September Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!

I’m getting better with my timing! Only one day behind 🙂  well, I was only one day behind when I started putting this post together… oops…

This month I received my package from Christine from New Jersey, she blogs over at ChristinesQuietSpot, She’s newer to blogging and makes THE most adorable cards! I was lucky enough to get one- right on the fridge it went!

photo 1.JPG I got home to see this waiting for me to open it. Evan was almost as excited as I was!

What better way to put her card on the fridge than with a New Jersey magnet!

I told you it was a cute card!

Christine also sent me some recipes, along with some of the ingredients.

   I’ve never seen whole Nutmeg before, now I need a little spice grinder thingy!

Red Lentils- Something else I’ve never eaten, let alone cooked!
I ended up making some with spaghetti and a homemade red sauce with some cheese and it was pretty easy and tasty!

Cannot wait to try this!  It sounds yummy!

Eric’s became a little more interested in the box when he saw these peach jalapeno preserves, we still haven’t tried it yet- but I have some pork chops that need cooking this week.

I LOVE this blueberry spread, it and the jalapeno peach preserves are from her area- how cool that Christine took the time to find me something local 🙂

     I think the chocolate may be local too, considering the name and all.

THESE COOKIES ARE AMAZING! Not overly sweet or lemony, just perfect! A must have, Christine suggested eating them with ice cream, I’ll have to try it next time I buy some ice cream.

The other favorite of the package was the coconut chips from Trader Joe’s.  O M G… No words for them, crunchy, sweet and savory, mmm. Of course I can’t find the picture of the bag, but it’s ok because they are still delicious.

I sent my September package to Karen over at Read: Cook: Live. Karen is a high school teacher in Brooklyn, NY ( which proved to be a somewhat irritating shipping/receiving experience!) I love how she cooks things inspired by what she’s reading for her blog, it makes me want to be more adventurous in my cooking!

Interested in Foodie Pen Pals?  Check out the Foodie Pen Pal page over at The Lean Green Bean

FPP post Foodie Penpals

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal! (August)

Well it’s been busy around here- which caused a little delay in getting my Foodie Pen Pal reveal post together, but here it is all the same!

This month I was lucky enough to receive my package from Ashley, it had some really great stuff in it that I’m going to have to keep around my house now, luckily I have a Trader Joe’s nearby- which I obviously don’t frequent enough!

The first thing to greet me when I opened the box was a little note from Ashley describing the goodies she sent to me (I didn’t get a picture of the card but it was pretty!)

I am in love with this Valencia peanut butter with roasted flaxseed which is perfect to satisfy that sweet/salty craving when you put it on banana, or even on a sandwich with blueberry jelly. Not enough yum to describe it! And those little roasted flaxseeds give it an extra factor of deliciousness!

20120908-012840.jpg

Of course one of my favorite parts of the box was the virgin coconut oil, I seriously use this stuff in pretty much everything, the secret is after you use the spoonful for cooking wipe off the rest and use it on your skin- smells amazing and no chemicals or anything that you find in lotion, skin can’t get any softer. Another favorite way to use it- put a little in a pan to stove pop popcorn, it turns out sweet like kettle corn with a tiny hint of coconut flavor… Mmmm…

20120908-013008.jpg

There was some whole wheat pasta and cheesy tortellini which I cooked up with some butter, olive oil, and parmesan then topped it with zucchini and mushrooms- amazing!

I was excited to get the Trader Joe’s Spiced Chai mix- it is delicious, I don’t know what it’s called when you mix chai with coffee and almond milk but it’s amazing 🙂

I got to send my package to Jennifer who has a blog of her own, so I won’t post any spoilers here about what I sent her. Other than the fact that I am getting a post card sent out to her this week for her classroom!

So what is Foodie Pen Pals?
Lindsay over at  The Lean Green Bean has taken the time to put together an amazing program where bloggers and blog readers get paired with someone different each month to send a $15 box of foodie goodies to, and you get paired with someone different to receive a box from  For a more detailed explanation of the program check out the Foodie Pen Pal page at The Lean Green Bean

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day! (July)

– I want to apologize in advance for my links being a little messed up (don’t have the icon) but today my phone not being cooperative!-

Today is reveal day for Foodie Pen Pals! I know that by my standard of Ohio time I am a little late on getting this up, but considering I spent the majority of my day on planes and in airports starting off a family vacation in California, I think I can be excused 🙂
More on the trip later- this is about the great box of goodies I received from my July pen pal Emma!
Emma isn’t a blogger but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her stuff! When she asked what type of things I liked I told her that I basically try to stay healthy, loved coconut and Tony’s Creole seasoning… I open my box and got some pretty great surprises 🙂

20120731-230750.jpg a couple of Clif bars that were really good (I’ve never had one before!- I know it’s crazy…)

20120731-230956.jpg
a big bag of yogurt raisins (I think Evan was even more excited at this point, because that is one of his favorite treats)

20120731-231611.jpg

Emma has also helped me restock on my Tony’s which I was almost out of since it goes on everything I make
<img src="https://caitlinmomma.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/20120731-231157.jpg" alt="20120731-231157.jpg" –
and there was a 13 bean soup mix, I still need to make it, I've never attempted a bean soup before but have actually thought about it before this package arrived!

20120731-231213.jpgThe last thing I got to was a heavy wrapped item- I couldn’t even guess what it might be since Emma had asked about my interest in Tennessee local items… I had absolutely no idea what would be inside…
I open it and it’s a coconut curry sauce- something else I’ve been thinking about trying but never had the courage to! I can’t wait to get home from vacation and make something amazing with it- speaking of that, I’m open for suggestions on recipes or ideas on curries or sides or anything for that type of meal!

20120731-231233.jpg

Thank you Emma for a wonderful box of goodies!

Want to know more about Foodie Pen Pals?! Check out my previous blog post about it or just click this nice little link here

Wondering about what I sent to my pen pal Lisa in Utah this month? Since she also does not have her own blog she was kind enough to write a little bit about what she got from me 🙂

“This was my very first time participating in Foodie Pen Pals and it was so much fun! I enjoyed both the sending and receiving and am so happy that I discovered this little gem of the “blogging world”.
I myself am not a blogger but often find myself stumbling upon them when surfing the Internet (enter Foodie Pen Pals). Caitlin has asked me to write a short response to what she sent me and she did such a good job, that of course I said yes!
When I opened my box I was greeted with a can of tuna. This was hilarious! When we first made contact via email I told her the one thing I am not a fan of when it comes to food is fish, but doubted if that could be sent in a box. She showed me! I am now the proud owner of a little can of tuna and a note saying she hopes I have a cat to “enjoy the fishiness”. So funny!
As I continued to sift through the goodies I found many hand written notes along the way. This was the best part! It added such a personal touch and made me very happy. Speaking of being happy: I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER! When I picked up a container of white chocolate peanut butter I about died! It has been so delicious and I have enjoyed every bite of it!
A close second to the peanut butter was a single sugar cookie. It doesn’t seem like much but attached was a note stating that it was from a bakery Caitlin often stopped at on her way to math tutoring for some inspiration. I myself have struggled with math my entire life and loved having a little bitef of something that helped a fellow “math struggle-er” along her way.
All in all this was so much fun and is something that I want to continue doing for a long long time!
Thanks again, Caitlin!”

20120731-232123.jpg

20120731-232136.jpg

Busy Weeks…

Where is the summer going??? It literally feels like my birthday was just a week ago and I posted on here… It’s been almost a month- I need to find a better system to keep up with posting, tell me what has worked for you when it comes to keeping up with something or staying focused/organized!

Almost two weeks ago now, Eric my hubby and I were part of the MuckRuckus MS in Troy, OH. Having never done any type of an organized run, let alone a 5K with mud and obstacles, we were more than a little nervous… His sister had talked us in to signing up months ago, we had all these great intentions of training and preparing… That went well for about 2 weeks 🙂
20120713-163242.jpg

The day of the run came, we were up early making the 45 minute drive to Fulton Farms where the run was being held- go figure, we missed the exit… Then we got stuck by a train that was stopped on the tracks… Not a good start to a morning where everyone in the car was already on edge! It was a hot and muggy morning and we were [thankfully] signed up for the first start time at 9:00am.

20120713-163442.jpg

We had no idea what we were in for… I had looked at pictures of mud runs and wasn’t overly nervous about the obstacles, mainly the running. It wasn’t that bad- granted I walked most of it with my sis-in-law… I still managed to hurt my toe to the point where I’m in the process of losing the nail 😦 Note to self: Do not wear tight shoes to run in, especially when you will be jumping off obstacles and slamming your toes into the shoe… It leads to your Doc wanting to drill through the top of your toenail a week later to relieve the pressure from the blood type blister that has developed under there from the aforementioned slamming… Ultimately relieving the painful pressure, which is a plus…
Anyway- The good part of the story is that we all finished the run (Eric came in 4th of the 5k runners!), we got a t-shirt, food, and 2 tall beers once we were done 🙂 Great experience for our first 5k!

20120713-163901.jpg

There is another local 5k this Saturday morning that I just found out about the other day, I think we may try to do that also- I may not, we will see what my toe thinks about the treadmill before I make any decisions.