February Foodie Pen Pals!

Every month, I feel like I hit the jackpot when it comes to my Foodie Pen Pals package. February was no exception, and since I got my package nice and early, I’ve had the opportunity to sample almost everything that the wonderful Mellissa from A Fit & Spicy Life sent me.

It’s as though Mellissa read my mind when she sent me Target’s Archer Farms granola. My absolute favorite is the chocolate chunk hazelnut biscotti, so I was beside myself when I saw that was included! I also got to try the pecan sticky bun, and that is definitely a close second favorite. These granola goodies were just in time, since only a few days before I finished my Pure Bliss Eats peanut butter chocolate chip granola. Now I’m itching to take a trip to Target and grab a full sized box of each flavor!

Since I’ve been teaching, granola bars for breakfast have become my new best friends. Naturally, seeing a box of blueberry almond flax bars got me excited. I enjoyed one every morning last week, and am looking forward to checking out what other flavors they have (while getting more granola, of course). While I was a little wary of the black currant chocolate, I was pleasantly surprised when I had a taste – it’s a nice balance of fruity sweet with chocolate – I’ll be taking my time to finish off that bad-boy. The “Monster” trail mix has also been a great afternoon snack to help get me through grading essay after essay. My 11th graders are taking the HSPAs next week, so we’ve been all about practicing expository, open ended, and persuasive writing. Nuts and chocolate are the right kind of pick me up for that!

While I haven’t tried the Mio yet, every single time I see it, myself and my husband start singing the commercial jingle… who would have thought Foodie Pen Pals could bring music to the home! I also haven’t tried the Gatorade energy bites, but I’ll have to report back after I devour some pre-run.

I’m so thankful for all the goodies Mellissa sent me, and if you’re interested in finding out what I sent this month, head over to Linday’s blog It’s Linz to check it out!

So, you may be wondering how you too can get in on the fun. Need not fret, here are all the details!:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for March, please send an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
-Whether you are a US or Canadian resident (Super important to make sure you’re on the right list!)

You must submit your information by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!

This Week in Yum

I’m still here, I promise! I’ve been slowly taking over my cooperating teacher’s schedule, so I’ve been getting more and more work (yay!). My time in the kitchen has mostly been spent recreating favorites and making quick meals. However, there have been a few noteworthy dishes I’ve devoured recently.

On Sunday, I sent my husband off to a Superbowl party with some Buffalo Chicken Dip, a true football party classic. He surprisingly brought some home, so on Tuesday I decided to use the leftovers to make grilled sandwiches, my family loves sandwiches, we typically visit the sandwich shop at least once a week so I thought it was a perfect idea. It was super easy, and really delicious – it tasted like it was a million calories, but I promise it wasn’t! All you need to do is make this buffalo chicken dip (second recipe listed), put about 3 tablespoons on your favorite bread, and grill away. Yum.

The next night, I made veggie burgers, but not just any veggie burger. A few weeks ago, Megan over at Running Foodie posted a recipe for eggplant burgers. As luck would have it, eggplants and burgers are two of my favorite things, and combining them was right up my alley. So, I bookmarked the recipe and finally made them. My husband isn’t a big eggplant fan, but he was pleasantly surprised when he found out the ingredients. The recipe makes 8 burgers, so I was able to enjoy some for lunch throughout the week. Double win. Unfortunately I was so excited to eat it all I didn’t snap a picture, but you should absolutely  make them.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge burrito fan, so I decided to add that to our menu for the week. This wasn’t just any burrito, though, it was  a grilled burrito, which is something I need to do more often. It was such an easy way to upgrade the burrito to a whole new level. If you can muster up waiting a few extra minutes before devouring your burrito, all you need to do is spray a pan with some non-stick cooking spray and heat it for about 2-3 minutes on each side. So good.

To round out my week of yum, I received some goodies I ordered from Pure Bliss Eats, and it’s been a struggle not to eat everything right away! I ordered the Chocolate Chip Dough Balls and some Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola. Almost all of the dough balls are gone already, and there is only a bit of the granola left, too. They are both SO good and since it’s healthy, I have no problem indulging frequently. If you’re in the market for some delicious healthy treats I would highly recommend checking out Pure Bliss Eats, especially because it’s a fellow foodie fitness blogger’s brainchild!

There’s plenty of yum on this week’s menu, and also lots of running. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October, so base training for that has begun! This round both the husband and I are planning to incorporate weight training into our plan as well, and we actually spent an extra hour at the gym today doing some leg work. I’m looking forward to making that a more regular occurrence, because I really believe cross training can help someone like me who’s so injury prone. Bring it on, running.