Life would be so much easier if we could snap our fingers and transform an empty table into a festive Thanksgiving spread. But alas, that is not the case, so we did the next best thing—we called on the hostess with the mostest, Ina Garten, to help us harness our inner domestic goddesses and whip up an inspired feast. Because who better to turn to for advice on keeping our cool during the culinary marathon that is Turkey Day than the unflappable Barefoot Contessa?
The self-taught cook, who refined her entertaining skills by throwing weekly dinner parties in D.C while working at the White House, recommends keeping the menu laid-back and playing up the nostalgia angle. “Everyone comes to Thanksgiving dinner wanting to eat the foods that their mother used to make,” Garten tells InStyle. "I added a new twist so they taste even better than they remember.” Better yet, her four hearty, fail-proof dishes, some plucked from the pages of her newest book Cooking for Jeffrey ($21; amazon.com), are both crowd-pleasing and sanity-saving, a pairing that admittedly does not always go hand-in-hand.
VIDEO: 25 Thanksgiving Questions with Ina Garten
Read on to see what she’s serving.