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Ina Garten Reveals Her 3 Secrets for a Successful Dinner Party
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When it comes to having friends over for dinner, Ina Garten has a clear mantra: relax.

She might seem cool as a cucumber on TV, but even the Barefoot Contessa has had her share of hosting faux pas and less-than-perfect parties. (We don't really believe her, but OK.) In a recent discussion at the 92nd Street Y, Ina recalled a dinner party that went totally off the rails: “I invited 20 people over for brunch and made omelets for everyone," she said. "No one knew each other, I was in the kitchen the whole time and Jeffrey was struggling to entertain everyone. I didn’t have another party for about a year.” Yikes.

Since then, she’s figured out the best way to pull off an impressive feast without the stress. Here are her three golden rules…

1. Invite about six people over. Ideally, two couples who really like each other or who you think will really like each other. 

2. Feed everyone in the kitchen. If you can, set up a round table so conversation flows and you don’t have to haul everything around like a waiter.

3. Serve something straightforward. Think chicken Marbella or baked pasta with tomatoes and eggplant. Remember: People like delicious, and that doesn't have to be fancy.

Thank you, Ina, for making us feel more relaxed already. 

RELATED: Our 3 Favorite Recipes from Ina Garten’s New Cookbook

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