Ina Garten's Favorite Day Of The Week To Cook For Friends

Whether you happen to like entertaining friends and family in your home, it's hard to deny that watching Ina Garten do so on television always looks effortless and fabulous. From her delicious-looking recipes to her picture-perfect décor to a steady supply of French champagne she always keeps on hand in the fridge, Garten's entertaining skills make her fans long to be invited over for Friday night cocktails or Saturday evening dinner. But it's actually neither of these two days that the Barefoot Contessa prefers to host parties. Rather, her favorite day to so is on Sunday.

In an interview with Epicurious, Garten admitted that, in her opinion, the afternoon of the last day of the week (or the first, depending on how you look at the calendar) is the best time to have guests over to her home. She feels that Sunday afternoons is when people are at their most relaxed and have, for the most part, completed their weekly tasks, which makes the atmosphere easygoing and positive. Guests that would otherwise be sleepy during Sunday breakfast or exhausted on a Saturday night are more likely to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during a casual Sunday gathering.

Sunday calls for simplicity

If Sunday seems to be a surprising choice of day to entertain, you're not alone in your thinking. According to a survey conducted by YouGov in 2021, Sunday is the third least favorite day of the week, behind Monday and Tuesday. Of course, perhaps if we all took a cue from Ina Garten and did a little more entertaining on Sunday, opinions might change dramatically.

As far as the food goes for her Sunday gatherings, Garten believes anything served should be easy to prepare. "You can make something really simple ... you don't need lots of courses and you don't need lots of cocktails," she told Epicurious. This philosophy certainly puts less stress on the host's shoulders but also suggests to the guests that the vibe is casual.

For example, Garten suggests that Sunday entertaining calls for not much more than a good bottle of wine and a tasty dish such as bruschetta and salad or a pot of mussels. By hosting in the afternoon, guests are typically on their way home before evening, leaving you plenty of time to clean up, relax, and prepare for a new week.

A little planning goes a long way

For those who would like to do more cooking for friends on Sundays or another day of the week, there are several things you can do to make it easier. Like Ina Garten, Martha Stewart advises folks to stay away from hosting dinner, which is translation for late evenings and, potentially, multiple courses. If your schedule only allows for an evening meal, consider ordering from your favorite take-out spot and pairing it with a good bottle of wine. After all, this fits in with Garten's famous philosophy that, "store-bought is fine."

Sunday brunch is also a great option for those who want to wrap things up by the afternoon. You can prep a dish like Hungarian potato and egg casserole ahead of time and serve it with warm, crusty bread, plus a green salad and mimosas.

Sometimes, we know that larger-scale entertaining is inevitable, for example, perhaps it's your year to host Thanksgiving. For these occasions (or when you just feel like throwing a dinner party), Garten believes in a 4-dish rule to make things especially easy for the host. Make one dish that can be served at room temperature, one dish that can be cooked in the oven, a dish that's cooked on the stove, and one that can be prepared in advance. You can even implement these tips for your Sunday lunches for maximum Ina Garten-entertaining power.