Hello, friends!

I’m Sheila Thigpen, author and publisher of lifeloveandgoodfood.com, and I’m so honored you’re here! I love cooking and sharing good food with my family and friends, and virtually with you!

If you’re looking for flavorful recipes to make at home that don’t require a culinary degree, you’re in the right place! Believe me, you don’t have to be a gourmet cook to put together a delicious meal your family will love!

As you browse, I hope you’ll be inspired to spend more time in the kitchen — and connect with your family around the dinner table — with the quick and easy recipes, clear instructions, and tips for cooking success you’ll find on these pages.

As seen in:

How it all started

Raised on a farm in east Tennessee, I come from a long line of Southern cooks. My grandmother would spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinner for our family. She was a great teacher and amazing encourager, and at her side, I learned to cook old-fashioned Southern recipes from scratch.

Right there in our farm kitchen, my love of food and cooking was born. Although Southern cooking and hospitality is a big part of my food story, plenty of the recipes I cook and share are also inspired by other regions and flavors.

For instance, I absolutely love Mediterranean food — this chicken dish is a big favorite — and could eat pizza literally every day! Truthfully, I enjoy most foods except sushi and fried or poached eggs — it must be a texture thing!

Like many of you, I know firsthand what it’s like to be a working parent with a crazy schedule. Our very active daughters were involved in swimming, piano, band, or church activities what seemed like every night of the week — so I quickly adopted recipes that were faster to prepare.

Sheila and John Thigpen at their daughter's wedding.

How it’s going

My husband John & I are officially empty nesters living near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee — the most beautiful spot in the country! We feel fortunate to be able to head to the hills at the drop of a hat to enjoy a hike or picnic in the National Park.

We’ve been married “forever” as he likes to tease! Actually, I’ve been married to my best friend since 1984 and I think I’m the luckiest girl around!

When I started my blog in 2014, it was a project for collecting my recipes all in one place. I never dreamed I’d be working at it full time, but in 2018 I left my publishing career to channel all my creative energy & passion for good food into Life, Love and Good Food.

Although I’m the cook behind the blog, John has a growing enthusiasm for outdoor cooking and has perfected the technique for making the best smoked beef brisket! Not only that, he likes to get involved in cooking breakfast Saturday mornings and does an amazing job flipping pancakes on the griddle.

My greatest blessings

In this crazy world of ours, I honestly don’t know how I would navigate life without my faith — Jesus Christ is my hope and my salvation. The older I get, the more I treasure the truths of the Bible.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. – Psalm 34:8

God has blessed us with two amazing, intelligent, and beautiful daughters (and fine sons-in-law, too) as well as three sweet grandbabies — with two more on the way! Everything they say about being a Nana is true — I am absolutely smitten with our grands! (New photo coming soon!)

I’m also so very proud of the young women we raised. Both our girls have very successful (and sometimes stressful) careers — one in public health administration and one in supply chain management. How pertinent is that in our current climate?

They each have the gift of hospitality, too. Our family definitely shares the love of food! It’s so fun hearing about the parties and menus they plan with their friends — everything from an English tea party for a Bridgerton binge-watching afternoon to football parties with smoked pork and all the trimmings. It makes a Mama’s heart proud!

a family in matching Christmas pajamas.

A Few Fun Facts About Me…

Fun Fact #1

I’d never flown in an airplane until we were on our honeymoon — small town, farm girl here! Now, I’m ready to jump on a plane anytime there’s a new adventure ahead — see Fun Fact #2!

Fun fact #2

My husband and I love to travel – he’s a wanderlust – and seek out local, trendy restaurants wherever we go. We have a wish list of places to visit & we’ll be checking off Sedona and Alaska later this year.

fun fact #3

I’m terrified of heights, but I caved to peer pressure and zip-lined through the rainforest in St. Lucia with the family. I barely survived the challenge, and my kids bought me a T-shirt to commemorate it!

fun fact #4

As a child, I didn’t care much for sweets, but now I’m a true chocoholic and have several chocolate-themed cookbooks in my collection! Brownies, piesgooey cakes — I love them all!

easy chicken cookbook cover image.

Easy Chicken Cookbook: 75 Simple Meals for Every Day

“Sheila has created a great collection of creative, approachable, and delicious chicken recipes that are sure to please every palate! I especially love the sections on one-pan chicken dishes and recipes that require 5 ingredients or fewer. You’ll want to have the Easy Chicken Cookbook at your fingertips whenever you’re looking for new chicken recipes to add to your weeknight dinner rotation!” ― Karen Lee Young, author of The Electric Pressure Cooker Soup Cookbook and founder of TheTastyBiteBlog.com

The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook: 90+ Recipes For Busy People Who Love to Eat Well

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sheila Thigpen for nearly twenty years, and I can assure you that there are very few other people I’d trust to deliver fast, easy, and tasty dinners to the table. Sheila has an innate understanding of practical, time-saving techniques that home cooks are certain to appreciate.” ― Phillip Rhodes, Executive Managing Editor, Garden & Gun, and co-author of The Southerner’s Cookbook

fresh and easy cookbook cover image

Life Love and Good Food recipes are also featured on popular food-sharing sites like FlipBoard and Punchfork.

My Favorite Recipes


Salads, salads, salads! Fresh and delicious, I enjoy all types of salads. This fig salad with melon is absolutely fantastic, as is my wedge salad with homemade blue cheese dressing.


Fresh tomato bruschetta is a winner! Typically, I serve it as an appetizer, but we’ve been known to make it a meal. If I’m feeling indulgent, these blueberry blue cheese bacon burgers are so, so good!


Of course, Fall is all about pumpkin spice and I do love this pumpkin bread (especially with a handful of chocolate chips tossed in) and pumpkin bars, but homemade apple pie is a close second.


Soup season is so cozy! I make this slow cooker Brunswick stew often because it’s so easy, delicious, and filling. Add a pan of my Aunt Lucille’s Mexican cornbread and it’s a complete meal!