Ina Garten Loves a $7.99 Trader Joe's Dessert

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It's no secret that America's hostess with the mostess Ina Garten has plenty of tricks up her sleeve when it comes to entertaining guests. If there's one tip we all know and love, it's that "store-bought is fine."

In a recent holiday hosting segment on TODAY, the culinary icon shared her kitchen know-how, dropping one store-bought item she's relied on in the past.

"The other day, I had some friends over, and I got an apple tart from Trader Joe's," Garten said. "I put it in the oven—it was absolutely delicious."

In typical Barefoot Contessa fashion, the cooking star took things up notch. Garten elevated dessert with just a couple of simple add-ons: vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of warm caramel sauce from the jar.

Priced at just $7.99, Trader Joe's 20-ounce French Apple Tart features a shortbread crust blanketed with the buttery apricot and apple filling, topped with sliced apples, and finished with an apricot glaze.

Trader Joe's also notes that the master pastry chef who developed the tart's recipe once made it for the president of France—and "spoiler alert: he loved it."

Aside from sharing her fondness for Trader Joe's French Apple Tart, Garten offered up some other holiday hosting tips, such as engaging all five of your guests' senses. 

This means filling your home with festive decor, cozy textures, great music, delicious food, and wonderful smells.

One way the Food Network legend gives her home an inviting aroma is through none other than a store-bought dessert. 

Above all, Garten highlighted a key point that is often forgotten: "Hosting is about the people. It's not about the food." Cheers to that!

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