Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Candy Corn Bark

As soon as fall comes, out comes the candy corn.  It's everywhere.  I've always wondered why it doesn't come in different colors other times of the year.  Maybe it does but it's not popular, that's for sure. Maybe it's just meant to be orange and yellow.
I've seen many different desserts made with candy corn.  I made Homemade Butterfinger Bars last year with candy corn.   Holy cow were those good!

 I knew when I found this recipe for Candy Corn Bark, that this would be my candy corn dessert of the year.  I couldn't for the life of me find candy corn M&M's though.  No worries, I just bought some other fall colored M&M's. 
My son actually made most of this.  Crushing the oreos and pretzels is probably the most fun. The almond bark was really good and the kids all loved it.  I do think that it could have used a bit more chunks of oreo and pretzels in the bark. Very, very sweet but super tasty!

Candy Corn Bark
Adapted from Cooking with K

14 Golden Oreo Sandwich Cookies
1 cup pretzels
24 oz. Chocolate Almond Bark
24 oz. Almond Bark
1 1/2 cups Candy Corn
9 oz. White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms (or any M&M's)
Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Break up Oreos and spread across lined pan. Arrange pretzels evenly around the broken Oreos; set aside.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate almond bark in the microwave 2-4 minutes at 30 SECOND intervals until chocolate is melted. Pour over the Oreo cookies and pretzels; set aside.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate almond bark in the microwave 2-4 minutes at 30 SECOND intervals until chocolate is melted. Pour over the chocolate almond bark layer.

Sprinkle the candy corn evenly over the almond bark. Sprinkle the candy corn M&Ms evenly over the almond bark. Scattering them around the candy corn.

Pick up the pan and let it slam against the counter two or three time to set all the candy. Set the pan in a cool place to harden.

Remove the parchment paper with the candy and set on the counter. Cut or break up into serving pieces as desired.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 29 - November 4, 2012

It's been a long time since I've done a Menu Plan Monday.  I either have been lazy and not planning meals or else I'll write it down on a piece of paper.  Well, inevitably the paper gets lost and then I forget my plan and then we end up eating weird stuff for dinner.  I LIKE planning my meals online because it keeps me organized.  The last few months I have not been organized.  I really want to get that back. It makes my life happier when I am organized. 
I've also been on a quest to use up the food that we have in the house.  A lot of it at least. I'm a stockpiler. I buy on sale and keep it around for when I need it.  Well, when the freezers and cupboards are full; it's time to use it up. Plus, money has been tight so I figure we'll USE all this food that I spent money on.  Makes sense, huh. 
I started this quest a couple weeks ago and things are getting down.  I still have a couple boxes of No Name Steaks in the freezer and a chuck roast. So this week I put both on the menu.  I still have a couple of pounds bacon that I bought at Costco last month so that will go great with our breakfast-for-dinner meal.  I have ground turkey that I will use for the spaghetti meat sauce.  I'll actually make a double batch of sauce and freeze some for next week.  I found a box of fish fillets that 4 out of the 6 of us will eat.  Plus I have a big bag of waffle chips that has been sitting in the freezer for a long time. My secret recipe post is a vegetarian meal, that's all I'm saying about that.  I can't wait for that one!! 

Monday: Breakfast burritos, hashbrowns and bacon

Tuesday: Secret Recipe Club recipe

Wednesday: Steaks & Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday: Spaghetti & meat sauce

Friday: Fish and waffle chips

Saturday: Pizza night

Sunday: Slow cooker beef tacos

More menu planning ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Friendship Fruitcake Starter

Alright. Everybody go grab your grocery list real quick. 
Got it?
Buy these simple ingredients.  Can of peaches. Can of apricots. Can of pineapple chunks. Jar of maraschino cherries. I know you have brandy and sugar in the cupboard already.

 I found this on Veronica's blog last week. It's a starter for a fruitcake.  If you want this fruit cake for the holidays, buy the stuff NOW and get it going.  If you're like me and don't care, you can wait if you want.  But don't wait because seriously, did you SEE that cake up there??  That is Veronica's cake.  I haven't made it yet but I've made enough of her recipes to TRUST her when she says that it is completely delicious.

 So I threw the fruit in a bowl, along with the sugar and the brandy.  I'll let it sit on the counter for 3 weeks, drain and voila, I'll have the liquid starter for the cake. 
It's fun and easy.  Plus it smells awesome when you open it up to stir.
Head on over to Veronica's blog to see more scrumptious pictures of her cake.  The cake that YOU WILL HAVE if you listen to us and just get this starter going.

Friendship Fruit Cake Starter

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (16 oz) can apricots, drained
1 (16 oz) can sliced peaches, drained
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 1/4 cups brandy
1 1/4 cups sugar

Combine ingredients in a large glass jar or bowl and stir well.

Store at room temperature, covered with a lid or plastic wrap, for three weeks, stirring at least twice a week. Mixture will become more and more red as time passes.

Drain fruit and reserve the liquid. You should have two cups of liquid, and this is your starter.    The 2 cups of liquid you have now will all be used for candying fruit for the cake.

You can save the sweetened, brandied fruit for another use. I think I'm going to do what Veronica did and turn the fruit into jelly.

Don't forget to head to Veronica's blog and give her some love. She's the inspiration behind all this!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baked Apple Donuts - Gluten Free

I haven't done a whole lot of gluten free baking.  I've made my own GF flour and have picked up a few other gluten free items throughout the last several months.  I found Chelsey's recipe for Baked Apple Donuts while perusing her blog for The Secret Recipe Club. Her blog Mangia has so, so many wonderful recipes.  The donuts sounded fantastic so I headed to the store to buy some Almond Flour.  As I'm getting all the ingredients for the donuts, I realize that I already HAVE a bag of Almond Flour.  Clearly I had bought some months ago when buying other gluten free flours.  This stuff isn't cheap!

 While Chelsy was inspired to make this recipe from Amy, she really did make it her own. She made these gluten free and dairy free.  These are baked, not fried and really have healthy ingredients.  I made a double batch and the kids all loved them. They may not have been the prettiest of donuts but they sure delicious! 

Baked Apple Donuts Recipe
Adapted from Mangia

1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

For the topping:
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a donut pan (or you can use a muffin pan) Place the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl, mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Add apple and stir. Pour the batter into each donut cup, filling 3/4 of the way full. (muffin pan about 1/2 way full) Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. (mine took a good 15 minutes).

While the donuts are baking, make the topping. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl, set aside. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon on a plate and distribute evenly around the plate. 

Take the donuts out of the oven, pop them out when the are slightly cool enough to handle.  Dip both sides in the coconut oil, then press both sides into the cinamon sugar mixture.  Lick fingers and repeat with remaining donuts. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vegetable Enchiladas with Chile Gravy

 I feel like I've made every combination of enchilada humanly possible.  Chicken, beef, turkey, vegetarian. I love them all.  Up until fairly recently I was a a whole wheat tortilla fan.  They are nice and big and are easy for wrapping enchiladas.

 Now, that I am eating gluten free, I am a corn tortilla fan.  I love the taste better than whole wheat tortillas now.  The only problem.  They make a cruddy enchilada. 

They taste wonderful but they don't wrap well. At. All. I've tried warming them first or getting them slightly damp.  They still end up splitting and breaking when I wrap them. 

I'm a little OCD so the wrapping difficulty used to bother me but I'm completely over it now.  I mean, seriously, does it MATTER if you don't get a nice neat enchilada out of the pan?  No.  What matters is the deliciousness that is inside and on top of the corn tortillas.   

 So clearly you may not get the most beautiful enchilada meal in the world but you will get an enchilada with an awesome creamy vegetarian inside and a super flavorful chile enchilada sauce on top!

Vegetable Enchiladas with Chile Gravy
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Chile Gravy:
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
bit of olive oil, for sauteing
1 onion, chopped
4 packed cups fresh baby spinach
1 can corn (or about 1 1/2 cups of frozen)
2 cans black beans
10-12 (or more) corn tortillas
1 + 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Chile Gravy:
In a small bowl combine all the seasonings: chile powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper, salt and oregano.
Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet and quickly saute garlic 2 minutes; whisk in flour and cook a few minutes while constantly whisking/stirring. Add all the seasonings and cook 1 minute.
Pour in the chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil: reduce heat and slowly simmer about 20-25 minutes, stirring often. Taste and season with additional salt as needed. Meanwhile make the enchiladas.
Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; and onion and cook until translucent. Add spinach and stir until spinach starts to wilt. Remove from heat and add corn, black beans, 3/4 cup of the cheese and the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 deep-sided casserole pan. Wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave 1 minute. Top each tortilla with a heaping 1/3 cup of filling; roll up tightly and place seam side down in casserole pan.
Pour the chile grave evenly over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with green onions.
Bake 25 minutes until bubbly all over. Allow to set 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flatout Flatbread Pizza $50 Walmart Giveaway


We had such a blast the other week making pizzas with Flatout Flatbread.  The kids keep coming up with new ideas for pizzas! 

Flatout is offering one reader a $50 Walmart Gift Card and a Flatout gift package with a whole bunch of awesome goodies! 

Entry 1 - Leave a comment here or on my facebook post telling me what your favorite pizza is!

Entry 2 - Follow me on facebook (the link is to the right), then come on back and leave a comment telling me you're a follower. 

Entry 3 - Enter my other giveaway for Latte Love. Come on back here and let me know that you did.

Entry 4 - Tweet about this giveaway!  #LatteLove

Thursday, October 11, 2012


My first daycare child arrives bright and early at 5:25 in the morning.  Wait, it's not bright at all. In fact, it's pitch dark.  It feels like the middle of the night when the alarm goes off at 5:01 every morning. 

I am not a morning person.

He is a good little boy and we get to sit and snuggle for almost 2 hours before the other kids come and my kids wake up.  I always wake up cold, so we'll snuggle up with my electric blanket and of course, I need something warm to drink.   Andy will drink his cup of milk while I drink my hot apple cider, tea or latte.  This time of season, pumpkin lattes are my favorite!

Need to warm up it the mornings??  Here are some at-home latte recipe ideas and inspiration, check out these links:

Nine-Nutrient Boost: http://www.milkmustache.com/recipes/nine-nutrient-boost/

Morning Pick-Me-Up: http://www.milkmustache.com/recipes/morning-pick-me-up/

Ooh La Latte: http://www.milkmustache.com/recipes/ooh-la-latte/

So while we're snuggling under the warm blanket with our drinks, we listen to music and read blogs.  I have a playlist of Andy's favorite songs and I have a list of my favorite blogs. The folks at TheBreakfastProject.com by @MilkMustache asked me to share who some of my favorite morning reads are.

My Bizzy Kitchen

Veronica's Cornucopia

Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Just Roni

Making Memories...

Pam's Midwest Kitchen

I actually have a whole bunch of blogs that come through my email and I so try to read as many as possible but there just isn't enough time. These are the ones that I frequent the most and try to comment on.  It's nice when you have reliable people who post regularly, as you read their blogs, you get to know them a bit and it's a little bit like waking up to friends. 


Entry 1 - You can win a Latte Love gift package.  Check out the Milk Mustache Campaign's facebook page for some awesome breakfast ideas.   Let me know which recipe on their page that you think you'd like. 

Entry 2 - Tweet how much you love lattes!  Follow @MilkMustache on Twitter and tweet with @MilkMustache and #LatteLove.  Come on back and leave another comment letting me know that you tweeted!

Entry 3 - Look to the right and LIKE my facebook page.  Leave a comment on the facebook post letting me know you're a follower!!  And feel free to give me any latte recipes that you know!!

I'll pick a winner Monday morning while warming up with MY latte!

Latte photo from EileenRose

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pineapple Meatballs

I like to make my own meatballs but when they are on sale, I will pick them up.  They do make for a quick meal. Sweet and sour meatballs are my favorite.  This sauce is awesome!  We ate thse with brown rice and steamed broccoli. These would be a fantastic appetizer for football parties. 

Pineapple Meatballs Recipe

40 frozen meatballs
1/2 of a 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice or water

Put the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker.  In a food processor or blender, process the rest of the items and pour over meatballs.  Cook 4 - 6 hours on low until meatballs are warm and done. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flatout Flatbread Artisan Pizza

 We used to do Friday Night Pizza night with the kids all the time.  For some reason, we just don't do it as regularly anymore.  There are 6 of us here and all of us like different things on pizza.  This means either a lot of compromise or just make your own pizza. 
Oh yeah, making your own pizzas is so, so much fun! I was thrilled when I was asked to review Flatout new Flatbread for pizzas.  I'm always on the lookout for a new pizza crust.  These are healthy too!  Only 140 calories and 7 grams of fiber.  So much healthier than regular pizza crust! 

We invited friends over and had a Make Your Own Flatout Flatbread Pizza Party.  I put out a whole bunch of toppings and everyone got to make their own.  It was a blast.  These crusts are brand new and have just hit Walmart a couple of weeks ago.  The crusts come in Heritage Wheat, Rustic White and Spicy Italian.  They are all very good but the smell of the Spicy Italian Flatbread is amazing.  It does have a zip to it though. 
The best thing about these crusts is that they stay crispy!  They prebake in just a flash, then you top with your favorite toppings. Throw it back in the oven for a couple of minutes and you have a crispy, delicious pizza! And for 140 calories, you can pile the toppings on and keep it low calorie and healthy! 

The temperature dropped and it is officially fall here in Minnesota.  The colors on the trees is beautiful and the leaves have started dropping. So it seemed right to have a Fall Themed Pizza Party!  I also tried to make some fall themed pizzas.
Sundried Tomato Ricotta with Bacon Pizza
Rustic White Flatout Flatbread
Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
Bacon, chopped in bits
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Green onions, chopped
Fresh rosemary or italian seasoning

Spread ricotta over prebaked crust.  Top with sundried tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella cheese and green onions.  Sprinkle with fresh rosemary or italian seasoning.
This pizza was amazing. I'm a sucker for bacon and I love sundried tomatoes so I knew this would be a hit. 

I love roasting vegetables when it's cool outside. The whole house warms up and smells so good!  For this pizza, I chose butternut squash, sweet potatoes and red potatoes.  Any veggie mix will work fine though.   My friends son declared this to be his favorite pizza.
Roasted Winter Vegetables & Spinach Pizza
Spicy Italian Flatout Flatbread
Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes and Red Potatoes, sliced thin and roasted
Spinach, fresh
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
This pizza was super simple.  We just spread some olive oil on the already baked crust. Followed with some mozzarella cheese.  Then topped with the roasted winter vegetable mix, spinach and parmesan cheese. 

I love squash and have been buying many different kinds this year to try. My favorite is butternut squash so I used that on this pizza.  I also love caramelized onions.  I really put a lot of onions on this pizza!
Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Pizza
Heritage Wheat Flatout Flatbread Pizza Crust
Butternut Squash, sliced and roasted
Onions, sliced and caramelized (I used bacon grease!)
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Green onions, chopped
Olive oil
We spread just a bit of olive oil on the already baked crust.  Topped with caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash and pumpkin seeds.  Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheese and garnish with green onions. 

I couldn't let the pizza party go by with out dessert!  So we made dessert pizzas!
Cream Cheese & Apple Dessert Pizza
Rustic White Flatout Flatbread Pizza Crust
Cream cheese cooking cream
Apple pie filling
White chocolate chips
Icing (powdered sugar, vanilla and milk)
Orange sprinkles (optional)
We put a layer of cream cheese over the prebaked crust.  Then we topped with apple filling and drizzled with icing.  We wanted to make it more pretty so we added some white chocolate chips and orange sprinkles.  Everything tastes better with sprinkles, doesn't it?
You could use any pie filling but keeping with the fall theme, we chose the apple. 
When I think of fall, I think of candy corn. So we just had to make a dessert pizza with candy corn.  I also found pumpkin spice marshmallows which were perfect!  If I had a little flame torch, I would have slightly melted the marshmallows on the pizza.
Candy Corn & Pumpkin Marshmallow Dessert Pizza
Rustic White Flatout Flatbread Pizza Crust
Vanilla frosting
Candy corn
Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
Put a layer of vanilla frosting over the already prebaked crust.  Top with candy corn, marshmallows and sprinkles. 
This was sweet but the kids loved it!
There were 10 of us here so we all took turns creating our favorite pizzas.  Look at my counters! I told you I had lots of pizza toppings!  BBQ chicken pizza was one of the favorites on the Spicy Italian Flatbread.  It was just to see what everyone liked!

Here is my pizza with garlic alfredo white sauce, caramelized onions, sun dried tomatoes, bacon, squash and cheese on the Heritage Wheat Flatout Flatbread Pizza Crust. 
Of course we just had to use Nutella on a dessert pizza too! 
Sweet and Salty Nutella Dessert Pizza
Rustic Wheat Flatout Flatbred Pizza Crust
Nutella hazelnut spread
Mini pretzels
Mini chocolate chip cookies
M & M's
Spread Nutella over prebaked crust.  Top with pretzels, peanuts, chocolate chip cookies and M & M's.
Isn't that a pretty pizza?? 

Thank you Flatout for some great pizza ideas and some wonderful pizza crusts. You'd better believe that Friday pizza night will be resurrected!  My kids are already planning the next one and getting ideas for more pizzas!
Remember, these are new so if you can't find them on the shelves yet, be patient, they will be there.  Keep looking, they are worth it!

Be on the lookout next week for a flatout flatbread giveaway!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Latte

I love this time of year when the mornings are crisp and cool.  It's a funny thing, we have the windows open all night and when the alarm goes off at 5 am, it's pretty cool in here. Instead of doing the logical thing and actually closing the windows, I prefer to cuddle with my electric blanket and a steaming hot drink.  I love it!
The lattes you can buy are wonderful but expensive and often super high in calorie!  Why not make your own nutritious, delicious latte for a fraction of the cost?  I love, love, love my Pumpkin Latte. Such a perfect way to warm up.
I'm inviting you to come tweet with me tomorrow and learn more about lattes and maybe win an awesome prize. It will be fun too! All the details are below.  Seriously, check out the recipes for lattes below.  What kind of lattes do you like to drink???


What: I am co-hosting a Twitter party to talk about making your breakfast better with an at-home latte! Americans love their lattes, and with one serving of fat free milk adding nine essential nutrients but only 80 calories and no fat, lattes love you back. Join us to chat about how you can get a nutritious and delicious start to your day.

When: Thursday, October 4, at 1 p.m. ET. It will last one hour.

Where: The party will take place on Twitter, using the #LatteLove hashtag.

Who: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann will be hosting.

Prizes: We will give away five Latte Lovers Essentials prize packs throughout the Twitter party! Each one will include a Bodum milk frother, Latte Love mug, 8 oz. Lavazza coffee, Torani syrup, McCormick spices, recipe card & coupon.

Twtvite: For more details, and to RSVP, click here! http://www.twtvite.com/lattelove
Want a sneak peek? Enter the Latte Love Sweepstakes on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MilkMustache/app_374172189320016 - now through October 9, for a chance to win a Latte Lovers Essentials kit or Keurig brewing system! You can also find easy tips, recipes & ideas for making lattes, cappuccinos or other coffee drinks at home on The Breakfast Project, https://www.facebook.com/MilkMustache or http://www.milkmustache.com.
For at-home latte recipe ideas and inspiration, check out these links:Nine-Nutrient Boost: http://www.milkmustache.com/recipes/nine-nutrient-boost/Morning Pick-Me-Up: http://www.milkmustache.com/recipes/morning-pick-me-up/Ooh La Latte: http://www.milkmustache.com/recipes/ooh-la-latte/

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rhubarb Curried Chicken

I've met many food bloggers through The Secret Recipe Club.  Some have been assignments, some from the recipes posted on the blog hop and others from the comments left on my blog.  I've been visiting Daniel's blog The Haggis and the Herring for several months now. He leaves comments on practically all of the Secret Recipe Post which I admired quite a bit. 

A couple of weeks ago Daniel died.  His wife left an amazing eulogy on his blog. Some members of The Secret Recipe Club are paying tribute to Daniel by having a special day of posting from his blog.

I just re-read the eulogy and as I type this I am crying.  I didn't know Daniel personally, so why am I so emotional about this?  While I didn't know him, we have a lot in common; three children, a loving spouse and a food blog.  I'm crying because I am reminded how the time with our children is so incredibly precious.  That time could end at any time.  I am crying because no child should have to grow up without a father. I look at my children and feel the ache inside if that were to ever happen to them. I am also emotional and so grateful for my relationship with God and the knowledge that His purpose will be realized so soon. 

Tonight I am going to hug my children just a little bit tighter and a little bit longer.  I am also going to remember the important things in this world and think about the little things that we take for granted each day.  So much time is wasted doing stupid things.   

Rhubarb Curry Chicken
Adapted from The Haggis and the Herring

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. giner
1/2 curry cube or 2 tsp. curry
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup white wine
1/2 lb. rhubarb, chopped
2 tbsp. sugar
2 lbs. chicken breasts or any chicken pieces
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar

In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium heat and saute onions for 2 minutes.  Add 1/2 tsp. salt and red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, ginger and curry cube; saute for a minute.  Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until onion softens a bit.  Add wine, sugar and rhubarb, bring to a boil, then cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat.  Stir, then re-cover and cook 10 minutes more until rhubarb has broken down into a sauce.

Meanwhile, add a bit of oil to a pan and heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in pan and brown on both sides. 

Place chicken into a greased 9 x 13 in. baking dish and cover with rhubarb sauce, sprinkle with brown sugar.  Place baking dish into oven and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.   

Foodie Penpals

I was reading Veronica's blog and found out that she started participating in Foodie Penpals.  Apparently this has been going on for about a year but I've never heard of it. Since then, I've noticed it on several other blogs.  What kind of blogger bubble have I been living in?

Foodie Penpals was started by Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean, it is a program that connects bloggers and blog readers through the gift of food. It’s a fun program that allows you to meet two new “foodies” each month … you should give it a try!

The fun part is figuring out what to give your Foodie Penpal.  I gave my penpal, Miranda, foods that I like from the farmers market.  Spaghetti squash, chocolate zucchini bread, pretzel roll and hot pepper jam. 

I received a package this month from April from The April Bake. I loved getting a whole box of goodies in the mail. I was shocked how much she was able to get with a small box and a $15 budget.

First up - she knew I was gluten free so she gave me these gluten free pretzels.  This was PERFECT as I was out of crunchy GF snacks.  We made Peanut Butter Dip and I enjoyed  these with it!

It's football season!  USC is the popular college team where April lives so she sent me some football related items.  I loved this cherry flavored popcorn with the USC colors!  The kids loved it too!

 I got a kick out of the USC Gamecock Sucker.  I can just picture the kids there saying, "Mom, can I have a cock sucker?" 

I love, love, love almond butter!  My son and I split this little package of Maple Almond Butter. Jacob put his half over a waffle and I ate mine with the GF pretzels.  

 The salted peanuts lasted all of 15 minutes.  The kids got a hold of them and gobbled them up.  I did manage to eat a few. 

I loved the macaroons.  Super tasty treat!!

 I opened my package, photographed everything and then went off to an exercise class. I came home to find the bowl of these sports themed chocolate gone, but for one.  Chocolate; I should have guarded it better!  :-)

 This package of red curry cubes was interesting. I wasn't sure at first what to do with them. Then I found this recipe for a Curried Rhubarb Sauce for chicken.  I knew these cubes would be perfect! 
Thank you April for a fantastic package the my whole family enjoyed!  I can't wait until next month!  If you're interested in getting an awesome package from someone, check out Lindsey's Foodie Penpals and sign up for this month!