Monday, June 17


mocha cookies!
i mean,
when you can, you should.
and i did just that, because if i've got one thing in abundance,.
it's that expert level-eleven cookie-baking wherewithal:

chocolaty and coffee'd to the max,
these jauns have a whole heckuva lotta hottness poppin' off.
here's the recipe:
preheat your oven to 375.
in a big ol' mixin' bowl, cream together:
3/4 cup brown sugar;
1/3 cup sugar;
8 T ( 1 stick) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp coffee extract;
1/4 cup heaped instant decaf coffee-
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce;
1/3 cup ground unsweetened coconut;
2 T agave;
next stir in:
1 cup oats;
2 cups king arthur flour;
2/3 pkg mini vegan chocolate chips;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
3 T cocoa powder.
stir and mix well,
form up 2" balls, and space them evenly across two baking trays,
and give 'em 12 minutes in the oven.
they'll be just about as magical as a brown blop-drop could hope to be.
soft, but crisp at the edges.
rich in flavor, with the coffee and the chocolate competing for the joy of
rocking your socks right off.
you can't only eat one or even two.
the're derivative of rock bloxxx,
and that's a magic number minimum for certain.
cookies aren't gonna fix your life,
but they will make it feel a bit better while they last.
i took down a ton of 'em, and i don't regret not even one itty-bitty bite.
good sweet baked greats are a hallmark of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
that's a thing.
it may be a supersexxxy castle of crucial woodsly goodness,
and a dilapidated old and busted bastion of new england weathering,
but it's also a nexus for expert vegan food.
that part is my favorite thing.
this kitchen laboratory has been the headquarters of culinary discovery
for a whole damned decade.
that's pretty dope if you ask me.
nobody did, i'm just sayin'.
make a cookie, feel better, live your life.
it's all really happening, and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....


i'm way behind on talking about food.
all this real life takes precedence,
and that puts me firmly at a loss of enthusiasm for writing stories
about what i've cooked and eaten in recent times.
there's a brutal backlog of menus and recipes that have been partially recorded,
and i s'pose i'll start with some of the simpler ones.
like a burly bowl of breakfast brownness:

that's a thing.
and a cacao oatmeal bowl is definitely some kind of expert morning thing.
in a 1 quart saucepot, combine:
1 tsp vegan butter;
pinch of sea salt;
1/2 cup scottish steel-cut thick oats;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1/2 cup warm water;
2 T maple syrup;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
4 tsp cacao powder;
stir it up and bring up to a boil,
then simmer all that for 10 minutesish stirring regularly to keep it smooth.
then y'gotta sexxxy it up, neighbors:
i got chocolate granola on there.
and vegan mini chocolate chips.
there's flaky unsulphured  unsweetened coconut;
and plain coocnut yogurt, too.
is that all?
no way.
rules is rules, and MORE is mandatory-
so there's exxxtra cacaco sprankles,
AND organic chocolate syrup as well.
too much is the right amount, man.
anybody can have regular-A* microwave oatmeal,
but it's only when you're home alone with nobody bothering you that
you can stir the pot and eff around with fancier fare.
i'm not saying that it's the most magnificent meal i've ever had,
but i sure as hell enjoyed this deep dark inverted dome of dopeness.
you don't need to be this extra,
but maybe you do, though?
i'm never sad about more awesome food, that's all i know;
never quiet, never soft.....


markers and monsters.

that's just one of the many things that happens at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
however, it's also the one thing that dudes want.
tattoos for dudes is a thing.
it's either trees or flags around here, usually,
so any time i can activate a monster, i'm for sure gonna bust out my sharpies,
and scrawl a little mean muggin' monster up for whoever asks.
that's real;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, June 15


these ones.

my ma and my older daughters.
i gotta get allllll the women together sooner than later.
for right now, it was good to get this many in one place.
i'm grateful for the time we've bee given,
and for the moments we span together,
eatin', and laughin', and havin' fun.
and doin' things we don't even care about,
but that matter a whole lot to the spirit and memory of all of us;
never quiet, never soft.....


...and just like that,
maple is done with high school.
it happens fast.
not the ceremony, that was in the cold, rain, and wind,
so that felt like it took forever.
but, f'real-
i've got another graduate on my hands.
she's done with the big formative foundational first part;
and now, ready or not, the wider world is awaiting her.

i'm proud, i'm happy, i'm really very excited for my daughter.
it's no small thing,
and in some ways it's the last thing,
and the first thing,
but it's for sure a good thing.
this is it.
and i'm glad to be part of it, in whatever ways i'm able.
she's great, and sweet, and smart, and funny,
and i'm really very impressed.
happy graduation, kid;
never quiet, never soft.....


we went to all the best pizza places, all at once-
(well, in a row)
and we got F*ng awesomely activated with a lotta superstar pizzas in THE PARK!!
in the little italy new haven PARK!
that's right.
we ate four kinds of pizzas, in the MOST italian part of town,
in columbus square, in the sun, surrounded by dogs and trees and birds and an
overwhelming sense of expert new haveny hottness.
f'real though:

we did the big four from town.
(yeah, yeah, yeah, there's waaaay more than that, but i mean the real ones)
and we got the same pizza from every place, so we had a real comparison going.
they were ALL fantastic.
that's no joke.
but, we are a pepe's family, and i think we all agreed that was the best.
we all kinda won, though, actually,
because we had all the legends at once.
that's pretty rad.
it's family togetherness with my connecticut people.
check 'em out:

the overall best. no question.
everything is great across the board and that how you win.
and then:

so much sauce, and a dirty oven, and those stringy onions aren't
quite as dope as the chunky jauns, but they do the trick.
those two are the wooster square heavy hitters.
but we went up the street first, and got this one:

a damned good pie, and nothing to complain about.
a lotta folks say this is their numero uno.
i get it....maybe they're afraid to wait in line up the road or somethin'.
and pulling up the rear was that thinnny-thin-thin boi:

a little overboard on the oregano, a little cheap with the sauce,
the onions were how i like 'em,
and that verrrrrrrrrrrry thin crust was fuego, for sure.
so, me and my ma and harvest and maple got into it.
and it was awesome.
then, my sister mary grace reminded us we were supposed to go out for pizza with her.
awwwwwwwwwwww, man. we did:

this one, with vegan chee'?!?!
a serious contender, and that's a bold claim considering we were four pizzas deep.
we're pizza people.
so much so that the next day?
MORE pizza was on the menu:

vegan vegan vegan.
we actually had a pair of 'em. this one and a white pie i forgot to take a pic of.
i must've been in a pizza haze, probably.
too much is the right amount.
anything else is for suckers and losers and dummies.
for the record, last night we went to flatbread in north conway.
that's eight pizzas in three days,
and that's how really real ones do the thing;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, June 12


aly finished her large and in charge mostly-drawn on semi-stippled
octopus cover-up the other day:

that's a lot going on.
she brought me a picture of 'almost exactly what she wanted',
and i drew a facsimile directly on her hip that worked better
than if i'd just tried to stick a stencil on with crossed fingers and high hopes.
is that more work?
it is.
does it take a little baby bit longer?
it does.
are the results almost always more impressive?
i F*ing hope so.
i will say that i'm much happier with the outcome this way.
glare on the photo, you say?
if it isn't food, i apparently have NO skill at capturing an image.
that's my curse,
but i'm betting you can still tell that this was a labor-intensive endeavor.
we do that over here because we're different,
or so i've heard.
i'd say we're better, and we make better art for better people,
but what do i know about tattooing or anything else?;
never quiet, never soft.....


some texan homies came through and got a few tattoos recently
and while they were first tattoos,
technically, i guess they were also second tattoos, too.
both forearms for jesua:
STAFF OF DESTINY, because nature wins.
REAPER OF FATE because cyber-scythes are cool,
and we all get reaped up in the end.
i dunno, dudes-
there's plenty more cool tattooing for your face over here.
don't be shy.
or do be shy.
but maybe also stop by and say hi.
that rhymed;
never quiet, never soft.....


kirby got her phoenix finished,
and it came out pretty damn cool:

that's a LOT of lines.
you start to wonder what's wrong with yourself as you're coloring in
all the lines you already drew on and then tattooed on,
and then you start adding little lines in color as you go.

i mean,
too much is the right amount,
so maybe i'm doing something right.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is where it happens,
and where the summer schedule is getting summertime busy.
we'll find you a spot if your idea is cool,
and we'll find you a spot if it isn't, too.
we won't tell you if it isn't,
but you can bet we'll be psyched when you want some 
hand-drawn off-book freestyle new hottness, for sure;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, June 9


ian is expecting his first baby within the next few weeks.
that means that the visit he made on friday is likely the last one we'll have for a bit.
nobody knows what to actually expect once a baby shows up-
he and his wife don't even know if they're havin' a boy or a girl.
it's cool.
they're hippies.
and they're really good folks.
two of the nicest, and kindest.
i've known them for a long time.
and i'm better for the experience.
we had dinner together, and he helped make some new hottness.
that's right.
homemade falafel.
on homemade naan wraps.
with spicy fries,
and as an outlier: AVO-F*ING-CADO.
that's expert.
check it:

fancy fancy.
there's purple cabbage, and extra-sexxxy mixed greens.
there's tomatoes and red onions and pea shoots.
there's pickled jalapenos and pickles.
there's sriracha and exxxtra-lemony GPOP and sumac activated tahini.
that's a whole lotta good stuff.
and then, in place of that hummus squoosh, a perfectly ripe avocado.
i don't have much going for me,
but i sure as sh!t know about falafel.
now, let's talk about the naan wrap.
in your upright mixer with the dough hook attached,
1/2 tsp sea salt;
1/2 tsp sugar;
2 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
2 T soft vegan butter;
1 pkg fast-actin' yeast;
1 1/2 cups king arthur flour;
2/3 cups warm water.
knead it up for 11 minutes until you've got a tight shiny ball.
let it rise until it's doubled in size.
divide it into four balls, and roll 'em out on a floured surface.
superheat a large skillet over high heat, and add a small pat of butter,
then pan-fry up each dough for a minute or so on each side.
get ready, beause you're about to eat the best little flatbreads ever.
you've been warned.
and then there's those fries:
preheat your oven to 450℉
cut three fat red-skinned potatoes into thick fries,
and toss 'em with olive oil, and:
1/4 tsp turmeric;
1/4 tsp paprika;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
cracked black pepper;
cayenne pepper;
pink salt.
arrange them evenly on a parchment0lined steel baking sheet,
and roast them until they're all golden and good and soft-centered with crispy tips.
you won't regret it.
fries on falafel is the TRUTH.

speaking of-
without those chick pea balls, you haven't got a damned thing.

now, what's the recipe?
here it is:
in your food processor, combine:
1/4 red onion;
3 cloves garlic;
punch of parsley;
punch of fresh cilantro;
15 oz chick peas;
3 T scallion;
2 T flour;
1/4 cup chick pea flour;
black pepper, pink salt;
1/2 tsp cumin;
1/2 tsp turmeric;
1/4 tsp sumac;
2 T olive oil;
2 T lemon juice;
ground coriander, cayenne, smoked paprika, to taste.
pulverize it onto a grainy paste,
and form small (1" ) balls.
heat up 1/2" vegetable oil in a tall-waled pan,
and fry the balls until the outsides are crisssssssp.
....that's pretty straightforward.
i sent some home with ian.
i'm sure his wife might enjoy that.
i hope so anyway.
it's good to see good folks doing well.
i don't know the secret, but nobody deserve it more than those two.
they're do-gooders.
helpful weirdies.
essential-oily strapped-sandal-wearing 'vermontish' people.
that's mostly what i used to be, and also a little of what i still am.
i really like them a lot, and i'm very excited for this new chapter in their lives.
mystery baby boy/girl is gonna get some kind of sage and seance style birth,
and i'll bet it'll be cool as heck.
i dunno the next time we'll see each other,
but i hope i get to meet their itty-bitty when we do.
good food, shared with good people,
good times spanned the same way.
i'm grateful for the evening, and i'm better for the interaction;
never quiet, never soft.....


i made a dual-purpose berfday cake.
on the one hand, cohen, my pizza partner, turned five,
and needed a circle of sugar to blow out candles atop of.
i got that covered...
i took a second photograph for my best friend on the whole entire earth,
the cucch.
the kid's party was the same day as his actual party.
so, here's two pictures of the same cake:

five years old.

thirty nine years old.
same cake, obvi.
and it was a very good cake.
here's the recipe:
preheat to 350℉
in your stand mixer with the whisk affixed, combine:
1 stick ( 8 T) vegan butter;
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt;
3/4 cup dark brown sugar;
3 T non-GMO organic cornstarch;
3 T tapioca flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla.
whisked until thick and creamy.
add in:
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk;
2 2/3 cup king arthur flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda.
whipped and whipped,
and then spooned into two greased 8" cake pans.
baked up for 30 minutes.
now you've got cake.
that's cool.
what comes next?
1 stick vegan butter;
3 cups powdered sugar;
2 T vegan creamchee';
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
whipped to a frenzy.
slipped between the two layers,
and on top,
and then i added a couple tablespoons of butter,
and a lotta cocoa, just to add that contrast exxxplosion.
chocolate and vanilla and creamchee' and sugar are all good.
so there you have it.
i made a cake for my boys.
that's all i really even know how to do.
y'can't have a berfday without cake.
y'can't really celebrate if you don't blow out candles.
rules is rules.
i made this bad boy and cuppiecakes, too....
too much is the right amount.
i'll probably always make a cake.
i'll probably always buy too many presents.
it's a sure thing that if there's pizza, i'm good for a whole one.
those are just true things;
never quiet, never soft.....