Foodie Penpal from Chicagoland!


This month’s Foodie Penpal box came from Ashley of My Cats and I (Cooking) in Chi. When I found out that Ashley was from Chicago, I told her that if she could somehow ship some hot fries from Pops for Champagne, that my husband would be forever grateful. πŸ˜‰

From our email exchanges, Ashley and I found that we have a lot in common. We both love trying new restaurants and admit that we dine out more often than our waistlines and wallets can handle. She even gave me some recommendations for new restaurants to try the next time we travel to or through Chicagoland. I also found another person who doesn’t like a ton of bacon in dishes like me! {I seriously thought I was the only one with all the blank stares I get when I mention that.}

So what was in the box? Well, let’s just take a look:


Ashley dubbed this a Reduced Guilt package!

Skinny Pop Popcorn – Mmm. No artificial anything! This stuff is good and coated with just the right amount of salt. “Popped Skinny in the USA,” the company hails from Chicago.

Trader Joe’s Mini Milk Chocolate Bars – For my chocolate fix. It was 90+ degrees in the Midwest when our boxes went out this month. I didn’t think about this until moments after I shipped my FPP recipient’s box! I worried about melted chocolate all over her goodies! I quickly sent her a warning/apology email. Soon after, I received an email from Ashley stating that she had included some chocolate, not thinking about the hot weather and hoped it wouldn’t be all over the box. {See how much alike we are?!} It was nothing the refrigerator couldn’t fix! These separately-wrapped 100 calories bars are heaven.

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix – This one makes me laugh. Whenever a Foodie Penpal {you are assigned to new people every month} asks me about my preferences and if I am okay with homemade or baked goods, I explain that I like both healthy and indulgent treats because I believe that any food can be part of a healthy diet as long as it is in moderation. Then I add, “That being said, when it comes to baked goods, if you send me a brownie, I’ll eat it. But if you send me a plate of brownies, I’ll probably eat those in one sitting, too.” Moderation is tough for me when it comes to baked goods. It’s why I don’t usually bake. So, then, why did Ashley send these to me?

Because you can use the mix to make ONE BROWNIE AT A TIME!

Genius. In fact, I’ve since dumped the mix into a jar with the {simple} directions on top, so I can make myself my own hot brownie anytime. YAY!


Wonderful Pistachios {single serving pack} – Nuts are one of my favorite snacks. And I still think I might be the only one on the planet that can’t stop laughing at this Crackin’ Gangnam Style pistachio commercial. πŸ˜‰

Also included was, as she mentioned in her note, one of Ashley’s favorite breakfast recipes for Blueberry Banana Pie Overnight Oats along with the Pecan Praline Granola and Chia Seeds needed in the recipe. I just had to make it!


Sooo good. I only made half the recipe at a time and it came out just fine. Since then, I’ve also eaten the granola as cereal with banana or peaches added. And do you know how long I’ve been meaning to buy and try out chia seeds?! Now I’m just looking for some more fun recipes and uses for them.

None of those items have I previously picked up at Trader Joe’s. And I may have even passed them by in the future if Ashley hadn’t introduced them to me!

Thank you, Ashley for a not only wonderful and tasty, but also thoughtful package.

I loved {and am still loving} it!

Thinking you want to become a Foodie Penpal? You don’t even need to be a blogger to do it! Here’s how:

1. Sign up by the 4th of the month that you want to participate.

2. On the 5th of the month, you are assigned a Foodie Penpal.

3. You communicate with your penpal about any food allergies or preferences, as well as where to ship the package.

4. By the 15th of the month, send $15 worth of food to your penpal that may include homemade goodies, local treats or just some of your favorite discoveries that you want to share! The box must also contain something handwritten.

5. You’ll receive a package from another Foodie Penpal, who was assigned to you.

6. If you are like me, you squeal with delight when your package arrives.

7. You enjoy said goodies, which you may have never known about otherwise.

8. If you are a blogger, you post about the package you received on the last day of the month – Reveal Day! {If you are not a blogger, you do not need to do anything, but thank your Penpal, of course! However, if your Penpal does blog, you can choose to write a guest post, if you so wish.}

What are your favorite recipes for/uses of chia seeds?



4 responses »

  1. Pingback: Foodie Penpal from Idaho | Season It Already!

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