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Need dinner idea to bring to family with new baby

  • d

Our neighbors just had their second baby and I'd like to bring them dinner this week. I'm drawing a blank besides lasagna, which I'm not really in the mood to make.

They don't have any dietary restrictions, but I'd love to bring them something I can put together fairly quickly and that they can reaheat when they want to eat (that day or the next day).

Thanks for your suggestions!

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  1. funny i was thinking eggplant parmesan, lasagne, or baked ziti, since they keep so well and taste even better after sitting a while.

    1. p
      Pâté chinois

      How about a chicken pot pie?
      You can put puff pastry on top only (the bottom crust tends to become soggy, which is not very nice) and make a rich béchamel in which you put lots of veggies (frozen will work in a pinch) and nice big chunks of chicken (you can use rotisserie chicken from the supermarket).
      I'm sure the new parents will really appreciate having a nice home cooked meal. Very generous and thoughtful of you!

      Link: http://patechinoisco.blogspot.com

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pâté chinois

        I've done chicken pot pie for people with new babies in the past and they love it! Here is a really easy recipe! http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/h...

      2. I usually make a big batch of fried rice. Easy to heat up and easy to eat with one hand... important when you have a new baby in the other!

        1. I once made a gift basket of soups, which were able to be frozen (chicken veggie, tomato, split pea) and a tin of macaroni and cheese, along with some cookies. The receiving party was extremely grateful.

          1. Comfort foods! I liked mac & cheese, pot roast, and someone mentioned chicken pot pie--very comforting foods.

            Cut fruit that she can grab and nibble on is VERY helpful. Also, pick-me-up snacks like brownies and cookies, and don't forget beverages (w/o caffeine) like sparkling fruit juices, etc.

            Note: Be careful of garlic/spicy foods if the mother is nursing (certain vegs are out when nursing, ie; broccoli).

            1. chicken parmesan, or a nice beef stew. Also, chicken soup is good. Accompany with a nice bag of romaine hearts, some ceasar dressing and a baguette.

              1. if I may make a suggestion, divide up what you decide to make in to one or two serving sizes. they give them 4-6 servings. preferably something that they can freeze. that way they can just throw it in the microwave or oven and toss the container. (I use that disposable tupperware or aluminum loaf pans)

                also, don't forget veggies, etc. a big salad with dresseing on the side would probably be welcome too. or some of that bagged lettuce, with pre-chopped veggies makes it really convenient to still eat good food.

                3 Replies
                1. re: withalonge

                  THIS!

                  I just had a baby a month ago and friends were very sweet to bring us food - we got a couple of pot pies and a casserole, but since we could only eat a few bites at a time in any one sitting, the crusts got mushy in the fridge and we ended up eating casserole for breakfast just so it wouldn't go bad. Full-size pans are just too much food to deal with, especially since we had planned ahead a little and had a freezer full of prepped meals already. Small sizes and salads would have been heavenly.

                  1. re: thursday

                    Although I don't have kids, I did help out a friend that had the baby blues after her first was born. I made a whole bunch of stuff that could freeze or that were in individual servings.
                    I made a big batch of oatmeal cranberry muffins, tons of mixed greens that I had already washed, and a big bottle of homemade dressing. Then I washed and cut a bunch of different veggies, and made some containers of hummus and baba ganosh that they could freeze.
                    My friend said that she really enjoyed these lighter things as her mom was providing her with a lot of the heavier meals and main dishes.

                    1. re: icey

                      New moms have an especially hard time with salads and fresh vegetables--those sound like great ideas.

                2. f
                  farmersdaughter

                  I know you were avoiding lasagne, but just wanted to pass on an idea I came up with when preparing lasagne for a friend with a new baby. I prepared the lasagne in three individual loaf pans which each feed two people, so they get three meals out of it (or an almost instant dinner party for six!). You could do this with whatever casserole type dish you end up preparing.

                  1. One of my standards for this is a simple dish called Tortilla Tower. I bring that along with a salad and brownies. Here's the recipe...you can do it in your sleep!

                    Tortilla Tower
                    1 lb. Ground turkey or beef
                    1 onion
                    1 clove garlic
                    8 oz. tomato sauce
                    1/2 tsp. salt
                    1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
                    1 small can drained, sliced olives,
                    6 corn tortillas
                    2-3 cups cheddar cheese

                    Heat oven to 350. Brown meat with onion and garlic. Drain off fat. Add tomato sauce, salt, chili powder and olives. Let it cook 10 minutes (simmering).

                    In baking dish, (a round one works best, though you can use the small 8" square aluminum disposable dish for bringing to a friend) layer sauce, tortillas and then cheese, end with meat sauce and cheese.

                    Bake covered 30 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes.

                    1. f
                      fai jay(fai jackson)

                      I think a tasty meatloaf, with gravy in a separate container and mashed potatoes in a ziplock would be lovely. I would also include pre-made salad in a bag (not from super market), some vine ripened tomatoes and cut fruit for dessert. Carrot and celery sticks are nice to have in the fridge. Include good bread or rolls for meat loaf sandwiches.

                      1. Ooooh - great ideas here. From soup to nuts, so to speak. Looks like I'll spend the next night or two in the kitchen, and my family will benefit as well.

                        Thank you!!

                        1. Great suggestions and I will piggyback on what others have said and say SALAD-I was given a pot of soup and a large beautiful salad and that was great because I was craving veggies but didn't have time/energy to chop a salad. I was able to eat it for days and was grateful for the fresh vegetables. Ditto fruit salad, especially stuff like watermelon and grapes which have a lot of water and keep you hydrated while breastfeeding!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 4chowpups

                            Good point! Of all the food people brought us when my father died, the most thoughtful(IMHO) was a nHUGE Rubbermaid tub of salad, that I ate off of for a week. Otherwise, I would have never had anything healthy...

                            She put in whole grape tomatoes to keep it from sogging out, and of course, it was undressed...

                            Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com/

                          2. These are good ideas, I wanted to refresh this post to see if someone has anything new to add. I think the salad is a good idea. What else besides baked pasta keeps or freezes well? The couple I'd like to cook for are big eaters but generally healthy.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: nmurawsk

                              How about stuffed peppers - my sister just did that for a neighbor who had twins. She stuffs with couscous, chopped veggies (zucchini, peas, corn) and a little bit of ground turkey. Stir in some parmesean, and top with grated cheese of choice (she does cheddar). Now I can't remember if she does or doesn't add tomato sauce. I think she does, but I'm blanking on how much.

                              I like replacing some of the meat with couscous, and bulking it up with the zucchini so I get some veggies, even if I don't eat any others.

                              1. re: nmurawsk

                                The recipe I've gotten the best response on is these stuffed chicken breasts
                                http://www.food.com/recipe/stuffed-ch...
                                and using CI's marinara sauce. They bake pretty quickly, and they can pull out however many they want at a time.

                                I love the suggestions of the veggies with hummus or whatever, too. I'm going to remember that for next time!

                                The cookies are a great idea (maybe a roll of slice-n-bake shortbread or Korovas?). I remember I always wanted to have a plate of something when people stopped by.

                              2. This is nice

                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                Just a plate of baked potatoes, both russets and sweet potatoes, (still in their skins) can be very handy.

                                To me, fresh pineapple (not canned this time!) cut into chunks is so pretty in a bowl next to hulled and sliced (and sugared if need be) fresh strawberries. No frills.

                                1. I brought my friend lunch this summer. I brought pesto chicken bowtie pasta with mushrooms and asiago cheese on the top. I also did watermelon sliced up, a french loaf of bread, and a cake. Her and her husband really appreciated it.

                                  1. I know this will come off as very "unchow" but what if you got them a gift card to a nearby place that might deliver in your area? It doesn't have to be alot, or expensive...just something. Even enough for pizza and a salad? That way, they could have dinner when they need it, with no reheat or anything involved. I confess that after my daughter was born, I really appreciated that notion that I could sit down and kinda wait for dinner to show up. There were some nights that I didnt feel like eating. Some nights I didnt know what I felt like. And I had the puniest freezer you ever saw so saving things got tough as space got tight.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: MRS

                                      after our kid was born, i was thankful for:
                                      stuffed peppers
                                      stuffed ricotta shells

                                      wished someone else would have made me breakfast-type food:
                                      homemade fruit salad
                                      banana bread
                                      quiche

                                      in stacks of small tupperware containers

                                      1. re: vicki_vale

                                        Thank you for mentioning breakfast-type foods! Friends of mine are expecting their second little one, and their freezer and pantry will be fairly well stocked with dinners/suppers. Breakfast items like muffins and quick breads are something I can make very well and fresh fruit salad is definitely on the menu. :-)

                                        1. re: buzzardbreath

                                          I have made and frozen savory eggy bread pudding in muffin shapes with success, as well as baked oatmeal "muffins"

                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                            Love that idea, Ttrockwood! The eggy bread pudding is a recipe that most of my friends really like and individual servings would be great for them.

                                    2. I have to take a dinner to a good friend of mine with a newborn and wanted to refresh this discussion to see if moms could add some more input on what they wish they had gotten and what they had not. The organizer of the food-train mentioned that the couple loves Italian, so I suspect they will be getting their fare share of that from others, so I'd like to do something different if possible. Thanks, everyone!

                                      ps - I was thinking maybe Sesame Chicken, but not sure if that is a conducive meal ... http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fo...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Tehama

                                        Great suggestions. I hate to say it, but I will have no qualms handing baby off and having a civilized meal or cooking one if I need to--I love food too much. A friend held her baby while cooking and I thought it was insane... an accident waiting to happen.

                                      2. big salad and cut up fruit is always nice. Home made mac and cheese or beef stew or taco fixings. Those were my favorites

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mhulgrave

                                          Cut up fruit in individual containers were the nicest. Also, chopped romaine in individual containers, with cucumber, tomato and other salad fixings on the side.

                                        2. I am going to make a breakfast casserole for my cousins having their second baby. Just wondering if those ugly aluminum containers are the only option? I don't want to buy an expensive casserole dish. Anybody know if I could get a paper version like the loaf pans I've seen?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: littlecmad

                                            The paper ones I've seen (even nice ones at Sur La Table, etc.) can barely hold the weight of the item at 2x6 inches...I can't imagine a paper casserole dish, unless you plan on making single serving sizes. If so, then Sur La Table and Crate & Barrel both sell them, as well as numerous websites, but I couldn't imagine doing anything larger than a loaf pan in paper...

                                            1. re: littlecmad

                                              I haven't tried them, but the Chinet has a new line of disposable Bakeware, that has gotten some pretty good reviews. Do an internet search for Chinet Bakeware Reviews.