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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homemade Tagalongs!

It's been 4 years since I've indulged in one of my favorite girl scout cookies!  4 years people!!  While my favorite are Tagalongs, Aaron's are Thin Mints!  I found this recipe for Vegan Thin Mints and was determined to make them as a surprise for A last night.  Unfortunately, my trusty baking store in the foreign market doesn't carry peppermint extract like I hoped they would... And "No", lady at the store, "the mint liquor that you sell will not work as a substitute for peppermint extract!"  Nice try though!  I went home last night a little defeated and frustrated that every time I try to cook or bake something fun, there is at least one ingredient that can not be found in Korea!  I digress...

Aaron got home just as I was finishing dinner and asked why I had Zec (제크) Crackers (Korea's RITZ equivalent) on the table, since we never buy stuff like that.  I explained that I wanted to make him Thin Mints, but that I couldn't find the peppermint extract.  He immediately said, "Let's put peanut butter on these and dip them in the chocolate!"  YES!  YES!  YES!  If I can't make Thin Mints, I'll make Tagalongs!  
I love this man!

Let the tutorial commence...

- melting chocolate
- peanut butter
- RITZ (or Zek - 제크) crackers

Prep & Cooking time = 30 minutes or less

Spread some creamy peanut butter on a cracker.
Place a 2nd cracker on top of the peanut butter, like a sandwich.

Put the "melting chocolate" into a small bowl, and drop it into a pot of water on low/medium heat. 
(Wait about 5-8 minutes for the chocolate to completely melt.) *My chocolate looks weird because I tried to melt it in the pot, before Aaron told me about doing it this way. Good thing I've got him around.

Dip one side of the cracker sandwich into the chocolate...

...and lay it onto a sheet of wax paper.

Set the 1/2 dipped cookies in a cool place and hang out for a little while, while the chocolate hardens.  I chose to hang with A and Mav.  Wouldn't you?!  :)  Since I don't have a big refrigerator to put my cookies in to set the chocolate, I put mine on the window sill, since it's 40% outside and the chocolate hardened right up in no time!  Clever, eh?!

Then, re-dip the cookies, covering the opposite side with chocolate.  Place them back onto the wax paper and wait for them to harden.

... Wala, you've got homemade Osteen style Tagalongs!  How easy is that?!

Oh, and for the record, they were scrumptious!
*** UPDATE: I made these same cookies a couple days later, but omitted one of the crackers, and WOW!  They were even better and had the same texture as Tagalongs!  You'd be the life of the party if you brought these cookies along!  :)

Yeongdo, after dark!

There's something magical, or maybe just mysterious, about my neighborhood, after dark!  I grabbed my camera and took a couple shots around my apartment a couple nights ago.  

Welcome to my neighborhood.

We don't have drive-through restaurants here. Instead, we have walk-up mom and pop Korean style joints!

There's a noraebang (karaoke place) on EVERY street near my apartment.  
On my tiny street alone, there are 4!

How'd you like to live down that alleyway!?

This is the main street that I walk up and down every time I take a bus or the subway somewhere!

I even have a beautiful view of Yeongdo Bridge and Busan Tower from my neighborhood.  This isn't the greatest picture, but I wanted to include it because I think it's a beautiful sight!

There are some scandalous areas on the island, and I happen to live right smack dab in the middle of one of them!  You've heard me talk about the "prossy (prostitute) van" that comes and drops off women to serve drinks strip at the karaoke bars across and next to my apartment every night.  With that said, it's not uncommon to see posters like these taped up on the walls. 

I love that there are ALWAYS people out and about in Korea!

This is one of the 4 Noreabang's / massage parlors on my street.

Old Korean women roll these gigantic seafood carts down the street and set up their restaurant along the harbor as soon as the sun goes down!  I'm ashamed to say that this area is less than a minute walk from our apartment and we've never eaten at one!  I'm gonna make it a point to eat here before we leave!  

... and this is the street I walk down, everyday, to get to work in the morning!

That's it for the night time tour of my neighborhood!  Hope you enjoyed it!