Joanna Gaines is a female force to be reckoned with. The mother of four stars in HGTV's hit show Fixer Upper, leads design at the home goods company she c0-owns and operates with her husband, Chip, and still somehow has enough energy to release a New York Times bestselling cookbook. We chatted with Gaines about the inspiration behind her newest venture, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, how she manages to do it all, and why a well-stocked pantry is key.
"I put together this cookbook as a way to share my heart for cooking with the people I love, to share the stories behind some of my family’s favorite dishes," Gaines told Refinery29. Her passion for cooking was born out of an unwavering dedication to trial and error in the kitchen. A true lover of casual meals (and dessert), Gaines looks to her kids for menu inspiration and no longer sweats the small stuff.
"I’ve learned that your end goal shouldn’t be about achieving perfection in the kitchen. Take the pressure off of yourself and just enjoy the experience of cooking for the people you care about," she says. Gaines reminds us that, "At the end of the day it’s about who you’re sharing the meal with — not the meal itself."
So, how does she actually pull off cooking for group? Aside from always maintaining a well-stocked pantry for any last-minute meal emergencies, Gaines goes for crowd-pleasing recipes that are easily customizable and elevated. From a beautiful but simple veggie and cheese quiche, to zesty grilled salmon with a refreshing cucumber salad, and a time-tested batch of chocolate chip cookies — each one of Gaines's recipes holds the power to bring about an effortless gathering anywhere, anytime.