Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals: January

Oy, things have been busy. The holidays have come and gone, and I have even more of a backlog of recipes to be blogged. But, today is not the day for that... it's time for another round of Foodie Pen Pals!

This month's package came from the wonderful Ashley of My Cats and I (Cooking) in Chi. I was hoping for some healthy-ish snacks (though I'm never opposed to the other kind!), plus some local goodies (because to me, that's half the fun of getting a package from someone living in a different part of the country). She COMPLETELY nailed it... plus there was a little something extra from her kitties to mine!

Foodie Pen Pals January

Clockwise from left: 
  • A recipe for pea pesto crostini
  • GoPicnic ready-to-eat meal
  • Milk & Honey cherry almond oatmeal
  • Rosemary and black pepper almonds
  • White cheddar Pirate's Booty
  • 2 caramels from Truffle Truffle - Mexican hot chocolate and pomegranate blood orange
  • Vosges Naga bar (chocolate with sweet Indian curry and coconut)
  • And for the kitties... a little ziploc with Buddy Biscuits cat treats!
If I wasn't going to be in Dallas for Super Bowl, I would have made the pea crostini for a party - it sounds so fresh and spring-y and yummy. It'll have to wait for another party, though. I haven't had the GoPicnic meal yet, but it's at work, destined for a deskbound lunch. The almonds are also at work and have been great for my mid-afternoon salty crunchy urges. I hadn't had Pirate's Booty in awhile, so I didn't realize how much I'd missed it - so good! 

The local (Chicago-area) goodies were the oatmeal, the caramels, and the Vosges bar. I took the oatmeal to work with me and ate it one morning... then immediately went on the Milk & Honey website to confirm that I could get it shipped to me. SO GOOD! The caramels were also excellent; I really liked the Mexican hot chocolate one (I'm a total sucker for cinnamon, chocolate and a little heat all mixed together). And the Vosges bar... I didn't realize they were based out of Chicago! I've been a huge fan of their chocolates for 5 or 6 years, and the very first one I'd ever had was the truffle version of this particular bar... so that was a fabulous surprise! 

And the Buddy Biscuits? Well, I'll let the photos do the talking. :) 

Oliver loves treats!

Amber and Orville also love treats!
Amber and Orville approve, too!

January's FPP was a smashing success - thanks again, Ashley! The cats thank you, too. :) 

Curious about Foodie Pen Pals? In a nutshell, there are monthly sign ups (so you're not locked in if life gets in the way in any particular month). On the 5th of every month, you're assigned a FPP, and you have until the 15th of that month to contact them, get their mailing address and food preferences, fill up a package, and send it their way! The spending limit is $15 before shipping, and the package must include something hand-written (a card, a recipe, etc.). If you're a blogger - on the last day of the month, you'll post a "reveal" (which you can add to the reveal round up on The Lean Green Bean). If you're interested in learning more, visit the Foodie Pen Pals page for all of the details!


  1. I don't know where people find all these fun Blue Diamond almonds!! Our grocery has maybe four flavors. Those caramels sound gooooood. I have such a weakness for caramels. My FPP box this month had some tasty cocoa cookies so I think my sweet tooth was appeased ;)

  2. I love those Go-picnic boxes, I always travel with them.

  3. I'm with Midwestern Bite - where is she finding these flavored almonds? The only ones I can find are the Wasabi and sometimes the Low Sodium (still a bit salty and my everyday fave but SO HARD to find!). Blue Diamond needs to get on the ball b/c there is a serious craving for the goods in the Boston area. Enjoyed your post - and the kitties!

  4. I'm so glad you like everything! The cats weren't too happy with the fact that I forced them to give away some of their precious treats, but I'm sure they'll survive :). I just tried the Pirate's Booty when I sent it and am now obsessed!!! If you order any Milk & Honey, be sure to also try the granola, especially the Cafe Mix. I'm pretty sure they sell it at Whole Foods, too, so it might be a good place to check before having it shipped if you have one near you.

    Midwestern bite & Jugglingwithjulia, I got the almonds at Target!

  5. Ashley, I do have a Whole Foods near me - I will have to check for the Milk & Honey oatmeal and granola! Fingers crossed that it has made it to the East Coast. :)

    1. And I will need to check Target for the almonds as well - I hadn't seen the fancy flavors in the supermarkets either (like jugglingwithjulia, I'm in the Boston metro area).