Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meal Time Mayhem

I fully intended to be the type of pregnant woman that had tons of previously prepared frozen meals stored in the deep freezer prior to delivery so that once baby was here all we had to do was defrost, heat and eat. I had visions of lasagnas, enchiladas, red beans and marinara sauce all perfectly packaged, lined up in the freezer with pretty labels just waiting to assist me in the early hectic days of new parenthood. I have been known to bring meals to my friends and family when they became new parents and I wanted to be ready with the same conveniences for my husband and me.

What I didn't anticipate was how miserable I would be at the end of my pregnancy. Just the thought of standing in my kitchen long enough to open a few boxes of Pasta Roni even wore me out. It was so hot, I was so swollen and the exhaustion was unimaginable. I did zero cooking towards the end and therefore I did zero preparation for what would happen at meal time after our little of bundle joy joined us in this world.

And as it turned out, the lack of frozen meals turned against us. In the early weeks of Rex's life, dinner time was by far his fussiest period of the day. Even though my energy was up, my feet were back to normal and I had the desire to cook again it wasn't exactly easy. It took everything we had for the two of us to calm the baby enough to even be able to have a 2 minute discussion about what we would have for dinner more or less cook an entire meal. To be honest, most nights we ate take out. But on the rare occasion we could pull off home made dinner, it was meals like this that really helped. Quick dishes do exist and if the mom of a 6 week old colicky baby could pull this one off, anyone can! This was delicious and surprisingly gourmet tasting for starting out frozen!

Bacon Pierogi Bake
Adapted from Cooking Light
December 2010

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 pierogies and 2 tablespoons sauce)

  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T's)
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Arrange the frozen pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.

3. Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. (My cream cheese is almost completely melted in the picture below.)

Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies.

Top evenly with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and

sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomato, and pepper.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe


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teresa said...

oh i'm sorry! i promise it does get better. this looks like a wonderful and warm dinner for a cold winter day.

Woody said...

I loved this dish and it was great for lunch the next day.

Ladies - you husbands will thank you if you cook them this dish.

the husband

#1SAHM said...

I wouldn't worry too much about not cooking, having a newborn is all about being in survival mode! I have a one year old and it's still challenging for me to cook at that time of day 'cause she's fussy at that time and getting into EVERYTHING so quick meals are a lifesaver even now! Thanks!

Krista said...

First off...I have SO been there!

I actually did have lots of meals frozen in the freezer (enchiladas, lasagna, and such) when my first arrived. Then our parents came to stay while I was in the hospital and while the new grandmas were blow-drying their hair on my daughter's birthday morning, a fuse blew. Everything in my basement freezer (where I'd been squirrelling away meals) defrosted. I returned home to a first class mess! Not only was my baby fussy all of the time, she was ultra-fussy at dinner time. My husband and I never sat down together...we ate in shifts while juggling that crying baby (now a lovely kindergartener). Trying to cook was not only a joke...it was stressful and exhausting...and really how safe is it to hover over a hot stove while "wearing" a baby?!

Anywho...this dish looks amazing. So good!

Merry 1st Christmas to your baby boy and to your family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe. We thought it was delicious, and perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.