September 2014 Foodie Penpal

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As my September foodie penpal, Zoe, pointed out – it’s hard to believe it’s the end of September already. But the leaves are golden and deep red now, the air is much more crisp, and all of my husband’s cricket gear is put away. That’s always a sure sign that summer is over. Well that, and the fact that we’ve had the heat on for a couple of weeks. Sigh . . .

I got my September package early in the month, which was great. It also spurred me on to get my act together and get Sabine’s on it’s way to Germany, so thanks for that, Zoe! Here’s what Zoe sent –

This bottle of smoked paprika came at a perfect time. I’ve been trying a lot of recipes that call for smoked paprika over the last year, and my supply was running low. I had it on my shopping list, but I’m pleased I can take it off now.

Delicious on everything!

Delicious on everything!

Smoked paprika really gives a really rich flavour to so many dishes. I pretty much add a dash to almost everything I make now from eggs to casseroles.

I love these little kits. But oddly enough, although I see them in the shops, I never get them for myself. This is a Thai green curry kit.

Dinner made easy!

Dinner made easy!

I love going out for Thai food, but have seldom made it, so to have one so neatly delivered to my door is truly a sign. I can’t wait to try it.

Whoever invented a way to cook things in a bag should get a knighthood, or maybe something even higher (is there such a thing?). I think they’re brilliant.

Dinner in a bag!

Dinner in a bag!

Zoe sent me a lemon and dill packet for seasoning salmon cooked in a bag. What could be easier than this? And you don’t have to worry about basting or ensuring your food doesn’t dry out. The bag does all the work without any effort on your part. I’m all for that.

I also got this chips spice. I made oven-baked chips all the time, and I think I am most excited about this. I’ve never seen it, and I usually just try to hash something together with whatever spices I have to hand.

My oven's already heating up.

My oven’s already heating up.

I’m not sure this packet is going to see tomorrow, because I think there are some chips with my name (and this Smokey BBQ spice) on them. I’m thinking lunchtime . . .

And finally, Zoe sent me red lentils. I love lentils – red ones in particular. My in-laws were raised in India, and when I first moved to the UK, I learned quickly how to make tarka dhal. But Zoe sent me a recipe for a spiced lentil soup, which I can’t wait to try.

One of the best things to help get you through winter.

One of the best things to help get you through winter.

This is definitely the start of soup season, and I think I’ll kick it off with Zoe’s soup recipe.

Thank you, Zoe, for putting together such a thoughtful package. I love everything you sent, and I hope you were as fortunate as I was.

If any of you are interested in joining this fantastic group, please visit Carol Anne on It’s way more fun than ironing. . . .

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