Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making Meals for Others

I'm on the "congregational care team" at my church. We take meals to families when there is a new baby, someone has surgery, or there is a need. I got a call on Monday requesting that I take a meal to a family this evening. Of course I said yes! I love doing this for people! A while back I took several bags of groceries to a family--I had more fun shopping for them than I do for myself!

There are certain things you need to keep in mind if you are making a meal or shopping for someone else. Always ask if there are food allergies and if there are certain foods that they don't care for. If you're taking a meal to a family with a new baby, ask and see if the mother is nursing. That way you will know to totally eliminate spicy foods. Keep in mind if there are young children in the family as well. They can sometimes be picky eaters so make something that most kids would enjoy like a pasta dish or homemade chicken tenders. Also, don't make meals in your own serving dishes. It's so hard to get the appropriate dishes back to people. Just get some aluminum pans (which now are even coming with lids) at the store. They're pretty inexpensive and will save a big headache later for the family.

For tonight's menu I pulled out an oldie but goodie. I used to make Spagetti Pie ALL THE TIME as a dish to carry to other families when my youngest was a baby. There were a ton of us gals at church who were pregnant at the same time and meals were being passed around quite frequently. People started requesting my spagetti pie! The funny thing is that I never made this dish for my own family until everyone told me how good it was! I received the recipe from a former coworker back in the early nineties and it had just been sitting in my recipe box for years. One day I decided to make something other than the usual lasagna and pulled out this recipe. So here it is! I'm also making a green bean dish that I found on Recipezaar. (Bacon-Almond Green Beans) I'll let you know how that turns out!

Spaghetti Pie
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. onion, diced
1 8 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 t. garlic, minced
6 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 TBS. butter, melted
2 well beaten eggs
1/3 c. parmesan cheese (I give you permission to use the powdered kind)
1/2 c. cottage cheese or ricotta (I use cottage)
grated mozarella cheese

Brown ground beef and onion. Drain off grease. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, and garlic to the ground beef. In a separate bowl mix spaghetti, butter, eggs and cottage cheese. Grease a medium casserole dish with Pam. Add spaghetti mixture to greased pan. Layer hambuger mixture on top of the spaghetti mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Add grated mozarella on top and bake an additional 5 minutes.


Lydia said...

Love Spaghetti Pie. I use to make that all the time when we use to have pot luck at work.

That's so swee that you make things for people. I do the same for my friends. Great minds think alike.

entrees4u said...

Another great way to provide meals for others is through a meal preparation kitchen like Entrees4U in Raleigh. Entrees4U can have your meal ready frozen or fresh and they even deliver for special circumstances.

Cooking Mama said...

Lydia, is your recipe the same as mine? And great minds do think alike. ;-)

Entrees4u, you are right! I should have mentioned you! You forgot to put your website, :-)

Brown-Eyed Girl said...

I always buy those Ziploc or Glad containers when I see them on sale. Still, I find mostly I don't have any when I go looking because I tend to give food away as well.

Cooking Mama said...

On thing I forgot to add is that I use leftover containers from Chinese carryout as well. The local restaurant we order from is using some nice plasticware these days.

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