I’m in that phase of life where my friends are having babies all the time. I host baby showers at least monthly with my trusty companion, Sarah H. I recently purchased a punch bowl because, hey, let’s admit the facts here. Punch is a baby shower must-have and it doesn’t serve itself. And I got too nervous continually borrowing the official punchbowl from the Southwest Texas United Methodist Church Conference.
Baby showers are important because they prepare the mother for what she physically needs to take care of a new life. It shows the support of family and friends all pitching in a little bit to make a grand nursery possible (many stylish items you can find at Two Blue Peas).
And, as Sarah H. says, “every baby deserves a party!”
Another way to support your pregnant friends is through prayer. Julia’s son, Braden, was born Thursday at 28 weeks. Her strong network of family and friends have been sending thoughts and love for the past seven weeks as she has been in the hospital. Prayer is important because it prepares a mother-to-be for the spiritual peace needed to take care of a new life.
Another way to support friends with new babies is to bring them food after the baby is born. Many new mothers receive the lasagna below from me. It’s the best lasagna I have ever tasted (it’s real ‘marican). Make it for a mother-to-be today! Or, enjoy it yourself.
Kevin’s Favorite Lasagna
1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
28 oz (1 Jar) roasted red pepper pasta sauce
3 Tbsp. Sugar
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. red wine (optional)
1 can chicken stock
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. white wine (optional – I mean, when do you have red AND white wine open?)
8 oz freshly grated mozzarella
6 to 8 no-boil lasagna noodles (enough to cover area of dish)
2 C steamed, well-drained spinach
1 C freshly grated parmesan
6 slices white American cheese
Heat oven to 400. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Thoroughly cook the ground beef, garlic, and herbs in a large skillet, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat. Drain fat. Stir in pasta sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer for about two minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the red wine, if using. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add softened, cubed cream cheese, turn heat to low, and whisk until smooth (about six minutes). Season to taste and add the white wine, if using.
Spoon half the meat sauce into the pan as evenly as possible. Sprinkle one-third of the grated mozzarella over the meat mixture. Top with three or four lasagna noodles. Spread spinach evenly over the noodles.
Pour the cream cheese sauce over the noodles and cover with another one-third of the of grated mozzarella. Arrange three or four lasagna noodles over the cheese, then spoon remaining meat mixture over the noodles as evenly as possible.
Lay all slices of white American cheese on top and then top with the final third of the mozzarella and the grated parmesan. Bake uncovered until brown and bubbling, 35 minutes.
Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes or it will be too gloppy to cut well.
You can make ahead of time, cover, and freeze – just be sure to thaw in the fridge before baking. You’ll bake for 45 minutes if you have made the lasagna in advance and are baking it from the fridge.