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I bought some ready-made fresh puff pastry that comes in a roll called Jus Rol. My daughter Molly the Baker is probably rolling her eyes at that. I decided to try making some empanadas with it. My first attempt was anything but picture worthy, but still tasted good.

The trick was to keep the dough cool between assembling each empanada.

For the filling:

1/2 lb. ground turkey

1/2 C. finely diced onion

2 Tbsp. oil

2 tsp. salt blend

1/4 C. sweet apple grill sauce (Stonewall Kitchens – I keep this yummy stuff in the fridge to sweeten up various sauces)

1/4 C. egg white or beaten egg

Saute onions and turkey in the oil until no longer pink. You can season as you like, I’ve been using an adobo or maple bourbon grill seasoning lately.

Add sauce and cook off any remaining moisture. you can always toss in a little bread crumbs to thicken it if it is too runny.

Refrigerate until completely cool.

I cut the “log” of puff pastry in half and immediately put one half back in the fridge. I then unrolled the other half and cut it into 3 squares, refrigerating them until I was assembling, later doing the same with the other half. The parchment the puff pastry came rolled in really helped with the assembly process so the dough wouldn’t stick to my fingers and get warmed up.

The first time I made empanadas with this dough, I handled it too much and didn’t refrigerate the pieces I wasn’t working with so it was all sticky and a mess.

I was able to make six empanadas from one pack of the puff pastry and the filling was the perfect amount.

Preheat oven to 400°

Working one at a time, put 1/6 of the filling mixture into each square of puff pastry folding over into a triangle and sealing with a fork. I baked them in my trusty 13×9 baking dishes. Make sure to grease them because they do stick.

Brush with egg and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden.

If you choose to refrigerate the empanadas prior to baking them, they may need to bake longer if you forget to bring them to room temperature before baking them like I did.

They were so good everyone was upset there were only six of them. I’ll have to double it next time.

Pear Cake

This is another variation of my Mom’s Apple cake. Our local produce market had organic pears buy one get one and I couldn’t resist.

For the filling:

4 C. chopped fresh pears

1/3 C. sugar

1 tsp. pumpkin or apple pie spice

Toss and set aside.

For the batter:

3 C. flour

2 C. sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pie spice

4 unbeaten eggs

1 C. oil

1/4 C. lemon juice (any citrus will do)

Preheat oven to 350°

Whisk together dry ingredients to break up any lumps.

Add remaining ingredients to make the batter.

Spray 13×9 baking dish with baking spray.

Put half the batter in the bottom of the dish. Then layer the pears evenly. Top with remaining batter.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. If you check it and it looks really dark don’t get worried. It really does take an hour. It doesn’t burn it just gets nice and dark.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar to make it look pretty.

This recipe makes two 13×9 dishes of enchiladas. It was a total of 22 enchiladas.

For the filling:

4 C. cooked, shredded meat. I used pulled pork.

1 c. diced onion. I used frozen diced onion I keep in the freezer.

2 Tbsp. oil

1 Tbsp. Adobo seasoning

1 can black beans, drained

1/4 C. enchilada sauce. I used store bought.

1 C. shredded cheese. I used Cabot sharp cheddar which is naturally lactose free.

You will also need:

22 flour taco size tortillas

1 1/2 C. additional enchilada sauce

2 additional C. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400°

Lay tortillas out on baking sheet overlapping. All 22 fit on my large baking sheet.

Saute onion in oil seasoned with Adobo just until softened.

Mash half of the black beans into a paste and add into onions.

Add in shredded meat, remaining beans, and the 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and remove from heat.

Once it is cooled stir in the one cup shredded cheese.

Spread a little enchilada sauce and two 13×9 baking dishes just to coat the bottom thinly.

Heat tortillas in oven for approximately 5 minutes until nice and warm.

Fill each tortilla with approximately 2 mini scoops of filling. Roll and play seam side down in the prepared baking dishes.

Spread remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese.

I forgot to take a picture before I put it in the oven.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sit back and enjoy!

We topped them with sour cream and guacamole and they were absolutely the most delicious enchiladas I’ve ever had.

This was adapted from my mother’s apple cake recipe. I made it with mango which worked well. This time with plums and peaches which were wet and heavy, they sank to the bottom. It reminded me very much of pineapple upside down cake though which is definitely a good thing. You could flip it over or not. Either way it was delicious.

3 C. flour

2 C. sugar

1 C. oil

4 unbeaten eggs

1 tsp. salt

7 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. baking powder


4 C. cut up fruit. I used plums and peaches.

1/3 C. sugar.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss fruit and sugar for filling and set aside

Combine flour, sugar, oil, eggs, salt, lemon juice, vanilla, and baking powder.

Spray 13×9 deep baking dish with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.

For half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with fruit. Top with remaining batter.

Bake for 1 hour.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

I love pancakes. The kids love pancakes. I don’t love standing at the stove turning pancakes for an hour.

I decided to try sheet pan pancakes. But if you’re like me your sheet pans are not beautiful shiny and new. I opted for my 13×9 baking dishes and they worked out great!

I used half pancake mix and half Bisquick because it’s what I had on hand. I followed directions for two cups of mix for each dish.

2 cups of prepared mix is the perfect amount for a 13×9 baking dish.

Top with fruit or chocolate chips. Bake at 425 for 12 to 14 minutes.

Importantly you don’t want to over bake these. Take them out when they are just turning golden. Otherwise they may dry out.

I doctored mine up with lactose-free cottage cheese, sweetened vanilla almond milk, and an extra egg. They came out fluffy and delish.

I love Florida avocados. The nuttiness. The creaminess. My friend Greg climbed a tree it gave me two gorgeous Florida avocados.

I had some garlic naan bread. I had heard about using smashed avocado instead of tomato sauce. This was definitely a winner and I will make it again.

This recipe makes enough topping for eight pizzas.

1 large Florida avocado mashed

1 tsp. Adobo seasoning

1 tsp. maple bourbon barbecue seasoning

1 lb. bacon

1 onion, diced

4 oz. pepperoni, diced

Cook onion bacon pepperoni and barbecue seasoning in a skillet over medium heat until it just starts to caramelize and bacon is somewhat crispy.

Meanwhile get ready to assemble your pizza.

Prepare baking sheets by spraying with coconut spray and and place naan bread to prepare for topping.

Spread mashed avocado on naan bread.

Sprinkle with Adobo seasoning.

Place bacon pepperoni onion mixture evenly over avocado on each of the naan bread.

Sprinkle generously with Cabot sharp cheddar cheese (which is naturally lactose free and safe for my son Donnie to eat.)

Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

I hope you love it as much as we did!

I have a new favorite way to prepare salmon! I got the idea from a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I adapted it to what I had on hand.

4 Salmon portions, skin on

2 Tbs. Terrapin Ridge Pecan Honey Mustard (our new fave!)

4 Tbsp. coconut oil

Seasoned panko to coat top and sides

Mix honey mustard and 1 Tbps. of the coconut oil. Reserve the rest to cook the salmon.

Place salmon in mustard/oil mixture and turn regularly to coat. I marinated it for about 20 minutes skin side up, so the flavor went into the fish a bit.

Press panko onto sides and top of salmon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. coconut oil in cast iron skillet. Place salmon in skillet and cook over medium heat until skin is crispy.

Place salmon on sheet pan lined with rack to simulate air fryer (unless you have one – then go for it!)

Bake for approximately 10-16 minutes until internal temperature is 145.

Tent with foil until serving, ideally not more than 10 minutes!

Note: I made pork chops for the non-fish folks in the family and allowed for more cooking time for them, obvs.

Everyone loved the mustardy taste. 🙂

8 naan bread

1 bottle ranch dressing ( I used vegan for my lactose intolerant son)

1 lb. Thick sliced bacon, cooked and cut up in 1/4 inch pieces

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs cooked in teriyaki and shredded.

3 cooked Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced

3 small red onions, sliced and caramelized

1 pouch Vegan mozzarella style shreds

Place naan on baking sheets.

Spread each with ranch dressing.

Top with chicken, bacon, potatoes, onions, and potatoes.

Sprinkle with ch÷we and bake at 350 F 20 minutes.


1 lb. ground meat, any type. Plant based crumbles work well too.

3 C. cooked rice. I used simple parboiled rice. Any rice will do!

3 Bell peppers, rough chopped. I used one green, one yellow, and one red. Poblanos work well too!

1 onion, coarsely chopped. I used a large sweet onion.

1 can tomatoes. I used fire roasted with garlic and onion. No need to drain.

Cheese for topping. I used a non-dairy cheese substitute.

Oil for cooking peppers and onions and browning meat.

Seasonings to taste. I used 2 tsp. salt blend, 2 tsp. Italian seasoning, and 1 Tbsp. garlic powder. Plus I sprinkled a little on the peppers when I tossed them with the oil.

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions. I always add garlic, salt and either butter or bacon fat to my rice. Broth works well too for extra flavor.
  3. While rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients for the casserole.
  4. Toss chopped peppers with oil and seasoning. Place in 13 x 9 baking dish and bake till browned a bit.
  5. Meanwhile, cook onion in oil in a skillet until soft. Add meat and cook until no longer pink with some yummy brown bits on the pan. It’s best not to use a non-stick pan if you’re trying to create some font. I used my cast iron pan.
  6. Everything will finish around the same time. Now it’s time to assemble your casserole.
  7. The peppers in the 13 x 9 baking dish will be the bottom layer.
  8. Combine rice, meat mixture, and tomatoes. Spread half over the peppers. Sprinkle with cheese. Spread remaining rice mixture, and top with a final layer of cheese.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted.
  10. Serve topped with sour cream, if desired.
  11. The boys add a little hot sauce to theirs!

Although it may not be true to stuffed peppers original recipe, you can give this a Mexican twist by using salsa and Mexican spices, and adding in beans, if desired. You can also easily take it to an Asian or Indian directions simply by changing up the seasonings!

I bought what I thought was a Thai ginger sauce. It turned out to have vegetables in it. It still worked well in my recipe though!

First time I used this. It was yummy, but I added some curry to give it more of a bite.

3 Large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1 inch cubes, seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

2 peppers (I used one red, one yellow), roughly chopped

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 pouches curry sauce.

  1. Put some rice on to cook. I made 6 cups of Jasmine rice, since the boys love their rice. Hint: I always season the water well and put in minced garlic and butter for amazing tasting rice!
  2. Cook onions and peppers in oil in a large skillet until softened.
  3. Add chicken to skilled and cook until golden brown.
  4. Add sauce pouches, and simmer until internal temperature of chicken is 165 F. Mine took about 15 minutes.

The variations of this are endless. You can add in just about any vegetables you want. It’s a good way to use up leftover veggies. It works well with other meats too! You can throw it in the crockpot to keep it warm if your family’s like mine and we’re not always ready to eat at the same time. You could add the rice in to the sauce in the crockpot, but it can get mushy. Even if the rice is cooled down, putting the hot sauce over it is enough to bring it up to a nice temperature to eat.

The Pinay Ajumma

just sharing


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