Lucy has a love/hate relationship with her cooking class at school.

She LOVES to learn how to cook.

I mean, she wants to be a chef in real life some day if she had her dreams come true.

But man alive it’s tough for a girl who can’t see very well.

She is working her hardest to keep up. To practice the recipes the day before.

We have to print out the recipes all huge for her on “lab cooking days.”

But she’s DOING it and I’m so proud of her.

A few weeks ago she needed to practice her skills at making empanadas, which was kind of fun since I have never made those suckers.

Making the crust reminded me of my own culinary class clear back in junior high SO many years ago.

The recipe called for ground beef, but I’m sure you could use any combination of foods to put in there (I think the last time I bought ground beef was many years ago, but it was pretty good I have to say!). I’ll just share the recipe as is for anyone who wants to try it.

Mini Empanadas

6 oz. lean ground beef or chicken
2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
¾ cup salsa (any variety)
¼ cup finely grated cheddar cheese
3 Tbs. cream cheese
1 egg
Pastry dough (see below)

In skillet, heat oil over medium heat; crumble in ground beef or chicken. Stir in taco seasoning; cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until browned. Drain any fat from meat. Stir in 1/4 cup salsa; cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and pan is dry. Stir in cheeses and let cool.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water; set aside. Cut out 32 rounds from rolled pie dough, about 2 1/2 inches each, discarding scraps.

Place 1 tablespoon beef filling in center of each round; brush outer edges with egg wash. Bring edges of pastry together to create half-moon shape and enclose filling; crimp edges with a fork to seal the dough.

Brush tops with egg wash. Arrange on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper; bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with remaining salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

Pastry Dough

2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
6-7 Tbsp ice water

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut shortening into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle water 1 tbsp at a time, while tossing and mixing lightly with a fork. Add water until dough is just moist enough to form a ball when lightly pressed together. (Too much water causes dough to become sticky and tough; too little water causes edges to crack and pastry to tear easily while rolling).

Shape dough into 2 balls. Flatten balls to ½ inch thickness, rounding and smoothing edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll from center to edge into 11-inch circle.

Lu also practiced making a mixed berry pie with the same pie crust recipe.

We were pretty proud of her work, and Dave was a pretty great “taste-tester.”

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  1. Have you see the blind cook on YouTube? She competed on the old show Master Chef. She had a show called 4 Senses which had cooking demos for the visually impaired. I remember at the time I watched a few eps in the US, but it looks like now it is only available in Canada

    Anyway, I remember you shared a tomato/pasta sauce recipe Lucy had made before. I made it recently was really good (and a lot of steps for a young person to make! the young people in my family were stymied at first!). Thanks.

    1. Thank you, I love this and I will definitely check it out (have never heard of it and it would be so interesting for me as well as for Lucy!)

  2. Uh, excuse me but did I miss the part of this story that said anything about that plate of chocolate Lucy is holding in the picture? I mean seriously Shawni? A picture of a delicious plate of chocolate and you don’t even MENTION it? So I’m left with wondering if it’s fudge, or brownies, or some other delightfully chocolate masterpiece of Lucys? Where are your manners girl?
    LOL!!!! Just kidding!!! I truly would like to know every wonderful detail of that chocolate she’s holding. Did I mention that I’m a chocolate lover?
    Sheesh, now you’ve done it! I will have to go raid the cupboards for some chocolate chips or something!

  3. We use wonton wrappers instead of making our own pastry. I know you can’t do that for a class, but in real life, it is so much easier — and I’m much more likely to make them if I don’t have to do pastry!

    1. Hey, there are two Lauras on here! Maybe I should put my last name initial with mine so people don’t mix us up. Not that I have any problem with our comments both saying Laura! But in fact, I actually was confused for a second when I saw your reply. I was thinking “Did I make a second reply and forget that I did?” How about if I’m Laura M?

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