Proboscidea's Profile

Display Name: Proboscidea
Member Since: 11/9/10

Latest Comments...

It's wonderful to hear a famous chef's positive opinion of pressure cookers. They're such a time-saver, and they don't have to be cupboard-hogging specialized tools that only get hauled out once a year (mine doubles as a stock pot, with a regular lid). Seriously, I want to buy everybody I know a pressure cooker and open their eyes to the glory.

As far as books go, Lorna Sass's "Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure" has been my go-to resource for learning pressure cooking techniques. At least once a week, I refer to her bean or grain cooking time charts.

Not trying to steal the thunder from Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" (which I also own, and LOVE!) but I think that those two books together make a dynamite veggie library combo.

Deborah Madison Talks About Revising Her Beloved Cookbook: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, What's Changed & What Hasn't Cookbooks
4/13/14 02:36 PM

Would, I wonder, the lack of oven spring be combated by adding 1.5x or 2x the normal amount of yeast? I know you can slow down a loaf's rising time by adding less yeast than normal, and speed it up by adding more.

Since a slow cooker loaf bakes and rises at the same time, would perhaps more yeast in the recipe mean that more of the organisms are contributing to a quick rise in the cooker before they die off from the heat?

How to Make Bread in the Slow Cooker Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
7/22/13 01:20 PM

"The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book" contains amazingly comprehensive information and instructions for 100% whole wheat bread. A delight to read -- lots of quaint line drawings and stories about where she found certain recipes, in addition to a lengthy first section that goes into great detail about each step in making a loaf. Basically, whole wheat absorbs water more slowly than white flour, so you use slightly different techniques to come out with beautiful, fluffy, whole-grain loaves.

5 Tips for Making Better Sandwich Bread
9/18/12 10:00 PM

This isn't helpful for the OP necessarily, but others interested in ketchup might want to check out Stephen Raichlen's "Sauces, Rubs and Marinades". It's a companion book to his BBQ Bible that has a bunch of different ketchup recipes and includes a fascinating write-up on the history of ketchup.

It has a bunch of other sauces too -- a wide array of different sauces (not just variations where one recipe is basically the same as another recipe but with out garlic or whatever, which I've seen in other cookbooks).

Help Me Find Interesting, Unique Varieties of Ketchup!
Good Questions

8/15/11 06:31 PM

I have been forced to despise pink in reaction to the whole Disney Princess Barbie Girl-Version-Of-Things phenomenon. Pink laptop computers! Pink phones! Pink cordless power drills! Pink colostomy bags! All of the rooms in the examples above are really designed well, and the pink looks great because the rooms aren't super-girly, but I could never bring myself to use the color in my own home due to of the cultural associations with recent over-pinkified bogus-girl-power marketing ploys. (disclosure: I am a woman)

From Pale to Powerful: Which Pink is Too Pink?
8/2/11 06:17 PM

Be a Good Samaritan: flag the original post in Craigslist as "prohibited" so others don't fall for it.

And report the full details of the Western Union wire fraud (including URL of original listing for the apartment) to Craigslist:

Is This "Too Good to Be True" Apartment a Scam?
Good Questions

8/1/11 06:45 PM

I shouldn't say this because I don't want to provoke its flying off the shelves (all mine! all mine!), but Trader Joe's has a 2008 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.99) that is fantabulous red perfection.

Good Wines at Trader Joe's: Cheerful Summer Wine Picks
7/28/11 04:06 PM

Noob question: when a wine adheres to the strict standards of region and pruning and maturation etc., is it possible that there could always just be a bad year for growing grapes or a bad batch that doesn't taste great but still gets the designation because of its adherence to the standards?

As a drinker of mostly California wines, I tend to pay much more attention to competition results. I'll look for a wine that has won a Double Gold at the SF Int'l Wine Competition or other judging event, or was rated by Wine Spectator (usually limited to the high 80s in my price range). Retailers are seeing the value in posting this info alongside the wine, and if a bottle rated well, it's usually displayed.

Like you say, the non-standardized and unique wines (in this case, in the U.S.) may not be produced through an ages-old process, but the wines that won awards given by human beings who sampled them are usually tasty, which is what matters to me. If that tastiness comes from blending varietals from different regions in some new or weird way, fine by me.

I do see how the Old World designations can eliminate the element of unpleasant surprise, though, and guarantee that you'll at least get a passable bottle of wine for your money (barring the bad-batch theory above). Thanks for this article! I will use the info in your post to make informed decisions as I veer into the world of European wines.

Wine Labeling Laws & Regulations: Do You Care?
7/28/11 03:50 PM

A couple years ago, on the heels of the Acai micro-trend, Absolut came out with an Acai flavored vodka. There's also a Vitamin Water with Acai flavor now. Notice both of them don't claim to contain any actual Acai; just the flavor. Although it's been in danger of jumping the shark for a while, I'll put my money on this berry increasing yet more in popularity and show up as flavoring in additional places (sherbet/ice cream, smoothies, creme frappe flavor at Starbucks, flavor of Crystal Light, chewing gum, etc.)

What Will Be The Next Bacon? Our Top 5 Trend Predictions
7/18/11 03:22 PM

And of course there's the $30 gold standard of tea liqueur: Qi White Tea Liqueur, made in Alameda, CA by Hangar One/St. George spirits.

Unbelievably tasty. Less sweet and intense than the sweet tea liqueurs. Good for sipping on ice or neat.

Product Review (+ Recipes): Bols Sweet Tea Liqueur
Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

7/15/11 06:51 PM

Tried Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Vodka. At 35% alcohol, it's more like a flavored vodka than a liqueur. I can't deny, I was highly skeptical at first, but this tastes great over ice. Not for shots or sipping neat -- more of a mixer. The recipe on the back says to just mix it with water and serve over ice.

I "invented" (as in, using random bits of what we had lying around) something I'm calling a Texas Tea:

1 1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz (or more) sweet tea vodka
1 1/2 oz lemon juice
3 oz water
Sweetener of your choice, to taste. Usually this amounts to 4 tsp of sweetener (sugar, honey) or the equivalent, such as 4 wee scoops of stevia extract, 4 packets of Splenda - whatever you use.

It's like a margarita version of an Arnold Palmer. Quite refreshing.

It would also be good with a splash of triple sec.

Sweet Carolina Sweet Tea Vodka:

Product Review (+ Recipes): Bols Sweet Tea Liqueur
Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

7/15/11 02:15 PM

I like grain-based salads for their ability to taste good at any temperature, and most of them are relatively dry as opposed to gloppy (so if the container tumps over or leaks, there's not a mess in your pretty summer tote).

Current favorite: a chilled concoction made with hulled barley, chopped shiba zuke (purple Japanese pickle -- you could chop up some tomatoes or sweet pickles or fire roasted peppers instead), cucumber, chopped tree nuts like pecans/walnuts, and mushrooms. Simple vinaigrette with ginger.

Best Foods for a Day Trip to the Beach?
Good Questions

7/7/11 12:52 PM

How long are you going to be in your current place? If you're talking long-term and you can plant stuff, some well placed thick creeping vines like jasmine can grow into a wonderful sound barrier in a year or two.

My neighbor has ran some irrigation lines along the roof of her backyard porch, and when she turns on the hose, it sprays a fine mist of cool water which seems like it would be absolutely divine on hot days. It makes a white-noise "sssssssssssssss" when it's on, which could kill your two birds with one stone.

How To Minimize Street Noise During Outdoor Party?
Good Questions

7/6/11 07:26 PM

Are you worried that the noise would drown out people trying to quietly talk to each other, or are you worried more about the annoyance of having to listen to traffic no matter what you're doing at the party (playing, eating, swimming)? I guess it depends on the size of your space, but if the concern is the latter, perhaps a clever selection of activities could distract guests from the annoying noise: semi-active party games, participation in the outdoor food-making (smoothie party! with a loud blender! constantly blending!), live entertainment (invite your friend who plays bagpipes), etc.

How To Minimize Street Noise During Outdoor Party?
Good Questions

7/6/11 07:18 PM

Bac-O's brand bacon bits are actually sort of vegan, as far as I can tell; the bacon flavor seems to be partially artificially derived. I've seen store brands of fake bacon bits that are 100% artificially flavored (a pig never went anwhere near it). So you may be able to fry a few fake bacon topping bits in vegetable oil to extract the flavor, and then fry the burgers in that.

How Can I Make Boca Burgers Taste Better?
Good Questions

6/30/11 05:47 PM has some good ones. I've been happy with the value/quality intersection of Luigi Bormioli glasses when they're on sale.

My favorite heavy-bottomed whiskey glass is the Anchor Hocking "Alexis" double old-fashioned. The square shape makes it easier to hold in my smallish hands.

Help Me Find Substantial, Inexpensive Whiskey Glasses
Good Questions

6/29/11 04:50 PM

Speaking as someone who wound up in a vacation home that was supposed to "sleep 12 comfortably" but wound up being a 2-bedroom bungalow with sleeper sofas in common areas ... yeah, I agree, when you're getting a large group together for a social activity, a multi-bedroom big house suddenly seems to make sense. If everyone stayed in motel rooms, they'd be using more square footage than a really big house (and they wouldn't be able to have a kitchen/laundry/private yard, etc.).

Susan Orlean Versus the Too-Big House
The New Yorker

6/22/11 04:54 PM

Why a big house? For me, I need a spacious gift wrapping room all to myself. And don't tell me to use the art room down the hall to wrap gifts in -- the art room is for art, and besides, it's already starting to fill up with excess items from the puppet theater room, the thank-you letter-writing room, and the bow-tie-tying room.

Susan Orlean Versus the Too-Big House
The New Yorker

6/22/11 04:50 PM

Red Berry Coffee Bar (6th & Santa Clara, downtown San Jose across from City Hall) also makes drinks from from Barefoot beans. Yummy! Plus they serve homemade waffles on weekends.

Barefoot Coffee: Good Beans from San Jose
Store Profile

6/20/11 07:49 PM

Anybody feeling vibes of the house from Forbidden Planet?

Open & airy by day with lush gardens and lovely landscape views, but can be instantly shuttered with impermeable materials in case of Id attacks.

Would You Live in This Safe House?
6/7/11 09:47 PM