Busy Philipps on dinner party pet peeves, cooking with kids

Busy Philipps says she’s all about cooking up traditional recipes with her kids, but also encourages them to experiment in the kitchen. (Photo: Getty Photos – Craig Barritt; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life is serving up a heaping plateful of table talk with people who are passionate about what’s on their menu in Deglazeda series about food.

On her perfect food day, Busy Philipps would wake up Down Under.

“Once, 16 years ago in Sydney, Australia, I had the most amazing breakfast quinoa porridge and I’ve never been able to replicate it,” she says. “I have tried. We’d go track it down and see if it still exists because I don’t know.”

Next, the 42-year-old actress would make a stop in Los Angeles.

“We’re flying to LA because I need celery juice,” she says. “Fresh celery juice from Kreation for my mid-morning snack, and then I want a turkey sandwich for lunch: It’s my favorite lunch of all time, but I don’t know where I’d go — there have been a few turkey sandwiches that have made an impression on me.”

The final decision: A turkey trot from coast to coast.

“Larchmont Bungalow Café in Los Angeles has a great turkey sandwich that I return to again and again — the line is long but it’s worth the wait,” says Philipps. “Maybe then we’d go to New York for the ABC Kitchen turkey sandwich — they don’t always have it but it’s the real chef’s kiss.”

Philipps, who spoke with Yahoo Life as part of his work promoting Rao’s Homemade’s first-ever pop-up food and shopping experience in New York City, says wherever she’d travel for dinner, it’d involve pizza or pasta.

“Maybe we’d stay in NYC for Rubirosa’s pizza with vodka sauce, or go to Italy and eat pasta,” she says, “But I’d bring my Rao’s Homemade in my purse.”

Philipps jokes that, while she’s being paid to promote Rao’s Homemade, she’s probably broke even with the brand. “We’re probably even because I’ve purchased so much of this sauce,” she says. Her favorite variety? Spicy arrabbiata, while her kids prefer marinara.

“My kids are not about that arrabbiata life,” she says.

Another reason Philipps chose to get involved with Rao’s Homemade’s The Saucery pop-up is that the event was for charity: All proceeds went to Jersey Cares, a non-profit organization that recruits volunteers and organizes projects within the community. “I’m always of the mindset that at this point in our lives, if we’re not giving back to the communities that surround us, what exactly are we doing with our lives?” says Phillips.

Philipps, who spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting Rao's, says pizza with vodka sauce is her favorite.  (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images Rao's Homemade)

Philipps, who spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting Rao’s, says pizza with vodka sauce is her favorite. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images Rao’s Homemade)

Philipps, who is well-known for her roles in Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek other Cougar Town, says one of her favorite places to dine is her own home. She enjoys exploring the kitchen with her children, Birdie, 13, and Cricket, 8, and encouraging them to be adventurous with food.

“One thing that is a staple in my house is Hawaiian rolls and Nutella as dessert,” she says. “This is my children’s invention. You can slice strawberries [to put] in the middle of it. I can’t tell you the amount of these things that get eaten in my household.”

Phillips, who hosts the Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best podcast, also misses hosting pre-pandemic dinner parties. But she has some rules she’ll plan to follow when they return.

“One of the keys is making sure your guests have what they like to drink on hand — kind of knowing what your friends drink because there’s nothing worse than going to someone’s house and them saying to you, ‘We only have Diet Coke,’ or whatever and you’re like, ‘I don’t wanna drink that,'” says Philipps. “I think drinks are key.”

Another pro hostess tip? Take the pressure off your guests when it comes to where to sit at the dinner table.

“People genuinely panic about where to sit so it’s better [when you tell them],” she says. “Don’t do the thing where you split up couples — let people sit near their spouses or dates or significant others — I always think that’s weird. Don’t get crazy with the seating. You don’t have to make name cards. Just, in your head, come up with the plan and direct people where to go.”

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