Hi ... My name is Aubrey and I currently live in the DFW region of Texas. I was never interested in cooking growing up, my mother made pretty decent Mexican food. She was raised in El Paso so although she is Anglo I was raised primarily on Mexican food. Cooking was regarded as a chore, and she was okay at it but she never seemed entertained by it. I moved out and began going to community college after graduation at age 18. I literally could only cook enchiladas when I moved out and I spent the next few years living on a diet of Dr. Pepper, Totinoes crispy crust pizzas, and prepackaged raw cookie dough in addition to anything that was accessible at a drive thru. After several years of this I ballooned up to 247 pounds at my highest. I got married and divorced by 23 and was general pretty miserable. My soon to be ex husband refused to do any paperwork in regards to our divorce, he didn't even want to go to court, and we finally agreed that I would take care of everything on my own if he was willing to wait a few months so I was still covered by his insurance and could have gastric bypass. I went through all of this and had very few issues with it, but I figured out very quickly that I was going to have to learn to cook because my stomach was not going to deal with junk food anymore. I got pretty decent over the next year and found that it was something that I really enjoyed doing. In 2007 I met my current husband and we were married and pregnant with our first child within a year. In the 7th month of my pregnancy I noticed some odd swelling in my face and hands, went in to the emergency room at 32 weeks and was diagnosed with severe preclampsia (toxemia ... pregnancy induced high blood pressure that is generally not correctable with medication) and my blood pressure was sitting in the 180's. The doctors monitored me for several days and decided that it would be safer to induce my labor then instead of waiting and my son was born several days later at 33 weeks and he was born weighing 4 pounds 10 oz. He was kept in the NICU for 10 days but luckily for a tiny preemie he was still very healthy. We were able to bring him home but all of this kind of messed up my plans to return to work. Day care centers won't take kids in that shape because of the liability and I really didn't want anyone else watching him anyways. I decided I wanted to learn to make break since it is very time consuming because preemies sleep a lot and I was really bored. I loved it! My baby is now 6 with a little brother and a little sister and they are all perfect! I cook constantly now, normally from scratch, and I love trying out new techniques and recipes. I am primarily interested in savory/bread baking, most Asian food, pizza, and anything ridiculously difficult. I use the internet as a reference a whole lot and stumbled onto your site by accident. I always have questions and I love suggestions so I think this would be an awesome sight to be a member of. Have been trying to get a few things answered lately with no luck so I will just run you guys through them...
-I love eating almost anything at a typical Chinese Buffet, and I am able to duplicate most of this at home. Many sauces list 'oyster sauce as an ingredient but when I use it at home it makes my food extremely pungent and bad regardless of what I do. Does this sound like I need to be using less, maybe pre made products available in the US are stronger than products overseas? Do I need to be attempting to cook some of the flavor out with higher heat?
-I want to make homemade jjajangmyun and I asked my spouse to buy black bean sauce from the grocery store. He came back with Chinese "black bean garlic sauce" ... I would guess the Chinese stuff is probably different that the Korean stuff ... Should I even attempt this? I'm not familiar with the product well enough to know if this can be used for it or not.
-Is anyone here in the same area I am in? Do you know where cake yeast can be purchased?
-my favorite Chinese food place makes a sauce to go with a dish they call "Hawaiian Honey Chicken" ... It seems like a cross between Chinese honey chicken and Chinese
Pineapple chicken ... I am having a hard time duplicating it, has anyone ever heard of another recipe like this?
-does anyone have a good beginners recipe for French macarons? The almond flour I can but is only available at Tom Thumb and it's organic and 16 dollars for a bag that can't be bigger than 24 oz. I don't mind buying that I just don't want to buy it and ruin it since it is so expensive.
-tried to make homemade cinnamon rolls and all the cinnamon leaked into a puddle and the bread part was very hard ... Ideas?
-want to make crab Rangoon .. I made the filling for it and most of the recipes have about the same proportions 1 can crab to one block cream cheese but mine is super runny and I don't know if it would work. I will probably attempt it again and let the crab strain in a cheesecloth overnight so it will stay thick ... Any ideas on what to do with the runny batch so I can repurpose it verses throwing it away?
-does anyone have any clue as to what was in the sauce packet that used to be included in the Lunchables brand 'deluxe' lunchable? I are these as a kid and the sauce was amazing but they are no longer made and have not been for ten years or so. It was called 'herb sauce' ... I can't even find old packaging for it online to give me a clue as to what was in it?
-what is done differently in Buffalo NY in regards to their blue cheese ... I lived there briefly and all the wing places give you a super mild creamy blended blue cheese ... All the stuff you but in texas in chunky and over seasoned and awful.
-beef bacon recipe (like katzs in NYC?
Anyhow, would love the advice if anyone knows how to answer my questions ... Thank you!