Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Meal ideas to bring in a time of need.

What do you do to help when you have a friend that is in need... they just had a new baby... they had a family member pass away... they lost a job?

Food. I make food. I bring food. When my sister-in-law had TWIN babies, I made a bunch of casseroles and brought them to her to freeze. When a friend was struggling, I grabbed some carrots, potatoes and stew beef and went over and threw it in her crockpot.

Who doesn't appreciate a bit of comfort food in time of need? I know I do... and here are some great ideas culled from an informal social media survey I conducted:

American Chop Suey
Shepherd's Pie
Mac N Cheese
Enchilada Casserole
Chicken Divan

And, something I never even thought of (but my brilliant friends did)... BREAKFAST foods! Most people will bring yummy comfort dinners, but rarely is breakfast covered. Here are some ideas:

Breakfast Casserole

I also discovered something else in my research: Meal Train. It is a free website where you can organize your meals for your friends with other friends so that they are not inundated all at once with a bunch of food they can not possibly eat. I have not used this service, but 3 different friends mentioned it, so I will be checking it out.

A few tips to keep in mind as well:

Bring the food in disposable dishes so that they do not need to worry about what dishes to return. 

Another friend suggested bringing disposable plates and plasticwear so nobody is worrying about doing dishes. 

Make sure the food is freezable so that if they receive a large amount they can save some for later.

When children are involved, make it kid-friendly. A family in need does not want to be fighting with their picky eaters. 

When in doubt (or for lack of cooking skills) buy a restaurant gift card or bring take-out. I am sure you know your friends' favorite restaurants and can grab a great meal  they will enjoy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy National Grilled Cheese Month!

Yes... it really is and I really do celebrate every year. Grilled cheese are nearly the perfect lunch or dinner for any family. You can add veggies and protein and have an entire meal in your hands.

Unfortunately, I think most people hear "grilled cheese" and think plain bread and nasty American Cheese Food.

 But, for real... there are endless options! And they can range from quite kid friendly to amazing adult cuisine.

One of my favorites is my Chicken Pesto Smoked Bacon Delight.

I also love the Sundried Tomato and Pesto

But, probably my most favorite is my Mexican Pepper Jack (photo above). It is so spicy and full of flavor. MMMMMM!

This year, I am committed to trying some new recipes. First up: (wait for it...) a brie with sliced pears and blueberry jam!) Oh... my... belly!

And how could I go wrong with buffalo chicken? This is one I am very excited to try.

What are your favorite grilled cheese recipes? I need enough to cover the whole month.