Friday, 31 August 2012

Foodie Pen Pals

When I read about foodie pen pals I knew I wanted to get involved. The opportunity to buy delicious foodie treats that I wouldn't normally - or at least not without a shred of guilt - (even if I'm not eating them, a trip to the supermarket/foodie shops is always welcomed!) and the idea of having a lovely parcel of things delivered in return to get my creative cookery juices flowing definitely appealed to me!

I had the pleasure of sending a foodie parcel to Sarah Jane of the atomatosardine blog. Her entry on my parcel is here! All I'll say is that I had great fun picking treats out for someone I didn't know, and trying to get creative with what I could fit in my already full-to-the-brim luggage on my return from Barcelona.

Samantha Bell  sent me a very generous food parcel as shown below...

Where to begin? Well, maybe with the bits in it I've already eaten! I was so excited to get stuck in that the lentil & chilli curls from M&S & some giant corn snacks are already gone. My favourite were the curls - a really nice healthy snack to steer me away from crisps; these were yummy. I've also already delved into the lasagne as Samantha had kindly included some recipes to accompany some of the items - I created Samantha's own courgette lasagne recipe. This was a lovely homely dish, though I never quite get lasagne right (the top sheet of lasagne always seems to go crispy - although I realised this time that I actually quite like that!) so I think I'm going to get Jamie to have a go at it next time. It was a nice autumnal dish though (yes, it's autumn, I hear that's been decided by the continuous Mancunian showers), and I was especially pleased to receive this recipe as we had courgettes that were close to dying!

The BEAR fruit yo yo is actually a replacement one as I love these fruit rolls that I've already eaten the one I was sent. I think I was sold on them as a brand when I contacted them whilst volunteering in the fundraising department at work & although they never actually had a conversation with me, I enjoyed receiving their e-mails letting me know that "Jenny is currently out of the cave resting her paws" & their sign off - "best regrrds"! They're also super tasty too... Pineapple is very good, and I'd also recommend the peach flavour.

I thought I could smell coffee when I picked up my parcel from reception & I was so happy when I found that there was some included - I'm a total coffee fiend. I have tried this in my cafetiere but I think I need an espresso machine to do this fine ground justice. Time to invest!

Samantha said that she's a lady who doesn't usually buy ready-made items but included the Merchant Gourmet lentils because lentils are such a pain to get right, and I definitely agree. I always end up under or over cooking them, so I'm looking forward to using these - but can't decide what to have them with! I'm thinking a ballotine of chicken stuffed with chestnut puree, or a slow cooked duck leg... Let me know if anyone has any other ideas.

The kinder egg was also a very sweet treat, and I think I may just crack into it tonight...

All in all, a fantastic foodie parcel - and I can't wait to eat/use the other bits and pieces shown above! I definitely think that I'll be doing this regularly, and I know that Jamie's keen to get involved too... he was very envious when he saw my treats.

I hope I haven't been naughty in posting this before the last day of the month - I'm off to Harrogate tomorrow for a weekend (well, two nights) sans internet, so thought I better get it up now.