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Ina Garten shares her 'simple' approach to cooking amid pandemic

Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Ina Garten is sharing her "simple" approach to cooking and entertaining amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 72-year-old television personality and cookbook author said on Wednesday's episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers that the health crisis has caused her to slow down and focus on what's important.

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"Well, you know, the thing that happened was, everything was so busy. Everybody was running around like crazy. And all of a sudden, it was just stopped. It was quiet. And I think we really got back to the stuff that was important, which is cooking and taking care of the people around us," Garten said.

"I think we got back to what we really used to love doing, and it was simple," she added.

Garten said she's focused on sharing moments with friends and family. She applied this approach at a recent dinner party.

"Literally, I had no time to cook, so I got pizzas from Sam's in East Hampton, which is great, and I set a great table, and we sat out under the stars, and it was a gorgeous night with a big fire in the fire bowl. And we had a wonderful time, and that's all we need," the star said.

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"I mean, it doesn't have to be some big fancy dinner with octopus eyeballs and foam," she added with a laugh. "It just needs to be something where you're sharing something together and you're having a good time."

Garten released a new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, this week. The book includes a recipe for roast potatoes from actress Emily Blunt.

"Emily Blunt gave me a recipe for her roast potatoes that you actually cook -- parboil, then you let them dry out. And then you toss them with oil and bake them, and they're so crisp on the outside, and the inside they're like mashed potatoes. They're amazing," Garten said on Late Night.

"She's a great cook," she added of Blunt.

Garten stars on the Food Network series Barefoot Contessa, which has been filming remotely during the pandemic.

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