This has to be one of the coolest ideas known to the blogging world. It combines 2 of the things I love... BLOGGING and FOOD. Plus, you get actually MAIL (instead of those dreaded bills and far worse advertisement yada yadas).
I discovered this fantasmogorical program while reading Pretty Little Grub and I was UTTERLY intrigued!
So, what did I do? Well, I signed up, of course!
This is put on by the Lean Green Bean and here is how it works:
- 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!)
- Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose 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 Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & European 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. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
So, this month I was paired with a Gal named Ari (HI ARI!!!). She is not a blogger, but she's been thinking of starting one!!! And, THIS is what she sent me!
Her letter reads:
Sorry about the awkward paper - I didn't think about how I'd need to write a note on something until I got to the post office, so you're stuck with the last page of my latest rough draft. oops
Hopefully these goodies make up for my noob mistake! Inside you will find:
- Purple Rice Spice - I love this for flavoring a simple rice dish or DIY sushi.
- Mung Bean Candy! I love these, though they're definitely an unusual treat.
- Ginger Milk Tea! I'm so obsessed with ginger tea, especially after an over indulgent foodie outing
- Mapo Tofu Suace! This is my favorite dish in China. You just add tofu and ground pork (personally I skip the pork, but my friends tell me I'm missing out!)
- White Rabbit Candy! The quintessential Chinatown treat!
Hope you enjoy them
Totally Cute? Right?
So... I haven't used all of these products but let me tell you about what I have tried!!!
Mung Bean Candy - yes, Ari, it is an unusual treat. And the texture is WEIRD AS ANYTHING. But the overall flavor is something like a cookie... you just need to get it off the roof of your mouth! Guys, if you like to try new and interesting things.. Start with this. I thought it was tasty and weird!
Mapo Tofu Sauce - Now, I didn't use it with Tofu. It is Sezechuan Flavored, so I figured it be good with Fish. So I paired it with Tilapia, and sauteed some onions in it! It was REALLY tasty. And, just the other night, I sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms with it! The flavor is really good, I just add 1/3 cup of water into it.. so it becomes more of a sauce.. the oil is a little thick and doesn't break down the way I would like for it too!
The Ginger Milk Tea was an interesting concoction. It is a powdered Tea, and you just add it to boiling water. I'm used to tea bags or even stuffing loose tea into one of my tea balls.. so "fake" tea was a little hard for me... *I sound like such a SNOB right now* Anyway, I drank it, and it IS utterly delightful.. Settling and warm.. just nummy. I paired it with a teeny tiny dark chocolate coconut krispie treat.. and OH BOY was it worth it!
The Purple Rice Spice... Well, it's in my cabinet yelling at me to use it.
Also, if anyone is interested, the last page of her rough draft is definitely a bibliography page, with articles and writings about regulatory cell populations, class switching in B cells and something about T follicular cells.
I'm thinking Ari is a college student studying immunology.. Are you going to be a doctor someday? hehehe.
This was too fun!
Now, Ari never mentioned anything about wanting to write a guest post about what I sent her. So, I think I'll let everyone know what I sent her and why.
I figure the summertime is one of those times of the year when I am the most SNACK HAPPY. So, I sent her different type of snacks, that are good for different reasons.
Razzle Dazzle Peanut Butter - Cocoa Nibs and Raspberry Preserves in Chunky Peanut Butter. There is no need to elaborate any further.
Coco Cafe - Coconut Water: It's coffee flavored coconut water. It gives you that, I had a fancy coffee taste, without all the fatty nonsense.
Stuffed Olives - I cannot for the life of my remember which ones I sent her. I am pretty sure they were the Garlic Stuffed Green Olives... The salt and the tang.. It's great with fish or on a salad.. or just for a quick salty snack fix! And one or two... will take away that NEED for salty something.
Crunch Master Nacho Cheese Triangles - 200 calories for 60 chips and GLUTEN FREE. This is another one I don't need to elaborate on any further.
I don't think I left anything out... maybe I did miss one thing.. I should have taken a picture for memory purposes! DUH!
Anyway, I highly recommend you joining in for Augusts Foodie Pen Pal. I had so much fun shopping for Ari, decorating the package, and then in turn waiting for mine!
And hey, who knows, maybe we'll get paired together one day!