Tub on the Run


Foodie Penpals – June 2013

Another month has flown by, another month of exchanging food parcels on the Foodie Penpals scheme, set up by This Is Rock Salt for the UK, and the Lean Green Bean for the USA.

This month, I was paired with Kate (to send to), and Steph at Steph Loves Cake (sending to me).  I think I can safely say that this scheme has given me the most contact with people who share the same name as me (two months on the run, I’ve been paired with Stephs).  Anyway, I digress.

Kate doesn’t have a blog, and for a change, I was actually organised enough to take a couple of photos of what I sent.

Foodie Penpals June 2013

Kate let me know that she is vegetarian, so I made sure that there were no hidden meaty things in what I sent.  She’s also a fan of baking, and is getting into cooking Japanese food at home.  Having popped my Yo! Sushi cherry last month, I thought I’d share the sushi love and also sent a recipe card for a vegetarian sushi (courtesy of Channel 4’s recipe site).  The Wasabi was in keeping with the Japanese, but I have realised that I sent quite a sweet based parcel.  In my defence, I wanted to share a new love of Reese’s Nutrageous (introduced by Alena in last month’s Foodie Penpals).  I saw the pop corn kernels, and thought they were interesting (I don’t think they’re sweet though).  Kate emailed me back to say:

Thank you so much for my foodie parcel – it arrived on Friday and provided a nice distraction from the stresses of work. The nutrageous didn’t last long (I can’t believe I’d never tried one before – peanut butter and extra peanuts in a bar is definitely a winning combination) but I managed to exercise restraint and stash the other chocolate at the back of my drawer for future bad days. We also opened the wasabi (several of my colleagues who are big fans of things with wasabi flavouring were keen to try the paste by itself and succeeded in making their eyes water).

I spent all of this weekend unpacking and arranging my kitchen and am looking forward to being able to cook again. Now that everything is sorted out I think next weekend may be the time to embark on project ‘cook Japanese food’ and, as the weather looks set to be even hotter, the sushi recipe you sent sounds very appealing. I think the biggest challenges will be cooking the rice correctly so that it will hold together when rolled!

The cupcake liners are lovely and I’m thinking of filling them with cakes in some sort of rose/pistachio or possibly rose/white chocolate combination to take in to the office to celebrate my birthday later this month.

Thank you once again for a lovely stash of foodie supplies and for providing me with a further nudge to bite the bullet and attempt home-made sushi.

Steph sent me an amazing package – a package of two halves.

First up - snacks and treats

First up – snacks and treats

First up is the snacks and treats part.  As we all know, I have a love of peanut butter, but I have never branched out into other nut butters.  Well, no excuses now – I have cashew butter and almond butter to try out!  I’ve seen the Popchips advertised, but never bitten the bullet and bought them.  I’ve actually just finished them (shared with M), and they remind me of (much less greasy) Pombars.  I was quite impressed with them, especially with a syn value of 4.5 for the 23g pack.  Definitely ones for the shopping basket in the future.  Snack-a-Jacks I’m also a fan of, and to date, I haven’t found a flavour I don’t like.  As for Munchy Seeds – I was remarkably well restrained at the County Show this year, as the Munchy Seeds man is always in the food tent, and I have always bought from him in the past (love the chilli seeds, and snaffled most of the pot of vanilla pumpkin seeds in one sitting last year), so needless to say, I will definitely enjoy these honey seeds, though having just looked up their syn value (7 syns for 25g, so a quarter of the pack), these will be reserved for my low syn days (and M will have to ration them out!).  Lastly, in this first half, is the tea – mint and spearmint tea (smells amazing!) and Numi Tea’s Chocolate Pu•Erh.  This is one of the best things about Foodie Penpals – I would never have bought a big bag of chocolate tea bags as I didn’t know if I’d like them, so getting these in my parcel means I could try them out without committing to 40 teabags worth.  After getting dressed, I popped the kettle on and made a cup of chocolate tea.  It smelled gorgeous – smooth, chocolatey (in a dark chocolate kind of way) with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange.  Taste wise, it was really subtle – I really enjoyed this.

For the next half?  Let’s travel to Mexico!

My Mexican half

My Mexican half

I really like Mexican food.  It’s quick, easy and social.  M and I have chilli on a regular basis, so I’m keen to use this spice mix from Spice N Tice.  Chilli, for me, is one of those “go to” foods that I’ll do when I want something filling but quite quick, and for Slimming Worlders, can be pretty much free on syn values.  Anyway, the other thing I love is fajitas – it’s so social – bung all the plates with fillings on the table, then load up.  We haven’t had fajitas for a long time actually, so I will use the Spice N Tice fajita spice mix when we next make fajitas.  The corn tortillas are interesting – it looks like you can turn them into nachos or tostadas.  You fry or bake them (having brushed them with oil).  Last, but not least, are the chipotles – a rub and a paste.  I can’t remember having chipotle before, but I know it’s spicy, so I’ll be taking it easy (or making sure there’s plenty of sour cream on side!).

So, thank you so much Steph – this is a really interesting parcel and I can’t wait to get stuck in!  Thank you too, to Carol Anne and her band of helpers this month for running the UK arm of Foodie Penpals,