By Sonal Dutt
July 18, 2019 06:00 AM
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Martha Stewart/Instagram

Martha Stewart may have recently published her 94th book, but she is already working on her eventual 100th one: her first autobiography.

“I have already started writing it,” Stewart, 77, told PEOPLE at the 2019 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. “It’ll be my most personal book—I have a lot of stories.”

It’s hard to imagine she’ll be at a loss for material as she chronicles her evolution from modeling professionally in high school and launching her catering business in 1976 to now leading a multimillion-dollar lifestyle empire and relishing her role as hip grandma (to daughter Alexis’s kids Jude and Truman).

“I’m the same person I always was,” Stewart told PEOPLE during an interview in 2017, but admitted she has become less set in her ways in recent years. “When I was starting with my television show, it was a teaching show. It was a straightforward ‘Martha wants to show you the exact, best way to do something,'” she said. “But now I’m okay if things get a little out of hand.”

That new go-with-the-flow attitude was on display during the lifestyle leader’s first-ever cooking demonstration at the Food & Wine Classic, where she prepared recipes from her newest cookbook, Grillingall while sipping on stiff cocktails, cracking jokes and encouraging the crowd to use cooking shortcuts when possible.

“It’s not the amount of time you spend on a recipe or the presentation, it’s about the final results—no one is keeping score,” she says. For instance, when it comes to making cocktails for company, Stewart says thoughtful but easy touches make all the difference: “I freeze lemonade, I freeze raspberry sorbet all the time—all those things make nice drinks. If you want to do a raspberry mojito or raspberry margarita, just freeze the juice in ice cube molds. It’ll melt slowly and beautifully, and make the drinks taste even better.”

Although Stewart’s vast line of cooking gadgets includes everything from ginger graters to tomato hullers, her personal list of kitchen must-haves is also considerably paired down. Her favorites include a “very sharp knife,”  a bench scraper (“it’s the best tool”), inexpensive bar towels for cleanup (“If you use a sponge, then your sponge is all full of flour and you can never keep them clean so these are really great.”) and a round ice ball maker (“it keeps drinks cooler and looks so beautiful in the glass.”).

Outside of the kitchen, Stewart continues to keep her calendar full. She recently partnered with Uber following a “disaster” first ride, curated a culinary and excursion itinerary with MSC Cruises and is introducing a new line of CBD products for humans and pets.

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