Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Soooooo Good

I am so proud of our little girl! Phoebe had her six month checkup today, which meant a lot of "tickling" from doctors and nurses as well as some yucky shots. Well, during all the tickling we found out that she's growing so well! She is 26 inches long (75%ile) and 14 pounds, 14 ounces (25%ile). Maybe she'll be taller than her Mommy! Even though she's very petite, she's growing well and developing just fine. She loved showing off her "grab-the-paper" routine, and thought Dr. B's hair looked like a whole lot of fun to grab. Phoebe was also the bravest she's ever been for her shots, and cried much less than she ever has. She has sacked out and is in the crib now, taking her first good snooze of the day. I think she's trying to teach her mommy that shots really aren't that bad!

I've decided I'm going to start posting some of our favorite meals on here, mostly so that I can remember them -- but also to share, if anyone is interested! It has become a hobby of mine to try and get the most bang-for-my-buck when it comes to grocery shopping, which really means strategic meal planning. And I love to cook and try new things, so it'll be fun to record what works and what doesn't! I think I'm probably much more likely to post them here than write them in a notebook. :)

Last night we had empanadas, which are really Mexican calzones. I adapted this from a Real Simple Magazine recipe. They were delicious and really filled Michael up (and left some leftovers, too.)

Serves 2

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef (I use ground sirloin, but you can also use chuck, or for something even leaner, use ground turkey)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
refrigerated pizza dough (Publix sells their white mountain bread dough for cheap in the bakery, this is what we use -- half of the dough ball was enough for two LARGE empanadas)
flour for rolling
1 can refried beans
1/4 cup shredded cheese
nonstick spray

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Saute onion, pepper, and garlic for 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. Add ground beef and brown. Once meat is browned, sprinkle spices over the meat and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. (You can also add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if you want it spicy.) Allow meat mixture to cool.
Roll out pizza dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. You will need an 8 inch "circle" of dough for each empanada. [Note: Michael rolls all dough in our house because I hate dealing with flour and dough. Do what works best for you to end up with two 8 inch circles of dough; I really don't know how it's best done.]
Spread 1 or 2 tablespoons of unheated refried beans (technically they're already cooked if they're in the can) onto each piece of dough. Top with half the meat mixture and half the cheese. Fold over the dough so that it forms a calzone-type "pocket". (All of the filling should be tucked inside.)
Place empanadas onto a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Spray the tops of the empanadas with spray as well. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden and done. Enjoy!
(You will have leftover refried beans in the can; heat these to serve on the side or save for another mexican meal later in the week. If you're like us, you're eating Mexican at home something like twice a week anyway!)


Michael Thomas said...

"really filled Michael up" - sounds like quite an unfathomable feat!

The Lawler Family: said...

i love your blog! you're such a creative writer. I also love that you add such fun stuf, such as recipes. i've got to know though, where did you find that background? i LOVE it!!! see you soon!

Carolynn said...

Mmmmmm sounds yummy! Can we just come over there for dinner?!? I love refried beans. Unfortunately they don't like Callahan. I'm going to save it in my recipe repertoire. Let's go walking again soon!