Friday, January 20, 2012

Lunch for/with the New Mother

A dear friend of mine recently had her second child. Last week I went over to her house (making it easy for her -- keeping her baby and toddler in their own setting), but I brought the lunch and I also brought her dinner for that night.

It was all a big hit, and I got all the recipes off the Hidden Valley Ranch Recipes page. I'm really proud to be on the parent panel again (changed from the "mom panel," since we have two dads contributing this year!), and one of the things I hope to do is to try out some of the recipes and share the ones I like.

Double Onion Quiche, Hidden Valley Ranch recipe

For lunch I made the Double Onion Quiche. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Angela and I both loved this dish. I'll definitely make it again, and she thought it was the kind of thing she could make and serve on a mom-friend playdate.  On the side, I served the veggie-filled Crunchy Pea Salad, another total keeper. Her two-year-old enjoyed this as well.  This made a great ladies' salad lunch, but I think it would be a good side salad for any meal.

Hidden Valley Ranch Smoked Sausage Mac and Cheese

The dinner I left her was the Smoked Sausage Macaroni and Cheese. I had also made this for my kids the weekend before when my husband and I went out to dinner. I'll be honest -- it's very very Ranch-y. If you don't like Ranch, you won't like this**. When I made it for Angela (after verifying that she and her husband did indeed like Ranch dressing), I used slightly less than the cup called for, and I increased the milk.  I also used half Bacon Ranch and half Hidden Valley Ranch Light. I think that this made it a much better dish because the flavors were more complex.

Both times I used regular smoked sausage instead of the mini smoked sausages called for. With these online college classes you can get a Culinary Arts Degree and take your cooking to the next level. I used small shells one time and rotini pasta another.  It's a very kid-friendly meal, so I think it's a perfect meal to give to a new mom with other young kids at home.  My 13-year-old daughter really liked it, and asked me to make it again soon. My 7-year-old son, who probably eats more Ranch than the rest of us, wouldn't really try it, because "You know I don't like macaroni and cheese," and he was reading the recipe on the computer as I was making it, so once he read the title, he decided against it. I told him it was more of a Ranch sauce, not mac-and cheese (and that's true -- it doesn't have the consistency of a mac-n-cheese dish either homemade baked, or out of the box), but no go. I'm hoping that he might try it the next time.

I'm excited about mixing up our mealtime over the next couple of months.

**My husband doesn't like that creamy Ranch taste, so recipes using the bottled dressing aren't probably going to go over well with him. The recipes that use the dry seasoning are fine, but I'll have to be cautious with ones using a large amount of the bottled dressing, such as the mac and cheese.

1 comment:

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

I think I'm going to have to try that Double Onion Quiche. I've been wanting to have a friend over for lunch and this sounds perfect.