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Monthly Archives: July 2013

July Foodie Pen Pal

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I again participated in this month’s foodie pen pal program.  My pen pal this month lives in California.  I was hoping for some local items, and she did not disappoint.  I was sent produce!  I didn’t even think about sending real fruits when doing this program, but this lady did.  I got a nectarine, avocado, and an orange.  On top of that I got some dried snap peas, tomato pesto sauce, Tobasco, tea, popcorn, and a mixture of nutritional yeast and pepper.  The note she sent said she puts the nooch on her popcorn.  It’s funny as I do that already!!!!  It’s like she already knew me.

My pen pal box

My pen pal box

The foodie pen pal that I sent to does not have a blog, so she asked if I wanted a write up from her end.  I always want to hear what my pen pal thinks of my food, so I was HAPPY to oblige.

Hi, I’m Geneva and I received the July Foodie PenPal Package from Jordyn.  The first item I pulled out was a jar of homemade applesauce.  I could only imagine the wonderful bread it would make and I was not disappointed.  I served it at a brunch I had for 6 of my girlfriends.  They all raved about it and wanted my recipe.  I gave it to them, but explained that the star ingredient was a gift.
Next I pulled out a jar of homemade coconut, almond cranberry granola.  I eat a lot of yogurt and I love to add something crunchy.  This was perfect.  I am trying to make it last as long as I can, but I find myself dipping into the jar whenever I walk past. 
One of my favorite candies is taffy.  I received two big boxes of taffy in the box.  I will be treating myself for quite awhile. 
Next I opened a bag of Simple Balance multigrain salt & pepper crisps.  These savory, crunchy chip-like snacks went into my snack drawer at work.  Salt & Pepper snacks are my favorite.  I am really amazed that you picked some of my favorite things.  
The last item in my package was a bottle of great tasting hot sauce.  It has been used in several marinades already.  I also used it on an omelette I made last Sunday for breakfast. 
Jordyn you really did a wonderful job on putting together a package of goodies I will enjoy for quite awhile.

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-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 treatsThe spending limit is $15The 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!

The Lean Green Bean
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The Charmery

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I love my neighborhood.  Since having moved into Hampden proper, I’ve really been trying to take advantage of everything it has to offer.  One of the most amazing parts is “The Avenue“.  While touristy, it’s also really fun for locals as well.  There are plenty of shops and really amazing restaurants.  But one thing that has been missing in the neighborhood has been icy treats.  Well, now there is a new shop in town.

The Charmery

The Charmery

 

The Charmery opened up this past weekend.  If the crowds on Sunday at 5pm were any indication about how much the residents in Hampden were excited, I’d say that The Charmery will have no issues.  All the ice cream is made in store.  The dairy is locally sourced as is most of the other ingredients.  They definitely do a nod to Baltimore style flavors including an Old Bay caramel flavor and a Berger cookie flavor.  But what I found MOST exciting is that the store is offering vegan options!  After having some regular ice cream for the first time in a very long time two weeks ago and having a violent reaction (SORRY!), I was really happy for this option.  The option(s) could be a sorbet, a home made soda, or even coconut milk ice cream.  Luckily for me they had the coconut milk ice cream!

Toasted Coconut ice cream

Toasted Coconut ice cream

The flavor was toasted coconut, and it was DELICIOUS.  The texture is not as solid and creamy as what traditional milk ice cream would be, but it’s still so good.  The single scoop was for sure enough for one person to eat.  The ice cream was still so rich due to the fat content of coconut milk, plus the toasted coconut adds an interesting texture and deeper flavor to the cream.  I was told that the cones are currently not egg free, but they are working on getting a vegan option, plus they are working on creating their own vegan chocolate sauce.  I’m SUPER stoked to see this place grow.