Friday, November 30

RAMEN AND STEALIN'!

black rice ramen.
yup.
it's still expert.
in fact, it's always expert. that's a thing.
and when you add it to a big ol' bucket of sweet and sour soup?
you're gonna be psyched from the fist nood to the last, spiciest one, for sure.
uh-huh.
check the teleport:

too much is the right amount!!!
this is a F*ing tub of hottness, neighbors.
f'really-real.
the soup is superheroic, for certain.
i mean, it's got:
1 T toasted sesame oil;
1/4 red onion, roughly chopped;
1 huge stalk of sliced celery;
discs cut from 1 peeled yellow carrot;
2 cloves of thick-sliced garlic;
1 italian long hot pepper, cut into rings;
6 peeled boiling onions;
1 cup sesame-oil seared purple baby brussels sprouts;
1 tsp ginger;
3 T rice wine vinegar;
3 T tamari;
2 tsp gluten-free bouillon;
2 cups water;
1/2 tsp ea. GPOP;
red pepper flakes;
a few shakes of coriander;
1/2 tsp sichuan peppercorns;
1 cup spinach;
3 T fresh cilantro;
1/2 cup cubed skin-on sweet potato;
2 T agave.
-
i mean, c'mon, that's some superstuffed overloaded supersoup, no?
ha. yeah, i know.
and it's served over shredded green AND purple cabbage.
and it's garnished with scallions, and cilantro, AND pea shoot sprankles.
yeeeeeeeeah!! i'm sayin', that's dope.
-
the noods only take four minutes and they're ready,
so really, all that's left if that molto boomfire tempeh, bro.
and it's a banger to be reckoned with, man.
i mean it.
1/2 block thick cut tempeh triangles,
simmered on medium heat in 1 cup water,
with hot smoked paprika, sriracha flakes, red pepper flakes, GPOP,
sesame oil, a spoonful of sugar, AND 2 T agave-
until all the liquid is absorbed,
then turned up to medium high while the sugars begin to caramelize.
they all need to be flipped around to brown up each side of each triangle,
and coated in two-tone sesame seed sprankles.
yup.
that's how you make it nicey-nice.

now, do you SEE any broth in that picture?
that's because it's so overloaded with awesome that the juice is F*ing buried.
word up.
if you aren't slurping a pail of power, you're just being lame.
i said it, and i mean it, too.
***********
i'm ready for what's next.
december.
tomorrow.
next year.
this afternoon.
all of it.
it's never easy, but it's always necessary.
that's a fact.
if it were easy, it wouldn't mean sh!t,
and if it weren't a process of growth and performance-enhancing practices,
i wouldn't even bother myself with the banality of a beige bummer of a life.
i want that technical technicolor kaleidoscope of dopeness,
and all of that is always unfolding outward like rainbow rays of spirit and memory,
and i'm gonna go ahead and say it:
i'm grateful for the time i have been given to experience the hard styles
and the good times, the wild nights and the long days and all the in-betweens.
it's all really happening, always,
and i'm really ready to see what happens in the following little minutes;
never quiet, never soft.....

BALLZ!!!!

wheatless meatless BALLZ, y'all.
that's the new-new and i can't seem to get enough.
nah, f'really real though- i've made 'em three times in a two months.
i used to use wheat gluten to bind 'em,
and they were F*ing super-good.
these days, however,
as a nod to my celiac soulmate/natural disaster, breezy,
i've been on some other other sh!t, with righteous results.
that's no joke.
and if you think i can't keep it expert without wheat?
you're wrong.
(yeah, the pasta isn't as dope, but it isn't bad, and it gets so much assistance from the sauce)
check the teleport:

WORDIMUS PRIME!!
dudes,
i know i've been going heavy on the arugula lately.
i dunno what to say: i like arugula. it's an excellent veg-e-ta-ble.
(shoutouts to my blue heaven....anybody?)
the sauce was on point.....it always is.
marinara is a good thing.
and the way i freak it off, it's waaaaay better than any bullsh!t jar sauce out there.
i'll tell you all about it, if you'd like?
yeah??
alright:
-
*
MERRY MARINARA!
-
in a 1 quart saucepot, saute, in 1 T olive oil:
3 T finely minced onion;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
2 T mincey-dicey peeled carrot;
1 cup halved grape tomatoes;
all that simmers and gets soft, before you add:
1 T red wine vinegar;
1 T tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1 tsp ea GPOP;
1 T nootch;
1/2 tsp oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and basil;
a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes;
1 T tomato paste;
pink salt and black pepper.
now comes the good part:
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes;
and 1/2 cup apple juice.
cover it, reduce the heat to a low simmery bubblin' flame,
and let all that marry together into some new hottness for your face.
y'better get ready, kiddo, because you're gonna flip out over how good this is.
yup.
it's elite.
-
and it makes that red lentil spaghetti taste way better, and feel less starchy and sad.
that's the truth.
good sauce is the key to activating all the available expertism in any meal;
it's like a cheat code to deliciousness.
true story.
-
but without the BALLZ, you an't got nothin' that anybody else couldn't have.
that's right.
if what y'all really really want is that loud, fresh, hardness for your face,
then you need a megaton exxxplosion of radical vegan gluten-freedom-fightin'
to parachute in a blow up all your taste buds with some ultimo-deluxxxo dopeness.
and these BALLZ are the path to glory, neighbors.
uh-huh.
they keep getting better, too.
third time's the charm, i guess.
here's how you too can become more awesome in one pot's worth of effort:
-
*
GLUTENLESS MEATLESS BALLLLLLZZZZZZZ!!
-
in a one quart saucepot, in 2 T olive oil, saute:
1/2 onion, minced;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
heavy shakes of GPOP,
plus a half each of oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, and basil;
1/2 block shredded tempeh;
1 cup diced tomatoes;
2 T nootch;
pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper...
add
1 cup warm water;
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes;
2 T white wine vinegar;
1 T tamari;
-
cook all that down, on medium heat, until it's a mash-
remove from heat, let it cool ten minutes, and add
1 cup chick pea flour.
dudes, that's IT.
form 'em up into mini-meteorites, and fry 'em in a pan covered barely in olive oil.
jussssst enough to brown the outsides while you roll 'em around,
before you finish 'em by tossin' 'em all in the sauce and letting the whole batch
swirl around in there for another 'nother ten minutes.
YEAH!
that's the move, bro.
and you'll get so psyched when you serve these baddies up
that's a fact.
try it out, and tell me what you think.
everybody who is not an A*-hole will know these are the TRUTH.
mmmmmm.
***********
NO-MORE-VEMBER!
finally, this bullsh!t month is on the way out.
my XI-mas tree is up, (2nd year in a row!)
the lights are lit,
the stockings are hung,
and the mantel is decorated with visions of pine-and-balsam bough-barianism.
it's delightful, and it's all really hapening.
as events unfold, there's no guarantee of success,
but i'm destined to remain dyin' while i'm tryin', and there's no time for lyin' and cryin'-
all naughty, all the time, is SO nice,
and i'm grateful for the chimney-sweepin' poop-chutes-and-ladders that have led me here;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 28

TORTELLINI!!!!

alright.
tortellini.
y'know?
like, little dumplin's, italiano-style, slapped around in soup or sauce,
filled with freshness, and ready to rock your F*ing socks right off.
yeah.
those.
i do love to make and eat homemade pasta.
...and that's no joke.
and whenever the mood hits, there's nothing for it but to doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
mmhmm.
rules is rules.
so, in the flavorful spirit of NO-vember, i got myself thinking,
and i got my little ingredients all together,
and i got it poppin' like i knew i would.
check the teleport:

WORD THE EFF UP, NEIGHBORS!!
cauliflower-kale torties, in semolina-fire-roasted tomato pasta pouches.
yummmmm.
but that's not all, at all, y'all-
they're stacked in sweet-potato carrot thick saucy soupiness,
and garnished with alllllll the hottness.
i'm on that wu-TANG sword-style pasta danger, bro!
believe it.
you want recipes?
i got recipes.
let's begin with the sauce-
-
*
SWEE'PO'SOUP!
-
in a small sauce pot, with a spoonful of olive oil, saute:
3 T minced onion;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1/2 small peeled chopped carrot;
1/2 skin-on sweet potato, cubed;
pink salt, black pepper, and a healthy shake of both dried sage and thyme;
-
when the onion caramelizes just a bit,
add 2 tsp red wine vinegar;
1 T soy sauce;
1 1/2 cups water;
GPOP and nootch to taste.
(i'd go heavy on the Garlic and Onion Powders, but i like'em a LOT)-
simmer that all until the root veg is soft af,
and immersion blend it smooth.
(or food process, or high speed smoothie blender, or whatever, man)
nice, right?
now you've got soup.
add a lil more H2O if you've gotta, to keep it nice, and keep it warm.
nobody wants tortellini in cold soup, kid.
*
the pasta is a two parter, obvi.
the filling, and the wrapper.
the pasta itself is easy as heck-
knead together:
1/2 cup a.p. flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
1 tsp salt;
1 T fire-roasted tomato flake sprankles;
1 T olive oil;
1/2 cup warm water-
all of that, beat up, in your stand mixer-
so you can do other stuff instead of kneading,
while the dough hook makes the magic happen.
expert.
huh?
you don't have a stand mixer?
well, c'mon-
go get one, ask for one for XI-mas, borrow one, steal one, do what you must,
but use the technology that transcends all the carpal tunnels on earth, buddy.
seriously.
wrap and rest your shiny, firm dough for ten minutes,
then roll it out exxxtra flat on a floured surface, cut some 2 1/2" circles out,
gather the excess dough, and do it again, and repeat it until you've used all the dough up.
i got forty somethin' of the circles, which made forty-somethin' of the tortellini-
that's dope, because that's a LOT,
and that's dope because too much is the right amount.
ha!
-
the filling is easy, too.
i don't always have hours to eff around with superfancy unnecessariness,
so whenever i can make something dope in a hurry?
i'm gonna.
-

TORTIE-FILLZ!
-
saute, in an 8" pan, with 1 T olive oil:
1/2 small minced onion;
1 clove crushed garlic;
1 1/4 cups crumbled chpped cauliflower;
2 cups baby kale, shredded;
1 tsp soy sauce;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1 tsp red wine vinegar;
1/2 tsp ea. dried sage and thyme;
pink salt, black pepper, nootch.
add a splash of water, lid the pan, and let the cauli soften and the kale wilt-
that's legit all there is to do.
now,
that's not ALL that's IN the tortellini, however-
nope.
there's also some of my new tofu-tapioca stretchy vegan mozz'.
mmmmmmmm.
a tiny scoople of that, a slghtly larger scoople of the green 'n' white stuff,
an pinch, a fold, and a press, and tortellini is in full effect.
-
y'know how to activate 'em?
a pot of salty boilin' water, friends.
yeah.
like every other pasta.
c'mon.
when they float, they're done.
toss 'em in a scoop of the soup,
and lay 'em out on top of the rest.
-
what about all those sexy garnishes?
well,
what about all those sexxxy garnishes, bishes?
i mean, you know that rules is rules, fools-
and ugly food is against the rules.
blackened sweet grape tomatoes are great.
toasted pecans are great.
arugula has been my homie all month.
and MORE fire-roasted tomato sprankles?
obviously, that's a genius idea.
-
here's the thing-
if you're not OVERdoing it, and taking it to eleven?
you're doing it wrong.
there's always room for beautiful meals.
if you are what you eat, and you want to be a beautiful person,
even if it's just on the INside,
then you've gotta do it up, a do it right, and do it harder and bigger and better.
that's what dinner is about at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and that's what i'm doing with my life;
never quiet, never soft.....

COCONUTTY!!

gluten-free coconut cupcakes!!!!
yeah!
if you do it right, gluten-freedom isn't at all like missing out.
that's real.
and cake is pretty frickin' great anyway-
so cake done right AND gluten-free is definitely expert.
heck yeah.
and not for nothin', but smaller paper-wrapped mini-cake will always be invited.
so, really it's probably a good idea to make some, y'know?
yeah, you know.
and i did just that.
-
coconut is tropical or whatever, but it reminds me of snow.
maybe because of those gross gummy balls you used to get at the vending machine?
i dunno.
but when NOvember is being grey all day,
and the skies are a little grumpy and heavy with precipitation,
coconut can come through like a silver lining, and light up your day with
a touch of sweet, fancy, new hottness that'll help you through it all.
i'm into that idea, and if i'm already about to get into some cuppiecakes?
why wouldn't i turn 'em up to eleven, right?
yup.
check the teleport:

CUPS AND CAKES!
with those heart of gold sprankles, too?
yeah.
i'm into it.
i hand-mixed the whole thing, which i might not do, were i to do it again,
so, with that in mind, here's a slightly modified sequence of events
that will lead to your very own batch of these baddies-
-
*
COCONUTCAKELETTES!
-
preheat your oven to 360℉
-
in your truly necessary and oft underappreciated stand mixer, combine:
1 stcik softened vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1/2 cup coconut sugar;
1/2 cup unsweetened unsulphured small-flake coconut;
1/2 cup unsweetened plain coconut yogurt;
2 tsp vanilla.
add in:
1 cup mama's coconut based flour;
1 cup bob's ap gf flour;
1/3 cup bob's rice-based 1:1 gf flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp xantham gum;
1 cup non-dairy milk.
whip it all up until smooth,
and spoon it evenly into cake-cup-lined cupcake tins,
and bake 'em for twenty-five minutes.
i'm gonna tell you- i only got seventeen cupcakes,
but they were seventeen perfect cupcakes,
so i'm counting that as a win.
word.
that's the stuff.
the texture is great, no grit, no dryness, just soft succelence and sweet sexxxiness.
that's good stuff.
-
but, you're gonna need to frost these guys, neighbors,
and to do that you're gonna need to activate a little MORE coconut flavor.
yup.
too much is the right amount.
a batch of frosting goes like this:
2 cups powdered sugar;
6 T softened vegan butter;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp coconut extract;
2 heaping T fresh finely-ground dried coconut;
>1/3 cup non-dairy milk-
whisked on high until turbofluffy and dope.
you'll know when it's ready, for sure.
it just needs to go round and round until it looks awesome.
you'll see.
that's all there is to it.
***********
the month is escaping.
we're down to the last few days, and those seem to slip away into oblivion faster and faster.
it'll be december in hours,
and i'm just not ready.
there's still more to do than there will ever be time for,
and if it weren't for these early hours, i might not have any time for myself.
it's all really happening,
holiday time, pre-winter superfreezing snow time, work time, dog time, dinner time-
maybe i'll get better at it, or maybe it'll speed past so fast i won't need to;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Monday, November 26

PIZZA EVERYWHERE!

i'm gonna just say it-
prove your dough for longer than you think you should dudes.
yup.
that's it.
close to forty hours of refrigerated proof magic is what i activated,
and the resultant, exultant, extravagant dough that it produced was expert than a muhfhhhh.
word up.
i made it myself,
i let it do it's thing,
and i'm happy as heckfire with the process and the final product.
check the teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!
yeah!
a good dough is key to a good pizza.
i've tried a great many different jauns, and i truly love them all.
f'really real.
however, old-timey four ingredient majesty still reigns supreme.
that's the gods'-honest, neighbors.
-
2 cups flour;
2 tsp salt;
1 pkg active yeast;
3/4 cup warm water +1 tsp bread machine yeast, bloomed.
that's it.
kneaded for 11 minutes, and immediately refrigerated for a day and a halfish...
allowed to rise and shine while the oven heats to 480℉.
there y'go- easy as (pizza) pie.
i have the homemade sauce i just made on there.
as well as the homemade tapioca mozz i created recently, too.
homemade red lentil seitan sausage/ pepperoni?
yup.
homemade tastes better, bruh.
no doubt about it.
with carmies, and kale, finished with arugula,
plus fried garlic sprankles,
because rules is rules.
and also, it's got generous handfuls of minced daiya mozz.
i'll reiterate a recurring theme:
if you don't mince your daiya shreds,you are effing up really hard, kiddo,.
don't be lazy, be expert.
c'mon.
that's good for you.
*
the homemade 'sausage'roni?
the recipe for the sausage is here.
the upgrade is as follows:
in a 10" pan, over high heat, with 1 T olive oil,
place two sausages' worth of slices and 2/3 cup water,
plus 2 tsp smoked paprika, black pepper, and soy sauce together,
and reduce until the liquid is absorbed and the 'ronis brown on their bottioms a bit.
DASSIT, DUDERS!
yummmmyummmyum.
***********
pizza will fix your life.
that's the truth.
a good pizza will positively affect your overall well-being.
a great pizza will carry you through the hardest times.
i mean it.
rough days, long nights, tough times, and the headaches that come with 'em
are all washed away with the first bite of an epic slice.
there's true comfort in that,
and i am grateful for pizza every damned day.
thanks are given, praise is due, pizza is the light and the power and the glory;
never quiet, never soft.....

SEITAN PARM!!

y'all don't know,
and y'all ain't ready.
that's for real-real, and i'm being up front with you when i say:
this was some of the best super-elite official expert vegan hottness
that i've ever had in my mouth.
word up.
i'm gonna tell you ALL about it,
but first check the teleport:

YEAAAAAAAAAAH!!
that's what's moltissimo megadelicious in the woodsly goodness, guys.
no joke.
everything is homemade.
the sauce? homemade.
the pasta?? home-frickin' made.
the seitan??? yup.
that melty mozz'-style chee'?? WU-TANG!!!
homemade tastes better.
on the ones, neighbors, look at the level-eleven dopeness this represents:

c'mon.
that's F*ing rad.
you want recipes?
i got you, booboo.
get ready, there's a LOT.....
***********
-
*
SEITAN!
-
set a pot of broth a-boil-
that's better'n'bouillon paste, 8 cups water, 2 T soy sauce, 3 shakes liquid smoke.
-
in a mixin' bowl, combine:
1 cup vital wheat gluten;
2 tsp ea. GPOP- (Garlic Powder Onion Powder);
1 tsp smoked paprika;
sage, thyme, pink salt, black pepper, to taste (just a lil bit of each);
2 T nootch;
3 T garbanzo bean flour;
2 T tapioca flour;
add 3/4 cup veggie broth;
1 T soy sauce;
a dash of liquid smoke.
stir well to form a sticky af ball of dough-
knead and fold and tuck and knead that dough forever-
f'real, push and pull it until it's literally a tight ball of aromatic brown shiny goodness-
let it rest ten minutes, and slice it into 1/4" slabs.
mmhmm.
flatten and pull 'em until they're nice and smooth,
and rest 'em again for another 'nother five or so minutes,
before adding them to the boiling water, returning the broth to a boil,
and simmering the whole thing for thirty minutes to an hour.
kaBOOM.
that's seitan.
remove them and store them in a lidded bowl with enough liquid to immerse them.
-
OR,
drain and press a couple of 'em to make seitan parm patties....
-
dredge those wet steaks in:
4 T finely crushed cornflakes;
1 T cornstarch;
oregano, thyme, sage, basil, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes;
2 tsp chickpea flour;
pink salt.
....and fry 'em in olive oil in a very hot pan, man.
that's the powerplay, and the right move.
-
and when you dab 'em up with that custom chee'???
BOI, you don't even know, but you're about to find out-
-

TAPIOCA MOZZ!
-
puree 1/2 unpressed block silken tofu together with
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
3 T nootch;
1 tsp ea GPOP;
pink salt;
1 T lemon juice;
1/4 cup water;
2 T olive oil.
add that blended mess to a pan, and heat it up on HIGH, stirring the whole time,
until it becomes a sticky, stretchy cheesy glob.
just like *that*, you're now a chee'makin' miracle.
just blop it on top of whatever, and you'll be the big dinner winner forever.
that's a thing.
*
and of course, i get fresh with my sauce.
always and all ways, never the same way twice sauce is the key.
this one's spicy, fra diavolo as it were-
with a little hot pepper in there, and a lot of flavor everywhere-
y'ever make sauce?
it's F*ing great, always.
here's a general idea of what to do, but feel free to go rogue and make it your own-
-

SAUCE!
-
in a 2 quart sauce pot,
saute 1/2 minced red onion,
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes;
3 T poblano pepper, finely chopped;
1/2 purple carrot, grated and minced,
over medium-high heat in 2 T olive oil, until the onions are starting to brown just a bit.
...tight.
next, add 2 T nootch,
1 T tomato paste;
plus oregano, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, pink salt,
crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh cracked black pepper.
deglaze all of that with a heavy splash of red wine vinegar,
add a splash of wheat-free tamari,
and 2 cups of crushed tomatoes,
1/4 cup all natural apple juice, and set it to simmering for twenty minutes, or more.
mmmmmmmmm.
add some fresh parsley, if you've got it.
that's pretty good.
the thing is, jar sauce is for A*-holes.
a from-scratch batch is not hard, and it tastes great, and that's the truth.
yup.
***********
what?
oh you're wondering if i'm gonna tell you about those homemade fattie-boombattie noods?
you better bet your bumbum i'm gonna.
y'ready?
ok...
-
*
VEGAN BLACK PEPPERY TAGLIATELLE!
-
in your trusty and indispensably dependable stand mixer, combine:
3/4 cup a.p. flour, king arthur is preferred always;
3/4 cup semolina flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 T olive oil;
2/3 cup warm water;
fresh cracked pepper.
knead all that together into a firm dough, about 11 minutes.
roll it out exxxxtra thinly, on a floured surface, into a big rectangle-
now, roll your doughy rectangle into a long, floured coil-
slice it into 1/2" wide strips, unroll them, and let 'em dry out for a few minutes,
before dumping the whole mess of 'em into a big pot of salty water until they float....
HELL YEAH, BRO!!!
*
all of that stacked, packed and layered, then finished with fresh arugula sprankles?
yup.
that's expert.
***********
a meal like this is a megaton exxxplosion of excellence.
all of that italiano delectability had my face feeling all-smiles for miles.
no, for real, though-
when all the homemade everything all converges at a focal point of pure awesome?
something that could be simple gets complicated, but also, improved, for all the extra effort.
trying harder, forever, is all i'm built to do.
anything else doesn't even make any sense to me;
never quiet, never soft.....

SOME WEIRD STUFF!

chickpea flour and silken tofu?
yup!
it makes magic happen.
a rich, thick, burly, magical combination sensation of magic and mystery-
that's half a block of  silken tofu, and half a cup of chick pea flour, and that's it.
it made a cakey lil flapperjacker for me to put all the fajita stuff on top of.
uh-huh.
check the teleport:

RAINBOW PARTY TIME!!
if i'd used something in place of that chipotle seitan, this'd be gluten-free all the way-
at any rate, it was F*ing spicy, and zesty, and fun to make.
that's a thing.
all the fan favorites came through, neighbors-
rainbow fiesta guaca-friggin'-mole,
fire roasted tomato and habanero salsa,
mexican stir-fried veggies,
fresh jalapeno and cilantro sprankles.
and that seitan, with all the seasonin's that kept it at fuego 100.
that's IT, and all of it is over that fancy pancake.
...tight;
NQNS.....

Saturday, November 24

PUMPLESTILTSKIN PIE!

of course i made a pie for my guys.
girls, actually.
my girls, harvest and maple.
my oldest two daughters.
my dearest darling delights.
i love 'em, and they love pie.
harv is more opinionated and outspoken, and she is of the opinion that pumpkin pie is to die for.
like DMX said: 'give 'em what they want', right?
right.
so, i made a fresh, from-scratch exxtra-expert pumpkin pie,
and baked it and wrapped it and transported it to connecticut especially for my special ones.
yup.
we may not have had family thanksgiving together,
but we are inextricably connected to each other,
and i'm forever gonna wanna make them all the treats.
check the thankful-type teleport:

THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT, B!!!!
pumplestiltskin deliciousness, in F*ing full effect.
yeah.
that's dope.
homemade oaty piecrust?
obvi.
-
food processor-style choppin' makes exxxtra-crumbly flaky goodness if you do it right.
-
1 cup flour;
3 T raw sugar;
1 stick vegan butter;
1/2 cup thick rolled oats;
2 T vegan creamchee';
dash of salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
3-4 T non-dairy milk.
pulsed until the dough is crOmbly and stics together barely when squeezed.
dump it onto plastic wrap, and tightly seal that in a lil ball, y'all.
let it rest at least an hour before rolling it and shaping it and pressing it into a pie tin,
and getting your filling ready, and your decorations ready, and your oven ready at 400℉.
yeah.
the filling on this bad boi?
expert.
check it-
-
*
PUMPLESTILTZSKIN!
-
in your food processor, combine:
3 T tapioca starch;
4 tsp egg replacer powder;
dash of salt;
1/4 cup powdered sugar;
1/2 cup dark brown sugar;
1 can (15oz) pumpkin;
1/2 tub vegan creamchee';
1/2 block pressed silken tofu;
2 T organic non-GMOcornstarch;
2 tsp vanilla;
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, in that order of quantity, to taste....
puree that sh!t to pulp, and pour it into your piecrust.
i cut out the shapes i like,
and i arranged them in snowflake and acorn hottness across the top-
not everybody likes a pumpkin pie,
and even fewer people allow themselves to be creative and make it look any fancier
than a flat beige boring bummer.
i'm not with that-
i baked this lil bihhh until it got all those telltale cracks in the surface.
that's for sure the sign of molto thorough doneness.
-
i want to feed people vegan food.
that's the truth.
i've been eating very, very well- with superfancy exxxtra-dope delights, for decades.
sure, the last seven years have seen me have more time to indulge in developing skills
that were formerly unnecessary and unappreciated by my dinner guests
(read as: picky wife, unhappy life)
but, since then, in all those many years, i've been growing and expanding and diversifying
my culinary repertoire, and now, in the present day,
i just wanna make you something to eat.
i did that for the girls.
i HAD to.
it's what i DO.
*
also,
i dunno if it's a good thing to offer up pie after droppin' bombs on their brains,
but i did that.
we're competent and capable communicators, and i'm constantly impressed by their capacity
to process information in effective ways.
damn, dudes, but for really real,
they're so much better than i ever was at their age.
i'm ceaselessly impressed by their adaptability.
i'm thankful for who they are, how they are, and the way they live their lives.
that's my great gratitude;
never quiet, never soft.....

THANKFUL!

i went to connecticut for thanksgiving.
yup.
back home to hamden, and back to all the things i'd literally just left a few days before.
i also brought crabtree, who behaved beautifully.
yup.
my terrible terrier may not have allowed me to sleep much the first night,
but he was the superlative car dog, 
and crashed out fast asleep the whole time in both directions,
and we went on a few foot-tours of the whole entire old neighborhood while we were at it.
since this was the first thanksgiving in my fourteen years that harvest and maple 
would both be at home instead of in the woodsly goodness, i went down to see them,
and my ma, and to enjoy the benefit of a radical vegan feast of gratitude and generosity 
with the folks who might enjoy it in the same ways i've always intended it to be enjoyed.
that's no joke.
i made less food than usual, which was smart, really.
my sister mary grace rolled through en route to wherever the heck she was headed, 
and she and i and our mother had a little sit down munch up
together, and it was very nice to have a time with just the three of us.
that's the sort of family togetherness that means so much more in the aftermath of loss,
and loneliness, and the three of us had a truly good time.
it was important.
and we ate well, homies.
that's for sure.
check the teleport:
yeah!!!
and that wasn't even all of it.... all the rootiest veggies an' that all came through, as well:
WORD!
homemade sourdough and red lentil seitan sausage stuffing, with leeks and carrots and celery?
expert.
skin-on masher-upper potatoes??!
rules is rules.
that vanilla-kissed cider and maple cranberry sauce, from-scratch!!!
delicious.
lemon-soy glazed brussels with pomegranate!!!
wordimus prime.
DUMPZ ON YOUR FACE!!
hahahah.
that's what's up, neighbors.
we'll get weird with some dumpies. we don't even care.
-
and that rainbow roasted root veggie medley?
with GPOP and vegan butter and pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper?
s'doooooooope.
i busted out the woodsly classics, for sure-
roasted butternut squash with died cranberries, maple syrup, cinnamon, black pepper, and pecans.
that always goes to eleven.
and do y'all know what was the biggest hit?
the breakout superstar exxxplosion of new hottness??
savory mashed baked sweet potatoes.
yuuuuup.
GPOP, olive oil, nootch, vegan butter, smoked paprika, black pepper, and brown sugar-
plus, caramelized shallots, homemade tempeh bacon crOmbles,
and brown sugar sprankles.
too much is the right amount,
and those bad boyz had ALL the flavors going mental throughout each bite.
i doo-doo that elite sh!t on thanksgiving,
and i make it look easy as heck, if i do say so.
i love food.
i love animals.
i don't confuse the two.
homemade tastes better.
savory, broth-basted home-baked bread and stuff, stuffin' style,
all slathered in exxxtra-thiqqqq graaaaaaaaaavy?
so F*ing awesome.
the gravy game was as expert as ever,
and all of it came together right on time.
we spanned our time to the very best of our ability.
we shared a meal, and our space, and our hearts in a way we have not in decades.
that's important.
a throwback thursday twenty something years in the making.
we missed our people.
we enjoyed each other.
grateful for the time we've been given is what we are,
and wasting it is what we are not.
it's all really happening,
and that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 20

BUFFZ!

buffalo sauce!
yup.
those buffz get it poppin',
and a whole lotta folks have their own special buffalo-style preferences.
me?
i love all the buffz.
i do.
and that definitely includes cauliflower.
yup.
and when cauliflower is battered and fried and buff'd to the max?
dang, dudes...that's the MOST expert.
for realsies.
check the teleport:
YEAH!!
there's buffalo sauce, and that's good stuff.
but, then there's ultimate radical vegan hottness buffzy SAUCE,
and that's how you turn the flavor up to eleven, for sure.
here's how to activate the buff-up all the way:
-
*
VEGAN BUFFZY SAUCE!
-
get a bowl, and a spoon, and get ready-
-
1/4 cup vegenaise;
1/4 cup texas-style ho'sauce (louisiana is ok, too);
1 T sriracha;
1 T nootch;
1/2 tsp ea. GPOP;
1 tsp hot paprika;
black pepper to taste.
-
stir it up, and you're already ready to go.
mmmhmmmm.
it's all the exxxtras that bulk it up, and flesh it out.
it's good in all the ways you'd ever want it to be, and also, it's 0% lame.
so, that's cool, too.
-

i batter up my cauliflower, and fry it in a very hot high-walled pan,
half-full of very hot vegetable oil.
it's a bubbin' supersizzler when it gets going, so don't fill your oil up to the top-
you'll have a fire, and a ghetto-grease-bomb of what's left of your kitchen if you do.
i've seen it happen, and learned from others' mistakes.
they brown quick, and soften up inside, and get crissspy-
y'gotta drain and salt your florets to keep 'em that way,
and then toss 'em in the sauce like a boss.
yeah!
the batter?
hella tight:
-
*
CAULIBATTER!
-
in a medium mixing bowl, combine:
1/4 cup chickpea flour;
1/4 cup bob's 1:1 ap rice based baking flour;
1 1/2 tsp baking soda;
1/4 tsp salt;
1/2 tsp GPOP;
black pepper;
smoked paprika & hot paprika & regular-A* paprika- a few shakes of each;
1 T nootch;
1 tsp ground chia/flaxmeal
2 T non-GMO cornstarch;
1/4 cup warm water;
1/4 cup pickle brine.
-
y'ever batter somethin' before?
you just dunk stuff in and roll it around.
pretty simple, really.
i had half a head of cauli', chopped into 1 1/2" chunks.
it was more than enough to coat 'em all, y'all.
that's tight.
*
celery is essential to buffalo stuffalo, bro.
that's no joke.
it's good for you, too, maybe?
i think so.
hot jalapeno ringlets?
i doo-doo that, too.
and then even a lil' MORE sauuuuuce???
uh-huh.
too much is the right amount, always.
y'can't be the best if you aren't doing the most.
that's a thing.
***********
if you look close, past the carrots, kale, and cabbages, salted up and slaw'd,
you might see that there's also buffalo seitan.
i like seitan.
i missed it.
and now, i've had a whole bunch of it,
and i'm happy to report i've restored my inner seitan meter back to FULL.
expert.
pan-fried, breaded, and ready to go....then activated a little more with some pickles,
nashville-style, sans the exxxtra-hot cayenne oil.
y'know that i like to cook, and to eat;
so really, a second main course was kind of a great idea.
i have those sometimes.
*
time is crushing my face off.
NOtimetodonuthin'-vember has slipped away
like a greased eel through freshly lotioned hands, man.
i'm sputtering and puttering and spluttering through every day,
wondering where the heck it's gone to by the time it's dark,
which just so happens to happen at immediately-after-you-wake-up o'clock.
it's a hard style, but i guess that's what you get when you wanna get things done,
and do so many things that everything feels like it takes forever,
because all progress is incremental at the best of times.
we'll see what shakes out after all the thanksgiving roadtrippin', i suppose;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 19

SNOW'CAKES!!

oatmeal is so dope.
it really is.
and if you can pull off some light airy oatcakes, you totally should.
no, not heavy-duty bannocky scottish jauns;
panniecakes, but with more power and fury and flavor and glory.
like these:

YEAH!
i dunno why i insist on overeating at every meal.
no. that's not true. i DO know why-
it's because shark-gluttonous gorging is in my DNA,
a genetically written codebook for behavior in the face of food and sustenance-
rules is rules,
and they clearly state that too much is the right amount.
don't stop moving, don't stop eating, don't stop being expert.
that's a thing.
what's so different about these 'cakes, anyway?
i used way more oats, of course.
mmmmm.
oats are my favorite, and every chance i get to use a lot of''em, i take full advantage.
yeah.
here's the secret recipe:
-
* 
OATIE MAN'CAKES!
-
melt 3 T vegan butter
-
in a mixin' bowl, sift together:
1 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
3 T brown sugar;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 tsp baking kapowder;
1/4 cup oat flour;
1/4 cup fresh-ground dried coconut meal;
1/4 cup thick rolled oats.
add:
3 T unsweetened plain coconut yogurt;
that melted butts;
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk;
1 tsp vanilla.
stir and allow to rest a little minute, so the oats soften and soak up the s'milk.
-
you need a hot, lightly greased griddle, and your attention focused on these flippable flapjacks.
...and that's it.
hmm?
well, yeah, *these* are snow day snowflakes,
so, naturally, i hit 'em with some powdered sugary snow,
and some coconut-milk whippy creme, for that site-specific situationally-apt activation.
...also, i doused those baddies in real new hampshire maple syrup,
because that's what you DO in the woodsly goodness.
truth.
i love a good cake, kids.
i probably don't need five, but here we are, in the throes of overindulgence.
i do what i do, and i don't see any other way...
i guess i'll just keep hammering away at headstrong headlong
hard-styled heavyweight breakfast barbarianism,
and let events unfold the way they're intended to;
never quiet, never soft.....

ROAD TRIP!

i went to connecticut this weekend.
i did.
i'm from there, my blood relatives are all there, and my youngest darling daughter,
maple star, was featured in her high school's fall drama production,
and she performed like a F*ing super-expert champion of acting!
yes, i am biased, of course,
but she dominated her role as mrs. everett p. osgood,
in michael mckeever's 'suite surrender'...
there's something that explodes like the best fireworks inside your heart
when you see your child thriving in their environment, through their own efforts and skills,
in circumstances they've worked to create, to showcase their ability and accomplishments.
i am proud as hell, and very impressed, as well, to see my kid doing great things,
and flourishing in the direction she's decided for herself.

awwwww.
i never used to be a deeply emotional person.
something is definitely different.
everything is, maybe.
i'm grateful for the time i've been given to bear witness to the growth of my girls.
it's really somethin' else.
AND,my sister mary grace,her husband tim, and my niece cash,
as well as my ma, and my home-for-thanksgiving daughter harvest,
their ma, their stepdad keith and both his boys were ALL in attendance, too.
you know our style, neighbors-
too much is the right amount,
and shoutouts to everybody for being so supportive and psyched.
-
***********
breezy came for the journey.
yup.
we've got a relationship that defies conventions,
but we got it together, together, and got on the road like a couple of warriors.
it was her first time hangin' with the whole gang, her first time meeting my girls,
and most of the other other folks who were there, too, as a matter of fact.
we spent a LOT of time in the car, and all of it was occupied with excellent conversation.
yup.
not even with any background music or nothin';
just two people who care deeply about each other, communicating about everything.
i like that.
heck, i love that.
so, now everybody knows who everybody is....faces to names, and so on.
it was a wild whirlwind back and forth day to night and back again kind
of roundtrip roundhouse kick to the jubblies-
and i'll be honest-
i worked harder than if i'd gone to work, navigating time and space and traffic
to get where i needed to be and go where i wanted to go...
even better?
i'm doing the whole thing again, but instead of breezy,
i'll be traveling with crabtree,
and that's nowhere even close to as fulfilling.
yup.
it's still really happening, though, so i'm getting ready for it.
cooking food at my ma's house, in connecticut, to give thanks,
while the rest of my family does their own thing within spitting distance-
grown-up lives are weird, huh?
yeah.
the unfolding present is really sort of surprising,
and for the record, i've never been a fan of surprises.
this is What Is, and it sure F*ing is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, November 16

APPLE PIE-AYE-AYE!!

what's the best pie?
apple, obvi.
apples are their best selves when they're in a pie.
i'm certain that's the truth.
sure, a fresh, crisp, tart apple is pretty tight,
but,
in a pie??
c'mon, neighbors.
that's when they shine the brightest.
i made myself a thick apple pie, and i've gotta admit:
it's totally F*ing expert.
all the right flavors.
all the right textures.
...and with some vanilla coconut milk ice cream, and a little coconut whipped cream?
a la ooh-la-la mode???
boi, you already know what's poppin'.
check the teleport:

Wu-TANG!!!
that's the best.
cinnamon swirlies on top?
and that crisp, flaky, buttery vegan pie crust workin' it for all it's worth?
yeah!!!!!
damn, duders, i do so love a good pie.
-
here's the recipes, for your face:
-
*
PIE CRUSSSSSSSST PUNX!
-
in your trusty food processor,
combine;
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour;
3 T raw sugar;
dash of salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
10 T very cold cut vegan butter;
3 T ice-cold vegan creamchee';
3-5 T super chilled non-dairy milk.
pulse all the ingredients until they're clumpy and crOmbly,
and barely stick together when pinched.
add as much s'milk as you need to make that happen.
dump the contents onto plastic wrap, fold it up tighty-tight,
and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, or overnight, if you can be patient.
yup.
that's it.
so easy.
you can do it no probsies.
*
preheat your oven to 400℉
-
roll out half your dough on a well-floured surface,
and form a circle to stuff into a 9" pie pan.
roll out another quarter, and make those braids from some cut up strips-
tight.
i got those leaves, and i got those rolls,
and i got myself amped up on apple pie because i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
mmmhmmm.
next up, the insides:
-
*
APPLE FILLING!!
-
in a medium-sized pot, on medium heat, simmer up:
6 medium sized peeled, cored, sliced apples of your favorite varieties;
a pinch of salt;
a spoonful of vanilla;
3 T maple syrup;
1/4 cup dark brown sugar;
cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to taste;
one handful rolled oats, to soak up any exxxtra juice.
cook 'em down until they're soft,
and about half the volume they were when you started, stirring occasionally.
let 'em cool, so they don't eff up your dough by being too hot.
that's it.
*
the cinnamon rollies on top?
that's a 9"x 6" rectangle of dough,
and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar; 3 T vegan butts, cinnamon, and 2 T oat flour,
smashed up, and spread across everything but 1/2" on the long edge of the rectangle.
that, you moisten up, and stick to itself when it's rolled.
(roll it from the other side first, obvi)
slice yourself up some 1/4" discs, and arrange 'em however you'd like.
the important things here are order of operations, which i think i have outlined incorrectly.
ha!
dough first.
apples next.
oven on.
bottom crust.
cinnamon rolls.
fill, top, decorate, and the bake.
i gave mine 30 minutes (or a few more, even) until it getting golden,
and the interior of the cinnamon jauns was bubbly.
it came out perfect.
the apples are hearty and soft and sweet but not syrupy and gross.
the crust is crisp and held together like a champ.
the crunchy cinna-mini swirls are expert in every way.
that's how you do apple pie like a hero.
***********
i just wanna make allllll the food.
i've been feelin' it especially these last couple of weeks.
big tasty meals are what i need to stay warm.
that's for sure.
and big tasty meals keep the stove hot, which helps when it's 8℉ outside.
that's some bullsh!t.
i know, i  know, it's supposed to be cold in the mountains of new hampshire.
it's juts not supposed to be THAT cold this soon.
i'm all for overachieving, but this takes it to eleven.
we're in deep winter while its still early-stage late-fall.
ugh.
i guess you get what you get, and you're only wasting time being mad about it,
since it is all already here.
i'll get my shovel, you bring a fork, and we'll have pie once the path is clear;
never quiet, never soft.....

SEITANIC!!

seitan is BACK!
yup.
it's not like i couldn't make it before,
i just didn't wanna make somethin' that everybody wouldn't be able to munch up.
i was trying to be considerate, y'know?
yeah.
but, eating all these epic meals alone means eating all the epic meals
of which i'd been abstaining from for months due to food allergies an' that.
yup.
wheat meat is SO dope.
like, it's kind of the best one.
or, more accurately, it's the best one by a country mile.
i missed it, but now we're reunited, and my tastebuds are going wild for it.
yup.
i make my own.
i mean, really, dudes, storebought is great, if your sh!t is hella weak,
but if you're a worthy warrior poet, and a kitchen conquistador, you can't rep on premade.
rules is rules, and homemade just tastes better.
that's a thing.
i made some tacos.
why?
because i LOVE tacos.
honestly, who doesn't?
A*-holes! that's who. everybody else knows what's good, and behaves accordingly.
y'wanna see how y'boi gets fresh on the soft taco scene?
you do?
aight. check it:

SEITAN TACOOOOOOOS!!!!
mmmmmmmm.
i don't think you really quite grasp how much hottness these have.
do me a little favor?
look closer:

WORD UP!
the from-scratch seitan recipe is here.
sliced, seasoned, and sizzled in a hot pan,
with smoked hot paprika and GPOP, black pepper, and pickled jalapeno brine?
man, that's expert af. all. day. long.
yep. that's delicious.
-
i griddled up a cup each of shredded green and purple cabbage,
with a handful of long-wedge-sliced red onion,
in a spoonful of olive oil with some pink salt,
until it cooked down and browned up and got all sorts of awesome.
that's all over 'em, too.
-
i made my patented rainbow fiesta guacamole, too.
that's stuff is the TRUTH.
no question, it rules the roost in the guapo guac realm.
AVPO-F*ING-CADO is rad, if you don't agree, you're weird.
here's the recipe.
-
fire-roasted tomato salsa?
i used to only make my salsa fresca pico-style.
that is, until i freaked this one off, and i never looked back.
it's so good, you'll wear a sombrero and shoot a pistola into the sky.
i ca almost guarantee it.
unless of course you own only one or the other, or worse, neither.
but you get the general idea, you'll freak out over how good it tastes.
the recipe? ok. right here.
-
refried beans? man, you already know i get busy with the refritas.
a tablespoon of both minced poblano and jalapeno,
a tablespoon of minced onion,
a teaspoon of oil to saute them in,
a whole can of fat-free vegetarian pinto mashies,
a tablespoon or two of nootch,
a tablespoon or two or three of texas-style ho'sauce,
and a half a tsp ea of GPOP.
all on lowish heat, all married together, smooth and thick and dope as heck.
that's that gooooooooood bean base for these bad bois.
yummmmm.
-
pickled jalapenos, a few tomatoes, and a couple pea shoots here and there.
that's how you make it go to eleven.
dudes, i totally flippin' LOVE tacos.
and i want ALL the tacos.
i mainly want soft flour tacos.
i'm even feelin' corn tortillas.
yup.
toasty flaps of supple freshness for my face.
that's right.
***********
SNOW!
yup.
today is another 'nother snow day.
unfortunately, it's not as if ANYthing could happen,
because what's on the schedule is pretty solidly set in stone.
or at least, frozen in place.
it's unseasonably cold and weathery,
and what is normally a very grey month is even whiter than the constituent population
of this blisteringly blustery woodsly goodsly mountain vale.
yuck.
i guess i'm shoveling.
and driving on these dumb roads.
but, i'll be tatzappin' later, and that's something to be grateful for always.
this is it.
powered by tacos,
propelled by unseen forces of fate and fury,
and all of it is all really happening, because what the heck else would it even be doing?
that's kind of the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

LENTIL SOUP!!

dudes!
what the eff are mayacoba beans?
well, they're also called peruano beans....
y'know what that means?
me neither.
but, i DO know that they're thick-skinned, meaty, fat, and delicious.
uh-huh.
my homeboy, travis, a.k.a @vegan_magic_time,
sent me some dried jauns an age ago, and i fired a handful of 'em into some soup....
i'm glad i did, because they turned the taste and texture up to eleven, neighbors.
for real.
it was gonna just be lentil soup.
but, then i started freakin' it off because i can't help myself...
as a result it was also so much MORE,
which was great news, since that's kind of the only way to go around here-
too much is the right amount.
seriously.
check the teleport:

MENTAL FRUIT!!
this one has SO much flavor.
i mean it-
there's all kinds of exxxtras activating all the expert excellence from the broth to the beans,
and all the other other stuff in between.
word.
the broth was the remains of a seitan bath.
y'know?
no?
oh, okay- well when you make vital-wheat gluten 'meat', you boil it in broth-
the broth is composed of better-than-bouillon veggie concentrate,
8 or so cups of water, a heavy shake of tamari, and a few shakes of liquid smoke-
the thing is, the seitan itself imparts a thick umami magic within the water,
and it really transcends any average soup stock.
it's verrrry tasty, homeboi. no joke.
-
guys,
i had a whole vidalia onion chunked up;
and three cloves of sliced garlic;
and a fat, peeled, coarse-chopped carrot;
and three stalks of diced celery;
and two cups of red, orange, and purple baby grape tomatoes
all sauteing away in olive oil in a big pot.
i added some pink salt, and black pepper, and two cups of chopped skin-on delicata squash.
yup.
it cooks way down, and the skin gets soft, and it tastes great.
-
i hit it with a handful of nootch;
a big ol' shake of GPOP;
fresh parsley, and a whole lotta dried sage and thyme.....
that's good stuff.
next, i deglazed the semi-seared veg with a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar,
and added the mayacobas and the lentils (a cup of the former, and two cups of cooked lentils)
the seitan broth went in right over the whole thing, and i let it simmer forever on low heat.
yeah, i mean, it takes a while for the beans to hydrate, man, that's just how it goes.
i was making it up, so i didn't presoak my peruanos. womp womp.
-
i turned the heat back up to medium-high after a few hours of simmering,
and added a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste;
and adjusted the sage and thyme and GPOP and nootch (i added a bunch more);
plus, i threw in two BIG handfuls of baby spinach,
a punch of fresh chopped parsley, and another 'nother fat handful of baby kale-
yup.
MORE vegetables is always the right call.
-
lastly,
i grilled up a few cups of shredded green cabbage.
yeah!!
barely blackened in a bit of oil and salt, for a deeper, richer, manlier flavor.
tossin' that into the pot was the coup de grĂ¢ce for my whole face, bruh.
-
with a slice of homemade sourdough toasted and buttered on the side,
and a few fresh kale babies for color,
and parsley and black pepper sprankles?
c'mon.
that takes simple sucka soups to the future of fresh-to-deathliness, duder.
if i'm gonna eat it, and i ate a LOT of it, then i wanna freakin' taste it.
this one had me shook, and slurping the last little sips out of the bottom of the bowl.
uh-huh.
real life super-elite expert vegan culinary concentration is what i've got.
i do what i do, and when it ends up like this?
i feel good, i feel great, i feel wonderful.
that's the truth.
lentil soup, activated.
that's what's up;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, November 14

SNOW DAY!!

what?
it's mid november, and there's already been snow all over the F*ing place?
yup.
shoutouts to the woodsly effin' goodness for wholly being a heckhole sometimes.
ugh.
snow, freezing rain, ice, AND wind??
damn, duders, you know i haaaaaaaate the wind the most, right?
it's been blowing without abatement for fifteen hours, at least......
yuck.
when the weather is an A*-hole, and the skies are grey all day, and so much darker,
sooner than even the usual too-soon dimming of the lights, you need somethin'.
y'know?
somethin' expert.
somethin'tha'll lift a few spirits and generate a little warm feelin' well-wishin'
wild thang-a-langin' tasty freshness for all y'alls faces.
yup.
somethin' like cake.
word up.
cake is awesome all the time.
sure, special occasions are cool and all,
but have you ever just made a cake because cake is dope af?
i do it all the time.
i did it yesterday.
i even made it gluten-free, because i don't even be carin' 'bout wheat when it snows, bros.
ha!
check the teleport:

GLUTEN-FREE VANILLA CAKE!!
mmmmmm.
i love those silver sugar sprankles. like, a LOT.
and the chocolate and vanilla swirls of betterthanevercreamchee' frosting?
elite, and sweet, and light, and fluffed the F* out to eleven and back.
that's real.
frosting is simple-
1/2 cup softened vegan butter (1 stick/8 T);
3 cups powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T vegan creamchee';
1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
-
add 3 T raw cacao to whatever's left after you skim the surface, and pipe some swirls,
and get that good-good poppin' off properly.
*
that cake crumb, tho.
it's molto special.
single layer anytime cakes are for sure a staple of my baking regimen.
i just like a little cake now and then.
actually, i like a lot of cake all the time, but whatever.
here's the latest in a long line of great tasting treats from the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
-
*
CAKEYBAKEY SNOWDAY HOORAY!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉ convection-style.
-
in your stand mixer, with the whisk attached, slap around the following:
1 cup big-crystal raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick vegan butts;
2 tsp vanilla;
3 T tapioca starch.
mix well, and whip in:
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt.
sift in:
1 cup mama's almond-based flour;
1 tsp xantham gum;
1 cup bob's ap gf flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
2 tsp baking powder;
1/4 cup bob's 1:1 rice gf baking flour;
1 cup vanilla almond milk.
aerate all of that until it's as fluffy as it can get, about three minutes on high,
and spoon it into a 9" springform pan, lightly greased,
where it'll reside on the bottom rack of your oven, on a baking stone,
for 35-40 minutes, or until it's a solid, thoroughly-baked golden circle of sexxxiness.
mmmmmmmm.
dudes,
it's soft, but it's rich, and it's sweet, but not cloying,
and all those dumb flours do nothin' to make it anything but super-awesome.
i like that.
nobody wants a bummer cake just because they're gluten-babies, right?
right!
get yourself some cake. or bake yourself some cake.
cake is key to maxxximizing a snow day,
and btw, a snow day means ANYthing can happen, which certainly includes cake.
***********
i'm making allllll the food.
....i guess i'm secretly the hungriest?
i mea, that' not really a surprise is it?
shark-gluttony has basically alwyas been the right decision at mealtime.
i dunno, though.
maybe i'm filling a void?
the last few weeks have had me preparing my most favoritest ones for myself,
doing all my dirt all by my all-alonely.
aww.
but seriously, i'm still enjoying all of it.
i mean, i want that exxxtra-especially good eats on my plate and in my mouth,
solo or in a group, there's no excuse for weak treats.
that's a thing.
i'm freezing.
it's sub-twenty degrees fahrenheit, and that's bullsh!t,
but i've got lentil soup simmering,
and hot tea steeping,
and cake, naturally, to turn the temps up to bearable levels.
it's all okay, even on a wild, windy wednesday.
also,
it's all really happening, like it or not,
so we may as well make sure to do the best we can with what we've got,
which just so happens to be a lot;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, November 13

TIP-TOP!

y'ever just put everything in a bowl and see what'll turn up?
i do it a LOT.
take a look:

this is a good example of what's really good about baking up some no-recipe-ever stuff.
i mean, honestly, what is recipes, anyway?
ha. i know, what *are*recipes. whatever, i like my way better,
and i like my technique, too.
it's like jazz, or turntableism, or somethin'-
you know where the beat is underneath the variances,
so as long as you hit that,
you can get weird and it won't ever be dissonant.
i think these were gluten-free?
maybe?
i can tell you how to make 'em with or without wheat, though.
yup. that's jazzy, bruh.
i do remember that i wanted biscuits, in the american sense,
but also, in the british way, as well-
what i got were these sorta-sconey, power-packed discs of delectable dopeness.
with golden sugar crystal sprankles.
AND plain-powpow sugary icing.
uh-huh.
plus, cashews, and coconut, and walnuts, aaand dried cranberries.
um, y'all actin' like you don't even be knowin'.....
but, i know you be knowin':
too much is the right amount,
and MORE tasty bits means MORE tastiness.
obvi.
ok.
here's the rundown:
preheat your oven to 400℉
-
get yourself a big ol' mixin' bowl,
and add:
1.2 cup raw sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick vegan butter (8 T)
2 T vegan creamchee' (tofutti is great for this application);
2 tsp vanilla;
1/3 cup coconut flakes (not the gummy gross ones);
1 tsp ea bakey powder and soda;
and here's where you get to choose your own adventure:
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour
OR
1 cup bob's a.p. chick pea based baking blend,
and 1/2 cup mama's coconut based flour,
AND
1/2 cup bob's 1:1 baking rice-based flour,
AND 1/2 cup oat flour,
AND 1/2 tsp xantham gum,
AND 3 T tapioca starch....
(yikes)
cut all that up into a crumbly mess of sticky, starchy flour, and then add in:
3 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
1/3 cup dried cranberries;
1/3 cup crushed walnuts;
1/3 cup roasted unsalted cashew bits and bobs;
and 2/3 cup carton-style unsweetened plain coconut milk.
knead, and fold, and knead, and turn, and fold, and knead, and fold, and knead, and turn,
etc etc, to build up layers of nuts, and butter, and berries, and everythang....
roll it out gently, or press it down firmly, to 1/2" thickness,
and cut yourself some circles, son.
yup.
do that until you can't because you've used up all your dough.
also, i don't really care what size you make yours, but mine were three inches all day.
bake 'em for twenty five minutes, spaced evenly on a couple of trays.
they'll spread a little, but you'll be fine.
let 'em cool for a few on those trays out of the oven-
transfer them to a rack to finish being warm,
and then ice and sprank 'em.
that's what's good.
treats are for enjoying, and exxxtras make that more likely.
yummmm.
the nuts and berries make these very interesting.
like, your mouth will have curiosity, for real.
what's in THIS bite?
mmmm.
yeah.
it's a nice move, man.
i even took a conventional albie rock photo, for posterity:

ha!
i've got a system, and i'm looking to improve upon it.
that's kind of my whole point, these days.
to be even better for 2019, by getting even MORE expert right this very minute.
i can easily think of waaaaaay worse ways to span my time;
never quiet, never soft.....

BREAD!!

sourdough bread.
y'know?
like,
you could be out there eating store bread.
that's not recommended, but, i mean,
they *are* making an awful lot of awful bread out there in the world,
so somebody must be buying it, right?
not me, neighbors.
no way.
i don't play with store bread.
hmmm?
oh, for sure, i'll hit up a sexxxy bakery, and get weird with some brick-hearth-baked
crusty loaves of luscious naturally fermented hottness, no doubt....
but if i'm home (and i'm always home),
you'd best believe i'm reppin' flour, water, salt, and yeast all the way to valhalla and back again.
yup.
good bread makes better people.
that's a thing.
and better bread makes the best toast,
and Tea 'N' Toast is the most dyn-o-mighty way to activate the morning.
basically, a little exxxtra effort equals a lotta exxxtra expertism.
that sound more than fair, doesn't it?
i think so.
and i do so.
and that's a fact.
check out what i've been baking these days:

bread!

good bread!

great bread!!

sourdough bread!

crusty loaves!!

open crumb!!!

rich, fermented flavor!!!
sourdough is really amazing.
i mean, it's just air touching flour and water, and turning into magic,
which in turn casts it's spell on even more flour and water,
and suddenly (or really, over about 24 hours) you get something remarkable,
and incidentally way more F*ing delicious than the commercially available norm.
on the ones-
homemade tastes better.
that's no joke.
look:

fresh-baked.

from-scratch.

Folk Life & Liberty Fortress fermented!

naturally-leavened.

expert af.
do i use an oven stone or two?
yes, i sure do.
how about steam?
yup.
midway through my 460℉ convection cycle, about 25 minutes in,
i raise the loaves to the upper racks,
and blast the rocks with hotttt water,
which rises as vapors and activates the most elite crusts in town.
word up.
this has been an ongoing endeavor, for years.
and i'm always excited every single time.
oh, there's more, btw:

some are soft.

a few, actually, are very fluffy.

some are hard.

all of 'em are dope.

all of 'em are pretty.
rules is rules, man.
....and that's just what's bakin' for toast and croutons and soup and sauce dippin'....
you know i'm on a roll with rolls, and i'm the big gun for hot buns, too.
yup.
bread, kids.
it's the staff of life, whatever that means.
i bake the heck outta some complicated gluten-free treats. i do.
but this simple, straightforward, wheaten wonderland is where i excel.
simple. elegant, and awesome.
thanks for checkin' out my loaves, friends;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, November 12

MELANZANE!!!

do you even eff with eggplant?
no?
oh.
well, you're Off The List.
wait,
but YOU like eggplant?
sweet.
i see you, homeboi.
and have i ever got somethin' special for your face, then.
check the aubergine-type teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!!!!
woooooo!
man, oh MAN, this is something especially expert.
hmmm?
oh, don't let those little yellow chao chee' bummer bits distract you from the bigger picture-
that's fried eggplant on pizza, and it's also F*ing amazing in every way.
crisp, soft, and saucy,
smooth, slippery, and sexy,
crusty, crunchy, and seasoned to perfection-
this pizza had all the things you'd hope it could,
and only one downside, which is, of course, my excitement over that dumb chee'.
ugh.
so, the bad news first-
chao doesn't melt worth a sh!t.
womp womp.
it tastes great in this application- it just looks like crap,
which officially removes it from common use.
tasting great is very important, but, i mean, c'mon-
it looks like pineapple almost, and while i don't care either way if it's on pizza,
it doesn't go with super-sexxxy eggplant pizza at all.
so, visually, it's jarring, but texturally it's tight af, even without the melt.
.....i just can't hang out with ugly food, dudes.
ANYway, look at that eggplant:

WORD!
it's a process, but it's so worth it.
first, get yourself some of those little small italian eggplants-
i used two of 'em, and i ate a LOT of this eggplant in one sitting....
the small ones are key here, or the graffiti jauns, even.
thin skin, and that fat ends equipped with dots not slots
(male eggplants are less pithy and seedy, google it?)...
sliced about 1/4" thick, and salted generously, and allowed to weep out the bitter water within.
that's mandatory.
while that's going on, y'gotta blend your dip and your breading-
the dip is easy:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
2 T ground  chia/flax meal;
1 T nootch;
1 tsp egg replacer.
whisk it and then let is sit until it's thick af.
easy.
the breading part? slightly more complicated, but totally not that complicated-
-
1/2 cup chick pea flour;
2 T organic non-GMO cornstarch;
2 T nootch;
1 tsp ea. GPOP, oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, paprika,
crushed red pepper flakes, fire-roasted tomato flakes;
salt, black pepper;
1 cup super-crushed cornflakes-
this could easily be gluten free if you used a rice-crisp cereal without barley syrup in it.
(i have some, its some hippie brand, but it's good)
-
you'll also need a big-A* high-walled pan with about 1/4" of hot oil across the whole bottom-
these are all going to be pan-fried, and they're going to be great, too.
get the pan fired up on high heat-
and dip your slices of aubergine into the wet, double-dredge 'em in the crawnchy dry bits,
and slap 'em in batches into the oil-
they'll need like 3-4 minutes a side, and they'll be flippin' amazing.
the house will smell great, you'll feel molto italiano,
and everybody will know you know what you're doing, even if you don't,
because this is that simple to do.
*
i made some custom cooked sauce, too.
mmmhmm.
normally, i'd use straight-up crushed tomatoes,
but eggplant is a special event ingredient over here,
and it calls for more-important parts to get activated-
-
i had three cloves of crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp ea GPOP and 3 T nootch,
all sizzlin' in a hot pan with a glug of olive oil,
and i activated that with 1 cup mashed baby grape tomatoes,
before i added 1 T fire-roasted dried tomato flakes,
and 1 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes, plus a dash of salt....
i let it all bubble along on medium-low (turned down after the crushies got dumped in),
and let it simmer away while the oven preheated to 480℉ convection-style.
yum4tum, y'bum.
real talk.
shredded baby spinach? sounds great.
minced daiya mozz? rules is rules.
if you aren't mincing your mozz, you are making a mistake.
that's for serious.
that chao? i'll maybe put it under the eggplant next time.
*
oh,
and the dough?
36 chambers- *ahem* hours of flavorful-development in the fridge,
on some long-A* bulk business,
which made it so damned dope i might just always have one proofing in there forever...
that's a thing.
flour, water, salt, yeast, time and love.
that's all, and the last two ingredients you don't even need to worry about.
***********
pizza is forever my sweet thang.
it makes dark days bright,
it makes cold nights warm,
it makes hard times easier.
i guess you could say pizza is the best emdicine for what ails you,
unless you're messed-up in ways that good food can't cure.
in that case, seek immediate professional help, and grab a slice on your way there.
pizza.
that's the best part.
pizza.
that's all i ever want.
pizza.
that's the TRUTH;
never quiet, never soft.....