Friday, August 31, 2012

Foodie Penpal Month 1

Foodie PenPal Program
I came across a blog about a month ago that mentioned participating in the Foodie Penpal program. I don't remember whose blog I saw it on originally but Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean is the head honcho at Foodie Penpal. She amazingly organizes thousands of bloggers monthly into this program as well as living her life, blogging for herself and keeping herself fit. Here is how the Foodie PenPal works:

You go to the Lean Green Bean Foodie PenPal page and sign up. Then, on the 5th of each month, the list of penpals is sent out. I was matched up with Sydney of Indiana and had to make contact with her and learn if she had any food allergies or favorite foods to personalize the package to her. After the contact, I could then head out to my local markets and buy things that are from Wisconsin, package it all up and ship it off to her. I was contacted by Carrie from Kansas who asked me about my foodie needs. So you don't have the same penpal to give and receive. Total expense for items is $15 and then shipping costs.You are responsible for signing up each month and there is no contract.

I shared this awesome concept with my friend Ellie and she too decided to join in the fun. We actually ran into each other at the Milwaukee Public Market while picking up items for our PenPals! You can read her post about her PenPal package here.

My penpal (Sydney) was a Vegan so I had to spend a little time researching before I sent off my package. I got her some spicy jam & Cherry De-lites from West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shop (yep I got vegan items at a meat and cheese store!), Rishi tea, and an Oskri coconut bar, all from Wisconsin. I wrote her a little note on a Milwaukee postcard and sent off the package. She told me that she might send me pics of my package along with her thoughts about the items, but I haven't received anything yet.

My package from Kansas
Now onto what I received from Kansas Carrie. I opened the box and on top was a humorous foodie card that brought a smile to my face before digging in. Under that was some black bean pasta noodles (never heard of this), gluten free pesto sauce, single serving hummus packs, pita crisps and a lemon poppyseed cookie.

Inside says "It Tasted Surprised!"
My sweet tooth called for the cookie right away. It is from the Alternative Baking Company. It was a rather large cookie so I savored it over 4 different sittings but it was absolutely spectacular. I don't think I have ever had a lemon poppyseed cookie and it reminded me a bit of a muffin with its soft texture. I saw that they sell these cookies at Good Harvest Market in Pewaukee and I hope they carry this variety as I will definitely be eating it again. PS - Good Harvest Market is having a Harvest Health Fair on Sept. 8 - a cookout, relay run, mini-classes, music and kid activities. Maybe check it out if you are free that weekend!

The hummus is from Wild Garden and it was Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus. I opened the individual packet and squeezed the hummus onto the pita crisps. This was a perfect after lunch snack for me. There was a good zip to the hummus and the pita crisps resemble light, airy crackers. The serving size of the crackers was listed as 9 and that was a perfect amount for the tube of hummus. What a unique concept. I hate opening a tub of hummus and not knowing how long it will last. Problem solved with these squeeze tubes. I hope I can find these around the Milwaukee area.They come in a box of 4 tubes but on the website I saw that they might even be sold individually.

The hummus spreads on like peanut butter!
I haven't had the Black Bean pasta yet or the pesto sauce, but the black noodles look so cool. I think making the noodles with some sauteed orange pepper pieces in it would be a great looking Halloween dinner. When I do make the pasta and pesto, I will be sure to blog about it.

This first month, although a little challenging for me to verify Vegan items, really opened my eyes a bit more to all the great items that Wisconsin truly has to offer to the foodie world. I will have ideas for months to come for the foodie penpals. I already signed up for September's penpal and can't wait to find out where they are from, and more importantly, can't wait to see what I will get in my package.

If you are interested in signing up for the program, check out Lindsay's website and/or search the term #foodiepenpal on Twitter or the web and you should find plenty of blogs written about the packages received in August.


  1. The black bean spaghetti sounds really interesting.

  2. I just learned about this recently and have been thinking of signing up, it sounds so fun. That card is hilarious and now I won't be able to stop thinking about those noodles, they look so fun and I love the Halloween dinner idea!