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MsJunsu's Profile

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Best Instant Coffee

I'd like to clarify that starbucks instant coffee is technically coffee beans microground or something like that*.. in other words, it doesnt dissolve completely and if you're like me you'll be able to feel the tiny granules.. This was important for baking, as carbohydrates (like cake) dissolve but coffee beans do not (so my mocha cake left a grainy after-texture - though whether or not you can actually feel it is up to the individual; my sister didnt seem to notice or mind). Still, like i said, i like their instant coffee much better than their brewed.

I'm going to try looking for Medaglia d'Oro Instant Espresso and/or Nescafe Clasico next, since I've started school again and I'll need instant coffee for when I dont have time to make stovetop 'espresso' D: I may also try the Trader Joes instant coffee (altho i havent seen it the last few times i went). I'll update with my thoughts :)

*Disclaimer: i dont know how other instant coffees are made but in my limited experience all other brands dissolved completely

Sep 12, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Best Instant Coffee

Starbuck's VIA is pretty good. In fact, I think their instant coffee tastes much better than their brewed coffee.

Aug 29, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

Oh POOP. *sigh* I'll have to figure this out first, then, i guess. Thanks for this tidbit (as well as all your wonderful suggestions and information - really.)

Jul 05, 2012
MsJunsu in Home Cooking

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

Yes, I just store the ice cream canister in my freezer.

Hmm... I had erringly assumed milkfat content of half & half would be in the 15% range (or simply just 1:1 ratio of heavy cream and milk).

I am using tea powder.

Jul 05, 2012
MsJunsu in Home Cooking

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

Oh wait - I'm looking at one custard-based recipe I had saved and I think the tempering part may have scared me off.. eheh

Jul 05, 2012
MsJunsu in Home Cooking

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

Well, I've looked at a ton of ice cream recipes, and a lot of the custard based recipes insist on using a thermometer - and if not, then being able to distinguish when to take the mixture off the heat (if i'm remembering correctly; i have a tendency to delete unnecessary/irrelevant info -.-). Unfortunately, I do not consider myself experienced enough to be able to tell such differences with the naked eye and with old, cheap pans, an old stove, uneven heating (even with constant stirring), etc, i'm afraid to get a scrambled-egg/overcooked/whatever-disaster-you-can-think-of mixture. And considering money's tight and food just jumped up in price.. I'm hesitant to venture into custard based ice creams..

[I am a scientist by nature, so you'll have to excuse any excessive (perhaps a little pessimistic) fretting/attention to detail]

Jul 05, 2012
MsJunsu in Home Cooking

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

Actually, I'm trying to convince my sister to keep the ice cream maker (instead of returning it) and she loves green tea ice cream so I'm hoping that with really good homemade green tea ice cream, i'll be able to convince her to keep the maker xD

Would adding the mixture very slowly into the ice cream maker help? If I take the ice cream out too soon, it's too watery.. which is why I usually leave it until the recommended time (I've tried putting left over ice cream in the freezer but it ended up rock hard). Would using half & half make any difference (if I adjusted the recipe so that there's still a 1:2 ratio of cream to milk)?

Jul 05, 2012
MsJunsu in Home Cooking

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

By "over-churned", do you mean in the ice cream maker?

Ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions says to allow machine to run for 20-30 min. I only allowed it to run for 15 min before consuming.

Custard based ice creams are a little too complicated for me as of current, plus I don't have a thermometer (T_T), although I do hope to try them in the far future..

I may try skipping the initial cream whipping step tonight.. (I'm hesitant to go all out on experimenting, as Matcha tea is (REALLY) expensive.. not to mention the cost and waste of milk and especially heavy cream, which is why I wanted to ask Chowhound first because you guys are so wonderful <3).

Jul 05, 2012
MsJunsu in Home Cooking

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

Hi! I have a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker that I bought from Costco and have tried making homemade ice cream twice now (first time was a horrible error) and the second time I followed a recipe and it turned out okay for the most part, but I noticed small bits of wax/fat that my sister deemed utterly unacceptable (esp. as it left a waxy film on the roof of our mouths and tongue). I was wondering if this was a result of the recipe (ingredients and/or method)? Also, is there was a way to better 'homogenize' (or avoid the formation of the bits of fat in) homemade ice cream? Has anyone else come across this problem?

Ingredients I used:
200 mL Oberweis (homogenized) Whole Milk
100 mL Trader Joes Heavy Whipping Cream (recipe called for 36% fat Whipping Cream, but I couldnt find anything that specifically labeled the cream as such)
Brown Sugar
Matcha Tea

Methods (very briefly):
Whip the cream until firm
Add milk/sugar/tea mixture and stir lightly
Add to ice cream maker

Jul 05, 2012
MsJunsu in Home Cooking

Ground Turkey - Puffed Container

Thanks so much for the replies! I've cooked & consumed and seem to be fine :)

Jun 14, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Ground Turkey - Puffed Container

Um.. I remember from Science class that gas expands as temperature rises, and decreases in volume as temperature decreases (which was demonstrated using a balloon).. which is why this is confusing me so much.. unless the meat packaging company injected something into the packaging to keep it fresh and that certain gas acts differently..??

Jun 13, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Ground Turkey - Puffed Container

So, I took a package of ground turkey that I had in the freezer, and the plastic cover was all puffed out. I realize that usually, puffed out meat containers are a really bad sign and you should toss it, but I hadnt remembered at the time and moved it to the fridge. Now, a day and a half later, the package is LESS puffy, leaving me very much confused - if the puffiness was due to toxic gas produced by bacteria, wouldnt the package grow tauter with gas while in the fridge? Also, why/how would the package be puffed in the *freezer*?

Update: Upon checking, the two other containers (came in set of 4) still in the freezer are slightly taut with puffiness. I bought these from Costco...

Jun 13, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Mold on Apple Slice in Brown Sugar Jar

Well, I guess I was wondering if I could scrape the top layer off or something or whether the entire jar was likely to be contaminated (due to spores or whatnot).. I usually use the brown sugar for baking, so would that kill off any potentially hazardous microthings? Or should I just toss the entire (*wince*) jar away?

May 17, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Mold on Apple Slice in Brown Sugar Jar

I read that adding a slice of apple to a jar of brown sugar can loosen up hardened chunks of sugar. And it did. Except I accidentally left the apple in there too long and mold started to grow on it. The apple was separated by a small piece of paper towel and plastic wrap but upon removing the expired slice, the jar did smell faintly moldy.. Does this mean I have to throw the entire jar away?

May 17, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Dark fuzz on dried anchovies??

Help!! I just opened up my box of dried anchovies to find them covered with a dark brown fuzz. My mom just told me I should have refrigerated them, but since they were dried, I didnt think it likely that they would spoil.. I also just noticed the "Best by" date, which passed in Feb. Can dried anchovies go bad?? Should I throw the box out? (And it was painfully expensive too T_T)

Mar 23, 2012
MsJunsu in General Topics

Good Rum for Rum Balls?

I have not yet. Some stuff came up and rum balls were no longer appropriate lol. I do plan to make them sometime in the future, when I get the chance. :]

(Sister and I ended up buying hard apple cider for ourselves for new years, which were so yum!)

Jan 06, 2012
MsJunsu in Spirits

Good Rum for Rum Balls?

I'm making Rum Balls (kind of like chocolate truffles made with rum+brownie filling) for our Christmas family dinner and I dont know smack about Rum (or alcohol for that matter).. The recipe calls for dark rum (the alcohol will not be cooked off, just fyi). Can anyone recommend any good, affordable dark rum for a complete rum/alcohol novice?

Dec 23, 2011
MsJunsu in Spirits

Substitute Flax Seed with Ground Flax Seed (in Pumpkin Granola recipe)??

Ooohhh that makes sense.. though it would be nice to have it get mucusy in my intestines and not in my mouth.

(I have powdered fiber (fiber one?) that you dissolve in liquids and it doesnt change the consistency of the liquid so I was rather alarmed when the ground flax did lol)

Dec 09, 2011
MsJunsu in General Topics

Substitute Flax Seed with Ground Flax Seed (in Pumpkin Granola recipe)??

Well the thing is.. I tried putting some (ground) flax seed in my drink (milk + ground nuts..? It's a korean ground mixture but not sure what it translates into..) and maybe it's because I got a little spoon-happy with the flax seeds with not enough liquid/milk, but my drink ended up with a mucusy, slimy consistency! It was like the ground flax absorbed the liquid and made it mucusy.. And so I'm sort of worried what the flax seeds might do when combined with the wet ingredients..

Also, you say you use 1/4 cup ground flax seed for every 8 cup oats? That's rather a small amount o_o I was thinking about using maybe 1/2 cup ground flax for the 4 cup of oats the recipe calls for... but I'm completely new to this flax seeds business and am not sure what I'm doing -__-

Dec 09, 2011
MsJunsu in General Topics

Substitute Flax Seed with Ground Flax Seed (in Pumpkin Granola recipe)??

I have 'cold-milled ground flax seeds'.. and I just read online somewhere that cold-miling may help keep the fatty acids from going rancid so quickly because heat isnt used to grind the seeds (and heat, I guess, causes the fatty acids to become less stable or something).

Dec 09, 2011
MsJunsu in General Topics

Substitute Flax Seed with Ground Flax Seed (in Pumpkin Granola recipe)??

After acquiring all the materials to finally make Pumpkin Spice Granola, I realized the two bags of flax seed I have in the fridge are fine-milled ground flax seed (whereas the recipe calls for whole flax seeds). I need 1 cup of flax seeds (to be combined with 4 cups rolled oats among many other ingredients).. Is it possible to substitute the flax seeds with ground flax seeds? if so, what would be an appropriate conversion rate? Or would using ground flax seeds throw the moisture-texture-whatever ratio off completely?

Dec 03, 2011
MsJunsu in General Topics

Storing 2 lbs Chocolate Bars from TJs?

Bought two 1-lb Belgian Dark Chocolate Bars from TJs yesterday because I run through the single 3.5 oz bars rather quickly and figured it's cheaper and more convenient to buy in bulk and use it as I need.

How should I store them so that they'll last as long as possible? They're currently in the original wrappings although I have a feeling (that within the next 5 min) they'll be opened soon.. Should I wrap them in plastic wrap after opening? Or just roll/fold and tape down the original wrapper..? Airtight container? Does chocolate need to 'breathe'? O_o Put them in a brown paper bag..? Aluminum foil? Ziplock bag?

My (small!) apt is fairly cool in the winter, especially by the windows (which is where I currently store my canned goods) and more so if I open the windows but I dont know how I would control humidity..

Just FYI: Rather than to be consumed by itself (except, perhaps, during emergencies that may arise on a monthly basis), I bought the large bulk with the intention to use the chocolate in recipes - particularly hot chocolate since I like the thick, european hot chocolate, but also including Molten Chocolate Lava Cake and Chocolate Mocha Pot de Creme (foodwishes).

Nov 19, 2011
MsJunsu in General Topics

Trader Joe's Ginger and the FDA

Just saw some at a TJs in Chicago yesterday.. never tried them (used to the korean ones) but maybe i'll pick some up on my next visit :)

Nov 19, 2011
MsJunsu in Chains

knife sharpening

Question: How does one go about transporting the knife from home to store especially when public transportation is the only means of, well, transporation..? (Knife was received secondhand so no carrying box or anything)

Nov 03, 2011
MsJunsu in Chicago Area