Saturday, March 31

BYE-BYE!!

good friday had the boys and i on some stirfryday fire!
yup.
that's a boys'-night-in kind of a thing,
and it was kind of  F*ing awesome.
check the teleport:

YEAH!!!!!!
coconut oil fried tofu is so crisp, and so tight, and so expert.
y'gotta scoop a blop of oil into a hot pan, and brown up each and every side
of that exxxtra firm business for maxxximum hot crawnch, bro.
that's real.
and those NOODS?!
maaaaan, it was a definite free look friday around here,
with those spicy FAT noodoos-
the label on 'em was in some language i cannot decipher,
although i suspect it was thai, despite the chef illustration on it
looking especially ethnically non-specific.
ANYway, they were FAT rice triangles,
and they soaked up SAUCE like sponges.
mmmmmmm.
a fresh drunken hottie-boombalottie sauce did right by the three of us, too.
yep.
there were four dudes present, nate, dylan, crabtree, and myself,
but the dog only had a few carrot nubs, and no spicy stuff...
i really like that drunken noodles aren't made using alcohol.
.....because all of ya'll already know how categorically unhappy drinking makes me.
i'll repeat myself once again:
it's okay NOT to drink.
in fact,
it only makes perfect sense not to poison yourself, doesn't it?
i think so, but then, who the heck am i to say?
we had sesame oil-charred cabbage, with green bell pepper,
sweet multicolor peppers, hot red chili, celery, carrot, broccoli,
cilantro, garlic, ginger, and onion, stir fried and blasted with HOT SAUUUUCE!
yup.
the noods were boiled (there were NOT instructions for them,
so we went rogue and freestyled the preparations),
drained, rinsed, and tossed with sauce, AND sriracha, AND exxxta chili garlic paste.
yes, kids- too much si the right amount,
and since i whipped up MORE noods than i knew were going to blow up in the bowl,
i needed MORE hottness to make it hot and spicy.
no worries.
the freestyle add-ins are a good thing.
right?
i mean, you guys do it too, don't you?
oh, good.
the o.g. sauce was no joke, either-
it had:
-
*
STONE-SOBER DRUNKEN SAUCE!
-
2 T tamari;
3 T rice wine vinegar;
1 T green dragon sriracha;
2 T red sriracha;
1 T chili-garlic paste;
1 clove crushed garlic;
1/2 tsp ground mustard;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
2 T lime juice;
1 tsp sesame oil;
1 T agave.
whisked and rested, it does what it does, which is to say, it just is F*ing awesome.
that's the truth.
-
raw carrot, cucumber, pea tendrils, two-tone toasted sesame seed spranks,
lime, cilantro, and AVO-DF*ING-CADO,
and all of a sudden,
we're representing on some turbo-epic edible elite expertism.
combined with the conversation, and active participation of some good dudes,
the night went from predictable disappointment to well-appointed and anointed
capable time-spanning with worthy warrior poets.
i like that, and i'm lucky they were around to keep my wild werewolfen
worries and woes at bay for a time,
before the moon-baying and baleful bae-berating began in earnest.
ha.
i am an appreciator of reliable people;
of kept plans;
of follow through;
of motivated determination;
of conscious right action;
these are the things that keep me going.
when i can span time with folks who attend and interact
as competent, capable, communicative, involved, and invested individuals,
my day/night is vastly improved for the experience.
i'm grateful for the time with these guys.
it was well spent.
***********
this is it.
the last day of march.
out like a liar, out like a ram.
it's an aries-style god of war, marching to battle-
and on top of that, in golden fleecy clothing,
there's werewolfen wild'n out ongoing-
as the sky is filled with steely blue iron-magnetic light.
i can feel it, pulsing in sync with my pulse-
the page on the calendar is dying,
and the moon is holding a big blue funeral for it.
it's the second full moon this month.
that's cool.
too much is the right amount,
and it's ending the same way it started.
FULL and empty;
never quiet, never soft.....

FULL MOON!

oh MAN! oh man oh man oh man!!
the pull of the lunar refractory reflective reflexive invective lightball
in the firmament has got me howling and gnashing and crashing and thrashing
like a wild warrior poetic werewolfen berserker battle-beast!
and that's no joke.
i've got the tremulous tics and the ragnarockin' tocs of a timewarped  transformation
underway under my skin.
those blue beams have got ultramarine ultramagnetics bass-boosting every heartbeat
into a crashing crescendo of hammerin' hard-styles and heavy-handed
raging stormswept savage gypsy gyrations and bone-wracking pants-wrecking
sanity-heckling hot fire lavaspit spouts and gouts
of loopy loup garou vicious viscous lasciviousness,
leaping and lambasting all damned day and night....
ugh.
i'm not saying werewolves are real.
take it easy.
but i AM insinuating that a primitive part of my brain is overreacting and activating
some serious animal adaptations of bad behavior,
and it's really making me shake with frenetic tension.
yuck.
where do i put all that raw energy?
well,
i've got seeded and unseeded rye sourdough on the counter, kneaded and rested
and rising up just like that F*ing full-A* moon;
and i made seitan from scratch;
AND maple-style seitan sausage;
AAND  sausage-linkin' lengths of red lentil seitan, too.
uh-huh.
on top of Tea 'N' Toast, and a power-packed smoothie,
i've been a busy busy boy all morning long-
too much is the right amount, man.
and when there's work to do, and sleep isn't trying to hang around,
i've gotta do that WORK.
real talk.
...so that's what's up.
***********
luckily,
there are also a few dozen delicious oatmeal cookies on hand.
hmm?
well, even tough times are a little less of a burden when there's cookies.
that's a thing.
and when the cookies are chunky nugs of seriously textured tight delightfulness?
expert actions are at hand, man!!
check the teleport:

sprankles!!!
yeah, neighbors-
oatmeal chunks, chocolate chips, black currants, cocoa icing, and those rainbow bits.
that's funtime sprarkle magic for your face, ace.
here's how to make it happen in the comfort of your own space:
-
*
OATMEAL COCONUT CHUNKERS!
-
(this is based on a recipe i saw, but haven't been able to re-find.
apologies to the o.g. author)
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
in an adequately sized mixin' bowl, cream together:
1 stick (1/2 cup/ 8T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
3/4 cup brown sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
4 T maple syrup.
add 1 cup unsweetened medium flake coconut;
1 cup rolled oats;
1/2 cup quick oats;
1 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 T non-dairy milk;
1 cup flour;
2/3 cup chocolate chips;
1/2 cup black currants.
mix it all up, roll out some golfballs of dough,
and bake 'em arranged evenly on trays, for about 15 minutes or so-
don't be afraid to flatten your cookies a bit if they haven't melted down enough
to aesthetically please you.
...i did. i don't regret it, either.
cool 'em off, maybe even put 'em on a wire rack after a few minutes,
and then ice and sprank 'em.
y'gotta.
MORE color and MORE sweetness is a good thing.
the icing is simple: powdered sugar, cocoa, s'milk, vanilla-
in decreasing proportion, you'll get what you need-
i LOVE  a good cookie.
i really LOVE oatmeal cookies.
and especially the knobbly exxtra chunky jauns.
these guys are some of the most rewarding, in regards to texture.
no jokes.
they're a complicated profile, and it's damned enjoyable.
try 'em.
if you like oats and coconut, these are your new friend.
and the recipe makes a LOT of 'em, which is nicey-nice.
MORE cookies is better than less, always.
***********
easter, april fools day, AND sandwich week?
holy crap.
ok.
to be honest and upfront:
i don't care about the first, i'm not crazy about the second,
but i'm ecstatic about the last.
my lineup is still unsettled, and i don't have a full eight days planned at all-
i'm caught up on april fooling around on easter with not-my-family togetherness.
hmmm?
i was volunteered to make pizzas for a group of non-vegans.
that's right.
huh?
oh, stop.
it'll be fine.
what's the worst that could happen?
harsh words? violence? murder?
no way.
maybe a few snide slightly-inebriated comments directed my way,
regarding diet, lifestyle, and perhaps my moral compass-
but i'm an adult, dudes.
if things go south, i have the ability to just leave them to their day,
and head back up slightly more north.
that's a comfort, to say the least.
also,
pizzas for sandwich week?!?
now THAT'S april foolery.
ha.
it'll be fine....just like i already said.
i do love a good pizza, and the opportunity to flex a few
of my boomfiery expert pizza-making skills on these unsuspecting parents and kids
is an opportunity i didn't know i was ready for,
but, it turns out,
when it's ALL always really happening, you're always ready for whatever comes next.
this is it, kids.
and that's that;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, March 30

AT&T!

all the white girls on this whole planet are always going apesh!t bananas
about avocado toast.
and after my brekkie yestrerday, i can totally see why-
yup.
dudes,
i went hard on the AT&T, and i really turned my tasteometer to eleven-
uh-huh.
Avocado Toast & Tofu.
it was exxxactly the right idea, and we really had a hard time taking it slow.
check the teleport:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD!
that's thick sliced and toasted fresh baked oatmeal sourdough boule, from scratch.
a perfect loaf of hearty, slightly nutty, oaty supercrusty hottness.
we tuned up a whole bunch prior to the toast situation, too.
we HAD to-
good bread makes better people,
and we're not out here trying to get worse, are we?
no way.
on the ones, just look at how much sexxxiness that bread brought to the table:

c'mon!
if that doesn't give you some turbo-activated Tea 'N' Toast vibes,
then i'll bet you ain't even got a heart.
-
neighbors,
crispy, crusty, burly barbarian browned bread,
smothered with fresh smashedm perfectly ripe and righteous avocado,
a little bit of pink salt, black pepper, sriracha pepper flakes, fire-roasted tomato flakes,
cilantro, and scallion sprankles??
F* yeah, that's molto molto expert, man.
we use pea shoots all the time, we do, fresh sprouted tendrils of tasty high-nutrient
powerfully protein-rich greenery is super good for you.
also, they taste great, which counts double.
-
and you'll notice that there's TWO slices of that knobbly nicey-nice toasted up on that plate-
too much is the right amount, bro.
what do you think this is? a joke?
not a chance.
we doo-doo the do at my house, homie.
and a slice with the new-style tofu scrambo on top?
that's a whole other 'nother especially tight and TILTY mealtime combo for our faces.
no jokes.
the new-new is always evolving, and improving, just like us.
awwwww. that's cute.
but, it's also the truth.
-
*
SCRAMBO DELUXXO!
-
1 drained block of exxxtra-firm tofu, crOmbled;
3 T chopped shallot;
1 large and in charge clove crushed garlic;
1 T olive oil;
1 1/2 T nutritional yeast;
3/4 tsp ea. Garlic Powder & Onion Powder;
1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
1/2 tsp turmeric;
pinch of black salt;
lots of fresh cracked black pepper-
saute all that, and add:
2 tsp tamari;
3 cups chopped baby spinach;
1 T hemp hearts;
1 T fire-roasted tomato flakes...
sizzle that all up until some of the 'fu is slightly browned-
and ALL of it is dryish, and not soupy, sloppy, nor sh!tty.
that's how you'll know it's ready.
all that's left to do is activate the tomatoes.
mmmmhmmmm.
blackened halves of sweet baby grape tomatoes, sizzled in oil, next to all those potatoes.
-
.........wait... what?
poh-tay-toes, yo.
y'know, the best way to turn a magical moment into a majestic masterpiece?
uh-huh.
rules is rules, kiddo-
without homeboy fries, you're kind of effing up, or at the least, you're just effing around.
we roasted ours with their skins-ON. (always) and also with a LOT of GPOP,
and a bunch of chunky shallot, until everything got crispy,
and that's before we fried 'em in paprika, smoked paprika, salt, pepper,
and a ton of texas-style cayenne-pepper ho'sauce,
right there with thin strips of sweet vidalia onion-
we know what's up in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress test kitchen laboratory.
breakfast is the most important...
unless it's lunchtime, or dinnertime, and then that's the one that's most important.
ha.
***********
it's a damned good friday, duders.
i mean, it's rainy, but it's warmish.
i took the day yesterday to go to portland and get some stuff for sandwich week.
i also got great food at the green elephant,
and even greater FUN noodoos at the next-door asia market.
yup.
i might've even gotten an easter sweater.
so i can rep some flavor for our springtime feast on the fool's day.
honestly,
the day began with a bang,
and the expert exxxplosions just kept comin'.
for that, i'm grateful.
spanning time effectively, efficiently, and intensely is what i'm trying to achieve every day.
it doesn't always work,
but when it does, it's incredible.
today is another chance at doing it right.
my dog is determined to undermine my progress.
seriously,
he is a werewolfen full-moon rainy-day detraction, distraction, deterrent,
and disappointment.
from the minute he opens his eyes, he's kind of an A*-hole.
not always, but today, for certain.
we'll figure out how to cohabitate for the next few hours,
but i'm not sad to have to get away and go be productive at the studio.
it's a good friday, but it's not that good;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, March 29

BFD!

Breakfast For Dinner, dudes.
no it wasn't my idea, just my execution of a plan to please and appease
my outstanding other person.
yeah, that's right.
Breakfast For Dinner was the request,
Breakfast For Dinner was the result.
i do what i can to do what is asked.
for real.
she says stuffed french-style sourdough toast,
and what she gets is something along those lines.
the toasty frenchiness is there, the sourdough is hearty and heroic, for sure;
the stuffin' was more of a stackin' of stacks on stacks...
but it did the trick, man.
i'm serious.
nighttime feasting is not something to take lightly-
which is why we went heavy on the heapin' helpful helpin',
for a hum-day camel's-back-breakin' big doublebump of goodness.
yeah!
check the teleport:

BIG F*ING DEAL!!!
guys,
this was a battle-beastly burly blast of berries and bread and bananas,
AND a whole mess of vanilla coconut yogurt,
AND real maple syrup,
AND vegan whipped cream,
AND pumpkin seeds,
AND gently-dusted cinnamon sprankles!!!
if MORE is the whole point, then this bigger, more beautifuller is the pointiest.
too much is the right amount, kids.
and this was a magnificent mega-mouthful of mountainous mealtime magic.
no jokes, the hottness level held steady at eleven.
*
neighbors,
our morning night food was exxxactly what the doctor ordered,
and everything was expert in every single bite.
that's word.
the pepitas were oil-fried a little bit, then glazed with vanilla and agave-
sticky, toasty, crunchy little awesomes that activated a whole new layer of flavor
mixed in with all the other other tasty tastes
that were trying to exxxplode my brain with delicious delightedness.
mmmmhhhmmmmmm.
that's tight.
-
sliced bananas go great with real new hampshire rich, dark amber maple syrup.
yup.
rules is rules, and the really-real dehydrated tree juice is the ONLY way
we'll doo-doo our freaky-diki frenchy french toasty toastin' around here.
a little whippy 'cream', and a lotta the main body of boomfire,
and we're in business, and it's boomin', like the name implies, guys.
-
you like french toast?
how about sourdough bread?
and spices and sh!t? are those cool?
well, then, look a bit closer at our version of stuff-stacked slabs of sexxxiness:

PAIN PERDU FRANÇAIS!!!!
yummmmmmm, lil bihhhh.
y'wanna make some?
well, first you need some sourdough bread.
ours is homemade, of course.
that's correct....we haven't had store bread in YEARS.
so, white mountain white wheat sourdough,
soaked and saturated in saucy batter, is what we used.
i've got a countertop full of live active starter culture,
and a breadbasket full of bread that ranges from the freshiest freshie freshness
to the sad, supple sorta stale butts and end pieces, so that part of the process
was on point from the initial idea phase of this meal.
we made sixxx sexxxy slices total,
and each one was a F*ing triumph of taste and texture!
sweet.
the batter was actually a baby bit better than usual,
and i attribute that to the addition of exxxtra spices.
yup.
MORE spices means MORE flavor. tha's obvi, isn't it?
it sure did what i intended, i'll say that...
-
*
FRENCHY BATTER!
-
in a medium mixing bowl, frantically whisk together:
1 1/4 cups vanilla almond milk;
pinch of pink salt;
4 tsp ground chia/flax meal;
2 tsp gram (chickpea) flour;
1 T (heaped) nutritional yeast;
2 T agave nectar;
1 tsp a.p. flour;
vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, to taste.
-
let that quickly thicken, (which it will) then soak all your slices in there,
until they're fully saturated with that slightly-slimy slippery sauce.
then y'gotta make 'em sizzle...
we fried ours up in a big pan on medium-high heat,
with fat slaps of earth balance buttery equivalent,
for a few minutes on each side, until they looked like pure bliss and joy
in naturally-leavened, custom-battered, buttered and grilled glory.
that's a real life truth, bro.
-
and then it was time to sandwich all the hottness in between and atop the heap.
damn, friends-
this whole effort was a real teamwork-tester.
we plated everything as a tandem twosome, and that was tight af.
toast, coconut yogurt (so delicious brand came through for y'boi),
and a whole mess of lemon-zested, lemon-juiced, vanilla-kissed mixxxed berries.
yuuuuuuuup.
that's 2 cups of frozen whole strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries,
simmered with a quarter of a large lemon, zested, squeezed, and tossed right in,
until everything is soft and supple and sloshin' around-
a scoople or two of that over the 'gurt,
and then another 'nother blop of yo-yo over that.
and then a whole extra slice of toast on top of THAT!!!
hmmm? then what?
well, as you can see, then you do a drizz' of syrup, MORE yogurt, MORE berries,
and then all the other awesome little bits and pieces.
holy sh!t.
i am still reeling with feelings for this feast.
*
the base of all that beauty is the bread.
for sure.
good bread makes better people, and the best french toast.
facts.
my weird little obsessive homemade life revolves around food.
i do a whole lotta other stuff,
but it's the food that ties the beginnings and the endings together to make a fluid
current of organic expertism free-flowing from the font of fresh-to-deathliness.
i know i'm lucky to have access, time, drive, motivation, and skills to create
abundant, nourishing, nice-to-look-at hearty healthy hottness every damned day.
that's partly why i do it.
i'd hate to seem ungrateful, and squander a gift i've been given.
i gotta do the thing, or i'm just being a wasteful wastrel, no?
there's no good reason to skip out on the big action.
you'd only be cheating yourself out of all the good stuff;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, March 28

BEEBEEKEW!!!

man,
i don't always have a ton of inspiration for taco tuesday.
that's true.
i mean,
there are certain things i know are gonna be there-
salsa, quick mixed pickles, sprankles-
after all, rules is rules, and those jauns are all the crowd pleasers, for sure.
it's just that those add-ons aren't what you base a meal around.
so, instead, i just used up what we had on hand, from a dwindling supply of produce 
and assorted groceries, to make something new and exciting for everybody.
(which is to say just the two of us, and hopefully all of you, too)
homemade SAUCE factored in pretty heavily on this round of soft flour circles.
yup.
both salsas are already detailed on yesterday's post,
as are the quickmixpixxx- although this was a whole new batch; 
subsequently, this new picky pixxx pack wasdevoured in totality as well.
...just sayin', they're a big hit around here.
 word up.
the true star of this true story was the BBQ TOFU, tho, bro.
yup.
with a custom-blended homemade SAUCE.
check the teleport:
taco time is always a good time, but this time, it was also barbecue time.
and that's especially expert.
hmmm?
well,
yeah, instead of rice, i had dumb quinoa.
that's right.
i don't really dig on quinoa, man.
i'm not even sorry about it.......little ugly squigglers.
don't get me wrong- i ate 'em all up,
they're just not as enjoyable as a good ol' side of rice.
nope. not even close.
ANYway,
tricolor quinoa was there,
and cilantro, red onion, cucumber, and scallion sprankles.
there's also some slaw, because bbq and slaw are best buds.
that's a thing.
shredded purple cabbage, baby kale, regular-A* green cabbage, and purple carrot,
tossed with pink salt, black pepper, and lots of lime juice.
it's simple, but it's reallllllllly gooooooooood.
-
but, to turn it up to eleven well before the protein presented itself,
there is also grilled cabbage!
gently tossed in olive oil, and fired up unntil it had a lil char on the edges!
neighbors,
if you don't flex on cabbage like this, you must hate your own face pretty hard,
because you have access to ultra-hottness, and you should allow your mouth 
to masticate a whole mess of this masterful leafy love from up above.
on the ones, it's flippin' heavenly, b.
for realsies, look at these bad boyz:
c'mon!
that's crisp-edged tofu, fried on all sides prior to sauce activation.
and then, there's the SAUCE!
so tight, so TILTY, so dope.
-
*
HOMEMADE QUICKFAST BBQ!
-
1 T agave;
3 T sexy black pepper ketchup, from y'booboo melinda;
2 T horseradish mustard;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
3/4 tsp liquid smoke;
1 T nutritional yeast;
2 tsp sriracha;
pink salt;
smoked paprika, hot paprika, & sage, to taste.
...WU-TANG!
add that to a block of fried tofu, and you're transported into a world where the south
met the southwest, and they became broskis for life.
guys, 
no fooling: these jauns were the burly big action business.
-
we had one heck of a rad dinner.
when you toss the sauce, salsa, quinoa, and quikpix on top of all that other other stuff,
it turns out you get a whole lot more awesome than you were before supper was served.
that's pretty neat.
***********
just because it's cold and wet outside right now doesn't mean that it isn't a nice day.
it does mean that walking crabtree the craptacular terrier isn't going to be much fun.
i'm ready for it.
plus,
i've got tattoos to do, and plans to make,
and i may even have some sort of ideas about dinner.
damn.
that's really my whole life, kids.
morning food, writing, exercising, dog bullsh!t, work, work, work,
dinner, homework, sleep, repeat.
...sounds like fun, right?
ha! no way.
fun is for unambitious people, and they're not invited.
meanwhile,
i've got a lot of shopping to do-
groceries for this week;
special ingredients for sandwich week;
fresh-to-death easter outfit bits and bobs;
housewares and necessities, sundries, and stuff-
plus some springtime plat and garden goods, 
to make this Folk Life & Liberty Fortress
an even more verdant and lush landscape of living things.
that's a decent slate of to-do's, dudes,
and that's all there is to it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, March 27

MEGAMEATLESSMEXICANMONDAY!

ÓRALE!!!
do y'all dudes even know about getting TIGHT AF for mexican monday???
i'm sayin',
it was muy muy fresh, very TILTY, and turbo expert last night,
when me and the boys experienced some superfuego fiesta times
here at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
that's real.
i prefer not to eat alone.
that's real talk, too.
so,
i invited the guys who were still at AMPERSAND TATTOO around closing time-
even though we'd already tuned up a couple of midday pizzas-
and  dylan and nate came through for some of that new new hottness,
and for all of the accompaniments that you'd expect from a lightning-striking spice-viking
hosting a good-time mealtime for his friends.
uh-huh.
we all love food, a LOT, so we were all on the same page from the jump.
check the teleport:

like i said already, b- ÓRALE!
chipotle sweet potatoes? F* yes.
they're roasted in oil, then pan-seared with spice.
that's SO dope.
with lime-kissed sour cream drizzlers, sprankles,
and all that crisp cool veg garnish,
we had ourselves a foundation for maxxximum fresh-to-deathliness!
and then we added all the exxxtra everythings-
yellow rice? arroz amarillo? delicioso deluxxxo!!!
how about those frijoles picantes?! experté!
mmmmmmmm.
neighbors,
too much is the right amount.
that's the truth.
which is precisely why there's also homemade salsa verde!!!
AND roasted garlic salsa!!!
AND a big batch of quick-pickled mixed veggies!!!
F*ing right, bro.
i mean, c'mon.
rules is rules.
and overdoing it is basically the same as doing it,
because if we're gonna, we're really gonna.
there's no time, and no room for weak-saucy waterbabyish moderation over here.
sharing food and conversation and so many laughs,
plus appreciation for all that flavor, and for the insights and outtakes that occur
when a group of good fellas get together.
that's the stuff, man.
aight,
now,
let's maybe talk a bit about the particulars:

SWEETIES!!!
halved, and baked open-face-down on parchment, with a big glug of olive oil-
now,
i'm the type of guy who puts 'em in the oven, on convection,
while it cold-start heats up to 420℉.
that way, by the time the oven is hot, they're already ready.
then, a little chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, black pepper, and pink salt,
plus a hot pan (incidentally, i sizzled the black beans first in the same pan, FYI)
and some olive oil, and a hot, seared, sexxxy sweet'un is what you get.
over pea shoots and baby kale, with crispy, crOnchy cukes,
and that lime activated sour cream,
plus cilantro, scallion, and jalapeno sprankles!!!!
if you aren't getting this busy, you're not doing it right.
naturally sweet, crisp-edged, smoky, spicy, and soft.
these jauns were the superstarshine main event, for sure.
*
y'all mess with black beans?
mmmm.
me too.
look at these:

FRIJOLES.
we got red onion,red pepper, green pepper, chili pepper, poblano pepper,
and crushed garlic, with a handful of halved grape tomatoes-
plus GPOP, and oregano, and crushed coriander seed,
in addition to cilantro leaves and green onion., all measured by eyeball
and added to a hot pan with the sole intention of softening all those veggies.
black beans are pretty much the business by themselves,
so all those add-ons and mix-in's take 'em to eleven right off the jump.
y'can't go wrong with black beans and spicy peppers, kid.
that's a fact.
*
we had some peppers left over,
green bell, red sweet, red chili, jalapeno, and poblano-
a few tablespoons' worth of each,
plus a quarter of a red onion,
and i added those to a pot with rice, water, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder,
pink salt, black pepper, hot paprika, and turmeric,
and made myself some yellin' yellow rice...
yeah, there's cilantro and scallion and a lot of lime in there too.
huh?
oh, i just added hot water and rice to the vegetables at the same time,
brought it all up to a boil, and then let it soak on low heat until it looked ready.
i don't trouble myself with measurements and details.
when it's freestyle friendship feast-times we just go with the feels.
*
yooooooooooo!
it's sort of all about those SAUCES, tho.
that's the good-good that makes your tops and bottoms tingle.
no foolin'.
i miss my salsa fresca, but i LOVE this new hot fire.
yup.
teleport:

MORE SAUCES FOR MORE FLAVOR FOR MORE FACES!!!
that verde is the veritas!
this time, i did things slightly differently, and it got the raviest rave reviews,
so i s'pose it's worth documenting for duplication:
-

VERDE!
-
1/2 sweet onion,
5 rinsed rough chopped tomatillos;
1/3 green bell pepper;
1/2 poblano pepper;
1 green chili pepper;
1 orange habanero pepper;
3 large cloves garlic;
cilantro stems;
salt, pepper, GPOP, ground coriander seed, bay leaf-
2 T lime juice, a drop of olive oil, and time,
simmered on medium low heat, until everything's mushy-ish-
then pureed in a food processor, with a handful of cilantro leaf and scallion greens,
plus MORE lime juice.
-
^^you cannot miss out on this.
never have i ever had more folks get more psyched on a sauce that was so straightforward.
i'm glad it was enjoyed, and i'm glad i didn't eff it up.
good sauce is good for the soul glow-up.
-
and then there's that roasted garlic jauns-
-
*
ROASTY SALSA!
-
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with onions and garlic;
3 cloves roasted garlic (garlic in oil baked until soft at 350℉);
1/4 cup fire roasted tomatoes;
2 T fire-roasted tomato flakes;
1 handful of cilantro leaf;
1 jalapeno;
1/3 red onion;
1/2 tsp cumin;
pink salt, black pepper, GPOP, to taste;
lime juice;
1-2 T louisian/texas-style ho'sauce;
3 baby red sweet bell peppers;
3 T green bell pepper;
1/2 poblano pepper.
food processed to the preferred consistency- i like it a lil chunky,
but that's 'cause thicccness has always agreed with me.
i'm like that.
^^ salsa is good for you.
this stuff is heavenly.
i'm happy to scoople spoonful after spoonful all over everything.
nutrients abound, as does the flavor!
expert.
-
and then there's the numero uno upgrade-
quick mixed pickles!
heck yes.
carrots, bias-cut and halved, sliced radishes, sliced garlic,
chopped red onion, and jalapeno,
with sugar, pink salt, and cider vinegar, boiled and cooled,
and fully-activated with that briny shine.
if you don't hang out with the quik-mixxx, y'all are a real bummer.
we doo-doo that freaky sh!t around here and EVERYbody gets involved.
they're too good to ignore or abstain from.
that's the truth.
-
dinner was a success.
we all had our fill, and we all spanned time as a cooperative
and competently capable communicative and cohesive unit.
that's the best.
i know i'm lucky to have folks to cook for...
without 'em, i'm just a fat pig overdoing it for no good reason.
instead, we're bonding in community through food.
that's great stuff.
***********
now then,
i'm kind of wondering if you guys know what's coming up?
do you?
here's a hint:
the first of april is on a SUNDAY, fools.
you know what that means, right???!
what?!
ew.
did you just say easter?!
what are you?
an A*-hole?
really, that's your answer?
c'mon, man;
don't be dumb-
yeah, it's easter bunny time, but far MORE importantly,
it's also SANDWICH WEEK.
wooooooooooooooooord.
rule is rules, brothers and sisters,
and our favorite nomadic holiday season is upon us.
i'm getting ready.
i'm getting pumped.
i'm thinking about eight days of delicious sandwiches.
it's coming right up,
and i'm rushing forward to meet it head on.
this is what i get excited for.
and it's nearly here.
i can't wait to eat 'guinis and sarnies and sammies and 'wiches with al my dudes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, March 26

PEANUTBUTT!

dudes,
i think i did it wrong.
hmm?
oh.
i'm talking aesthetics here.
like,
did i make a delicious looking peanut butter ring cake,
or does it look like a butthole crinkle?
OR does it look like a delicious wrinkledot, but, covered in bird poop?
like i said- i think i did it wrong.
those aren't questions you should ask yourself about a cake.
that's my point.
if there's even a hint of crinkly wrinkle, you probably did it wrong.
it tastes fantastic. ...that's no joke.
and who knows, maybe i'm defective, and i see butts and birdsh!t where there aren't any-
but i'll let y'all decide for yourselves-
check the peanutterbuttery-type teleport:

PEANUT BUTT!!
see?
wait,
how about from THIS angle?

awwwwww, man.
definitely birdpoopish, and subtly pucker-buttery, i guess.
sorry, neighbors.
i guess i did that.
-
anyway, i'd wager that if YOU made one,
it wouldn't be such a doodiecrunk crinkler.
for instance, if you made it with some chocolate,
which would look less like poops-
i know, that's weird, but it's true.
-
i'll give you the cake crumb recipe, but it's basically the every other cake recipe,
just with peanut butter.
ready?
here goes:
-
*
PEANIEBUTTHOLERY!!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
grease your pan.
-
in your trusty stand mixer, cream up:
1 stick (8T) vegan butter;
1 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
-
whisk well, and add:
2/3 cup peanut butter;
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt-
whip into an airy frenzy,
and sift in:
2 1/2 cups flour;
1/4 cup tapioca flour;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda-
begin the combining process,
and pour in:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
3 T agave;
1 T lemon juice.
fluff the F* out of that batter, then pour and even and level out the whole thing-
bake it for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester in the center comes away clean-
and let it cool, fool.
ice it however you want.
maybe not with my personal peanut butter and vanilla combo.
just sayin'.
and there you go, bro.
peanut butter cake.
moist and rich, thiccc, but not too dense.
it's a good one, for sure.
***********
i am making salsa verde,
this time with a thai green chili and an orange habanero. (i know, it's not green)
i think it's bound to be a banger.
why?
because it's mexican monday,
and MORE mexico in my meals is a good thing.
i'm ready for today,
and i'm hurling myself headlong into all the deepest reaches and darkest crevices,
probably because of that crONkle cake,
but also, maybe just because i'm feeling adventurous.
i guess we'll know by nightfall.
meanwhile,
it's salsa all damned day,
so there will be salsa all damned night.
word up;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, March 25

SPANS

tattoos on top of tattoos,
with a few tattoos thrown in.
yesterday was a heck of a day, man.
i tattooed the third generation of one family,
in my efforts to collect a complete set.
yup.
i zapped up grandma's first one-
and that's the kind of thing that really makes me smile.
grandkids in every direction, mama and papa, and nana, too.
i don't know about you guys, but i'm inclined to take that as a compliment.
i also had a couple of tasty ones in the hot seat for most of the day before that.
yup.
and those lovelies drove up for the weekend JUST to get tattooed.
i'm tellin' ya-
this saturday was somethin' special at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
yup.
that's a heck of a good feeling, stacking the schedule with clients who really want
what we've got to offer,
and who planned on spanning time with us all dang day.
i'm genuinely grateful to be able to interact with folks in my own unusual motormouthy
snark-and-sarcasm-laced innuendo-heavy firespit talespinning
and have it resonate enough to connect with 'em,
so that we develop this artistic/autistic/caustic/acrostic/agnostic relationship.
damn, dudes.
that's no lie. i'm as humbled as i'm capable of getting by you guys.
awwwwwwwwwww.
that doesn't mean i slacked on the saturday morning treats, though, bro.
no way.
rules is rules,
and cakes are what i DO.
so,
i made a mutha-lickin' coffee cake that positively exxxploded with huge berry flavor!
hmm?
that's real.
check the teleport:

STRAWBERRY COFFEE CAKE!!!
hell yes, my friends.
with a whole entire package of those concentrated expert freeze-dried jauns
absolutely activating a monstrous level of tastiness.
AND a berry-laced oat-and-coconut streusel;
AND a strawberry creamchee'  icing on top.
WORD.
too much is the right amount,
and that's all i'm trying to deal with these days.
what?!
why not fresh berries?
because they're wet and juicy and they make the cake crumb all gummy and bummered out.
jeez, neighbors,
trust y'boi to bring the hottness, for cryin' out loud.
here's what i did, in case you're feeling anxious to create some strawberry sexxx for yourself.
-
*
STRAWBLEROFFEECAKE!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
grease a 9" springform pan (that's the go-to everyday cake tin, buddy)
-
in a medium mixing bowl, cream and combine:
2/3 cup sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick (8T) vegan butter.
chop, cut, and mix that completely, then stir in:
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt.
mix well, then add:
2 1/4 cups flour;
1 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 pkg hand-crushed freeze-dried strawberries;
4 T tapioca starch;
1 cup non-dairy s'milk + 2 T lemon juice.
gently combine, and pour into your pan-
in you scraped clean bowl,
add:
3-4 T vegan butts;
3 T flour;
1 handful quick oats;
2 T rolled oats;
1/4 cup powdered sugar;
one handful unsweetened medium-flake unsulphured coconut;
dash of cinnamon;
vanilla-
chop chop chop it up into a cohesive crOmble,
and add in a handful of loosely crushed dried strawbs.
yea, they turned black on top.
i guess that's just what happens.
i confess i also drizzled a tablespoon or so of agave on top
just to keep some of the looser crumbs in place.
mmmhmmm.
i baked it for about 40 minutes,
and let it cool completely before i drizzled that pink goo over the surface.
dudes!
a spoonful of creamchee', a scooch of those crushed berries, a little vanilla,
a little powpow sugar, and some s'milk, in very easy proportions,
and you're in drizzleville, and you might even get elected mayor while you're there.
WOW!
it's good, man.
really good.
firm, but moist.
soft, but texturally diverse.
sweet, but not cloying.
fresh, despite the absence of fruit-water in the thing.
yup.
it's a winner.
go ahead. make it. you'll see.
***********
i never get comfortable.
nope.
it's not a good look on me.
in fact,
i'm almost superstitious about good days.
as if acknowledging them will jinx the future.
i know, right?
i should be smarter than that-
but circumstantial evidence points to my wariness being a wise move.
i don't look forward to the future,
i just look forward, and head in that direction.
it may not seems like there's that much difference,
but try it with a little tilt in your inflection, until you get my drift.
i am so terribly lucky to have the opportunities i am presented with,
i only hope to be equal to the goodness and consideration of others;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, March 24

THAI (stir)FRIDAY!

thaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii friidaaaaaaaaay!!!!
hahaha.
yeah!!
dudes,
we got the spiciest noods!!!
thin rice noodles-
yup.
the thin ones...
because i guess that's what i bought without looking at the package-
cooked up and coated in some heavy-duty garlic-basil SAUCE!
guys, there was so much going on, and all of it just kept upping the ante,
and pushing the limits,
until our tastebuds were transcending food,
and became buds entering anarchistic states towards internal excellence.
for realsies,
we activated our infinite beastie buds.
and that's somethin'.
wanna see?
then check the flippin' teleport, man:

BASIL SRIRACHA-CHA!!
that's what's really good on our friday night.
ok, ok, OK.
so,
there's radish, mung bean sprouts, purple carrot, and cucumber.
hmm?n
well, yeah- shredded purple cabbage ribbons are up there, too.
all raw, all sliced up nicey-nice, and all crawnchy as heck.
tight, right?
mmhmmm.
and there's coconut-oil fried exxxtra-firm tofu wedges,
exxxtra crisp af on all sides,
plus those cashews, toasted in the same pan...
word up.
and that's just the up-top bits!
there's ALSO cilantro, basil, fresh mint, and green onion sprankles.
those jauns are the most cooperative group of greens i've ever encountered.
what about those lime wedges?
what about those lime wedges?
you bet your A* i represent on some fresh lime when it's thai time...
however, i do not EVER eff around with fish funk.
i know..... i'm an inauthentic thai fryer, but i can live with that.
the veggie sauce and stir was molto expert, btw.
-
a spoonful of sesame oil,
a cup of chopped cabbage, two stalks of celery and a sliced yellow carrot-
then a bunch of scallion bottoms, and half an onion and two cloves of chopped garlic.
the cabbage gets grilled, and a head of chopped broccoli gets added in right after.
all of that, plus a big fat bunch of torn basil, and a punch of cilantro-
THAT'S how you prime up the pan for a huge burly blast of SAUCE!!!
mmmmmmmm.
-
*
BASIL SAUCE!
-
2 T mae ploy sweet and spiciness;
1 T sriracha;
2 tsp green sriracha:
1 T rice vinegar;
1 tsp soy sauce;
1 T lime juice;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1/2 tsp ginger;
1/4 tsp mustard powder;
ground coriander seed;
black pepper.
-
you need it.
you have to have it.
and you'll be glad you did.
***********
maybe i ate a ton of noodles.
maybe i ate a ton of tofu.
heck, it's likely i ate a ton of EVERYthing.
but, i mean, c'mon, man-
too much is the right amount.
that's a fact.
when we're ready for some big action,
we get ourselves situated, then we dig in,
and get down on a shark-gluttonous smörgåsbord of spicy nicey-niceties.
we bond over food around here,
and we make it look easy,
even though we go SO hard on every aspect of the thing.
the details are all important.
i know i'm a lucky ugly duck to have the opportunity to document magnificent
homemade elite vegan dinnertime exxxplosions.
and i do it to show my gratitude for the abundance
this remote rural rustic Folk Life affords us.
i do what i do, and i take it to eleven, because i think anything less
would be dismissive and degrading to the gifts i have been bestowed,
and to the opportunities that present themselves to me and mine in the here and now.
it's ALL really happening all the time all around us,
and if weren't diving headfirst into all this available hottness,
i'm not sure we'd be worthy of any of it.
take your time, by force if necessary,
to appreciate how awesome the world around you really is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, March 23

OATMEAL COOKIES

why are oats my favorite?
because they taste great.
they look cool.
they're hearty, burly, scottish warrior grains,
and they do their job without b!tching about it.
oats are rad.
and they make a great cookie.
that's a fact.
oatmeal chocolate chip is my preferred style.
sure, the cinnamon ones are good too, with the icing, and the old lady effects;
i'm just much more of a chocolate-type chipper fella,
and that's gonna forever be my first choice.
you know where this is going right?
yep.
i made 'em, and i made 'em right, and i made 'em right-quick, too.
cookies are great for whipping up exxxtra fast,
and baking a batch before a walk with my little badboy bull terrier crabtree,
means coming home to perfectly cooled, especially aromatic
expert treats that've already been ready and waiting around
for our return, simply to end their short existence once we begin devouring them.
which explains why that's exactly what happened
purpose-driven performance-
bake treats, walk dogs, exercise, eat treats, repeat.
i like that.
it's a cycle that sustains and motivates my movements.
and it means that there's also oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
check the teleport:

NEVER MIND ABOUT THE COOKIE;
HOW COOL IS THAT OLD BIRDS' NEST?!
hahaha.
woodsly walks uncover the coolest things!
that's for real, though.
now i have two of those awesome old jauns.
AND i got to eat cookies and look at it at the same time!
what a day!!
hmmmm?
what's that freckle-lookin' stuff on the tops of those little oaty blarps?
dudes-
it's melty ground creamy coconut chcocolate, fresh off the microplane grater!
expert!
ok.
but how did i make the cookies?
in a bowl, then on a tray, then in an oven.
duh.
here's the recipe:
-
*
HAULIN' OATS!
-

preheat the oven to 375℉
-
in a medium mixing bowl, smash up:
1 stick vegan butter;
1/3 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup brown sugar.
stir in:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. mix well.
-
add:
1 cup rolled oats;
1 1/2 cups flour;
1 tsp ea baking powpow and soda;
1 cup coarse ground oatflour;
1 handful of mini dark chocolate chips;
1 handful normal-sized chocolate chips;
1/4 cup ground unsweetened coconut meal, fresh from unsulphured dried flakes.
-
knead it, pinch off balls about golfball size, semi-flatten 'em by hand,
and arrange them evenly spaced on a few trays-
bake them for 12 minutes, but not before you grate that chocolate on the tops.
yuuuuuup.
don't skimp on sprankles,
because spranks are the easiest way to upgrade your treats.
MORE awesomeness always happens when you put little crinkles on top, man.
that's a a thing.
-
there you have it.
oatmeal sexxxiness, in rough circles, live and direct from your kitchen,
headed right on over to your oven,
and finally all up and into your face.
nice.
***********
so what's on the schedule today?
man, c'mon.
you know the answer already:
it's tats on tats on tats-
ugh.
no. it's cool.
what?
i'm gonna be hunched-over and hand-cramped from non-stop tattoos all weekend?
heck yes.
so, like, tattoos all the time, the whole time?
uh-huh.
and it looks like that's every day until thursday-
then (and this is pure conjecture),
i may even get a few spare minutes to span away from work.
we'll see.
it's not today, though.
nope.
today and tomorrow, i've got stacked back-to back appointments,
mostly with one whole entire family.
that's a lot of time to spend with one group of people.
i repeat myself a LOT, so when it's the same folks for days,
there's very little room for recycling the conversation,
which in turn means it's bound to be an off-the-cuff runaway trainwreck
of dialogue between me and the rest of the gang.
we'll see how it goes, but i can't imagine it's gonna a gentle discourse on the
pros and cons of home heating options, or whatever grown-ups talk about.
( i really have no idea
the thing is,
it's ALL really happening,
the tattoos and the togetherness and the time taken and spent and spanned-
i'm grateful for the thing-
the bitter bits make those sweet movie checks even tastier.
that's word.
-
busy is good.
pressed for time, and pressured to perform is good.
there's always room to be more efficient,
and this kind of timeline is great for exposing the slow spots.
i'm ready, and my eyes are open,. watching out for ways to get better.
if that's not some P.M.A. sh!t,
then i dunno what is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, March 22

PIZZA TILTED!

there ain't no party like a vegan sourdough homestyle family pizza party,
especially if it's poppin' off at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and double-especially if there's gonna be a buffalo bomb exxxploding in your mouth.
woooooooord!
dudes,
dylan, and miranda were both in attendance,
right here alongside kayla, crabtree, and i,
and together, we devoured a F*ing eff-TON of pizza pie.
no jokes.
if you ain't all about a pizza party,
you will never be welcomed into my pizza palace,
nor will you ever be considered a complete human being.
pizza is life, and life is good when there's MORE pizza.
don't believe me?
well, that's a mistake-
go ahead, really quickly, maybe just check the teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!
hooray for pizza, neighbors.
i mean it.
i literally want to eat it every day; and yes i know what literally means;
and no, i don't do it every day, so i am often displeased.
no worries, however, because last night was TIGHT AF.
mmmhmmmm.
one semolina sourdough crust, gigantic, and a little grainy,
and definitely kind of an A*-hole, if we're being honest-
which we always are, right?
...right on.
it was NOT the hero of the day,
but it actually got better as it cooled off, so that's neat.
look at how much pizza it made, man:

wow.
the veggie deluxxe is no joke.
i mean it.
heavy veggie pizza is the TRUTH, and that's all we run and tell up in here.
kayla pulsed our patented masterful marinara with a stick-mixer
(a.k.a an immersion wand blender)
and we spread it heavy on that A*-hole dough.
(i'm not even going to give you a recipe. it's not invited back here again)
there's daiya mozzarella on there,
and homemade seitan crOmbles, too.
we got broth-braised broccolini, lengthwise-halved sweet grape tomatoes,
caramelized onions, and mushrooms on half.
plus,
there's fried garlic sprankles, of course, because rules is rules,
and arugula on top as a garnish at the end,
because we know what's really good,
and besides, between 75% of the humans present,
there was a whole lot of italy in the room, bro.
recognize.
four corners, sixteen slices, no leftovers.
that's how you do a pizza party at my house.
oh,
and i may have mentioned this once or twice before,
but too much is the right amount,
so we also fired up a quick double-yeast dough,
and brought out the big buffalo blaster-cannons for these dudes.
they weren't ready, but they caught up quick:

BUFFFZIES!!!
broth-braised minced cauliflorets, and browned, dry-fried mushrooms,
drenched in that homemade albie rock buff-zone baste.
yeah!
if i can whip up somethin' that'll make my venomous vixen say 'oh yeah',
like she's doing a kool-aid man impersonation?
well, then you'd best believe i'm gonna, guys.
no question.
the dough was easy:
-
*
 QUICKFASTINAHURRYEXTRADOUGH!
-
in your inestimably heroic stand mixer, combine:
1 1/2 tsp salt;
2 cups flour;
3 T olive oil;
1 pkg commercial yeast.
give it a whirl to combine it all,
and add 3/4 cup warm water, plus 1 T agave nectar,
w/ 2 tsp bread machine yeast, bloomed and activated within.
let it knead up on low-low power for seven or eight minutes,
then let it rise for fifteen, before dylan tosses it sky high.
you don't have a dylan?
that sucks.
ummmm, i guess stretch it yourself then?
-
ANYway,
then you're gonna need the sauce, kids.
-

albierockin' buffblast!
-
2 T sriracha;
1/2 cup frank's red hot;
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise;
1 tsp ea GPOP;
1 punch nutritional yeast;
1 tsp hot paprika;
1 tsp paprika.
-
that's it, man.
whip it up, stir it, don't spill it, and pour half of it over your caulis and shroomers.
tight.
spoon the other half on your dough,
then add:
shredded spinach;
daiya cheddar;
shredded red onion;
tomatoes,
your pre-sauced buffzy bits,
and fried garlic sprankles.
always, bro. always.
-
i bake my za'za's at 480℉ on convection.
bake yours however you want, but make sure your oven is HOT af,
and cook 'em until they look done....check the bottoms, you'll be ok.
now,
that could've been it...
but only if i was an effin' A*-hole, which i am NOT.
so,
we also hit it with green onion and cilantro garnish,
AND,
we freaked it off with some radical expert vegan ranch dressin', kiddo.
yuuuuuuuup.
-
*
SORORITY SAUCE!
-
1/3 cup vegan sour cream;
1/4 tsp GPOP;
1/4 tsp dill;
1 clove macerated garlic;
a lil' shake of dried parsley;
lemon juice to taste;
22 craxxx of black pepper.
kaBOOOOOOM!
all the regular-A* white girls you know will LOVE you for this one.
-
WTF are leftovers?
oh.
they're make believe.
i gotcha.
we took down another 'nother eight slices of that buffler, and left nothing behind.
you stay until the job is done, friends.
that's the only way.
***********
dudes!!
here's a thing-
i don't have ANY ideas for supper tonight.
nope.
i think my superfruit smoothie has me too well-nourished to think about later on.
that's a new experience for me.
but, i s'pose being packed up to the top with vitamins isn't the worst thing i've felt.
i just have to formulate some dinner plans,
because time's tickin' this morning, so an extra treat isn't in the forecast, either.
yikes.
the days are getting over-packed with activities.
the nights are crashing into oblivion after dinner and dog times.
is that what responsible adulthood is?
doing stuff until you fall asleep?
i hope so-
because if it isn't, i don't know when i'm gonna figure out how to be a grown-up;
never quiet, never soft.....

BLUE BURIED!

i want my people to be happy.
i don't want that to be at the expense of my own pursuits and purposes,
but i still want them to be happy.
i mention this because i don't know what makes people happy.
i don't.
i see folks getting really excited, and investing huge chunks of time into 
diversions, distractions, and in directions i just don't understand;
and i'm sure, at 5 a.m. when i'm effing with sourdough starter 
and chopping (vegan) butter into raw sugar,
those same folks'd be just as nonplussed...
but, if i hear my special one say that she'd be SO happy, 
if only we had blueberry lemon griddlecakes in the morning?
c'mon.
i can DO that.
and i want to.
and i'm going to.
is that lasting happiness?
is it satisfaction that'll endure?
nope.
but i don't necessarily believe in that.
so, i'll set out to make the most of a magically fleeting moment,
and of course, 
i'll document it for all y'all to experience as well. 
that's what i did, and that's what you do when there's an attainable goal in sight.
i had the oven crankin' anyway, for a perfect loaf of oatmeal sourdough,
so i tossed in some diced up skins-on potatoes, coated in olive oil, 
and dusted with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, pink salt and black pepper,
and baked them until they were golden-brown, and crispy-skinned.
that's the base for a batch of big action homeboyfries-
while those were roasting, i whipped up a fresh batch of batter, too-
up.
because resting that bowlful for at least an hour is one of a set of  keys 
to successful panniecakes every time you make 'em.
i doo-doo that preplanned preparation stuff, neighbors.
why?
because i want to create something that'll bring a little joy, an eyes-closed sigh,
and a whole lotta nutrients and all that to the morning break...fast.
word up.
did it work?
man, you KNOW it did:
BREAK YO'SELF, FOOL, ON SOME BREKKIE-WRECKIN' WONDERMENT! 
ha.
i may only be able to deliver happiness in edible increments,
but if that's all i've got, that's what y'all're gonna get.
real talk.
i do want to deliver a little joy, even if it turns to sh!t by tomorrow, y'feel me?
...yeah.
-
so, i had some shallot, one large one, actually, chopped up,
and a little olive oil, and i sizzled it up with those potatoes,
which we finished with fried sweet tomatoes, green onion, 
and a lot of texas-style ho'sauce, post-fry.
mmhmm.
a soft toss of sauce, on a bed of spinach, and potato-time was right on time.
that's pretty TIGHT.
of course,
the triple bloober exxxplosion was what we were there for, and it delivered all the bang,
and none of the bummers.
dudes,
these jauns had it ALL.
-
*
BLOOBLEMONOCONUT PANNIES!!
-
in a medium mixin' bowl,
sift up:
1 cup sprouted whole wheat flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
3 T unsweetened fresh ground coconut meal;
1/2 tsp salt;
5 tsp sugar;
1/2 lemon zest.
melt 2 T vegan butter,
and add that, along with:
3 T vegan sour cream;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1/4 cup lemon juice;
1 tsp vanilla.
gently combine it, refrigerate it for an hour, 
and then get your griddle hot, because these little baddies are coming correct right off.
mmmmmmmmmmm.
we did 'em 4" roundy-style, with fresh bloobs dropped in, and burst on the first flip.
i LOVE that.
we kept 'em warm at 200℉, in the oven,
and meanwhile,
we also made some custom blueberry syrup.
yeah.
-
1/4 cup simmered frozen wild maine blueberries, so that the skins burst, and the juices flow,
mashed and added to 1/2 cup real new hampshire sugar-seasonally-appropriate maple syrup.
i mean, c'mon- rules is rules
and tree sap is how new england brings the NOISE.
-
topped with that specialty sauce,
and MORE bloobs, and lemon zest, AND coconut sprankles?
you don't even know the levels of glory that were discovered, duders.
does that sound like overkill?
oh, yeah??
what are you?
a weak mincey diapery doodiebutt?
come ON-
too much is the right amount, man.
every time.
...and in the moment, we are one with everything-
bite after magnificent bite, devoured in minutes, 
like ravenous starved werewolfen warrior poets.
we made the meal together, kayla and i.
we ate it like savages, shark gluttonous and pure.
then, we took crabtree for a frigid and refreshing climb through the hills.
we immersed ourselves in the time we'd been given,
and it was expert.
so much so,
i think we'll be back at bigger breakfasts sooner than later.
that's real.
***********
i had a lil sip of coffee,
and was positively off my t!ts with berserker battle-beastly energy.
hmm?
no, that's NOT cool.
in fact, it's a problem, to be honest-
the overlap of stimulating sensory activation, 
alongside the limitless reserves of natural seasonal spirit and memory
had me at eleven all damned day long- louder, faster, harder, 
and more aggressively intense than usual-
and i'm far from listless anyway-
who'd have thought that a little tiny bean, steeped in hot water,
would be my archnemesis.
like pirates who would sober up and realize that the six year rum bender 
they'd just been on was NOT how they would've normally behaved,
i wake up in the (very) early morning, and realize that yesterday 
was a breakneck juggernaut jaunt on mr. toad's wild ride (again),
and while i'm a little ragged for lack of sleep, 
perhaps a few extras yawns is a small price to pay, relative to the dervish whirlwind
of caffeinated craziness that coffee causes?
i dunno.
it's been 40+ years of earthbound existence for y'boi, 
and i'm only just recognizing my limitations.
maybe one more sip will disprove my theory?
i'll wait until we're much busier at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and dive facefirst into espresso epilepsy, in the interest of science, obvi.
i want my people to be happy, though-
so maybe just some seltzer, and a healthy dose of blueberries will have to do;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, March 21

TACO PRIMAVERA!

hey there!
it didn't matter that it was the first day of spring.
nope.
i mean, fine, okay- it mattered, alright?
but it also mattered just as much, or MORE, that it was tuesday.
y'know what i'm sayin'?
like,
rules is rules, dudes-
even on an equinox.
so,
what could we do?
for starters, we did the best we could-
and we turned up the heat on some soft flour flaps.
yes we did, and they were expert like a muhfuh, man.
check the vernal-primavera-type teleport:

FEEL THESE EQUINOXXX-ROCKIN' BEATS, BRO!!
mmmmmmmmmm.
TACO TUESDAYYYYY!!!
these tasty jammers were a gratuitous reward for our patience.
i'm serious.
roasting root veggies first takes time, but it's time well spent;
and it's also time spent prepping everything else.
no jokes.
guys, those salsas from the other day were even F*ing better yesterday!!
for realsies- the verde was sweeter and neater,
the fire-roasted stuff was richer and deeper,
even the refritas were poppin' off twice as tastily.
i LOVE it when things get MORE awesome with time.
that gives me hope for my own damned self, y'feel me?
ha!
as for the tacos-
there's both salsas on 'em.
that was nice.
there's a smear of refried beans on the bottoms,
followed by a punch of baby spinach, which was pretty crisp (i like that).
you can see that there are very sweet red pepper rings,
and some very crawnchy cuke slices, too.
i should mention we had company over-
yup.
emily,
who is kayla's younger sister,
had her first Folk Life & Liberty Fortress experience.
i think she was pleased,
although she did get a look behind the scenes-
at the light-changing and napkin-selecting photo process,
as well as the plating and marinating magic that all goes on before we feast.
i hope the illusion wasn't used up by the time we actually munched up.
ANYway,
all that good stuff was on those soft flour flaps,
as well as cilantro and scallion sprankles-
and cilantro-lime non-dairy sour cream...
but the big boomfire was in those black beans-
yup.
half a can of rinsed beans,
sauteed with poblano pepper, a little baby bit of minced jalapeno, a splash of cider vinegar,
a dash of soy sauce, and some GPOP!
expert.
they were burly as heck,
and the perfect companion piece to the real superstar of the night.
yup.
-
*
CHILI CHICK PEAS AND ROASTED SWEET POTATO!
-
dudes!!
roast one diced sweet potato, and one chopped large shallot, at 450℉,
tossed in a teaspoon of olive oil, and dusted with pink salt and black pepper
until it's crispy on the edges and softened in the centers-
then,
add it right into a hot pan full up with allll the goodness:
1 15 oz can of drained and rinsed chick peas;
2 cloves sliced garlic;
1/2 diced small red onion;
1 italian long hot pepper;
1/2 poblano pepper;
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped;
hot paprika, cayenne, cumin, ground coriander seed, paprika, black pepper, 
GPOP, oregano, and lime juice-
toss 'em up,
soften all the veg, and dress it with a handful of chopped cilantro.
duders, it was SO tight, and right, and righteous-
all that spice, all that heat, all that FLAVOR.
if you're gonna do it, and it's gonna happen, this is my personal recommendation
for maxxximum level-eleven new hottness.
word.
*
i couldn't have been happier with the outcome of this particular springtime tuesday.
it was good introduction to the season,
and it was nice to share the span and the supper with new folks.
we observe traditions around here.
and my ladyfriend loves the mexican sauces and salsas, so we have those a LOT.
...tonight,
i think it's gonna be sourdough dopeness on the pizza front.
that's another 'nother way we activate tomatoes around these parts.
i'll tell you what, friends-
vegan food is pretty flippin' excellent.
and, it absolutely makes you a better person.
we do it right, we do it hard, and we do it to the best of our ability.
it's ALL really happening,
because the world is an ever-evolving system of growth and development,
and we're part of the solution, while you buttery buttholes are part of the problem.
i'm sayin' it for posterity:
GO VEGAN, OR GO F* YOURSELF.
that's a thing.
so smarten up, and then level up,
and then come on through to our spot for some new turbo hottness for your face;
never quiet, never soft.....

SPRING RING!!

maaaan,
a berfday cake is a beautiful thing.
real talk,
without a cake, you are clearly effing up.
and i don't eff around, let alone up, on berfdays.
so,
even though my dear, sweet, sainted mother, bless her heart,
was down in doo-doo buttery connecticut, hours and hours away,
i still fired up a celebratory circle of sweet sentimentality,
in support of the spirit and memory of springtime and that berfy d.
mmhmmmm.
i'm having cake with or without you, dudes.
rules is rules, and that's how it is.
y'ever had a lemon ginger jaun?
it turns out, it tastes exxxactly like the vernal equinox.
and the soft, fluffy frosting really tied the whole thing together.
guys,
nature wins,
and maybe that's why her first green is gold like a medal-
just like this flippin' cake....
check the birth-and-rebirth-type teleport:

HAPPY HAPPY!!
yeah!
c'mon, neighbors-
that's some kind of pretty, no?
ha......yeah, i know.
i want you to want to make one,
so in anticipation, i'm going to tell you how:
-
*
SIR GINGER-LEMON RINGO STARKEY!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
grease a flat-bottomed ring cake pan
-
in your trusty stand mixer, whisk together:
2/3 cup sugar;
1 stick + 2 T (total 10 T) softened vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1.2 lemon zest;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 T grated organic ginger;
1/2 tsp lemon extract.
-
next, whip in
2/3 cup non-dairy yogurt,
and add 1/3 cup lemon juice.
whisk well, and sift in:
2 1/2 cups flour;
1 T non-GMO organic cornstarch;
1 T dried ground ginger;
4 T tapioca starch;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
2/3 cup non-dairy milk.
thoroughly whip, aerate, and activate all of that,
pour it, and evenly spread it into the ring pan,
and bake it for 40ish minutes,
or until it's got cracks and crevices on the surface- relax, we'll flip it over to frost it.
let it cool completely, and whip up some frosting:
-

1 2/3 cup powdered sugar;
4 T vegan butter;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
1/4 tsp lemon extract;
1/4 lemon zest;
1/4 cup lemon juice.
YUM.
reserve half-ish, and after skim-coating the surface of your circle,
add 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp ginger extract, and 1/4 tsp turmeric to the remainder-
for added extra flavor and full-bodied color-tint hottness.
that's a thing, kids.
-
and those gold sprankles?
i told you, bro-
nature's first green.
also, too much is the right amount,
and we want special cake...which calls for special crinkles on top, OBVI.
word.
***********
berfdays are awesome to me.
i mean it.
..i really like 'em.
and while i have had fewer rad ones than bad ones,
i'm still super psyched on cake and candles, presents and cards,
and all the big fun that comes with marking another revolution around the sun.
so therefore, i try to give praise and thanks to the people i care about
on their first-appearance anniversaries.
yup.
and also, on the ultramagnetic ley-line overlap of the vernal equinox,
i have allllll the feelings flowing through my body like karate, man.
that's no joke.
there were vibes in the air, palpable, thick,
buzzing at frequencies inaudible to human ears, the lowest low-lows,
the highest supersonic hums;
all that energy cracklin through the atmosphere,
and i was at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
making art on art on art on art.
yes, i was.
MORE art for the walls,
MORE spaces filled in amongst the frames on the framework that works the magic
that makes it all work like clockwork....
y'know?
because that's what i do.
creators create.
makers make.
workers work.
i'm all of that, and it's all always really happening.
from the cake-up bake-up when i wake up,
to the XXXtra-large-and-in-charge love i radiate when i get home and get into my rhythm.
me and mine, or as we call ourselves, us,
have got it going on, non-stop, body-rockin', albie rockin', high-rollin' stone-throwing,
and hard stylin' for miles and miles before we sleep.
this is What Is,
and that's all you need;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, March 20

LIBRE DELUXXXE!

nachoooooooooooooooooooos!
hahahaha.
every time, man.
that's what i say.
and on a magical mexican monday,
with a supernacho exxxplosion,
i'm ALL about that life.
for sure.
i was so psyched for it i made TWO salsas from scratch.
mmhmmm.
and then we assembled a whole superplate of chips and chee' and everything,
and lost our collective minds over how expert it all was.
for real.
y'wanna see what i'm talking about?
i want you to, too.
check the tortilla-chip-dippin'-flip-out-type teleport:

HUEEEEE!!!!!
my dude dylan was here again, to experience the salsa fiesta,
and he brought his appetite, which helped us out tremendously.
y'see: the more he eats, the less we eat, and that's how everybody wins.
we began with multigrain chips.
mmhmm.
all those extra seeds and sh!t probably have special nutrients or somethin'-
kayla was in charge of assembly,
and her system is a heck of a good one.
so, first it's chips,
then a whole mess of daiya cheddar and mozzarella-ella-ella, minced of course,
because rules is rules.
followed by more chips, and more chee', and sweet onion;
then chips and chee' and refried bean blops-
-
the refritas have sweet baby yellow bell pepper,
4 T minced sweet onion, 1/4 jalapeno, also minced-
plus, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,.
a punch of nutritional yeast, and too much ho'sauce.
mmhmm
too much is the right amount,
and these beans are fresh as F* for the addition.
that's real.
-
next, there's diced homemade seitan al carbon-
homemade tastes better. ...fact.
mmhmmm.
grilled up in a little olive oil, with minced onion,
and seasoned with cumin, coriander, oregano, smoked paprika,
cayenne, black pepper, and GPOP,
then loosened up with 3 T fire-roasted tomato liquids-
(reserved from the salsa we'll talk about in a little minute)
-
then,
there's baby grape tomatoes, quartered;
rainbow rings of baby sweet bell pepper;
pickled jalapenos;
fire-roasted chilis;
finely chopped red onion;
2/3 can rinsed black beans;
and MORE chee'.
that's the bake-up, but that's not all, y'all.
no way.
we can't ever leave it be.
OVERDOING IT is the way we do it to it.
forever and ever.
baked at 375 for fifteen-twenty minutes? i dunno,
i was munching chips and salsas, and enjoying conversation,
so i missed out on timing things,
but when it was out of the oven,
it was topped with fresh chopped green onion and cilantro sprankles.
and then turned up another notch with a drizz' of vegan sour cream.
plus there were lime wedges for squeezin' and pleasin',
because lime is necessary for activation, man.
c'mon,
you know  it.
-
and with the remainder of the refried beans in a bowl for exxxtra scooples,
and a few chip scraps for added dippin',
and both those fresh tasty terrific salsas?
guys, we were on a real nacho luchador title fight, for sure.
***********
and lemme tell you about those salsas-
but first, check the teleport:

OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
salsa verde!
so expert.
fire roasted tomato hottness!
muy muy experté.
first, lemme detail my green sauce for your faces-
-
*
SALSA VERDE VERDAD!
-
in a sauce pot, on medium heat, simmer:
5 peeled and diced tomatillos;
3 cloves garlic;
1/2 sweet onion;
1/4 cup green bell pepper;
1 large jalapeno, seeds in;
1/2 poblano pepper;
3 T lime juice;
pink salt;
black pepper;
coriander seed;
and GPOP.
cook that all down to the a very soft state,
remove from the heat, and add 1 fat handful of chopped cilantro.
when cooled, use an immersion mixer to puree the whole thing to your preferred consistency.
i added more lime, and some fresh green onion, to bump up the flavors.
it's good.
it's crazy real super good.
you need some.
all verdes are not created equal, and the pepper blend here really upgrades the profile.
i'd have added more heat even, if i'd had a couple of serranos.
next time, for sure.
-
and that fireball, y'all.
damn.
-
*
FIRE-ROASTED SALSA FRESCA!
(inspired by the minimalist baker, who regularly brings all the boys to the yard)
-
in your food processor, combine:
10 oz fire roasted tomatoes;
1/2 red coarse chopped onion;
1 heavy handful of cilantro;
3 cloves of garlic;
1 jalapeno;
1/2 thai red chili;
lime for days;
1/2 poblano;
1/4 italian long hot pepper;
pink salt; black pepper; cayenne to taste.
pulp it up to the point were it's all blended, but there's still some chunkin' to it.
that's nicey-nice.
let it marinate all day,
and then prepare yourself for the feeding frenzy that'll surely follow.
yumyumyum.
*
nachos, man.
that's exxxactly what we needed.
i'm psyched. and they were psyched.
we ALL were psyched, and that made everybody even MORE psyched.
that's the best.
an ever-increasing crescendo of gratitude and generosity and professional appreciation.
...and nachos.
a perfect conjunction of poetry, power, motion, and glory.
goodbye winter, hello spring.
and the best part?
there's enough salsa to bring the fire to taco tuesday as well.
heck yes.
if you don't like mexicanish food, i feel like you're missing out.
but we love it, so we're not missing a damned thing-
i guess that's a problem you'll have to solve on your own, bro.
it's all really happening,
and good times eating good food with good folks,
and trusting in your partner to make the nachos look sexxxy?
c'mon.
that's journeying into the future like a champ, right?
we're spanning time in the very best ways;
never quiet, never soft.....