Last month Townie sent me a link for this really cool blogger who has set up a pen pal program for foodies. I signed up thinking it would be interesting to see what came. Townie waited for me to be the guinea pig 🙂 And to be honest I was pleasantly surprised, having had no expectations. The idea is you get paired with someone to send food to, $15 limit, and someone different who will send food to you. I sent a box of all locally made treats to Rebecca at Hankering 4 Hummus so you can pop over there to see what she had to say about what I sent. But, more importantly I received a totally awesome box of yummy goodies from Ritsa at Runner Ritsa.
Ritsa sent me a questionnaire about foods I liked and disliked and she was able to send me a box of goodies that included breakfast, lunch, snacks and treats all of which I have NEVER seen in my small town (of course if I ventured into the likes of the organic market or the REI I might have seen some of it!) My favorite was by far the Sea Salt flavored Rice Works crisps. She included a nice note and a recipe for, Brown Sugar Oatmeal Coconut Chewies, cookies I can’t wait to try! I will be sure to let you know when I do so Ritsa gets full credit 🙂
I have also been totally lacking in sending PROPER thanks to Ritsa as the package arrived while we were on vacation. So, when I got back, on Tuesday, and my mail was back in service I got the package and have been whipping through it for the last few days. Hubby is out of town and 3 year old has been a pill so I am lacking motivation these days. Therefore, I did not take photos but I have added links to the websites for the products I received:
- Justin’s Maple Almond Butter – Ritsa suggested trying it on a banana and that is exactly what I had for dessert last night. YUM!
- Moo Organic Chocolate with Granola – her comments were pretty cute, “it’s organic so it must be good for you”! Mind you, I don’t know that I need the words “organic” on a label to convince me that chocolate is life saving (because we ALL KNOW it IS!!), but it was pretty yummy all the same! 🙂
- Oat Revolution: Apples and Cinnamon – I love oatmeal for breakfast, if I am going to do breakfast at all. I have always been partial to brown sugar but this was really yummy and one packet was filling. The addition of flax was something new and I think that might have been the ticket.
- Annie Chun’s Noodle Bowl: Pad Thai – Ritsa really did take my entire questionnaire into consideration when shopping for food. I mentioned loving THai food and she made it happen. I have never had a ready-to-eat quick meal of Thai food, but this was actually quite tasty!
- Celestial Seasonings: Gingerbread Spice Tea – I told her I loved iced tea so she went “festive” on me. This is the one product I haven’t yet tried. My kids are tea drinking junkies so I hid the box fearing it would disappear and I totally forgot to make myself a cup!
- Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Bar: Apple and Honey – this was really chewy, unlike some granola bars. My 3yr old basically stole it from me shortly after opening and it quickly disappeared. 2 thumbs up.
- And the Riceworks crisps linked above.
If you get the chance, I highly suggest you sign up for Foodie pen pals. It was fun and who doesn’t just LOVE trying new foods!! It was started by Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean. It’s a few easy steps to get started:
-On the 5th of the 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 can choose 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 residents & UK residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. 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. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!