Saturday, January 19

MARBLE!

neighbors,
i don't usually mess with marble cakey stuff.
i like it, i just don't ordinarily do it.
so, i done did it.
yeah.
and if i'm being honest?
it was almost expert.
almost.
like, soooo close.
there was just one thing missing,
and i bet i can remedy it next time, for sure.
that's the thing-
i can always improve on everything, so i'm never all the way satisfied-
BUT,
y'all would be a little dissatisfied with these, too.
i'll tell you what went wrong and how to make it right;
but first, check the teleport:

ALL THE MARBLES!
ha.
gluten-free chocolate and vanilla burly bars.
...they look good, for sure.
they needed a scoople of coconut ice cream, though, or the dry-guy texture
was detrimental to full-sized enjoyment.
awwwww, man.
the chocolate drizzles helped a little,
but there just wasn't enough moisture IN the crumb.
i blame myself,
since i didn't use a recipe, and i didn't use nearly enough different flours.
damn me for a fool, y'know?
guys,
whats the number one rule about gluten-free baking?
too much is the right amount.
yup.
for really real.
i was over here doing it wrong.
i won't make the same mistake twice.
i'll give you the recipe, and i'll note where i've amended the mix to make it better.
ok?
ok!
-
*
GF MARBLE BROWNIES!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
grease a 9" x 12" brownie pan
-
in a medium saucepot, over medium-low heat, melt:
1 stick ( 8 T) vegan butter;
1 1/4 cups sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup unsweetened flake coconut;
1 cup + 3 T non-dairy milk.
-
into that warm wet pot, add:
1 cup bob's gf baking blend;
1/2 cup mama's gf almond blend *i didn't do this, and i should've*;
1/2 cup bob's 1:1 gf ap rice flour;
3 T tapioca flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt * again, it needed this to hold more moisture in*;
-
stir it well, and spoon 2/3 into the greased pan.
add 3 T cocoa to the remainder, and blop it on top in an irregular pattern,
then gently drag a knife or spatula through both batters, to pull one into the other.
do NOT overdo it, or it'll just be a dark beige bummer.
you want distinct stripes of each.
that's key.
-
bake the tray for 30ish minutes,
and let it cool completely before turning it out onto a wire rack with paper underneath it,
to catch all the drips and drops of chocolate from the added awesomeness.
mmmmhmmmm.
i used raw cacao butter, raw cacao, vanilla, powdered sugar,
and non-dairy milk to make my drizz'.
i could've just melted choco-chips like a smarty, but i was determined to make it harder,
and not as good, i guess.
i sure showed myself how to complicate everything at once.
the ganache was good,
but those brownies were D R Y.
i see now what needed to happen, and i'll try again, and make it better,
and doo-doo that sh!t right before too long.
i gotta.
i totally hate not being a huge success.
besides, rules is rules,
and we don't end on a failure, man.
*
it's a snow day weekend.
that's weirdly exciting.
we thought this would be a banner weeked of big action at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
instead, it's bound to be a brutal blizzard.
tight.
i guess even when you imagine you're gonna be great,
in reality nature wins and she's just letting you have what's left over.
yikes.
i'll take what i can, and shovel the rest off of my walkway.
it's wintertime in the woodsly goodness, and that means that weather wants to ruin
everybody's good time.
that's fine.
a little ( or a LOT ) of snow is just what happens in the north.
there are worse things-
like my dangerous driveway,
or the even more dangerous one at the studio,
or the falling snow off of my roof-
but, all of that is outside, and i plan on being cozy in a sweater somewhere indoors,
at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress, or next to the heater at the shop,
but no matter what, i'm gonna enjoy it.
it's happening whether we're happy about it or not,
so pouting only makes it worse.
besides, ANYthing can happen,
and there's something sort of exciting about that no matter what;
never quiet, never soft.....

SMALLS!

so, i draw the same sh!t allll the time.
here's the thing-
i like the stuff i draw, and i really do feel like there's always room
for even MORE reimagining of the subject matter.
that's no joke.
so, i might make a million more darumas,
and another 'nother couple dozen mr. punch-back hunchbacks.
the stuff i like is the stuff i'm gonna draw,
from right now right up until somebody starts paying me to draw what they like.
i mean, it's my time, and i'm putting it where i want.
and lately, after or in-between appointments,
that's been to sit at the back drawing table at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and make MORE art for the place.
seriously, it's a makey, arty, crafty, eclectic eccentric electric space,
and the more supercharged illustrations on the walls,
the more all of the pieces interlink and activate a pervasive persuasive creative aura.
that's a thing.
i'm not making massive murals, i'm making small art.
finished in short time,
in small spaces,
to make every inch of the place more expert.
check the teleport:

the DARUMA of the hot fire and lightning!
that's a 2" x 3" frame, neighbors.
it's not big, it's tiny.
but, i like that hair is wild as hell, and that he's got both eyes filled in.
if y'all don't eff with daruma, y'all are just plain ol' effin' up.
-
and then, because on snow days, ANYthing can happen,
i went backwards in time a bit,
and used the paper-cutout technique i love a LOT to make a mad mr. punch.
check it:

his head is separate from the rest.
i wasn't sure of what i was making until it was done.
then, i was psyched to see his swazzy weiner-chin and crazy eyes.
you can never have too many hunchbacked bushwhackin' jesters.
*
i had a little bit of time between my appointments.
it happens, and i don't mind it when it does.
there's always something to make, or read, or eat-
and you can't do that with bloody gloves on, or you're butt-nasty.
that ain't me, man, and it's not how we do it at the studio.
i'm just some guy who loves to cook food, draw pictures,
and make art wherever i find myself.
making the most of the minutes in front of me isn't easy, but it's necessary.
the official position of AMPERSAND TATTOO for 2019?
make tattooing fun again.
i didn't become a tattooer to be stressed out and sad all the time-
i could've sat in a cubicle, or worked on a road crew,
or done countless other bummery jobs....
but i was made to do tattoos. i'm built for it, i'm designed to live this life,
and a sore hand here or there,
or a slow month in the shoulder season of the woodsly goodness
isn't what's gonna derail the juggernaut of a wild ride i'm on,
and i'm destined to see it through to the finish line.
twenty ears of this sh!t, and i'm not about to poop out now.
it's all really happening, and it's what i DO.
making art, making moves, making the magic happen;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, January 18

TRIPLES!

red pears!!!
pecans!!!
blackberry jammie-jam!!!
that's a trio that'll turn heads,
and empower tastebuds with flavorful energy,
and activate your senses with sexxiness.
dudes,
the pastry crust game at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress has long been a
bastion of big action and flaky freshness.
as usual, i lived up to my own expectations, which were high,
and delivered a crust so crisssp i was forced to eat it all.
that's right.
mandatory mass-consumption.
shark-gluttonous feeding frenzy fury from the first bite.
why?
just look at it:

c'mon.
that's why!
two layers of red skin-on ripe pears, (like, two pears, sliced into discs)
with blackberry jam on the bottom, middle and top.
and pecans ready to roast...
and a soft dusting of cinnamon to turn it up!
after twenty minutes at 400℉, i hit it with a snowy show of powdered sugar,
and pout it back in for a few MORE minutes, to really catch that crispiness.
mmmmmm.
neighbors, the crust was incredible-
the pears all softened and stuck together with the candied jam,
and it all became one soft smooth filling, with that pecan activation
pumping up the volume and the glory to eleven.
heck yes.
and the crust?
man, it was exxxactly what i needed.
-
*
PASTRY CRUST!
-
in your food processor, pulse together:
8 T (1 stick vegan butter);
3 T vegan creamchee';
1 2/3 cups flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
3 T sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
2-4 T non-dairy milk, added between pulses,
until the whole mixture combines to a crumbly sticks-together-when-pressed dough.
uh-huh.
y'gotta wrap and rest it, too.
that's a thing.
at least one hour in the fridge, overnight is better.
really, if you think you might want pastry tomorrow, today's the day to make the dough.
planing ahead is hard when you never know what's to eat,
but if you've got the dough, you know it's gonna be baked and buttery and flaky,
and that's a start, for sure.
word.
-
i like braids, and i like little decorations, and i looooooove fruit and jam together,
so really, this was gonna be a hit with me no matter what.
the fact that it looked so pretty was a bonus.
(i'd still have eaten it if it was only mostly beautiful)
that's real.
making a morning somethin' is always the best way to get my day flowing.
i don't always bake a treat, but when i do,
i know that my day is already awesome,
so whatever else happens is just exxxtra-dope.
some people need more,
most people do less,
but i've got a sweet spot centered around my oven.
and my oven needs replacing!!!!!
no joke.
i think that ten years of heavy abuse has taken it's toll.
i said that last year, and it hasn't fixed itself.
i need a stove.
the whole point of what's really happening here at the house is that it's gonna be delicious.
otherwise, what the F* am i even doing?
stove shopping is in my future, it seems.
***********
i've got dude tats all day.
that's cool.
it's friday,
there's a big snowstorm coming at us,
and i could use some straight-ahead dude-zappers to pad my pockets
in the face of weather-related cancellations.
guys,
only pickuptrucktards come out to get patriotic tattoos in the snow.
what says freedom more than rear-wheel drivin' down a cliffsided ice mountain
to get a pack of smokes and a sick tat of a deer outline with a flag inside it?
ummm, yeah.
i don't know what it is about the north country,
and the high-hills people who populate it-
but the ones who love america the most?
mainly by virtue of having seen the least of it,
and none of anywhere else?
they LOVE driving trucks in the snow.
i'll be at work, ready to drop 13 stars on whoever needs 'em, don't get me wrong.
but here's the thing-
why is it so uniformly all the samesies who need that stuff?
military tattoos aside, because most of those are cooler, anyway,
the unincorporated beer-fire 2A workboot militias of the mountains are NOT
the embodiment of america spirit i personally would choose to represent us at the job fair,
y'know?
man, i'm not sayin'....i'm just sayin'.
we've got your america tattoos on every snow day from now until canada invades,
so don't think we aren't gonna be open,
because rules is rules, and tattoos don't stop for weather;
never quiet, never soft.....

SMALL ART...

a couple of pens,
a couple of marky markers,
a couple of tiny frames....
that's all you need, neighbors-
well,
all that, a few minutes, and an idea.
then you're really ready to make a bit of small art.
yup.
small art.
it's not elaborate, it's not super-refined, or very fine-
no matter how tight the pen tips may be.
yeah.
when the day takes you off in a direction you don't expect?
...make some small art!
it's like a warm-up for february.
february always needs a lot of art.
that's a thing.
so, in advance, a bit of makin' is in order.
check it:

a dirty bird!
nice.

a skullworm?!
sure.

a moosebear!!!!
yeah.
y'all don't know my life.
i'm out here at AMPERSAND TATTOO making the minutes matter more, man.
ha!
these are all only a couple of inches.
tight spaces, tiny places, and mini frames are what we have room for in-between
all the bigger art hanging all along the white wall of the studio.
it's pretty flippin' cool.
you might wanna come see;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, January 16

STIRRED UP!

is stir-fry lame?
too easy?
it's quick, and that's the truth,.
but is it not fancy enough?
too simplistic? 
i don't think so at all,
but then again,
the way i do it, it's a giant exxxtravaganza of good flavors for everyone.
....really.
hot, tangy, spicy, sweet- all the good things.
and i'll eve only eff with a color palette that coordinates.
i'm like that, and i like that-
check it out:
GINGER-SRIRACHA NOODLE MAGIC!
-
i had coconut oil and sesame seeds toasting up those fat chunks of tofu.
that's tasty, toasty fried 'fu fury for your face.
simultaneously,
i had a skillet with superheated sesame oil searing allllll the veggies.
a bed of shredded cabbage, topped with celery, red onion, 
purple carrot, a LOT of garlic,
a spoonful of fresh skin-on organic ginger slivers,
minced cilantro stems,
and a whole bunch of diced up broccolini stalks and florets.
yeah!
that's all the good stuff.
while that sizzled and sauteed,
i whipped up a SAUCE.
y'gotta have some-
i'm sayin', neighbors-
without sauce, your sh!t is bound to be b!tchsappy and weak.
and that's never invited to my dinner table.
-
*
SAUCE!
-
1 T tamari;
1 T rice vinegar;
2 T mae ploy;
1 T sriracha;
2 tsp lime juice;
6 shredded big basil leaves;
black pepper;
GPOP;
1 tsp crushed cilantro leaves-
uh-huh.
that's the good good stuff.
-
now, i confess, i used thiccc udon noods.
i had 'em, i wanted 'em, i'm NOT sorry for it-
but if i'd needed to go gluten-free, i could've, 
and maybe should've, used rice noodles instead.
no worries, tho-
i had a half a cup of hot water, a bag of ready-to-go fatties,
a scoop of that sauce, and a hard squeeze of exxxtra sriracha, too.
yes.
too much is the right amount, man.
believe it.
i added all the rest of the sauce to the veggies, lidded it, 
and gave it a lil bitty baby minute to activate.
meanwhile,
the water was absorbed into the udons,
and the udons got added to the veggies, and all of it made it's way to my plate-
where pea shoots, AND scallions, AND cilantro, AND jalapeno, AND limes
all turned it up to eleven.
and then i got hella expert 
and slid half an AVO-F*ING-CADO all up on there too.
woooooooooooooord.
y'all ain't ready.
that's molto molto  massively magnificent.
real talk.
all that flavor had my nose a little runny!
that's a sure sign that it's good af.
*
i wasn't even gonna have dinner.
seriously, i overdid it allllll effing day.
i started off by making sure i had a burly BIG brekkie,
then i got surprised, and i had half an all-sauce-only sicilian pizza with dylan.
i dipped out of work a half an hour early, went to the grocery store,
and then i came home ready to relax,
but after only ten minutes, i had three burners going on the stove,
and buried my face in alll the noods.
it's a compulsion, it seems.
i slept like a boulder afterwards, and rested more than i've had in an age.
maybe MORE food is the right answer?
i'll do it again today, and find out;
never quiet, never soft.....

BIG TIME!

the potatoes were BIG.
the tofu was BIG.
the breakfast was BIG.
but the waffles? those were mini.
aww.
dudes, check the teleport:

BREKZ IN EFFECT!
oatmeal waffles are expert.
skin-on homeboi fries are expert.
tofu is F*ing super-expert.
and vegetables are all i even care about, neighbors.
y'boi is out here making sure mornings are nutritious af,
twice as filling,
three times as sexxxy,
and quadruple the hottness that a bowl of cereal ever could be.
that's word.
*
i had sourdough baking at 460℉
so i tossed in some oiled, pink salted and peppered fat red-skin-on wedges of potato
to roast in there with my loaves.
yeah.
wedgies, kids, for breakfast.
golden, but soft inside,
and tossed into a skillet with red onion and smoked hot paprika and GPOP?!
man, that's what you need.
but it ain't the boomfire 'til you activate some ho'sauce and scallion sprankles.
*
that tofu is the TRUTH, too.
fattie boombatie cubes of the stuff,
with red onion, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, nootch, turmeric, GPOP,
a little paprika, a glug of olive oil, slat and pepper,
and cilantro spranks to keep it lookin' lovely.
dudes,
i toasted the heck out of that tofu.
exxxtra-firm exxxtra-sexxxiness,
with vegetable berserker activation definitely did me right.
too much is the right amount,
and those oversized overloaded scrambloxxx was just that.
*
i loooooooove waffles.
mmhmm.
i do.
and these waffles were especially lovable.
f'real.
-
*
OATMEAL WAFFLES!
-
warm up your waffle iron, big, small, square, round, whatever-
-
in a big bowl, combine:
1 cup flour;
1/4 tsp salt;
2 T sugar;
1/2 cup whole rolled oats;
2 T dried small-flake unsweetened coconut;
1 tsp ea baking powder and soda.
stir that together, and add:
2 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
3 T melted vegan butter;
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1 tsp vanilla.
stir it up, let it rest, then spoon it in and waffle it out, bro.
yeah!
the waffle iron does all the hardest parts.
-
you'll need real new hampshire maple syrup if you want the best  results.
i mean, i only use it, and it's always dope.
keep your corn syrup to yourself, and if you're IN vermont, i s'pose you can use that stuff,
but if you're anywhere else, don't be lame, and use the true live free or die sap.
-
powdered sugar? sure.
like, why not, right?!
a bit of dusty overloading is possibly good for you.
it won't hurt any, that's for sure.
hmmm?
oh, yeah, those are coconut sprankles on the waffles, too.
i want a big B, buddy, not just an ordinary large breakfast.
***********
starting the day with some active, invested, intentional edible excellence was a good idea.
it helped make the tattoo i had on the schedule much easier to create.
i mean it.
a comfortably full belly,
a sweet and savory combination of textures and tastes-
i was loaded up, and well-rounded and feeling rotund,
and definitely ready to rock some socks.
it's always a huge comfort to me to make good food,
and enjoy the process and the product.
that's my at-home purpose, i think.
i'm a cook, and i cook a LOT.
good food and good feelings and good art and good things for e'rybody.
it's all really happening in the middle of january;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, January 15

MR.PUNCH!

man, have i got a judy for you!
i had two of these cool frames,
and i had a little minute or two at the end of the day,
so i marky-markered up another 'nother little patron icon
to hang on the big art wall at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
yeah.
mr. punch, possessor of the swazziest voice,
the slappiest stick,
and the hunchiest back:

that's my dude.
if you know, you know.
and i know, neighbors.
i'm a little unimpressed with the photo quality, relative to the delicate nuances
that alcohol markers impart.
this  looks a little washed out on the screen at my house,
but maybe it's comin' in fresh and crisspy over at yours?
i dunno, even though i know, y'know?
uh-huh.
go find out about punch and judy.
they do some things;
never quiet, never soft.....

D'YA LIKE DAGS?

mama was an old b!tch, bro.
uh-huh.
like, literally both of those things,
but she was the most loved, so now she's the most tattooed.
check it:

dog people do dog people things,
and i'm here to help with that.
we have all the dog sympathy, empathy, and enthusiasm at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
that's a thing;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, January 14

PIIIIIIIIIIIIZZAAAAAAA!!

sprouted whole wheat pizza?
man, i dunno.
i tried a new thing, and it worked out great.
ok, that's not entirely true.
rather, i had not enough of my regular king arthur all purpose flour,
so i amended my recipe with other stuff to bulk it up.
does the brand loyalty to king arthur really matter?
you bet your A* it does.
if you're a new englander, and you like using good wheat to make better treats?
well, then you have to use the king, kiddo.
rules is rules.
that's a thing.
ANYway,
i wasn't trying to make my dough exxxtra hippied-out,
or especially upgraded in nutrients,
i just didn't wanna open up another 'nother big bag of what i was using,
so i tossed in some semolina, but there wasn't enough of that either;
so i went off course a bit, and veered into powerful whole wheat territory.
now lemme just say it: this sh!t was expert!!
yup.
crispy, crusty, flavorful fresh baked burliness is just what i needed.
check the teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!
word up.
that's a triple vegan chee' super-deluxxxurious dopeness disc for sure.
what a crust!
what a cheesy pull it possesses!
what a furiously ferocious freshness it embodies!
hey, yo, on the ones? this is the stuff that reaffirms my belief in
turbo-intense active participation and warrior poetry in practice.
i mean it.
homemade hottness is always gonna make me feel better.
definitely.
so, what's the all-star line-up on this lovely circle of saucy supremacy?
i'll give it you:
fire-roasted crushed tomatoes for the sauce.
that's slightly chunkier than my normal everyday tuttorosso crushies,
but so worth it for the added rich depth that the fire-kisses impart.
for sure.
that's laid out over a bed of baby spinach.
leafy greens are great on pizza, and anybody who says otherwise is an A*-hole.
raw red onions?
don't mind if i do.
they're sharp, but a 480℉ oven, with convection circulation
takes them down a peg, and lets their flavor shine through,
but not so much of their death-breath savagery fumes out
from your facehole after a hot bake, y'feel me?
neighbors,
there are three vegan chee's on there.
-
minced daiya mozz.
that's the only way to do it.
if you don't mmice it, don't even bother, because your usage is flawed
and therefore your end results will be too.
f'realsies.
-
grated miyoko mozz.
that stuff is soooo good, and super melty, and really tasty.
-
and do you see those margherite-style mountains of chee'?
that's my own personal tapioca-tofu greatness in F*ing full effect.
yup.
here's that recipe.
that's the stuff.
*
and how about those smoky chick peas?
mmmm.
GPOP and hot smoked paprika and olive oil and garbanzos,
all fried up together for some meaty magnificence rolling all over the top.
-
and fried garlic sprankles, obviously.
y'can't have a Folk Life & Liberty Fortress pizza without 'em.
it's just not allowed.
-
when it came out of the oven, i had to hit it up with a lil parsley;
just a teentsy tiny little baby bit, to pretty it up,
and then i activated it with level-eleven savory sexxxiness
by tearing a bunch of fresh basil over the top and laying it over the top.
word.
-
but, that crust though.
holy crap, guys.
i was very pleasantly surprised.
-
*
WEIRD-O'DOUGH!
-
in your vital upright stand-mixer, complete with dough hook,
knead all together:
1 pkg fast yeast;
1 pkg regular yeast;
1/3 cup sprouted whole wheat flour;
1 1/2 cups ap flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/4 cup semolina flour;
1 cup very warm water.
knead it for eleven minutes on mediumish speed-
add more flour if it's tooooo wet, but you'll want a wetter,. stickier dough for this-
over time, in the fridge, while it proofs, that whole wheat will absorb way more water
than regular flour, and the extra yeast will thank you for the hydration, too.
i gave it 12 hours to get ready, and the oven was hot as hell when i stretched my dough, bro.
uh-huh.
i still use an oiled, seasoned steel baking sheet, from who knows when or where,
to make my pizzas on.
i love it.
i wet my hands to handle the dough, and gave it a really even and thorough stretch,
and baked it with one turn in the oven,
and then another few minutes directly on the stones....
pizza is my numero-uno,
and this one was a trophy piece, no doubt about it.
i love it when i have a good reason to keep my oven on,
and warm up this drafty old expensive, expansive manse, man.
***********
sunday was a little bit of alright.
i had tattoos,
i had pizza,
i had time alone with breezy,
and she came through to AMPERSAND TATTOO
looking goooooooood, too.
that's always invited.
like, if you say you got a tasty mountain mama,
but then she walks in lookin' hella haggard?
that's fine.
c'mon, dudes, don't be shallow-
ladies,
we respect all y'all, and you don't need to paint yourself up to be valuable.
but, when the looks are flowin' fast and free?
man, you already know.
i appreciate it, and it lends credibility to my taste in what's good.
that's f'real.
so i had pizza, and my tired oven took it's damned time getting hot enough,
and she had a gluten-free mixed medley of stuff i had,
but she was already more than hot enough, so that sped things up a lot.
ha!
spanning time, and being together, and enjoying each other-
sometimes, that's what we need;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, January 13

WARM UP!

man, i'm gettin' pretty good at flavorful, soulful, sexy soups-
and without gluten, which means no shortcuts,
and weirder 'ronis,
and more vegetables to turn the flavor up to eleven.
yeah.
i will be an expert vegan gluten-free personal chef to my people.
i'm not saying that i'm gonna start turning people to a new way of life,
but on my watch, they'll be eating better than any other time in their lives.
that's my homecooked fresh-baked purpose.
to nourish so we flourish.
at least, in the kitchen. and maybe the bedroom.
hey, now!!  take it easy, i'm just sayin'.
ANYway,
i got home, dead on my feet, barely capable of keeping my eyes open,
and unsure if i was gonna have dinner companions-
( i did not, but it's good to play it safe,
and be a gracious host if circumstances demand it)
so i made an elite semi-minestrone italian warm-up soup.
yes i did, and it's 100% vegan, as always, and 100% gluten-free by design.
those're my moves, man.
check the teleport:

badaBOOM!
rice pasta? it's good if you overcook it.
haha.
f'really realsies tho, otherwise it's a bit gritty.
but, separately soaked and added to the soup postscript?
tight af, neighbors.
yep.
the soup itself was sorta simple-
-
*
MINI-STRONES!
-
in a small pan, caramelize half of one chopped sweet onion;
that's a pinch of pink salt, a dollop of oil, highish heat, and time.
when the onions brown a bit, add a can of drained stewed tomatoes,
and let those cook right up for ten minutes.
mash 'em up so they aren't big chunks.
it'll be better later in the soup if there's more in each bite, y'feel me?
word.
also, reserve the liquid for your soup, bruh.
don't go wastin' tasty juice, that's lame.
-
in a two-quart pot, with a drop of olive oil and a pat of vegan butter,
saute:
1 cup chopped cabbage;
1/2 small sweet onion;
1 carrot, sliced;
1 stalk of celery, sliced;
2 cloves chopped garlic;
1 red skin-on cubed potato;
1 cup baby grape tomatoes;
pink salt, black pepper;
heavy shakes of GPOP;
a punch of nootch.
sizzle that until it gets sorta soft, and the edges get a lil brown-
add the tomato liquid;
1 T red wine vinegar;
1 T tamari;
3 cups warm water;
1 cup drained and rinsed chick peas;
dried basil , oregano, and thyme to taste-
add more salt, if necessary (don't make it bland, buddy, you'll only disappoint yourself)
-
get it up to a hard boil, keep it there for two minutes, turn it down to medium-low,
and add the carmies and 'matoes.
y'ever seen soup?
it should look like that-
y'know?
thicker, richer, colorful, etc.
i added two cups of baby spinach,
and three big hand-torn leaves of basil,
and stirred them until they were bright af, but soft, too.
mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
-
you see the boomfore hottness that i ended up with.
it's F*ing great.
and filling.
and WARM.
and that helped with the arctic awfulness of a dark, dim, forlorn and forsaken evening.
i like that.
a LOT.
hearty stuff is where it's at when there aren't any degrees being recorded
as the temperature.
i had three bowls.
i didn't notice the absence of gluten.
i did notice that i was comfortably full.
that's a victory, for sure.
***********
crabtree haaaaates walking in the very very cold weather.
however,
he also hates being calm and collected without a vent for all his hyperactive energy.
and i'm not trying to endure a doo-doo buttery ball of fireball fury,
running and chewing and generally making a nuisance of himself,
all because his paws are cold outside, and he'd rather stay indoors.
sorry, buddy, but we're trekking through air so cold it hurts to inhale.
he's got a little coat, and it matches mine, and that's cute for sure.
so we look good while we suffer,
and sometimes, that's the best you're gonna get;
never quiet, never soft.....

ALWAYS CAKE...

i'm a cake guy, it seems.
i mean, 
i NEVER think about cake at a bakery 
(i also almost never go to bakeries)
and i NEVER order cake at a restaurant for dessert 
(vegan hottness is rare in these parts)
but i sure do love to eat some cake when i'm home,
or at work,
and to do that, i've gotta make it, and when i'm making it these days,
i'm trying to create some expert gluten-free freshness for my face.
yeah.
yesterday, 
in anticipation of some more time with my celiac maniac,
i fired up a lil cakey goodness, in a ring  ...or halo, even, of wheatless wonder.
mmmm.
check the teleport:
YEAH!
it's regular crumb vegan cake,
but with TWO kinds of drizzle decadence on top.
one's double dark chocolate,
and the other is COFFEE!!!
that makes mocha, neighbors, and mocha is F*ing delicious.
i couldn't decide if the picture was overly buttholey,
so i also took a chunk out, (to eat) and maybe make it a little less like a crinkler.
teleport:
right? that's less bum-bum, and more sweetness.
i have a few bundt pans, and i use them occasionally, as a treat for my treats-
i admit i'm kind of a boring purist about cake shape, 
and circles are my favorite forever.
so, a no-middle circle counts, kinda, 
even with the bundty bumps that make it more suitable for drizzly decoration.
and the drizzle really is what activated the excellence in this one, friends.
f'real.
the cake itself is good.
like, surprisingly so, given my initial failures last summer using similar techniques.
turns out, if you use just one flour, or prepacked blend of flour,
you are fully F*ing up.
uh-huh.
the best thing about gluten free baking?
too much is always the only right amount.
and that's no joke.
i had four different packages opened in order to make this work,
and it worked, and it's great, and i had three slices before the day was done.
what can you do?
you can follow the recipe and make one for yourself!
-
*
GF BUNDT!
-
preheat your oven to 360℉
-
grease up your non-stick bundt pan 
-
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together:
8 T (1 stick) vegan butter;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 cup organic sugar.
stir in:
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt.
mix well, then add:
1 cup bob's gf ap baking blend (bean-based) flour;
1 cup bob's gf 1:1 rice-based flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/3 cup gf oat flour;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
stir well, and thoroughly, and spoon the batter evenly into the ring pan, man.
bake it for 35 minutes, or until the center is solid and a cake tester comes out clean-
let it cool five minutes, then turn it over and out onto a wire rack to finish chilling out.
-
transfer your cake to wax paper (or put your wire rack over the sink?)
and hit it with the double drizzle-
i had leftover chocolate ganache, which i re-melted, 
and dripped over the golden exterior of this bad baby 
in strips and stripes and stripes and strips,
and then i whipped up some coffe-style icing to activate the exxxtra expertism.
yeah.
3/4 cup powdered sugar;
4 tsp powdered instant decaf coffee;
1/2 tsp vanilla;
1-2 tsp non-dairy milk to liquefy the sugar-
y'all dunno how dope this is until you do it, so do it, and bask in the mocha majesty.
that's real.
***********
it's so cold nobody is outside.
it's so cold the whole town is basically hibernating.
it's so cold that my ears want to snap off.
it's so cold that indoors, too close to a window, i'm still so cold, 
even with the heat way up.
i'm gonna need more cake to bulk up and bear this brutality, bro.
it's all week long, according to the current weather reports,
and that's a lot of subzero stinging to suffer through.
the woodsly goodness does this every year, so that's not a surprise-
but, that doesn't mean it's a welcome circumstance, regardless.
i've got on all the layers, and i'm dreaming of wearing a mountain of blankets while i tattoo.
instead, we're all gonna be chilly, and that's just what we're gonna do.
it's all really happening, and while the cake helps, when there isn't one baking, 
the house is still that much colder, and my purple-tinged fingers aren't having it;
frosty icicles for digits?
it's not ideal for typing. i am finding that out right now;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, January 12

MORE'RUMA!

i found a couple of expert frames,
and the first one has a lil somethin' in it already,
thanks to a pack of prismacolor alcohol marky-markers and a couple of micron pens.
mmmhmmm.
i'll make art out of whatever, forever,
but i'll only really ever make, like, the same five things:

DARUMA!
yea.
that frame though, bro.
it's pretty tight.
and i have another 'nother one, too.
who knows what'll end up in that one!?
i'm excited to find out.
-
i did two tattoos yesterday.
one was a 'money rose', big and bold and black and grey,
and that was cool.
but then, i did a lil intricate dotty busy bee:

neat!
that was a lotta lines and dots in a small space.
i'm always excited to make jokes and have fun,
and make the experience somethin' memorable for my clients.
i hope i'm doing it half as well as i'd like to be.
ideally, it's twice as rewarding for them as for me.
y'know?
i just want everybody to be happy when they're thinking about AMPERSAND TATTOO.
it's an extension of me, and i want that to reflect my best self.
i'm doing my damnedest to deliver on that;
never quiet, never soft.....

FRIDAY FORMUOLI!

ravioli are always expert.
i mean it.
poochie little pouches packed with power?
c'mon.
what's not to like about that?
and when your day is loaded with shoulder-hunching muscle-bunching stress;
and the temperature outside is less than no degrees, and windy;
and the dark day has given over to darker night, and it's all weighing down hard?
man,
making dinner should be the process to untangle all that tension, i think.
it wasn't this time but i still did my best
and while i may have been bursting with nervous energy,
the results were the kind that come from a calm mind and a sound plan, man.
yep.
check it out:

HOORAY FOR RAVIOLI!!!!!
i used too many pans, i made too much of a mess, and i ate it all too fast, too.
uh-huh.
too much is the right amount.
that's just the way it is around here.
there are also too many different things going on on that plate,
which is to say: it's just exxxactly right.
mmmm.
there's homemade semolina pasta dough.
there's homemade vegan tapioca-tofu mozzarella.
there's kale-onion-garlic filling, with lots of crushed red pepper flakes.
there's custom from-scratch sauce.
and then there's all thsoe exxxtra veggies, too.
neighbors, this one was designed to undo the doo-doo of the day.
all the steps, all the flavors, all the best parts all at once.
that's the recipe for making a bad day better.
that's true for me. i dunno what y'all do, but i make food to make sense of my life.
you wanna make sense, or maybe just make ravioli?
they're one and the same, son.
and here's some of the ways in which you can make the magic happen.....
-
*
RAVIOLI DOUGH!
-
in your stand-upright mixer with a dough hook attached, knead:
1 cup semolina flour;
1 cup king arthur ap flour;
1 1/2 tsp salt;
2 T olive oil;
3/4 cup warm water.
knead for 11 minutes, rest, wrapped for 11 more, roll it, cut it,
and get the shapes ready to fill.
*
you gotta have stuff IN your ravs, or you're just having pasta, y'feel me?
rules is rules and without elite insides, you ain't got nothin' to write about.
-
*
HOMEMADE VEGAN TAPIOCA-TOFU MOZZ'!
-
in a food processor or high speed blender, puree:
1/2 block undrained silken tofu;
1/4 cup tapioca starch;
1 tsp ea Garlic Powder Onion Powder;
1/4 tsp pink salt;
2 T nutritional yeast (nootch);
1/4 cup water;
2 T olive oil;
1 T lemon juice.
-
transfer that thickly liquefied lava to a small pot, over high heat,
and stir it until it pulls away from the sides as one very sticky mass.
it takes as long as it takes, but it's totally worth it.
this stuff is molto expert, and it's mandatory for these pockets we're producing.
-
the other half of the filling?
*
1/4 cup minced onion;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
one full package baby kale, chopped;
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes;
black pepper to taste,
all sauteed in olive oil until soft, and the onions are translucent and just starting to brown-
-
allow both your new chee' and your green stuff to cool,
and while they're doing that?
make the sauce!
-
*
CARROT-TOMATO SAUCE!!
-
in a one quart saucepot, saute in 1 T olive oil:
1/3 cup minced onion;
1 medium-sized chopped carrot;
1 1/2 cups baby grape tomatoes.
cook that down to the bursting tomatoes level,
and add:
GPOP, nootch, basil, sage, black pepper, and pink salt.
how much?
well, however much flavor y'all like, i guess,
but they're listed in order of greatest to least quantity.
ha.
-
add 1 T red wine vinegar;
1 tsp tamari;
1 1/2 cups warm water, and bring it all to a boil, the reduce it to a simmer,
and let the whole thing thicken up.
....it will.
then puree that sh!t with a wand blender, or in that food processor,
or your high-speed blender, or whatever.
i know, there's a lot going on for one meal, here.
it's NOT a quick one at all,
but it's a dedicated dose of dopeness rewarding you for the efforts.
for real.
*
so, now, get a big ol' pot of very salty water boiling,
and cut allllll the 2" circles out, to fill with the kale and the chee'.
i think i made 72?
that's three dozen packets of hottness all told, and that's what's good, bruh.
a blop of chee', a blop of kale, a quick flick of water to moisten the top circle,
and a seal, press, and fork-tine-activation, and you've got yourself a ravioli.
do that 35 more times, and by then the water should be boilin'......
here's the pro tip:
add a scoop of sauce to a big bowl, with a few big leaves of torn fresh basil,
and as you cook your ravs, which will float when they're ready,
pull 'em out with a sieve/spider/scooper, and toss 'em in the sauce-
the water on 'em will help slip and slide those suckers util they're all coated.
when you plate 'em, spread the sauce on the bottom first,
to keep them in place.
smart.
how's that work?
like this:

Y'ALL KNOW THE FORMUOLI, BOI!!!!!
*
and what else?
i'll tell you what else-
pan fried sweet potatoes!
yeah.
olive oil and semi-cricles of 1/4" thick tater, browned and softened on both sides.
that's so good, and it's the nicest bite mixed in with these ravs.
no joke.
-
blackened baby grape tomato halves?
absolutely.
they're soft, and tart, and sweet, and 'burnty', and delicious, and that's always invited, too.
a little oil and salt, a very hot pan, and enough time to rost those exposed edges is all you need.
yum.
-
fried garlic sprankles?
man, c';mon. if you aren't serious about eating well, just get take out and F* off already.
-
fresh basil!!!!
heck yes.
a little brightness is what i needed, and this sure did it.
you've got ric thickness everywhere, and then kaBOOM,
a sunshiny summery upgrade comes through and turns it up to eleven.
i like that a lot.
-
and last but not least? parsley spranks.
i just like 'em.
no need, really, except they're pretty.
that's reason enough.
don't eat ugly food, dudes.
that's my advice.
-
now you've got a plate of greatness, and if you've done it right,
without distraction or demerits or detractors, your night just got awesome.
making food that looks and tastes and feels good is a good way to live.
for me, it's an escape as much as a means of centering myself.
those're sorta one and the same, aren't they?
i guess so.
if i could eat them with more savoring, i might be eve better off than i am,
but by the time i got home from the grocery store,
got the ingredients together, made all the things from scratch,
and got around to munchin' up on this excellence?
i stress-ate all the benefits of the process in mere minutes.
yup.
shark-gluttonous anxiety feeding frenzies are a real-life side effect
of intentional, inventive, time-consuming edible experimentation-
a man's gotta get those nutrients in there, man.
and by the time it was ready, i  was ravenous.
it all costs something, i s'pose-
mitigated enjoyment of the destination,
after doggedly determined driving forward towards it is prob'ly what i deserve?
like, make nice food faster, maybe?
who knows?
it tasted like a hundred dollars worth of hottness,
and that counts as a win, no matter the collateral cloud of consternation.
word.
***********
i'm frozen.
i am.
and it's not likely to get better soon.
a whole week of arctic windy worsening is in the forecast,
and all of my usual outdoor routes are icebound and awful.
it seems as if the woodsly goodness wants to compound my aggravations.
i guess that's fair, right?
without the bitter, the sweet's not as sweet.
and this is the bitter cold and brutal breeze that'll bring me to my knees,
and make the freezing point seem like a welcome sauna of sultry sexxxiness.
it must be what needs to happen,
because it definitely IS a winter wasteland right now.
i'll wait, mostly because i have no other options.
this is it, and that's What Is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, January 11

COFFEE CAKE!!!

i make some treats sometimes that're so flippin' fresh,
and so dang good,
and so deliciously dope,
that i impress myself with 'em.
for real, i'm usually not disappointed by my baked sweets an' stuff,
but once in a while i get all kinds of giddy about how great one of 'em turns out.
i made a gluten-F*ing-free coffee cake that had me rocked back on my heels 
at how incredibly authentically awesome it was.
that's the truth.
check the teleport:
YUP!
i offered to make a lil somethin' nice for breezy and the kids,
and i knew that the two bigger ones were big fans of coffee cake.
that made it an easy decision, for sure.
it's SO super-freakin' fluffy,
and the crumb is soft and crOmbly,
and the streusel is all cinnamon oaty,
and all of it together is completely expert.
so, when you freak it off with coconut ice cream, and coconut whippy cream,
AND cinnamon sprankles?
it's a level-eleven exxxperience, and it'll rock your socks to barefootville!
mmmmmmmm.
so, what's in it that's so great?
how can a gluten-free jaun be such a triumph?
well, for starters, it's made with love,
and also, it's made by a vegan sorcerer savant,
and lastly, it has all kinds of upgraded exxxtras, 
so it follows the basic principle of Folk Life & Liberty Fortress 
test kitchen laboratory exxxperimentation:
too much is the right amount.
word.
so, here's how it happened, and i hope you try it out-
-
*
GF COCONUT OATMEAL LEMON CINNAMON COUGH COUGH!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
grease a 9" x 12" brownie pan
-
in a medium mixing bowl, cream together:
8 T (1 stick vegan) butter;
2 T vegan creamchee';
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup light brow sugar;
1/4 cup powdered sugar;
1/4 cup sugar.
blend thoroughly until sticky and mooshy,
then add:
1/2 cup vegan sour cream;
1/2 lemon's zest;
1/3 cup macaroon-flake unsweetened coconut;
1 cup mama's gf almond-blend flour;
1 cup bob's ap gf flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 cup non-dairy milk + 1 T lemon juice.
stir well, to a thick but runny batter,
and pour it into your pan-
-
in the bowl you just scraped out, combine:
4 T vegan butts;
1 1/4 cups bob's gf quick oats;
1/4 cup bob's gf oat bran;
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup light brown sugar;
1/4 cup powdered sugar;
2 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 lemon zest.
chop it like it's gotta get crOmbly af.
and when it does?
crumble that streusel all over the top,n and put the whole thing in the oven 
for 35 minutes- maybe even 40.... it's done when the center is firm,
and the top is crisp, you'll know, and you'll be psyched,
and the whole house will smell like heavenly hottness from the future of yesterday.
uh-huh.
damn, duders.
this one is a seriously flavorful activation.
it's just so comfortingly delish.
i love it.
i hope you do too-
.....and if you have some coconut vanilla ice cream to blast it out a la mode?
that's tight.
and if you're already there, and you also have coconut whippy cream?
do it.
you gotta.
and if the cinnamon dusties are in effect, you'll probably be psyched, so don't hold back.
coffee cake is made to make you feel better about everything ever.
and i do, thanks to a big ol' bite of this bad boi.
ha!
***********
it's fully wintertime over here.
there's mountains of snow,
acres of ice,
and barely any degrees on the thermometer.
after running a few errands, and getting a rand spankin'; new license,
with a brand-spankin' new picture, that, for the record, 
is every bit as intentionally outstanding as every other picture 
i've ever had on a permanent form of picture ID, which is to say: wild as hell-
i spent the rest of the day with breezy and the kids,
and we spanned all the time together in a happy harmony.
i love it when a day flows smoothly like that.
and we laughed and ate and played and it all unfolded like it was meant to,
right down to tucks into bed after a story and a shark dance,
and even my ride back to the mountains was fluid and unobstructed.
some days are better than others, and this one was alright, man;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, January 10

SO MANY MORE LINES!

i drew it myself, i have nobody else to blame.
however, i did both my hands a severe and savage and serious bit of mischief-
hand-drawing all the lines,
and using a lightweight aluminum machine to hit 'em hard where it hurts.
that's recipe for shockwaves and awesome aftershocks and i juries to my arms an' that.
ouch.
i felt every impact almost as acutely as the lovely stepsisters who occupied my whole entire day.
they are not wicked ones in the least, either.
their tattoos however, are wicked siiiiick,
up to and including a flippin' dragonwolf, bro.
that's real.
check out a little of what we did at AMPERSAND TATTOO recently:

and albie bee, named jenny by her owner!

ouch, there's a bone that hates being tattooed right there!
and then, on her sister, i fired up this battle-beast:

whoah!!!
and that swirly lightning stuff?
it goes allllllll the way around both sides.
yikes!!
-
it's pretty F*ing awesome to have slients who wanna hang out all dang day long.
i like it, a lot.
in fact, i look forward to spanning time and space with these folks,
and we get a to share stories and talk about life, and food, and the future,
and it's a welcome exchange,
while i'm exchanging their old busted skin for some new hottness,
and they're exchanging hours and dollars to become more dope than when they got there.
i'm grateful for the opportunity to do this.
i'm grateful for the recurring visits that interact and overlap
and intertwine our stories together.
it makes the whole thing a billion times more expert.
that's real;
never quiet, never soft.....

BLACK RAMEN!

i enjoy a good noodle bowl.
i do.
lately, it seems like i'm always enjoying a good noodle bowl.
i'm ok with an overabundance of soupy noods, dudes-
too much is the right amount,
and besides, i'm not having the same noods over and over,
i'm doing it differently each and every time.
mmhmm.
this time?
it's black ramen.
yeah, forbidden rice gluten free hottness, in some seriously good soup.
yeah.
check the teleport:
TIIIIIGHT!
we got some sesame tempeh on top, too.
that's an expert addition to the scene.
and, it was simple as heck to make:
-
*
SESAME TEMPEH!
-
in a smallish pan, prepare half a block of tempeh by slicing it widthwise in half,
and cutting those thinner halves in half, and bias-cutting some triangles.
i got eight of 'em ready to go, and sauteed them for three miunutes,
then seasoned them with:
1 tsp sesame oil;
2 tsp tamari;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1 T agave;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
1 T rice vinegar;
1/2 cup water......
as the water absorbed and the sugars caramelized, 
i added a few shakes of those two-tone toasted sesame seed sprankles,
and called it good.
mmmm.
like i said- easy.
*
the soup was simple, too.
but not so simple that it was boring and bland-
-
*
GINGER-GARLIC SOUP!
-
it begins with a quart pot on high heat. 
and then you just start adding all the things, in order:
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage;
1 medium white carrot, sliced;
1/3 rough chopped white onion;
3 cloves sliced garlic;
1" knob of organic skin-on ginger, minced;
the layers should be undisturbed while it browns a bit, like, five minutes' worth,
then drizzle in 2 tsp canola oil;
let that sizzle for another minute, then toss all the stuff around and add:
1 tsp ea. GPOP;
22 coarse craxxx of black pepper;
lots of pink salt;
1/4 tsp dried ginger;
2 T cilantro stems, minced;
1 T rice vinegar;
1 tsp tamari;
2 1.4 cups water.
bring it to a boil, simmer it for ten minutes, serve it up piping hot.
that's how you doo-doo the easiest, but burliest broth ever.
for real.
-
i always boil my ramen separately.
i don't eff with flavor packets, either.
box mix is for jerks, and that's no joke.
i do drain, rinse, and drain 'em, however, because theta's how you do it,
and rules is rules.
word.
so, now we got three minutes' worth of boiled black ramen ready to go,.
and all that broth,
and those tempeh triangles.....
seems legit.
* i have to admit, i effed up. yep. i did. 
do you see the problem?
yeah. you do.
that's exxxactly right: where the F* are the scallion sprankles?
i was chatting with breezy, man.
y'know- about our days and about our lives, and i was distracted a bit,
so i left 'em off.
it's a minor regret, and the results were still awesome, 
but in retrospect, i see my shortcoming,
and in future bowls of barbarian black rice righteousness, 
i will not neglect those green rings on top.
dang.
-
i did activate those mung sprouts, however...
and those pea shoots,
and those radishes, which were particularly crispy and sharp and perfect.
mmmmmmm.
it's never all bad, even without a scallion, son.
and just to pump up the saturated color magic, 
i also freaked it off with a little bit of shredded purple cabbage.
heck yes.
i like a pretty bowl of suppery soup to sip on, neighbors.
if i'm gonna make it, i'm gonna make it how i like it.
obvi.
i mean, c'mon,. what am i?
an A*-hole?
no way.
i'm a kaleidoscopic soup summoner, and i'm conjuring up a few bowls a week,
always different, but always dope.
who knows?
i may even veer away from asian noods,
and go hard into regular pastas and such.
the future is mysterious, even if it's deterministic.
i'm only slightly comforted by the time i get being spanned so specifically,
because i just have so much food i want to eat,
and i hope i get to cook it all before my stay here is over.
i don't wanna die regretting the meal i never ate.
ha!
and i'm not even a little teentsy tiny little baby bit kidding;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, January 9

SHIPSHAPE!

my client came in with a picture of a cross-hatched ship in a flower.
i took it, turned it up a little,
took more than a few liberties,
sized it up to his arm,
and climbed into it with a couple two-three different needles.
yeah.
a ship in a rose, based on reference from an artist who is unknown to me,
and therefore is regrettably uncredited for their inspiration.
check the teleport:

boats and hoes, bros.
i like a bit of black and grey.
i also like flower tattoos.
i even dig on waterborne vessels.
you may have noticed recently that all these tattoos are very different.
...that's because i do all the kinds of tattoos.
i guess that's my specialty?
you need it, i got it, and y'all could get it;
never quiet, never soft.....

ITALIAN SUPPER!

escarole and beans!
y'know about this old timey classic?
probably not, if you're a regular ol' person-
but if you had a grandma who spoke insistent gibberish pidgin sicilian,
and F*ed around like a sorceress in the kitchen,
then you for sure had some of this italian classic.
i mean, i had that, and i had that, if you get my drift.
now, normally, i would have escarole and white bean soup.
that's how my ma always makes it, after her ma.
but,
i'm up not an old italian lady.
i'm an old italian manly man, man.
and up here, buried under a two-day-long buffeting of snowy woodsly goodsly weather,
i wanted something more hearty, and less wet.
yeah.
so, i made the o.g. dish the way i read about one time,
except i think i added too many things (which actually made it super-F*ing expert)
mmmhmmm.
MORE notes for my savory symphony meant MORE flavor for my face!
i like that.
check the teleport:

'SCAROLE!!
have y'all ever seen escarole? it looks like lettuce, but it's way burlier.
and it tastes great cooked.
hot lettuce is a bummer, but hot escarole is dreamy when it's steamy.
it takes two pots to make it, or a high-walled skillet and a pot, i guess.
one has the leaves, and the other has the beans (obvi),
and you're gonna absolutely need some dippin' bread.
that's no joke.
good bread is the key to a good life, and when it's my own custom homemade sourdough?
well, the flavors exxxplode a little louder and fresher when you've got it like that, neighbors.
mmm.
so, what did i do to make this my own?
i'll gladly write all about it:
-
*
ESCAROLE AND BEANS!
-
in a non-stick skillet, with a glug of olive oil, saute:
1/3 cup sliced onion;
3 cloves sliced garlic;
1 cup baby grape tomatoes;
22 coarse craxx of black pepper;
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes.
sizzle that on high heat for a few minutes,
then toss in 1 coarsely chopped head of escarole,
and hit it with some pink salt.
roll it all around to coat it in oil,
and let it simmer on medium heat for about 11 minutes.
add in a punch of chopped parsley, stir and let it sit a second.
ha.
-
in a little one quart pot, with a glug of olive oil, on high heat,
combine:
2 T minced onion;
1/4 cup crumbled tempeh;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1 tsp nootch;
1 rinsed 15 oz can white beans;
( i used great northern, because i'm prety far north, and it's pretty freakin' great)
sizzle that to a softened oniony state, then add:
1 cup vegetable stock;
1/4 tsp smoked paprika;
3-4 shakes of liquid smoke;
1 cup baby kale;
simmer that until it gets thickened up and add a lil fresh parsley-
NOW you've got parts one and two of a two part epic excellent edible experience.
yup.
add a fat scoop of beans to the greens, and stir it all up-
plate it however you'd like,
and then add a second scoop of beans to that bed of tastiness.
did i hit it with a pinch more parsley, and MORE red pepper flakes??
i did.
i like a sprankle, friends. MORE little cutie fancies is just how i express myself.
-
the tomatoes burst over the high heat-
the garlic simmered down to a fiery flavor,
but without the breath-blastin' raw fury i don't need at night.
the beans are firm, but soft, and that little bit of dark leafy greenery,
and the freshie-fresh parsley together make it especially rewarding.
i think the old country version is like, beans, bacon, and leaves?
i dunno.
i'm never ever effin' with smoed pig parts,
but i'm also never gonna keep it overly simplified.
that ain't me, bruh.
i need allllll the exxxtras.
always.
too much is the right amount.
and that's a fact.
***********
snow days.
man, the weather outside is non-cooperative.
and that's cool and all-
a winter-white snowy wonderland of silenced woodsliness is pretty neat-
but i'm tucked up and away on a hill that becomes a bobsled flume
at the first drip of rain over fresh powder-
and while that's exciting, it's also dangerous.
so,
on my way to anywhere, i'm drifting fast and furiously into the future,
first and foremost, before i ever hit a thoroughfare.
i'm looking forward to slippin' sideways at the start of my day.
it's all really happening, and that's just how it goes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, January 8

PIZZA PARTY!!!!!

hey-
i put a pat of vegan butter in my dough,
and it took that muh-fuhh'r into bread territory.
yeah.
i made pizza.
i always make pizza.
i always want pizza.
i had had pizza for lunch, before i made pizza for supper.
too much pizza is NOT a thing, so i'm not ever worried that it's gonna be more than i need.
i need ALL the pizza, and that's no joke.
but, my dough was breadish- i'm not sad about it, i'm just sayin'.
and if i had to eat a sexxxy sandwich circle?
this is the one i'd have ordered on purpose is it hadn't come through on accident.
word up.
check the happy-birthday-pizza-time-type teleport:

YES!!!!!
brussies, mushies, carmies, and tempeh bacon,
with sauce and chee' x2, and fried garlic sprankles,
because rules is rules, and even though i almost forgot 'em,
they're on there for the win.
the dough was wet, which i liked a lot.
the olive oily bottom kept it exxxtra-good, too.
i don't discriminate when it comes to vegan pizza.
if it's a compassionate and conscientious radical vegan circle (or square) of
crust and crucial comestibles?
i'mma eat a LOT of it.
that's a fact,.
and when i'm full from lunch pizza, the only cure is dinner pizza.
obvi.
don't be dumb.
too much is the right amount always and forever.
the mushrooms? dry-fried and slightly pink salted, and barely browned.
perfect.
the onions? a little bit burnt i spots. i like my caramelization hard and heavy, homies.
the brussies? steam-seared in a hot uncovered pan, with a splash of water in there,
once or twice, on a lil bit of olive oil, and with a splash or two of tamari
to finalize the perfection of a glazed brussels sprout victory.
mmmmmm.
-
how about that tempeh bacon?
i can say with confidence that it's F*ing expert.
what's in it?
well, thinly sliced strips of tempeh for starters.
arranged in a pan, with a glug of olive oil,
plus:
2 T tamari;
1/4 tsp ea. GPOP;
heavy shakes of smoked paprika;
2-3 shakes of liquid smoke;
1 T agave;
22 craxxx of black pepper;
1/2 cup water-
hydrated on high heat until the water is absorbed and the sugars and salts
have made a syrup of glazed craziness.
you'll love it.
-
i got my daiya chee' on there, MINCED, man.
that's a must.
i got my grated miyoko mozz' on there, too.
double chee' is the future of pizza at my house.
f'really real.
-
and that dough?
well,
it was 2 1/4 cups flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
1 T vegan butts;
1 pkg fast yeast;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
1 cup warm water.
all in my stand-up mixer, with the hook-arm swinging it for like fifteen minutes,
before bulking it up for two hours in the fridge, and stretching it out to fit my steel pan.
the pan is my home boy.
i have two oven stones holding heat, and i finish most of my pies on top of those directly,
but i use the pan as a bakeable peel until that point.
it's awesome, and it works, which is even better than being awesome.
-
as always, my oven was roaring at 480℉, convection-style.
it takes forEVER to heat up now-
i think i overused the whole thing, too much, too often, too hard,
and now it's tired.
that makes me sad, a little.
i've baked up some epic eats on that big baby b!tch.
nearly ten years of daily abuse have taken their toll, however,
and i guess i respect the thing for it's service.
yeah.
-
dylan was here to enjoy that pizza pie.
pizza tastes better with a friend,
even if that means you have to share it.
it was burly.
it was cheesy.
the sauce was copious, but not soupy.
the whole freakin' thing was a perfectly balanced bit of Folk Life fresh-to-deathness.
that's all i needed.
it did put me out, though.
like a light.
comfort and sustenance and trad-sliced traingles and all that chee'
were what pushed me past my prominent exhaustion, and right into nearly a coma.
i slept like pizza was protecting me, and maybe it was, man.
i dunno what goes on inside my body where i can't see it.
i choose to believe that my berfday pizza was taking care of me.
i like that;
never quiet, never soft.....

TOM YUM!

thai hot and sour sexxxiness, son!
i'm with that.
it just looks spicy.
it smells like you're gonna be healthier than everybody if you have a bowl.
it tastes like there's a zillion tiny fairies shooting fireworks on your tongue.
it's good.
really good.
so good, a whole pot isn't gonna last long at all, y'all.
and if you're gonna make some, then you'd better make MORE.
i had some the other night, quick-fast and in a hurry,
and it was exxxactly what fought off the cold and the exhaustion of a wild wintry day.
teleport:

YUM is right.
i dunno who tom is, but he's pretty good at soup, guys.
how can y'all make this happen?
that's so simple.
you just do this:
-
*
TOMMY YUMMMMMY!!
-
in a 2 quart pan on high heat with a spoonful of toasted sesame oil,
AND a spoonful of unrefined raw coconut oil, saute:
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage;
1/2 red onion chopped;
1 stalk celery, diced;
1/2 aloha bell pepper, in thin strips;
2 big cloves sliced garlic;
1 small white carrot, in discs;
1/2 purple carrot, bias (angle) cut;
1/4 cup cilantro leaf;
1 1/2 cups whole baby sweet grape tomatoes.
slightly brown the cabbage, then stir in:
2 T chili-garlic paste;
1 T sriracha;
1 T agave;
1 tsp dry ginger;
1 1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1 tsp ground coriander seed;
22 craxxx coarse black pepper;
add in:
3 T rice vinegar;
2 T tamari;
sizzle that fro three minutes, then pour in:
2 cups warm water;
2 cups baby spinach.
bubble that up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and bubble it for ten-fifteen minutes, man.
in a separate small pot, boil some fine rice noodles.
y'know the ones- they're like angel hair.
what's the plan?
three minutes, then drain 'em, rinse 'em in cold water,
rinse 'em again under very hot water,
and add them to your soup, once you spoon it into a bowl, bruh.
yeah, neighbors-
noods and soup and warmth and spice and heat are all in order on cold winter nights.
that's real.
-
i also browned up some tofu slabs in coconut oil,
fried on both sides to a firm and golden finish.
that's exxxtra expertism, and it's a nice lil addition to a big bowl of fire.
you can see i got rad with some mung bean threads,
and some pea shoots,
and some scallion sprankles, too-
mmhmm.
too much is the right amount,
and MORE flavor is what i want in my mouth at all times.
soup is on the menu for january.
i may make some tonight!
who knows?
the fates and the furies, perhaps, but not me.
i'm on some what-say what say-what, ANYthing can happen sh!t-
it's snowy, bro.
and that means we're in mystery territory until it stops.
i'm cool with that- i don't have to know what's for dinner;
never quiet, never soft.....

ZAPPERS!

i did a big ol' tattoo on sunday,
and every single picture i took is a piece of sh!t-
so, instead of seeing that large and in-charge jammer,
here's a couple of zips that i did right afterwards:

shoutouts to america, guy.
i dunno if i'd advertise being a minute man,
but i'm sure i travel in slightly different circles than this dude.
also my berfday, in u.s. calendar writing: 1/7/76,
so that's tight.
patriotism and trucks and second amendment gun excitement-
that's what i was livin' for a bit.
i have so many firearms, but i'm never ever gonna get a constitution tattoo,
unless it's stats from a D&D character- real talk.
ha.
and after that, i reimagined and redrew a pretty popular pinterest drawing.
owls, man.
they love 'em:

yeah!
whoever did it originally launched a billion imitations,
and a thousand re-pins, and the thing of it is- it's a tight drawing.
mine is different, but not so different that you don';t know where it came from.
so, shoutouts to changing my name to dick tracy,
because i'm kind of one for sorta tracing it, y'know?
haha.
it was a berfday tattoo for her,
and that was nice to be able to squeeze in.
*
today is a snow day, so we'll see who shows up.
i'm pretty sure my second client is a boots and trucks guy,
so he'll probably be there-
those guys need to go out in the snow for some reason, or any reason, really.
i'll be ready to do what needs doin' for whoever comes through-
that's what we do at AMPERSAND TATTOO, friends.
ALLLL the things.
maybe you have a cool idea, maybe you just have an idea-
that's fine with us-
either way, we're here to do tattoos and eat cake, and i just finished a slice,
so you know what's next;
never quiet, never soft.....

BIRTHDAY CAKE!

if y'all ain't eating cake,
it's ain't y'alls berfday.
rules is rules.
you need crumbs, frosting, a candle, a song, and a wish,
some huffs and a puff or else it doesn't count.
word up.
i made myself a tasty white chocolate-laced jaun,
with all the good frostings (three kinds),
to put a fresh two-tiered twist on being older and wiser.
wanna see?
okay.
check the berfy-d-type teleport:

CAAAAKE!!!!
a pretty pink princess cake is what i'm about this year.
i wanted it, i made it, i ate it, and i loved it.
why wouldn't i want a blushing beauty to ring in my forty-third, y'heard?
no, wait-
but, like, for realsies though-
check it from the angle, bruh:

WORD.
and you best believe i made a muhh-fuhh'n wish.
y'like those starry dollops of dopeness? i do.
it's a lemon-kissed white chocolate frosting, and it's F*ing expert.
then, i added powdered freeze-dried strawberries to it,
and then, i added cocoa to that.
too much is the right amount,
and if i'm gonna do it, i'm for sure gonna OVERdo it.
no matter how old i get,
i'm not gonna be a diaperbabyish waterboy on my big day, dudes.
...no way. but, i am gonna get fancy af when i gotta cake it up.
and i wished my wish, before i sliced my slice:

hahaha.
i make a dumb face in every picture.
it's my infinite nature, and nature wins, kids.
but, horsey teeth aside,
my cake was very very lovely.
stay ugly, eat beautiful- that's what we do around here.
you want to make sexxxy cake?
i got you covered:
-
*
BERFITY DAY-CAKE!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
grease two pans of your choice-
two 8" one 9" & one 6", one 9" x 12" sheet-whatever
-
in your must-have super-necessary stand-up mixer
with the whisk or cake paddle attached, combine:
8 T softened vegan butter (1 stick);
1/2 tsp salt;
1 cup sugar;
1/2 cup light brown sugar;
1/2 lemon's zest;
2 T micro-grated cocoa butter;
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt;
2 tsp vanilla.
blend well, then add:
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1 T lemon juice;
3 cups flour;
3 T tapioca flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda.
blend on high until smooth and fluffy-
spread it level and even in your pan(s),
and bake it until the centers are firm-
25-35 minutes of magic depending on your oven.
-
cool them for five minutes,
then turn 'em out onto a wire rack for cooling off completely.
that's when you can get into the frosting scene-
all frosting is straight ahead forever-
3 cups of powdered sugar.
1 stick of vegan butts.
extract (i did 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp lemon)
lemon zest for this one;
1 T microplaned cocoa butter;
1/3 cup liquid ( in this case 1/2 soymilk 1/2 lemon juice);
and 2 T vegan creamchee'-
fluffy af and ready to go, this stuff was a miracle-
and after the initial white lemon chocoglaze,
i added that powdered strawberry dust, and the the cocoa,
and got that triple tone triple threat triple treat sweetness for my face.
and then i added those tri-color pink pretty princess sprankles, too!!!
word!!!
***********
i'm over here eatin' cake.
i don't feel bad about it.
it's delicious.
also, it's a snow day, today.
so once again,
anything can happen.
i'm not ready, but i don't think that matters;
never quiet, never soft.....