In August of 2005, I was blessed beyond belief. After the birth of my 4th child, I ended up in the ICU with post-partum pre-eclampsia. After the 3 day stay, I was told to go home and "put my feet up", with 30 people coming for a baptism reception that weekend. Besides the fact that my sister had already pitched in by taking our kids for a couple of days, she and her 5 beautiful children came and cleaned my house. To say she blesses me is an understatement. She's always doing great stuff like this.
We ordered out for the baptism reception food and I survived. The weeks that followed, I was blessed by meals from other moms in my home school co-op. Those meals really saved me and my sanity. These corporal works of Mercy were humbling for me as a cook and baker. God really provides our daily bread in many ways, doesn't he?
I asked one of the moms how I could possibly repay those who brought me meals, as many of them were done having kids. She said, "Pay it forward." I am now a staunch advocate of bringing ANY new mom I know a meal if I can. And, when I bake my big batch of bread, I aways bake 3 loaves. Two for the family, and one to give away.
Eight months later, my best friend was diagnosed with colon cancer. Normally, she was the meal organizer. This time, I got to help by organizing and bringing meals and food for her family.
This is something our previous generations did without thinking twice. My now 90 year old grandmother couldn't possibly go to the eye doctor without taking him some jam. Come to visit and she'll break out cookies. I learned from the finest cooks, bakers and hostesses - my grandma, Evelyn and my mom, Barb. My mom, a working woman, often brought treats into work because few women of her generation that worked actually baked or cooked. She did. Many of my recipes have been passed down. That's part of the reason for this blog. To pass along recipes worthy of SHARING.
So, here's one of my standard New Mom Meals:
Spaghetti and Sauce (this sauce makes 12 cups, so if there are two new moms that need meals, I can kill two birds with one stone)
A frozen veggie (I do this to avoid the problem WE have in that my kids don't like any "stuff" on their food)
A home made loaf of bread (The Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Baguette or Ciabatta)
Either Lactation Cookies or Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Also, when I have the resources, I also include plates, cups, utensils, napkins and juice. I'm low on those supplies, so my last couple of meals went out the door without, unfortunately.
Here are the recipes:
From _Once a Month Cooking_ by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagorborg
Note for my dear friend Gary - This is wheat free and you can sub Agave Nectar for the sugar. It freezes well. We had this when we had B's Open House here.
Category: Main dishes
1 pound Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups onion - finely chopped
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
3 28 oz. cans Italian style crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
4 teaspoons garlic - minced
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 tablespoons fresh parsley - chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 16 oz. pack spaghetti
In a large pot, cook and stir the Italian Sausage with onions until the meat
is brown (I remove the skin from the sausage and cook like browning
hamburger); drain fat. Add remaining ingredients, except the spaghetti.
Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat. Partly cover, and simmer for 2 hours,
stirring occasionally. (If desired, simmer in a crockpot instead of a pot.
Lessen the amount of water to 1 or 1 1/2 cups if using the crockpot method).
Makes 12 cups of sauce.
After sauce has cooled, freeze in 4 cup containers for spaghetti. This can also be used for French Bread Pizza and Calzone.
To prepare for serving SPAGHETTI, thaw sauce and heat in medium saucepan.
Cook pasta according to package directions and pour sauce over pasta.
You can also cook pasta and serve right away for spaghetti.
Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 234kcal; Protein 4g (8%); Total Fat 1g (1%)(Sat. 0g (1%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 57g (19%); Fiber 6g (24%); Sugars 36g; Calcium 197mg (20%); Iron 4mg (20%)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
For those of you that are gluten free, these can be made with a GF flour blend like Bob's Red Mill and you can use McCann's Steel Cut Oats (which tend to not carry any gluten). You can also get gluten-free oats at: www.glutenfreeoats.com, Gifts of Nature www.giftsofnature.net, and Bob's Red Mill www.bobsredmill.com
Category: Breakfast|Cookies and Bars
Yield: 54 servings of 1
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2-4 tablespoons brewer's yeast
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
4. Add eggs and mix well.
5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
8. Stir in oats and chips.
9. Scoop onto baking sheet.
10. Bake for 12 minutes.
11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 133kcal; Protein 2g (4%); Total Fat 6g (10%)(Sat. 3g (16%)); Chol. 17mg (6%); Carb. 17g (6%); Fiber 1g (4%); Sugars 10g; Calcium 11mg (1%); Iron 1mg (4%)
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
Same is true here for gluten free - use a GF flour blend and gluten free oats.
Category: Cookies and Bars
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 6091kcal; Protein 94g (189%); Total Fat 338g (519%)(Sat. 160g (798%)); Chol. 911mg (304%); Carb. 721g (240%); Fiber 46g (183%); Sugars 413g; Calcium 616mg (62%); Iron 32mg (179%)
Next, I'll post my beef stew and chicken parmesan recipes that are my other "stand by" recipes for new moms.