NaBloPoMo

Not bad for a Tuesday.

I woke up at 4:30am this morning, because I had to get ready to drive to Boston. I was going to work for the day, and then meet my very, very good friend J for dinner and…our night with Ina Garten!

It was raining, which meant everyone forgot how to drive, so my 2 hour drive took 3 hours and 15 minutes. I listened to the final episode in the Serial season 3 podcast, and started listening to Jennifer Weiner’s memoir, “Hungry Heart”.

A night with Ina Garten.

I was antsy all day, anticipating my delicious dinner with J (whom I hadn’t seen in almost 6 months) and our night with our soon to be BFF, Ina.

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We met for dinner at Eataly Boston, nabbing 2 bar stools and ordering a board of charcuterie that could have fed 6 people (though that didn’t stop us from ordering a pasta dish to share as well. Or wine.)

Ina was speaking at Boston’s Symphony Hall. A gorgeous, ornate building, that was casting a golden glow onto the cold, wet streets.

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Best I could do from row KK, taking an illegal photo.

Ina was her welcoming, wonderful self. She was honest and open, funny and warm. She talked about Jeffrey (whom she married when she was 20), revealed some little-known facts (she has her pilot’s license, and Jeffrey discovered he was dyslexic when he went to get his), shared the recipe she’s been working on for 8 years and hasn’t mastered yet (Boston cream pie) and let everyone in on her secret for success: “follow your dreams, and jump in the pond. Find something you love, and figure out how to make a living doing it.”

Ina Nerds that we are, J and I had our cookbooks with us, ready for her to sign. Unfortunately, there was no signing event this time around (she DID sign my cookbook the last time I saw her on tour).

I’m staying in Boston tonight, at a hotel. I used to travel quite a bit for work in my last job, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in a hotel room by myself. Will I be able to sleep without the beacon of light from the monitor in my face? (Hopefully) Will I remember how to barricade the door? (Yes) Will I wake up at 3:30am like I used to do when I traveled alone, not being able to go back to sleep? (Probably)

I’m up early tomorrow to beat the holiday traffic and start Thanksgiving prep. Because Thursday is the day that REALLY kicks off the holiday season…and I can’t wait.

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The day Ina Garten and I become BFFs

This post is written in the future tense because it hasn’t happened yet…but it will.

My girl crush just published a new cookbook (I already have mine!) and is currently on tour, promoting the book, sharing stories, answering questions and just being all-around awesome. My favorite cook in my favorite city.

And guess who’s going to see her? THIS GIRL.

Ina Garten book tour Boston
I’m even sitting in row KK – talk about fate!

Why I love Ina Garten

Back in my younger, pre-child days, when I would spend hours on the weekends cooking special dinners, or prepping meals for the week, the Food Network was always on. And my favorite television chef to watch was always Ina.

There’s just something open and honest and real about Ina. From the way she talks about her marriage to Jeffrey (who works at Yale down the street from me…Hey, Jeffrey, can I hitch a ride to the Hamptons with you??) to her friendships with other chefs and celebrities (I mean, Taylor Swift and Ina together? COME ON, PEOPLE, it doesn’t get much better than that.) And her recipes are easy to follow, and her food is just plain good.

When Little Mister came along, he developed a crush on Ina almost immediately. He would sit and stare at her on TV mesmerized. There was this one issue of Food Network Magazine that he would always pull off the shelf with Ina on the cover. When I would ask who that was on the cover, his little voice would answer, “Ina!”

Ina Garten's biggest fan

There’s a good chance she will see me, our eyes will lock, and she will invite me to the barn to cook alongside of her. I’m hoping she does a book signing after the event, because I will be there clutching my cookbook like a crazed groupie.

But in a cool way.

My top 5 favorite Ina recipes that you need to make right now:

Pan fried onion dip

Penne vodka

White beans and escarole

Skillet lemon chicken

Blondies

Happy cooking!