Argentine Empanadas

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These savory empanadas were the bonus recipe from Travis’s Comida Argentina┬áRaddish Kids; truth be told, it was mostly a mom endeavor, but my little sous-chef loved helping with the filling once I’d made the dough!

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup cold water, divided

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 8 ounces Lightlife ground beef
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. To prepare the dough, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a bowl. Cut with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly (or alternatively, use a food processor and pulse until crumbly).
  2. Whisk the flax into 3 tablespoons water to make 1 flax egg. Add to the bowl along with the remaining 1/4 cup water and stir to form a dough.
  3. Divide the dough in two. Working with one portion at a time, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll until 1/8-inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch cookie cutter to make circles.Empanada (1)
  4. Stack the circles of dough between pieces of parchment paper in the fridge until ready to serve.
  5. To prepare the filling, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, oregano, and raisins; cook for 1 minute.Empanada (2)
  6. Crumble the beef into the pan and add the water and salt. Cook for 5 minutes.Empanada (3)
  7. Set 8 dough circles on a baking sheet. Top each with 2 tablespoons filling.Empanada (4)
  8. Moisten your finger with water and run around the edge of each dough circle, then fold the dough over the filling. Press the edges with a fork to seal.Empanada (5)
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Travis loved these, and especially that they could be eaten on the go, a little snack wrapped up in its own edible wrapper.

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Light Chaser

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Here’s a final cute game I’ve found to play with Veronika using a flashlight, just before bed.

After her bath tonight, I simple shined a flashlight on the floor. Veronika was instantly intrigued with the spot of light on the floor.

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Now drag the flashlight in a line or zig zag around the room. This game will be great for encouraging early crawlers, plus amusing for any already-fast crawlers! I shined the light in a path along the floor, and Veronika had to go chase it.

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Almost there…

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Caught ya! Babies will marvel that they are touchign the light but not feeling anything in their hands. The game is also a great way to engage older siblings in baby’s bedtime. Travis loved running the light around the room for her, admittedly sometimes too fast.

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Create a Photo Scrapbook

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Veronika is old enough now that she definitely has favorite places to go in our week together, especially as we settle into a routine while big brother is at school.

Some top picks? The library, the coffee shop, her music class, the playground, and toddler play time. Throughout the week, I snapped pictures of Veronika as we were out and about. Here’s music about to begin!

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I also added a few pictures from home, places like her high chair and crib.

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You can use a digital camera and have the pictures printed, but I love the charm of our instant camera.

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Arrange the photos in a little album or scrapbook, ideally small enough for your child to manipulate the pages.

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Veronika and I can go through and “read” about her week, or talk what we’ll be doing that day.

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Because she has no baby book chronicling her first year (second child syndrome!), I made the pictures special with the addition of scrapbook-quality stickers: look for sheets of stickers with playground themes, nursery room themes, music class themes, and other applicable subjects. These will hopefully make it special to flip through as she gets older.

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Another hope is that she can learn to point to where she wants to go, easing frustration for both parent and child in those awkward months between understanding language and the spoken word. In the meantime, she loves simply looking through her little book!