This was the first month I participated in the Foodie Penpal program sponsored by the Lean Green Machine. Basically what you do is swap foodie items with another person that your linked up to. For me I had to send my items to Christine at Oatmeal in my Bowl. Check her site out to see what goodies I sent. Hope she liked them!
For me, I received my goodies from Maureen from Organically Mo. She sent me the items I love from Trader Joe’s and she wrote the nicest card. I love all my gifts. I took my Granola to work to munch on, and my dogs love the treats. Their kind of a Trader Joe’s fan too! She also did the cutest thing, taped Justin’s Nut Butter to a Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, he he, to represent my name. After looking at that I thought, I picked a funny name. I loved it! I used the peppers already and I have the nut butter in my purse for emergencies! You know you should always keep a hidden stash of peanut butter!!! Thank you Maureen for the goodies!
Anyone can participate in the Food Penpals program, and you don’t need a blog to join!! If you interested here’s some information below.
-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.
*Breaking news! This month we’re going to do a trial run for our Canadian friends. I’m still not exactly sure how it will work with shipping costs and stuff for you guys up North, but if you’re willing to give it a try for a month and provide me with some feedback, that would be awesome! 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. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
If you’re interested in participating for February, please send an email to Lindsay at [email protected] and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
-WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT. – this is SUPER important so I can get you on the right list!
The Lean Green machine will need to hear from you by February 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th!
This weekend I was at Trader Joe’s and I kept on seeing that Chocolate Almond Butter and I debated about buying it and then I thought why not make it? I like my nut butters way better then the stores, so this weekend I did it and I am so happy I did! I love it!! Another one of my new addictions!
If you haven’t made a nut butter yet, you must! Do it now!! Once you make your own, you’ll never buy store bought again, I promise!! Matter in fact this week, Target has nuts on sale, so check it out!!! It’s cheaper than buying a jar of nut butter!!
What I did was make my normal Almond Butter and right at the end I added about 1 oz of dark chocolate. It’s not that much chocolate, so next time I may add more. But this Almond Butter has the wonderful almond taste with a chocolate after taste. The chocolate I used was Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pounder Bars. This is the best dark chocolate, it’s creamy and smooth and melts like a dream. Way better then using chips! So if you want a GOOD chocolate check out the big red pounder bars from TJ’s. You’ll see a picture on my Trader Joe’s page.
Chocolate Almond Butter – Adapted from my Cinnamon Almond Butter
2 cup raw almonds
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 oz dark chocolate (Trader Joe’s Pounder Bars)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the almonds and maple syrup . Spread out almond mixture onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stir and place back in oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow the almonds to cool.
In food processor add almonds and process until you see it form into a ball. (NOTE: You will have to scrape down the sides a few times, like 10.) Add you cinnamon and vanilla extract and then process until drippy. The whole process takes about 10 – 15 minutes. When your right at the end I add the chocolate and process until all melted in, about 1 more minute.
Makes about 16 Tablespoons or a smidge over 1 cup
Calories per Tablespoon: 92, Fat: 7.4, Sodium: 30, Potassium: 3.3, Carbs: 4.7, Fiber: 1.7, Sugar: 1.8, Protein: 3.1
This would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Serve with some strawberries, marshmallows, graham crackers, banana’s, maybe some whip cream, or you could make a scrumptious dessert with it. I won’t tell you what else I think you could do with it. lol Sorry, being dirty here!! he he Oh and a banana sandwich is so good with this almond butter. You could also put this in ice cream, on top of oatmeal or do like I do and put in my yogurt. So good, so creamy! This is my best nut butter yet!!
Time for me to go make myself something for dinner, it’s fend for yourself night. Hmm, what to make, what to make. I do know it’s Monday night and I’ll be baking something sweet! Have a great day!! Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post, to see all the Skinny Super Bowl Treats you can make!