East Hampton’s Barefoot Contessa culinary queen and Food Network superstar Ina Garten has a new Go-To Dinners cookbook dropping October 25. The hardcover, which is her 13th cookbook to date, will be available at all your favorite East End bookstores, and it’s up for preorder from online retailers. Garten also has signed copies, with autographed bookplate, available for $35 on her website, barefootcontessa.com/cookbooks.
According to an exclusive interview with People on Monday, Garten says she wrote Go-To Dinners (published by Clarkson Potter) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when she was home on lockdown, not going out for meals and exhausted from cooking all of her and husband Jeffrey’s meals, three times a day. “I found easier ways to make delicious dinners with make-ahead, prep-ahead, freeze-ahead recipes plus ‘two-fers’ — cooking one dish that becomes something totally different the next night,” she revealed to People.
In a nutshell, Garten told her 3.4 million Instagram followers on Monday, “Cooking during the pandemic got pretty crazy, even for me, so I devised all kinds of ways to get dinner on the table with the least amount of stress.”
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In Go-To Dinners, Garten shares strategies for making her most satisfying and uncomplicated dinners. The publisher points out that many recipes, like Overnight Mac & Cheese, are designed to make ahead and throw in the oven right before dinner. Light dinners like Tuscan White Bean Soup can be prepped ahead and assembled at the last minute, and go-to family meals such as Chicken in a Pot with Orzo and Hasselback Kielbasa will feed a crowd with very little effort. These facts — and because not everyone has the time or inclination to put together elaborate meals from scratch after a long day at work or caring for the kids — could make this one of Garten’s most popular, and essential, cookbooks yet!
Other highlights include “breakfast for dinner” recipes for Scrambled Eggs Cacio e Pepe and Roasted Vegetables with Jammy Eggs that are easy to make yet fully satisfying. Garten’s “two-fers” guide readers on ways to turn leftovers from one dinner into something different and delicious the next night, and she even offers dinners that don’t need to be cooked. Go-To Dinners presents Garten’s favorite boards to serve with store-bought ingredients, like an Antipasto Board and Breakfast-for-Dinner Board that are actually fun to assemble and impressive when served.
Finally, because Garten loves a good dessert, she shares recipes for some easy, “prep-ahead” sweets such as Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie and Beatty’s Chocolate Cupcakes.
Along with the publication of Go-To Dinners on the horizon, Garten’s brand new series Be My Guest with Ina Garten, which was filmed in her East Hampton home, premieres with its first half-hour episode on Food Network this Saturday, March 26. The show also offers an extended, hour-long cut with more non-food related content and conversation (much of it Hamptons related) on Discovery+, and a companion podcast.
Julianna Margulies (ER, The Good Wife) will appear on this week’s show as Garten’s first guest in the series. Other guests scheduled to appear include Erin French (The Lost Kitchen on Magnolia Network), Willie Geist (of MSNBC’s Morning Joe), and Hollywood/Sagaponack director/producer power couple Rob Marshall and John DeLuca.