Tuesday, February 19, 2013

YADA YADA Empanada

I have been on a fundraising whirlwind this school year.

I have been planning a trip to Spain for students through EF Tours since last school year, and only got one kid on board.  I hate admitting defeat, so I pushed and pushed for kids to sign up - and got 3 more.  I still need ONE MORE KID to make it a "complete" trip (and it's this summer, so...I'm getting pretty worried), but since kids signed up late, I had to find lots of ways for them to raise the $3,000.

Hence - many, MANY fundraisers.

We've been selling City Dining Cards, West Mifflin beanies with ear flaps, flower bulbs, West Mifflin teddy bears...now we're selling Smencils and Pittsburgh Popcorn Company popcorn through March 8th (contact me if you want to order any!).

But perhaps my favorite fundraiser has been...EMPANADAS!  An empanada is what I like to describe as a "Latino pierogie", so that Pittsburghers understand.  A filling, usually meat (but not always), wrapped and sealed in a flaky pastry dough.  They're awesome, and I was so excited when Natasha Reyna, the owner of the company, contacted me about doing the fundraiser.  She had heard about me at the Hatch Chile Festival (which I'm so upset that I couldn't attend, as I had another commitment that day), and had been wanting to do fundraisers as part of her business. 

Of course I couldn't say no!  We arranged a tasting at Shadow/Ava Lounge in East Liberty, where I tried a Traditional (with ground beef & capers), Buffalo Turkey, and Spinach and Cheese empanada - I was instantly enamored, so we decided to have the students try the empanadas at the Spanish Club Christmas party, then hold the fundraiser over Christmas break and the beginning of the year.

Empanadas can add a smile to your plate!
My students are, for whatever reason, obsessed with buffalo chicken dip, so I had them try the Buffalo Turkey empanadas, plus I wanted to have the Traditional ones, as I thought they had a lot of flavor.  The kids loved them - even the Traditional ones - and had no problem agreeing to sell them as a fundraiser.

Mmm, Traditional and Buffalo Turkey Empanadas!
I've commented before on how my particular area of Pittsburgh seems a bit sheltered from the outside world, and this fundraiser proved it.  People didn't seem to understand what an empanada was (or how good they are, even when the kids told them), so we didn't sell as many as we had originally hoped.  As a result, instead of Natasha coming to school and having the kids help her make the empanadas, she was able to handle the orders on her own.  I picked them up from her, and when I did, I was SO glad that I had ordered 2 dozen for myself, as my car smelled DELICIOUS.

Regardless of our expectations, we still made REALLY good money from this fundraiser!  I hope that people in Pittsburgh (especially my area) try empanadas and fall in love with them as I have, because any time anyone sells them as a fundraiser, I WILL buy - they freeze for up to 6 months and reheat BEAUTIFULLY, even in the microwave, so they are the perfect food to have on hand at all times.  Whether as a snack or part of a full meal, I could eat YADA YADA empanadas ANY time!

Several people with whom I work, including other teachers and a security guard, also ordered the empanadas - and all I got from them was high praise.  They thought that the empanadas were FANTASTIC!  AND, not only did they get a great meal, but they helped out some students as well.

Top: Whole empadada  Bottom: Buffalo Turkey Empanada filling
If you're looking to get your hands on some of these scrumptious empanadas for yourself, try AVA Lounge (for immediate satisfaction), or contact YADA YADA Empanada about fundraising and catering options...

...and let me know that you're doing it, because I will need to re-stock!

YADA YADA Empanada
Phone: 412-295-0598
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YadaYadaEmpanada

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