Ina Garten Shares the Best Store-Bought Shortcuts for Some of Her Favorite Recipes

updated Oct 28, 2019
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If you’re a fan of Ina Garten (and how could you not be?), you know that Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro made its return last night, and of course we had to watch. The first episode was all about the best store-bought shortcuts for some of her favorite recipes — all of which are perfect for the holidays.

On this first episode to start the new season, she cooked some amazing crowd-pleasing recipes like sweet red pepper hummus and portion-sized raspberry baked Alaska with meringue on top. The crowning achievement of the show, however, was all the smart shortcuts she took with store-bought ingredients to make the recipes that much easier. For instance, Ina suggests using store-bought pound cake and vanilla ice cream to make that baked Alaska with meringue! How easy, right?

Plus, did you know there are three types of meringues? There’s French, which is classic meringue (beaten egg whites and sugar, which makes it hard and crunchy like shells and cookies), Italian meringue, where you whip egg whites and pour in sugar syrup to make delicious buttercream, and then lastly there’s Swiss, which is the type she uses in her baked raspberry Alaska. 

Get the recipe: Raspberry Baked Alaska

A few more store-bought items? Puff pastry for apps and sweet and savory tarts. She also recommends buying certain sauces and preserves, like seedless strawberry jam, which she uses for the baked Alaska, as well as lemon curd and moose and caramel sauce (drizzle that caramel sauce over brownies, like Ina suggests — yum!).

And for a more savory feel, buy horseradish (serve with beef, along with mayo) and pesto for open-faced sandwiches with mozzarella and tomato, and more. She also loves peas to make a fresh pea soup or to use with some pancetta in a pasta dish.

And a surprising one? Truffle butter! Use it in scrambled eggs — that’ll give a flavor punch in the morning to wake you up right. 

Get the recipe: Truffled Scrambled Eggs

We’re pretty sure this season will offer plenty of more amazing tips from Ina, so obviously we’re pumped to watch the rest of the episodes. Stay tuned for next week!