Friday, January 15, 2010

A Blessing to Families With New Babies

Jim and I are members of our church's Young Married Sunday School class. As you can imagine, our class members are the main group in our church who are having new babies. Our class has taken on a little project as a way of helping the families in our class welcome their new little ones and trying to be an encouragement and help during a wonderful, yet exhausting time in their lives. The ladies in our class take turns taking a meal to the families with new babies. We usually have enough ladies participate that the family will get a meal every other night for about two weeks.
This week, I had the opportunity to take a meal to a family whose new little girl was born a few days before Christmas. My usual meal to take is Chicken Enchiladas and Mexican Rice and a dessert (that usually varies).
My enchilada recipe is one that my mom found and passed along to me. These enchiladas are a regular meal at our house, and I love to make them for others too. They are easy, don't require a lot of ingredients, and can be made ahead - which makes them perfect for delivering to some one's house.
This recipe is from the Betty Crocker Do-Ahead Cookbook.

Enchiladas
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
6 tortillas
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 cup salsa (I use medium)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
Grease a 9x13 pan. Mix turkey, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and cottage cheese. Spoon into tortillas. Roll up and place seam side down in the pan. Combine tomato sauce, salsa, and spices. Pour over enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer.
Can refrigerate unbaked for 48 hours or freeze for 2 months.

After refrigeration:
Bake 30 minutes.
Add cheese.
Bake 15 minutes longer.

From freezer:
Bake for 45 minutes.
Add cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes longer.

I usually send these enchiladas to the families in disposable foil containers with lids, and I include the "After Refrigeration" baking instructions. I usually put the extra 1/2 cup of cheese in a sandwich bag, so the families will have everything they need. I like to send these unbaked so the families will be able to use the meal whenever they are ready.

My Mexican rice recipe is another recipe from my mom. I have made a few changes, so I am posting it as I make it. Her version is on her blog.

Jan's Rice
1-2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup rice
2 cups water (or chicken broth)
2 cubes of chicken bouillon (You will not need these if you use broth.)
1/3 cup medium salsa
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic, and cook for about a minute. Add rice a stir around for a few minutes. Add broth/water, bouillon cubes, and salsa. Stir until the liquids boil, and then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
I usually just put this rice into a gallon-sized Ziplock bag to take to the families. I don't want the families to have to worry about washing and returning my dishes, so I try to use disposable containers.

I also like to bring a little gift along with the meal. I like to make flannel baby blankets, and I always make these for each baby. I usually use 1 and 1/3 yards of flannel for each blanket. I press the edges under 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch, and then I machine hem the blanket. Once the blanket is machine hemmed, I like to use a blanket stitch around the edges, using pearl cotton. My mom and I made several of these for Drew when he was little, and I loved them! They are bigger than most receiving blankets and are perfect for swaddling (which I did with Drew for months and months since he was so little).
Another gift I have been making lately is cute diaper burp cloths. My sister made me a bunch of these when Drew was a baby, and I got another set from a friend. I loved the absorbency of the diaper burp cloths, and I loved that they were cute! I just take a leftover strip of flannel (about 5 inches tall and about an inch or two longer than the width of the diaper), press it under about 1/2 an inch on all sides, and pin it on the diaper. I machine stitch it to the diaper, and then I add trim. This one has a strip of twill tape trim and a ribbon bow and flower button (sewed on VERY tightly). I used Fray Check on the ends of the bow. I've also used rickrack to decorate another diaper burp cloth. A little cost-saving tip (from my mom) for these burp cloths is to buy the car washing diapers from Target instead of the baby diapers. They are cheaper and are still very soft and 100% cotton.
I hope some of these ideas will be helpful!

1 comment:

rob said...

Wow, what an informative post! I need to get busy and do the blanket stitching on some baby blankets. I have them hemmed but need to do the hand stitching. Your burp cloth turned out very cute. Mom