Episode 17: Aggressively Helpful Tips for Holiday Cooking

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Here’s the thing: Food writers, editors, and recipes developers love good food and want to spread the food joy that we feel so deeply. Truly, we do! But we also have jobs that rely on selling magazines and getting enough clicks on the articles and recipes we write to sell ads on the sites that hire us. So sometimes we can get a bit, well, aggressively helpful, as Meghan puts it.

In this episode, Stacie and Meghan get honest about the holiday cooking tips, kitchen strategies, and even eating mindsets that we find actually helpful to get us through the holidays, not just feeling sane, but feeling happy and focused on what matters most: spending time with our families.

It’s Not Just About the Food

Your New Holiday Mantra


The thing that both Stacie and Meghan have come to realize is that the holidays are about spending time with families. A fantastic, gourmet meal shared over a tense family gathering will not be remembered well. And on the other hand, a mediocre meal shared at a happy table over laughs will be remembered fondly. So stressing too much over the food is never worth it, especially if it will put a damper on your mood or ability to enjoy your family and friends.

Also, everyone loves the classics. Take it from Stacie and Meghan, who have tested nearly every Thanksgiving recipe under the sun — from dump-and-bake green bean casserole made with canned soup to an 18-step version made with delicately fried shallots, fresh nutmeg inflected bechamel, and haricots verts.

Keeping it simple isn’t just for your sanity, it makes you and everyone around you happy.

Every year I think, maybe this will be it, the year that food media stops discussing the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner as though we all will be competing in an Olympic decathlon, in a war zone, naked. Alas, this is not that year.
— Shauna Sever, @shaunasever on Twitter

But Good Holiday Food is Nice

Some Actually Helpful Tips to Get Your Thanksgiving Cooking On

Charlie Brown Snack Platter Thanksgiving with Kids Ideas | Didn't I just Feed You Podcast

This week’s conversation was inspired by a Tweet that Meghan noticed by our episode 14 guest, Shauna Sever (above; told you she’s smart, funny, and brilliant).

Given that we are part of the food media about which Shauna speaks, we decided to use this platform, where we have the freedom to put all demands aside, and to use what we know as food experts to speak parent-to-parent, busy-grown-up-to-busy-grown-up about what we think will help you guys most when it comes to holiday cooking.

You’ll have to listen for all the juicy details, but here are resources we mentioned to follow up on the cooking tips and kitchen strategies that we talked about:

About Our Sponsor

A huge thank you to Raddish Kids for sponsoring this week’s episode of Didn’t I Just Feed You.

Even kids who don’t love to eat, love to cook. And it’s no wonder: The kitchen is a fantastic place for kids to flex their independence and learn in a real-life way. Plus, it cultivates healthier and more adventurous eating habits, which we parents like too! That’s why we’re such HUGE fans of our sponsor Raddish Kids, a cooking kit for kids ages 2- to 14-years-old that sends illustrated recipe guides, activities, conversation cards, a patch, and even a kitchen tool to your doorstep every month.

And by the way, we know first-hand that Raddish kits work for such a wide range of ages because we’ve used them with our own kids who range in age from 4- to nearly 12-years-old — and they ALL love them. In fact, the 12-year-old insists on using the kits all on his own, and hey, no complaints here. Life skills in the making!

This holiday season, give the gift of bringing a family together in the kitchen to experience the fun of taking risks, getting creative, and maybe even making a few mistakes before enjoying a delicious, well-earned meal together.

To learn more about how Raddish subscriptions work, what’s included, and pricing options, go to RaddishKids.com


Holiday Eating Mindset

It’s Not About the Food In More Ways Than One

This week, we skipped both What We’re Digging and Try This At Home segments because talking turkey takes a lot of time!

While we mostly focused on cooking tips, Stacie mentioned feeling like food media is complicit (often unwittingly) in supporting diet culture, too, especially in the way that we go from holiday to healthy new year coverage.

With that in mind, here are a few of her favorite Instagram accounts — mostly intuitive eating and anti-diet culture activists and nutritionists — who help her stay focused on eating in a way that keeps her from torturing herself about her body, desires, or habits, especially during the holidays when we tend to indulge:

Do you have favorite activists, influencers, nutritionists, or other folks who help you keep a positive attitude about your body image, desires, indulgences, and eating during the holidays and all year long?

Join our Facebook Listeners Group and share them. We want to follow them and be inspired too! The password to join is at the end of this week’s episode.