Mairi’s 2016 Halloween Wishlist

I seriously can’t believe that it’s almost Halloween! I’ve been waiting for autumn for what felt like forever (the muggy, buggy, sticky summers of Central Ohio do not really get along with me…) and now that it’s finally here, it seems to be zipping by like nothing. I mean, here it is Halloween weekend, and I still haven’t published my Halloween wishlist post – so, uh, let’s do something about that, yeah?

halloween-wishlist-2016

So, I’ve selected 10 items (or… groups of items, in some cases, because I’m indecisive lol) and ranked them in a somewhat ordered fashion. If you’re curious to know what I’ve been lusting after this Halloween season, please read on to see my 2016 Halloween wishlist!
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Try The World Review: Sweden Box

So Try the World is a subscription box that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. If you’re not familiar, each month, they have chefs curate a selection of 7-8 food items from a specific country of origin – for example, the Sweden Box that I’ll be reviewing here. The items are frequently artisan or smaller companies, so they’re not shipping you a bunch of snacks from Tesco and calling it the “England Box” or anything, don’t worry!

Try the World Sweden Box

The reason that I held off for so long was twofold: one, I already had a snack box subscription – the fantastic, charity-oriented Love With Food – and two, at $39 per month, it seemed just a touch steep for what you get. If you have a ton of disposable income, sure, that’s a drop in the bucket and a thoughtfully-produced exotic food sub box like Try the World would be a no-brainer (for me, at least!) – but I’m not wealthy, and my expendable income is tempted by myriad things every month. So it’s a hard choice to commit to something like this, at least currently, you know? That’s $40 less of K-Beauty or Etsy bath & body stuff…

Last month, however, Try the World started offering a free box with new subscriptions (they still are, if you use a referral link like this shiny one right here): in this specific case, your sub would get you the Sweden Box delivered alongside a freebie Thailand Box. I poked around and read unboxings for both Sweden and Thailand, and both of them sounded really, really appealing, so I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger. Full disclosure: I totally helped justify it to myself by saying that I could blog about both boxes here, so please forgive the copious amounts of referral link in this post. Just being honest about how my mind works! ?

In particular, the Sweden Box really called to me, so it will be the first Try the World review that I publish. If you’re on the main page, please click the read more now!
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Hokkaido Melon Mascarpone Kit Kat Review

In my May wishlist post, I mentioned the Summer 2016 Seasonal Hokkaido Melon Mascarpone Kit Kat as being one of my must-tries. The new flavor has been getting a ton of buzz around the internet lately – mostly from people who, seemingly, aren’t aware that dessert cheeses like mascarpone are completely different in texture and flavor from, say, cheddar. Seriously, guys? If you’ve ever eaten tiramisu, you’ve already eaten mascarpone and chocolate. It’s not that weird!

Melon Mascarpone Kit Kat

That said, Kit Kat Japan is surely loving all this hype. They’ve been releasing limited edition flavors in Japan for years now – ranging from the relatively expected (Vanilla Bean, Strawberry) to the more unique (Creamy English Tea, Mango, the much-loved Green Tea, etc) as well as including some more traditional Japanese flavors (Kinako, Anko, Sakura, etc).

This isn’t the first year that Kit Kat has released a Melon variety – they’ve done various incarnations of white chocolate and melon (muskmelon, specifically) across several years, actually! I’ve just always had the misfortune to miss buying them, as they are almost always late spring/early summer limiteds and I kept finding out about them in, like, fall. Given how much I love melon (these muskmelon hard candies, for example, are pretty much The Greatest Ever), this was always a disappointment. So when the internet started screaming about the soon-to-be-released Melon Mascarpone Kit Kat, I grabbed my chance and ordered as soon as one of my favorite Japanese snack eBayers added them to their stock!

If you’re on the main page, please click the read more ?

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Limited Edition Gingerbread Twix Review

I’m a big fan of limited edition snacks. Seriously, if you’ve ever been browsing your local grocery store and wondered “who actually buys this stuff?” when faced with Beer-Can Chicken flavoured potato chips or Watermelon Oreos: it’s me! I do. Probably too often, in fact. But I love trying new snack foods, and when the flavours are creative or unusual, my curiosity generally gets the best of me.

Sometimes, though, a limited edition comes around that’s less of a “how/why did they come up with this?” and more of a “why did it take them so long?” situation. Gingerbread Twix definitely fall into this category for me. As someone who has long been a fan of chocolate lebkuchen (seriously, what is better than soft gingerbread cookie with a crispy chocolate outer shell?), the chocolate/gingerbread combination is already something that I love. The addition of caramel would be the wild card, but honestly – spiced caramel is pretty pleasant (honestly, I’m not sure why spiced milk caramels aren’t more of a thing come wintertime) so the only real worry that I had was that the entire confection would end up being too sweet… but overall, this was me when I considered how they might taste:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to track these Gingerbread Twix in stores before they were out of season – so I kept an eye on those LE snack resellers on Amazon (you know the ones – they’ve always got Amazon shops full of whatever seasonal goodies they could get their hands on, usually exorbitantly overpriced). Because here’s the thing: winter LEs usually have sell-by dates of the next spring/summer, and any Amazon hoarders who still have a supply will start dropping their prices in desperation around late April to Early May in hopes of at least breaking even before the snacks are too old to sell.

So last week, I was able to get my hands on a bag of the Gingerbread Twix for $3.99 w/Prime free shipping. Their retail value was $2.98, so the seller did make a profit, but I was curious enough to pay the extra $1.01 for a chance to try them. Twix are some of my favorite candy bars, so my faith in them probably helped sway me towards the ‘add to cart’ button!

twixsingle

You get a 10 ounce bag of the little fun-sized Gingerbread Twix bars. I’ve always thought that fun-size Twix were the perfect size, since they’re relatively heavy candy bars – often I don’t feel like eating an entire normal sized one all at once, mostly because the denser caramel and thicker cookie are pretty filling. Having these little bars to grab throughout the past week-ish has been pretty nice!

If you’re on the main page, please click the read more to see my full review!

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Japanese Bakeable Sweet Potato Kit Kat Review!

Before I get into my review of these Bakeable Sweet Potato Kit Kat, let me just get this out of the way:

But seriously, I love sweet potatoes. I don’t know if I love them as much as Vernon Davis does, but they’re definitely top-tier food for me. I like them savory, with stuffing and sage, I like them sweet, with butter and brown sugar, I like them curried with lamb… but I have to say, I’d never really considered yams with chocolate before I stumbled upon these Bakeable Sweet Potato Kit Kats.

Baked Sweet Potato Kit Kat Bag

They’re from Japan, which shouldn’t be a surprise – Japan’s relationship with Kit Kats seems to be much more loving and devoted than America’s. Sure, we have white chocolate and dark chocolate variations of the classic Kit Kat, but Japan has created a truly massive and varied library of Kit-Kat flavors. I’ve been able to try a few before – I think I had a matcha one (which I only vaguely remember, so I guess it didn’t impress me much) and the Winter Cherry Blossom, which I recall absolutely loving. So I’ve been wanting to try more Japanese Kit-Kat flavors for quite some time, and for some reason, these bakeable sweet potato ones just sort of pushed me over the edge. I tossed a bag into my Amazon cart since they were Prime-eligible (I may have justified the impulse buy by telling myself that I could write my own Japanese Bakeable Sweet Potato Kit Kat review for the site). Two days later, they were at my door. So this morning (tsk tsk, I know), I tried them out!

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