i have this memory from my childhood, of standing around the island in our kitchen and watching my mom cook dinner on a nightly basis. my mom loves to cook and is a very good one. my parents often had dinner parties and the holidays always consisted of friends, family and food.
so it is no surprise to me that i inherited her love of cooking, which goes hand in hand with good food and good wine. oh, how i cant wait to have a big glass of red wine after the bean is born, but i digress. i love read cookbooks and i plan out a dinner menu for precious husband and i each week. i try very hard not to cook the same thing over and over, but we do have some favorites that make it into the rotation every couple of weeks.
saturday night i met up with some of my girlfriends for a night of food, friendship and conversation. we have gathered over meals for a few years now, and while the makeup of the group has shifted over time, the theme is the same: make something you have not made before. i volunteered to make an appetizer and saw a recipe for beef empanadas in the holiday issue of real simple. they looked tasty and seemed easy enough.
so saturday afternoon, i set about the task of empanada making. i followed the recipe for the most part, but did add some chopped up sweet potatoes that i had leftover from the previous night. i had a bit of a size issue, the recipe called for a 2.5 inch round cookie cutter, which i found to be too small and tedious when assembling. so i opted for a larger size, i actually used a large cup as my cookie cutter. once i started making them bigger it was much easier.
the empanadas were a hit at dinner that evening and we had the leftovers yesterday while watching football. i will be making these again in the future. and better yet, i think they looked as good as they tasted.....