Friday, May 31, 2013

Foodie Penpal Month 9

I had a really fun and unique opportunity with my Foodie Penpal this month.

First, I will share that I sent my package off to New York with some of my favorite local treats from Allo! Chocolat and Poppin' On Broadway. I received a nice email from her about my package:

I adored the package you sent and have slowly been making my way through it. My favorite was deff that amazing popcorn with the cheese being a close second! Thank you so much for everything :)

Now the really fun part!!!

I had the good fortune of being paired with a Penpal from Wisconsin, and in fact she was so close to me that she suggested we go out to eat together and actually meet up. Yep a Foodie Penpal Meetup!!

Christina is also a local food blogger. We decided to meet up at Cafe Corazon that is known for using many local items in its dishes. I hadn't had the fortune of dining there yet, but heard so many wonderful things about the place.

It's a small restaurant in Riverwest, but just walking in the door, I was overcome with the scent of wonderful mexican spices. Christina had grabbed us a table for two by the bar, which is also near the kitchen and just about everything else because it is so small. But the place was perfectly busy and the outdoor patio was hopping as well. Looks like a patio expansion is on the way for later this summer!

We reviewed the menu and I asked Christina what they were known for. She told me everything was great and she had eaten a lot of the dishes and had no complaints. I settled on the special of the night; tequila orange shrimp and Christina got the tofu fajitas.

I ordered myself a drink called El Diablo that also came recommended from Christina and it was named properly as it was devilishly delicious!!! A perfect combo of tequila, orange liqueur, pomegranate and grapefruit juice.

While we waited for our food, we talked about a few other restaurants in the area that we liked or told the other to try and talked about our blogging. Christina loves to bake versus me that loves to cook. :) I told her about a few of the foodie things that I do around the city, like the MKEFoodies events and she told me about a few blogger groups as well. We hope to meet up at some future events!

Our food came out a short time later and I knew just from the look of the plate, I was in for quite a treat. The shrimp was strong (not overly) with citrus flavor and just a small bite from the tequila. The black beans had a sort of sweet taste to them that was surprisingly different but really, really good. The rice was good as well. I did get corn tortillas with it, but decided to not fill up on those and just eat up all the shrimp.

Christina's fajitas came out sizzling and she was only able to eat about half of the huge portion. It was one of her favorite dishes and she took the rest home in leftovers.

After our plates were cleared, she gave me my Foodie Penpal package and I couldn't wait to look inside.

So many great treats!

I love rice crackers, but didn't know they came in this larger size - JACKPOT!

 Tea! You can't go wrong with tea!!!

I had a strawberry patch when I was a kid and can't wait to grow this!

This smooth dark chocolate bar helps restore the Amazon - I ate this while writing this post :)
Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds and these just happen to be Mexican spiced from a local store . Can't wait to try them.
These cookies reminded me of Ritz crackers with Rolos mushed in the middle that my family used to have at holiday parties. But these are on a gourmet level. The wafers are so light and flaky with a hint of salt and the chocolate creme is almost like mousse in the middle. I will have to ration these like I do my Girl Scout cookies until I find more!

 While watching Mad Men on Sunday, I polished off about half of this bag of popcorn the other night.

I thanked her for the lovely treats and after we paid the bill, we went outside and took a picture. It was a beautiful night out and a great way to end the evening.

If you want to join the fun of the Foodie Penpal program (and maybe have as fun of an experience as I did this month), here are all 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 & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. 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.

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