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.


Bambi is gooooood :)


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.


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!


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!


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!


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

Bang on, my peeps!


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....


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?


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!


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?


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!


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.


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!


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...


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....


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!!!


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!


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!


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!