January 2014 Foodie Penpal reveal

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With all the Christmas festivities behind us, I was so delighted to get the note from our Foodie Penpal fearless leader (and I DO mean she’s fearless!) reminding us that it was time to dust off our shopping skills and get cracking on the January Foodie penpal packages.  For those who aren’t familiar, please check it out.  It’s good stuff.

My penpal carer this month was Kate, and she did not disappoint.

Kate's card

Kate’s card

Kate sent me a great package that started with this card, which included this recipe for mini banana, pecan and cacao loaves.

The recipe

The recipe

 

Not only did she send the recipe, but she sent most of the ingredients as well.

 

Everything I need to make mini-loaves

Everything I need to make mini-loaves

 

And she sent the mini-loaves cases as well.

Mini loaf cases

Mini loaf cases

 

So there really is no excuse (unless, like me, you’ve eaten all the bananas).  But, unlike money, bananas DO grow on trees, so I know where I can get more.  I think this weekend will be the perfect time to try these babies out.

Kate also sent me coffee to have with the mini-loaves.  There really is no excuse now.  I love the name of Grumpy Mule for coffee.  It sums up so many mornings until that first cup hits home.

Coffee

Coffee

 

I mentioned to Kate that we like to do a bit of walking on the weekends, and she kindly threw in a couple of bars to tuck away into pockets to help get us up that last hill.  These were delicious.  They, unfortunately, didn’t make it past the first weekend.  And they were just what we needed.  Good choice, Kate.

Energy bars

Energy bars

Then I discovered a jar of Umami paste, which I can’t wait to try.  I’ve heard so many things about it, and now there’s no excuse not to get cracking with it. I will admit now that I had to google it, and I’ve got a couple of recipes I’m going to try it out in. However, if any of you have any suggestions, please feel free to drop me a line.  I’d be so happy to hear from you with your thoughts.

Unami paste

Unami paste

But here’s something that needs no extra flavour.  Kate sent me a chili kit for making a marvellous pot of chili – just right for this time of year.  I only need to add the ‘carne’ and let it simmer away.  Is there a better smell than this in your kitchen when you’ve been outside in the rainy cold?  I don’t think so.

 

Chili kit

Chili kit

 

And to take a break from having to make my own, Kate sent me this bag of popcorn, which I have to say barely hit the sides.  It was exceptionally good, and I shall be looking to get more of this for the next social gathering here.  But she had me a goats cheese.  I’d spread goats cheese on a rock and happily munch on that all day.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to.

 

Black Pepper Popcorn

Black Pepper Popcorn

 

And finally, I came to another something I’ve not seen before.  These chips are delicious, and perfect for dipping into hummus or cheese – anything really.  The beetroot flavour is very subtle and doesn’t hit your palate immediately.  The horseradish just warms it up a bit.  Absolutely a winner.  And also, the picture at the bottom of the box reminds me of Almira Gulch from The Wizard of Oz.  I’ll never be able to watch that movie again without picturing her bicycling down the road with Toto in her basket and a giant beetroot on her head!

 

Beetroot and Horseradish shards

Beetroot and Horseradish shards

 

So- thank you, Kate – I loved everything about this package.  It was so well put together, and I am grateful for the time you spent on selecting everything.  You did a great job!

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