Monday, September 18


SMOKY (slightly chipotle'd) TOFU!!
i made myself a F*ing feast last night.
i did.
i got home late, again.
and i got right to work.
time was tight, and the hunger/anger level was through the ROOF.
crepes are great for that.
easy, exxtra-flat, super-thin pancakes?
that's dope.
and after a loooong day on nearly non-stop tattooing,
i needed a flippin' SAGA to satiate my starvation.
that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.
i came up with some epic edible adventure time, however,
so all's well that ends in shark-gluttony, as i always say (as of just now.)
check out the mediterranean mealtime mayhem i managed:

where'd i start?
with the red lentils, of course-
3/4 cup red lentil beans;
3 T finely chopped onion;
2 cups broth;
black pepper, cumin, dried mustard, ginger, GPOP, sriracha flakes, turmeric,
and the babiest blend of red pepper flakes, paprika, and star anise,
just to delicately deliver some exxtra-special flavorful flecks
of super-official fire to my face.
that took twenty minutes to cook up.
while that was going hard in the paint,
i had some hot coconut oil frying up a ferociously smoky tofu situtation.
that's 1/2 block exxxtra-firm tofu, cubed, in the oil,
with smoked paprika, regular sweet paprika, cholula chipotle ho'sauce,
and GPOP (obvi).
the slight coconut tones went right along with the seriously smoky redness,
and i have to admit,
when coupled with the red lentils,
the tandem protein scene was dreamy.
that's no joke.
i put kale AND arugula on there!
i had pea shoots;
unappealingly super-hot sharp AF jalapeno slices;
and homemade TZATZIKI, son!
1 mini cucumber, minced;
(about 1/2 cup), drained on a paper towel to keep it from being prohibitively wet.
2 BIG spoonfuls of unsweetened cashew yogurt;
1 large crushed clove of garlic;
1 tsp lemon juice;
1/4 tsp dill leaves.
^^^that's the JOINX right there^^^
all of that, all together,
had just about the best ratio of wet to dry, crisp to soft,. sweet to savory-
it went to eleven with every mutha-lickin' bite, bro,
and the crepes?
in a smallish bowl,combine:
1 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
1 tsp sugar;
2 T nootch;
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk;
2 tsp flaxmeal.
poured out in big spoonfuls on a big ol' very hot pan,
over and over,
six times in a row...
one flip, when the tops get dry,
and a plateful of goodness is ready and waiting for all that other other stuff.
and now it's time to get back to work.
i swear i haven't had a day to myself in months.
it may be some time yet before i get one, too.
today is the day.
just like yesterday.
busy business is big business around here.
and it's all really happening, friends.
stop by and become a part of it,
or, maybe just read about it at your leisure from a more comfortable place.
that's cool, too;
never quiet, never soft.....


do you guys even ever eff with black currants?
you don't?
too bad, because that's some good sh!t to eff with.
well, no, actually, i don't have any either....
i only have black currant jam.
but, it'll serve.
i mean, seriously, it's very sightly, slightly seedy, sweet purple blarps
of succulent secret berry delights.
no. really, though-
it's dope and it's thick, and despite being something i was previously exposed to
while over in britain,
this specific jammie-jam i've got is from france, i think;
it's in my latest galette,
which just so happens to also have the most elite crust i've made in a dog's age,
whatever THAT means.
(the dog's age, not the part about the crust)
i'm on some:
apples for september;
black currants for my face;
and brown sugar-laced new new for everybody else.
i wouldn't want to waste time would i?
no way.
effective efficiency is how i get my days underway,
and when i've got an exxxtra minute or two, i bake y'all a little treat-
go ahead,
check the big-bakey-style teleport:

i'll confess,
the photo is cropped to conceal an abnormality in the crust.
one edge kind of elongated, and it went slightly amoebic in shape,
rather than the original round i put in the oven.
it's cool, though.
it tasted the same- that weird lopsidedness was not a detriment to the flavor.
it's just blackcurrant jam on the bottom,
two macintosh apples, cored, and sliced,
and fanned around and over that sloppy slapped-down jamboree layer,
in three successive spreads to cover all the available area,
which was about 11", not including the foldover margin.
then, i hit it up with a secondary dolloped dousing dose of black currant .
that's all that's going on in there.
could that be easier?
i mean, besides leaving out one of the ingredients, obvi.
i moistened the dough, and shook on a whole mess of demerara sugar sprankles,
despite being generous with the brown sugar INside the actual pastry.
because rules is rules,
and the rules at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress clearly state:
too much is the right amount.
get with it, bro.
and what was this new dough all about?
it was about time i made some sh!t that looked like actual galette crust, really.
here's what happened:
in a medium mixing bowl, with a pastry cutter,
or more tiresomely: a fork-
cut in:
4 T COLD earth balance butterish substitute;
3 T COLD vegan creamchee';
1/4 tsp salt;
1 1/4 cups flour;
3 T light brown sugar.
add 1 tsp vanilla;
and ice-COLD non-dairy milk 1 T at a time,
fork cut into the crumbles,
until the whole mixture resembles very dry scone mix.
that'show you'll know you're ding it right.
next, y'gotta fold it, and turn it, and fold it, and turn it,
and then fold it, and turn it out onto a well-floured surface,
roll it into a rough round, about 3/8" thick (or whatever, man),
and put your stuffs into the center.
and when you bake it? bake it HOT.
like 425℉.
and don't get impatient.
give 'er a full 25 minutes worth,
and get that crust crusty, like the name implies.
just sayin'.
am i too busy?
but, am i busy?
hell yes.
the only real downside to my sexy new artistic enclave?
poor little crabtree is being somewhat neglected.
i'm so embarrassed.
that's my main man right there,
but he's too maniacal to come with me,
and i'm too pressed for time to walk him even more,
so that he might be less maniacal.
it's tough.
i gotta work,
and i gotta get those movie checks,
but when i get home, late, every day,
after leaving him alone MUCH earlier than i used to,
i can't help but feel like i'm the world's worst one.
especially when i get home, feed him,
then spend a few making myself a magnificent meal.
he's not the type of terrier to take that lightly,
and as a result, our evenings consist of a high degree of pent-up canine combat.
he's so fired up,
we frequently have a full-blown exercise session, for hours, and hours, after supper.
and that's a lot to handle,
when you're already handling a lot of everything else....
yeah yeah,
poor me, right?
i'm just letting y'all know how important AMPERSAND TATTOO is to me.
i'm failing at family time with my four-legged friend,
because making my work work harder by working harder is what i DO.
that's real life unfolding in real time;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 17


the cinnamon swirls, tho!
you aren't aware?
for realsies??!
cinnamon swirl tops are the TRUTH.
i mean,
they're like half palmiers, overlapping and activating all
the protective talismans of total taste immersion,
like an expert shield wall of worthy warrior poetry,
and cinnamon,
on top of my numero uno favortite.
a fresh local macintosh apple mutha-btchin' pie.
oh. i made a pie.
take a teleportational LOOK:

y'boi right here is climbing all up into the pie scene,
and those cinnamon swirls are only adding to the eminence and excellence
of my powerful panful of apple cinnamon brown sugary big action.
i'll admit that my tendency towards overdoing things is why
they're not as defined as the could've been.
no, for real.
i took the buttery brown sugary cinnamon filling to eleven,
but the pastry only went to ten, if you feel me....
too much is the right amount,
but it might lead to overloads and overflows of blarped out caramel if you aren't careful.
...and i wasn't careful.
the swirls are only swirly in some spots,
and, while still incredibly flaky and buttery and crispy and sticky everywhere else,
they're more of a suggestion than a definitive structure.
next time, neighbors.
i'll get better and get it together next time.
until then,
lemme tell you a little more about a good pie-
i bake em at over 400℉.
like 415-25.
that's right.
i want my edges golden brown, bro.
and i've described in detail my piecrust about a billion times,
so i'm going to skip it right now-
the apples were exxxtra tasty this time,
and i think it's because i used butter AND organic sugar AND cinnamon AND ginger
AND agave AND vanilla in the pot with 'em.
i cook my apples enough to soften them,
and create a pectin-rich syrup to soak into the bottom crust.
i like the juice, but not if it's all sorts of wet.
for whatever reason, these jauns weren't inclined towards being watery,
and that was great news.
if you don;t let your apple blops cool a bit, your bottom crust will wilt and melt
and generally kind of suck.
that's no good, so be patient, and allow your apple medley to take it easy first, man.
eight medium apples should do the trick, but i'll wager nine is even better.
a braid around the rim always makes me more interested in a slice of this hottness.
i'm a sucker for a braid,
and i'm guilty of overdoing the things that i like.
so, braids happened.
and raw sugar sprankles on TOP of the cinnamon swirlies did too.
i go hard on the pie scene.
i really like pie.
i mean, c'mon, what's a lean, mean, mutha-ucker s'posed to do?
bring that weak sh!t up in here?
i don't think that's the right play.
i go hard on the pie scene.
that's my area.
we gave away TWO free tattoos yesterday.
that's right.
to celebrate completion of our amazing avocado death star,
we turned up our own giveaway to eleven.
because we had that sh!t up on instagram & facebook,
so it sort of made sense to separate them a little bit;
and also,
because we're always willing to do MORE.
real talk.
this new studio situation is more demanding than i thought it'd be-
and i thought it'd be pretty effing demanding.
and seven days of tattooing every week is a LOT.
i barely have time to grocery shop,
which could severely limit my cake production.
that's a harder style than you might imagine.
making and baking have been my saving graces for a little minute now.
and without all this fine food fabricating,
i might not've become the interior decorating despot in charge of my own spot.
no, for real, though-
all that intentional invention and attention carried over to the new studio.
without the cake, there could not have been our most magnificent bathroom.
weird, i'll admit.
but also not a joke.
it's all really happening.
we've got lucky winners,
we've got busy days,
we've got much to do.
there are far worse ways to span time,
and i think we're very fortunate for the immersive environment
and the attentive clients,
and the general attitude of gratitude and generosity we cultivate every damned day;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, September 16


y'better get that formuoli!!
hell yeah, duders.
because the formuoli is essential for activating those homemade ravioli jauns.
and when i decide it's time to doo-doo that freaky sh!t,
you can guarantee i'm fixin' to get molto busy with those sexxxy pasta pouches.
i showed you my pesto pizza.
y'know what was especially awesome about that?
well, i followed my true path and purpose,
and made more than i could conceivably need.
because too much is the right amount.
and that's good news, since i got to fire up a whole other 'nother powerful pesto meal
the very next mutha-flippin' day!
how dope was the dinnertime scene?
molto molto, of course.

from-scratch vegan pasta is great.
custom pesto is terrific.
juicy fillings and add-ons and sprankles are essential.
and all of it, all together, is the path, process, and procedure by which
really-real plant-based kitchen wizards do their thing.
....and you know i'm gonna do my thing.
some years ago,
this forum was a catalog and chronicle of my daily doings,
comings, goings, and happenings.
in a way, it still is.
i've just refined my daily actions and activities
to be infinitely more nourishing to my mind and my body.
i s'pose that is a natural, logical, evolution, isn't it?
after all, the prose and poetry of pain and suffering ma have been exquisitely descriptive
back when my world as i knew it ended, fittingly in 2012......
but the detailed accounts of my real-life fabulous feasting is a whole lot easier to digest
on just about every level.
i hope those of you who've been around since the jump agree.
and for all the newcomers-
thanks for reading, and maybe just avoid the archives from before 2014.
real-life documentarianism demands i keep the true-storytelling records,
but let's not dwell in hell,
and move forward like the bakery barbarians and stovetop savages
which we were always meant to be.
moving on,
who wants to make some pumpkin seed pesto??
you do? and you, too??
wordimus prime!
here's all you've got to do:
in your inestimably heroic food processor, blend up:
2 cups of fresh basil;
1/2 cup raw pepita pumpkin seeds;
a generous sprinkling salt;
1/4 cup nutritional yeast;
4-5 T olive oil;
2 large cloves of garlic;
black pepper to taste.
puree that sh!t, and let it marry and marinate for a bit.
it's good!
like, really really good.
make some, and you'll be glad you did...
and those tight and TILTY ravs?!
c'mon, man.
that's that good-good.
knead up:
1/2 cup flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/3 cup warm water.
flour up your board and pin.
roll it out, cut some 2" circles, (twice as many as you think you'll need, obvi)
and put the filling of your choice in the centers,
with a healthy margin for crimping both sides together.
i had some caramelized onion bits, and sauteed crushed garlic, and wilted shredded kale,
and i combined all of that with my custom cashew-garlic chee',
and made up the most exquisite middle-stuffs i've had in some time.
or, since the last time, probably.
what do you even know about this sh!t?
are you on that heavily salted water boiling up those little packets of tastiness
until the little effers float?
or putting a spoonful of hot pasta water in a bowl with a fat scoop of pesto
in order to make it slippery and sticky for optimum ravioli coating?
i hope so, because that's how you do it right.
pesto and ravs is a luscious combo.
but with those black-peppered pan-toasted pepita sprankles, on top?
and those fried sweet grape tomato joinx?
AND few baby kale leaves, too?
that's mandatory sexxxiness.
rules is rules, after all.
and when you've got triple exxxtras above the homemade everything else?
that's when your simple pasta supper goes all the way to eleven.
i don't want lazy food.
i don't want ugly food.
i don't want boring food.
i want that PRECISE  sh!t.
the kind of yumums that can GET IT.
if you know, you know.
if you don't, you're out of the loop,
and you need to get into the loop,
and stop being a poop-boat.
that's no joke.
we're picking winners today.
winners for the AMPERSAND TATTOO opening giveaway contest.
we've got to pick a random name from 600+ entrants.
that's a lot, bro.
in fact,
it's SO many,
we're going to give away a tattoo from EACH OF US!
because we're AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and we add on those exxtra-ands like it's cool, fool-
so there'll be one big winner.....& then, kaBOOM, another OTHER one as well!
that's right.
we doo-doo that real-A* sh!t.
we've been open a whole week,
and i still haven't seen you.
what're you waiting for?
come say hi, and have a slice of pie, guy.
there's the distinct smell of pizza in the closet.
you can come sniff it.
there're scented candles galore up in this b!tch, too.
we got all the good smells, fella.
that's always good news;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, September 15


three styles of pizza?
i mean,
there are way more than just three, obvi.
for a quick and dirty pizza party time exxxplosion,
my superior semi-semolina dough, done up three ways,
was the right call.
the dough was a little drier than i'd have liked,
there was a fatness to it, too, that defied the lack of hyperhydration,
and kept it crusty, crunchy, and intact as it baked itself into superlative saucers
of sauced and sauceless circular sexxxiness.
y'wanna see what i came up with?
you do?
check the teleport:

pizza is my favorite.
pizza is probably YOUR favorite, too-
at least,
it is if you're the type who knows about exploring options,
infinite customization and extrapolation on a theme,
and the creative concocting of crucial comestibles.
real talk, pizza is the ONE.
and also, for the record, if your favorite is 'steak'?
you're a sh!t-lipped F*-hole, and nobody good likes you.
there's no steak on these,
only all the most succulent and sexxxy bits and pieces,
live and direct from my stovetop, to my oven, to the plate, to my face.
...and yes,
they've ALL got fried garlic sprankles.
because rules is rules,
and Folk Life & Liberty Pizza isn't worth a damned thing
without those lil shards of powerful, flavorful alium shrapnel activating exxxtra hottness.
word up.
pizza pizza pizza.
homemade tastes great.
the dough is usually pretty dope, if you know what you're doing,
and the toppings are so elaborate that you really can't go wrong.
the dough is simple, but perfect, if you don't underknead and underhydrate, like i just did.
like i said, it was STILL dope, but it wasn't precise.
here's the right answer:
in your stand mixer,
1 1/4 cup semolina flour;
1 1/2 cup flour;
2 tsp salt;
1 tsp wheat gluten (optional, but recommended);
1 pkg commercial yeast;
3 T olive oil;
1 cup warm water, with 2 tsp bread machine yeast, + 2 tsp sugar,
dissolved and bloomed and active as heck.
add it all up, beat it up for 8 minutes, cover it,
and then, you've got options-
1. let it rise for 30, punch it down, let it rise for another 30,
and then refrigerate that sh!t.
2. put it directly in the fridge overnight, or for 12 hours, or whatever.
either way, divide it into 3 or 4 even chunks, bag 'em, and use 'em up as necessary.
the longer they stay in the fridge, the more flavor they'll develop,
at the expense of pliability. then again, don't let 'em sit around, man,.
so, we've established, yet again, that pizza is TITE and TILTY.
but like, are you even curious as to what i made, specifically?
you are?!
let's start with the no-sauce bossman:

that's braised broccoli, and caramelized onions,
and heirloom grape tomatoes,
with daiya mozzarella and smoked gouda shaved on top,
a little olive oil to activate the crust,
and arugula to hook it up with that freshie-freshness.
i know, right?
simple, but elegant, and elaborate as well.
i love a clean-A* pizza pie neighbors,
and this was a heckuva starting point.
next up?
the best pesto i've produced in a while:

it's spicy, with raw garlic and basil doing dual duty on the savory end-
and nootch (that's nutritional yeast for you casual perusers),
and olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste, to turn it up.
the pumplestiltskin seeds really added a creamy, nutty, hearty, transcendent element, too.
i love when that happens.
honestly, they were the only nut/seed-type thing i had in the house,
so they were elected by default.
i'm psyched it worked out, for sure.
and there's tofurky chik'n-apple-soysages.
i admit, i've been (s)lacklustering my way through most days,
what with the new studio soaking up the largest portion of my attention lately.
so, i went store bought, but i'm not ashamed, because they tasted amazing,
and that was my top priority, anyway.
there's fried peppers on top, too-
and roasted red potatoes.
potatoes on pizza are expert.
try it out, homie.
you'll become a believer instantly.
they're THAT good.
AAAAAND just because,
there had to be parsley sprankles,
for that little bitty baby bit of added exxxcellence,
and another 'nother other note of clean green amidst the powerful pesto-sausage-peppery tones.
a little of that so-smo'gouda, too,
to offset the creamy cashew garlic burrata-be-kiddin'-me blops i custome blended?
DASSAVIBE, all day.
the last one was a BANGER.
like, way too hot for the club, kids.
check the teleport:

crumbled plant-based weirdie breakfast patty sausage jauns?
i did that.
and caramelized onions, because they're the best.
crushed tomato sauce? red red red red red...
it's how pizza really excels at being pizza.
braised, barely browned brussels sprouts are always on my mind when it's pizza party time,
and they always turn up and get turnt when the oven's on.
real talk.
daiya non-dairy mozzarella?
i doo-doo that vegan sh!t.
hen i had a masterpiece on my hands,
i added MORE.
you know my grind, guys-
too much is the right amount.
i went ahead and activated it with some ornamentals, all the way to eleven.
how did i do that?
with those raddichio ribbons,
and a couple of baby kale leaves for that good look.
stay ugly, eat beautiful.
that's my move, friends.
i have no choice about one, but i make up for it with the other.
that's no joke.
pizza is where it's at.
and good meals make long days seem more tolerable.
the new studio is developing a rhythm,
and it's a good one.
the clients seem satisfied with the work,
and impressed by the welcoming luxury of the space.
the merchandise will arrive,
and that movie check situation will begin to remedy itself.
i went full guap-amole on my avocado palace,
and now i've got the pinterest-knows-best greed-sweats.
never heard of those?
ask a tattooer.
they'll know.
bad ideas seems more exciting when your expenses have exceeded your income.
it's all really sort of flowing along.
the path is unfolding in front of me,
and it's illuminated by copper-clad glowing wire coils.
i can see where i'm going,
but not where the road ends.
it's an adventure, clad in green, gold, and warm wood.
i'm going to need a lot more pizza,
and a lot more time,
in order to get comfortable on the journey.
i'm prepared to make and take both, by force, or by finesse,
for as long as it takes to make something amazing out of what we've created here;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, September 14


y'all don't know about expert elite coffee cake, do you?
it's time you found out about what's really good in the 'hood-
coffee cake is sort of a dedicated side project up here.
in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, we eff exxxtra heavy
with a grandiose dose of grandy-ma grainy crumbly buttery coffee-style cake.
on the ones,
a good old fashioned thick slab of that sorta flaky, dry-but-so-totally-not crumb,
with the crOmbles all over the top???
if you're not into that,
you might want to go the hospital, and check to see if you have a heart.
.....because it's likely you do NOT.
coffee cake is for your emotional side.
that's a thing.
if you've got strong feelings, you'll need a big slice;
and if you're even MORE heartfelt than that?
like, if you're on some level eleven warrior poetry?
well, then holy sh!t-
you might need another 'nother even bigger slice!
i mean it.
this buttery big action will activate all those latent feels,
and have you evolving into an omega-level empath
from far beyond the perceptible vibrations of this earth.
is that real?
i have my doubts, but i also have my coffee cake, and that's measurably magnificent.
check the teleport:

i do so love it.
and i do so need it.
and happily, i have all the skills to continuously produce it, as the need arises.
this one was a really stellar example of the craft, neighbors.
it had that interior dry-wet,
and it has a topping so tight, i had to stop myself from just straight-up huffing it.
dusty huffs might've been more trouble than my sinuses are designed for.
eating proved rewarding by itself, so i did more of that, instead.
would you like to know how to do it at your own house?
in your own oven?
for your own face??
you would?!
here's all the secrets, for your enjoyment:
preheat your oven to 360℉.
grease and flour a 9" springform pan (the unsung hero of single layer players everywhere)
in a medium mixing bowl mash up:
1 stick (8T) earth balance buttery spread;
3/4 tsp salt;
1 T lemon zest;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 cup sugar;
add 1 cup vegan sour cream-
(or unsweetened non-dairy yogurt, if that's more your speed)
2+ cups flour;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
stir it up thoroughly,. and enjoy the dense, sticky batter you've created.
it shouldn't be very wet, but it sure as sh!t should be moist.
don't worry, it's full of all that tangy creamy hottness,
and it'll do you properly in the oven.
the crumb topping is a whole other entity, and it is not to be dismissed.
1/2 cup oat bran;
4-5 T dark brown sugar;
1/2 cup graham flour (this stuff is rad as hell);
1/2 stick (4T) vegan butts;
1/4 tsp vanilla;
add all that right into your dirty bowl,
and cut it up until it's so well-combined,
you'd never suspect it of having more than one ingredient.
it should stick together when squeezed, and you should squeeze it,
and then crumble it up and apart,
over the entire surface of your future feastably fresh-to-deathly flavor bomb in front of you.
streusel is where it's at,
and it's a must-have for a decent coffeecake.
i'm sayin', rules is rules,
and if you are somehow unaware of how coffeecake is s'posed to be,
you're possibly a cave-dweller from the earth's core,
or just some sort of an A*-hole,
but i'd recommend ceasing either, or both, if you're superlatively unfortunate.
MY streusel game is triumphant, tho-
i even took tiny buttery pitter-pats,
and strategically pentagrammed them across the top of the topping.
F* yes i did.
too much is the right amount,
and when they seeped into the surface y'know what happened?
the whole damned thing got turned, turnt, TILTY, and tremendously improved.
real talk.
bake that lil sassy circle for 30ish minutes, or until a tester stab comes away clean,
and then pop the spring, let it chill out for a few,
and eat a huge slice straight to the cakehole.
do it. make it....please.
i'm proud of this one,
and i want all of you to enjoy it, too.
AMPERSAND TATTOO just got a new drawing table.
a bar height draftsman deluxxxe.
with the super-sexxxy black iron pipey hottness for the legs-
i'd show you-
i'd rather you just come through and check it out for yourself.
i mean, seriously.
come visit.
i'll probably be tattooing,
but i can talk and work at the same time,
and you don't need me to hold your hand while you drool over the custom furniture.
come see us,
come eat some cake,
come live with it,
low middle and high with it,
'cause that's how we're gonna live and die with it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, September 13


apples on the bottom are actually apples on top!
apples are for september,
and september is where everything changes.
change, apparently, is good for you?
i hear that, but i'm not sure i all-the-way-believe it.
not yet, anyway.
ANYway dudes,
early apples really are SO nice.
i mean,
summer apples are good, sure-
september apples are the ONES,
but, like, on the ones.
they're that jet li sh!t, y'heard?
i get 'em, and i get into it as soon as they're gotten.
this time, i made a cake.
upside down,
so the apples went in first,
and came out last,
but with all the right stuff above/below-
y'wanna see it?
check the teleport:

feel those APPLE VIBES!!
cinnamaple frosting is key here.
it always is, really.
the cake itself was a dense bomber,
but i attribute that to a pair of variables-
steam from those wet-A* apples,
and maple syrup compacting the whole thing
into that flour-based cheesecakey consistency.
eh. it smelled incredible. it tasted terrific.
the texture left a little to be desired, but i'll bet that the following recipe repairs that readily.
here's how to do it better than i did:
preheat your oven to 360℉.
peel core and slice two large early spetember apples of your choice-
fan them out in the bottom of a greased 9" springform pan,
and dust liberally with brown sugar.
in your trusty mus-have stand-up mixerizer, combine:
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
1/2 cup raw sugar;
1/4 cup light brown sugar;
1/4 cup real maple syrup-the darkness. like, grade b if you have access to it;
1 tsp vanilla;
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger;
1/2 tsp maple extract;
1/2 cup applesauce.
whisk that all together, well past the point of individually recognizable elements-
now add:
2 cups flour;
2 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 T organic non-GMO cornstarch, sifted;
1 cup non-dairy milk-
or better, 1/2 'milk, 1/2 apple cider (it's still a bit early for that, though)
- spread that across those apples,
and bake that bad baby for 30 minutes.
when you flip it over, be sure it's cool first.
then, y'might wanna use a long spatula to aid in the release of those luscious apples.
no pressure though.
cakes are dope.
THIS one was almost totally dope.
i mean, i'll F* with a thick one, but this was on the cusp of being not-great.
the recipe above, as i mentioned, corrects any of that bullsh!t,
so i think you'll find that it's expert now.
try it out.
or not.
i'm not the boss of you, anyway.
.......but i am the boss now, and that's not a bruce springsteen reference.
today is the first walk-up wednesday at the new spot.
i know, i know-
wednesday IS a weird one to make the walk-ins happen on,
it's not like we've got flash on the walls,
and it's not like i'm trying to do those doo-doo buttery jauns on the weekends.
wednesday, on the hump-up, and for realsies,
is for tired ideas and weak sauce to weigh down heavy on the shoulders of your boys.
we'll do whatever you'd like,
but that sh!t ain't free.
arbitrary designation of dope and doo-doo is what we do, dudes.
roll the dice, and bring us that pinterest picture, and we'll hook it up.
no job too lame, or small, or large-
first come, first served, all day, at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
in the interest of full disclosure-
i just need a day to work on other stuff,
and an unannounced walk-up day may give me the time i need to do some of that.
it's all happening, or is it?
i can't tell the difference right now;
never quiet, never soft.....


cakes on cakes on cakes!!!!
that's the coolest part about cups of cake, isn't it?
there's a LOT of them,
which really means you get to eat MORE of them.
and that's the thing we like the best, right?
yes, indeed.
too much is the right amount.
and that's exxxactly how much we want.
nate likes lemon sh!t a whole bunch.
and, i think he's into coconut stuff, too.
i'm all about coconut, and i don't hate lemon,
so combining them was a no-brainer.
why? does it matter what nate likes?
well, for starters, because we spend all damned day together,
but, more specifically, in regards to this instance-
it was his berfday on sunday,
so i made him special berfday cakes. get treats on your borniversary day, duders.
rules is rules after all.
check the celebratory cups-and-cakes-type teleport:

well, OBviously he got a special one.
c'mon, what do you think i am?
some kind of an A*-hole?
don't be dumb.
lemon coconut fluffers,
with lemon-coconut frosting,
and those seasonally appropriate welcome-back-to-new-england-style sprankles.
if you ain't on my level, you'd best get out of the way of my grind.
real talk.
the sprankle game? tight.
the lofty crumb game? tight.
the fancy paper cake wrappers? yup. that's right: tight.
expert is as expert does, bro.
and when it's time to berf out,
you know i berf out hard AF.
you want the recipe?
you can HAVE it-
preheat your oven to 350℉.
in your superior stand mixer, cream up:
1 cup sugar;
1 stick (8T) earth balance non-dairy butters;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon extract;
1/2 tsp coconut extract.
3/4 cup non-dairy plain coconut yogurt.
add 3/4 cup non-dairy milk;
1/4 cup lemon juice;
2 T lemon zest;
1 cup medium flake unsweetened coconut.
then, whisk in:
2 1/4 cups flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
get that aerated and battered up,
and spoon it into lined muffin pans.
halfway up each is the way to go.
bake them for 25 minutes or so,
and let 'em cool off on a wire rack.
y'gotta make that frosting-
1 stick of vegan butts;
3 cups of powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp each coconut and lemon extracts;
1 T microplaned lemon zest;
2 T pulverized powdered unsweetened unsulphured coconut.
i think you've got it from there.
just be sure not to chump out and get cheap with the spranks.
the vibe off of a good assortment of sparkle magic on top is unrivaled.
don't take my word for it though-
try it out, and you'll see for yourself.
the studio is open,
it's not finished.
i mean, you know me, kids.
it'll likely keep being added onto until it's jam-packed with interesting nooks,
and creative crannies,
and amazing alcoves,
until all the space is occupied with expertism.
i have a style, i guess.
it's a had style, at that.
however, when you're out to establish the newest new new hottness,
y'can't just allow for the ordinary to be nearly enough.
and the thing of it is-
it's NOT enough.
i really can't overstate the intensity of my attitude towards this place.
i mean it.
from the multicolored walls,
to the two-tiered trim,
to the round rug in the bathroom,
there's a VIBE, y'all.
and i'm so very grateful, no matter what, to work in a space of my own choosing-
all the desiring, devising, designing, and directing that's gone on so far is just the tip.
there's a whole lot more coming through after that widens the gap.
this is What Is,
and it's all really happening.
that's great news for people who like good times and better tattoos;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, September 11


today is the day that a bad thing happened on,
and made airports a real pain in the A* for a decade and a half.
that's not cool at all.
if you remember it, i think you're supposed to.
although, i see far fewer bumper stickers about it these days,
so maybe that's not true any longer?
the fickle nature of memory and calamity passes through a decade
of decreasing intensity before an eventual fade into a vague haze
as the decade-after generations recollect secondhand the losses and atrocities of the past.
i mean,
i see kids in nirvana shirts who weren't even born before suicide snipped short
the soundtrack to disaffection in the nineties...
time flies, and bad things simply become things as the sharp edges wear thin.
what am i going to do about it?
the same thing i always do.
i'm going to make a treat.
you cope your way,
i'll cope mine.
the recollection of past horrors is only half as bad as the anticipation of future failures.
that's no joke.
and when stress and anxiety fly their banners high on the parapets of the
Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, implying uncontested occupation of my safest spaces,
i just fire up the oven, and resist that sort of tyrannical terrorism
by baking off a little relief through consistent methodical meditative process.
believe it.
check the food-be-thy-medicine-type teleport:

apple chunks, brown sugar, butterish.......
these jauns had a whole lot of hottness to recommend themselves to your face with.
like, seriously, i don't always know what to make,
so i just trust in my proven creative process,
and begin at the beginning, with the usual suspects,
and just let the treats make themselves, really.
preheat your oven to 375℉.
in a medium mixing bowl,
cream together:
1 cup dark brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick (8T) earth balance vegan buttery spread;
1 tsp vanilla.
-when that's been thoroughly mashed into one messy brown mass,
add 3 T vegan (preferably tofutti-brand) sour cream;
and two large apples' worth of 3/4" chunks.
combine all of that,
and add:
2 cups flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
1/2 cup fresh-milled oat flour, from steel cut groats
(i don't know that that actually matters, but i want to believe it does)
1 tsp cinnamon;
1/4 tsp nutmeg;
1/2 tsp dried ginger;
1/4 tsp allspice;
dash of cloves;
-fold and turn and crush and fold and turn and crush up all that mix,
until it's one wettish dough-
turn it out onto a well-floured surface, and hand-press into a rectangle about 1" thick.
cut that in half lengthwise,
then divide each strip into 3x3 squares,
top with raw sugar crystal sprankles,
and freeze for five minutes, to let the wet set into something slightly more solid.
then all you've left to do is to bake those jauns,
evenly spaced, for 25 minutes or so,
and then let 'em cool just enough to ice up.
oh, and the the icing?
it's gooooooooooooood.
maple syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
cinnamaple icing,
because apples taste better when they're with their friends.
that's a thing.
big soft hunks of apple magic!
crumbly-pull-apart flat muffin cake!
sweetness in spades across the entire surface of each!!!
yes, sir, thank you, sir.
that's what's up.
today is the day again.
just like yesterday.
and the day before.
there's plenty still to do in between tattoos at the new hottness emporium,
and we're doing it when/where/however we can.
there's sign making money to be spent.
there's custom cherry drawing table money to flow out from the source, as well.
it's all really happening,
and i know i'm fortunate to have the funds available to finance these fancy fineries.
living sh!tty for years, as a sort of sacrificial investment,
whilst adhering to an unproven but supposedly sound plan,
in the face of flaunted flagrant fouls,
and unmarked forks in the road,
and wrenches in the works,
and burnt bridges in front of and behind the path to glory was hard as F*.
that's just IT, neighbors.
you can't give up.
i'm no inspirational quotable dude by any means,
but i know that being a quitter is sort of like being a F*ing A-hole.
so don't be that,
and instead,
push harder, work harder, and do MORE.
anything else is a disservice to yourself, and everyone else.
there's no guarantee of success.
i'm sitting in this impeccably sexxxy new spot,
and there's still uncertainty at the peripheral edges of my awareness.
the catch is,
i'm willing to do more, and then, more,
and hell, if necessary?
MORE still.
too much is the right amount, friends.
don't go getting comfortable and lazy,
maybe go out and get busier;
never quiet, never soft.....


on opening day of the new hotness,
we had all sorts of big plans for ourselves.
that included kettle corn and tattoos and hangs at the warm and super-inviting space,
after hours,
for me and my good friend and co-worker, nate.
we had secretly spicy soup,
and that derailed every damned thing.
turns out,
AMPERSAND TATTOO is no match for a fire-spicy overripe italian fury pepper.
who knew?
not me, or i'd have maybe gone easy on the little F*er,
and saved the evening before it caught me in the throat and tried to kill me.
that's no joke.
i sliced that flavorful finger of ferocity into rings, some olive greenish,
some lime greenish, and some orange.
that's where i effed up, neighbors-
a hunk of seeded orange doom got caught in the back of my throat,
and burned it's way up, and down,
and back up, and then down, again and again,
until i was a drippy-nosed teary-eyed idiot.
oh, yeah.
i obviously had MORE,.
rules is rules, y'thick lump-
y'stay until the thing is done.
and besides, too much is the right amount.
...that's right.
it looked innocuous enough:

but it had that low-end afterburn creepin' in the cut.
the thing is-
it only took a little minute to make, which was good news for hungry heads.
the bumfire boomfire only got more intense as the soup steeped in between bowlfuls.
you want to make soup?
you don't need a recipe for that!
give a bunch of vegetable a bath.
that's soup.
you want THIS soup.
do this:
in a medium (2 quart) pot,
saute 1/2 diced yellow onion;
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and chopped;
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced, and quartered;
1 hotfire secret-doom longish italian hot pepper finger, cut into thick rings;
1/2 sweet bell pepper, diced;
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes;
1/2 cup black beans;
-add 3 T hot sauce;
1 T soy sauce;
oregano, cumin, ground coriander seed, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne;
2 T nootch;
11 craxx of fresh black pepper;
1 T chipotle pepper sauce;
and 2 cups vegetable broth.
simmer that all the way up, for like, twenty minutes.
then, all you've left to do is serve it up with fresh cilantro leaf,
scallion sprankles,
and a BIG ol' crumbled handful of very salty tortilla chips.
the chip factor is huge here.
these jauns were hippie-style with chia and flax in there, too-
.......and they were expert AF.
you like soup, don'tcha?
me too.
it's no homemade kettle corn,
but it served as punctuation on a pretty serious day of dopeness.
i can't tell you how grateful i feel.
for the people who helped make this possible,
especially auntie patti and uncle dennis who encouraged and assisted at every step;
and my graphix team, matt riorden and michael holmes, who came through in the clutch uncounted times;
my secret santa, and the world's most comfortable transgender tattooer,
shawn hebrank, who has surpassed his teachers on so many levels;
and my handiest manliest man, ben colbath,
who brought the whole shootin' match together in just a few broad strokes,
and he made it look easy while he did it;
and a shoutout to scott winters for the new sink;
and another shoutout to your boy lincoln graves at modock millworks
for handcrafting THE sexxxiest desk in the history of tattooing;
let's not forget thatcher and austin and carlos reppin' the tight new banner;
and my berfday twin kerri for dropping off the  freshest flowers,
and having the coldest iced coffee in town;
and crabtree, for being just about the most difficult and delightful dynamo of perpetual motion that a man could ask for in a four-legged best friend.
the milky boi is a good dude to have around when times are tough....
lastly, but not least by any means,
the homie, the friend, the supportive co-conspirator,
nate perley, a.k.a the white billy joel,
and by extension, his incredibly accommodating mom and stepfather,
for really bringing the patience and the encouragement to the darkest days
in between closing and opening, from one place to another.
that's the core of the hands-on interactive participation portion of the place.
but, let's not forget the support staff behind the scenes,
providing all of the emotional anchoring as timelines and budgets disintegrated
and derailed all over the effing place-
my own blood family certainly kept me lifted up,
and the push from my closest friends to create something of my very own
was felt on a daily basis.
all of y'all could've stood back, in the cut, creepin' and lurkin',
but you didn't, and i know that i'd saved the whole area
from being basted in berserker barbarian belligerence
on more than ten separate occasions.
even the meltdowns go to eleven without help from my people.
these folks are a whole lot like an extended family of extra cousins and brothers,
and mothers and fathers.
and while my own efforts to subsidize this enormous avocado of a studio
were at the battering ram's end of the juggernaut,
everybody else is really who we'll thank for AMPERSAND TATTOO existing.
if you see the space as a manifestation of something worth a sh!t,
and i hope you do,
then believe me,
all my micromanagerial obsessive natural inclinations
would've been worth F*-all without them.
damn, guys,
i might be getting a little choked up just thinking about it...
i am grateful for the time i have been given,
and i hope to keep the spirit and memory of gratitude and generosity alive and well
within the guacamole walls of this new Fortress of freshness.
this is it, and it's a lot;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, September 10


that's what september means, dudes.
when there are Perfect Fall Days,
and the crispiest of fall nights,
with sweater weather after dusk,
and beautiful angled illumination all day-
the best thing to do is get some crunchy local early apples,
and get right into a big ol' batch of applesauce,
and apple cider,
and apple pie,
and, this one is key, especially if you're into oats,
which i most certainly am,
a tasty lil apple crumble.
check the mutha-'ucking september-treats-type teleport:

it's like a cake,
but, also a pie,
and yet,
it's also a granola-style streusel,
with icy almond milky scooples...
that's how expertism gets crackin', for realsies.
i really strongly suggest you give this jaun a try...
here's the haps-
preheat your oven to 365℉.
in a mixing bowl, combine:
1 cup flour;
1/2 cup rolled oats;
3 T raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves...
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T melted butter;
2/3 cup non-dairy milk.
make yourself this little pancakey batter,
and spread it evenly across the bottom of a greased square pan.
you're gonna need 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced,
simmered with 1/2 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
1 T butterish;
1 T lemon juice.
cook 'em until they're soft,
and dump 'em out on that batter like you're serious about this sh!t.
a good apple center is s'posed to be there,
and without it, you've just got sad flat cake, y'feel me??
you're gong to need a crucial granola-style topping,
in order to make it officially an elite crumble jaun.
rules is rules.
in the unrinsed bowl you made that batter in,
add 1 1/2 cups rolled oats;
4 T brown sugar;
1 tsp cinnamon;
3 T earth balance vegan butter;
4 T wheat flour;
mash it up, combine it properly, and spread those buttery blops across the top.
bake all of it together for 25-30 minutes, and then serve it hot,
with that essential a la mode scoople of nice-cream...
do it.
you won't be sorry.
in fact, double the recipe,
and fire up twice the hottness.
too much is the right amount.
get it.
so, come see us at AMPERSAND TATTOO...
we're ready to show off,
and generally stunt on the new hottness.
i'd love to see you.
so would nate.
come on through, kids.
it's all really happening,
and we'd love to share the experience with you;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, September 9


when you're one emptied-wallet's worth of deep into a project,
& that project has all the carefully considered deluxxxe new hottness,
& it's also called AMPERSAND TATTOO....
when you've micromanaged every damned detail,
& obsessed for hours over minutiae that many might never ever notice,
& gotten dirty, dusty, destitute, & downtrodden on the journey....
when all of that is really real and really happening,
y'can't just swing the doors wide & assume that just any ol' day will do the trick.
that'd be weak sauce, for sure.
it just so happens that the overlapping echoes
of the infinitely mysterious secret universal plan just happened to ven diagram a starburst
of serendipitous circumstance,
& aligned the big action with the most apt of events on the calendar.
i'm just sayin'-
what better day to open on than national ampersand day?!
that's a thing.
and it's our thing.
just one more small detail that needed to be considered,
got considered,
& was expert AF...
this is IT, neighbors.
your new friendly fresh-to-death fortress of full-figured forceful fiery flavor
is finally & ferociously in full-effin'-effect!!!!
look what's now a-poppin' in the woodsly goodness:





it reminds you of a giant avocado?!?!?
that's riiiIIiiight....
....& you know avocado costs EXTRA, b!tch!!
we're on that upscale luxurious exxxpensive sh!t.
& besides,
the tastiest of ladies all love guacamole,
so it's only fitting we dip 'em all in this elitest of elitists' GUAPamole, too.
that's what's up! is also a thing.
there's a phone number, too,
but i can pretty guarantee that email is going to be the best way to make appointments.
and yes, there's facebook, even though T.W.P.P.D. is your jauns tho.
i look forward to seeing you guys in the new space,
& i'm eagerly anticipating a whole new era of constructive, instructive,
insightful, delightful creation with you & me & nate & everyone we know.
it's all really finally actually happening,
and that's the whole damned point.
i'm grateful as F* and humbled as hell by the process and path this vision has taken me on;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, September 7


enchiladas are a time-consuming sunovab!tch of a thing.
i'm serious.
especially if you've not got ingredients ready to go,
AND you don't eff with jar sauce,
AND your gravy game is totally from scratch.
i had my roux all browned up, and the flour smelling hella nutty.
that was a start.
i had a homemade enchilada sauce simmering slowly into a succulent spicy solution.
there was a whole other 'nother new batch of refried beans on the stovetop.
i even had black beans with peppers and onions all sizzled up, as well.
was that all?
obviously not.
i also made my custom cashew-garlic-tofu UNDERCHEE',
for the internal excellentation of my tubos, too.
i had exxxtra salsa, grilled chipotle corn,
and ALLLLLLL the sprankles, too.
when i F* around and make enchiladas,
i make the roll-ups that make the future touch heaven, 
and then reach out and caress your mutha-b!tchin' FACE, son.
wordimus prime.
check the teleport:
we like enchilatties a lottie, kids.
yeah, you know.
under all that epicness, 
and inside all of that legitness,
there's some genuine next-level savory smooth superlative sexxxiness that transcends
the simple humble enchilada of yesteryear.
that's no joke.
y'got a layer of underchee'
in you food processor, combine:
1 cup cashews, soaked for 6 hours in initially boiling-hot water allowed to cool all day;
1 block well drained firm tofu;
4 whole cloves of browned garlic;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
2 tsp ea. Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
1 tsp vinegar;
1 tsp soy sauce;
1/4 cup nutritional yeast;
1/4 cup olive oil;
blend it smooth, and bask in the regal righteousness of this smooth spreadable hottness.
so, there's that.
then, a layer of refritas- 
my proprietary nootch-boosted- ho'sauce-activated jauns, of course.
daiya cheddar and mozzarella get tossed in, 
and then a batch of black beans-
that's literally just black beans, diced onion, sweet pepper, poblano, and jalapeno.
easy. simple. tasty. dope.
a handful of shredded spinach;
a punch of fresh chopped cilantro;
a spoonful of minced raw onion-
and ka-POW, you've got heroic interior excellence within a fajita-sized soft-flour tortilla.
i love a soft flour jaun, homies.
i do.
and the fajita-level ones are right in between taco and burrito,
which is to say: they're expert as hell for enchies.
next up?
the gravy.
so, you've got a tablespoon or two of earth balance, 
melted and browned with two-four tablespoons of flour, right?
then you add a punch of nootch,
a cup and a half of broth, and another 'nother tablespoon of flour,
and boil that up over high heat until it's got that thickness you know you like.
thiccc gravy is the key to a great enchilada.
when you arrange your rolled tortillas, seam down in a pan,
and then pour the gravy in between and on the ends of all of them,
they steam and soak up all that flavor, and become just about the most magical melties
in all the land, man.
for realsies.
you're gonna need sauce first, tho, before you foil those tops.
i mean, rules is rules
and enchiladas need sauce like fish need water, bro.
and you're gonna wanna make double what i did if you're a sauce-fiend.
i'm just warning your A* in advance.
in a small pot,
heat a T of olive oil,
and simmer 2 T minced onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic,
1/4 cup mixed sweet and hot peppers depending on your own personal tolerances,
and 1/2 cup chopped sweet tomatoes.
add a splash of tamari;
a dash of liquid smoke;
2 T of cider vinegar;
and oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, pink salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper,
coriander, thyme, and bay leaf,
plus the obligatory GPOP dust-up, of course.
add 2/3 cup crushed tomatoes,
and 1/3 cup water,
plus 4 tsp lime juice,
and simmer away until the whole thing is one consistent mass of saucy sexxx.
that's when you add a punch of fresh cilantro to the mix,
and stir it in, spread the whole thing on top of those rollups and bake 'em up proper.
i confess, i've been reticent about relevant info-
these are four chee' enchiladas.
cheddar and mozz and under all went within,
but the liberal application of shaved daiya smoked gouda melted all over the tops 
was a coup of beaucoup big-A* activation for sure.
it was seriously a savage slap of something super-special.
of course, you know that the magic didn't stop there-
how could i leave it alone after i'd gone that far already?
too much is the right amount,
and these are the WHOLE ENCHILADAS-
that means they need even MORE.
how tight was the sprankle game?
tight like this:
pickled jalapenos!
fresh cilantro!
ranchero salsa!
minced red onion!
blackest olives!
chipotle-roasted fresh local summer corn, right off the cob!
which is so exxxplosively garlicky after it's time marinating in the fridge 
that it's practically it's own something else entirely at this point.
if you don't know what's good by now,
you won't know what's good at all.
i love food.
i really love incredibly decadent indulgent comforting fattening flavorful rich food.
i'm just that kind of luxurious guy.
sharing the experience,
which, by the way, was one and a half hours total,
from just ingredients with nothing ready to eating a monstrous plate of amazingness.
and that includes the time spent in the oven, bro.
one elite experience in just 90 minutes from top to bottom. 
that's rad.
we get to choose where we invest our time.
so yeah, 
while that's three sitcoms' worth of minutes,
the results are tangibly and measurably more expert.
with so much more to show for the duration, 
and the interactive participation of an involved presence of mind and body.
that's coordinated concentrated conscientious considerate culinary creation,
instead of passive static stagnant spectator space-filling.
the interface between practical applications and entertainment 
is the one i can't seem to escape.
if the way you spend your time isn't making the magic happen,
you're F*ing doing it wrong, kids.
quit slackin', and make sh!t happen;
never quiet, never soft.....


do you even get down with year-ohs?!
oh, c'mon.
if you get it, then you get down.
if not,
and you're wondering wtf is poppin',
then now is the time when you will rise to your feet,
wipe tzatzik' from your face,
wipe the juice from your eyes......
that's two, then.
moving on...
souvlaki-style seitan and tofu and chickpeas,
with all the freshest briney pickled fix-ups,
wrapped in homemade hand-tossed pitas.
a.k.a. GYROS.
a.k.a. YEAR-OHS.
a.k.a. i like they, i make they, i PICO they.
now you've got it, you get me,
and you've gotta get with it-
check the teleport:

c'mon duders.
that's that good-good from my neck of the woodsly goods.
y'wanna make pitas like your boy?
do this:
in a smallish mixing bowl, sift together:
1 1/4 cups flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp black pepper;
1 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 T vegan spur cream/plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt;
2+ T melted earth balance butterless betterness;
1/3 cup warm water.
knead it all together, rest it for five, divide it into 6ths,
and rest it again, for 5 more, in that sextet of baby balls.
roll em out with enough flour to get 'em thin without sticking,
and fry 'em up in a barely buttered piping hot skillet for a minute a side.
these jauns will get you amped up for the ensuing feast.
if they don't reassess your suppositions, bro.
you've made an error somewhere, because this sh!t is SIKE-UP CITY!!!
what's up with the homemade seitan and exxxtra-firm tofu?
it's sauteed in a few tablespoons of olive oil with onions
and sweet and hot peppers for a spell,
then seasoned up with greek oregano, lemon juice, thyme, turmeric,
cumin, parsley, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper,
a scoop of plain unsweetened cashew yogurt, and a 1/2 cup of chick peas
completes the look....and it's a good look.
now, the next question is:
how do you take something spicy and nicey-nice like that,
and turn it up even louder, like, all the way to eleven?
that's easy.
you freak it off with ALL the pickled pips and pops, neighbors.
we got shredded pepperoncinis;
we got dill cuke discs;
we got the quikmixpix redux, too.
cider vinegar, salt and sugar,
brought to a boil with a burly batch of mixed veggies within.
like what kind of veg?
sharp onion;
and both orange and purple carrots;
radishes (french breakfast joinks);
garlic!!!! (so dope);
and fresh jalapeno hunks.
a good quikmixpix will put you in the right mood right away.
that's real.
is that IT??
no way.
too much is the right amount, man.
there's shredded onion!
brownish-purple heirloom baby sweetyhearted tomatoes!
torn apart baby spinach!
parsley sprankles!!
and homemade TZATZIKI, you little sh!ts.
F*ing right.

in a regular-A* bowl, stir together:

3 T finely-minced cucumber;
1 T lemon juice;
1/4 cup plain unsweetened cashew yogurt;
1/4 tsp dried dill;
2 smallish smashed cloves of fresh garlic;
a baby-shake of GPOP;
and LOVE, bro.
because if you don't love your sauce,
you're liable to get lost in it.
be wary, and be loving.
it's good for you.
and THAT'S how you freak off some GYROS, homies.
a little squirt of fresh lemon and you're in heaven.
real talk.
i don;t eff with busted food,
only the sexxxiness.
you are what you eat, reportedly,
i'm doing my damnedest to get on board with that.
i was recently asked if i ever make anything that isn't dope AF.
the simple short answer is: yes.
but, never on purpose.
and never twice in a row.
when you're freestyling and freewheeling,
and cartwheeling your ingredients into a hot spot,
out of the frying pan, into the fuego, or the food processor,
there're bound to be some detours and derailings along the way.
the whole point of stunt men is to perform the obviously dangerous derring-doo-doo,
as they're trained for it.
i'm a stunt-ridin' dirty-ridin' rough-ridin' waverider in this kitchen,
and while i'm well-versed and well-rehearsed on competent creation,
the best planned stunts are still subject to circumstance.
sometimes, my treats are beat, and my dinners aren't winners,
that's just it-
overwhelmingly, the sweet overrules the bitter,
and there's something sort of refreshing about failures sometimes.
i know it trips the breaker on routine for me, anyway,
and gets me revved up in a spiteful fight
against the commonplace race to suppertime
that i'm occasionally guilty of getting stuck in.
try your hardest all the time,
then try a little harder.
that's what's up.
i don't want anything that isn't delicious,
and i don't want any ugly food either.
i'm sour and ugly enough already,
i don't need exxxtra added from the inside, too;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, September 6


once again,
on mexican monday,
and NOT on taco tuesday,
i did what i do,
which is overdo it. and add the fire and exxxplosions to it-
and more specifically, this time i made three on three-
that's triplicates of a trio of tasty taco types-
and each one was a triple triumph in it's own right.
that's no joke.
here's the thing...
i LOVE tacos;
and i LOVE refitas;
and i ONLY wanna eff with soft flour, or in special instances, those soft corn jauns;
there's gotta be spice, there's gotta be sprankles,
and there's gotta be a LOT of all of it.
real talk:
too much is the right amount.
anybody can be a delicate doo-doo buttery diaper baby when faced with the prospect
of preposterously disproportionate savage shark-gluttony.
it takes a true connoisseur of overindulgence to really get into the spirit of the thing.
i'm talking about taking a massive megadose of delicious varied flavors and textures
straight to your damned dome, dummies.
don't believe me?
check the teleport:

F* yes, neighbors.
yes, that IS very garlicky homemade custom vegan ranch on top.
well, yeah. it's really expert. (the recipe is here)
what kinds are there?
there's radicchio, pea tendrils, and a burly scoople up of chipotle chick peas,
that's onion and garlic and oregano and cumin and coriander seed and leaf,
GPOP,  paprika, cayenne, and chipotle pepper powders,
dusted all over those pan-fried chickies, and tossed with a teaspoon of lime zest,
splashed with lime juice, and garnished with green onions.
just toss some of that stuff together, and build up the flavors as you see fit.
that's the best/worst thing about on-the-fly cooking-
it's never exactly the same twice.
i like that, some people don't.
the fact remains, when you want everything to stay the same......
then things change.
but i'll never getting tired of putting it down.
not in this kitchen, not with these flavors, not while there's still an appetite
for self-improvement whetting my appetite for destruction and creation
and culinary competence in this Folk Life i've carved out of these mountains.
oh, and that's homemade ranchero salsa.
chiles, and onions, and garlic, and red bell pepper and poblano, and jalapeno bits,
slow simmered with diced tomato and GPOP, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and cilantro.
i had a can of 'mexican-style' diced tomatoes, and i tossed a bunch of sh!t in with it,
and ended up with a smoooooth sauce for my mouth to make out with.
then there's oven roasted curried cauliflower.
half a head of florets, oiled, slated, peppered, and seasoned,
with cumin, turmeric, coriander, crushed red pepper, ground mustard seed, and lime juice.
roasted at 400℉ for 20 or so minutes.
how much flavor can one weird white baby treetop veggie nublet contain?
allllll of it, apparently.
over red and green lettuce, with cilantro sprankles, purple carrot chips,
and quick-mixed pickled jalapeno, radish and carrot???
the quikmixpix is holiday magical. for serious.
cider vinegar, a pinch of salt, a punch of sugar, and heat,
with 1/4 cup of each veggie immersed, boiled,
and cooled inside that barbarian bath of briney big business.
do it. three minutes of hard boil, from a cold start,
and then y'just let 'em get back to room temperature so y'all can devour ALL of it.
what was the sleeper super-smash-hit?
nootch-boosted pepper-popped ho'sauce activated refritas!!!
too much sauce?
yes. was that good?
over the top dropped-top glugs of poured texas pete,
with a handful of nootch, a big pat of butter,
a tablespoon each of poblano, jalapeno,
and red pepper, a heavy shake of GPOP, and a quarter of a sweet onion,
all smooshed around in a pound of punished pinto beans.
you gotta try 'em, kids.
they'll improve your outlook on life.
...that's real.
so, y'got those,
and cucumber,
and those legendary mixed pickles,
and non-dairy ranch,
and scallion spranks,
and what you've also got is a revelation for your tastebuds.
vegan food tastes good.
and fancy-A* vegan tacos are always a good idea.
too many vegan tacos is a great idea.
rules is rules,
and i you aren't taking it to eleven,
what the F* are you even here for?
there's only room in my day for all-in active participation.
weak-sauce wallflowering wimps and waterbabies can stay out.
we got soft flour flaps to fold up and feast on in here,
and we don't need y'all minky, mincey diaperballs ruining it.
be dope, and eat tacos.
that is all;
never quiet, never soft.....