Tuesday, November 13

TIP-TOP!

y'ever just put everything in a bowl and see what'll turn up?
i do it a LOT.
take a look:

this is a good example of what's really good about baking up some no-recipe-ever stuff.
i mean, honestly, what is recipes, anyway?
ha. i know, what *are*recipes. whatever, i like my way better,
and i like my technique, too.
it's like jazz, or turntableism, or somethin'-
you know where the beat is underneath the variances,
so as long as you hit that,
you can get weird and it won't ever be dissonant.
i think these were gluten-free?
maybe?
i can tell you how to make 'em with or without wheat, though.
yup. that's jazzy, bruh.
i do remember that i wanted biscuits, in the american sense,
but also, in the british way, as well-
what i got were these sorta-sconey, power-packed discs of delectable dopeness.
with golden sugar crystal sprankles.
AND plain-powpow sugary icing.
uh-huh.
plus, cashews, and coconut, and walnuts, aaand dried cranberries.
um, y'all actin' like you don't even be knowin'.....
but, i know you be knowin':
too much is the right amount,
and MORE tasty bits means MORE tastiness.
obvi.
ok.
here's the rundown:
preheat your oven to 400℉
-
get yourself a big ol' mixin' bowl,
and add:
1.2 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick vegan butter (8 T)
2 T vegan creamchee' (tofutti is great for this application);
2 tsp vanilla;
1/3 cup coconut flakes (not the gummy gross ones);
1 tsp ea bakey powder and soda;
and here's where you get to choose your own adventure:
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour
OR
1 cup bob's a.p. chick pea based baking blend,
and 1/2 cup mama's coconut based flour,
AND
1/2 cup bob's 1:1 baking rice-based flour,
AND 1/2 cup oat flour,
AND 1/2 tsp xantham gum,
AND 3 T tapioca starch....
(yikes)
cut all that up into a crumbly mess of sticky, starchy flour, and then add in:
3 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
1/3 cup dried cranberries;
1/3 cup crushed walnuts;
1/3 cup roasted unsalted cashew bits and bobs;
and 2/3 cup carton-style unsweetened plain coconut milk.
knead, and fold, and knead, and turn, and fold, and knead, and fold, and knead, and turn,
etc etc, to build up layers of nuts, and butter, and berries, and everythang....
roll it out gently, or press it down firmly, to 1/2" thickness,
and cut yourself some circles, son.
yup.
do that until you can't because you've used up all your dough.
also, i don't really care what size you make yours, but mine were three inches all day.
bake 'em for twenty five minutes, spaced evenly on a couple of trays.
they'll spread a little, but you'll be fine.
let 'em cool for a few on those trays out of the oven-
transfer them to a rack to finish being warm,
and then ice and sprank 'em.
that's what's good.
treats are for enjoying, and exxxtras make that more likely.
yummmm.
the nuts and berries make these very interesting.
like, your mouth will have curiosity, for real.
what's in THIS bite?
mmmm.
yeah.
it's a nice move, man.
i even took a conventional albie rock photo, for posterity:

ha!
i've got a system, and i'm looking to improve upon it.
that's kind of my whole point, these days.
to be even better for 2019, by getting even MORE expert right this very minute.
i can easily think of waaaaaay worse ways to span my time;
never quiet, never soft.....

BREAD!!

sourdough bread.
y'know?
like,
you could be out there eating store bread.
that's not recommended, but, i mean,
they *are* making an awful lot of awful bread out there in the world,
so somebody must be buying it, right?
not me, neighbors.
no way.
i don't play with store bread.
hmmm?
oh, for sure, i'll hit up a sexxxy bakery, and get weird with some brick-hearth-baked
crusty loaves of luscious naturally fermented hottness, no doubt....
but if i'm home (and i'm always home),
you'd best believe i'm reppin' flour, water, salt, and yeast all the way to valhalla and back again.
yup.
good bread makes better people.
that's a thing.
and better bread makes the best toast,
and Tea 'N' Toast is the most dyn-o-mighty way to activate the morning.
basically, a little exxxtra effort equals a lotta exxxtra expertism.
that sound more than fair, doesn't it?
i think so.
and i do so.
and that's a fact.
check out what i've been baking these days:

bread!

good bread!

great bread!!

sourdough bread!

crusty loaves!!

open crumb!!!

rich, fermented flavor!!!
sourdough is really amazing.
i mean, it's just air touching flour and water, and turning into magic,
which in turn casts it's spell on even more flour and water,
and suddenly (or really, over about 24 hours) you get something remarkable,
and incidentally way more F*ing delicious than the commercially available norm.
on the ones-
homemade tastes better.
that's no joke.
look:

fresh-baked.

from-scratch.

Folk Life & Liberty Fortress fermented!

naturally-leavened.

expert af.
do i use an oven stone or two?
yes, i sure do.
how about steam?
yup.
midway through my 460℉ convection cycle, about 25 minutes in,
i raise the loaves to the upper racks,
and blast the rocks with hotttt water,
which rises as vapors and activates the most elite crusts in town.
word up.
this has been an ongoing endeavor, for years.
and i'm always excited every single time.
oh, there's more, btw:

some are soft.

a few, actually, are very fluffy.

some are hard.

all of 'em are dope.

all of 'em are pretty.
rules is rules, man.
....and that's just what's bakin' for toast and croutons and soup and sauce dippin'....
you know i'm on a roll with rolls, and i'm the big gun for hot buns, too.
yup.
bread, kids.
it's the staff of life, whatever that means.
i bake the heck outta some complicated gluten-free treats. i do.
but this simple, straightforward, wheaten wonderland is where i excel.
simple. elegant, and awesome.
thanks for checkin' out my loaves, friends;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 12

MELANZANE!!!

do you even eff with eggplant?
no?
oh.
well, you're Off The List.
wait,
but YOU like eggplant?
sweet.
i see you, homeboi.
and have i ever got somethin' special for your face, then.
check the aubergine-type teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!!!!
woooooo!
man, oh MAN, this is something especially expert.
hmmm?
oh, don't let those little yellow chao chee' bummer bits distract you from the bigger picture-
that's fried eggplant on pizza, and it's also F*ing amazing in every way.
crisp, soft, and saucy,
smooth, slippery, and sexy,
crusty, crunchy, and seasoned to perfection-
this pizza had all the things you'd hope it could,
and only one downside, which is, of course, my excitement over that dumb chee'.
ugh.
so, the bad news first-
chao doesn't melt worth a sh!t.
womp womp.
it tastes great in this application- it just looks like crap,
which officially removes it from common use.
tasting great is very important, but, i mean, c'mon-
it looks like pineapple almost, and while i don't care either way if it's on pizza,
it doesn't go with super-sexxxy eggplant pizza at all.
so, visually, it's jarring, but texturally it's tight af, even without the melt.
.....i just can't hang out with ugly food, dudes.
ANYway, look at that eggplant:

WORD!
it's a process, but it's so worth it.
first, get yourself some of those little small italian eggplants-
i used two of 'em, and i ate a LOT of this eggplant in one sitting....
the small ones are key here, or the graffiti jauns, even.
thin skin, and that fat ends equipped with dots not slots
(male eggplants are less pithy and seedy, google it?)...
sliced about 1/4" thick, and salted generously, and allowed to weep out the bitter water within.
that's mandatory.
while that's going on, y'gotta blend your dip and your breading-
the dip is easy:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
2 T ground  chia/flax meal;
1 T nootch;
1 tsp egg replacer.
whisk it and then let is sit until it's thick af.
easy.
the breading part? slightly more complicated, but totally not that complicated-
-
1/2 cup chick pea flour;
2 T organic non-GMO cornstarch;
2 T nootch;
1 tsp ea. GPOP, oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, paprika,
crushed red pepper flakes, fire-roasted tomato flakes;
salt, black pepper;
1 cup super-crushed cornflakes-
this could easily be gluten free if you used a rice-crisp cereal without barley syrup in it.
(i have some, its some hippie brand, but it's good)
-
you'll also need a big-A* high-walled pan with about 1/4" of hot oil across the whole bottom-
these are all going to be pan-fried, and they're going to be great, too.
get the pan fired up on high heat-
and dip your slices of aubergine into the wet, double-dredge 'em in the crawnchy dry bits,
and slap 'em in batches into the oil-
they'll need like 3-4 minutes a side, and they'll be flippin' amazing.
the house will smell great, you'll feel molto italiano,
and everybody will know you know what you're doing, even if you don't,
because this is that simple to do.
*
i made some custom cooked sauce, too.
mmmhmm.
normally, i'd use straight-up crushed tomatoes,
but eggplant is a special event ingredient over here,
and it calls for more-important parts to get activated-
-
i had three cloves of crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp ea GPOP and 3 T nootch,
all sizzlin' in a hot pan with a glug of olive oil,
and i activated that with 1 cup mashed baby grape tomatoes,
before i added 1 T fire-roasted dried tomato flakes,
and 1 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes, plus a dash of salt....
i let it all bubble along on medium-low (turned down after the crushies got dumped in),
and let it simmer away while the oven preheated to 480℉ convection-style.
yum4tum, y'bum.
real talk.
shredded baby spinach? sounds great.
minced daiya mozz? rules is rules.
if you aren't mincing your mozz, you are making a mistake.
that's for serious.
that chao? i'll maybe put it under the eggplant next time.
*
oh,
and the dough?
36 chambers- *ahem* hours of flavorful-development in the fridge,
on some long-A* bulk business,
which made it so damned dope i might just always have one proofing in there forever...
that's a thing.
flour, water, salt, yeast, time and love.
that's all, and the last two ingredients you don't even need to worry about.
***********
pizza is forever my sweet thang.
it makes dark days bright,
it makes cold nights warm,
it makes hard times easier.
i guess you could say pizza is the best emdicine for what ails you,
unless you're messed-up in ways that good food can't cure.
in that case, seek immediate professional help, and grab a slice on your way there.
pizza.
that's the best part.
pizza.
that's all i ever want.
pizza.
that's the TRUTH;
never quiet, never soft.....

that BIG B though...

french toast?
french-style batter-dipped bread on a griddle?
slightly-staled sourdough, soaked in sauce, and seared on both sides?
cinnamon coconut almond and awesomeness all together on slices of oatmeal loaves?
YUUUUUP.
that's riiiiight.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
and it's reallllly flippin' good every single time.
y'wanna see where i'm at these days?
yeah?
alright. check the teleport:
BOOOOOOOOOM!!!!
homemade raspberry compote, AND coconut whipped cream?
(and powdered sugar sprankles AAAND real new hampshire maple syrup)
too much is the right amount.
that's the only way to go.
if you aren't taking a perfect ten and turning it up to eleven,
you're probably an A*-hole, 
and i'd prefer you stick to toaster waffles and being a loser on your own private time
in your own private space.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen breakfast lab is for expert sh!t only.
-
so, to start off, i had to bake sourdough oatmeal bread, from scratch,
with all the oats,
and all the continuously-nourished starter-culture of wild yeast i keep on my counter.
once i had that sorted, and settled, and situated, 
i eventually got around to using the last ends of the loaf 
to make this satisfyingly super-deluxxxe big B.
yeah!!
the batter? it's tiiiiiight-
-
*
FRENCH-STYLE SLURRY!
-
1 cup non-dairy milk ( i used an almond/coconut blend, vanilla, unsweetened);
2 T agave nectar;
2 T nootch;
1 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 tsp nutmeg;
1/4 tsp allspice;
2 T fresh-ground unsweetened unsulphured dessicated coconut meal;
2 T chia/flaxmeal;
2 tsp egg replacer powder-
whisk it up and let it sit for fifteen minutes-
then,
supersoak and saturate your slices in there,allowing it to absorb into the deep creases of the crumb.
yum.
a hot buttery pan, and patience is all you need from there-
-
i pour a little exxxtra batter over 'em,
and sometimes (including this time), i add a little exxxtra coconut and/or cinnamon.
MORE is never bad.
-
a flip or two, and a solid sear on both sides, and you've got magic bread cakes,
ready for glazing with the wet sweetness of your choice-
which leads me right up to that raspberry compote.
bro, you need some of that on your stuff, for sure.
-
*
COMPOTE FRAMBOISE!
-
in a small sauce pot, over medium-low heat, defrost:
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries;
1/4 cup powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T lemon juice;
2 T organic non-GMO cornstarch.
let it get wet, and then thick, and then put it on your breakfast, brothers and sisters.
that's the move to make, for sure.
mmmmmmhmmmmmm.
*
i ate AVO-F*ING-CADO, with sriracha flakes and cilantro on top.
i put scallion sprankles on my homeboy fries.
i had blackened baby grape tomatoes in the mix, also.
guys,
rules is rules, and if it doesn't have that stuff, it's not the big B
it's just some morning food.
that's a fact.
***********
today is the day, though.
a no-school day.
a remembrance day.
a veteran's day.
and also,
it's a monday, which means very little really, when you're an always-person.
y'know?
morning or night, weekend or weekday, it makes no nevermind to me-
but,
the day on the calendar does factor into who is around me at any given time,
and today is a day for being around the folks who'd otherwise be occupied with other stuff.
so,
i'm grateful for this time, and i'm happy to span it with good people.
it's hard to balance real life and work life and three separate worlds,
but it's all really happening,
and it's working out along the creases of concentration and consternation 
that cause all of it to travel forward into the future.
this is IT, and that's that;
never quiet, never soft.....

BROWN!

how much chocolate is an acceptable level of chocolate?
ummmmm.
are you joking?
i think you know the answer, already, neighbors-
too much is the right amount.
c'mon.
so,
if it's chocolate brownie time, it stand to reason that MORE chocolate is better, right?
oh, yes, indeed, it is.
super-sexxxy thick, rich, overabundant decadence is the proper course of action,
and when i'm gonna activate some expert vegan magic for my mouth,
i always overdo.
i mean, rules is rules.
here's what i'm talkin' about-

SO. MUCH. CHOCOLATE.
the thing about making brownies especially good is the batter.
mmhmmm.
chocolate cake is great.
chocolate brownies are greater.
and the batter is the reason.
that's no joke.
some recipes call for way more sugar than you'd ever be able to feel good about using-
i used to use a whopping mountain of it, myself.
but then i woke up, got smart, and made better moves,
which in turn made better brownies.
and really, who doesn't want to be better?
i'm sayin'- if i can improve myself AND my baked greats,
i'm kind of the champion, aren't i?
bihhhh, i might be.
but, you can be, too, it's not like i'm not gonna share the recipe-
-
*
BROWNIE CAKE!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
grease a 10" cake pan, rectangular brownie pan, or springform, or whatever-
-
in a medium-sized saucepot, on low heat,
melt and combine:
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 cup raw sugar;
1/4 cup organic chocolate syrup;
2/3 cup raw cacao powder-
whisk it up, and thoroughly mix the cacao so it's not a lumpy heap of crap-
once warmed and melted and homogeneous, add:
1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips (they'll mostly, but not totally melt, which is perfect),
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda.
stir to blend it all up, and enjoy the slightly puffy, spongy batter you've created-
spoon it out onto your greased container,
and bake that badboi for 30 minutes-
....but FIRST, sprankle some itty-bitty baby-sized chocolate chips all over the top.
mmhhmmmm.
don't skimp out, or you're lame.
-
when it's cooled to room temperature post-bake, slice it up.
yup.
slice it before you finish it off with the exxxtra drizzy-zizzlers.
then freak it out with the dark chocolate ganache-style drips.
yeah!
1/2 cup chocolate chips, 2 T non-dairy milk, 2 T powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla,
and a little low heat to temper 'em and make the melt pop off smoothly-
i pipe my over the top through a sandwich baggie-
i do.
if you have some fancy decorator sh!t, i guess use that, man.
but make sure you add MORE chocolate.
that's really the thing.
otherwise, you're just F*ing around,
and brownies aren't for jokes and laughs, kiddo.
they exist to be expert and excellent and that's it.
***********
november is an A*-hole.
it's frickin' freeeeeezin'.
it's dark.
it's F*ing windy, which is total bullsh!t,
and it's not even all that busy a the studio.
i'm not into it, but i'm making the most i can with what i've got.
i've never been a fan, and it's not doing much to win me over, either.
i s'pose that's just how it goes, but that doesn't mean i'm happy about it.
NO thank you.
NO me gusta.
NO vember.
and i didn't shave a dang whisker on my face either.
i don't know what that's about, but i'll keep my face warm,
thank you very much;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 9

BESTIES!

i have one very best friend,
and his name is the cucch.
(pronounced: kooooch)

maybe you know him, maybe you don't.
his given name is paul, but taht's some government sh!t that i don't get down with.
he's the mutha-flippin' cucchie,
and he's been in the ranchlands of wyoming for a few years-
so, i hadn't seen him since his oldest baby, edie mae, was a little baby-
she's much bigger (sorta) now-

awwww.
s'kyooot!
not only that, but i just met his son, beck albert, or the first time, too!

HANDSOME. (and with that good hair, i'll add)
aaaaaaand,
there's another 'nother bun baking in britney's belly, too.
that's a lotta babies,
and that's a whole damn fam hangin' out up here in the woodsly goodness,
where the wild things shiver and the warrior poets opine
about life, liberty, love, and lunch at length.
yup.
i got teary-eyed about it.
don't judge me.
they're on the east coast for a very limited time,
and they made time to see me, and that means more than i can measure in words.
i am grateful for the time i have been given,
and for the very few folks who actually matter to me,
and to whom i mater as well.
it's a super short list, and it's endured the decades relatively untouched.
i know i am fortunate, i try to repay their kindness with whatever generosity i can muster.
there's spirit and memory at work here,
and it's all important in all the ways.
there are nearly no people i can just exist comfortably next to
without the need for planned events or distractions to occupy our time.
cucch tops the list.
for twenty F*ing years, he's been my spiritual other on my existential quest for
overlapping cultivated coincidence and fortuitous favorable outcomes.
he's my guy, forever,
and his whole 'uckin' family is MY family by proxy.
this is an appreciation post, and i'm not embarrassed to say i love him
like a brother, or something MORE than that-
like a second me, or an improved reflection, or something.
i just thought y'all should know.
life has moved us away from each other,
but nothing will ever really take us away from each other.
that's magic;
never quiet, never soft.....

CURRY CURRY CURRY CURRY CURRY EVERYWHERE!

dudes, i F*ing love a good curry.
that's for really-real a true story.
cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, paprika, garlic all over the place-
there's a LOT that goes into an expert curry, and that's no joke-
but when y'boi gets frisky with the curry scene,
you'd better believe it's usually thai-ish, and it is always coconut-based.
mmmhmmmm.
why?
because red, green, or yellow, coconut curry is FIRE, bro.
yuuuup.
i you don't get busy with that kind of hottness, you are diminished in my eyes;
and i mean that sh!t from the bottom of my deep-butt, homie.
ha!
so, if you're on board the coconut express, then strap in, and i'll fill in the blanks
on turbo-sexxxy boomfire bumfire coconut curry fuego for your face.
check the teleport:

say WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD, neighbors!
*
first of all, i know you see that purple ricey-nicey-niceness, right?
that's hybrid vigor doing it's thing.
uh-huh.
mostly, it's fragrant, long grain luscious fluffy jasmine rice,
but, creepin' in the cut?
yep.
there's a scoople of forbidden black rice freaking it off, and turning it up,
and making it blossom in blissful purple reign, man.
don't let your rice game slack, jack.
it's half the dish, after all, so turn it up to eleven and blow the doors off of your dinner.
*
i had thinly sliced raw carrots, shredded purple cabbage, plenty of cilantro leaf, jalapeno,
and a whole bunch of scallion sprankles all up in it to win it.
raw veg is pretty tight, so long as there's enough contrast
and compliment between them and the cooked stuff.
this was a lucky bit of balance, and it all worked together like teamwork.
that was fortunate.
there's lots of exxxxtra lime, as well.
MORE citrus zip is welcome any time at my table.
no foolin'.
those seared, steamed brussels in the corner?
perfection.
soft, small, crisp-edged brussies, in a coconut curry.
that's correct.
and it's dope.
and you're welcome.
-
but how about that curry, though.
you wanna know what it had going for it?
alright.
it's a LOT.
and it's worth all the effort.
on the ones, too much is the right amount.
and that's all i ever want.
-
*
SWEE'PO'COCONUT CURRRRRRRRRY!!
-
in a high-sided pan, on high heat, with a fat scoop of coconut oil,
sizzle up:
1 skin-on sweet potato, sliced into half-circles 1/4" thick;
one fat handful of red and orange baby graoe tomatoes;
1/2 sweet onion, roughly chopped;
2 stalks celery, bias-cut;
1 sliced peeled carrot;
3 cloves sliced garlic;
1 T skin-on organic mincey-mashy ginger.
let that soften/brown/blister about seven minutes,
then add:
2 tsp toasted ground cumin;
2 tsp ground coriander seed;
1 tsp black pepper;
1 tsp ea. GPOP;
pink salt;
let that aromatically activate, then stir in:
1 T tomato paste;
2 tsp turmeric;
2 T lime juice;
2 tsp hot paprika;
2 T minced cilantro stems;
2 T thai sambal oelek chili-garlic paste;
2 tsp sriracha;
2 T rice wine vinegar;
1 T tamari;
toss all that all over, coating everything,
and pour in 1 15oz can full-fat coconut milk.
add 1/2 cup water, stir it up,
and let it bubble and disperse the coconut fat until it's homogenous.
i added chopped jalapeno, and  three big handfuls of baby spinach too.
i like all those things, so i put 'em in there.
the liquid will absorb, and thicken, and you'll get a pasty pulpy powerful pot of hottness.
if you like your curry runny, add more water before serving, and stir it well to blend it up.
it's hearty.
i mean, it's autumn, and it's cold at night, and sweet potatoes stick to your ribs, man.
it's not overly spicy, although my nose was a lil runny-
but maybe i'm just sensitive?....could be.
-
here's what i know for sure- this stuff was expert,
like it always is when coconut and cumin touch parts.
i love coconut curry.
i love adaptogenic spice blends.
i love heat and i love sweet and i love you.
if y'all want more than that,
you're too hard to please, and i'm done with you for now.
until tomorrow,
it's all really still happening.
good food, and good times, good people and great news.
this is What Is, and it's all we get for now,
so lets hope it's enough to last through the day;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, November 8

TOMATOES FOREVER!!

all i ever want to eat is pizza.
yup.
pee eye zee zee ayy.
it's my favorite thing, and i like all the different forms it takes.
thick or thin, soft or crisp, doughy or flat or whatever-
pizza is THE BOSS, like bruce springsteen and tony danza,
and pizza is what i'm always thinking about.
so,
when it's time to make a pizza; like, from scratch, with homemade dough an' sh!t-
you'd better be damned sure i'm gonna get expert as heck with the process.
mmmhmmmm.
i don't want bummery beige boring apizza, bro.
i want that supersexxxy new hottness from the hearth and the heart, holmes.
word up.
check the teleport:

GIMME PIZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
dudes,
those roasty tomatoes?!?!
perfection.
while the oven was preheating to 480℉,
i had those rainbows halved, olive oiled, salted and peppered,
and baking up all the richest concentrated tomato taste for my face.
yup.
when they were all blistered and puckered and a little wrinkled, they were ready.
i let 'em cool just a touch, before i put 'em on the pie,
and baked them again along with everything else.
i had shredded kale on the bottom, spread generously over crushed tomatoes.
neighbors- it's simple crushed tomatoes, with a little basil, and salt.
classic new haven style sauce is where it's at, and it's where i am headed usually.
for realsies, let the ingredients rock your socks,
and let the sauce hold it down without stealing the show, bro.
ANYway, the kale cooks down to barely-there leafies, but we know it's there,
and we're getting all that iron and fiber and flavor and everything, even though it's shrunken,
it is not diminished......awwwww, that's lovely.
-
caramelized sweet onion?
uh-huh.
that's a mandatory requirement for the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory.
rules is rules, as i love to remind you.
as are the fried garlic sprankles.
i mean, c'mon, what do you think this is?
bush-league laughable amateur hour sh!t?
no way.
this is expertism at it's finest.
fresh crack'd black pepper by the 'cornload?
i doo-doo that.
crushed red italian hot pepper flakes, too?
obvi.
too much is the right amount,
and entry-level plain cheese can go straight to bummerville by itself, buddy.
i'm on the next train to satisfaction city, and this pizza is sponsoring my trip.
wu-TANG!
-
daiya chee' is not the best thing that ever happened.
but, it's absolutely not the worst, by a long shot.
minced up smaller than the standard shreds, it does what it's supposed to twice as well,
and double the dopeness is somethin' i can certainly hang out with.
mince up your shreds, kids.
it's better.
i used 2:1 mozzarella style and cheddar, and it was just what this pizza needed.
sweet.
*
the crust, though.
the crust for this rectangular square of grammie's-own thickness.
that's where the big action took place.
anybody can make an ok crust.
but it takes a little somethin' MORE to make it go to eleven.
i got you, booboo.
-
*
SQUARE v.357
-
in your stand-upright dough mixer, with the hook in place,
knead up:
1 cup a.p. flour;
1/2 cup bread flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
1 pkg regular-A* yeast;
1 tsp sugar;
2 T olive oil;
2  nootch.
1 1/2 tsp salt;
-
add 1 cup warm water w/ 1 tsp bread machine yeast stirred in and bloomed five minutes.
-
beat it up for ten minutes straight, cover it, and immediately refrigerate it for at least 12 hours.
18 is better, but i don;t know your life, friends.
make time for richer flavor in your crust though.
you will feel better about your whole life if you do.
-
you gotta hand toss it, and stretch it, and all that noise.
do it how you do it, but if you've got a half-sheet small-walled baking tray?
oil it and let your dough rise a little, covered in a warm, damp tea towel,
while your oven is heating, and those tomatoes are roasting,
mltipurpose effort and efficiency are both invited to the pizza party, bud.
let them in, and have some fun.
***********
pizza parties for one.
that's my move.
not because i'm antisocial, but because that way i get ALL the pizza.
....smart, right?
i know.
i'd love to let y'all have some, and experience how expert it really is,
but then i'd have less pizza, and that's no good for me.
i'll have to make much much MORE, next time,
so you can come by and have a square or three, and i can still have a whole one.
serving size of pizza is: until there's no more pizza.
half a pizza?
ew.
leaving a slice for later?
ew.
that's quittery, and that can't hang out over here.
you stay until the thing is DONE.
that's the decree, and i abide by it forever.
pizza is the best thing.
if everything was pizza, the world would be a better place;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 7

RAVE ABOUT RAVS

the middle is as important as the outside,
and the surroundings are also co-headlining the meal, as well.
huh?
ok.
no big deal, duders; i'm just talking about ravioli.
yup.
ravioli are a three-part harmony.
you need some right-on pasta pouches.
that's one.
you need a crucial and expert filling within.
that's two.
and third?
a mutha-'ucking elite SAUCE.
mmhmmmm.
guess what?
i GOT you, b.
teleport:
FORMUOLI FOREVER, F*ERS!!!
y'know what those are?
they're magical.
y'know what else they are?
november-appropriate hearty wholesome homemade sex-bob-ombs, bro.
delicata squash, sweet potato, leeks, kale, and tomatoes-
y'all ain't ready.
but y'better get ready, because i'mma break it down or your face, right now:
-
*
SEMOLINA PASTA DOUGH!
-
neighbors, if you don't already have semolina flour?
i'm curious as to why not, but anyway- go get some, 
and then get back to me when you're ready.
-
in your stand mixer, or by hand, whatever, combine:
1/2 cup semolina flour;
1 cup a.p. flour;
1 tsp salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/2 cup warm water.
knead until you've got a firm, sticky manly ball of dough-
that's like ten minutes, no joke-
wrap and rest it for fifteen minutes minimum, and roll it out exxxtra-thin on a floured surface.
i cut little mini circles with a little mini shapey cutter, because i wanted MORE on my plate.
keep in mind it's only 50% as many ravs as circles- 
the top and bottom come together to voltron your victuals to victory.
word up.
-
the filling was molto awesome, man.
on the ones,  i wasn't sad about it in any way whatsoever-
-
DELICATA SQUASH FILLING!!
-
in a medium pan, with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, saute:
1 1/4 cup skin-on, deseeded and diced delicata squash... 
or acorn squash, or butternut squash, i guess, although i think i'd peel that one, for sure;
1/2 cup minced onion;
2 whole cloves of garlic;
1/4 cup minced carrot;
pink salt, black pepper, GPOP, all to taste.
at about the five minute mark, over medium-high heat, add 2 T warm water, and cover.
when the water is absorbed, add 1 T tamari, and turn off the heat.-
now, either purchase, or make yourself, approx. 1/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews-
y'ever toast a cashew?
you can put 'em in a 400℉ oven for ten or so minutes, maybe a little less,
or you can roll them around in a dry pan on high heat until they're all browned up.
it's cool either way.
-
here's the thing-
y'wanna add the nuts and the squash and 2 T nootch to a food processor,
and pulverize it all into a crumbly mash.
i had to let mine cool off, but i also had to go to the hardware store and buy a shower,
so i maxxximized my time like a champion, just sayin'.
you go on ahead and do what you do, and we'll move forward from there.
-
can you guess what happens next?
yup.
you put a scoople of squash in the center of half of those semolina circles,
moisten the other half around their edges with a tiny teeny little drop of water,
and seal 'em shut with a gentle, but firm, finger press, 
followed by a crimp-up with a fork around the rim.
you see 'em up there. make yours look like that, kiddo.
boil those baby b!tches in a big pot of roiling salty water,
until they float to the surface. i used a spider to snatch 'em up,
and toss 'em into a bowl full of hot, fresh, tasty SAUCE....
uh-huh.
the sauce portion is every bit as important as the rest.
believe it.
-
*
SWEETPOTATOLEEK SAUCE!
-
in a 400℉ oven,
roast 1 skin-on sliced sweet potato;
3 cloves of garlic;
1 medium-sized carrot;
and a huge handful of tomatoes until they're all browned or blistered and fully-cooked.
i don;t know your oven, but give 'em twenty-forty minutes.....?
i always put all the veg in while it's preheating- 
nothing bad has ever come of that move, either, for the record. 
just faster-cooked treats.
in a small sauce pot, brown 1 cup of leek, plus three or so discs of sliced leek for garnish,
in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat.
(remove the browned circle, but leave the cup of chopped leek in there.
add 1 cup of warm water;
1 tsp bouillon;
1 T tomato paste;
the swee'potato and the carrot and the garlic-
bring to a hard boil, and simmer for ten more minutes,
with GPOP, and black pepper, for added flavor.
-
i used a high-speed blender to puree my veggies, 
and added another 'nother 1/4 cup of ravioli water to emulsify it further.
how was it?
incredible.
delectable.
satisfying.
and expert as hell.
but, was that it?
no way.
what do you think i am?
an A*-hole??
c'mon.
i added a cup of baby kale in there too.
too much is the right amount, after all.
now we're getting somewhere.
-
so, a ladle of sauce on the bottom.
a sauce-tossed batch of burly squash ravs (about twenty i think?) over that.
alllll the blistered roasty rainbow tomatoes.
the ringlets of leek.
a little MORE baby kale.
and a pinch of fire-roasted tomato sprankles to activate the exxtra-sexxxiness.
if that doesn't gibe your downstairs the tingles, you're dead inside,
and you're dead to me, too.
...the ONLY real problem was that i could've eaten about twenty MORE of those bad boys.
yup.
they were a revelation.
i mean, sweet potato leek majesty?
that's some autumnal new-new that rocked my socks and left my tootsies chilly.
mmhmmm.
you will be psyched if you make this.
your friends will be impressed.
your mouth and your bellyhole will flip out and give you all the gratitude on earth.
this is the truth,
and these are the tasty fresh jauns that foretell the future.
radical compassionate considerate conscientious vegan hottness is all i have to offer.
i hope you're into it.
i know i am;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 6

REMEMBER REMEMBER!

guy F*ing fawkes.
the fifth of november.
the gunpowder treason and plot.
bonfire night.
no?
nothin'??
not ringing any bells?
oh. okay.
you must not be british, or maybe your recollection of v for vendetta is a bit hazy...
that's fine.
i'm over here holding it down, regardless.
yup.
every year i make some guy fawkes cookies and burn stuff.
rules is rules,
and since my DNA came back with a big ol' batch of great british in it,
i'm doing what i do because it's literally in my blood.
check the teleport:

guido and the flames, neighbors!!!
peanut butter exxxtra-crispies?!
don't sweat it, booboo, i GOT you.
-
*
PEANUT BUTTER PARLIAMENT-POPPERS!!
preheat your oven to 400℉
(i'm estimating, i baked bread at 460, and put these in afterwards)
-
i some sort of mixiebowl, cream together:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
10 T vegan butter;
-
add 3/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter;
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt;
1/3 cup unsweetened small-flake coconut-
stir up,
and then add:
2 cups ap flour;
1/2 cup oat flour;
1 tsp ea bakey powpow and soda;
2 T agave.
fold that dough, adding a touch of syrup of somethin' if it seems too dry.
roll it out to 1/4' thickness,
and cut all the shapes.
big, small, round, square, whatever-
and bake 'em on trays for ten minutes.
afterwards, i always stencil my jauns.
yeah.
i'm like that.
they look cooler, and that IS cooler.
that guy fawkes one i've had for years, tucked up on my fridge, staring-
reminding me about remembering.
it's working so far, i guess.
***********
i fell asleep so hard last night.
like, i think i physically just broke down. lapsed into a deep doomed slumber.
no dreams, no tossing, no turning-
just total semi-comatose catastrophic collapse of awareness.
here's the thing-
i'm all caught up.
i'm wide awake.
i've written all there is to write about everything i've cooked so far.
i've got tattoos waiting.
i've got home improvements underway.
it's ALL really happening in real time,
and it's unfolding in fast-forward full-speed-ahead frame-by-frame fireballs,
from the center of my self outward into infinity.
that's a big deal.
i guess that was the deep breath before the big plunge,.
but, now we're diving off the deep end into new places and spaces.
nobody knows how it ends, but you get the time you get,
and not one little bitty baby minute more,
so let's maybe just do what we can with what we've been given,
and make it count for somethin?
i'm gonna;
never quiet, never soft.....

PANNIECAKER!

cinnamon and brown sugar.
those are great, right?
you bet your bumbum they are.
and panniecakes?
c'mon, man.
breakfast griddler flaps are the TRUTH like ruth.
that's no joke.
so, if i were to make cinnamon brown sugar pancakes,
i'd probably be expert af, huh?
yuuuuuup.
i did that,
and it was DOPE.
check the teleport:

GLUTEN-EFFIN'-FREE, TOO!!!
coconut and oat flours, with vanilla and cinnamon and brown sugs all up in there-
plus, they're snowflake/flower/demogorgon-shaped jauns, too.
i like my 'cakes shapey, neighbors.
it's more fun to eat 'em, and you still always eat with your eyes first, amirite??
shapey cakes look like they'll taste better, and they usually do, too.
with real-deal new hampshire maple syrup, because rules is rules,
and the other stuff is for total A*-holes....
AND non-dairy coconut whippy creme,
because too much is the right amount.
y'all a bunch of lil nerds if you think that i'm not giving you this recipe-
i'm always down to spread good cheer and good food, dudes.
here you have it:
-
*
GF COCON'OAT PANWELL NORIEGAS!
-
in a medium mixin' bowl, sift/stir together:
1 cup mama's gf coconut-based flour blend;
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon;
3 T brown sugar;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/4 cup bob's all-purpose gf baking blend flour;
1/4 cup unsweetened small flake coconut;
1/3 cup fresh-milled oat flour (that's oats crushed up in a spice grinder, bud);
1/4 cup coconut yogurt;
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut/almond blend s'milk;
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T melted vegan butter.
^
y'all ain't ready for that much hottness.
stir it, rest it, spoon it into the forms, on a hot lightly greased griddle-
one flip, when they've gotten firm, and risen on up a bunch, is the way to doo-doo it right.
remove the form after another 'nother little minute,
and make sure they're cooked all the way through.
-
you guys are gonna go apesh!t monkeynuts over these, though.
they're really crispish on the surface, and soft and thick and perfect everywhere else.
i like 'em.
i ate 'em.
and i also fired up some exxxtras, as well.
uh-huh.
the big B can't just be a pan of cakes, kids.
c'mon.
-
y'see that scrambo?
it's frickin' great.
a little onion and olive oil,
some exxxtra-firm tofu,
GPOP (that's Garlic Powder and Onion Powder, for you newcomers);
black pepper, pink salt, turmeric, smoked hot paprika,
and of course nootch.
if you don't nootch your scramz, you're a piece of sh!t.
and then, a bunch of baby spinach, too.
why?
because food is rad, and MORE food is MORE rad. duh.
blackened baby tomatoes on the side?
don't mind if i do.
fried tomatoes are british as a muh-fuhhh, and they're also tasty in all the best ways.
mmmmmmm.
-
and of course,
there's skin-on roasted ho'sauce-activated homeboyfries.
that's a mandatory thing.
it isn't the big B without potatoes.
i over-baked these bad babies in olive oil and black pepper in a 400℉ oven.
when they were crispy,
i freaked 'em off with a pat of vegan butter,
a little minced onion, GPOP, pink salt, and texas-style hottie sauce.
that's what's good in the woods, bro.
really real talk, the tricolor fingerling potato game was on point,
just like when it's time to rock the funky joint an' that.
-
scallion and cilantro sprankles?
don't mind if i do.
exxxtras are expert.
that's factual.
as is having a monstrous breakfast being so good for your whole life.
you are what you eat, but you're not a monster if you devour a village worth of this hottness.
for serious,
you'll only ever be better off if you're plant-powered by this kind of hearty start to the day.
you might get a bit fatter, but it's cold as hell outside, so that's probably not so bad, either.
the most important meal,
the most massive amounts,
the biggest flavors and the best textures-
anything else is a big ol' pile of time-wastin' doo-doo buttery sh!tballs.
don't be like that.
do the right thing;
never quiet, never soft.....