Friday, May 27, 2011 George Foreman Grilled Chicken Sammich

Yes, I used the George Foreman grill to make these. Two organic chicken breasts coated in olive oil, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, Old Bay, garlic and onion powder cooked for 8 minutes on the Foreman. I let them sit for a while and then shred'm up with a knife and fork. It's not cutting, it's a rough pulling apart. I like it that way. Then I put the shredded chicken on a cookie tray, topped it with American cheese and popped it under the broiler.

The Portuguese rolls became garlic bread with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, onion and thyme. It was tasty, crispy and warm surrounding the chicken and cheese and tomato and lettuce... Mmm... DDelicious...


Thursday, May 26, 2011 Another Drumroll, Please...

The Dinner on a Stick Night video will be featuring music from three different bands from Connecticut! I am thrilled and honored to be able to showcase some of CT's hottest bands along with some of my kick-ass food. Spread the love \m/

Waking Elliot

The Midnightmares

Kink Slip

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 The Big Announcement!

Drumroll, please...

I am proud to announce that the next dinner party will be appearing in the award winning food blog CT Bites! Recipes included! AAAHHH!!!

This is a big deal! It's a great opportunity for The Headbanging Hostess to reach out to new readers and viewers - people who might not be googling "headbanging dinner" or "headbanging tits" (try it!). And, of course, it's a great way to introduce more people to the concept of entertaining at home!

The theme is Dinner on a Stick Night!

Dinner parties are way fun. We know this. And Dinner on a Stick Night is a fun way to get people started on their own dinner party journey. Food on a stick is cute and portable. A fun way to impress your guests with some foods they might not make at home. And, being portable, it helps your guests move about the party like the social butterfly they were born to be.

I'm thinking bread sticks (like the picture), salad on a stick, corn dog muffin apps, spicy chicken skewers, breakfast on a stick and some yet-do-be-decided dessert on a stick. Possibly s'mores on a stick... I may change my mind on that one.

PLUS I'm working on an extra special video, featuring music from three different bands. I'm still waiting to hear from one of the bands, so I will wait to make the official announcement. But I promise it'll be an awesome mix of CT music!

So, check out CT Bites! And stay tuned for one of the best dinner parties EVER! \m/


Tuesday, May 24, 2011 It's Been A While

Oh my goodness! It's a week since I last posted! Where did the time go?

I've been a busy girl. Graduation was last Thursday, followed by Colony Pizza. Then more celebration occurred over the weekend in the form of karaoke, baked ziti and enough trifle to sink a battleship.

And you know what? I think I'm bummin' a bit. I mean, yes, I've been a bit of a bum for the past 6 days. But I'm feeling a little down. Little empty in the heart area of the torso. Know what I mean?

I hope it will pass.

And it will. Because I've got big stuff coming up in the future! An article for Alternative Control, new music, new bands and a new still-to-be-announced outlet for my headbanging dinner parties.

Stay tuned \m/


Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Thoughts Before Graduation...

I had rehearsal last night for graduation. Makes me laugh, considering I've done about a dozen children's musicals with zero rehearsal. Not really zero, I'd practiced in my bedroom. But you'd think by college we'd all be pretty familiar with standing in a line. I guess when you throw in sitting and walking across the stage your average community college student is thrown for a loop.

But, come on now, if we're in college we've at least had three other graduation ceremonies. Elementary, Middle and High school. And although I can't really remember them all I bet younger minds can recall the pomp and circumstance.

I was the speaker at my Elementary school graduation. Master of Ceremonies they called it. Well before the days of PC, the idea of calling me Mistress of Ceremonies didn't even occur to anyone. I remember wearing a mauve suit (probably one of the last times I wore a suit) and my hair was short. I suppose I looked like a mini-version of the adult me, had I ever really grown into an adult.

Junior High graduation I don't remember. Which is good. At this point I don't remember much of middle school. Maybe Dan Savage should change the slogan to "You'll forget" instead of "It gets better." I'm pretty sure I sang something and I'm very sure I was glad it was over.

High School...ah, High School. I really came into my own in High School. I was finally popular, comfortable in my own skin (as comfortable as a teenager can be), I had boyfriends galore, a keen sense of fashion and very big hair. I was Senior Class President. A fact that my therapist likes to remind me of...oh, how did I get so far off the track to success. Don't all Senior Class Presidents end up as town leaders and pillars of society? Well, you know, I like to break the mold.

I graduated High School in 1990. Long before the days when students were sue happy. Not that I have a problem with sue happy students, especially when they're on my side of the argument. Now Atheists sue when the school board wants to hold graduation in a mega-church and they win! But I, I didn't feel I had that option. But I still asked. I walked up to the Principal and asked her if there was going to be a prayer at the ceremony and she explained that there would be. That they switched back and forth from a Priest to a Rabbi from year to year to make everyone happy. And I plainly told her that I didn't believe in god at all, so couldn't we skip it this year? Nope. She walked away.

Public school, mind you...notice the blending of church and state. And notice the complete lack of regard for the Muslim religion...or any other religion that was represented in my school.

Still makes my blood boil.

Now, as the Senior Class President I got to make a speech, so I was seated on the stage. And when the Priest or Rabbi got up and asked everyone to bow their heads for a moment of prayer I defiantly kept my head up high. Looking out at the audience, wondering if anyone noticed my bold act, I saw my mom with her head up, looking at me. She raised me well. And we sat there throughout the prayer holding each others gaze. Two people out of 500 plus who were brave enough to be different. To stand up for what we believed in. Or what we didn't believe in.

I wonder if there'll be a Priest or Rabbi at graduation today. I should have asked.

And now, as I sit here writing this, it looks like we're going to be rained-out, or rained-in. And it doesn't look like there's enough room for all of the students and our guests in the theatre. So the whole thing might just be a cluster fuck.

But I am graduating. I am done. Now...what to do next?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011 Apple Spice Cupcakes with Candied Apple Chips

I made these little beauties for Matt Mullarkey's 40th Birthday Bash! I found this great recipe at Patent and the Pantry and I added my own headbanging touches and boom-diggity, Apple Spice Cupcakes with Candied Apple Slices were born.

I pretty much followed the recipe, some things I didn't quite have the full amount, some things I switched up a bit. The candied apple chips are all me. Here's what I did to the best of my recollection.

First I mixed together all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Then, in another bowl I creamed together 1/2 cup of softened butter, about a cup of white sugar, about a half cup of turbinado sugar and a good pour of maple syrup. Yeah, I've gotta learn to write these things down.

I added four eggs, one at a time, Then I added a can of applesauce. OMG! I KNOW! A CAN OF APPLESAUCE? My neighbor gave me a few and, of course, I've had no use for it. But this was my opportunity to get it out of my cabinet and I seized it. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce, so if you make your own (like I usually do) you'll be able to make these bad boys that much better.

Once the applesauce was mixed in I added the dry to the wet and mixed until it was just incorporated. Then I put portions of the mix into a piping bag and piped both large and small cupcakes until they were about 3/4ths full and baked them at 350 until they were done - about 20 minutes, give or take. The small ones obviously take less time.

The candied apple chips were actually a big chore. The Silpat I bought is the size of a sheet of paper, so I could only do so many at a time. I took a good part of the day to get it done, but the resulting chips were so tasty I was really glad I'd made so many extras.

I sliced the apple really thin on the mandolin and dipped both sides in white sugar. With the oven at 300 I cooked them on each side for approximately five minutes each for a total of about 15 minutes. They get dark quick, so you have to keep an eye on them. And be careful turning them over because hot sugar burns like a motherfucker. Use a small angled spatula if you have it. And don't be tempted to use your fingers to separate them when they get folded and such in the turning process because, like I said, hot sugar burns like a motherfucker. After I took them out of the oven I let them cool on the Silpat for a little while, then I peeled them off, put them elsewhere to cool, washed and repeated.

The icing...oh, the icing. I had one stick of butter and less than a package of cream cheese, but I figured it was enough so I softened them and mixed them together. Then I threw in all the powdered sugar I had, which was not a lot, maybe 1/3 a cup and a good pour of the turbinado. And I mixed and I poured a few more times. Until I thought I had enough and I thought it tasted nummy. It was a little crunchy, but I liked that. And I sampled some on a small cupcake and I knew I'd hit it out of the apple grove.

The rest is self-explanatory really. I put the cupcakes in a pan for transport, topped them all with apple chips and off I went.

People loved them. Of course.

Rock on!


Thursday, May 12, 2011 Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Haaappy Anniversary.

Holy Shit! One year ago today I wrote my first blog post and what a ride it has been! I never would have guessed that cooking my way out of depression would result in a slew of new friends, a gaggle of kick-ass bands and my ass not fitting in any of my clothes. Oh yeah, and I'm graduating culinary school.

It doesn't even stop there! I've been writing for Alternative Control. Plus, I've got another yet-to-be-announced writing gig coming up. The Mushroom Channel featured one of my recipes and drove it into my top ten most popular posts. I've socially networked my creations onto the Food Network Facebook page, the Samoas Girl Scout Cookie Facebook page and into Cadbury Creme Egg History.

And the bands! The bands... How can I ever properly express my love for Arcane Malevolence? I can't. I'm so glad I made that leap and asked them to dinner. They are the nicest bunch of people (albeit clumsy) and through them I've met a ton of other people and bands and the good karma keeps on coming. Who knew progressive death metal brought about good karma? One of the wonders of the universe.

Since then I have had a bunch of bands allow me to use their music, from all over the country! Pink Missile, Girls On Bikes, PsychoMagnet and The Backwater Racket from CT, No Remission from NY, In It For Storms from AZ, Final Curse from NC and Revolution Pariah from OK. Plus, I've got a friggin' BACKLOG of bands who have allowed to use their music! Stay tuned for videos featuring Waking Elliot, Headstone Hawkins and They Fall To Pieces \m/ And I'm still waiting on music from Burn the Bodies, The Midnightmares and Suffrage who are all in various stages of production.

Let us not forget Sugarland and The Little Miss Project. I know, I know - "One of these things is not like the others." But if you want to see me at my emotional best watch this. With over 5,000 views it's my most popular video. And even though I may not be a blip on their radar I was thrilled to think that Jennifer and Kristian knew who I was, if only for a moment.

And the FOOD! OMG! Here I am rattling on and on about all these fabulous musicians and I'm neglecting to mention my own fabulosity! Jiminy Cricket I can cook! I've created a treasure trove of great meals, it's impossible to name just a few. Carnival Night, Fashion Night, Vegan Night - every night is one of my favorites in a way. It's always a great combination of food, friends and fun. Stop by the Dinner Party page and find yourself some inspiration.

I'll be posting my favorites all day on Facebook and Twitter \m/

Thank you so much for reading and watching for this past year! I'll only get bigger and better! Not too much bigger, I hope :)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011 School's Out Forever!

Actually that's not true, I have one more class on Friday. I've gotta hand in my nutrition project and then I'm done. But since I finished the project already, and it's at the printers, I'm taking a little liberty and declaring my culinary training complete.

It's complete!

Someone asked me what my title will be, now that I'm a culinary school graduate, but I still don't think I can call myself a chef.

Raw meat grosses me out too much for me to consider myself a chef.

My baking teacher thinks I should be a pastry chef at a restaurant.

We'll see about that...

Obviously I learned quite a bit. It wasn't as intense as I thought it would be, at times I found myself disappointed, but overall I'm glad I did it and I'm pleased with my "performance" to speak.

Funny I should choose that word.

At the end of every service we would go out as a class and line up to introduce ourselves. And as we were coming in someone would notice and cue the applause. A room full of people applauding us and the meal they'd just eaten.

And this always made me want to cry.

I've done things worthy of applause. I've performed for thousands of people. I've done half the lines in a full length show and won an award to boot! I've written plays that made people laugh and cry and laugh again within the span of 10 minutes. Those things are worthy of applause.

I just cooked some food.

Am I mourning the death of my acting career?

It seems so...

And if I'm not a chef either, what the hell am I?

I'm the Headbanging Hostess! Fuck yeah! \m/


Sunday, May 8, 2011 Garden Drama and Good News

Can you believe this was the state of my garden just 24 short hours ago?

Believe it or not my own idiocy led to a team of squirrels digging up almost all of the seedlings I had started in my garden, looking for their winter stores. And I thought it was cute when they were burying them! Clearly I was not thinking the squirrel food storage process through. He couldn't come for them in the winter, the dirt was frozen through. He's gotta get'm in the spring! OUCH! There goes my carrots and lettuce.

So today we took down the flimsy netting that was the only barrier to the wildlife and put up some heavy duty plastic mesh. Hooks and eyes, zip ties, hammers and staples, oh yeah. We were all over the porch improvement project. Take that, squirrels!

Now that they can't get in I put all the pots and such in some sort of order for the start of the growing season. My indoor greenhouse has about 8 pepper plants, a handful of tomatoes and some basil and catnip. So I'm planting those things in my mind where I want them and filling in the blanks with a bunch of plants I have yet to buy. I planted some wildflower seeds today, and some of the lettuce did survive the squirrels so all is not lost.

Good news after the jump \m/

The good news is we've got a new member of the family. They Fall to Pieces responded to my call on Local Band Network for music to feature in my food porn! Woo Hoo! They sent me two awesome tracks and have even promised a T-shirt. Does life get better than this?

Maybe it does. Stay tuned for more good news! \m/


Saturday, May 7, 2011 The National Day of Reason Dinner

Friday, May 6, 2011 Blasphemy is DDelicious \m/

The Gods have declared The National Day of Reason dinner tasty beyond belief.

The entree, as you can see, was a beautiful bacon cheese burger sandwiched between two pieces of kosher for passover (but not for long) Matzoh. Mmm, mmm, Matzoh.

The opening dish is still in the forefront of my food memory. Gay Wedding Soup.

All day I slaved over this soup. Actually, it began last week when I made veggie stock for our "two days of veggies" diet. I never actually used the stock in anything but it was super cloudy, I had to clarify it if anyone was going to be able to see the rainbow of veggies I had planned on including. So I had to bust out my Food 101 book and look up how to make consomme (pronounced like consummate without the "t" sound at the end). Well it was a ugly process (stay tuned for the video) but I and it got the job done and the resulting broth was so beautifully clear that every color popped through - purple cabbage, blue potatoes, green broccoli, yellow peppers, orange peppers and red peppers. Plus a slew of the tastiest meatballs you've had in a while.

I had so much meatball mixture I made some meatloaves in my dinosaur pan to honor those who believe the world is only 6,000 years old.

And to end it all we gorged ourselves on Candied Bacon and my Angel of Death Trifle with layers of angel food cake, chocolate chips, walnut gelatin pudding (a very strange thing) and maple whipped cream.

Stay tuned for the video! \m/


Wednesday, May 4, 2011 Homemade Marshmallows Rock \m/

I'm making candy for my Baking Two final. Cotton Candy, Hot Pepper Lollipops, Apple Jellies and Coconut Marshmallows.

Boo yeah!

Homemade marshmallows are unbelievable. You'll never be able to eat store bought again. Playland has these bad boys on sticks and every time we go you can be sure I stop and get one for the ride home. I don't think they've ever made it past the state line. Nummy with a capital NUMMY!

Here's the ridiculously easy recipe...

2 Tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin (Sorry, if you're vegetarian you'll have to look up the vegan recipe that uses agar-agar)

8 oz (by weight) of cold water

12 oz (by weight) white sugar

12 oz (by weight) light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 bag of coconut, toasted

Candy thermometer

Piping bag with large round tip

You'll need a mixer, stand up is better but I'm sure you can accomplish this with a hand mixer, you may need to borrow a hand.

Place gelatin in the mixer bowl with 1/2 of the water, make sure there are no lumps. Allow the gelatin to absorb the water, this is called "blooming" the gelatin.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 4 oz of water with the sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and heat the mixture to 240 degrees.

Have a clean pastry brush and a bowl of water handy. Sugar likes to stay in its crystal form, so while it's cooking you may need to use the wet brush to clean the sides of the saucepan. Even one sugar crystal will remind the others what shape they like to be in, so this is an important step.

Have the mixing bowl raised and ready. When the syrup gets to 240 turn the mixer on low and pour the syrup into the gelatin. Once all the sugar syrup has been added increase the speed of the mixer to high. It will turn white, gain volume and mesmerize you with its sticky strings of sugar pulling off the sides of the bowl. Whip it for at least 5 minutes. The temperature of the bowl should drop to lukewarm and you'll start to see a difference in the way it's whipping about. Add the vanilla and then turn off the mixer once it's incorporated.

Here's where you need to work quickly.

Fill the piping bag about halfway and pipe the marshmallows onto a tray of toasted coconut. Flipping them is a bit tricky, you don't want to touch the marshmallow with your fingers because it'll stick. So pour a little toasted coconut on top of each marshmallow and then carefully flip them over to completely cover. If you don't want coconut a 50/50 mixture of powdered sugar and cornstarch will do the trick.

These are DDelicious! I can't wait for s'mores season to get here!


Sunday, May 1, 2011 National Day of Reason Dinner

This Thursday, while most folks are celebrating Cinco de Mayo we will be celebrating the National Day of Reason.

If you're easily offended or have no sense of humor please stop reading now.

From their website -

"A consortium of leaders from within the community of reason endorsed the idea of a National Day of Reason. This observance is held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday in May each year. The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship."

So I'm celebrating reason with my sick sense of humor, superior moral compass and sharp cooking skills. Consider yourself warned...

Gay Wedding Soup - When asking around for religious meals someone suggested Italian Wedding Soup and Gay Wedding Soup popped out of my mouth like it was the answer to the 7 dollar question (adjusted for the depression.) Italian meatballs and a rainbow of veggies joined together in tasty matrimony with flavorful homemade stock.

Bacon Cheeseburgers on Matzoh - Oh so wrong, this I know. But wrong is funny and sometimes it's tasty, too. When I was a kid my friends took me to the JCC. When we were in the cafe they asked me what I wanted and I said "a cheeseburger." When they told me I couldn't have that and tried to explain why I declared it was stupid because cheeseburgers were real good. Oy.

And for dessert something I've decided to call...

Angel of Death Trifle - Layers of angel food cake, whipped sacred cow cream, sinful gelatin walnut pudding (who knew such a thing existed? Leave it to the Spanish aisle), deadly amounts of chocolate chunks and of course BACON! Just in case you didn't have enough bacon already.

Sounds good to me. Is anyone still reading this?


My New Addiction - Swizzles in Darien

Yesterday I had my first Swizzleperience. It infected my dreams with its sassy tang and I woke up today knowing only one thing. I was going back for more.

Drooling emoticon :D'''

Cake batter and plain. I think they were both low-fat, I'm not really sure, I wasn't even paying attention. I was like a plump chick in a frozen yogurt store. Oh, wait. That's me.I was like a kid in a candy store...also me, eagerly pouring soft-serve love into a practical bucket like the ice cream professional I once was.

I worked at TCBY for the better part of 16 years, I am quite confident that when I'm dying from Alzheimer's and I don't remember my own name I will be able to make the perfect cone - three swirls and a peak. So I was all over them Taylor machines, ready to show off my skills (to my husband) and make me some dessert!

Cake batter and plain, like I said. To top it off they had a whole bar of fruits, candies, spheres called poppers (which I suspect are some agar-agar molecular gastronomy concoction) and, my personal favorite, kids cereal. Fruit Loops was yesterday's topping, today I had Apple Jacks and Granola. It's just enough of a crispy-o-crunch to reinforce the fact that I'm treating myself without actually throwing the plump chick out with the bathwater.

Love, love, love the taste of the plain. It totally brings back the flavor of the homemade yogurt my parents used to make when I was a kid. This is my first fro-yo of this kind, I have yet to experience Pinkberry or any other "tart" frozen yogurt shop. But Swizzles has set the bar pretty high, the competition has a battle to fight for my taste buds.

Two tits up!