When a friend is experiencing tough times or times of change, it's often hard to know what you can do to help.
For example, when a friend has...
Sometimes it's best to go back to the basics and deliver a meal. Food can mean so much when a person is sad, sick, or smack-dab in the middle of something new (even if that something is a good thing).
One way to be prepared to give meals to friends and neighbors in times of need is to keep a few extra dishes in your freezer. Enchiladas. Lasagna. Berry Cobbler. Etc.
Hot By 6 is an Oregon-based, mom-owned company that is committed to helping people spend less time in the kitchen and more time with their families.
Essentially, Hot By 6 is a database of budget-friendly recipes (searchable by course, category, dietary preferences, and ethnicity) that can all be made ahead and frozen. Currently, there are 12 recipes in the Breakfast category, 15 recipes in the lunch category, and 100+ recipes in the dinner category...plus ideas for desserts, side dishes, marinades, soups/stews, and appetizers.
Once you have created your menu plan, you can easily print out a grocery list, assembly instructions, and labels.
If you want to create meals WITH your friends, there's a whole separate "group" functionality. Essentially, the site gives you everything that you need to create a Super Suppers or Dream Dinners in your own house.
The service is $6/month and is a great resource to help you get inspired with new recipe ideas for your family.
My suggestions for the company would be to:
Summary: Hot By 6 is an innovative concept...well-suited for busy parents looking for a new way of getting hot, nutritious meals on the table.
TRY IT! Hot By 6 is offering all Metropolitan Mama readers one FREE month! You can try it and see if you like it. Take the recipes and the system for a "test drive," if you will. Just enter promo code "metromama" when you create an account. You have one week to sign up - promo code expires 2/15/2010.
***Please note that you will be asked to enter your credit card information. Your account will be automatically renewed at the end of 30 days unless you cancel it.
My sister-in-law gives me a home cooked meal of chicken-n-dumplings with sides every year for my birthday - often that meal is my favorite birthday present!
Knowing how much a delivered meal is appreciated is one reason I try to keep meals frozen and ready - so I can respond with that gift quickly when the need arises.
I'm still having issues... it let me sign up, but I haven't actually seen the site yet... it won't let me log in! I emailed them, now I'm awaiting a reply... very anxiously, I might add! I love making things ahead of time, especially for occasions you suggested. When I had my oldest daughter, we had a week's worth of meals brought to us... it was a life saver! Then when I miscarried last year, I wished someone would have brought us meals... it was months before I felt like cooking again! Ever since then, every time anyone has anything happen (especially a death in the family of any type), my husband and I set everything aside and bring them dinner. It really ministered to a good friend of mine when her mom died... no one else had reached out to them in any way!
Anyway, thanks for the link and all that... hopefully I get it straightened out so I can see the site!
I normally do my own batch cooking at home, but I think companies like this are a great idea for those who don't have the time or don't want to try batch cooking at home. I always like to see what they have on their menus for ideas! I like that your suggestions for bring a meal to a friend are for more than just the typical "having a baby." Last year when I had my miscarriage (and again when I had my ruptured ectopic pregnancy), several friends brought food over. I know they were at a loss for exactly what to say (both times), but the food said it all!
I already to this type of batch cooking with two of my friends. Last month I did all the prep work of putting together the menu and shopping list and to-do list the day of cooking. This sounds like a great resource for us! Thanks.
When does it start? I was all sorts of excited about it, so I went to join, and it's telling me "Sorry. No match on the code you entered."
Am I doing it wrong or am I too early?
What a great company! Making meals is one of my FAVORITE things to do for friends! It is such a joy to be able to bless people this way. I have been on the receiving side too and it really is such a great thing!
I was just bemoaning my inability to think of meals that can be made ahead and frozen. Talk about timing!