Semi-homemade empanadas

April 8 is National Empanada Day, and far be it from me to deny a day meant to celebrate these delightful pastries, savory or sweet. This is more of a kitchen tip than a recipe on how to make semi-homemade empanadas, but I’ve included proportions below as a guideline—though you should feel free to tweak to your liking with different fillings or cutting the dough to different sizes. Whether you’re looking to fool party guests,  need a quick potluck dish, or just want to make a snack or appetizer for your family, here’s my cheater’s guide to making empanadas, 30 minutes from start to finish.

How to make quick, easy, semi-homemade empanadas in 30 minutes… 

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Vegetarian Queso Fundido

This post is part of a compensated campaign from Latina Bloggers Connect and Cacique but all opinions and this recipe are my own.

Queso fundido is an easy dish that even the most inexperienced home cook can make. I share this because with the holidays approaching, menu planning can be stressful and even if you’re great in the kitchen, you may have some helping hands that are not. This vegetarian queso fundido with rajas de chile poblano (roasted poblano pepper strips) and mushrooms is super easy and can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled depending on the amount of guests you need to serve. Alongside a basket of warm tortillas—your choice whether they’re corn tortillas or flour tortillas—this appetizer dish will definitely please the crowd. Especially if you’ve got vegetarians on the guest list, you’ll want to make this veggie version of queso fundido along with my queso fundido con chorizo recipe.

vegetarian queso fundido with rajas de chile poblano and mushrooms

If you’re ambitious and have a little extra time on your hands, you can even make your own homemade chorizo. For this vegetarian queso fundido, you’ll need to know how to roast poblano chiles in advance. … 

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Calabacitas con elote

Calabacitas con elote is a traditional Mexican side dish, typically baked in the oven in a casserole dish or olla de barro. But I’m giving it a summer makeover by cooking it in easy-to-make foil packets for the grill. We’re spending tons of time outside with family and friends now that summer grilling season is here and this is a great dish to take to any parillada!

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and the California Milk Advisory Board.  The recipe and opinions are my own.

calabacitas_con_elote_TOSOTT

This vegetarian dish is one of my favorites for serving as a quick dinner side dish as well as for taking to parrilladas (barbeques) that are typically full of meats but lacking enough veggies. If I’m making it for just the two of us, I refrigerate half the recipe and grill it later in the week so that it’s fresh off the grill at dinnertime.

Now that we live in California and have such a variety of fresh, local dairy, produce and meats available to us year-round thanks to the climate, I’ve been consciously trying to eat more locally (and by that, I mean seeking out locally grown produce at the farmers markets and other foods made in my new home state). California is the country’s leading producer of Hispanic dairy products, which are sold nationally, and is the nation’s second largest producer of cheese. In fact, California produces more than 25 kinds of Hispanic cheeses and many other dairy products. A Real California Milk seal means your dairy products are made from 100 percent California milk.

This is what the calabacitas should look like inside the foil packet when it’s done or almost done cooking:

calabacitas_con_elote_grill_packet_TOSOTT… 

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