Ina Garten and her husband, Jeffrey, share a bond most of us only dream of one day finding. I’ll handle the sole meuniere and apple tart tatin if you pick up a chardonnay to pair, we picture ourselves saying in a naturally sultry voice as we sip on homemade cucumber agua fresca from our garden in East Hampton.
And while the culinary queen is used to showing affection for her soulmate in the form of food, she is finally cementing their love by way of the written word in her upcoming cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, which hits shelves on October 25.
“I started cooking for Jeffrey when we were married 48 years ago, and it was preparing comforting, delicious meals for him that really became the basis for my career in food,” Ina writes on her website.
In honor of this momentous occasion for fans of the couple/champions of love everywhere, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite recipes that Ina has ever cooked for Jeffrey. Feel free to laugh and cry when appropriate as you read along, but please hold your applause until the end.
1. Classic Roast Chicken
What’s there to say? This is Ina’s “Freebird,” no pun intended. Legend has it she makes it every Friday night, and Garten herself says she can do it in her sleep. Get the recipe here.
2. Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce
Forget cake: For Jeffrey’s birthday, she slathered a prime cut of beef with butter and roasted it in a scorching hot oven to medium-rare, then topped it off with a cheesy sauce. Get the recipe here.
3. Brownie Pudding
If you go for the gooey middle of the brownie pan every time, this dessert — which she whipped up for their 40th wedding anniversary — is calling your name. Get the recipe here.
4. Cranberry-Orange Scones
“Ina is going to be away for the night so she’s cooking Jeffrey a great supper and breakfast to keep him well-fed in her absence,” reads the description for this episode of Barefoot Contessa. A single tear runs down the cheek of every man, woman and child in America. Get the recipe here.
If you’ve never tried this Greek twist on lasagna, let the version Ina cooked up for Jeffrey for a surprise date night be your starting point. In fact, that’s a good rule of thumb for any dish you’re cooking for the first time. Get the recipe here.
6. Grown-Up Mac and Cheese
When Jeffrey comes home from a long trip, Ina treats him to a special dinner — not due to demand or expectation, but out of genuine love. And nothing says “I love you” like homemade mac and cheese with cheddar, gruyere, gorgonzola and just the slightest hint of nutmeg to keep him guessing. Get the recipe here.
7. New York Egg Cream
The power couple takes Brooklyn where they learn to whip up this retro diner fave consisting of the perfect ratio of chocolate syrup, milk and club soda. Get the recipe here.
8. Chicken Piccatta
Another Friday night fave of the pair is this classic Italian poultry dish with capers and a lemon-white wine sauce. Get the recipe here.
9. Challah French Toast
Jeffrey loves breakfast, and so the world was gifted with these pillowy slices of just-sweet-enough perfection. Get the recipe here.
10. English Bacon Sandwich
Ina describes this late-night snack she made for Jeffrey as a BLT without the L and the T, which we appreciate for getting straight to the point. Basically it’s just two pieces of buttered toast with bacon in between. How easy is that? Get the recipe here.
—Shay Spence, @chezspence