Darlene and Kristi talk about how to cook for others, why and WHAT to make! And should you even cook for someone else in the first place?? Let’s dive into cooking for others!


Listen on your favorite podcast player. 

Show notes for episode 23: 

Challenges when cooking for others:

Time constraints
Dietary Restrictions
Kristi loves assembly required meals – people can 


Different situations in which you might cook for others

Our favorite recipes (+ cookbook recs!) 

What to do if you don’t really like to cook/want to cook but you want to offer people something to eat. 


Having People Over to Your House


Go through a checklist: 

Vegan? Gluten-Free? 

Food they don’t like? 

What’s easy vs. hard

What do I have time and energy to cook? 

What is the weather like? Should we cook outside or turn on the oven? 


We plan out our cooking and menu cooking/prepping! Do you do this too? 


Recipes + Food Ideas Mentioned: 

Darlene’s Favorite Carrot Cake 

Joel’s Pad Thai with Thai Beef Short Ribs 

Classic Roast Chicken 

Clam Chowder with big green salad + homemade bread



Pot Roast

Chicken Pot Pie


Slow Cooker anything

Biscuits and Gravy 


Salads + Sandwiches 


Baked Potato Bar – also potatoes are amazing for us and have a ton of potassium! 

Yumm Bowls (buddah bowls) 


Salad with toppings and dressing on the side

Freshly prepared foods! Kristi prefers to have components to bring over and make something fresh

… OR order out 🙂 


Snack plates: 


Cheese + Charcuterie plate

Jam Bars

Cookies of all kinds – like these Salted Truffle Cookies that are Gluten-Free! Also, you can make cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it in individual balls or a log to slice and bake whenever you need them! (yes, you need them). 

Ice Cream Pie 


Food Gifts at the holidays: 

Chex mix (original recipe from the 1970’s)

Candied Orange Peel



Coffee Cake 

Spiced Nuts


Wrapping food up to gifts: 

We love to get cute food packaging, or Kristi saves pasta jars and removes the labels and then gifts them with Chex Mix in them. 

We like craft stores, or kitchen supply stores, or even canning jars. If you want to use specialty tins, we love to save them. Get people to return the tin to get a refill next year! 


Cooking when someone is going through a life change: 

Someone has a new baby or is going through an illness or a death in the family. 

Getting people food or a meal just to help out. 


Click list or another grocery pick up service is nice when someone just needs food

Getting fruits and veggies delivered or pick up a co-op box


Organizing cooking for others: 

Meal train 

Facebook event

Doodle Pool to see when people are available to bring food to a person/family


You don’t need to over complicate the process – they just need a meal. They would probably love a meal from their favorite restaurant. 


Cookbook ideas! For other cookbook lovers out there: 


Food Gift LoveMaggie Battista  This book has a flowchart for how to pick what to take to someone

One Pot – Martha Stewart 

Modern PotluckKristin Donnelly

Platters and Boards –  


Favorite LISTENER Food ideas: 

Thank you for contributing, listeners! 

@Wrenandwild: Pies! 

@Shannonleestrategy: Christmas cookies! 

@notify: 7 layer bean dip! Here’s what she uses: beans, guac, sour cream, freshly grated cheddar cheese (the key is to hand grate it & the sharper, the better), halved cherry tomatoes, sliced black olives & green onions. Serve with quality corn chips and a spoon for people to serve themselves & so the chips don’t break off in the dip.

Food for thought: 

By helping others, you help yourselves. 

Why do we even go through all this? Because it makes us feel good, we love to share, and sharing food that you love is such a good thing. Food is love. 

Food inspiration: 

Kristi was on a cruise for spring break and loved the stir fry station! She’s OBSESSED. 

Darlene just made a sweet potato and red wine beef stew. But she’s likely having pizza for dinner.


Where to find Darlene

Pickle Jar Studios website
Pickle Jar Studios on Instagram
Tough Cookie on Instagram

Where to find Kristi:    

kristi coughlin

Effectual Nutrition website
Effectual Nutrition on Instagram