October Foodie Pen Pals

The Lean Green Bean
(As it turns out, I’m an idiot. Reveal day is supposed to be the last day of the month, not the first. I got all confused because things were different for September. My bad. I also probably could’ve posted this on Wednesday night…buttttttt I didn’t. So there’s that.)
This month I sent a Chicago-y package to Catherine¬†and received my package from Jennifer. Let’s take a look at this month’s presents!

In addition to a lovely letter, Jennifer sent me a packet of hot apple cider, three tea bags, an orchard-picked apple, and two Nature Valley chewy bars. Nature Valley bars used to be my JAM but it’s been awhile since I’ve had any. They were both perfect for a quick snack. The apple was fantastic, as fresh-from-the-orchard apples always are. I’ve only tried the green tea out of the hot beverage selection thus far, but it did an excellent job of keeping me warm on my Monday morning commute–and it tasted great! Love me some green tea.

If I had to pick a favorite half of this month’s package, this would be it ūüôā . Jennifer sent me two amazing cookies made by monks who have a bakery called The Jam Pot in Eagle River, Michigan. The chocolate bark below the cookies was also from The Jam Pot, and whoa. So good, you guys. She also generously shared some tasty cheese popcorn from Kugel Cheese Mart in Lena, Wisconsin. That package of cashews became my dinner on Saturday, because goodness knows I didn’t have room for a full dinner after having fifths of everything at book club. I’ve got to be honest: I’m not a very ambitious griller, so I haven’t tried out the steak marinade yet, but maybe someday I’ll get around to it!

Overall, I once again received a fabulous package. Thanks a bunch, Jennifer!

Interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals? Here’s all the info, courtesy of Lindsay:

-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!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!

September Foodie Pen Pals

While Foodie Pen Pals rules state that you should post what you received on the last day of each month, Lindsay asked us all to post our September goodies on October 1 rather than September 30 since the blog world tends to be a little dead on weekends.

The Lean Green Bean

For those of you who haven’t heard, Foodie Pen Pals is a program set up by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean that matches bloggers and readers from around the country with one another to exchange boxes of foodie finds! Basically, it allows you to get presents every month and thus pretend like it’s always your birthday ūüėČ

This month, I sent my package to Sabrina and received a package from Erika.

Erika is a much better foodie pen pal than I and sent me an e-mail with all sorts of prompting questions about my likes and dislikes (will totally be stealing that for my next round of foodie pen pals). She also asked if there was anything else she should know, so of course I told her it was my birthday in September because, as I think I’ve established, I’m obsessed with my birthday.

So I got a lovely card! Erika also knocked it out of the park on the card. She included descriptions of everything she sent me! A+ work.


I managed to keep my paws off the granola for a whopping 8 hours before diving in — mostly because I was sleeping during those eight hours ūüėČ . I’m not gluten free, so this is a purchase I never would have made for myself. It’s pretty tasty, though I’m still not sure how I feel about corn flakes in my granola. I currently have an only-slightly-used jar of blackberry preserves in my fridge, so I haven’t tried these peach preserves yet, but they look amazing and a jar that size will last forever. I’m pretty excited ūüôā . I tried one of the Dulces Mexicanos on my birthday, and it was an interesting experience. The outside of the candy is somewhat papery and unlike anything I had ever tried, but the caramel inside is delicious.

Erika also catered to my sweet tooth in this month’s package. I had never seen nor tried Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Toffee Popcorn before I got my package, but it’s awfully tasty. I think I ate about half the bag when I first opened it. Oops. It wasn’t nearly as crunchy or toffee-y as I expected, but I still enjoyed it. The Sesame Plus Chocolate package had two bars that made for two excellent afternoon snacks. I really don’t like hazelnut, so I was a little worried that these bars wouldn’t be up my alley, but the hazelnut was subtle enough to enhance the flavor without overpowering the chocolate. Each bar kept me full all afternoon, which was great. Erika also sent me more tea and honey than I can shake a stick at, which is great. I’m a big fan of both ūüôā

Thanks for all the great food, Erika!

Interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals? Here’s all the info, courtesy of Lindsay:

-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!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!

 

August Foodie Pen Pals

The elusive Friday post makes a reappearance!

About a month ago, my blog reading took me to The Lean Green Bean. I had been there before, but something caught my eye for the first time: foodie pen pals.

The Lean Green Bean

Foodie pen pals is a program Lindsay set up to give bloggers and readers around the country (and world!) the chance to send and receive packages of fun food items. Since I’m always up for discovering new food but operate on a pretty limited grocery budget, this sounded right up my alley.

This month, I received my package from a blog reader, Natalie. Let’s take a look!

Natalie was in Washington when it came time to send the packages, so all of my treats came from the Pacific Northwest. Growing up, the majority of my family vacations involved trips to Seattle, as my dad’s entire side of the family lives in that area (as you may remember, I also went to Seattle this past December). I was thrilled to see some familiar Washington food items as well as make some new discoveries when I opened my package.

Without question, I was most excited about the Aplets bar from Liberty Orchards Natalie included in my package. Aplets and Cotlets are the JAM, but I’ve never seen them anywhere in the Midwest. I ate that bar the day my package arrived. I had the Willamette Valley Granola Chips last Saturday, and they were¬†amazing. They were the perfect snack: sweet, satiating, and granola-y. I’m currently working my way through the Sahale Snacks Sahale Crunchers snack mix as part of my daily afternoon snack. The mix is perfectly sweetened with maple and bits of dried fruit, but the glazed almonds are definitely my favorite part. This snack mix totally knocks it out of the park. I’m saving the Orchard Bar (also from Liberty Orchards) for later, but it definitely looks tasty!

I actually haven’t tackled too much of this part of the package yet. The wheat berries on the left have also found their way into my daily afternoon snack. Their saltiness makes for a great contrast to the sweet Sahale Crunchers snack mix, and I’ve found that the more I eat them, the more their flavor reminds me of popcorn. The honey sticks near the top of the picture are cherry, peach, and raspberry. I remember having these as a little kid, but it’s been a long time since I ate one. I had the cherry a couple days ago and it was delightful. I have yet to break into anything else shown here.

I highly recommend signing up for foodie pen pals. Getting this package felt like my birthday was arriving a month early and introduced me to all sorts of food I’d never have access to. If you want in, here’s the lowdown, courtesy of Lindsay:

-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!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!

Have you ever done a pen pal program?
What would you hope to get in your package if you were a foodie pen pal?