A New Dawnn

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pop Secret Family Fun Fort Building Night - #PopSecretForts

Thank you to Pop Secret for sponsoring today's discussion and inspiring me to build a pillow fort with my family. 

When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved building pillow forts with my sister. We'd grab every cushion off the couch and every blanket and pillow we could find. Then we'd find a nice corner and build our little hideaway. Today, my son loves to do the same thing. Since the weather is so cold and dreary here instead of heading out to the movies, we planned a little at home movie night complete with our own homemade fort. We grabbed some blankets, pillows and my son grabbed his favorite toys and we built this fun little hideaway.  Since no movie night is complete without popcorn, we made sure we had plenty on hand.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chicken & Bacon Mini Empanada Recipe #FarmlandRecipes

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Farmland® and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own.
#ForTheLoveofTheGame #FarmlandRecipes #LatinaBloggers

Next weekend my house will be full of some football fans and even though none of our teams are playing this year, it will still be a fun party with some of our closest friends and family. Of course, I'm in charge of cooking so this weekend, I've been busy planning out our menu. Since I've been on a bacon kick lately, I made this Chicken & Bacon Mini Empanadas with delicious  Farmland® Bacon. These little bites of chicken and bacon deliciousness will be the hit of your next party. They are that good!

Empanadas or Pastelillos (depending on what you call them) are a favorite of mine. I love how versatile they are and you can really make them any way you want, with any filling you want. Instead of making them their typical size, I made them into bite sized pieces perfect for an appetizer and for dipping. And I made them with bacon. Delicious Farmland® bacon. Bacon just makes everything better doesn't it? Farmland® Bacon is slow smoked over real hardwood for maximum flavor.

See that yummy bacon in there? Mmmm. So good! For decades, Farmland® has taken pride in perfecting their curing and smoking technique and you can taste the difference in every bite. That's why Farmland® is my favorite choice for bacon.

Even taking the extra step to make them mini sized, they were still an easy appetizer to make. I had to stop my family from running into the kitchen and sneaking them off the plate while I was cooking them.

First you need to cook your chicken and bacon. I cooked about 1 pound of chicken breast to equal the 2 cups of shredded chicken you'll need for the recipe. I simply boiled the chicken to make it easy to shred.

While the chicken is cooking, cook about 6-8 pieces of bacon.

While the chicken is cooking, roll and cut out your discs. You could totally make homemade dough for these or if your pressed for time, the frozen discs you pick up in the spanish section of the grocery store are fine too. Since I was using the pre-made discs, I made sure to roll them out to about 7 inches round and used a circular sandwich cutter to cut two smaller circles out of each piece.  them aside until you are ready to fill them.

In a frying mix 2 tablespoons of Sofrito, 1 packet of Sazon and  1/4 teaspoon of Adobo with two chopped scallions, the bacon and chicken and 3 tablespoons of water.

Let that cook together for about 5 minutes stirring together to allow all the seasonings to mix.

Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan and begin filling the empanada discs.

Fill each empanada shell with about 1 tablespoon of the chicken & bacon filling and top with a little cheddar cheese. 

Fold the shell over and seal the edges. 

Cook the empanadas in the oil allowing to cook on each side 2-3 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown color. Remove from oil and let them cool and drain on a paper towel. 

Serve with a side of salsa or just as they are. 

Chicken & Bacon Mini Empanadas
  • 2 cups of shredded chicken breast (about 1 pound)
  • Farmland® Bacon (6 pieces cooked and crumbled)
  • 1 package of empanada discs
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Sofrito
  • 1 packet Sazon 
  • 1 tsp. Adobo
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Makes approximately  mini empanadas.

Step 1: Cook your chicken and shred. Cook 6 pieces of bacon and crumble once cool.

Step 2: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add Sofrito, Sazon, water and scallions to the pan and whisk it around.

Step 3: Add chicken and Farmland® bacon. Mix together very well to coat the chicken and bacon in the seasonings. Allow to simmer until the excess water burns off. About 3-5 minutes. Remove filling from heat and place in a bowl.

Step 4: Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan while you assemble the empanadas.

Step 5: Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the Chicken & Bacon filling into each empanada shell. Top with a little shredded cheese and fold over. Make sure you seal the edges well so nothing leaks out. Use a fork press the edges together.

Step 6: By now, the oil should be nice and hot. Using a slotted spoon or pair of tongs, gently place the empanadas into the oil. Allow them to cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. Check them so they don't cook too fast and burn. If the oil isn't hot enough, they may need to cook a few minutes longer on each side. I cooked them in batches about 10 at a time.

Step 7: Remove empanadas from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Once all the empanadas are cooked, serve with some salsa and enjoy.

A few things to note for this recipe. First, you totally don't have to make mini empanandas. If you want more of a meal or just like them bigger, follow the same instructions and use each empanada disc as is (you still need to roll it out a bit). Second, you can also bake these in the oven. Before you ask, yes I did try them both ways and they are both delicious. If you decide to cook them in the oven, brush the empanadas with a little olive oil and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until they start to turn a nice golden brown.

Do you have a favorite empanada recipe? I'd love to hear your favorites!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Stock Up on Low Price Meal Solutions at Walmart! #LowPriceMeals

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#LowPriceMeals #CollectiveBias

Low Price Meals, Walmart
 During the cold winter months, I love to make sure my freezer and pantry are stocked with plenty of meal options. With hectic schedules and someone always on the go, I'm making it easy in the kitchen with Banquet dinners and pot pies and Chef Boyardee. Right now at Walmart, frozen Banquet dinners and pot pies and Chef Boyardee cans are on rollback. Rollback prices like these make it easy to save and spend less time in the kitchen. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Today is National Hugging Day! To Celebrate, Baymax was Just Named Most Huggable Character

To celebrate the release of Disney’s Big Hero 6 nationwide on Digital HD/Disney Movies Anywhere Feb. 3 and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack Feb. 24, Baymax was just named the Most Huggable Character of 2015 on National Hugging Day™! Check out these great benefits of hugging and Baymax in this adorable clip! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Save Time & Help Your Car Run Smooth with Pennzoil

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.
#DropShopandOil #CollectiveBias

Today I want to talk to you a little about cars and car maintenance. Agh! Hopefully that doesn't make you want to skip right on by this blog post, but it's something that us gals tend to overlook sometimes. I have been a "car chick" for as long as I can remember. My love of cars started around 6 years old when my uncle picked me up in his Chevy Camaro. The blue IROC had t-tops and I just loved cruising around in that car! So when I turned 16 and the time came for me to get my first car, can you guess what I got? You got it - a Chevy Camaro. That would be one of six Camaros that I've owned in my lifetime. It's even how I met my husband (that's another story for another time)!

Happy Penguin Awareness Day! #PenguinsInsiders

Happy Penguin Awareness Day!

Today, January 20, 2015 is Penguin Awareness Day, and to celebrate, it's been announced that 'Penguins of Madagascar' is hitting Blu-ray and DVD on March 17! We are HUGE Penguins of Madagascar fans and have been waiting for the release of this movie!