May 2014 Foodie Penpal


I love when my Foodie Penpal writes to me just after the lists have been sent out, and Jaye did not disappoint. Despite being in the middle of her sister’s wedding plans, I still received a very interested email (and subsequent response). And how she ever found time to shop and post everything in the middle of all that, I’ll never know. But Jaye did a great job!

Not only did she shop, but she took the time to hand-write this note, which really puts me to shame with the (much shorter) notes I usually send out.

Jaye's note

Jaye’s note

Now it’s not surprising if you read Jaye’s blog, that tea would be included in the package.



But don’t think this is just ordinary tea. This is delicious, thirst-quenching tea. I’ve had both of them already. I liked the green tea a lot – it was quite smooth. And the English breakfast was the perfect way to start my Bank Holiday weekend.

The next thing I pulled out of the package was this Rum Raisin Fudge.

Rum Raisin Fudge

Rum Raisin Fudge

I’ve tried rum raisin ice cream before, so I was anxious to get to the fudge. And it was SO tasty. I love that it came from Cardiff, too (where Jaye’s living, by the way). I am rationing this so that I don’t go through the entire (rather large) piece of fudge in one sitting of Grey’s Anatomy . . .

Out next came the chilli almonds. Wow – this is a taste you don’t want to miss.

Chilli almonds

Chilli almonds

These almonds are dusted with a smoked chilli powder – just enough to give you a bit of heat when you’re eating them, but not too much as to blow your head off. I never would have put chilli with almonds – but thank goodness someone did.

And you may or may not believe this, but as I was walking to the front door to greet the postman who handed me my Foodie parcel this month, I was thinking that I really had a taste for popcorn, and I wondered if I actually had any in my larder. I quickly forgot that thought when I saw what the postman was handing me, but I couldn’t believe what I saw next in my parcel when I opened it.



Really? Is this how it works now? I only have to think of things and the postie will deliver it to my front door? (** George Clooney . . . George Clooney . . . George Clooney). So how clever was Jaye to think to put this into my parcel? (The popcorn . . . not George Clooney 😦 )

I then started getting a whiff of what might be coming out next.

Dried chillis

Dried chillis

I mentioned in my introductory email to Jaye that I liked spicy things, so in my parcel were two different types of dried chilli. One is a smoked Naga Ghost chilli, and one is a Chipotle Meco Chilli. I already soaked and sliced up most of the Chipotle chilli for one of my weekend dishes, and it really added quite a bit of depth. I am saving the Naga chilli for one of my braver days. It was the ‘smoke’ scent that I could smell as I was opening up the parcel. These also came from Cardiff – looks like from a place called Clancys.

I then pulled out a package of Welch cakes from one of Jaye’s local, independent deli’s called Wally’s.

Welch cakes

Welch cakes

I’ve never tasted Welch cakes before, but I put these away till breakfast the next day, warmed them up and plied them with lashings of butter. I had to try two of them, just to make sure I liked them (I did). But before I could get at the rest, other family members piled in. So – those were a very distant memory all too quickly.

And finally, I pulled these out of the parcel.

Savoury powders

Savoury powders

These are powders that I am going to experiment with on my aforementioned popcorn, although the Spice of Life curry powder already made a small debut in one of my dinners last weekend. But I think the horseradish, beetroot and chilli powder will make spectacularly interesting popcorn flavours.

Jaye – you outdid yourself with my parcel. You listened to what I said I liked, and you ticked every box. You’ve made me very happy. Thank you very much for a wonderful bounty of goodies!

April 2014 Foodie Penpal Reveal

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A day late, but still just as sincere, I wanted to tell you about my Foodie Penpal package that came to me this month from Giles.

Giles is one of three founder members of the “Our Honest Foods” company, and I sincerely urge you to visit their website by clicking here. It’s a most entertaining and valuable site, and I think perhaps many of you might benefit from their wares. I couldn’t possibly give them a better write up than they have done themselves, so I’ll let them do the talking, but please – visit them – even if it’s just to laugh at their antics.

But here is my package. The box it came in was neat and tidy.

The Box

The Box

But not only that, every single side of it had value. It even had a special Easter greeting! How cool is that?

So the front is as functional as you’d expect. But look . . .

Side 2

Their mission

How nice to have a mission you can print on your boxes!

But it’s not over yet. On the opposite side of their mission is this –

Their story

Their story

And if that wasn’t enough – just look what’s on the back!

The back

Games on the back!

I loved this box before I even opened it. And that’s really what you want in a foodie penpal box, right?

Nevertheless, and as entertained as I was by just the box, I did open it. And here’s what I found . . .

The contents

The best contents

I grabbed the corn nuts first as it was later in the day, and I needed something for my gin and tonic to wash down. They were fantastic.

The chocolate Cheeky Chunk was next. I have to be honest and say that my expectations were fairly low, as I’ve tasted some rank chocolate in my time. But this was excellent quality chocolate. I mean it was really, really good.

After that, the dark chocolate and ginger cookies bit the dust. It was a perfect size for munching with a cup of tea (clearly on a different day from the aforementioned gin and tonic.)

I then tried the Super-Seedy Sustain squares. Now these are goooooooooooooooood. These are really good. They’re a nutritional treat that don’t taste like they should be good for you. But they are.

Since plowing through the first handful of items so quickly, I’m saving the Rocky Road gluten free bar, and the fruity apple and pear snack.

The handful of Uncle Joe’s mint balls (which keep you all aglow) have been a big success after our meals. A real fresh take on the after-dinner mint.

All in all – this was a most excellent month for the Foodie Penpal for me. I love this company and I wish them all the best for their future, which I think will be big and bright.

Good luck, lads and thanks for the treats!

IF you are interested in learning more about joining the Foodie Penpal monthly event, and you live in Europe, find out more about us here. If you are in the USA, please check it out here.