April is a busy month with the Easter holidays and the foods we associate with that celebration, but other foods are also part of the month.

April 13 is National Peach Cobbler Day, and last year I shared a favorite recipe for that tasty dish along with caramel popcorn and soft pretzels.

This year, there's Shrimp Scampi Day on April 29, Pigs in a Blanket Day on April 24, and to kick things off, Empanada Day on April 8.

An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in southern Europe, Latin America and parts of southeast Asia.

They can be made using a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables or fruits, and the Internet offers a wide variety of recipe choices.

I decided to share a recipe from Paula Deen, because it is fairly easy and also tasty.

Chicken empanadas


3 cups chopped, cooked chicken

1 (8 oz.) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 (15 oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and all other ingredients except for the water and pie crust. Unroll 1 pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie crusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange one round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place one heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining rounds and chicken mixture. Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Unbaked empanadas can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Shrimp scampi


1 (8 oz.) package angel hair pasta

½ cup butter

4 cloves minced garlic

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup dry white wine

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

¾ cup grated Parmesan chest

1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in pasta and return to boil. Cook until al dente. Drain well.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in wine and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds, while stirring constantly.

Mix shrimp with drained pasta in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

Good with a fresh salad and warm Italian bread.

Mini pigs-in-a-blanket


2 packages refrigerated dinner rolls

48 cocktail sausages or 2 packages hot dogs


This is a dinner the kids can help to prepare.

Heat oven to 370 degrees. Unroll both cans of dough, separate into 16 triangles and cut each lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.

Place sausage on shortest side of each triangle and roll up. Place point-side down on two ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, switching position of cookie sheets halfway through baking. Remove from cookie sheets and serve warm.

Share your recipes

For a coming article, I am looking for recipes for homemade dog treats. If you have any to share, please send me an email at barken@nfdc.net. If you make them to sell, I would also like to hear from you.

I'm always looking for your recipes or food-related stories. You can also request a recipe or suggest a topic for a future column by emailing barken@nfdc.net, calling 717-235-1042 or writing to Barb Krebs, in care of the Weekly Record, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408.