August 2016 Recap

I’m never sad for August to be over. I really love September so I’m ready, bring it on. I really had a lot of favorites this month so it was a good month in the kitchen while still keeping most meals quick, flavorful, and fresh. The babe is so active and the bewitching hours are 6-7:30 so dinner is sometimes a scramble right now.

Some of my sangrias have been hit or miss in the past but this insta-sangria really was awesome with barely any time required! I think my Quick Sangria white cranberry strawberry juice was the right sweetness with a touch of tart to then pair nicely with white wine.
The Three Bite Rule - Quick White Sangria
I try to bring out the panini press during the hot nights that I want something quick without heating up the whole house. I made a ham & havarti melt that was perfect and just a touch more special than the average ham & cheese.

Pair that sangria with a burrata bar and poof, instant party.
The Three Bite Rule - Buratta Bar
Yum. I’d be happy eating grilled bread, burrata, tomato, and basil daily. Daily. Day-ly.
The Three Bite Rule - Buratta Bar
Then I tried a new grain and I’m so glad I did. I made Cracked Wheat with Greek Flavors Topped with  Grilled Chicken.  It was awesome and I’ve already made more since then. It cooks quickly, similar to rice but with much more nutrients. Cracked wheat is a wheat berry “cracked” into smaller pieces for quicker cooking, bulger is the next step being par-cooked.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Grain Salad

The Little Man:
This guy. I can’t believe how big he is. He’s crawling and standing. Craziness. Where’d my little baby go? This month more than ever I feel like he’s a little person instead of a baby. The monthly photos might go by the wayside. This one took 2 days of outtakes. He just wants to move. He’ll be on his back for .5 seconds and then he’s rolling over and up to crawl away.
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He loves swimming and crawling. He’s so proud when he pulls up to standing. He eats anything we give him and is 4th tooth is on the way! Thomas LOVES straps: the adjustable straps on his highchair, his backpack for daycare, on our totebags, anywhere. He sleeps like a champ at home and less so at daycare.

Progress on this year’s goals: 

The Year of the Earring:  Yup! Got ‘em in August with an instagram discount code 

make more salad dressings: Yes! Make honey mustard and you can thank me later.

factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take: 
I’m doing OK. Getting things ready in advance is becoming more of a habit.

recreate restaurant menu items: 
ehh. not this month I guess.

be more adventurous with my reading selections: 
I was a bit over eager for the beach and loaded up 3. Well, with the baby at the beach I didn’t quite read much. I read Mrs. Hemingway and looooved it. Now I’m into Flight Behavior which is turning out to be captivating after a slowish start. 

use the crockpot more:
Nope. I do have my next plan though! 

seafood once a month: 
I made some lobster cakes that were really good. The breading is only on the outside so the inside is all lobster!

July 2015 Recap

What a busy one. I can’t believe how crazy Mr. J and I both are at work. Looking back, I don’t know that July has been my best month in the kitchen, but I made some things we liked and more importantly, ate great stuff this month, even if it wasn’t all blog-worthy. We’re all about the grilled chicken thighs and Mr. J made a bourbon BBQ sauce that is fantastic. In July, I went to River Bar (loved the view), SmashBurgers (a new fav for something quick), Frogmore (undecided), Chilacates (ah-mazing tacos), and Lala Rokh (adorable and perfect for summer).

This burger with mushrooms, swiss, and herb aoli was the best thing I made this month. So good. I got a similar kind of thing as a chicken sandwich at SmashBurger and loved the combo of mushrooms and swiss.
The Three Bite Rule - Steakhouse Burger
My chicken salad with radish and dried blueberries was soooo fantastic. Make it immediately. Go on a picnic. Feel fancy.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Salad with Radish & Blueberries
Panzanella salad just says summer and the quickie dressing is useful for anything.
The Three Bite Rule - Panzanella
August has a trip to the Cape and lots more grilling in store. I’m itching to serve a burrata bar since it didn’t make the catering cut for one of my events. I have a few more burger ideas before the summer is over too.


The Little One: 

He is just so funny. I love him to pieces. He’s 6 months old and doing SO much. He was perfecting the art of sitting and then all of a sudden figured out how to go from his belly to a seated position. He’s trying to crawl really hard so it is only a matter of time. He can scootch, so now it is time to baby proof. Wowza.
6month

He loves applesauce and doesn’t like peas. Atta boy Thomas, Momma doesn’t like peas either. We did give it a valiant effort.

Thomas can find the tag on a toy so quickly…even his taggies toy, he finds the 1 real one. We all traveled to Maine and he was very well behaved. I was so proud and glad he got to meet family from all over the country. He was a CHAMP in the car even though coming home took a million hours.


Progress on this year’s goals: 

The Year of the Earring: I think I missed July. I’ll get on it for August. 

make more salad dressings: Sure did! I made a Teriyaki Sesame Dressing for a Baby Bok Choy salad.

factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take: 
still learning, though I was super early to meet Mr. J for the baby’s check up so I got some steps in around the parking lot and circling the building.

recreate restaurant menu items:
ehh. not this month I guess.

be more adventurous with my reading selections: 
I finished Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl and loved it. I’m ready for a new one now.   

use the crockpot more: 
Yes! I made chicken mole for tacos! There was a ton leftover so I have a freezer stock of chicken mole burritos. 

seafood once a month: 
ehh. not this month I guess. I’ll get on it.

June 2015 Recap

I always like June. It is like the intro to summer in terms of weather, produce, and weekends. Work is always busy (which I’m thankful for) but June has a nice buzz to it while still being a chance to breathe. We had a multi-occasion celebration in June for Father’s Day/Mr. J’s birthday/Momma R’s birthday and a few other fun plans.

Mr. J got a new grill so there was A LOT of grilled dinners. He’d grill B, L & D if he could. :) One of the first grilled meals was this Tuscan Herbed Chicken served over white beans with cucumber salad. I was ob-sessed. This needs to be a go-to meal.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuscan Herbed Chicken & White Beans
I don’t make nearly as many pizzas in the summer, to avoid heating up the house even more, though…I did make a Pistachio and Sausage pizza. I liked it and will mix things up by toasting up some nuts and adding them to my future pizzas too.

This year’s birthday burger was a fun one! I dubbed them Picnic Burgers and topped them with colby jack cheese, coleslaw, and potato sticks.
Picnic Burger - The Three Bite Rule

I made a great salad with Watermelon, feta, and arugula. I looooved this combo. I’m going to a bbq in a few weeks and I think I’ll bring this…I’m guessing nobody else will bring it.
The Three Bite Rule - Watermelon & Feta Salad

The Little One: 

He’s already 5.5 months old! Crazy! He’s rolling non-stop, sleeping on his belly and side very often, and he is now able to scootch backwards while on his belly. He’s now onto cereal…though saying that is a loose interpretation. Not a whole lot of it makes it or stays in his mouth. We’ll keep at it.

He’s really funny, full of smiles and giggles. I’m convinced he’s teething. Every toy is most fun when it is in his mouth. We’ll see if teeth poke their way though anytime soon. We’ve taken him to a party and to some restaurants. He’s doing so great and we’re having a blast. It is nice to look back and see how far we’ve come. I’m proud of the 3 of us.
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Progress on this year’s goals: 
The Year of the Earring: I got a May-pair just in time! Phew, I know you were worried! June’s are coming! I liked another pair, but the shipping was more than twice the cost of the earrings. 

make more salad dressings: You’d better believe it. I made Parmesan Peppercorn dressing annnnd I made a Watermelon, feta & arugula with a citrus vinaigrette.  2 dressings. yes!

factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take: 
not that I need to beat other people who are also learning to do this, but yeah, #winning

recreate restaurant menu items: 
I recreated a Davio’s lobster risotto with grilled asparagus dish that came out great!

be more adventurous with my reading selections: 
I nixed the Paradox of Plenty. I read The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant and couldn’t put it down. I tried to get into How to Build a Girl and it wasn’t for me. Now I’m reading Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl and I’m obsessed. I’m sure I’ll be done soon.  

use the crockpot more: 
Yes! It’ll hit in June, but it was fun for tacos! 

seafood once a month: 
I used some lobster in the risotto and then we grilled salmon with dijon butter sauce for the father’s day/birthdays celebration. It was great.

Tried to Like

Random post of different bits that have come to mind. Not useful for your everyday. Enjoy nonetheless. Do you have foods you’ve tried to like?

I just saw a salad dressing made with kalamata olives and feta. That has me written all over it, except…. I don’t like olives. I’ve tried. I’ve seriously tried to like them and just can’t. If I had to choose a cuisine to eat for the rest of time, I might pick Mediterranean. Bring on the feta, and the hummus, and falafel, and the salads, and all the cucumbers, and the herbed or grilled meats/fish. I just would have to skip the olives. I remember being in Greece in 2008 and thinking: if ever there was a time to like a really good selection of olives, it was then. Nope. A no-go. I like pickles and briney things like capers, but no olives for me.

Blue cheese & goat cheese. I just can’t do it. Just not my thing. I really love blue cheese dressing, but blue cheese itself is something my throat doesn’t really want to swallow. I don’t see the hype with goat cheese. I can tolerate it breaded and baked/fried. It is pretty pricey so I doubt anyone wants me to tolerate it.

Yogurt & oatmeal are weird ones I didn’t like forawhile and then after not having them for years (college + a few more years) I tried them again and felt like I missed so many years of enjoying them! That kind of came back when I was pregnant and not wanting creamy/squishy things. Now I eat yogurt or oatmeal for most of the week of breakfasts.

On the other hand….
I’m newly obsessed with these Pop Corners. I love them. The kettle flavor is the best, but sea salt and white cheddar are good too. They’re kind of like popcorn, kind of like a rice cake, but better.

popcorners-kettle
I also am all about these itty bitty Greek yogurt cups. I can’t always find them, but when I do it is very exciting. They are tiny cups with shaved chocolate chunks in the yogurt. I like the tang of the yogurt with the bitter chocolate. I inherited 3 after sis wasn’t impressed. Now I get them whenever I see them.
indulgent-double-chocolate-chunk-4pack
I keep this dressing in my work fridge and I’m loving it.
_0015_4288_16oz-BalsamicHoney-e3

May 2015 Recap & #NationalBurgerDay

May really breezed by, and for once it wasn’t because I was too busy. I think it was just quick because of the change in the seasons, being back into a routine, and also a dumb lingering cold. Now I’m 100% ready for June.

Today is National Burger Day so here are some of my favorite burgers. My Parisian burger with rosemary, swiss, truffle mayo, and a fried egg is hands down, my favorite.
The Three Bite Rule - Parisian Burger

I didn’t have a ton of earth shattering new posts for May but one of my favorites was a quickie Broccoli Rabe, Sausage & Orrechetti 

The Three Bite Rule - Orecchiette, Broccoli Rabe & Sausage Pasta
Also, who wouldn’t love Teriyaki Chicken Pizza? I also am proud to say I finally mastered spelling teriyaki. A win is a win folks, spelling was never my strong suit.
The Three Bite Rule - Teriyaki Chicken Wing Pizza

Progress on this year’s goals: 
The Year of the Earring: ehh. I kind of forgot. Maybe I’ll double-up in June ;)   

make more salad dressings: YES! I did it! I made basil vinaigrette for a tomato/mozzarella/orzo salad. Such a better pasta salad.

factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take:
a work in progress. I was proud of my estimation and departure timing just the other day.

recreate restaurant menu items:
I always see Broccoli Rabe, Sausage & Orrechetti  on menus which was easily created at home.

be more adventurous with my reading selections:
I read That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo. It was pretty good, though not at all the caliber of his other works. Bridge of Sighs is one of my favorites of his. I started Paradox of Plenty though I’m not sure it’s a keeper. The forward is making me think it isn’t going to be a keeper. The data and science is already feeling like too much. 

use the crockpot more: 
meh. nope.  

seafood once a month: 
I devoured some salmon for a his/hers dinner night. We had caesar salad and topped mine with grilled salmon and his with grilled steak. This is a favorite quick meal for us. I’m sure it’ll come up again quickly.

Loving Lately

Eckkk. We’ve all been sick in the C house for what feels like forever. Everytime I think we’re doing better another symptom creeps up. I’m 100% looking forward to a long weekend with no plans but to recuperate. I’m not gone, just a busy time and blogging has taken a backseat. Here are my recent items holding a spot in my heart.

We’re growing lots more herbs this year! Wait till you see what I did with some basil. Hint: it wasn’t pesto. Wait till you see what I want to make pesto out of! Hint: it isn’t basil. Tricky tricky!

Recently a few of my favorite ladies joined me for a quickie dinner at Cinquecento Roman Trattoria. Guys, they have these Neighborhood Nights on Sundays & Mondays. $20 for a choice of salad, choice of pasta, and a glass of wine. Plus free parking. Love it. It was so fun, such a steal, and it worked out so perfectly. We went sort of early-bird timing but I was home in time to see the little one go to bed. I had a polenta gnocchi which was so fun.
neighbor nights

I made this baked oatmeal but swapped raspberries for blueberries and looooved it. I added flaxseeds & brewers yeast to give this a powerful morning punch. Yes, cold: I’m trying to knock you right outta my head.

I had two work events with cocktail party food. I had nothing to do with either food display but it is an important life lesson:
1st one: had 2 cheeses with some grapes and 2 kinds of crackers. So lovely and really simple. Crowd pleasing with 1 crumbly cheese and 1 softish cheese.
2nd one: had a premade tray: cubed cheese, pepperoni, and a sleeve of crackers, all of which had been refrigerated, resulting in sweaty pepperoni & soggy crackers. #fail I’m sure this cost only a tiny bit less than the 1st one.
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Happy holiday weekend!!

Mother’s Day Lessons

My mom taught me about beauty, though that might not be the first thing she’d think of. She didn’t teach me about makeup or shopping, since she isn’t into either of those. She taught me the beauty of the arts – like live theater productions from an early age or all the musicals we could borrow from the library on VHS instead of Disney movies. She taught me the beauty of words – from books to cleverly written to-do lists written sometimes in Latin, to a clue on a Christmas gift so she’d remember what she wrapped. She taught me the beauty of homemade gifts and treats – like quilts and desserts from scratch. She taught me the beauty of real food – like quiche, lobster, and garden tomatoes. She taught me the beauty of nature – with trips to National Parks and for being green before that was a thing. She taught me the beauty of what love looks like – from loving my own baby to always celebrating the love I share with Mr. J.

Mother’s Day has a whole new meaning now but I’m so thankful for many lessons but I owe her all the credit of learning to cook. Some of her signature dishes nobody can make like she can, but I love trying, learning her tips and inspiring eachother.

Her quiche is unrivaled. Mine isn’t quite there, but it is getting better. My recent best one was Bacon, Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Quiche
The Three Bite Rule - Quiche Lorraine
She and I both love shrimp and scallops. I learned to make pan-seared scallops by seeing her make it look easy!scallop_plate_590_390

Freezing leftovers or additional ingredients is something Mr. J and I both picked up from our mothers. They can each go into the freezer, root around, and come out with exactly what they were looking for. Amazing.

I leave the clam chowder to her, but corn chowder is another good one.  She also agrees that bacon makes everything better.
corn_chowder_done_590_390
Zucchini or Eggplant fritters are a dish I credit to her.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters
Thanks Mom!

April 2015 Recap

I’m so happy it is spring! Sunshine! Flowers! Gahhh! I just want to be outside all the time!!! April was a fast and furious month with my return to work just in time to kick my event planning into full gear. I was so thankful to have a week of half days for the initial return so I could practice using my brain and wearing pants that button. Mr. J was home with the little one for 2 weeks and I really loved seeing them really bond while I went back to work.

I think the twice a week blogging is here to say. It seems to be a better schedule for me to have the chance to cook some good stuff but also not feel pressured to have every meal blog-worthy. Repeating meals or cooking without photos is nice, ya know?

My salad dressing this month was early but I was so happy with my Tuna Nicoise salad. It was the winner this month as my favorite. It also was my only seafood post this month. Oops. I’ll get on that.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
This month I was also really proud of my bacon, cheddar, & caramelized onion quiche. Best one I’ve ever made. Plus I have more caramelized onions in the freezer just waiting for a chance to hop into a panini or ontop of a pizza!
Bacon Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Quiche - The Three Bite Rule
I really loved this chicken meatball, cranberry, kale, and onion alfredo pasta dish. So good. This was my restaurant recreation that I just adored. It was oddly fulfilling to challenge myself to take the elements of a truly special dinner and recreate it as a quick weeknight meal.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Alfredo Meatballs
The “smokehouse” burger with smokey aoli, havarti, caramelized onions, and pretzel rolls!

The Little One:
3 months

We’re so in love. He’s just a joy. That doesn’t mean every day, or every minute is rainbows & unicorns, but Baby T is happy and that spreads to us. He is smiley and coos a lot. Baby T’s hair is cracking me up. There’s so much on the back and not much on the sides right now. He’s growing so quickly! Sometimes I look at him and think he’s like a wiggly little boy rather than my baby! I imagine I’ll do that for the rest of his life, am I right?! The other day I took the babe in the stroller and brought one of the dogs on a walk. I felt like a million bucks getting the 2 out at once! Windsor is such a good dog and I was really proud of him. To show my appreciation, I was realllly careful not to bump him with the stroller.

Likes: daycare! Phew! It was an easier adjustment returning to work and starting him at daycare than I thought. They’re really sweet and he seems happy. We all did well with the transition. He loooves daddy! This month especially Baby T’s face lights up and he cracks a huge smile when he spots his Dad. It is really sweet to see. He likes grabbing at toys hanging above him and holding toys.

Dislikes: sometimes the early evening nap/snooze isn’t on the agenda for more than 15 minutes. He had a few nights where he was vocal about not getting back to this nap.

Progress on this year’s goals: 

The Year of the Earring: ehh. I got several pairs for my birthday so I still had a few to be “new” this month.  

make more salad dressings: YES! I did it! I made dijon vinaigrette for my tuna nicoise salad. Seriously so easy.

factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take: 
the daycare late fee is an incredible motivator/stressor to make this happen ;)

recreate restaurant menu items: 
I recreated a much faster version of the turducken meatball alfredo pasta I had from Isabella’s. Forget pinterest…restaurant inspiration is where it’s at.

be more adventurous with my reading selections: 
I didn’t read a ton, but I read The Children Act, which wasn’t amazing. Now I’m part way through Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian. That one is more adventurous. I was all jazzed to read a Laura Ingalls Wilder Autobiography until I realized it was annotated. Yeah. It weighed about 5 pounds and had a zillion footnotes. You can’t just read that. 

use the crockpot more: 
Nothing this month. 

seafood once a month: 
I think tuna on my salad is going to have to count. I’ll do a better job in May, also since it is grilling season.  

 

March 2015 Recap

That saying about March in like a lion and out like a lamb seemed somewhat true this year. I was so happy to have some warm days. Getting out with the little one was a serious game changer. I don’t really care how long it takes for the rest of the snow to melt now that the sidewalks are clear. I was happiest this month being able to strap Baby T into the baby bjorn and take to the streets. I ventured out daily with him strapped to me or in the stroller and it was huge after being confined until he had his shots at 2 months. It was so great to get moving and to get all inspired for some springy foods.

My favorite meal this month was taco salad with avocado lime dressing (though I made a killer chicken meatloaf that of course I didn’t blog thinking it wasn’t earth shattering or photogenic – that might have been the real winner this month).
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
March has definitely been the month where I capitalized on lunch since I’m home during the day. I made this buffalo chicken pizza as a quickie-individual pizza. Seriously, try these pocket thins for a crisp but doughy single serve pizza.
The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Chicken & Wild Rice soup was another lunch-time fav this month. I baked the chicken when I had the oven on for dinner one night and used wild rice to season the soup. Poof. Soup wasn’t far away. I made it again a few weeks later for my fav new mommy.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Panini-ify a BLT and you can thank me later
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Panini

The little one:
thomas_2month
likes – smiling! rides in the car & stroller, seeing pages turn in books, “playing” with cousin Nate, and going out in public now that he’s all vaccinated!
dislikes – shirts going over his head, and waiting too long for food, but that’s about it.

We’re doing so much better. He wasn’t eating enough and nursing was disastrous when he was just a few weeks old. Now I’m pumping and he’s eating via bottles with some formula to supplement, making for a happy (and full) baby which then makes for happy parents. Weeks 2-5 of his life were rough before we switched things up. I think it took that long to feel like it was OK to admit nursing wasn’t working out for any of us. Baby T would stop eating and be screaming, I’d feel terrible for him and like I was failing so then I’d be crying, Mr. J would be consoling & comforting both of us. Yikes. I’m glad to say we turned the corner.

He’s so fun. He smiles when he sees us and is fascinated when he finds his hands several times a day. Seeing the world through his eyes is just amazing. He’s eating well and sleeping through the night…ahh-mazing! The pups like him. He has a new cousin! Baby N is 3 weeks old now and just beautiful. They’re close in age and it is so exciting.

I can’t believe I’m headed back to work. Wish me luck!! I think I made the most of my time home with him and I love my job/colleagues/our mission so it’ll be ok to go back. I’m sure it’ll be tough to leave my little one, but Mr. J is taking the last of his time off so they’ll have 2 weeks together before starting daycare.

Progress on this year’s goals: 
The Year of the Earring: yes! This month’s earrings came by way of my birthday because who doesn’t need some good fortune?

make more salad dressings: YES! I did it! I made avocado lime dressing for taco salad

factor more time into how long every-day tasks/trips will take: 
Yup. I’m getting better at planning timing and prepping in advance before heading out.

recreate restaurant menu items:
Sure did! I made Cereal Crusted French Toast from Zoe’s in Cambridge.  Theirs is cereal & nuts and such but mine was the perfect use for not-so-great cereal.

be more adventurous with my reading selections:
I read The Interestings and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Neither was a far cry from previous choices but I liked these and am obsessed with getting books for my kindle from the library. Obsessed. 

use the crockpot more:
Nothing this month. Maybe next month when I’m back at work and needing more dinner help. 

seafood once a month:
ehh, nothing super interesting. I made salmon for a his/hers night. I nabbed a bit of his bernaise sauce. Yum. 

Food & Meals to Bring a New Parent

When I was thinking of what nobody/no books told me about being a first time parent, I learned a lot about what foods I’d recommend. I never really knew what to bring new parents but now I have better ideas. On the first night home, my parents gave us a roast chicken, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole (a fav of mine!) and cookies. It was ahh-mazing to have a real meal and to have leftovers to eat the next day. Some of the other foods they gave were equally appreciated (specifically grapes, salad stuff, and eggs).

Suggested new parent meals/foods:

  • food for their freezer: things they can pull out to defrost or that can go right into the oven. Maybe you don’t know what they’ll have or when they’ll need a meal. Here are some freezer-friendly foods I like. Include reheating instructions & ingredients, just in case.
    The Three Bite Rule - Traditional Lasagna
  • snacks/sides: munchies they can turn into a lunch or for whenever the hunger strikes. My first trip out of the house was for this stuff. Healthy and fresh foods are greatly appreciated after freezer meals. Suggestions: hummus, veggies & pita chips; guacamole and chips; crackers & presliced cheese; salads, fruit, etc. Seasonal items would be fun too. Lemonade & popsicles in the summer or hot chocolate mix and some cookies for the winter, etc.
  • single serve foods: I made some of these and found them helpful when just one of us was hungry, or as lunch, etc. Individual burritos, sandwiches ready to become a panini, or individual muffin-tin servings of food work great.
    muff_tin_spinach_590_390
  • ready made foods are great too. You don’t even have to cook, just buy stuff that goes together to be a themed gift: a “pasta pack” of fun shaped noodles with a jar of pesto, frozen garlic bread; or “bfast bag” with yogurts, granola, orange juice, & some fruit; or a “lunch box” with chicken salad, pita pockets, apples, and chips; or “snack time” with pudding cups, fancy trail mix, goldfish, and a bottle of lemonade. You get the idea. Dress it up with a stick-on bow. Tell them what it is, and then put it away for them if anything needs to be refrigerated/frozen.
  • treats: it doesn’t have to be a meal. A crate of clementines or some cider donuts or whatever is seasonal would be great. Ice cream bars? Yes, please. Something the new parent doesn’t neeeed but would like is fun to have. Trader Joe’s has fun sodas or a neighborhood bakery might have great treats.
    The Three Bite Rule - Cranberry Soda Cocktail

My other suggestions:

  • don’t give them a dish you need back unless you’re family and will be there often. It is easy to give my mom’s dishes back because she can take them on her next visit. From anyone else it’d be annoying to wash, to remember, to store, to coordinate returning it. This is prime time for disposable cookware. Or you could buy them a cheap rubbermaid container & note on it that it is theirs to keep. I’ve heard some people buy Dollar Store plates to give food away on or stuff at yard sales that they don’t need to get back.
  • tell them “no thank you needed” whatever you bring them, tell them a thank you would be for them to cuddle their cute baby or to sleep an extra 5 minutes. You don’t want them scribbling a thank you card (since likely they thanked you for a shower gift & sent a birth announcement, and they’re exhausted). I wish those who I hadn’t ever even met but who were so generous to give a gift said this to me. Students in one of my mom’s classes were so sweet to give gifts, but I didn’t even know their last names. It was hard to come up with a thoughtful thank you note for those folks. I decided my bff wouldn’t mind a thank you text message the night we ate the meal she brought us, instead of mailing a card.
  • arrive the time they tell you and don’t stay more than an hour. The new parents are trying to get the swing of things and don’t need you hanging out all afternoon. Maybe the baby is super happy, well, that might mean they enjoy an hour with you sharing the new babe but the next hour might be naptime, or feeding time, or just the 20 minutes they need to themselves. Unless you are being put to work loading the dishwasher or you’re rocking the baby while they lug laundry upstairs, you should assume it is better to come several times for shorter visits. I have loved visits to have some interactions with people who can converse with me. I’ve capitalized on my parents visiting as time to shower/make lunch/anything that needs 2 hands.
  • tell them they look good/they’re doing a good job/the baby is adorable. Whether any combo of these are true or not, they need to hear these things. on repeat.