You know Jennifer Garner from movies like 13 on the way to the 30 and show like Alias† But you love Jennifer Garner out her online series Pretend cooking show† where she makes all our Food Network star fantasies come true in her own kitchen. Of course, Garner’s cheeky commentary, along with the crap and bloopers, makes it that much more fun to watch. She recently teamed up with KitchenAid for the Made with KitchenAid cookbook, with recipes sourced from chefs of all skill levels. We sat down to chat with her about her secret kitchen hacks, her current favorite cookbook, and her quick meal.
This collaboration is all about elevating the everyday. How do you do that in your kitchen?
Every time you put something fresh on the table, it elevates the everyday for me. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t matter if it was partially burned and you scraped it off. Every time you have committed yourself to whatever happens in front of your friends or family, it elevates you every day.
You are working with KitchenAid on a new cookbook. Tell me about that.
There is a cookbook competition. You hand over your version of a recipe, and if it works for KitchenAid, they put it in their cookbook, which I quite like.
I feel like every episode of Pretend cooking show and see your love for your food processor.
It’s my best friend. I’ve called it my BFF since before I called anything your BFF was cool. It was like my first LA purchase, seriously. She’s had a facelift, I haven’t, but never say never. My first was silver and the one I have now is gray. But there is a new one with a beautiful berry color, beetroot.
I have that one!
You do? Do you like it?
Would you like to see it?
Oh my god, yes. Can you show me? I feel like I’m part of this so I have access to the new beetroot color. So beautiful.
Okay, back to what we all really want to know: what’s always within reach when you’re filming Pretend you’re doing a cooking show?
I should probably always have tea towels within reach because I spill. I have a teaspoon and a tablespoon gauge that are very long. They are thin, but the handle is the longest I’ve ever seen. They make it so easy to just dip in flour, sugar or spices.
What a kitchen tool you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my zester. I feel like anything is better with lemon zest or a little chocolate or a little Parmesan. There are so many things to do there.
I have deli paper to wrap sandwiches in. And I always use them to put on my cutting board when I’m making guacamole or when I’m cutting raw chicken, just as a barrier, even if I’m going to wash it afterward. It just makes cleaning up so much easier.
Okay, it’s a weeknight and you need a quick meal. What are you making?
I like to marinate an Ahi tuna steak in this infused oil of lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a bunch of thyme. I cut them in half because I want it so fast. I have my rice maker make brown rice, and I get kale from my garden and go [mimics chopping movements] on that bad boy. And then I make a bowl of brown rice, kale, avocado and seared tuna and it’s very good.
Well, I’m hungry. What is your current favorite cookbook?
I’m still in love with Modern comfort food [by Ina Garten]† Every time I open it, I get something. Have you tried the Oreo ice cream because you think it’s going to be too much? And you know what? It’s not. It should be too much, but it’s just right. And I make the Emily Blunt potatoes that are in it on repeat. I have to track her down and tell her. Gosh, those are good potatoes.
What else have you made in your kitchen?
There’s a new KitchenAid attachment that makes shaved ice. We made shaved ice palomas. They are very good. And if you lived in California, you could also have a paloma garden — a grapefruit and a lime tree.
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