Thai Food, Traveling with Knives, and Connections at the Table: Bri McKoy

We hope all you foodies out there have been enjoying the Food 2.0 series. But we know some of you saw what this series was about and thought, I can’t cook, I’ve never cooked, I will never cook, and you can’t make me! Listen, we get it—cooking isn’t everyone’s bag. It wasn’t Bri McKoy’s either. Bri’s an accidental home cook turned cookbook author, and her foray into the culinary space started when her husband refused to build a home out of their collection of Thai takeout containers. Bri reluctantly learned what a pinch of salt was, how to literally toast bread, and that onion casseroles perhaps aren’t the best idea to serve, well, ever. Bri watched a lot of Food Network and honed her craft, and since then she’s found a love for traveling with knives, and as a military wife, she’s learned food can be an easy way to bring people to the table and build community. Jen and Bri share some of their most epic kitchen failures, divulge the biggest lessons we can learn from standing over a stove, and reveal their can’t-live-without-it kitchen gadgets. Bri shows that food fills our days with simple joy and helps us forge new relationships with people in ways we never thought possible—even over a Zoom cocktail.

Great British Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain on Confidence & Mayo Mashed Potatoes

We’ve got a crush on this series and everyone in it—because FOOD! For the Love of Food, Part 2 is cooking up something new this week as we move into BAKING with a member of the royal family of baking itself—The Great British Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain! Nadiya is not only the Mary Poppins of baking, she’s also hosting a brand-new show on Netflix that’ll be your brand-new happy place, and it’s called—what else?—Nadiya Bakes. Nadiya reveals why she never turned on an oven or baked anything until her 20s, why her husband sent in an application to Bake Off without her knowing (!), and how she learned to be confident in the kitchen and how to keep saying yes to new opportunities. Nadiya shows us that baking doesn’t have to be Bake Off-level perfect to bring people together, and promises our mashed potatoes would be better if we just added a bit of mayo to the mix (we’ll take her word for it!).

Ree Drummond on Microwaved Ding Dongs and Other Real-Life Cooking

It’s a big day on For the Love, friends—we’re celebrating our 200th episode! We’re kicking off a brand-new series about food! And we’re celebrating it all with an FTL Fan Favorite: The Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond! Ree’s back on the show to talk about the best (or tackiest?) sweatshirt of all time gifted to her by none other than Purveyor of Fine Sweatshirts, Jen Hatmaker. Jen and Ree talk about their favorite pastimes, potato chip sandwiches, what Ree makes when she’s just freaking tired of cooking (there may be a lot of jars involved), and the importance of a microwaved Ding Dong in a well-balanced diet. Not only does Ree show that cooking can be fun, she shares that it doesn’t have to be complicated and perfect—in fact, it’s probably better if it’s not.

The Tribe at the Table

We’re wrapping up our “For the Love of Food” series with stories from you–Jen’s Tribe–of how you’re gathering with food in the best possible ways!  Tanorria Askew quit her corporate job and followed her cooking dreams—she made it to the final 4 of Master Chef (with big kudos from Gordon Ramsay, no less) and now has established Tanorria’s Table, a personal chef company with a heart for community and a soul for diversity. Elyse, Suzanna and Lauren are friends who have found the secret of life around food prep for their families with “group cooking” allowing them quality friend time and freezer meals for the entire week. [Bonus: we learn about Jen’s secret “beer & deer” freezer as well.] Jen’s friend Melissa Navarro rounds things out by sharing how she’s basically adopted a college by preparing a weekly meal/get together in her home for student athletes who are far from their own homes. You guys always bring the best stories!

Making Our Grocery Dreams Come True with Shipt CEO Bill Smith

Bill Smith had us at, “hello, may I deliver your groceries right to your home??” He’s the CEO and founder of Shipt, a membership-based grocery marketplace that delivers fresh foods and household essentials straight to people’s houses. He basically invented a service for those of who us who haaate setting foot in a grocery store (herding 3 children under 5 in a store while buying groceries for the week? Byeeeeee!). We’ll learn how Bill came up with this idea.  We’ll talk to him about how this spark of an idea has grown to over 70 cities and over 20,000 personal Shipt shoppers. We’ll also learn that while Bill is committed to the success of his company, what gets up him up in the morning is the fact that his people are making a difference in not only the lives of busy families and stressed out moms, but in the life of an aging grandparent, the house-bound cancer patient, and others for whom grocery shopping isn’t possible.  And, when you hear what’s saving Bill’s life right now, you’re gonna love him even more.

The Gift of Food with Melissa d’Arabian

Our food series is ramping up with beloved celebrity chef, best-selling author, and mom of four, Melissa D’Arabian. Melissa was launched into the world of celebrity chef-dom by winning season 5 of “The Next Food Network Star” and started her first show, Ten Dollar Dinners. From there Melissa has gone on to write cookbooks, weekly columns, host webshows for the Food Network and so much more. Melissa is driven to show people that the preparing of food for others shouldn’t be a performance, but should be about hospitality, intimacy and connection. She  that time when Tyler Florence told her she was pretty while simultaneously dissing one of her cooking tips, and as only a chef can, she declares that Jen is “juicy and amazing.” Tied into her mission of teaching hospitality and community around the table , Melissa’s faith and gratefulness for God’s gift of food is at the core of all of her culinary endeavors.

The Healing Power of Food with Danielle Walker

Danielle Walker is the author and photographer of the New York Times Best Selling cookbook Against all Grain. Danielle battled an autoimmune disorder that baffled doctors. Convinced it had everything to do with what she was eating, Danielle started experimenting in the kitchen to to regain her health through the medicine of food.  She is dedicated to helping others find wellness without sacrificing flavor or fun. Not only does she have amazing recipes for those of us who have committed to a paleo diet, but the pictures she takes will make you want to eat every last thing in her books. And yes, there are desserts!  You’ll also learn all about the power of the cashew in creating creamy sauces that will fool even the most skeptical of your family.

The Life Behind the Party with Aarti Sequeira & A Bonus Chat with “For The Love Podcast” Logo Designer Jenny Mecher

Welcome to our all new series on (wait for it) FOOD!  We kick off this series on one of our most FAVORITE topics with the amazing cookbook author and host of Food Network’s Aarti Party, Aarti Sequeira! Aarti got her start as a journalist and working CNN, dreaming of becoming the next Oprah. Always a lover of food, she began blogging about cooking and she and her husband started a YouTube cooking-variety show in their tiny L.A. home kitchen. Eventually Aarti competed on and won Season 6 of Food Network Star with her trademark food signature: American favorites with an Indian soul. She has gone on to to star in her highly successful show, along with appearances on The Talk, Dr. Oz and the Today Show (where she freaked out Al Roker by telling him she licked his plate!). By the end of this episode, you’ll want to steal Aarti’s leftovers (like Jen confesses she actually once did). BONUS INTERVIEW: Jen chats with one of our own from The Tribe, the designer of our amazing pink podcast logo; Jenny Mecher of ThreeLetterBirds.com.