February What’s For Dinner (PART 1) – Love Is a Many-Layered Puff Pastry

[Sorry for the delay. I had an emergency! The March issue of Living disappeared from my house! Long story short, because I know we all have Libyan revolutions to read up on, I bought another at CVS. But it was a harrowing couple of weeks, that’s for sure.]

This Valentine’s Day, we decided to keep things coupled up (unlike last year’s insanely delicious brunch), so we both tried the February meal on our own in an attempt to convince our spouses that we are indispensable.

Well, I won’t speak for Lesley, but mine is still hanging around. He loved this meal, actually, which consisted of individual chicken potpies, a salad, some cheesy mushrooms, and clementines for dessert. Cam’s into hearty things like potpies, and he’s way into citrus fruits like clementines. So I put together this meal with minimal effort and won his heart like it was 2005 all over again.*

A meal fit for a lobsterman (just go with it)


  • Escarole and Walnut Salad
  • Chicken Potpies with Puff Pastry
  • Sliced Mushrooms with Melted Fontina
  • Clementines in Cinnamon Syrup

Ladies and gentlemen, I only half-assed the salad! That’s largely because the rest of the meal was already half-assed by the folks at Living (looking at you, “sliced cheesy mushrooms,” and you, “sugary fruit”).

What! I’m allowed to say that! I’m a consumer!

Potpies before baking. One has its clothes off!!

The chicken potpies sure looked pretty impressive, what with their nicely browned puff pastry tops and enticing drips of filling over the sides. I mean if I were some lobsterman home from a blustery day checking traps, this is what I would want to see when I walked into my adorable cottage. That scenario may or may not be my life goal, by the way (only without the cold, uncomfortable parts). However, I found the pies to be rather bland, and if I made these again, I’d come up with some sort of more flavorful sauce.

So puffed!

Wait, I have an idea! Why not toss the gratuitous mushroom side dish into the pie! Of course, I’d axe the chicken, too, as I am no fan, and we’d be left with a dark, velvety mushroom-based filling. I know this is mind-blowing, Martha, so you just let me know when you’re ready for me to start my own column in Everyday Food.

Regarding my shame, the salad, I didn’t feel like chopping walnuts and I couldn’t find escarole. So I pretty much made a simple mixed green salad. It was perfectly acceptable.

I mean, yeah! Clementines!

I liked the clementines, actually, even though they were so simplistic. I’m a fan of simple sometimes, and clementines are so delicious that they dont need much enhancement. But this particular enhancement (just a simple syrup steeped with cinnamon sticks) was so underwhelming that I think we would have been just as happy with plain ol’ clementines and two fewer dishes to wash.

My heart burns for you, new piano in the background.

And that did it for February’s WFD. Valentine’s Day gifts were exchanged, and love reigned supreme, etc.

*This is all an enormous farce. Cam’s heart is equally divided between me and weird spandex biking outfits. Look, I didn’t know I was marrying a triathlete.


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