Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pumpkins

You can make pumpkin bread two ways ... use Alton Brown's recipe, or buy from a box. Now that pumpkins are readily available, I think Mr. Brown's recipe is they way to go! I'll copy it below for you to try, but I thought I'd go ahead and add my little advice for serving; cute silicone baking cups to create the precious Jack-o-lantern design and the best thing to serve this sweet pumpkin bread with is plain old Philly cheese whipped with fresh orange zest. Soften the cheese [25 sec in the microwave or just let it thaw a bit so you can whip it] and fold in the orange zest. Whip until spreadable and serve with warm pumpkin bread! Yum!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded fresh pumpkin
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a non- stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. For muffins temperature should also be 325 degrees F., but bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hallowinner ♥

I can't believe it is nearly October!! Mostly because life seems to be going by faster and faster, but partly because ... it's 90 degrees outside. What the hell?!? I'm so bummed by that. In any case, the 6th annual Hesson Haus Halloween party is right around the corner! I've got a lot going on this October [understatement of the year] so we've toned it down a bit, but to be sure ... it is happening! I think it might be nice to make the party a little more intimate. Last year I'm pretty sure I only knew half of the people drinking the alcohol we paid for ... which made me a little grumpy, actually. 

As I get older, I realize a few things ... I don't enjoy most people, which sounds terrible, but knowing your flaws is half the battle, right? Likewise, I have really learned that there are a few really great friends of mine that I enjoy giving my time to and the rest are basically wasting my time as well as their own by being half-invested in friendship based on something that isn't really there anymore. This applies to family as well. I'm sure this will change, it will get better and then worse, probably. But, for now ... I'd like to concentrate on the people in my life with whom I feel a true connection, blood or not. People who support me and allow me to support them without thinking I have an ulterior motive. 

And now for a few shots from this weekend at the Hesson Haus ... I realize they don't have a lot to do with  my rant; I'm a crappy blogger! Yay!

Boo to you, too! 

[click the photo for a link to Burning Corazon, designer of my perfect witch hat fascinator!
Don't worry, I'll be blogging about it later with more details. Yay!]

34 days!! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Motorcycle Chic ♥

The sun hit my driveway just right! I had to take some pictures of my new boots! They're perfect for motorcycle riding. We have a motorcycle, but I have to admit ... I'm not getting on that thing!

Love!! ♥

Sneak Peek ♥

Eeeek! I love purple, I love velvet, I love Halloween. Not in that order, of course. This is a sneak peek of a fun photo-shoot we had this weekend. Can't wait to tell you all about it! And, I'm a little horrified because I hate taking pictures above the ankles. I guess I'll get over it!

Patoot! ♥

Monday, September 12, 2011

Boo-ties ♥

Hi wedgie ... meet bootie! [ew, haha]

When I was little and would leave my shoes all over the house [actually, that happens now ...  thank goodness my dear sweet husband puts up with me] my Dad used to say "come pick up all these clod-hoppers!" I've never really owned a pair of shoes that came so close to perfectly fitting that description. These are the most fabulous clod-hoppers ever.
Witchy, no? Eek!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011


This is fantastic. I took a recipe for chicken Florentine casserole and kind of changed it up a little bit. [bacon bits? seriously? no ...] I don't usually do casseroles, besides big Italian dishes that you give to people after their relatives die.  I love to make baked ziti and other comfort foods, but I usually steer clear of this type of dish. Casseroles feel like cheating, I think. But, I'm sure I'll make them more often now since this was so delicious. Here's how to make this "Kickasserole" if you'd like to give it a try!

You'll need:
4 chicken breasts
1 can of spinach, strained
1 pkg mushrooms, sliced
1 can of  cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1/3 cup of butter
1/4 cup parmesean
3 cloves of garlic
salt, pepper, Tony's, etc.
fresh basil, ripped
Italian seasoning [your choice!]
2 cups mozzarella cheese

In a large saucepan, season chicken breasts with pepper, salt & "blue top" Tony's. Cook the chicken in olive oil and one clove of minced garlic. While that is cooking, mix the spinach and chopped mushrooms in the bottom of a Pyrex dish. [9x14] When the chicken is done, place it on the mixture and prepare the following cream sauce in the same saucepan. Add cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 & 1/2, parm cheese, butter and italan seasonings to the saucepan and simmer until ... delicious. I really don't remember how long. 10+ minutes probably. Add basil last, then cover the chicken and veggie mix with the cream sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 until golden bubbly [about 25 minutes.] It will be golden and it will bubble, I promise. 

Easy! Great served with rice or angel hair pasta and a salad. ♥

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yes & NO!!! [plaid]

I'd like to introduce a new feature for Hesson Haus ... I'd like to call it "Yes & NO!" Sort of like a "Who Wore It Best" mixed with a "Oh No You Didn't!" Remember the Katherine Heigl blog? One of my favorites. Not because I like to bash people for their clothing choice, but because I often get the feeling that some people are completely incapable of choosing acceptable outfits for themselves and hat baffles me, especially if they're celebrities who could employ a hard-working stylist to help! So, here we go ...

Yes! All of it. Please wear gorgeous McQ tartan in princess form and pair it with a leather jacket and perfect pumps. Minimal make up and jewelry help you concentrate on the dress ... perfection! Age appropriate, too! Which is kind of a rarity nowadays. A+

No ... not ever. I mean, I get that she is the spokesmodel for Material Girl, so some of this is necessary, like the stupid hair thing and the cross, but ... she needs help here. [Isn't she on a fashion critiquing show on E!?] Yikes. This Hatchet-Face-meets-Madonna outfit has great elements. I love buffalo or any checked print, I'm pretty sure I have 8 or 9 variations of that black skirt and I'm a huge fan of leopard ... but, all of that plus the denim vest and a cut-off t-shirt, this is a nightmare. F [...could have been a D+, but you should know that she is wearing flip-flops, rendering all arguments invalid]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The September Issue[s]

Done! I've devoured the September issues. They're always my favorite. Not just because they have 2,382,388 advertisements [which I happen to love] for things I have to save and save to afford, but because of all the fall fashion ideas! I love autumn, as you well know and the September issues of my favorite magazines tend to showcase the trends for my favorite season. To properly study my magazines [of which I subscribe to too many] every month I usually grab some Post-its, a Sharpie, some coffee, jump in my big ol' bed, slap on some Motown to sing to and get workin'! Here are a few highlights ...

... my pretties. Covers include my favorite model Kate Moss on the cover of The Bible, my favorite style bad-ass RiRi on GLAMOUR, Beyowulf [love her, but that nickname is priceless] gracing InStyle, my least favorite of the bunch, but still worth the subscription, Mrs. GOOP on ELLE [meh], my girl SJPeee covering Marie Claire and model  Karmen Peradu on BAZAAR. 

I've found a new perfume! I wear D&G in the Spring and Summer, but I haven't had a good Fall scent in awhile. I'm a big picky, as you can imagine, being that I'm in the scent business myself. 
Sephora doesn't have this, I'm not sure where I'm going to get it! I don't like buying perfume online ... just in case it smells different in person than it does matted in the folds of VOGUE.

Best feature: Iron Lady in Harper's BAZAAR. Okay, this is precious. Not only are the clothes amazing, but Georgia Mae Jagger has never looked better. Usually the gussy her up as a child whore or make her look like a crazy pre-teen or a drunk baby, but this shoot was just perfect. She's Maggie Thatcher! hahah.

Best story: Alexander Wang, Fashion's Wonder Boy ... yeah.  Not only is Alexander Wang one of my favorite minimalist desingers [top five including The Row, Calvin Klein, Celine, Stella McCartney & Mr. Wang] he is also ... gorgeous! Good lord. It was a nice little write up and I have to say I enjoyed it more than the story of Kate's wedding, which was also fabulous.

Cutest Patoot: Selena Gomez in GLAMOUR. Okay, so that is a bullshit category, but I am such a fan of Selena Gomez. She is so cute! I call her Selena Gomez Addams. 

Best Style: RiRi in GLAMOUR ... I LOVE THAT KORS JUMPSUIT!! Honestly, it is one of my favorite pieces for the season. Rosie Huntington-Whitely wore an ivory version during an interview last month. [Leno? Letterman? If it isn't Conan, I don't care ...] and I remember thinking ... yes. When I turned the page and saw RiRi wearing it in red with her red bozo hair!? Amazing. She also wears Miu Miu, LV & YSL really really well in this spread. 

Worst Trend: Fur  ... and it's everywhere! Along with snakeskin and polka dots, fur is apparently huge this season. Too bad we live in hotter-than-the-devil's-dick Louisiana and not ... beyond thunderdome. Not really digging it, sorry. And not because I love animals [I actually only love certain animals] but because I'm pretty positive I would be hot in any of this no matter what the temperature is.

Best major ad: Lara Stone for Calvin Klein 
Yes, I have about 8 specific reasons why I love Lara Stone [including her husband, her not-too abrasive gap, her ridiculous figure that is quite dissimilar to a praying mantis', etc.] but generally speaking, this is one of the strongest ads this season. I love Calvin Klein, too ... to that helps! I think second place goes to BCBG's neon hair ads [below.] They kind of feel like Bvlgari's animal ads from last year ... I'm rambling, sorry.

Best Celebrity Spokesmodel: Kate Winslet for St. John ... I mean, seriously. Who is prettier or more capable of making every woman believe in their own fabulousness than Kate Winslet? I should also say that the award for Best Spokesmodel Replacement goes to St. John as well for replacing Angelina Jolie for someone human. These ads are beautiful! [eat your heart out Demi Moore for Ann Taylor ... pfft!]

So, here is what InStyle [above] is good at ... big, sweeping overviews of what is "in." I don't go to InStyle for in depth assesment of trend flow or the story behind a design prodigy or anything of the like, but ... weee! look at all the pretty colors! I also love [hate] how they lay out specific and detailed outfits for women to go out and buy and wear exactly as demonstrated. That's insulting to me. Never have I ever bought something off of a mannequin and worn it that way because GAP told me to, and you shouldn't either! 

Fashion is about creativity and personal style. Yes, I usually drape myself in black, but there are key elements that I consider unique to myself. I think everyone should [if they feel the need to] be able to express themselves through what they wear. It is a luxury to live in a society where that is possible. Money has nothing to do with it. Yes, I would love to be able to buy that Kors jumpsuit [although I'm positive I'd work that blazer as well to save people from the horror that would be "halter top + Kate"] but even if I cant, I can still be inspired by it and other designs. This is why I thrift shop, this is why I love dressing other people, this is why I'm learning to make my own clothes. I think I'm going to get a tripod and remote so I can do some personal style blog entries. Fun! Stay tuned ... 

BONUS: Check out the WORST AD EVER after the "jump." [just click "more"] I seriously couldn't even add it to this blog; I didn't want people to associate it with Hesson Haus. Haha. Enjoy ... 

Monday, September 5, 2011

La Voz

Freddie would have been 65 today!! My hero, truly. Brandon and I met under the pretense of defending our fandom of Queen. I was wearing a t-shirt featuring Freddie and the boys and Brandon demanded to know whether I really liked them ... or if I bought the shirt from Hot Topic. He's lucky he didn't get smacked!! Our first conversation was about Queen, my obsession with Freddie and the fact that he shared that devotion. It was the closest to love at first sight that I've ever witnessed. We have plans to name one or more of our offspring after Freddie [born Farrokh Bulsara ... I think we'll stick to "Freddie"] and we hope to be able to share with them our love of Queen and other truly great music.

My earliest childhood memories were of dancing to what I would later realize is some of the the best music ever made in our den, laden with burgundy shag carpet and wood paneling. Queen makes me feel like I'm young again, even  though Freddie was dead before I was ten years old. 

Later, as I was realizing that I could sing, which I wasn't really aware was a anything special since I came from a musical family,  I began to appreciate his range and imitate his belting capabilities. He and Mariah Carey made me realize what is possible, range-wise and how that effects the type of music you can sing and the emotion you can add and transfer to others. It really is a shame that he died and Mariah stopped [really] singing. Where have all my heroes gone?

My friends will tell you ... whether they like it or not, if Freddie comes on the radio, someone is about to get a show. I love to sing Freddie. Mostly because the songs aren't something just anyone can sing, so there is a sense of pride that goes along with being able to please a crowd when singing Queen. And not just singing "We are the Champions" or "Somebody to Love" [which hardly anyone gets right]. Even singing karaoke in jest, the songs are great, but to really do it justice is something I strive to do anytime I drunkenly demand someone play "In the Lap of the Gods." One of these days I'll go crazy and YouTube a catalog of my versions of Queen songs. I'll probably have to do it with a bag over my head, but I think it would be fun! 

I truly believe Freddie to be the reason I paint my nails black, wear cat-eye make up and make it a point to sing at least one entire song each day. You know, just to keep the vocal chords loose and ready in case someone wants to hire me. Freddie is the reason I love skinny men with glorious chest hair, the reason I respect talent, the reason I don't need an alter ego ... the reason good fashion matters as much as good manners and the reason that being loyal to those I love is a lifelong aspiration.

So, in the spirit of "la voz"... on this amazing September day, enjoy some visual and aural inspiration only Freddie could give.