Recipe for Success

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. – Virginia Woolf

Woolf could have added “design well,” “write well,” or “code well,” (or even “Rockwell”) to that quote and it would have been even more true for creatives.

You can’t do good creative work without good creative food. And while your mileage may vary regarding what constitutes “good food,” here are a few of my favorite foods for getting the creative juices flowing:

1) Altoids:

A must-have for contemplating possible ideas and a fantastic peppermint boost for the late night deadline crunches. You can suck them, bite down hard for a crunch bursting with power, or spin them around your teeth for contemplation… Then use the tin to make cool stuff!

2) Coffee:

Another must for designers. As we all know, I prefer decaf for a few reasons.

a) no caffeine means I can drink it all day and all night and

b) My co-workers insist!

3) Chocolate:

Chocolate. Mmmmm chocolate. Enhances the mood. Fires the creativity. My favorite is orange chocolate truffles. Chocolate.

4) Vegan hot wings.

Yes. I said vegan wings. Don’t laugh – they’re both tasty and spicy. Very spicy. Powered by these savory, delectable treats, you can now design, code and write stellar Websites.

The taste is satisfying for wing-o-philes; the heat is perfect for firing up the creative thought process and the process is meditative – perfect for contemplating your coding style.

First, make the seitan (you can buy this at the store, but it’s not as good as this recipe!
  • 1 1/2 cup wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (I use BRAGG’s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil?3 tsp liquid smoke (Smoke in a bottle. Such a fascinating product!)
  1. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
  2. Mix liquids together and set aside
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (I recommend a stand mixer).
  4. Add liquid to the dry mix, and knead on low to medium setting until firm. Knead for 3-5 additional minutes.
  5. The gluten makes this a very rubbery process!
  6. Split the seitan into three pieces and shape into three “steaks”
  7. Boil for 1 hour and 15 minutes. ??You can store the prepared seitan in the refrigerator for up to a week (be sure to store it in the broth) or freeze for a few months.
Now for the hot wings:
  1. Cut prepared seitan into strips about 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inches.
  2. Heat skillet on high with some oil for frying. ?Fry seitan until golden brown. ?Toss with cayenne pepper to taste and drench with my long kept secret …..Cattlemen’s Authentic Smoke House BBQ Sauce! Yes, this specific sauce is key to the creative success of your hot wings. Accept no substitutes.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  4. Eat wings.

Alright, fellow creative types. What’s your favorite food for creative thought?

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