Hi everyone! My name is Esther, and I’m so excited to be guest-posting on Tiffany’s blog. A little over a month ago I saw several bloggers who had participated in a Foodie Pen Pal exchange coordinated by Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean. I am a big fan of food and also a big fan of meeting new people (even if it’s a virtual introduction), so I thought it would be fun to sign up.
A few weeks later we were assigned pen pals, and I got my first email from Tiffany! She is awesome, and I’m so happy that we were connected. If you’re reading this post then you probably already know her, either in real life or as a blog reader, so I don’t have to tell you how sweet she is. She asked me lots of questions about what I enjoy eating and my favorite/least favorite foods. I told her that my favorite food was peanut butter, that I love to cook, especially spicy foods. She asked if I like tea - and indeed, I have a bit of a thing of teas (I won’t admit to how much space by tea collection takes up on my counter). Being a friendly person, we also got to chatting about non-food things. Turns out we both like to run and love going to farmers’ markets! (P.S. Tiffany, I’m not sure we discussed this but I also knit :) )
Finally, Tiffany’s package arrived in the mail. Even though I had gotten home late that night from a choir concert and was really tired, I didn’t wait to open it. Inside were a whole plethora of goodies! I was perhaps a little over eager to break into the stash, because I forgot to take a picture of the assembled treats. In the box were: a box of jasmine tea, a jar of honey (a “must” for any tea drinker, or at least the non-vegan ones), a jar of creamy peanut butter, a jar of hot chili oil, a bag of True North almond-pecan-cashew clusters, and the big winner...a bag of chocolate and peanut butter dipped pretzels. Basically a box of everything I love.
I had never tried the True North clusters before, but they. are. awesome. They were naturally sweetened without being overly sweet, you got bits of each kind of nut in each bite. They also proved to be an excellent post-run snack (or pre-run). I planned to take the bags of clusters and dipped pretzels up on the train with me to New York, but my fiance and I were not able to resist opening the bags up. Although some did in fact make it onto the train in New York, they were all devoured shortly thereafter. Both items will be making an appearance on my shopping list in the near future.
Several days after receiving the box I had to work late at the office. My fiance and I both really enjoy cooking and we were planning to have thai red tofu curry leftovers for dinner. When I got home starving, he had used some of the chili oil to make spicy bok choy as a side dish. And knowing that I would be writing a post to share with Tiffany, even remembered to take pictures! :) I LOVE spicy foods, and the chili oil paired perfectly with the curry flavor in the tofu and the sesame oil with the bok choy. I can’t wait to find more recipes to experiment with the chili oil.
I drink tea almost every night before going to bed, so the box was opened the night after I received the pen pal package. Jasmine is one of my favorites, because it’s already got a sweet essence to it (also it reminds me of Chinese food restaurants). Just a little honey makes it perfect, and the jar of honey came with me to work for my afternoon tea breaks.
This morning, I woke up to find that our previously half-full jar of creamy peanut butter was now empty, due to a delicious peanut soup that my fiance made for dinner. Luckily, I had the new jar at the ready, so I didn’t have to go without my morning peanut butter and banana fix.
In short, my first foodie pen pal exchange was a huge success! The only thing that Tiffany and I were disappointed about was that since it’s still relatively early in the growing season here in D.C. and in Utah, there wasn’t much in the way of locally produced treats to be found. So, we decided that we’ll continue our foodie friendship and send each other more treats as we come across them. I can’t wait to try out some Utah-an (Utah-ian?) foods and to get to know Tiffany better!
*****Esther~ Thank You so much for this fun post and all of your kind words! It has been great getting to know you! So glad to know you knit as well.
I sure do love meeting such amazing people in blog land!
Happy Weekend everyone!*****