In Good Taste: Classic Peruvian Empanadas

Our author and chef friend Emiko Davies is back with another Peruvian-inspired recipe. She and her two daughters, Mariù (8) and Luna (2), show us how to make classic Peruvian empanadas, inspired by Peruvian chef and food writer, Nico Vera. Read on to get the exclusive recipe.

Peruvian Beef Empanadas

 

I have to admit I am not very familiar with Peruvian food, so I had to do a little research to try to find something fun that the girls could make with me. My girls in particular love making things with pastry, so when I found these beef empanadas, I knew they would be perfect for the kids. They get to roll, cut out shapes, and snack on the ingredients along the way (pro tip: if making this recipe with kids, prepare extra!).

I ended up following the directions for Peruvian empanadas by a Peruvian chef and food writer, Nico Vera (aka @piscotrail). In the words of Nico himself, “Empanadas are a vehicle for almost every savory Peruvian dish. If this is your first time making empanadas, you need to start with the classic — ground beef with olives and hard boiled eggs.” He very kindly gave me permission to share the recipe (and a promise to give me his best food tips for when I do make them in Peru one day!).

Note: We did not have currants on hand, so I left them out as I saw some other recipes leave them out. We also used whole, pitted olives for each empanada rather than slices.

Makes 12 empanadas

 

For the beef filling (sofrito):

 

3/4 lb ground beef
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup currants
1 bay leaf
3 pitted Kalamata olives, cut in quarters
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into eight pieces

 

For the dough:

 

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (optional)
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup flour for rolling the dough

 

For the glaze:

 

1 egg
1 tablespoon cold water

 

To prepare the filling:

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Prepare sofrito by sautéing onions and garlic in a skillet with oil over medium to high heat. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and sauté until onions are translucent. Mix in ground beef, stir, and continue to sauté until the beef begins to brown. Add 1/2 of the beef stock, currants, and bay leaf, and simmer until liquid is reduced. Add remaining beef stock, then continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced further. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and set aside to let cool.

 

To prepare the dough:

 

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the salt, butter, white wine vinegar (if using), egg yolks, and mix well by hand. Add 5 tablespoons cold water and continue to mix and shape the dough. Add another 4 tablespoons cold water and continue to shape the dough until it forms a firm ball (add more water or flour if needed in order to obtain a dough that you can roll without being too sticky or dry). Let the ball rest (chill in fridge if it’s a warm day) for at least 15 minutes.

Transfer the ball of dough to a well-floured working surface. Roll the dough to about 1/10 of an inch, adding flour as needed. Cut 12 circles with a 6” round dough cutter.

 

Assembling and cooking the empanadas:

 

Scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling to the center of each dough circle. Add 1/8 of a hardboiled egg and 1/4 of an olive to each filling (we used whole olives).

Brush the edge of each dough circle with water. Fold the dough circle in half, then seal the edge by pressing firmly with your fingers and a fork (alternatively, you can fold the edge over in sections, pressing down each time). Assemble the empanadas in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the top of each empanada with a fork, and brush each empanada with egg glaze.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Follow @emikodavies on Instagram for more recipes like this, and be sure to check out our new fall collection inspired by Peru.

Giving Back to Kids in Peru

Photo credit Matt Dayka

 

Since our founding, Tea has been committed to making the world a better place for kids everywhere. This season, we wanted to make an impact in the destination that inspired our fall collection. Together with Kusi Kawsay, we’re helping build a library for indigenous kids in Peru.

Kusi Kawsay is an independent nonprofit aimed at providing an inclusive, dignified, and quality education to the indigenous children of Pisac, located in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Indigenous children have unique needs that are oftentimes not met by the public education system in Peru. Public schools in Pisac are overcrowded, and students often do not receive the individual attention they may need. Many of these kids also face discrimination and poverty, and struggle with self-esteem.

Kusi Kawsay serves children from kindergarten through 11th grade. In addition to teaching subjects like math, literature, reading, and science, Kusi Kawsay also provides workshops in weaving, Andean masonry, Quechua language, music, dance, art, nutrition, and agriculture.

Thanks to you, we’re able to help kids in Pisac receive the resources they need. The library is set to be completed in 2021, so follow along for updates and more ways we’re helping give back abroad. If you would like to donate directly to Kusi Kawsay, consider donating to the Ayni Scholarship Fund to help a child attend Kusi Kawsay or making a direct donation through their website at kusikawsay.org.

Tea x Wallshoppe: New Wallpaper Prints

Here at Tea, we know a thing or two about unique prints. That’s why we teamed up with Wallshoppe, a purveyor of hip, sustainable wallpaper, to create a limited-edition collaboration that brings our beloved prints to life.

To celebrate our newest Tea x Wallshoppe prints, we sat down with renowned LA-based interior designer, Nathan Turner, to get the inside scoop on his design process and tips on how to make the most of your space.

Introduce yourself and tell us about Wallshoppe and your role as Creative Director.

I’m Nathan Turner. I’m a decorator, author and the Creative Director at Wallshoppe. Bringing my interior design background into the design process at Wallshoppe helps to give our customer a very informed final product. As a decorator, I’m very well versed on color, pattern and the best way to use them, making Wallshoppe wallpapers ready for the consumer.

What are some of your favorite prints from the Tea x WS collection?

I love them all! But if I had to pick… My top 5 favorite prints from the Tea x WS Collection are “Tigers,” “Chubby Bear,” “Watermelon,” “Crocodile,” and “Rainbows.”

Any design tips for parents thinking about adding wallpaper to a nursery or kids room?

For the apprehensive, removable wallpaper is always a great option. Especially for children as their interests and taste change so quickly. Other than that, I’m a go-for-it kind of guy, so I say a kid’s room is the one room in the house to really be playful. Why not go big and choose a fun, colorful print?

There are so many great print and color options! How do you go about narrowing down wallpaper prints for a design project?

It all depends on the client and who the person is. I like to decorate last, so it’s really about who’s living in the room, how they live, what their tastes are, and choosing the right color and pattern combination for them.

Are there other creative ways to use wallpaper besides putting it on the wall?

Yes of course! Installing on the ceiling is great. I love to pick complementary patterns and do a wall in one pattern, the ceiling in another, and an adjoining bathroom in a 3rd pattern. The removable wallpaper panels are great for the back of bookcases and installing on inexpensive furniture or for lining drawers. I also put wallpaper on lampshades. Those are just a few examples!

You can shop the entire Tea x Wallshoppe collection here. Want to show off your new Tea walls? Tag us on social @teacollection and @wallshoppeofficial!

The Rainbow Connection

You may remember author and chef @emikodavies, and her two daughters, Mariù (8) and Luna (2) from our Mediterranean collection. We forged a fast friendship in Greece and asked Emiko to photograph her girls at home in Florence. Not only did the girls chase rainbows in their own backyard—but also whipped some up in their kitchen! Read on to get her exclusive rainbow pancake recipe.

Rainbow Pancakes

Pancakes are usually our weekend treat, but I turned this into an afternoon activity that kept the girls busy playing with their food for hours! We experimented with natural colors – Luna loved swirling the colored batter together, which resulted in a few multi-colored pancakes towards the end.

Ingredients for the pancake batter:

1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons of melted butter (or ricotta)
1 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (optional)

For the colors:

Pink – Raspberry puree made by cooking 1 cup raspberries with a splash of orange juice (blood orange is even better if you have it!) for 5 minutes, then strain.

Orange-yellow – a teaspoon (or as needed) of turmeric powder.

Green – a teaspoon (or as needed) of matcha powder.

Blue-green – 3 teaspoons (or as needed) of spirulina powder.

Purple – 1 cup each of blackberries and blueberries, cooked together with a splash of water then strained. Keep the leftover fruit pulp to mix with icing sugar for the berry sauce to go on top!

Additional ingredients for decorations (optional):

Rainbow sprinkles or colorful fruit
3-4 tablespoons of icing sugar for berry sauce or maple syrup

Make the batter by placing the egg, half the milk, and the butter in a bowl; whisk until combined well. Add the flour and baking powder and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the milk and the vanilla until it becomes a smooth fluid. Separate the batter into 5 bowls. Add the colors a teaspoon at a time to see how strong they are. Add more color if you like (see important tips below on turmeric and matcha).

Using a non-stick pan over very low heat, cook small pancakes (about 3 tablespoons or so of batter) for a few minutes or until it lifts easily from the pan. Flip and cook the other side for about 30 seconds. You are looking for a pale pancake so that the color comes through nicely.

Stack and decorate the pancakes with sprinkles or colorful fruit. Finish by topping with berry sauce if using or maple syrup!

Important tips: Leaving sugar out of the batter will ensure a paler pancake that allows the natural colors to come through. Cook them over very low heat for the same reason. Being generous with baking powder (or the addition of a couple blobs of ricotta) to add some lift and fluffiness to the pancakes will let you see the color come through the sides, which is really where you get the best rainbow effect. Note that the turmeric and matcha have very strong, bitter flavors, so you may like to use less of them. While they may be more pale in color, they won’t be as strong in flavor. I personally love them (they would go down well as savory pancakes), but the kids didn’t! The berry and spirulina pancakes were a hit though!

Follow @emikodavies on Instagram for more recipes like this, and be sure to check out our new fall collection for equally colorful styles.

Made In Peru

Did you know a lot of our clothing is made in Peru? During their trip, our designers visited our factory in Lima and got an inside look into how Tea is made.

Our factory partners at ASA Textile Sourcing are responsible for producing all of our graphic tees and many of the dresses you know and love. They do everything from spinning and knitting the fabrics to packaging and washing the finished product.

Nicole posing with one of our graphics at the factory.

 

ASA employs over a thousand workers and follows strict guidelines for fair and safe worker conditions. Having worked with ASA for almost five years, we’re proud to call them a trusted partner in our manufacturing process.

The factory floor of ASA Textile Sourcing.

 

You can see the full line of Peruvian-inspired clothing they helped create here. For more information on our ethical sourcing practices, visit our website at www.teacollection.com/about/ethical-sourcing.

Destination: Peru

Hola! Every year, our designers travel the world to bring back inspiration for our seasonal collections. This fall, we’re headed to South America to explore the peaks and valleys of The Andes. Our newest collection specifically highlights the beauty of Peru, so sit back and relax as we take you through this colorful section of the globe.

From San Francisco, our designers traveled to the Sacred Valley of Peru. They were originally drawn to the region because of its bright colors and fascinating history. Textbooks and copious Google searches made it clear that Peru had no shortage of vibrancy; real life proved to be no exception. 

Tucked between Cusco and Urubamba is the small, rustic town of Chinchero. Wandering through its bustling Sunday market, our designers were greeted with textiles in every shade and fruits and vegetables in every hue.

Pictured here is a weaver we met in Cusco at the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco. She dyes alpaca wool using natural methods (bugs mixed with lime juice, to be exact!).

According to local mythology, Chinchero is believed to be the birthplace of the rainbow. The rainbow soon became a focal point of the designer’s trip – and eventually our collection. Just like the vast range of colors that line everything from the mountains to the marketplaces, our collection is filled with rainbows in every shape, way, and form.

Peru’s Rainbow Mountain served as inspiration for one of the key prints in our latest collection. Photo credit: McKayla Crump courtesy of Unsplash

Another theme that arose from the designers’ trip was the abundance of animal friends. The most memorable were the fuzzy llamas and alpacas. The difference? Llamas are bigger, which make them great for transportation. On the other hand, alpacas are smaller and have softer wool. 

Pictured here is an alpaca (not a llama!) grazing at a farm our designers visited.

Of course, our designers couldn’t travel to Peru without visiting one of its most famous landmarks: Machu Picchu. Dubbed the “City of Clouds,” our designers quickly learned how the historical site got its name. After reaching the top, they were met with a magical (but slightly overcast) view of the ancient Incan citadel. 

Instagram is a bit different than reality. Ponchos and all, our designers made it to the top of iconic Machu Picchu.  

We hope you enjoy everything our new Peruvian collection has to offer. Shop new arrivals, and follow along on Instagram @teacollection for more fun and adventures. 

Father’s Day with Bradley Hasemeyer

We teamed up with our friend Bradley Hasemeyer to share his story on becoming a dad and his journey through navigating fatherhood. A wearer of many hats- dad, comedian, and sometimes host. Bradley is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of dad-hood. We also hear he can get down on some hip-hop dance classes with his daughter Ellis.

“All dads know: parenting is an adventure. I say, “adventure” because there are triumphant days of reaching the top of the mountain and looking at the gorgeous view…and there are days when you take the wrong turn and end up stuck in quicksand with no obvious way out. 

 

My adventure began when Ellis, my 7-year-old daughter was born. I was so excited to be a dad but, honestly, those first few weeks, I didn’t have that instant connection that I expected. I now know many other fathers experience this as well, but at the time I kind of felt like a failure because I wasn’t head over heels in love with this precious new life.

 

Thankfully, however, after a few months, things got much better. My daughter started smiling at me; we were connecting and I loved it. Something else happened, as well. I found my dad language was “doing” and thus began finding the adventure in everyday things.

With Ellis, it started as taking walks in the stroller, then running errands together or putting her in a hiking pack and hitting the mountain. Now we find time to cook, makeup scavenger hunts, and even watch Marvel movies together (I fast forward through most of them while I supplement with commentary). 

 

Our newest family addition, Loic, has come through adoption which has been its own adventure of mountain tops and quicksand. He joins our 24-year-old foster daughter Ashley, and Ellis who already know we love to travel, laugh, and of course take an adventure.

 

Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow dads out there who, like myself, are living the ups and downs while trying their best to love well, be humble and make as many dad jokes as possible. “