Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baby Food

I like to cook for people, for really any or no reason at all.  So when friends have a baby I enjoy planning and preparing a meal for them.  

I have a few guidelines I try to stick to when selecting dishes:
1.  no casserole, baked ziti or lasagna.  I think that is what most people do and it must get boring for the parents.  In the winter I do chicken soup or chili with corn muffins, for summertime I do pasta salads or simple chicken meals.
2. I like to do a dessert  that can double as breakfast or a snack.
3. I often pick dishes that I prepare but then the family bakes at their home.  I figure something warm is a nice change of pace from sandwiches and cold pizza, also the good smells coming from the kitchen are a good "pick-me up". 
4. All the food is delivered in disposable containers, yes not great for the environment but great for parents- no dishes to clean or return.  I also toss in disposable napkins, plates and silverware (with a baby theme), just to make things really simple. 
5. I try to pick dishes that can be frozen in case the family is overwhelmed with meals and would rather save it for a later time.  

Number 5 made me think of the freezer meals Kim has been sharing.   I thought I'd throw in my two cents. These are both quick and easy to make- they use kitchen staples, and freeze well. 
I love this recipe- you can make a thousand variations. 
Take a loaf of frozen bread dough (Bridgford is the brand in my store or you could use pizza dough but it makes a lot), rub the outside with butter or Crisco and wrap in plasticwrap. Once it is defrosted smush it out in a long flat snake shape.  I then cut it in half length-ways, and attach the two parts to double the width.   Brush on Italian dressing, then some dijon mustard and sprinkle with fresh herbs.  Layer on toppings.  Then roll it up- I tend to overfill mine and have to roll it in then pull the top up and over to close up the gap.  Use tooth picks to secure.  Top of with a drizzle of olive oil and herbs (fresh when I have them or an Italian mix). 
Freeze or Bake at 350, on a foil lined sheet (mine always leaks) for half an hour.  Service with pizza sauce for dipping.

Cinnamon Rolls 
This is a favorite of my former roommates, made many a weekend. From Betty Crocker's Bisquick Cookbook. 
Mix 2  1/2 cups of bisquick with 3 tbs of sugar, and 2/3 cup of milk (often need a splash more).
Dump on the bisquick covered counter, knead 10 times. 
Roll to a 15x9 rectangle(ish-for me).  Spread with butter/margarine.
Sprinkle with a cinnamon (2 tsp)-sugar (2 tsp sugar) mixture.
Roll up from the long side.
Slice (with a sharp knife or it rips) into twelve pieces. 
Bake at 375 for 20ish minutes.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
1/4 cup butter or margarine 
2 tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavor 
mix it all together.


What do you make to welcome babies/help new parents? 


Kelly said...

Those are excellent ideas. I usually do ziti...It's boring. I might have to make that Stromboli for my coworker that just had a baby about a week ago!

christi @ grey umbrella said...

great points. i have a few baby meals to deliver and i agree, no casseroles!!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

How flippin' cool are you? Love that stromboli. Gotta try it.

And, how did I not know that you are supposed to bring a meal to a new mom? I've never done that or thought to do it. I'm an idiot.

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Awesome awesome - great tips! Any new mom would LOVE this.

Kristen @ Miss Prissy Paige said...

Those cinnamon rolls look delicious! I haven't had a baby, but you could bring those over any time!