Monday, September 17

FRITTERS!!!!!

holy sh!t!
y'all aren't ready for how much hottness i just invented.
seriously, the new new is in effect,
and i'm exxxtra-proud of it.
that's real.
gluten-free, but you'd never know it.
baked, not fried, but you'd never feel like you're missing out.
lower in fat than most of what i make, not that it matters.
and full of cinnamony granny smithy apple magic for your face.
check it out:

WEEEOW, FRITTERS!!
they're F*ing excellent, man.
and more than that, they're a totally invented off-the-cuff creation, too.
uh-huh.
i had an idea, and it worked.
and i'm pretty psyched about that for sure!
they're moist and soft and chunky and spiced so nice.
there's maple syrup and a hint of coconut so subtle f you're not looking for it,
you'd likely assume it was some sort of heavenly kiss from the aether, bro.
real talk.
these are the TRUTH!
you want them.
trust y'boi when he tells you: you want them.
and here's how you can have them...
consider it a gift from me to you:
-

GF FRYE-TOWN FRIIIITTERS!!
-
preheat your oven to 360℉.
-
in a small pot, you're gonna need to get the apples ready first-
so, peel, core, and cube up 3 granny smiths (or whatever you'd prefer)
into 1/2'' chunks, and add 1 T cinnamon, 2 T maple syrup,
1 tsp coconut oil, and 1 tsp vanilla, all together, and simmer that stuff on mediumish heat,
until they apples start to soften and juice up,
and the cinnamon starts wafting through the whole house.
-while those are slowly bubbling, get out a medium sized mixin' bowl,
and combine:
1/2 stick (4 T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2/3 cup sugar;
3 T vegan sour cream;
2 tsp coconut milk powder;
3 T unsweetened unsulphured medium flake coconut-
next add:
3/4 cup bob's rice-based 1:1 gf flour;
3/4 cup bob's gf bean-based baking flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/2 cup gf oat flour;
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt.
-
now, add the apples to the flours,
and toss 'em until they form the stickest mixture.
i formed up a dozen baseball sized blops, and pressed 'em flattish on a pair of baking trays,
before i baked 'em up for thirty minutes.
...that's the move.
then, while they were still hot , i placed 'em on a wire rack, over a bowl,
and dumped a dollop of icing over each one, which melted into all the cracks and crevices
like sugary lava....
that's expert, and that's overkill, and that's the wa to go, bro.
yup.
too much is the right amount.
that's no joke.
the icing is literally just powdered sugar and water.
mostly powdered sugar, with jussssst enough warm water to get it gluey.
the hot fritters did the rest of the work.
-
they're so soft, but they're not wet. the apples are firm, but not raw.
the spice is tight af, and the crumb is the prefect texture.
they must've slightly steamed with all that apple juiciness, i guess,
because they were out of this world with smooooooth flavors and textures,
and that's what we all need more of today and every day, right?
word up.
*
i had no idea when i woke up that i was gonna get so fresh-to-death on a batch of fritters.
i mean, i had the overwhelming urge to get into some serious sh!t,
but i also had no baseline plan for what was gonna pop off.
i'm pretty glad for the events that unfolded in front of my eyes, guys.
when a plan comes together, i get excited.
when a tasty morning treats crosses my plate, i get amped up like nobody's business.
that's where the magic happens,
somewhere between inspiration and activation.
i'm happy about it.
if you make these, you will be too.
i ate a LOT of''em,
and i feel fantastic about that.
i can't wait to hear about what YOU think when they first cross your lips,
fresh and warm and sweet and spetembered the F* up.
heck yes.
get into it, and you'll be in great shape for the res of the day;
NQNS.....

GINGER SPICE!

i'm all about a good cake, guys.
that's no joke.
i want all the cake. i want all the frosting.
i want all the gingery spice.
and that's exxxactly what i've got going on over here.
check it out, via teleport:

YEAH!!
it's a dense, soft, spongy, thiccc piece of work,
and it's reallllllly effing good, too.
you wanna know what's in it?
molasses.
ginger.
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves.
brown sugar.
love.
awwwwww.
yes, neighbors, i put my heart into my treats.
and i put the recipes here for you.
ready?
ok!
-
*
GINGER SPICE SEPTEMBER CAKE!
-
preheat your oven to 360℉.
-
in a medium-sized mixin' bowl, mash up:
1 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick vegan butter;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 T skin-on organic finely-minced ginger;
1 1/2 tsp ginger extract;
3 T molasses;
1 T cinnamon;
1/2 tsp nutmeg, allspice;
dash of cloves-
smash all that into mush, and stir in:
1/4 cup tapioca flour;
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt-
whip that around using a spatula, and scrape it all off the sides, too.
-
next, add 2 1/2 cups flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking sida;
and 1 cup non-dairy milk.
whip it well, thoroughly but gently folding it all together,
and pour it into a greased 9" springform pan.
bake it up for thirty-five to forty minutes, or until a tester comes away clean from the center.
it should form a few cracks in the surface, and get sorta shiny on top when it's ready.
pop the spring off the sides of that pan, and let it cool completely before you decorate it.
me?
i'm a fan of no-occasion single-layer cakes.
i really am.
i want a casual slice of non-celebratory indulgence whenever i feel like it,
and single layer jauns are just the thing to make that happen.
so that's what i do.
-
i used the cinnamaplecreamchee' frosting from the last cake for this one too.
that's always a good idea.
MORE cinnamaplecreamchee' boomfire is what we all need,
and everybody is better off after a slice of septembery cake.
that's for sure.
nobody knows how much i think about these things all day-
or how much i look forward to a morning where i can get elbows-deep in batter,
and do the thing i love best.
mmmhmmmm.
a great tattoo is fulfilling,
but a great cake is thrilling and filling as well.
i do what i do because i am compelled to.
it's my purpose.
i guess being the baker-man isn't worst of things, is it?
meanwhile, i'm racing around like a wild man trying to accomplish everything else, too.
there's a LOT to do these days,
and it's all really happening, even if it feels like the world is moving faster than i am by half;
NQNS.....

OATMEAL!

iced cinnamon oatmeal cookies?
AND they're gluten-free?!?!
c'mon. that's expert.
and autumnal, if a bit early.
yup.
the temperature is in the 80's every dang day,
but the real hottness comes from these oatmeal jauns.
check the teleport:

WORD!
y'know y'wanna make some.
and i know i want you to, too.
so here's the recipe, neighbors, because i like y'all a whole bunch:
-
*
GF IOC!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉.
in a medium mixing bowl, combine:
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter;
1 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup unsweetened medium flake unsulphured coconut;
1/2 tsp xantham gum.
-
add 1 1/2 cups gf oatflour;
1 cup thick rolled gf oats;
1 cup bob's gf baking flour;
2 tsp cinnamon;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 1/2 tsp baking powder;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
-
knead thoroughly to form a chunky dough,
and pull off golf-ball sized blops, roll 'em, slightly squish 'em,
and evenly space 'em on a couple of baking trays-
put those bad babies in the oven for 13 minutes,
and let them cool completely before you ice the tops up properly-
-
the icing?
powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk.
y'ever made it?
it's like a cup of sugar, a splash of vanilla, a dash of cinnamon,
and a spoonful of s'milk, and the another spoonful, an maybe another 'nother one,
until you've got a goopy glue-like consistency.....
i always put mine in a sandwich bag, seal it and clip a corner off to drizzle it everywhere.
that's my move, you're welcome to just use a spoon or whatever
*
i learned something:
if you sleep not at all, there's more time to do more things,
albeit in a fugue, and also, poorly.
i guess that's where i'm at for now.
we'll see how long it lasts;
NQNS.....

Sunday, September 16

BLOXXX!

three layer apple squares?
yes.
gluten-free, too?
yup.
pretty as a picture on top of all that??
you know it.
check the teleport:

SQUARES, with STREUSEL!
i only wanna make dopeness that looks good and smells good and tastes good.
okay?
okay!
here's how i did it:
-
*
APPLE BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON OATMEAL THREE-LAYER SQUARES!
-
preheat your oven to 365℉.
-
in a medium-sized mixin' bowl, cream together:
1 cup brown sugar;
2 tsp cinnamon;
1 stick vegan butter;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup vegan sour cream.
-
add:
1 cup mama's almond flour blend;
1 cup bob's gf baking flour;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
1 cup crushed rolled oats;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda.
-
spoon that into a greased and floured rectangular pan.
next, you're gonna need layer two.
-
here's how you do that-
in your food processor, chop up:
three apples, cinnamon, vanilla, and 1/4 cup powdered sugar-
pulsed and pulverized into pulp, and spread over the top of the batter, bro.
yeah!
next up, in the same bowl as the batter,
you gotta make layer three.
-
that's 1 cuppa quick-rolled oats;
3 T vegan butter;
cinnamon;
1/4 powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla.
1/2 cup gf oat flour.
it makes that crumbly cookie-ish dough-
-
y'just crOmble those jauns on top of the apple blops,
and bake the whole thing for 30ish minutes.
....dudes, these are soft and sweet and fruity and fresh and cookied out and caked up,
and totally flippin' expert.
and now you know how to make 'em,
so i'd recommend you do that.
just sayin';
NQNS.....

CAKE!

apple upside-down harvest spice cake?
yeah.
look here:

WORD.
ready?
here it comes:
-
*
A.U.D.H.S.C!
-
preheat your oven to 360℉-
-
in an upright mixer, with the wire whisk attached,
cream together:
1 stick vegan butter;
1 cup raw sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy yogurt;
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 tsp nutmeg;
1/2 tsp allspice;
dash of cloves;
1 sachet 'harvest spice' trader joe's tea...
-
when combined, add:
2 1/4 cups flour;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/2 cup non-dairy milk;
1/2 cup apple cider.
-
whip that into a fluffy batter,
and set aside.
grease a 9" springform pan,
and arrange 1/4" thick sliced apples around the entire bottom.
spoon the cake batter over the top of them (it's upside down remember?)
and put it in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester comes away clean from the center.
-
allow it to cool, and flip it over to reveal those pretty apple slices on 'top'.
tight.
i added some cinnamon and sugar sprankles to the top, to make it extra fancy-
too much is the right amount after all.
...
next, you'll need some frosting.
i recommend my personal contribution to deliciousness,
cinnamplecreamchee' frosting.
here's how that happens:
-
*
MAPLEBLOPS!
-

in a mixer, with the whisk read to whip around, add:
2 cups powdered sugar;
5 T vegan butter;
3 T vegan creamhee';
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp maple exxxtract;
cinnamon (duh);
1/4 cup non-dairy milk;
2 T real new hampshire maple syrup.
whip whip whisk whisk whirl and whip again,
until it's fluffed the F* out.
just like that, you'e got the new hottness for all your autumnal niceties.
there you have it.
recipes.
for your face.
enjoy;
NQNS.....

TORTELLONI ITALIA

check it out:

TORTELLONI!
those are the big ones.
and these are big.
y'like that italian flag color scheme?
me too.
here's how i made it all work:
-
*
TORTZ!
-
in my trusty stand mixer, i kneaded:
3/4 cup a.p. flour;
3/4 cup semolina flour;
1 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/2 cup warm water-
together for ten inutes until a smooth ball formed on the dough hook.
i let that rest, covered, while i started a pot of salted water to boilin',
and got the filling ready as well-
-
the filling was great, too.
check it:
-
*
TEMPEH SAUSAGE AND SPINACH!
-
1/4 cup minced onion;
2 large cloves crushed garlic;
1/2 block prepared tempeh, crumbled;
1 tsp oregano, crushed fennel seed;
1/2 tsp sage, thyme, GPOP;
1/4 tsp rosemary, black pepper;
2 dashes liquid smoke;
1 T nootch;
in a hot pan with olive oil ready to rock, fry all tha up until the onions soften,
then add 1/2 cup veggie broth,
and 3 large handfuls of chopped spinach,
and let all that water absorb.
-
boom.
just like that, it's ready.
not bad, huh?
*
back to the dough:
roll it out on a well floured surface, extra-thin, and uniformly level-
cut yourself some squares or circles ( i go for circles, exclusively, but do what you want)
about 3" each, and set 'em aside for filling-
i got thirty something of 'em, give or take.
-
now, you'll need vegan chee', and any vegan chee' will work,
but if you've got the means and the accessibility, miyoko mozzerella is expert as heck.
a pinch of that in the center of each circle (or square),
and a spoonful of the sausagey sexxxiness with the spinach as well,
and you're in business.
fold 'em in half, then pinch the sides shut.
next, fold both sides in like it is hugging itself, and pinch them together, too.
that's all.
let 'em rest on the contertop for a few minutes,
and then toss 'em in that hot boiling water until the float,
removing the with a strainer, spider-spoon, or whatever-
*
i had those exxxtras ready already, also, y'all.
uh-huh.
olive-oil-fried garlic slice sprankles.
and then, in that same oil?
halved and blackened baby grape tomatoes.
and then in the same oil again?
now doubly-infused with flavor, i added cracked black pepper and a little pink salt,
and poured it over the pasta like a pro.
that's stacks on stacks of compound flavor concentration, kids.
believe it.
-
and then all the deepest still-dark leaves of fresh-from-outside basil,
to turn it up to eleven.
-
it's perfect.
it's pasta.
it's all right heredetailed for you to make.
you're welcome;
NQNS.....

Saturday, September 15

BYE BYE

real life documentarianism.
that's how this blog started.
true stories, told truly, because truth tellers can never stop.
there's been stories of true love, romantic love, and site-specific love, both big and small;
losses of all sizes and scale, personally, professionally, perpetually;
there's been a whole heck of a lot of litanies about personal opinion;
and a little of the art, ideas, and tattoos that made the rest possible from time to time, too....
there's been a lot of transformation that's spanned across time and space as well:
from the fat, long-haired, bushy-bearded bummer who started this thing
to the skinny spindly old bald busted grey-touched grump typing right now-
that's a LOT of stuff to tell stories about, and i have done so,
always, all the time,  and up until recently, almost every damned day for a decade.
and now, i've got more on my daily schedule than i have hours to do it all-
owning and operating AMPERSAND TATTOO,
working literally seven days a week;
three full-time resident children in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress;
crabtree the high-tension terrier craving every ounce of my already attenuated attention;
there's a fantastic woman who lives here, too, and she needs my time and my love,
as she gives me hers, and together we're making an all-new life from scratch.
...and don't let anybody ever forget that harvest and maple
my talented teen adultlettes are at the forefront of my spirit and memory always-
i do what i do to impress all of those people, 
and to keep up a bold sense of purpose and positive mental attitude 
for all the worthy warrior poets and the expert active participants that i encounter.
-
too much is the right amount, guys.
the thing of it is, there's more really happening that requires me to be present for,
and less of it is getting recorded for posterity.
9pm one-bowl suppers aren't as sexy as they could be,
and 4am dog wrestling wake-up calls aren't as alluring as you might imagine.
it isn't all family togetherness and family dinner and family fun-
it's racing against the clock and running late forever and running around missing something
and not remembering what it is until it's happening and you're unprepared...
i need more time, or, more accurately, 
i need more practice at proficiently preparing and prioritizing.
...
...
...
so,.
i'm saying so long to the few dedicated catcher-uppers who've been keeping tabs on my woodsly goodly life through this marginal and outmoded means of communique-
i may have more to say later, as i get better at being the busiest i've ever been-
but, until then,
it's bye bye time.
so i'll wave a little wave to the screen,
and i'll feel a little pang in my heart for the slacking and the lacking 
that have allowed the latest lapses in these true stories and recipe tests....
but, i've got work to do, dudes,
and it's time to get back to it.
i'm grateful for those who take an interest,
and i know i've been lucky to have a platform to talk about the triumphs, the trials, and the treats
for ten F*ing years.
until i have a minute to breathe, and better stories to tell;
never quiet, never soft.....

NEVER FORGET!

black-bottoms, bro.
yup.
that's what i'm about.
hmm?
man, y'better get your mind out of the toiletbowl-
black-bottoms are secret chocolate-laced treats.
c'mon.
don't be weird.
black-bottomed blueberry is one of my top three, for sure;
and it's also the thing i made most recently, too.
mmhmm.
maine bloobs, dark chocolate, vanilla bean biys,
and some extremely decorative pastry crustiness-
that's right.
if ever you were wondering what expert looks like,
this is it:

RIGHT?!?!
i mean, really, i'd eat all of that.
actually, i pretty much did.
dudes, it was flaky and buttery and sweet-
when it was warm, it was juicy, as well.
of course, i'm a little bit experienced at making the nicey-nice,
so i preemptively tossed all the fruit with some thickener,
so it wouldn't moosh and smoosh through the dough.
yeah!
i don't want a bummer, i want a triumph.
that's my preferential treatment for tarts and treats.
word up.
-
y'want the particulars?
ok-
it's like this:
-
*
PASTRY!
-
in your excellently equipped food processor, combine:
2 1/4 cups a.p.flour;
3 T sugar;
10 T vegan butter'
4 T vegan creamchee';
2 tsp vanilla;
3-4 T non-dairy milk, added 1 at a time-
pulse the mixture together, with the s'milk
a little at a time, until it sticks in little bits when pressed-
wrap the resultant slightly crumbly dough in plastic wrap,
and refrigerate it for a least an hour.
roll it out on a well-floured surface, and cut it into all the shapes you'd like-
-
i had mine in a preheated 460℉ bread-bake temperature oven.
that's tight, because on a parchment paper-lined tray,
it won't stick but it will get golden as heck.
and that's tight, kids.
it's good for you.
-
*
i had bloobs, a cup and a half's worth of frozen maine mini wild jauns...
with 2 T non-GMO cornstarch,
and 3 T powdered sugar,
all rolled around in a bowl to coat 'em up,
with just a pinch of vanilla bean paste-
and then, a handful and a half of mini dark chocolate chips, too.
mmhmm.
that's the move.
i dropped those onto a circle of pastry dough about 12" in diameter,
but not before i spread a quarter cup of melted, slightly stiffened dark chocolate chip paste
all over the bottom, to about 2 " from every edge.
YEAH!!
honest to goodness, y'just take chocolate chips, and put 'em in a pot,
and then let 'em melt over low heat until they're a smooth buttery when stirred.
it's easier than most things, and it tastes great,
and it kept the bottom of the tart from turning to sh!t
when the excess juice from those bloobs was more powerful
than the starch and sugar could absorb.
so there's that.
-
and you know something else?
i have a personal rule:
stay ugly (eat beautiful), stay dope.
that's the sequence.
and i did it, with those braids and leaves and pretty pretties
all poppin' off across the surface of the thing.
y'know?
that's real.
and with a face like mine, you need all the being dope and eating beautiful you can get,
since staying ugly is happening regardless.
ha.
i'm a pretty prince of pastry though, and i'll cyrano my supper to show the inner beauty
that creates these outer rings of braided golden greatness.
awww.
-
it baked for  about twenty minutes at that 460℉ mark,
and it was just right fresh from the oven.
naturally i let it cool, man.
c'mon.
i'm not trying to scour my palate with liquid berry lava.
but, once it was set up and firm, warm, but not wet?
i ate a third of it like it was nothin'....
too much is the right amount,
and that goes double for super-tasty fruit and chocolate team-ups.
believe it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 9

OVERLOADED!!

i had a night to myself to do whatever i wanted,
and all i wanted were expert vegan overstuffed soft flour tacos.
jeez, neighbors, my big chance to get wild, 
and i spent most of it feeling like a thousand pound beached whale.
ha!
too much is the right amount,
and that's no joke.
soft flour fancy vegan eats?
yes please.
i love tacos.
you do too, and you know it.
so,
i made four tacos that felt like forty tacos,
and i'm gonna keep it real with you, dog-
they were F*ing awesome-
yup.
check 'em out:

BEANS ON BEANS, with alllllll the fixin's.
i got some new authentic soft four flaps from the grocer,
and they're thicker, but softer, and way better than the old style i was reppin'.
i'm serious-
the right tortilla can transform a whole day, not just a meal, man.
that's real.
here's the line-up inside each one:
nootch-boosted ho'sauce-activated refried pinto beans;
smoky, spicy black beans with red bell pepper;
AVO-F*ING-CADO;
purple carrot and radish;
lettuce and cilantro;
pickled jalapenos;
sweet onion and scallion;
brown-on-purpose grape tomatoes;
sweet black-peppery fried pepitas;
lime.
kaBOOOOOM!!!!!
that's a lotta hottness-
and with a scoople of fire-roasted tomato salsa on each?!
they went to eleven, and then they kept right on going, bro.
*
the refritas?
so tight and TILTY.
that's 15oz of mashed beans,
with 1 T olive oil,
1/4 minced sweet onion,
1/4 cup minced sweet bell and jalapeno pepper;
generous shakes of GPOP and black pepper, 
2 T nutritional yeast;
2-3 T ho'sauce (i do texas pete, he's my homeboy)-
and that's IT.
but, like, DAS IT, though, too,.
*
those black beans?
simple simple simple.
it's just a cup of beans and a couple of slivered red peppers 
(i use the minis, because they're kyooot, but like a quarter cup, tops)
a little bitty baby bit of cilantro stems, finely chopped,
and a spoonful of olive oil, in a very hot pan-
all fired up with a shake of GPOP
and a little fresh oregano and thyme, 
and a heavy spoonful of smoked paprika and a baby shake of cayenne-
plus a lime's worth of juice,
sizzled up and set aside for you to enjoy,
with a crack or ten of black pepper, just to make sure it''s expert.
*
do you toast your tortillas?
no?
well, you do now-
they're better that way, so don't keep missing out because you're a lazy bumhole, buddy.
seriously.
all the crawncy veggies were on point.
lechuga y cilantro y zanahoria púrpura y rábano?
i had that freshie-fresh poppin' SO much.
and the double onions?
man, listen, i was home alone, but my breath was so bad, 
it was bothering people in the afterlife-
damn. worth it, for sure, but daaaaaaamn, y'boi had the dragon, son.
oooof.
-
what about those glazed pepitas?
sprankles are essential, so i had that essence in full effect-
oil, black pepper, a handful of pumpkin seeds, 
and a spoonful of raw sugar, caramelized on top.
easy, if you're paying attention to the very hot pan 
you're melting and frying and sizzlin' it all in.
uh-huh.
i was, and they were great, and with the pickled jalapenos on top?
you can't even feel the ferocity of a superstuffed diaperload of dopeness like this
unless you're squeezing lime on top and feeling how flippin' heavy it is.
that's no joke.
they had weight on 'em, b.
*
fire roasted tomato salsa.
*ahem*
FIRE-ROASTED TOMATO SALSA.
y'heard?
that's that good-good that gets it going harder and harder, holmes.
i make it basically the same always, 
with minor adjustments for ingredients as they're available.
one large-and-in-charge can of crushed muir glen fire roasty jauns-
half a red onion;
one whole stripey variegated bell pepper;
one jalapeno;
one habanero;
three loves of fresh garlic;
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro;
a spoonful of cumin; 
a smaller spoonful of crushed coriander seed;
freshly cracked pink salt AND black pepper;
a manly shake of GPOP;
lots of lime;
and a pulsing powerspin in your trusty and necessary food processor-
WORD UP.
...all the best things on a taco are represented here.
that's how you do it when there's no time limits 
and the only pressure you feel is to capture the fading evening light.
uh-huh.
i doo-doo that, and i did it SO hard i was beached and bloated,
but also so filled and fulfilled and full of food and happiness.
yum.
i'll take a shark-glutton gorgefest where i can find one, friends.
and i located the fountainhead of flour tortillas and tapped in to the spring.
yeah!
***********
FOOD IS MY FRIEND.
if it is not your friend, then truly it is an enemy to be feared.
y'feel me?
anybody can have a cursory craptacular relationship with things to eat,
and no knowledge of ingredients or technique-
only,
of all the things that you HAVE to do, this is the one that has 
the most opportunities for excellence.
sure, 
we all dwell on the minutiae of the mundane-
car parts and clothes labels and sports stats or whatever-
but those are choices that don't actually matter at all to our survival-
we HAVE to eat.
or we die.
and i choose to LIVE like a king, and EAT like a king,
and sure, maybe my sovereignty isn't going to reach into empire status,
but within the hallowed halls and walls of my small woodsly goodsly mountainous world,
i have a hell of a lovely life.
i'm grateful for the time i've been given,
and i'm sorta psyched that a taco or two or three (or more) \
can upgrade my whole weekend into something awesome.
like, i'm STILL thinking about friday tacos, guys.
they were that good.
the things i need to stay alive are also the things i love about life.
how lucky is that?
it's all really happening,
and i'm feeling like maybe i'm onto something here;
never quiet, never soft.....

ONE YEAR!!!!!

AMPERSAND TATTOO is one year old!
that's right.
and we built it from the ground up-
from signing the lease on a bare blue bummer of an empty box,
to ordering and equipping all the broad strokes and tiny details to build
an extravagant and luxurious avocado dreamscape,
to a year's worth of work has already getting done within those walls.
i'm grateful for all of it.
the people i've met,
the tattoos i've zapped,
the opportunities to create beauty, and hone my craft, and pursue my purpose,
and most of all to scoople up all those stacks on stacks of movie-checkin' money.
hahaha.
yeah!
this is IT.
from then until now,
and from now on, AMPERSAND TATTOO is where i'm at,
doing the right thing, doing my own thing, and doing the best i can.
it's a great feeling, a full year later,
to be able to say we've made the place into something to be proud of.
heck, we were even voted, by the people, as the 'best new business' in the valley.
that's somethin'.
it's not just MY thing.
there's a whole crew of folks involved in making it, and maintaining it,
and injecting positive energy and intentional inventiveness,
as well as well-placed invective,
awesome adjectives, good food, better conversation,
and of course, top-notch art....

right?!
that's what's good, guys.
expert olivey avocado guacamole greens, and golds,
like robert frost and ponyboy curtis and hamden, connecticut, and it's warrior poets;
with 2chainz and neil young all rolled into one....
and then about a billion skulls and roses and pumpkins tossed in to make it rad.
ha!
dudes,
AMPERSAND TATTOO is one year old!!!
we built it up,
and you kept it going,
and now it's all really happening.
i don't have the words to express how fortunate i feel
to have the opportunity to make the magic happen every single day
in a space of my own design ad creation, creating and designing pictures,
for paper and people,
as my main source of social and fiscal interactive participation.
thank you, and you, and you and you and you in the back-
you know who you are-
xoxoxoxoxoxx;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, September 8

FANCY PIZZA!!!

regular pizza is tight af.
but,
fancy pizza?
that sh!t is the big action burly barbarian business, b!tches!
wordimus prime.
anybody can have regular pizza,
but only worthy warrior poets and for-really-real food aficionados
seek out the substantially sexxxier sorts of crusty lust
that come from exxxceptionaly expert homemade vegan pizza times.
...that's no joke.
i made kid-friendly pizza,
which looked just like regular pizza, with perfect well-proofed crust,
and three kinds of chee', and sauce, and help from three hungry little ones-
that was all good, and it went over like a little family dinner togetherness,
which in turn made me happy and sad.
huh?
oh,
well, the big kids and i did that every night we were together for a decade,
and now, we're moving forward into a new era,
and it's sweet, and it's new,
and it brings up the old alongside the present-
memory and spirit and a real couple of hard-style F*ers, man.
i have strong feelings, as befits a strong man, and when i get that stirred up,
i sometimes just need a little minute to collect myself.
awwwwwwwww.
bigs and littles and new olds and old news and new news......
the common thread is that i'm firing up the oven in all scenarios.
that's my unifying force.
so, after we made regular youngin' pizza,
i made super-deluxxxe manliness for my own mouth...
yup.
check it:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!
that's olive-oiled and pink salted and black peppered potatoes;
oven-roasted garden fresh tomatoes;
daiya mozzarella, minced as is mandatory for maxxximized meltability.
rules is rules, fools.
don't leave it as fat shreds, it sucks a little when you do it that way.
raw red onion is dope.
that's a fact.
also, scallion sprankles, alongside fried garlic sprankles??
man, c'mon.
good pizza makes you a better person.
and without those exxxtras, you're not as good.
real talk.
-
the chick peas, though-
oil, GPOP, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and thyme.
that's how you do-doo the freakiest sh!t, kids.
and it's SO good.
a savory saucer of semolina sourdough-activated fast-risin' crust-
added last minute to the menu?
mmmm.
here's what i did:
-
*
SECRET CRUST!
-
in your must-have stand mixer, with the must-need must-knead hook attached, combine:
1 1/2 cups flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
2 tsp salt;
2/3 cup warm water;
1 tsp sugar;
3 T active sourdough starter;
1 pkg fast-actin' yeast;
-
beat all that up for 11 minutes, let it rise while your oven preheats to 480℉,
and build yourself a better pizza with this better bread.
you got this.
***********
i've got today to doo-doo all the treats.
this morning is my only solo a.m. all week,
and while i'm feeling a little lonely,
i'm also feeling molto motivated to make the magic happen.
so ive got treats on treats on the docket for the day's start.
i don't even care-
cake, muffins, tarts, all the things.
that's what's poppin', and that's what's up.
if you ain't about that treats life, keep moving-
we're so bitter all the time, we need a little sucrose to balance the scales.
this is it.
it's all really happening, and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....