Monday, October 1, 2012

Foodie Penpal!

Back in August I was roaming around the internet looking up food and food related blogs (typical) and I stumbled onto the blog The creator of this blog is interested in some of the same things as I am, such as eating, cooking, and fitness. And her name is also Lindsay! After browsing around the blog I found the Foodie Penpal section.

Here is a little about it (from Lindsay's blog):

FPP post Foodie Penpals

-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!)

Lindsay has more information on her blog, and a link to sign up. The deadline to sign up is the 4th of every month, so there is still time to get a match for October!! I highly recommend doing it, it was so much fun! I was matched with a girl from Georgia, and another from Arkansas. I sent Dani in Georgia a box of goodies from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts (I tried to stay local but got a little side tracked with new treats I found). Hayley in Arkansas sent me a box of goodies, and it was full of foods I had never tried/heard of! New (food) things are my favorite!

Here is what I got:

From left to right: homemade lemon-lime snickerdoodle cookies, mango habenero kale chips, grapefruit gummy candies, passion fruit and ginger green tea, coconut-lime sea salt (with its own grinder), and blueberry yogurt-covered prezels.

I was absolutely thrilled when I opened this box. It was like opening a gift! I was a little hesitant at first about trying the homemade cookies, because I wasn't entirely sure if it would be safe or not. But you only live once, I love food, and I had never had, let alone heard of, lemon-lime snickerdoodle cookies. Three reasons I had to try them. The fact that they are cookies also helped. These were easily the best cookies I have ever had! The lemon-lime flavor added a certain refeshing feel to them. The cinnamon and sugar did not interfere in any weird way with the lemon and lime. Hayley was kind enough to send me a recipe for these little gems!

I was really excited to try the kale chips. They are something I have been meaning to try for a while, but have not gotten around to it. For some reason I couldn't bring myself to buy them. This is not a flavor that I would have bought myself; I love mango, but not so much habenero or anything hot (I am a huge wuss with hot/spicy foods). The flavor was pretty good, but a little too hot for me.

The grapfruit candy was so good! Very refreshing and flavorful. I am not big on eating candy, but would consider buying these if I could find them!

The passion fruit and ginger green tea was also very good. Passion tea and green tea are the only types of tea I drink (other then Thai iced tea), so this was the perfect combination! I also love the colorful container :)

I haven't tried the coconut-lime sea salt yet, but am looking forward to it! I love both coconut and lime so I am pretty excited about cooking with this. I am thinking coconut-lime shrimp or tequilla lime chicken will be in my near future.

I am not a huge fan of pretzels or yogurt covered anything, but the blueberry yogurt covered pretzels were amazing! I would definitely buy these to snack on if I could find them. I am so glad Hayley sent these to me, they are something that I probably would not have tried otherwise.

Except for the cookies, Hayley bought everything from Fresh Market. I really need to find this store! I was a little surprised to hear that Hayley is a junior in high school. I should not assume things, but I was expecting my penpal to be closer to my age. I think it is great that she is so interested in food and cooking at her age. She also wants to go to college to become a registered dietitian! Pretty cool if you ask me!

Now a little bit about what I sent Dani in Georgia:

Bottom left to right:
Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all purpose flour- because Dani has a gluten-sensitivity and loves to bake.
The True Nut maple coconut roasted almonds- these sounded delicious, and involve maple (very New Englandy).
Marshmallow fluff- I heard that this is something that is either hard to find in the south, or non-existant. I also gave Dani my grandmother's peanut butter fudge recipe to try out.
Blueberry honey- for a little taste of two foods that are common in Maine, both of which I love (and I like supporting local Maine businesses).
Raye's Stoneground Mustard- mustard is pretty versatile and Raye's is the best (and made in Maine)!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Foodie Penpal experience! I look forward to doing it again in the future, and definitely encourage others to try it. It was a great way for me to learn about and experience new foods. I enjoyed learning about someone else's food interests and dietary restrictions. I had a great time shopping for Dani and browsing cool New England foods.

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