Nov 1, 2013

My Five Best Baby Dinners

I have delivered four dinners to new babies this past month alone (my group of friends is constantly having lots of babies).  I must say that I truly enjoy it- the making and delivering.   Over the past five years and countless dinners I have really gotten my technique down.  Ha, it also might help that I will be reaping the benefit of a meal train in about three months.

Some friends and I were discussing cooking at a dinner party last week.  About half were firmly in the "do it from necessity but dislike it strongly" camp.  Obviously, y'all know that I am strongly in the "love love love it" camp.  Miss Priss and I had a testy week, and after struggling through the grocery store Wednesday (thank you Kroger for the free balloon, and blind eye to apple munching!), I was thrilled to get her down for her nap, listen to the new John Grisham, and get busy in the kitchen.  It brings me such peace to put my energy and (cheese-alert) love into making a simple casserole, delicious dessert, and wholesome vegetable for friends, and packaging it all up. Maybe it is just because I love to eat so much, but good food is probably the greatest gift we can give each other in my eyes.

Or maybe I just need a snack.

So in honor of all these babies, I thought my Five on Friday would be to share my favorite recipes to bring families with new babies.  (Links to each recipe are in the title)

1.  Anytime Chicken and Dressing

Serve with a green vegetable- (I'm partial to green beans, myself), Sister Schubert's rolls, and cookies.

2.  Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

Serve with a green salad- I like to include a jar of a quick homemade dressing, garlic bread (try this one!), and brownies.  I have made this probably 25 times over the last few years, and it is always such a hit.

3.  Chicken Tetrazinni
Perfect with roasted asparagus, french rolls, and something sweet!

4.  Elvis Enchiladas
Serve with Mexican rice, salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips.  Chocolate chips cookies are always welcome!

5.  Cheesy Poppyseed Chicken

This is the greatest iteration of poppyseed chicken I have ever encountered.

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded (you can use a rotisserie, or boil a whole chicken and have homemade stock for other purposes)
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz container sour cream
2 tablespoon poppyseeds
4 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup cheese, divided

Mix everything and 1/2 cup of cheese together, and top with the other half of the cheese. Bake for 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until bubbly.

I could eat that chicken all day long.  Comfort food at its best.  Poppyseed chicken is excellent with steamed broccoli, but you might want to check with the mama in question, since it can upset some baby's tummies (same with brussel sprouts, some spices and beans).   Miss Priss could not handle black beans or cabbage, herself.  An excellent subsstitute is roasted asparagus.Add some rolls and something sweet, and you are set!

Other tips?

Make sure everything is in disposable containers.  I had zero brain power/ability to leave the house/desire to return dishes to their proper owners in the weeks or even months following Dell Harper's birth.

If something calls for a 9x13 baking dish, make it in 2 8x8's instead.  Write freezing instructions on one.  It's nice to not have to eat the same leftovers for a week, and have something tucked away for when new mama goes back to work or when the meal train dries up.

I know that not everyone has the time or inclination to cook.  However, any effort is much appreciated, and a home-cooked meal, or dessert from a special bakery makes all the difference to an exhausted friend.

Thanks to the ladies for hosting, and have a wonderful weekend!!


  1. Such a great tip about the 8"x8". Friends of ours sadly lost a baby back in January and I throw food at death, as well as birth. We brought them a huge meat & veggie baked ziti in an absolutely massive dish. Luckily it was winter and they just left it in the snow on their porch all wrapped up, but it would have been better to do a bunch of smaller dishes.

  2. You're making me very hungry with all these great home cooked meals! I'm going to do that 8x8 container tip for us next time I make a casserole. great idea for stocking up your own freezer too. I usually bring new moms in my mother's club my favorite salsa verde chicken enchiladas or Pioneer Woman's chicken spaghetti, a green salad and a dessert.

  3. Samma-Thanks for all of these yummy recipes! There's gonna be a baby boom around here next Spring and I know that this post will come in VERY handy! Hope you are feeling well and as always...Let's go DAWGS! xoxo!

  4. Great recipes - I always love yours. The link for Elvis goes to garlic bread. Is that just my computer - or does the link have a problem? Thanks.

  5. Thanks for posting these ideas. I usually make lasagna roll ups for my new mommy friends.

  6. Honestly, I think these sound like awful choices. As someone who tries to eat healthy, I'm often disappointed my the dishes people bring to families after births/deaths. Pasta, cheese... so much heaviness! When my kid was born I was thrilled when people showed up with healthy options!

  7. This post made me so hungry and it also shines through how sweet and loving you are!

  8. It's the best gift ever to get meals after a new baby! I'm marking these down for future delivery to friends. Sure wish I could swing on up to Ktown in a couple months and bring you some home cookin sweet girl!


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