This month I decided to participate in Foodie Penpals, an idea that was created by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean. It was SO much fun, and I can’t wait to do it again next month! Full details about the program can be found at the bottom of this post. In a nutshell, you sign up over at Lindsay’s site and are paired with another blogger or reader at the beginning of the month. Then, you send them a package of goodies ($15 limit), and you receive a package of goodies from a different blogger or reader. At the end of the month, you write a blog post about the items you received if you are a blogger. If you are a reader, you can opt to write a guest post for the person who sent you items.
This month I was paired with a reader named Natalie. She was super sweet and sent me some amazing goodies (store-bought and homemade!). In addition to the goodies in the box, she also included a recipe for a pumpkin fruit dip. I almost planned a Halloween party so I had an excuse to make buckets of it. Yum!
Here’s everything. Let’s take a closer look.
Oh yes… that is homemade whole wheat pumpkin bread and power balls. Please note that she did send me an entire loaf of bread. I just couldn’t wait to try it so I dove right in! It was moist and tasted like fall. As soon I opened the box, I could smell the spices as if this bread were baking in my oven despite the fact that it was in a sealed plastic bag!
The power balls were one of my favorite things she sent. I had to do a couple of days of observation this week in a school beginning at 7:30 a.m. Those power balls were my breakfast and allowed me to survive sans snacks with middle schoolers and kindergarteners until lunch. I’ve pinned a few breakfast ball and breakfast bar ideas onto my Pinterest board, but I haven’t gotten around to making them yet. After this week, I will definitely be making some ASAP. They were a lifesaver!
I was so excited to see those packets of Justin’s! I have seen these around the internet, but haven’t tried them. They are so great for an on-the-go snack because they are portioned out and take up very little space. I’ve been taking them to class with me and squeezing them on pieces of sliced apple. The flavors she included were maple almond, honey peanut butter, and chocolate hazelnut. The PB Thins were also a perfectly portioned treat. Yum, yum, yum!
Dark chocolate AND coffee?! This girl read my mind! I’m saving this bar for a rainy day. Particularly one where I have been stuck in traffic for hours and want nothing more than to settle down into a bubble bath, grab a magazine, and spoil myself with chocolate and red wine. One of my favorite treats is chocolate covered espresso beans so I’m sure this bar will be divine!
I am kicking myself for not trying these with the Justin’s nut butters. I’m sure they would have been so good with them. Oh well. These are awesome with Laughing Cow cheese and would be a great healthy party treat. They would be a prefect accompaniment to a cheese and meat platter or as a substitution for bread in a traditional crostini. You could also serve them topped with bruschetta.
Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE beets. Roasted, raw, pickled, or canned. It doesn’t matter how they are prepared; I can’t resist a beet. I used to keep cans (plural) of them in my desk at work for midday snacks. I’m not kidding. I have been trying to make baked sweet potato and beet chips for a while now and my finicky oven just will not cooperate. Everything will be going according to plan, then I sneeze, and the entire sheet pan of chips is burnt to a crisp. One of these days I’ll get it right. In the meantime, these are a great swap. Was I supposed to eat the whole bag in one sitting? Yes? Good.
I want to thank Natalie again for such a wonderful first experience with Foodie Penpals! I loved everything and now have a few new items to add to my snack rotation. THANK YOU a million times over! xoxo!
There you have it! Does it sound like fun? Find out how to become a Foodie Penpal below.