In January I signed up for Foodie Pen Pals for my first time. The basics: you sign up, you get a pen pal to send food to and one to receive food from. Your spending limit is $15 and they ask that you send them something specific to your area, or something fun and interesting along with a handwritten note.
I still write regular letters to my grandfather and remember the days of pen pals, so I thought what a great way to “meet” new people and try new foods. Stephanie L was my pen pal this month and she is from Texas. I was very happy to get my package mid month!!
I received a package for making black bean soup, BBQ seasonings, red pepper jam, dark chocolate with chili peppers, chocolate covered cherries, HOMEMADE larabars and a cute card with the recipe for the bars!
So, I dove right into one of the bars, and it was delicious!! Stephanie… thank you for those!! Ok, I will be honest, the only thing I didn’t try yet is the BBQ rub (saving that for Superbowl Sunday). I have had the jam once before at my brother’s, and found it is DELICIOUS on toast with a little cream cheese and some of the jam, so to have my own jar, that is awesome!!
The chocolates were yummy, but I was good and shared those with friends and coworkers. A couple people at work loved the chocolate with chilis. That is definitely not common here in Vegas!! (sorry I forgot to take pics of those)
This past weekend I made the soup. I will say, this was my favorite venture. I have never made a soup with beans that were fresh. So, it was an all day adventure, perfect for a Sunday. I soaked the beans, and started the process. The one thing that intrigued both Stephanie and I, the recipe called for orange juice.
So, about 8 hours and many steps later, I had soup!! I was so proud of this. In the future, I may do more with beans now that I have tried out this process. The soup was delicious. The orange juice gave a little sweetness to the spicy bite that the soup had. I topped it with plain greek yogurt (my sour cream) and some cheddar and enjoyed it with some tortilla chips.
All in all, a delicious box of food that definitely gave me the Texas feel. Thank you Stephanie!! (I learned it was also her first time in Foodie Pen Pals, great job lady!) I loved it so much, I quickly signed up for Foodie Pen Pals for February!!!
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:
-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!
-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 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 Penplas 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 interested, click the link above or on the side of this blog! Join us!!