August Foodie Penpals!!!

It’s Foodie Penpal Reveal Day! This month, I sent a package to Marcia from Florida. She’s a fellow runner and I loved getting to know her and reading her blog. You can check out her blog by clicking here.

You can see what others got from their Foodie Penpals by going here:  http://www.theleangreenbean.com/august-foodie-penpals-reveal-day/ 

I was lucky enough to be paired with Kelsey. She sent me a pretty amazing package full of goodies from California.

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California Goodness

Kelsey-Huge thanks, this was awesome!

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Such a nice note!

Here’s the low down on what I received:

  • A homemade baggie of cocoa haystacks!
  • A Banana Chocolate Bar
  • An organic dark chocolate bar.
  • A nice little card (above) and recipe for peach salsa-yum!
  • Locally made orange graham crackers
  • Honey Almonds

I was so excited about the recipe, I decided to share it with all of you!

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Can’t wait to make this!

Chocolate bars… she just gets me. I don’t know why this picture is flipped… I’ll call it artsy…

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Bananas and Chocolate? Yes, please!

These almonds were so addicting! I had to hide them…

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Wowowowow

I can’t decide what my favorite thing was… but these crackers are definitely up there.

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So good!

The haystacks didn’t hold up too well in the mail…but I still munched on them. Tasty.

This was such a great package, I love that Kelsey sent me local products, allowing me to get a taste of California.

Another huge thank you, Kelsey! This was such an awesome package!

If you’re interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal, here are some details. To sign up, visit this page! You must sign up by the 4th of the month.

-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 in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

 

Happy  Friday!!!


July Foodie Penpals!!!

It’s that time of month again-Foodie Penpal Reveal Day! This month, I sent a package to Emily from “Chicagoland.” I really enjoyed picking out her package because I got to use my imagination!

Collyn from Mass sent me a pretty awesome package full of Trader Joe’s goodies. Thank you so much, Collyn! I am loving all of it!

Here’s the low down on what I received:

  • Caramel Popcorn
  • A Jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter
  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Cranberries
  • Snapea Crisps
  • A  blueberry fruit strip

 First and foremost, cookie butter?! Where have you been all of my life? It is absolutely out of this world! It’s good enough that I’ve had to talk myself out of just eating it straight from the jar. I’ve also had to talk the hubs out of it. I am going to find a Trader Joe’s for the sole purpose of stocking up on this little gem.

The Snapea Crisps disappeared in about two days… not my usual snack food, but I think I’ve been converted. The crunch is perfect.

Dark chocolate cranberries. DOUBLE WIN! I’ve been savoring these. I also love that they are local to Mass. Kudos!

Ben ate the fruit strip. Grrr…..

Obviously I loved the popcorn and pretzels… two weaknesses…what can I say. I’m also trying really hard to savor these…we’ll see how I do.

Another huge thank you to Collyn! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this!

If you’re interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal, here are some details. To sign up, visit this page! You must sign up by the 4th of the month.

-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 in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

 

Happy Tuesday!


June Foodie Penpals!!!

I am a day late on posting this, the last week has been nuts! Big Oops on my part!

I sent a package to Jenni from Saint Louis over at J. Ferris Wheel Of… you can see what I sent her by clicking here.

This month I received a lovely care package from Denise in Ohio… she rocks!!! Huge thank-you Denise, I’m enjoying all of your goodies!

A Box of Yum!

Here’s the low down on what I got from Denise:

  • Two bags of specialty popcorn (Coconut Curry and Parmesan Garlic) locally grown and made in her home state of Ohio.
  • A Jar of Pumpkin Butter
  • Candied Ginger
  • Baked/Dried Apples (organic)
  • Two Raw Nut snacks
  • An All Natural Fruit Strip

The Raw Nut bars were pretty good, packed with protein, they were good for a quick pick-me-up between breakfast and lunch. I really liked the chocolate cashew combination!

I haven’t broken into the pumpkin butter…I’m waiting until Ben makes some bread.. I hope this happens this week! Fruit butters of any kind are always a win!

The ginger and apples are being saved for baking/a rainy day/granola making. I’ll probably break them open this weekend for some experimentation.

I am pretty sure my husband ate the fruit snack. And I am sure he enjoyed every last bite. If not, it’s an unsolved mystery where this tasty little treat disappeared to.

The popcorn. Oh my goodness! This popcorn is delicious! Ben devoured most of the bag of coconut curry on the sly before I could get to it, but the parmesan garlic is being savored. Wowowowow!

This photo gives more information on the shop the popcorn is from as well as their other flavors.  Check them out!

So many choices!

Another huge thank you to Denise, everything has been wonderful!  

In case you’re interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal, here are some details. To sign up, visit this page! You must sign up by the 4th of the month.

 
-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 in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

 

Happy Monday!


Veggie-Tales!

I am so sick of cookies. I am tired of sweets in general. I don’t know why, but this year, I really think I overdid it. I didn’t even do as much baking as I had planned but the thought of eating one more piece of fudge, slice of cake or bite of a cookie makes me want to run screaming for the hills. Seriously… I am going to turn into a chocolate chip cookie…or a stick of butter. Basically, I’m over it.

That being said, I am probably the only person out there who chose yesterday, the day after Christmas, to do some serious baking. I know you’re judging. I am judging, too.  But I had to do it! There are some very dear friends and family members who I had promised crazy confections… and I just… didn’t get around to it until yesterday, I mean, I had time the day before Christmas, but then the cookies would have sat around for days before I mailed them out, and who wants stale cookies? I certainly don’t. Anyway, I decided to jazz them up a little bit and make them a bit healthier (and more delicious-in my opinion-look for the recipe later this week!)…So, to the recipients of my baked goods, you’re welcome.

After overdosing on sugar this month, my latest food obsession is the veggie pita. I take a whole wheat pita, slice it down the middle and stuff each side with mixed greens, sprouts, avocado, tomato, onion and Ben’s chili sauce. I forgot the chili sauce today, so I used hummus instead. I can tell that I have been going through clean food withdrawal because it feels so GOOD to be eating veggies, even if it is just the basic stuff.

Side Note: Ben usually grows everything mentioned above (minus the avocado, obviously) in our garden-we still had scallions and Swiss chard growing up until a couple of weeks ago!- but, as it is the off season, we get most of our veggies at our local co-op, which works with local farms and greenhouses. I bought our tomatoes at Price Chopper- they were hydroponically grown in Vermont (and pesticide free!), I chose these over the organically grown tomatoes from Mexico.

I don’t pretend to be an expert about food and I don’t consider myself a “health-nut”, but as a personal policy, I do try to stick with all natural ingredients and buy local whenever possible. I also try to buy farmer-owned brands (such as Cabot or Organic Valley) and stick to items with ingredients I can pronounce. If I pick up a package that has a list of 40+ ingredients, I immediately put it down. I don’t believe that our bodies were meant to have so much junk put into them.

When we buy meat, we get it directly from local farms, the farmers’ market or from our food co-op. Again, it’s not always “organic”, but it’s local, hormone-free and grass-fed, the way it should be. The same thing goes for our eggs.

As far as microwaveable foods, I don’t. We don’t even own a microwave. I prefer to cook it, chop it, slice it, steam it or boil it myself…and if I make too much I can simply freeze it and reheat it on the stove or in the oven-or give it to a friend. I also avoid chain restaurants as much as possible, just because Ben and I have both worked in the restaurant business and know how much of the chain food comes in a bag and goes in the microwave. It’s gross…and ridiculous, considering how easy most of the food is to make.

The idea of mass-produced foods (whether it be meat, cheese, bread or vegetables) kind of freaks me out…especially after some of the reading/documentary watching I’ve done. I believe that food is meant to be a personalized experience-not just eating whatever garbage is put in front of you-and that you’ll get more out of your meal if you know where it’s coming from and how it was prepared. It saddens me that so many people out there have no idea what they are putting in their bodies, day after day and even more have no idea how to cook for themselves!

I am not saying that I am perfect. I do slip up on occasion, but for the most part, I try my hardest to follow these rules. I realize that it’s not super difficult for me as I was blessed with a wonderful mother who cooked a ton of different things and made me try new foods on a weekly basis (I didn’t grow up eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper, I grew up eating lentil soup, roast chicken, swiss chard, and countless other homemade things) …and I am married to a chef-slowly-turning-farmer-who-cans-freezes-everything.

Farmer Ben, hard at work.

I haven’t always been as passionate about where my food comes from… I used to stand with the many who see buying local/organic as pointless and too expensive. This simply isn’t true, you just have to do your homework. And honestly, if I spend a few cents more on my Cabot butter, I am okay with that, because I know that it is going to the farmers…or if I spend a little bit more buying the crackers with 7 ingredients instead of 47, I feel confident knowing that I am saving my body from a ton of extra junk it doesn’t need. Again, I am no expert, these are just my personal beliefs, but I like to think that I am healthier because of it.

Anyway, that is the end of my rant for the day…who would have thought that talking about vegetables could get one so worked up?!  With that in mind, I’m using this post as a public announcement. I am getting back on track-starting today! I am a big believer in the food journal. Even if you aren’t trying to get in shape, it’s really helpful to see exactly what you are eating-or not eating- and track your water intake. I know that this month I have been horrible about drinking water and I have felt it.

So, I am getting back to my food journaling ways. I recently discovered MyFitnessPal and have been using it…kind of… for the last couple of months. I really like this site because it’s very comprehensive, has a really large and pretty accurate database and has a lot of different tools that I have found very helpful. They also have a smartphone app with a really awesome barcode scanner (probably the coolest thing ever!).  Today, I am getting back into it after a brief hiatus and want to invite you to be …my fitness pal! You can find me-my username is nre820.

Alright kids, catch you later! Be on the lookout for a few life updates and some baller recipes!