Monday, October 16

EIGHTEEN...

when you've got a big day ahead of you,
you need a big breakfast to power your pants,
and catapult your butt into the future.
yeah.
that's a thing.
the most important meal is the one you're eating right now.
don't let anybody tell you otherwise, kids.
i'm serious.
if you aren't immersed in a sensory symphony whenever you sit down to munch up,
you're missin' the whole point-
and that's why i had skillets and pans in the oven and on the stove,
with bowls and pots and everything else poppin' off and powering up
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory....
uh-huh.
neighbors,
i made a BIG ol' batch of big B brekkie bonanza jauns,
and i want you to check the mutha-flippin' teleport right now:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD!!
that's crepes, overstuffed with all the breakfasty fixxin's,
and then a few sprankles,
and a smashing dash of pumpkin seeds, just to keep it october af.
yessss!!
i don't think you're truly comprehending the actual big picture, man.
look closer:

YEAH, BOIIIIIIIII!!!
if you can't grasp how expert that is,
i think you might want to go to the doctor.
seriously, you might be an A*-hole.
i had custom crepe batter ready to pour onto a hot skillet.
-
*
CREPE-WALKIN'!
-
1 cup flour;
1/4 cup gabanzo flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
3 T sugar;
1 T ground golden flaxseed;
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk;
1/2 cup water;
whisk, stir, mix, combine, rest, stir, thin as necessary, pour, flip, and eat.
y'ever make crepes before?
they're easy, you just ever so lighty-lightly grease a very hot pan,
pour your thin batter on, and turn/roll/swivel the pan to make a circle out of the wet stuff,
it'll quickly dry out, which means it's cooked,
but flip it once anyway, to give it a little activation on the other side.
that's genuinely all there is to it.
and they're spongy, soft, light, tight and TILTY  jauns,
perfect for overloading with all the most luxurious morning glory.
wordimus prime.
like,
oven-roasted, ho'sauce splashed, smoky skin-on red potato homeboyfries.
those are what's UP.
*
two potatoes, cubed;
pink salted & olive oiled, in a roasting pan, while the oven heats up to 400+℉,
turning every eleven minutes, until they're crispy and golden at the edges.
added to 1/4 diced sweet onion,
smoked paprika, GPOP, and black pepper;
finished off with frank's or pete's or whatever you're into....
expert potato wizard hottness is a must, though.
so don't skip 'em, or you're doing it wrong.
*
and that scrambo?
man, you aren't even ready yet.
one block of exxxtra-frim tofu,
generous blasts of GPOP, nootch, turmeric, salt and pepper,
plus a little smoky paprika, a 1/4 minced sweet onion,
and a chopped-up baby-sized sweet red bell pepper.....
that's delicious.
olive oil and medium high heat, and a scrapin' spatula scramble from time to time
is honestly all you'll ever need to concern yourself with
when you're cooking up something this rad.
...and with a few tasty tablespoons of hemp hearts tossed in towards the end???
that's nutritious as hell, you little devils.
*
how do you upgrade something that'd be elite with just those three things?
well, first you popeye that sh!t with some hand-torn baby spinach leaves,
then you drop some scallion and cilantro sprig sprankles down, too.
those make everything better.
that's when you turn it up a little  MORE,
and smoosh a little AVO-F*ING-CADO on top, too.
i mean,
don't be a dummy. that's how you make your life better.
obvi.
anything else?
yup.
sprouts!
because they're s'kyooooooooooot.
and,
those agave-glazed oil-toasted pepitas for hallowe'enified fresh-to-deathness
(and crawnch) absolutely gave it a boost, as well.
for sure.
what's left?
sriracha for the WIN!!!
guys,
two kinds of ho'sauce in one place?
that's expert.
rubbery stretch-ups full of crispness and smooshiness and crawnchiness?
that's expert.
eating a bazillionteen pounds of these bad boys in one shot?
that's shark-gluttony, actually,
but,
-plot twist-
that's expert, too!!
hahaha.
i have a system in place for eating breakfast,
and the main tenet is that too much is the right amount.
you're more than welcome to test that as often as you'd like,
but i'm confident you'll find my assertions airtight.
***********
dudes,
yesterday marked eighteen years of tattooing.
like,
my career is old enough to vote in official sanctioned elections,
although, like me, it will NOT participate in that noise.
like,
i just did a hard styled hard time bid,
but it's eighteen and life to go, bros.
yup.
eighteen years since i sat in the tattoo chair, held a fully-functional machine,
with needle and tube in place for the first time,
and zapped up the thigh of my buddy mitch.
huh?
no, i didn't practice on oranges first.
no, i didn't F* with pigskin (ew).
no, there was no such thing as 'practice skin' that wasn't made of human being.
those were the last of the old days, man-
and it may not ever be as raw and rugged and real as it was back then ever again.
ANYway,
all this time has passed,
and somehow, i'm still up here in the woodsly goodness,
working harder than ever, seven effing days a week,
a ways away from everywhere, and everyone, who was part of the come up,
doing what i do, just like always, without stopping.
THAT'S how real tattooers do it, duders.
every day is the hardest and the best.
every day is the longest and the fastest.
every day is another huge opportunity to do what i do, louder, harder, bigger, better,
and more intensely than the one before.
it's not the worst way to span time.
eighteen years of the same day, over and over,
but,
it's a pretty good day.
i am grateful for the time i have been given-
the clients that don't suck;
the clients who suck but pay well;
the coworkers who've stayed true;
the coworkers who sucked balls;
the lovers who've loved hard,
and the lovers who've left harder;
the friends who've moved and come back;
the friends who pay for tattoos and leave afterwards;
the time that has been spanned-
all of it has motivated me to do MORE, and better,
every F*ing damned day,
and i imagine there's only ever more where that came from.
it's all really happening, still,
and it's only eighteen years and one day later into that lifetime sentence;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, October 15

BATSH!T!!

who's up here in the woodsly goodness,
making snappy little sugarcookie snickerdoodle shapes an' that?
yup.
it's me.
i do that sort of stuff, man.
why?
because i like cute sh!t.
you're not the boss of me, so you can't tell me not to, either.
check 'em out:

BATS ON BATS!!
duders,
that's black crystal candy sugar sprankle magic AND cinnamon, together,
for that traditional topdust activation, only better.
mmhmmm.
i doo-doo that cinnasugar snickerdoo-doo with style!
that's a thing.
normally,
i'd try to tell you how dooooooope these are,
but,
i mean,
how about you just make them yourself, and then you tell me how they taste?
if that sounds good,
maybe do a little of this:
-
*
SNICKIEDOODZ!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
in a mixing bowl, cream together:
12 T vegan butter (earth balance, 1 1/2 stixxx, tight);
3/4 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp cinnamon;
1 1/2 tsp ginger;
1 tsp vanilla;
-
add 1/4 cup maple syrup;
2 cups flour;
1/4 cup fresh-ground unsweetened dried flake coconut;
1 tsp ea. bakey pow' and soda;
-moosh until it's all good and cinnamony and combined into a rollable dough.
for the record,
you might need to add more syrup?
huh?
well, i dunno how dry your house is, man.
use your best judgement,
and flour the hell out of your work surface.
nobody likes it when your cookie dough sticks to everything.
<1 be="" can="" cut="" dough="" flat="" into="" of="" p="" shapes="" sheets="" thick="" want.="" whatever="" you="">heck, you could just hand-roll little balls and do 'em regular....if you're boring.
guys, i'm cool with whatever you choose to do,
but, as for me, i'm super-cool with bats, man.
i baked those bad boys for 12 minutes,
and they came out crispity-crunchy and super buttery, too.
a good cookie is a real day saver.
a great cookie can turn a whole week around.
these jauns had that seven-day saving grace sh!t going hard...
-
AAAAND,
i used that amazing appleharvestspice frosting to smoosh up into some
of those powpow-sugared dusty swirl-topped snickery cookie sandwiches.
expert.
you knew i had to get rad on those options, right?
that's my thing.
rules is rules,
and opting for exxtra-fanciness is one of 'em.
-
do you know what the numero uno problem with crisp buttery snick-o's is?
they go down easy.
on the ones, y'boi was terrorizing stacks on stacks of 'em, all day.
like, there were dozens when i started, but only a couple when i left work.
what?
of COURSE i brought them to work, bro.
what do you think i am?
some kind of an A*-hole?
no way.
i share the treats and i spread the wealth.
unfortunately,
there aren't any left.
so, you missed out.
maybe you should've stopped in, y'know?
yeah.
you do.
***********
there's always more to do.
that's sort of the best and worst thing.
there are bills to pay,
dinners to cook,
dogs to walk.
it seems as if there's plenty of chores,
and lots of responsibilities,
and tons and tons of requisite actions that beg to be taken.
but what i'm wondering is:
where's the big fun?
i mean,
c'mon, man.
i have a decent time at the studio,
and i have a pretty good time in front of the stove,
and heck, i even make the best of going to the grocery store....
i'm just not sure i'm doing it right.
like,
i don't feel elated or elevated.
in fact,
i mostly just feel the pressure to do MORE.
and what's worse,
i actually think i may even be getting LESS done than before.
how's that for weak sauce?
right??
there's something just out of reach of my perpetual grasping outstretched hands-
something just out of focus at the edge of peripheral sightline-
there's this elusive, furtive, sneaky sensation of missing out lurking at the limits
of my senses....
it's no fun, not being able to identify what's wrong.
worse, i can almost put my finger on it.
rest assured, once i put a name on it,
i'll have a plan of action is place to counteract
any ongoing feelings of loss, lack, and/or disappointment.
that's sort of my thing, man.
planning, i mean.
i LOVE good plan.
.in the meantime, there is always more of all of it,
and all of it demands more and more of my attention.
amore it is NOT,
but a LOT is all there ever is.
this is it, and today is the day;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, October 14

OCTOBERIST!!

dudes,
it's NOT banana bread.
also, it's not carrot cake.
it IS pumpkin chai cake, however,
which nobody guessed at all.
maybe i did it wrong?
that's possible,
but it tasted SO right, i don't think i could be sorry about it at all.
teleport:

isn't she PRETTY?!
SO PRETTY!
...and dudes,
i did a thing.
yup.
a tricky thing.
that's the same frosting,
in two colors,
neither of which is pumpkin.
haha.
i'm tricky!!
check it out-
i totally used herbal tea to flavor everything.
i did.
and you can too.
it's as simple as obtaining some herbal tea,
and making it do as it's told.
would you like instructions on how to coax the maxxximum hottness
without the traditional hot water activation?
ok!
so,
in order to have a great big tasty cake like this, here's what you're going to want to do:
-
*
PUMPKIN CHAI 1-LAYER-PLAYER!!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉, convection-style if you're cool.
-
in your trusty stand mixer,
combine:
3/4 cup sugar;
1/4 cup big crystal raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp salt;
3 teabags of bengal spice herbal chai!
cream it up,
then add:
1 cup pumpkin;
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk;
2 cups flour;
3 T tapioca;
2 tsp ground ginger;
1/2 tsp exxxtra cinnamon;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 tsp baking powder;
-
kaboom!
how straightforward is that?
linear, luscious, and totally awesome.
i LOVE a springform pan for all my single layer cake needs,
and a greased 9-incher was key to the development of this tasty business.
oooof.
oh, c'mon!
25 minutes had a really great, really moist, extra-fluffy carrotcakey banana bread on deck,
sans carrots and bananas, still.
yeah.
-
and the frosting?
a F*ING TRIUMPH, bro.
ha!!
that's real.
trader joe's harvest blend tea?
who knew it was the apple-spiciest new hottness for frosting???
actually, it was me, obvi.
neighbors,
you need this in your lives.
i mean it. nothing will be the same ever again once it hits your lips.
-
*
APPLESPICE FROSTING!!
-
in the rinsed and dried stand mixer,
for swirling onto your cooled cake,
combine:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar;
1/2 stick (4T) vegan butts;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 dumped out sachet of harvest tea;
3+ T non-dairy milk;
whip whip whip whip whip it up.
huh?
well, yes, i added orange color gel to sexxx it up,
but only because i like october so much,
i'd be a effin' real A*-hole if i didn't activate the seasonal cuteness, y'know?
seriously.
nobody would know it's not pumpkin frosting-
until that sweet magical cinnamon apple sorcery
blew their tastebuds out the back of their brains!!!
it's expert as heck, and you're going to have to make more.
in fact,
maybe double the recipe.
you'll be devastated if you run out.
***********
tattoos.
i do those.
you guys want some cool ones?
i prefer to do those.
no?
ah, you just want some regular-A* ones?
oh, okay.
i do those, too.
it's alright.
i'm a working worker,
and i do work.
there are no lousy jobs, after all.
just lousy people who think they're too good to have to do 'em.
i'll bring the sexxxy cake and you bring your baked-potato ideas,
and somewhere in the middle,
we'll exchange some goods and services.
...who knows,
maybe there's a chance we're gonna have a good time?
i s'pose we'll find out,
because it's all really gonna happen, one way or another;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, October 13

PIZZA PARTY!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
pizza is TOO damned dope;
like,
i could literally eat it for every meal,
and never feel as though i was missing out on something!
in fact,
yesterday,
we shared a pizza from the spot next door to the studio,
with all sorts of vegetable hottness on top,
even though i already knew i had some expert AF pizza dough proofing
in the fridge at home for later in the evening.
yup.
pre-pizza pizza?
hell yes.
i definitely doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
but what i realllllllly do is make incredible homemade superfresh turbo-elite
warrior-poetic overloaded vegan pizza pie!!!
teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!
word up.
dudes,
as soon as i got home after work,
or, at least,
immediately after feeding crabtree the frenzied shark-bullet battle-beast,
i got the oven's convection whirlwind spinnin',
and fired that bad boy up to 485℉.
i also divided my already prepared and brutally bulked-up dough into thirds,
and kept two out on the table, reactivating.
also, i stretched them grandma-style in advance on some circular pans,
which had been lightly buttered to get that crispy-crisp on the undercarriage.
that's smart.
from there, i had plenty of prep to do while the oven got crunk'ded.
mmhmmm.
caramelizing onions;
heavily energizing a serious buffalo  sauce;
pepperomeo and julietting some homemade red lentil seitan sausages;
tamari-glazing and semi-steam-heating halved baby brussels-style sprouts.....
i had moves gettin' made on top of moves gettin' made,
and i even made sure to fire up some fried garlic sprankles,
using up an entire aged summer garlic bulb to do so.
that's a thing,
because rules is rules, man.
nice.
y'wanna get close-up on the highlight reel?
okay.
check it:

BUFFZIES!!!
the sauce is essential to success here,
and my on-the-go-go go-to goes to eleven.
that's the truth,
and that's half a stick of butterish,
and 1/4 cup of texas pete ho'sauce,
plus 2 tsp sriracha;
a heavy shake of GPOP (that's both Garlic Powder AND Onion Powder, new kids);
1 T nootch;
1/2 tsp paprika;
1/2 tsp HOT paprika;
2 tsp agave...
combine that with cubed seitan,
and most of a head of cauliflower,
over an extended period of time,
and you've got something great for your plate.
real talk.
i laid down some spinach, added daiya cheddar,
a little red onion, the garlic, and allllll that seitanic cauli-wobblin',
and when it came out of the onion about 15 minutes-ish later,
i blasted it with MORE red onion, scallions, and cilantro sprankles.
too much is the right amount,
and triple tops sounds good to me!!
***********
there's a whole other one, too, kids.
teleport:

BRUSSIES FOREVER!!!
damn,
my go-to pizza somehow got more expert than ever.
i credit the pepperonified red lentil seitan sausages, of course.
that sh!t was heroic.
caramelized onions are great.
that sausage was tremendously flavorful.
the brussels sprouts?
c'mon, bro.
with a little braising, and a tamari glaze?
that's earthy, salty, leafy lusciousness in all the best ways.
crushed tomatoes and daiya mozzarella helped, too.
however,
with a touch of ribboned radicchio and those mandatory fried garlic jauns?
this little mutha-effer was a BANGER.
mmmmmmm.
double pizzas is what you need,
if what you need is to be rewarded as a human being for all that you do on this earth.
ha!
besides,
i'd already HAD pizza earlier.
how much pizza is acceptable?
ALL the pizza.
don't be dumb.
***********
today is the day, neighbors.
friday the 13th.
that's unlucky?
maybe.
or, perhaps it's awesome?
i guess we'll find out before the stroke of midnight, right?
i'm not saying i'm jinx-proof-
far from it.
but,
i am implying that perpetually hard-style hexes,
b!tchily witchcrafted by a coven of exes,
may already have a senior priority claim on my bad luck riot extravaganza.
so, the date isn't going to be the reason for misfortune
so much as previous dates may well be.
in the meantime,
i'm traipsing around the woods with this dog,
daring black cats to cross us,
and stepping on cracks (in butts),
and sounding like a broken record, surrounded by mirrors,
at the studio all dang day.
something is bound to happen,
and i'm ready to experience it in all it's full hockey-masked woodsly chase scene glory;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, October 12

COOKIES!

oatmeal cookies.
that's all you really need to know.
but,
i'm fairly open with information about food that i make....
so i'll add that there is coconut, and that there are a LOT of chocolate chips, too.
mmmmm.
oatmeal coconut chocolate chips cookies.
that's MORE of what you need to know.
but,
and you may already be aware of this:
too much is the right amount...
uh-huh.
so there is also a healthy slap of dark chocolate ganache frosted across the tops.
oh. yeah.
and rules is rules,
so there are also seasonally accurate expert sprankles, as well.
THAT'S all there is to know.
now you've just got to look at 'em:

WORD!!!
-
what else can i say?
oh, right.
here's how to have some of your very own:
-
*
CHOCO-COCO-OAT-O SOFTIEFLATTIES!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
cream together, in whatever sized bowl you'd like
(allowing for increased mess the smaller the bowl is)
10 T vegan butterish;
1 cup dark brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla.
-add:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
stir that into some sloppy blops, then add:
1 cup whole old fashioned oats;
2 1/4 cups flour;
1/2 cup unsweetened medium flake coconut;
1 tsp bakey kapowpow;
1 tsp bakin' sodie;
1 cup mini dairy free dark chocolate chips.
knead that into dough,
scoop out small roundies, roll 'em  in your palm, press 'em flattish,
and arrange them on baking trays,
where they'll live, in the oven,
for 13 minutes, until they're ready to reemerge as amazing little floppy discs
of buttery, melty, chocolaty hottness.
c'mon.
you can do that with, like, no probsies, man.
the trick is to be patient,
and not spread the chocolate on top too soon.
and the chocolate ganache is still just:
1/4 cup chocolate chips;
2 T powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
splash of non-dairy milk.
heated on lowlow until melted together,
and then smeared like a nasty ad campaign, bro.
tight.
oh yeah, dudes, there's just one other thing:
sprankles are what you need.
in general, and also specifically in this instance, too.
that's real.
_
guess who just found out how to be a cookie pro?
yeah!
it's you.
nice.
***********
hallowe'en shopping finally got started yesterday.
jeez.
that took forEVER to get going.
admittedly, i've got a whole lot going on,
bu still,
what kind of man would i be if i didn't have a costume for the big day?
a real A*-hole, that's what kind.
and i'm not that, man.
no way.
i'm a dress-up mess-up and a master of disguise.
now let's see what i can conjure in the time allotted.
i hope it's something rad.
the apocalypse-themed roas warrior poet theme continues this year, too.
anybody know how to sculpt durable fake bones?
asking for a friend.
ha.
it's all about to get more complicated,
just like always;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, October 11

APPLEBERRY PIE!!!

did you know that apple pie is my favorite one?
well that's true; it is.
and did you also know that i've been messing around with my 
pastry dough recipes for the last few months? 
well, that's also true; i have.
and i learned one important thing:
too much is the right amount.
yup.
turns out, that's just about the best way to make better piecrust-
with MORE butterish, MORE creamchee', MORE sugar...
that's how you take your crispy jauns to eleven and beyond, broski.
mmhmmm.
i love apple pie, and i especially love 'apple...AND' pie.
y'feel me?
like, apple, and some other other 'nother stuff, too.
that's yum4tum y'bum....
the new-new tasty one, freshly formed for our faces,
is an apple and raspberry and blackberry exxxtravaganza,
and it's expert AF.
teleport:
APPLEAPPLEAPPLEBERRRRRRRRY!!
i can't believe what an effortless transaction this turned out to be!
seriously,
it was smooth sailing from the first to the last.
and it's good.
like, really stoopid good.
you want some, don't you?
you do?!
good.
because i'm gonna tell you how to make it anyway:
-
*
PASTRY v4.0!
-
in a mixin' bowl, cut together:
10 T fresh from the fridge vegan buttery spread 
(earth balance is pretty much the good sh!t, FYI);
5 T vegan creamchee' also cold as heck
(tofutti will do you a right, neighbors);
4 T raw sugar 
(the demerara big'uns are great for this);
2 tsp vanilla;
2 1/4 cups white flour;
when all that has been chopped and integrated,
add very cold non-dairy milk, 1 T @ a time,
until the whole sticky mass holds together when squeezed.
-
that's literally all there is to it...
i didn't even rest it, really.
just rolled it out on a very well floured surface,
popped it into, and pressed it to fit in a deep fluted tart pan,
and filled it up.
easy.
*
the filling was as straightforward as they come:
-
3 huge apples, peeled cored, and minced 
(i used my weird salsa-maker gadget to chop 'em).
1 T ground ginger;
2 tsp cinnamon;
3 T agave;
1/4 cup raw sugar;
1 T lemon juice;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 T organic non-GMO cornstarch.
cooked down to get the juices flowing,
and heated up to get the starch to thicken it quickly.
mmmm.
-
i also spread it out on a baking tray to cool much much faster.
i hardly have time to do anything after 8 am,
so i needed to get it in the oven, so my day could really get underway without
pies lurking in my periphery.
dudes,
the filling is tight.
the berries?
well, the berries are key here.
a package of blacks and a package of razzers,
a few accent cutouts, and some copious sugar sprankles,
and you've got yourself something to freak out about, for sure.
i'm telling you, kids:
berries and apples are best friends.
i think that's real, probably.
i can assure you these berries were destined to elevate my already expert apple magic
to the level of superior sorcerer supreme!
22 minutes in the oven, at 415℉, convection-style,
had the whole thing ready to represent autumn to it's highest levels.
i LOVE it when a treat comes out exxxtra sexxxy.
it's a great feeling, seeing all that good-lookin' golden greatness,
and knowing you did that all by yourself.
i'm not bragging, but i AM proud, man.
take it easy.
***********
i am very grateful that my clients understand me.
for a little while,
in the other place,
i just very simply wasn't my best self.
now, wait a little minute there, buddy-
i never half-assed my work,
but, 
the accompanying conversation was not as illuminated 
as the stuff it seems i can conjure up off the cuff 
when the environment is more conducive to turbo-hottness from the future an' that.
no?
oh, c'mon.
you've never been in a bad situation; 
beset, beseiged, and surrounded by underappreciation and a lack of interactive participation,
and felt it drain away the dopeness faster than you could produce, process, and emanate it?
really?
y'all are either very lucky, or very lazy, if you're being honest.
for the rest of us,
it's not easy to be a cheerful cheer-up charlie-boy when you're not where you wanna be.
HOWever,
these days,
in the sanctified great hall of AMPERSAND TATTOO,
the vibes are TILTY AF,
and the air in there is supercharged with positivity, creativity, objectivity 
and the fresh scents alternately of the numerous site-specific autumnal candles,
and pizza from next door.
it's a good scene.
it's a good time.
it's all really happening,
and it sure does seem like our clients catch the contagiously optimistic spirit of the place
almost immediately.
it doesn't hurt that the attitude we project is an immersive and inclusive 
all-star ensemble-cast cabaret-style extrovert extravaganza, too.
i mean,
HEY! YOU'RE PART OF IT.......man.
and i'd like to think that these strong people are coming back for the strong language 
as much as they're also scheduled for more strong imagery.
real tattoos for real people.
that's what's up in october;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, October 10

CUFFIN MUFFCAKES!!

yooooooooooooooo!!!!!!
i made little pumpkin stuffs.
yup.
i mean,
c'mon.
it's october, bro.
rules is rules.
now that i'm not tied to sandwich-themed creation,
i knew i could really turn up the octoberism,
and get expert on some pumplestiltskin jauns for sure!
.......and that's exxxactly what i did.
check the teleport:

WHEN IS A MUFFIN ACTUALLY A CUPCAKE?!?!
...that's a tough call.
these were produced with a muffiny intention,
but,
their knobbly tops hid a very soft spongy center mass.....
and when the frosting showed up to the party?
well,
things took a turn towards cupcake pretttttty hard.
they've got pie spice all up in 'em nicey-nicely,
and they're thiccc as heck, too.
but,
they're also surprisingly fluffy.
on the ones,
they're sort of both, but kind of more of a cupcake with an ugly dome.
and i think that's fitting, really,
given the daily mantra i recite whenever i look in the mirror:
stay ugly, stay dope.
y'know?
ANYway,
they may not have the sexxxiest faces,
but they DO have the sexxxiest taste.
that's real.
neighbors,
i'll happily share the process with you.
in fact, i'll do that right now:
-
*
PUMPLEMUFFCAKES!!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
in a medium-sized mixing bowl,
cream together:
1/2 cup light brown sugar;
8 T (1 stick) non-dairy butter;
1/3 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
-
add in:
6 T pumpkin;
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves;
6 T non-dairy yogurt;
- mix well-
and the fire up the dry ingredients:
2 1/4 cups flour;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1 tsp bakey soda.
-
stir together, adding more pumpkin/yogurt, if necessary.
the batter should be thick, and heavy.
fill muffintins with cupcake papers 2/3 full,
and bake those baddies for 22-25 minutes.
remove 'em from the oven, then after a short spell on the counter,
remove them from the tins and cool 'em off completely.
i'll bet they'd have been simply terrific with raw sugar sprankles on top.
i mean,
they'd basically be elite muffins at that point, right?
simple, however, is for simpletons,
and we're smarty-pantses, aren't we?
i hope so.
and every smarty knows that too much is the right amount.
that's a fact.
and i do believe that to be the right course of action every time.
so,
i hit 'em up with that re-whipped cinnamaplecreamchee' frosting,
and some colorcoordinated candy-cornelius-type sprankles, as well.
y'can't go wrong with fancy spranks, buddy.
that's the truth.
-
you want cinnamplecreamchee'?
i got you, b-
-
3 cups powdered sugar;
1 stick vegan butts;
1/2 tub tofutti creamchee',
vanilla; cinnamon,
1 T maple syrup;
1/2 tsp maple exxxtract.
whip whip whip it good, and you'll have no problems, man!
-
always make sure you're taking it to eleven.
guys,
anything less is just you cheating yourself,
and that's never been a good idea, has it?
no way.
do the thing right, until the thing is done.
that's how you make sure you're expert.
duh.
***********
work work work work work.
i have a lot of that to do.
tomorrow,
i may start my hallowe'en stuff, FINALLY.
today, however, i've got a whole mess of other other priorities on the list
that rank higher than my indulgent dress-up mess-ups.
it's all really happening,
and i'm going to need to move, think, talk, and act faster
if i want all of it to be as amazing as it should be.
i've got no time for fake ones, yo.
that's a thing;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, October 9

OCHO FINALE!!!

....and that's a wrap, folks.
except,
it wasn't a wrap, per se....
because a wrap is NOT a sandwich.
nope.
it's a lazy burrito without rice,
and that's not invited to my eight day gluttonfest,
or any other festival, festivity, or fiesta....
nuh-uh.
when it's time to party at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
we rep the between-bread barbarian big action only.
why?
because sandwich week is F*ing expert,
and wraps are for nerds.
that's not how i doo-doo that freaky sh!t, bruh.
nope.
i get fresh to death on freshly baked homemade buns.
and i get down and dirty on homemade veggie burgers.
in fact,
i go hard on sandwiches in general,
and for the final installment of my eight-day voyage of dietary discovery,
i turned up the hottness on some spicy black beans 'n' them.
check the teleport:

GET THAT CORN OUTTA MY FACE!!!
yooooooooooooooooo!!!
cornmeal-kissed big BIG buns!
homemade, firm, spicy black bean burguesas, with corn.
rainbow fiesta guacamole!!!
salsa fresca picante!!!
a few leaves of crawnchy lettuce,
and a splash of sprouts,
and handful of pickled jalapeno sprankles for good measure.
yum.
guys,
here's the thing-
i should've made the buns smaller,
and the patties thinner,
but,
i just couldn't bring myself to b!tch out at the finish line...
y'know?
too much is the right amount.
and that doesn't change on day eight.
....or day eighty, for that matter.
so iwent large and in charge for my finale,
and you know something?
it was totally worth it.
you interested in what's inside those crisp-crusted circles of superior sexxxiness?
yeah?
neat:
-
*
BANGIN' BLACK BEAN BURGZ!
-
saute 1/2 cup chopped onion,
and 1/2 a large tomatillo until browned, in a tablespoon of oil.
-
in your food processor,
combine:
2 cloves garlic;
3 T chick pea flour;
1/2 cup rolled oats;
1 can (15oz) drained and rinsed black beans;
2 T ground flax seeds;
1 T fried garlic (it's important to note that the two garlic styles are key here)
smoked paprika, GPOP, oregano, cumin, coriander, sage;
a punch of nootch;
a punch of cilantro;
a scoop of rough-hewn scallion;
that fried-up tomatillo and onion;
salt, black pepper, cayenne.
^^^pulse it up so it's somewhat chunky,
and transfer the pulp to a small mixing bowl-
add 1/2 cup frozen corn,
and adjust the spices to your preferred level of intensity.
form up fatty patties,
and sizzle those suckers on medium heat, in a generous sheen of hot oil,
until they're crispity-crusted on both sides.
expert!
the buns were basically what i've already described throughout the week,
but with 3 T cornmeal added in for elite textural upgrade activation.
that's real.
the salsa fresca is so easy, you just may end up always having some on hand,
although i'll wager you'll devour it as fast as you can create it:
-
*
SALSA FRESCA PICANTE!
-
i hope you have a hand-chopper of some sort.
i have a 'salsa-maker' which is basically a manual food processor,
and i personally love it the MOST.
you could do it all by hand, or you could ruin it an automatic processor,
but,
if you're about that fresh raw salsa life, get yourself that little gadget,
and rejoice at your newfound salsa prowess.
-
4 roma tomatoes;
2 tomatillos;
1/3 poblano;
1/2 jalapeno;
1/3 cup rainbow bell pepper;
1/2 red onion;
1 T scallion;
3 T cilantro;
2 cloves raw garlic;
chop chop chop chop chop all that up.
go longer on the 'matoes and 'matillos, so there's some semi-solid smoosh
mooshed in with the chunks, if you know what i'm talking about-
add GPOP, and salt, and black pepper, AND lots of lime juice.
stir it up, let it marinate, and eat the holy ever-lovin' livin' heck outta that sh!t asap!
salsa is for the cool kids.
don't be a lame, eat more salsa.
-
and my guac?
it's that guap!
mmmhmmm.
actually, it's reallllly similar to the salsa fresca,
only,
with AVO-F*ING-CADO instead of juicy tomatoes an' that.
yeah.
and it's gooooooooood af, too.
-
sandwich week is over and out,
and while i'm sad to see it go,
i've got new horizons to pursue
until the next time that sunday is also the rabbit rabbit calendar start up...
rules is rules.
***********
dudes,
the week was a quantifiable success.
yep.
although,
i couldn't help but notice that not everybody knew what to celebrate.
...
would you believe there are people who don't know about sandwich week?
yeah...i'm as surprised as you are!
instead,
there were terrible fairgoers, interested only in trucks or horse races
or country music concerts or tractor pulls or blue-ribbon pig buttholes or whatever.
and there were scores on scores of elderlies on tour buses,
just driving around looking at leaves.
and there were long-weekending second-homeowner traffic jammers, too.
i'm sayin',
the indigenous peoples,
and the leif eriksons of anarchy,
AND the christendumb-dumbs reppin' cristobal colon jauns
were all vying for three day dominance-
and yet,
where were all my sandwich appreciators?
i guess they were here.
with me.
in this manly manor where most of the mealtime magic gets managed.
meanwhile,
the woodsly goodness was positively packed to the tippity top with tourists,
and yet,
somehow,
we managed to master ALL the sandwiches,
go exxxtra-heavy on the falafels, fried dough, and french-style shoestring potatoes,
AND still take on all the tattoos that's fit into each and every day.
that's a LOT, man.
-
i feel like maybe i'm spread too thin?
there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything.
and i HATE that.
neighbors,
i haven't even started my hallowe'en costume yet!
i don't know when i will,
just that i have to get going on it.
meanwhile,
there are tattoos booked every damned day for another 'nother month.
y'all out here reppin' long weekends and days OFF....
that's weird to me.
i'll find a place for all the things,
or i'll literally fall asleep trying;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, October 8

BREAKFAST!

AVOCADO BLT!!
that's what you need, if what you need is raw power and big flavor for your face!
yup.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
and i do it as hard as my little stove will allow for.
one gnarly grinder roll, toasted, formed the foundation of my big day breakfast 'guini.
yeah!
if i thought that heroic hoagie bun was awesome on the eggplant,
i definitely had to recognize kind of hottness it still held the next morning.
neighbors,
good bread makes better people who make better sandwiches for better days.
that's real.
LOOK at this tasty mutha-'ucker:

TEMPEH BACON IS SO TIGHT!!
mmmmmmm.
-
*
half a block of tempeh, sliced into strips-
plus,
1/2 cup broth;
liquid smoke,
2 T olive oil;
1 T tamari;
2 T agave;
2 T molasses;
GPOP, black pepper, smoked paprika.
simmer simmer and stir-fry.
it boils, it absorbs, and it caramelizes,
and as long as you don't burn it,
you've just made wizard food in a pan, man!
expert!

-
heaps of red lettuce; a handful of shredded carrot; thin slices of fresh, juicy tomato;
plus,
AVOCADO!;
and microgreens; a healthy slap-up smear of vegenaise;
and fresh-cracked sririacha pepper flake sprankles to turn it up to eleven!!
neighbors,
THAT'S how breakfast gets done right.
it's so simple, but it's so dope.
and it doesn't taste simple, nor look simple.
in fact,
it's a fancy BLT as far as that goes.
***********
dudes,
I LOVE sandwich week!!!
that's the truth.
however,
today is the day.
yeah.
the last one,
the finale.
the eighth consecutive sandwich exxxplosion for our faces.
too much is the right amount,
and these jauns have exemplified all the excessive and obsessive traits
that i so highly prize and praise in culinary creativity.
i do what i do, because i have to.
it's IN me, and needs to be let out, lest i bust a seam, and burst forth
with the full force of pent-up energy and inertia.
essentially,
i go hard, so i don't erupt.
regular-A* people do weird-A* sh!t-
but worthy warrior poets do REAL-A* sh!t.
and i'm nothing if i'm not real.
eight days of sandwiches may seem silly to you,
but that's likely because you're a terrible and unimaginative person.
sorry, broski, but that's no joke.
i do what i like as enthusiastically as anybody else.
maybe a touch more, even.
ANYbody can be a spectator,
but it takes the willing mindfulness of active participation to turn ordinary days
into magical mystic mountains of monumental moments that matter.
and it can be as simple as making a special sandwich to start your morning, even.
we all decide our own level of involvement.
and we determine how to deal with the downsides, too.
-
on the ones,
people love to say inconsiderate things.
perhaps it's my own outspoken infinite nature that encourages that?
it's possible.
more often than not, however,
it seems that i'm exposed to the randomly launched slings and arrows
of others, after the fact, by proxy.
for future reference, guys:
if somebody said a rude thing about me, my studio, my work,
or,
and this would be worse than any of those other things,
my food,
here's what i want you to do:
DON'T TELL ME.
i can go on just fine pursuing higher levels of expertism
withOUT the distraction of detractors dour sourpuss defamation.
constructive criticism is always welcome,
but the thrice-removed bitter soundbites of my former associates can probably
go unrecorded with little to no negative side-effects.
and anyway,
i've got WORK to do, dudes-
seven damned days a week,
the way all dedicated motivated really-real pursuers of self-improvement do it,
and if you don't mind,
i'd much rather not have to pause and listen to the secondhand doo-doo-squits
and sh!t-sayin' sprayouts of people who have no direct connection to me.
jeez.
i sort of regret that i even need to write that,
but seriously,
some folks come thru that smalltown gossipy noise,
and,
i mean,
c'mon,
we're bigger than the types who waste their time with that, right?
right.
so, there you have it.
one time, decreed, and done.
here's to moving ONWARDS and UPWARDS.
thanks in advance for cooperating.
rules is rules, man-
and violators will be karate-chopped from this point forward;
never quiet, never soft.....

DAY SEVEN!

how many sandwiches is too many sandwiches??
SIKE!!
that's a trick question.
ALL the sandwiches is the correct number of sandwiches
when the big action active participation rulebook demands we celebrate
eight dope and delightfully delicious days of homebaked hottness...
a.k.a. sandwich week!
word up.
and the one 'guini i go to each and every time-
(albeit done up a little baby bit different always and forever)
is the SUPER BANH BANH MI OH MY AI AI!!!
that's a thing.
a regular-A* banh mi is actually pretty awesome.
but.
during this blitzkrieg of between-bread barbarianism,
there's no time, and no room, for half-steppin'.
nope.
rules is rules,
and a SUPER-ELITE banh banger is all that will be permitted on my plate.
real talk.
and far be it form me to infringe on my own declarative edicts, man.
i respect my sovereignty along the lists of landed lords of the sandwich.
check the teleport:

AUTOBAHN BANH BANH!!
yuuuuuup!!
you know i had that semi-sourdough soft-touch baguette poppin' from the jump, son.
mmhmm.
half starter, half yeast, all good.
that's 3 cups flour;
2 tsp salt;
4 T starter;
1 T yeast;
1 T sugar;
3 T vegan butter;
1 T olive oil;
and 1 cup warm water.
BOOM.
kneaded, risen, proofed, shaped, scored, and re-risen while the oven rose to 415℉,
and baked for twenty.
THAT'S that hot-hot good-good.
*
dudes,
this bad mamma-jama has LAYERS!
like, stacks on stacks on stacks, even.
yuuuuuuuuup.
on the bottom, there's pickles.
then, shredded purple cabbage, and purplish microgreens, too!
on top of that?
-
GINGER-LIME SEITAN!!!
slabs of homemade seitan,
dredged in cornstarch and flour laced with cayenne, lime zest, ginger, and ground mustard.
fried on both sides in a shallow sheen of unrefined coconut oil,
until it's kissed with a bit golden fry-up color.
HOLY CRAP-
it's crispy, and zesty, and spicy, and awesome...
-
is that all?
never.
there's also paper-thin shaved red onion,
and over that, there HAD to be a heavy dose of AVO-F*ING-CADO.
hell yes.
next up?
exxxtra-firm coconut-oil-crisped tofu.
damn.
for just being beans and water and oil, that sh!t is sorcerously fantastic.
no joke.
and after all of that, you'd think we were ready to eat.
...but only if you're an A*-hole who doesn't understand
just how diabolically heavy we eff with 'guinis up in here.
y'feel me?
too much is the right amount,
and that's the only way to make yourself a sandwich.
-
we got rice-wine-vinegar-brined quick-mixed-picks-
salt, sugar, black pepper, rice wine vinegar,
daikon, carrot, and jalapeno, all heated and cooled
into a perfect pairing of sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy tanginess.
expert.
and then there's the sprankles-
wordimus prime, guys:
mint leaves!
the tippy-topmost baby basil leaves!
cilantro sprigs!
AND fresh surprise superhot jalapeno slices!!
*
when you finish it off with the obligatory vegenaise and sriracha sexxiness,
you've suddenly transformed your whole world into one well-built mutli-tiered tower
of powerful nutritious flavors and textures that should transport you into the aether
of blissful banh banh nirvana.
for serious.
***********
we skipped the fair.
*gasp*
yeah.
traffic was backed up for miles and hours and miles and hours,
all damned day,
as peak-season leaf-peepin' was in full leif-erikson and/or indigenous-folks'
long weekended celebratory sucksauce swing....
and we worked late, too.
and those banh mi were BIG AF.
basically,
the thrill of sitting in traffic to maybe make it to the spot before closing
was doubly diminished by all the awesomeness
of being busy at AMPERSAND TATTOO all day-
doing what we love with people who love what we do was about the best way to span time
on a sucky, muggy, cloudy saturday, anyway....
no sense in ending on a low note, neighbors.
it all really happened,
and my beat-up bellyhole thanked me all night for not putting it through the paces
of a grease-filled gargantuan glutton-fest again.
maybe i'm growing up?
maybe i'm getting old?
maybe i'm just picking my battles more wisely?
i s'pose any or al of those may be true.
it's ALL part of the big picture,
and i'm standing back to get all the details in one frame;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, October 7

DAY SIXXX!!!

how the heck can every sandwich be the best sandwich!?
no.
you don't understand.....
i'm not kidding-
sandwich week has got me feeling a special kind of way
i mean it.
it's just been bigger big bang after big bang throughOUT the sarnie boomiverse.
and every day's dietary delight;
as in: each individual comestible conquest;
which is to say: all the new new 'guini greatness,
has been a triumphant march through the hallowed halls of my head and my heart.
dudes,
i LOVE sandwiches.
and this time around,
i brought the full force of my deep-rooted italian DNA to the surface.
dudes!!
check out what i did to myself for day sixxx!!!
teleport:

EGGPLANT FRIDAY!!!
kaPOW!!
y'all don't even know,
but you're about to find out!
homemade slow-proofed heroic hoagie sub rolls,
fresh baked in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress' ever-lovin' oven!
that's mandatory homemade hottness for you, me, and everybody, else.
mmmmmhmmmm.
good bread makes better people,
and i'll take all the help i can get.
-
the insides of this big-bottom b!tchbomb were the TRUTH, tho...
that's real.
slow-roasted red peppers were featured as the base,
coupled with caramelized vidalia onions.
guys,
i had an idea,
and i had to know if it was expert or not,
and the only way to find out was to make the magic happen
and hope it all fell into place where it was supposed to.
sausage and peppers is delicious.
eggplant parm is delicious.
sausage and eggplant parm and peppers????
yup,
it's IN-F*ing-CREDIBLE!!!!
here, go ahead, get right up ON it, b:

c'mon! but, like, for realsies, though-
C'MON!!!
the bath for the eggplant was the best i've made in a while,
and the breading was no joke, either.
friends, here's how it went down:
-
*
EGGPLANT EXTRAVAGANCE!
-
two small thin-skinned italian eggplants, sliced lengthwise,
salted, rested, and rinsed.
-
in a small bowl, combine:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
2 T ground flax/chia-meal;
1 T eggless egg replacer powder;
1 T garbanzo bean flour;
whisk, and allow to get all thick and lovely.
-
in a  different small bowl, whisk.crush, and combine:
2 T flour;
1 T cornmeal;
2 T cornstarch;
1 handful crushed cornflakes;
dried oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, cayenne,
rosemary, parsley, GPOP, and nutritional yeast.
-
it's a simple matter of activation from there.
dredge through the wet, pat into the dry,
and transfer to hot oil in a big skillet.
one flip each, and you've got sensational sexxxiness ready to rock.
-
of course, that's just phase ONE of a multi-part series of intense and intentional
inventive layering.
i mean, really, did you already forget the rules?
too much is the right amount, man,.
get with it.
-
there's homemade tomato marinara, naturally.
because WTF IS JAR SAUCE?!
wordimus prime.
-
*
TOMATO SAUCINESS!
-
in a small sauce pot,
saute 1/2 small diced onion and 1/2 carrot, minced in 1 T olive oil.
when they soften,
add:
2 T red wine vinegar;
1 tsp soy sauce;
oregano, basil, parsley, sage...
and 2 cups crushed tomatoes.
-
i also added 1/4 cup seitan broth, which was phenomenal.
and a punch of nootch, because that sh!t is TILY af.
real talk.
a slow simmer for thirty minutes had my redness looking hella precise.
*
now, i had my oven hot at 375℉,
and in a small square pan, i layered the following:
oil.
sauce.
eggplant, MORE eggplant.
a proprietarily blended custom cashew-garlic tofu underchee'.
shredded baby kale.
MORE eggplant, then a little MORE eggplant.
MORE sauce, then some shredded daiya mozzarella.
that got baked until the inner and over chee' were appropriately melty,
like, fifteen minutes, max...
and then i dropped that hot multi-tiered tower of terrificness on top of the pepper and onions.
expertism ensued at breakneck pace from there
-
next up?
red lentil seitan sausages, browned, and bias-cut,
laced across the surface of this saucy little sarnie.
plus fresh parsley sprankles.
and fresh basil.
AND thyme and oregano from the garden.
bruh,
what's poppin'???
THIS jaun right here.
and it is a savage raging monstrosity.
a brutal behemoth.
a jaw-dropping juggernaut.
and i ate all eight every last morsel,
with a side order of dippin' sauce.
DAMN.
if you don't get busy with sausage and pepper eggplant parm,
you can't comprehend what the notion of excellence in excess truly is.
and that is no lie.
**********
homemade bread has been the hallmark of the whole week.
also,
we've still been hitting up the fair every night.
mmhmmm.
rules is rules, kids.
and y'wouldn't wanna bring that weak sh!t up in here, would you?
i hope not,
because we WILL have to ask you to leave
if you come diaperbabyishly doodoobuttery with it.
that's word.
the full moon had me up all night after night.
that's no help.
blue lightbeams and werewolfen appetites are kind of my thing,
but i've got a LOT of things lately.
arguably, i've got too many.....
except, that all i'm even interested in these days.
overdoing it is the base line for active participation.
there is only room for MORE.
the biggest, the most beautifullest, the most feral,
the grandest big-timin' one-uppin' grandstandin', showboatin',
high-falutin' hottness is what's really going on.
i'm so grateful for the time i have to do the things i do.
good fortune may be wasted on good storytellers,
but good times are made of mindful and wary awareness
of the wider waking wild world around us.
pay attention, and you just might see something freakin' rad;
never quiet, never soft.....