Festive Pot Pies

I made individual chicken pot pies, some with a full pastry top and some with cutout shapes to welcome home our two youngest daughters.

We still have a few days to revel in holiday season, so why not decorate pot pies with cut-out pastry shapes?

Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts were roasted and then the meat was shredded for the filling. Local carrots and organic onions are always in the pantry.
I baked and partially decorated some cutouts earlier in the day; it’s funny, no one really eats cookies anymore yet I can’t give up the ghost of holiday baking. Bill and I bought a fresh tree from Elbers Garden Center earlier in the month for our outdoor terrace and I strung colored lights on it for the kiddos.
The girls set the table while I finished dinner prep. The big bowl of ornaments served as a centerpiece as I ran out of bandwidth hanging them on our five indoor trees. My husband always thinks the kids will want to hang ornaments, like he wants me to wait for them all to get home and be together and than we will have an old-fashioned tree-trimming party, that just doesn’t happen. They like to arrive with most everything in place and than they want to know where the wine is. 🙂 So, it’s me, like many women everywhere, doing Christmas magic for weeks before their arrival.
I also like to hang ornaments in different spots all over the house. Here a group of three (odd numbers look best) of pink and gold ornaments are hung from the pot filler over the range.

When my girls fly home, one from London and one from Boston MA, I always try and make a comfort food meal to welcome them. Elizabeth and Mary both love chicken pot pie, so chicken pot pie it was.

We did self-serve from the new kitchen countertop, yippee!
I’ve installed dimmer lights on most of our fixtures to help with our ‘vibe check’, a term me and our girls use when getting ready for a family meal or guests to arrive. ‘Vibe check’ means dim the lights, fire up the playlist, and light the candles.
Home for the holidays.

We had late-day guests added to the dinner group, so to stretch the puff pastry topping I used tree and snowflake cookie cutters to decorate the tops, instead of completely covering the individual servings with pastry. I brushed them with an egg wash and into the hot oven they went. I like doing individual servings instead of one big bake, I think it feels more fun having your own pot pie to dig into.

There was also a Caesar salad, and good wine to go with.

Cheers and good will to all!

Style note: the night before I met women friends out for a glass of champagne and wore a white dress from my go-to brand Lafayette 148, black suede boots that I bought years ago in CA, and carried a black patent bag I had to have while traveling one year in Europe. Building a wardrobe over time means you don’t necessarily need to buy new things for special occasions. While you can’t see them very clearly, the drop earrings I’m wearing were purchased in Aspen CO on a girls trip for Caroline’s wedding that summer. They are five years old and I pull them out for special occasions. My daughter’s borrow them too.

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