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Food Network’s Ina Garten Shares Thanksgiving Tips and Favorite Recipes

Photo from Ina Garten’s Instagram

Food Network’s Ina Garten Shares Thanksgiving Tips and Favorite Recipes

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Food Network’s THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA star Ina Garten believes simplicity is key to hosting a great dinner, and Thanksgiving is no different. 

“Cooking is hard!” Garten said in an interview with Coveteur. “I’ve never worked on a line in a restaurant, I didn’t go to culinary school, and in fact, I think that’s actually helped my cookbook writing because if a recipe is too complicated or takes too long, I’m never going to make it again, and I think other people feel the same way.” 

The bestselling cookbook author, known for her “approachable” recipes, ironically admitted that she is not a “confident cook.”

Coveteur wrote of her approach to the kitchen: “[Recipes are] straightforward and exacting, meticulously tested, and don’t require 1,000 different ingredients from various specialty shops. If you pick up one of her books having never cooked anything in your life, you could fairly easily try one of the recipes and finish with something delicious.”     

“During times of financial and political stress, there’s something about a hamburger and Coke or a big bowl of beef stew that makes us just feel better,” The James Beard award-winning TV host described the recipes in her “Modern Comfort Food” cookbook, which was released during the pandemic. “They’re not fancy—in fact, quite the opposite. They’re familiar, delicious, and soul-satisfying. In other words, they’re comfort food.”  

Nostalgia also influences some of her favorite recipes, including split pea soup, which her mother used to make. 

“[Cooking] wasn’t something that she loved to do. When she would make dinner, she would cook just to get dinner on the table,” Garten said. “As a kid I always wanted to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and she never would let us. It had to be a vegetable thing—she was all about nutrition.” 

Garten’s unvarnished approach to everyday cooking carries over to Thanksgiving as well.  

“Thanksgiving for me is just the classics,” she said. “There’s a Tuscan turkey roulade in [Modern Comfort Food] that’s boneless turkey and herbs, and it’s great that you don’t have to carve a turkey. Don’t you hate it when you’re all dressed for Thanksgiving and then you have to carve that turkey in front of everybody?” 

In preparation for the holiday, Garten shared a series of recipes on Instagram for her followers to try for their Thanksgiving feasts. 

“My dear friend Anna Pump used to say, no one remembers what you serve for dinner, but they always remember dessert!” Garten posted along with a link to recipes for Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie, Apple Pie Bars, and Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits. 

When asked if she ever has her husband Jeffry Garten, who is known to make appearances on her show, test recipes for her, she joked, “[A]s a tester, he likes everything. He goes, ‘Oh, this is the best thing you’ve ever made!’ He says it all the time.” 

She recently posted a birthday tribute with a carousel of throwback pictures of her husband. 

“Even with the dreadful things going on in the world, we need to celebrate the everyday joys,” she wrote. “Happy birthday to my darling husband Jeffrey. I’ve loved you madly for almost 60 years and I’m just getting started.” 

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