April Foodie Pen Pal

This month I very gladly returned to the Foodie Pen Pal Program.  I was paired with a woman named Alison that lives in Virginia.  She sent me a really great box this month.  She nailed it as far as foods that I go ga-ga over.  

I mean H-E-L-L-O, do you see all that dark chocolate?  Yum! 

I made the brownies last weekend.  To be honest, I didn’t have the highest hopes for gluten free brownies.  So often GF is code for not-as-good-as-the-real-thing.  When I was mixing them up,  I was really questioning them.  The batter was so thick that it really was more of a paste.  But I figured I’d go with it.  I mushed it into the pan and attempted to smooth it out.  After putting it in the oven, I turned the light on and watched it bake.  Side note:  I do this a lot.  Oh the exciting life I lead! photo 3 (1) photo 4

Here’s the thing.  The brownies started to puff about halfway through and by the end (they needed 5 minutes longer than the box suggested) they were legit brownies.  But how would they taste?  Ummm, delicious!  You really couldn’t tell they weren’t gluten filled.  They tasted exactly like regular brownies.  I will be buying these again.  Why not keep a box on hand for brownie emergencies?  Another side note:  I really have brownie emergencies from time to time.  photo 1 (1)

And yes, that finger print is where I stuck my finger in them to see if they were done.  Some people might use a toothpick.  Some people aren’t that smart.  Luckily, it was just me and Rob eating them and neither one of us cares.

I forgot to mention the tea.  I’ve been drinking the Vanilla Caramel one with breakfast and it’s so yummy.  It hits the right spot between green tea and coffee, which are my other two morning beverages of choice.  This is right in between , so when I don’t want as much caffeine as coffee but green tea isn’t milky and comforting enough, this tea is the place to go. 

Ok, so I loved the box, but here’s the best part.  Alison sent me this really sweet letter telling me about her life and where she lives.  I just love that.    Thanks Alison!

The Lean Green Bean


Foodie Penpals

I’m so excited about this new program I’m participating in.  It’s called Foodie Penpals.  Sounds like it’s right up my alley, right?  So each month you get matched up with another foodie penpal somewhere in the country.  You exchange dietary information and then you send them a care package of $15 worth of foodie that you like or is local or is interesting in some way and they do the same.  At the end of the month, you each blog about it.

My foodie penpal was Robin from Texas.  She doesn’t have a blog or I’d be linking to it right here… but she sent me a great package.  It was actually on my doorstep today when I got home from the grocery store.  What perfect timing since today is the last of the month!!

I was so stoked to see what was in it.  Have you ever gone over to your friends house (or mothers, or boyfriends, or anyone else really) and looked in their cupboards and been shocked at what they buy at the grocery store?  Like things you never even noticed the store carried?  Oh wait, you don’t go through your friend’s cupboards?  Well, maybe you should start because you can sometimes find some cool stuff in there that you never noticed at the grocery store.  And that’s what I equate this program to.  It’s someone else picking out things they think are cool.  And Robin did not disappoint.  So here it is:photo

There is local Texas salsa, fun Mexican cookies, Hidden Valley ranch packet with recipe for ranch crackers and M&Ms (I’m going to have to hide these from my husband before he eats them all).  It was such great mix of things.  I dove right into the cookies because I had never had them before.  They were perfect.  They’re really like a mix between a cracker and a cookie, not too sweet and very addictive.  And I love that they’re from Mexico and I’m pretty sure not available anywhere around here.  I love stuff like that.

I can’t wait to try out the salsa.  I adore salsa, especially when it has a whole foods in it.  I like to mix it in with my tuna instead of mayo or use it as a flavorful salad dressing.  This jar will go quickly, I guarantee it!  And it had the cutest Christmas wrapper on it, even though I’m sure it won’t be around that long in this house.

So all in all, very successful first time on the foodie penpals.  I will definitely be signing up again, and you should too!  Maybe we’ll even get each other’s names and be exchanging.  Wouldn’t that be fun?