Nov 16, 2010

New Mama Cuisine

So I've been busy taking dinners to all the new mamas in our group of friends lately, especially as the last year has been a baby boom!  The other day I had several questions on how to put together the meal (ahem, Kinger) in a special way.  So I photographed my stuffed shells for y'all this past Sunday.  Now, those of you who have actually been new moms, please correct me if I am supposing wrong with anything, or give me any suggestions.

The most important facet of the meal is disposal containers!  If you've got a wee one fussing at you, the last thing you need to think about is when you are going to return someone's dishes.  Glad makes some especially nice oven-ware which comes in packs of threes.  It's perfect for my meal- 2 packs of stuffed shells, and one of salad.

A recipe for a 13x9 pan usually works just as well in two 8x8 pans.  That way, recipient can put one in the freezer- perfect for when that flood of food dries up.  Especially if you are part of a "meal train", the family is going to have leftovers coming out of the ears.  I attach a card to the uncooked pan of shells with freezer and baking instructions.
 Now salad can be a bit difficult, since you don't want to dress it, as it might be wilted by the time the family eats it.  However, an easy way to jazz up a very simple green salad (here, just mache and cherry tomatoes) is to make a homemade dressing.  It will take about three minutes, and makes a world of difference.  I do either a vinaigrette or simple creamy dressing and put it in a mason jar.  This one is easy, and made with ingredients I usually have on hand.

Creamy Peppercorn Parmesan Dressing-
1/2 high quality mayonnaise, (or Greek yogurt or sour cream could be used if you are one of those mayo haters- hmmmppph)
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/4-1/2 cup milk (add to desired consistency)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Tons of freshly cracked pepper

Whisk together, pour into your jar, then let sit in the fridge for a while for the flavors to meld.

I like to tie a ribbon coordinated with the gender of the new baby- it's all about a little flair ladies!
A name-card with the menu and any instructions.  Wrap  the heated dish in a new clean dishtowel.

Now, a burlap grocery bag tied up and ready to go! 

Of course I got this all together so purty, and forgot both the bread and the dessert I had ready.  Sigh.


  1. Looks like I'll be using these clever and thoughtful ideas far more quickly than I thought: Three friends just announced they're pregnant, and now my head is spinning. I'm definitely bookmarking these ideas for later. Any ideas for moms-to-be who don't have family in town? (In other words, moms-to-be without their own moms to help?)

  2. This is so wonderful. You are such a great friend.

  3. I just brought over dinner to a new mom last night, it's one of my favorite things to do! You have some great special touches to make it unique.

  4. When I had my daughter...I told all my friends that if they were bringing me dinner...we would love to have them actually eat the meal with us. A lot of them did just that and it was so fun to have adult time and free food!! Of course people from Church, etc. would just bring food...but I loved that my friends would eat what they brought!! Also one of my friends brought a BBQ spread...BBQ pork, chicken, mac-n-cheese, baked beans, slaw...the works and the 4 of us all ate it with beer and wine while little Norah slept! It was fun!

  5. I do this exact same thing- down to the stuffed shells and salad with an extra pan to freeze. Great minds think alike! Another fun addition is to put chocolate mousse in those short plastic glasses and cover with saran wrap for dessert.

    I always put mine in a brown paper bag- the burlap sack is too cute, I'm going to have to step it up a notch.

  6. So cute! I love all the personal touches you add to this.

  7. I just had a baby (like 6 months ago) -- want to cook for me?? Ha ha!

    Love this - you seem like such a thoughtful friend.

  8. Hello, I just found your post and think these are great ideas. I linked it to our Facebook page for all of our users to enjoy.

  9. I'm long passed having babies in the house-mine are all grown. When I had my first daughter, my friends from work gave me a 'freezer shower'-brought meals to freeze and use when I needed them. With my mother there for the first week, the SS class bringing meals the second, we had leftovers for quite a while. The stocked freezer/pantry was awesome!

  10. You are so fab! I love your sweet touches! Thanks for your frienship!:)

  11. Awesome - you are such a good friend! I love how pretty you made it look too - great ideas!

  12. This is great! found your blog while doing a search for the cavorting canines dress and I love it ! I have the same River Road Recipes cookbook and am an SEC girl as well!!

  13. Awww, you're so sweet! I'm totally trying your dressing - I don't understand why anyone buys bottled dressing in the store, to tell you the truth. xoxo!

  14. Showing up with a package like that is such a good deed! Lucky friends!

  15. Where did you get your burlap grocery bag?? I LOVE it!!


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