Thursday, August 31

CRANBERRY CAKE!!

yes i do.
that's right.
i DO.
in fact,
i doo-doo that sh!t like it was my purpose in a previous incarnation
of my reassembled self, resurrected from the echoes of infinite energy in the universe.
y'know?
what?
no?
oh.
lets start over-
hey duders!
did you know that i can bake a single layer breakfast cake like nobody's business?
you didn't?!
well, it's true.
and this most recent bake-up was the BUSINESS, brothers and sisters.
seriously.
check the teleport:

CRANZO MORE-A-CONE!!!
that's obscure, and only for the most spaghetti of westerners,
but that cake tho!
too dope.
how moist?
how caramelized is that brown sugar on top?
do you even eff with dried cranberries?
if not, you should totally start.
here's all you need to get your very own poppin':
-
*
CRANBERRY DELUXXXE!
-
preheat your oven to 360℉, with the convection setting if you're fancy like that.
-
in your mandatory stand mixer, thoroughly cream together:
1/2 tsp salt;
3/4 cup sugar;
1/4 cup dark brown sugar;
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste.
once whisked appropriately, add:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt, and remix until uniform.
add 1 cup non dairy milk of your choosing,
and then sift in:
2 1/4 cups flour;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2 T organic non-gmo cornstarch;
1 1/4 cups chopped dried cranberries.
add the well-whipped batter to a greased and floured 10" pan,
and bake for upwards of 40 minutes, or earlier,
but NOT before topping it with MORE dried cranberries,
and a sprank-up of brown sugar, which will caramelize
and add a little crackle to the overall soft and moist magic of this bad mama-jamma.
WORD.
i couldn't stop eating it,
especially since its been chilly as heck around here,
and the subtly fall-like flavor had me catching some type of feelings for realsies.
mmmmmm.
***********
i'm ready to be open.
i'm basically ready to go,
i just need the go-ahead.
and when it comes,
you'd better believe this is going to be a september for the history books.
ready or not,
we're heading into fall like a cannonball.
it's all really happening,
and it couldn't be any other way;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 30

CHOC-U-LIT!

hey!
just cashed the check,
and i'm 'bout to spend it ALL on chonkyoolit!
hmm?
oh.
right.
that's chocolate to all you non-phonetic white folks out there.
ANYway,
i have been reppin' the silken tofu pretty hard lately.
first with that elite vegan ranch dressing,
which was featured on last night's tacos,
which weren't ready until well after the last light had faded,
and so,
there's no documentation of their savory, salty, seitan sexxxiness,
but trust your boy when he says:
they were right on it, like these tight pants, son.
word.
ok.
but getting back to chocolate-
check the teleport:

CHOCOLATE CREME PIE IS TOO DOPE!!!
duders,
cocoa and chocolate are your friends, that's real.
but,
if you're gonna front like you're not cool with them?
well, now,
they're also MY friends,
and around here, we have rules, man.
one of those is that friends take sides.
yup.
so, you can't hang out with us anymore.
now,
i hit this little thickie up with some cocoa on top,
which may or may not have been a great idea.
the tart zap of cocoa against the supersweet silkiness of the filling was expert.
the deadly dust-effect choke-out from that powdery puff was less so, tho.
yikes!
an appreciate inhale of that chilled chocolaty hottness had me almost asphyxiated.
worth it?
not quite, but still pretty damned tasty nonetheless.
-
.....is that a cocoa graham crust?
yes, it is.
you want one?
easy:
that's one pkg of chocolate grahams,
and half a pack of regular jauns,
with a few tablespoons of sugar, and a few tablespoons of cocoa,
pulverized into coarse crumbs in a food processor,
or, if you're really a crazy person, by hand....
add three tablespoons of melted vegan butter, a few teaspoons of vanilla,
and enough non-dairy milk to make it all stick together, 1 T at a time,
and kaPOW! you've got crust to crimp into a pie pan,
and bake at 350℉ for eleven minutes.
that's a crust, just like that.
-
the filling might even be easier to make-
1 pkg of silken tofu, pressed to remove most of that lame beanwater,
processed in the blades of our favorite kitchen tool,
with 2 T cocoa;
2 tsp vanilla;
3 T powdered sugar;
and 1 bag semi-sweet vegan dark chocolate chips, melted.
how easy?
TOO dang easy.
how delicious?
TOO dang delicious.
how expert?
c'mon, kiddo, you know how we doo-doo that freaky sh!t-
too much is the right amount-
that's where the cocoa and the kapowdered sugar shapes come in,
and that chocolate frosting jacobean ruff stuff, too.
if you don;t want MORE awesome,
what's wrong with you?
like, are you an ambitionless weakwater baby b!tchbag or something?
'cause i'm on some ferociously flavorful decadence over here, cuz,
and you're invited,
but only if you can hang out with this much dynamic delightfulness.
and if not?
no had feelings, bro, but stay home!
let me enjoy my whole damned pie by myself.
that's all there is.
*
there's a new batch of shelves and sh!t at the new spot.
we've been hanging mirrors and frames and everything else for days and days,
and have barely made a dent in the sheer volume of loud hard freshness.
that's impressive in and of itself, to me, anyway.
the new new super-turno deluxxxe deskly domination gets delivered today.
it needs a special truck to get here.
if that isn't some sumptuously luxurious big action,
then i dunno what it'd take to wow you, man.
also,
i should've probably asked how many dollars that's going to absorb out of my wallet.
ha.
except,
if you have to ask, you likely aren't ready for that much eliteness.
and i'm ready.
and i'm willing.
and i'm about to desk it up like an executive, homie.
this is it.
one more large part and parcel or the big picture,
plugged in and activated for the betterment of the whole dang thing.
i am so grateful for this time i've been given;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 29

CURRY FAVOR!!

UGH!
the light is failing faster than the rice is steaming.
that's the sort of sentiment that suffocates my savoir-faire
while i'm stuntin' on some victorious victuals at the edge of evening.
damn.
and here, i thought i had the timeline down pat.
turns out,
much like on an episode of chopped,
the time limits don't agree with rice, dudes.
and while the black rice was toasted just right,
and had that tight toothsome firmness is it's fully cooked dark skins,
it was jussssssst a shade too late in the day to get the best photo for posterity.
instead,
i got the best photo there was to get within the limitations of the sky and the hour.
yup.
neighbors,
dark dark darkness is encroaching,
but the teleport remains intact:

your boy made CHICKPEAS AND TOFU AND CURRY FOR Y'ALL!
mmmmmmmm.
you see that black rice?
it's pretty flippin' good.
cukes? tomatoes? those are hard to eff up, certainly.
broth-braised broccolini? every damned time- it's always expert.
it's those little biscuity flatbreads that really rock it, tho.
no jokes.
how easy were they to make?
how is is putting sh!t in a bowl? because it was THAT easy.
yeah!
-
*
BISCOFLATTIES!!
-
in a smaller mixing bowl,
combine:
1 cup flour;
>1/2 tsp salt;
11 craxxx of black pepper;
2 T olive oil;
1 tsp bakey powpow;
1/2 tsp baking soda;
1/3 cup warm water.
knead it for five, rest it for another five,
divide it in fourths,
and flatten 'em out, for frying, in a spoonful of spread out olive oil,
on a large hot skillet,
until both sides are golden, and your mouth is watering in anticipation.
dope.
*
oh, and that curry?
it's THE NEW HOTTNESS for your old busted body, baby-
-
*
CURRRRRY-UPPER!
-
in a hot medium-sized pan, start sizzling:
1/2 a sweet onion;
1/4 block cubed tofu;
1/2" chunk freshie-fresh ginger, macerated to a mash;
1/2 tsp turmeric;
1/2 tsp cumin;
1/4 tsp coriander;
1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
1/4 tsp thyme;
1 tsp ea. GPOP;
1/2 tsp ground mustard powder;
dashes of cayenne, star anise, red pepper flakes.
saute all that in a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil,
and when the onion gets translucent, and the tofu is getting firmer,
add 6-10 quartered sweet tomatoes.
i used the multocoloreds because i'm a tolerant pro-diversity kind of guy,
but you can use whatever you'd like.
next,
blast it with a few tablespoons of lemon juice to deglaze the pan,
and activate those herbs,
then toss in 1 cup chick peas.
sizzle and stir that all together, and when the beans are coated and starting to pop a little,
fire in 1/2 cup of rough chopped loose packed cilantro;
1 T scallion;
pink salt and black pepper.
just as simply as all that,
you've got medicine for all your tired body parts,
and fuel for all the hard times to come.
***********
inspectors.
that's who and what i'm dealing with today.
also,
deliveries.
those are coming in hot, too.
also,
decorations,
and toilet paper holders and light bulbs and picture hangers.....
it seems that every obstacle that gets handled only serves to point out
the turbo-UNsexxxiness of some other other thing.
and don't worry-
today's inspectors aren't THE inspectors.
they're just MORE inspectors.
cool, right?
meanwhile,
i still need signs,
which in turn need permits,
which in turn need forms,
and so on and so forth every day from now until dinner.
and what's for dinner?
well,
it's tuesday, but who knows if there's to be tacos or not.
it's still a mystery,
just like a firm opening date for this place.
it's happening someday, i hope.
hopefully, before i'm a downtrodden and destitute doo-doo boy, y'heard?
word up.
i'm grateful for the days i've taken to work towards this eden of expertism,
but i'd probably have even MORE gratitude
if there was money coming into my pockets at the rate it's escaping-
it's only a loan.
that's all i keep telling myself when i'm alone;
never quiet, never soft.....

PIZZA PARTY!!!!

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!
that's riiiiiiiiiiiiiiIIIIiiiiight.
i love it.
you love it.
we love it.
it's lovely.
and i've got it going on over here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
yup.
hand-tossed homemade from-scratch semolina circles,
ready for topping and turning and tuning up, all sorts of TILTY AF, an' that.
mmmmmm.
when i rep a pizza party,
i rep it to eleven.
and that means MORE toppings,
and MORE sprankles,
and MORE crust, even.
yup.
i've upped my portions and proportions,
and this new new is way more expert than what was poppin' before.
true story.
check the pizza-party-type teleport:

WOOOOOORDIMUS PRIIIIIIIME!!!
and as soon as you think that's all you'll likely need for suppertime?
kaBOOM!
out comes ANOTHER ONE:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
the crust is thicker, but still thin, y'feel me?
that means the toppings can go on heavier,
but still maintain structure fresh 'n' hot out of the oven.
and the oven is HOT, at least for a homebake box, boys and girls.
it's no eight hundo, compared to a commercial wood-fired jaun,
but it's still like, 490℉ plus convection.
yeah. for practical house applications, that's plenty of the good stuff.
here's the recipe, again, for all y'all sticklers who don't like to freestyle:
-
*
DOUGHSKI BROSKI!
-
in your superior stand mixer,
beat up a bowlful of:
2 1/4 cups flour;
1 T salt;
1+ cup semolina wheat flour;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
3 T olive oil;
1 T vegan butter;
1 T sugar;
1 pkg regular-A* action-activated commercial yeast;
1 cup warm water + 1 tsp bread machine yeast + pinch of sugar, to instigate activity.
^
give it a full blown increase in speed, from low to high,
and then let it slap itself silly for fully five more minutes;
cover it;
and refrigerate that mofo for a full day.
i mean it.
i let it bulk in the fridge, and proof, all in one spot, and what i got was a hearty, toothsome,
tight, stretchy, yeasty, flavorful triple-pie batch of super-elite freshness for everybody.
mmmmhmmmm.
*
hmm? what now?
is that my most favoritest and signature bestest one-
a.k.a. brussies, 'bacon', and onion?
yes,
but now it's also got MUSHROOMS!;
AND TOMATOES?!?
hell yes.
with crushed tomatoes, and daiya mozzarella, and fried garlic sprankles,
it's pretty much what i'm gonna make just about every time
that i find myself making more than one pizza.
it's so good, and it's so clean, and it's got such a luxurious richness,
those broth-braised brussels and the seared mushrooms and those caramelized onions,
all the umami that'll have you sayin' oooh-mommy right off bite numero uno.
that's real.
i get into it, and i go after it, and i make the best pizzas i can....
after all, i'm making the for myself, so i can have exactly what i want whenever i want.
it's indulgent dopeness and delicious decadence every damned time.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t, friends, and i'm not going to stop for anybody.
truth.
*
and let's all take a seat, and reflect on the heavy greenery
that pizza two had to show for itself.
guys,
kale over daiya mozz and cheddar,
with a few carmies would've been tasty on it's own,.
but, rules is rules, man.
yup.
you can't stop until it rises up off the charts.
that's just how it works best in the world of vegan pizza:
too much is the right amount.
add a bunch of crawnchy red onions,
and broccolini,
and asparagus,
and then freak it off with crumbled smoky seitan sizzlettes, too.
that's how you make it WORK, bro.
not to mention the fried garlic sprankles,
and the fire-roasted tomato flakes along the rim
expert is as expert does, duders.
....which is why i took that sh!t up into the outer reaches of awesome
with a drizzly blop of vegan ranch mutha-'uckers!!!
kaPOW!!!!
***********
get with it.
AMPERSAND TATTOO needs baseboards in the bathroom.
that's no joke.
who's gonna do that?!
not me, man.
i've more than had my fill of terrible tasks,
and there are still SO many more to come that i can't comprehend undertaking carpentry
after all the craptacular catastrophes of the first phase of the build...
gross.
as the place coalesces into a cohesive conglomerate of craft-built creatively-cultivated
crates, crofts, colors, cabinets, and cast iron,
i'm more and more aware that while my vision is crystal clear
in regards to what i want from the space,
it's become almost too dope to do dumb tattoos inside of.
i'm gonna, of course, because i'm bankrupturing my movie checks on the regular,
and i need those stacks on stacks to maintain this lowly life i call my own.
of course,
simply being OPEN will be a huge victory in itself for sure.
i'm ready.
i'm willing.
i'm waiting.
that's where we're at, and where we're headed is anyone's guess-
although i think we all hope it's upwards and onwards from here on out;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 28

POCKETS!!!

do you even get busy with tortellini?
i mean,
do you?
on the ones,
a good, fresh, homemade pasta scene is integral to your overall well-being.
that's real.
just sayin': every so often a handmade homemade homecooked bowl of hottness
will set you up for continued success in the future.
it's like they're charged up with powerful positivity;
little pouched pockets of semolina starch and forward thinking good vibes an' sh!t.
y'know?
dudes,
that's a thing.
i made myself a lonely bowl the other day,
and after a solid twenty-something fat tortellini hit my bellyhole.
i had all the energy anybody could ask for,
and crabtree and i spanned the rest of the night as productively as possible.
heck yes, i attribute our pleasing experience to my recharged batteries,
ump started by that burly bowl of boiled big action acvtivation!!
for realsies, neighbors-
check the teleport:

TORTELLINI!!!
that's what's up.
LOOK at all those sprankles on top!!!!
just LOOK!!
there's charred chestnut mushies, sliced and salted and seared to keep 'em roasty,
but that way they stay sans slime.
i don't play with that gumshroom garbage, guys.
no way.
and fried brussels sprouts, cut on the halfsies,
browned and broth-braised to throughly steam 'em through with flavorful hot juice.
yikes!
blackened baby grape tomatoes?
rules is rules, man.
and those lil baddies are just too great to leave behind.
for serious.
how about shredded scallion?
and fried garlic?
and fire-roasted flaky tomato?
and microgreenery?
that's spranks on spranks on spranks, friends,
and that's just another way to know for sure that your boy albie rock
does NOT F* around with doo-doo buttery wet-water-diaperbaby bullsh!t
in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen, kid.
recognize.
....
and those torties?
damn, duders-
when it happened, it happened so loud and fresh and hard that i had to check myself.
huh?
like, before i wrecked myself, man.
shredded seitan, wth sauteed onion, garlic, scallion, GPOP, black pepper,
and a splash of liquid smoke-laced-soy sauce.
seriously, just browned in a baby blop of olive oil and allowed to cool a little tiny bit.
BOOOOOOOOM.
too good.
and wrapped in 2+" rounds of semi-semolina sexxxiness?
sometimes, it feels good to eat alone, just because i wouldn't WANT to share.
that's the truth.
-
*
PASTA POUCH PREP!
-
in a 4 cup metal mixing bowl, knead up:
2/3 cup flour;
generous pinch of salt;
1/3+1 T semolina flour;
1/2 tsp wheat gluten;
2 T olive oil;
1/3 cup warm water.
^^combine it with folds and turns and squishes until the dough is smooth,
let it rest for about 10-15 minutes, roll it, cut it, fill it, pinch it, fold it, and rest it again.
y'just fold them in half, and then make the tips touch like they're hugging themselves.
in a pot of salty boiling water, they expand, and activate,
and evolve into some new sort of pasta pantheon-
a new world with new gods who need worshipping for their fullness, firmness, and flavor.
yikes.
ANYway,
if you ain't F*ing with homemade pasta,
please please PLEASE give it a shot.
they're too good.
and with sensational stuffin', in a brilliant broth?
c'mon, bro.
don't come at me with some prepack A*crack stacks.
no thank you.
-
the soup portion was just as expert, too.
it had 2 T of pureed caramelized onion, 1/2 cup seitan broth,
and 2 1/2 cups of GPOP'd better-than-bouillon-boosted hot water.
simple?
yeah.
necessary for the full effect of those goonie-goodie-fratelli-tortelli's ?
clearly.
folks,
MAKE this sh!t.
you won't regret it.
i mean, seriously, you can fry a tomato.
it's a cut in halfsies, a little hot oil on a pan, and time.
easy easy.
try it.
you just might like it.
***********
painting the bathroom is a real muthaF*er.
turns out,
high-gloss paint is hard to cover.
however,
a sexy bathroom is going to be the latest  keystone in a flight of flying buttresses,
supporting the soaring sides of this towering undertaking.
if nothing else,
i know i'll love being at work,
whether or not there's any work, let alone any good work.
i dwell in the details,
and i'm painting a big picture just as painstakingly as i'm painting the peepee cabin.
also,
i cut pipes, and drilled sh!t, and hung plants,
and did a whole mess of other other assorted small projects, too.
who knew that all these small things take so damned long.
...and all that before a pizza party.
yup.
i just want to feel full and fulfilled and satisfied.
the first is easy,
too much is the right amount,
and also the only amount i'm used to making and taking-
the other two?
tough AF.
there just always seems like there's SO much MORE to do.
ah well,
that's the way it works, i s'pose.
forever chasing a fast actin' dream,
and leaving a swath of fresh-to-dead-to-righteousness in my wake-
it's all really happening, and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 27

DRAWING BOARDS!

i love a good drawing session.
i do.
only,
so rarely have i got a minute to make moves with my marky-marking tools
that it seems like the first few minutes
are more like a reprimand from my muscle memory
than a fluid and fluent formation of form and function.
y'know?
like,
at first, i might suck kinda hard.
the trick is to disregard the clumsiness of rusty movements,
and work out those kinks on the fly.
...it also helps to abandon most first drafts as a sacrificial offering to the
spirit of creativity,
and move on once the lumps and bumps are out of the way.
uh-huh.
i'm sketching a lot.
i'm sketching a lot for the ensuing merchandising for the new new hottness.
i'm also sketching because my friends need things sometimes,
and if you can't help your friends,
you're kind of NOT a friend, y'know?
circumstantially, i'm sure there are SO many legitimate reasons to abstain,
but,
if i'm already scrawling along,
a loose, grimy, grit-nasty scribble or two is easy enough.
so,
i'm doing that,
as much to keep my hands in the habit of making pictures as to pay my debts
to the duders who've helped make ampersand tattoo a reality.
so, there's that.
on the other hand,
which is to say, my mack hand-
the food game stays hella tight around the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
that's a given.
and when you've got guests, but haven't been to the grocer in a minute?
well, man,
that's when you bus-a-bust out your trusty noods, dudes
check the teleport:

YOU KNOW I LOVE BLACK RICE RAMEN!!
that's no joke.
and when you've got a feisty sauce,
and fried tofu,
and all the leafy veggie crawnch,
plus that lil baby bok bok?
it's pretty quickly prepared,
and it'll feed the whole gang, no problemo.
dudes,
it's really all about the sauce, right?
i mean,
honestly,
the rest is so malleable and flexible and adjustably customizable
that you can just make it up as you go.
as long as that sauce is hella tight, you're good-
-
*
HELLA TIGHT SAUCE!
-
in a small container, mug, glass, bowl, whatever-combine:
3 T rice wine vinegar;
2 dashes liquid smoke;
1 tsp sesame oil;
2 T mae ploy sweetness;
1 tsp chili-garlic paste;
2 T tamari;
1/2 tsp ea. GPOP, black pepper;
1/2 tsp dried thai basil, crushed red pepper;
1/4 tsp ginger;
1 T lime juice;
1/2 tsp xantham gum. (or 1 tsp non-gmo-organic cornstarch)
^^^^^
that's what you need on your noods, neighbors.
it'll freak off your whole view of how good some velvety ramen stir fry could be.
it's a horizon expander, and a fresh-to-deathness demander,
and also,
it's flippin' spicy, and sweet, and tangy, and rich,
with that sossamon sesame nuttiness shining through with savory sensuality.
WORD.
expert sauce makes simple veg into something superior.
recognize.
i had cabbages, i  had radicchio, garlic, onion, scallion, red pepper, jalapeno,
etc etc,
and i seared it up in some more of that oil, and hit it with MORE scallion sprankles,
and cilantro, baby kale, and lime.
-
with tofu fried up,
and two tone sesame spranks,
AND shredded cukes, too???
guys,
stir-fry noods are the way to get yourself FED AF with all due haste.
mmmmmm.
*
the thing is, that's a big ol' plate of yum,
but it wouldn't be worth spit with ol' lil baby bop bok on the side.
no.
for real.
buttery baby bok choy, seared in sesame oil, and splashed with soy?
that's just about the creamiest lefty greenery you can crunch.
i highly recommend you get after it, friends.
it's a real treat.
i love it, you might, too.
of course, not every vegetable is for everyone.
i like them all, i guess,
but,
then again,
i'm also
down to munch up ALL the foods in front of me
with a gusto usually reserved for starving men.
so, who knows how much my opinion is worth, am i right?
***********
and so it goes.
today is a painting day.
the bathroom at AMPERSAND TATTOO has been sorely neglected,
and now is the time it gets the big deluxe attention splash.
i'm so busy all the time,
i'm STILL a whole meal behind on posting here.
it's all really happening, man.
eventually, it'll find a natural equilibrium,
until then,
it's full-steam ahead;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 26

BUFFZIES!!!!

homemade silken tofu ranch dressing?!
from a dude who had previously never had any rnahc dressing in his whole entire life?
mmhmm.
i don't normally eff with those thick dressings,
but,
with homemade luxury buffalo sauce,
and homemade luxury seitan steaks on the menu,
i felt that some sort of homemade luxury in the secondary sauce department
was probably kind of a great idea.
and what is vegan dressing except a way to add even more vegetable power to
any and all already-awesome power-packed treats, right?
right!!
guys,
i've been on some distracted action and disjointed disorientation-type days and nights.
no sleep at all,
and running back and forth and to and fro and everywhere in between
has finally take it's toll on my attention.
so,
when it was early-ish, and there was nothing left to do but go home and make dinner,
i did just that,
and it was just about the best feeling i'd had in days.
oh, i mean it.
yup.
that's real.
buffs on buffs and a little curried cauliflower for good measure?
yes please.
i made it, and i ate it, and i'll likely do it again, too.
just LOOK at it:

BUFFFZIES FOR YOUR STUFFFZIES!!!!
yeah!!
dudes,
the seitan has a little arrowroot on the outside to crisp it up,
and it's sizzled away in a pat of earth balance buttery goodness.
mmmm.
but,
then it gets basted with that blarpity buttery hot and tangy buffalo barbarian blast.
mmmmmmmm.
WORD.
-
*
BUFFZOSS!
-
that's 4 T texas/louisian hot pepper sauce,
with 2 T butterish,
and a shake or three of GPOP,
a 1/2 tsp of nootch,
and a tsp of sriracha-
all melted up in a small saucepot into one greasy, gooey, air-flaming spicy emulsion,
which gets 1/2 tsp of xantham to thicken it,
and there you have it:
the best damned buff stuff in the business.
when the seitan gets it fried on it, the whole color and texture changes for the better,
BUT,
then with some of that gummy, gooey, buttery big action on top, as well??
holy smokes!!!
too much is the right amount!!
and that's no joke.
celery snips, and parsley sprankles, and vegenaise on homemade fresh-baked sourdough?
c'mon.
that's lusciousness deluxe at it's finest.
i have a small little homemade life,
concentrated and double-distilled from all the larger than lifetimes i squeezed
into all the preceding years.
these tiny but intense brightenings, day to day, are kind of awesome.
fresh baked bread is incredible.
custom foodstuffs that are intentionally inventive?
that's expert.
all you need at that point is MORE.
that's where that vegan ranch comes from, bro.
i mean,
rules is rules,
and we can't just start F*ing off on some storebought sh!t at THIS point, y'feel me?
-
*
VEGAN RANCHO DELUXXXO!
-
in your trusty food processor, pulverize:
1 block, semi-drained silken tofu;
3 T lemon juice;
1 tsp lemon zest;
1/4 tsp pink salt;
2 T apple cider vinegar;
3 cloves fresh garlic-
pour that into a medium bowl,
and add:
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper;
1 tsp ea. Garlic Powder and Onion Powder;
1 1/2 T minced green onion;
a big punch of finely chopped parsley.
whip it. whip it real good, and he problem of true-life non-dairy vegan dressing is solved.
now,
like i said at the top,
i dunno what the hell ranch is 'posed to taste like,
but nate does,
and he said this sh!t is ON POINT.
i'll take that as a success, because he's on some discrimi-nate-ing palate jauns.
ha.
oh, stop it.
*
and that cauliflower?
dudes,
it's right up ON it.
cauli-florets, olive oil, chipotle ho'sauce. red-hot ho'sauce,
coriander seed, cumin, and a splash of tamari,
covered and steamified to soft centered succulence,
then upgraded with cilantro sprankles,
and lots of cracked black pepper.
-
there;s radishes and microgreens and cukes too, but i mean, that's just add-on ganish,
for cawnch and coolness.
you don't need that sh!t, but you're probably a little losery
if you aren't trying to have the full-blown beauty for supper.
seriously.
don't sell yourself short.
***********
plants on plants on plants.
if you don't have that chlorophyll freshness,
and that oxygenation of the air,
you don't have a good environment to enoy.
AMPERSAND TATTOO will have plenty of fresh air,
filtering all the pizza-pie out of the air,
and exhaling all sorts of life back atcha.
today,
i'm all about pots.
and soil,
and saucers,
and every other nurtured little nuance that'll elevate the space
into a place we can all feel very comfortable spanning time.
after all,
i'll be there every single effing day,
waiting to show you all around,
and zip some zaps on you while  we're at it.
i'm so grateful for this opportunity, self-made or otherwise.
it's an exercise in endurance,
waiting for the go-ahead to get your money from you,
but it's good.
maybe what i needed was a little humbling minute of reflection.
a recharge, and a regroup,
as well as a reassessment of my methods and motives.
here's what i've come up with:
no matter how hard it all feels, how heavy,
and how tough the times seem to keep getting,
it's ALL really happening, and moving forward,
with cautious, but determined baby steps,
towards a fully-immersive magnificence i can call my own.
it takes as long as it takes,
just so long as it bears fruit in the end.
i'm doing my best to be a better man, and a better artist,
and a business man whose busy-ness won't blind him to the burden of being good to y'all.
i'm ready already, and once the space has been deemed ready,
whenever you're ready,
we'll get together and conjure up some mighty magic for everybody;
never quiet, never soft.....

BLOOBS'N'BUTTS!!!

ANOTHER 'NOTHER PASTRY TREAT?!?!
yeah, man.
is that a problem?
here's how i see it:
i've got lots of prepared pastry dough.
i've got fruit at the ready, seasonal and sensual and juicy an' that.
i've got sugar, and spices, and all those nicey-nicenesses.
and, i've got morning times where nothing else is open or up.
why wouldn't i combine all of those elements,
and make something terrific out of them?
i mean,
c'mon-
what even are you?
some kind of an A*-hole?
pastry treats are expert,
and blueberries are expert, and shiny fruit butts are so juicy;
but they ain't fat, bruh, they just a lil' thiccc.
i got the bloobs over the peaches and the peaches over the bloobs,
and i have all of it in one place being great, waiting to get eaten up.
check the teleport:

kaPOW!!
two ripe as heck peaches, sliced,
and two handfuls of blueberries,
tossed with 1 T raw sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 T organic non-gmo cornstarch;
how freakin' easy is that?
on the ones, it's just fruit with a little upgrade activation,
over rolled pastry flour,
with cutouts and castaways on top, a few sugar sprankles,
and just to turn the little muhfug up to eleven,
a half a lime's worth of zest on top.
baked for, like, close to 30 minutes, at 410℉,
it's perfect.
the berries burst and get jammie-jammed the peaches soften up firm their flesh just a bit,
the juice flows and thickens with the quickness in that subtle starch,
andthen the vanilla and the lime hit you with the sexy one-two combo,
and BOOM,
now you're psyched as F* and eating half a tart in one shot.
oh. um. yeah.
at least when i say it's all really happening,
that's what's all really happening.
***********
waiting is deadly.
and it's taking a killer toll on my brain, neighbors.
that's real.
luckily,
there's always plenty to do-
it's times like these when that ol' henry rollins jaun comes immediately to mind:
no such thing as spare time.
no such thing as free time.
no such thing as down time.
all you got is life time.
go!
^
...and i'm going.
there's a lot that still needs to be done,
but mostly,
there's a lot of time that still needs to elapse in the waiting game.
i'm ready.
you're ready.
we're all ready.
one green light from the watchers and regulators,
and it's on so hard, none of us will ever look back-
we won't have time,
because we'll be too busy activating all that new hottness;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 24

WAFFLEBROWNS!! HUSHPUPPERS!!

ohhhhhhh MAN!!
another 'nother big B?!
yes!
it's the most important meal of the day, reportedly.
therefore, when you know you're gonna be havin' a big day,
there's no good reason not to prepare for it.
yet again,
i went down to portsmouth,
and yet again,
crate and barrel did right by your boy!
mmhmm.
i love that place.
a warehousey factory outlet FULL of all the most luxurious
and undeniably top-tier sexxxiness,
from tablecloths and plates on through sofas and tables, chairs, etc. etc.
totally worth the trip down and back,
because all that hottness is NOT going to be found at some budget big box, bro.
real talk.
i'm on that upscale spectrum these days.
sure, sure, sure, the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is falling apart,
literally and figuratively,
but that's just where i live, and people don't come here and see it.
i'm eagerly anticipating ALL the clients, though, at the new new,
so that's where i'm investing my efforts for the time being.
but, back to the humble haunted house on the hill where i dwell-
the test kitchen was bumpin' yesterday, neighbors.
yeah.
if only i'd known that TODAY was the day-
as in: national waffle day,
i might've waited.
then again, i needed nourishment for my journey an' that.
i guess it worked out the way it was supposed to.
today, i'm shorter on time than usual, even,
so big B isn't an option this morning.
yesterday, though, it was ON.
teleport:

HASHBROWN WAFFLE ACTIVATION!!!!
kaboom!
crispy and crunchy like a mofo.
like,
it snapped when you hit it with the fork,
but,
the insides were still soft!
expert.
a couple of  reaaaallllllly well-drained, squeezed, peeled, grated red potatoes (2),
and a generous interweaving of paper-thin-shaved red onion,
salted, peppered, and pressed into the iron.
flipped once along the alignment dents of the thing
so that both sides were equally cracklin' as the iron is only mostly level.
*
...and with that tofu scrambo on top of it?!
holy smokes!
exxxtra-firm 'fu, crumbled, and fried up with hemp hearts, nootch, GPOP, turmeric,
a dash of smoked paprika,
a little minced onion, (which i will say has improved the whole scene considerably)
olive oil, pink salt, black pepper, and hand-torn baby kale!
....delicious.
what could improve such fantastic flavors?
how about microgreens?
that'll work.
red onion sprankles?
for sure.
how about blackened baby sweet grape tomatoes, in red and orange?
c'mon,
what are you?
 an A*-hole?
rules is rules, neighbors.
fired tomatoes are ON the list.
*
pinto bean hash?!
is that a thing?
yes. that's a thing.
onion, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, poblano pepper, coriander, and beans,
fried up and caramelized,
with cilantro and green onion added in at the end for that freshness.
sliced jalapeno?
F* yes, bro.
i like the spice.
what the hey-now even are recipes for things like that?
i mean,
you put whatever amounts you want in an oiled pan, and sizzle them until they look right.
right?
i dunno, i just go with the feeling.
try it.
it's less stressful than you might think.
-
and speaking of catching feels-
i've some kind of a crush on THIS new new:

HUSH PUPPY PANNIECAKES?!?!
daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
spicy corn fritters for everybody from now on.
these little doggies are what i needed.
so hard.
and guys,
they're all sorts of awesome.
you want some?
you can have as many as you'd like,
if you do this:
-
*
HUSHLITTLEPUPS!!!
-
in a small mixing bowl,
whisk together:
2/3 cup flour;
1/2 cup cornmeal;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 1/2 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakin' soda;
1 tsp each GPOP;
black pepper;
1 T melted vegan butter;
2 T finely chopped green onion;
2 tsp minced jalapeno;
-
add in 1/2 cup non-dairy 'milk;
+ 1 tsp cider vinegar;
+ 1 tsp oil, all whipped together and rested to make 'buttermilk'.
stir it up, let it rest,
and fry spoonfuls up in a hot buttery pan.
topped with another pat of earth balance spread,
and activated with MORE green onion and jalapeno?
word.
too much is the right amount.
that's real.
and a gigantic morning meal like this is the TRUTH.
i wasn't even hungry the whole res of the day.
that's pretty cool, considering i was in the car almost the whole time.
lucky lucky.
the ambitious optimism of a big day, with big plans, fueled by big B
is far greater than the actual elapsed time involved in making it happen.
the traveling in-between spaces and places is somehow eating up tracts of time
and making meals out of massive mountains of minutes.
i like efficiency, i like economy of motion,
and i seem to have lost my grasp on both.
maybe i just need some gloves.
wouldn't that be a nice easy fix?
we'll see how today goes, bros;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 23

TORTILLAS!!!!

tacos.
i can't get enough.
homemade seitan?
i wouldn't be who i am without it.
homemade seitan on a soft flour tortilla??
jeez louise,
that's the power and the light and the truth for my face!
mmmmmmm.
look what happened at dinnertime:

TACOOOOOOOOOOOOS!
muy mucho mas for my mouth, man.
yeah!
here's that seitan recipe,
for you ambitious b!tches out there in the world:
-

SEITAN FROM SCRATCH!
-
in a big ol' pot,
combine 8 cups (or more) of water;
with 1 big ol' tablespoon of better than bouillon veggie broth blops;
four shakes of liquid smoke;
3 T of soy sauce-
and bring to a boil.
-
while that's heating up, get yourself a medium mixing bowl, and stir together:
1 cup + 3 T vital wheat gluten;
3 T tapioca flour;
4 T garbanzo (chickpea) flour;
1 T each Garlic Powder, Onion Powder;
18 turns of your pepper grinder;
1 tsp smoked paprika.
once thoroughly blended, add:
3/4 cup broth (i'm steady using that better than bouillon, because it's great);
1 T soy sauce;
liquid smoke.
knead the mixture into a stretchy dough, roll it into a log, and let it rest for fifteen minutes.
slice it into 1/4" slabs, press flat, and rest another five minutes-
add all of the to your boiling stock,
and reduce the heat to a simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes.
i let mine cool in the broth.
remove them, and store them in an airtight container, in broth, for use as needed,
not to exceed about a week, depending on how good a fridge you've got.
-
so, now you've got seitan.
what are you gonna do with it?
me?
i actually cut some chunks out of the main log before i boiled it,
and used those to make some agave-glazed spicy tips.
mmmm.
oil, onion, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle pepper, black pepper, jalapeno pepper,
GPOP, coriander, cayenne, and lime juice sauteed together,
and sweetened up at the last minute with agave.
SO DOPE.
...
i had a whole bunch of sweet and hot peppers, which i cut up into strips,
with onions, and made some ho'sauce activated fajita-style magic,
with steamy broccoli to turn it up a little,
and  made tacos with THAT too.
-
dudes,
tacos are just so customizable, i can't help but add little bits and bobs to 'em.
homemade salsa fresca?
you bet!
roma tomatoes, red orange and yellow sweet baby bell peppers, jalapeno, onion,
cilantro and garlic, with lime, pink salt, black pepper, and GPOP!
no proportion is wrong. just fire it up, and chill it out, and eat it with your whole face.
expert.
i had oil-toasted pepitas, with black pepper and agave as sprankles.
i had cucumber, too.
plus lettuces, and heirloom tomatoes, and cilantro.
red onion spranks?
F* yes.
little purple carrot discs and jalapeno rings completed the look.
-
and then there was that rice!
coconut lime cilantro red beans and jasmine jauns.
fresh AF.
and delicious.
-
taco time is a good time.
i'm glad i get to eat good food.
i hope you're eating something rad as well.
***********
so,
here's the thing-
AMPERSAND TATTOO is basically built.
the skeleton is there, and the important parts are in place.
now, all the really serious fleshing out needs to take place,
while the town takes it's time finalizing approvals and such
for all the occupancy and advertisements and so on....
which is where i really may have the opportunity to flex on y'all.
y'see,
i F* with aesthetics pretty heavy in these streets,
and my design sense has purpose and a long history of luxurious references
at it's disposal.
yep.
my design styles is it's own thing, and it has it's own things,
and that's a no joke real thing.
word.
when i was a kid,
my dad, the guru, was into some next-level anti-establishment fashions-
i'm talking ghetto hustler and 1% biker meets stormtrooper pimp.
i'm serious.
meanwhile,
the only other real male influence in my life, my late uncle eddie-man,
was on some new york top floor penthouse apartment
publishing-house elitist upper-crust old money ivy league art history sh!t.
fortunately, and unfortunately, my impressionable young mind was warped
by the extremes of the top and bottom-most rungs of the social ladder,
and while i have no interest in any sort of middle ground,
i seem to exist at the overlap of a moebius strip of infinite high-society hoodrat hybrids.
guys,
combining things is wizard science.
and that's what i DO.
overlapping circles and spheres of influence, converging in the path of totality?
the core of what i'm on about is this concentrated congregation of stacks
and layers and heaps and piles of spirit and memory,
history and prognostication,
predisposition and conscious variance,
with all the nature and nurture and choice and chance that i can summon and direct
into the atmosphere around myself.
that's a huge undertaking, believe it or not.
and that means that i'm really finding my way along the woodsly goodsly landscape
of upscale luxury with a crash-test juggernaut of judiciously-considered purchases,
punching through the hard-styled lowest commons and savage stormswept sidestreets
of my own personal raging gypsy gentrifications!
talk about a juxtaposition of ups and downs
(i also just realized the names of several adult magazines exist in the preceding sentences)
so, it's a manly tattoo spot,
AND a sophisticated luxury social club,
AND a burly big action heavy-duty overboard exxxplosion of my personal flavor.
it's as much an extension of what i'm about as anything has ever been,
and i aim to fill it up with all the superfancy expressions of that as will fit.
it's all really happening,
and i'll be the first to admit that i'm incredibly picky
about each and every one of the accoutrements that i'm adding to the mix.
if you think the food is something,
wait until you come and get a custom, one-of-a-kind experience,
and a custom one-of-a-kind tattoo,
and a little bit of the world-weary wizened wisdom of the warrior poetry in motion
that are promised in every inch of the new hottness.
it's all really happening,
slowly, but surely,
and i hope you guys will like it even half as much as i do;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 22

PROTECT'YA'NEC'tarine!!

wu-TANG!!!!
uh huh,
my stone-fruit slicing sword style is top notch.
and my pastry dough is like the 36th chamber, son.
real talk.
if you like tarts and that,
and you like fruit and such,
and you think pastries are pretty neat,
then this one's for you, duders:

NECTARINES!!!!!
seriously, there's vanilla bean paste, organic sugar crystals, nectarine slices,
and pastry dough,
and that's ALL.
straight ahead, full steam, ingredients that speak volumes with simple syllables,
and resonate with sibilant brilliance by design.
damn, neighbors.
a good galette can really get your day going in the right direction.
that's no joke.
sure, it was a little slippery, but only because those slick-butt-emoji slivers were JUICY AF.
hahahaha.
dope.
pastry dough goes like this:
in your trusted food processor, toss all in together:
10 T earth balance butterish;
4 T vegan (tofutti) creachee';
2 1/4 cups flour;
3 T sugar;
dash of salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
cold non-dairy milk, added 1 T at a time,
and pulsed between drips and drops until the mixture is chunky, and crumbly,
but holds together when pinched.
wrap it, refrigerate and rest it for at least an hour...overnight is waaaay better tho,
and roll it, chop it, slice it, etc, before baking it, and everything that goes inside,
at 410℉, for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and nicey-nice.
word up.
-
did i hit it with the demerara sugar sprankles?
hell yes, i did, kiddo.
rules is rules, and galettes are far more expert when they've got
those little crystal kaleidoscopes stuck onto the crust.
fact.
***********
.....and just like *that*,
it's tuesday already.
i'm rushing around so much i actually have no idea what day it is more often than not.
when every day is go to the studio and clean up a mess,
touch up some paint,
move sh!t around,
go to the home improvement store,
forget something,
spend molto $$,
and walk this little two-year-old trapjaw all over this greenish earth.....
well, every day is the same.
did i miss the eclipse?
i wouldn't say that.
i didn't see it,
but i actually have sh!t that needs to get done,
before my career is eclipsed by my failure.
so, there's that.
and in the meantime,
i've found ways to cope.
mostly food,
and a little light reading before i fall fast asleep,
for those few hours that that's even possible.
this time is the right time.
i keep telling myself that.
and in the meantime,
i've had to have some mean time,
some me time,
and some useless meme time, too.
seriously, i'm going to shut off my phone while i'm at work.....
what a strange progression this year has been-
from winter's bones to summer's dregs,
this has been a hurricane-force gyspy dumpsterfire of a year to date;
never quiet, never soft.....

RINGO BINGO!!

chocolate cake, chocolate cake!
eat so much you get a tummy ache!!!
you guys like chocolate?
how about cake?
ok, cool.
now, here's where it gets tricky-
what about coconut?
i know, you're weird about the texture....
but, i bet that's because you've only ever had gummy, scummy poor person coconut.
that sh!t is NOT invited to my makeout parties, neighbors.
nope.
there's 0 smooches on the schedule for that crapola.
but, that medium flake unsweetened unsulphured dry jauns?
damn.
i write about it often,
but i don't think i've yet to laud it as loudly and lengthily as it deserves.
the addition of quality coconut can make a lame day dope,
and a great day incredible.
don't believe me?
ok.
but, try it, and then i'll accept your apology for doubting my words.
i only tell true stories, kids.
that's my thing.
and the truth is-
chocolate coconut ring cake has officially activated joyous feelings in my face!
teleport:

C'MON!!!
it's jusssssssst this side of fully baked.
meaning,
the very centermost middle-bits,
while fully baked, were still semi-soft at their core when the cake left the oven.
which made it as fudgy and spongy and soft
as you or i should ever hope to have dissolving on our tongues.
real talk.
it had some kind of wonderful within.
you want some of this?
you do?!
good.
here's the step by step to step to this sh!t like a worthy warrior poet:
-
*
COCONUT CHOCOLATE RINGO-BINGO!!
-
preheat your oven to 365℉.
-
in a medium mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick (8T) earth balance buttery goodness;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 cup dark brown sugar;
2 tsp vanilla.
-
to that, whip in:
3/4 cup nondairy yogurt;
1/3 cup cocoa;
4 T shaved dark baker's chocolate.
-
once that's thoroughly muddied and melded, sift in:
2 1/2 cups flour;
2 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakey sda;
1 cup flaky dried coconut bitsies.
1 cup coconut milk (the carton kind)
2 tsp coconut extract (optional, but SO awesome)
stir that until all the dry spots are wet spots,
and spread it evenly in a greased flat bottom ring pan.
*first things first, drop a layer of that good-good coconut down on the bottom first,
so it'll be a coconut upside down victory when it's finished.
bake it for 40 minutes, or so.
(like i said, it's finished, but fudgy, use your best cake judgement)
when it's cool, and it's cool the whole time, but, i'm sayin',
when it's cool to the touch,
drizzle some dark chocolate over the coconut baked into the top,
and let that start to firm up...
but also drizzle some more coconut sprankles on top.
yuuuuuuuuup.
you love sprankles, don'tcha?
me too!!
sounds good, right?
well, we still have to make some coconut frosting for the trimming, man.
uh-huh.
too much is the right amount.
that's real.
it's a rule.
i'll be the first to admit that i am still trying to eyeball frosting measurements,
and i am still effing up the frosting on fully one third of my attempts.
i'm not going to give up anytime soon,
and yet,
i am consistently amending my stand mixer's contents,
in a state of discontent,
while i wish that these things were a hair more reliable by intuition.
whatever, bro.
the coconut in the sugar helped to give it body,
and the coconut extract might've been the overly oily culprit
responsible for the early-onset droop in my peaks.
it happens.
flavorwise, it still brought the noise, and that's what i want.
loud fresh coconut chock-yuuuuu-laciousness in my body.
mmmmmm.
i got that.
***********
cleaning up is hard to do.
drywall dust somehow still secretly seeps into all the spaces
surrounding the cracks and crevices, cornices, corners, and creases of
the new studio.
am i open yet?
no.
have i gotten increasingly curt with folks asking me?
yes.
i repeat myself often, it's true-
but i don't like answering the same question over and over.
it's different, and it's worse.
believe me,
the slit-wrist-bleeding-money reality of my day-to-day is no fun.....
i just keep in mind that it'll all be worth it once we're up and at 'em.
it's all really happening,
just chest-crushingly slower than i'd prefer;
however,
progress IS progress, and i'm damned grateful for that.
in the early mornings, dennis is there,
after i leave to crab my tree,
nate is still there-
and in between, t
here's an overlap of excellence that activates some forward motion,
and a plan of attack for the day's doings.
this is it.
i need to keep doing what needs doing,
and i only hope that the secret universal planagram is taking notice,
and liking what it sees;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 21

TERRIBLY TWO!!!

a real number two.
yep.
terrible two.
numero dos.
today is the day, folks.
uh-huh.
a berfday.
a big action celebration,
a magical moment for me and my small white broski-mo.
that's right-
crabtree,
my thunderously terrifically terrible terrier,
my shark-bullet battle-beast,
my lil milky BOI,
my main man, best bud, and ragna'rock-solid ride-or-die duder,
turns TWO.
....and let's all wish a very happy F*ing berfday to the good boy:

TWO YEARS OF THIS A*-HOLE!!!
he's a juggernaughty little nerd,
and a frisky little F*face,
and a long-nosed torpedo turdblaster,
but he's my guy, and i'm his guy,
and we're guys.
....which is to say, i love this awful animal,
and he likes it a lot when i feed him,
but otherwise would rather be doing something somewhere else with anyone else...
so, it's basically every relationship i've ever had,
but with a lot less talking, and a million more miles spanned on the hoof outdoors.
damn, neighbors.
that's a hard style,
but he's a hard-headed heartattacker with a cast-iron cabeza de caca,
so what else would we expect?
word.
it's his berfy d, tho,
so you KNOW i still hooked it up for the kid.
teleport:

vegan gluten-free sweet potato coconut oatmeal birthday biscuits!!!
they're really good.
(yeah, i had one, so?)
he gets the hook up because rules is rules,
and the rules clearly state that you get treats on your big day.
that's real.
he's the best one, and i love his whole face right off.
the thing is,
these biscuits are totally delicious, and with a pinch of sugar,
i bet i'd have eaten more of them myself.
(i did eat some, it was a berfday party after all)
here's what went on in the food processor to create his special goodies:
-
1 small peeled roasted sweet potato;
4 T coconut oil;
1 cup oats;
4 T coconut flour;
4 T flaked unuslphred coconut;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup sweet rice flour;
dash of salt;
3 T cold water.
^^^^DAS IT!
processed until doughy, rolled, cut and baked at 375℉ for ten minutes.
voila!
instant happiest dog.
.....and his little green and gold hermes hat?
party hats are good for you on party days, man.
c'mon.
everybody knows that.
***********
crabtree is my constant companion.

this fella is fresh to death, on his day of birth.
...
he's my confidant.
my bunkmate.
my happy little dummy.
my big dumb duder.
my stinky guy, my crispy crimbo, etc etc etc-
i love him.
truly.
and i'm grateful for him in my life.
y'see,
he's been here throughout the seasons,
and while each and every one of the humans in my small small world
have all migrated, sojourned, emigrated, and escaped from the woodsly goodness,
crabby abides and resides inside them,
at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
right here with me.
sometimes,
that's better than anything else;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 20

COQUETTISH CROQUETTES!!!

cauliflower!
chick pea flour!
kale!
mmmmmmmmmm.
guys,
i made a thing,
and i'm really glad i did...
what do you do, when you don't feel like doing anything?
you F* around, and see what happens.
yep.
like, art making, and bread baking, and risk taking on every level,
sometimes, at suppertime, you just toss a loose idea into a pot,
and see what shapes up from there.
yeah!
i wanted cauliflower cakes,
so i made cauliflower cakes.
i mean, i had this idea in my head, neighbors,
and i thought about it on a long car ride,
which led to a short kitchen stint alongside a steamer,
and a skillet,
while the oven provided lovin' to a side of spuds.
i'm serious.
look at what i did:

ACCIDENTAL WHO-KNEW HOTTNESS IS HERE!!!
and it wasn't even hard to do, dudes.
-
*
CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS!!
-
steam two cups of cauliflower until soft.
rinse with cold water (or let cool, if you're smarter, and less hurried)
and mash it up in a medium bowl.
add 1/2 cup chick pea flour;
3 T white flour;
GPOP;
salt and black pepper;
1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale;
1/2 cup minced daiya mozzarella;
a little dash of cayenne;
and some shredded parsley.
mix that into a gloppy mass,
and form up some 3-4 inch patties-
dredge 'em in a mixture of chick pea flour;
organic non-gmo cornstarch;
fire-roasted tomato sprankles;
nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
then, fry 'em up!
when they're golden on both sides, and the centers aren't gummy with raw flour,
they're ready.
i used earth balance butterish, and then a re-up with olive oil
to keep 'em crispin' on the skillet.
they're good.
like, tasty and crispy and rich and hearty and almost nutty.
in fact, i'd bet chopped walnuts would rock these into the stratosphere.
no foolin'.
...
*
what's up with those roasty toasty potatoes?
c'mon.
don;t be dumb.
that's self-explanatory.
they're good.
and roasted, they're even better.
olive oil, pink salt, and black pepper.
what else do you even need?
a fork, probably.
because they're really hot fresh out of that oven...
*
asparagus!!!!!
chopped into smaller scoopable spearlets,
with slivers of garlic instead of almonds,
and a little oil to sear those suckers up jusssssssst right.
easy.
get it.
eat it.
savor the succulence.
repeat.
word.
-
i added those cukes and radishes, too.
i mean, otherwise, how would you even know i was vegan, right?
salad is clearly the indicator.
and i'm indicating that without some red on this plate,
i'd have been working with more beige that a desert.
ha.
juicy suppers, on the fly, off the cuff, and with lots of flavor and heart.
that's all i need to end each day.
well,
that and a dog walk,
and a car drive, and some exercise,
and maybe a little netflix before bed.
*gasp*
yeah.
although, i AM reading again, as if i have time for that.
it's good for me, getting off of my phone-
which, i reluctantly admit, has become a problem for my effective time management.
virtual connections with borderline imaginary people
is NOT the best use of my spare minutes.
i could be learning new things, and eating words that'll nourish me,
instead of eating my own words of disdain for mobile devices all those years,
which now i'm guilty of overindulging in.
maybe even more than an average individual, actually.
damn.
i'm picking up books, and putting down some paint on the touched-up walls of the new new.
it's all still unfolding along the path that's been preordained.
i'm simply ad-libbing within the lines;
\never quiet, never soft.....

OATCAKES!!!

damn, dudes.
the big B!
that's what's up.
'cakes, and scrambo, and 'tatoes, and stuff!!!
oh MAN!
i don't always stuff my face full of fattie boombattie freshness,
but when i do it,
i take it to eleven, and then i add some sprankles.
word.
check the teleport:

most. important. meal.
cinnamon oatmeal manjacks, with a bit of coconut?
expert!
like,
so thiccc, you'd swear they were meant to dance in a rap video.
boom.
-
*
OATCAKES!
-
in just one bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup flour;
1/2 cup mixed oat flour & fresh ground unsweetened dry coconut meal;
1/2 cup whole rolled oats;
3 T oatbran;
a handful of coconut;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp cinnamon;
1/4 tsp nutmeg;
3 T melted butterish;
3 T brown sugar;
1 cup non-dairy milk.
whip it, rest it, pour it, flip it, eat it.
DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE!!!!
and you'd better be using real maple syrup, or you're a chump.
yeah yeah, agave blah blah blah.
enjoy your low-glycemic second place stuff.
new englanders know the truth.
it's real, it's dark, and it';s thick, or it's bullsh!t.
that's a thing.
*
...and how 'bout that scrambo?
with the blackened fried tomatoes??
rules is rules, neighbors-
and it's been clearly stated that the tomatoes are essential
to maintaining vegetable integrity
in any worth-a-sh!t scram-'fu!
mmmmmmm.
i might've gone a bit heavy on the smoked paprika,
but the GPOP and nootch and black pepper,
and the minced fresh onion,
all compensated for a really rich batch of crumbly goodness.
and of course, there's parsley and scallion garnish, because that's just how it's done.
obvi.
-
BUT HOW ABOUT THOSE HASHERS, BRO??
mmmhmmmmm.
prefect circles of tuberous rooted vegetable hottness,
with paper-thin onion entwined throughout,
pan fried to the crispiest crawnchiness on both sides!!!
you have to salt and rest and squeeze to drain 'em.
that's for serious, or else you get soggy sh!t-salad suckbombs instead.
and nobody good likes that.
not one teentsy tiny little bit.
uh-huh.
damn.
hash browns are just too damned good.
which is to say: they're perfect.
because too much is the right amount,
and that's no joke
***********
......i LOVE breakfast.
i love it so much that i don't always eat it like this.
that way, i still get the big feels from the big B,
and that's something that makes me so super happy i can't even stand it.
ANYbody can enjoy breakfast,
but it's only the realest of morning glories
who bask in the beaming glow of this much goodness.
i mean, c'mon-
AVOCADO!?
shoutouts to white girls, for sure.
and that weird bacon? i still effs with that.
i'm not sorry.
*
after breakfast,
it's been on and on and on the final stages of construction.
and the superfancy unnecessary activation has not been for naught.
it's dope, and i'm biased, but i'm also not wrong-
hmmm?
well, sure,
i could've only used one color of paint,
and one kind of trim,
and simple but elegant stylistic accents to show off my aesthetic......
but that is nowhere nearly as expert as an incredible color-coordinated
supersaturated sexxx-exxxplosion of awesomeness,
and why have pone budget trim when a three tier top is OBVI where the new hottness resides.
wu-effing-TANG, kids.
if y'all aren't getting it poppin' with the big B,
and then some busy big business big action activation,
the what the F* are you even bothering to leave the house for?
i mean it.
i don't like running around all over town acquiring flair and accentuations,
but the alternative is to be ordinary,
and tha's not any kind of option i'm amenable to.
it's ALL really happening,
and too much is the right amount-
especially when it's your name on the line;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 18

BUHNAYNAYNUNU!!

short on time, but long on big bananas?
just make a bunch of baby banana bread muffins!!!
how soft were they?
the softest!
how rich were they?
daddy fatsaxxx staxonstax warbuxxx rich!!
how banana-y? monkeysh!t-packed!!
and what about that inetrior, with ALL the coconut, and twice the oats,
and those toasted coconut sprankles on top??
c'mon.
don't be dumb, neighbors-
the whole flippin' big picture was a masterstroke of baked-up genius.
and that's not hubris, that's simply the accurate real-life documentation
of all my tastebuds' true life recounting of each and every bite.
word up.
just look at 'em:

WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT THAT?!
and they go down smooooooooooooth, kids.
like, easy easy, and you'd better have self-control,
or you'll suck down half a dozen in three bites apiece in rapidfire quick succession.
trust me on that.
you need this buhnaynay business in your daily big action, bro.
i mean it.
get on it, or get lost...
-
*
BANANA COCONUT OATMEAL BABIES!!
-
preheat your oven to 365℉.
-
in your stand mixer, cream up:
1 cup brown sugar;
1 stick plant-based butter (earth balance!)
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
-
add in:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
2 XL ripe bananas, or 3 average sized jauns or whatever;
whisk together well,
and toss in:
1 cup whole rolled oats;
1/2 cup medium flake unsweetened coconut;
2 cups flour;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/3 cup mini baby chocolate chips!!!
^plot twist! those little chocolate drops turn these jauns right up to eleven,
but they're not so numerous as to overpower all the other flavors at all.
they're basically little dark miracles that dwell within the spirit of  the thing.
and that's dope!
...whisk it all up nice and fluffy, and then you can get into the good-good, guy.
-
scoop the batter into greased muffin tins, about halfway full,
top 'em with toasted coconut spranks,
and bake them for 25 minutes.
expert almost isn't a strong enough word
to adequately describe the level of awesome these jauns possess.
it'll do tho, because they're tight and righteous, and soft and spongy,
and fruity and nutty and sweet and hearty,
and all those things are dope as heck.
***********
rain!
great.
y'know what's not awesome?
wet dog walks.
y'know what else i need?
new hiking boots.
yup.
thousands of miles logged on my current pair,
and they're finally ready to give up the ghost.
who knew i could wear out shoes?
i mean, who walks anywhere?
that's what poor people, and/or devoted drunk people, do.
thing is, all those worn out spots soak up water like a towel.
guess who's about to sloshfoot through the woods with his little milky boy?
huh?
because he's white and wet and only 2% smart, bro.
you get it, and you like it.
me and my wet dog, with our wet feet.
bedraggled and bedazzled by the wild woodsly goodness.
it's all really happening.
if it was easy, i'd have nothing to write about, would i?
that's it;
never quiet, never soft.....

THREEPEAT!!!

dudes!
when you want tacos for a third night,
but at the same time,
you realize that you're pigeonholing yourself
what with all that same-same-but-different sh!t over and over,
you've got to freak it off and turn it up and take the styles to a harder and louder place...
yup.
ANYbody can keep on keepin' on with that taco business,
but the really real ones out here are always going to find a way
to activate a little something MORE.
neighbors,
what's my favorite thing in the world to eat?
YEAH!
PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!
and the infinitely customizeable crucial taco scene
has always been something that lingers around in the top three.
but,
when you really want tacos,
and yet, you reaaallly reallly love pizza,
you just make 'em touch each other inappropriately,
and then roll around in the resultant orgiastic flavorful filth of their union!
oh. F*. yes.
guys,
check the TACO PIZZA teleport:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD!
the crust was so elite i almost passed out when i hit the end of the first slice.
ha!
loooong and sloooow cold proofed semolina sexxxiness,
with all the rich, tangy, yeasty flavor you could ever want.
that's what a strong week of refrigeration will get you, if you're patient.
mmmmm.
500℉ of hot hearthstone fire-up had it baked with all the haste, and all the taste,
before i could even register that my tastebuds were tingling in anticipation.
...and that was just the bottom bread-plate that all that other other sh!t was stacked upon.
expert!
the other night's refried beans were reactivated with more oil and nootch,
and spread on the base,
with double daiya chee' mozz and cheddars over the top.
from there, the combined chili-chunk tofritas/succotash hash was dropped,
so very little waste was employed from night-to-night.
what??
leftovers? oh, right.
i do that for the moment-
i must've forgot to mention:
i'm presently UNEMPLOYED,
at least until i can get AMPERSAND TATTOO up and running.
i hate delays and roadblocks, but i loooove a good taco pizza...
so maybe let's keep the focus on the positive and not the P.O.S.
ok.
diced sweet onion? check.
red and orange super-sweet baby bell peppers? check.
jalapeno? check.
black beans? cheque.
rainbow heirloom grapey tomatoes? mmhmmm.
blacker-than-black olives? hell yeah.
scallions and fried garlic sprankles?
rules is rules, fools, OBVI!
and when it popped out of the hot cage,
that chopped avocado, and ALLLL the cilantro,
plus those lime wedges for supercitrus squeeze-upgrade goodness
turned that TILTY muthafug up to eleven and then some!!!
yo, on the ones-
if you don't eff with pizzas and tacos and taco pizzas, i feel sorry for you;
but mostly i think you're a lame turd,
and i don't ever want to hang out with you.
real talk.
**********
WTF is sleep?
there are stresses and messes that need constant attending to,
and less and less time in every day to do any of it.
i get frustrated, and occasionally overwhelmed with all that's buzzing
and swarming and storming the gates of my conscious mind.
eating pizza helps.
it helps a LOT, actually,
but it solves few of the problems that come with timeline derailing.
friends,
i'm weeks past the projected scheduled start-up...
which, if we're being honest, i anticipated, but which i also still detest.
when the time finally comes to do the thing,
i hope to high hell that it exxxplodes with superhottness,
and the return on these investments is exponential.
in the meantime,
there's this damned dog that still needs walking,
and a chocolate coconut cake that could use some ganache.
i guess that even when it's difficult,
it's not as bad as being somebody else.
good, bad, ugly, and dope...
i'm grateful for the time that i have been given;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 16

TACO TUESDAY!!

TACOS AGAIN?!?!
yup.
the only thing better than too many tacos?
waaaaaay too many tacos!!
uh-huh.
that's real.
i effs with the taco game heavy 'round these parts,
and i went all-in on some epic two-timers last night.
i mean it.
i had semi-sofritas tofu jauns,
AND blackened black bean/corn/pepper/onion succotash, too.
guys,
rules is rules,
and it was TACO TUESDAY, after all....
y'know?
yeah!
i made a big bowl of refritas to pump up the jams on each and every
soft flour flap that i filled and folded full of all that freshness.
neighbors,
i love those pinto magical mashups-
and with plenty of plant-based butter, sauteed onion, jalapeno, sweet mini baby bell pepper,
GPOP, and nootch to boost the taste profile straight through the roof,
they are a show-stoppin', jaw-droppin', get-it-poppin' centerpiece to any mexican mealtime.
no, like, literally-
check the teleport:

experté!
lime garnish, cilantro sprankles,
AVOCADO, purple carrots, scallion sprankles,
pickled gringo escabeche-veggie medley,
spring mixed baby greens (with herbs, it said, although it all just tasted of wet leaves to me),
heirloom baby tomatoes, and hot jalapeno rings, for good measure.
too much is the right amount,
and this was an exercise in walking the talk.
*
that fresh local summer sweet corn, shaved straight off of the cob, was tight as heck, man.
and black beans are ranked among the best of beans, for sure.
with sweet onion chunks,
red pepper and chili pepper and jalapeno pepper and black pepper,
plus a few dashes of ho'sauce, a little chipotle powder,
and a clove of crushed garlic, grilled up in a superhot pan,
the whole thing was almost ready right from raw....
of course, a clutch of cilantro and a shake of GPOP helped a whole bunch too.
they always do.
the ease and the simplicity saved time,
and i savored the speed with which it was whipped up.
i love that.
*
TOFRITAS!!
half a block of extra firm tofu, in tiny cubelettes,
seared with smoked paprika and cayenne and oregano, in olive oil,
added to:
3 T minced onion;
1 T diced jalapeno;
2 sliced cloves of  garlic;
1 cup chopped mixed rainbow tomatoes;
bay leaf, basil, cumin, coriander, Garlic Powder Onion Powder, black pepper, pink salt;
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes;
1/4 cup broth, and a spicy rapid simmer from the first to last,
until it's one thick, chunky saucy boss-bloppity base for taco tremendousness.
mmmmmmmmmmm.
*
tacos tacos tacos.
all i needed were some tacos.
now, all i need is another me, to do all the things that need simultaneous action.
it'll all work out, mostly, because it HAS to.
i'm unemployed for the next week,
while i work work work on making this dreamy new artspace a reality.
how nervous am i?
well,
i slept an ENTIRE hour last night,
so that's probably a decent indicator.
it's all really happening, oh so agonizingly slow,
but surely,
and that's some surety in restlessness.
this is IT, and it has to work;
never quiet, never soft.....