Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back to basics

My name is Katy.

Hi, Katy.

And I have an enormous crush on Ina Garten.  Like, want to be friends with her.  A typical day would go like this: Ina and I would visit the local fish monger and small food specialty shops in East Hampton/Pittsburgh's strip district, maybe doing a little shopping for denim shirts and pearls as well.  We'd cook in our brightly-lit kitchens, plating up food on classic white place settings.  Then, we'd welcome our husbands (hers, Jeffrey, and mine-to-be, Matt, obvs) home from their jobs in education (they're friends, too, of course) and have fabulous themed dinners with glowing conversation, chuckling amongst ourselves something absolutely hilarious that we heard earlier that day. 

So, maybe enormous isn't the right word.  #inalove

From that same fascinating woman comes a short and sweet interview with the Barefoot Contessa herself.  For someone as accomplished and famous as her, it's so refreshing to see she keeps it simple in the kitchen!

"The party is only as happy as the host. I learned this the hard way at one of the first parties I ever threw. It was a brunch, and I decided to make omelets for everyone. I never got out of the kitchen — and I didn't have another party for a year. I tell people when they're hosting to make a menu out of recipes you know really well and to pick up something at the bakery for a great dessert. It's a much better party if the food is simple and you're relaxed.

Having a man who can cook is overrated. My husband, Jeffrey, makes the coffee, that's it. It's more important to have one person who cooks and another person who appreciates it.

Even better than chicken soup for the soul: Homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese, with grown-up cheeses like Gruyère and extra-sharp cheddar. I made this for a friend recently who was upset and hadn't eaten in a week. She devoured it!

Food tastes best when it's properly salted. That means salting it a little at a time throughout the entire cooking process, not just at the end. It enhances the flavor of whatever you're cooking and makes food taste seasoned — not salty.

Gratitude is the best hostess gift. I always send flowers or a note the next day to express my appreciation.

Cook with your heart! 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."


If you could befriend one celebrity chef or food personality, who would it be and why?  Mine's obvious, but Alton Brown is a close second.  Nerdy food love!

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