Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day: July 2014

It’s been awhile since I have participated in a Foodie Pen Pal exchange. I have really missed connecting with fellow foodies so I thought I would start up with the program again this month. I was hoping my garden would be producing an excess of peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and tomatoes to send to my match, but no such luck. Maybe next month! :)

This month I was paired up with Betsy over at Betsy Between the Miles. She sent me a box of homemade and local items along with some Trader Joe’s favorites. Being from California, I love, love, love Trader Joe’s so I am always happy to find new items they stock. One of the first things I Googled when I moved to Chicago was Trader Joe’s. I honestly do not think I would have made the cross-country move if TJ’s didn’t have a Chicago store.

What Was in the Box?

July Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day | cucinakristina.com | #foodiepenpals


Rhode Island Red: This hot sauce is named after the state bird of Rhode Island where Betsy is from. Not only is this hot sauce delicious, it has “love” officially listed as one of the ingredients. Gotta love anything made with love, right? 

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam: Homemade jam is the super best! Want to hear something funny? I sent Betsy a jar of my Strawberry Habanero Jam! I was happy when I opened this because it means my jam supply is back to where it started. I am going to save this for a snowy day when I am yearning for a bit of summer. Based on the way our winter, spring, and summer has been, I might be cracking open that jar in September rather than January like I’m planning.

Cypriot Pyramid Salt: This is probably the item I am the most stoked on in the box! My husband and I spent our honeymoon on the East Coast and when we were in Maine, we discovered The Salt Cellar. This is where I learned about finishing salts and it changed the way I cook in the kitchen. There, I discovered that salt is supposed to be used to enhance flavors and brighten up a dish, not disguise it. The Salt Cellar’s motto is “don’t put salt in your food, put salt on your food.” Pyramid Salt is shaped like a pyramid (duh) and is intended to be used as a finishing salt. The finishing salts I currently own are all infused with another flavor so I am excited to have a pure salt-tasting finishing salt to add to my collection.

Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars: Because I work in a peanut/tree nut free school, I asked Betsy to pass along any nut-free snacks she was aware of. I have a repertoire of rotating peanut/nut free snacks, but am always on the lookout for something new. These fruit bars are made with only fruit (also making them gluten-free!) and will definitely be making their way into my lunch box this school year!

Thank You, Betsy!

A HUGE thank you to Betsy for sending such an awesome and thoughtful box of goodies to me! This reminded me of why I love participating in this swap so much, and I can’t wait to see who I am paired up with next month!

If you are interested in seeing what I sent to Betsy, hop on over to her blog and read her post. 

Past Foodie Penpal Reveals:

Wanna be a Foodie Penpal? Find out how! Click the stamp to sign up!

The Lean Green Bean

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

– 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 & UK 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!

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

8 Comments on Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day: July 2014

    • kristina.d.navarro@gmail.com
      August 16, 2014 at 10:10 am (1 year ago)

      Me too! It’s my favorite followed by blackberry.

      Reply
  1. laurie damrose
    August 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm (1 year ago)

    The salt sounds awesome.So does the Trader Joes bars.

    Reply
    • kristina.d.navarro@gmail.com
      August 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm (1 year ago)

      Both were delicious. I love Trader Joe’s!

      Reply
  2. Cami
    August 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm (1 year ago)

    My kids love Trader Joe’s fruit bars – I was so happy to find them for my daughter with food allergies!

    Reply
    • kristina.d.navarro@gmail.com
      August 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm (1 year ago)

      They are tasty and only 2 ingredients, both of which you can pronounce :)

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth
    August 5, 2014 at 9:50 am (1 year ago)

    Foodie pen pals sounds like such a cool concept! I used to live in a city with a Trader Joe’s and boy do I miss it. I just moved to a tiny town and it’s hard to find fun food items around here. I’m just going to have to spend more time in my kitchen being creative if I want to keep it interesting!

    Reply
    • kristina.d.navarro@gmail.com
      August 5, 2014 at 10:15 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Elizabeth –

      Foodie Pen Pals is a ton of fun! You don’t have to be a blogger to participate so I would encourage you to give it a try if you’re interested. When I moved to Chicago, the first thing I did was Google the closest Trader Joe’s to my apartment. I don’t think I would have made the move if there was not a TJ’s close by. I love it too! :)

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m participating again this month so be sure to come back on August 31 to see what I get this month!

      Reply

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