Birthday Dinner


My daughter wanted chicken pot pie and red velvet cupcakes for her birthday dinner.  No problem.  Or so I thought.

First, I had to find recipes.  I’ve made red velvet cupcakes many times — you can read an amusing account of one of my past attempts here — but I’m not wild about my usual recipe and wanted to find another.  And I haven’t made chicken pot pie often enough to have a regular recipe.

After scouring the food blogosphere and making my shopping list, it was time to shop.  By the time I got home, I was already tired.  Between shopping and navigating the Trader Joe’s parking lot on a Sunday afternoon, I had little energy for cooking.  Check out how close this guy parked to me in the Trader Joe’s lot:

But I digress.  Here is one of the chicken pot pies:

I’m not even going to link to the recipe because it was whacked.  Suffice it to say that it was from a trusted food blog and it was an adaptation of an Ina Garten recipe.  It was supposed to make 4 individual pot pies, but with the recipe calling for 1 1/2 sticks of butter (I couldn’t do it — I just used one stick) and 5 cups of chicken broth, that’s a lot of filling.  It ended up making 5 individual and1 large pot pie.  As you can see, I got sloppy with the dough, and I didn’t even bother with the egg wash.  Although in my defense, I took this picture after we had already eaten the good-looking pot pies — this was the lonely fifth pie.  Even though this pie kind of looks like crap and even with the high liquid to solid ratio in the filling, the pot pies were delicious and my daughter was happy.  Although we didn’t eat until about 9:30 p.m.

And then there were the cupcakes.  I hate making cupcakes because after you’ve baked them and cleaned the dishes and counters and you’re tired and your back hurts, you still have to make frosting.  And frost the dang things.  Here is my daughter frosting her own birthday cupcakes.  To be fair, she asked whether she could do it, and she only got a third of the way done before she abandoned the task.

The recipe I used is supposedly from the Magnolia Bakery in New York.  I’ve never been there, but am hipster enough to have heard of it.  The frosting was a vanilla frosting, which appealed to me.  I don’t get why red velvet cupcakes usually have cream cheese frosting, which in my mind is reserved for carrot cake.  However, this frosting recipe involved cooking flour and milk, creaming butter and sugar, and then beating the cooled milk mixture into the butter mixture until it’s light both in color and texture.  Flour in frosting, really?  But if it’s really the Magnolia recipe, it’s worth a try.  It came out surprisingly good, although I did something wrong and there were small tapioca-like bits that didn’t mix in.  But if you could overlook that, the frosting was pretty tasty.  By this time of night, I was tired and forgot to refrigerate the frosting before using (exactly 15 minutes, said the recipe), and I did a pretty sloppy frosting job, as you can see.

Next time I have to start cooking earlier in the day so I don’t peter out.  But no matter — everything tasted good.  And my daughter was happy.

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