May Foodie Pen Pals (The Best Ever)
Did you miss yesterday’s preview of my next big foodie event, Mohegan Sun BBQ Fest? Head here to check it out!
I am so excited to write about what I got from my Foodie Pen Pal this month…you’ll see why. But first, a quick explanation of what this is about – Lindsay‘s Foodie Pen Pals program is a great way to meet fellow bloggers and try new foodie treats, whether they are local or just something your grocery store doesn’t happen to carry. Don’t forget to go here to find out how you can join this amazing program. It’s completely worth the ~$25/month (food + shipping) that it costs to participate!
Previous Foodie Pen Pals posts:
- April: What I Got and What I Sent
- March: What I Got and What I Sent
- February:What I Got and What I Sent
- January:What I Got and What I Sent
- November:What I Got and What I Sent
No offense at ALL to the other foodie pen pals I’ve had…you’ve all been wonderful. However, I have to call May the BEST month of the Foodie Pen Pals program I’ve ever experienced. That’s because, ironically enough, no pen was required for me to receive my package. The pen pal assigned to mail me a box of foodie treats happened to live a few towns away! How often does a picture like the one below get to accompany a Foodie Pen Pal reveal?
Yeah, that’s what I thought! When my pen pal Michelle emailed me to ask for my preferences, she mentioned she lived nearby. I immediately suggested we meet up in person, and was glad that she was into the idea too. We made plans to meet in West Hartford’s picturesque Blueback Square at The Green Teahouse, a special loose-leaf tea shop that I’ve visited a couple of times in the past.
It’s pretty funny how alike Michelle and I are! We both showed up in workout gear and sunglasses, as you can see from our photo together. We both have a Whole Foods addiction, and love to work out. And best of all, we both are daily deal addicts! When she pulled out a Living Social deal to Green Teahouse as we walked into the shop, I could’ve kissed her. I have never found another Coupon Caitlin – finally, someone who wouldn’t be looking at me saying, “You have a Groupon for that?!”
We also share similar taste in teas, because it was easy for us to quickly select a blend that the friendly employee promised would make the world implode. He was right! We ordered two iced tea blends of Monkey’s Chocolate and Banana Split, lightly sweetened with honey.
As part of my pen pal package, Michelle was a total sweetheart and contributed her Living Social deal to purchase our iced teas, as well as an ounce each of the blend for us to make at home. I’ve already made one attempt to re-create the tea (again, as an iced drink) on my won, and I definitely didn’t make it strong enough. Now I know for next time! I need a LOT of this yummy flavor.
The guy who helped us also shared that for groups of four to ten people, at $30/person, the Green Teahouse will do Chinese tea ceremonies! Sounds like such a fun girl’s day.
We took our iced teas outside because it was such a gorgeous day. I loved that Michelle could watch my reaction as I opened the package, which came in a Whole Foods bag and was tied with an adorable ribbon. I have since transferred the ribbon to my Reebok backpack!
I spotted something QUITE incredible with my first glance into the bag.
Yes, that’s Lilly Pulitzer! What I really loved about Michelle’s package for me was the fact that she really read my blog to help her determine what goodies I’d enjoy most. She just put so much effort into it! I was touched.
For example, Michelle could tell from my constant posting about Daybreak that I am a coffee-lover, so she selected a coffee thermos for me. And I think she could also tell that I’m a Lilly girl 😉 The borghum gum sea salt air popcorn sounds SO interesting to me! Michelle says it’s great and I can’t wait to dig in some evening when I need a snack for a movie night. I love salty, savory food!
The savory snack and coffee theme continued. How adorable are those printed notes?! What’s even MORE awesome is that Michelle designed them! She does printing and design on the side – another touching part of the package, and I also was in desperate need of new cards to use for future Foodie Pen Pal mailings. The non-GMO soy and mushroom jerky was right up my alley – healthy, unique, and savory. I’ve already had the hickory BBQ soy flavor and can’t wait to try the spicier mushroom one next – but will have to follow Michelle’s recommendation and have a glass of milk ready nearby.
I was so very excited to see the Z Bars in the package because I have seen them ALL over the blog world but have never picked any up because I tend to have a steady supply of bars at my house from samples, giveaways, and other Foodie Pen Pal months. The nutrition stats are quite impressive and I had the honey graham version before Step class one day, and had a GREAT class full of energy! Michelle studied in England for awhile and wanted to give me some international brands of food, so she chose low-calorie hot chocolate packets. I’m so excited to try them, especially the Caribbean coconut flavor – oh man.
I got pretty damn excited when the last thing I pulled out of the bag was a Tupperware container. Michelle is just so cute and perky and I could totally see her being an excellent baker and cook. Yup, that was confirmed when I opened the container and caught a glance of the above: Michelle’s Kick A** Cookies with oats, flax seed, dried figs, walnuts, and both dark and white chocolate chips!
I brought them to a grad party I attended later that day and had two myself. They didn’t last long among my friends! So hearty, satisfying, and yet also indulgent-tasting. Props, Michelle!
I’m so thankful to have been matched up with a Foodie Pen Pal in May who has ALSO become a “real life” friend! Michelle and I plan to hang out again…and, hint hint, I wouldn’t mind sampling some more baked goods!
And don’t forget to check out The Green Teahouse’s tea blog – an interesting read even for those who aren’t from CT!
Stay tuned – this afternoon I’ll be publishing a guest post by the reader I sent goodies to this month!
Have you ever visited a loose leaf tea café/shop?
Have you ever been matched up with a Foodie Pen Pal who you were able to meet with in person?
Have you ever tried any of the treats I received?