subtlefrog's Profile

Display Name: subtlefrog
Member Since: 8/19/09

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A piece of advice from my grandma that I would never follow - she was a huge fan of lard. While I find the idea foul, she swore by it, saying nothing got the crust as flaky. She only switched to Crisco later under duress when the family revolted.

For what it's worth...


5 Steps to Master Perfect Pie Crust
4/28/11 10:39 AM

Here is my geek neurosis. None - and I mean none - of my thermometers (and we have several, including an IR) read the same. Our latest allows calibration, but only at one point, and then drifts when it is too far from the calibration point. Now, grand scheme, I know 1-2-5 degrees isn't likely to be a huge deal, but I want ACCURACY! Even the scientific one I brought home from my lab (new, never used, don't freak) only is accurate to within +/- 1 degree, so it's hard to calibrate by.

Any suggestions for calibrations? And can the Thermapen be calibrated?


A $93 Thermometer? Why the Thermapen Is Worth It
Product Review

4/22/11 10:34 AM

How can you tell if they are good? I've seen them, but sometimes they are pre-packaged and I can't tell if they are super fresh. Help!


Get Them While You Can! Fiddlehead Ferns in Season
4/18/11 09:50 AM

Most places in Belize do in fact use lard in the beans (though the more touristy places are switching to vegetable oils). Also, if you're looking to recreate Belizean beans, most places are working with kidney beans most of the time, they are the most widely available beans. There are other beans, but kidneys are the staple in the diet there. Most people don't put a whole lot more into their refrieds, though some will make coconut rice or coconut beans, which are pretty amazing (using coconut water, not coconut milk). And don't forget to top with Marie Sharps! That's the official hot sauce! It's becoming more widely available in the US. If you can't find it, if you do like spice, another pretty Belizean thing is house-pickled hot peppers. Just throw the hottest peppers you can stand in a jar of vinegar with some salt for a few days and enjoy.

Good luck!


Looking for a Great Refried Beans Recipe
Good Questions

4/7/11 10:18 AM

Gallo pinto! I think I ate it for breakfast every single morning when I worked in Costa Rica, and it's fantastic. Highly recommended, and works great with veggie broth. You can google recipes - they abound - and play with them until you find a combination that works best for you. Every family has their own recipe, but the basics are pretty similar. Good luck!


Looking for Vegan Breakfasts with Beans
Good Questions

4/5/11 09:48 AM

We have just about every coffee implement known to man, but I love my coffee sock. Nothing beats the coffee I get out of it.


Survey: How Do You Brew Your Coffee?
4/4/11 06:10 PM

Didn't even know she was having it, but I do hope wider awareness will let people know we aren't all vegangelical jerks judging you for what you do - or don't do - in your own kitchen. Me, I leave my personal politics as personal, and say that what I really hope for is wider access to good vegan recipes - and believe me, there are lots of those!


Did You Watch Martha's Vegan Show This Morning?
3/31/11 01:24 AM

What about for big things like bread loaves? Since we started doing a lot of baking, we haven't decided the best thing. The loaves usually last us about 4-5 days, so too long to just wrap in a towel. I don't want to use Ziplocks, but I don't have better ideas. Anyone?


Looking for Reusable, Easy To Clean Sandwich Bags
Good Questions

3/30/11 12:06 AM

Love anything Lagunitas, and the Commodore Perry (Great Lakes), so sad we can't get it out here in CA. Also just tried Lost Coast's Indica Pale Ale and it's got a great depth of flavor in addition to the hops. Yum!


What's the Difference? Pale Ales, IPAs, & Double IPAs
Beer Sessions

3/30/11 12:03 AM

@thethinchef re: tomatillos - actually, yes, they are in the tomato family, Solanaceae. But don't give them much credit, so are a huge number of the plants we eat, like peppers, potatoes, and eggplant!


Expert Errors: The Mistakes TV Chefs Make
2/25/11 09:27 PM

@theskip - I love this idea. Any tips for someone who doesn't know what they are looking at for finding a good, quality woodworker to contract?


What Furniture To Get If I Can't Afford 'Green' Furniture?
Good Question

2/25/11 08:53 PM

Nice idea, and we're currently looking for a great storage option for our kitchen for trash and compost. But our 55-lb dog can also get into almost anything, which has made the process far more difficult. Still looking!


How To Organize Waste in a Small Kitchen
2/23/11 11:21 AM

Lagunitas Brewery beers are a current favorite, though I don't know how widely available they are outside of California. We've also been really loving Flying Dog, and Telegraph.

Now if we could only get ahold of some Great Lakes Brewing Co. beer, life would be complete.


Cozy Brews: 5 Beers to Get You Through Winter
Beer Sessions

2/1/11 04:15 PM

We've taken to baking bread every weekend (pita last weekend, that was fun!). Other than that, no idea yet. I was super excited about some of the casseroles this week, though. Have to wait and see what looks good at the Farmer's Market this morning.


What's Cooking This Weekend?
Weekend of January 29-30, 2011

1/29/11 11:36 AM

I agree with other commenters: Daiya! Cheezly is good, and Sheese is also really great, but these are hard to come by (mail order only from what I can tell in the US). Daiya is becoming a lot more widely available -- here in LA, loads of restaurants even use it. Before Daiya, I would never subject someone to vegan cheese, but even my omnivore boyfriend will eat Daiya and Sheese.

We've tried Dr. Cow but weren't as excited by it -- it's got a yogurty tang from the Acidophilus culture that I couldn't get past. I'd really like to try a nut "cheese" cultured with actual cheese cultures!


Vegan Cheese: A Cheesemonger's Report
The Cheesemonger

1/16/11 02:00 PM

It's not a blog, but an amazing resource for people who travel: http://www.happycow.net/ Anytime I leave my own backyard, whether locally to find a new restaurant, or far away (even internationally!) happycow has great resources for vegetarian and vegan places to eat. It's made life so much easier!


10 Inspiring Blogs on Vegan Food & Cooking
1/16/11 01:05 PM

Homemade vegan pizza! Veganize It...Don't Criticize it blog has a homemade vegan mozzarella recipe that I'm super curious about, so we're going to try it. It could really go either way, but it's worth an experiment, I think! Also going to carmelize some onions and roast some eggplant so I think either way, I'll have some tasty pizza!


What's Cooking This Weekend?
Weekend of January 15-17, 2011

1/15/11 01:49 PM

I didn't really intend to go vegan, to be honest. My friend, with whom I spent all my time, went vegan, and kept telling me how great it was. I'd been vegetarian for 20 years, so I said I'd try it, but with no commitment. After a week with her, and being vegan, I was hooked. Ten years later, I honestly don't feel like I miss anything, even with an omni SO, and all omni friends.

We take my veganism as a challenge to create new and interesting dishes that are tasty. If you're here, reading this blog and these comments, chances are you like to experiment in the kitchen, and so even if you don't want to commit 100% to going vegan, you can try a few recipes. A few friends of mine even tried 9 to 5 vegan where they didn't eat meat / animal products until dinner.


Going Vegan: What's Your Best Advice?
1/12/11 09:53 AM

@Mary Worrell - I couldn't agree more about the cashews! I think we use cashews in almost every sauce we make. I'm not a vegan who thinks every sauce should be tofu-based, and cashews have very nicely filled that niche for us.

Also, I've been blending nutritional yeast with walnuts for a vegan parm, but I'm going to try the cashew blend (and I'm really not sure why I haven't before!).


Vegan Pantry Staples: 5 Best Ingredients for Adding Flavor
1/12/11 09:13 AM

I've never liked milk, and now that I'm vegan, I still don't ever reach for a glass of milk-analog. But when I cook with milk, I usually grab almond or oat milk because it tends to not have as overwhelming a flavor as soy does in the dish. They blend in a lot better, in my opinion.

(All that said, I have made fresh soy milk, and when it is still warm, it can be pretty tasty. After that? Forget it!)


Almond Milk: What Does it Really Taste Like?
1/11/11 03:56 PM