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Expecting a Baby? What to Cook and Freeze Now So You Won’t Go Hungry Later

  • Expecting a Baby? What to Cook and Freeze Now So You Won’t Go Hungry Later FOU: Expecting a Baby? What to Cook and Freeze Now So You Won’t Go Hungry Later

    • If you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables, toss in a handful of fresh or frozen chopped spinach, kale or collard greens into soups, stews and sauces while you’re reheating. Add a bit of broth or water if it gets too thick.

    • Now might be the time to invest in a good blender if you don’t have one already (and especially if you think you might make your own baby food down the line). Smoothies can serve as breakfast, lunch or even dinner in a pinch. Blenders are also great for puréeing easy vegetable soups like this lemony carrot and cauliflower soup or tomato soup.

    • If this seems like too much work, or if you think you’ll need supplements, ask a friend to organize a group to take turns bringing meals for you. (We’ve known some parents-to-be to forego a baby shower altogether in favor of a Meal Train.) These recipes are a good place to start. If you’re planning on cooking a lot in advance, consider asking your family and friends to focus on bringing breakfast and lunch foods, fresh fruit, salads and snacks to accompany the main dishes you already have waiting in the freezer.

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    Here are some of the dishes our editors have had success making and freezing ahead when they were expecting:

    Stews, soups, marinara sauce, pesto, Bolognese, ragùs and seasoned taco meat.

    Meatballs, meatloaf, salmon burgers, veggie burgers, crab cakes or cod cakes.

    Pizza dough.

    Photo

    Freeze plenty of things you can eat with one hand, like these customizable pizza pockets. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

    Stuff you can eat with one hand: spiced nuts, granola, granola bars and calzones.

    Raw chicken, pork or beef in marinade or dry-rubbed. When you’re ready to eat, defrost and grill or broil.

    Chocolate chip cookie dough (or any cookie dough for that matter). Roll it into balls and freeze. There’s no need to defrost. Just add a few minutes to the baking time.

    Quick breads like banana and zucchini bread, muffins, scones and biscuits.

    Pancakes and waffles. Make a big batch for a pre-baby brunch, and freeze the leftovers. To reheat, toss into a toaster.

    Freeze plastic zipper bags filled with drained, pre-soaked beans. You can toss together bean soup pretty quickly if the beans are already soaked.

    For more ideas, check out our recipe collection.

    Finally, if this just seems too overwhelming with all of the other items on your baby-on-its-way to-do list, don’t stress about it. Cook what you can, or nothing at all. Order some takeout, and relax.

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  • On the Market Homes for Sale in New York City…... FOU: On the Market Homes for Sale in New York City……

    On the Market Homes for Sale in New York City

    By STEFANOS CHEN

    This week’s homes are on the Upper West Side, in the West Village, and in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

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  • Ordering a Double (a Drink and a Song) at Tokyo Record Bar FOU: Ordering a Double (a Drink and a Song) at Tokyo Record Bar

    This is not exactly how record bars work in Japan, where the soundtrack is chosen by the owners, who are often devoted music lovers, and there can be a whiff of reverence in the air.

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    “I think it’s clear that’s not 100 percent what we’re doing,” Ms. Arce said. “We’re doing an homage. I wanted it to be more inclusive.”

    Charles Joly, a Chicago bartender who has traveled widely and visited record bars in Tokyo, doesn’t recall anyone making requests. “It was a very specifically curated collection,” he recalled.

    Photo

    The Sake Tonic cocktail at Tokyo Record Bar. Credit An Rong Xu for The New York Times

    “I imagine if a bachelorette party came in and asked for ‘Sweet Caroline,’” he said, they would have been met with a powerful scowl of disdain “that would be more effective than a 300-pound security guard asking them to leave.”

    There is no scowling here; all suggestions are welcome. On a recent evening, the playlist included Steely Dan, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, N.W.A., Queen, the Violent Femmes and Willie Nelson. Throughout, small dishes created by the chefs Zachary Fabian and Joshua Resnick were brought out, like hamachi sashimi and braised pork belly with spicy rice and pickled daikon.

    Drinks, which are made on a roving antique bar cart, include sake riffs on the martini and the Cosmopolitan, as well as straight sake and beer. (After the two reserved seatings, the bar opens to the general public, and a professional D.J. takes up residence.)

    Before becoming a full-blown bar, Tokyo Record Bar was workshopped for more than a year at Riddling Widow, a Champagne bar that occupied the space. Ms. Arce, who managed the operation, began to hold “Tokyo Record Bar” nights every Thursday.

    Photo

    Cocktails, including sake riffs on the martini and the Cosmopolitan, are made on a roving antique bar cart. Credit An Rong Xu for The New York Times

    Riddling Widow closed in May, and something had to be done with the space. Ms. Arce entertained various concepts. “Tokyo Record Bar kept coming back to me,” she said. “We’re in Greenwich Village, which has a history of music. And the space is intimate and lent itself to this.”

    In a bit of serendipity, an A&R executive at Sony Music heard of the project, and invited Ms. Arce to take records from the company’s vast troves of vinyl.

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    “I have no clue how they found us,” she said. “They wanted us to have a good selection. A lot of vinyl bars don’t have a good selection.”

    Tokyo Record Bar, 127 Macdougal Street (West Third Street), 212-420-4777, tokyorecordbar.com. Reservations through resy.com.

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  • 25 Cozy Slow-Cooker Meals That Basically Make Themselves FOU: 25 Cozy Slow-Cooker Meals That Basically Make Themselves

    The ultimate comfort food recipes, right this way.

    Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

    Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup

    Classic chicken noodle soup gets a revamp with potato gnocchi and a little touch of cream. Get the recipe.

    Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

    Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

    Fish sauce, red curry, coconut milk, peanut butter, and ginger gives this Asian-inspired soup a huge flavor kick. Get the recipe.

    Foodie Crush / Via foodiecrush.com

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  • 19 Tweets Only People Who Shop At Costco Can Truly Appreciate FOU: 19 Tweets Only People Who Shop At Costco Can Truly Appreciate

    “You like mayonnaise? Prove it.” — Costco

    OK, let’s be real: Arriving at Costco can be overwhelming. The parking lot is crazy…

    Twitter: @JMSNMYS

    Prob because they have everything you could imagine.

    Twitter: @ChrisReigle

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  • Mass Evacuation in Puerto Rico Over Fears About Dam By…... FOU: Mass Evacuation in Puerto Rico Over Fears About Dam By……

    Mass Evacuation in Puerto Rico Over Fears About Dam

    By FRANCES ROBLES, LIZETTE ALVAREZ and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as Puerto Ricans faced months without power, the most immediate danger was from structural damage to the Guajataca Dam, which holds back about 11 billion gallons of water.

  • Puerto Rico at Rock Bottom After Maria By THE EDITORIAL…... FOU: Puerto Rico at Rock Bottom After Maria By THE EDITORIAL……

    Puerto Rico at Rock Bottom After Maria

    By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

    Economically ruined before the storm, without power, electrically or electorally, it, and the Virgin Islands, need full federal aid.

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  • Hotel Buffets, a Culprit of Food Waste, Get Downsized FOU: Hotel Buffets, a Culprit of Food Waste, Get Downsized

    Though no good data exists yet about how much hotels or their buffets specifically contribute to the overall waste total, the thinking is that hotels are an ideal place to raise awareness and change behaviors around sustainability issues, as they have for water conservation.

    “If we can change the way food service happens in hotels, it has the potential to influence a lot of different hearts and minds,” said Pete Pearson, director of food waste at the World Wildlife Fund. Thanks to a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Mr. Pearson is working with Hyatt, Ideo and others to develop a list of best practices for the hospitality industry to combat food waste.

    By targeting buffets, Hyatt and Ideo are zeroing in on a hotel staple that by definition oozes excess. The question is why and what can be done to rein it in without shortchanging guests.

    This is potentially tricky territory. For starters, hotels are loath to do anything that might upset guests. Ideo discovered that one key contributor to the food-waste problem is a fear of not having enough food, and so hotel personnel and conference organizers both inflate expected head counts to guard against any shortage. At the same time, guests pile their plates high to avoid going back for seconds, and to ensure that they get enough of the dishes they want.

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    “For all these different stakeholders, running out of food is their worst nightmare,” said Hailey Brewer, a director with Ideo in New York. “Each person is a little overinsured.”

    Once solutions are identified, Hyatt intends to roll them out at properties around the country, and some simple fixes have already been made in Orlando. Instead of large platters of meats and cheese, guests see sample plates that can be ordered directly from servers. Yogurt will be available in single servings, instead of large bowls. Bountiful baskets of bread and butter, long a buffet standard, are shrinking; because of changing dietary habits, they now rank high among leftover foods. Portion sizes of some items are down, too, while more finger pastries are offered in lieu of whole cakes and pies. Mr. Eells said that these changes have already cut buffet costs by about 10 percent, and that guests haven’t objected.

    Other changes are in the works to engage consumers and to make buffets more data-driven. The Ideo team has been testing subtle messaging that might appear on or near buffets, along with ways for hotels to collect more information about guests’ dietary preferences and meal schedules. These so-called eater profiles would enable chefs and event planners to know in advance when diners plan to eat off-property or if they would like to request special meals.

    So far, consumers seem open to providing more information about their plans and food sensitivities, especially if it aids conservation efforts. “I wasn’t too aware of the waste, but if we could do our part that would be a good thing,” said Dinesh Collins, a travel business operator who regularly attends conferences.

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    The challenge will be finding the right balance between delivering a high level of service and minimizing waste.

    “People don’t want to be preached to as they are going through the breakfast buffet,” Mr. Pearson said. “At the same time, we shouldn’t allow people to stack everything on their plates and then just toss it away.”

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