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Recipes for Celebrating & Grieving

Maybe it’s the Italian girl in me, but it’s also God’s honest truth: food is love.

When I was a single girl, nothing thrilled me more than a fully stocked pantry and fridge. Not that I cooked a lot, mind you – but I was ready for…whatever. And now as a full-time working wife and mom, I swoon when my deep freezer in the garage is full.

But you know what’s even better than that? Blessing someone else with a ready-made, home-cooked meal. Whether celebrating a new baby, helping friends through a move, mourning the loss of a loved one, dealing with an unexpected illness or job loss – nothin’ says lovin’ like, “Here. Eat!”

Here are a few of my favorite freezer-friendly recipes for taking someone a meal.

Comfort Food

Chicken Noodle Casserole
Source: The Taylor House

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodlesChickennoodlecasserole_thumb
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 package (16 oz) frozen peas, carrots, beans and corn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drain noodles and allow them to cool before adding to chicken mixture. Transfer to greased 8 inch or aluminum pan and freeze.

Soup

Soup is an easy option that makes for a nice change after lots of casseroles. If you’re the creative type, this recipe also adapts easily with different additions and seasonings to go Italian, Mexican, etc. TomatoMacaroniSoup

Tomato Macaroni Soup
Source: Six Sisters’ Stuff

Ingredients:

  •  1 lb ground beef
  •  1 onion, diced
  •  3 (15 oz) cans beef broth (about 6 cups)
  •  1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  •  1 cup ketchup
  •  1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  •  1 cup shredded carrots
  •  3 tablespoons A1 sauce
  •  2 tablespoons brown sugar
  •  3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  •  1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  •  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  •  1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked

In a skillet over medium high heat, brown hamburger and diced onions. Drain and set aside.

In a large stock pot, mix add beef broth, diced tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste, carrots, A1, Worcestershire, basil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Add beef and onion and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked macaroni. Allow soup to cool before freezing.

Breakfast

Breakfast is another great choice for supporting family and loved ones; and of course, eggs are just as tasty at dinnertime! I like to add spinach to this one.

Ham & Swiss Breakfast Pie

Source: SouthernLiving.com

  • 1-2/3 cups water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
  • 8 large eggs, divided
  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk

~ps95.tmpBring first six ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Lightly beat 2 eggs, and stir into grits mixture; pour into a lightly greased 10-inch deep pie plate.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes; remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400°.

Sauté ham and onions in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Layer ham mixture evenly over grits crust. Whisk together milk and remaining 6 eggs; pour over ham mixture. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup cheese evenly over egg mixture.

Bake at 400° for 35 minutes. Allow casserole to cool before freezing.

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About Annie McFarland

Annie McFarland
Happily married to her former neighbor, Annie is mom to three kids age four and under. She (mostly) balances life at home with working full-time in brand and media licensing. Off the clock, you can find Annie on the couch with her nose in a book (or pressed up against the Kindle), thinking about maybe doing some scrapbooking, or listening to NPR podcasts (she's what you call "indoorsy"). If it's football season, she will faithfully support her Southern husband by cheering on the Auburn Tigers and Atlanta Falcons.