I am just about the luckiest auntie in the world, as my friends and family just keep having more and more adorable babies. The newest addition to the club is lovely little Kavi Stephens born one week ago today! I wish my friends Scott and Semonti lived closer so I could spoil them, and him, rotten but his birth did get me thinking about good gift ideas outside the normal onsies and baby books. I am what you call a PANK – Professional Aunt No Kids (there is a whole industry based around us according to the New York Times). For me that means that I get a never-ending supply of yummy baby smell and lots of frazzled friends. Whether it’s your first baby or third, a new addition to the family can send everyone’s schedules out of wack. So I always make sure to try to provide a little relief in the way of food (and free babysitting).
Even if your loved ones are not procreating at the moment, the gift of food is a great idea for anyone who needs extra help, be it because of a medical issue, a new job or simply being overtaxed. It’s important to think about food the recipient would like, and remember that in the first couple of weeks often new babies come with excited grandparents so there might not be an immediate need for a home cooked meal. I play it by ear with each situation but usually I wait a week or two and then bring by a couple of meals that can be frozen or stored in the fridge for a while. Make sure to include clear instructions on how to heat and serve whatever you drop off so they don’t have to guess.
I often gift homemade jam along with something to spread it on. The featured picture above is the Pound Cake Perfection along with apricot jam. A couple special touches take it to the next level like cellphone wrapping, cute ribbon and personalized labels. I am obsessed with the labels done by an incredible artist from Massachusetts, Felix Doolittle, who does precious watercolor images on personalized labels. Go ahead and slap one of these on a store-bought item and it will instantly become special. Gift baskets are also a great way to show you care without having to make everything yourself.
This brunch in a basket is perfect for new parents (especially the coffee!). Some chipolte vodka goes great with Gordy’s Bloody Mary Mix, along with pancake mix and syrup.
Another idea is doing a nice Italian dinner all in one. Usually after a new baby it’s pretty hard for date night but everything you need is right here. Instead of using a basket I used a colander – sort of a cute pasta twist. A delicious bottle of red pairs perfectly with Cipriani pasta and Rao’s, the best of all jarred pasta sauce. These are just a couple of ideas to get the creative juice flowing – just think of things that go well together and that are easy to prepare.
I also like to drop off already made items that can be frozen or eaten straight away. Some good ideas are my two lasagnas, the Goat Cheese and Prosciutto or the Pumpkin Lasagna. The Chicken Enchiladas are a good option or for easy breakfasts go with the English Muffin Toast. You can also reach the site for the freezer friendly tag for other ideas. Any way you slice it your friends are going to be grateful and hopefully a little less stressed. Welcome to the world Kavi – can’t wait to meet you!!!