29 08, 2014

August Foodie Pen Pals

By |August 29th, 2014|chocolate, foodie pen pals|1 Comment|

It’s time for another Foodie Pen Pals reveal.  This month I had the pleasure of being matched up with the lovely Jen of Pretty Little Grub.  Jen is a dietician who lives in Alberta.  We exchanged a few e-mails and found out what we each liked and disliked.  I found out Jen loves chocolate and coffee, so you can take a look at what I sent her by going to her blog.

In return, Jen sent me a box tailored to my favourite foods.  She was so thoughtful in her choices and really paid attention to my particular food preferences (mostly paleo/primal, no refined sugars).

Here’s what she sent me…

 

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The box was wrapped with this pretty ribbon!

 

A sneak peek of what was inside :)

A sneak peek of what was inside 🙂

 

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Not sure how she knew that these are one of my favourite snacks! Salty, crunchy and cheesy. What’s not to like!?

 

Dark chocolate with salt.  Need I say more?

Fair trade dark chocolate with salt. Need I say more?

 

I told Jen I love spicy food, so these were a great addition to the box.  Perfect to top salads!

I told Jen I love spicy food, so these were a great addition to the box. Perfect to top salads!

 

Grain-free granola.  So delish. to sprinkle over a bowl of kefir in the morning.  This was new to me and is soooo good.

Grain-free granola. So delish. to sprinkle over a bowl of kefir in the morning. This was new to me and is soooo good.

 

I had never seen these before. I love that Jen included it because she figured it would be difficult for me to find portable snacks due to my dietary restrictions. This was really, really good!

 

Krestan claimed these right away.  Two honey-filled sticks.  One is caramel and the other is chocolate.  Needless to say, they are both gone and were both very much enjoyed :)

Krestan claimed these right away. Two honey-filled sticks. One is caramel and the other is chocolate. Needless to say, they are both gone and were both very much enjoyed 🙂

 

Jen included a lovely, hand-written note explaining why she chose all the items.

Jen included a lovely, hand-written note explaining why she chose all the items.

 

So that concludes another month of Foodie Pen Pals.  Once again, I was thrilled with all of the items in my box.  Can’t wait to do this again.  I’ll be taking at least a month off for various reasons, but hope to sign up for October.

30 07, 2014

Foodie Pen Pals July 2014

By |July 30th, 2014|chocolate, foodie pen pals, gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo|0 Comments|

I’ve been participating in Foodie Pen Pals for about a year and a half now and I’ve received some really interesting packages filled with all sorts of delightful goodies.  Some of the boxes have been more to my taste than others and some have been so incredibly thoughtful, but I have to say that this month’s box definitely takes the cake!

I was teamed up with the lovely Jenn over at Bake and Be Merry  this month.  We exchanged a couple of e-mails and hit it off right away.  This was her first time participating in Foodie Pen Pals.  She mentioned in one of her e-mails that she participated in a foodie scavenger hunt which raised money for the Ottawa Food Bank.  I was so interested to hear that since I volunteer 2 days a week at a local food bank.  She wrote an awesome blog post on the subject, which I forwarded to our community liaison in hopes that we can do something similar in the future.

I sent Jenn my usual Foodie Pen Pal questionnaire asking things like ‘what’s your favourite food?’, ‘what don’t you like?’, etc… and she answered it and then added even more questions for me to answer.  One question she asked me was ‘Is there something that you’ve been wanting to try/make/eat/drink that you haven’t gotten around to yet?’  I answered that I’ve been wanting to attempt making macarons for my sister as they’re her favourite baked treats.  Well wouldn’t you know that the extremely sweet and thoughtful Jenn put together a macaron kit for me!!!!  I mean, could you possibly ask for a lovelier gesture?  I was blown away.

Okay, enough rambling and on to the package contents…

At the top of the box there was an envelope telling me to open everything before reading it.  I LOVED that!

At the top of the box there was an envelope telling me to open everything before reading it. I LOVED that!

The macaron kit was wrapped in this pretty box with a ribbon.

The macaron kit was wrapped in this pretty box with a ribbon.

It contained all the makings for one batch of macarons.

It contained all the makings for one batch of macarons.

I loved how everything had a little note attached and what fun that everything was wrapped up.  It was like Christmas :)

What fun that everything was wrapped up. It was like Christmas 🙂

Apple chips for a healthier option than my guilty pleasure, potato chips :)

Apple chips for a healthier option than my guilty pleasure, potato chips 🙂

She actually had a spice shop make up a collection of spices for me!!!

She actually had a spice shop make up a collection of spices for me!!!

One for each of my favourite cuisines!

One for each of my favourite cuisines!

I love how she attached little notes to each item :)

I love how she attached little notes to each item 🙂

I tried these the day I got the package.  YUM!

I tried this the day I got the package. YUM!

Even fancy napkins! :)

Even fancy napkins! 🙂

I was so excited to see what was in this package!

I was so excited to see what was in this package!

Dark Chocolate to pair with wine!!!

Dark Chocolate to pair with wine!!!

I mentioned that I'm on a tasting panel and she managed to work that in to the package too! :)

I mentioned that I’m on a tasting panel and she managed to work that into the package too! 🙂

I can't wait to try this.  I'm obsessed with flavoured salts!

I can’t wait to try this. I’m obsessed with flavoured salts!

And then I got to open the letter.  Reading this, you can tell how much care was put into the package.

And then I got to open the letter. Reading this, you can tell how much care was put into the package.

Needless to say, the chocolate didn't make it past day one and it paired beautifully with a glass of dry red wine. I did share :)

Needless to say, the chocolate didn’t make it past day one and it paired beautifully with a glass of dry red wine. I did share 🙂

 

I truly hope that Jenn enjoys my package as much as I did hers.  And I hope that next month she’s paired up with someone as thoughtful as she is.  I wonder if maybe I should quit Foodie Pen Pals now as I can’t imagine any package topping that one! 🙂

 

 

 

31 03, 2014

March Foodie Pen Pals

By |March 31st, 2014|foodie pen pals|0 Comments|

 

 

 

March

This month I had the pleasure of being matched up with Amber from Brampton, Ontario.  What a wonderful foodie pen pals package she sent me!

A lovely hand-written note accompanied the package.

A lovely hand-written note accompanied the package.

 

These were gobbled up in one sitting.  Crispy sweet coconut...what's not to like?

These were gobbled up in one sitting. Crispy sweet coconut…what’s not to like?

 

Dark chocolate-covered brazil nuts!

Dark chocolate-covered brazil nuts!

 

Another version of the delicious raw chocolate bar that Emily sent me last month.  This one was equally yummy!

Another version of the delicious raw chocolate bar that Emily sent me last month. This one was equally yummy!

 

She must have read my mind as this is the only gum we ever buy.  We love that it's aspartame-free.

She must have read my mind as this is the only gum we ever buy. We love that it’s aspartame-free.

 

I haven't tried this yet but it sounds great. I love that it's organic.

I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds great. I love that it’s organic.

 

And I just love fruity and floral herbal teas so this one is perfect for me.

And I just love fruity and floral herbal teas so this one is perfect for me.

Thanks again Amber for such a lovely, thoughtful foodie pen pals package.  I’m still enjoying all the wonderful treats you sent me 🙂

30 09, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals September

By |September 30th, 2013|foodie pen pals|0 Comments|

 
This month I was sooooo excited to be paired up with Ceecee from Within the Kitchen  She was one of my first foodie pen pals back in May and she sent me another box of wonderful goodies just like she did back then.  I was so happy that this month’s foodie pen pals was another where we were sending to the same person from whom we were receiving our packages.  That means I got to return the favour.  If you’d like to see what I sent to Ceecee, check out her blog
So here’s what I got this month…
 Here’s what it looked like when I opened the package topped with a hand-written note 🙂
These beans will definitely be making their way into a homemade soup soon!
Yummy spicy plantain chips!
This will be going into a Thai curry or spicy Thai soup for sure.
I haven’t tried this yet, but I can’t wait to see how it tastes.
This has already been gobbled up!  Ceecee suggested I put it on yogourt, so I sprinkled it on my fruit and kefir and it was FANTASTIC!!!!!!
I had goji berries on my shopping list, so these came at exactly the right time!
Once again, this was a perfect foodie pen pal package.  Hopefully I’ll get Ceecee again 🙂
If you’d like to exchange packages with another foodie just click on the link at the top of this page or click here

 

4 09, 2013

August Foodie Pen Pals

By |September 4th, 2013|foodie pen pals|0 Comments|

 
I seem to be writing Foodie Pen Pals posts and not much else these days.  However, I’m embarking on a new adventure this month, so I hope to have lots of interesting info. and recipes to share once I get into the swing of things.  I’ll post more about it soon.
So, it’s another foodie pen pal post for now and this month I was paired with Kim in Toronto.  For the first time since I’ve joined Foodie Pen Pals, everyone on the list was sending to the same person from whom they were receiving their package.  It was a lot of fun to know that I was putting together goodies for Kim while she was shopping for me.  
I apologize that this post is a little late.  We have been away for the weekend attending a family wedding and although the B & B we are staying at was supposed to have free wi-fi, it was so weak that I wasn’t able to use it.  Luckily, we decided to take a few hours to ourselves this morning and found a Starbucks to relax in.  So this is what I’m doing with my Starbucks time before heading back for a family campfire 🙂
Anyway, onto the reason for this post.  Here’s the package I received from Kim…
A sneak peek at the goodies inside 🙂
Kim included a beautiful hand-written card
 I told her that I like spicy foods and she listened
 Of course you need some organic tortilla chips to go with salsa!
 And a Mexican rice mix
 Some tex-mex seasoning
 And some chocolate treats to temper the spicy treats 🙂
 All of the yummy treats!
If this seems like fun to you, head over to Lindsay’s blog and sign up for September foodie pen pals.  It’s so much fun!
31 07, 2013

July Foodie Pen Pals

By |July 31st, 2013|foodie pen pals|2 Comments|

 
Well it’s that time again.  My wonderful foodie pen pal this month was the lovely Myra and what a delightful package she sent me.  She listened to my likes/dislikes and (self-imposed) food restrictions and sent me a very thoughtful box of goodies. 
 This is a peek at what the box looked like when I opened the lid
 And all the goodies laid out
 I got a coconut almond bar (my Mum’s absolute favourite, so she’ll probably be profiting from this box too :))
 Yummy Simply Protein Chips and the spicy ones too, which are my favourite
 A couple of handy little packages of almond butter for a snack on-the-go
 Dark chocolate!!!
 And these bison bites, which look really intriguing.  Can’t wait to try them.
 I love Sahale snacks.  Haven’t tried this flavour, but balsamic vinegar and cayenne sounds fantastic to me!!
 Potato chips…my occasional guilty pleasure.  Myra mentioned she liked this brand when she was a kid.
 Some fancy David’s Tea!
 Mangosteen soap!  Wow, it smells wonderful.
 And one of Myra’s favourite recipes from when she did a paleo boot camp…how cool is that!?
 Last but not least, she included this beautiful card.  I love the handwritten note and her handwriting is so neat!! 🙂  Thanks again Myra for this lovely box of treats!!
28 06, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals June

By |June 28th, 2013|foodie pen pals, kale|0 Comments|

Well it’s time for another food pen pals reveal.  This month, I was lucky to receive a box of goodies from Sam.  She really listened to my likes/dislikes and (self-imposed) dietary restrictions.  I was thrilled with the thoughtful things she sent me.
Here’s what I got…
 Here’s the box I received.
 Sam is the second person to wrap my goodies in a cereal box.  Great idea as it’s light in weight and a good size.  We don’t eat cereal, so I can only do the same when someone sends me one 🙂
 I mentioned that my biggest vice is potato chips, so Sam was kind enough to include these delicious ones.  I was happy to see they have no added MSG and nothing artificial.  They were treated as a big treat and didn’t last long between the 3 of us 🙂
 I haven’t tried this, but it sounds wonderful.  Sam said she bought it at a local farmers’ market.  I know it’s going to be great.
 I had never seen this before, but will be looking out for it for sure.  It’s sweetened with coconut palm sugar!  I could hardly believe it when I read that.  Again, it has nothing artificial in it.  It had a lovely deep, dark chocolate flavour and was gone pretty fast.
This curry masala was fantastic.  I used it with some ground grass-fed beef from a local farm and sauteed lots of onions, garlic, ginger, bell peppers & kale with it.  We loved it.
 Sam also included a lovely hand-written note to explain everything to me.
And last but not least, she included one of her favourite recipes.  I’ll be trying this very soon.  I’m a big fan of Thai soups and make one that’s popular with family and friends.  Mine’s with pumpkin and Sam’s is with sweet potatoes and shrimp.  It’ll be fun to compare the two.
So another foodie pen pals experience is under my belt and again it was a wonderful one.  If you’re interested in seeing what I sent, pop on over to Michelle’s blog If you’re interested in giving it a try yourself, just click on the “I love foodie pen pals” image at the top left-hand side of the page.
31 05, 2013

May Foodie Pen Pals

By |May 31st, 2013|foodie pen pals, gluten-free, Paleo|0 Comments|

Well it’s time for another Foodie pen pals package and I am absolutely thrilled with this month’s goodies.  My sweet pen pal Ceecee from B.C. really listened to what I told her in my e-mail and sent me the most wonderful selection of treats.
Here’s what I saw when I opened the box…
My first thought was that during my 3 months participating in foodie pen pals, I have received seaweed every single time.  I don’t think I mentioned to any of my pen pals that all three of us love it and eat it like it’s going out of style so I guess they are all psychic 🙂
 I’ve had wasabi seaweed before, but never this brand so I’m excited to try it.

 

 New kinds of dark chocolate for me to try…yum!
 Spicy salt!!!
 I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this curry powder.

 

Crunchy green beans.  Sounds delicious!!
OMG chocolate-covered potato chips.  These will obviously be a HUGE treat for me and I can’t wait to try them.
 Never tried teriyaki sunflower seeds, but I imagine they’ll be delicious.
Best foodie pen pal box ever.  Thanks so much to the lovely Ceecee!
And this month the foodie pen pal who was chosen for me was my sister Ashleigh.  I’m not sure if she took pics. of what I sent her, but I’ll be sure to ask if she’ll write a short guest post about the package.
29 04, 2013

April Foodie Pen Pals

By |April 29th, 2013|foodie pen pals|0 Comments|

 

I decided to participate in Foodie Pen pals again this month as I had so much fun with it in March.  I sent a package to my pen pal Sarah (a student in London) on the 15th and waited patiently for my package to arrive from Katie (a teacher in Toronto).  It arrived last week and I wasn’t disappointed with its contents.  Katie obviously put a lot of thought into the package and tried to find things that worked with my dietary restrictions.  
Here’s what she sent…
 

 It all came packed in this cereal box 🙂
And included a lovely, hand-written letter explaining what everything was
  
Mmmm, plantain chips.  I polished these off quite quickly!
 And she even popped popcorn and spiced it with two of my favourites, ginger and wasabi
 Yummy seaweed, a big favourite in this house!
 Some lovely mint chocolate David’s tea.  Not really my thing, but Krestan loves it!
 A toasted coconut nutrition bar
 2 sachets of flavoured nut butter.  I bet these will taste great on celery!
 I love my gourmet salts, so this will definitely be well-used!
 And last, but definitely not least is some banana ginger curry sauce.  I never buy bottled sauces, so this should be fun to try.  Katie suggested brushing it on chicken or even as a dip.  Can’t wait to try it!
What a wonderful box full of lovely surprises.  I highly recommend all foodies trying this pen pal programme  I’m having such a great time with it.
3 04, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals Guest Post

By |April 3rd, 2013|foodie pen pals|0 Comments|

Foodie Pen Pals Guest Post
This one is short and very sweet.  I asked Joanna (who received a package from me) to write a little bit about what I sent.  She mentioned that she forgot to take a picture as she was too excited to sample what was in the box of goodies.
Here’s what Joanna wrote…
Both Deborah and I were first time “Foodie Penpals” last month. I can’t express my utmost delight when a parcel appeared at my door wrapped in kraft paper and filled with thoughtful, delicious treats. Since my only stipulations were “No papaya, please,” Deborah had full reign of preparing a fun and tasty package. She included chipotle flavoured seaweed, chocolate quinoa biscuits, cheese crostinis, a bar of Cocoacara orange and chili dark chocolate, lamb curry mix, and Deborah’s own homemade sharp cheddar cheese shortbread biscuits. Although everything in the package was incredible, the cheddar shortbread biscuits were the top contender. I had to keep a watchful eye my fiance didn’t sneak too many away from me! It was a real treat not only to receive such a generous package, but it was exciting to become acquainted with a new person who shares an interest in food and cooking. Food truly brings people together. Many thanks Deborah!