Tag Archives: Pen Pal

Foodie Pen Pal! Fourth Month – August 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 received a fantastic package from Shelby Suzuki aka “Everyday Vegan Girl”. Shelby sent me a package of many things I would never have bought for myself before but plan to by now. Thank you for introducing me to so many new and wonderful products. First up as always is the wonderful note sent to me by Shelby. As she said, I better like coconut, almonds, and chocolate… luckily, I LOVE all three. **Spoiler alert** The note has a list of all the items received, so if you want to be surprised, skip over it.

So what were these wonderful treats. First up, an item that does not appear in any pictures because I accidentally ate them all first… (my bad) Inca Corn Nuts. Salty, crunchy, and the perfect movie snack. So much healthier than popcorn and in my opinion tastes better too without getting all stuck in your teeth. Then we have  a Cocoa Almond spread. Much like Nutella, it is versatile and delicious. Absolutely love it and use it a few times a week. Then an almond butter. I love nut butters, but I so rarely by them for myself and when I do it is usually peanut butter. So having a bit of variety was fantastic. Then was the organic food bar. Chocolate and coconut… yumm. I am not usually a big fan of these bars, but I must admit. This one was pretty good. Worked perfect one morning when I was running late and needed a quick bite to eat to hold me over till Lunch. I may look into some of the other flavors of this brand and try them out. Then came one of the biggest surprises of the box: the chocolate sundae began candy bar. I am not sure if it really tasted like a chocolate sundae, but it did taste quite yummy. I nice crunch, sweet and salty mix. I would definitely eat more of these. Finally, one of the most unique items in the box, ginger chews. These candies have a great deal of spice but are so different and simply superb. Only for those that enjoy ginger and spice, but if you do… GET SOME!

Next we have a wonderful cranberry almond trail mix. Great salty and sweet mix (my favorite flavor combination) with a bit of tartness thrown in for good measure. Quality trail mix that I really enjoyed. Bare Naked really does have some wonderful products. Then, one of my favorite ingredients to use both in cooking and as a drink mixer… Pineapple juice. Try it with some Disaronno, I call it the “Nutty Hawaiian”. My favorite drink. Speaking of favorites, my favorite item in this month’s package, these SunTree cinnamon almonds. Almonds coated with cinnamon, vanilla, and cream cheese. Each bite was like eating a mini Cinnamon Almond Cheesecake. I MUST FIND MORE OF THESE. They were so good. Really… Please tell me where I can get some more… Om nom nom.

Finally, last but certainly not least was a great addition of the homemade variety. Shelby’s very own Coconut trail mix… WITH RECIPE. This mix had a great crunch, a tad bit of sweetness, and I have made it since and will make it again. I could not help but grab a handful as soon as I opened the package before I even took my pictures. Take a look!

Thank you so much Shelby for an amazing Foodie Pen Pal package. Please check out what she got from her pen pal and her fantastic blog, Everyday Vegan Girl.

As for what I sent, my pen pal recipient was Tasha Malcolm. This package was a bit more random, but definitely a lot of fun items, some of which were inspired by items I had received in the past. To check out what it consisted of, head over to Tasha’s blog!

Well, thus ends my fourth Foodie Pen Pal experience, and again it was an extremely positive one. I can not wait till September’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! 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! First Month – May 2012

Well, it is the last day of the month, and from now on that means one definite… Reveal day for Foodie Pen Pals!

That’s right, I newly joined a program called Foodie Pen Pals in which every month I get/send a basket 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 received a lovely package from Brittney aka “Life in a Holding Pattern”. When she looked at my blog, it was shortly after I had posted about my Bacon, Garlic, and Egg Fried Rice recipe and she joked about how she had to include bacon in my package… or so I thought it was a joke. But the first thing I saw upon opening the box was this adorably appropriate card:

I am proud to say, I abide by a large number of the Rules of Bacon and they tend to be true. Thank you so much Brittney!

Then comes the other items of my package, a bunch of local brands of items (a theme that I loved, because there are definitely great items around the country that I would never have the chance to buy for myself). As you can see above, this package included a local mayo, relish, cracker snacks, bone suckin’ sauce, and cheese straws.

I have not made it through all of them yet, but everything looked delicious. I did crack into the cheese straws, as they were extremely intriguing to me. It is hard to even describe this wonderful snack. Think Cheese-its on steroids. There is an immense cheddar flavor, but also a smokiness and spicy finish. I have also finished off the cracker snacks… in fact I did so almost instantaneously. The mayo and relish will be saved for a BBQ over the summer and shared with my guests. Yay!

In addition to all of these wonderful goodies, my pen pal Brittney did something so thoughtful… she baked for me! I got a delectable chocolate chip banana bread, and this coming from a guy that believes bananas are evil (Long story… maybe I will share that at some point) and a HUGE Tupperware full of one of my favorite kinds of cookie, peanut butter chocolate chip (how you knew to send me those Brittney is beyond me, but I am so glad you did… although my scale may not be 😉 They were fantastic).

Thank you so much Brittney for such an amazing first experience with Foodie Pen Pals! I hope you got something as great as you sent me. As for what I sent, my pen pal was Beth Quarles, be sure to check out her blog to see the package that was sent to her (including chili chocolate, local salted caramels, and a delicious jam that is perfect for any BBQ sauce, along with some recipes)

Well, thus ends my first Foodie Pen Pal experience, and it was an extremely positive one. I can not wait till June’s list is revealed and I get to do it all over again, month after month. 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.