09 May 2013

Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go

What to do when your basketball season is over, and there's a long gap between Game of Thrones and Mad Men episodes? You simmer and wait for Sunday, that's what. I guess when there's no worthwhile television to suck up your time, the best thing to do is turn to consumerism. Below are ssome items I highly recommend.

As warm weather approaches, it's time to throw on some shorts and expose those pasty winter legs. An enduring problem I've had over the years is how to wear your low cut sneakers while at the same time preserving the look of no socks? (People who don't wear socks in their sneakers are disgusting. Dis-gus-ting!)

I've tried to buy the lowest profile socks I could, but they were never good enough. My socks still showed, especially when wearing Chucks. My friend Brian used to roll his socks over -- heel to toe -- to create cushion on the front while maintaining the no profile look, but that wasn't an elegant solution. Enter Ninja Sox.

"Ninja Sox are the true no show sock! They are crafted to wear with low top shoes and are designed to give you the look of going sockless and provides the feel and comfort of wearing socks." When my friend @ykoad tweeted about his recent purchase of Ninja Sox, I took one look and knew I had to buy some also. Six pairs and a few test sessions later, I'm sold. My entire summer sock collection will soon be ninjaed out.

After some more research, a lot of companies sell no show socks -- or "footies" -- but I don't care. I'm going Ninja Sox forever, mainly because of the name, but also because Ninja Sox come with a special "no slip silicone patch" that ensures the sock stays on your heel. This is high technology my friends.

And here we go, the great gummy penguin faceoff. For more than a decade, I have been touting the deliciousness of gummy penguins. "Gummy what?" you say. Let me tell you about them. These black and white beauties are denser than normal gummies, provide a wonderful chew, and feel like Shamu skin to the touch. They are also peach flavored. I love them so much I even sang their praises in my book. Multiple times.

For a few dark years, there was a gummy penguin drought as Sweet Factory stopped carrying them. I was in a panic. At every candy vendor, I would desperately ask the same thing, "Do you have any gummy penguins?" Nobody had any idea what I was talking about.

For awhile, I tried out these gummy tummies penguins from Trader Joe's -- introduced to me by my friend Anna -- but while they were delicious, they were not true peachy gummy penguins. These Trader Joe's versions were more like traditional gummies, albeit with a delicous burst of juice built into the tummy.

Eventually I found the answer to my gummy dilemma: the Internet. There are online sites that sell gummy penguins in bulk, and even in a twenty pound bag. Yes, twenty pounds of gummy penguins for $80. A steal if you ask me. And they come straight from Antarctica to your door, it's amazing. Unfortunately, after ordering a couple of pounds for taste testing, I figured out that penguin gummies are best ingested fresh. If they sit around for too long, they tend to not be as chewy. The solution is to order two pounds from Amazon, and if you have Prime like I do, shipping is absolutely free.

Recently, Sweet Factory has returned to the penguin gummy game by not only re-carrying the penguin gummies, but also stepping it up a notch by giving their new penguins colored tummies also. Mainly it's a fake out, as the coloring has no effect on the peachy taste. Still, a nice combo job of both the traditional and Trader Joe's versions. I dare say we are in the golden age of penguin gummies. Get on board.

If my predilection for sugary things wasn't obvious enough, let me share with you my new find: Good & Delish 4 Star Maple Leaf Creme Cookies. First of all, these things are made with real maple syrup. And have no preservatives, artificial flavors, or hydrogenated oils. I know, who cares about that marketing mumbo jumbo! How do they taste?!

I'm here to report that these cookies have a wonderfully thick outer layer along with a melty center. Someone really took the time to balance crunch with creme. Did I mention these things look like maple leaves? So brilliant right? As anybody knows, all the best cookies come in animal or plant shape. Or are made by elves. Or Girl Scouts. Or Diddy Riese. Plus the box art features a crane, as a maple piece is lowered to create a cookie tower. You may not be able to see it, but in the background of the image are New York skyscrapers. The connection between precise engineering and delicious cookie could not be more clear.

I bought my first box of Maple Leaf Creme Cookies at Duane Reade, but they are available at Walgreen's too, since Good & Delish is Walgreen's private brand. The cookies come in normal and organic variations. I prefer the organic ones because they are a bit softer to the bite, but to be honest, I have a box of each within easy reach. These addictive cookies have now slotted into number two on my all time cookie list, right after Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Stars Cookies. Those beauties were seasonal and now discontinued, so I guess I have only the maple leaf cookies to live for now.

Snack snack snack crunch, snack snack snack munch.