Colombian Empanadas

Columbian Empanadas by Katherine Vasquez
Videography and Production by Daniela Lopez

Katherine Vasquez gets in touch with her Colombian roots by cooking up some Colombian Empanadas. These empanadas aren’t the traditionally filled with fruit, but rather they with meat, potato and vegetable fillings. Below are listed the ingredients along with the directions on how to make some of your own. Being a recent graduate, Vasquez now has the time and resources to cook some of her childhood memory dishes.


  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Lime and ají for serving
  • Dough or Masa
  • 1 ½ cups precooked yellow cornmeal (masarepa)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ tablespoon sazon Goya with azafran
  • ½ teaspoon Salt


  • 2 cups peeled and diced white potatoes
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon tablet
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped white onions
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ pound ground pork and beef

To prepare the dough:Place the masarepa in a large bowl. Add the sazon Goya and salt and stir to mix well. Add the water and oil and mix to form dough. Pat the dough into a ball and knead for 2 minutes or until smooth. Cover with plastic and set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, cook the potatoes in a pot with water and the bouillon tablet for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain and gently mash the potatoes. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, green onions, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes.
Add the ground pork and beef. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is fairly dry.
Transfer the meat mixture to the mashed potatoes bowl and mix well to combine.
Break small portions of the dough, about 1 ½ tablespoons each one, and form each portion into a ball by rolling between the palms of your hands.
Place the balls of dough between two pieces of plastic and roll each out very thinly to form a circle. Remove the top plastic and place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each.
Then using the plastic underneath, fold the dough over to enclose the filling, forming a half circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with the tines of a fork.
Fill a large pot with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 360° F.
Carefully place 3 or 4 empanadas at the time in the heated oil and fry for about 2 minutes until golden on all sides.
Using a slotted spoon transfer the empanadas to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with ají and lime on the side.

FunFetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes by Katherine Vasquez
Videography and Production by Danielle Torres

Katherine Vasquez, a sophomore international relations major, bakes up one of her favorite childhood pasteurizes.  A relaxed and down to earth baker, Vasquez enjoys baking for friends who give her support and smiles whenever she needs them. Funfetti cupcakes provide color and adventure to regular white batter. Vasquez, much like her chosen dish is very lively and filled with color and character.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4-cup oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • Funfetti mix


Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Next in a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, 2 eggs and 2 cups of water; Use blender to mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well mixed. Place cupcake holders on an even tray and pour mix into each holder just over half way full. With extra mix, use another medium size bowl/container and butter the edges so that the mix won’t stick when baking. No need to butter the cupcake holders, the mix will come right out.

Next place both trays in the over for 15-20 minutes. When ready take out both trays and wait for them to cool down for 3-5 minutes. When ready use as much frosting as desired and spread over each cupcake and cake. Last, open your sprinkles and lightly pour sprinkles over cupcakes and cake.

Lastly, enjoy.

Serving size- 18 cupcakes