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.

-Ina Garten
Ina Garten

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

Ina Garten
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.
Ina Garten

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

Ina Garten
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.
Ina Garten

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.

Ina Garten
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.
Ina Garten

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

Ina Garten
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.
Ina Garten

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

Ina Garten
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.