Monthly Archives: May 2012

Foodie Penpals May 2012

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The Lean Green Bean

Let me tell you about an amazing experience…

FOODIE PENPALS !!

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The month of May 2012 was my first time doing the foodie penpals experience and it was AWESOME!
The concept is easy, you join and you’re matched with two other food lovers (blogger or reader) The first one send you something and you send something to the last one.
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Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:
(Thanks to The Lean Green Bean to letting us copy this text instead of all writing it over!)

-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.

Want to give it a try? It’s easy!! Just click HERE or on the image on  top of my page! You’ll see it’s fun!

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Like I said, It was my first time this month, but not my last!

The part where I received such an amazing goodies box was great, but I was also lucky to make smile someone else, but more importantly, I meet two wonderful women. That’s the most fantastic part of my experience. I was so trilled when I realized that both of the women I was matched with were so nice and that we had a lot in common!!! What a chance I had to get to know them! The best part in all that… We still chat each few days together!

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Let me introduce you to an amazing women… Courtney from The Fig Tree

From the very first message we quickly realized the many similarities between us. She’s a food and photography lover (and let me tell you… she’s very talented!!!) Music, movies, nature… she’s a lot like me, except two things, she’s in Manitoba, I’m in Quebec and she’s vegetarian. (No big deals here, I don’t eat a lot of meat myself! Anyway I respect everybody!) We instantly connected together.

I was so trilled to be matched with someone like her!! (Chance was nice with me that day, haha)

I strongly recommend to everyone to go and take a look at her amazing blog The Fig Tree or join her on facebook The Fig Tree Facebook

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The day I received her box, it was like Christmas!! First because it’s always fun to receive something else than bills in the mail and because.. Gosh! the box was filled with things that I love (It was like she knew me forever).

She put so much effort in all the details (she’s a true artist!), everything was wrapped in that cute flower paper with number post-it… inside the box there was a letter explaining each items (with their numbers). What a great idea!!! She even took the time to explain why she was sending me each things, where they came from… I really loved the fact that she sent me things that I would like but also things that she like and wanted me to discover.

For the curious who are currently reading this post… I’ll tell you all what I received!

1- Organic sweet Basil Seeds, it’s just perfect for me, I love gardening!! And she didn’t knew but my favorite herb is basil!

2- Manitoba Rooibos Tea, Her favorite kind of tea, mine is Pu-Er, but it doesn’t matter at all, I love Rooibos too and never tasted this one.

3- Green Bean Coffee, a coffee roasted in Manitoba, can’t wait to brew me a cup! It smells SOOOOO good!!!

4- Manitoba Spiced Apple Leather, directly from the Farmer’s market, it tastes like fresh from the oven apple pie. Like she told me to do in the letter, I give some to my adorable daughter Dalie and she liked it very much (haha my husband too!!)

5- Vegetarian Time Magazine, Her favorite magazine. In fact I always wanted to subscribe myself to this magazine because it look interesting but never had the chance to really read one… I was glad to receive one, I took a cup of tea and sat with the magazine… and now I will definitely subscribe! Such a great magazine!!

6- The movie *Away we go*, she sent me one of her favorite movie so I could have a dinner+ movie night with my husband.. and we had it! What a great movie, simple and so cute. (if you’ve never seen it, I recommend it, run to the video club and rent it!)

7- Tall Grass Prairie Manitoba Jam, it’s from a well known bakery where they make lots of great stuff, like buns, bread, canning. The jam is made of saskatoon bushes, fruit that we don’t really have where I live. This is why I’m so trilled to try this jam! Every morning I look at the jar wanting to eat some.. but I don’t want to see the jar empty, hahaha! I’m sure it’s delicious!

8-Homemade Ginger-Coconut-Almond-Granola, This granola taste like.. HEAVEN! You can find the recipe on her blog HERE. Usually I’m not a huge ginger fan, but in this granola it’s so good, it’s almost incredible!

A special thanks to my new friend Courtney for making me smile the day I met her (well… also when I opened the box, hah!)

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I also met another great women while doing the foodie penpals experience. I had to send her a goodies box.

Her name is Collen, she’s from Ontario. She’s a strong women that I admire a lot. She doesn’t have a blog but I asked her to write me a little something for my blog… when she will sent it to me, I’ll post it.

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Like I previously said, this experience is not only about food, but for me it was also about getting in touch with others and had the chance to meet interesting people.

Don’t be shy, try the experience at least one time!

The Lean Green Bean
Want to see what others received? Go take a look at the official Foodie Penpals Reveal day’s page

Carrot & Date Cookies

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I love my boxer dog Meya even when she’s acting like a baby ( she will turn 2 this June), nothing is better than to sleep on the couch with her behind me, or to have her head on my knee when I feel sad.. My daughter Dalie and Meya are like best friends or even better.. partners in crime! They are ALWAYS together! It’s cute to see how much Meya cares about her! Hopefully she’s still young and we will have her in our family for years and years.

I can’t resist her  little eyes when she want a cookie, haha!

It’s great because I love to cook recipes for dog and she .. well she likes to eat them! Everyone is happy!

Servings

24 medium cookies (bones)

Ingredients

* 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

* 1/4 cup wheat bran

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/2 cup oatmeal

* 1 large carrot, grated (about 1 cup)

* 1/4 cup pitted and chopped fresh dates

* 1/2 cup peanut butter

* 1/2 cup water

 

Directions

* Preheat oven 325′F

* In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix (with your hands, it’s easier!).

* Roll out the dough without making it neither too thin nor too thick. Cut out biscuits with a cookie cutter or just with a knife. (I used a bone shaped cookie cutter) Oh and by the way the dough is sticky!

* Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

* Remove from the oven, cool.

* Serve to your furry friend!

(You can keep them few days at room temperature in an airtight container or in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them! )

Whole Wheat Waffles

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Few weeks ago I found a funny Sesame Street waffle maker in the clearance section of a store and since my daughter is a HUGE fan, I bought it!

Like always I make a larger recipe so I can freeze some.. once they are cooked, just let the waffles cool and then between each one put a little square of waxed paper (so they will not stick all together) and put everything in a large freezer bag or container. Like those from the stores, they will be easy to reheat in the morning, in the toaster for example. (But way better than the already made version!)

Servings

10 medium size waffles

Ingredients

* 2 cups whole wheat flour

* 1 tablespoon brown sugar

* 4 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 2 large eggs

* 1/2 cup fruit puree ( I used unsweetened apple puree)

* 1 3/4 cups plain almond milk (you can use regular milk too!)

Directions

* Heat your waffle maker.

* In a bowl (or in a stand mixer, Oh yeah I used my new Kitchenaid mixer!!) beat eggs until they are fluffy. Beat in all the remaining ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

* Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons (for a medium size waffle maker) onto center of each waffles maker plates. Close the lid and let them cook. They should be cooked in about 5 minutes but depending on the personal taste of everyone or the waffle maker it could take less or more time…

* Remove from the waffle maker and serve (you can add some toppings, fruits, yogurt, syrup..)

Vegan Strawberry & Almond Muffins

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I don’t like wasting food. there’s too much people who starves in this world to voluntarily throwing food in the garbage. My dad always told me to be careful not to waste food, and since the day I’m old enough to understand this concept, I apply it. And when my little Dalie will be old enough, I’ll teach her the same thing…

I always find way to use everything, even when they begin to have a funny-looking appearance. When they are too soft to be eaten raw, the best way to use them is to cook them! And what a better way than in muffins.

You’ll see they are delicious, a little crispy outside and moist inside! The perfect match (for me)!

Servings

6 muffins

Ingredients

* 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

* 1/4 cup wheat bran

* 1/2 cup brown sugar

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 3/4 cup plain almond milk

* 1/3 cup fruit puree (I used unsweetened strawberry-apple puree)

* 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

* 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

* 1 tablespoons ground almond (I used whole that I grounded myself)

Directions

* Preheat oven 375′F

* In a bowl, combine flour, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, baking powder and wheat bran. Mix.

* Add the almond milk, fruit puree and almond extract. Mix, then add the chopped strawberries and almonds. Mix again.

* Pour the batter into muffin pan and bake. The silicone molds are a great eco-friendly option. No need to throw papers muffins anymore. (You can decorate them with everything you want, I used some strawberry slices.)

* Bake for about 15-16 minutes. If a toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are ready.

Vegan Apple & Carob Muffins

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This afternoon I wanted to try my brand new Kitchenaid stand mixer, so I made these fantastic vegan muffins.

I had some apples that were beginning to have wrinkled skin, some carob chips and some almond milk in the fridge… what a better way to use everything than to make muffins!

Awwww I love muffins! (haha and my mixer!!! Oh yeah!)

Servings

12 muffins

Ingredients

* 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

* 1/2 cup brown sugar

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 tablespoon baking powder

* 2 cups plain almond milk

* 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or vegetable oil)

* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

* 1 apple, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)

* 1/2 cup carob chips

Directions

* Preheat oven 400′F

* In a bowl, combine flour, salt, brown sugar and baking powder. Mix.

* Add the almond milk, oil and vanilla. Mix, then add the apple and the carob chips. Mix.

* Pour the batter into muffin pan and bake. The silicone molds are a great eco-friendly option. No need to throw papers muffins anymore. (You can sprinkle them with everything you want, I used some sunflower seeds.)

* Bake for about 20 minutes. If a toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are ready.

Carrot Dog Cookies

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Another cookie recipe for my big dog Boxer Meya… and she loved them!

Well in fact she love about anything you can eat..hahaha! (But not bananas!)

I’ll never stop making my own dog cookies, it’s so easy, not expensive at all and way better for my dog. I know what’s inside and all the ingredients are always fresh so! I give some cookies today to my mom so she can give them to her small little curly dog, and she (the dog) liked them too!  Yeah!

Can’t wait to make more!

Servings

24 medium cookies (bones)

Ingredients

* 2 1/2 cups flour

* 2 tablespoons wheat bran

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds

* 1 medium carrot, grated (about 1/3 cup)

* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

* 1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

*3/4 cup water (you can use a little more if needed)


Directions

* Preheat oven 350′F

* In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix (with your hands, it’s easier!).

* Roll out the dough without making it neither too thin nor too thick. Cut out biscuits with a cookie cutter or just with a knife. (I used a bone shaped cookie cutter)

* Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

* Remove from the oven, cool.

* Serve to your furry friend!

(You can keep them few days at room temperature in an airtight container or in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them! )

Yogurt Brownies

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These brownies are the perfect combination between a brownie and a fudge!

They just melt in your mouth!!!!

(And mom… no they don’t taste like yogurt, haha!)

Servings

16 brownies

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup chocolate, melted

* 3/4 cup plain Balkan yogurt

* 1/2 cup sugar

* 3/4 cup flour

* 1/2 cup Pure cocoa powder

* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/2 cup water

Directions

* Preheat oven 350′F

* In a bowl, mix melted chocolate, sugar and yogurt.

* Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking soda into the mixture and stir until everything is combined.

* Add the water and mix.

* Pour the mixture into a square 8inch mold (I always use silicone, it’s such easier to remove after it’s cooked, but you can use a regular one.. don’t forget to grease it!)

* Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

* Cool and cut into squares.