Unfortunately (and fortunately) I have been cooking dinners for friends going through rough times a lot recently. I say unfortunately, because they are dealing with tough things, but fortunately the community has been quick to cook up some compassion, as my friend Holley calls it, and bring food to their houses nightly. This gesture of delivering dinners doesn't have to be reserved for sad or difficult times - a family with a new baby would appreciate it just as much.
The best dinners to deliver are ones that can easily be re-heated and that can be frozen if they are not ready to be used right away. My first idea for a drop-off dinner is lasagna. However, I think this is probably everyone's first idea. The other frequent meal is quiche. Though most people are grateful for any help with dinners, I don't want my friends to have to eat quiche and lasagna for weeks on end. There are so many dishes that fit into the easy drop-off catagory though. Baked fish or chicken dishes are easy, just prepare in baking dish, cover, and put a sticky note with instructions on top.
This week I went with a Chicken Pot Pie. It's just plain comfort food. Plus, I knew toddlers were going to be eating whatever I brought, and chicken potpies have small veggies and chicken that are easy for kids and require no cutting.
I used the recipe below from The Bride and Groom Cookbook, because it seemed quicker than the usual Ina Garten one I use.
My only complaint with the Bride and Groom recipe is that the veggies are frozen. I'm fine with frozen peas, but I was not pleased with the frozen carrots. I did like the flavor the Alfredo sauce added in the Bride & Groom recipe, however I don't even want to know how many calories that added.... I also liked the fresh thyme. Perhaps next time I will make a combination of the two.
Check out Holley's post on The Southern Belle in Santa Barbara for a nice Shepherd's Pie recipe that would be another great dinner to deliver to a friend who could use a night off from cooking.