Archive for Foodie Penpals

Foodie Pen Pals: April – Alabama treats

While putting together my recent Months of the Week series, I came across all the Foodie Pen Pal posts I’d previously done and thought, hey, I should get back into that!

In my first month back, I’ve found that FPPs now swap in pairs (give to & receive from the same person), and I was matched up with Kellie from Alabama. She sent me a box full of goodies from her home state and farther afield, carefully padded with a rainbow’s worth of tissue paper 😉

FPP April

In her note, Kellie told me several of the items were from her neck of the woods, including crackers from her family’s favorite place to eat out (Jason’s Deli), and a selection from Fayette’s local hot sauce & salsa company (I can never get enough salsa!).

FPP April2

Kellie even consulted with her son to decide on what to include for our son, and I can confirm that the fruit leather met with rave reviews from the 7-yo food critic in our house. I’m saving the tea for pre-long-run caffeinating, but I bet those sweet potato & cinnamon crackers aren’t long for this world 😉

FPP April3


Thanks, Kellie, for the great FPP box! It’s a nice way to get back into the swing of this thing; and if you’d like to join us for next month, click the image below.


Foodie PenPals: Nuts & salsa from the ‘ville

Another month of surprising Foodie Penpal connections! Last month, I was paired with a fellow native of my hometown, Bloomington, Indiana. This month, Caitlin of Bake ‘N Bits sent me a box of local treats from… Somerville, MA! That’s just around the corner from our old apartment, and where we still frequent a lot for drinks, haircuts, etc.


Caitlin’s note said she found it funny when I asked for local foods, given how we’re basically in the same “local.” But the things she sent – homemade salsa from Boston Burger Company, and three different roasted nuts from Q’s Nuts – were all new to me. So thanks for introducing me to some new treats from just down the road!

Want to swap foods from near or far? Head past the jump to find out how to participate in Foodie Penpals in June! (It’s open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike!)

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Foodie PenPals: Hometown eats from the Hoosier state

Things came full circle for me in this month’s Foodie Penpal swap, when Laura of Learning to be Laura sent me a box from my (and, it turns out, our) hometown!

I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, and was pretty surprised to see the 47401 in my Food Penpal box’s return address. But it turns out Laura also grew up there & recently returned to pursue a degree in anthropology (coincidentally, that + sociology was my undergraduate major).

Laura put together a fun bunch of goodies from Trader Joe’s – Belgian cookies, a chocolate bar, trail mix and some salsa that was clearly tuned into the tomatillo-salsa kick I’ve been on lately.

She also packed some Hoosier eats straight out of Monroe County – cereal from Vigilant Eats, and toasted-oat granola from Muddy Fork Farm & Bakery. It’s been over a decade since I’ve been back to B-town, so I’m not familiar with either of these outfits, but I’m glad Laura has gotten me acquainted with them!

Want to discover surprising connections by participating in Foodie Penpals? It’s open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike! Head past the jump for details.

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Foodie PenPals: I’d flunk sharing if I were in preschool

For the March Foodie Penpal pairing, I sent a box to Bethany from All of My Words and received a box from fellow Massachusettsian (sure, why not) Natalia. She prepared a very thoughtful box of treats, each labeled with suggested recipients (Miles, Tim, me, or all of us). But was I as thoughtful, sharing the goodies as directed? Well, let’s go down the list…


  • Homemade chocolate granola, for Tim – nope.
  • Homemade chocolate chunk cookies, for the family – not a one.
  • Funky Monkey snacks – I let Miles have one & I bogarted the other.


  • Seasoned tortilla chips – finally, I played well with others & we had nachos for dinner one night using these.
  • Salsa – to be determined, as it’s still in the pantry. Odds are slim – I usually empty a jar of salsa too quickly for anyone else to get some.

Thankfully, Natalia included the recipes for the granola and cookies in her hand-written note that accompanied the box, so at least I could recreate them for Miles and Tim. Although, who says I’ll necessarily share those batches, either?

Are you better than I am at sharing and interested in participating in Foodie Penpals? It’s open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike! Head past the jump for details.

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Foodie Penpals: Vegetarian-friendly foods and no lutefisk

Time once again for the end-of-month reveal of February’s Foodie Penpal box!


This month, I had a near miss with calamity when my originally partnered pen pal bailed out. But luckily, Charli from Minnesota stepped in to fill the void and sent me one of my favorite FPP boxes thus far. It was full of vegetarian-friendly snacks and treats, several of which (Funky Monkey, Peeled Snacks, Somersaults) are long-standing favorites around our house.

My box from the Land of 10,000-or-so Lakes included: Jive-a-Lime Funky Monkey (in a smaller serving pack that I haven’t seen before; great size for kid snacks); Peeled Snacks dried cherries; and fruit leathers from Trader Joe’s (my son demolished those).

Charli also sent: honey from the Rochester, MN area (has a great, light flavor); cacao nib Coco-Roons (new to me; loved them); Somersaults in Sante Fe flavor; and vanilla orange granola (I’ve learned orange-flavored granola is The Best).

Thanks for everything, Charli (especially for not sending me lutefisk)!

Interested in participating in Foodie Penpals? It’s open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike! Head past the jump for details.

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Foodie Penpals: Spinach & Skittles sent me chocolate & ginger

I’m a little late in posting my reveal of January’s Foodie Penpal box, but don’t take that as any indication of my appreciation for the box I received from Leila of Spinach & Skittles. I loved the stuff she sent me, along with a hand-written note explaining she couldn’t write too much due to a cranky infant in her arms (totally understand – I’ve been there).

The chocolate bar & fig spread were great, but I think the mango ginger chews stole center stage. I plowed through that bag pretty quickly, especially after I got a cold & needed something a little spicy to help open up the ol’ sinuses.

Unfortunately, either my camera or my laptop ate the photo I took of the other items, and I’ve already eaten them so I can’t retake it! So please take my word for it that the hummus chips were a great alternative to other savory crunchy snacky things. Thanks for everything, Leila!

Interested in participating in Foodie Penpals and maybe have your act together a little better than I do? Head past the jump for details.

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Foodie Penpals: Time to run for my breakfast!

It’s the end of the month, and that means: Foodie Penpal reveal day!

For November, I sent a box to Anna of Be Healthy, Well & Inspired and received a box from Rona of BerryMorins Bit & Tips. I wonder if Rona read my Run For Your Breakfast post about runners loving pancakes, because she sent me a box full of flapjack-y goodness that I will gladly snarf down after the many long runs coming up in marathon training.

In this month’s box I got a batch of pancake mix and some sweet squishy blueberry jam to put on top, all from Stonewall Kitchens. Thanks, Rona!

Here is the part where I’d usually give you the details and directions for joining next month’s Foodie Penpals, but we’re doing things a little differently in December. Lindsay has asked that instead of buying treats for another Penpal, that we plow that $15-25 into relief efforts still ongoing after Hurricane Sandy.

So next month, I’ll be donating to our designated charity, New York Cares. From their website:

New York Cares is on the frontlines of disaster relief, working around the clock to bring post-Hurricane Sandy aid where it is needed most. In the weeks following the storm, we have deployed thousands of volunteers to the hardest hit neighborhoods, distributing hot meals and warm coats, helping local social service agencies get back up and running, and mucking out homes that were ravaged by the storm.

But our work didn’t start when the waters rose, and it won’t stop when the headlines have faded…. Now, for as long as it takes, we bring hurricane relief and restoration to our suffering neighbors.”

You can join but contributing through Lindsay’s website, starting on Monday. If you’d like to If you’d like to participate in January, go to The Lean Green Bean and sign up after December 18th.

Foodie Penpals: Three Lynches agree – we’re nuts for October’s box

In this month’s Foodie Penpal pairing, I was lucky to get a box of tasty vegan treats from Galen of OMGosh I’m Vegan.

I’ve never met a nut I didn’t like, and these items were no exception.

The salt and pepper pistachios have a nice little bite to add to the nuts’ natural tanginess, and I always love Justin’s nut butters. The biggest hit, though, has been the dark chocolate peanut butter (I know, right?). I’ve been adding it to yogurt and fruits, Miles (our 6yo) has been gleefully carrying chocolate PB sandwiches to school, and I think I caught Tim going for it straight from the jar the other day.

The only item not pictured above is the packet of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter, which ended up in my recovery smoothie after the RW half marathon before I had a chance to photograph it.

We also received several sesame-based snacks – pomegranate-blueberry sesame strips and Somersaults nugget-style crackers.

I appreciated having a few more high-protein snack options, since I’ve been single-handedly keeping Northeast regional egg producers in business lately with my race-training diet. And Miles surprised me by really liking the Somersaults, which gave us another nut-free snack option to pack for school.

So thanks to Galen from all the Lynches, who enjoyed this box immensely!

Interested in participating in Foodie Penpals? Head past the jump for details.

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Foodie Penpals: Guest post from Katie

A special treat (it is Halloween today, after all) – a guest post from Foodie PenPal participant, Katie Moran. I sent her a box this month, and since she’s a non-blogging reader, she agreed to post her recap here!

Thanks so much to Kat for letting me do a guest blog! My name is Katie and I do not have a blog but love reading them and joined foodie pen pals to meet new people and find new amazing blogs to read like Eating the Week!

I am from San Francisco and love Boston so I was excited to get some goodies from there! First of all she sent me a bunch of snacks when I told her my love for snacks, and first up were these wonderful dry roasted pumpkin seeds! What a wonderful fall snack – slightly salty and organic, right up my alley, perfect for a between lunch and dinner snack to hold me over until dinner. I just try to not finish the bag in one sitting!

Next, she sent me some of her kid’s favorite snacks – these pineapple and apple-banana crisps! These are so light and airy, I just loved them.

I had never tried freeze dried anything so I was not sure what to expect but they were amazing, I wish I could get them here! What a great breakfast snack. All natural, no artificial ingredients or preservatives and they taste yummy, yes please!!! Just like a fruit in chip form, how genius!

Head past the jump to read about more treats

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Foodie Penpals: Treats from the Sooner State

Nothing against California – where several of my recent Foodie Penpals boxes have originated – but I was pretty excited to get a box from Oklahoma in September. I was paired with Cassie in Norman, OK, who sent me a great box of stuff from a local store called Native Roots Market.

Included in this month’s box were a bag of granola, several Italian herb mixes, and a bag of chocolate chip flapjack (which I’m not entirely sure if I should eat straight or make into bars, but either way sounds good!).

Cassie also send several containers of nuts, and a variety of Kind bars – which were tasty enough that I ate two before taking this picture. The pecans have been in heavy rotation as toppings for baked sweet potatoes, which are in oversupply around here since last month’s Recipe ReDux.

Thanks again, Cassie, for the fun box from the Sooner state!

Interested in participating in Foodie Penpals? Head past the jump for details.

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