Today is my 31st birthday. I’m off on vacation, celebrating with my family, but before we left we had our own little private party at home. It’s become tradition that the birthday person picks dinner and I was in the mood for celebratory comfort food after the madness that was Alt Summit, so I chose chicken pot pie and strawberry napoleon.
And, since I’m celebrating my birthday at Disneyland this year, I put a little pro-Disney spin on it to delight the toddler. And the husband. OK, we all enjoy a nice mouse-shaped food product.
Puff pastry is one of the easiest things to work with, but I didn’t use it until after I had graduated from college because it seemed so fancy pants. Turns out you can buy a box in the freezer section of your local grocery store that contains two rolls of pastry dough and all you do is let it thaw, cut it up, brush with an egg wash (raw egg mixed with a bit of water), and you pop it in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Voila! Perfect little puffy yumminess.
For these recipes, I used my Mickey Mouse cookie cutter to cut big Mickey heads and a little Valentine’s Day heart to make some decorative tidbits.
Disney Pot Pie (serves 4)
/// can of cream of mushroom soup
/// can of creamy potato cheese soup
/// bag of frozen veggies
/// sweet bell pepper
/// chicken breast
/// container of sliced white mushrooms
/// 4 Mickey shaped puff pastries and assorted heart puffs if desired, baked and cooled
This is an easy recipe because I’m a lazy mom and I’m still relying on condensed soup a little too often. To make this own, dice up your chicken breast and throw it in a pot with a little bit of oil until it’s pretty cooked through. Add the diced sweet bell pepper and the mushrooms. Once those start to soften, add the bag of frozen veggies and let that all cook and get nice and yummy together. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Add both cans of soup and one can’s worth of water. Cook until heated through. Either serve with the soup ladled over the puff pastries or in a bowl with one puff pastry on top.
Strawberry Napoleon a la Mickey Mouse (serves 2)
/// pint of whipping cream
/// cup to a cup+half of powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
/// fresh strawberries
/// chocolate sauce if desired (not pictured)
/// 4 Mickey shaped puff pastries, baked
Clean and slice the strawberries. Whip the whipping cream and powdered sugar on medium to medium-high speed until the cream is stiff and holds its shape. Carefully slice the 4 Mickey puffs into two thin Mickey-shaped pieces of pastry. Layer as follows: bottom half of one pastry, strawberries, whipped cream, bottom half of other pastry, whipped cream, top half of one pastry, strawberries, whipped cream, top half of other pastry. Dust with powdered sugar.
If you’d like, you can cut a heart in the center of one of the Mickey heads before you bake it, like I did and then fill that little spot with strawberries and perch your baked heart piece on a dollop of whipped cream at the very top. It felt fancy, but it tasted the same as the easier one that didn’t have all the cutting and dolloping and perching. I lean towards simplicity these days.
Happy my birthday to you!