Saturday, 9 March 2013

Sometimes I don't know how I function....

Written by Linda Gauthier

Friends are a treasure.
To my friends, you know who you are, Thank you.

I imagine we all have times when we give our head a shake and say "what the heck am I doing?"  It seems I have been experiencing a lot of those lately.  I sometimes have a rather chaotic lifestyle, but what is weird about that, is that it is during those times that I seem to, or at least I feel, that I function at my best.  Give me some down time, or time when I don't have everything all planned out, and I tend to be like a bumbling, Great Dane loping across the field in one direction, until something else catches my eye, and oops!! I'm off chasing whatever it was that distracted me from my original goal, the result being that I don't complete anything.
Hubby calls this my "Squirrel!" mindset, a line from some cartoon or other.  "Nice to know I inspire him to think of me as a cartoon character", she said with a furrowed brow, adding to the "I'm not amused look" is, that he does not think of me as Jessica Rabbit, but a dog that chases squirrels, so what does that say?  Actually, I think it is funny, but I'm not going to let him off the hook, would you?   I'm afraid he is right though, as much as I hate to admit he is right about anything!

So the point behind this preamble is I once again started out to create something else for dinner, then whoosh, a picture in a magazine advertisement caught my eye, and the dinner menu suddenly changed.  

This was my dinner, and my first attempt at making the Empanadas, I hope you get a chance to make them, I think you will enjoy the results.

Empanadas with Corn and Bean Salad with
Romaine Lettuce, Guacamole and Salsa.


1/4 lb lean ground beef
2 fingerlings Sweet Potatoes diced
3/4 cup red kidney beans
2 tsp Epicure Chili Seasoning
1 tsp Epicure Louisiana Hot & Spicy Dip Mix
1 small onion diced
2 tbsp finely chopped green pepper
3/4 c grated Monterey Jack Cheese


Brown the ground beef 
Add the sweet potatoes and cook until soft
Add the onions cooked until they are soft
Add kidney beans heat through
Add your spices and green pepper
Add grated Cheese 

When they are all softened, mash with fork forming a soft mixture
with the texture of lumpy mashed potatoes.

This made enough to feed 4 of us for dinner, and 3 lunches for my husband and son.

Set aside.

For the pastry:  Weight Watchers Pastry

5 1/2 oz plain flour
pinch of salt 
2 1/4 oz low-fat spread.  I used a vegan butter substitute, you could use Becel or other diet margarine.

I added 11/2 tsp Epicure Chili Seasoning  (to add a little zing to the flavor)

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.  Rub in the low-fat spread until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add just enough cold water to bring the dough together.  Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Roll your pastry out, then cut into circular shapes,
I used a biscuit cutter, 3" diameter
In the center of each circle, place a tbsp of the bean and meat mixture 
Fold over to form a crescent, pinch edges, and then pull the corners in slightly to form a C shape.
Cut a couple of small slices into the top to allow the steam to escape.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until your pastry is golden brown.

Corn and Bean Salad

1 sm can Sweet Corn Niblets
Rest of the Kidney Beans
Pickled Banana Peppers to taste
Diced red onion to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic crushed

Char the corn in a cast iron fry pan
Toss remaining ingredients together
Serve on washed leaves of  Romaine Lettuce.


1 diced tomato
1 tbsp Epicure Guacamole Dip Mix
2 pitted and peeled Avocados, mashed
Finely diced onions
Fresh lime juice
Sea Salt

Chop tomato, place in bowl, add onions and lime juice
Mash Avocados in a separate bowl, stir in the Epicure Guacamole Dip Mix
Add the tomato mixture to the avocados, stir until mixed
Grind some sea salt onto the Guacamole, to taste.  Less is better.

As always, I hope you enjoyed your time with me, and if you have any recipes you would like to see, leave me your requests.  Until the next time, smile and enjoy.  Here are a couple of pics that brought a smile to my face, I hope they do the same for you.  Talk to you soon.

Mr. Potato Head?
Mr. Potato Head

Why yes, I'm a bit stressed. Why do you ask?
Yes I am a bit stressed, why do you ask?