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Cooking before giving birth

c
charlesbois Sep 14, 2011 07:11 AM

A friend of mine is going to be giving birth to twins around December. It got me thinking how busy she would be after the twins were born, and what she could do now to save time then. Does anyone have any experience cooking and freezing homemade dinners in advance of giving birth? I've done a little searching on this subject here on Chowhound, but haven't come up with anything.

I was thinking that some of the best items would be stews, soups, casseroles, etc. Basically anything that freezes well. Any suggestions?

  1. blue room Sep 14, 2011 07:30 AM

    Here's a good place to start:
    http://www.chow.com/search?query=free...

    1 Reply
    1. re: blue room
      c
      charlesbois Sep 14, 2011 09:57 AM

      thanks. I had a brain fart and did not think to search for "freeze well."

    2. mamachef Sep 14, 2011 07:39 AM

      You'll get a great deal of help on this topic, but I do want to mention that I've thrown some successful "freezer showers," two weeks before the birth: every woman attending brought a homemade frozen meal, labelled, with instructions, or a gift certificate good for a dinner at the recipient's request, delivered to the home. You're right on the money, though: soups, stews, and casseroles are all good.

      9 Replies
      1. re: mamachef
        The Dairy Queen Sep 14, 2011 08:16 AM

        OMG what a fantastic idea! mamachef, how do I hint that I'd like someone to throw me a freezer shower?

        I love the idea of these Martha Stewart freezer recipes, but I have to be honest and admit I've never cooked a single one of them. But the ones that really appeal are the ones like the lasagna or mini meatballs that go straight from freezer to oven and do not need any thawing time.

        http://www.marthastewart.com/274277/freezer-friendly-foods

        Edited to add more links:

        http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_freezer_recipes?slide=1#leaderboardad

        http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2010/07/recipes-to-make-and-freeze.html

        http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searc...

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          mamachef Sep 14, 2011 08:35 AM

          Well, it's a friend giving the shower, right? Funnily enough, it was my cousin Lore in MN who introduced me to the concept, and as long as it wasn't a FIRST baby, I never looked back. Just you tell her what will help you out most - NOT another onesie set, not a silver baby spoon - Food! That you don't have to do anything to but thaw or heat!
          (You could just direct her to this site, too - bet she'll get the hint!)

          1. re: mamachef
            The Dairy Queen Sep 14, 2011 08:39 AM

            Why not for a first baby?

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              mamachef Sep 14, 2011 08:47 AM

              Oh, just because a first-time mom probably really wants all the gimcracks and fun of a regular baby shower, you know? I know w/ my first, I wanted ALL of it: plus, I had done some planning ahead, so not such an issue w/ the food. By the second, I didn't need more stuff and had zero energy....and by the third, in five years? All bets off. Had I not been given those freezer showers, we'd have lived off cereal and milk for months. :)

              1. re: mamachef
                The Dairy Queen Sep 14, 2011 08:51 AM

                Fair enough. It is hard to ooh and aahh over a tray of mac and cheese. The onesies are a lot cuter. Chowhound that I am, I think I'd still put a really good mac and cheese ahead of a set of onesies...even for my first.

                ETA: but, now that I think about it, it might not be as fun for the gal throwing the shower if it's a first baby...

                ~TDQ

            2. re: mamachef
              The Dairy Queen Sep 14, 2011 08:41 AM

              Sorry, so many questions. How did people package the food? Was everything in aluminum trays? I'm sorry, I'm like a pitbull on this idea. I've grabbed on and am not letting go!

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                mamachef Sep 14, 2011 08:49 AM

                We used either disposable aluminum trays, or pyrex that we made a gift of; no need to return the dish.
                One GREAT freezer shower meal is a meatloaf mixture rolled around a stuffing of spinach, mushrooms and breadcrumbs; frozen and then baked from frozen in it's foil wrapper.

                1. re: mamachef
                  The Dairy Queen Sep 14, 2011 09:09 AM

                  That sounds fantastic! Thank you again, mamachef. Your Minnesotan cousin is really smart. ;-).

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    mamachef Sep 14, 2011 09:52 AM

                    Most people from MN are. :)

        2. c
          ChiliDude Sep 14, 2011 07:45 AM

          Beef stew, pasta sauce for future, quick cooking pasta dishes (known as 'gravy' to some people), pulled pork for sandwiches (if there is no food law against pork), beef pot roast, vegetable lasagna, just to name a few. Frozen vegetables cook quickly in a microwave so they can be given in their packaging.

          1. The Dairy Queen Sep 20, 2011 07:56 AM

            I found another interesting link. I haven't tried any of these recipes personally:

            http://www.thesisterscafe.com/2010/08...

            ~TDQ

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              The Dairy Queen Sep 21, 2011 09:40 AM

              Freezer quiche:

              http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/quiche/detail.aspx

              Rachel Ray freezer to oven recipes:

              http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=2582
              http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/re...

              ~TDQ

            2. p
              pamelak52 Sep 20, 2011 08:03 AM

              Such a great idea! I would definitely stock the freezer and, if you have time, bring over some food that's ready to eat without needing to be defrosted. After my daughter was born, my friend brought a tray of mac and cheese and it was amazing. Also, when I bring an entree, I bring sides, too, so that it's really no work at all. For my last friend who had a baby, I brought her a rice gratin that can be prepped in advance and then just baked, a bagged salad kit and a loaf of bread fo them to eat that night (or the next day), as well as an extra trader joe's meal (microwaveable fish, I think?) with a bag of frozen brown rice and frozen veggies. I have also brought over enchilada filling, tortillas and sauce (all of which can be frozen separately, or just use canned sauce). I also brought sweet and salty stuff to munch on. Food that be grabbed and placed directly into one's face is highly appreciated in those early crazy days.

              1. m
                milklady Sep 20, 2011 10:23 AM

                Before each of my kids was born I made a few freezer meals (lasagnes, soups, etc. - mostly items that I purposefully made double of, so I could stick an extra in the freezer, I did).

                Also, my community tends to organize and provide a number of meals to families after a birth. With each of my kids I got 10-20 meals that were prepared for us. I regularly make meals for other families with babies. I think it's one of the nicest gifts possible to get a hot fresh meal!

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