Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{FPP} - September Foodie Penpal Reveal

Last month I happened upon a post (maybe it was from someone in the TWD gang), about a foodie penpal program. What?  Sign.Me.Up.  The program is run by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean, and you can head over to her blog if you want to participate next month. 

Here's a quick run-down of the program (from Lindsay):

-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 Penpals is open to US & Canadian 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, my first foodie penpal was blog reader Brenda from California.  I promptly received my package around the 15th.  I really hit the jackpot with Brenda!  She put so much thought into the package which contained some local and homemade goodies and even a book!

Inside was coffee (I love Peets!), mixed nuts, California raisins, teas, chocolate covered almonds, a chocolate espresso bar (divine!), some fruit leathers, a book on dessert (can never have too many) and some healthy homemade cookies.  My favorite part of the box was that Brenda put little notes on each item explaining why she chose it.  She also explained some of the health benefits of the teas and I've been making a conscience effort to drink them more often.  And her box couldn't have come at a better time.  I was leaving for a business trip and took a lot of the goodies with me for healthier snacks while traveling.  Everything was delicious, but if I had to chose, I'd say the chocolate almonds were my favorite.  Thank you, Brenda!!


Now the person you receive from is not the same person you send to.  Head on over to 111 Pounds blog to see what I sent to Leslie. 
How fun this was!  I've already signed up for next month.  Wanna join?  Click here!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie Rewind: Whole Wheat Loaves

I wasn't going to make anything for the rewind, but waking up post-storm in a chilly house I was itching to crank up the oven (and the power was back on!).  I decided to make the whole wheat bread since I have tons of soup left over that I think it'll pair great with.

I was really happy with this bread.  I didn't have the malt extract, and didn't sub in anything but it didn't seem to matter.  The BF, who is not a bread person, liked it as well, but asked that next time the crust be a little softer :) 

You can find the recipe on the blog The Family That Bakes Together...

Our next recipe is Buttermilk Crumb Muffins...stay tuned!

Monday, October 22, 2012

September End-of-Summer Supper Club

Late in September we finally had a legit Supper Club.  It's been awhile so I decided to make it a good one.  We also invited a new couple in, Mike and Bayly and I had a college friend, Kacie, visiting from Las Vegas.  Inspired by my new riverfront digs, we did a nautical theme.  I collected driftwood, grasses and cattails via a kayak paddle trip and added life (saver) preservers to the printed menus.

On the menu was:

  • Sailor Know Dinner Rolls
  • Sparkling Apple Drink and Wine

So we forgot to take pictures of the food, because we were too busy eating it.  Everything was delicious.

But we got pictures of the cake.  Here's what it was supposed to look like:

And here's our version:

I assure you it tasted the same.  But what we think happened is that the layers weren't completely level and with the weight of all 6 layers the cake just kinda collapsed on itself.  And that's how it become a Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Trifle. 

The theme for the next Supper Club will be Fakesgiving :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bagels

I've been gone from TWD for too long.  Every time a new month came I'd tell myself this was the month I'd get back into it.  First it was going to be for the Biscotti, but then I read they were just okay.  Then I saw the Berry Galette and time got away from me.  Then Fall came and I was in pumpkin-mode so I though I'd quick whip the Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. Think again. That's like a 3-day recipe!

So I finally had a free weekend and decided to make the Bagels.

I took some advice I read on P&Qs and shaped the bagels after the first rise.  

The process of boiling and baking was fairly easy - I just wish I could have fit more than 4 bagels in the water at one time.  

I topped half with sesame seeds.  I really had no expectations for these.  I just needed to say I was back in with TWD.  And I thought, wow, this is a lot of work for bagels and I probably wouldn't make them again.  Then I tasted one.  Woah.  They had a thin chewy layer outside and chewy air-filled bread inside.  I only ate one and took the rest in for the guys at work.  I served them up with Nutella and Apple Pie Jam I recently got at the Philly Food Swap.

I would make these again.  But only if there were people around to eat them fresh out of the oven.  I wasn't sure how they held up the following morning.

If you'd like the recipe check out our host at Heather's Bytes!

So for the make-up post, what did I miss in the last 4 months that I should get to baking??