A lifetime spent in the same town, knowing everyone from the very young to the very old, means I make these a lot. Skipping the actual recipes here because they're all basically Google-able...
  1. Verde Chicken Enchiladas (or as my kids call them "Somebody Died Enchiladas")
    Melted cheesy comfort. Births and deaths are no time for calorie counting. Use online recipes as templates, then tweak to your heart's delight. Add roasted poblanos. Or sautéed zucchini. I use green tomato salsa (canned every autumn from garden excess) as my verde sauce. The options of green-hued additions are endless.
  2. Shepherd's Pie
    This can be frozen if the recipient gets overwhelmed with casseroles. Again, tweak away. Finely dice whatever root veggies you've got on hand. Purple carrots or parsnips add a special sweetness. I make mine with elk but I'm guessing I'm the only lister with a dead elk in the freezer.
  3. Chicken Marbella
    The classic of classics and PERFECT dish for a new mom. Pooping after giving birth is the worst. The prunes in this dish soften the edges, as it were.
  4. Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake
    This is the cake recipe on the tin of Hershey's baking cocoa. I will defend its superiority over other chocolate cakes until the day I die, at which point someone will, hopefully, bring this cake to my wake.