Actress and activist Jennifer Garner is just like you and me when she steps into the kitchen. Sporting comfy clothes (sometimes even her pajamas), the 13 Going On 30 star has broken all barriers in regards of elitist stardom. A Texas native (she was born in Houston but moved to Charleston, West Virginia shortly after), Jennifer emulates the feeling of sitting on a barstool in your best friend's kitchen with her Facebook show aptly named, The Pretend Cooking Show.
Producing cooking videos is nothing new for celebrities. Tia Mowry, Haylie Duff, Debi Mazar and Tiffani Amber Thiessen all have their own shows on the Cooking Channel. However what makes Jennifer's show so unique is the simplicity. No camera crews, no fancy lights, no famous guest. Just a recipe, a kitchen and Jennifer sharing her personal insights about the recipe on social media.
Take a look at some of the episodes she's shared already. You really can't help but smile when watching these videos.
Episode 1: Honey White Bread
I tried to do an Ina! What should I do next Ina Garten? #honeywhitebread #pretendcookingshow #emphasisonpretend #barefootforeverBarefoot Contessa's Honey White Bread recipe: http://bit.ly/2z5BYt7Song: "Scrapping and Yelling" by Mark Mothersbaugh
Posted by Jennifer Garner on Wednesday, December 20, 2017
A fan of Food Network star Ina Garten, it's fitting that Jennifer's first episode was an ode to the Barefoot Contessa. Baking honey white bread, actress Jennifer Garner gives her own little tips for making the white bread recipe. A Jen tip: Add the milk to the melted butter so the milk gets warm and doesn't kill your dry yeast.
Once the dough is proofed, you can can shape it into loafs or shape it as you please. Jennifer shares that her Mom used to make bread men for her when she was little. Following her mother's footsteps she makes her own for her three children. And let me tell you, the little bread men are almost too cute to eat.
Episode 2: Huckleberry English Muffins
Pretend Cooking Show, Episode 2: Huckleberry English Muffins by Zoe Nathan. #icrackmyselfup #pretendcookingshow #notaprettybakerGet her very delicious cookbook here: http://amzn.to/2qUEOlI-----Huckleberry English Muffins recipe:3 cups buttermilk2 tbsp active dry yeast3 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp)3 tbsp honey6 cups bread flour1/4 cup sugar4 1/2 tsp kosher salt1 cup cornmeal-----1. Warm 1 1/2 cups (355ml) of the buttermilk in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Place the remaining 1 1/2 cups (355ml) cold buttermilk in the bowl of a stand mixer with the yeast and whisk by hand to combine. Add the warm buttermilk to the cold buttermilk mixture and whisk to blend. Add the butter, honey, bread flour, sugar, and salt and mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment for about 1 minute, until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium-high and work the dough for about 2 minutes until smooth.•2. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.•3. Sprinkle 1/2 cup (80g) of the cornmeal on a clean work surface and dump the dough out onto it. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup (40g) of the cornmeal on top of the dough and flatten it into a disk with 1 inch (2.5cm) thickness.•4. Sprinkle the last 1/4 cup (40g) of the cornmeal onto a sheet pan. With a 3 inch (7.5cm) round cutter, cut the English muffins from the dough. Cut them as closely as possible, minimizing the amount of scraps, as you cannot combine and reroll this dough.•5. Arrange the English muffins, 1 inch (2.5cm) apart, on the sheet pan. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour at room temperature. Or refrigerate overnight and allow to rise for 1 hour in the morning.•6. As the English muffins near readiness, preheat your oven to 350F (180C) degrees. When the oven is hot, heat an ungreased griddle or large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Jen tip: 275F (135C) for the temperature of your griddle!•7. Drop the English muffins onto the griddle and cook for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown.•8. Return the English muffins to the sheet pan and immediately bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until they feel light when lifted from the pan. If working in batches, bake each batch as it comes off the griddle.•These keep, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 3 days; or frozen, for up to 1 month. Enjoy!•Song: "Scrapping and Yelling" by Mark Mothersbaugh
Posted by Jennifer Garner on Saturday, January 13, 2018
Next up, Jennifer shares a recipe from Huckleberry, one of her favorite restaurants in Santa Monica. Sporting her cute pajamas, Jennifer starts the process the night before. She begins by preparing the dough, and while it rises tucks the kids in. Once the dough has risen, she cuts out the English muffins and lets them rise in the fridge overnight.
The small little stories are what makes her videos so heartwarming. Joking that she's, "not a pretty baker," Jennifer smiles as her homey English muffins toast on an ungreased griddle.
Episode 3: The Bagel Chronicles
The Bagel Chronicles, Take 2. I'm 90% there (hmmm...84% 😬?), but now we have a quest on our hands and there is No. Going. Back. (I promise the recipe will come once I get it right.)#notaprettybaker #notaprettybagel #theyweredelicious #apparentlysayingproofmakesyoucool #dontjudgemepaulhollywood #pretendcookingshow🎶: The Great British Baking Show ❤️
Posted by Jennifer Garner on Saturday, February 24, 2018
Everybody fails cooking something at some point and Jennifer is no exception. She explains that she's tried baking these bagels three times before and only once has she succeeded. There's something almost endearing about her ability to joke about baking something difficult and encouraging her stand mixer with little pets to keep going.
Do the bagels come out? That's for you to find out.
Episode 4: Granola Bars
#PretendCookingShow, Episode 4 brings us one of my favorite “pass-it-back” snacks-- you know, those easy snacks you can pass back to hungry kids in a car on the way to wherever your afternoons bring you. Here’s a way to make them at home with ingredients you know and can pronounce. #passitbacksnack #sofarsogood #notaprettybakerIngredients:2 cups oats1 cup unsweetened coconut1/2 cup wheat germ1/2 cup sunflower seeds1/4 cup flaxseed2 tbls butter1/2 cup honey1/4 cup brown sugar1/2 tsp salt1 tsp vanillaRecipe:1.) Preheat oven to 300 degrees.2.) Combine dry ingredients.3.) In saucepan melt the butter, honey, brown sugar, salt and vanilla.4.) Mix all ingredients together.5.) Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper and pack it all in there.6.) Put in oven for ten minutes.7.) Take it out. Pack it down again and bake another 10 minutes.8.) Yum. Let them cool.9.) If you like chocolate (hands up!) melt some chocolate with a spoonful of coconut oil/Crisco over a double boiler and drizzle over the bars.10.) Cut. Enjoy!🎶: “Scrapping and Yelling” by Mark Mothersbaugh
Posted by Jennifer Garner on Monday, April 16, 2018
Most recently Jennifer stepped back into the kitchen to share her favorite Granola bar recipe, complete with a chocolate drizzle. Showcasing her love for making food for her three children, Jennifer bakes up the bars complete with oats, coconut, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds.