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May 27, 2009 08:02 AM

new baby food basket ideas

My niece is expecting her first child in a couple of months, and I would like to put together a gift basket with some easy-to-prepare but satisfying meals. They are pretty short on money, so practical seems the way to go. Other than the obvious tuna, pasta/sauce staples, does anyone have any creative ideas? I'd like to avoid heavily processed foods, so no Hamburger Helper, etc. I'll also include cards with suggestions about how to use the products.

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  1. I'm assuming they live close to you and you'd be delivering this basket? Dried mushrooms to create a different pasta sauce; some dried pasta, some hard cheese to help with that sauce, along with a fresh baguette. Or maybe a GC to buy cheeses and bread at their local cheesemonger?

    A spiral-sliced ham with the makings of a great mac 'n' cheese?

    Homemade muffins and/or scone mixes (Google for the dry mix recipes).

    A store-bought bag of "gourmet" corn chowder soup mix.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Thanks, Linda. I should have been clearer. I'm looking to put together a basket of shelf-stable food to give along with a shower gift, which is why I'm feeling stuck.

      The mushrooms with some creative pasta additions would be great. The "gourmet" soup idea is a good one, and some of the hard cheeses would hold up through the shower and trip home, so that would work, too.

      1. re: bear

        Shelf-stable - that helps.

        Some additional ideas: hard dried sausages that could be cut up with the pasta; canned beans to go with the tuna along with some nice olive oil, and also maybe dried Knorr sauce mixes (just add milk and butter - they're not too bad!).

        ETA: Perhaps you can get some ideas from various gourmet gift sites:




        Scroll through and maybe a "pick and choose" from various sites, you could put together an assortment of things to help her make easy, quick dinners with various condiments, sauces, etc.

    2. Do they cook? How's their Asain staples reserve?
      oyster sauce
      chili garlic sauce
      crushed ginger
      crushed garlic
      rice wine
      sesame oil
      a small bag of decent rice
      a decent soy sauce
      If they like thai curries, add in a few canned pastes, and a few cans of coconut milk
      Stock them up for the starts of quick stir fries for a good 6 months for about 20.00 if you have a decent Asian grocer around

      1. you could make them soup mixes in a jar: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Friendsh...

        Maybe a mix of rice (faux rico a roni if you will...preseason it and alls they have to do is cook it. You could probably do the same with quinoa which is a coomplete protein


        if your really adventurous maybe you can get them some canned fruits that look nice or premake them some sauces....

        1 Reply
        1. re: jenwee

          oh! you could make them a baking mix so they would be able to have pancakes or waffles.

        2. A bottle of wine. The poor girl hasn't had a lovely glass of wine with a meal in 9 months by the time the baby arrives. My hospital served all the Moms champagne within an hour of delivery. Along with a big juicy steak. Montana is a different kind of place!

          1. How about some pre-made sauces in jars or pouches like tikka masala, thai curry, etc? A quick simmer with whatever veg or meats they have on hand and they are good to go! A bag of basmati rice to go wtih? I felt up to that kind of stuff right after the babies. Or some nice muffin mixes? As silly as it sounds, I didn't trust myself to measure anything wtthin a half cup of accuracy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: aforkcalledspoon

              Or deluxe italian tuna in olive oil? That is one of my favorite treats. The TJ's microwave rice pilaf is pretty tasty. Some nice preserves and peanut butter? I used to eat that in the middle of the night between baby feedings. There was a book "A Twist of the Wrist", can't remember author, lots of recipes of stuff made from pantry, some of the ideas were great (so I remember thinking at the time, but now I can't recall anything! but that's just my sieve memory)