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What to make for new parents?

My good friends just had a baby, and I wanted to bring some food when I go meet their new addition since I doubt they have any time to cook right now. The problem is that I don't really have time to cook right now, either. Any ideas for a quick but delicious casserole-type dish that they can have a reheat for a few days? Any recipes would be appreciated!


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  1. My wife, who is far from a foodie and hates to cook, has gotten rave reviews with this Chicken Pot Pie recipe. Used constantly for new arrivals, deaths in the family, and similar "need help" events. To make it even easier she gets one of those rotissiere chickens in the grocery store and pulls it apart.


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    1. We've made baked ziti or lasagna for new parents, as it's pretty universally liked (esp. if you do just pasta, sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella and leave out the meat). It also freezes well and is easy to reheat in the microwave.

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      1. re: maxim0512

        I like to make quiche since it can be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal, and even froze if necessary. I also like to make soup and breads for the same reasons and they are generally liked by most people. I like the Moosewood recipe for Gypsy Soup. You can google it.

      2. As a new parent with no time, I brought my even newer parent friend awesome ravioli from a local place, and made a lot of pesto. The pesto took nearly no time to make, and they could freeze whatever they didn't use.

        Don't know if this is quite right for your purposes, but I had this egg casserole at a brunch recently and it was delicious: http://www.netcooks.com/recipes/Break...

        1. What I found extremely helpful ( and cooked it myself) was a turkey. I know, I know...no time. But if you got a small turkey breast, you could roast while doing other things. New moms are often ravenous at odd times...a turkey breast offers options to hack off a piece when you need it, make sandwiches, or nuke and serve with store bought salad. I think really good protein is really important for a new mom. Otherwise, how about a pot of Sloppy Joes with buns..one miinute you've got food.

          1. Include a fruit salad and they'll really love you. New mom's are often incredibly thirsty so something fresh goes down nicely. Also they might have a freezer full of casseroles, but don't have time to shop or enough hands to wash and chop fruit (or vegetables for that matter).
            Having said that, chicken pot pie sounds great!

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            1. re: waver

              What about putting together a tray of cut fruit and dip and cut vegetables and dip? It's a healthy snack the parents can munch on, but also looks presentable to leave out in the living room/dining room for when people come over to visit.

              A friend of mine recieved two pretty glass canistered with dry ingredients for soup layered inside. The directions were attached to the top with a pretty ribbon. She loved it because all she needed to do was brown and onion, add in some water/broth and the mix, and an hour later there was a homemade meal that required no effort.

            2. Keep in mind nursing moms sometimes have to stick to really bland diets. If your friend is nursing, you may want to hold back on the spices, garlic, etc.

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              1. re: southernitalian

                Good point, Southernitalian. Thanks everyone!

              2. Anything you can eat in one hand or leave on the counter and then reheat in the micro.
                Friends of mine became parents for the first time in Feb and I took them a meat sauce that she liked to dip bread in and eat one handed and a chicken and lentils dish with spinach (lots of iron). Those dishes you can forget about on the counter top while you change a diaper and then come back and nuke for a couple seconds and continue eating.

                1. So many things I've done; tried to be creative. When I don't have time to cook, I assemble a basket of the best quality purchased sauces and pastas. I sometimes beg a local favourite restaurant and freeze the sauces. That way, they get restaurant food at home (almost). Also, gift cards for a favourite diner or restaurant with their menu. Great for hubby or wifey to pick up and bring home one night of choice. My last is my fave. I make a coupon saying "You are entitled to one home cooked meal". I call them a week in advance for options (usually choose between two days). When I cook for me, I make a double batch. (Usually something time consuming like Marcella Hazan's lemon roasted chicken and rosemary roasted potatoes or homemade lasagna or manicotti, etc.

                  1. Stuff being 'helpful'! I recommend buying for the mother who has had to forgo all sorts of delicious foods while she was pregnant and then enjoy them with her. The look of love in my sister's eyes when my other sister and myself presented her with a platter containing cheese kransky, a soft blue cheese and oozy brie, and pate!

                    But if you really think helpful is the way to go then I whipping up a few 'different' pasta sauces to put in the fridge/freeze as undoubtedly they have casserole coming out their ears! So for instance make a large basic napoli (or even just buy a good quality tomato sugo), then heat oil in a pan and fry some pancetta (or prosciutto) toss in some chilli flakes then add enough napoli/sugo to serve two. Then in another pan again heat oil add one or two anchovy fillets (unless you know that they hate the things) and cook over a low heat until they 'dissolve' and again mix in enough napoli/sugo to serve two. Package them up and deliver with some really good quality fresh pasta and or ravioli, and a wedge of parmagianno regianno (or grana padano).

                    1. As a soon to be new parent in three weeks, here are a few things I would love (if you're so inclined - LOL):

                      Homemade macaroni and cheese
                      Baked ziti w/garlic bread
                      Chili w/corn chips (not spicy, for breastfeeding)
                      Pot roast
                      Beef stroganoff

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                      1. re: starbucksbrew

                        Ha! Starbucks, I'm pregnant too, due in late December, and I concur with all those on your list. Yum!