Jennifer Garner has the best cooking hacks and a quick weekday recipe

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You know Jennifer Garner from movies like 13 Ongoing 30 and show as A.k.a. But you to like Jennifer Garner from his online series Pretend to cook, where she lives out all of our Food Network star fantasies in her own kitchen. Of course, Garner’s cheeky commentary, along with the messes and goofs, make it even more fun to watch. She recently partnered with KitchenAid for the Made with KitchenAid recipe book, which will feature recipes from cooks of all skill levels. We sat down to talk with her about her secret cooking tips, her favorite cookbook right now, and her quick meal.

This partnership aims to elevate the everyday. How do you do this in your kitchen?

Every time you put something new on the table, for me, it elevates the day to day. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t matter that it is partly burned and you scraped it off. Every time you put yourself in what’s happening in front of your friends or family, it uplifts you every day.

You are working with KitchenAid on a new cookbook. Tell me about it.

There’s a cookbook contest. You hand in your version of a recipe, and if it works for KitchenAid, they’ll put it in their cookbook, which I think is kind of fun.

I feel like you could watch any episode of Pretend to cook and see your love for your stand mixer.

They `re my best friend. I called him my BFF before calling something your BFF was cool. It was like my first purchase in LA, seriously. She had a facelift, not me, but you know, never say never. My first one was silver and the one I have now is grey. But there is a new one that has a nice berry color called beetroot.

I have this one!

You do? Do you like to?

Do you want to see it?

Oh my god, yes. Can you show me? I feel like I’m partially into it, so I have access to the new beet color. So beautiful.

Alright, back to what we all really want to know: what’s always at hand when you’re filming? Pretend to cook?

I should probably always have dishcloths handy because I spill some. I have a teaspoon and a tablespoon measurer that are really long. They are thin, but the handle is the longest I have ever seen. They make it so easy to dip into flour, sugar or spices.

Which kitchen tool you can’t live without?

I can’t live without my zester. I feel like everything tastes better with a squeeze of lemon or a little chocolate or a little parmesan. There are so many things to do there.

I have deli paper to wrap sandwiches. And I use them all the time just to put on my cutting board when I’m making guacamole or if I’m cutting raw chicken, just as a barrier even if I’m going to wash it off afterwards. It makes cleaning so much easier.

Okay, it’s a weeknight and you need a quick meal. What do you do?

I like to marinate an ahi tuna steak in this oil infused with lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and a sprig of thyme. I cut them in half because I want it to be so quick. I have my rice machine that makes brown rice, and I take kale from my garden and I’m off. [mimics chopping movements] on this bad boy. And then I’ll make a bowl of brown rice, kale, avocado and seared tuna and it’s very good.

Well, now 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, it takes me through something. Have you tried 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 exactly what is needed. And the Emily Blunt potatoes in there, I’m doing them on a loop. I have to track her down and tell her. My God, these are good potatoes.

What else have you been doing in your kitchen?

There’s a new KitchenAid attachment that makes crushed ice. We made shaved ice palomas. They are very good. And if you lived in California, you too could have a garden of paloma, a grapefruit and a lime tree.

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