Ina Garten's 10 best-kept kitchen secrets

Ina Garten boasts a pretty extensive resume; she's the star of Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro, author of ten successful cookbooks and the queen of comfort food. Armed with over 40 years of experience and an expert husband sous-chef, Jeffrey, Garten definitely knows a thing or two about keeping hangry customers happy. From stocking the kitchen with must-have ingredients to eating the same breakfast every single day, here are ten of Garten's best-kept kitchen secrets.

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Ina Garten's 10 best-kept kitchen secrets
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Ina Garten's 10 best-kept kitchen secrets

1. Splurging Is OK…In Moderation

Prior to hitting the grocery store or market, make a list to avoid excess purchases. But don’t punish yourself for occasional impulse buys—even Garten sometimes splurges on sweet treats (and hence why she has Lidey handle most of her ingredient shopping). Her favorites are Tate's chocolate chip cookies and vanilla Häagen-Dazs.

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2. Breakfast K.I.S.S.

Everyone loves pancakes and French toast but both require multiple ingredients to make. (Not to mention the mess!) Garten keeps it simple and eats the same breakfast every.single.day. For the last decade, she’s had a cup of coffee and McCann's Quick-Cooking Oatmeal. No lie.

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3. And Salt Makes All the Difference

That Eeyore-inspired breakfast Queen Ina eats every morning? Garten adds a heavy shaking of salt so her oatmeal doesn’t “taste like wallpaper paste.”

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4. Instead of Take-Out, Prepare ‘No Cook’ Options For Lazy Days

Even the Barefoot Contessa has days where she doesn’t feel like cooking. “I always have soup in the freezer that's hearty enough to be a meal, like Tuscan white bean, split pea, cauliflower, or Loaves & Fishes' tortellini en brood,” she says. Simply come home, zap it in the microwave and voilà!

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5. Coffee + Chocolate Are a Delicious Combo

Garten adds coffee to chocolate to “give it a depth of flavor.” Bonus: The delectable pairing satisfies chocolate cravings and caffeine fixes.

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6. Don't Forgo the Essentials

Garten says she always keeps the following items in her kitchen: Lemons (always in a bowl on the counter), butter, eggs, Parmesan cheese and chocolate.

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7. The More Seasoning the Merrier

Season your meal throughout the cooking process—not just at the end.

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8. Follow the Recipe…No Matter What

Cooking is a science, and one bad move can ruin the entire dish. Garten admits she measures everything, exactly.

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9. DIY-ing Isn't For Everyone

If starting from scratch isn’t your thing...don’t start from scratch. Garten’s mantra: Unless you can make something that's better than what you'd buy, there's no point in spending the time! Less time cooking equals more time eating, ladies.

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10. And It’s Not Always About the Food

OK…food does take priority, but no Garten meal is complete without a beautiful bouquet of flowers to brighten the table.

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