This was great- I was excited to serve my friends and provide relief for them as they care for their new little one. The catch: we had a meeting after work at 4:30. Starting to cook after the meeting wasn't an option- thanks to the Friday afternoon traffic between our place & theirs, even a quick meal wouldn't get there till after 7. I had to make a plan- and it sure wasn't going to be fancy, since I didn't have much time to plan. Also, I wanted to avoid the "casserole" route, since I've heard from others who have had new babies that casseroles brought by friends can get old quick. There's only so much pasta-based casserole you can eat.
So, what did I decide on? I took a quick inventory of what I had on hand, and decided on tacos and rice for our friends. I also tried to "package" the meal as nicely as possible- all the pieces in bowls rather than tupperware containers, to give the semblance of eating at home rather than take-out or leftovers.
- 1/3 lb ground beef, browned & mixed with taco seasoning & a little salsa (I made this the night before, and just had to heat it up after work)
- 2 handfuls shredded cheddar
- chopped tomatoes (from my "garden"!)
- shredded lettuce
- mexican rice (this is where I really cheated- I bought a microwave-for-90-seconds pouch of rice, because, like I said, I was a bit strapped for time.)
I also included heated tortillas, though heated hard-taco shells were an option. I wasn't sure if this meal was a little bit more labor-intensive for the recipients than it should have been (having to assemble the tacos), but they said they didn't think so. I would have liked to include more salsa & tortilla chips, but didn't have them on hand.
The end of the story: I prepared all this before the 4:30 meeting and packaged it up. The meeting went shorter than expected, and they had dinner at home by 5:45! This is a quick meal we make for ourselves fairly often, too, when we need an early dinner.