Make-ahead/bring-over dinner for new parents
I'm looking for ideas to make dinner to bring over to a set of new parents. I have to make the dinner the night before and bring it over cold to be reheated.
I saw a thread that dealt with hot-weather items, but it's pretty chilly here in SF this week. I'm assuming that something spicy wouldn't be the greatest idea??
Having just dealt with two kitchens' worth of "funeral food", I recommend avoiding big servings of anything that they will have to take the time to repackage and store. The whole point is saving them the time, right?
One of the most convenient things we got was white chili already divided into containers we could freeze or store or eat right away. With the shredded cheese packed seperately. Also, bags of cut veggies and a couple of awesome dips for quick healthy snacks.
The roasted chicken idea would be great.
Bring a simple roasted chicken, twice baked potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, bag of salad that includes dressing, and fruit salad. That should be enough for a couple of meals. Fruits and veggies are very important to new parents and often forgotten. Bring them all over in the disposable plastic containers so they don't feel the need to wash & return them to you.
Home made cookies are also very appreciated!
I always make a few batches of tomato sauce--veg and meat--because it's so easy to prepare and store. (Especially if you can jar it.) I also generally make some black bean or lentil soup, veggie soup--generally anything that will easily defrost and fill a night when they don't want to cook.
Stew and other braised dishes are great because they're almost always better reheated. Things I have made for new parents + things I made & froze for myself + things people brought me when my baby was a newborn:
Beef stew with polenta
Moroccan chicken stew with couscous
Bolognese sauce (but requires cooking spaghetti, so make sure hubby knows how to do this - otherwise bring something else)
Ina Garten's Indonesian ginger chicken with rice
Butternut squash soup
Macaroni and cheese
Assortment of deli items from Whole Foods
I appreciated any food that people brought, especially things that could simply be popped in the microwave or oven. I especially liked it if people brought a veggie of some kind because vegetables were largely lacking from my diet the first few months (although I did stock up on frozen vegetables and threw them into canned soups, etc.).
Since I love to bake, I also always baked something like pound cake, banana bread, brownies, etc. Those freeze well too.
I think a nice lasagna or manicotti is always appreciated, plus they'll have leftovers for a few days (Don't forget to bring some fresh bread also!). I've also brought a chicken casserole (like chicken divine or coq au vin), you can normally find a short cut or minute rice recipe around (try allrecipes.com). A nice hearty stew can be good also. Of course the old stand-bys - homemade mac and cheese or tuna noodle casserole are good and easy.
I agree. Comfort food is nice. And it's best if it's something that can be reheated, possibly again and again :) Somehow babies seem to *sense* that you are about to sit down and eat and choose that moment to have a fit. When my daughter was a baby, she *always* woke up JUST as my english muffin popped out of the toaster, ready for the butter. By the time I got back to it..