Foodie Pen Pals: April 2014

The Lean Green Bean

This month’s foodie pen pal was great. If you are unfamiliar with what the program a quick overview of the program entails signing up from a month to month basis, you get set up with someone else (can be another blogger or a reader), you exchange shipping information and any dietary restrictions and then you give and receive a nice box full of goodies! Click on the image above if you want more info. This month my foodie pen pal was Mandy from Minnesota. My main request for my foodie pen pals is to send me any of their favorite foods or something that is unique or local to where they live and that’s exactly what I got!

FoodiePenpalApril2014

Wild Rice – having seen wild rice in grocery stores I’ve always been a little intimidated to get it so I’m glad Mandy included this in this month’s package and can’t wait to use it. And it’s 100% naturally grown from Minnesota Lakes and Rivers :)

Honey – this pure natural honey is also straight from Minnesota and having very little left from the generic brand I bought a few months back, I’m eve more excited to have received this.

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Foodie Pen Pals: March 2014

The Lean Green Bean

This month’s foodie pen pal was great. If you are unfamiliar with what the program a quick overview of the program entails signing up from a month to month basis, you get set up with someone else (can be another blogger or a reader), you exchange shipping information and any dietary restrictions and then you give and receive a nice box full of goodies! Click on the image above if you want more info. This month my foodie pen pal was Yvette from San Antonio, Texas. My main request for my foodie pen pals is to send me any of their favorite foods or something that is unique or local to where they live… Yvette did not fail to deliver #punintended.MarchFoodiePenpalWhite Corn Tortilla Chips – tortilla chips are my favorite… with salsa, cheese, guacamole and with chili of course!

Clint’s Texas Salsa – what’s better than salsa with your tortilla chips and these are straight from Texas. Haven’t had them yet but I’m excited to try it.

Big Red – Yvette mentioned that you can’t get these outside of Texas so I felt extra special :)

Mexican Wedding Cookies – I seriously couldn’t get enough of these, they were so yummy. They reminded me of snicker doodle cookies, Dave said they reminded him of cinnamon toast crunch… either way they were delicious!

If you want to see last month’s post, click here.

cupake tasting recap: the best things in life are sweet

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a cupcake tasting with Boston Bloggers. This was actually my first time taking part in one of their activities and couldn’t think of a better event to go to. The cupcake tasting was at Sweet Cupcakes in their back bay location. I’ve been there once before a couple of years ago and I remembered it being super yummy so I was excited to go. The event started with an introduction from the owner who gave us a little run down on the history of the company, these were some of the things that stood out to me:

– they prefer to use natural flavoring and colors which is why many of their cupcakes look very monotone (with a few exceptions, one being the red velvet)
– all of their cupcakes are hand-made
– they use a signature double dollop swirl for the frosting
– they have responded to trends in the industry by incorporating cupcakes are gluten-free and even have treats for dogs!
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Irish coffee was being served by the two girls that worked there that evening and they also had full-sized cupcakes that were cut into piece (like a cappuccino cupcake and a Guinness cake with Bailey’s frosting) in addition to mini cupcakes with a variety of flavors. They were all delicious but my favorite was the red velvet.
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The best part was being told I could try anything from the case {anything?! O_O}. I thought the ones in the case were off limit but with a huge decision upon me I decided to use a lifeline. The girl behind the case helped me narrow it down and suggested the hot chocolate cupcake is the best option for chocolate lovers so I went with that… it didn’t disappoint! This one had chocolate cake with a ganache center and an airy frosting that came with a red straw, adding to the cute factor. They provided me with a box so I took this one home with me.
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At Sweet they don’t make the cupcakes on location but instead get them delivered from their Hyde Park bakery. They order enough cupcakes so that they have around 50 cupcakes at the end of the day so even the last customer would have options and anything else left over the staff gets to keep. Considering this was the case I’m surprised that they didn’t allow us to take the cupcakes home… just a few minutes after I got a box another girl wasn’t allowed to take one with her (I’m guessing the one I got was an oversight from their end). Since it was a “tasting” we had to eat it on location but since it was already the end of the day and assuming that every night they have 30+ cupcakes left over what’s one day without the staff being able to take the cupcakes home? Oh well… we did also got a nice bag with treats that included a hand written note from them which was a nice touch. I can confirm that they were all delicious ;)
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Foodie Pen Pals: February 2014

The Lean Green Bean

This is my first time participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program hosted by The Lean Green Bean. A quick overview of the program entails signing up from a month to month basis, you get set up with someone else (can be another blogger or a reader), you exchange shipping information and any dietary restrictions and then you give and receive a nice box full of goodies! Click on the image above if you want more info. Now to get to the meat of the post, here is what I got from my foodie pen pal Kaycee from My Crafty Zoo. She has a great site where she does reviews, recipes, crafts, and giveaways… definitely swing by her site and check it out! In her note she mentioned that these were some of her favorite products but a lot of this stuff are MY favorite products… nut mix? dark chocolate? almond butter? yes please!
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2 super easy ways to make a valentine’s day inspired meal

valentine's day oatshappy valentine’s day!
It’s the day of love. Yes, the day where flowers are over priced and chocolates sell by the boxes. Personally I don’t like getting flowers on days like this because, well, it’s the “easy” thing to do and I’ll pass on the carb-centric, heart-shaped chocolates. But I’m not high maintenance either, a simple dinner would do just fine. So, wanna know how to make a valentine’s day inspired meal? simple:
1. use heart shapes
2. use the color red

Looks like I just nailed it with my oats :). Perhaps I’m being a little facetious but if you want a real and useful list head on over to Heather’s post from Better With Veggies, 14 ways to say I love you. There’s also one more way, the 15th way is via a blog post for the world to see. On that note… baby, I love you!

is it really a miracle? my thoughts on the Miracle Noodle

miracle noodle bowldon’t expect a miracle
Have you heard of these noodles? They are made of soluble plant fiber so they have no calories, no carbs, no protein, no fat… no nothing! For some reason there’s something about “no nothing” foods that creep me out. In fact, I have a couple of Walden Farms syrups that are also “no nothing” foods that also freaks me out. I keep thinking about what sorts of weird science has to happen in order to makes these things {hmmm… }. Ok, snap out of it! Let’s give them a try.

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sweet potato turkey chili

sweet potato chilii’m a little chili
Chili is one of my favorite foods. It’s been a while since I’ve made this so I decided to add this to the menu for my Mexican date night with Dave. For this one I incorporated sweet potatoes and it was also extra spicy. Dave said this was possibly the best batch I’ve ever made but I personally would’ve preferred less spiciness although it was pretty delicious. I made this one on the crockpot and had it stewing for a good 6 hours… the smell of chili all day long was a bit torturous though.

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