New moms LOVE when their friends and family bring food. We can all relate to that. But do you ever stress over what to bring? I’ll admit I overthink it sometimes. When I had my son, my younger sister came over armed with foods that were easy to eat while holding (or nursing) a baby – all hand held foods with no fork and knife needed. I thought she was a genius with the homemade mini oatmeal muffins and quinoa cakes. As I have visited many more friends with new babies, I’ve been anxious about what foods to bring them. What will they like? Will their other kids like it? Do they only shop at Whole Foods? What’s the perfect thing to bring?
I asked my fellow FCMB bloggers what their favorite items (to receive or to give) were and I was pleasantly surprised to hear the wide variety of foods that they appreciated. Everything from homemade casseroles, to make ahead entrees, soups and other items as simple as bagels and fruit.
The lesson? New moms appreciate all foods. So if you’re stumped don’t stress. Just bring that mom a meal! She’ll appreciate it. Guaranteed! For some inspiration, see what our bloggers love.
*Do ask about food allergies first.
|Keira: Chicken Enchiladas using this recipe
|Julie: Frozen chicken pot pies.
|Kim: Rotisserie chicken, homemade lasagna, vegetable soups, or scones with jam and cream. I also had a friend that set up a peapod order and had it sent to the house. That was awesome.
|Abby: Stuffed shells that I had already made and were in the freezer. I attached directions on how to cook from frozen. *The recipe Abby used is below.
|Stacey: Lots of fresh fruit and pre-made salads.
|Allyson: Someone brought me a dozen bagels and cream cheese. They were perfect!
|Aarika: A mom brought me a prepared dinner from Whole Foods with a salad and dessert. I loved the variety so that it could be eaten over multiple meals. We also got a breakfast basket with English muffins, jam, coffee and apple strudel bread – that was amazing!
|Maria: Soup and chicken cutlets.
|Shannon: My favorite meal came with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s!
|Dana: Rotisserie chicken and Caesar salad with fresh bread.
Some of my go-to’s have been: Lentil soup, butternut squash soup, meatballs and salad, veggie frittata, enchiladas or enchilada bake, and this nectarine barbecue chicken in the summer.
Recipe: Blogger Abby’s Go-To Dish to Bring:
“The Bombshells” – Mediterranean Stuffed Shells (Recipe by Eila Johnson shared with permission)
Makes about 36 Shells or 12 servings
Recommended Packaging: freezer-friendly aluminum, glass or ceramic baking dishes in individual size, or three 8×8”, or two 9×13” size for larger family meals
12 oz pkg jumbo pasta shells (about 36 shells)
20 oz frozen broccoli, still frozen but rough chopped to 1⁄2” pieces or pulsed in a food processor if you like a finer consistency
16-20 oz frozen chopped spinach, still frozen
2 lbs (4 cups) whole milk ricotta
1 cup Feta, crumbled
zest of 1-2 lemons
1 T dried oregano (or 3-4 T fresh chopped oregano)
60 oz your favorite marinara sauce
1 1⁄2 cups shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package. Drain pasta and lay it out on a single layer on a rimmed backing sheet to cool while you prepare the filling. Drizzle about 2 T of marinara in the bottom of each baking tray and gently shake to spread it around the bottom. Set prepped trays aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine frozen chopped broccoli (which you may either dice by hand, or run through a food processor if you prefer a finer/more even texture), chopped spinach (no need to thaw—just bang on counter to break it up—good job for kids), ricotta, Feta, eggs, lemon zest, and oregano. Stir to combine. Divide filling evenly among shells, and lay shells in baking dishes. Drizzle marinara over the top of each set of shells, ideally not drowning them but covering the shells well with sauce so they don’t dry out, and then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
Cover baking dish with foil. Bake, covered, on middle rack for between :30- :45 minutes, until warmed through. To test if it’s ready, insert a butter knife into one of the shells in the center of the baking dish to make sure the center is warm.
To cook from frozen: Remove lid and/or plastic wrap. Place baking tray in oven as it is preheating to 350° (to avoid shocking the pan. I tend to place my baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet just to avoid any spills while it’s cooking). Bake, loosely covered w/ foil, on middle rack for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, until warmed through, To test for readiness, insert a butter knife into one of the shells in the center of the baking dish to make sure the center is warm.
What have been your favorite meals to receive or give?