I’m gone on maternity leave for the time being so my sweet friend Tiffany from the visually stunning blog Peanut Blossom is here today generously filling in. Along with being an amazing photographer, Tiffany is also quite the chef (check out the recipes on her blog for proof) and today she’s sharing – what else – the perfect meal to bring to a family who’s just welcomed a baby to the family.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful or anything, I definitely appreciate the post!, but I really wish Tiffany lived in the same state so she could also bring me this meal. I love that it’s not the usual-fare (we ate lasagna brought to us by kind-hearted friends for a month straight when S was born) and it just looks so good!
Read on for the recipe as well as Tiffany’s handy-dandy packing and transport tips.
New Babies = Casseroles. It’s a law of nature.
But when you’re on the receiving end of that amazing gift, despite your never-ending gratitude there are days when you think you never want to see another noodle. Ever Again.
Please don’t get me wrong. As a new mother to a tiny 6 pound ball of joy, I would have been grateful for someone to fix me a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. The thought is truly what counts.
But after an amazing 6 weeks of mommy meals provided by my playgroup after the birth of my second daughter, I learned first-hand what a difference just a few tweaks to your staple recipe rotation makes for the families you’re providing nourishment.
This menu is just as easy to make and transport as your standard casserole and brownies. I promise.
And the new mom in your life? She just might kiss you with gratitude for being unique.
The Rockstar Lineup:
- Slow Cooker Taco Chili – spicy, but kid-approved
- Veggie Dippers with Seasoned Sour Cream
- Cheesy Corn Bread Toppers
- Pineapple Upside Down Sundaes
The Game Plan:
- Cook the chili in your own slow cooker but transfer it to a large plastic disposable container.
- Wash and cut the veggies and store separately in plastic zip-top baggies.
- Prep the seasoned sour cream (I prefer Fox Point seasoning from Penzeys but even a simple ranch packet would be popular with the kids) and transport in the sour cream container itself or another plastic container.
- Bake the corn bread toppers, wrap lightly in tinfoil.
- Assemble the pineapple topping, transport in a plastic container.
Final Assembly & Transportation Tips:
In one grocery bag, pack all the cold items:
- frozen corn
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- veggie bags
- container of vanilla ice cream
- pineapple topping
- whipped cream and cherries (optional)
In a second grocery bag, pack all the hot items:
- Cornbread toppers
- Package of tortilla chips
Grab your bags and go! Easy peasy!
And all the new mommy has to do? Heat the chili up and add the corn, and reheat the cornbread. And everything is freezer-ready if something comes up and she prefers to hang on to it for another night.
Looking for even more ideas for unique meals to bring to friends? Be sure to check out “30 Days of Mommy Meals.” It’s filled with inspiration and practical tips for planning a meal for a family in need.
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 15-oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with their juices
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 slice white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup frozen corn
- Shredded cheese, sour cream, and sliced green onions for serving (optional)
- Bag of tortilla chips for scooping (optional)
In a medium-sized glass bowl, microwave the onions, taco seasoning, tomato paste, oil, and garlic salt, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Approximately 5 minutes. Add to crock pot.
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and juice, and brown sugar into crock pot.
In a large bowl, mash the bread and milk into a paste using a fork. Using your hands, combine with the ground beef and some black pepper. Stir the ground beef into the mixture inside the crock pot. Be sure to break up any large pieces.
Cover and cook until beef is tender, 6-8 hours on low or 3-5 hours on high.
Strain the fat from the top of the chili using a large spoon. Add the frozen corn and let sit to warm through, 5 minutes. (OR you can leave the corn out and let the dinner recipient add it themselves so it stays crunchy.)
Cheesy Cornbread Toppers
- 1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix (including the milk and eggs it calls for)
- 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- salt & pepper
Follow the instructions on the box of Jiffy mix. Add the shredded cheese, thyme, and salt and pepper to the mix. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Drop 6 large spoonfuls of batter onto the sheet like you would a drop cookie. Bake according to the Jiffy instructions.
The batter will spread like a cookie and get crispy on the bottom, slightly golden brown on the top. These make awesome “lids” for your chili bowls. We love them because the crunchy surface is perfect for dipping in the chili!
Pineapple Upside Down Sundaes
- 1 can of crushed pineapple, juices reserved
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of reserved pineapple juices
- 2 tbsp of orange juice
- Vanilla ice cream
- Frozen pound cake
- Jar of cherries & canister of whipped cream (optional)
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and juices. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the pineapple and bring to a gentle boil.
Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before packaging in container for transportation.
To serve: Scoop ice cream into bowls. Top with pineapple sauce, broken chunks of pound cake, and a cherry on top.
Tiffany Dahle is the hostess behind Peanut Blossom where she shares her belief that strong families start with strong and happy mothers. She encourages you to develop everyday possibilities for stretching your creativity while doing what you do to keep that household running!
P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?