To toast or not to toast the bread? That is apparently a BIG question with a lot of the Food Network star's fans.

Karla Walsh
February 23, 2021
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We are here for the lower-fuss, relatable and totally lovable Ina Garten that has graced us since the oversized cosmo incident—and brightened our lives many times since. No longer insistent on using "good vanilla" or exclusive boutique ingredients sourced from her local Hamptons retailers, she's let her hair down and seems to be embracing a more cozy, "you do you" vibe. Case in point: Garten's opinions about what belongs in the dishwasher, her toss-together 10-minute snack recipes and her simple and sweet suggestions for a safe date night at home with her longtime love Jeffrey.

Speaking of those dates, Garten shared on Instagram one of their favorite ways to share time lately: "Lunch date!" she captioned the photo of a classic and crave-worthy PB&J sandwich, with the hashtag "#simplepleasures."

Before a little road trip, Garten packed herself and Jeffrey sandwiches. The duo drove to a nearby beach and enjoyed their lunch picnic-style, overlooking the water from their warm car on a chilly weekend, all while listening to The New York Times "The Daily" podcast.

"I love how you make a pb j look like the best sandwich in the world," one fan said. And another, who happened to be bestselling cookbook author and blogger Gina Homolka of Skinnytaste, added, "I think I want this for dinner." (Same, Gina. Same.) Others seemed totally distracted by the toasted bread, which apparently Americans have very strong opinions about when used in a PB&J format.

We think it looks a downright delightful dose of nostalgia—toasted bread and all— and we love the mix of classic ingredients with one small upgrade.

Here's the three-ingredient formula for the best PB&J, according to Garten's responses to some inquiries about its construction:

  1. Toasted Pepperidge Farm White Bread ($3.99, Target.com), a pro move to keep the spreads from soaking through the bread on the commute. (P.S. The brand was also a top pick in Julia Child's kitchen.)
  2. The OG, Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter ($2.59, Target.com).
  3. Eli Zabar's "amazing" raspberry jam ($25, EliZabar.com), which you can see peeking out behind the sandwich in the photo, and which Garten says is her "one indulgence" in the childhood-favorite recipe.

The makings of a five-star day date, right there. PB&YAY, Ina.