First Ever Foodie Pen Pal Box!

The Lean Green Bean
Last month I was reading Made by Mike and saw his post about Foodie Pen Pals and was immediately intrigued. Who doesn’t love getting mail right? And mail that is also edible and a surprise? I am definitely on board. So I signed up and got my package from Katie over at Katie Moves just the other day. Here’s what I got:
Fun right? She is totally on board with my love of fall and sent me yummy warm drinks and falltime flavors. I brought 2 of the treats to work with me for lunch yesterday and devoured the Ritter Sport Chocolate Covered Shortbread already – yum!
If you want to get in on the fun, here are the details:
-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 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.

If you’re interested in participating for October, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by October 4th as pairings will be emailed on October 5th!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!


French Fridays with Dorie – Spice-Poached Apples (and rice pudding)

This recipe was very exciting to me. As I’ve mentioned before, summer is dead to me. I am officially over it. I am ALL about fall right now, so the idea of poaching apples with spices seemed very homey and comforting to me. As you can see from the picture, things did not really go as planned.

Let me set the scene: I get done with work at 6 and have to run to the store for a few things (including the apples for this recipe). So I get there and they have this beautiful fall display set up with bushels of apples and cornstalks and pumpkins and all that shit and I was drawn in like a moth to a flame. Seasonally appropriate and locally-grown McIntosh apples? As Stefon would say, “Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes!” So I buy a whole bag and come home ready to rock this! I’ve got every burner on my stove going because I’m also making dinner and the rice pudding to serve with this because I’ve never made rice pudding before and I was intrigued by it for some reason. So I make the syrup and get the apples ready. Aren’t they pretty?

Notice (as I did after taking this photo) that I forgot to peel the apples before cutting them in half. Since I find it really hard bordering on impossible to peel a cut apple I just decided to go with it and make the poached apples “rustic.” I got them cored, dropped them into the syrup and brought it to a boil, then covered it as Dorie instructs. She also says you should check the apples “early and often” so I thought I was being a really good girl by checking them after 4 minutes. What did I find? Freaking applesauce with apple skins floating on the top! Really watery applesauce to be honest. You’d think that as a kind of experienced baker I would have remembered that McIntosh apples tend to cook down and sort of melt but as I said – moth to a flame. They were so pretty and shiny! So I salvaged what I could of the remaining apple chunks and made the best of it. It tasted really very good and the rice pudding might be one of my new favorite things. If I ever have kids I am going to be the mom who makes rice pudding from scratch when her kids are sick. That’s how much I loved it. I cut up an unpoached/unapplesauced apple to give the idea of apples to the mush and sprinkled some almonds for crunch. It really was super yummy – just not all that pretty.

I’d like to try this again with pears and not fudge it up. And if you are wondering who Stefon is, watch this video and die laughing. You can thank me later.