Cooking a meal for someone else is a generous expression of love, we think. But when that meal needs to be schlepped across town to a new mom or sick friend — and possibly sit in their fridge for a few days until they're ready to eat it — it needs to be durable and easily reheated...For years, we relied on casseroles and baked pasta dishes (like the No-Boil Chunky Cheese Lasagna
, above). Lately we've been gifting hearty soups like chili, which is easy to freeze if the recipient doesn't need it right away. We throw in a salad, with the dressing in a separate container, a good baguette, some cookies or a sturdy cake, and a bottle of wine. We think it beats flowers or another onesie any day.
Of course, we're always looking for new go-to, make-ahead meals. What do you take to friends? What meals have you received that have brightened your day?
Recipes to round out a good gift basket:
Photos by Emma Christensen (lasagna) and Faith Hopler (soup).