I love to cook for others but as a mom, myself, I adore cooking for other moms (especially moms with new babies). My mom sent me a HUGE box of Omaha Steak meals when I had my first son 9 years ago and it was A-mazing! My husband and I were in a daze for most of the first few weeks so having meals to heat up were so completely and utterly appreciated (Thanks, Mom!). When my #2 and #3 arrived, friends brought me meals for 1-2 weeks following our arrival home. What a blessing and gift – all of the people and the food!
I still send Omaha to out-of-state friends who have new babies, but when they are close enough that I can visit in person? I love, love, LOVE to bring them a meal to enjoy after a long day!
So I’m going to visit a family friend who just had her #2. I finished up my class (the first in over a decade since I graduated from Stockton College – Go Ospreys!), I am now free to clean my house and get started for my two coming Christmas parties (I’ll do a post-party #1 post this weekend) and this meal to my girlfriend and her family tomorrow. Yay!
Since I’m going over in the morning (we still have two little ones who nap in the afternoon), I’ll be bringing over brunch (my favorite meal of the day, second only to breakfast – my ultimate favorite) – and a leave-behind meal for them to eat at their leisure. Rest assured, A-la my mom, there will be enough for them to have left overs for the weekend!
Since they have an older sibling in the mix, I want to bring something he would like. I checked and there are no dietary restrictions (sometimes new moms who breast-feed can’t have dairy, beans, etc. because it makes their babies gassy and crying and unhappy instead of sleeping – I know TMI but hey, this is important if you plan to being a meal for a new mom!). So I’m planning for meat, cheese, cream and butter…as well as some veggies and a dessert.
Since I have two butternut squashes from our trip to the Christmas tree farm, I thought I’d use that in some way (I’ll be roasting both squashes today and reserving one for a spinach and butternut squash gratin I’m making for a vegetarian girlfriend. I love pasta and a new oven-baked chicken breast recipe as well as a new caesar salad with homemade croutons I found 3 weeks ago.
For the big brother, I made a slightly altered version of the Panera mac and cheese from scatch two days ago when the kids where home from school for the 1/2″ of snow we got (can you tell I’m disgusted by the public schools here?). Well, I kept a portion aside for big brother in case he passes on the other items I bring mom and dad tomorrow. Since he’s #1, I am also planning to bring him a wrapped book or toy so he doesn’t develop an instant dislike of his sister for sucking up everyone’s attention (I jest, but its true).
I trawled google and pinterest for ideas for the butternut squash and this is what I found. I’m also making a caprese quiche for brunch and bringing some Barefoot bubbly for mimosas! Its not bad for the price!
Dinner Menu consists of:
2. Slightly adjusted Panera mac and cheese from Food, Folks and Fun – I boiled gluten free pasta in the milk instead of cooking the pasta separately and left out flour and used 1/2 the butter. I might thin out next time with a little veggie or chicken broth (depending on whom I’m making this for).
3. Caesar salad with homemade croutons and dressing (seriously, this is awesome paired with the bone-in roast chicken I’m bringing!). – I LOVE this salad recipe from Serious Eats (not affiliated with Alton Brown), and the crouton recipe came from tablematters.com.s
4. Sauteed and oven-baked bone-in chicken breast (left overs can top a fresh caesar salad for lunch the next day – bonus meal!). – This food.com chicken recipe is seriously the BEST chicken breast recipe I have EVER made. Nevermind that it sets off the smoke alarms. IT IS AWESOME. EVERY. TIME. This is the recipe that made me like chicken breast again! Its moist and flavorful and is just as moist the next day on top of a (I don’t know) caesar? – see above!)
5. Some type of chocolate dessert. (I might just throw some of my husband’s peanut butter snickers minis in a bag and be done with it. The important thing is to bring a dessert! Its important to give families a complete meal experience. – Yeah, I’ll end up baking them something because I realize to not do so would be laziness on my part.)
I’ll post photos when I’m done. Still getting used to this blogging thing.