Quotes by Ina Garten

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Instead of going out to dinner, buy good food. Cooking at home shows such affection. In a bad economy, it's more important to make yourself feel good. more...

I try to greet my friends with a drink in my hand, a warm smile on my face, and great music in the background, because that's what gets a dinner party off to a fun start. more...

I love to take something ordinary and make it really special. more...

In the summer you want fresh, light and sort of quick things; in winter you want things that are comforting, so your body really tells you you want to go towards potatoes, apples, fennel, things that are warm and comforting. And loin of pork. more...

I worked for the Office of Management and Budget in the White House, on nuclear energy policy. But I decided it would be much more fun to have a specialty food store, so I left Washington D.C. and moved to the Hamptons. And how glad I am that I did! more...

Creme Brulee is the ultimate 'guy' dessert. Make it and he'll follow you anywhere. more...

Never let 'em see you sweat. Guests feel guilty if they think you've worked too hard to make dinner for them - which of course you have! more...

If you think about a Thanksgiving dinner, it's really like making a large chicken. more...

I always like to have flowers on the table. I think they make it look special. more...

I absolutely adore Thanksgiving. It's the only holiday I insist on making myself. more...

You don't have to do everything from scratch. Nobody wants to make puff pastry! more...

I learned that the hardest party to pull off successfully is Saturday night dinner. This meal is expected to be elaborate: appetizers, first course, dinner, dessert, and coffee. People arrive at 7:30 or 8 p.m. and stay for hours - definitely past my bedtime - and they all go home exhausted. more...

They say that gardens look better when they are created by loving gardeners rather than by landscapers, because the garden is more tended to and cared for. The same thing goes for cooking. I only cook for people I love. more...

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the ultimate comfort meal. more...

I like almonds as a snack - keeps your energy up but doesn't fill you up. more...

I've taught myself how to use good, fresh ingredients and to prepare them as simply as possible by cooking only to enhance their intrinsic flavors. more...

My extravagance is my garden - it's the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up. It gives me so much pleasure. more...

The most important thing for having a party is that the hostess is having fun. I'm very organized. I make a plan for absolutely everything. I never have anything that has to be cooked while the guests are there. The only thing I might have to do is take something out of the oven and carve it. more...

The dirty little secret is that I grew up in a household where there were no carbohydrates allowed, ever. No cookies, no bread, no potatoes, no rice. My mother was very extreme in terms of what she served. Since I left home more than 40 years ago, I've been making it right for myself. more...

Take one flower that you like and get lots of them. And don't try to 'arrange' them. It's surprisingly hard to do a flower arrangement the way a florist does one. Instead, bunch them all together or put them in a series of small vases all down the table. more...

When I wrote 'Barefoot in Paris,' I wanted to make simple recipes that you could make at home that tasted like French classics. more...

I love Alton Brown's show 'Good Eats,' about the chemistry of food. It's really thoughtful. more...

The most overrated tool: a pasta maker. Why make it when you can buy it? It's a lot of work! more...

My mother would never let me in the kitchen. I always wanted to cook, but I was never allowed to. Her view of the world was, 'Cooking is my job, and studying is your job.' I think, in retrospect, she didn't like the chaos. She was very orderly. It had to be her way. more...

I don't like sitting at a table that's too large, where everyone is too far apart. That's a party killer. more...

I'm really a scientist. I follow recipes exactly - until I decide not to. And then I'll follow something else exactly. I may decide I could turn this peach tart into a plum tart, but if I'm following a recipe, I follow it exactly. more...

My favorite fall or winter lunch is big steaming bowls of soup. I usually invite people for around 12:30 and have two hearty soups like shrimp corn chowder and lentil sausage soup, which can be made a day or two ahead. more...

I use other cookbooks for inspiration. I must say I tend to cook from my own cookbooks for parties. more...

People have more fun if they don't eat so much they have to be taken home in an ambulance. more...

The thing about all my food is that everything is a remembered flavor. Maybe it's something I had as a child or maybe it's something I had in Milan, but I want it to taste better than you ever thought. more...

I always have music. I love it to be very upbeat. When you're having drinks, I like something like Cesaria Evora. During dinner, I like the much more traditional - old Frank Sinatra and things like that. more...

I time everything. I'm a scientist at heart. more...

I've lived in the Hamptons since 1978, when I first bought my store Barefoot Contessa. more...

I measure everything, because I always think that if I've spent so much time making sure this recipe was exactly the way I want it, why would I want to throw things into a pot? more...

If it's a cocktail party, I generally make five or six different things, and I try to choose recipes that feel like a meal: a chicken thing, a fish or shrimp thing, maybe two vegetable things, and I think it's fun to end the cocktail party with a sweet thing. more...

There's something really wonderful about a party where you help yourself. Of course, first you get what you really want. But 'family style' service also really encourages people to connect with one another. more...

One of the great gifts that you can give people is to cook for them. more...

Fun is the most important. If you do stuff for money, it never works out. more...

I get up every day, do the best that I can do, and go home and have a good time. more...

It's so important that you don't put the stuffing in the bird, where in order for the stuffing to get cooked you have to overcook the turkey. It's better to do it on the side. more...

The planning is everything. Deciding which dishes you're going to prepare can turn into the make-or-break decision five days later, when you actually serve the meal. more...

I think the best shortcut is to choose really simple recipes. Because I think you can make simple recipes that are as delicious as complicated ones. more...

You can get bogged down in a recipe that's got a lot of steps and a million ingredients, and it takes all day to make. And then you realize, you've just got one dish. For Thanksgiving, you want an abundance of choices, and so you want dishes that you can put together really quickly, but that doesn't mean less flavor. more...

When I thought my professional career was over, it hadn't even started yet. more...

Every once in a while, a cookbook comes along that simply knocks me out. more...

Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested. more...

All my life I dreamed of an apartment in Paris where I could cook, and now I have one, on the Left Bank. more...

You can be miserable before you have a cookie and you can be miserable after you eat a cookie but you can't be miserable while you are eating a cookie. more...

Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable. more...

With more and more fast food available, it takes an extra effort to cook delicious, healthy meals. I have always been a proponent of simple, easy food that doesn't take forever to cook so you really can eat well at home. more...

I think there are two ways of eating, or cooking. One is restaurant food and one is home food. I believe that people have started making food that is easy that you want to eat at home. When you go out to a restaurant, you want to be challenged, you want to taste something new, you want to be excited. But when you eat at home, you want something that's delicious and comforting. I've always liked that kind of food - and frankly, that's also what I want to eat when I go out to restaurants, but maybe that's me. more...


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