Food Through The Post! FoodiePenpals #1

31 Jul

How exciting?
This is my inaugural FoodiePenpals post. For the uninitiated this is a rather lovely initiative where food bloggers from all over the country (and the world) send each other monthly packages of foody items. Yes, just like that penpal from France you had when you were a kid, remember you used to send them postcards, stamps and coins from the UK until you grew up (where are they now huh?) well it is the same except you change ‘pals’ every month and you don’t send stickers and badly spelt letters but things to eat or help with baking. If you want your own FoodiePenpal full details can be found here – hosted by the UK representative This is Rock Salt.

I quite liked shopping for my own foodie penpal (Avril from ConkerTree), my first recipient was a current vegetarian, would-be vegan and not so keen on very spicy foods. As a hot-beef-curry kind of girl this made me think about replacements for items I would normally buy. I also sent her a couple of my banana bread cupcakes! I’ve been assured she liked them, unlike my own son.

Anyway, one Saturday morning my own parcel arrived – what on earth would be inside?
Well here it is, express delivery from the lovely Emma.
Super huh?

Firstly I have to say you see those little star-shaped baking cases? EVERYONE with a child must go and buy some. Now. Go on, really. Go now.
My little boy LOVED them. He could not believe we could make little star shaped cakes and biscuits. Actually couldn’t believe it. And neither could I, so thank you. I shall be buying

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more. So very happy to be introduced to those. We made some kiwi muffins in ours using fruit from our veg box.
The box also included a lovely handwritten note with a suggested menu written especially for me that included a healthier variation of my favourite meal ever (really) – Macaroni Cheese. If I see it on a menu I will order it, without fail. I don’t make it myself, I’ve tried it once from the Nigella Christmas book and it nearly ruined the whole dish for me.

This sumptuous new recipe included chestnuts (happily included in the parcel) and butternut squash and it really was a success. Even my husband ate it. But what I will say was the revelation was the gluten-free pasta, I’d never tried it. I love pasta SO much but I find it does make me feel a bit odd sometimes, especially eaten late at night. So I was happy to find that this rice & corn version made me feel as light as a feather after. Wow, maybe I find digesting wheat and gluten a bit tough sometimes? Maybe this gorgeous, special pasta is the way to go? Thanks for that Emma – what a result?
Also included:

  • Real vanilla pods – will have to have a think about those, don’t want to waste them!
  • Some gorgeous chocolate biscuits from France – my son and I ate them with tea and warm milk, amazing.
  • And some beetroot crisps – which I have to admit eating the second I opened the box because I had a hangover. Sorted me out though so win, win.

More FoodiePenpals goodness next month – can’t wait. And if you can’t either then check out #foodiepenpals on Twitter for other posts.


6 Responses to “Food Through The Post! FoodiePenpals #1”

  1. Claire 31/07/2012 at 9:32 am #

    This is such a brilliant idea, I’m really tempted to join.
    Am also going to try gluten free pasta, sounds fab.

    • Alice Can't Cook 31/07/2012 at 4:06 pm #

      Claire love you should really sign up – its a great idea, really good fun! x

  2. Avril 31/07/2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Wow what a lovely box Alice. Also fantastic post. The macaroni cheese sounds fab, was there any dairy in it? I am also trying to go without wheat and I buy spelt pasta which is lovely, although very expensive.

    • Alice Can't Cook 31/07/2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Avril – thanks for that – looking forward to reading your post about my box! There was indeed dairy in the pasta using a small amount of light cream cheese, although the squash and chestnuts offered enough that you might not need it… x

  3. Rock Salt 31/07/2012 at 12:30 pm #

    What a lovely parcel, really thoughtful. Mac and cheese is one of my favourites too, but I make it at home ALL THE TIME and then eat about six portions in one sitting. Maybe next time I will try gluten free pasta to mitigate the total lack of self control?

    • Alice Can't Cook 31/07/2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Hi there, yes it really was – making an effort with my favourite dish! Sadly Emma doesn’t have a blog so I can’t link to her…
      I think gluten free pasta might be the way to go, as yes it sounds as if you’re a bit like me – just can’t say no!!!!
      Thanks so much for reading xx

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