With rare exceptions, we usually celebrate family birthdays at home, with dinner and a cake (of course!).
For Elizabeth’s 23rd birthday, I made individual French Pot Pies and a Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake, and Mary made a Roasted Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Salad with Garlicky Honey-Dijon Dressing. On Wednesday, we celebrated this birthday early in the week as Elizabeth and Mary were heading out to ski town for New Year’s Eve fun with their friends.
I scooped one-cup servings of pot pie mixture into oven-safe white coffee cups and topped each of them with a Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shell, as the Puff Pastry Sheets called for in the recipe were all sold out. The result was entirely satisfactory. With the salad alongside, it was a lovely dinner.
The pot pie recipe is from one of my kitchen hero’s, Ina Garten, and is in her Make It Ahead cookbook. Chrissy Teigen, Instagram and kitchen hero, penned the salad recipe in her Cravings: Hungry For More cookbook. We’ve been making chocolate mayonnaise cake which seems like forever now, and my current go-to recipe is from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook (a gift from my sister, thank you, Tracy).
I collect cookbooks and read them like novels. Currently, I’m on Day 5 of Covid quarantine, having had tested positive on Elizabeth’s actual birthday, New Year’s Day. My family has confined me to Mary’s bedroom (she’s out of town with friends), and I’ve been having a challenging time following the house rules. It’s a good thing I brought up a massive stack of books. When the brain fog relents, I can read a chapter at a time and think of better days ahead.