How Pandemic-Induced Stress Inspired Ina Garten's New Cookbook

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Celebrity chef Ina Garten is the picture of relaxation on the cover of her upcoming new cookbook, "Go-To Dinners” (per Instagram). There she is, perfectly coiffed, smiling widely, dressed in a brown button-front shirt and stylish animal print scarf, holding a glass of Chablis. On the table before her is a roasted chicken, cooked to a perfect golden brown.

Whether it's on the Food Network or in the pages of her long list of best-selling cookbooks, Garten is known for making cooking look effortless, yet elegant. Millions of people love her for her warm, engaging personality and relatable recipes, in titles like "Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again,” "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust,” and "Cooking for Jeffrey,” an homage to her long marriage and the labor of love of making meals that she shares with her husband.

She might make it look easy, but two long years of cooking at home during the pandemic have challenged even Garten in the kitchen, which prompted her to do something new.

Ina Garten's 'Go-To Dinners' offers recipes and advice from the queen of the kitchen

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic left Ina Garten tired of lockdown, tired of the kitchen, and tired of making three meals a day for herself and her husband Jeffrey (per People). But Garten did something about it: She took notes and got to work on a new cookbook. Called "Go-To Dinners,” it's scheduled for publication in October (and is available for pre-order now).

"Cooking during the pandemic got pretty crazy, even for me, so I devised all kinds of ways to get dinner on the table with the least amount of stress,” Garten said in an Instagram post on Monday, March 21, where just a mere mention of the upcoming title has garnered more than 77,000 likes as of publication.

Garten describes the new book as a collection of recipes that are easily shopped for, prepped, and put together. Some can be stowed away in the freezer for later use, and others are "two-fers” — dishes that, with little effort, can be adapted to become something different the next night. In addition to the signature roast chicken shown on the cover, Garten told People the book will have recipes for overnight macaroni and cheese, Tuscan bean soup, breakfast dishes (think roasted vegetables with jammy eggs), and easy desserts.

No one wants to revisit lockdown, but "Go-To Dinners” is full of "recipes that you'll want to make over and over again,” Garten said on Instagram — and for that we're thankful.