Friday, November 16

APPLE PIE-AYE-AYE!!

what's the best pie?
apple, obvi.
apples are their best selves when they're in a pie.
i'm certain that's the truth.
sure, a fresh, crisp, tart apple is pretty tight,
but,
in a pie??
c'mon, neighbors.
that's when they shine the brightest.
i made myself a thick apple pie, and i've gotta admit:
it's totally F*ing expert.
all the right flavors.
all the right textures.
...and with some vanilla coconut milk ice cream, and a little coconut whipped cream?
a la ooh-la-la mode???
boi, you already know what's poppin'.
check the teleport:

Wu-TANG!!!
that's the best.
cinnamon swirlies on top?
and that crisp, flaky, buttery vegan pie crust workin' it for all it's worth?
yeah!!!!!
damn, duders, i do so love a good pie.
-
here's the recipes, for your face:
-
*
PIE CRUSSSSSSSST PUNX!
-
in your trusty food processor,
combine;
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour;
3 T raw sugar;
dash of salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
10 T very cold cut vegan butter;
3 T ice-cold vegan creamchee';
3-5 T super chilled non-dairy milk.
pulse all the ingredients until they're clumpy and crOmbly,
and barely stick together when pinched.
add as much s'milk as you need to make that happen.
dump the contents onto plastic wrap, fold it up tighty-tight,
and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, or overnight, if you can be patient.
yup.
that's it.
so easy.
you can do it no probsies.
*
preheat your oven to 400℉
-
roll out half your dough on a well-floured surface,
and form a circle to stuff into a 9" pie pan.
roll out another quarter, and make those braids from some cut up strips-
tight.
i got those leaves, and i got those rolls,
and i got myself amped up on apple pie because i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
mmmhmmm.
next up, the insides:
-
*
APPLE FILLING!!
-
in a medium-sized pot, on medium heat, simmer up:
6 medium sized peeled, cored, sliced apples of your favorite varieties;
a pinch of salt;
a spoonful of vanilla;
3 T maple syrup;
1/4 cup dark brown sugar;
cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to taste;
one handful rolled oats, to soak up any exxxtra juice.
cook 'em down until they're soft,
and about half the volume they were when you started, stirring occasionally.
let 'em cool, so they don't eff up your dough by being too hot.
that's it.
*
the cinnamon rollies on top?
that's a 9"x 6" rectangle of dough,
and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar; 3 T vegan butts, cinnamon, and 2 T oat flour,
smashed up, and spread across everything but 1/2" on the long edge of the rectangle.
that, you moisten up, and stick to itself when it's rolled.
(roll it from the other side first, obvi)
slice yourself up some 1/4" discs, and arrange 'em however you'd like.
the important things here are order of operations, which i think i have outlined incorrectly.
ha!
dough first.
apples next.
oven on.
bottom crust.
cinnamon rolls.
fill, top, decorate, and the bake.
i gave mine 30 minutes (or a few more, even) until it getting golden,
and the interior of the cinnamon jauns was bubbly.
it came out perfect.
the apples are hearty and soft and sweet but not syrupy and gross.
the crust is crisp and held together like a champ.
the crunchy cinna-mini swirls are expert in every way.
that's how you do apple pie like a hero.
***********
i just wanna make allllll the food.
i've been feelin' it especially these last couple of weeks.
big tasty meals are what i need to stay warm.
that's for sure.
and big tasty meals keep the stove hot, which helps when it's 8℉ outside.
that's some bullsh!t.
i know, i  know, it's supposed to be cold in the mountains of new hampshire.
it's juts not supposed to be THAT cold this soon.
i'm all for overachieving, but this takes it to eleven.
we're in deep winter while its still early-stage late-fall.
ugh.
i guess you get what you get, and you're only wasting time being mad about it,
since it is all already here.
i'll get my shovel, you bring a fork, and we'll have pie once the path is clear;
never quiet, never soft.....

SEITANIC!!

seitan is BACK!
yup.
it's not like i couldn't make it before,
i just didn't wanna make somethin' that everybody wouldn't be able to munch up.
i was trying to be considerate, y'know?
yeah.
but, eating all these epic meals alone means eating all the epic meals
of which i'd been abstaining from for months due to food allergies an' that.
yup.
wheat meat is SO dope.
like, it's kind of the best one.
or, more accurately, it's the best one by a country mile.
i missed it, but now we're reunited, and my tastebuds are going wild for it.
yup.
i make my own.
i mean, really, dudes, storebought is great, if your sh!t is hella weak,
but if you're a worthy warrior poet, and a kitchen conquistador, you can't rep on premade.
rules is rules, and homemade just tastes better.
that's a thing.
i made some tacos.
why?
because i LOVE tacos.
honestly, who doesn't?
A*-holes! that's who. everybody else knows what's good, and behaves accordingly.
y'wanna see how y'boi gets fresh on the soft taco scene?
you do?
aight. check it:

SEITAN TACOOOOOOOS!!!!
mmmmmmmm.
i don't think you really quite grasp how much hottness these have.
do me a little favor?
look closer:

WORD UP!
the from-scratch seitan recipe is here.
sliced, seasoned, and sizzled in a hot pan,
with smoked hot paprika and GPOP, black pepper, and pickled jalapeno brine?
man, that's expert af. all. day. long.
yep. that's delicious.
-
i griddled up a cup each of shredded green and purple cabbage,
with a handful of long-wedge-sliced red onion,
in a spoonful of olive oil with some pink salt,
until it cooked down and browned up and got all sorts of awesome.
that's all over 'em, too.
-
i made my patented rainbow fiesta guacamole, too.
that's stuff is the TRUTH.
no question, it rules the roost in the guapo guac realm.
AVPO-F*ING-CADO is rad, if you don't agree, you're weird.
here's the recipe.
-
fire-roasted tomato salsa?
i used to only make my salsa fresca pico-style.
that is, until i freaked this one off, and i never looked back.
it's so good, you'll wear a sombrero and shoot a pistola into the sky.
i ca almost guarantee it.
unless of course you own only one or the other, or worse, neither.
but you get the general idea, you'll freak out over how good it tastes.
the recipe? ok. right here.
-
refried beans? man, you already know i get busy with the refritas.
a tablespoon of both minced poblano and jalapeno,
a tablespoon of minced onion,
a teaspoon of oil to saute them in,
a whole can of fat-free vegetarian pinto mashies,
a tablespoon or two of nootch,
a tablespoon or two or three of texas-style ho'sauce,
and a half a tsp ea of GPOP.
all on lowish heat, all married together, smooth and thick and dope as heck.
that's that gooooooooood bean base for these bad bois.
yummmmm.
-
pickled jalapenos, a few tomatoes, and a couple pea shoots here and there.
that's how you make it go to eleven.
dudes, i totally flippin' LOVE tacos.
and i want ALL the tacos.
i mainly want soft flour tacos.
i'm even feelin' corn tortillas.
yup.
toasty flaps of supple freshness for my face.
that's right.
***********
SNOW!
yup.
today is another 'nother snow day.
unfortunately, it's not as if ANYthing could happen,
because what's on the schedule is pretty solidly set in stone.
or at least, frozen in place.
it's unseasonably cold and weathery,
and what is normally a very grey month is even whiter than the constituent population
of this blisteringly blustery woodsly goodsly mountain vale.
yuck.
i guess i'm shoveling.
and driving on these dumb roads.
but, i'll be tatzappin' later, and that's something to be grateful for always.
this is it.
powered by tacos,
propelled by unseen forces of fate and fury,
and all of it is all really happening, because what the heck else would it even be doing?
that's kind of the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

LENTIL SOUP!!

dudes!
what the eff are mayacoba beans?
well, they're also called peruano beans....
y'know what that means?
me neither.
but, i DO know that they're thick-skinned, meaty, fat, and delicious.
uh-huh.
my homeboy, travis, a.k.a @vegan_magic_time,
sent me some dried jauns an age ago, and i fired a handful of 'em into some soup....
i'm glad i did, because they turned the taste and texture up to eleven, neighbors.
for real.
it was gonna just be lentil soup.
but, then i started freakin' it off because i can't help myself...
as a result it was also so much MORE,
which was great news, since that's kind of the only way to go around here-
too much is the right amount.
seriously.
check the teleport:

MENTAL FRUIT!!
this one has SO much flavor.
i mean it-
there's all kinds of exxxtras activating all the expert excellence from the broth to the beans,
and all the other other stuff in between.
word.
the broth was the remains of a seitan bath.
y'know?
no?
oh, okay- well when you make vital-wheat gluten 'meat', you boil it in broth-
the broth is composed of better-than-bouillon veggie concentrate,
8 or so cups of water, a heavy shake of tamari, and a few shakes of liquid smoke-
the thing is, the seitan itself imparts a thick umami magic within the water,
and it really transcends any average soup stock.
it's verrrry tasty, homeboi. no joke.
-
guys,
i had a whole vidalia onion chunked up;
and three cloves of sliced garlic;
and a fat, peeled, coarse-chopped carrot;
and three stalks of diced celery;
and two cups of red, orange, and purple baby grape tomatoes
all sauteing away in olive oil in a big pot.
i added some pink salt, and black pepper, and two cups of chopped skin-on delicata squash.
yup.
it cooks way down, and the skin gets soft, and it tastes great.
-
i hit it with a handful of nootch;
a big ol' shake of GPOP;
fresh parsley, and a whole lotta dried sage and thyme.....
that's good stuff.
next, i deglazed the semi-seared veg with a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar,
and added the mayacobas and the lentils (a cup of the former, and two cups of cooked lentils)
the seitan broth went in right over the whole thing, and i let it simmer forever on low heat.
yeah, i mean, it takes a while for the beans to hydrate, man, that's just how it goes.
i was making it up, so i didn't presoak my peruanos. womp womp.
-
i turned the heat back up to medium-high after a few hours of simmering,
and added a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste;
and adjusted the sage and thyme and GPOP and nootch (i added a bunch more);
plus, i threw in two BIG handfuls of baby spinach,
a punch of fresh chopped parsley, and another 'nother fat handful of baby kale-
yup.
MORE vegetables is always the right call.
-
lastly,
i grilled up a few cups of shredded green cabbage.
yeah!!
barely blackened in a bit of oil and salt, for a deeper, richer, manlier flavor.
tossin' that into the pot was the coup de grĂ¢ce for my whole face, bruh.
-
with a slice of homemade sourdough toasted and buttered on the side,
and a few fresh kale babies for color,
and parsley and black pepper sprankles?
c'mon.
that takes simple sucka soups to the future of fresh-to-deathliness, duder.
if i'm gonna eat it, and i ate a LOT of it, then i wanna freakin' taste it.
this one had me shook, and slurping the last little sips out of the bottom of the bowl.
uh-huh.
real life super-elite expert vegan culinary concentration is what i've got.
i do what i do, and when it ends up like this?
i feel good, i feel great, i feel wonderful.
that's the truth.
lentil soup, activated.
that's what's up;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 14

SNOW DAY!!

what?
it's mid november, and there's already been snow all over the F*ing place?
yup.
shoutouts to the woodsly effin' goodness for wholly being a heckhole sometimes.
ugh.
snow, freezing rain, ice, AND wind??
damn, duders, you know i haaaaaaaate the wind the most, right?
it's been blowing without abatement for fifteen hours, at least......
yuck.
when the weather is an A*-hole, and the skies are grey all day, and so much darker,
sooner than even the usual too-soon dimming of the lights, you need somethin'.
y'know?
somethin' expert.
somethin'tha'll lift a few spirits and generate a little warm feelin' well-wishin'
wild thang-a-langin' tasty freshness for all y'alls faces.
yup.
somethin' like cake.
word up.
cake is awesome all the time.
sure, special occasions are cool and all,
but have you ever just made a cake because cake is dope af?
i do it all the time.
i did it yesterday.
i even made it gluten-free, because i don't even be carin' 'bout wheat when it snows, bros.
ha!
check the teleport:

GLUTEN-FREE VANILLA CAKE!!
mmmmmm.
i love those silver sugar sprankles. like, a LOT.
and the chocolate and vanilla swirls of betterthanevercreamchee' frosting?
elite, and sweet, and light, and fluffed the F* out to eleven and back.
that's real.
frosting is simple-
1/2 cup softened vegan butter (1 stick/8 T);
3 cups powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T vegan creamchee';
1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
-
add 3 T raw cacao to whatever's left after you skim the surface, and pipe some swirls,
and get that good-good poppin' off properly.
*
that cake crumb, tho.
it's molto special.
single layer anytime cakes are for sure a staple of my baking regimen.
i just like a little cake now and then.
actually, i like a lot of cake all the time, but whatever.
here's the latest in a long line of great tasting treats from the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
-
*
CAKEYBAKEY SNOWDAY HOORAY!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉ convection-style.
-
in your stand mixer, with the whisk attached, slap around the following:
1 cup big-crystal raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick vegan butts;
2 tsp vanilla;
3 T tapioca starch.
mix well, and whip in:
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt.
sift in:
1 cup mama's almond-based flour;
1 tsp xantham gum;
1 cup bob's ap gf flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 tsp baking powder;
1/4 cup bob's 1:1 rice gf baking flour;
1 cup vanilla almond milk.
aerate all of that until it's as fluffy as it can get, about three minutes on high,
and spoon it into a 9" springform pan, lightly greased,
where it'll reside on the bottom rack of your oven, on a baking stone,
for 35-40 minutes, or until it's a solid, thoroughly-baked golden circle of sexxxiness.
mmmmmmmm.
dudes,
it's soft, but it's rich, and it's sweet, but not cloying,
and all those dumb flours do nothin' to make it anything but super-awesome.
i like that.
nobody wants a bummer cake just because they're gluten-babies, right?
right!
get yourself some cake. or bake yourself some cake.
cake is key to maxxximizing a snow day,
and btw, a snow day means ANYthing can happen, which certainly includes cake.
***********
i'm making allllll the food.
....i guess i'm secretly the hungriest?
i mea, that' not really a surprise is it?
shark-gluttony has basically alwyas been the right decision at mealtime.
i dunno, though.
maybe i'm filling a void?
the last few weeks have had me preparing my most favoritest ones for myself,
doing all my dirt all by my all-alonely.
aww.
but seriously, i'm still enjoying all of it.
i mean, i want that exxxtra-especially good eats on my plate and in my mouth,
solo or in a group, there's no excuse for weak treats.
that's a thing.
i'm freezing.
it's sub-twenty degrees fahrenheit, and that's bullsh!t,
but i've got lentil soup simmering,
and hot tea steeping,
and cake, naturally, to turn the temps up to bearable levels.
it's all okay, even on a wild, windy wednesday.
also,
it's all really happening, like it or not,
so we may as well make sure to do the best we can with what we've got,
which just so happens to be a lot;
never quiet, never soft.....

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.....