Happy Halloween!!

Halloween stuff later, food stuff now…

I loved participating in The Lean Green Bean’s Foodie Pen Pal program so much last month that I signed up right away to participate again in October.  Out of all the people who take part in this program from all over the country, I got paired this month with Barbara (B) who is a local Massachusetts gal!  I know exactly where her town is and everything…so funny…and small world!

Before I get into the good stuff, here’s a breakdown of how this program works.

Foodie Penpals:  How it Works

–> On the 5th of the 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 can choose 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 & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only.

If this sounds fun to you, just CLICK HERE and fill out the form to participate!  Remember anyone can participate whether you are a blogger or not, which is one of my favorite parts of this program. 

Alright, now onto the good stuff!

Foodie Penpals:  October Goodies

B sent me a package “full of a few of her favorite things,” as her card informed me!

First up, a package of Q’s Nuts.

These are healthy-ish tasty nuts that come in a variety of fun flavors.  B sent me banana foster flavored cashews (have I ever mentioned that I love banana flavors?!) and I pretty much inhaled the entire bag the minute I opened them.  Good thing it was only a 2.5 ounce bag!  Q’s is actually located right in Somerville, so I have a feeling there may be more of these in my future.

Next, apple crackle!
(How fun is that to say out loud?  Go ahead, say it.  Apple crackle!)

I’m not going to lie, when I saw this in the package my first thought was that it looked like leaves or tree bark.  Then I read B’s card and she wrote, “Looks like leaves but a good way to deter hungry eyes.”  I was glad she thought so too!  These are definitely not the prettiest looking snack, but they are sweet and crunchy.  I don’t think I could eat too many of these on their own (probably a good thing!), but they are tasty mixed in yogurt and I bet they’d make for a good cereal too.  I also think they’d make a great topping for the next thing I bake… hmm…

Next up:  Pumpkin & Spice Mix.

This packet is from a little company called Life’s Little Pleasures up in Londonderry, NH.  Take a look at their site — I think it’s so cute.  Barbara wrote that this pumpkin and spice spread mix is perfect in cream cheese, but she also said she loves using it in a pumpkin trifle recipe.  And then she also sent the recipe… I think this would be the perfect dessert to make for Friends-Giving in November!

I also think that now I have a good excuse to buy a trifle dish.  🙂

Finally, the last (and my favorite) part of the package was a salad dressing.

“But Athena, why is the salad dressing your favorite thing when you got all the yummy deliciousness you already talked about above?”

Because!  Calareso’s farm stand is the farm stand that my grandparents used to take my brother, sister, and I to when we were little.  It’s right down the street from where their house used to be in Reading, MA.  When I read in Barbara’s card that this “vidalia onion dressing hails from one of my favorite farm stands” and then I looked at the bottle more closely I got really excited.  This brings back so many memories, and I can’t wait to try it.  The only reason I haven’t tried it yet is because we have like four *almost* empty salad dressing containers in the fridge.  I’m determined to finish those first.

Thank you so much, B, for the fun things you sent me this month!  I love them!

Which of the items above would you want to try the most?  Q’s Nuts, Apple Crackle, the Pumpkin & Spice Mix, or the Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing?

Hope everyone has a fun Halloween!!  Stay safe!