Easy Turkey Empanada Recipe .

Happy National Empanada Day! 

Easy Turkey Empanadas

Easy Turkey Empanadas Time:  Prep: 10 minutes   Cook: 20 minutes   Total Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 2 rolls Pie Crust 1 lb. Ground Turkey 1Medium Onion chopped fine 1 Bell Pepper chopped fine 3 cloves garlic minced 1 tsp Ground Cumin 1tsp Chili Powder 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 1 tsp oregano 1 can tomato paste 2 tsp olive oil 1 egg yolk Directions: On cutting board, roll pie crust out flat.  Using a 4 in diameter circle (I used a large mug), press out as many circles as possible.  (I was able to get 5 circles from each crust) Repeat with second crust Place circles in refrigerator while you prepare the filling. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown turkey.  Drain and transfer to a bowl. In same skillet, saute onion, garlic and pepper until soft and onions are translucent. Return Turkey to skillet, add cumin, chili powder, oregano, tomato paste, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat about 1 - 2 minutes.  Set aside. Separate egg yolk from white and break yolk into a bowl Lay a dough c…

Pasta Carbonara

Happy International Carbonara Day!

If you are looking for something quick and easy for dinner tonight, you are in luck.  Today is International Carbonara Day.  Carbonara is probably one of the easiest meals I've ever made.  As a matter of fact I made it for lunch today in honor of the holiday.

The garlic is an American addition to the dish.  In Italy the garlic is rarely, if ever used in this dish.

Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Time: Prep: 10 mins.  Cook: 10 mins  Total time: 15 mins


2 Eggs + 2 Egg yolks

1/3 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese

2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped. (optional)

4 oz. Pancetta

1 lb. spaghetti

2 tablespoons Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Put on 4 qts salted water on to boil for spaghetti.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, cheese, and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat add Olive oil, and pancetta.  Cook until pancetta starts to crisp on edges, 1 - 2 minutes.

Add garlic (optional) to pan of pancetta and cook until aromatic,…

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Prep time: 30 mins.  Cook time: 30 mins.  Total Time: 60 mins.
Ingredients 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves                 4 slices ham or prosciutto                 4 slices gruyere cheese                 1 cup all purpose flour                 ½ teaspoon salt                 ½ teaspoon pepper                 2 eggs                 ¼ cup milk                 ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese                 2 tablespoons EVOO (olive oil)

Preheat oven to 350° Flatten chicken to about ¼ inch thick.  Place 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese on each                            chicken half, roll and tuck the ends of the chicken, use toothpicks to secure. *TIP: Place chicken breast in large Ziploc bag to flatten. It’ll keep clean up to a minimum and     the raw chicken doesn’t touch anything but the inside of the bag.               In one bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In second bowl, whisk eggs and milk together.                            In a third bowl, place bread…

Blue Apron

What’s For Dinner?
I am an Air Traffic Controller by profession.As such I literally make thousands of decisions every day.Believe it or not, the decision that gives me the most agita is what we are having for dinner.A daily phone conversation between My Beautiful Wife and I, “What do you want to do for dinner?”, “I don’t know, what do you want to do for dinner?”, “I don’t know….”.You get the picture.
Last week we received in the mail a $30 gift card (coupon) for Blue Apron , one of the many meal delivery services available as of late.We decided to give it a try, and see if it was worth doing the meal plan.Our first delivery came on Friday of last week.I haven’t had to make a decision about dinner all weekend.We have four meals, all of the ingredients required for those meals, and very, very detailed recipes for those meals.That makes the decision process a whole lot easier.
The first thing I want to say is, and maybe it’s just me, but the day the packages came it was like Christmas morni…

It’s All About the Baste

Recently I’ve decided to expand on my culinary techniques in that I’ve decided to start smoking meat.No, it isn’t a new drug craze, I mean I’m going to start cooking meat in a smoker.Of course when I told my “literal” wife and children that for practice I was going to start smoking a meat a day they got great joy from it.“Dad is going to start smoking meat!”, “A meat a day is good Dad, keep the dose low to start!”, and my favorite from my wife when I said I was starting with pork butt, “Just say no to ‘crack’!”

Comedian family aside, I did indeed start with a pork butt.I don’t have a smoker yet but I do have a gas grill. Now I know that smoking on a gas grill is not optimal, but you have to use what you have and this is how I did it.I took a small chafing dish aluminum pan and poke several holes in the bottom.After soaking my wood chips for 30 minutes I drained and transferred the wood chips to the pan with the holes.I then placed the pork butt, in this case, all the way to one side of…

Universal Studios Orlando – Cabana Bay Beach Resort

The family and I just returned from a much needed trip to Universal Studios Orlando. I began writing a review of the entire trip the other night but when the post was approaching 2000 words, and not being halfway through the trip, I decided that maybe a series of posts would be better. I have decided that the best place to start would be where we stayed. I will follow up with all of the different aspects of the trip including the parks, transportation, flights and of course, food.

We booked a Universal Studios Harry Potter Package through Universal Studios. We chose Universals' new value hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort because, well quite frankly, it was the least expensive. Our package included 5 nights' hotel accommodations, 2 day park to park passes with the 3rd day free, early admission into the parks for Harry Potter, and two Harry Potter themed breakfasts. The total for our family of six in a Tower suite at Cabana Bay: $2808, which included vacation insurance and gro…