Saturday, July 9, 2011

big day.

So the reason I haven't been posting much in the way of projects lately is because I've secretly been working on a surprise present for my friend Adrienne, who sang at our wedding and who is expecting her first child later this month. Her baby shower is today, and as I mused over what to make (love the "handmades and homemades welcome!" line on the invite!!), I happened to read this post over at Unruly Things, wherein a mother reminisced about the first days back from the hospital and how hungry she was when she was nursing, and how nice it was when friends brought her dinner.

Eureka, that's it!

Since we live in different neighbourhoods not easily accessible to each other by bus, I have made my friend and her husband about 3-4 weeks' worth of dinners, all separated into individual servings and frozen, so that she or he can take out as much as they would like at a time and just reheat.

my friend Samer says "food is love," and I couldn't agree more. Here's the love round-up for Adrienne and Gered and little Aria Vita:

a quart of acorn squash soup with sweet spices (star anise, ginger, allspice), and sesame cream (vegan, recipe from The Artful Vegan)

And then the parade of Italian comfort food begins with homemade vegan gnocchi with garlic and herbs (adapted from the sweet potato gnocchi with garlic and sage in The Millennium Cookbook); we froze on a cookie sheet and bagged individual servings of 15 gnocchi, with a little slip tucked inside each bag detailing ingredients and cooking instructions.

homemade arugula and three-cheese raviolis. Here's where I made one concession to time: I bought fresh pasta sheets for the ravioli instead of rolling my own. But I was just about out of time, only made these yesterday afternoon, so I'm sure I'll be forgiven! They are stuffed with a mixture of ground fresh arugula leaves, fat-free ricotta and fat-free feta and (not-fat-free) parmesan, with a touch of nutmeg and nutritional yeast to provide a nutty counterpoint to the cheeses.

A traditional lasagne with layers of bolognese (slow-simmered for hours on the stove, it drove me AND the neighbours crazy!), noodles, and ricotta (thickened with a bit of egg), topped with a good hearty layer of mozzarella. This photo is titled "no willpower" on my desktop as I couldn't resist tucking in to a small piece as it cooled on my table.

Another lasagne, one I haven't made in 8 or 9 years, but one of my favorites. This one comes from epicurious: Eggplant Lasagne with Parsley Pesto. It also has a garlic bechamel sauce in there, and the pesto has been mixed with ricotta. Not a tomato in sight, but such a wonderful dish, especially in the fall.

And that's it! It all just barely fits inside our cooler; good thing I checked in with her husband to make sure they have room in their freezer, eh? =) This is going to be a fun surprise!


Norma said...

That's a great idea. She will love it!

Badger Girl Learns to Cook said...

What a great and thoughtful idea! Having received dinners when JP broke his leg, I can attest that individual sized portions are key. She will definitely appreciate it!
We just did a similar thing for JP's mother who had a stroke last week. Next week our turn is up again for food and I may try some of these recipes.

Audrey said...

Wow! What a great friend you are!! When my son was little, I belonged to a Mom's club and we did this for each other when ever one of us had a new baby. I can't tell you how much I appreciated it.
Lots of wonderful dishes you've prepared...I think I'll try a couple of those too :)

aka AudreyGardenLady

Leslie said...

What a terrific idea...and what great recipes. I will keep this idea in mind for other occasions. Very thoughtful as well