Wednesday, July 31

SALSA VERDE!!!

i'm over here eatin' tacos.
yup.
those soft flour flaps that you already know i love and cherish.
check it:

DAMN, DUDES!
i got that hot hot fire doing the thang.
i had some lettuce,
a LOT of avocado,
scallion sprankles,

spicy radishes,
ho'sauce,
and some sweet crOmbles, too.
mmmmm.
-
i got coconut oil hot, and i added in
half a cup of lentils,
half a cup of veggie crumblies,
a quarter of a cup of minced onion,
a whole bunch of jalapeno, poblano, and bell peppers,
a dash of cilantro,
oregano, smoked paprika, GPOP, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and pink salt!
i had to give that a splash of water to keep it from burning,
but it was just a hot pan of hot fire and all of thatstuff just sizzlin' away.
mmm. mmm. mmmmm.
deeeee-licious
-
i made that PICO DE GALLO!
orange and red sweet baby tomatoes,
minced onions,
jalapeno and poblano bits,
cilantro,
olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
expert.
-
i got into that ESCABECHE!
garlic, radish, jalapeno, onion, and carrots,
covered (barely) in cider vinegar, with a splash of salt and sugar,
boiled up until slightly soft, in a quick mixed pickle pile of pure expertism.
-
and for the big action, i made some from scratch SALSA VERDE!!
that's that verde veritas, neighbors,
the TRUTH.
-
*
SALSA VERDE!!
-
in a 2 quart saucepot, simmer up:
5 chopped tomatillos;
1 diced jalapeno;
1/2 chopped green bell pepper,
1/2 chopped poblano pepper;
2 cloves garlic;
2 T cilantro stems;
1/2 chopped sweet onion;
a little salt, a little black pepper,
a dash of GPOP, and ground coriander...
all the greens get real drab and olivey, kinda,
and that's when you add in a heavy squeeze of lime juice,
and transfer that whole sloppy slippery mass into a high-powered blender,
and pulse it all up into a slightly chunky sauuuuuuuuuuce.
mmhmm.
neighbors,
you're still gonna have to cook it more,
but now you add in a little cayenne, maybe a drop of liquid smoke,
a couple of tablespoons of water,
a punch of scallion and fresh cilantro,
and some salt and pepper.......
DUDES!!
that's the FLAAAAAAVOR!!
as in: expert, to eleven-
if you don't love tacos, you're SO lame.
heck, i also had chipotle yesterday.
a burrito AND three hard tacos.
yeah.
hard ones, just because i wanted to share some gluten-freedom,
y'know?
like, for breezy solidarity.
yup.
we did a nice dinnery thing with the kids,
and it was beautiful and rowdy and wild as hell.
that's SO many kids to eat rice and lettuce with.
messes were made, but big fun was the order of the day.
i'm grateful for those people.
i'm lucky to have an adult human partner who really sees me.
i love that the most;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, July 30

HAPPY BABY!

maybe you just need to get a look at a happy, healthy, beautiful big head baby:

feel better?
i thought you might.
she's just hangin' out, literally.
being psyched, stayin' so kyoooot,
and emanating love in every direction-
lilli is lovely, and her mama makes sure she stays that way;
NQNS.....

RAINBOW ROLLS!!

purple cabbage.
purple carrots.
cucumbers.
pea shoots.
french spicy radishes.
crispy new hampshire local lettuce.
cilantro.
mint.
and alllll the basil.
yeah.
rolled up on a softened rice paper circle.
mmmmhmmmmm.
salad in a paper wrapper?
expert.
look:

RAIIIIIIIIIIIIINBOW MAAAAAAAAGIC!!!!
that's just mae ploy for dippin'.
i don't even use a lot of it, really.
i'm more of a leafy flavorbomb purist, y'know?
i don't think i've had these in a literal year.
embry helped me make the last batch.
mmhmm.
they're pretty fantastic, and healthy, and they make me happy in my mouth.
that says summer to me,
i also made a whole other dinner, too.
that says DÜDI BOI SUMMER to me, a little louder, fresher, and harder.
too much is the right amount.
that's a fact.
and MORE goodness is forever better than not enough.
that's all you even need to know;
never quiet, never soft.....

MOKO JUMBIE!

carribean stilt clowns?
yeah,
we do that too over at AMPERSAND TATTOO.
see:

yup.
over a scar?
yeah.
with a hurty wristband thing?
sure.
all the kinds of tattoos, all the time.
did i not use color at all yesterday?
not one drop.
how about on sunday?
nope!
am i a black and grey tattooer?
not exclusively, not at all.
i'm just a tattooer doing what the people want.
why?
because i still like it.
and i remember being spoiled,
and i remember being poor,
and neither one of those things left a positive impression on me.
so, now, i'm working every day with that P.M.A.
i'm lucky af to do what i do,
and no matter what, i get to pick what kind of perspective i adopt.
i want that good-good, and i want that DUBI BOI SUMMERTIME FEELING.
y'know?
no?
oh.
it means that we're keeping it expert all the way to eleven all day long.
and honestly, that's exhausting, but probably necessary.
so, that's what's happening;
never quiet, never soft.....

GRILLZ!

my grilled pizza game is now officially totally expert.
yup.
i figured it out, and i adjusted my technique to fit the tools at hand.
i also made woodfired superhottness in 100 degree weather.
just because nature wins, that doesn't mean i have to concede the trials.
i was outside playing with flames, whilst simultaneously bursting into flames
like a straw scarecrow on the asphalt.
yikes.
there was fire.
there was flavor.
there was excellence on every level.
that's what a DÜDI BOI SUMMER is all about.
hahaha!!!
yep.
check it:

WOOOOOOOOD FIRE GRILLIN'.
what's the score?
two pies out of one dough.
homemade cashew mozzarella.
garlic slices.
carmelized red onions.
crushed tomatoes.
dudes, this is magic.
i had basil on one, and rosemary and oregano on the other.
what's the dough made out of this time?
-
*
GRILLDOUGH!
-
combine 1/2 tsp sugar,
3/4 cup warm water;
1 tsp bread machine yeast together and let that bloom.
-
in a stand mixer, with a dough hook attached,
add 1 3/4 cups king arthur bread flour;
1 1/2 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/2 tsp wheat gluten.
add the water/yeast and knead it for 11 minutes.
let it rise for fifteen, divide it, roll each half in olive oil and make two balls,
let those rise for another 'nother 15, then hand toss those jauns,
and get 'em ready with a little flour on one side and olive oil on the other,
so that you can use a peel and get 'em on the hot grill....
huh?
yeah.
you grill 'em first over coals,
then top 'em with all the good sh!t,
then finish 'em next to a raging open flame
to get that real-real nature pizza activation.
word.
look at what happened:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!
basil, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, cashew mozz',
and olive oil.
expert.
and then:

WOW!
grilled mushrooms and burst grilled tomatoes,
plus those onions, and oregano and rosemary.
-
the cashew chee' recipe is here.
-
forty five seconds per side, flipped and charred and good.
then, after getting all the stuff on it,
there's indirect flame and a lid to circulate the heat and smoke and pure joy.
neighbors,
i dunno.
i'm half asleep and out of sorts, but i needed to share these dreamy dream pizzas
before they vanished deep into the past.
-
anyway,
there's nothin' but summer for the next few weeks.
i already feel it fleeting past.
and while i hate sleeping, my body keeps insisting on some more or it.
yuck.
so, whenever i'm awake there'll be good things poppin' off.
that's the rules, man.
it's a DÜDI BOI SUMMER up in the woodsly goodness,
and that means clever conversation.
it also means creative nonfiction real-life documentarianism.
and for sure it means great food in the hot glow of august.
that's approaching rapidly.
is anybody ready for that?
we'll see;
never quiet, never soft.....

COOKIES!

where've i been?
man, i've been busy being busy and doing busy things.
also, i made some cookies.
wanna see?
alright:

CRUNCHY OATY BOYZ!!
so much work at AMPERSAND TATTOO means that i need
a little somethin' nice about midday to boost up those enthusiasm levels
from the saggy lag of laboring across black line tattoos,
and back up to the full boomfire fun of a DÜDI BOI SUMMER
revved at the redline to eleven.
cookies always do the job.
and my cookies are always kind of similar.
i've made all the stuff, and for years, all i wanted to do was make all the stuff.
but now,
i'm only making what i love, and i'm barely even making that.
so if i gotta give myself a treat, it's gotta be some rockish blockish jauns.
they're the best, and i have the skills down pat.
here's what happened with these knobbly nubs:
-
*
OATBLOXXX!
-
preheat the oven to 375℉
-
in a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 cup demerara sugar;
1/2 cup dark brown sugar.
when that's combined, stir in:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, and mix well.
-in your food processor, combine:
2 cups whole rolled old fashioned oats;
1/4 cup unsweetened flake coconut.
pulse into a coarse flour, and add to your bowl of sugarmush.
add a cup of king arthur flour;
1 tsp each baking powpow and soda;
1/2 bag vegan minichips.
mix completely, and form up some two inch balls arranged evenly on baking trays.
12 minutes of heat in the box,
and maybe a little pattty-pat on the tops to flatten 'em a hair more
than the oatmeal might've allowed for otherwise.....
voilà.
that's it.
that's all there is to it.
now you can be the busiest bro in the bunch,
and still have a little sugarbomb lunch in between tattoos,
or whatever it is you do.
*
yeah.
cookies.
beige blops of goodness.
i need more goodness and i think this is a good start;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 26

MISIR WAT!

wat wat!!!
i'm always gonna eat all the red lentils.
they're the best, and when there's a lotta spice, too?
that's when you know it's gonna be great.
for real.
i don't know a lot about ethiopian food, other than i love it,
and i wanna have a ton of it in my face all the time.
i got a bottle of dried peri peri spice, i started to think africa,
and that led me over to ethiopia.
i mean, i've been listening to a LOT of reggae,
and y'man haile selassie i,
the ras tafari, emperor of ethiopia (and the world) is shouted out pretty darn often....
all of that was converging in my mind,
so i guess i HAD to make something after all that environmental infusion, neighbors.
and that's just what i did.
check the teleport:

MISIR WAT!!!!!
red lentil stew.
seasoned with homemade berbere!!!
that's right.
i combined:
paprika.
cumin.
black pepper.
GPOP.
cardamom.
coriander.
lemon peel.
cloves.
allspice.
nutmeg.
cayenne.
and some of that peri peri jauns, too, just because.
and i toasted it all up for maxxximum aromatic activation.
-
to make the actual stew, i got a 2 quart saucepot,
added 1 T vegan butter, and sauteed 1/2 sweet onion, diced,
until it was soft and see through.
i added in 2 cloves chopped garlic;
1 2" chunk of fresh skin-on organic minced ginger;
2 T tomato paste;
and a bunch of that spice blend.
i will freely admit that i did NOT measure any spoonfuls of spice.
i just wanted food asap, and measuring wasn't going to speed that up at all.
i stirred all that up, and let it cook a bit,
then i tossed in 1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes,
1/2 cup red lentils,
1/4 cup scallion greens,
and 2 T fresh chopped cilantro....
a few minutes of all that gettin' hot,
then i added 2 cups of vegan broth and lidded it up.
i brought it to a boil, dropped it to a simmer, and cooked it for fifteen minutes,
before i added more vegan butter and more spices...
-
the whole thing gets THICK.
that's that DUDI BOI BUSINESS, bro.
and those garnishes you see all up on there?
they turn it right on up to eleven.
it's spicy.
it's hearty.
it's burly, and it's hot, and it's heavy.... but in a good way.
i ate it with a little old village bakery bread.
oh, yeah.
i sometimes get bread from the store,
even though i mostly make all my own loaves of supersexxxy sourdough from scratch.
uh-huh.
*
five tattz yesterday,
molto walk-ins for the first half of the day today,
and a pocketwatch roman numeral tattoo later on.
yuuuuup.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is out here like a hard-working group of studio musicians.
only producers know us,
but your tattoo experience would sure suck without us.
imagine if there were only the spoiled, oily, lazy ladies
and that one inebriated gentleman out there only sometimes having time
to maybe do some tattz in between spa treatments bar treatments, haircuts,
and mobile-phone scrolling.
hahahhaha.
F* that noise, bro.
we're over here yeetin' and yattin' like real grown-A* tatty broskis,
a batch of DUDI BOIZ having a doodie boy summer.
believe it.
summertime is for bangin' out those bam-bams and stackin' stacks on stacks.
we'll do some exxxtra-sexxxy superfancy custom hottness again in the fall, y'all.
in the meantime, we HAVE time, and the books don't close,
because we ain't no tatt-hoes.
what does that even mean?
honestly, it doesn't mean anything.
however, we're open for business, and we're having a lot of fun while we're at it.
that's that DUDI BOI SUMMERTIME,
and that's what's poppin',
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, July 25

SESAME SQUARE!

too much olive oil?
i didn't do it on purpose, but i did use the right amount.
uh-huh.
a heavily olive oiled sheet pan, WITH toasted sesame seed sprankles
above and below the dough, bro.
that gets the crispiest, fluffiest, sexxxiest crust, or so it seems, anyway.
yeah, neighbors-
do you expect me to not just dive into a tale of sesame seeded sicilian pizza?
because we're already in it.
y'feel me??
mmmhmmmm.
i do that sorta thing.
and it's been just cool enough, temperature-wise, to warrant using the INdoor oven.
dudes, 480 convection fahrenheit degrees is waaay more
than you want heating up the homestead when it's a natural eighty or more OUTside.
ANYway, look at it:

WOOOOOORD!!!
the dough was on point.
the sauce was the same cooked marinara i made the other day
(i made enough for pasta and pizza because that's what you;re supposed to do)
the chee' was that vegan chee' from the store,
and the toppings were powerfully flavorful.
f'real.
every bite punched me in the happiness button, and had me feeling great.
what kind of dough was it?
delicious homemade vegan delightfulness, obvi.
duh.
it's like this:
-
*
SICILIAN DOUGH!!
-
1 1/4 cups  king arthur flour;
1/2 cup king arthur bread flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/2 tsp wheat gluten;
1 tsp sugar;
3/4 cup warm water;
1 pkg fast-actin' yeast;
1 tsp bread machine yeast.
kneaded in my mixer with a dough hook attachment beatin' it up
for 11 solid minutes of magic.
it rose up exxxtra big and tall while the oven heated.
i stretched out in that oily rectangle, which was a little irritating
with all that oil trying to foil my best laid edge-touchin' efforts.
whatever. it worked.
i had spinach on the bottom.
then minced daiya mozzarella chee'.
rules is rules, and the mincing makes it melt so much better.
sauce.
caramelized onions.
fried garlic sprankles.
sesame seeds toasted in the same pan, after the garlic,
then tomatoes blackened in there last but not least.
guys,
that's a ferocious pizza.
and MORE sesame seeds doesn't hurt either.
and fresh basil and oregano when it came out of the oven???
daaaaaaaaaaaamn.
there is nothin' more expert than a perfectly baked pizza.
that's no joke.
***********
i did NINE tattoos yesterday.
that's the truth.
out here slayin' those money tatts.
here's the thing-
i should really charge more.
but, like, for REAL, though.
i haven't gotten a raise in fifteen years or so.
ha.
i'm dumb, clearly.
but, i still set up and broke down NINE times.
the first six tattoos had words and birds.
in fact, i did eight birds on six folks, two mountains, a novel's worth of words,
and four branches, with leaves on two of 'em.
then i did three tattoos, all matchy, but different.
uh-huh.
swords, symbols, trees, words, and initials-
mostly identical, but the initials were rearranged
so that i still had to remake three different patterns.
the hardest day ever?
not hardly.
the longest?
also no.
but, it felt good, mostly, to bring the noise all F*ing day,
like a tattblastin' big boy from yesteryear.
yeah.
i had nostalgia for the old days, which means i'm definitely old now.
but i did rock all the socks and the shoes off of all those folks,
and that's a lot of work, even if it's all on small tattyzapbombs.
it's all really happening: that summertime grind.
i'm grateful for the day as it unfolded.
i fell asleep hard and fast at the end of it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 24

TRES MESES

ninetyish days of THIS:

yeah!!!
i've got heart eyes for miles about this big little lilli bean.
she's ferociously happy,
and she can stare at her own face for hours.
really, though, it's breezy that deserves all the credit.
this kid is delighted all day, and she's getting big and healthy,
and she sleeps like a little baby bear,
and she holds her big head up high and looks around with inquisitive eyes,
...and that's all really happening because she's got a super-elite mama.
y'know what happens when there's a magic mom in the building?
everybody is better off.
that's real.
look at this little wheatball:

awwwwwwwwwww. c'mon!
that's a lotta pretty baby.
even if she looks a lot more surprised in that picture.
hahaha.
i'm grateful for this lovably adorable lovely vanilla beanie baby.
i'm grateful that the lady that made it possible.
i'm grateful for her FIVE siblings who all bring unique personalities to the party.
and i'm grateful for the time we span;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, July 22

PINK PASTA!

semolina pasta noodles,
but they're PINK.

PINKISH AND THICKISH AND SOFTISH AND DOPE AF!
that's that powdered beetroot doing its thing.
yeah!
homemade hottness is what i need.
even when i'm saturated by the humidity,
and a couple of burners on the stove boiling stuff
are getting it even hotter and wetter,
i'm still stayin' steady makin' meals that make me feel better.
and pasta, with an expert sauce is what reliably does the trick.
my sauce count was waaay down.
summertime marinara, man.
that's the good stuff.
fresh herbs from the garden, tomatoes everywhere, and flavor for miles.
homemade sauce is a miracle and it does wonders for my whole brain.
-
*
MANLY MARINARA!
-
in a quart sized saucepot, with 1 tsp olive oil, combine and saute:
1/4 cup finely minced onion;
3 T finely minced purple carrot;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
add:
2 T fresh chopped parsley;
1 T fresh basil;
2 large torn sage leaves;
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary;
2 tsp crushed oregano;
1 T nootch;
1/2 tsp GPOP;
stir it up, and add in:
2 tsp red wine vinegar;
1 tsp tamari;
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes.
-
next add 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes,
and half a cup of warm water,
plus some sea salt and black pepper,
and bubble that up to a boil-
drop it down to medium-low where it can simmer as long as you can let it-
i started my sauce before i began my pasta, so it had a lil exxxtra bubblin' time.
that is always good for you.
and the pasta is same as it ever was, neighbors-
1 cup flour;
1/3 cup semolina flour;
1 tsp sea salt;
2 tsp olive oil;
1/3 cup warm water;
1 tsp beetroot powder...
yeah yeah yeah,
kneaded, rested, rolled, cut, and boiled.
on arugula? OBVI on arugula.
that's green leaves, guy.
that's good for you.
-
so, homemade pasta for supper.
and how full was i afterwards?
the fullest.
it's a good feeling.
satisfied by my own efforts, the night progressed in sweat and heat and sleep;
never quiet, never soft.....

MOOSEPINCH

new hampshire!
that's the theme of this guy's tattoos.

this one is in the ditch of his arm bend,
and that's a really rough spot to get and to do a biggish tattoo.
but we managed, because we're motivated to do good things.
and we did.
a moose, bro.
with nature INside it.
you've probably never seen that before.
......ummmmmmm, right.
we draw all our own nature scenery, man.
so they're always individual, with varying degrees of originality.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is kind of a great place to be.
i mean it.
we're making art.
we're meeting new people.
it's an environment designed to welcome you in, and keep you comin' back.
i think it's working;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, July 21

EATING IN

i had convinced myself i deserved to get take-away indian food.
i was sure i wasn't gonna cook anything.
but, rules is rules,
and the first rule of righteous radical vegan active participation is:
MAKE IT YOURSELF.
so, i did.

YEAH!
that's 2:1 jasmine rice and quinoa.
so, that was tasty.
and the dal curry?
well,
it was perfectly spicy, and surprisingly light for as hearty as i imagined it.
you wanna make it YOURself?
okay.
here's the plan, man:
-
*
DAL CHANNA CHURRY!
-
in a 2 quart sauce pot, heat up 1 tsp coconut oil.
add:
1 carrot, sliced;
1/4 cup thinly slivered red onion;
1/2 cup red and orange bell pepper, diced;
1/2 cup red lentils;
1 T cilantro stems;
1 minced red chili;
1/2" chopped jalapeno;
2 cloves sliced garlic;
1" skin-on organic ginger, chopped;
1/2 tsp cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, ground coriander seed;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1/2 tsp ea Garlic Powder Onion Powder, paprika;
2 cups water;
1 T ho'sauce;
pink salt to taste.
saute everything for five minutes, then boil it until it's thickened considerably.
before the red lentils turn to mush,
add 1 cup of chick peas, and stir it all up together.
guys,
that's IT.
and it's expert as F*!
no jokes.
i garnished it up with thin sliced jalapeno,
and lots of cilantro,
and scallion AND red onion sprankles.
neighbors, this is exxxactly what you need to have in your life.
i'm serious.
i had an acre of salad right beforehand,
to set the stage with cool crisp crunchy water leaves...
and between the leafy greens and these vibrant earth tones
my body felt way better than the weather permitted.
*
when it's hot, i'm way more tired.
and so is crabtree.
that's good news, really.
a tired dog is a better dog, that's my favorite kind of dog...
the whole valley is on the river, and the storefronts are a ghost town.
i s'pose that's okay.
there's a little work to do at the studio,
and there's a lot of work to do everywhere else, anyway;
never quiet, never soft.....

BLOOBZ

fresh picked wild new hampshire low bush blueberries,
courtesy of travis.
that's what i heaped in the heart of my tart.
yup.
i had the 5 am hot fire oven lovin' heatin' the kitchen up before the
rest of the day caught up to me and cooked the atmosphere into a
humid asthma attackin' airborne soup-consistency of breathable semi-liquid.
ugh.
it was hot and wet and hard to endure the not-so-great outdoors yesterday.
the rustic crispy crust of a galette helped to make it bearable, though.
that's real. check it:

BLACK-BOTTOMED!!
that means melted dark chocolate was spread out as the base of the thing.
mmmmmmm.
blueberries and dark chocolate.
i added a splash of vanilla, and a squirt of non-dairy milk, too.
i like it smooth and creamier.
yep.
that makes it better.
the bloobs were tossed in powdery sugar, and mounded in the middle,
before folding up the dough and adding those braids.
i baked it at 410℉ for thirty minutes,
and the berries burst, the chocolate bubbled, and the whole thing really came together.
you want the dough recipe?
ok.
here it is:
-
*
PASTRY DOUGH!
-
in your food processor, combine:
2 cups king arthur all purpose flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/4 cup sugar;
1 stick + 2 T vegan butter- (10 T);
2 T vegan creamchee';
3-4 T non-dairy milk.
pulse it up until it's sticky and crumbly and holds form when pinched.
you don't want it mushy, it should be like pebbly sand.
wrap that in plastic and let it rest at least an hour, or overnight is even better.
i like a nice pastry.
i like it a LOT, really.
and when the bakin' goes well, it's a victory for my face.
-
there's not much else to say.
a little effort, and some free fruit, and i'm over here eating like a king;
never quiet, never soft.....

CAT EYES

the eye of the tiger.
the thrill of the fight.
the smell of marijuana.
hmm?
oh.
sometimes, people who LOOOOVE weed
forget that new hampshire isn't a fully-legal state,
and also those very same people couldn't possibly guess
that just because we're tattooers, we might not actually want to be
the stonery stone-zoners who condone or endorse that sh!t.
however,
nobody is out here getting free tattoos, neighbors.
nope.
so i still got paid to zipzap up a tiger face,
even if AMPERSAND TATTOO had that skunky-skunk stink
for an hour after the eye of the tiger blinked and left.

not half bad, really.
that's an actual tiger that the client actually knows.
so that's cool, at least.
other highlights of the day included:
'never trust italians' said to me by a different client.
spoiler: i'm SO italian in my DNA.
y'know what made me even MORE excited?
he definitely started the conversation by saying-
'i don't even need to see what you're drawing, i trust you'
expert.
i guess i just don't have that kind of untrustworthy italian face.
also, he followed it with:
'new haven is a sketchy sh!thole full of shady people'
shoutouts to my favorite connecticut city, and big ups to the world's best pizza.
mmmmm.
the other best part?
when a sunburnt redheaded grumplestiltskin
didn't know i was inside the studio on my way out the door,
and said:
'ummmmmm, AMPERSAND TATTOO? okaayyyyyyyyyy,
like *that's* original.
hahahahahahahah.
dudes, what?
i mean, for real, though- whaaaaat???
i popped out and responded:
i thought it was pretty good name but i guess i don't know what's good
so i should probably go F* myself, right?
...ever seen a red-faced redhead get even redder?
surprise, lil bihhhhhh.
she tried to play it off with some pointless conversation.
it's cool, though.
we're not for everybody.
we make better art for better people,
and not everyone is good, let alone better than that.
heck, we've got pottyheads fartin' up our space on occasion,
so who knows what's going on, really?
not me, man.
it's all really happening.
the weird conversation, the weirder people,
the epic-level environmental hot heat,
the summertime boomfire for our faces;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, July 20

TORTZ!

beetroot powder?!
it's purple like a mutha, and it makes pasta look pretty cool.
f'real.
check it out:

MMMMMMM!!!
dudes,
purple semolina tortellini pasta time was expert!
my good buddy travis came by for his yearly dinner visit,
and we got into some pasta magic pretty much right away.
let me tell you neighbors-
fresh thai basil was an unexpected addition,
but also F*ing awesome.
i HAD italian basil, but these longer leaves just hit different, and better.
and guys, rules is rules when it's pasta time- y'know?
fried garlic is always an essential element...
i went heavy on the oil,
and used the garlic-infused hottness
to blister those halved orange and red sweet baby grape tomatoes.
i don't know the last time i bought a regular tomato, bro.
-
the pasta dough was simple:
1 T beetroot powder;
1 1/2 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1 cup king arthur all purpose flour;
1/2 cup semolina flour;
2/3 cup warm water...
beat up in my upright stand mixer, with a dough hook attached,
until the whole thing was one smooth, sturdy, shiny ball-
you may need more flour, or more water, alternately, to get a real dough consistency.
humidity plays a big part in this portion, but eyeballin' is the way to go.
you can do it-
wrap and rest your dough for at least 10 minutes,
before rolling it out all thinny-thin thin on  floured surface,
and cutting a freakin' TON of  2.5" circles for pouchin' it all up.

sh!t.
the light was rubbish so the shots are kinda blurry,
and that's depressing as heck.
but the filling was so straightforward, but also pretty dang amazing.
there's the new-new cashew mozz.
AND lacinato kale, scallions, and finely minced red onion,
with GPOP pink salt and black pepper.
it's just so simple to drop a dollop of each thing in the centers and
twist, fold, pinch, and pack them into tiny tortellini shapes-
if y'boil those baddies up until they float, you're basically ready.
however,
too much is the right amount.
and that's why i also made a gentle cream sauce, man,.
i did.
and it's DOPE.
-
*
CREEEEMY SAUCE!
-
that's a small saucepot, on high heat,
and 1 T olive oil;
1/4 cup soymilk;
salt, pepper, and GPOP;
1 tsp fire roasted tomato flakes;
1/4 tsp trader joe's umami powder;
1 tsp flour;
1 tsp lemon juice-
heated, stirred, and tossed with those torts, boi.
yes!!!
-
all of that on a bed of peppery, spicy, crunchy arugula?

WORD.
that's how you make a meal for your friend that they can appreciate and remember.
***********
i saw weird al in concert with breezy the other night...
and not for nothin'?
he was totally amazing.
no joke.
that's real.
we had a heck of a time, bookended by serious talking, and deep emotions.
folks, that's a LOT.
a comedy parody symphony experience?
that's wild.
i wouldn't ever do ANYthing fun if it wasn't for that woman.
like, never ever would i ever have gone alone.
but i'm glad i did it.
and i'm especially glad that we share these experiences.
i think that might be an important thing.
it feels important, anyway.
i am still exhausted from staying up extra late and getting up extra early.
i used to sleep four hours a night and be GOOD.
now, i'm just a beat-up and busted old man,
having the hardest time keeping my eyes open.
and i eff with caffeine a LOT just to not doze off during the day.
it's hard.
i don't know what's going on.
i'm just doing the best i can,
and regrettably that's just not very good-
real life can be hard, it seems;
never quiet, never soft.....

GIRL TATTZZZZ!

are you a girl?
do you maybe do hair?
or possibly have hair?
do you have a pinterest account?
then you DEFINITELY have a loved one's handwriting somewhere,
and you certainly want a mandala flower tattoo, asap.
hey, that's okay.
in fact,
that's great news, because i GOT you, lady:

FLOWERS AND PATTERNS!!
drawn-on flowers and a little modified mandala.
i do this, a bunch, and i kind of like it, too.
i might even do it again today.
i think it's catching on....
ha!
it's a staple of girl power, and it's helping me keep my refrigerator full.
thanks for having a collective hive mind, ladies.
my mortgage thanks you monthly;
never quiet, never soft.....

WOLFTATTZ

one drawn-on pinterest-copycat first tattoo coming right up-

SKRITCHY LINEWORK WOLF MONSTER!
this dude got his first tattoo yesterday, drawn right on his body,
and while i looked at a picture he brought me for about a minute
but then i just made up the rest.
if you've got a phone and you'e googlin' tatts?
i'm not gonna really all-the-way do the sh!t you think.
no line-for-line tracing, neighbors.
i don't think it's fair to the actually creative people
who made the original design you wanna appropriate.
but i will reverse engineer some money-makin' movie-checkin' obvious reference...
i mean, a grand don't come for free;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 17

TACO TUESDAY!

soft flour, bruh.
those are the ones.
five?
for sure.
don't mind if i do.
i had the pico on deck-
that's a cup of chopped sweet tomatoes,
a half cup of diced red onion,
a punch of chopped cilantro,
salt, pepper, lime juice, and minced jalapeno.
that's expert.
i had the escabeche, too.
obvi.
cider vinegar covering a batch of chopped carrots, radish, and garlic,
with a spoonful of raw sugar and a splash of pink salt.
that's expert, too.
i fired up an avocado, just because.
i love that greenish thing so much, man.
it's expert.
those soft flour jauns are really what's up.
i love a good soft taco, as you all already know,
but i'm gonna say it again, and again, and again.
i repeat myself...a lot... and i don't even give a single sh!t about it.
ANYway,
this is what's up:

TACOOOOOOOOOOOS!!
that's half a block of tempeh,
a quarter of a red onion,
a half a cup of mixed hot and sweet pepper,
half a can of red beans,
salt, pepper, GPOP, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, guajillo, oregano,
fresh cilantro, a couple fo handfuls of baby spinach,
a squeeze of lime, a dash of salt, a shake or three of black pepper,
a shake of ho'sauce, a drizzle of tamari,
and 1/3 cup of water to fuse it all into one fresh batch of chili-ish taco crumble filling.
THAT'S the thing, neighbors.
good ol' blarpity blops of heavy duty manliness....
word up.
i mean, it's good right?
look:

YEP!
allllll the tacos.
too much is the right amount.
maybe even the only amount.
i know i'm not explaining how to make anything,
but i'm pretty sure the four people i know who can cook
already know how to make this stuff....
and everybody else is imaginary, so i'm not sweating that, either.
ha.
it's fine, buddy.
i still ate these tacos to fill up my feelings with something like fullness.
uh-huh.
that's it;
never quiet, never soft.....

SCONE ZONE!

yeah, i'll eat a scone.
i miss 'em when i go to long without 'em....
it's been a minute since i last got into the scone zone,
so it's only natural that i went hard on some tasty tasty jauns.
that's real.
i went all in, and i was not disappointed.
check it out:

SCOOOOOOONES!!
strawberry chocolate chip coconut magic.
you really gotta have 'em.
i mean, f'real.
if you don't chill the dough, you're a jerk.
that's how you make them do the right thing.
i'm serious.
there's plenty of fat in there, and if you let it warm up,
they aren't flaky.
and the flakiness is essential.
i have raw sugar sprankles on top for that exxxtra-exxxtra.
too much is the right amount.
and exxxtra sugar all over the top is wild as hell.
here's all y'gotta do:
-
*
SCONEZ!
-
preheat your oven to 400℉
-
2 1/2 cups flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
3 T tapioca;
1/3 cup raw sugar;
1 stick + 2 T vegan butter...ice cold;
2 T vegan cream chee';
cut the fat into the flour, coarsely, then add:
1 1/2 oz freeze dried strawberries, slightly crushed;
1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips;
1/3 cup flaky unsweetened coconut;
-
add in 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt;
1/4 cup vanilla-coconut milk;
1 tsp vanilla...
stir until it gets a little sticky,
then fold, and turn and fold, and turn and fold,
and turn and fold...do that at least sixteen times.
it's heroic.
and that's it.
put it in the fridge, and let it cool out for twenty minutes-
press it down to about 1" thick,
add the sprankles across the top,
and just cut it into triangles, and arrange 'em on a tray, evenly spaced,
and bake them for twenty minutes.
dudes,
that's it.
they're ready.
you win.
the scones are gonna get eaten and your whole life is gonna get better.
simple as that.
all the best textures, all the big flavors,
all the things that you want are all right there.
so good.
*
i want all the treats, but 43 is not a good age to overtreat yourself.
i gotta take it easy, but i definitely don't want to.
so i only had, like six of 'em.
hahaha.
yeah.
moderation is my middle name;
never quiet, never soft.....

BUILDING BLOXXX

hey,
cookies are good for you.
is that real?
i'm not sure.
these cookies are good, though. i know that's true.
look:

YUP!
rock bloxxx are all i ever need to feel okay.
and i needed to feel better, so i baked up a big batch of sweet circular sexxxiness.
f'real.
neighbors, there's no reason not to bake cookies.
they do good stuff to your insides and especially your brain.
that's inside your skull, and that's where the cookie activation hits hardest.
you want some of this hot ferocious sugary medicine for your face?
aight.
here's the recipe:
-
*
COOKIETIME!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉
-
in a mixin' bowl, with a pasty cutter, cream up:
1 stick vegan butter ( 8 T );
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1 cup sugar.
add in, and stir up:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
2 T agave;
mix well, then add:
2 1/2 cups king arthur flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
1 cup mini vegan chocolate chips;
1/3 cup ground unsweetened coconut;
1/2 cup fresh ground oat flour.
yuuuuup.
mash all that together, and roll up some 2" balls
and arrange 'em on a baking tray or two or three.
bake 'em for 13 minutes, and get yourself in the mindset that can fully experience
the crisp-edged soft-centered superfly fresh-to-death dopeness that is a rock block.
word up.
they're just cookies, but they're also so much more.
and there's a lot of 'em, or there were anyway.
we demolished the whole heap.
that's what we do, dudes.
we eat allllll the cookies.
rules is rules.
....cookies, man. all of them.
just make 'em.
then chow down.
it's good for you, probably.
i know they make me happier.
maybe that's universal?
try it.
let's find out;
never quiet, never soft.....

EVERYTHING

work, connecticut, home,
work, sleepover, birthday party, work,
birthdays, work, and now, a bike on a trainer in the living room.
wait.
what now?
i've been busy as heck, and racing around new england
spanning time with so many loved ones.
that's real.
i was in connecticut for maple's graduation party,
i was in concord for embry's trampoline party.
i had a car full of seven year olds,
i had crabtree with me just about all the time,
i worked every other minute in between these journeys.
it's summer.
in summer you do important things all day every day until you fall asleep.
and if you get up early enough, that's a long day every day.
i spent just about twenty hours in the car over the weekend.
i feel it.
plus, AMPERSAND TATTOO has me packed tight with appointments
so when i'm not home, i'm going full steam ahead until dark.
if it's light out, i'm doing something.
for example, after leaving connecticut at 6:30 a.m.
and arriving in new hampshire at 11,
but before my big tattoo appointment at 1pm,
i ate 24 silver dollar pancakes on sunday.
i did.
why?
because i make questionable decisions, neighbors.
twenty four is too many.
which would've been great, except i also had vanilla coconut non-dairy ice cream,
and coconut whipped cream,
and real new hampshire maple syrup.
yup.
too much is the right amount, man.
look:

a stack of 3-4" pannieflappin' jacks.
just mounded mountains of coconut and oats and pat after pat of vegan butter.
yup.
i overloaded my whole face and body with these delicious bad boys,
then went to work,
then took my fiery female companion and alllll those kids out for pizza.
uh-huh.
there's a lot of pressure on food these days.
i dunno.
this is really just a catch-up post.
where've i been?
everywhere and nowhere,
and not nearly asleep enough to wake up refreshed.
but, pancakes help for sure;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 12

SUMMER PASTA!!

spinach powder?
yuuuuuuup!
that's a thing.
you know what it does?
it makes your pasta green.
and you know what that does?
not a lot, but it's pretty.
dudes, i made a ton of thick pasta ribbons for supper.
too much is the right amount, y'feel me?
and i added all the exxxtra actual spinach hottness to make it even MORE.
yeah.
look:

rainy summer nights aren't gonna stop my bright feelings, neighbors.
i got the big action poppin' right away-
dry-fried charred-up baby bella mushrooms.
pink salted and sizzled with just a little olive oil.
wilted baby spinach.
blistered and blackened baby plumbo tomato magic.
fried sliced garlic.
freshy-fresh garden-plucked basil.
crushed red pepper flakes.
guys-
that's seriously a miracle combo.
with a splash of that exxxtra-virgin oil jauns to lube 'em up.
-
and that pasta?
expert.
how am i doing it these days?
like this:
1 cup king arthur flour;
2/3 cups semolina flour;
1 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1/2 tsp wheat gluten;
1/3 cup hot water;
2 tsp spinach powder.
i also added a little black pepper, because i'm a spicy fella, folks.
i kneaded the livin' heck out of that dough ball, rested it for over ten minutes,
and rolled it out and floured it up and then rolled up the rectangle into a tube,
slivered it at quarter inch intervals, and unrolled the strands,
to boil up in a pot of salty water-
it only takes a few minutes to cook up fresh pasta....
and the results are really elite.
*
whatever, man.
pasta is great.
i love carbs. i love mushrooms. i love basil. i love overeating.
i had all the things at once.
i also had a weird day that required eating all my feelings.
so i did.
breezy made a montage of a great number of magic moments,
and it punched me right in the heartpump.
it's great.
it's romantic.
it's sentimental.
it's beautiful.
and the only way to feel that much and survive?
more pasta to soak up the emotions, y'feel me?
yeah.
i have a lotta feelings, and she turns them up to eleven.
there's a lotta people in this world,
but there's only one who is really honed in on my world.
and she rocks my world like tectonic plate abrasion;
never quiet, never soft.....

GRILL-UPS!!

yeah!!
i get so righteous with the grill.
like, i'm almost kind of manly when it comes to raw fire and food.
right?
i mean, there's real chopped up wood burning over lump wood charcoal-
my grill is pretty serious, btw.
it's got an adjustable steel tray that raises or lowers to vary the heat and the flame-
i mean, it's not motorized or anything, but it's pretty frickin' dope.
ANYway, grillin' isn't normally a vegan's most favorite-
but vegan grilled pizza is for real the TRUTH.
that's no joke.
y'need that thick dough with that heavy-duty gluten
or else you get a sloppy, floppy burnt bummer.
but when you get it right, and you toast it a little baby bit on BOTH sides
for structure, before you top it with all your stuff...
that's miraculous.
look:

C'MONNNNN!!!!
fresh basil is a must.
and homemade cashew chee' turns it up.
the caramelized onion game around here is so good it almost feels like
having pizza without 'em would just be stoopid.
and we're not stoopid, bro.
nope.
we're hungry.
we got rosemary from the garden on there, and sliced fried garlic sprankles.
look, if you aren't about a simple maxxx-margherite pizza, that's fine-
but you're a diaper baby, and i hope you can live with that.
ha!
maybe you need some grilled broccolini?
i got you, kiddo:

WORD!
s'basically the same pizza, but with those skinny pseudo-brox on top
instead of the herbs.
they're both really dang good.
the dough?
it's got this in it:
2 cups of king arthur flour;
1 cup king arthur bread flour;
2 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
1 pkg fast actin' yeast;
1 cup warm water;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
1 tsp sugar.
kneaded up and tight af.
i use my mixer with the hook, and i beat it up for 11 minutes.
-
the cashew chee' is expert.
that's the big action.
1 cup of raw cashews;
1 cup of boiling water;
2 T lemon juice;
1/4 tsp sea salt;
3 T tapioca flour;
1/4 tsp GPOP.
i have that superhighpower smoothie blender thingy,
and i give it a minute of magic, and then transfer the mix to a small pot-
stirred on high heat until it's all hella thick.
dudes, that's the stuff...
on grilled pizza???? man, believe it-
even minced daiya can't compete-
the heat doesn't work the same on a grill as in an oven so the melt factor isn't the same-
but soft sexy cashew magic is exxxactly what you need...
*
as far as summer goes, grilled pizza is the 2019 all-star MVP.
that's what's up.
two pizzas in one night-
smoky, crisssspy crust.
crushed tomatoes are really terrific.
y'don't gotta go wild as hell, bruh-
but you DO have to make at least one of these...
you will make more if you do it right;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 10

GIRLS WITH SKULLS!

if you're a girl, and you get a skull tattoo,
you're probably just a little bit cooler than you were a second ago,
or maybe you're a supervillain,
or maybe you wish you were a dude on a motorcycle.
i dunno.
however, when i'm at AMPERSAND TATTOO,
skulls are my favorite and most bestest thing to tattoo.
so i don't really care why you're gettin' those headbones on your skin-
just keep doing it.
this one has a snake on it:

semi-stenciled and totally just made-up scales on that markered-on cobra.
all i'm sayin' is:
get more skulls.
and maybe get me a better camera.
jesus, i haven't accurately documented a tattoo in years.
but you get the idea-
skulls- cool.
snakes- medium cool.
leaves- very cool.
MORE........please;
never quiet, never soft.....

SOFTER!

slightly smaller soft flour tacos?
that means MORE tacos, really,
with less concern about being a grotesque glutton.
not that i'm really concerned about shark gluttony,
but i do like to delude myself into feeling like maybe i'm a responsible adult,
instead of an overreacting, overeating, overreaching greedy-boi,
overdoing all the things all the time.
then again, too much is the right amount,
and i might wanna just embrace the face-stuffing feeding frenzy that comes
from munchin' up another 'nother taco or two.
yeah.
i think that's a good idea.
check the teleport:

SOFTIES FOR LIIIIFFFEEEE!!!
damn, i appreciate these flour flaps so much more after those crap shrapnel crunchy ones.
f'real.
and that carrot escabeche?

WORDIMUS PRIME!
that's a purple carrot, cider vinegar, raw sugar and pink salt,
bubbled up on the stove to saturate and soften those slices 
so that they slide into a taco and turn it up to eleven.
i mean, a pinch here and there, and you're in business.
i love that stuff a whole lot.
-
and there's avocado, because avocado is expert.
and pickled jalapenos for sharp tangy heat.
and cilantro to freshen it up.
AND red onion sprankles because they're kyoot.
and lettuce? heck yes, lettuce.
dudes, i got that rice on there.
i know, right?
i'm a starchy fella.
cilantro and lime and lime zest and jasmine rice.
i like a tasty rice scenario. i'm good like that.
-
and the main event on these bad babies is veggie crumbles and black beans-
it's like taco "meat" except not dead bodies.
and that's better by a mile.

YUMMMMM!
a cuppa chopped tomatoes,
a quarter cup of chiopped red onions,
3 T cilantro stems and leaves;
1/2 jalapeno;
1/4 cup minced sweet peppers;
1/2 cup black beans;
1/2 cup veggie crumbles;
plus, GPOP, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, oregano, cayenne,
black pepper and pink salt.....
y'just simmer the heck outta it, and that's so simple
i really don't even think it counts as cooking although it definitely counts as delicious.
i mean,
six tacos, even smallies, isn't nuthin'.
especially when they're full of stuff, which is smart-
if only because they're SO much better when they're FAT.
mmmm.
just eat a lot of vegan tacos and you will absolutely be a better person.
that's a fact although i've got zero documentation of the stats that may prove it.
i've got NO ideas for dinner tonight, though.
i'm all taco'd out.
there's always pizza, but i mean, c'mon.
we get it- pizza is the best.
honestly, by the time i get home i wanna eat right away
and then be done with everything and take it easy.
i'm tired.
i must be getting old.
or possibly too full.
i'm not sure.
i just know that i have no enthusiasm to go shopping or do dishes,
and there's only so much i can make with what i have on hand.
it might be get-creative day at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
ok, ok, EVERY day is already-
but this might apply to dinner specifically;
never quiet, never soft.....

STRAWBERRY TART!

gluten-free vegan strawberry birthday tart!
yeah.
y'gotta have a treat on your birthday.
rules is rules.
you're fully activated with birthday magic when there's a sweet treat,
and candles,
and frosting.
the kids liked it.
i liked it.
we sang the song and breezy made a wish,
and everybody was happy.
we ate it up. we licked our lips. we had a second slice.
that's it.
check the teleport:

STRAWBERRY!!
...and chocolate!
that's a delicious, and some might even say romantic combination.
how do you make something like this?
well, you'll need a tall-sided fluted tart pan, man.
at least, you will if you want the scalloped edges.
and then you just do this:
-

TART'N BERFDAYBERRY TREAT!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
in your food processor, combine:
1 cup bob's all-purpose gf flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/4 cup sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 stick vegan butter;
1/3 cup gf oats;
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes;
1/4 cup bob's 1:1 gf flour;
1/2 cup mama's almond blend gf flour.
pulse it up,
and add in 1/4 cup non-dairy milk,
then give it a little choppy-chop until it forms a stickyish crumbly dough-
press it into that tart pan, and bake it for twenty minutes or so.
you get that crisp, thick, handsome crust when you do it right.
-
now,
in a 1 quart saucepot, on low heat, mix together:
16 oz. vegan creamchee';
1 tsp vanilla;
1 1/2 cups chopped frozen strawberries;
3 T tapioca;
1 T cornstarch;
1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
whisk all that up until it's uniform,
and turn the heat UP to set those starches.
neighbors, it gets thick as heck, and that's when you pour it into your crust.
mmmhmmmm.
i added cacao nibs.
i did.
i like 'em.
and when it cooled off? (that takes a bit, i refrigerated it to speed things up a bunch)
chocolate frosting, bruh!
AND powdered sugary sprankles.
that's what's up.
MORE flavors means MORE enjoyment.
tight.
*
i do love a berfday.
i do love a lady.
i do love when we all span a special moment together.
and i love a treat, for sure;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, July 8

TACOCERATOPS

crunchy tacos are a F*ing bummer, bro.
fallaparty shards of cornchipped shrapnel crap.
if you like 'em? shame on you.
they're NOT expert.
not at all.
and i'm not sorry for sayin' it, because that's a fact.
i tried again, and i was disappointed, again.
check it out:

everything was SO super-tasty .....except those busted-A* bummery shells.
and who is surprised by that?
look, if you can't eat wheat, eat SOFT corn jauns, man.
please.
these cracked-up crappers just don't rock my world.
i had radishes on there, for crunch.
and crisp pointy-leaf letuuce, because i feel like that's important.
and cilantro because i LOVE it.
and jalapeno rings, to heat things up just a little baby bit.
and red onion sprankles, because that's how you make 'em good, kids.
duh.
don't be dumb.
-
i had my nootch-boosted ho'saucy refried beans up in there.
that's 15 oz of refritas, plus 1 tsp coconut oil,
and 3 T chopped onion,
and 2 T nutritional yeast,
and 1 tsp ea Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,
and 2 T of my homeboy texas pete's ho'sauce.
they're fuego as F*, amigos. that's no joke.
a fattie-boombattie layer of those goes in first.
then the lettuce, then the black bean hash.
wait.
what?
oh, yeah.
i made that.
and it's elite.
-
*
BLACK BEAN HASH!
-
1 cup of black beans,
2 T chopped red onion;
1/2 cup rainbow bell peppers, minced;
1/2 jalapeno, diced;
1/2 cup quartered baby sweet grape tomatoes;
1/3 cup cilantro stems and leaves;
1 tsp coconut oil-
plus, 1/4 tsp black pepper;
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika and oregano;
1/4 tsp cumin and corianderl
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder;
dash of cayenne.
-
^^^^ fry that up over high heat until the onions soften, and you're done.
*
you do the things.
you chop the vegetables.
you stir the pans.
and then just like *that* you've got what you wanted all along:

flavors all a-poppin',
textures mostly all good, too-
i'm sayin'- if these had been in gently toasted soft flour flaps?
they'd have been epic.
instead, inside these frag-grenade oven-crisp corn hazard folders,
they were deliciously less-than-eleven.
i still ate 'em up fast and furiously.
i even tuned-up the leftover bits that didn't fit inside the shells.
of course, three shells broke before i even put anything inside 'em,
so those became chips to scoople up all the exxxtras.
i'm not trying to waste anything over here except time.
and that's slipping past far too quickly.
a dog walk after dinner,
a little italian ice to soothe my sweet tooth,
and i was out cold in a blink.
this sunroom bedroom that breezy decided on is kind of doing the trick.
i'm up earlier, which isn't my favorite,
but four-thirty is a fine time for my first wake-up.
i go back to sleep these days, though.
i must be getting old.
ANYway, use soft tortillas.
that's the takeaway from this experience;
never quiet, never soft.....

BERFDAY!!!

breezy is thirty-three today!!
that's an eleven year, y'know?
and that means that the big action, and the big love,
and the huge heart exxxplosions of good feelings start right now,
and go on all frickin' year.
yup.
that's what that means, man, and rules is rules so we've gotta make it magical.
or else.
luckily, there's a whole year of swirling, unfurling whirlwind romance to be had.
we can pace ourselves.

i'm making a second sweet gluten-free treat for my tasty lady-
i do that.
and it's her berfday, bruh.
y'gotta have a treat on your berfday....or else.
we've had a wild year-
from simple chats with an old friend reconnected with,
to the first kisses,
to *¡surprise!* little baby lilli arriving with the surgical-strike quickness
of cupid's laser-guided arrow.
we've had the back and the forth of a hundred years,
and the lakes and the mountains,
and all the seasons,
and a big ol' blended familytime.
...i mean, daaaaaaaaamn, dudes.
 right?
that's a lot to undertake in such a short time,
but, when you've got an electromagnetic connection to another human being,
that current pulls you towards your superconductin' ironclad heart-partner.
there's no gettin' away from it.
and so, here we are, kids.
a couple of warrior poets celebrating the anniversary of her big debut.
i say happy freakin' berfday, and i mean it.
i'm happy about it.
i'm overjoyed about the person i span time with.
smart, and funny, and (too) strong, and opinionated,
and familiar and new and exciting,
and comforting and aggravating and all the things you'd expect from an
evenly-matched other-half plus all the turbo-mega-hottness that makes my head get dizzy.
i've only had the pleasure of one full year,
which comprises just two birthy days so far,
but i know there's more where that came from.
happy birthday to my favorite fiery raging stormswept pajama mama.
i've got heart eyes about it;
never quiet, never soft.....

COVERED UP!

i did a cover-up,
and i only did two things wrong, guys.
yup.
i forgot to take a picture of the before image.
and i forgot to take a picture of the drawn-on boomfire rough draft
that i whipped up over it.
all i've got to show is the finished product,
and that's okay...because it's expert, and we all like that sort of thing.
don't we?
we DO.
word.
check it out:

that's that DEMONICA LEWINSKY jauns, boi!
hahaha.
there was a reaper wizard conjuring flames under there.
my dude jess was like: do what you do, anything is better than what i have.
...which is true, but also,
if i can doo-doo something dope over some doo-doo buttery old tatty'boi poop?
i'm for sure gonna get expert with the sharpie marky-markers every time.
a six horned, four winged, tentacle chinny-chin-chinned tusked devil goat?
don't mind me, neighbors-
i'm just covering a wizard up with a summoned anti-angel from the pit and that.
yeah.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is where the good stuff happens.
making tattooing fun in twenty nineteen is what's up.
if you want it, we've got it.
so come and get it, or don't...i'm not the boss of you;
never quiet, never soft.....

JELLY?

jellyfish!
yup.
i live tattooing a jellyfish.
and each time i do one, they get a baby bit better than the last time.
jell'ous?
ha!
jordyn has a full back of tattoo magic now-
this was the last puzzle piece to fit in, on her shoulder-
and that's a big deal-
we did seven sittings total, 
and she had maybe four tattoos already on there,
so all told, she sat like a rock, took her lumps, and now she's all done!
we did it, and that's pretty freakin' cool.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is where the drawn-on hottness happens,
and where the conversation is as eclectic as the myriad artistic styles we create.
if you're dumb, or boring, go somewhere else-
but if you're a competent and capable appreciator of expertism,
we'll find you some time on the schedule to make a few dreams come true;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, July 7

MANLY MAN-DALA!

too many lines,
soooo many dots,
blacks, greys, hexagons, triangles, diamonds, and starbursts.
that's how i'd describe my day with bill.
he got a lot of first tattoo,
and my hands kinda hurt about it:

WORD.
it isn't just triceratops and skulls around here, bro.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is where alllll the hot fire gets cooked up.
the most kinds of art.
the most kinds of tattoos.
the most kinds of conversation,.
the most kinds of seltzer, boi.
too much is the right amount,
and that's what we're about;
never quiet, never soft.....

BERFDAYS

so, i did a pretty freakin' cool tattoo the other night.
i went back late to the studio, like in the dark,
and tattooed breezy.
i don't think i've ever gotten worse pictures than by semi-florescent and table-lamp light.
so, between the swelling and the redness and the poor quality photos,
you'll just have to believe me when i tell you i had such a good time doing it.
an antique syringe and insulin vial for her number one type one diabetic baby, cali.
i like these girls, y'know?
so i did a thing, and it was just part of a berfday night out.
we had thai food at a spot that was positively smoked out with kitchen fire grease.
and we got coffees to wake the eff up for all the food and funtimes, too.
so, there was tattooing and thai, coffee and cake and love and laughs
and dark nighttime sunroom camp-outs.
yeah.
rearranging the cushions and pillows and tables in the long, strong sunshine room
for a summertime skyline sleepover was F*ing expert.
and that cake was really good, neighbors.
gluten-free, and vegan, and chocolate.
all good things.
check it:

YES!
now, it isn't her real birthday until tomorrow, so this is just the first cake,.
there'll be another one, too.
but it's soft and sweet and deep and dark and dope,
and i like all of that.
i kept it single layer, and frosted it like the moon.
cake is cool and all, but we don't need to run around getting all full
before bedtime with sugar and chocolate and whatever-
so keeping it simple is the key.
the recipe?
easyish.
here you go:
-

GFVCHOCOCAKE!
-
preheat your oven to 350℉
-
grease a 9" springform pan;
-
in your upright mixer with the whisk affixed, cream up:
1 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/3 cup brown sugar;
2 ts vanilla;
1 stick ( 8 T) softened vegan butter.
whisk in:
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt;
2 T vegan sour creme;
1/3 cup cacao-
combine that all into a soft frothy mush,
then add:
1 cup bob's all purple gf flour;
1/2 cup bob's 1:1 gf flour;
1 cup mama's gf almond flour blend;
2 T tapioca flour;
1 tsp ea. baking soda and powder;
1 cup non-dairy milk.
-
whip it up, spread it evenly into that springy pan, and bake it for 40 minutes or so,
until a tester comes out clean from the center.
let it cool completely,
which does take longer with dense moist glutenless baked goods...
and then frost it up.
-
frosting is basically 3 cups of flour, 1 stick of vegan butter, 1/3 cup s'milk,
and whatever else you plan on adding-
i had 3 T of ground coconut in this one-
and i added cacao of course, to make it extra good.
plus, raw cacao sprankles on top to turn it up to eleven.
-
i am grateful to know this woman.
i'm grateful for the time and the talks and the touches,
and the laughs and the debates and the intricacies of our interpersonal connection 
and the mundane and magical moments we share.
she's the most like me i've ever encountered in another person.
i like it.
it's enlightening and frightening and exciting,
and i'm lucky and i'm better for the experience.
it's almost birthday time, and i'm excited to be part of it.
it's all really happening, and my heart is happy about it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 5

JULY PARTY!

grilled pizza and pasta salad.
no.
really.
not at the same time, but in a row.
uh-huh.
that's good for you.
pasta salad is the most summery of summertime things to me,
and you know i made two kinds, too.

yup.
gluten-full rainbow squiggler jauns,
AND gluten-free brown-rice yummers for my breezy lady.
we got red, orange, yellow, and green peppers,
red onion, cucumber, baby grape tomatoes, and chick peas all up in it to win it.
and this version has some fancy expensive organic italian dressing
all over it to slip and slide it full of molto delicious flavor, bro.
that's real.
if you don't eff with pasta salad, you're effed up, and that's a fact.
mmmmm.
i love it, and i look forward to summertime specifically because of it.
ha.
i'm serious.
*
and what's better than pizza?
nothing.
not once. not ever.
grilled pizza, with open flames and high heat and woodsmoke
and outdoor summertime sunshine power?
c'mon, neighbors-
if you need some happiness in your life.....
...maybe what you really need is pizza on the grill.
hey. just consider it; it might actually be true.
wood and charcoal and iron grates and great times.
that's phase two of the fourth of july.
phase one was sweating and playing with all those kids outside.
then the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress woodshed got raided
for some fresh-split kindling to burn hot and bright on the raised coal bed
of my elite luxury handfire grill.
that's expert.
and the pizzas were too.
check the fireworkin' teleport:

WOOOOOOOOO!!!
and another:

YEAHHHHH!!!!!
too much is the right amount, right?
right!
the cashew chee' was perfect:
-
*
CASHEWMOZZ'!
-
in a high-speed blender, combine:
1 cup + 2 T boiling water;
1/4 tsp sea salt;
1/4 tsp GPOP;
3 T tapioca;
2 T lemon juice;
1 cup raw cashews;
2 T nootch.
pulse it until totally uniformly blended,
then transfer it to a small non-stick pot to thicken over medium high heat.,
stirring a LOT.
that's essential.
how easy is that?
when it pulls away clean from the sides, it's done.
and a few scooples of it on a pizza is tiiiiiiight.
-
so, you HAVE to grill the dough  first, before you dress your pizzas.
rules is rules,
otherwise it doesn't work at all.
so,
make a stiff dough, bro.
so you can scorch and sear and firm it up without it oozing between the grates.
-
*
TWOZZA DOUGH!
-
this'll make a couple pies, guys.
in your stand-mixer, as always, with the hook on it, combine:
2 3/4 cups king arthur flour;
1 T sea salt;
3 T olive oil;
1 pkg fast-actin' yeast;
1 tsp bread machine yeast;
1 tsp sugar;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
1 1/4 cup warm water, + more as needed.
beat it up for 11 minutes, then let it rise for twenty or so.
punch it down, divide it, and dunk each in flour as you stretch 'em on the peel.
45 seconds per side is all you'll need over short flames
to season and prepare 'em for topping.
EASY!
-
and i grilled some tomatoes in one of those stainless baskets,
and i firesteamed a bunch of broccoli in foil, with oil salt and pepper,
and i caramelized some onions,
and i plucked garden fresh basil,
and there was fried garlic slices,
and rosemary sprigs,
and crushed tomatoes,
and olive oil,
and joy.
the joy of pizza outdoors and excellent.
that's my idea of a perfect display of freedom.
no animals got chopped up and burnt.
nobody had to have a bad time.
there was only competence and capability and pizza.
oh.
and pasta salad, too.
so simple, but so good.-
i didn't watch the fireworks.
i just don't wanna anymore.
i did do a bunch of exercise, and watch the flash on netflix, though.
that was better.
dang, dudes-
i used to be an adventurer.
and now i'm pretty much just a heavy-handed hard-style hermit,
but that's just fine with me;
never quiet, never soft.....