Foodie Penpals pt. 4

For my July pen pal adventure I got a parcel from Lucia from Lulabella’s Kitchen.
I was away at my cousins wedding when it arrived, but I knew the postman had been because I got a message from my housemate frantically cleaning oil from everything. It appeared the sorting office had been a bit too keen to hurl my parcel to London and in so doing a jar of olives in olive oil had leaked.
This was by no means a disaster (although I think it’s my turn to buy the kitchen paper this week) and it meant that I could legitimately eat ALL of the olives straight away. I ate half of them whilst finishing some of the illustrations for my book (shameless plug!) and the rest went into a tapenade which I served with tomatoes and courgette ribbons.

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After the delicious olives I went straight for the strawberry chocolate. I did this because I had planned to get into shape and start eating much healthier from the following day (recipe testing has basically gone straight to my hips!) and thought it best to eat it all in one go so that I wouldn’t be tempted by it during the week. This is possibly the silliest logic ever. Done now. Anyway, it was thoroughly enjoyed whilst watching The Sweetest Thing – hmm eating chocolate and watching Cameron Diaz films, turns out I’m still 15!

The rest of the parcel contained some whole grain crispbread things which are amazing, a bottle of Polish soup seasoning which I can’t wait to try and some Lebanese sweets. She also included chilli salsa, chilli shot, coffee and to get me drinking milk; some milkshake haribo which I thought was hilarious!

What a smashing parcel with ace illustrations. Oh AND she also does private catering, clearly a sister-from-another-mister!
Thanks Lucia you’re a star!

If you want to see what I sent out for July just head over here

And if you would also like to be a foodie penpal then what the hell are you waiting for:

FOODIE PENPALS UK & EUROPE: HTTP://THISISROCKSALT.COM/FOODIE-PENPALS/

FOODIE PENPALS US: HTTP://WWW.THELEANGREENBEAN.COM/FOODIE-PENPALS/

xx

Foodie Penpals pt. 3

Eek, bit late with this one, sorry dudes! Firstly a big thank you to Georgina from www.whatpegmade.blogspot.co.uk for the really lovely foodie penpal parcel this month including super cute handmade card. lovely handmade card! foodie pen pal gifts

The tea shelf is now very happy with its new additions and I made swift work of the nãkd bars. They’re pretty low guilt as they’re mostly made of squished up nuts and dates so deffo need to have a go at making cereal bars this way.

foodie goodies!

I umm-ed and ahh-ed about what to do with the chocolate because it seemed too exciting to just munch as is…but didn’t want to go too elaborate either because I’d hate to detract from the geranium.

So, after much deliberation here is a very, very simple recipe for chocolate florentines. These fancy chocolate buttons are possibly the easiest chocolates to make and look lovely in a box of handmade truffles or as a super gift to take to a last minute dinner party.

Chocolate Florentines

Chocolate Florentines.

Ingredients

100g of chocolate (I used Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate with Orange & Geranium, but any chocolate you like including white chocolate would be fine)
Handful of mixed nuts, seeds, edible flowers and dried fruits

Method
1. Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
2. Lay a large piece of tin foil flat on a work surface or large chopping board, preferably in a cool place.
3. Carefully drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate onto the foil and spread out so they are just slightly bigger than a £2 coin.
4. Decorate each one with a few nuts, dried fruit etc. It looks really smart if they all look the same.

Decorated with sultanas, hazelnuts, lavender and elderflowers
5. Leave to set hard somewhere cool and serve. They’re really nice with coffee or as and edible decoration to a simple dessert.

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If you would also like to be a foodie penpal then what the hell are you waiting for:

FOODIE PENPALS UK & EUROPE: HTTP://THISISROCKSALT.COM/FOODIE-PENPALS/

FOODIE PENPALS US: HTTP://WWW.THELEANGREENBEAN.COM/FOODIE-PENPALS/

xx

Foodie Penpals pt.2

This month I got a parcel of food related goodies from the marvellous Meg of meg-made.blogspot.com .

As with last months parcel, some of it went immediately, in this case the Hello Sailor chocolate bar. Some good chums of mine are in a band called Hello Sailor, they’re an all girl, ukelele & vocal group, they wear sailor hats and are fantastic fun! Check them out:


Anyway, what else did I get…oh yes, now these tulip papers are wonderful, I’ve attempted to make these quite a few times, usually out of necessity when I’m out of muffin cases. I start by cutting a square of grease proof paper, lay it over the muffin tin hole and then slam a jam jar or pint glass in to form the creases. Sounds like it works really well…sort of does..sort of doesn’t. Conclusion, proper tulip papers look really good.

The hibiscus tea is lovely, Meg suggested that I use it in cocktails so I whipped these up to drink whilst watching Eurovision Song Contest the other week…yep, I’m that cool!

Take 2 bags of hibiscus tea, and pop them in a heatproof jug full of 400ml of boiling water. Add 1 lime which has been sliced and leave to stand until pink. Remove the tea bags and leave to cool. Pour into a bigger jug or carafe and add ice, 4 shots of white rum, the juice of another lime and 1 shot of pomegranate syrup. Put some pomegranate seeds into martini glasses and pour in the cocktail, serve! “Douze points!”

Meg also sent some of this lovely popcorn, check it out once popped!

And finally some dried chillies. I still have the pickling spice from last months parcel so I think a serious pickling/chutney making session is getting very over due! I will keep you posted!

If you’re wondering what I sent out last month have a little wander over to Annika’s lovely blog http://www.allthelivelongday.com/

If you would also like to be a foodie penpal then what the hell are you waiting for:

FOODIE PENPALS UK & EUROPE: HTTP://THISISROCKSALT.COM/FOODIE-PENPALS/

FOODIE PENPALS US: HTTP://WWW.THELEANGREENBEAN.COM/FOODIE-PENPALS/

Foodie Penpals pt.1

My latest foodie adventure has begun by signing up to be a foodie penpal via Rock Salt (who got the set up from The Lean Green Bean)…and it’s bloody brilliant! Basically, you’re added to a database of foodies. Each month the coordinator picks someone from the database to send you a parcel of interesting foodie goodies and at the same time you’re chosen to send a parcel to someone else. Then you get in touch (to say thanks or check it all arrived ok) and then blog about what you got. Easy.

A couple of weeks ago my first parcel arrived, it was like an early birthday present, with a card and everything! The lovely Teresa had neatly packed a wonderful mix of goodies and cooking ingredients and tucked into the card was one of her favourite recipes for me to try.

foodie parcel goodies

I made very short work of the nãkd. snack bars, and coconut macaroon, but I did then share the bombay mix with Richard so I’m not a total meanie.

The maize meal (fine polenta) was my favourite ingredient in the parcel because I’ve hardly ever used it but kept meaning to.

I was surprised how easy it is to make soft polenta and I followed this recipe which turned out great. I had planned to put any leftovers into an oven proof dish so they could set, allowing me to slice it and make polenta chips…but there were no leftovers 🙂

roasted tomatoes, olives and polenta

To go with the polenta I just grilled a few tomatoes, then at the end I threw in a few olives and a tablespoon of sundried tomato pesto, then returned to the grill just to warm everything briefly. Serve the tomato and olive mix over the polenta with some fresh basil and black pepper.

roasted tomatoes, olives and polenta

The rest of the maize meal was earmarked for Teresa’s recipe suggestion – Glamorous Raspberry and Polenta Cake by Jane Hornby.

raspberries

This is a great recipe to make all year round because it makes smashing use of frozen raspberries.

frozen raspberries

raspberry and polenta cake

slice of cake anyone?

raspberry and polenta cake

I can highly recommend the foodie penpal scheme as it’s as much fun packing up a parcel as it is receiving one – do it!

x

Foodie Penpals UK & Europe: http://thisisrocksalt.com/foodie-penpals/

Foodie Penpals US: http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/