Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday because gratefulness is such an underrated personality trait. I wish people admired that quality in others like they admire shoes and jewelry and waist size.
"She is SO grateful! I wish I had that."
We should start the day that like. Before we ever get out of bed, list the things you are thankful for.
If you aren’t feelin' in a Thankful kinda mood right now, this’ll do it:
I’ve know quite a few survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. Most of whom are in their 90’s now. I know a man who was in Auschwitz concentration camp and went to the gas chamber. Twice. Both times, something was broken, and the entire chamber full of terrified, naked, sobbing Jewish men, women and children where told to go back to their cells. To this day, when something goes wrong, a toilet breaks, his phone service is down, his car needs work, he will always say, "Thank God for things that break! Broken pipes saved my life!" Nothing like a concentration camp story to put your life in perspective, right?!
No matter what you are facing, what is wrong, or what is hard to deal with. Take some time to think about what is right in your world. Hold the good closer than you hold the bad. I have so much to be thankful for, and I hope a day never comes that I stop thinking that.
Every Thursday, not just the 4th Thursday in November, we should take some time and to list the things we are thankful for, no matter how long or short that list is.
Oh, yeah, food. That’s why you’re here. These little guys are pretty fantastic. Plus, you don’t just have to limit them to your leftover candied yams, fill these with what ever you have. Other great empanada combos:
Turkey (chopped), mashed potatoes & gravy
Stuffing & cranberry sauce
Mac & Cheese
But, even if you didn’t make yams, or you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and want to make these, I’ll give you an easy candied yam mash recipe that will be perfect for the filling.
Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas: Candied Yams
For The Dough:
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
10 tbs butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/3 cup ice water
For the Filling:
2 cups leftover candied yams, Mashed
2 large yams, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
1/2 stick butter (4 tbs), chopped into cubes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
Put 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt in a food processor, pulse for a second to combine. Add the butter and process until combined. Add the remaining flour and process again. Move to a bowl. In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together until well combined then add the egg/water to the dough with a wooden spoon. If you add the water and egg with the food processor, your dough will turn out crispy and cracker like.
Form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400.
If you are using leftovers you can skip this next paragraph.
Place your chopped yams in a large loaf pan, sprinkle the top with cubes of butter. Drizzle with the maple syrup and then top with the brown sugar.
Bake, uncovered at 400 for about 40 minutes or until the yams are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. Drain off most of the liquid (leaving about 2 tbs in the bottom of the pan). Mash with a potato masher until mixture until creamy, add the pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg and stir.
Once your dough is chilled, roll it out to an even thickness on a flowered surface. Cut out 4 inch circles. I don’t have a 4 inch circle cutter, so I used a margarita glass.
Brush the edges of each circle with water. Put about 2 tbs of filling in the middle, leaving the sides clear. Fold the circle over and press the edges together well to make a secure seal. Put three small slits on the top of the empanadas to allow steam to escape. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (or covered with parchment paper). Brush the top with maple syrup, sprinkle with a small amount of salt.
Bake at 400 for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Eat, smile, be thankful.
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