Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Foodie Pen Pal Reveal...

It’s the end of another month...which means it’s also time for another fun Foodie Pen Pal reveal! This is such a great monthly event that was started by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean. Come on...what’s not to like about receiving a box full of yummy food that’s been hand-picked for you by a fellow food lover?!?!? This month, I received a fantastic box of goodies from Calee. This is one lucky gal...she lives and works in Napa Valley. If you haven’t been there before, trust me: this place is pretty much heaven on earth. We were lucky enough to spend a few days in Napa in 2009...and views like this had us tempted to quit our day jobs and seek out work as professional wine tasters!

When we arrived home from our Oregon trip, a big box of goodies was waiting for me. A present sure makes coming home from a lovely vacation so much easier!! Being a kid at heart, I tore into the box immediately! Take a look at all of the fun goodies that were inside: 

There's individual packets of flavored nut butters, an 18 Rabbits bar, spicy pickled garlic, smoked chipotles, some very spicy habanera sea salt, VERY yummy homemade granola bars, and...? She also sent me a bottle of her homemade vanilla extract...which smelled absolutely heavenly. I immediately grabbed a bite of the granola to sample -- it is SO good! The bar made an excellent breakfast one morning with some yogurt, and that spicy salt really upped the heat level in some grilled chicken that I made one evening! I immediatly started thinking about how I could showcase her homemade vanilla in a fun recipe for y’all.

I knew that I had found something unique and special when a Facebook friend posted a picture and link to a recipe for Vanilla Ice from the blog Oh My Veggies. Vanilla-flavored ice cubes that won’t water down your favorite drink...but will enhance it instead? That’s totally genius, as is the name ( ice, baby...)! You can get the recipe for these intensely vanilla ice cubes by visiting Kiersten at Oh My Veggies. I added my vanilla ice cubes to glasses of chai-flavored tea for a refreshing Friday evening pick-me-up. As the cubes melted into the iced tea, it added a creamy vanilla flavor to spicy chai. Trust me, folks: you REALLY want to make a batch of these off-the-charts ice cubes can thank me later!

If you want to join the Foodie Pen Pal fun for July and receive your very own totally cool food box, here’s the scoop:

-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 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.
If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

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