The Brini Maxwell Show was a collaborative effort. There were many talented people that contributed to the success of the show. In the area of cooking and food preparation, I was lucky enough to have the assistance of the lovely and culinarily knowledgable Jennifer Cohan.
We called her The Food Goddess, and our resident Comestibles Queen. Jennifer was responsible for all the cooking segments we did on the show – from stocking your vacation property pantry (soy milk, because lactose intolerance is the new vegetarianism), to the Bridge Loaf (above). I’ll never forget the time she brought an entire baked ham in on the train for the Informal Formality episode.
A Storied History
My friendship with Jennifer predates the show for Style. We met at a benefit for Children’s Friends for Life at Chelsea Market. Jennifer is a publicist (she calls herself professionally shallow). She was repping a restaurant and I (along with Anna Gasteyer) was one of the celebrities assigned to the Chambord table. We hit it off immediately.
She became a part of my early show for local cable here in New York. She worked with us behind the scenes in a variety of capacities (she was even my double once) and eventually on camera as my cousin Pebbles’ best friend Lisa.
Lisa was a ditzy club girl. Her cluelessness was beyond measure and Jennifer’s was able to embody that character in the most delightful way. It takes a smart cookie to play dumb. The pent-ultimate segment featuring Lisa was this one. Left to their own devices, Pebbles and Lisa set about making something to eat.
The recipe was Jennifer’s for Lazy Daisy Cake. It’s just delicious. Here it is:
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp cream
- 1/2 cup coconut
Preheat the oven to 350, then butter and flour an 8″ square pan. Beat the eggs with the vanilla until thickened slightly, gradually add the granulated sugar and beat. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the egg mixture, blending until smooth. Heat the milk and 1 Tbsp of the butter together in a small pan. When melted, stir the butter mixture into the batter and mix well. The batter will be runny. Working quickly, pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. While the cake is baking combine the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter, brown sugar, cream and coconut in a small pan, over low heat until well blended. After removing baked cake from the oven, spread the coconut mixture on top and brown lightly under the broiler, being careful not to burn.
Best of Friends
Jennifer is a real balabusta.* In addition to being a whiz at baking and cooking and a dynamite food publicist, she’s also a wife, mother and homemaker. Her husband Steven is an executive chef in Philadelphia (he was kind enough to join me in a live video presentation, making his famous mac-n-cheese) and she has two adorable kids – a boy and a girl.
Today just happens to be her birthday. Happy birthday, Jennifer! I’m glad to have you as a friend.
*See my post on matzoh for a primer on Yiddish words