Friday, August 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals: August (with guest post)

The Lean Green Bean

I am really enjoying be a part of the Foodie Pen Pal program! Every month I get to meet some great new people, share some goodies that I think will make someone happy, and receive some new treats! I was extremely lucky again this month being paired with two great women!

This month I received a package from Jodie from Jo's Jam Jar. Jodie is a native of Australia who now resides in Ohio! She loves healthy foods and was kind enough to share with me some of her favorite snacks. Jodie also was great because she also replaced my original foodie pen pal who got sick, so she was able to put something together for me last minute which I was extremely grateful for. In addition, everything Jodie included was gluten-free so Joe was extremely happy with all the goodies she included!

Here is a list of all the things Jodie sent:

  • Food Should Taste Good Blue Corn Tortilla Chips/Crackers: These were a cross between tortilla chips and crackers. I loved the grains that you could see all throughout the chip. We snacked on these all the time. I also dipped them in salsa and tzaziki  sauce, yum.
  • Santa Cruz Organic Strawberry Fruit Spread: This was sweet and smooth that I could just eat it with a spoon! (And I did!)
  • Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Raspberries: I love dark chocolate and the little bits of freeze-dried raspberry made for a decadent treat! I can usually eat a whole candy bar within seconds, but this is so rich that I eat one little square at a time! This is perfect for lovers of dark chocolate!
  • Numi Chocolate Pu-erh Tea: This was my favorite thing I received in the package! It's a very smooth tea and you get just a hint of chocolate. Pu-erh tea isn't supposed to cause jitters, but it did with me... but it was also my first day of graduate school so that may not be fair. I still LOVE this tea!
  • Loose tea: I don't have a tea ball so I haven't made this yet, but I just realized that I could probably make my own tea packet using a coffee filter!
  • Edible Ohio Valley magazine: This was a great addition! I loved seeing all the different places you could eat or visit in Ohio as well as some of the fresh recipes included in the magazine.
  • Aussie Scones recipe: Jodie sent me this recipe because she's from Australia. These look so delicious, I'm really looking forward to making these. I plan on making these soon and will post about them! (I love that every foodie pen pal I've had has sent me a recipe!)

Guest Post by my Foodie Pen Pal, Athena:

Athena is the lovely woman that I sent goodies to this month! She's the second gal from South Carolina that I've been paired up with since participating in Food Pen Pals. She seems extremely easy-going and open to trying new things, so I had a lot of fun putting together her package this month. She gave me a list of things that she likes and mentioned she likes to eat healthy but also has a sweet tooth, so I tried to incorporate that into her box.

Athena is not a blogger, so I asked her to do a guest post for me! This is the very first guest post on my blog, and I'm so excited to have Athena do this for me! Please read below for Athena's wonderful and thoughtful post!

Athena's box of goodies that I sent her!

I was paired up to receive a foodie package from Renee for the month of August, and was I ever lucky! I mentioned to her that I prefer health treats with a sweet indulgence every once in a while, and she nailed it with what she sent. I received some AMAZING treats from, Renee! Some of the items I received I had never heard of or had heard of but never tried. She really “got me” with this package. It’s like she was inside my brain or something. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the card that had a beautiful photograph of the mountains on the front of it. I can’t wait to frame it.

I love nut butters and to my surprise Renee sent me one of my favorite brands, Justin’s. I’ve never tried his chocolate hazelnut flavor before, and I must say it was very good paired with a banana! Another brand she sent was Artisana 100% Organic Raw Cacao Bliss. It’s chocolate coconut butter. I’ve wanted to try Artisana for a while, so I was super excited to see this one in the package as well. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I’d never had coconut butter before, but let me tell you, it was fab.u.lous!   I ate it on a banana (yes, I love nut butters and banana/fruit), and it was sinful. It was so good that I went on Artisana's website and sent them a comment about how much I loved it. They wrote me back and asked me to pick my top 4 choices of nut butters and they sent me samples of them. How awesome was that! Thank you for introducing me to them, Renee.

Renee was very thoughtful and included some Santa Fe OlĂ© green chile in my package for one because it was a local product, and two because I mentioned to her that my partner used to live in New Mexico and it would be something we could share together. She’s very thoughtful. I made turkey burgers and used them in a sauce for the top. Yum! Yum! Another local ingredient she sent was Valley Garlic Co’s Garlic Oil. I had no experience with garlic oil before receiving this, but I have made up for that. Little did I know I would get my first ear infection a few days after receiving this, and it just happens to be an all natural cure for an ear infection. I used a couple of drops a few times a day with warm compresses and Ibuprofen and voila. I was healed in a few days. I know that isn’t a foodie use, but it was a great tip I couldn’t pass up. Since receiving it, I’ve also used it in some rice pilaf and in a marinade for pork chops. This stuff is the bomb!

Other items that were included in my box were a World's Finest Chocolate almond bar ( these) and one of the new NestlĂ© Girl Scout Cookie flavored bars...caramel & chocolate. How did you know that was my favorite GS Cookie flavor? That bar should be illegal because it’s that good. Renee also sent me a Maple Pecan Pro Bar. I had never heard of these before receiving this one. Where have these been all my life? What a perfect breakfast bar! In addition to the breakfast bar, I received a bag of Love Grown granola. I LOVE this granola. I had the pleasure of winning 4 bags of it last year and let me tell you, it is all that and then some! Not only did she send me one of my favorite granolas, but she sent my favorite flavor (Sweet Cranberry Pecan). I’m convinced she’s a mind reader...LOL! I almost forgot about the package of chicken noodle soup mix she sent. I can't wait until the weather cools off so I can make it. It will be perfect on a cool autumn night.

I still can’t believe how perfect my delicious box of treats was! Renee was amazing at picking things out that fit my tastes. Thank you so much, Renee!

Thank you, again, Jodie and Athena for being wonderful Foodie Pen Pals. I am grateful that you were my foodie pen pals this month. I'm already looking forward to next month!

If you would like to participate in Foodie Pen Pals, head over to The Lean Green Bean for more information and to sign up! Also, you don't have to be a blogger to participate!


  1. Blue corn chips are so yummy! Very nice parcels.

  2. Mmmm what a delicious delicious box of goodies my friend :D
    And a nice guest post by Athena too :) - her box sounds fantastic!


  3. That endangered species bar is amazing - my favorite of their flavors! It looks like you came away with an awesome haul this month! :-)

  4. Thank you again for the wonderful goodies you sent and also for allowing me to guest post. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! :-)



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