A Poppin’ Cookin’ Good Time

A friend and I had a “study date,” which means we watched Japanese animated movies and played with candy and pretended we were learning something.

Popin’ Cookin’ is childen’s DIY candy where the snacks you make usually resemble (and sometimes taste) like everyday foods — hamburgers, ramen, sushi. We tried the strawberry and vanilla flavor cake, ice cream and tart kit.

It came with everything we needed – mini sugar cones and tart shell, mixing tray and spoon, pastry bag for frosting, sprinkles, and the frosting mix. Just add water, and poof! Ice cream! sort of…

The mix smelled of pure sugar and strawberry Nesquik. Surprisingly (not really), I ate it anyway and it wasn’t nearly as sweet as I expected. It was maybe even a little bit good. Maybe. Just a little bit. Don’t judge.

I count this as studying because the instructions are all in Japanese. Maybe I read them, or maybe I just looked at the pictures … I’ll never tell.

We also made a panda cake, because, why not?!

First you draw the panda eyes and such with chocolate, following the pattern printed on wax paper. Then you top him off with vanilla “cake” mix which was more like pudding. I don’t have a microwave, so we put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes.

As you can see, one of us likes to color outside the lines.

Feeling Toasty

I’d like to take you along on a little journey… to buy a toaster.  In Japan, purchasing an electronic appliance is no small feat:

And this was just the toaster side of the aisle.  Ovens, ranges, and fish broilers had their own sections.  Dan and I had initially planed to purchase an oven — after my stories of pie-woe, we were urged by many to stop whining go out and get one for ourselves.  But it quickly became clear that our apartment didn’t have space for the huge “counter top” oven/steamer/grill/microwave robot contraptions that were out there. (If you need a reminder, you can see photos of our tiny apartment here.)  And so, back to the toasters.

I was amused by all of the options.  They had single-slice mini toasters, double-decker toasters, toasters shaped especially for pizzas, toasters in colors to match your teapot, high- or low-tech.

This one is advertising a touch screen computer panel, but I was more interested in the panda cake it claims it can make.

This toaster would have been perfect for one of my old roommates… you know who you are, Carb King.  “What’s for dinner tonight?  Toast? Pizza? Baked cheese? Toast?”

We settled on this beauty simply because it was big (4 slices!) and had easy-to-interpret controls.  Maybe it’s not quite right for an overstuffed apple pie, but it could probably manage a few tarte aux pommes.

Or an open-faced avocado and cheese sandwich.  Since bringing this new friend home, I’ve been eating toast for approximately 2.8 meals a day.  Don’t judge.