64. ♪ In Baltimore, you will find what you’ve been waiting for…and it’s Berger Cookies.

I participated in The Lean Green Bean‘s Foodie Penpals program in October! It’s been a few months, and I’m so glad I got back in on the fun. Especially since Lean Green Bean Lindsay just gave birth to an adorable baby boy and will be taking a break from hosting Foodie Penpals until next year. I’m sending warm, well wishes to Lindsay and her family!

Foodie PenPals
My penpal for October was the awesome, pumpkin-loving Emily from Maryland! This was her first time participating in Foodie Penpals, and the two of us were both super stoked to exchange boxes of fabulous treats, goodies, and noms. I’ve done Foodie Penpals twice before, but Emily is the first person I’ve been paired with to be closer to my age, which was fun! As the end of October approached, I eagerly awaited my package. It came on a chilly, cloudy Wednesday…

It was way more challenging to hold the phone steady, open a box and form coherent sentences all at the same time than I thought it would be. 😉

Can you guess what I tried first? I had just made a cup of Celestial Seasonings tea before getting the mail. Wouldn’t a cookie go great with that? Have you had a Berger Cookie? I had never had a Berger Cookie. I clearly wasn’t living life before my first Berger Cookie. Or my second. Or third…these rich, gooey, fudge-dipped Berger Cookies were the obvious star of the foodie package. Before she put my package together, Emily had asked me if I like sweets because she wanted to send me a “Baltimore treat.” Thank goodness I said yes. Yummmm. My brother tried two one as well, and he said he’d be willing to pay cross-country shipping to get a box all for himself. Yep, that good. Of course, we could always make our own with King Arthur if we got really desperate.

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Emily also told me about an ice cream shop in Baltimore that makes Berger Cookie ice cream sandwiches. Be still, my heart. Could it be here?

The Somersault Snacks didn’t last long either. I didn’t even get a photo of the snack itself! While Dad said they were “interesting,” my Grandma wanted to go around to local grocery stores and put in a stock request. Thankfully, I spotted them for the first time while shopping over the weekend. They’re light, salty and crunchy! The texture sort of reminded me of the airiness of a rice cake, but more seed-y. Since they don’t contain nuts, they weren’t dense at all like some granola and nut bars. They have a ton of flavors, and I’m hoping I can find more of them locally! Dutch cocoa, I’ve got my eye on you.

Somersault

I was of course thrilled about the Justin’s Almond Butter and Hazlenut Butter packets, Beanitos and the kind bar! I had never tried the Justin’s Chocolate Hazlenut Butter, simply because I never liked Nutella. Oh, how silly of me! Move over, Nutella. Justin’s version is SO delicious and chocolatey, but not too sweet at all. Plus, it uses all-natural ingredients. That’s tough to beat. Also, while working on this blog post I discovered Justin’s has a WHITE CHOCOLATE peanut butter cup?! Must find.

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Isn’t the card adorable?! Aww. Thank you SO much, Emily! I loved every part of my goodie box. I can’t wait for next year when Foodie Penpals starts up again! If you’ve never participated, you should give it a shot!

Have you don’t Foodie Penpals? What’s your favorite foodie item you’ve received?

 


58. Foodie Friday – Foodie Penpals!

Seeing as my last post was a “Foodie Friday” post, is it not SO appropriate that today, Friday, is the reveal day for this month’s Foodie Penpals? Amazing!

The Lean Green Bean

Never heard of Foodie Penpals? It’s an awesomely fun program that Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean started. I’ve been eyeballing the sign-up form for months and finally decided to do it! Each month, you sign up to be paired with two penpals: One penpal you send foodie goodies to while the other sends stuff to you! It’s a great way to meet fellow food fans and build the online community of foodies! Sounds fun, right?

I sent goodies off to a gal in California (she doesn’t have a blog so I can’t link over to her, but she was a great penpal!). The penpal sending me goodies was Hindy from Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker! I’d highly suggest taking a look at her recipes. Delicious! I find her blog so unique. As you can see in her “About” section, she prefers vegetarian meals for herself, while her family eats meat. Combine that with preparing kosher meals and you’ve got a wide range of recipes to look through! I’ve already spotted a few that I’d like to try (Hello there, baked salmon patties).

After letting Hindy know some food preferences, I waited impatiently for my goodies to arrive! When the package showed up in the mailbox, I was BEYOND thrilled! Here’s what I got.

Goodies

  • Oats Ingredients

WAHOO! So much foodie goodness. I’ve eaten the freeze-dried fruit (on top of some cottage cheese! Perfection) and am planning on cooking some couscous very soon! Unfortunately, the seal was broken on the hot cereal, and since I didn’t know how long it had been open or if it had been tampered with, I decided to throw it out. BUT. I was so stoked to try it that I ordered some for myself. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Many thanks to Hindy for sending me such a great package! Everything she sent me fit in with the food preferences I gave her. Even better! This was an awesome first Foodie Penpal experience for me. A HUGE thank you to Lindsay as well for running this unique program! I can imagine it’s difficult organzing so many people to make Foodie Penpals run as smoothly as it does. Interested in participating next month? It isn’t too late to sign up! Visit Lindsay’s Foodie Penpal page for more details, rules and a link to the sign-up page.


57. Foodie Friday – Pizza!

Until about two weeks ago, the last time I ate pizza was when I was in New York City last May for Creative Week with fellow U of O classmates! We ate at a Brooklyn restaurant called Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. If you like thin crust pizza, this is definitely the place! Don’t plan on going there if you’re about to keel over from hunger, however, because there is usually a line outside. Luckily when we went, there was hardly a wait. We sat at a big table, but if you’re a smaller party they have bar seating where you can watch the pizzas and calzones baking away in the oven.

DSC_0131During the same trip, my week-long roommates and I ordered pizza for a lazy girls’ night in. It was surprisingly hard to find a delivery place that was open late, so we were thrilled when we stumbled upon Famous Amadeus Pizza. The delivery was relatively fast, and the deep dish pizza we ordered was sinfully delectable. Cheese for days, I’m telling you.

(After writing that paragraph, I realized the real last time I ate pizza was in July with my internship boss. Oops! Ah well, the paragraph stays!)

Recently, I’v been wanting to possibly reintroduce pizza into my diet, but all the cheese and grease from your average pizza delivery place always left me feeling queasy (that NYC deep dish was special…). I’ve wanted to make homemade pizza for a while, but wasn’t quite sure how to best go about it. I wanted it to be healthy! I’d thought about making cauliflower crust pizza and using my own toppings, but the crust-making part of it always seemed like more work than it was worth. I’ll admit I’ve never tried it, but I will someday. Because of all this, I was more than thrilled when I saw foodie blogger STUFT Mama‘s post about Flatout Bread homemade pizza! Not only did they look delicious, healthy and versatile, but they looked extremely easy. Off to the store I went!

I purchased a pack of Hungry Girl’s Foldit! Flatout Bread, perfect for a single-serving side dish pizza. Following directions from the Flatout Bread site (they have tons of great recipes!), I baked the bread in the oven at 350 for a mere 4 minutes, all the while carefully prepping my toppings.

We’ve got:

Toppings
Basil leaves, 1 piece of marinated artichoke heart, a couple tomato slices chopped up, and 2 TBSP of goat cheese. Mmmm, locally made goat cheese. Once the flatbread bakes for 4 minutes, take it out and pile the toppings on.

Topped!
The directions I was looking at said to just bake your pizza with toppings for 4 more minutes – I ended up baking mine for about 8. After that, I turned on the broiler and crisp-ified the bread and toppings just a bit. Ohhh yeah.

Crispy
All done! I ate mine as a side with some turkey and cucumber slices for lunch. Mmmmm. I think the basil was my favorite part! I made this on a Friday a few weeks ago, then the next Friday I made it again. Twice makes it a tradition, right? 😉 So today, it once again graced my lunch plate, inspiring this post today. I’m quite happy I’ve decided to venture back into the land of pizza every once and a while.

Bites!

Another foodie thing! This month, I’m participating in Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean‘s Foodie Penpals program. I’M SO EXCITED. I’ve met both my penals (you have one penpal who is sending you goodies and a different penpal that you send goodies to) via email, and I can’t wait to send off some goodies and receive mine near the end of the month. This is my first time participating in Foodie Penpals. I can already see how it has grown to be such a big program. It’s a fun and easy way to meet fellow food lovers from around the country and to try out new and unique foods. Look forward to a guest post on the blog from my penpal at the end of the month.

Do you like trying new and interesting foods from different places? And what’s your favorite recipe of the moment?
Until next time – this has been Foodie Friday!