Tag Archives: chocolate

Foodie Pen Pal! Eighth Month – March 2013

That’s right! Foodie Pen Pals is back! And it is reveal day once again

This is part of a program called Foodie Pen Pals in which every month I get/send a basket from/to another foodie from around the country. Then, every month, everyone reveals who their pen pal was, what they received, and get to see what everyone else got on the same day :-)

This month I received a fantastic package from Victoria Shimmons of Reluctantly Skinny (A problem I would not be reluctant about in the least.)

Victoria may concentrate on healthy recipes, but you would never know it from the absolutely amazing package of treats she sent me!  For those of you who know me, you will know just how well this package fits to tastes. So… What did she send me? Good question.

20130325202104
First off she sent me something I use for A LOT of different purposes… high quality Apricot preserves. Not only is apricot the most commonly used preserve in my house for bagels and toast, I also often use it on my chicken, meatloafs, and pork chops. PLUS, for those of you who have had my BBQ, or saw me on MasterChef, the most popular of my BBQ sauces in my Peach Apricot Habenaro BBQ sauce, which uses none other than a quality Apricot Preserve like this one. Great thing to receive.

20130325202223

Next she sent me Biscotti. While I have yet to find a biscotti to rival my Mom’s homemade recipe, this was a fantastic flavor and great quality. Chocolate and caramel (which in my humble opinion, one can never go wrong with), this bag of crunchy goodness was gone in only 2 days! I just could not help myself…. SOOOOO GOOD!

20130325202208

Finally, Victoria took a trip to a local chocolatier and sent me two amazing finds. First, as I have said many a time when I receive these, one of my absolute favorite bites, salted caramels. From the label on the box, I had a great feeling about these. I was able to contain myself to indulging in only 1 per day till they were gone, but that was a difficult challenge. As for the next item, it was something I had not experienced before… “Tiger Bark”.  Similar to a peanut butter fudge (which I love), this had a slightly different texture. It wasn’t quite the same melt in your mouth as fudge, instead it was somewhere between a dissolve and a melt, which I actually did not mind at all. Plus, the flavor was out of this world. Put a small chunk of this on a cracker, or a pretzel, or an apple…. **drools**. Two absolutely fantastic gifts to complete a truly MaurPowerFoodie tailored package, perfect for tantalizing my taste buds.

2013032520231920130325202309

2013032520233220130325202340

Thank you so much Victoria for a truly wonderful Foodie Pen Pal package. Please check out what she got from her pen pal and her fantastic blog, ReluctantlySkinny.com.

As for what I sent, my pen pal recipient was Emily Dicks. This package was quite possibly one of my favorite I have sent, so I hope she enjoyed it. Be sure to check out her blog to see what I sent her at “It Bakes Me Happy” 🙂

Well, thus ends my eighth Foodie Pen Pal experience, and again it was an extremely positive one. I can not wait till April’s list is revealed and I get to do it all over again, month after month. If you want to take part in this program check it out:

The Lean Green Bean

Be sure to stay tuned for the big reveal each month! :-) Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” signing off… Thanks for reading.


Foodie Pen Pal! Third Month – July 2012

Another last day of the month, which means another Foodie Pen Pal reveal day.

This is part of a program called Foodie Pen Pals in which every month I get/send a basket from/to another foodie from around the country. Then on the last day of the month, everyone reveals who their pen pal was, what they received, and get to see what everyone else got :-)

This month I got a wonderful package from Catherine Mackey. As Catherine said in her note to me, this was some of the most random treats to be put into a single box, but that did not make them any less AMAZING.

First off, the sweets: Moon Pies, Nutella, Pomegranate Fruit Bars, and a chocolate brownie bar! Two things that I never buy myself but can’t get enough of when I have them. The Moon Pie brought back to my childhood, eating snack cakes. As for the Nutella, I LOVE NUTELLA. However, I am the only person in my household that enjoys it, so it was never in the house. I usually only get it at a creperie. So now I know it is time to make some crepes of my own. Yum! Pomegranate = awesome, Fruit bar = Even more awesome! These are fantastic and much healthier than your standard fruit roll-up. As for the chocolate brownie bar, have not gotten to it yet, but I’m excited all the same. I could use a yummy way to get more fiber. Sweets portion of the package are a great start! But that is not all.

Moving on to what I am going to classify as the “special ingredient”: Pesto Paste. When I saw this tube, I had no idea what to expect, but it is actually quite flavorful. Don’t get me wrong, I still tend to make my own pesto, but when looking to simply add a bit of that flavor to a rub or marinade, this is perfect in a pinch. Important note, a little goes a long way, so not only is it a great addition to the seasoning cabinet, it will last a long time. And yet, there was still more…

The final addition to my pen pal package were my favorite: The snack bags! First up dried organic Mango 🙂 I am a huge lover a dried fruit, and this mango was no exception. Normally I would save it and add it to trail mix, but I started eating one piece and just kept eating… Next thing I knew the whole bag was gone. My bad! But it was worth it. Next was something I had never seen before, and am BEYOND happy I have now: Pineapple chips. I had no idea what to expect, and it certainly was not what I ever could have expected. With the same crunch as potato chip, but the sweet tang of fresh pineapple, these unique snacks are something I will be keeping my eye out for. The final addition to the package was my favorite because it is the kind of snack I will from now on be making for myself. The Sing Buri Cashews are my cooking style in a snack bag. Soy glazed cashews with peanuts, pineapple, sesame, lemongrass, & chili –> the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and spicy. I will definitely be making these many times and packing them as my snack of choice. Take a look at these amazing snack bags from my Pen Pal.

Thank you so much Catherine for an amazing Foodie Pen Pal package. To the best of my knowledge Catherine does not have a blog, but I will post it if I find out otherwise, or Catherine, feel free to post it in the comments.

As for what I sent, my pen pal recipient was Deneene Guerry. I happened upon a great Asian Market whilst walking through Queens and decided to send an Asian themed Pen Pal package. To check out what it consisted of, head over to Deneene’s blog!

Well, thus ends my third Foodie Pen Pal experience, and again it was an extremely positive one. I can not wait till August’s list is revealed and I get to do it all over again, month after month. If you want to take part in this program check it out:

The Lean Green Bean

Be sure to stay tuned for the big reveal on the last day of each month :-) Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” signing off… Thanks for reading.


Foodie Pen Pal! Second Month – June 2012

As it is the last day of the month it is time for my new monthly routine/post… Reveal day for Foodie Pen Pals!

This is part of a program called Foodie Pen Pals in which every month I get/send a basket from/to another foodie from around the country. Then on the last day of the month, everyone reveals who their pen pal was, what they received, and get to see what everyone else got :-)

This month’s package was from Kim Worobey. Kim claims she just sent me stuff she knew she would want, but I am almost positive she traveled to CT, looked in my pantry, read my mind and sent me things she knew I would LOVE. First I open up my box to find this:

What a nice note! And attached to each item in my package was a little sticky note about the food. Speaking of the food, let’s get to it. First up is the savory and then we’ll move to the sweet. Kim knew all about my love for meat and grilling, especially as we enter into grilling season. She sent me some unique and delicious dry rub, a garlic, chives, and horseradish powder, and of course some jerky!

I will admit I did not eat the jerky yet… I am saving it for the next time I go hiking, camping, or fishing (most likely fishing), but it looks like some solidly good jerky. Next the seasoning powder. This is not a combination I would have ever thought of in a seasoning bottle, but it is GREAT! Not overpowering in the horseradish, which is very important to me and hard to accomplish. Finally, my favorite item in the package: a Java Dry Rub. Perfect for a pork chop, I knew exactly what I was doing with this pleasant gift. All I can say is YUM! Java and pork go so well together, and this is an amazing rub. Here, take a look at the perfectly coarse dry rub:

Alright, now on to the sweet components. First Kim sent me a cookie that reminded me a lot of Berger cookies from my days living in Baltimore. A beautifully rich chocolate fudge and sweet soft cookie. These really brought me back. Then a Chocolate bar… but not just any chocolate bar, a Polish chocolate bar. A sensually and sinfully amazing chocolate bar. A chocolate bar that Kim warned me I would want to eat all in one sitting, but should savor and be patient as to avoid a stomach ache. As difficult as it was, I heeded Kim’s advice and am proud to say I ate a little each day. But wow… Kim knows her chocolate. Take a look at my sweet tooth satisfiers:

Thank you so much Kim for my personalized package. I loved it and look forward to keeping up with your blog for some awesome baked goods recipes.

As for the package I sent this month, that went to Danielle Deskins! This was a bit of a challenging month for me because Danielle and her family eat mostly organic and natural  foods… much the opposite of my usual diet. But I had a lot of fun shopping for her and I hope she enjoyed everything. Be sure to check out the package on her blog.

Well, thus ends my second Foodie Pen Pal experience, and again it was an extremely positive one. I can not wait till July’s list is revealed and I get to do it all over again, month after month. If you want to take part in this program check it out:

The Lean Green Bean

Be sure to stay tuned for the big reveal on the last day of each month :-) Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” signing off… Thanks for reading.