About the R.E.C.I.P.E.S. Column:
Hello!  Hello – and welcome to this new R.E.C.I.P.E.S. column on Saminating Shabermurs!  Aside from music, FOOD is my favorite thing in the world, yet I was always convinced that I couldn’t and just “didn’t” cook.  Until!  Recently I fell in love with the Food Network (oh, Ina Garten, will you ever know I exist?) and while I picked up a few specific recipes from there, I also began to “get” cooking a little more, to the point where I have now created a few of my own recipes.  BUT, being not-a-cook, I understand the intimidation and huge fear-of-time-and-bigger-fear-of-clean-up that we non-chefs have.  So I am determined to show that you, yes YOU, the biggest non-cook of them all – YOU CAN DO IT!  You can think of something tasty and YOU CAN MAKE THAT TASTY THING.

So, just scroll on down to see some of my favorite recipes – and marvel while you’re at it at how EASY they are, and how FEW POTS and dishes I use to make them!  Because let’s face it, who enjoys a meal when they know they’ll spend twice as long cleaning as they did EATING, right?  Yeach.  And don’t forget to click on all the pictures to see where they take you – ah luvs me da links…


R.E.C.I.P.E.S. post date: November 6, 2008


Strawberry Jalapeno Cornbread: “Jiffy Bread”

No she di-in’t!  Oh yes, I did just say strawberry and jalapeno in the same sentence – in fact I put them in the same cornbread.  And guess what?  It’s awesome.

Photo by Sam Shaber

Photo by Sam Shaber

I think I’m going to call it Strawlpenocorn Bread!  Except that’s an awful name – what was I thinking?  How about just Jiffy Bread!  Because it’s all about the Jiffy Corn Bread Mix:

Jiffy Box on Stove

Jiffy Box on Stove

That lovely painting on the wall is my personal rendition of the Empire State Building, by the way.  I painted it FROM MEMORY, I might add, when we first moved to LA to combat the homesickness.  (Yeah, Shaber, like anyone out there wouldn’t be able to remember what the Empire State Building looks like…) 

Amazingly lifelike rendition of the Empire State Building by esteemed painter, Sam Shaber

Amazingly lifelike rendition of the Empire State Building by esteemed painter, Sam Shaber

Okay, so now that you appreciate my artistic prowess, here’s what you need for Jiffy Bread:

Jiffy Bread Ingredients

Jiffy Bread Ingredients

That is, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, honey, one egg, one small jalapeno, about seven strawberries, a 1/3 cup milk and some crunchy sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw, though I must warn that it does NOT pour well from those cute vintage sugar jars – learn from my mistakes, people.)

Okay!  Here are your Really Easy Cooking Instructions:

1. Set the oven at 400º  (The oven is that thing that looks like a dishwasher but actually gets really hot inside sometimes.)  Dish count = 0

2. In a bowl of some size (I used to use one from the 99¢ store until I recently upgraded to Bed Bath and Beyond) pour the box of Jiffy mix, the 1/3 cup of milk, about a handful of honey, and the egg.  My idol, Ina Garten (“Barefoot Contessa”) offers the tip that you should always crack eggs into a separate bowl first, in case any shell gets in there and you need to fish it out before you add it to your mixture.  Wise, that Ina is, wise.)  Dish count = 2 bowls

3. Grab a wisk OR just a big holey spoon OR even a fork and mix these things together until pretty well blended, i.e. about 30 seconds.  Dish count: 2 bowls, 1 fork

4. Cut up the strawberries – slice off the tops and then chop them pretty small, like how olives look in tapenade (see great “iCarly” episode about tapenade) – and throw them in.  Then cut up the jalapeno by slicing off the top, cutting the pepper in half, popping out all the seeds and white stuff (the seeds are the hot part – who knew?) and then chopping it up like the strawberries, and throw it in also.  Stir everybody together.  Then WASH YOUR HANDS or you will be stinging your eyes for days.  (And you probably will anyway whether you wash your hands or not.  Sorry.  It’s a jalapeno thing.)  Dish Count = 2 bowls, 1 fork, 1 knife

5. Take a round pie pan, about 1.5 inches deep maybe?, and butter it up.  Pour the mixture into the pan and place in oven for 15 minutes.  Dish count = 2 bowls, 1 fork, 1 knife, 1 pie tin

6. When it’s nice and cornbready golden brown, remove and let sit for a few minutes.  Pour some sugar crystals over the top, hoping they’ll stick and look all yummy and sugary-crunchy like they do on muffins at the coffee shop, but accepting that they will probably just absorb into the Jiffy Bread and disappear.

7. And that’s it!  I know you think I’m crazy, but I swear, the tang of the jalapenos and the tang of the strawberries mixed with the sweet of the cornmeal and honey are TA DIE FOR.  And for best results – and again you’ll think I’m crazy – serve with a few thin slices of good parmesean cheese on top.  Then you have the tang, the salt, and the sweet.  DEE-VINE!

And your total dish count?  3 “dishes” and a fork and knife.  Not bad, eh?  Plus the whole affair took like half an hour, tops.  You can also heat pieces of Jiffy Bread up in the toaster later and butter the top – MMMMMM!  Just look how happy the honey bear is:

Okay actually that's just scary.

Okay actually that

Okay, actually that’s just creepy.

Anyway, you are now officially a COOK!  All thanks to Jiffy and me!  ha ha!

Thank you for joining me for this very first installment of Sam’s R.E.C.I.P.E.S. and stay tuned for next time when we will probably make my special Mediterrangean Stuffed Chicken Breasts.  (Because I only eat free-range meat – get it?  Oh, I slay myself.)  And don’t forget to check out the new awesome band, the happy problem!  You can rock out to our tunes while you slice your strawberries…