What's a Foodie Penpal? I discovered the answer a few months ago. The Foodie Penpals was begun by Lindsay at the The Lean Green Bean blog. What started out with barely 30 participants has grown to over 1,300 from the US, Canada, and the UK! So, pop over and check them out. I'm number 23!
So, here's what I ended up doing with my penpal box, this month, from The Squishy Monster. It was all
Chinese Korean [edited per Squishy's note below] foods and treats and really stretched my creativity – but, I think I did it! Hope you'll pop over and give her some comment love, too.
This is the box I received:
|Top row: Roasted Seaweed Snack and Roasted Barley Tea|
Second row: Sweet Potato Snacks, Udon Noodles, Strawberry-filled Cookies
Here's a close-up of the Unknown, in case there is someone who can read Chinese and tell me what it is. I tasted it and it seems fruity, like figs, and very smooth.
I did NOT use the solar oven for this meal. It was all done in under 30 minutes on the stovetop, and needed constant attention to do it right.
Chinese Soup from Snacks and Noodles
7.5 cups water
1/4 cup distilled vinegar
1 T chicken bouillion paste
2 tsps Hoisin sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp green mustard powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 large Roasted Barley Tea bag
3/4 bar of Unknown
12.5 ozs shredded cooked chicken
1 packet of Udon noodles, broken in thirds
4 eggs, just stirred well, not beaten to any froth
1 T crushed Sweet Potato Snack
1 leaf Roasted Seaweed Snack
In large kettle, bring water to a just under a boil and reduce heat to keep it simmering. Add vinegar, bouillion paste, Hoisin sauce, garlic, green mustard powder, ginger, the Unknown, and Roasted Barley Tea bag. Let simmer for approximately ten minutes. Remove tea bag. Add chicken and noodles and hard simmer for six or seven minutes. Check for doneness of noodles -- should be al dente. Start stirring in a clockwise motion and, using a fork, let egg drip slowly into broth. As soon as you're finished adding the eggs, turn off heat. Eggs will be silkier strips, that way.
Cover bottom of bowl with crushed Sweet Potato Snack; slowly pour soup over top. Garnish with Seaweed Snack and serve with whole Sweet Potato Snacks. Have two Strawberry-Filled Cookies for dessert! Thank you, Squishy!
This is just a brief explanation of what we do and I hope you'll pop over, take a look around, and decide you want in on the fun, too!
I'm paraphrasing here -- On the 5th of the month, you receive your penpal pairing via email. It's your responsibility to make contact and get the mailing address and any other information you might need to know like allergies or dietary restrictions. You have to the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail for your foodie penpal. On the last day of the month, you get to post about the goodies you received from your penpal! This penpal is NOT the same one you were given. 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!
And, if you want to see what I sent to my penpal, visit Jan at Cooking Up Randomness.