Thursday, March 22


there ain't no party like a vegan sourdough homestyle family pizza party,
especially if it's poppin' off at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and double-especially if there's gonna be a buffalo bomb exxxploding in your mouth.
dylan, and miranda were both in attendance,
right here alongside kayla, crabtree, and i,
and together, we devoured a F*ing eff-TON of pizza pie.
no jokes.
if you ain't all about a pizza party,
you will never be welcomed into my pizza palace,
nor will you ever be considered a complete human being.
pizza is life, and life is good when there's MORE pizza.
don't believe me?
well, that's a mistake-
go ahead, really quickly, maybe just check the teleport:

hooray for pizza, neighbors.
i mean it.
i literally want to eat it every day; and yes i know what literally means;
and no, i don't do it every day, so i am often displeased.
no worries, however, because last night was TIGHT AF.
one semolina sourdough crust, gigantic, and a little grainy,
and definitely kind of an A*-hole, if we're being honest-
which we always are, right?
...right on.
it was NOT the hero of the day,
but it actually got better as it cooled off, so that's neat.
look at how much pizza it made, man:

the veggie deluxxe is no joke.
i mean it.
heavy veggie pizza is the TRUTH, and that's all we run and tell up in here.
kayla pulsed our patented masterful marinara with a stick-mixer
(a.k.a an immersion wand blender)
and we spread it heavy on that A*-hole dough.
(i'm not even going to give you a recipe. it's not invited back here again)
there's daiya mozzarella on there,
and homemade seitan crOmbles, too.
we got broth-braised broccolini, lengthwise-halved sweet grape tomatoes,
caramelized onions, and mushrooms on half.
there's fried garlic sprankles, of course, because rules is rules,
and arugula on top as a garnish at the end,
because we know what's really good,
and besides, between 75% of the humans present,
there was a whole lot of italy in the room, bro.
four corners, sixteen slices, no leftovers.
that's how you do a pizza party at my house.
and i may have mentioned this once or twice before,
but too much is the right amount,
so we also fired up a quick double-yeast dough,
and brought out the big buffalo blaster-cannons for these dudes.
they weren't ready, but they caught up quick:

broth-braised minced cauliflorets, and browned, dry-fried mushrooms,
drenched in that homemade albie rock buff-zone baste.
if i can whip up somethin' that'll make my venomous vixen say 'oh yeah',
like she's doing a kool-aid man impersonation?
well, then you'd best believe i'm gonna, guys.
no question.
the dough was easy:
in your inestimably heroic stand mixer, combine:
1 1/2 tsp salt;
2 cups flour;
3 T olive oil;
1 pkg commercial yeast.
give it a whirl to combine it all,
and add 3/4 cup warm water, plus 1 T agave nectar,
w/ 2 tsp bread machine yeast, bloomed and activated within.
let it knead up on low-low power for seven or eight minutes,
then let it rise for fifteen, before dylan tosses it sky high.
you don't have a dylan?
that sucks.
ummmm, i guess stretch it yourself then?
then you're gonna need the sauce, kids.

albierockin' buffblast!
2 T sriracha;
1/2 cup frank's red hot;
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise;
1 tsp ea GPOP;
1 punch nutritional yeast;
1 tsp hot paprika;
1 tsp paprika.
that's it, man.
whip it up, stir it, don't spill it, and pour half of it over your caulis and shroomers.
spoon the other half on your dough,
then add:
shredded spinach;
daiya cheddar;
shredded red onion;
your pre-sauced buffzy bits,
and fried garlic sprankles.
always, bro. always.
i bake my za'za's at 480℉ on convection.
bake yours however you want, but make sure your oven is HOT af,
and cook 'em until they look done....check the bottoms, you'll be ok.
that could've been it...
but only if i was an effin' A*-hole, which i am NOT.
we also hit it with green onion and cilantro garnish,
we freaked it off with some radical expert vegan ranch dressin', kiddo.
1/3 cup vegan sour cream;
1/4 tsp GPOP;
1/4 tsp dill;
1 clove macerated garlic;
a lil' shake of dried parsley;
lemon juice to taste;
22 craxxx of black pepper.
all the regular-A* white girls you know will LOVE you for this one.
WTF are leftovers?
they're make believe.
i gotcha.
we took down another 'nother eight slices of that buffler, and left nothing behind.
you stay until the job is done, friends.
that's the only way.
here's a thing-
i don't have ANY ideas for supper tonight.
i think my superfruit smoothie has me too well-nourished to think about later on.
that's a new experience for me.
but, i s'pose being packed up to the top with vitamins isn't the worst thing i've felt.
i just have to formulate some dinner plans,
because time's tickin' this morning, so an extra treat isn't in the forecast, either.
the days are getting over-packed with activities.
the nights are crashing into oblivion after dinner and dog times.
is that what responsible adulthood is?
doing stuff until you fall asleep?
i hope so-
because if it isn't, i don't know when i'm gonna figure out how to be a grown-up;
never quiet, never soft.....


i want my people to be happy.
i don't want that to be at the expense of my own pursuits and purposes,
but i still want them to be happy.
i mention this because i don't know what makes people happy.
i don't.
i see folks getting really excited, and investing huge chunks of time into 
diversions, distractions, and in directions i just don't understand;
and i'm sure, at 5 a.m. when i'm effing with sourdough starter 
and chopping (vegan) butter into raw sugar,
those same folks'd be just as nonplussed...
but, if i hear my special one say that she'd be SO happy, 
if only we had blueberry lemon griddlecakes in the morning?
i can DO that.
and i want to.
and i'm going to.
is that lasting happiness?
is it satisfaction that'll endure?
but i don't necessarily believe in that.
so, i'll set out to make the most of a magically fleeting moment,
and of course, 
i'll document it for all y'all to experience as well. 
that's what i did, and that's what you do when there's an attainable goal in sight.
i had the oven crankin' anyway, for a perfect loaf of oatmeal sourdough,
so i tossed in some diced up skins-on potatoes, coated in olive oil, 
and dusted with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, pink salt and black pepper,
and baked them until they were golden-brown, and crispy-skinned.
that's the base for a batch of big action homeboyfries-
while those were roasting, i whipped up a fresh batch of batter, too-
because resting that bowlful for at least an hour is one of a set of  keys 
to successful panniecakes every time you make 'em.
i doo-doo that preplanned preparation stuff, neighbors.
because i want to create something that'll bring a little joy, an eyes-closed sigh,
and a whole lotta nutrients and all that to the morning
word up.
did it work?
man, you KNOW it did:
i may only be able to deliver happiness in edible increments,
but if that's all i've got, that's what y'all're gonna get.
real talk.
i do want to deliver a little joy, even if it turns to sh!t by tomorrow, y'feel me?
so, i had some shallot, one large one, actually, chopped up,
and a little olive oil, and i sizzled it up with those potatoes,
which we finished with fried sweet tomatoes, green onion, 
and a lot of texas-style ho'sauce, post-fry.
a soft toss of sauce, on a bed of spinach, and potato-time was right on time.
that's pretty TIGHT.
of course,
the triple bloober exxxplosion was what we were there for, and it delivered all the bang,
and none of the bummers.
these jauns had it ALL.
in a medium mixin' bowl,
sift up:
1 cup sprouted whole wheat flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
3 T unsweetened fresh ground coconut meal;
1/2 tsp salt;
5 tsp sugar;
1/2 lemon zest.
melt 2 T vegan butter,
and add that, along with:
3 T vegan sour cream;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1/4 cup lemon juice;
1 tsp vanilla.
gently combine it, refrigerate it for an hour, 
and then get your griddle hot, because these little baddies are coming correct right off.
we did 'em 4" roundy-style, with fresh bloobs dropped in, and burst on the first flip.
i LOVE that.
we kept 'em warm at 200℉, in the oven,
and meanwhile,
we also made some custom blueberry syrup.
1/4 cup simmered frozen wild maine blueberries, so that the skins burst, and the juices flow,
mashed and added to 1/2 cup real new hampshire sugar-seasonally-appropriate maple syrup.
i mean, c'mon- rules is rules
and tree sap is how new england brings the NOISE.
topped with that specialty sauce,
and MORE bloobs, and lemon zest, AND coconut sprankles?
you don't even know the levels of glory that were discovered, duders.
does that sound like overkill?
oh, yeah??
what are you?
a weak mincey diapery doodiebutt?
come ON-
too much is the right amount, man.
every time.
...and in the moment, we are one with everything-
bite after magnificent bite, devoured in minutes, 
like ravenous starved werewolfen warrior poets.
we made the meal together, kayla and i.
we ate it like savages, shark gluttonous and pure.
then, we took crabtree for a frigid and refreshing climb through the hills.
we immersed ourselves in the time we'd been given,
and it was expert.
so much so,
i think we'll be back at bigger breakfasts sooner than later.
that's real.
i had a lil sip of coffee,
and was positively off my t!ts with berserker battle-beastly energy.
no, that's NOT cool.
in fact, it's a problem, to be honest-
the overlap of stimulating sensory activation, 
alongside the limitless reserves of natural seasonal spirit and memory
had me at eleven all damned day long- louder, faster, harder, 
and more aggressively intense than usual-
and i'm far from listless anyway-
who'd have thought that a little tiny bean, steeped in hot water,
would be my archnemesis.
like pirates who would sober up and realize that the six year rum bender 
they'd just been on was NOT how they would've normally behaved,
i wake up in the (very) early morning, and realize that yesterday 
was a breakneck juggernaut jaunt on mr. toad's wild ride (again),
and while i'm a little ragged for lack of sleep, 
perhaps a few extras yawns is a small price to pay, relative to the dervish whirlwind
of caffeinated craziness that coffee causes?
i dunno.
it's been 40+ years of earthbound existence for y'boi, 
and i'm only just recognizing my limitations.
maybe one more sip will disprove my theory?
i'll wait until we're much busier at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and dive facefirst into espresso epilepsy, in the interest of science, obvi.
i want my people to be happy, though-
so maybe just some seltzer, and a healthy dose of blueberries will have to do;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, March 21


hey there!
it didn't matter that it was the first day of spring.
i mean, fine, okay- it mattered, alright?
but it also mattered just as much, or MORE, that it was tuesday.
y'know what i'm sayin'?
rules is rules, dudes-
even on an equinox.
what could we do?
for starters, we did the best we could-
and we turned up the heat on some soft flour flaps.
yes we did, and they were expert like a muhfuh, man.
check the vernal-primavera-type teleport:

these tasty jammers were a gratuitous reward for our patience.
i'm serious.
roasting root veggies first takes time, but it's time well spent;
and it's also time spent prepping everything else.
no jokes.
guys, those salsas from the other day were even F*ing better yesterday!!
for realsies- the verde was sweeter and neater,
the fire-roasted stuff was richer and deeper,
even the refritas were poppin' off twice as tastily.
i LOVE it when things get MORE awesome with time.
that gives me hope for my own damned self, y'feel me?
as for the tacos-
there's both salsas on 'em.
that was nice.
there's a smear of refried beans on the bottoms,
followed by a punch of baby spinach, which was pretty crisp (i like that).
you can see that there are very sweet red pepper rings,
and some very crawnchy cuke slices, too.
i should mention we had company over-
who is kayla's younger sister,
had her first Folk Life & Liberty Fortress experience.
i think she was pleased,
although she did get a look behind the scenes-
at the light-changing and napkin-selecting photo process,
as well as the plating and marinating magic that all goes on before we feast.
i hope the illusion wasn't used up by the time we actually munched up.
all that good stuff was on those soft flour flaps,
as well as cilantro and scallion sprankles-
and cilantro-lime non-dairy sour cream...
but the big boomfire was in those black beans-
half a can of rinsed beans,
sauteed with poblano pepper, a little baby bit of minced jalapeno, a splash of cider vinegar,
a dash of soy sauce, and some GPOP!
they were burly as heck,
and the perfect companion piece to the real superstar of the night.
roast one diced sweet potato, and one chopped large shallot, at 450℉,
tossed in a teaspoon of olive oil, and dusted with pink salt and black pepper
until it's crispy on the edges and softened in the centers-
add it right into a hot pan full up with allll the goodness:
1 15 oz can of drained and rinsed chick peas;
2 cloves sliced garlic;
1/2 diced small red onion;
1 italian long hot pepper;
1/2 poblano pepper;
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped;
hot paprika, cayenne, cumin, ground coriander seed, paprika, black pepper, 
GPOP, oregano, and lime juice-
toss 'em up,
soften all the veg, and dress it with a handful of chopped cilantro.
duders, it was SO tight, and right, and righteous-
all that spice, all that heat, all that FLAVOR.
if you're gonna do it, and it's gonna happen, this is my personal recommendation
for maxxximum level-eleven new hottness.
i couldn't have been happier with the outcome of this particular springtime tuesday.
it was good introduction to the season,
and it was nice to share the span and the supper with new folks.
we observe traditions around here.
and my ladyfriend loves the mexican sauces and salsas, so we have those a LOT.
i think it's gonna be sourdough dopeness on the pizza front.
that's another 'nother way we activate tomatoes around these parts.
i'll tell you what, friends-
vegan food is pretty flippin' excellent.
and, it absolutely makes you a better person.
we do it right, we do it hard, and we do it to the best of our ability.
it's ALL really happening,
because the world is an ever-evolving system of growth and development,
and we're part of the solution, while you buttery buttholes are part of the problem.
i'm sayin' it for posterity:
that's a thing.
so smarten up, and then level up,
and then come on through to our spot for some new turbo hottness for your face;
never quiet, never soft.....


a berfday cake is a beautiful thing.
real talk,
without a cake, you are clearly effing up.
and i don't eff around, let alone up, on berfdays.
even though my dear, sweet, sainted mother, bless her heart,
was down in doo-doo buttery connecticut, hours and hours away,
i still fired up a celebratory circle of sweet sentimentality,
in support of the spirit and memory of springtime and that berfy d.
i'm having cake with or without you, dudes.
rules is rules, and that's how it is.
y'ever had a lemon ginger jaun?
it turns out, it tastes exxxactly like the vernal equinox.
and the soft, fluffy frosting really tied the whole thing together.
nature wins,
and maybe that's why her first green is gold like a medal-
just like this flippin' cake....
check the birth-and-rebirth-type teleport:

c'mon, neighbors-
that's some kind of pretty, no?
ha......yeah, i know.
i want you to want to make one,
so in anticipation, i'm going to tell you how:
preheat your oven to 350℉
grease a flat-bottomed ring cake pan
in your trusty stand mixer, whisk together:
2/3 cup sugar;
1 stick + 2 T (total 10 T) softened vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1.2 lemon zest;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 T grated organic ginger;
1/2 tsp lemon extract.
next, whip in
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt,
and add 1/3 cup lemon juice.
whisk well, and sift in:
2 1/2 cups flour;
1 T non-GMO organic cornstarch;
1 T dried ground ginger;
4 T tapioca starch;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
2/3 cup non-dairy milk.
thoroughly whip, aerate, and activate all of that,
pour it, and evenly spread it into the ring pan,
and bake it for 40ish minutes,
or until it's got cracks and crevices on the surface- relax, we'll flip it over to frost it.
let it cool completely, and whip up some frosting:

1 2/3 cup powdered sugar;
4 T vegan butter;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
1/4 tsp lemon extract;
1/4 lemon zest;
1/4 cup lemon juice.
reserve half-ish, and after skim-coating the surface of your circle,
add 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp ginger extract, and 1/4 tsp turmeric to the remainder-
for added extra flavor and full-bodied color-tint hottness.
that's a thing, kids.
and those gold sprankles?
i told you, bro-
nature's first green.
also, too much is the right amount,
and we want special cake...which calls for special crinkles on top, OBVI.
berfdays are awesome to me.
i mean it.
..i really like 'em.
and while i have had fewer rad ones than bad ones,
i'm still super psyched on cake and candles, presents and cards,
and all the big fun that comes with marking another revolution around the sun.
so therefore, i try to give praise and thanks to the people i care about
on their first-appearance anniversaries.
and also, on the ultramagnetic ley-line overlap of the vernal equinox,
i have allllll the feelings flowing through my body like karate, man.
that's no joke.
there were vibes in the air, palpable, thick,
buzzing at frequencies inaudible to human ears, the lowest low-lows,
the highest supersonic hums;
all that energy cracklin through the atmosphere,
and i was at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
making art on art on art on art.
yes, i was.
MORE art for the walls,
MORE spaces filled in amongst the frames on the framework that works the magic
that makes it all work like clockwork....
because that's what i do.
creators create.
makers make.
workers work.
i'm all of that, and it's all always really happening.
from the cake-up bake-up when i wake up,
to the XXXtra-large-and-in-charge love i radiate when i get home and get into my rhythm.
me and mine, or as we call ourselves, us,
have got it going on, non-stop, body-rockin', albie rockin', high-rollin' stone-throwing,
and hard stylin' for miles and miles before we sleep.
this is What Is,
and that's all you need;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, March 20


every time, man.
that's what i say.
and on a magical mexican monday,
with a supernacho exxxplosion,
i'm ALL about that life.
for sure.
i was so psyched for it i made TWO salsas from scratch.
and then we assembled a whole superplate of chips and chee' and everything,
and lost our collective minds over how expert it all was.
for real.
y'wanna see what i'm talking about?
i want you to, too.
check the tortilla-chip-dippin'-flip-out-type teleport:

my dude dylan was here again, to experience the salsa fiesta,
and he brought his appetite, which helped us out tremendously.
y'see: the more he eats, the less we eat, and that's how everybody wins.
we began with multigrain chips.
all those extra seeds and sh!t probably have special nutrients or somethin'-
kayla was in charge of assembly,
and her system is a heck of a good one.
so, first it's chips,
then a whole mess of daiya cheddar and mozzarella-ella-ella, minced of course,
because rules is rules.
followed by more chips, and more chee', and sweet onion;
then chips and chee' and refried bean blops-
the refritas have sweet baby yellow bell pepper,
4 T minced sweet onion, 1/4 jalapeno, also minced-
plus, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,.
a punch of nutritional yeast, and too much ho'sauce.
too much is the right amount,
and these beans are fresh as F* for the addition.
that's real.
next, there's diced homemade seitan al carbon-
homemade tastes better. ...fact.
grilled up in a little olive oil, with minced onion,
and seasoned with cumin, coriander, oregano, smoked paprika,
cayenne, black pepper, and GPOP,
then loosened up with 3 T fire-roasted tomato liquids-
(reserved from the salsa we'll talk about in a little minute)
there's baby grape tomatoes, quartered;
rainbow rings of baby sweet bell pepper;
pickled jalapenos;
fire-roasted chilis;
finely chopped red onion;
2/3 can rinsed black beans;
and MORE chee'.
that's the bake-up, but that's not all, y'all.
no way.
we can't ever leave it be.
OVERDOING IT is the way we do it to it.
forever and ever.
baked at 375 for fifteen-twenty minutes? i dunno,
i was munching chips and salsas, and enjoying conversation,
so i missed out on timing things,
but when it was out of the oven,
it was topped with fresh chopped green onion and cilantro sprankles.
and then turned up another notch with a drizz' of vegan sour cream.
plus there were lime wedges for squeezin' and pleasin',
because lime is necessary for activation, man.
you know  it.
and with the remainder of the refried beans in a bowl for exxxtra scooples,
and a few chip scraps for added dippin',
and both those fresh tasty terrific salsas?
guys, we were on a real nacho luchador title fight, for sure.
and lemme tell you about those salsas-
but first, check the teleport:

OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
salsa verde!
so expert.
fire roasted tomato hottness!
muy muy experté.
first, lemme detail my green sauce for your faces-
in a sauce pot, on medium heat, simmer:
5 peeled and diced tomatillos;
3 cloves garlic;
1/2 sweet onion;
1/4 cup green bell pepper;
1 large jalapeno, seeds in;
1/2 poblano pepper;
3 T lime juice;
pink salt;
black pepper;
coriander seed;
and GPOP.
cook that all down to the a very soft state,
remove from the heat, and add 1 fat handful of chopped cilantro.
when cooled, use an immersion mixer to puree the whole thing to your preferred consistency.
i added more lime, and some fresh green onion, to bump up the flavors.
it's good.
it's crazy real super good.
you need some.
all verdes are not created equal, and the pepper blend here really upgrades the profile.
i'd have added more heat even, if i'd had a couple of serranos.
next time, for sure.
and that fireball, y'all.
(inspired by the minimalist baker, who regularly brings all the boys to the yard)
in your food processor, combine:
10 oz fire roasted tomatoes;
1/2 red coarse chopped onion;
1 heavy handful of cilantro;
3 cloves of garlic;
1 jalapeno;
1/2 thai red chili;
lime for days;
1/2 poblano;
1/4 italian long hot pepper;
pink salt; black pepper; cayenne to taste.
pulp it up to the point were it's all blended, but there's still some chunkin' to it.
that's nicey-nice.
let it marinate all day,
and then prepare yourself for the feeding frenzy that'll surely follow.
nachos, man.
that's exxxactly what we needed.
i'm psyched. and they were psyched.
we ALL were psyched, and that made everybody even MORE psyched.
that's the best.
an ever-increasing crescendo of gratitude and generosity and professional appreciation.
...and nachos.
a perfect conjunction of poetry, power, motion, and glory.
goodbye winter, hello spring.
and the best part?
there's enough salsa to bring the fire to taco tuesday as well.
heck yes.
if you don't like mexicanish food, i feel like you're missing out.
but we love it, so we're not missing a damned thing-
i guess that's a problem you'll have to solve on your own, bro.
it's all really happening,
and good times eating good food with good folks,
and trusting in your partner to make the nachos look sexxxy?
that's journeying into the future like a champ, right?
we're spanning time in the very best ways;
never quiet, never soft.....


well, today is the day, dudes.
the first day of spring-
the vernal equinox.
the balance of light and dark;
the start of something greener...
although gold is where it all begins,
if that poem is to be believed.
it's my ma's berfday.
and that's pretty cool, too.
this is IT.
and while it's not exactly warm,
it's getting brighter, and there's a lot to be said for that, at least.
another something we could say a lot for is cake.
single layer cakes are absolutely my power-play.
i've said that before, and often, because it's the truth,
and truth-tellers can never stop, man.
that's no joke.
single layer cakes are for everyday consumption, y'know?
if it was coffeecake,
nobody would bat an eyelash at having a breakfast slice every day, right?
y'know why?
because there's no middle layer to make it for a special occasion.
i'm serious.
the gluey frosting/custard/puddin'/jam/whatever in-between layers
is where the line is drawn.
i'm not in charge of these decisions, but rules is rules,
and i can hang out with that.
back to cakin' it up-
i do that.
and i did that.
and i said farewell to winter with some serious heavy-duty dopeness for my dome.
check the teleport:

coffee, chocolate, and almond, bro.
that's the good-good that kept me go-going all damned day.
how tight is that frosting?
i mean,
it's pretty flippin' tight, am i right?
and the cake itself is expert like you;re about to read about.
that's real.
it's just almond extract and almond milk and almonds,
no liqueur, because it's okay not to drink,
and besides i don't permit booze on these premises.
word up.
you wanna get crackin' on one of these for your own single-layer player game?
you do?
good, because i'm about to give you the play by play:
preheat your oven to 350℉, on convection, if you're fancy,
or 365℉ if you're not.
in your stand mixer, with the whisk attached, whip together:
2/3 cup brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick (8T) softened vegan butter;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp almond extract;
1 tsp coffee extract;
3 T instant coffee;
1/4 cup cocoa.
that'll be a thick dry mix-up,
so add:
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt, and mix well-
sift in:
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
1 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/3 cup crushed almonds;
begin to mix that on low power, and pour in;
3/4 cup almond milk with coffee extract and almond extract,
and 1/4 cup strong coffee (i use decaf, because i'm sensitive, neighbors)
whip it up until it's fluffed the F* out-
pour the batter into a greased 9" springform pa,
and bake it for 40 minutes or so-
let it cool, and flip it over, and frost it up like a pro, yo.
2 cups powpow sugar;
6 T vegan butter;
2 tsp coffee extract;
1 tsp almond extract;
1 tsp vanilla  extract;
1/4 +/- non-dairy milk.
whip whip whisk and whirl that until it's airy and awesome-
and when you're ready, skim-coat the caketop.
then swirl it as you see fit-
i added cocoa to half and made it even better,
and then i microplaned dark chocolate sprankles all over the top.
and then,
if you're trying to go to eleven (which we always are)
chocolate covered espresso beans are the power move to prove you're TILTY AF.
cake is great.
this cake is great.
mocha is delicious, and almonds complement it like crazy.
it tastes sort of italian, if that makes any sense.
i dunno.
that's how i feel when i munch up slice after slice after slice.
for realsies.
and now it's berfday time,
and springtime,
and both of those things are rad.
i'm excited.
i'm equinoxin' my socks off.
there's a ven diagrammatical epicenter right here,
where all of it is all really happening.
i'm sure excited about all of it.
spring into action, spring upwards and onwards and outwards,
and get ready to grow;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, March 19


hey dudes-
you know i don't write about every meal, right?
not everything i do all the time is a photo opportunity.
i mean,
sicilian square sundays are now a thing,
and you haven't seen me shoot a shot  of that new hottness-
but elvio's has that quad-corner fire, and we enjoy it more than you might suspect.
unless you suspect that enjoyment to go to eleven.
but, that's what i 'm sayin'-
i eat a lot of food, but it's not always a major production.
sometimes, it's just some real-deal super-sexxxiness on the fly.
for example,
kayla wanted red tomato pasta sauce for supper-
we still had some from our pull-apart garlic breadstick night,
and i went right ahead and upgraded it with fire roasted tomatoes,
leek, and red onion;
plus a quick adjustment of all the spices, a punch of nutritional yeast,
and a splash of water to smooth it out.
n.t.s.w.t.s. is my specialty, man.
c'mon: never the same way twice sauce.
that's what's up.
with penne pasta and seared seitan cutlets/
we had a molto italiano sunday night suppertime in mere minutes.
check the marinara-type teleport:

see, though?
a simple yellow-lightbulb-lit lil bit of heaven.
well, yeah, man.
we rep the italianissimo jauns,
and that calls for all the arugula sprankles.
rules is rules.
every dinner is expert,
but not every dinner is going to use five burners and six pans.
sometimes, we're only interested in MORE food, lookin' as good as it can,
in quantity,
for our greedy, needy faces.
...and i can live with that.
wind can eat a bag of AIDS.
oh man,
 i really do hate it so SO much.
walking down the unsheltered street, with a wild, whipping whirl of supercooled air
biting me in my eyes and nose,
and flipping my hoods and hats off, so my dumb noodle ear lobes freeze in place?
not cool.
making the building and enjoying of outdoor fires a real hazard?
no bueno.
generally dropping the ambient temperature to well below what the season calls for?
ma nature is ruining it right now.
then again,
it IS the last day.
winter ends today.
the darkness is diminishing, even if the temperatures are plummeting.
it's all really happening,
and tomorrow,
we reach relative equilibrium-
the same amount of light and dark;
the convergence of limitless ley lines and overlapping concentric echoes of energy;
the rebirth and beginning of that new-new;
the seasonal change-up that incrementally increases
all the excellent aspects of new england living.
but that's tomorrow.
just for today,
it's still very much winter's bones, and teeth, and nails, and clawing, clinging last gasping grasp
on hard styles, tough times, and all that rough stuff.
all we can do is endure it,
overcome it,
and enjoy the progression of this damned dark into bright bright brightness.
i'm grateful for the path we're finding here in the ever-lightening lightning-striking viking
vanguard of worthy warrior poetry and Folk Lively livin' in this woodsly goodness.
now, if only the F*ing wind would stop;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, March 18


i wore allllll the green,
and i did a whole lot of tattooing.
after a smilin'-eyed day of kiss-me-less-ness,
i came home with swollen hands and bent fingers,
and peeled the heck out of some potatoes.
when it's time to celebrate st. paddy,
it's time to eff around with that boiled D.
and man o'man, did i ever eff around with it this year.
here's the thing:
it is not something i'd consider sexxxy-lookin'.
not one bit.
i did what i could to add some elemental expertism to the thing,
and i think it worked out alright.
check the funky-ceili's-shillelagh-type teleport:

poe tay toes, neighbors!
that's right.
we've got a whole slew of soft starch ready to rock,
or sink like a rock, on that plate.
but don't that boiled D hate lookin' pretty.
i'll attribute it to hunger harrying my hurt, hurried hands,
and the demand to finish up everything all at once adding to the rush.
we had some FLAVORS up in the house, kids.
we certainly had that.
the lineup?
seitan-broth boiled whole-bulb onions, tri-color baby potatoes, and tricolor baby carrots.
(i'm sayin', i did what i could to enhance the beiges)
that's grilled, double braised cabbage quarters in the corner.
a potato-parsnip-carrot-red-onion hash waffle,
topped with freshly homemade corned seitan, with a toasted caraway and tomato relish,
and pea shoot sprankles.
that's some black irish breakfast tea black currant soda bread on the side.
too much is the right amount, man.
that's our thing over here.
here's that seitan recipe again.
the broth was repurposed for the 'tatoes and the carrots, and eventually also the onions-
first y'gotta peel the onions:
3 minutes in a pot of boiling water,
followed by draining, and soaking in very cold water for another 3 minutes,
the cutting off the butts, and poppin' them out of their skins!
that's the easy move, though. boiled D, made with boiling.
the cabbage was seared on both sides to blackness in a drizzle of olive oil on high heat-
a quick braise with a spoonful of seitan broth in the pan, lidded and evaporated,
had 'em lookin' halfway there-
but the big action was the burly non-alcoholic beer broth, bro.
2 n.a. brewskis, 1 tsp bouillon; 2 T chopped onion; 3 cloves sliced garlic; GPOP;
a dust up of thyme; 1 bay leaf; 3 T horseradish mustard;
black pepper, celery seed, mustard seed, and a splash of malt vinegar.
is it a sourbutt blast?
yes, it is.
does it still caramelize nicely in a hot pan?
yes, it does.
was that cabbage expert as hell?
you bet your A* it was, bruh.
look a little closer, please:

crispy in spots, soft everywhere else.
that's irish food for you.
the seitan was simple, too-
dredged in cornstarch, flour, GPOP, and smoked paprika, spritzed with salt,
and sizzled up until crispy,
then irish'ized with a ladle full of that beerish broth, and allowed to soak, steam, and re-sizz',
until the skin on 'em is supple, but solid with stewed soupy sauce.
and that's not nearly enough to be on my level-
so the waffle iron was up and running, simultaneously cooking both sides of my hash.
that's 2 large red peeled potatoes, grated into a strainer,
1/4 red onion, shaved paper thin;
2 medium peeled parsnips, also grated;
and one fat carrot, peeled and grated-
a heavy salting, and patience, is required.
the starchy roots will all seep liquid in incredible quantities,
and will need to be pressed and squeezed and blotted several times
to remove as much moisture as possible.
if you don't doo-do that, you'll get sad, sucky, steamed softies, with zero crisp to speak of,
and that sh!t is seven days, dude. y'know? week.
you like it.
when they're crispy, they're done-
but you might wanna keep 'em in the warm oven, because it takes a while per waffle,
and nobody likes cold hashers.
y'just toast a teaspoon of caraway seeds,
and toss 'em on top of some minced sweet baby grape tomatoes.
it tastes amazing, and it takes some time, but it doesn't require many skills.
sure, you have to eff with making your own seitan,
but it tastes twenty thousand times more elite than the store bought stuff.
it's worth every exxxtra second, i promise-
besides, the broth served double duty all damned day, too.
and the there's that soda bread!!!
damn, dudes.
i  tried a new way, with a smaller bread, and it was pretty flippin' great.
i mean it.
it was a hit with my peoples,
and that means a whole lot to me.
you want the recipe, as i recall it?
here goes:
preheat your oven to 350℉
in a medium mixing bowl, combine:
3 trader joes decaffeinated irish breafast tea bags, emptied into the bowl;
(throw away the bags, dummy)
1 stick vegan butter;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
3/4 tsp salt.
stir in, and stir well:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.
next, sift in:
2 cups flour;
1/3 cup sprouted whole wheat flour;
1 T baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
(i'm pretty sure those things are just dissembled b. pow, but whatever)
add 1/3-1/2 cup dried black currants,
and lastly, pour in
3/4 cup strong brewed irish breakfast black tea, with 1/4 cup non-dairy milk,
fold, stir, and otherwise mix that into a dough/batter,
and pour it into an 8" parchment-lined springform.
bake it for 35-55 minutes, or until the center is thoroughly done-
let it cool, and cut yourself a thic slice or five,
so you can completely freak out over the masterpiece you just concocted.
i know that's what we did.
if you're thinking any black tea will work, you're right.
if you're suspicious of someone who names a specific brand, that's cool.
try it your way first-
but then try it my way.
only the will you realize that i only have all of our best interests at heart
today, it's impressively cold.
i s'pose that's what we get?
i don't know why nature tries so earnestly to beat us up in these northern mountains,
but i'll bet we've done something to deserve it.
i accept that.
and i'll try to stay open-minded while i'm cruising around the hills in the wind with my dog.
there's so much that needs doing,
and so many tattoos that need zapping,
and so many backgrounds that need painting,
and all of it is on the schedule for today.
except, it so cold, i can't think of anything but bundling up.
nature wins, man.
now, if only she was a better sport about it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, March 17


my eyes aren't irish, but they're still smilin'.
i've got green on green on green on green,
all set up and ready to (sham)rock and roll today!
you'd think i was envious or nauseous, that's how much green i'm reppin'.
and what's more,
i'll be packed up into AMPERSAND TATTOO,
which is as green and gold as ireland itself-
a veritable leprechaun's pot o' gold, an' that.
 i've got tatty o'zapps to rainbow out, so off work i go.
as always, and forever,
i will NOT be getting drunk,
i will NOT be eating green eggs,
and i will NOT be at a flippin' parade.
no way.
it's (more than) okay not to drink;
i'm vegan for life;
and parades are SO TERRIBLY TERRIBLE.
(may day in minneapolis is exempted from this decree)
i mean, it's just a lot of dudes walking by.
i don't get it.
...and worse,
when it's st. paddy's day,
it's a bunch of drunk, terrible, loud dudes watching a bunch of dudes walk by.
...and it's windy as heck today,
so there's even less of a chance that i'd wanna be out there.
i've got spirit, guys.
i do.
loads of it.
in fact,
i've got soda bread in the oven!
with black currants, but NO caraway seeds.
i'm trying out a new recipe, and i don't really know if it'll work like i want it to-
i DO know it'll still sop up some boiled d like a sponge,
so it'll work, even if it's not like i want it to.
cabbage, tricolor mini potatoes, rainbow shaved small carrots, boiling onions-
i've got all the trimmings for a triumphant dinner conversion,
from bland and beige to big-action activated banger for these streets.
it's food and costumery, plumery, and finery,
sans buffoonery.
or, at least, no drunken buffoonery anyway.
sober stupidity all the way, all day.
that said,
i made myself a magnificently moist cacao cake yesterday.
i did.
and like, i used a LOT of cacao.
i even did some stone cold molcajete stone-ground nibs!!
wanna see?
check the teleport:

well, yea, that's peanut butter icing on top.
oh, yeah, that's crushed dry roasted peanuts and caco nib sprankles over that.
too much is the right amount,
and rules is rules.
y'can't just come at it like a weak lil baby b!tch, bro.
in for a penny, in for a pound-
and when it's cake time at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
we go harder than the hardest,
and make it more expert than an absolute authority on the matter.
that's just our way.
you wanna make something of it?
you just wanna make it!
here's the plan, man:
preheat the oven to 350℉
in a medium mixin' bowl, cream up:
2/3 cup brown sugar;
1 stick 8T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T coarse crushed cacao nibs;
stir in:
2/3 cups non-dairy vanilla yogurt;
1/4 cup cacao nibs;
3 T cacao powder;
1 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2 1/4 cups flour;
4 T tapioca flour;
1 cup non-dairy milk.
stir it up, make it nice, keep it thick, and spoon it into a greased springform pan.
bake it up for 35 minutes, or until the center is don through and through.
remove it, cool it off until it's room temperature, on a wire rack,
and when it's no longer a hot circle?
ice it up!
1/2 cup powdered sugar;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
4 tsp natural peanut butter;
and enough s'milk to make a thick drizzly icing.
you got it.
then add the spranks,
and the frosting.
chocolate frosting is necessary here.
i mean, if it isn't overdone, is it even worth doing?
you know the answer already.
i'm somehow already running later than late this morning.
i s'pose that the seitan on the stove,
the fresh-baked sourdough bread,
the run over to the grocery store to resupply for supper,
the soda bread,
and this damned dirty demanding doo-doo buttery dog
have all conspired to consume my pre-work day.
that's great.
it's a mad dash to get it all wrapped up,
and get all my green on,
and get over to the studio to get those pots of gold.
it's all really happening,
no snakes, no emerald islands, but plenty of blarney for all the rest;
never o'quiet, never mcsoft.....

Friday, March 16


it's stone cold steve austin day.
'cause stone cold said so.
i'm serious, man.
it should be a good one,
and tonight, we're having texas-style rattlesnake nachos.
no, not actual rattlesnake,
jeez. what am i?
an A*-hole?
venomously spicy nachos.
maybe some stone cold stone ground tortillas.
who knows?
that's hours and hours away,
and i've got tons to do before then.
in the meantime, though, the lions of winter are outside roaring away.
what's my least favorite element?
OBVIOUSLY, it's wind.
and that gusty busted and disgusting bag of sh!t
is right outside, whipping and whorling and waiting for my daily walk,
so it can do it's worst, because it IS the worst.
a windy stunner of a day-
full of tattoos, full of spit, piss, vinegar, blood, love, and rhetoric-
that's a lot.
it's gonna be a big deal, i think.
and speaking of big deals,
we kept safe during the ides with a simple yet powerful meal.
last night was a cheesy garlic breadstick kind of evening.
with some mama-mia madonna marinara for dippin'.
check the teleport:

on the ones,
if you don't have dippin' sauce, you are definitely an A*-hole.
that's a fact.
the dough for those sticks was a sprouted wheat pizza mishap from the night before,
cold-proofed and gluten-chain-of-strengthened,
cut, rolled, oiled, GPOP'd, nootched, and rested,
then split, daiya chee-topped, and activated with fried garlic sprankles,
because MORE garlic is good for you,
especially when you're representing pull-apart cheesy breadstick jauns.
the dough recipe is sort of a mystery.
i wasn't there for the creation, but we made it work,
and it did the job.
puffy, crusty, slightly sweet, hearty, homey mini-loaves of love,
with all that savory flavor all up on 'em.
baked for a while at four hundred fahrenheit degrees,
and then baked for a bit longer with the oven cranked to 450℉.
have you ever come home late,
after working all dang day,
and just somehow muddled through the dinner process in a fugue?
me too!
how long did i bake it?
i have no idea.
what's in the sauce?
everything, i think.
i mean,
a good marinara has to have the right herbs, in abundance,
and garlic, and onions, and y'boi uses finely minced carrot for body, too.
as much as i was making never-the-same-way-twice-sauce,
i was also using a proven formula for ingredient gradients,
and by the time it had simmered to success,
the whole house had that marzo italiano vibe flowing through the rooms.
i like that.
sorry there's no recipe.
and i'm sorry for myself that i ate half a dozen breadsticks by myself.
they went down so smooooooth, though.
it's hard to stop when the marinara is flowing like a red-golden lava stream of
universal delight and deliciousness.
i couldn't, and i didn't, and i'll gladly pay the price, steep though it may be.
and now we're here.
stone cold.
and it's stone cold outside.
it's all really happening.
parsley sprankles,
extra leggings,
heavyweight stunning,.
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, March 15


y'all had best beware today.
because it be your own dudes who'll get you got.
you don't eff with history?
well, don't say i didn't warn you.
it's the ides, bro.
the midmark of march.
it's still sort of snowing, which is beat.
it's still very cold, but it might get warmer later.
that's nice.
this is where we're at.
it's almost spring, but only on the calendar.
these days do not indicate anything resembling springtime.
for all the wary watchful lookin' that needs doin'-
i'm powered by residual fuel from my dinnertime last night.
i am.
a super-sized full pan of Pi(E) day pizza pie.
it was big, it was crusty, it was de-flippin'-licious,
and it was split between friends which made it taste even better,
despite there being a little less for all y'all due to the exxxtra division.
check the enormous-type square-style teleport:

it NEVER gets old.
not one little teentsy-weentsy little bitty tiny bit. is the best one.
and this big ol' batch of from-scratch dough was fast, wet, and mostly stretchy.
there were a couple of patched holes,
which in turn became crust-affixed pan-pizza rip-ups,
you can't tell in the picture, can you?
know why?
because me and my buddy dylan tag-teamed a salvage search-and-rescue operation,
and saved every last damned scrap of this lil baby b!tch from certain doom.
that's for realsies, neighbors.
we double-spatula excavated every shred of edible awesomeness,
and then we ate all that awesomeness audibly.
lip-smackin' jaw-gnashin' gnoshin' was in F*ing full effect,
and we made and ate it all up.
how quick a dough did i make?
pretty quick.
the key, in my opinion, is to make a wet dough, and let it super-bulk like a boss.
the in-a-hurry quick-up!
in your stand mixer with the dough hook attached, do this:
add three cups of a.p. flour;
4 T olive oil;
2 tsp salt;
1/2 tsp wheat gluten.
start to stir on low-low power,
and add 1 1/2 cups pretty flippin' warm water;
1 1/2 tsp sugar;
and 1 T bread machine yeast.
let allllll of that get kneaded up for ten minutes straight,
with regular intervals of added flour
to keep it from slumping into a sticky heap of sh!t.
that's real-
pinch after pinch, every minute, to make sure it's wet, but not soupy.
look at it.
you'll see, and if you're meant to pizzaiolo like a really-real muh-fuh,
you'll know what to do instinctively.
it's okay if you don't.
not really, though, since your dough will suck balls.
it'll rise like wild, and after fifteen minutes,
you should be able to flour it, stretch it, and let it double-dough-up
on a well floured (possibly oiled) pan.
the goal here was crustiness,
and we achieved our goal.
i had no idea i was such a square pizza enthusiast-
it turns out, that's sorta my thing.
exxxtra crust, and even a few slices without any, depending on the cut.
this baby bihhh had my homemade pepperoni on it,
which was especially expert.
and caramelized onions, of course, because no pizza should be without those.
fried garlic sprankles made their appearance,
mainly because rules is rules,
and also cuz they taste so g-dang goooooooood.
we used kale for the bake, and arugula for the finisher,
classics never go out of style, and we have styles for miles.
double leafies is the way to go, if you're going to go for the gold as your goal.
nature's first green is gold, and it might even be baby kale for all i know.
tomatoes? on top of crushed tomatoes?
tomatoes have stuff that's good for you.
and MORE good for-youiness is not a bad thing.
daiya chee' on most of it, minced, as always, for maxxxiumum meltability.
don't sleep on the pro-tips, people.
you're only hurting yourself.
and we freaked it off with rings of supersweet pepper.
a little sausagey-pepperoni-and-pepper jauns for e'r'body is tight.
the crust was great.
crisp exterior, fluffy interior, deep taste, especially for rising in a hurry.
those crushed tomatoes always invigorate me-
that's real.
my sauce-count in the ol' bloodstream is never allowed to get anemic.
i got white cells, red cells, and marinatra cells,
and they ALL need reactivating sometimes.
the best part, though?
sharing a pizza pie with people.
i wouldn't do it today, of course.
i mean, what with it being the ides, and all.
like i said, it be your own peoples, dude.
but on Pi(E) day?
that's the move.
there's never gonna be a bad time for pizza.
there's good times for it,
and then there's great times for a slice,
but even at the worst of times,
pizza is a good time;
never quiet, never soft.....