Here’s What We Learned About Ina Garten in 2017

updated May 24, 2019
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There aren’t a ton of people out there, including celebrities, that bring me as much joy as Ina Garten does. You might think this is strange considering I’ve never met or talked to her, but I feel like I know her on a spiritual level so that probably counts, right? Everything we learned about Ina in 2017 is a bright spot in a sea of darkness. Did you know that Ina hates cilantro? Or that she’s never watched her own TV show? Those tidbits are just the beginning. Here’s a list of everything we learned, and felt deeply, about empress Garten this year.

1. Ina eats plain oatmeal for breakfast every day.

You would think she’d have something a little more fabulous, but Ina enjoys her morning ritual of plain oatmeal. “I use McCANN’s quick-cooking oatmeal, not instant, quick-cooking, and I make it in the microwave. And that’s breakfast! And really good coffee,” she said in an interview on Munchies.

2. Ina is obsessed with Steve Jobs’ biography.

The Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson is one of Ina’s favorite books. “I get up in the middle of the night to read it,” she says. “It’s just wonderful.”

3. Ina decorates her dinner table with simple flower arrangements.

Ina’s best tip for decorating your dinner table is to get a whole bunch of one kind of flower and stick them in water glasses and put them on the table. How easy is that?

4. Ina knows the simplest way to decorate a cake.

Want to make your cake look extra fancy? Ina knows the way. She makes thin lines on a cake with icing and then uses a knife to lightly graze the cake perpendicular to the lines, creating a chevron pattern.

5. Ina is working on another cookbook.

Almost a year ago Ina posted a photo to Instagram of a butternut squash gratin explaining that she’s testing out the recipe for her next cookbook. I honestly can’t wait to see what she’s cooking up.

6. Ina uses a large tray for effortless entertaining.

The queen of entertaining has a couple tricks up her sleeve, and one of them involves investing in a good tray. Instead of juggling a bunch of plates or bowls, Ina just puts things on the tray and brings it out to her guests.

7. Ina hates cilantro.

You will never, ever find cilantro in any of Garten’s cookbooks because she absolutely hates it. “It actually tastes like soap to me, but it’s so strong it overpowers every other flavor,” she explains.

8. Ina has never seen her own cooking show.

Ina has never watched Barefoot Contessa — gasp! “I never watch cooking shows, certainly not mine,” she explains.

9. Ina didn’t have a classic Thanksgiving menu this year.

Instead of mashed potatoes, she served a celery root purée. And for dessert she had apple pie bars and pumpkin pie cake.

(Image credit: NBCUniversal/Getty Images)

10. Ina’s favorite cocoa powder is from Italy.

Making some holiday treats this year? Learn from Ina and pick up her favorite cocoa powder, Pernigotti Cocoa, to make things extra special.

11. Ina might be the reason Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are getting married.

Prince Harry apparently proposed to Markle while they were making roast chicken. There are a ton of rumors flying around that it was Ina Garten’s famous engagement chicken that did the trick.

12. Ina would eat a hot dog for her last meal on earth.

Ina surprises us all by saying she would eat a hot dog as her last meal on earth. Of course, this isn’t just any hot dog. It costs $9.45 and you can only find it in Paris.

13. Ina’s holiday menu includes Cosmos.

Garten shared what she was planning on making for holiday guests, and the list included five appetizers, desserts, and a twist on the classic Cosmopolitan.

14. Ina would never make cassoulet.

Some things are just not worth the extra effort to make from scratch. In Ina’s case, the one thing she refuses to make is cassoulet. More power to ya, lady.

What did you learn about Ina this year? Let us know!