Friday, July 30, 2010

Easy Steak & Shrimp

This is one of Brandon's favorite meals ... we don't eat beef that often. I'm not sure why. I think we just love seafood and when we're broke from buying shrimp and fish, we buy the cheap stuff ... chicken!

If you have time the day before, take out the steak(s), tenderize just a little bit, rub in salt, pepper and some sort of grill mate ... then brush on some Italian dressing and put them in a Tupperware to sit overnight in the fridge. This is a cheap and easy way to ad a little flavour even before the juices start cooking out. It isn't always easy to create your own marinade. I have a pretty good recipe, but it isn't perfect. I'll let you know when it is ...

Pick a veggie that will grill nicely, like asparagus. Asparagus is quite easy, it just needs some butter, salt and pepper and [for me, like always ... Tony's!]

Just peel and de-vein the shrimp, slather it in this mixture and let it sit for an hour or so, in the fridge:
1 cup lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
dash of white pepper
pinch of salt

After marinating and before grilling, I always add some herbs [rosemary and parsley, as usual] as well as some Tony's to get a really great smell going. Tony's is great for seafood and adds a bit of color as well.

The easy part about all of this is the fact that you can cook it all at the same time, on the same grill! We don't have an outside grill, so I used my cute little Emeril cast iron grill instead, which is great for eating out of too. Straight from the stove to the table, still sizzling. My favorite steak dip [if needed] is A1, mixed with  some Worcester sauce, but you don't need any at all really. Marinating the steak overnight ensures a great flavour that cooks out beautifully.

Suffering Succotash!

I would like to think I am something of a history documentary connoisseur. I watch about 4 every week. I'm watching one right now! [Christianity: The First 1,000 Years] I don't have cable, I have Netflix. And, the movies that come through the mail and over the instant queue are either horror films or documentaries, my favorite being historical documentaries. (I like to clarify, because I'm not into documentaries about global warming, school shootings or fast food ... )

Earlier this week, I found what I assumed to be a great PBS documentary about Benjamin Latrobe. I was pretty excited; PBS puts on a great documentary, T.J. Ben Franklin, etc are all amazing docs. But ... the narrator/host of this DVD has the most insufferable voice I've ever heard, made worse by a speech impediment in the form of a lisp. Nothing against lisps ... I had one for the longest time when I was a child. I found out that the host is Paul Goldberger. Apparently this guy is famous ... but honestly, he should not be in charge of telling a story on camera. Not only was his voice too awkward for narration purposes, but he was far too involved in the process. A good documentary makes the subject or person of interest the main focus so that the person watching the film can learn something, right? This documentary was nearly this guy's diary or a movie he did himself ... you really get the feeling that he wants to make it about him, not poor Latrobe, as if he didn't have enough disappointment in his life already! I wish they would have put something on the box saying "follow this guy around as he talks over historians and shows off how many blazers he has .... and theres something about Benjamin Latrobe, too." Instead of the classic interview of the historians who are experts on the subject sprinkled through, telling a story, this guy awkwardly had to be on camera as well and constantly interrupted, almost usurping the information that these historians were trying to convey. At one point, as he was interviewing a woman in one of Latrobe's buildings, the camera was on her and he moved into the mirror behind her so that he was on camera, too! I would like to think that the camera man was trying something new, but I can definitely picture him saying "no, wait ... look you can see me in the reflection! Keep filming!" So awkward.  I honestly don't remember one thing about Latrobe that I didn't already know except that the host of the show is bald and sounds like the guy from The Princess Bride ...


What a nightmare. I actually wrote a review on Amazon. I know, I'm such a rebel! I'm sure that Paul is a wonderful man, I thought he was really great for the first five minutes, but this type of show should not have been billed as a biographical documentary, but a personal walk-through history for Paul. I would not have picked it up, but I would also not have gotten a headache.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Finals tomorrow. This is helping.

The rain outside is also helping. I'm always in a better mood when it rains. Still sick ... blech.

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Classy ...

What is wrong with people?

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Owly ♥

I'm a bit obsessed with my new serving set. Too cute! 

Breakfast for Supper

I'm officially sick. I hate getting sick; it almost never happens. In light of my sore throat and headache, I thought I'd do something simple for supper ... breakfast!

I don't really have recipes for breakfast food, [except my southwest style scramble, I'll post that one of these days] since eggs are kind of something you just prepare according to how you feel. I wanted fried eggs today, so that was super simple.

I use thick cut, peppered bacon. My best tip for bacon prep is to cut the entire package in half [I actually don't even open it correctly, I just chop it right in half and pull the pieces out. There are two reasons for this. 1. The half-length makes for perfect BLTs. 2. Brandon likes the fat end of bacon, I like the meatier end. So, this way I can cook just the fatty ends a little and make my meaty ends super crispy! Don't forget to add Tony's and garlic powder, if you plan to follow my instructions. This bacon will kick you right in the ass after its peppered, Tony'd and garlic'd.

I usually strain most of the bacon fat out of the pan before I start on the eggs, but I never scoop out what I call the "giddins" ... they make eggs delicious. I chop up 1/2 an onion and 1 small bell pepper and add that along with a 1/2 clove of minced garlic to the grease from the bacon; just let that cook while you're frying the eggs. Everything in the same pan, I love it. Crack the eggs and throw them in on med-high. I like to poke the yolk to spread it out some; don't do this if you like them runny! Then I add some rosemary and parsley and a cheese [I like mild cheddar or muenster] to the middle once I have a good base then I do one fold, press for a few seconds before I serve them. The cheese will melt in no time and make for a nice surprise. If you like them "sunny side up," then obviously ... don't fold them. Scoop out the giddins and veggies and serve them on top. And as with any and all breakfast egg creations ... serve with Tabasco sauce.

Pancakes ... made simply from Bisquick recipe, except I add pecans and a dash of brown sugar. Also, a sliced strawberry and powdered sugar when I serve them.

Speaking of strawberries ... I love serving them with breakfast. It just works with the sweetness of pancakes and the tart orange juice.  I also like to serve coffee and orange juice on the table. The powdered sugar, strawberries, etc might seem extravagant, but this really is a quick meal, as long as you keep stuff like this in the house. Eggs are inexpensive, so is Bisquick and strawberries are usually pretty inexpensive as well! It just takes practice preparing them to get this type of thing done in about 30 minutes. Eggs can be prepared in several different ways ... all of which require practice.  Also, a beautiful serving platter is always a plus. I truly love setting a table and making every meal special. For the record ... I got the platter for $10 at Hobby Lobby ... whooo! ♥ Everything can be fabulous, even if you're poor. Hah.

Here are some pictures of how we do breakfast at the Hesson Haus. And yes, Brandon usually eats all of this and he is a 32" waist. I am quite jealous.

I serve everything on this platter!


cheese crumbles on top, here. 
Brandon usually likes them folded in, as in the instructions for optimum melty goodness.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Night Cap ...

Just a bit of leftover sangria to end the night. So delicious! This is one of my favorite sangrias to make [I have about 3! One involving rum, as well ... always a hit.] Here is my recipe for this great summer cool-down concoction that I like to call Zombee Sangria ...

You'll need:
2 bottles, Moscato
1 bottle, white cranberry juice cocktail
2 cups, Sprite [Sprite Zero!]
3 granny smith apples
3 pears
2 lemons
ice, as needed

I always start by chopping up the apples into wedges, the pears into squares, [hehe] and the lemons into wheel slices. Place all the fruit [or what you think looks best, or whatever will fit in your punch bowl, really] in a large punch bowl and add the Moscato. Let that sit for a little while, the apples and pears are going to soak up the sweet wine for an added boost when you bite into it later! Then add the other ingredients, stir and taste to see if you need to add any sugar. I never have to add sugar, but if you don't mind the extra calories and have a really out of control sweet tooth, you might need a dash of sugar stirred in. Serve over ice and don't forget to get a little fruit in each cup!

Candles & Cocktails, redux!

My sweet sister in law, Dana hosted the second ever Candles & Cocktails party, featuring Zombee Candle this Saturday. We had so much fun!

Here are a few highlights ...

Needless to say, her beautiful house was the perfect place to showcase my little Zombees! If you would like to host a Candles & Cocktails party, just email me at for more info! 

More pictures after the jump ...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Winding Down

I threw a Zombee Candle "Candles & Cocktails" party tonight. It was so fun! This was the second C&C; I always get worried that no one will come or they won't like the candles, but it was a great success and I can't wait to do it again.

I am currently winding down by drinking the leftover Zombee Sangria, (I'll post pictures and a recipe tomorrow) watching The IT Crowd and painting my nails a wonderfully shiny shade of purple.

You likey? Thats Heather's head in the background; everyone say hello! Special thanks to her for helping me tremendously today with the party set up and tear down. I plan on posting about it in more detail tomorrow. With juicy pictures, of course.


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Perch Fillets

Brandon went fishing Monday, so I cooked up a great little meal. Here's how ...

The perch fillets turned out beautifully! I usually just season with a bit of salt, pepper and Tony's; you know, the trifecta. The Tony's I use has a blue top, it has herbs in it as well; I highly recommend it.

I oil the pan with olive oil and put about 1/2 a clove of minced garlic in as well. When it starts to sizzle, I drop in the fillets. I usually cook white fish at a pretty high temperature. I'd say medium high.

I am pretty paranoid about eating "un done" food, so I always taste test a fillet by completely taking it out, cutting it in half and observing everything completely. Paranoid, like I said. 

While on medium high, I added a bit more salt and squeezed 1/2 a lemon in as well. This gave way to making a bit of gravy, made from the natural oils, the olive oil and the lemon juice for moisture. It was really delicious. Cooking fish, unfortunately leaves my beautiful Emeril pans a bloody mess, but they clean up just fine.


I always make bread. Which is probably why I'm huge. I use "fake" butter for a lot of stuff, but if I'm making little Rosemary Toasties, I always use the real deal. Here, I've heated up a stick of butter with some Tony's and fresh rosemary my husband grows for me.

Pouring that over little French bread pieces, heated up at 400 for about 5 minutes is perfect for quick meals like this. Since the fish cooks so quickly, I just put some instant rice on as well, so everything would be timed just right. There is nothing worse than having to wait for your sides to be done [hello, potatoes!] before you can eat dinner. 


Voila! Serve with lemon wedges and Tabasco sauce. There is one major problem with this meal ... no vegetables. We survived, don't worry. I had planned on having a salad, but the lettuce was getting brown. I hate that! 

Fight the Good Fight

For the love of ... well, whatever you hold dear, PLEASE help fight stupidity and the decay of our culture. How, you say? Here are a few suggestions ...

Suggestion number one - Don't watch reality TV shows. Honestly, it seems ridiculous, but it is eating your brain away. I am guilty of watching random shows [when we had cable, cutting that off was a great decision!] but now that I don't have access to it, I don't miss it. I find that it is easier to concentrate on and better my own reality if I'm not in a Tori & Dean coma. Having everything [materialistically] that I don't have shoved in my face by reality TV [i.e. Cribz-esque shows and celebrity "reality" shows] is not healthy. I don't think that the "reality" of my life has anything to do with the "reality" of a perfectly coiffed celebrity with millions to blow on home renovations, birthday parties and yet another Land Rover. What is worse, and something I could never get into, are the contest "reality" shows like American Idol [I honestly have never been able to sit through an entire episode. Probably the worst thing I've ever witnessed.] and The Bachelor. These don't even make sense to me. Do you remember Joe Millionaire? I remember my room mate and I watched that in its first season when the concept of this type of show was new. I have to admit it was fairly interesting, but I still had the lingering question of "so, this is really what is happening? or ... is it a TV show ... I'm confused." I was also about 19 years old. Fast forward to 2010 and it's hard to find a channel who's main programming schedule is free of shows considered "reality" TV. Does this not bother anyone else? I think that if everyone took a two week vacation from Facebook, Reality TV, texting, and yes, blogging, taking an objective look at what it does to people and how it is shaping our culture and numbing us into puddles of emoticons,  they would have a much healthier fear of the cultural meltdown we are about to experience.

On to suggestion number two - Stp tlkng lyk thz, plz! R u shur u wnt ppl 2 thnk u r a dumazz whn they lk @ the way we comnik8? Good lord, that took me forever to type. Haha. See, I even type out "haha" instead of LOL. If I could ever be disciplined enough to write a book, I might call it "LOL: The Death of the English Language" or something along those lines. Teachers are getting "IDK" as answers to questions on tests and full grown adults are putting "b/c" instead of because on job applications. This horrifies me. This has to be stopped now. And yes,  I realize there is no real way to help that other than spreading the word about how awesome REAL words are.

Number three - Read a book. I can't tell you how much this helps your brain function. It's sad how many people don't read. I could describe about half of the people I see on a regular basis as "rubes," and that makes me so sad. My favorite definition of the slang word, rube is; "someone not interested in culture." Isn't that fascinating? The longer I live, the more I realize that there are a lot of people out there that aren't consciously trying to make us look like idiots, they simply aren't interested in bettering themselves on any level beyond the physical. I'm not saying you have to read all the time or be a shut in and read a book a day like me, I'm just saying that we can all benefit from learning a few new words a year and reading is a great way to make that happen. We have to fight illiteracy! It is so sad to see children who enter the 5th grade,  reading at a 2nd grade level. Instead of shrugging and blaming it on the school system, how about doing something positive like helping your child read way more gooder. [just making sure you're paying attention!] Sometimes it is enough to just keep your brain healthy, that way when all of this shit explodes into oblivion, you might actually have a thought left that can help us put it all back together again.

I have about 384 more suggestions, but I have to go to work. At the library, yay! And while I'll no doubt be inspired by seeing children and adults of all ages checking out books by the tens, I'll inevitably have to tell a grown man or woman to take a break from MySpace to come and retrieve their child who is screaming and throwing books at patrons, unresponsive to our reprimands.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I QUIT FACEBOOK! Whooo! I didn't just deactivate it because of something dramatic to make a point and then come back next week when I need a fix ... I fully deleted it. Without saving all of my mobile uploads ... what a moron. But, let's not get into that just now.

I am not an easy going person. I'm extremely passionate about twenty to thirty different things, actually. I think that the sooner you realize they type of person you are, faults and all, the easier it is to make your life easier by eliminating what makes you miserable. I feel like I'm talking in circles here ...

My point is; Facebook made me miserable. I am not the most attractive person in the world; I am also not an ogre. Facebook called me an ogre. Facebook said "hey, you need airbrushing and a workout, or you won't get any internet friends." Okay, maybe that was my hate-brain manifesting itself through the world wide wonderful web box, but  you get my point. A major issue that I have is the rampant misrepresentation that my peer group exercises on Facebook. Take three different women my age and look at our Facebook pages. Everything seems great, we all appear to be in stable relationships, we all look like we have fun hobbies and think kitten videos are hilarious. While in reality, one of us is cheating on their boyfriend at the Rockin' Rodeo every weekend, one is mentally unstable, alcoholic, unemployed nitwit and the other is perfect [that one is me, obviously]. I think what bothers me most is knowing that what a lot of us base our "networking" on is complete and total horseshit. I don't want people to look at my public profile and think, yeah this looks great, but what is she REALLY like? Just because they misrepresent themselves doesn't mean that I do.

The big question is "why do you care what they think?" Well, I don't. But I do care what the simple act of planting that thought in my brain does to my every day life. I don't want to limit myself to a public profile. I realize that it sounds stupid and over dramatic, but I know who I am and I know that I am not good at separating Facebook from the rest of my life. I really thought that Facebook friends were actual friends [as I would "ignore" anyone who "friended" me and I didn't know them] until I stopped a girl in Target by saying "um, HEY, it's me, Kate!" We went to Centenary together, lived in the same dorm, "reconnected" on Facebook and then when she saw me in real life she had no idea who I was and when I told her, she said "oh, okay" and walked away like I had coughed swine flu into her face. I have to be honest ... I felt awful. I mean, what is the point of reconnecting with someone online if you don't really have a connection to begin with.

I hate to go all Aristotelian on you, but these friendships do not exist! They cannot be measured in effort or any type of real action that is usually associated with true friendship. Networking is one thing, but if they're not buying, why are you selling it so damn hard? I will miss talking to some people, sure. But I think it will mean more if I get an e-mail or GOD FORBID a damn letter in the mail. I'm takin' it way back, folks ... and I'm fully prepared for no one to follow suit. I always tell my friends who bitch about dating about how when Brandon and I met, he didn't have a cell phone. Let me put this into perspective; I'm not 59 years old. I'm 27, my husband is 28, we've been married for 3 years. I definitely thought it was weird, but I loved the fact that he didn't just text me "WNT 2 HNG OUT bAbEE?" ... he courted me! He had to go to his home, or someone else's and actually call me and ask me out on a date and then after that date, I had to wait until the next time I saw him to carry on a conversation with him. Don't you women realize that you can truly decide what kind of man is worth it if you have to go through the dating process without the aid of predictive text?  I don't think that courting is going on these days. Actually, I know it isn't. Everything is dumbed down to the blandest level so no one gets hurt or does anything of value to earn a relationship.

I have been through several "best friends" in the last few years. I have concluded that girls don't want best friends, they want someone to tell them what the want to hear, and when that doesn't happen ... you're out! Time to find someone that will "support you" even if you're trying to save them from jumping off a cliff, face first. And that is kind of the wet-noodle-backbone of Facebook.  Lets gather everyone you've ever been in the vicinity of over the last 25 years and connect them using YouTube videos and pictures of everything you've ever done or thought about doing. That way, people can express interest and stroke your ego with the click of a thumbs up. I just can't do it anymore. It wasn't that easy for Brandon and myself and I think that is what makes our relationship strong. There was no middle man or no wall to hide behind. What we started was based on something raw and I honestly think that is why we are so happy. I realize it's only been 5 or so years, but I don't think about our relationship in terms of how long we've been together, but how long we have left to go and it never seems long enough.

My husband is beyond happy that I'm off of Facebook. He suggested that I get a blog so that I can still have my fun posting pictures of food I cook and Halloween decorations I buy. But, this way, I don't have to feel so shitty afterwards.

For the record, I miss the ever-loving hell out of Jungle Jewels. But that is about it. So, if you're feeling down about not being as EPIC [don't get me started on that ...] as your Facebook friends, just remember; they don't exist. AND NEITHER DO YOU! [Just kidding, that sounded like a great end to this post, so I thought I'd use it.]


I thought it might be fun to make my first blog post from my magical iPhone.

Just sitting here, having some delicious Blood Orange soda and making some candles.

Not exactly afternoon tea, but it is much better for this hot Louisiana afternoon.

103 days until Halloween. I plan on filling this Internet with all of my Halloween gibberish until then. Stick around!


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