Foodie Pen Pal February 2014

If you didn’t see my previous post, I shared how this whole foodie pen pal idea works here: Sweet Treats for Foodie Pen Pal.

Kellie, my February Pen Pal, emailed me when everything arrived safe & sound.  She said she was very excited to dig into the treats she received.  Yah!

On that note, I 100% believe that “giving” is more rewarding than “receiving”.  That being said, I wish I was a better gift giver!  I think it comes down to the fact that I’m so thrifty and can be a procrastinator.  Not to worry, I’m definitely getting better at giving gifts.  I’ve learned to take a note when I think of a great or thoughtful idea.  For example, my mom and my future MIL are both beauty lovers.  For Christmas last year, I gave them each a Birch Box subscription and they are loving it!  Also, I have a few good ideas for my fiancé’s upcoming birthday…excited to see what he thinks.  I also love skipping the gift and giving an “experience”.  I ‘d much rather spend $$$ on a dinner/drinks/movie/outing with friends or family rather than giving something material that may not be appreciated.

I know I appreciate sweet surprises and mail.   😉

Oh my gosh! Turning the corner and seeing this box at my apartment door made my day.  I couldn’t wait to see what sweet Kellie had sent me!

food bloggie box final

I’m kind of obsessive and picky about packaged foods so I emailed Kellie about some of my favorite things.    She did a fabulous job putting together the Foodie Pen Pal box for me.

Here’s what I received:

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I told Kellie that I’m a fan of hot sauce.  I’ve been putting Sriracha or Tapatio on everything from eggs and burritos to avocado toast and pea soup.

She sent over some local Hot Sauce from Alabama.  I’m so excited to try these!  Kellie sent over two flavors, original and jalapeno green.  She said they have a “fabulous local hot sauce in her little town with a ton of varieties.”  It’s like I got a little trip to Alabama this month!

hotsauce

I told her that I like nuts and she saw on the blog that I like peanut flour so she sent some PB2!  This is awesome because I’ve actually never tried it.  I normally order this Byrd Mill Peanut Flour in larger quantities to save a little money.  I was super excited to try the PB2 that I’ve seen at Whole Foods and online.

PB2 has a little bit of added sugar and salt …..that must be why it is SOOOO good.  PB2 tastes more like peanut butter and a sweet treat compared to plain peanut flour.

So far, I’ve mixed it with water or almond milk and have enjoyed spooning it over my breakfasts of protein pancakes.  I’ve also eaten it as a snack with some apple slices.

PB2

What’s a goodie box without some chocolate? Kellie took my love of spicy and healthy and sent over two more treats.  I don’t think she saw my Friday Favorites #3 post….but she sent me my favorite flavor Kind bar!!  I swear sometimes great minds think alike.

I dug into the dark chocolate bar.  It’s amazing.  I can’t wait to share the rest with the fiancé…..which is why I taped it back up and put it out of sight….so that it will still be there to share. haha Open-mouthed smile

chocolatefoodiepenpal

There you have it.

A sweet & spicy first experience as a Foodie Pen Pal!

FYI- If you’re interested in being a Foodie Pen Pal for a month, go ahead and sign up!  You don’t have to have your own blog to join the fun. 🙂

What’s the best gift you’ve given?  Any great “experience” gifts that you recommend?

unexpected dark chocolate, almond, oat cookies

Unexpected cookies? whaaaat? Is there such a thing?

Well like I admitted yesterday, I initially bought a few Vday treats (but ate all of them) and needed something else to put in my gift bag.

I even wrote in my card “I promise not to eat your unhealthy treats!” haha wow see this sweet tooth of mine is UNREAL.  Time for a juice cleanse maybe?

Oh well.  We all know that Chips Ahoy really aren’t that great anyway.  Clearly Oreos are the better store bought cookie.  Especially with milk or PEANUT BUTTER!

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I still gave the empty container to him and explained my embarrassing story……. I think it’s happened before…he wasn’t surprised.

You know what? I had some extra time and I felt like baking, so I should never have bought that processed crap in the first place.

Honestly my hot pink packaging is much more festive anyway.  Win. Win. Win.

Turns out I was out of brown sugar, didn’t have butter in the house, no raisins, only a few oats….so I had to find a recipe that would work with my disappointing cupboard.

 I found this recipe for Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Bakerbettie.com that promised I could make  PERFECT cookies with only 6 ingredients….

I was sold….and figured that I could use what I had…

I mean Bettie made it very clear that I could pull a Tim Gunn and, “Make it work”.

YAH!  That’s my kind of baking.

I followed the recipe subbing in what I could, adding the baking powder, vanilla, and a little salt as suggested.

I used Smart Balance.  And white sugar. Whole wheat flour. and some dark chocolate bars from TJ’s. Some almonds. Barely a cup of oats.

I also added a few tablespoons of steel cut oats because I didn’t have enough regular oats.

I ended up cooking them for the 9 minutes…plus 2…plus 2…plus 2…plus 2….I prefer gooier cookies but I have a habit of undercooking them and this batch needed to turn out yummy enough to package up and give as a gift.

I even had a little leftover dough to throw in the freezer to bake up next time I eat all his candy.

vdaycookie collage

Overall, they turned out pretty good! Or at least the fiancé pretends to like them so that’s nice of him.

cookie in box

I had too much of the other junk food that I wouldn’t dare try one of these cookies….in case they are good….there’s another upset stomach waiting to happen.

Next cookie I’d like to make are these healthy “cookies” from Pinterest.  Now those are my kind of cookie.

What’s your favorite cookie recipe? Do you try to healthify everything like me?

Healthy bars, make sure to use no sugar added applesauce