Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foodie Penpals - January 2013

I must say my January Foodie Penpal was extremely cautious about our artificial-free dietary restrictions. They've all been great about sending "safe" items, but Shim (my January penpal) double checked to make sure all the questionable ingredients were okay. Highly appreciated! 
Its always tough when faced with home-made goodies at potlucks and parties, since you just don't know. It's not like they come with ingredient labels! Home-made is usually safer, since people don't often have a 400-ingredient cocktail of artificial "casserole" flavoring laying around. But many surprising things aren't! Like some bouillon or soup mix has fake colors, and people use those to flavor a variety of dishes in creative ways. And mac-n-cheese, of course. Marshmallows (hidden in Ambrosia salads and rice crispy treats.) Pickles (hidden in slaws, potato salads, and relishes. Etc. And most people couldn't tell you if the ingredient they used had artificial additives in it. So I'm always a fan when someone double checks in advance!
January's Foodie Goodies!
Home-made Peanut Brittle - 'Nuff Said.

Star Anise - Oooo! I'll need to find some fancy recipe that uses this. I usually don't venture much further than curry powder and Italian seasoning! A brief internet search said that it's often used in Asian slow-cooked dishes. Slow cooking (or "toss it in and wander off" cooking) is right up my alley! Although these Tea Eggs look both do-able and fun in bento lunches! Woot woot! Heyyy... Chinese New Year is coming up fast... Year of the Snake... Eggsss... Yesssss...

Dried Corn-on-the-Cobs (Corns on the Cob?) - At first I wasn't sure what these were. They were darker and shinier, so I thought maybe candied in some way [Hey. I like candy. My mind will pretty much ALWAYS go there!] But then Hubby said they were probably for popping. What what? Pop corn right off a cob? Regular dried corn? You don't need some special kind of popping kernel? Sooo excited to try these! [I haven't yet, because I'm embarrassed to say it took me a while to figure out what they were and look them up, and then what with getting hit by wave after wave of plague the past three weeks, we just haven't had a chance to enjoy eating anything!*]

*Except the peanut brittle. I had to forcibly stop myself from gobbling the whole bag the day my foodie box arrived, since it was too dark to take pictures. I shovelled sugar cereal veggies in my face until I was too full to eat more, so I wouldn't sneak back and snarf some more brittle!
Later that night, Hubby came to me and said, "You do realize you left a bag of peanut brittle unattended in the kitchen don't you?" Luckily he only swipered one piece. He's a brittle fiend!

Check out The Stahl Family to see how they enjoyed the goodies I sent!
blogbadgeAPPLE Foodie Penpals

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-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!
-On the 5th of every 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! 
-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 are 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 & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. 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. 
If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE ( to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by February 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th!

*If you're from Europe, please CLICK HERE ( to signup. 

1 comment:

  1. I was baffled to learn about the truth behind popcorn in October when I visited our CSA farm! It seriously blew my mind how simple and easy it is to make. And it tastes soooo much better as well. ;)


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