Friday, December 31, 2010 Last Dinner of 2010 featuring music by Arcane Malevolence

Thursday, December 30, 2010 Bambi Chili


Approximately 21 years ago I was scarred for life when my boyfriend at the time slipped some venison onto my plate without my knowledge. One chew and I knew I'd been duped. I spit the contents of my mouth onto my plate and vowed to never again eat any meat that wasn't identified up front.

Growing up I'd eaten all sorts of wild game. My father had a friend who liked to hunt, so every year for the holidays we'd go up to "the Hungarians" and eat what he'd shot. His house was adorned with the heads of dead animals. I remember a moose head in the dining room that I'd love to pet, as if it would come back to life if I was just nice to it.

But by the time I was 17 I wanted nothing to do with eating dead wildlife. So, when you-know-who did the old switch-a-roo, any appreciation my taste buds had built up for the flavor of wild game instantly turned to seething anger. And never since have I tried to eat Bambi.

Until now.

My friend Evan, whom I affectionately call my third husband, was kind enough to bring me some venison and I was brave enough to put it in chili. If I added enough spices and cooked it long enough, I thought I could eradicate any flavor of guilt. Guilt because I love animals, more than most people. But when you stand back and look at our food system, going out and killing a deer to eat it is probably the most humane choice out there.

So here goes.


Venison Chili

Roast venison in an oven covered in bacon. Cover the venison with the bacon, not the oven. Wrap it and put it in the fridge for a day. The venison, not the oven.

Take out the bacon covered venison and chop it into small pieces.

In a large sauce pan empty three cans of beans (odd numbers for luck. I used white, black and pink beans) and a large can of tomato sauce (plus some water to get it all out of the can.) Spice as you wish (I used two kinds of paprika, three kinds of chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne) and cook with the meat on a low heat with the cover on until the meat is falling apart. Thicken with a handful or two of raw barley.

Mmmm...

Bambi is gooooood :)

-HH

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 Potatoes A Plenty


I learned something years ago from The Oprah Winfrey Show. When buying potatoes in bulk you never see half a potato. Meaning they all aren't 5 lb bags, some are over, and some are more over than others. So when I saw that box of sweet potatoes for $3.50 I weighed the boxes with my mind before plopping one in the scale that weighed 7 lbs.

I'll take it.

And today at Stop and Shop in Darien the worlds most helpful produce guy guided me to a 10 pound bag of potatoes for 5 bucks. Twice as many potatoes as the 5 lb bag and only one dollar more, he pointed out with great pride in his job.

I'll take it.

Tomorrow I finish the chili, make Ropa Vieja, jerky, chocolate and candied bacon and assemble the sweet potato dream.

Stay tuned.

-HH

Monday, December 27, 2010 Preparing For Faux New Year's


Barding - using a layer of bacon to add tenderness and moisture to lean pieces of meat while roasting.

I can tell you that because I'm an "A" student! Headbanging Hostess 4.0!

So this is a piece of venison that my friend Evan gave me. By Thursday it will be part of a chili and on top of a potato. I'll add beans, barley, tomato sauce and spices, chop the meat up really good (bacon included) and let it come together with harmony.

I'm also making the much talked about Ropa Vieja from Fashion Night! Still a stand out dish for all of our taste buds. On top of a baked potato it's gonna sing!

Dave had a vision of a sweet potato dessert while we were on vacation. So I'm gonna make a vat of mashed sweet potatoes, cover it with marshmallows and candied bacon and bake it in the oven. How does that sound? Like music to your ears?

Alright, enough with the cutesy writing technique. I'm gonna make us some pizza!

-HH

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 Wrapping It Up For The Holiday

Today is my last day in Connecticut before our holiday trip to the Poconos. I have loads of laundry to put away, dishes to do, bags to pack, garbage to take out...but here I sit, blogging.

Last night, in honor of the winter solstice, we had a really tasty meal of roasted vegetables with (drum roll please) goose stock sauce. Oh yeah, baby! And I've got more of it in the freezer still. This is exactly why you should make stock. I transformed a lowly potato, sweet potato and some pre-chopped turnips into a celebratory feast. I tossed them all in some goose fat, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven until they started to brown. One cup of goose stock in a saucepan seasoned with ancho chili powder, smoked paprika and allspice and BANG! A really tasty meal.

I also checked out Linda and Los's pad for the Faux New Year's celebration. Plans are going ahead to relocate there for our "baked potato/best of" feast! I'm looking forward to the opportunity to cook in someone else's kitchen - and make a mess, as usual. They have a nice space with plenty of room to sit, stand and play video games.
Food comas are in order, because Arcane Malevolence usually has to go play a show. But this time we're free to eat ourselves into oblivion. And we will.

Baked potatoes topped with ropa vieja, chili, bacon and cheese...I'm even thinking of peas in beurre blanc for Baldwin. Because he never ate a pea until I put them in my Chicken Pot Pumpkin Pie.

I'll let the guests bring desserts and drinks. I'll supply a few munchies like chocolate covered bacon and jerky, but we need to save room for the potatoes. They're gonna be outstanding! I can't wait.

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday - no matter what your religion or lack thereof.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 Happy Freakin' Solstice!


"Winter Solstice is a time to celebrate the increasing daylight, to renew, and to see the world through the eyes of a child. Celebrations at Yule tend to raise our spirits, and bring harmony, peace, and joy. We see the wisdom of past experience begin to glimmer. The experiences we yielded over times gone past begin to be reborn as wisdom, new light, to guide us further down the paths we have chosen." Linny Lee's Facebook Status

All hail Linny Lee!

Last year I was invited to my first Winter Solstice celebration. What the hell it was, I wasn't quite sure. I clung, somewhat, to the wall. I knew the people there, but the last of my depression was still clinging to me like a static silk skirt. Of course, I wasn't too depressed to miss the opportunity to fellate a gingerbread man. A girl has her priorities.

At one point in the evening we were given the opportunity to burn a pine cone on the yule log to release our negative energy, or to fill the air with our positive thoughts, I think there was a debate on that. But what ever the meaning I liked the ritual, even though I didn't do it. I'm a die-hard Atheist, why start with ritual now?

Of course my wedding was still a ritual. And all that theatre I've done is certainly ritual. But I resist none-the-less.

And yet, reading that status makes me think this entire year was a solstice for me. A rebirth. A fresh start. A new beginning. A refocusing of the pain in my past, the paths I have chosen and the roads I see ahead. A new trail forged with every step towards an unknown, unblazed future that I alone have created and am able to consummate.

What a difference a year makes. Now I look at that picture and think "that shirt doesn't fit anymore." My cooking has led to enormous ta-ta's as well as strengthened relationships and brand-spanking new ones.

Happy Solstice, everybody! May your reflections shine as bright. And if not I suggest you get some Metal Motivation! Then cook some good food for your good friends. Maybe start a blog.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Thursday, December 16, 2010 Pimped Up Christmas Crack

A Blog Post Without A Title

Last night we went to Coalhouse Pizza with our good friends Ron and Siqing and their adorable, rambunctious son. Coalhouse is already on my list of Two Tits Up restaurants, but I must add this tidbit - the staff is EXCELLENT! We all arrived at different times, had to move tables because the music was too loud, but they staff didn't let us get in the way of their ability to deliver great service. They were SUPER BUSY when we arrived at 7:00 for dinner and with good reason. Fantastic pizza, faboo salads - a must eat.

Today I find myself in the kitchen making Pimped Up Christmas Crack. Later on I'll be checking out Los and Linda's pad as a substitute venue for the last dinner of the year - Faux New Year's. I've invited all my regulars, plus the Arcane Malevolence gang, so Linda was gracious enough to offer their place to party. My place is small, I think I've done 14 guests, but it was a squeeze, so I'm happy for the offer.

Next week we're going away for the holiday, so I'll be MIA for a few days. We're off to the place with the champagne glass tubs in the Poconos for some R&R. And I'm getting a tour of the kitchen by the chef! I'm very excited about that. And heck, if they house the cooks on campus I might ask for a job!

I hope everyone is enjoying the season thus far. If you're looking for some cooking inspiration check out my YouTube channel or email me at headbanginghostess@gmail.com

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 Ahhh AHHH!


Guess who got an A on her Baking final :)

I ran about like the crazy woman that I am for almost three hours, mixing, baking, measuring, bacon wrapping. Yeah, baby! My four-course muffin meal went over like hotcakes. And even though my vanilla muffin cones were a complete disaster I proudly earned my A grade.



My teacher gave me some great pointers regarding the plating and presentation - if ever I am to work as a pastry chef at some place other than my house. The chocolate olive oil bread he suggested I serve toasted with a scoop of rosemary ice cream. Can you say yum?



And what arrived in the mail the other day but a book of muffin recipes. Maybe there's a muffin night in the future. Hmmm....

-HH

Monday, December 13, 2010 Handmade Homemade Cards

Today's Dear Abby tells the story of a woman who has been making Christmas cards for 5 years with her niece. A beautiful thing IMO. I'm all for making shit. But this poor lady has such shit friends someone sends her A CHECK IN THE MAIL to pay for "real" cards next Christmas.

Cross her off the list, thank you.

THEN, she asks around her other friends, asking if the cards were cheap - AND THEY SAY YES!

Are you serious?

What?

This is wrong on so many levels. First of all, have you ever made anything in your life? Do you know what things cost? A trip to the craft store to make Christmas cards probably costs 4 times what it would cost to just buy cards. And what is wrong with you? Who raised you? Have you no appreciation of someones efforts? For you!And who says these things? Really? Why even judge a card? Can't you just be happy you got one?

OMG. I gotta calm down.

Abby gave good advice, I thought. But it gives me a bleak picture of the people out there.

This is also why I stay home.

Bang on, my peeps. MAKE SHIT!

-HH

Sunday, December 12, 2010 Why Do I Leave The House?

Today I found myself at the train station. On my way to New York to audition for a casting director. Why? I don't know.

A few years ago I would have been salivating over the opportunity. But, thankfully, I have outgrown my need for acting fame and fortune...or whatever I thought was going to happen every time I got up at a ghastly hour for an audition.

Today I got up when the need arose, about 9 AM thanks to a hand-me-down Tempurpedic pillow I got from my faboo neighbor, and slowly worked my way to ready. Hair, make-up, outfit - you know, all those things I don't really like to do. As The Headbanging Hostess I usually primp for my videos, but when it comes to dinner you get what you get. Sometimes I don't have the time to put on make-up or do my hair. And I'm not that kinda girl anyway! I love not wearing make-up. Because I hate to take it off. I've been known to take a shower because I'm too lazy to wash my face.

True dat.

Anyway, back to my point, enough about my vanity habits, or lack thereof, I was in the train station for 2 minutes before someone annoyed me in line at Dunkin' Donuts.

"What's a number three?" she asks her friend in line behind me.

Are you serious?

It's a picture menu! There's a picture of a bagel with cream cheese and there's a number 3 in the corner.

"What's a Dunkachino?"

Apparently she's been in a coma for seven years.

Then I get my tea, turn around to go and I trip on the bags of the lazy bitch behind me! Are you fucking kidding me? You didn't think I'd be moving? That I'd need to remove myself from the immediate area of the counter so that you would be able to place your own beverage order? What are you, fucking stupid?

Apparently.

Why? Why do I leave the house?

Even though I don't really care, the audition went well. He gave me some very good notes on my monologue, mostly on my voice, and I got to do it again. But I have no dreams of Broadway. And even if I did "get the call" would I want to give up my Headbanging Hostessness? Not at the moment, no.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a shower and get this make-up off my face.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Saturday, December 11, 2010 Fairway Rocks Stamford


We made our first trip to Fairway this afternoon and I am happy to report we loved it. We almost wished we'd gone first thing in the morning, so we could make a day of it like a trip to Six Flags.

We, of course, wandered in through the exit so we couldn't find a cart. We found a basket and slowly winded our way through the aisles. Produce, grains, cheese, meat, olive oil, bakery, traditional groceries, imports - we were overwhelmed with tasty endeavours.

The cheese was a stand out to me (who started the day eating brie on crackers). They had cheese up the ying-yang, an entire nook of refrigerated cheeses across from an already well stocked cheese counter. But what caught my eye was the apricot almond cake. It looked like a solid block of dried apricot with some whole almonds thrown in for good measure. They say it pairs well with any cheese. Well that's good to hear because I plan on eating an entire slice of that cake with every kind of cheese I can stomach until I have overdosed on that most Hungarian of fruit flavors - the dried apricot.

With almonds.

Tomorrow my husband's making some sauce. Stay tuned.

-HH

Friday, December 10, 2010 Stock Night! Featuring goose and chicken stock!

Manners And Automatic Doors

Unfortunately it is time for another blog entry regarding manners, or the lack thereof.

People! The handicapped symbol on the big button that says "push to open" is an indicator. It indicates that the button is to be used by the handicapped to open the door. Not perfectly able bodied lazy assholes!

AAAHHHHH!

Standing in the lobby at school, waiting for my ride on a cold windy day, I can't even count the number of young, healthy students who pushed the button to enter the building, leaving those of us in the lobby wind-whipped and freezing. I mean, really. If you want to be that lazy, do it in the summer. Do you not notice there are other people in the world? Are you completely unaware of the consequences of your actions?

I guess so.

These people are in college?

It reminds me of my younger days, taking the train to and from work. Waiting in the train station for my ride there would always be people standing by the automatic door, opening it with their very presence, and completely unaware. We're waiting inside for a reason, asshole. Because it's fucking cold outside!

I really thought they were too dumb to notice, but maybe they just didn't give a fuck. Regardless, they were not the type of people you would confront. Because if they were that dumb and didn't give a fuck they wouldn't be open to a polite suggestion regarding sensors and automatic doors.

So what's the solution? Stay home? Public shaming? Death penalty?

I like that one...

-HH

Thursday, December 9, 2010 Goose Stock In The Crock Pot


Tonight's Stock Night! I've got the skirt steak in the crock pot with mushrooms, onions and goose stock. It smells delicious already - I can't imagine how good it'll be when it's actually cooked. On top I'm planning on some carrot chips fried in goose fat!

Later on I'll be making some quinoa risotto style with organic chicken stock. I'll add some sliced chicken breast and broccoli for a nice warm salad-ish dish. And on the side some mashed potatoes. Who doesn't like mashed potatoes?

Time management is everything when prepping for these dinners. I plan on busting out my dehydrator again to use as a warmer. So I can have it all done and ready to go when the guests arrive.

The only thing I'll make during dinner is the dessert. Spice cake with rum raisins. Mmmm....

-HH

Sunday, December 5, 2010 This Thursday Is Stock Night!


Last nights roast chicken carcass is at the bottom of this pot, topped with red peppers, carrots, onion, celery, green cherry tomatoes from the garden and some herbs. I'll let it simmer for about 6 hours, strain it and stick it in the fridge for some super flavor on Thursday.

It's Stock Night!

My post-Thanksgiving stock making yielded me almost two quarts of goose stock, which I will put in the crock pot with a nice piece of skirt steak and some mushrooms and onions for a stewey mess of deliciousness. My neighbor brought me a lifetime supply of carrots, so I'm thinking of maybe topping it with carrot chips, fried in goose fat, of course.

This chicken stock will find itself absorbed into some quinoa for a nice salad course. My neighbor also brought me a lifetime supply of broccoli - quinoa, broccoli and something else salad? Maybe. We'll see how long the broccoli lasts.

And for dessert? Some cupcakes or something - because I have tons of cake mix in stock.

Ba dum bum.

Why am I this crazy stocker? (ZING!) Because I don't really like to waste things. And these poor birds died for my dinner, the least I can do is utilize every bit of flavor available to me. And it's super easy! Throw it in a stockpot, throw in some veggies and herbs and BANG! Six hours later you have stock.

Anytime you're cutting veggies throw the ends into the freezer. That way, when you've got your carcass, the chopping is already done!

How easy is that?

Stock can be frozen in tupperware containers, ziplock bags, even ice cube trays (great for adding little bits of flavor to anything!) Try it!!!

-HH

Saturday, December 4, 2010 The Pursuit Of Muffin Perfection


This batch of vanilla muffin cones came out much better than the last, not that the last batch was inedible. We ate every last one.

I added a touch of vanilla bean to the batter and some vanilla sugar to the top. Can you see it sparkling? It adds a nice crunch to the top.

I think these have to be served warm - once they cool the cone becomes chewy. Not that there's anything wrong with chewy cones. Convenience store ice cream cones can be chewy and they can also be delicious. Just ask my ass.

Stay tuned for next week's menu!

-HH

Friday, December 3, 2010 Feeling It @ Filling Station Company


My husband and I ventured out in the chill for our first taste of Filling Station Company in beautiful downtown New Cannan, CT.

How good was it? I dunno, you look at that bun and tell me how good it was. IT WAS FREAKIN' DELICIOUS!

And I can tell you, as a culinary student who has recently learned about these things, the design is brilliant. When you look at the mouthwatering menu online you may wonder why they don't take phone orders, but when you see it in action it will become crystal.

I, of course, was the embodiment of all the idiot customers I used to hate back at TCBY. Moronically staring at the menu, not knowing where to place my order despite the big sign that says "start order here."

I went for a cheeseburger with bacon (as you can see in the photo) and my hubby went for a hot dog and a cheeseburger, both with various fixins. The burgers were outstanding - perfect bun/burger ratio. My husband started with the dog, and reported it was very good. Upon biting into his burger he proclaimed it even better. The organic french fries came with the quintessential wooden fork and my seasonal peppermint shake was refreshing and tasty and empty too soon. Shoulda got a large.

So, get your ass out there in the cold and go the Filling Station Company. Go now because the peppermint shake is only around this month! You might see me there getting another myself.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Thursday, December 2, 2010 60 Second Muffin Mosh

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 Practicing For My Baking Final


So I'm going with the four-course meal of muffins. You're looking at the salad course - a savory zucchini muffin with marjoram, rosemary and lemon verbena from the garden. Quite tasty, especially with a dash of balsamic. And I have the perfect plate - a fish plate with a built-in depression. It's probably meant for sushi and soy sauce, but I'm going muffin and balsamic. Boo-yeah.

Yesterday I had a very good trial run of my chocolate olive oil quick bread that will be served as the entree like a steak with hot oil from the garden. I had my first trial run on Sunday and it was a disaster. Not really a disaster, but it didn't rise enough, it didn't hold together, it was dry, not sweet enough and generally yucky.

I tweaked it. Apple sauce. Works wonders.

Over the next few days I will be finalizing my other two courses, corn dog muffins wrapped in bacon and served on a stick and vanilla muffin ice cream cones.

Stay Tuned!

-HH

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Deck The Halls With Lots-O-Nothin'

My friend Linda came today and took a big box of Christmas decorations off my hands. Why, you ask? Because I'm not Christian and I don't want to celebrate Christmas anymore.

As a child I celebrated Christmas. You know, the whole "Santa Claus has nothing to do with the birth of that other guy" thing. I'm not saying it's a secular holiday...I'm typing it. At least that's what it was to me growing up. We weren't celebrating anyone's birth, we were celebrating the big fat guy coming down the chimney and leaving us gifts.

When I moved out to live with my then-boyfriend now-husband we didn't put up a tree or anything. He was a firefighter at the time and he'd always work on Christmas. My mom and I would go to my brothers and...celebrate Christmas. Even though he didn't have a chimney, it was obvious there was no Santa and we weren't celebrating anyone's birth. But...whatever.

Then, for a number of years, I was lucky enough to be involved in a Christmas show at The Spinning Wheel Inn in Redding, CT. I stage managed for a few years and was in the show for a few more - so Christmas became a big part of my life from October until the New Year. I'd go out for the tree, the gifts, the whole sha-bang. Even though, like I said, I wasn't celebrating anyone's birth.

During those years we hosted a few Christmas parties, and they were headbanging indeed. And if you take any advice from me this holiday season let this be it.

Make shit.

Ain't nothing like a homemade gift, I say. And these parties had homemade at the heart - homemade ornaments, to be exact.

I'd cover the table with newspaper, provide glue, glitter, pipe cleaners, felt, straws, corks, beads, sequins - you got the idea. And we'd all get trashed and make the best fucking ornaments you'll ever see. One year I had a giant penis atop my tree adorned with Satan Santas and spider Santas and Sam Adams Santas. Fantastic!

Ain't nothin' like seeing adults fight over glitter.

Some folks were more creative than others, some afraid to even try. But everyone would eventually find their way over to the table to make an ornament and, no matter what the friggin' thing ended up lookin' like, I was always thrilled to put it on my tree.

So, when I was packing it all up to give it to Linda, I put aside all the homemade ornaments and kept them. Why? Because I won't be putting them on a tree. I saved them all because I don't have the heart to give them away. Our friends made them for us - and even though I've given up the holiday - I'm keeping my friends.

And that's what it's all about.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Sunday, November 28, 2010 Kick-Ass BBQ @ Bobby Q's


Yesterday we went to see the not-quite-headbanging band Where's Jimmy at Bobby Q's in Westport, CT. I am happy to report that real good BBQ does in fact exist in Connecticut.

The last time I ventured out of the house for BBQ it was a disappointment. And I'm sorry to say I had to give it a bad review. I'm even more sorry to say that review has come up in a Google search or two. Ah, the power of the internet.

But Bobby Q's was awesome, awesome, awesome. The faboo meal you see in the picture is something brilliantly called "Burnt Ends." The highly sought after burnt ends of the beef or pork (I got pork, yo) smothered in their in house sauce which is delicious! Not a hint of disappointment to be found.

My husband ordered a full rack and it was basically the entire side of a cow. HUGE! He didn't come close to finishing it (neither did I) and we were happy the Connecticut weather made it possible to use our car as a fridge as we stayed late into the night to watch the band.

I love listening to Linny sing. It always makes me want to start a band! Who's in?

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Saturday, November 27, 2010 Apple Pecan Pizza Pie


This is a great dessert you can prep ahead of time and whip up quick when guests stop by.

Start with the dough. If you have a great pizza dough recipe use it. If not you'll have to buy it at the store or the bakery, because I'm not giving out my recipe :)
Most dough you buy will need some time to rise, check the directions. I let my dough rise, then I portion it into 8 ounce balls and stick them in the fridge covered in plastic wrap. The longer they sit the better they will taste. 4 day dough is better than 1 day dough.

For the apple topping I used two kinds of apples. 2 Granny Smith and 3 McIntosh. Peel and slice evenly. Toss them in a pan with a little water, a little more brandy, some sugar and some cinnamon. As they cook the McIntosh apples will turn into sauce while the Granny Smiths will remain whole.

In another pan melt some butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Toss in pecans and coat them with the syrup. Done.

Take a small container of ricotta cheese and mix in some powdered sugar to taste. Label it so you don't try to make lasagna with it and put it back in the fridge.

Put the apples and the pecans away in separate containers in the fridge until you need them. They'd last at least a week (if no one ate them, which won't happen). When your company stops by throw in your pizza stone and turn your oven to 500. Put some flour on the counter and your hands and push out the ball of dough with your knuckles. Put it on a pizza pan or cookie sheet and load with the toppings. Apple sauce first, then the pecans then the cheese. Cook on the pan for about 5 minutes and switch it to the stone to finish. Bake until crust is golden.

Eat, enjoy and hope your guests don't stop by everyday expecting this faboo dessert!

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Friday, November 26, 2010 The Day After - Making And Taking Stock


This beautiful goose actually didn't yield a great deal of meat. It was quite tasty, but not as abundant as your typical turkey.

Today I shall stick it in a big ass pot with some celery, carrot, onion and herbs and simmer the shit out of it until the bones have excreted all their flavor. That's how you make stock - basically.

Taking stock of yesterday and the faboo meal I cooked up it's easy to see how people get overwhelmed with holiday cooking and feasting. I totally got carried away with the feasting. The lower half of my body right now don't wanna know nothin'! First thing in the morning yesterday I started with the mashed potatoes and turnips, wrapping them in plastic and keeping them warm in the dehydrator all day was pure genius! (Thank you, Glory for the inspiration) My cooking was well ordered and mapped out. I choreographed different dishes from two ovens, thank goodness my neighbor is directly across the hall. I used her oven for the chestnuts and the stuffed pumpkin while mine was occupied with the goose.

I took another tip from Glory and papoosed my goose (took it out at 170 degrees and wrapped it in foil, newspaper and a blanket) so my oven was free to quickly cook my greenbeans. Bing, bang, boom - dinner was ready at 4:30. Not too shabby, I thought.

The food was excellent. The bird may have been overdone, we're not sure because we haven't had goose before, but I thought it was really tasty. And the plumwine, brandy, prune au jus I made was outstanding! Tons of flavor. And the sides...traditional as hell but totally scrumptious. End it all with an apple pecan dessert pizza pie and you got yourself a Thanksgiving!

But the most brilliant tip I can give you is inspired by my brothers girlfriend. Always dress up to the nines - for no one will ever expect you to do dishes. (Not that I would! Dave and I always do the clean-up. But I think if ever I go out to a friends house I shall rent a friggin' ball gown!)

Now, off to make stock in my jammies!

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Thursday, November 25, 2010 What I'm Thankful For


The sign of a good person is the ability to laugh. And last night at Fauxsgiving, when Johnny Pluckman dropped a serving dish filled with turkey, not once but twice, Sir Vaney our host came out saw the mess and burst into laughter. Oh yeah, I was with the right bunch of people.

This year has been an absolute joy for me. I'm so thankful to Arcane Malevolence for accepting my dinner invitation. Meeting them, and all the other bands, has just been the coolest thing ever. And having all these dinner parties, as I've said before, has given my life a meaning I never dreamed of.

Thank you, friends. I love you all!

Happy Thanksgiging!

-HH

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 The Good News Keeps On Coming!


Funny story.

One of the kids I go to school with (probably in his early 20's, so, yes, a kid) said he had a friend in a band. So I gave him my card and tried to Google the band to make contact on my own. Problem was I had half of the name wrong. I had the Jacobi part right, but the Wichita changed to Topeka in my brain and when I went to the Google all I got was every Jew in Kansas!

But, despite all that, Jacobi Wichita has agreed to let me use their music in a video!

YAY!

All you folks who say you don't like the metal music have to turn the volume back up for a bit to see if you like their sound. I really like their hip-hoppy, edge cutting groove and I am thrilled they've agreed to the dinner for music exchange program.

Check out their Facebook or their MySpace and cut a kick-ass rug while you prep for the holiday!

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 Planning My Baking Final

I've just returned from tanking a test. Last time I thought I tanked I got an 88. I'll be happy to end up in that ballpark this time. I'm not really sure how much each test is part of my grade, but I know I'm doing well in the kitchen, or shall I say the bakery.

Our final is practical and he's allowing us to decide what we do...somewhat. I wanted to make a Pumpkin Bacon Quick Bread, but he thought that was too easy for me so he told me I can make 4 different muffins with different presentations.

WOO HOO!

My first thought was to do the four seasons in muffins (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, not the hotel) but I quickly decided that wasn't exciting enough. And thinking about the presentation created all sorts of crazy creative thoughts in my head - different muffin sizes, plating, different flavors and finishes.

AAAHHH!

The menu is still in it's infancy, well maybe it's a toddler, but here's the idea.
A four course meal in muffins. To start, mini corn muffins with a slice of hot dog inside (you know it) skewered on a stick like a corndog. I'd like some sort of bacon streusel or something. Or I can wrap it in bacon and fry it. That might work.

After the appetizer comes the soup or salad course. I'm thinking some kind of savory muffin, maybe with zucchini and herbs. Something like that. I haven't nailed this one down yet, but I want it to be representative of either soup or salad. Because it's for the soup or salad course. Ain't I brilliant? Ha!

Next up for sure will be some chocolate olive oil deliciousness. I think this one I will bake in a loaf pan and serve a slice, maybe with some hot pepper oil. Of course chocolate is not a well known entree, at least not in public, but I think if I top it with some nice sea salt and the pepper oil it will look almost like a nice, square, extra well-done steak on your plate

To finish it off I'd like to make a vanilla muffin in a cake cone - like an ice cream cone. Wafer cones, cake cones, you know what I mean. And I can serve it with whipped cream :)

So does that sound good? I think it does, so far. I'll have to start practicing soon! My neighbors will be happy to eat my homework!

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Monday, November 22, 2010 Holy Shit! Thanksgiving Is This Week!


I'll admit it. I planned more for Pizza Night than I did for the upcoming national celebration of turkey.

And that's not a turkey you see in that photo. It's a goose. Turkeys, like chickens, are pumped up with all sorts of antibiotics that my body doesn't like me ingesting. My allergy, which developed in 1997, ruined the Thanksgiving holiday for me for many years. We usually went out to eat, and restaurants didn't offer organic turkey, so I usually have fish. Very nice, but without turkey it wasn't Thanksgiving.

I've managed to have turkey a few times since organic turkey has become available in my price range. Last year we went to to my husband's ex's and had organic turkey with her husband, child and mother. Oh, yeah. We're well adjusted like that. And the year before my husband cooked organic turkey. And the year before that was the awful year I was forced to eat green beans. Because even though we'd gone out for every Thanksgiving there was a sudden change of plans and we went to a friends house where I was left with no option but green beans or starvation. I think I had bread too.

So since then I've had to be pro-active in my holiday plans. And I feel bad causing the expense. Most people get their turkey free, but the only turkey I can eat costs 75 bucks!

My goose was also 75 bucks! But I look forward to a new tradition in my goose preparations - plus the usual mashed potatoes, turnips, stuffing and...wait for it...wait for it...green beans.

Happy Thanksgiving, my peeps!

-HH

Sunday, November 21, 2010 Backstage at City Limits Diner

As part of my culinary education I had a tour of the kitchen at City Limits Diner. It was massive, awesome, well-planned and CLEAN! OMG! I can still eat there!

My husband and I have been known to shove off the dessert menu at many-a-restaurant in order to hop in the car and get fruit tarts and banana cream pie at City Limits. Out of this world delicious.

They've got a huge operation going on back there. And it's going well, they're cooking 150 Thanksgiving dinners to go! That's 150 turkeys plus all the trimmings!

At some point in the tour Chef Michael asked if we all wanted to be chefs. I shook my head "no." I love cooking for my friends, but if I had to deal with customers who may not be so friendly? No, thank you.

Last week in our class function someone asked for her lamb well-done. So we took some of the lamb, all of which we had prepared rare, and proceeded to cook the hell out of it for her. No lie, the servers came back 4 times and told us the lady was mad and she wanted her lamb. I wanted to go out there and punch her. Well-done takes time, asshole!

This is why I will not be a chef. I shall cook at home and if you don't like it get the fuck out.

Not a good business model - but great for my personal happiness.

I'm making goose for my turkey day! Antibiotics aren't allowed in duck or goose in this country, so I can eat them without worry! And I'm planning on a bunch of sides. Plus we've been invited to "Fauxgiving" with the Arcane gang. So if I think my clothes are tight now I'd better invest in some mumus.

What are you planning for the holiday?

-HH

Saturday, November 20, 2010 Pizza Night Was Fan-Friggin'-Tastic!


If you have not yet watched the Pizza Night video featuring music by Revolution Pariah take a moment to soak it all in.

The pizza that you see is Mexican in nature, in honor of Marc's going to live south of the border. But the best part of Pizza Night was the infinite variety! Someone brought a Thanksgiving feast to place on the pizza crust, someone brought fennel, pear and balsamic. I'd made sauce, salsa, bruschetta, bacon, pepperoni, chicken, mushrooms. I spent all day prepping toppings. But if you want to have a pizza party you can totally simplify! Have your guests bring toppings, buy pre-chopped veggies and meats. Pizza night is totally doable!

Don't want to make the dough? Buy the dough! Buy the ready made crusts! This is the perfect way to dabble in dinner parties. Stick your toe in and find you love it!

Marc and I made the dough the day before and I quickly developed a system for delivering the perfect crust. In a 500 degree oven I started each pie on a metal pizza tray (it has holes in it, probably helps get the hot air to the underside). After 8 minutes or so they were cooked enough to slide onto a hot pizza stone. That really crisped up the crust! Unbelievably tasty! Best pizza I've had in a long time - and I'm not just saying that because I made it.

Chicken and bacon was my favorite combination! Being allergic to non-organic chicken I've never had the pleasure of having it on a pizza. Outstanding! The chicken and mushroom was also tasty. They were all tasty, who am I kidding?

And the dessert pizza?!?! Cherry Butter, White Chocolate Cream Cheese and Almonds! To die for!

So, listen! Go for it! Throw your own Pizza Night! And send me the pictures! headbanginghostess@gmail.com

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Friday, November 19, 2010 Pizza Night! Featuring "Atrophy in Apathy" by Revolution Pariah

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 Tomorrow Night is Pizza Night!


Marc and I spent the afternoon making dough. And I just realized the plastic is stuck to the dough when I took this picture. Ha! Good thing I have more flour.

Tomorrow I will prep a slew of toppings - sauce, salsa, meats, cheeses, veggies. I have a few fabulous ideas, but we'll have plenty of dough. We'll be able to make pretty much anything people want. The bonus is my friend Stacy's brother will be bringing his culinary skills to the (pizza) stone. So that's a wild card. But, of course, dessert is already planned in my head :)

The best part of tomorrow will actually be Friday when I get to work on the video featuring Revolution Pariah! I am most excited.

Stay tuned!

-HH

Sunday, November 14, 2010 Why Does Whole Foods Suck?

*Disclaimer - I applied for a job at Whole Foods in Darien and was not hired. I made it to the interview but then was cut for admitting I couldn't lift 50 pounds. Mind you I was applying for a cake decorating job. I've worked in a bakery. I've lifted countless full sheet cakes without incident. Never ever dropped one. So fuck them.

------------

Yesterday, in between our marathon performances of Richard III, I ran down to Whole Foods for something from the hot bar. They have a hot station, a soup station, two salad bars and a dessert bar. I've gotta be able to find something to eat, right?

NOT!

The choices are almost all Indian inspired vegan dishes. Vegan Chicken Salad? What the fuck is that? If you're gonna have the balls to give up eating animals you're gonna have to forfeit the right to call a processed piece of soy chicken. 'Cause it ain't! What if I gave them a chicken sandwich and called it a soy patty? They'd be a little pissed. What's good for the soy is good for the gander. (What does that mean? I don't know. But I find it amusing at the moment)

After trolling around for a bit I settled on some Caribbean Sweet Potatoes, Yucca Fries (Yuck-a) and Rice and Beans. They weren't that appealing, but something smelled good and I guessed it was the potatoes. I put them in my container, paid and left.

By the time I walked one block back to the theatre it was cold. I'm guessing food needs animal fat not only to taste good but to retain some heat. The sauce I made for my Autumnal Chicken and Rice had the same issues. But I ate what I could, which wasn't much. The rice was crunchy, I suppose it dried out being exposed to the air, but it had no flavor anyway. The first Yucca fry was good but the rest fell like rocks into my tummy. The potatoes might have been better if they stayed hot. I know they would have been better with bacon. Everything's better with bacon.

Clearly the folks at Whole Foods are pinching pennies by not offering any real meat in their dishes. Some real chicken was available (not organic, isn't that what they're known for?) but zero red meat or pork, the other white meat. Really all they offer is a bunch of inedible side dishes. And who wants to eat that?

How are they gonna lift 50 pounds with no protein?

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Saturday, November 13, 2010 Karma, Manners and the MTA

The other day I was rushing to catch a train. I shoved my husbands credit card in the machine, ordered two round trips picked up my ticket and ran. Leaving the second ticket behind. $18.50 out the window. May the guy behind me in line, who OBVIOUSLY took my ticket, experience an equal upsetment.

Yesterday (actually this morning) while coming home on the 1:12 train, I sat next to a woman I'd seen moments before frantically trying to locate her train. I sat in the aisle seat with my ear buds, my chocolate bar and my diet Sprite, ready to endure the ride home after a ridiculously long day.

So this woman, who was sitting there enjoying her own chocolate bar, starts filing her nails! In public! Now this is a pet peeve of mine. It's gross. It's also very unsanitary. Health departments don't inspect nail salons because they want to fill their days with nonsense. They do it because bacteria love fingernails and people can get infections when equipment isn't used properly or sanitarily.

So as she's aerating her biological components I put my candy bar away - wanting so badly to turn to her and tell her off. And if the train wasn't so packed with hockey fans I would have switched seats with a disgusted demeanor. But I couldn't do either, so I turned up my music and tried my best to ignore her.

Then she starts clipping them! ICK! You heard me! Clipping her fucking nails in public on the train. There is no viler sound than a nail clipper. Again I wanted to turn to her and tell her off, but I just wasn't up for the confrontation. So I turned the music up even more.

If I heard something coming over the loudspeaker I took out an ear bud to confirm I was on the right train and after a few announcements and a manicure the train finally took off. Forty-five more minutes and I can go to bed!

Now, if you're not from around here I should say that every train leaving Grand Central stops at 125th street before they proceed onto Connecticut. So the train stops again, announces again where we're going and closes the doors. Bam. She turns to me.

"Is this train going to Stamford?"

I remove my ear bud. "Yup, first stop."

She begins to shift in her seat, worriedly. Nowhere for her to go...unless she wants to jump off a moving train.

When the conductor comes by it all becomes as clear as a topcoat of polish. She got on the wrong fucking train! She needed the local to get off in New Rochelle. So now she had to go to Stamford and get on another train to go back. Ha ha.

That's what you get when you're too busy paying attention to your nails when you should be paying attention to the train conductors announcements!

It was worth the $18.50!

-HH

Thursday, November 11, 2010 90 Second Meal Mosh - Autumnal Chicken and Rice

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 A Work In Progress


Okay, I'll admit it. Culinary school is kicking the shit out of me. And it's not even that intense, it's just the timing of it all. I have cooking class on Wednesdays, and after 6 hours of cooking my brain is dead and I can't think at the farmers market. Thus my whole groove is out of whack.

Again today I was aimlessly wandering around. I managed to pick up some potatoes and apples. I still have two whole pumpkins and a bag of cooked pumpkin in the fridge.

Had.

Now it's part of what I thought would be a chili or a soup but turned out to be a future sauce of tomorrow. For tomorrow I shall bake it with some chicken and cheddar cheese, serve it over rice and call it a meal.

Stay tuned.

Bang on, my peeps!

HH

Monday, November 8, 2010 Go Shawty, It's Your Birthday!


It's my birthday today. I'm 38 years old. I'll never lie about my age. Remind me.

On this day last year my husband and I served up a Big E inspired feast. Bacon Cheeseburgers on Donuts, Chocolate Covered Bacon, Lobster Mac & Cheese. So many foods I can't even remember.

We made that dinner together. That don't happen no more.

My kitchen.

Tonight we went to a lovely dinner - I had Lobster Mac & Cheese. And I didn't realize the connection until just now. The subconscious mind is a terrible thing to waste.

And now? Dessert. A bunch of pastries from Whole Foods and MAPLE BACON GELATO!

Sorry for yelling.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Sunday, November 7, 2010 Another Headbanging Hostess History Lesson


Around this time last year I quit my job at the local corporate pizza chain and dove head first into making cookies. Never before had I made cookies from scratch. But I didn't let a silly thing like that stop me. I searched for recipes, perfected them and by the end of December I was ready to start my own cookie business.

When the kitchen I was going to use fell through my energies refocused themselves on feeding my friends and the Thursday night dinners were born.

Saved my life.

I'm not kidding.

I, like millions of Americans, have struggled with depression my entire life. Add to that eight years of taking care of my Alzheimer's ridden mother, two years of asshole customers and a life-long struggle with an acting career and you can see how spending an entire day in bed would seem like a good thing to do.

After my mother died I was going through her things and found a card my brother had written to my dad. In that card, clear as day, was the truth. My father had suffered from depression, too. I could see it in the words he used and I could see it in my past.

Taking anti-depressants is certainly a way to keep depression out of my future - but it's not the only key. Having purpose. That is what's most important. And being The Headbanging Hostess gives me purpose.

Making dinner for my friends has given meaning to my life. Meeting new people has only added to the pleasure of it all. This is how I will use all my talents, all my gifts, to give something back to the world. I will make my mark with food, love and heavy metal.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Saturday, November 6, 2010 Protecting What's Left Of The Garden From Frost


The temperature is supposed to go down to 33 tonight, so I covered the garden just to be safe. While moving things around I saw a few more peppers and a ton of marjoram I'd forgotten about. What the hell do you do with marjoram?

-HH

Operation YouTube Subscriptions

Yesterday I kicked off Operation YouTube Subscriptions. A clever name, considering the purpose is to increase my YouTube subscriptions.

I've been at this about seven months now - this whole blogging, vlogging, cooking up a storm thing. And it's obvious to me that my viewership is adversely affected by my lack of computer knowledge - the whole keyword thing and whatever else it is I don't yet fully understand. Because it can't possibly be my food - it's freakin' fantastic!

I've gotten metal musicians to eat their veggies. This is not an easy task.

I've introduced people to foods they've never eaten, dishes they've never heard of and desserts that people would actually die for.

And for some reason my YouTube subscriptions are barely in the double digits. Why?

Here's some twisted logic.

My most popular blog post is the one where I bashed the Norwalk Oyster Festival. So maybe it's time I got a little nasty about my fellow food vloggers.

There's one chick, and I won't say who she is. But she has THOUSANDS of followers. And maybe she's pretty and cute and ridiculously skinny for someone who's supposedly a cook and a lover of food but I honestly don't see the draw! What the hell is she doing to have all those viewers?

I actually don't know because I haven't watched. I attempted to watch one episode but I guess my negative emotions got the best of me and I turned it off before my heart exploded out of my chest and all over my laptop.

I'm fucking cute! And I play good music! And I'm funny! What-the-fuck-else could you want?

You know what? I'm proud of what I'm doing here. I'm very good at it. And maybe it'll take time, but I'm confident there are folks out there who will enjoy, appreciate and be inspired by what I'm doing. My food is love. And I've got the ass to prove it!

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Thursday, November 4, 2010 60 Second Meal Mosh - Fancy-Faux Fish & Chips

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Packing It In...


Today at school all I could think about was my garden. Somehow the tid-bit of information that the temperature had gone below freezing last night entered my weary head and I couldn't get it out. All I could see was visions of my garden from two years ago, frozen.

It's a terrible feeling when all that you've worked for freezes and goes to waste because of one mistake.

When I got home I opened the door to the porch and, YAY! Everything looked just fine. Upon further inspection it seems the pineapple sage is completely dead, but if that's it I'm a happy Headbanging Hostess.

I harvested two full quart size bags of peter peppers. That's enough heat to keep everyone's mouth in shock for at least two years. I don't know if it'll keep that long in the freezer. Maybe I'll try to make some hot sauce.

I also have 4 trays of mint in the dehydrator, two spearmint and two of the fruit mints mixed together. I didn't have enough of the apple mint, orange mint or pineapple mint to make it's own container. The herbs really shrink up. The 8 trays of basil dried up into two pint containers.

Later in the week I'll clean up some more. I can leave the carrots, they'll survive a frost, but I'll have to pick the green tomatoes or put a bunch of blankets on them come Saturday night. It's going below freezing. And this time I know about it.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Monday, November 1, 2010 Living Without a Fridge

It's been over a week now that my refrigerator has been on life support. It's plugged in but it's not capable of making ice,I don't even trust it to keep our food at a safe temperature. We've shoved a few bags of ice in to keep it cold. I keep my milk for my morning tea in the freezer and the rest of the time we have to eat out.

I live in a good neighborhood for this. Within walking distance I have a deli/pizzeria, a burger joint, another pizzeria and a bar/restaurant. I'm not going to starve. I can get Chinese delivered and, of course, more pizza.

I haven't been able to cook! Why cook if you have nowhere to put the left overs? And there's always left overs. That's part of what led me into this. It's easier to cook for a bunch of people than for two people. Forced into this brief hiatus I'm working on long term goals for The Headbanging Hostess as well as securing new music!

I reached out half-way across the country to Revolution Pariah and am pleased as fucking punch that they agreed to let me use one of their songs. Check them out!

Fueled by their positive response I'll be reaching out to more bands across the country. Why not?

Bang on, my peeps!! I'll be cooking up a storm again before you know it!

-HH

Sunday, October 31, 2010 Big News!!!


I am thrilled to announce Revolution Pariah from Oklahoma City has agreed to let me use one of their songs in a future video!

This is awesome. Once again I literally reached out to a band of strangers and got a positive response. How reassuring it is to know there are humans out there who don't suck.

And they don't. One day I sat down with localbandnetwork.com and clicked on bands until something struck me. Revolution Pariah struck me right upside the fuckin' head. Loved them instantly.

Please check them out on myspace.

And stayed tuned for one kick-ass video!

-HH

It's an old picture - but suspend your disbelief and pretend that my body still looks like that. I'm a horny little devil. In the picture.

Halloween, of course, brings images of candy, pumpkins, eggs, shaving cream, plastic costumes and candy. Did I say that already?

Who remembers the old SNL skit highlighting the crappy, unsafe children's costumes of yesteryear? I did a YouTube search, but no luck. Something about dousing yourself with lighter fluid and setting yourself on fire. Now THAT'S a costume.

Personally, I can't STAND pre-made costumes. Use your fucking imagination, people! As a child nothing was sadder than the kids who wore the plastic mask with the matching plastic smock. Are you kidding me? Do your parents have no time for you? Why did they have you if they weren't going to dress you up for Halloween?

But, then again, I remember Susan. He mother made her an awesome costume. She was a bag of jellybeans. Balloons for beans encased in plastic wrap - she won that year. I also know her mother would hit her. I saw it happen once and I'll never forget it. All the costumes in the world couldn't reverse that action.

Well, that's depressing.

It's the end of the season, the beginning of the darker half of the year. Take a moment to take stock. Cast off negativity and surround yourself with warm, positive thoughts. That'll get you through the winter. Along with soups and stews and hot apple cider.

Happy Halloween, my peeps!

-HH

Friday, October 29, 2010 Happy Halloween from The Headbanging Hostess

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Freezing vs. Dehydrating


Around a month ago I came to the brilliant conclusion that freezing my cache of Peter Peppers was easier and better than dehydrating them.

WRONG!

My freezer up and died so they are in the garbage now, along with a bag of melted blueberry juice, a bag of melted Mojito cubes, a few bags of thawed veggies for stock, some un-frozen jalapenos and a good portion of the basil and pesto I'd frozen for the winter months.

WAH!

Thankfully I have 8 trays of basil in the dehydrator. I dried a tray of oregano too but it seemed to lose all it's flavor. Ah, well. Live and learn. Hopefully the growing season will keep on truckin' and my herbs will keep on growin'.

My peter pepper plants are still producing, so I suppose I'll be able to replenish what I lost. And the ice cream garden is still going strong, so I have plenty of herb drying in my future. Mints, pineapple sage, lemon verbana, rosemary. Mmmm.

-HH

Saturday, October 23, 2010 Pumpkins Make Me Brilliant!


What's the best thing in this picture? No, not the pumpkin filled with Faux-Shepard's Pie (aka Cowboy Pie, or just what we all know as Shepard's Pie). And tasty as it was, the Chicken Pot Pie in a pumpkin isn't the best thing in the picture either.

It's the empty sink!

Never before in Headbanging Hostess history has this happened!

I owe it all to a gourd.

I cooked the food on the stove all day, heated up the pumpkins, and finished them off with their proper fillings toppings in the oven right as my guests arrived. Perfectly timed, if I do say so myself.

But the best part is that the dishes are done. As the cooking went on for the seven previous hours I did the dishes, wave after wave, up until the serving of the completely compostable and biodegradable dinner bowls. And this morning I awake to a clean kitchen. Rock on!

Stay tuned for the video!

And serve dinner in a pumpkin tonight. You can thank me later.

-HH

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Once Again, Bands-A-Plenty!


Tomorrow I will be entertaining three bands! The Midnightmares, They Hate Us and Arcane Malevolence. Of course, as it turns out, my freezer is on its last legs. It may have something to do with the fact that I've been treating my kitchen as if it serves a banquet hall for almost a year. It also may have something to do with the amounts of food my wonderful, well-intentioned neighbor brings over. I haven't eaten 7 bags of frozen pasta in the last five years, I'm not going to start now. So they sit there taking up space and eating up energy. It also could be that the freezer is old. We've been living here for 10 years. And if anyone can explain to me how THAT happened I'd greatly appreciate it.

But, never-the-less, dinner MUST go on and I am left with the only option being making every-damn-thing tomorrow.

This actually isn't that hard a prospect. Brilliant me is planning to serve Cowboy Pie and Chicken Pot Pie in Pumpkins. So I'll actually be able to make the fillings on the stove, put the pumpkins in the oven and then fill them for service (in my banquet hall). The pumpkins will act like warmers and keep the food at a good temperature.

And my lovely, giving neighbor brought me a beautiful cake stand that I'll adorn with Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies - and maybe I'll make some whipped cream. Because I polished off last weeks cookies from the Happy Endings by dipping them in whipped cream and stuffing them in my mouth.

Stay tuned! And go to the show!

-HH

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Dear Headbanging Hostess #1

Dear Headbanging Hostess,

Lately I've noticed that I'm getting hairy where I used to be bald and bald where I used to be hairy. What's up with that?

Chuck


The first thing I'd check, Chuck, would be your birth control pill. Check with your gynecologist about altering the level of hormones she's giving you. I've grown some hair in funny places but I switched my pill so now I'm just bloated all the time.

Removing hair is pretty easy these days so lets concentrate on regrowing some of the hair you so desperately miss.

According to my research there are some key nutrients essential to growing hair - Protein, Iron, B Vitamins, Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamin E and Sulfur. These nutrients can be found in foods such as liver, brewers yeast, tofu and dark green leafy vegetables. Sounds delicious, doesn't it? You can also find them in meats, eggs, nuts, fish, legumes and cottage cheese.

And of course stay away from caffeine, sugar, fat and carbonated drinks.

Enjoy your new head of hair, Chuck!

-HH

Monday, October 18, 2010 It Gets Better

Much has been said recently about Dan Savage's "It Gets Better Project." I think it's fantastic that he is reaching out to young gay people in such a true, heartfelt, passionate way. Also circulating the internet is this video of a City Council Member spilling his guts out that could make just about anyone cry.

"It gets better." It's a brilliant message.

And if I may, I'd like to pass the message on to all the awkward Atheist, First-Generation American, oddly dressed, non-conformist young girls out there. And I totally don't mean that as an insult to the movement. I SO IDENTIFY with the whole Gay Movement simply because I know what it is to be different, and there's nothing you can do about it, and people don't seem to want (or ever want) to accept you.

I think a lot of folks have felt like that at some point in their life.

And what if they all thought back on that. And what if they vowed to never cause anyone else to feel like that.

Wouldn't the world be a better place?

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Friday, October 15, 2010 Sexual Innuendo Night! Featuring "Flesh Explosion" by Arcane Malevolence

Monday, October 11, 2010 Sexual Innuendo Night Coming Up!

Triple D has inspired the double D HH to declare this Thursday "Sexual Innuendo Night!"

We'll start the night off with a round of jerky, follow it up with some Three-Ways and then, of course, some Happy Endings. (No I will not provide you with a link for that. I'm sure you have one.)

All of it from scratch. Except the cheese.

Stay tuned.

-HH

Giant Pumpkins and Gas Station Manners


So there's this guy in Fairfield who grows giant pumpkins. And when I say he grows giant pumpkins I mean he only grows giant pumpkin because, as you can see from the state of his backyard, they take up a lot of space.

Some guy in Wisconsin grew an 1,810 pound one. Biggest ever.

Some guy today at the gas station...grrr. Makes me mad just thinking about it. Who are these people who fill the tank and then go shopping in the mini-mart section of the gas station while you sit there in your car, clearly waiting for them to move their vehicle so that you may go on with your day?

Other people in the world!

-HH

Saturday, October 9, 2010 Yummy Yellow Curry


After spending over two hours making 15 Acorn Squash Ravioli the other day I wasn't about to waste the entire three day weekend using up the leftover squash filling. I didn't want to throw it out, but what does one do with a bowl of pureed winter squash seasoned with cinnamon and such? Especially when one's husband doesn't eat soup. Hmm...

What about a yellow chili? What about curry - that's yellow. I think. What is curry, anyway? According to the internet it's something spicy and stew-like.

According to me and my husband it was delicious.

-HH

Friday, October 8, 2010 Acorn Squash Ravioli with Peter Pepper Maple Cream Sauce

Thursday, October 7, 2010 Another Awesome Way To Use My Food Dehydrator!


The beautiful flowers my husband gave me for our anniversary were wilting and dying only days later. Fucking flowers.

So I chopped all their heads off and put them in the dehydrator on the herb setting.

Beautiful.

-HH

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 Manners and Public Transportation

Last week I had car problems. Both cars wouldn't start. When it rains it pours. So I found myself taking the city bus from Stamford to school in Norwalk - that's two towns over, for those of you unfamiliar with Lower Fairfield County.

Now, I've taken the bus a lot in my life so it doesn't bother me. I don't think it's beneath me and it doesn't bother me that I'm the only white chick who speaks English on the bus. What do I care? I've got somewhere to go and they're taking me for $1.25!

Fuck! For that piddly amount I should be taking the bus all the time!

Anyway, the ride was pleasant enough. It was oddly quiet. It was obvious some people knew each other, they'd exchange greetings. But as the bus took off from every stop at lightning speed no one spoke a word.

Silence but for the sound of an overworked engine.

As I got off the bus I yelled out my customary, "Thank You!"

This isn't about me patting myself on the back. It's about human decency. It's about everyone having kick-ass manners!

I have a friend who's a bus driver. I asked him how many people thanked him as they got off the bus. "Very few, sweetie. We get little respect."

That is very sad to me.

After all, "Thank You" is free!

We may not all ride the bus, but I bet we all could say "Thank You" a little more often.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Monday, October 4, 2010 Kick-Ass Cooking, Kick-Ass Music and Kick-Ass Manners

That's what it's all about.

Cooking, obviously, is what started all this bloggingness. I've become a damn good cook over the last 9 months. I've made 24 videos since this all started. Some with awesome dinner party ideas, some with recipes for two and some just for fun. And, not only have I acquired over 300 Facebook fans, I've inspired two time dinner guest Jeff to start his own supper club. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what it's all about.

I can't, of course, leave out the music. I am forever thankful to Facebook for introducing me to the fabulosity that is Arcane Malevolence. Even better than their music is the fact that they're just a bunch of awesome guys, with even cooler girlfriends. And through them I met No Remission and Burn the Bodies (one of them is a cool girlfriend, there's some overlap here) and now I'm looking forward to another night of bands for dinner with The Midnightmares and, of course, Arcane Malevolence.

And now, to the manners. I've blogged about them before - but I think I've barely scratched the surface. There's a lot of mining to be done in the deep, dark caverns of modern "humanity." There I go with those quotes again. I insert them because I don't think we're very humane to each other most of the time. And that is most unheadbanging, to me.

So, that is what it is all about.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Sunday, October 3, 2010 Exciting Stuff In Headbanging Hostess Land


While my college education has overtaken my life it seems the rest of the world continues on. So far so good, on the college front. I got a 90% on my first quiz and a 93% on my first final. I'm doing well in my Food Prep class. Most of the kids are afraid of my teacher, I think. But he doesn't scare me! If he were a woman I'd be deathly afraid. I'm also doing well in my Baking class. The bread you see there came in second in our class contest - first place didn't have to take the upcoming test. So I've been studying all weekend.

The awesome e-zine Alternative Control published my recipe/rant (which from this day forward shall be known as a "Rant-ipe") so now, when you're desperately looking for something to do with your Halloween pumpkin, The Headbanging Hostess can assist you in digital print.

And, with any luck, The Headbanging Hostess will be available in print print! The Printed Blog has selected me as a "blogger of note" - thanks to all of your nominations!!! Soon I will have a "blog badge" that you can click when my posts are extra-extraordinary. The best blogs get printed up the old fashioned way and I'll get a cut of the subscription dough!

And possibly the biggest news of all? Looks like I'll be back on the boards! My brilliant and most talented friend Ron Destro has cast me as Queen Margaret in the Oxford Shakespeare Company production of Richard III.

So if I didn't have any time because of school, now I'm really fucked.

Don't worry! I'll still find time to cook! I have a few bands coming on the 22nd. And I'm already contacting some new bands - spread the love!!!

Bang on, my peeps!!!

-HH

Saturday, October 2, 2010 Fancy Schmancy Night! - 8 year Anniversary!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 Nothing Says "Happy Anniversary" Like A Baked Potato


Today my husband and I celebrate 8 years of wedded bliss. Those of you who are married may laugh at the hilarity of that statement. Those of you who aren't married may laugh at those of us who are.

So today, while wandering aimlessly around the farmer's market and the supermarket, the only dinner I could come up with was a baked potato. "The Comanator" my husband called it. A HUGE baked potato with butter, cheese, fried corn and bacon. Nice and light. Ha.

Tomorrow we're expecting our cast of regulars for a night of Homemade Bread (God of Gluten willing), Red and Yellow Cherry Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil, Filet Mignon wrapped with Bacon and served with an Apricot Sauce and Concord Grape Cheesecake for dessert.

The Filet with Bacon and Apricot is inspired by my wedding meal. The only thing I was able to eat the whole day was an apricot wrapped in bacon. It was delicious - not $1,600 delicious, but I guess I've gotten my money's worth over the last 8 years :)

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Monday, September 27, 2010 Sometimes It's Okay To Cheat A Little


After a weekend of Homemade Chicken Pot Pie concoctions, and cooking at school all day, all I had muster for was a quick pizza sauce and pre-shredded cheese on a ready made crust.

You gotta give me points for using the chicken stock in my sauce. Oh yes, you read that right. One thing I've learned so far in cooking school is everything has a little of something else in it.

I added some fresh herbs from the garden, a little salt and pepper, ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom. I made kick ass pizza, with the aid of a ready made organic wheat crust that my neighbor gave me. Love that girl.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Sunday, September 26, 2010 60 Second Meal Mosh - Chicken Pot Pumpkin Pie

Friday, September 24, 2010 The Big E(at)


Step right up! Step right up! Step right up and throw the food right in my freakin' mouth!

This year's trip to The Big E did not disappoint! Not that it ever has. We brought a newbie with us and, while showing him around, I found myself reminiscing about my first time at The Big E.

My parents were both immigrants, so I never even heard of The Big E until I was in college. And the first time I went was back in the day - the days when I didn't really eat food, or have the passion for it as I do now.

The first time I went I couldn't find anything to eat. Which is pretty much impossible - unless you're allergic to everything. I ended up getting Deep Fried Veggies and eating two of them. Everyone around me looked huge. Gigantic. Ginormous.No lie. No wonder I couldn't find anything to eat. I was a buck o'five and I wanted to stay that way.


Now, having increased that by just over 15%, I eagerly showed our friend through the state buildings while loading up on lollipops, free rulers and BACON S'MORES!!! Which came from the same booth in the Connecticut building that introduced me to Chocolate Covered Bacon!!!

Sorry for the exclamation points. I get very excited about chocolate and bacon.

The Salmon on a Stick was the best thing there for all three of us. The Warm Lobster Roll is awesome - the only one in the fair made correctly in our book. Cold Lobster and mayo? Grody-to-the-max.

The Deep Fried Jelly Beans were tasty, but you could only eat one. If that, I ended up picking out the jelly beans. It was 3 for 5 dollars. They should have offered them at 2 dollars each and we would have tried the Deep Fried Butter as well. We watched a young man bite into his. Hot melted butter gushed out of it - "It's bread and butter. What's not to like!"

The Chicharones were very good, could have been a little more done but we ate them all. The last chunk I swallowed whole. The Deep Fried Pickles we had were hot as all hell. They were missing the extra zing of my Pretzel Fried Pickles, but we ate them.

There's always plenty to see at The Big E. My favorite is always the giant pumpkins. They amaze me. And the goats, pigs, horses and chickens ain't bad either.

Make it a point to go! It is worth the trip. Go on a weekday if you can, the weekends are nightmarishly crowded!

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Thursday, September 23, 2010 Oh, The Peter Peppers They Are A Changing


After a week trapped in a paper bag with an apple and it's gasses a few of my beloved Peter Peppers are starting to change color. They're also starting to soften. I tossed the red ones in the freezer whole. All of the stuff I read about making my own chili powder gave warnings, saying you could burn you skin and/or eyes if not protected. Even dehydrating them whole could cause respiratory issues - they said to do it outside! For 36 hours or something ridiculous. So I threw them in the freezer whole. Take that, instructions!

The green ones get another week in the bag with the apple and then they all go in the freezer. I don't care what color they are.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 Today is Connecticut Day



Tomorrow is the first day of Fall. It is also the day I hit The Big E with my mouth wide open.

Last year's Chocolate Covered Bacon and Bacon Cheeseburger on a Donut both had an effect on me. The former is now part of my repertoire and the latter was made for my last birthday party.

This year I'm looking forward to Deep Fried Butter and Deep Fried Jelly Beans. And the Chicharones. Of course. That goes without saying. I shouldn't have even said it.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Monday, September 20, 2010 Things I Learned In School Today

Great title. I know.

Actually, I may only write about one thing I learned in school today, because I can't get it out of my head.

Food and Beverage is the third largest industry.

Now, silly me, I'm left wondering why there isn't some kind of correlation between the third largest industry part and the getting respect from customers part. Oh, yeah. 10 months after leaving my serving job I'm still scarred for life. Actually, I can't blame it all on that. People treat you like crap when you're serving them ice cream and making them cakes, too.

So why is that?

And why the hell am I in Culinary School if I can't stand people so much?

Things that make you go, hmmm....

I've been saying that a lot lately. Hmmm.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Sunday, September 19, 2010 Newsflash! Green People Are Nice!!!


Last weeks "Two Tits Down" review of The Norwalk Oyster Festival was my most popular blog post ever. I guess people love it when you hate something. But today I must report that we had the exact opposite experience at Live Green CT at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk.

Right from the start, the volunteers guided us around the parking field with big smiles on their faces. Everyone was nice, friendly. It was like we weren't in Fairfield County at all. I met the friendliest shark, although he pointed out my husband's Titans shirt with his fin, indicating he was not a fan.

The vendors were all super nice and eager to talk about their products. Not pushy, which I hate - you could just tell they were psyched about what they were there for. Peace Tree Desserts had a selection of incredible, local, sustainable, tasty cupcakes. I forgot the name of mine, but it had caramel apples inside a moist dark cupcake topped with the smoothest icing ever - it might been just butter and honey, it was so smooth. Not like any cupcake I've ever experienced. This is a game changer.

There were also a bunch of electric, solar, water powered cars there. You could get run over by one pretty easy - they're way quiet. The Tesla is just a beautiful car. I don't care what it runs on.



This was a great event, I wish them the best of luck in the years to come. Great for homeowners, families and hungry people like me.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Saturday, September 18, 2010 Baking Ain't Easy


Today a lesson in deductive reasoning.

If the dough you see in the photo had come out of the oven as beautiful bread you can bet your sweet ass the photo would be of that! So, you can deduce, that the bread didn't come out so good.

Oh, I ate it. My husband ate it. He ripped off the top crust of every slice and dipped it in tomato sauce like a good Italian. I tried to ignore the yeasty smell my teacher says shouldn't be present in good bread by wrapping the bottom crusts around chunks of meatball and shoving it in my mouth.

It wasn't awful, it just wasn't great.

I'll try again.

Bang on, my peeps!

-HH

Friday, September 17, 2010 Hee Haw, I Made Beef Jerky!


I finally put my dehydrator to good use and made me some beef jerky. I'm sure some of you would have a coronary when you found out I made it with London Broil. I busted out my school knife and cut it into 1/4 inch thick slices and marinated them overnight in a mixture of Worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic and Jalapeno Sauce. I dried them for 7 hours, maybe a bit too long - at six hours they seemed a little underdone to me. I'm pleased with the results. I'm very encouraged and can't wait to start experimenting with jerky. Mmm.

-HH

Thursday, September 16, 2010 60 Second Meal Mosh - Italian Stuffed Winter Squash