Friday, November 30, 2012

November Foodie Pen Pal

   My real-life friend, Leila, has blog called Spinach and Skittles that I follow. She has been participating in something called Foodie Pen Pals and it looked like fun. She was posting about boxes of yummy food people were sending her through FPP. I decided to give it a try this month. I mean who wouldn't like getting a box of presents? And then when you open it, it is filled with food! Delicious food that someone has hand picked as a special treat just for you!
Yes please.

   So I signed up for it and gathered my foods from around Walla Walla and sent my package off to Debbie in California.

   But then came the day that I had been waiting for. I got my first box of food! All the way from Boston! And it was everything I had been dreaming of!

   Emily from Stay Happy Stay Healthy was my Foodie Pen Pal this month. She is so sweet! She looked up Walla Walla and when realizing we didn't have a Trader Joe's near by went and hooked be up with some of her Trader Joe favorites. She didn't realize I have never been inside a Trader Joe's before. It was so cool to get a taste of what everyone else has been talking about and it was even better because Emily was my personal shopper. I love how she attached a cute little note to everything to tell me a little about how she uses the food.
   The Pumpkin Pie Spice was the first thing I tried. I put some in with my coffee and had a homemade pumpkin spice latte. Here is the recipe, Emily. Now you have another recipe for your pumpkin pie spice that is oh-so-good. Emily gave me her Pumpkin Pie Granola recipe which uses pumpkin pie spice of course. AND she sent along a bag of her homemade Pumpkin Pie Granola! I am not exaggerating when I say this is the best granola that I have EVER tasted! I have not made granola before but I enjoy buying the bags of granola from the old ladies at the farmer's market. Not only did she give me the best granola recipe; she gave me suggested substitution that turns the recipe into Vanilla Cookie Granola. WHAT! I can't wait to get my granola baking on!
   The Trader Joe's Spicy Black Bean Dip is delicious and rather addicting. I had some with chips. I probably could have just dipped my finger in because it is so good though. Emily said she also eats it with eggs or tuna. Oh My! I think a tuna fish and black bean sandwich is in my near future. I would have never thought to put this combo in a sandwich but I am going to trust Emily. Obviously she has amazing taste buds!
   Like Emily said, "This dark chocolate is to die for!" I love chocolate, but not the kind that is over processed and tastes similar to probably eating plastic. This only has 5 ingredients and doesn't have the yucky processing after taste. Only chocolate. Because it's dark chocolate it must be good for me, right? I took a stash for at work. It's a good thing too. I've needed a happy place the last few days. But that's why I love teaching. Never a dull moment. Funny thing though...Emily puts the chocolate in yogurt but mine always disappears before I can get it into the yogurt.
    My little family and I spent the day before Thanksgiving at some close friends' house making cookies. The kids had so much fun with the cookie cutters. I especially though the brown gingerbread leaves were especially festive for Autumn.
   I am sitting here writing on this crisp fall morning while I warm up with the Prince of Peace Green Tea. I stirred in a bit of local honey for sweetness and I have a cup of warm bliss. What a wonderful way to start out my day. I am savoring the last sip of my tea and my peace because it is that time of day where school morning chaos begins.

Thank you Emily!

The Lean Green Bean

Lindsey from The Lean Green Bean and who runs FPP is doing something special next month's FPP
Instead of exchanging boxes; everyone gives what they would have spent on the box of food for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Come on, you know you want to join!

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