Ina Garten gives a tour of her kitchen, shares design tips for optimal cooking

It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up with some comfort food, and Ina Garten has some tips to make your fall and winter cooking as easy as possible.

The Barefoot Contessa, as she’s known in her popular Food Network show, stopped by TODAY’s fourth hour on Tuesday to show co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager around her East Hampton kitchen and offer some design advice.

“When I’m designing a kitchen … I think of setting the stove, the sink and refrigerator in a triangle so you can move around really well,” she explained, adding that in her own kitchen, these three appliances are “really close together, but they also have a lot of workspace in between.”

“I always like the sink to have a really nice view,” Garten, 72, continued. Her kitchen sink points to her beloved garden where she grows fresh produce and hosts outdoor dinner parties.

The “Modern Comfort Food” author also showed how she leaves her everyday items out on the counter but arranged “in a neat way.”

“I’ve got all the utensils … I have silver spoons for tasting and stirring, and whatever ingredients can just sit out, and knives,” she said.

But her design genius doesn’t stop there: The former White House budget analyst also provided some know-how on putting together a stunning cheese board — with the ingredients she had on hand.

Ina Garten’s Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese by Ina Garten

“You can go into your pantry and see what you have,” Garten said. “I always like something right in the middle as a block, and then I put things around, colorful things like apricots. I’ve got two different cheeses, one creamy, one blue.”

“I think very often people put apricots everywhere and then they put figs everywhere, but you want to do blocks of color and then it’ll look really gorgeous,” she added.

Even with all her expertise, the self-taught chef still orders takeout from time to time, she revealed to Hoda and Jenna.

“At some point I just couldn’t do it anymore,” she said. “I thought, ‘I can’t cook breakfast, lunch and dinner and still get my work done.’ So I said … we have to do takeout, and it just changed my life.”

When the conversation turned to hosting socially distanced dinner parties, Garten said she sometimes will serve pizza outside. “It’s just great, and you see your friends and you have a good time and … it’s so satisfying. I still want to hug them, though.”

Asked by a viewer who her dream dinner party guests would be, she extended an invitation to Hoda and Jenna, which they happily accepted, her husband, Jeffrey, and Taylor Swift, “if she would come for dinner,” Garten quipped.

She previously told TODAY Food that she always listens to music when she cooks. Her go-to artist? “I’m gonna surprise you, Taylor Swift, cranked up on the tunes,” she said.

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‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s Kitchen Is Always Stocked With These 7 Gadgets

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten is releasing a new book of recipes this month titled Modern Comfort Food. It is the Food Network star’s 12th book, and Pure Wow describes the theme as “old-school dishes with a modern flair.” Garten has already given fans a sneak peek of her hot spiced apple cider recipe. She also shared her recipe for black and white cookies. Other anticipated recipes in the book include Smashed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions. As well as Banana Rum Truffle and Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

‘Barefoot Contessa’ star Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Garten’s mission is to help her fans Cook Like a Pro. But, that doesn’t happen with just her delicious recipes. Fans also need the appropriate kitchen tools. Here are seven gadgets that Ina Garten always has stocked in her kitchen.

1. Waring Commercial Blender

When it comes to Garten’s recipes, one of the most essential tools is a quality blender. The Food Network star recommends the Waring Commercial Blender to help make everything from butternut squash to frozen daiquiris. The high-quality two-speed blender features a glass container and a chrome-plated waterfall design. It is quite pricey, but it’s worth the investment.

2. Wüsthof Chef’s Knife

Garten has told her fans repeatedly that great home cooking begins with a “good knife.” Her recommendation is Wüsthof’s classic chef’s knife. This is another quality item with a hefty price tag. But, the Barefoot Contessa swears it’s worth the money.

3. Chef’s Choice Flexhone/Strop Pro Knife Sharpener

A quality knife requires a good sharpener. Garten’s recommendation is the Chef’s Choice Flexhone/Strop Pro Knife Sharpener. It is a heavy-duty two-stage electric model for both straight-edge and serrated blades. The result is “fast, foolproof, and highly durable edges.”

4. Salter Aquatronic Glass Scale

When fans are following one of Garten’s recipes, the process is much easier with a high-quality kitchen scale. Garten’s favorite is the Salter Aquatronic Glass Scale, which is both beautiful and functional. This scale weighs both dry and liquid ingredients on its platform. And it can automatically adjust for almost any container.

RELATED: ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s Top 10 Salad Recipes

5. Cuisinart Pro Custom 11-cup Food Processor

For anyone with dreams of being an at-home chef, a food processor is a must in the kitchen. Garten’s favorite is the Cuisinart Pro Custom 11-cup Food Processor. It’s a compact and versatile appliance that can chop, mince, slice, blend, shred, grate, mix, emulsify and knead. It’s large tube makes it easy to slice large fruits and vegetables. Garten regularly uses her food processor to make delish dips, sauces, and doughs.

6. Kuhn Rikon Vegetable Peeler

Garten’s favorite vegetable peeler is an affordable kitchen tool. The Kuhn Rikon Vegetable Peeler retails for under ten bucks. And it comes in a variety of colors to match your kitchen decor. This peeler uses a super sharp carbon steel blade that can cut in both directions. And, it has a potato-eye remover

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One of Ina Garten’s Favorite Kitchen Tools Is On Sale at Target Right Now

When it comes to cooking, baking, and entertaining, there’s no one we look to for advice more than Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa. We’ve stocked our pantries with her favorite ingredients, perfecting our paring with her favorite knives, and rely on her cake recipes for every special event. So when we discovered that one of her favorite pieces of kitchen equipment, the KitchenAid Mixer, was on sale at Target, we perked right up. After all, Garten is an excellent baker, and she uses a KitchenAid stand mixer, so if we want to be excellent bakers, we should follow in her footsteps, right?

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KitchenAid Stand Mixers are definitely an investment. They have a powerful motor that can beat, whip, knead, mash, and basically do all of the hard work for you, whether you’re mixing up a batch of cookie dough or whipping up some cauliflower puree for a keto dinner. Add to that a sleek design that makes it totally worthy of the counter space, and the price ticket makes sense, but we’re always excited when we see them for a bargain.

Now, the KitchenAid Ultra Power Plus 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Ice Blue is on sale for $70 off at Target, which is 20 percent off the usual price.

The mixer has a stainless steel bowl, a 10-speed motor, and comes with a coated flat beater, a coated dough hook, and a 6-wire whip. With those three accessories, you can make thousands of recipes in your KitchenAid stand mixer.

If you really want to test your Barefoot Contessa-style cooking skills, you can also get some attachments.

The KitchenAid Fresh Prep Slicer and Shredder attachment is ideal if you don’t have a food processor but want to make quick work of slicing veggies and shredding cheese, especially if you’re making large quantities of food and don’t want to spend time to do it all by hand.

Another game changer is the KitchenAid 3pc Pasta Roller & Cutter Set. You can mix and knead fresh pasta dough in the bowl of the mixer, then run it through the pasta roller until you have thin sheets of fresh pasta. Next, choose between the spaghetti cutter and the fettuccine cutter, and the attachment will create evenly sized noodles.

The KitchenAid stand mixer sale won’t last long, so if you want to cook like the Barefoot Contessa, what are you waiting for?

Before you go, check out Garten’s best dinner recipes below:

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