August Foodie Penpal
As many of you know by now the Foodie Penpal is an initiative by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and in the UK, it’s managed by Carol Anne Grady at The Rock Salt. This month, I hit the jackpot! My Foodie box came from Christine of Diary of a Dashing Fashionista, a former model turned runner. I don’t know where to start! Firstly, as I mentioned to Christine, we are Foodie twins, her box contained the sort of stuff I would source out for someone, it was, fun, adventurous and quirky. I know many people love to spout the adage that “It’s the thought that counts”, call me a perfectionist (that’s not a virtue!), but I have always insisted that the thought alone isn’t enough – it has got to be complemented with some effort! Rude? Perhaps, but I’m sure many of you have thought the same from time to time!
As usual, I digress. Back to Christine’s box. Now, Christine has gone the extra mile for my box and I am a very happy and grateful recipient! Not only was her box full of interesting goodies but she took the time to attach these cute little individual labels that say “Eat Me” on every single item! On the back of these labels, she described the stuff and sometimes, how she uses them. That took a lot of time and Christine, I am not only appreciative but extremely impressed!
To the goodies!
You can see from the picture above how lucky I was this month! See that dried corn in the brown box? I’ve never seen that before as we’re not big on popcorn but you’re supposed to put it in the microwave and get popcorn! So cool! Extreme top left is a bag of dried shiitake mushrooms and that bottle on the right of the picture is oyster sauce. Perfect for homemade Chow Mein and since I go through about a bottle of oyster sauce a fortnight, it was a very handy gift!
The yellow rectangular gift is a bar of white chocolate flavoured with cardamom, pistachios and saffron – I use this for baking quite a lot, they make great white chocolate brownies. Also in the picture is a packet of spices called Magnifico Meatballs, for making your own meatballs. My kids were quite excited with this as they love making meatballs from scratch and this is the first time they were seeing a ready made sachet of spices for it! I couldn’t stop them from making dinner that night and they chose to make burgers instead of meatballs which were absolutely delicious, a little spicy but gorgeous!
What do you think of the teas? Interesting, you say? The popcorn tea I’m not sure of but the Chilli Chai went down a treat but this is also the person who has a mug of Masala Chai every morning before she can start the day, so that was bound to be the case!
How cute are the “Eat Me” labels?! Christine also sent a cutout coupon for “Graze” which is a range of healthy snacks delivered to your door. There was also a lovely recipe for a late night Oriental Omelette! I told you she put a lot of effort into it, didn’t I?
There was another packet of spices that’s specifically for sweets and desserts. Christine says that she makes a yoghurt dish with this that everyone loves. As you can see, besides cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, etc., it also contains Grains of Paradise, (Aframomum Melegueta), also known as African Pepper. I fell in love with this spice years ago and use it quite frequently, it’s a little citrusy, spicy and fruity all at once – amazing!
Finally, these sweets! Christine has a Malaysian friend who introduced her to them. Of course, I grew up with them and absolutely loved them, they’re a bit like white milky fudge! Haven’t seen them in years, so was extremely and gleefully surprised and they have definitely been well received! My kids love them too!
So, there you have it, a wonderful, wonderful box of surprises! This, is what I feel the scheme should be all about, something different, something fun and most definitely, something personal. Thanks Christine, you are a marvellous Foodie Penpal and I hope your box of goodies is as good as mine!
I’ve still got the cardamom white chocolate. Did I tell you that it goes amazingly with coffee? Well, it does! I am now off with a homemade cup of Mocha (Mocha Lin) and some chocolate to visit Paloma as usual for her Friday Coffee Party at The Coffee Shop! To all you folks reading this, hop on over there for some musings and Mexican cooking! Just this week, she posted a recipe for Polvorones, some of you might know them as Mexican wedding cookies – I do!
So, see you all next week, off to a Coffee Party before catching the Red Arrows later today at The Bournemouth Air Festival!