Wild One the Third

Living this life I call my own.

Archive for the tag “foodie”

August Foodie Penpals Reveal x3!!!

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. Open-mouthed smile

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. Open-mouthed smile
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. Winking smile

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. Winking smile
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! Winking smile

WIAW First Timer

It’s What I Ate Wednesday over here…finally! I was supposed to do this a long time ago but time got the best of me.

WIAW is kind of like a food diary for a day. You keep track of what you consume once in a week. It’s a good way to get creative with your foods and note changes that you make in the kinds of foods you take in. “[WIAW] is about celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common:  we all eat!” Check out Peas and Crayons for more thoughts about WIAW.

This is a day’s worth of meals from last week. I was on the road and out of town with Kyle on this day, too, so let’s see how I did! Winking smile

I started my day out with a powerbowl of a breakfast:  rolled oatmeal, cottage cheese, raisins, a little bit of milk and cinnamon. Sounds like a crazy combo but I love this for breakfast. I usually stir in some almond butter and honey to it also. Talk about yummy…

I had another small meal like 1-1/2 hour later because I had to get some more food in me since I knew I wouldn’t be eating again for a while, and I had a big day planned ahead of me:  shopping and baseball. Red heart How great of a combo is that?

So I had this leftover homemade chicken tortilla soup. I topped it off with some black corn tortilla chips.

It was gonna be a long hot day so I made sure to start drinking plenty of water early in the day. To keep extra hydrated, I added some chia seeds to my water. The stuff works.

Finally we were on the road. Coby…always sleeping…

I was smart enough to bring along a PB Dark Chocolate Kind + protein bar. I had this yummy snack right before arriving at the mall–after about 2-1/2 hours of being on the road. I was already hungry by that time! Forever hungry… This did the trick, though, and held me over for the entire 3-4 hour shopping trip.

The mall we went to was awesome! It was overwhelming…in a good way. Winking smile If there are three floors in a mall, it’s a good mall. I hadn’t been to a mall as big as this one since I lived in Los Angeles–like 13 years.

When you find and purchase a gorgeous dress from the first store you step into, you know it’s going to be a glorious shopping trip. This adorable dress was the first thing that caught my eye and I fell in love with it. Red heart So happy I got the chance to wear it just this weekend, too.

Huge mirror in Chico’s. I had way too much fun! Also, side note on the matching Molina shirts:  Kyle and I were so adorable. We got so many comments in the mall about our shirts. Most of the time I was like, “…what?” and then I would look down and be like, “…oh yeah.” Good times. Winking smile

I was sad that I had to be pulled away from shopping but it was time for the rest of the day’s activities and time for food!

We went to Hard Rock Cafe. I had gotten the nachos from there before and loved them so much. Best nachos ever–in the world–right along with crab nachos from Joe’s Crab Shack. I tried to be good, though, and I ordered a goat cheese chicken salad sandwich sans fries and with a side of steamed broccoli. Thumbs up

It sounded promising and most definitely looked like it when the waitress set it down in front of me. It was all good until I took a bite from it and realized I didn’t like goat cheese. Ugh…the taste was so not pleasant to my taste buds. I did my best to scrape off as much of the goat cheese as I could but it was in vain. I couldn’t even touch the second half. Bad choice. Good choice:  I helped myself to Kyle’s leftovers–he got the delish nachos! That slightly made up for the unfortunate order I had placed.

We were off to a Card’s game after dinner. I was so tired by now, though, I just wanted to go home to shower and sleep. The game was the main reason for going, actually, so our day seemed like it was far from over.

After the game, I wanted one last treat to call it a day. Kyle and I got some slushes from Sonic. I had a medium cranberry-lime slush–one of the best slush combo’s ever.

Longest day ever! But I give myself a pat on the back for eating quite clean even while on the road. Yay!

First WIAW done. That wasn’t too bad. Winking smile What a good way to start off August!

Happy first of August Everyone! Open-mouthed smile

July Foodie Penpal Reveal

Happy July Foodie Penpal Reveal to everyone!

Check out the deets about this cool idea over at The Lean Green Bean.

This whole thing is a blast. I have fun getting in touch with the people I’m paired up with to send and receive foodie packages. I have fun buying goodies and putting a box together. I have fun receiving my box of treats! I have fun reading reveal posts and seeing what good stuff was exchanged.

My enthusiasm for foodie penpals was obviously noticeable to Kyle. He signed up to start joining in on the party in August! Ahh I’m so proud of him. He’s helped me out with putting my packages together, and now I’ll be able to help him out with his packages. Yay for fun times!

This month, I was paired up with Dianna, a reader.

I got some good treats:

~ Kettle Style Avocado Oil Potato Chips

~ Vita Coco Coconut Water with peach and mango

~ O.N.E Coconut Water with a splash of mango

~ Think Thin Crunch Bar: Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts

~ Boom Choco Boom: Ricemilk Crunch and Dark Chocolate

~ Stretch Island Fruit Co.: Mango Sunrise

I’m not a big fan of potato chips–I don’t think I even remember what they taste like. These were really good, though. I had to stop myself from eating the whole bad. Yay for avocado oil.

I told Dianna that I love mango and avocado, and she heard me. Winking smile The island fruit mango strip was a bit too leathery for me. I enjoyed the mango taste, though. Coconut and pineapple were two things that I mentioned to Diana as kinda “eh” foods for me. I was surprised at how good the O.N.E Coconut Water was, though. The “splash” of mango masked the taste of coconut and I was able to enjoy the drink. The Vita Coco brand was a little less appealing to my taste buds but having the peach and mango flavor added to it made it significantly more tasty than just plain coconut water. This is the second time I’ve gotten coconut water in a package I’ve received. Foodies like their coconut water!! There must be something wrong with me…I can’t down it to save my life. Oh well, let’s see if I get one next month. Winking smile

The think thin crunch bar was good! I love trying out new bars. They’re a big life saver for me when I’m on the go.

Who doesn’t love chocolate? I loved the ricemilk crunch. It reminded me of a crunch bar. So good. When I received my box, both chocolate bars were all melted. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to try them out but duh, all I had to do was stick them in the freezer. The yumminess stayed intact!

Big thanks to Dianna for my box of goodies.

Make sure to check out what Foodie Penpals is all about. It’s a ton of fun!

Until next month!

PowerMeal A Week Round 3

It’s Sunday! Time for a dose of PowerMeal A Week! Open-mouthed smile

I’ve seen some awesome recipes from checking out the link ups of recipes on PowerCakes‘ site. Definitely need to try some of them out!

This week I made a turkey sausage and bean chili. I made this once before and I guess it was so good that I got a request to make it again for dinner on Thursday. Winking smile

Side noteDoes anyone else eat turkey sausage? I kinda love turkey sausage now. I originally had been wanting to try chicken sausage and when I couldn’t find it at the grocery store, I settled for turkey sausage. It’s so delish! I have yet to try some chicken sausage, though. I’ll find some and come up with a recipe for it eventually!!

When I originally made this meal, I served it on top of some yummy rice. The rice was complimentary to the chili and it tasted so good. So I’ll include a quick how-to-cook rice in here. This is how my momma taught me! You guys are special… Red heart

I used white rice but since then I bought some brown rice. Use brown rice. Winking smile

Start off by “frying” or browning a cup of rice in a medium saucepan using EVO. Throw in any tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro you may want to use to give the rice flavor. Cilantro is awesome in rice, by the way.

After the rice looks “toasty,” add in anywhere from 1-1/2 C to 1-3/4 C of water. Quickly bring the water to a boil. Stir in salt or any other seasonings like garlic salt.

Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook at a gentle simmer until the water is completely absorbed and the rice is tender. About 10-15 minutes.

Boom. There’s your rice.

You probably want to start working on the rice before starting on the chili.

For the chili, use whatever beans you’d like. I’ve used black, pinto and black eyed peas. I’ve thrown in some garbanzo beans aka chick peas to the mix as well. Having all those varieties of beans makes it easy to mix it up a bit every time you make this dish.

I used this turkey sausage.

Again, delicious.

To start off, cut up slices of the sausage. I used about a little over half a sausage link. I could’ve used more, though! Add in as much sausage as you’d like. Dice some tomatoes and onions. Throw these and the sausage onto a pan heated with EVO and cook for a few minutes.

Then you get crazy with all the beans you decide to put in. I used a cup each of black and black eyed peas in this recent batch. Add in a cup of corn. Stir it all together.

Yum. Now here’s one secret ingredient. Ready for it? Once you see the juices in the pan starting to simmer, add in this baby.

Trust me on this one. Winking smile I used 1/2 C of it according to my taste preference. Use as little or as much as you’d like. Stir in some garlic salt along with it. Let it simmer on low until it’s time to serve it!

Check out this end product. It’s sooo good, I’m telling ya!

This is what my plate looked when I first prepared this meal with rice.

Yeah, yummy.

This is a pretty simple and quick meal to make. The chili takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Try it out for sure and don’t forget that secret ingredient. You can thank me later. Winking smile

Happy Prepping-Your-Meals-for-the-Week Sunday!

June Foodie Penpal Reveal

So let’s just start off by saying how awesome this Foodie Penpals dealio is.

Check out more information about this cool idea from the mastermind herself, Lindsay, on her website at the Lean Green Bean.

This month I was paired up with Marina who’s on twitter @5starmarina. She’s a reader and a sweetheart. She expressed an interest in starting up a blog about her Paleo adventures and starting her CrossFit program. I encouraged her to definitely think about joining the blogging world and putting in her 2 cents. I hope she does! I’d faithfully read all her posts. Winking smile

I didn’t know much about the Paleo/primal regimen before talking to Marina. She described it as being completely clean eating so I did some research on it because it sounded so intriguing. I picked up that the paleo diet really embraces eating healthy fats which I thought was pretty awesome and different from traditional diets. Marina asked me if I’d be willing to try out some of her foods and treats. I loved her enthusiasm about it so I gladly gave her the go ahead to send me whatever goodies she’d like.

Everyone always comments about how exciting it is seeing that box on their doorstep waiting for them; it’s so true. As soon as I saw that box by my door, I knew what it was and I couldn’t wait to open it! Truly exciting!

I broke into the box like a little kid. My roommate was there (I had previously explained to her how the program works) and she was excited and eager to see what was in the box too.

I immediately gave Marina props for somehow knowing my favorite color is green when I saw the green tissue paper. I read her card first which mentioned her desire to create that blog. Do it, Marina. Open-mouthed smile

Then I found these yummy goodies.

Brad’s Raw Chips–Sweet Potato: These were very different. Very interesting. My roommate and I both tried it. I have no way of explaining it. When I took my first bit, it tasted bland, but then I picked up on the sweet potato taste. I was like, “there it is!” Good job, taste buds.

Zico–Coconut Water: I guess I don’t like coconut water. I’ve heard of coconut milk. I may have to try my luck on that. I may just not like any coconut drinks at all.

Larabar: cherry pie and banana bread…smelled like banana bread. I love foods that have a limited amount of ingredients. That means it’s good for you. Thumbs up

Ghiradelli–Sea Salt Soiree (how yummy does that sound?): My roommate and I both approved. Winking smile

Namaste Foods–Gluten Free Brownie Mix: Ahhh…this was my favorite item out of everything in the box. Thank you, thank you, Marina! I loved that it was hands-on ish item–one where I could make a mess in the kitchen. I love baking but haven’t done much of it compared to how often I did before I started college.

I find it crazy that the mix is free of gluten, wheat, nuts, corn, soy, dairy making you wonder, “what does it have in it?? Just 7 ingredients: evaporated cane juice, tapioca and sweet brown rice and arrowroot flour, dutch cocoa, salt and xanthan gum.

At the beginning of this month I joined @Powercakes in her #JunePowerMealADay challenge. When I made these, the day was designated to #DontFearTheFat. Healthy fats are…well, healthy, don’t ya know? I’d like to say I waited to bake these on that day for that reason but I’m not that cool. I do think I did a cool job of highlighting that I #DontFearTheFat with these brownies, though. The recipe called for 3/4 cup of oil. I used 1/2 a cup of EVO and decided to substitute the other 1/4 with avocado. I just used the rest of the avocado I had leftover from the previous day, so I’m not sure what the exact measurement of that was. (Probably 1/3-1/2 and avocado.) I made sure to mix in the avocado real good.

The result was so delicious–that is an understatement, actually. I loved the end product. The brownies were so dense and moist and chewy and healthy! Healthy brownies? Right… Winking smile

Kyle tried them and approved. I asked him if he could tell there was avocado in it–negative. I fooled even myself. Success!

Can’t wait to see who I get paired up with next month and thanks again, Marina!

Have you guys heard about Foodie Penpals? Have you signed up for it??

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