It was one day in the kitchen, flanked by three ever-hungry children under seven, that Jen Hatmaker decided she was going to love cooking. Up till then, the Austin-based author, blogger, and TV show host had been loyal to the frozen food aisle, clinging to recipes that promised a reliable mediocrity. But when she thought about the enthusiasm and fearlessness she brought to eating her favorite foods, she realized she could apply the same qualities to creating them. “Cooking wasn’t the unmanageable beast I thought it was. It wasn’t that precious. It wasn’t that finicky. There were a million ways to dive in,” she writes in her new cookbook, Feed These People: Slam-Dunk Recipes for Your Crew. For Hatmaker, it’s simple: “We feed the people we love. That is the end of the formula.”
Sweet pickled jalapeños are Hatmaker’s “favorite thing”—“like what bread and butter pickles are to dill pickles: same, but sweeter,” she writes. This creamy pimento cheese welcomes the bright balance and sweet heat the peppers offer in a perfect dip for hungry game-day crowds.