I was putting together a little package for a friend and thought I would post it for those of you that might be looking for ideas for new moms or friends that need cheering up.
I have a good friend that just had surgery and I wanted to drop some things off to her.
I wasn’t sure how many people would be dropping things off (and how quickly she would get to my basket) so I put together a really easy Italian Night basket that would last a few days.
My basket was just a metal basket from Michael’s, I included a placemat in a fun pattern (this was like $3 or something from Williams Sonoma or maybe Crate n Barrel.)
I also included a large jar of homemade spaghetti sauce (this is so delicious and just cook it right in your Crock pot- recipe here).
I picked up some Rosemary French Bread from Trader Joe’s and pasta and then put a simple green salad in a Ziploc. I included a homemade ranch dressing plus I took fresh Parmesan cheese and grated it up and put that in a little jar.
So simple and everyone likes spaghetti so they just need to cook the pasta and dinner is ready!
Another idea would be nice coffee for a new Mom, gourmet hot chocolate, tea (I love Good Earth tea), or homemade lemonade in the summer. (Here is a recipe for Awesome Lemonade here or a recipe for Starbucks Passion Fruit Iced Tea here.)
If you are delivering something to a new mom, you might consider a little gift for her and a little something for the baby.
If the Mom has other children, I also like to include a little something for them so they don’t feel forgotten about. A coloring book and new Crayons, a small toy, bubbles, Hot Wheels, books, a movie… I try to think of things that might occupy a child for a few minutes so Mom can shower or do what she needs to do.
Most people will bring a casserole or chili or soups- things that will freeze and reheat easily. I don’t like to take heavier dishes unless it is the middle of winter.
Here are a few other ideas:
- A bagged salad with a roasted chicken dish and fresh bread or fingerling potatoes sliced with olive oil and herbs (ready to roast in the oven)
- Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches- get the recipe here– just put the chicken in a Tupperware, add delicious buns, a side salad or fruit salad or cole slaw.
- Fresh pizza dough balls, marinara sauce/white sauce or pesto, shredded cheese and whatever other toppings you think they might like. (This is so easy to put together and can be a fun idea for parents that have small children underfoot).
- Short on time or not much of a cook? How about a rotisserie chicken, a great deli salad and a wonderful baked something from the deli. You certainly don’t have to cook or bake-really it is the thought that counts.
- Most people focus on bringing dinner. New parents also need to worry about everything else in between and remember the schedule is often a bit of a mess those first few weeks after a new baby comes home. You might also consider putting a care package of breakfast items (after all who wants to fuss around the kitchen when you have been up all night with a baby)- a delicious gourmet jam, fresh fruit, muffins, scones or french bread would be fantastic. There is a fast and easy fruit dip recipe here that will give Mom tons of protein. You might even boil some eggs and include those for a savory option or this mushroom frittata is delicious!
- You could do a bag of delicious snacks with fresh veggies all washed and put in containers with hummus or salad dressing. Sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, a great crusty bread, olives etc… would be delicious. That is a great option for someone that isn’t eating as much or might want a healthier meal.
- Another idea if you are short on time is a gift card to a pizza place that you place inside a clean pizza box. Fun and they can order anytime they like. Add some gourmet sodas or beers and maybe a salad in a zipoc bag or dessert.
You might check with the person and see if they have any dietary restrictions or in my case I just checked my friend’s pinterest boards to see the kind of foods she had been pinning.
You can pick up super cheap disposable containers at the Dollar Store or I like mason jars as well.
Here is another meal I made for a friend recently. Super simple taco basket– after all who doesn’t like tacos? I made the Creamy Chicken Crock Pot taco meat – recipe here- and popped that in a Ziploc. I added a bag of tortillas (those are under the food in the tray above), some chopped lettuce, olives, limes, cheese, avocado, and I made fresh salsa (so easy and so delicious- see recipe here) just popped into a mason jar.
I also wanted to do a dessert and this Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell takes seconds to make. I popped it into a mason jar and brought a pint of vanilla ice cream. Another delicious option would be Crock Pot Caramel Sauce with apples in fall or ice cream in summer.