Tuesday, September 15, 2009

For the New Mommy

Our fabulous next-door neighbors just had a bouncing baby boy last week. I am doing my best to take them fresh produce and other healthy items, because they've been loaded down with fatty staples that will NOT help with the Post Baby Diet. Therefore, I made them the Pesto Caesar Salad that I shared with you this afternoon and took them a wonderful, light Chicken and Cheese Casserole. This is a great meal for new moms because it is low in fat (the largest component is skim milk), mild (which is very important if the new mom is breast-feeding), and is freezer-ready (perfect if your new mommy friend is overwhelmed with the number of meals that they're already facing!) With a salad and a loaf of frozen garlic cheese bread, this is a comforting, low-fat meal that any new mom and dad can appreciate.

And COMPLETELY off-topic, I have been alerted to a blog that has a REALLY good wine special right now on a great meritage from Corey and my favorite Oregon Winery: Torii Mor. The Deux Verres two-pack is on sale through tomorrow night, and the 2006 vintage is one of our favorites of all time! Check it out: http://wine.woot.com/.


Recipe Notes

This casserole is freezer-ready; just don't bake it before you take it over and leave instructions for baking it, along with the bread crumb topping in a separate baggie. This week, I took this recipe, which would normally bake in a 9x13 casserole, and I divided it into two, 8x8 dishes so that we could take 1/2 to our neighbors and keep 1/2 for our dinner tonight too! It worked out great, so you can either make one 9x13 or two 8x8 casseroles.


  • 3 c. cooked, cubed chicken

  • 1 c. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

  • 1/2 c. chopped onion

  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter or margarine (I used light butter by Land O Lakes)

  • 1/4 c. unsifted flour

  • 1 tbsp. instant chicken bouillon (3 cubes)

  • 2-1/2 c. skim milk

  • 1-1/2 c. (6 oz) shredded American cheese

  • 1 c. soft breadcrumbs from 3 pieces of white sandwich bread


1. Preheat oven to 350 if baking after assembly.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and butter until tender, stir in flour and bouillon. Gradually stir in milk, cook, and stir until bouillon dissolves and the sauce thickens.

3. Add cheese, cook until just melted. Remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, cooked macaroni, and cheese sauce.

5. Turn into a greased 2 qt. shallow baking dish.

6. Sprinkle crumbs and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.* Serves 8.

*If delivering to a new mom, skip this step and leave instructions for cooking, including oven temp, length of cooking time, and instructions to add breadcrumbs on top.

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