Tuesday, February 28

MONTH'S END.

dudes,
i'm not exactly excited for march to get here.
i mean,
my version of march madness is more like the stark raving stuff
and not so much of the college basketball variety
on the ones,
if this calendar is about to flip again,
and march has trudged it's way up to tomorrow,
that means that 1/6 of 2017 is already over?!
that creates a little bit of a crazy feeling in my skullpiece, buddy.
for realsies.
i've got temporal fugue in my temples,
and in between there's this big ol' brain trying to make sense of this
madhouse month we've just endured.
february is finished.
this is it.
the last day is right here,
and while it's a short month,
i'll be honest, it FELT really long.
my days are very repetitive:
wake up, walk dog, feed dog, feed sourdough,
bake something, eat breakfast, write words, drink tea, take pictures,
walk dog, shower, run errands, run that tatt-game like a marathon,
come home, feed dog, make dinner, take pictures,
walk dog, exercise, read, fall asleep, repeat.
the thing of it is:
i can't stand it.
every day bleeds and blurs into the next,
punctuated only by whatever fresh new hottness is served up on my supper plate.
thank goodness for rock bloxxx.
what??!
haha.
yeah.
days fade to weeks and so on,
and while it's getting bright-bright-brighter outside every damned day,
there's plenty of darkness around these parts to overshadow,
throw shade,
and generally dim, cloud, obscure, and disguise these lightening days
with dismal mood lighting...
except when it comes to cookies.
yup.
that's real talk.
if you're in a bad mood after eating rock bloxxx?
congratulations,
you're a F*ing A*-hole.
check the teleport, then tell me if you think i'm wrong:

i mean, right?!
yeah!
DASSIT, DUDER!
these original recipe custom cookies are the TRUTH,
and if you've never had them?
make them.
immediately.
for real.
i made three kinds from one batch of basic dough,
and i doubt i could tell you which ones were the best ones.
(.....duh. they were all tied for first place, man)
let's begin with the ones that started it all, y'all:
*
rock bloxxx
-
1 stick vegan butts;
1 cup brow sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
as usual, you'll be creaming all of that,
unlike other times, you'll be stirring in 3/4 cup applesauce.
now,
add 2 cups of a.p. flour;
1/2 cup crushed coarse oat flour;
1/2 cup crushed unseetened flaky coconut;
2/3rds bag chocolate chips;
1 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
WORD.
roll out golf balls, press 'em flat,
and bake 'em at 375 for 13 minutes.
expert.
-
now,
let's get busy with the upgrades:
i made a dozen+ of the regulars,
and the divided the remaining dough.
to the first half, i added 1/4 cup of raspberry frosting
(from that sexxxy do-over cake);
2 T rasberry jam;
and another 'nother 1/4 cup of flour;
plus 1/4 cup chopped oats
(i used quick ones, to soak up the juiciness of that jammie-jam)
i covered them with melted chocolate post-bake.
i dunno why, exactly, other than it's in my infinite nature to overdo it.
and we all know that nature wins.
-
then,
because too much is the right amount,
and because i was getting a haircut from my homegirl,
who i like to deliver a little parcel of sweet gratitude to,
in recognition of her attempts to adjust my haircuts to my awful hairline,
i also fired up some coffee cookies!
yuuuuuup.
2 T instant coffee,
plus one tsp fresh-gorund espresso beans.
a little more oat flour was necessary, ust to bulk 'em up,
but it wasn't more than a handful,
for mouthful of magical coffee-style new hottness.
hmmm?
well,
yeah,
i added little powdered sugar stars.
so?
i still like cute sh!t, bruh.
don't sit there and judge me until you've made the cookies.
i mean it, mango-
i'm thinking you'll be a bit more lenient with my cutesy tendencies
once you've experienced the the magic and majesty of these mystical morsels.
i don't know what march has in store for us,
but i DO know that if it starts to suck,
i'll be making a TON more of these cookies;
never quiet, never soft.....

GHORMEH SABZI!

i'm a sucker for too much eye makeup,
what can i say?
i saw a woman making this in the vice/munchies kitchen,
on a YouTube update on my phone,
and while my attention was divided between that and twenty other things,
i caught the broad strokes of what was going on,
and knew i had to give it a go.
homegirl had two plusses in her favor-
the eye makeup;
and being named farideh.
dudes,
anybody with the same name as the main character
in one of my favorite dungeons&dragons novels is gonna get my vote
over somebody named steven or whatever.
that's the truth.
so,
two things-
one: i totally read fantasy novels still.
that's essentially 30 years of being a F*ing nerd.
two: i think the name steven (or stephen, or even stefan) is funny.
i do not know how or why that happened.
-
ANYway,
ghormeh sabzi is pretty much wilted herbs.
that's the gist of it.
a full bunch of scallions,
a whole bunch of chopped cilantro,
and a big ol' bunch of chopped parsley.
those are the main green guts of the thing.
i bulked mine up with about a cup and a half
of some shredded spinach and arugula, as well.
i like leaves an' that, man.
olive oil, some simmering, and some GPOP,
followed by thyme, sumac, black pepper,
a cup of kidney beans,
and a cup of my handily-reserved seitan broth,
and that was basically done, man.
y'gotta give it a few tablespoons of lime juice,
and in the authentic lamb-and-gross version,
you use those dried-up black lime pompoms, too-
i just subbed in some lime slices, which tasted great.
i've never had real persian herb stew,
and i don't know any iranians in these white mouontains,
so i'm gonna have to just assume i did ok.
take a look:

the terracotta bowl is key.
not to the flavor, just to look sexxxy.
i saw it and knew i had to have it.
(i actually bought two, naturally)
i only wish my hurried harried life and my cantankerous hankering hunger
had been just a touch less than they were.
i might've taken a better picture.
as it was, it took a lot of restraint not to just munch it up, undocumented.
now, it also needed another non-legume protein.
that's mandatory, i guess.
that's fine with me,
after all, rules is rules,
and in this case, scissor-cut seitan chunks did the trick...
tossed in arrrowroot with thyme and turmeric and sumac.
i fried 'em up and they looked good from the jump-off:

they got combined with a small caramelized onion,
and added into the stew
it worked, neighbors.
it worked really really well.
i have to report that as delicious as it was,
i'll bet i still saved about a bowlful,
once my bellyhole couldn't hold a single bite more.
awwwwww.
i know.
turns out, i can't eat as much as four people every day.
honestly?
i blame that diced-tomato-stewed rice.
the stew needed it, but it took up so much potential stew-space in my body.

dang.
i didn't stop there, of course.
i may not have consumed a whole vat of stew,
and i may have left one of those initial four cups of rice,
but i still ate allllll the salad, bruh.
ummmm, c'mon.
cucumbers, exxxtra firm little tomatoes, curly parsley, and shallot,
tossed around with exxxtra-virgin olive oil?
mmmmmmmmmmmm.
so fresh and so clean!
too much is the right amount,
and i'll deduct points for not going to the hospital with a burst gut,
although i did eat much more tha most mere mortals could manage...
word up.
***********
hey,
wait,
i missed something-
y'know how i eat a LOT of pizza?
well,
i haven't stopped doing that either.
i had no time to tell y'all about it yesterday,
but i made another 'nother crispy-crusted cruncher on sunday.
teleport:

CORN SALSA PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!
simple simple simple.
crushed tomato sauce;
daiya mozzarella;
cilantro and jalapeno and parsley and red onion;
caramelized onion;
super-sweet crunchy corn;
freshie-fresh tomato;
fried garlic sprankles.
kaBOOM.
even when it's easy, it's still so expert.
that's all i have going for me these days.
sexxy food for unattractive people.
that's my style, kiddo-
stay ugly, stay dope.
one is unavoidable, the other is my choice.
it's all really happening,
and i'm making sure to get the maxxximum return on my investments-
everybody has to eat,
not everybody gets the same food;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, February 27

CHOCOLATE SCONELINESS!!

made like a scone,
soft like a brownie,
decorated like a cake.
that's how it went down, dudes.
mmhmm.
i made a little somethin' with chocolate on chocolate on chocolate,
and chocolate chips-
i wasn't one hundred percent sure what the results would be,
but,
what i got was a nice little bit of sweet of brunchy dessert.
i mean,
i had 'em for breakfast,
but,
i think they'd be better suited for a post-elevensies level-eleven indulgence.
yup.
check out the broken-flowers-type teleport:

scone-biscuit-brownie-cakes!!!!
hey, now-
i can freely admit when i'm making a mistake,
on purpose,
as it pertains to the gross overconsumption
that results from my gluttonous infinite nature.
i made 'em, and i ate 'em, and i can live with myself.
i'll be honest, i ate a LOT of these little brown biscuits.
they just slide down so smoothly.
there's lots of chocolate in there,
and that definitely didn't hurt the comestible come-hitherliness one bit.
dang.
y'know what else, man?
i wasn't sure what was gonna happen when i started adding things to the bowl.
i mean,
i kind of had some idea,
but i'm glad i still have plenty of room for pleasant surprises in mt kitchen.
anyway,
i think you might enjoy these little guys,
so here's how it happened:
*
preheat your oven to 410F
-
in a big bowl,
cream together all the usual suspects:
1 cup brown sugar;
1 stick vegan butters;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
-
add in 3 cups flour;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1/4 cup tapioca;
1/3 cup cocoa;
1 cup+/- chocolate chips (i had bits of big and small sizes, and used both);
-
cut that all together, too, so the sugary-butts are all lumpily combined-
and then add:
3/4 cup vegan yogurt;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk-
gently blend that, so it's a little baby bit sticky,
and then fold it up, turn it, and do the ame again and again,
until the whole thing is uniformly brown and mixed.
press the dough down flat on a floured surface,
about 1/2-3/4" thick,
and start cutting out shapes, or even just cutting out triangles or squares,
or whatever lovely, sconely shapes you prefer....
reform the remainders and scraps and cutaways,
and repeat until it's all used up.
how many will you end up with?
well, neighbors, that is going to depend on what shapes, and sizes, you decide to do.
c'mon.
.....
bake them on a cookie sheet for twenty minutes,
and you'll have something super-elite to treat yourself with.
if you're impatient,
or lazy,
or just plain ol' not-that-dope,
they're done.
however,
if you know about what's really real,
and how to make good things better,
then it's time to let them cool off,
so we can get to work on making them expert.
word up.
-
melted chocolate, with a splash of vanilla,
a bit of a bigger splash of soymilk,
and a little powdered sugar, heated up on low heat until it's all smooth,
with a little stirring to help it along,
and you've got some ganache-style drizzles to add to the party.
that is a damned good start.
however,
too much is the right amount-
which is why i fired up a quick rough chocolate frosting, too.
yeah!!!
what's in that frosting?
powdered sugar, vegan butter, cocoa, vanilla, and soymilk.
how much?
who knows.
some of this, less of that, etc.
it worked, which is what's important.
*
i find myself making stuff more and more and more often.
to the extent that it's become kind of an expense.
not like a break-the-bank high-cost problem, exactly....
more like a takes up all my time and is noticeably using more funds
than it used to.
and for what?
just so i can impress myself with a sexxy dinner,
and eat two or more peoples' worth of it?
i mean,
i 'd like to think i'm worth the effort,
but it gets a little old showing off for just myself,
i'm not likely to stop any time soon,
not at all,
i mean,
doing less is not invited to my party.
of course, apparently neither is anybody else.
ha.
what i NEED is some other other sh!t going on as well.
all work and food and dog ownership is not enough of a life, kids.
it's better than some folks deserve,
but it's only a fraction of what i WANT.
so,
how are we going to fix it?
i dunno.
but the hermit scene has run it's course,
and as spring approaches,
the rest of this Folk Life needs some drastic and intense attention.
it's all bound to unfold along the creases of this well-worn comic tragedy,
written in bold archetypeface,
with italicized anecdotes,
and stubbed-toe footnotes.
it's all really happening,
and while that's the whole point,
i sure do hope it's not the ONLY point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, February 26

PIZZA PERFECT!!

you think you love pizza?
yeah?
ok.
then are you ready for some new hottness?
i sure hope so,
because i've got the pashupatastra of pizza right here.
yup.
that's no joke.
hmm?
you don't believe me?
well,
prepare to have your doubts destroyed, dudes-
check the ever-lovin'-awesome-sauce-type teleport:

WORDIMUS PRIME!!!
now that's some expert sh!t.
curried fuego for your face, friend.
it's what i've got poppin' off at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
1/4 cup of crushed tomatoes,
stirred up with turmeric and cumin and coriander and crushed coconut?
F* yeah!
sriracha flakes cracked across the edge of the crust?
you know it, man.
and the rest of it?
it's the turbo-fresh-to-death dinnertime dopeness for your dome.
real talk.
another one of these slooooooow-proofed semolina semi-sourdoughs,
pressed flat in pan, for overloaded-topping performance enhancement.
with that curried crushed 'mato magic,
crushed coconut, and daiya mozzarella for the base.
so far, we're winning at pizza.
now,
while the oven preheated to 490F,
i oiled, salted and peppered a whole potato, slice to >1/4" discs,
until they sizzled and crisped enough to be considered cooked-through.
a layer of those would take any pizza to eleven,
but we can't just stop there, can we?
no way, bruh-
rules is rules.
and MORE awesome is always a good idea.
mmmm.
so,
there's red onion, and rings of fresh jalapeno, too.
but, and here's where we recognize the real-real,
which is to say: too much is the right amount-
there's also half a head of ho'sauce-activated exxxtra-sexxxy
caulifuegoflower on there, too!
that's oil AND butterish, a lttle bbit of each,
a dash of liquid smoke, a LOT of red hot sauce,
a bunch of sriracha,
a whole mess of paprika,
GPOP, obviously,
a lid and a hot pan..
spicy red florets of flame and fury will be the result.
you need some of that. you really really don't want to miss out.
guys,
i also hit it up with toasted cashews!
i know, right?
how much elite expertism can one pizza even contain??
too much, apparently.
and a good thing, too,
because i wasn't even in this frame of mind when i got home,
late, again,
and had no clue what i should try to whip up for myself.
events took a rooute i hadn't scouted ahead,
but i'm sure glad they did,
because this is one of those pizzas i'll reminisce about in the future.
mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
fried garlic sprankles?
c'mon, kiddo-
OBviously they're on there.
that's a must.
and after the baking, (about 13 minutes or so later)
it got the double finisher-
scallion and cilantro spranx as well!!!
straight up, this one bangs hard.
i'll eat an everyday pizza in a pinch,
but i'll always pick the boomfire if it's available.
since i'm the only one here,
it's not as if i can balme anybody but myself if i lame out.
which in turn means i can't lame out.
which in it's own turn means that my pizza game is MOLTO strong.
who wins?
nature.
but also,
sometimes, when the oven is hot and the dough is stretched,
i get equal time in the winners' circle.
good pizza makes everything better.
great pizza takes that to the extreme.
if you aren't about MORE pizza, with bigger and better flavors,
then what the heck is the point of you?
pizza for life, my dudes.
that's the set i rep;
never quiet, never soft.....

PRETTY PRETTY

sometimes, i get pretty in pink.
yup.
that's a thing.
also,
sometimes i F* up my flow a little bit.
but,
i don't necessarily mind that so much.
more accurately,
if mistakes get made, not due to indifference or negligence,
but more as part of a learning curve?
i can live with that no problem,
as long as i totally redeem myself on the second try.
make all the (non-fatal) mistakes you want to,
provided you don't make the same ones twice.
preferably,
be smarter than that and think ahead;
or, not.
but definitely don't keep wrecking cakes, or relationships, or whatever,
the same way every time.
i think that might be what makes you an A*-hole.
and nobody wants to be a sad A*-hole eating a sh!tty cake, am i right?
that's the truth.
i made a raspberry redemption cake that proved some of that.
uh-huh.
...i posted previously about a cake that sh!t the sheets,
with raspberry compote crushing the crumb, 
and squeezing it out of the center.
well,
i didn't despair for much longer than a few minutes.
i mean,
what good is being bummed out about a kitchen mishap really going to accomplish?
not one thing, neighbors-
so instead of just giving the oven the middle finger,
and giving up on having a special treat,
 i scooped out the hot, baked, homemade real red raspberry jam and oatmeal streusel,
let it cool,
and repurposed it as a whole other 'nother crumbly topping on the second take.
yeah!
there's no point waiting around for success.
i don't think that's how it works.
instead, 
i put my pastry cutter and spatulas back to work,
and made something so super sexxxy, it almost seemed a shame to eat it.
duders,
check the pretty-in-pink-type teleport:
WORD!
that frosting?
it's vanilla, and powdered sugar, vegan butter,
real-life raspberry juice runoff reserved from the first cakey incarnation, 
and lemon juice,
whisked into a magical magenta fluff that defies detailed description.
it's dope.
let's just acknowledge that much.
real juicy berry flavor, and color, for your F*ing face, man!
THAT'S IT!!
romanesco vibes on those swirls, tho, y'know?
i dig it.
and you can very clearly see the crumbles berry goodness on top.
that's no foolin' around, either.
the thing you can't tell from the photo is that half of that berry bumble is
INSIDE the cake.
yup.
half a lemon's zest,
all the juice,
a splish of extract,
all that stuff.
i wish i could give you an exact recipe,
but, as it was pieced together from scraps and discards,
i can only break you off a general approximation.
anyway,
here goes:
*
1 stick of softened vegan butter;
creamed together with 1 cup sugar;
>1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon extract;
1/2 lemon zest;
stirred up with:
roughly 6 oz of raspberry jam with oaty melty buttery blops-
no pressure, but it sure helps if you've recently ruined a cake with that on it;
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt.
from there,
it's more of the same:
2 cups flour;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk, with 1 lemon's worth of juice.
whisk, stir, blend and combine all of that,
and spoon into a greased and floured 9" springform pan,
topped with 6ish oz of that raspy crumblebum topping.
and baked at 360F for 35-45 minutes, 
or until a pointy thing dipped in the middle comes out clean.
that's the ticket.
- i'm willing to wager that you could easily make raspberry crumbles yourself,
without wasting a whole other 'nother cake-
crushed chopped oats, and a jar of seeded jammie-jam,
with a little powdered sugar, a pat of butter, a splash of lemon,
over lowish heat, will get similar results, i guarantee it.
-
from there,
the rest of it is the same.
let it cool,
frost it up,
pose it next to some sticks and stuff....
etc etc etc.
*
i tattoo a lot of people.
and i've been doing so for a long time.
i don't always dwell on the span of my 'career',
as it's trajectory isn't much for permitting a good view 
of anything but the bottom of the hill....
awwwww.
(it's strange to think of how long a freefall into the abyss of obscurity 
can really last when put to the test)
yesterday, 
my friend matt came up north to get some pretty cool filigree
on all the hurtie spots of his arm,
and he reminded me that i've been beating him up on purpose for 13 years.
what. the. heck. man.
thirteen years?!!
that's a number that just seems so implausible.
i'm sayin',
those kind of numbers make me feel OLD.
i know, i know, 
it's not just that that qualifies me for middle age,
but damn, dudes.
i have to say, i'm grateful as heck that i've got folks who've kept it up,
and stayed strong all along, with me as their skin-scribing sherpa.
that's pretty cool.
i'm lucky to do what i do.
in my own weird way,
i'm lucky to do it where i do.
and most of all,
i'm lucky that all this time hasn't diminished these dudes desire 
to get a dose of my irascible rapscallionism.
thirteen years of yelling at him,
and he still comes and hangs out.
like i said:
i'm a lucky ugly duckling.
wait.
thirteen years later, i'm no duckling, 
i'm just an ugly old duck;
with the toughest clients in town;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, February 25

GOOD COOKIES!

hey guys!
it's the end of a winter vacation week in the woodsly goodness,
and boy oh boy are there ever a whole mess of folks really
showing off the general lack of adaptability that instantly infects
all of the social interactive functions that must somehow only exist
in the town where you actually live....
y'know?
here's what i mean-
even though you may be buying groceries in a supermarket that is different
than the one back home,
it's not as if the basic principles of grocery shopping have drastically changed
because you're in a different geographic locale.
i'm sayin'.
you've been to a restaurant before.
you've driven on a road before.
so,
why the heck do these dudes immediately become the montage scene
from any aliens-newly-come-o-earth movie the instant they cross into these mountains?
like wild apes who've us been given a prop-comic's trunk of toys to play with,
whole groups of full-sized presumably-employed seem as if they're
experiencing things like coffee shops and traffic signals for the very fist time.
could it be that this is where alien doppleganger body-snatchers
go to practice their human-mimicry whenever they land on earth,
slumming it as developmentally disadvantaged ski-bum dumdums??
i know how much i like to add twenty minutes to a fifteen minute drive,
just to get to work,
and then again just to get back home.
it's a minor inconvenience.
the born-and-bred population of the woodsly goodness, however,
preys upon these goofs like a desert sucks on a few raindrops.
the prevailing mindset of the untalented and unfortunate,
-i.e. the local labor force-
is that these stunted gawkers, one-purple-strip-of-haired 'fun-moms',
and their khaki-pantsed sports-hat dads are saviors to be revered,
in so much as they do amazing things for this area,
like buy sneakers, and eat hamburgers....
it hurts my valves and arteries to think that this whole region
relies so heavily on an influx of occasional income,
just to catch a week's worth of overtime.
...
all of that, every time, as i'm fuming in my car,
reminds me of how lucky lucky lucky i really am.
on the ones,
i am so grateful for the time i have been given,
and for the daily grind i'm on.
yeah,
i work a lot,.
but holy sh!t,
i don't work like that.
tattooing for me is like a sharp-tongued sugar mama.
she takes such good care of me,
but somehow still makes me feel kind of bad about myself.
i'll fight through it, and keep it up,
because the alternatives are far too terrible to even consider.
ha!
*
also,
i have some F*ing elite cookies to see me through the toughest spots
between there and back again.
mmmhmmmm.
neighbors,
i found vegan chocolate covered blueberries!
they smell like druid-summoned nature spirits,
and they taste twice that good.
now, what the heck would you say if they were to be coupled with coconut,
and oats?
yup.
i thought so too.
i made some gluten-free greatness,
and it changed the way i think about cookies for a minute or two.
they're expert.
that's a thing.
check the teleport:

BLOOOOOOOBZZZ!!!!
gluten-free cookies don't have to suck.
hmm?
well, yes, usually, they suck super hard.
but these sweeties rocked the party.
what's the secret?
beats me.
i think it could be the yogurt?
oh, yeah. we'll get into it,
and i'll give you the list-
*
1 cup coconut sugar;
1 stick vegan butterish;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 cup shredded medium-flake unsweetened unsulphured coconut;
1/2 tsp salt.
^moosh all that up evenly,
and whisk in 3 T coconut yogurt.
that stuff makes it stick together, and adds a little softness to the ensuing grits.
mmhmmm
now we're getting somewhere-
1 cup brown rice flour;
1/2 cup ground oatmeal;
1/2 cup ground coconut;
1 tsp xantham gum, so they stay put;
1 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 cup choco-bloob dope-doo-doo droplets.
-
pretty straightforward, huh?
yeah.
it doesn't have to be an ordeal.
really, i have enough of one trying to get a coffee in the morning,
behind a line of enormous rovers and cruisers full of very blonde.
dead-coyote-ruffed coat-wearing lip-glossed milkshake-suckers.
...that's really the only level of frustration i'm currently prepared to tolerate.
-
golf-ball sized semi-flattened blops, baked at 375F, for 13 minutes per tray.
your whole world just got better, and that lady in front of you at the drive-thru?
she's just irritating, instead of excruciating,
because there's delicious cookies to munch up on,
while takes twenty sentences to describe the custom light-beige barely-coffee-ish
quart of questionable intellect and awareness.
if you can remember the litany of chemical compounds it takes to
request a toffee-caramel semi-soy half-almond steamed milk mocha-whip,
add sugar-free this, two pumps of vanilla that, so-and-so and so on,
but picking a line at the grocery store is havoc on your psyche?
well,
then i should probably just bring a mug of homebrew to work with me,
and use the customer service line to check out.
yeah.
solutions, bro,
i got 'em.
.....oh,
and powdered freeze-dried blueberries and powdered sugar, with vanilla and soymilk
made that icing for the tops.
melted chocolate, vanilla, and soymilk settled the score on the others.
exxxtras are great, man.
the terrible SUV lady, and her family know what's up.
it just sucks that they always leave one car length earlier than i do in the morning.
i'm too busy, perhaps,
or i am just being taught a little lesson every day.
that's cool.
i like learning.
and i like cookies.
looks like all of that is on the schedule for a bit;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, February 24

SOURDOUGH PIZZA!!

you should really eat more pizza, man,
it's much easier on your constitution.
long days, hard styles, and the promise of longer nights
all adds up to one thing:
PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY.
am i out here altering my mood with marinara?
yup.
am i elevating my serotonin and sh!t with sourdough and semolina?
damned straight.
is there a correlation between caramelized onions and care and compassion?
i do believe that to be the truth.
is seitan a stress-reducer?
i know i'm much more relaxed after eating it.
ha!
if you aren't out here in this wide waking wonderfully wild world,
acting all wild'd out like a worthy warrior poet,
contributing to the paeans and prosaic power of active participation,
the lightning striking viking sh!t that makes everything matter more,
the spirit and memory of gratitude and generosity,
and all of that battle-beastly bad business,
then the least you can do is eat more pizza.
word up.
i'm doing my best to do my part to improve the surroundings i find myself in,
AND to tune up a ton of pizza while i'm at it.
last night,
i broke out the first of four sourdoughs,
and let the crust rise while i preheated my oven to a toasty 490F.
mmmmhmmmmmm.
dudes,
as you already are well aware,
I LOVE PIZZA.
here's the thing-
i pretty much always want pizza.
i only someone out there could capture my lust and passion
half as fully as a good apizza always has-
the levels of expertism we could achieve would go well beyond eleven,
alas,
it's pizza that never lets me down,
whereas these trife hoes ain't loyal.
oh, c'mon.
i didn't choose this thugged-out 'za-life.
i was born into it in fire and blood an' that.
for the record, that's no joke.
anyway,
check out what i got into last night for dinner:

PIZZA PIZZA PIZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
underchee' made it's triumphant return to my crusts.
and guys,
i've gone over my slow proof semi-semolina sourdough so many times,...
i'm gonna skip it just this once, like it or not
but, i did scissor snip some seitan,
and dust it up in crushed herbs and arrowroot,
before giving it a quick fry.
that's a tasty bite, bruh.
with collard ribbons over crushed tomatoes over that cashew-garlic under-thunder,
and daiya mozzarella over all of that?
expert.
caramelized onions are my topping of choice,
and coupled with the seitan, i had something especially delicious underway.
fried garlic sprankles made their presence know, to-
rules is rules in the pizza zone at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
all that was left was to oil and pepper the crust, and bake it for 15 minutes.
and just to make it pretty, i HAD to cap it off with shredded radicchio and parsley.
nobody likes an ugly pizza,
even if they'll still eat it.
***********
i choose to make dinner.
that's how i get involved in my well-being,
and how i spend my time and money-
improving my mind and my body through conscious and conscientious creativity
hey,
that's just me though....
maybe you choose to watch television and make microwaved mac'n'cheese.
i'm not the boss of you or anyone else,
so, i mean,
i guess you can do whatever you want-
but,
i have to be honest, friends:
box mix is for jerks.
that's a decree passed down from on high.
if you wanna eat sh!tty stuff, that's your right,
but, at least make it yourself.
active participation is sexxxy.
adding spice packets and water is NOT.
get involved.
one or two less episodes of whatever who-gives-a-sh!t show will not kill you,
but a festy box of chemicals and fat certainly will, eventually.
do what you will, that's just my quick and dirty opinion;
never quiet, never soft.....

THREE APPLES!

that's all it takes to make a good cake into a great one.
mmhmm.
three apples.
dudes,
i have this gadget that they call a 'salsa-maker',
which is really a hand-powered less-fancy food-processor.
it might even be an as-seen-on-TV-type thing.
i don't know for sure,
since i haven't seen anything on TV in a decade.
but anyway, i have it,
and what i lacks in elegance,
it more than makes up for with reliability.
no, for real.
it makes the same-sized roughly-hewn little bitty bitsies and pieces,
every single time,
and they never get too chopped, like the food processor can do
with just one extra press of the pulse button.
yikes.
the apples though, neighbors.
peeled and cored and spun around a few times with those dramatic blades!
yep.
that's good stuff.
i needed them, my dudes.
i really did.
i wanted cake.
like, breakfast-style coffee-type stuff.
but, i also wanted something a little baby bit MORE.
...hence the apples.
check the teleport:

YEAH!!!
guys,
even when i'm deep into that breakfast time nicey-nice,
i'm still down to get into some scoopled up ice creamy goodness,
and then turn it up a little louder with homemade caramel.
word.
you want to get into some of that apple coffee cake at your house?
ok!
here's the plan:
-
1 cup dark brown sugar;
1 stick (8T) vegan butts;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
creamed, like always, and whisked up with
1 cup non-dairy yogurt;
3 crushed apples;
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves.
get all of that good and gloppity, together,
and stir in:
2 cups flour;
1/4 cup oat flour;
1/4 cup tapioca flour;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2-3 T non-dairy milk.
yup.
that's all there is to it.
it smells great, it looks great, it pretty much IS great....
but we're not finished yet, man,
nope.
if you aren't adding some sexxxy streusel, what the eff are you even doing?
c'mon.
don't be dumb.
streus' gives it the juice, despite it's relative dryness.
make streusel however you want,
but, for apple magical coffeecakey goodness like THIS?
here's the low-low on what's really good:
-
3 T vegan butter;
1/4 cup oats;
1/4 cup graham flour;
1/3 cup powdered sugar;
cinnamon;
and a splash of vanilla.
cut that all together until it's crumbly, clumping together, and all kinds of pretty lookin'.
don't let it be too dry, and not too buttery.
you may have to add some of that butts, or flour, but that's more than ok,
because there's no such thing as too much streusel.
in fact,
too much is the right amount.
yup.
that's real.
-
i always grease and flour my pans.
i'm nervous like that.
in this instance i used a rectangular brownie-style jaun,
9" x 12", and i baked the batter, covered in streusel,
for about 30 minutes.
.....and it smells and tastes F*ing great!
the caramel?
it's just sugar and soymilk.
uh-huh.
brown sugar, on medium heat, util it starts to dissolve,
plus splash after splash of soymilk until it's lookin' as light as you'd like.
don't let it burn, and don't stir it.
shake the pot, that's fine...
but go easy or you'll get grainy gross sauce,
instead of the gummy gooey goodness you're aiming for.
it needs to bubble for about ten minutes?
i dunno, for sure precisely.
haha.
how little help is that lack of info?
aww.
just let it do it's thing until it looks like it's supposed to.
word up.
hey, now-
there's all kinds of candy-making rules, with thermometers and that.
i don't know them,
and therefore, i'm not intentionally breaking them,
i'm just caramelizing on the fly.
i think that's the best course of action on this path i'm on.
after all, rules is rules, kids.
the only way not to get trapped in there is to deliberately avoid them.
i mean,
once you know, you're caught!.
uh-huh.
***********
apple coffee cake.
you need it in your life.
personally, i need a little more in my mouth.
i've got a lot of work to do.
the tattoo studio, where i spend most of my time,
is starting to really pick up the pace,
as poor people begin to get advances on their delayed returns.
mmmmmmhmmmmmm.
i'm okay with that.
no,
it isn't the most elite clientele coming through with unearned credit,
but,
their income supplements are actually just my actual earned income.
...and i want it.
these movie checks aren't free, folks.
you think flour just shows up like i'm sponsored on the pro-team?
...nope.
not yet, anyway.
so, in the meantime,
to finance all this fresh-to-death feasting,
i've gotta go to real work,
and touch people, with gloves on, thankfully, for hours on end,
almost every single day of the week.
there are grosser, worse things to do, by leaps and bounds-
i'm grateful for the time i have been given,
the opportunity to use skills over sweat,
creativity over calloused hands,
and real-time conversation over priority-action email alerts or whatever.
this Folk Life of mine requires certain allocations of resources,
and to get all of that, i've got to WORK.
that's what i do,
and that's where i'm headed,
day after day after day.
all work, and no play, keeps this blog full of recipes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, February 23

GREEN ONIONS!!!!!!

scallion, spring onions, green onions-
you know the ones.
the green ringlets that look SO DOPE,
and taste SO GOOD,
and make everything you use them in/on more expert.
uh-huh.
that's the stuff.
aaaaaaand,
they're included in every last thing i made yesterday for dinner.
yeah!!
dudes,
i wanted scallion pancakes.
yup.
those oily crunchy outsides,
the soft, doughy layers,
the bite of those awesome little green onion leaves.
that's. what. i'm. craving.
and that's what i made.
of course, a meal of just those would've been pretty good stuff,
but i'm on a strict regimen of overachieving and overeating
and generally overdoing, overreacting, and overindulging across the board.
that's the sort of behavior that leads to a seriously savage stormswept smorgasbord.
...and that's exactly what happened.
check the regionally-non-specific-site-variable-asian-type teleport:

too much is the right amount!
you'be better believe it,
and you're F*ing right that's the truth!!!
damned straight...
the menu was on point,
the the flavors were off the hinges,
and the textures ran the whole spectrum.
guys,
this one was a good one.
my buddy carlos came through and helped me eat it.
i'm so glad.
i mean,. honestly,
i would've taken down the whole spread solo,
and almost certainly regretted it.
as it was,
there was a whole entire other serving of everything,
so i still managed to be a great big dumpy dumplestiltskin,
especially when it came to those dumplings!!
ha!
sooooooo,
let's get started, shall we?
*
glutinous scallion and garlic rice cakes!!
that's 1/2 cup brown rice flour;
4 T glutinous rice flour;
3 T tapioca flour;
salt.
1/2 cup warm water;
1/4 cup scallion butts-
those're the light green lower stem bits-
minced, and wilted, with a clove of crushed garlic.
add ALL of that together,
into a batter,
and steam it up for 30 minutes or so.
now, in the interests of full disclosure:
these tasted amazing,
but daaaaaaamn, they were dense.
thick, gummy cakes weren't what i was aiming for,
and i think next time, i'll make them much thinner.
no, not the batter.
i mean the actual poured cakes.
y'see, i made little foil cups, in a circle mold,
and put the batter in each to steam.
i should've made twice as many,
but i was improvising pretty heavily,
based on my memories of what chive dumplings are supposed to be like.
i was soo close, too.
next time, dudes.
next time, they'll be the embodiment of perfection.
word up.
when they cool off from their steam bath,
sear both sides for a few minutes in HOT oil.
boom.
DASSIT.
-
and what goes better with scallywagglin' ricey jauns,
AND pancake magic, than some elite SAUCE?
you need sauce, neighbors.
otherwise, you're totally effing up.
*
dippin' SAUCE!
-
2 T tamari;
2 T rice wine vinegar;
1 T agave;
1/2 tsp ea. Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
black pepper;
1/2 tsp sriracha;
1/4 tsp ginger;
dash of sesame oil.
let it sit, stir it up, feast your face.
i'm sayin'-how easy is it?
too easy NOT to activate it!
-
the garlic sauce was on point as well.
possibly the best version i've had at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
my guest use the term umami several times.
it was expert, i'll have to agree.
*
garlic SAUCE!
1 tsp sesame oil;
1 tsp garlic oil;
2 T soy sauce;
2 T rice wine vinegar;
2 T agave;
1 T GPOP;
2 cloves sliced garlic + 1 small clove minced garlic;
crushed red pepper;
1/2 tsp ground mustard;
black pepper;
1/4 cup seitan broth!
friends,
this stuff brought it.
let all of that sit together for a few hours.
you won't regret it.
and right before you add it to your stir-ups?
well, you'll need to add 1 T cornstarch, slurried in,
so it gets thiccccck AF when the high heat hits.
smart.
and that, naturally brings us to  the tofu and broccoli hottness!
*
tofu & brox to rock your sox!
1/2 block exxxtra-firm tofu, cut into wedges,
sauteed in sesame oil, so all sides are browned and sealed.
1 small red chili, sliced into strips,
and 1 T scallion bottoms, (the white parts) shredded and slid in there, too.
i cut little carrot hearts, but the high temps turned them all but invisible.
i'll need to make them bigger next time, for sure.
but, in order, it's tofu, then the veg, then the broccoli,
one big head's worth, chopped up to whatever size it is you like....
covered, so the whole thing steams up just a touch,
and then, once the broccoli isn't raw and rugged,
you put it on blast, turn it up,
and douse it with that fresh-to-death sauce.
wordimus prime.
-
look,
i know that you know that we both know that rules is rules,
and that therefore getting decadent is the only way to get going,
but,
y'all don't even know about this new and vastly improved red oil jaun.
holy sh!t.
this is definitively that new-new hottness.
no, really, i wish i'd made waaaay more.
*
red oil dumps on your face!!!

c'mon.
look at that chunky, spicy, elite fattie-boombattie burly batch
of what just may be the best dang dumps you wish you were eating.
ok, ok, that's not very nice,
but it IS the truth.
awwwww.
don't despair.
i'll gladly tell you how to make 'em, man.
let's start with the sauce!
since i've got limited access to asian supermarkets
(read that as: 1+ hr drive in any direction)
and i didn't know this was where i was going when i woke up,
let alone several days ago,
when online ordering would've been feasible for ingredient gathering-
i made do with what i had.
here's how that went:
makeshift red oil sauce:
3 T garlic oil,
heated with
2 T rice vinegar;
1 tsp soy sauce;
1/4 tsp sesame oil;
red chili flakes;
1 tsp chili garlic paste;
1 tsp HOT paprika
1 /2 tsp paprika;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
1 tsp fried garlic sprankles;
get it hot, and then take it off the stove
and let the whole bowl cool down all together.
you'll have the reddest, hottest, big sexiness that most dumplings
could only hope to get coated in as a result.
and the dumps?
-
that starts with standard dumpling dough:
1 cup flour;
1/3 cup warm water;
salt.
kneaded, relaxed, rolled, and cut into 3" circles,
filled, folded, crossed, and rested.
these guys get boiled, so it's always a good idea to let them dry out a touch first,
so you don't get ugly blowouts.
that's not cool.
when they float in hot, bubbly, salted water,
they're ready,
drain 'em, and douse 'em in sauce....
...and don't forget to swirl them in all that oil that drips down to the bottom.
that's important.
wait,
but what's IN 'em?
ahhh.
now THAT'S the business:
i combined two bunches of scallion bottoms and two cloves of garlic and
two smaller slabs of minced and mashed seitan,
with two splashes of soy sauce, two dashes of GPOP,
and two shredded leaves of collard.
that's all it takes to bring flavor into the future.
on the real real?
these were probably one of the most rewarding things i've made in a minute.
finished off with a few cilantro sprankles, to cool off a bit of that heat,
ooof.
they were TOO delicious.
now i'll be dreaming of dumps for days i'm sure.
-
and that brings us to the 'cakes.
uh-huh.
the inspiration for all of it,
*
scallion M-F pancakes!!

these are the supersexxxy boomfire for your face, folks.
mmmmmmmmm.
i saw a weird internet technique, while browsing among the foods of the universe,
and it stuck with me for days.
i knew i had to try it,
and i'm glad as heck that i did.
i love a good scallywag mancake, bruh.
-
1 1/2 cups flour + flour for unsticking;
salt;
2/3 cup warm water-
i used the stand mixer to beat it up,
and then folded it over on itself for another 'nother minute,
and let the dough rest, covered in a moist cloth, for about half an hour.
(to be perfectly honest, i was busy making all this stuff, or i might not've waited)
i divided it into two equal parts,
and rolled each out into a big ol' thin rectangle- about a 10"x 8" or so....
each one was liberally greased with sesame oil,
spread with salt and lots and lots of scallions.
i used all the greens from a whole bunch-
and now, here's where you do the cool thing-
you roll it up like a cinnamon bun, cut it into two lengths,
and coil each one!!!!
that's layers on layers of panniecakey awesome, in the least steps ever!
let 'em hang out for a few. they're sticky sticky,
so use something especially nonstick to sit 'em on,
while heating up a pan exxtra-hot.
...you gotta use a high smoke point oil, because we wanna fry 'em right on up.
patty-pat on those coiled-up jauns with your hands,
to make flatties
and lay them into that hottttt oil for a few minutes per side,
and you'll be freaking the eff out over the experience of munchin' on 'em!!!
cut into sixths, for 24 wedges of wonder and wizardry.
expert?
yup.
SO expert.
***********
and i'm STILL not losing my mind with creativity.
honestly.
i'm cooking, i'm baking,
i'm decorating,
but there's something missing.
sure sure,
having my friend over for supper was terrific.
on the ones, eating alone eats sh!t.
there's just some component that i can't quite name,
but i can note that it's absent.
like the missing spice in a recreation of your favorite food from your favorite place
from your best vacation ever....
you don't know what it's missing, you just know that it is.
in the meantime,
i'm doing all of it as hard as i ever have.
it's all really happening,
and i'm working at it, on it, and through it.
that's all there is to it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, February 22

RAVIOLI RAVIOLI!!!!

GIVE ME THE FORMUOLI!!!!!
dudes,
homemade super-sized ravs, in F*ing full effect?!?!
you'd best believe me when i tell your A*,
these big ol' roundies are the TRUE HEROES OF DINNERTIME.
real talk,
i had a sort of inspired explosion of motivated macaroni time,
and i knew i had to capitalize on it as quickly as i could.
in this case,
it was just as soon as i got in the door after work.
uh-huh.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress started to rattle and hum with that
ravioli ravioli formuoli the very instant i got home.
you need the big ones.
hmm.
yeah.
that's right.
it's cool, i made the big ones.
oh c'mon.
you like it.
here's how the dough goes, again,
for those who've missed it the past few times:
-
quick pasta dough
-
1/2 cup semolina flour;
1/2 cup+ white all purpz flour;
2 T olive oil;
salt;
1/2 cup hot water.
-
easy easy EASY.
knead it up, let it rest, roll it thin, cut it out.
yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup.
guys, listen, i had a plan from the jump-off,
and i worked it for all it was worth.
homemade vegan tofu-based cashew garlic (th)underchee'?!?
you bet your bottom biscuits that sh!t's in the mix.
how do we make that?
damn.
i've told you before, i'l tell you again:
-
tofu cashew-garlic chee'
-
1 block regular firm tofu (it's not that firm);
2-3 cloves roasted garlic, and the oil they're roasted in;
3 T olive oil;
2 T GPOP;
black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, to taste;
1 T soy sauce;
1-2 T lemon juice;
1/4 cup nootch;
3/4 cup raw cashews.
-
you NEED a food processor for this stuff.
that's real.
i tried a new thing, too-
grinding the unsoaked cashews with the oil and lemon and spices and nootch,
until it was almost a butter,
before adding in the tofu and the soy sauce and the garlic.
the results?
200% improvement in texture.
no joke.
-
ok.
okay.
OKAY.
i  know you wanna see what's up.
okayyyyyyyyy.
check the molto-monstrous-pasta-pouch-type teleport:

RAVIOLISSIMO!!!! (probably not a word.)
they're so fat, and they're stuffed with al the best stuff!!
mmhmm.
there's that chee', plus a few tablespoons of finely chopped daiya mozzarella,
and a small slab's worth of minced and seared seitan,
with 2 cups of shredded baby spinach cooked down to nearly nothin'
right along with it,
plus, a tablespoon or more of fire-roasted tomato sprankles, as well.
all of that, stirred together, had my whole face eagerly awaiting
the guaranteed fresh finished product right from the start.
yup.
neighbors,
i rolled out eight 3" ravioli.
yo keeping track?
that's two FEET of ravioli.
i done told you already-
...the big ones.
i had a serrated big'un punch, and i put it to work.
filling over dough, dough pinched over and around the filling,
and cut, sealing it together as it's chopped.
awesome.
eight of those is a serious meal.
i wasn't worried,
and i wasn't about to leave any on the plate.
nope.
you stay until the thing is done.
rules is rules.
-
they got boiled in salty water until they floated up,
and tossed in a hot oily pan for a minute to give 'em a little exxxtra.
(be careful with this part, or they'll stick and rupture,
and then you'll have to hide those ones under the rest.
i'm not sayin', i'm just sayin'.)
flip those tasty buggers around in some sauce,
and pour some sauce down on a plate,
and get ready to lose your mind with happiness.
....huh?
well, you can clearly see i added kale.
that's tuscan, bro.
no, really.
lacinato love is in the air, and kale goes great with sauce.
that's a fact.
i also dropped some torn basil on top,
as well as IN the sauce, right at the end,
and i activated the whole spread with fresh parsley sprankles, too.
i'm not the sort to skimp out on the green among all that red.
-
let's discuss that sauce.
it's pretty much complete expertism!!
i mean it.
here's how it unfolded:
-
RAVIOLI SAUCE
-
1/4 red onion, minced;
1/2 small carrot shredded, and chopped, into the tiniest bits;
sauteed in a pot generously lubricated with olive oil.
when the onions are clarified,
1 large clove of crushed garlic,
and 2 T of red wine vinegar were added.
that let the carrot and the onion, and the garlic disintegrate in a tangy acid bath.
toss in 1/4 cup grape tomatoes,
and 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato,
and let 'em cook down with oregano, sage, dried basil, GPOP,
crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, and a little rosemary.
when that gets a-sizzlin', pour in 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes,
and 1/2 cup seitan broth.
i hope you're saving that, it's so useful.
that simmered away on low heat the whole time i was in ravioli-town,
and it cooked down into a thick, rich, hearty, chunky batch of the best dang sauce
i've had for days.
ha!
-
and yeah, i olive-oiled and toasted up some sourdough.
y'think i'm about to let a stray drop of sauce go to waste?
what are you?
an A*-hole?
don't be dumb.
bread and pasta are sacred fraternal twins, they have to go together.
get right, bruh.
***********
it's pretty nice outside today.
that's almost unfortunate,
given how much cooking i plan to do indoors.
in fact,
it's almost as unfortunate as this sunken mess of a cake:

awwww.
that's really kind of sh!tty,
and a little embarrassing.
what happened?
well,
upon a close inspection/excavation of that sinkhole,
i've concluded that a full 12oz of wet raspberry filling weighed down the center,
melted into the crumb, and pushed most of the batter to the edges.
i'll wager that wouldn't have happened in a rectangle.
the deep d of a springform was too intense to withstand that much big rasp'y action.
alas,
that's what happens when you're overconfident
about your tensile cakey strength first thing in the morning.
the good news?
i've now got a superb raspberry streusel for the next attempt.
how's that for optimism?
ha.
i'll be repping a do-over, with twice-baked raspberry goodness,
and i'm willing to wager that the next time, it's gonna be F*ing awesome.
make all the mistakes you want, friends-
just, maybe try to learn something from 'em,
so you don't make the same ones twice.
in baking, i've become adept at adaptation.
in life, those lessons elude me;
never quiet, never soft.....

NOT QUITES!

so,
i make a lot of food.
i do.
and i eat it all.
however,
while i document most of them,
i don't necessarily curate all the recipes.
huh?
you don't believe me?
well, it's for sure a real thing.
the number of bang-bang double-meals alone that i do to myself
keeps me from showcasing what a fanatical adherent i am
to the idea that too much is the right amount.
it's almost embarrassing, except for the part where i keep doing it.  
and then there's the poorly-lit and/or improperly-plated finished products
that occasionally even happen to the best of us,
and certainly occur more often for all the rest of us...
also,
i eat a TON of pizza.
sometimes for days in a row,
and that means there's going to be a few pizzas
that don't make it to the internet.
oh,
i've got the pictures to prove it,
and most of the stuff that has been archived tastes great.
which is why i'm about to give you guys a little glimpse behind-the-scenes,
at some of the stuff that's been patiently queued-up for days, weeks,
and in some instances, months, to be discussed, even in passing.
today is that day, neighbors.
uh-huh.
check the teleport:

hash brown sandwiches!
that's fried tofu, crusted with arrowroot and GPOP,
and mashed-up, roasted paprika-and-pepper-laced potato hashies,
that's olive oil and ho'sauce and a dash of soy,
plus those 'tato cubes roasted with a bit of onion and garlic,
easy easy.
but, you can't SEE it, and that kind of ruins the vibe for me.
the bigger picture is completed with pickles,
ripped radicchio and baby spinach,
and a heap of blackened sweet onions,
all activated on a big buttery bun of crusty homemade bread,
and slathered with some turmeric-smoked-paprika major magic mayo.
plus,
that pile of fattie boombatie chips, and more of that sauce for dippin'.
it was a tasty bite, bros.
no joke.
-
and speaking of sandwiches,
here's one that fell by the wayside during sandwich week.
yup:

awwwwww.
provolonely portabella with parsley and pesto!
damn.
it sucks when the same sized circles compound each other.
tomato over a heavily olive-oiled basil-almond pesto,
with a baked, balsamic glazed mushroom cap, covered in that daiya chee',
with a whole mess of slippey, luscious onions of course.
(that's my favorite sarnie ingredient)
there's pesto on the top bun, but, you can't see it.
and the balsamic glaze is making a mess everywhere.
again,
it was a nice bite, but when there's an overabundance of sandwiches,
we can be a little bit picky about which ones make the album.
awwww.
-
on the topic of being picky-
check out the november-rainy-night-type teleport:

homemade vegan sausages,
braised broccoli rabe,
and fancy macaroni.
my daughters were into this one,
while they were here for the long weekend of shark-gluttony
and family togetherness.
here's the thing-
i was so bummed that it was dark as heck outside,
that by the time i was done preparing dinner,
i was just making patterns with the pasta,
and doing what i could to cover my disappointment at the relatively off-timed finale.
dang.
the kids didn't notice, or care,
but i still vividly remember that feeling of winning and failing at the same time.
for some reason,
it's the same sensation i get thinking back on previous relationships.
at least i don't have any pictures of THOSE.
ha.
-
the worst, though, is when the plating just isn't there.
take a look:

see?!
it's just a jumbled pile of delicious sh!t.
that's the result of a ferocious, furious bang-bang.
the second one sometimes just doesn't have the same urgency.
that's just life, i guess.
damn.
food is basically the ever-lovin' waking representation of my real life.
*
i cook a LOT, friends.
and it is NOT always the sexxiest.
i'm sharing that with you because that's an important piece of information.
make it.
keep making it.
it's more than likely you'll improve with time,
...provided you try hard,
pay attention,
and know stuff
i'm being serious.
make the thing.
that's step one.
if it isn't what you'd hoped for,
try harder next time.
pay more attention to the details,
maybe do an internet search, for spices, or techniques, or even plating options.
i mean, for realsies, it isn't even just food that that trifecta applies to.
it's EVERYthing.
it's all really happening, friends,
and you get back the effort you put in,
over time.
these tasty stumbles only made me more determined to get better, faster,
and do all the things i do even louder and harder.
make it, make it better, then make it again.
too much is the right amount.
word up.
***********
i'll leave you on a high note,
with a couple of pictures of my MOST favorite thing.
teleport:

yeah!!
and again:

hell yeah!!!
i started february with a few nice pies, buddy.
and those are two MORE tasty semi-sourdough semolina pizzas,
just because i LOVE it so much that i make it in relative secrecy sometimes.
-
food is a huge part of this Folk Life.
it isn't always the biggest, nor is it the most beautiful,
but it sure is always poppin' off.
real life and true stories,
now available in retroactive retrospective documentation;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, February 21

CHOCOLATE ROLLS!!!

holy sh!t!!
i did a thing,
and i'm reallllllly glad that i did.
i just did not have it in me to make cinnamon buns again.
hold on.
take it easy.
i LOVE them.
i do.
but i wanted something newer and nicer,
and i took that thought to full fruition.
i'm psyched on it, too.
cocoa and chocolate and holy effin' crapola, neighbors!
i had an epic breakfast,
hot on the heels of my last lament about blarping out.
yup.
too much is the right amount,
even in the face of fat-bellied rotund ruination.
i doo-doo that overindulgent sort of behavior.
before you hold me in contempt, though, kids,
take a look at what i was up against-
teleport:

AAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
c'mon, c'mon, C'MON!!!!
big, fluffy, borderline-doughnutty spirals of pull-apart pastry,
rolled up with a big batch of mother-effing chocolate.
that's molto expert!
guys,
i ate a lot of them.
more than was advisable.
here's the thing, though-
they're so delicious, it'd be insulting to abstain.
a whole walled-rectangle baking pan, full of deep dark delicious delights,
fresh out of the oven?
only an unfortunate suffering from an allergy should resist,
and even then,
it'd be acceptable to call your folks and be very, very cross with them
for passing down those faulty genes.
i mean it.
unless that chocolate would anaphylaxically shock the sh!t outta your body,
you should be preheating your oven while you read...
and even if you ARE deathly sensitive to the stuff, consider this:
if you aren't likely to contribute much to society in the longview,
maybe you might still want to munch one or two up real quick-like,
and go out on a tasty last gasping mouthful of magic and mystery.
i'm not sayin', i'm just sayin'.
ANYway.
make these.
you'll be cooler if you do.
-
preheat your oven to 380F.
if you've got parchment, and you should,
tear off a sheet slightly larger than a rectangular baking pan.
-
in a stand mixer, if you're about that life,
or by hand, if your life sucks,
combine
3 cups flour;
1/4 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp bread machine yeast;
1/4 cup sourdough starter, for flavor more than function;
whisk it gently together,
and warm up a cup of non-dairy milk, with 4 T melted butterish,
and a tsp or two of vanilla.
you want it around 110F, so you can add 1 pkg (1 T) fast-action rapid-rising yeast.
let that bloom,
and pour that greasy 'nilla-nuanced liquid into the dry stuff.
mix it for five minutes' worth of voiolence,
and let it rest for 15-30 minutes until it's thick and sexxy as heck,
roughly 2x the size it was when you started
roll that out into a rectangle on a well floured surface,
and spread it generously with a combination of:
4-6 T vegan butters;
2-3 T vega creamchee';
2/3 cup brown sugar;
>1/4 cup powdered sugar (which acts like adhesive. its a good move);
1/3 cup cocoa;
1/2 tsp vanilla.
-
that's the stuff, but it's not enough.
nope.
MORE chocolate is essential here.
so, give it a dose of mini baby dark chocolate chips.
or,
i guess you could use regular ones,
or, if you're a crazy person, you could cut normal-sized jauns in half.
i'm not telling you to do that or not, but you might be crazy if you do it,
since they're gonna melt anyway.
ha.
ok,
so, leave 1" unspread, and moisten it when you tightly,
and confidently,
roll the whole thing up.
that'll lock it up, so they don't lazily blow apart.
nice.
refrigerate the roll for five-to-fifteen,
until you estimate that the insides aren't so soft they'll squish out when you slice 'em.
now,
i'll confess to you guys that i made sixteen rolls,
as in: halved, halved, halved, halved.
however, if you're astute. you see there's only fifteen on the pan.
well, man,
i had a spare.
and i baked it separate, and i ate it first.
there.
true story, told truly.
YOU however, may want to plan things differently, or not.
either way, make sure you put the sexxxy side of each slice facing up.
arrange them evenly,
let them proof a little longer- 20-30 minutes,
and bake them for 25.
what you'll get is the best thing you've eaten in a dog's age.
.....especially if you let them cool just enough to drizzle some ganache on top,
and maybe a little kapowdered sugie, too.
*
yuuuuup.
i had four.
maybe five.
uh-huh.
they were too flippin' good.
i didn't even realize i was already three deep into 'em,
until looked down at the pan, mid-bite.
that's immersive sensory indulgence,
and that's a pretty decent signal that one or two things are true:
1. the food is good.
2. you are a fat pig.
...
i apologized to my belt for being strained,
and demoted it another 'notch outwards.
***********
what's for dinner tonight?
i DON'T know!
it's gotta be something that rocks the socks off of my body.
i've had lazyish  rainbowls too often the last few days.
i know, bruhbruh.
it isn't as though i want to stop making food,
but,
i wish do there was a stepping stool of technique i could stand on,
and get myself a better vantage point on the menu.
until then,
i'll be doing all the other other stuff that needs my attention,
until inspiration or dinnertime arrives at my feet;
never quiet, never soft.....

BOWLING BOWLS!!

damn, dudes-
i had one of those forever running late kind of days yesterday.
i did.
and i don't flourish and prosper in those conditions.
i don't.
i always feel like there's so much more to do.
i'm just that kind of guy,
which in turn has made that a specific kind of tolerable anxiety.
but,
when i'm moving as quickly, and performing effectively, as i am able
and i'm still just running in place,
while shoveling sh!t against the tide?
well,
in those instances,my very thinly-covered second skin of berserker barbarian
starts to show through the careworn carapace of calm i'm barely keeping control of.
that's no bueno, neighbors.
look,
it's like this-
i got up early,
and made some of my custom rainbow fiesta guacamole.
why?
because mexican monday is expert, y'goof.
OBVI.
however,
by the time i got home........late,
i was ready to tear out the last ten or so hairs on my head,
and the thought of enchiladas was fully an hour and a half
past the parameters where they'd seem acceptable to start.
awwwwwwww.
did i let that stop me?
no.
c'mon, kids.
we all know that even when it's a huge bummer,
and even when there's no time,
there's not actually NO time,
in fact,
i think that really just makes it GO time.
right?
right!
-
here's the thing-
burritos are hard to take sexy photos of.
i mean,
a floury full-diaperload of wrapped up and tucked away stuff?
that doesn't look good even in the nicest of tortillas...
and when you do the thing, where it's covered in sauce,
so it looks like a rock by the seaside, with all that ocean crap and birdsh!t on it?
...that's a other 'nother 'no thank you'.
i have a solution, though.
huh?
well, no.
i don't think that's the answer.
if you cut a burrito in half to show the cross section,
then it just became a wrap with rice.
and the only wrap i F*s with has no w in it.
ha!
the solution is the full deconstructed view,
a.k.a. the burrito bowl.
yup.
check the answer-type teleport:

BURRRRRRRRRRRITO RUIDO HIDROAEREOS!!!
that's that doo-doo butthole gurgle goodness,
and that's the fat dookie dopeness that we can make in twenty effin' minutes or less.
wordimus primo, my amigos.
no time, no problem.
we're home, we're safe, the day is done, and dinner awaits us.
it's decompression from the chronospheric aggression
of a hectic harried heck of the day.
start with the guacamole,
and start waaaaaaaay earlier.
we want the garlic and the onions and the citrus
to really infuse the whole thing with flavor-
you are using lemon and lime in your guac, right?
man, i hope so.
y'want a refresher on the requirements for rainbow fiesta guacamole?
ok...
-
rainbow fiesta guacamole!
-
1/3 poblano pepper;
1/2 jalapeno pepper;
1 each red, orange, yellow mini baby sweet peppers;
4 T red onion;
^^all minced up, in little cute bitsies^^
2 T shredded spring onion/scallion greens;
cilantro, to taste (don't be weak, eat your soapy-scented leaves, babies)
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 tsp each Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
salt, pepper;
3 avocados;
lemon and lime juice, for tastiness and acidic preservation.
moosh it all together,
and let it hang out in the fridge until later.
-
so, that's that.
what else do we have going on?
rice, with sriracha chili flakes and lime juice  for the base,
spooned out over shredded baby spinach and purple cabbage.
there're fresh tomatoes, and red chili pepper rings.
we have sauteed black beans, with a little mesa chipotle seasoning in there.
that's GPOP, cumin, chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
....and it's also pretty dang delicious.
plus, the big action, activated with green peppery cholula verde ho'sauce.
yeah.
homemade seitan, asada-be-kidding-me style.
it might even be asada-assata-shakur style.
i mean, it IS pretty radical, even if it's not hiding out in cuba post jailbreak.
anyway,
seitan is still the big business in my house.
and i made a huge pot of it.
(i've got plans, man.)
-
Folk Life & Liberty Seitan!
-
1 cup wheat gluten;
1/4 cup chick pea flour;
3 T tapioca starch;
2 T nutritional yeast;
2 tsp ea. GPOP;
fresh cracked black pepper;
1 cup broth,
+ 2 T soy sauce,
+ 1/2 tsp liquid smoke.
-
kneaded, rolled into a rough log.
rested for fifteen minutes at least.
sliced into slabs.
^ this step is my personal favorite.
some people refer chunks or shreds, or whatever....
but here's the smart move-
you can shred or chunk a big slab,
but you can't combine shreds into slabs,.
start big, get small, use your head.
simmered in a big pot of frothing
salty liquid-smoked broth ( think 6-8 cups)
for at least 30 minutes.
i store it in broth, in an airtight container,
and it'll last the week, if somehow i'm not using it up asap.
-
seitan: check.
sliced into strips, just like the poblano and red onion
that go along for the ride,
all sizzled up fajita-style,
on high heat,
with oregano and thyme, cumin and smoked paprika,
a little coriander seed, black pepper, ancho chili pepper, and
GPOP, (rules is rules).
softened up with a little ho'sauce and a slash of soy.
which in turn caramelized on the exterior of those spicy slices.
expert.
and naturally, we gotta hit it with scallion and cilantro sprankles.
we wouldn't want to skimp out on the extra-goodness.
lime wedges?
mandatory.
toasted whole wheat tortillas?
i put 'em in there,
but i sure wasn't losing my mind over 'em.
that last remnant of burrito was NOT a key element.
feel free to omit those beige stupids when you make yours.
you'll notice i didn't give amounts of rice, or beans, or seitan.
a. too much is the right amount.
and b. you're probably not just cooking for one.
awwwww.
so make enough for you and your people.
i don't know how hungry y'all are.
only you can decide if you're a bunch of delicate sodababies,
or a savage stormswept sect of shark-gluttons.
you choose your own level of involvement,
i just relay the relevant ingredients.
it's a cooperative effort.
a little how-to, a little improvisation,
and a whole bunch of active participation.
burrito bowls, tho, bro.
twenty minutes,
while the semi-ready-already rice did what it does.
i believe in you;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, February 20

FRENCH KISSES!

dudes,
homemade sourdough french toast.
yup.
it's pretty much exactly as awesome as you'd imagine.
i even cut two pieces of bread, and let them stale up overnight,
so i could be certain of the big action in the morning.
plan your work,
and work your plan, man.
with the accompanying breakfast bits and bobs,
totally hooked up, in full F*ing effect.
that's right.
i was prepared to bring some sunday brunchy-style
gentleman barbarian culture to my kitchen,
and i did just that.
my normal everyday breakfast is Tea 'N' Toast.
i love it.
but, 
some sunny unseasonably warm sundays scream out for a special something,
and when the situation calls for it,
i am compelled to take heed, and the take charge of the stovetop.
yeah!
check the BIG-breakfast-type teleport:
SOURDOUGH FRENCH TOAST!!!!
you see that red raspberry sauce?
expert.
and just three ingredients-
1/4 cup real grade b heavy maple syrup;
1/4 cup mostly crushed freeze-dried raspberries;
1/2 tsp vanilla.
low heat, small saucepot, a few minutes, BOOM.
you win.
-
white mountain white sourdough bread, 
straight from the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory and bakery.
cut thick, and cut in half, and soaked in the batter that matters!
i had 1 1/2 cups soymilk;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 T crushed chia-flaxmeal blend;
1 T nutritional yeast;
2 T agave;
cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of salt.
that sat until it was thickened and sticky,
and the bread was turned and tossed in it until most of it was absorbed.
i fry mine up in butter until both sides are plenty brown and crisp, 
but the soft centers are still obvious and excellent.
word.
neighbors!
with that raspberry wizardry,
and MORE maple syrup,
AND powdered sugary snow?!?!?
daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
that's a preposterously decadent fourgy of frenchies.
worth every post-meal minute of disgust at my own gluttony.
real talk.
-
that scrambo was pretty much the hottness, too.
with molto torn baby spinach and a bit of basil, 
plus cilantro sprankles?
how could that even be any better?
ah, yes, you're right:
...with a bunch of fried tomatoes.
good idea.
lucky for me, i already i knew that.
scrambo is pretty straightforward.
exxxtra-firm tofu, barely pressed, and crumbled,
with olive oil, a generous blast GPOP,
a punch of nootch, a pinch of salt, black pepper,
and turmeric for color and magical antioxidant free-radical whatevers. 
oh,
and i enjoy a touch of smoked paprika.
just to sexxx it up a lil' bit more.

.....what else?
well, OBVI,
those skin-on oven-roasted homeboyfries are what else!
mmmmmmmmmmm.
one larger-side o medium potato,
cut into small cubes, tossed with salt, peppr, and oil;
then roasted at 380F until golden and crispy
one quarter of a smaller red onion, and a tablespoon or two of butterish,
sauteed together, with those hot 'tatoes added in,
and activated with smoked paprika, hot paprika, louisia ho'sauce,
GPOP (always and forever),
and in this instance, just because i had it on hand- 
the crumbled bits that remained form the tempeh discs i cut the night before.
yup.
hash-style tempeh, with a little fresh parsley for good measure.
don't skimp on the colors, kids.
they're good for you.
scallion sprankles on top?
hell yeah.
how could you even think to skip 'em?
rules is rules, holmes.
y'can't get weak up in the home stretch.
that's a sure-fire way to get a future disinvitation for life.
***********
a big ol' fat kid breakfast is NOT what i needed.
however,
it is exactly what i wanted.
this was one of those times where i'm left alone with my desires,
and i indulged them to the fullest.
seriously,
the last thing that my body requires is a megawatt turbo-volt ohm-my-goodness
kiloton tune-up of tasty treats.
for real.
i have a genuine problem, here, guys.
i can't see the line between reasonable and gluttonous.
one slice of french toast looks so sad,
and two looks like a hog wild pigout.
but, then again-
one and a half seems like somebody was being a noncommittal quitter.
this is where it gets rough, y'know?
too much is the right amount,
i said it, it's documented, i meant it-
that comes at a cost, however.
it ALL costs something, after all.
in this case, it's a blarping out of my midsection.
awwwwwww.
i'm a fairly slender fella, friends...
when this two-month maniac mealtime binge finally hit me,
it hit me hard enough to be noticeable.
that's the thing about getting older-
very specific areas and parts decide to function at half-or-lesser efficiency.
take, for example, my hairline-
thanks for nothin', faulty follicles. 
like i needed a little help looking like a real A*-hole every day.
(shoutouts to hats for the assist)
my waist is kind of a jerk, too.
for all the hiking crabtree and i do every day, 
rain or shine, wind or sleet or snow,
and all of the permissive, pervasive, persuasive, prohibitive weather in between,
apparently,
it's just not enough exercise relative to my appetite.
i'm NOT a fatty. 
not by a long shot.
but that doesn't mean i've not got a pygmy paunch developing.
i don't get bigger everywhere,
just at that losery 40something spare tire spot.
and when you're skinny,
it shows up starkly, 
stretching the stomachs of your tailored shirts an' that.
nobody wants a sourdough hula hoop below their top two abs, bruh.
trust me.
which brings to mind another item on the 
things-that-you-don't-care-about-as-you-scroll-down-to-the-picture list. 
in answer to the most common question i get asked,
i.e. 'how are you not three hundred pounds?',
i totally AM, 
just on the INside.
it's when i hit around 305 metaphysical el-bees 
that it starts to burst through to my visible waking self as well.
guess what i had for supper last night?
steamed cauliflower and borccoli, over jasmine rice, with red onion.
laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.
also, delicious.
there has to be some sort of adjustment.
i'm serious.
there's a ratio that needs to be maintained between ugly and dope.
no foolin'.
and really,
i don't know if i can muster up more dopeness these days.
no.
not because i'm already superlative.
jeez.
take it easy, dude.
i'm just running on fumes, and until such time as i recharge my creative batteries,
i'm gonna have to focus on not getting much worse looking.
you've got to pick your battles, as they say.
we'll be walking a bit longer than yesterday, along trails a bit more challenging.
if i can visibly see the physical results of eating for three by myslef, 
that means it's been happening for a minute, and the tab has come due.
oooof.
old and busted tastes amazing, but it sure looks awful.
you know that's not an acceptable excuse.
there's no such thing;
never quiet, never soft.....