The former Fixer Upper star says Magnolia Table, Volume 2 is the result of "a ton of trial and error"
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Joanna Gaines
| Credit: Courtesy Magnolia

Joanna Gaines is certainly a pro in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t messed up along the way.

While developing and testing recipes for her latest cookbook, Magnolia Table, Volume 2, on sale April 7, the former Fixer Upper star tells PEOPLE there was more than one disaster in her home Waco kitchen. “Oh, I burnt the bread, I over-floured things, I screwed up weekly,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “What led to the beautiful photos in the cookbook was a ton of trial and error.”

“Hopefully I can help minimize that for people, encourage them to get creative and have the freedom to fail,” she adds. “Every time I mess up, I’m going to try again.”

Her new title will feature 145 new recipes including creamy chicken poblano soup and rib eye steaks with herb butter. Each one started out as just a mere idea in her head.

“I initially wrote down every recipe I could think of, but they were just names. Then I sat with my food team, a few friends I work with from the restaurant [Magnolia Table], and we built out those recipes one by one, putting together flavors that I thought would be fun together,” says Gaines. “It took a minimum of three to five tries creating each one.”

Joanna Gaines's book
Credit: Courtesy Magnolia

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Gaines got some help along the way, too — her husband Chip and kids Drake, 15, Ella, 13, Duke, 11, Emmie, 10, and Crew, 21 months, all got involved in the process in some capacity and served as taste testers.

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  • For more on Joanna Gaines and to get a recipe from her new book, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

“Whatever I made I would have them try. It was funny because with the first cookbook, it was all recipes they had eaten numerous times, but these were new flavors that felt a bit more elevated,” she says.

“I remind myself of a kid, so I knew exactly what was going on [with their reactions]: They wanted what was familiar, but it was fun to push them to be open-minded.”

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Gaines’ second cookbook is inspired by her family’s home and their own sacred dishes, as well as favorite foods from the couple’s restaurants Magnolia Table, Silos Baking Co, and new coffee shop, Magnolia Press. She hopes readers at home will make the meals their own by playing with the spices and tweaking the flavors.

“At the end of the day, it’s really about gathering your friends and family around the table,” she told PEOPLE back in November 2019. “It’s those moments that make working in the kitchen, worth it, every time.”

Magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering will be out nationwide on April 7. It’s currently available for pre-order now on the Magnolia website. To subscribe to The Magnolia Journal, visit