Giada De Laurentiis

Food Network

For anyone whose guilty pleasure is plopping down on the couch with a half pint of Ben & Jerry's and binge watching the Food Network, you know exactly who Giada De Laurentiis is. And when it comes to whipping up some mean party cuisine, the gorgeous Italian chef is our go-to gal.

The Emmy winner dished to E! News exclusively on everything you need to conjure up a drool-worthy Fourth of July menu. Plus, the Clariol Natural Instincts spokeswoman mixed in an added helping of beauty advice, because honestly, is there a hotter TV chef out there? We think not.

Bon appétit!

You're (hypothetically) hosting a Fourth of July bash—what essentials do you need to in your kitchen?
I've definitely got my grilling tools, because the Fourth of July for me is all about grilling. Then I always like to make some version of a pasta salad that can sit and can be served with any kind other meat or fish that I want to barbecue. I always have some kind of cocktail, and I usually make a version that's virgin and then one with alcohol for fun.

So what's your pick for an Independence Day cocktail/mocktail this year?
You know I love bellinis. So I purée different fruits like blueberries or peaches, and then I have a little bottle of Prosecco and let everybody make their own bellini. And for my daughter, I use the same puréed fruit and I add some sparkling water to make it fun and kind of effervescent for her.

Now onto the sweet stuff—what summer dessert would you whip up for a Fourth of July party?
I love my strawberry jam crosata. It's just an Italian pie that you don't need any kind of baking dish to make. I take a little dough—any kind of pastry dough that you like—and then I make a jam. In the summertime, strawberries and tomatoes are very, very flavorful because they're in season, so I cook them down with a little bit of agave and a little lemon juice and I create a jam. Then I spread the jam down on the pie dough and bake it off and then top it with fresh strawberries and some mint. It's just a fantastic.

What's your best kid-friendly summer staple?
My daughter is into anything in a cupcake form, so in an effort to try to get her to eat something savory and not just sweet I make mac and cheese cupcakes. I keep them on hand for her to pop in her mouth. The idea being that I just cook off a little bit of pasta and a little bit of meat, whether its chicken or fish or beef, add some broccoli and a couple of different kinds of cheese and I put them all in muffin cup and bake them.

What are three beauty must-haves in your purse right now?
It depends on the season, but I've always got some kind of lipstick. I've always got sort of an Evian facial mister to keep my skin hydrated because I travel a lot and my skin gets dry. And then I always have sunscreen in my bag, because I believe rain or sun I should always protect myself. My brother died 10 years ago of melanoma, so it's sort of a thing that's on my mind all the time.

Your hair is gorgeous. What shade of Clairol Natural Instincts hair color are you using right now?
I've gone through a few different shades, but right now the shade is Amber Shimmer.

What are the top three songs on your cooking playlist right now?
"A Sky Full of Stars" by Coldplay
"Lovely Day" by Bill Withers
"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars

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