I like almonds as a snack - keeps your energy up but doesn't fill you up. Ina Ga
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.
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.
I always like to have flowers on the table. I think they make it look special.
I've lived in the Hamptons since 1978, when I first bought my store Barefoot Contessa.
Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable.
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.
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.
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.
People have more fun if they don't eat so much they have to be taken home in an ambulance. Ina Garte
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!
I love Alton Brown's show 'Good Eats,' about the chemistry of food. It's really thoughtful. Ina Garte
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.
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.
I always like to have flowers on the table. I think they make it look special. Ina Ga
I get up every day, do the best that I can do, and go home and have a good time.
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!
I love Alton Brown's show 'Good Eats,' about the chemistry of food. It's really thoughtful.
All my life I dreamed of an apartment in Paris where I could cook, and now I have one, on the Left Bank.
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.
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.
When I thought my professional career was over, it hadn't even started yet.
I don't like sitting at a table that's too large, where everyone is too far apart. That's a party killer.
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.
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.
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.
I absolutely adore Thanksgiving. It's the only holiday I insist on making myself. Ina Ga
I use other cookbooks for inspiration. I must say I tend to cook from my own cookbooks for parties.
If you think about a Thanksgiving dinner, it's really like making a large chicken. Ina Ga
I absolutely adore Thanksgiving. It's the only holiday I insist on making myself.