Snacks: Coffee & cookie chocolate

Last fall, the duck and I discovered a Milka chocolate bar variety we had not seen before; it featured a mouthwatering saturated image of an apple pie! As I was about to place a bar in our shopping basket, the duck reminded me of past failures and suggested I take a good look at the packaging. Coffee chocolate duckAnd, lo and behold, there was some clearly declared caramel in the mix! I decided to do some research.
The apple pie chocolate is part of a limited edition run of Milka chocolate bars. There are two more varieties. The duck and I knew right away which one we wanted to try: Coffee and cookies – the stuff our dreams are made of! The one featuring caramel popcorn – a proper nightmare scenario for me – was a hard pass. Since we haven’t yet done a chocolate-related taste test this year, the duck and I saw this limited edition discovery as the perfect opportunity for another one of our super subjective chocolate reviews:

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Snacks: Tasting two more German Christmas treats

After writing about thirteen traditional German Christmas treats and subjectively reviewing three of them in the past two years, the duck and I decided it was high time we tried a few more baked Christmas goods – this time, some we had never tried before. At first, we wanted to review apple-cinnamon heart cookies and a baked apple Stollen, both from the 2021 Bahlsen (a German cookies and cakes brand) Christmas lineup. We couldn’t find this particular Bahlsen Stollen anywhere (we were looking too early). But we did find Lidl store brand mini baked apple Stollen during one of our October grocery shops. Then we remembered the Bahlsen mini Spekulatius with milk chocolate we had seen during our apple Stollen search and decided that those sounded much more awesome anyway and grabbed a bag of those instead of the apple-cinnamon cookies. Now we had a new, even more exciting, theme for this year’s German Christmas treat taste test:2021 Christmas treat duck Mini snacks! While we would not eat apple Stollen and chocolate Spekulatius in the same sitting (with us being decidedly peculiar when it comes to mixing fruit and chocolate flavors), those two treats promised to be a perfect representation of the fruity and the chocolaty side of German Christmas treats. Here’s what we thought:

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✳Vegan cookie box✳ #fancytokyosnacks #deliciousbakedgoods #carbsplease #inthemoodforveganfood #TBT

Foodmood boxThe duck and I rediscovered this picture on our phone the other day: About four years ago, when we were still quite new to Tokyo, our housemate brought a box of vegan cookies for us all to share. He got it at a Tokyo bakery called foodmood that specializes in beautiful and immensely delicious baked goods perfect for gifting or as omiyage. This mix of cookies, crackers, and granola tasted divine. And we felt extra fancy to be munching luxurious vegan cookies at home (I think this is the same box they are still occasionally selling these days – with peanut butter cookies, maple granola, chocolate-coconut cookies, nori-cashew crackers, ginger cookies, and black sesame sticks… and a serious price tag). If we ever make it back to Japan, the duck and I might actually invest in one of these fancy cookie boxes ourselves, and, ideally, share it with friends to literally pay it forward. 5/5 duck-shaped cookies for this amazing flavor experience and the opportunity to feel truly fancy. Thanks, old new housemate! ✳✧✳✧✳

When the duck and I first started putting these kinds of food posts on here, we did it as a bit of an inside joke because our friends knew that we weren’t the kind of people who would eat at fancy places and then post the aesthetically pleasing proof on Instagram. Well, as it turns out, we have started snapping photos in the few instances that we encountered photogenic food since. And we have come to mean it when we write that “we have started following @foodmoodshop on Instagram and are now obsessed with looking at all those pretty photos of cookies and cakes that they post.” I guess that’s like all those times I started using a word or phrase ironically, to later find it has snuck its way into non-ironic everyday conversation. Oh well…

Snacks: 2021 Cadbury Inventor bars

The duck and I were so proud of ourselves after we had managed to do two subjective (mainly) non-chocolate snack reviews in a row that we decided it would be okay to go back to chocolate now. See, when we espied this year’s limited edition Cadbury Inventor bars (they’re called Inventor bars because they were thought up by fans), the duck and I couldn’t resist.* At first, we wanted to go with only the variety that sounded the best to us. But then we decided that we’d been surprised by flavors we thought we wouldn’t like before, so we bought all three finalist bars.Duck-133Just look at how excited (or scared?) the duck was to be trying different flavors of chocolate once again. And this time, it’s not even German chocolate – what a treat! Keep reading for our specifically subjective thoughts:
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Memory brownies

Do you have a food you remember fondly, not because it’s the best thing you’ve eaten but because you connect lots of vivid memories with it? For me, the first food that comes to mind is brownie bites! Whenever I find myself in a place where they are sold, I have to get a box and share it with friends because that’s how they became memory brownies. The last time the duck and I encountered brownie bites, however, we were surprised at how regular they tasted. I guess that particular situation was not suitable for new brownie bites memories. Or the duck and my tastes have changed throughout the years, or somehow the recipe changed? Either way, we decided to not let the fact that we had lots of brownie bites left over in the end (after several attempts at sharing them) sabotage their place in our hearts. This is why the duck and I created a new memory in the shape of this picture. I’m still not sure if it’s morbid or cute.
What do you think?Brownie encounters
What are your (favorite) memory foods?

Flash Forward to the duck and me eating homemade ice cream

Having devoured our last tub of grocery store vegan ice cream, the duck and I decided it was time we made our own non-dairy ice cream. We wanted it to have all of our favorite flavors, not only peanut butter and sandwich cookie pieces that remind us of ice cream sandwich “bread.” Our ice cream would include matcha and pretzels, too! This would be the ice cream of the future, the duck and I thought, as we tried coming up with a recipe while listening to one of our favorite friend-recommended podcasts. Flash Forward is all about “possible and not so possible future scenarios,” as host Rose Eveleth explains at the beginning of each episode.
Matcha nice cream duckToday’s friend recommendation actually dates back to the weekend the duck and I watched one of our absolute favorite movies, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, for the first time, together with our lovely friends J and Al. I wonder what our lives would be like had we just stayed at home that weekend. That’s a future that I don’t want to imagine. Let’s talk about more exciting future scenarios instead – alongside a summary of how the duck and my (too-)many-flavors ice cream came to be:

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Snacks: Vegan American style ice cream

Last week I reminisced about the hottest AC-less summer that the duck and I can remember. This week I want to write about another way to cool down when it’s hot outside: ice cream! When I was still good with milk, ice cream was a summer staple. I loved devouring the occasional tub of that extra creamy American style, preferably cookies and cream-flavored,Vegan ice cream duck ice cream. Unfortunately, that was the literal food that started my milk troubles some years ago. Gelato and frozen yogurt still worked for the duck and me for a while after, but these days, our ice-cold refreshment of choice when we’re out is sorbet (just to be safe). A side effect of not eating a lot of ice cream was the disappearance of our regular ice cream cravings which made encountering deep, beautifully bitter matcha soft serve on almost every street corner back when we were living in Japan decidedly more bearable. The duck and I had gotten used to life without ice cream until, some weeks ago, we saw that one of our favorite grocery stores, Aldi, had started selling vegan ice cream that looks just like the kind I was in love with many years ago. Of course, the duck and I had to throw our no ice cream lifestyles overboard and make this the subject of a subjective taste test – summer edition:

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Lazy picnic ideas: An illustrated guide

It’s summer, the season of hot bedrooms and outdoor entertainment! The duck and I are lazy and prefer to spend most of our time inside. But we have been invited to a few outside exploration or catching-up sessions in the past that we thankfully accepted if we had the time. Whenever an outside activity includes a picnic or a general sharing of snacks, the duck and I usually try to come up with something simple and foolproof to bring along. We are decent bakers if we get to follow a recipe and only a minimal amount of decorating is involved. However, when it comes to cooking or improvising the results are usually hit-or-miss. Picnic idea duckTo reduce our thinking-hard-about-what-to-bring-that’s-not-only-edible-but-actually-somewhat-enjoyable time, the duck and I decided to make a list of ideas to come back to if we want to contribute to the food situation at a picnic without betraying our laziness too much. And, because we’re generous, we decided to share it with you: Continue reading

Snacks: Rosemary chips

When the duck and I saw that Naturals chips were on sale at the local grocery store the other day, we decided that that was the perfect opportunity to finally compose a non-chocolate subjective snack review! Lorenz advertises the use of natural ingredients in their Naturals chips and that the peel is left on the potatoes as they are sliced and roasted in sunflower oil. The duck and I had seen them before, but I don’t remember ever trying any of the varieties. When we spotted the one called “Rosemary,” we couldn’t resist.
The duck and I fell in love with rosemary a few years ago. We worked at a pretend Italian cafe that offered a pizza made with a pizza dough base topped with olive oil and fresh rosemary. Whenever we smelled this rosemary bread baking in the oven, the duck and I felt intense food envy (that, fortunately, we were strong enough to never act upon). This is why we didn’t look twice when we grabbed a bag of these nicely priced natural chips and carefully placed it in our shopping basket, super excited for a beautiful rosemary-scented and -flavored snack. Here’s how that turned out: Continue reading

Snacks: Pistachio Schogetten

Maybe it’s time to start calling the duck and my super subjective snack reviews “chocolate reviews” instead because we yet again present you with a chocolaty treat we discovered. After falling in love with Peanut butter Schogetten last year, we were excited when we spotted some new interesting-looking flavors that are part of a line called Schogetten Selection Gold that recently hit the grocery store shelves. Out of the five varieties adorned with fancy golden lettering: hazelnut and cacao waffle in milk chocolate, hazelnut and cacao in semisweet chocolate, salt caramel crisp in milk chocolate, coconut almond in white chocolate, and pistachio in white chocolate, the duck and I knew right away that we wanted to try the pistachio one. Here’s what we thought of it:

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