Jennifer Garner Shares Useful Butter Softening Hack For People Who Forget To Leave It Out ????

Jennifer Garner’s #pretendcookingshow series on Instagram is all at once funny, adorable and informative. The actress, spokesperson and mom loves to cook.

And although Garner’s latest cinematic effort, the action adventure thriller Peppermint now available here on DVD and Blu-ray, saw her return to her kick-ass Alias roots, Garner has stated more than once what she’d love to do is appear on a real cooking show.

On her #pretendcookingshow, Garner shares recipes as well as cooking demonstrations.

Sometimes those demonstrations are fabulous…

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Happy Thanksgiving! #PretendCookingShow was invited to share a family recipe with the one and only #BarefootContessa—easy as pie—Exie Mae’s Sweet Potato Pudding. . Now my darling @inagarten has been kind enough to share Grandma’s pudding on her special Thanksgiving episode! In case you missed it last night on @foodnetwork— the full episode is on IGTV. ???????? . There are tons of ways to make this less rich—but is this really the week to go crazy? . Thank you, Ina, for having me. And thank you, Grandma ♥️????, for a recipe that tastes like you made it and is everything cozy and delicious about Thanksgiving. . Exie Mae Garner’s Sweet Potato Pudding Ingredients: 4 medium red sweet potatoes 3 cups milk 2 ½ cups sugar 3 tbsp oleo or butter Nutmeg Allspice Cinnamon 3 eggs, beaten 1 bag of miniature marshmallows . Directions: 1.) Peel and quarter sweet potatoes. 2.) Boil until tender and drain, then mash/beat with a beater. 3.) Add milk, sugar, butter, and spices to suit taste. 4.) Beat 3 eggs and add them in. 5.) Tip the pudding into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. 6.) Cook at 350 for about an hour, until nearly done. 7.) Turn the oven to broil. Spread marshmallows on top and put back in for about 2 minutes until browned. 8.) Yum.

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…and sometimes they are hilarious.

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Happy Halloween! ???? . Tomatillo Salsa 1 almost full gallon size bag of tomatillos (from my garden????). 3 cloves of garlic, trimmed but not peeled 2 whole jalapeños (or more if you want more spice) 2 or 3 limes Salt Olive oil 1 or 2 ripe avocados . 1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with tin foil. 2. Remove husks from tomatillos. Rinse and dry. Place on baking sheet. 3. Drizzle and coat with olive oil. 4. Add whole jalapeños and garlic to baking sheet. 5. Bake for about 30 minutes. You want the tomatillos softened, but not bursting. Jalapeños and garlic should be soft, as well. 6. Pull stems off jalapeños. Squeeze garlic from its shell. 7. Transfer everything to blender. Squeeze in lime juice and add a little salt. 8. Blend until smooth (leave the lid off a bit and cover with a towel to let the steam escape). 9. Transfer to bowl and let cool. 10. Refrigerate. 11. Add more salt to taste. Add diced avocado. 12. Cast a spell. Yum.

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And this time, on a very special, noisy cabinets, 5:30 am episode of the #pretendcookingshow, Jennifer shared a lifehack with us about how best to soften butter when one forgets to leave it out.

Because who else hates shredding their bread with hard butter?

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This time of year it is extra cozy to send kids to school with something warm in their bellies. My kids feel extra cozy about @realbakingwithrose’s chocolate bread. This recipe isn’t crazy sweet and, with a good swish of peanut butter, is just the thing for my early rising middle schooler. You can find the full episode on IGTV. #PretendCookingShow #bangwentthecabinet #????????????????‍♀️wentmybrain #hurryupchristmas???????? . #TheBreadBible Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread Ingredients: 3 Tbs plus 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder 3 Tbs boiling water 1/2 Tbs pure vanilla extract 3 large eggs 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 13 Tbs unsalted butter, softened 3 Tbs chocolate mini chips or bittersweet chocolate (chopped) . Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350F. 2. Whisk cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature, then gently whisk in vanilla and eggs. 3. In a mixer bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add half the chocolate paste and the butter and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add remaining chocolate paste in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the bowl. Fold in chocolate mini chips/chopped chocolate. 4. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. 5. Bake for 50-60 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 200F. (The bread shouldn’t start to shrink from the sides of the pan until after removal from the oven.) 6. Set the bread on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread and invert onto an oiled wire rack. Reinvert so it is top side up and cool completely.

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Her method involves….a cheese grater.

She grates the butter.

Into the bowl.

Like cheese.

Apparently this isn’t actually that weird.

A bunch of members of the Twittersphere know about it.


Butter graters are a thing‽


There are actual butter graters‽‽

Yes! For that person who owns EVERY kitchen gadget, you can buy a butter grater!

Check them out here.

So is Jennifer Garner a genius for making this public knowledge?

Or will society as we know it collapse now that this odd secret has made its way out?

Better yet, what other secrets will come forth from #pretendcookingshow‽

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SALAD: ⬅️ used to mean limp carrot shavings and too cold tomatoes. NOW ➡️ salads are a celebration of what is seasonal and handy. They are also what’s for lunch. Always. #PretendCookingShow #fullepisodeonIGTV! . A blend of greens! Kale  Arugula Sweet mix  Swiss chard . Veggies!  Green beans  Broccoli  Peppers  Shaved Brussels sprouts  Roasted sweet potatoes/butternut squash . Fats!  Cheese  Nuts  Avocado . Grains/Protein A big scoop of warm brown rice  Chicken Whatever else sounds good. . Dressing of your choice! I use straight olive oil and red wine/balsamic vinegar. . The key for me is to pick a variety of the above and CHOP it up so that you aren’t battling a dinner plate sized honk of lettuce every other bite.

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#PretendCookingShow— fish sticks! They’re fast. They’re delicious. #makeextra ????Full episode is on #IGTV???? . Ingredients: 1 lb of tilapia 1/4 cup of flour Salt Pepper 1 egg 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs (regular or whole wheat) 3/4 cup Corn Flake Crumbs (or any sweet cereal you like, smashed to bits) Canola oil (or oil of your preference) . Directions: 1.) Trim your tilapia into fish stick size pieces. You want them to be of similar size and thickness. There is always one side of the fillet that is thinner so I make those into “wide and flat sticks” ????‍♀️ 2.) Gather three bowls to use for your batter station. . Bowl 1: 1/4 cup of flour, a few big pinches of salt, about a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Bowl 2: crack one egg, add a little water, mix with a fork. Bowl 3: combine the Panko and corn flake crumbs. Have an empty plate ready to catch your fish sticks when they are battered. . 3.) Start at bowl one, coat fish piece in flour, shake excess. Dip in bowl two, shake excess. Drop in bowl three, push crumbs into fish until fully coated. Place on plate. Repeat until all fish pieces are done. 4.) About half way through battering, I like to start heating my oil. About 1/4 inch on medium/high. 5.) When the oil is ready, place 5 to 6 fish pieces in your pan (or whatever will fit, giving them some breathing room). 6.) Prepare a plate covered in paper towels to catch fish sticks when they come out of the oil. 7.) They cook through fast. Pay attention to the color. When they are a deep golden brown, flip. When both sides are sufficiently brown, remove from pan and place on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt immediately. 8.) Repeat for remaining fish sticks, add/heat more oil if necessary. 9.) Yum.

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Swipe to see! I’m a big fan of homemade pizza—made in the oven, on the grill, or waiting in the freezer for just the right moment—I mean, who isn’t? ????????‍♀️ I like a lot of pizza dough recipes out there— @cooksIllustrated’s, @gwynethpaltrow’s, but when I’m starting with a house full of hungry kids (????!) I use @melskitchencafe’s. Really, with any of these, you can’t go wrong. Years ago I rolled out extra dough, brushed it with olive oil, sprinkled it with crushed dry thyme, rosemary and a good dose of salt and my family’s favorite bread was born. The kids call it #pizzacracker and it is my family’s top request. ????????????????‍♀️ . . . Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s Foolproof Pizza Dough Ingredients: 1 cup warm water 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon oil 1 tablespoon instant yeast 2-3 cups flour (any combination of bread, all purpose, whole wheat) 1 teaspoon salt For the top— sprinkle of olive oil, big dash of salt, dried rosemary and thyme . . . 1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the water, honey, oil, yeast and salt. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The exact flour amount will vary so go by the touch and feel of the dough versus the exact cup measurements in the recipe. The dough should be soft and smooth (but if I have to pick, I’d choose slightly sticky over stiff). 2. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes (more like 5-6 minutes if kneading by hand or if using whole wheat flour). 3. Let the dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes. 4. Pinch off a chunk of dough the size of your fist and stretch or roll it as thin as possible. It has to be thin to bubble, and the oven has to be HOT! ???? 5. Bake at 475 or 500 degrees on a preheated pizza stone or on a lightly greased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye, because once it starts to bubble and brown it can be done in an instant. 6. Use leftover dough to make pizzas….???? 7. Yum

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We cannot wait to find out!