Back in late September I stumbled across something called Foodie Penpals. I thought what a cool idea! I love trying new food and although I am a far cry from being a judge on Chopped, I appreciate good food, so when I saw that anyone can get in on the fun I signed up.
Here's how it works. The Lean Green Bean is the mastermind behind this and pairs up the participants (bloggers and readers alike).
Here’s a detailed explanation of the program: On the 5th of the 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 can choose 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.
I paired up with Esther Fox [Dot] Com to send to and Life Love and Puppy Paws to receive from. Both Ladies have really nice blogs about totally different things and you should check them out. Jen at LL&PP has the cutest post about Halloween outfits for your pet. This is a very cute post! Esther is a talented photographer and is also on Instagram. Definitely worth a look!
So when talking with Esther I found out that she prefers foods free of HFC, has a slight nut allergy, likes chocolate and cooking Italian. I decided to send her Blue Crab Co. She Crab Soup (a regional fav), organic stone ground crackers from Robert Rothschild Farm, GoPicnic black bean dip & plantation chips, two chocolate bars from the UK (they don't use HFS or artificial colors and flavors), and for the written item a menu from one of my favorite restaurant's in the area Back Bay Gourmet. $15 goes fast!
I hope she likes at least some of the items. I actually have never had the soup (I know, I know-it might be crap), but she crab soup in general is good and Blue Crab Co. usually has very good products, so fingers crossed! The GoPicnic is something I found at Target and have had several. They are these little prepackaged natural and organic food items in a "picnic" box. And the chocolate, well it's all natural so how could that go wrong?
I received my package right on time, thanks Jen!
Jen sent me a collection of her favorite Trader Joe's foods and I am so glad she did! We do have a TJ in town but I never go there mostly because it's across town and I never have a reason to drive over there, but I think I am going to start making time.
Here is the rundown: 2 Larabars, Powerberries, Cookie Butter, Sugared Dried Mango's, Pumpkin Butter, a pumpkin, Pumpkin Bread, and a TJ recipe for pumpkin muffins. I love pumpkin! So of course I dug right in and made the pumpkin bread. My family devoured it and I have since bought two more boxes.
My boys loved the Powerberries. I think they have no idea that they are actually fruit, not just chocolate and also bought another bag.
I haven't tried the cookie butter yet. I am not sure what to eat with it. I think I am going to use it as an appetizer for my son's bday party that is coming up soon and serve it with fruit and graham crackers.
I am holding onto the pumpkin butter too. I think I am going to serve it warm over vanilla ice cream and also maybe make the muffin recipe. I just have to space it out over the next few months. I dont' want to overdo the pumpkin and ruin my taste for it.
|I would show a picture of the pumpkin bread, but we ate it too fast!|
The Larabars and mango's took a trip to work with me. The bars are gone and I am working on the mango's, another all time favorite!
I LOVED my package! It was like Jen knew exactly what I would like. She nailed it and I couldn't be happier with what she sent me! Thank you so much!!!!
I am totally going to do this again, probably after the holiday's. It was fun picking stuff out but hard at the same time, everyone's taste is different. Jen did a great job and I hope that Esther likes at least some of her foods.