I’m so excited about this Foodie Penpals Reveal Day!
I’m hosting 2 guest posts for a total of 3 posts in one! I’m not only revealing what I received from my foodie pen pal, but I also have on board what Kyle got for his first foodie pen pal experience AND on top of that, his pairing, Susan, will be sharing her thoughts on what she received from Kyle. There’s some sort of inception action going on right here. So exciting.
Let’s start this off by getting my reveal out of the way. Then we’ll check out Kyle’s post. Susan did a wonderful job of reminding us what foodie penpals is about and how it works, so we’ll let her close off.
I received my goodies from reader, Jenn. Last reveal day, I wondered whether my strike of receiving coconut water would continue. I’m happy to say Jenn broke the strike for me. Yay! Also, this was my first package to include a recipe! More on that in a bit.
Check out the goods:
The Wild Harvest mango peach salsa was the first thing I tried. I was glad to have some chips readily available to try this out. Fail to plan, plan to fail.
I don’t even know how to describe the taste of this crazy staple. First bite, I immediately picked up on the mango. Salsa’s not supposed to taste so sweet and candy-like so I was thrown off. I still don’t quite know what to think about it. All I know is that it’s pretty good and very different. I can only eat a little bit of it at a time, though–the sweetness of it still gets me! I guess that makes it good for portion control.
I moved onto Snyder’s Eat Smart Potato Crisps. These were a little too salty for my liking. It may have been the mesquite BBQ flavor.
I was intrigued by the Planters Nut-Rition energy mix peanut butter. Once upon a time, I used to be obsessed with peanut butter. Then I found out about almond butter and I knew it would be a way better alternative to PB for me. It was nice getting this jar, though…mostly because I’m running out of almond butter…but this was a berry nut mix–you can’t go wrong with that!
The Funky Monkey–mangoj cracked me up. It’s the “fruit that crunches.”
I definitely didn’t know what to expect from it. I was just excited about the mango flavor. This was a very interesting treat. I’ve never had anything like it. The first couple bites were a little tart, but the flavor and texture of it grew on me after a while.
I enjoyed the peanut butter cookie Larabar at work. It held me over for a couple hours until lunch time. I love how convenient bars are!
Jenn also sent me a seafood seasoning which I have yet to try out which is strange because I love my seafood, but I look forward to using it!
The recipe Jenn sent me for chicken parmesan burgers was awesome. I had never used ground chicken so I was glad this recipe called for it. I prepared the burgers along with some corn on the cob and a side of chips and yep, some mango peach salsa.
I cooked for three and all three of us loved the burgers! I got a request from my roommate to make it again sometime. I think I may have to try substituting the ground chicken with ground turkey just for comparison. I’m curious about what the difference would be.
Much thanks to Jenn for the box of goodies!
Time to check out what Kyle received!
This was my first month participating in Foodie Penpals. Cindy has been participating for a couple months now and I’ve noticed how much she enjoys it so I thought I’d try it out with her. I can now say I know why Cindy is so excited to do this every month. Whenever the postman dropped off the package that Michelle sent me, I was so anxious to open it up and see what goodies awaited me.
I realize that this is only my first month participating, but I think it’s safe to say that Michelle is the best Foodie Penpal out there. Seriously, I loved everything that she sent me in my box.
Where shall I start discussing this awesome box of deliciousness? I guess I’ll begin where I did when I opened the package. Once I found all of the items that were hidden amongst the packing peanuts, I dove right in and tried the sweet potato corn tortilla chips, The Peanut Roaster Selects honey roasted peanuts and the sweet potato biscuits. Apparently North Carolina (where Michelle is from) is a huge sweet potato state. I had no idea. Anyways…back to these sweet potato corn tortilla chips. To say that these chips were good would be an understatement. I’m trying not to over exaggerate, but these chips might just be my new favorite chips. They were salty and sweet. Tasted like sweet potatoes and tortilla chips. Needless to say, I will be on the lookout to see if I can find these locally.
Next up were the peanuts. I don’t know how Michelle knew this, but I love honey-roasted peanuts. These particular peanuts were grown and processed in North Carolina and they were also delicious. She was also kind enough to include an order book from The Peanut Roaster, just in case I decide I want any more of their peanuts or other snacks.
The last thing I tried after immediately opening my package were the sweet potato biscuits. These were from Café Carolina Bakery, also in North Carolina. Michelle hooked me up with all kinds of local foods. I had never had sweet potato biscuits and I was pleasantly surprised with them. I was very surprised to discover how moist and sweet they were. I shared them with Cindy, who also loved them, and we decided we need to try to find a recipe to make some more.
The other three items in the box I unfortunately could not enjoy immediately (some assembly was required.) I must say, I’m not the world’s best cook by any means, but I try to cook occasionally with Cindy. We were both looking forward to trying both the recipe and the Gnocchi pasta that Michelle had sent me. The recipe was for some honey, soy chicken kabobs. The recipe itself sounded awesome. I believe we made them that night, along with the gnocchi pasta, which we just made with some spaghetti sauce. I wasn’t a huge fan of the pasta. I had never had gnocchi pasta before and found it to be a little doughy for my taste, but I guess that’s what you get when you make pasta from potatoes. We grilled the kabobs up and added some peppers, which the recipe didn’t call for, included the gnocchi and finished the meal off with some White Russians just for good measure.
The last food item I had yet to try was the Lundberg Wild Blend rice. This was a gourmet blend of wild and whole grain brown rice. I actually waited quite awhile to try this one, and almost forgot about it. I realized just the other night that I hadn’t cooked it yet and probably should so that I could write about it. The rice was quite good, although I’m afraid we might have overcooked it. Overcooked or not, it still had good flavor.
Lastly, but definitely not least, was the beer bottle koozie Michelle sent me. It was from the North Carolina Bar Association. Yes, she is a lawyer. So of course I’ve already gotten a few good uses out of this item, and as a college student with football season fast approaching, I’m sure many more opportunities will arise where this will come in handy. Michelle put it best when she said in the email she sent me, “That’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
I am seriously pleased with my first experience with Foodie Penpals. Michelle, can we just be Foodie Penpals forever? But seriously, I cannot wait to see who I am paired with next month and can’t wait to see what they send me because they have some big shoes to fill haha.
The floor, er…page is now yours, Susan!
I received my box from Kyle after a vacation to Canada. I had exhausted my food supply before leaving, so was extra delighted to receive his package!
I’m a vegetarian who’s getting more into eating local and sustainable foods, so I asked him for local products or things that really sing Missouri.
To give something of Missouri, Kyle sent me Sorghum Molasses from Lambert’s Cafe. Lambert’s Cafe has three locations, two in Missouri and one in Alabama, and sorghum molasses is traditional in the South, so this definitely fit the bill. I enjoy eating baked goods with molasses but the one time I baked with it (in Boston brown bread) I wasn’t totally satisfied with the taste. I’m therefore really excited to have another molasses to try.
But, here I am, hungry and back from a trip! So, for tastes, I first turned to the Karmalized Savi Seeds since they seemed the right size. These were sugar-coated roasted sacha inchi seeds, which I’d never heard of before trying this product. They are an incredible source of ALA Omega 3s, and also a decent source of protein. The seeds were about the size and shape of an extra-large macadamia nut, with the crunch of a desiccated peanut. I thought they were delicious! However it might be a taste not everyone would like. The seeds themselves seemed to have a seaweedy taste. I actually found that it went great with the sweetness of the coated sugar, which doesn’t sound like it would be the case on paper, so it might not be for everyone.
Next for the tasting were two cookies from My Sister’s House, a gluten-free home bakery. I had the “OMG” cookies, which were a sweet, crumbly cookie smothered in butterscotch and chocolate chips. They were… OMG. I, er, had them for breakfast the next day because I was out of food still. Kyle told me that he bought them from his local Farmer’s Market, which I’m thrilled about. My best friend has Celiac disease so I’m always looking out for gluten-free foods even though I’m not gluten-free, so I recommend this to anyone who’s in Missouri to try to hunt this place down, gluten-free or not! I wouldn’t have been able to tell it was gf, and it was a homerun of a cookie.
I brought the vegan, gluten-free Boom Choco Boom Ricemilk Crunch bar to lunch with this said friend to split afterwards (who is also vegan, and thus I could justify keeping the non-vegan OMG cookies to myself). I forgot about it, so ate it by myself on the walk home – so much for that plan. It was tasty! I did find it to be a little less chocolate-flavorful than I would have liked, and I theorize that it has to do with using extra cocoa butter to make up for the lack of dairy milk for creaminess (it’s the number one ingredient). Indeed, the creamy texture was fantastic, and I really liked the crunch.
And drum roll please… the last item was Kind granola, Oats & Honey Clusters with Toasted Coconut. Oh boy!! I’ve eyed their granola for such a long time but have never sprung for the luxury of having their brand for whatever reason. This piece felt particularly like a wonderful surprise present because of that. I’ve had it by the handful and with milk, and both were great. I’m not always a fan of coconut, but I like the light flavor and crunch it gives to the granola.
Thanks again, Kyle!
And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!
Three times the fun, huh? Big thanks to Kyle and Susan for their awesome posts! There’s no doubt that I speak for all of us when I say I can’t wait till another round next month!