Monday, September 30, 2013

September Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

Another month and another adventure of free food in the mail! Yes, it's time once again for:

The Lean Green Bean


After my empty mailbox last month, I was hoping for a better result. Lindsay, the tireless RD behind FPP, mixed it up a bit this month. Instead of the "progressive round robin" sending of packages, she changed it to a pair exchange. That way, you sent a package to a person who was sending one to you. Would it work? Would more disappointment fall upon the Streamlined abode?

I was matched with Stephanie from Fort Collins, CO. She asked a lot of good questions, including what my favorite beverage was. I think she might have heard me scream "COFFEE" from across the Rockies. And even though she herself does not drink coffee (sweet, wonderful coffee), she took it upon herself to get me a nice themed package of caffeine and local foods. 

So what did she send me?

This more than makes up for getting squat last month!
It was an explosion of caffeinated Colorado wonder! A "Rocky Mountain Blend" of coffee beans, which will be soon be made into some cold brew deliciousness. And...

Black Bing Cherry Cider from the Colorado Cherry Company. I've never seen this before. Not only did I have a glass, I also mixed it with chili paste for a dipping sauce! Yum! Not too sweet but definitely cider-y!

Rocky Mountain Animal Crackers from the Wildlife Cookie Company and Bear Bar from Rocky Mountain Granola. Both nicely chocolaty without being too sweet (and great with a cup of coffee!)

Guacamole Bites from Nature Box. These really grew on me. Not the healthiest of things to scarf down, but the initial almost earthy avocado taste made them quick snacking!

And the piece de resistance...

Chocolate covered espresso beans and homemade cranberry mustard! This mustard was amazing!! It was immediately used on a sandwich and then was used as a dip for the avocado chips. And on eggs for breakfast. And put on toast to have with soup. And with sausages. You get the idea.

Thank you, Stephanie!!!!

So what did I send her? I forgot to take photos and she doesn't blog, so here's the lengthy text version. When I asked her if there was one NYC item she really craved, her response was bagels. I totally support this answer because, lets face it, there are no real bagels outside of NYC. I'm sorry, but it's true. However true fresh bagels don't travel exceptionally well. But I had a cunning plan...

I am so lucky to live near the best, and one of the last, truly great "appetizer" food stores in NYC: Russ & Daughters. Their pastrami lox, their buttery sable, that home-made scallion cream cheese, the baked salmon/whitefish salad....pardon me while I drool on the computer. Even in Streamlined Ska Librarian lifestyle, there's still room for some of the best smoked and cured fish and accoutrements.(Go ahead, click on the link and order something. I'll wait....)

Russ & Daughters also has what I refer to as the "bubbe section"; a counter that originally housed all the sweet treats only a jewish grandmother would serve you. They didn't have their great bagel bread pudding, but I was able to find salted caramel macaroons. I also sent a huge chunk of homemade almond nougat from the San Gennaro Festival (another great NYC event that takes place both in my home borough of Staten Island as well as in my current neighborhood in Manhattan), assorted Japanese cookies, sugared chili mangoes from my Indian deli and some other wee treats.

All in all, I think this month was a good trade all around. I'm already psyched for the next  month.

If you're interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals, you can find the rules and sign up here.


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed your box this month :) It was definitely a good thing I got to the cherry store when I did because they got flooded out the week after I bought the cider for you. The cranberry mustard is a favorite of mine to. Thanks so much for the box you sent me, most of the deliciousness is already gone.

    1. Hi Stephanie, I so appreciate that you still managed an A-1 package even during the horrible floods in your area. And I'm glad you liked yours!

  2. That looks like a nice haul from your foodie penpal!

    1. Thanks, Chrystal! It was! Looks like you got a good package too! ( And nice ink!)