Katie Jacobs Does Some Good

We’ve been a fan of Nashville-based author, stylist, and foodie Katie Jacobs from the very beginning. Her blog Styling My Everyday and her book, So Much to Celebrate, are go-to sources for entertaining ideas and all around delicious recipes. And like Reese, Katie loves to bring joy to those around her, which is why we asked her to interpret the “Do-Gooding” chapter from Reese’s new book, Whiskey in a Teacup.

Read on to get Katie’s tips on delivering meals to friends in need and also get her famous Chicken Pot Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes.

Katie Jacobs’s tips to delivering meals to family and friends:

Use disposable or inexpensive containers (I love using mason jars)—no one wants to worry about washing and returning a casserole dish.

Deliver it, text, and run! Friends with a new baby or someone just home from the hospital doesn’t need visitors but may be too polite to tell you (especially if you’re being so kind as to deliver dinner). Don’t put them in an awkward position where they feel obligated to invite you in. Text them you just dropped dinner on their front porch and DASH! You can meet the new baby later when everyone is back on their feet.

Pack more than just dinner. Healthy snacks or wrapped sandwiches that are easy for a nursing mom to grab out of the fridge are always appreciated. A quick and easy breakfast for the next day (like pumpkin bread and coffee) is a extra sweet treat.

Ask about dietary restrictions or allergies (some nursing moms can’t eat spicy food or dairy).

Always pack something healthy. If making a casserole, lasagna, or pot pie, I like to include a big salad full of fresh veggies.

Take more than enough! Be sure to make enough dinner for caretakers (or helpful grandparents) to partake.

Don’t forget about the kids. Some kids are picky eaters—keep that in mind when making the family dinner to include something they’ll enjoy too. I also like to tuck a little treat or toy in the basket just for them (making a new big sister or brother feel extra special is never a bad idea).

Label everything with what’s included, cooking instructions (if they have to put it in the oven), and dates. If they are receiving a lot of dinners, it’s nice for everything to have a date so keeping up with leftovers is super simple.

I always include a dessert and attach a recipe card to it so they can make it again later.

Don’t feel overwhelmed that you have to make everything from scratch. If you don’t cook, offer to pick up dinner from their favorite restaurant.

Chicken Pot Pie

From Katie’s book So Much to Celebrate

For the pastry:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

For the filling:

5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

2 chicken bouillon cubes

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup dry sherry

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 rotisserie chickens, meat removed and shredded

1 (16-ounce) package frozen peas and carrots

2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the pastry: Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling:  In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and sherry to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add heavy cream, shredded chicken, peas, carrots, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Divide the filling equally among 6 (8 ounce) ovenproof bowls. Roll out dough to quarter inch thickness and cut 6 tops just larger than the serving bowls. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 4 slits in the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Make it ahead: To make pot pies the day before, let filling cool completely, transfer to serving bowls, and top with dough. Refrigerate until ready to bake per instructions. When delivering this as a meal: I like to make it into one big pie, give it chilled and ready for the family to bake whenever they are ready to eat dinner. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Katie’s book So Much to Celebrate

Makes approximately 16 large (5-inch) cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate baking disks

Flakey sea salt


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on a medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine. Add vanilla, mix, then scrape down bowl. Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt to dough and mix it until fully combined. Add flour all at once and mix it in short bursts until just combined (do not over mix). Add chocolate pieces and mix on low speed until just mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for a minimum of 24 hours and up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Form dough into 3 1/2-ounce balls, a little larger than a golf ball. Arrange balls of dough very far apart on sheets (as cookies will be up to 5 inches wide once baked) and sprinkle the tops of each with a few flecks of sea salt.

Bake cookies for 12 to 17 minutes, until golden all over. Allow to cookies to cool on trays for 10 minutes, then transfer them to racks.

Make it ahead: Cookie dough can be made up to three days in advance and left to cool in the refrigerator. Cookies are best baked the day-of serving.

Photos by Katelyn Brown Photography.