Ina Garten never fails me. Her recipes cover all the basics in terms of classic comfort food (roast chicken, fish en papillote, ratatouille) and her simple approach using the season’s freshest ingredients means anyone can give them a try. In my early days, I could mess up absolutely anything in the kitchen (ramen noodles included – can you imagine?) Her recipes have given me renewed confidence and made me more experimental in my day to day course. Take for example, Ina’s soups. The ones I’ve tried are very easy to make and don’t skimp on flavor. After combining the raw ingredients, a simple pulse or two in the Cuisinart or blender does the trick! I recently made this gazpacho (from Ina’s Foolproof cookbook – a favorite!) for my mother-in-law and it was a success. I love the tangy flavor of good tomatoes (if canned, I use whole San Marzanos) mixed with bell peppers, cucumbers, celery salt, scallions, and garlic. Served chilled, it’s a great go-to for hot summer days.