I recently joined a Foodie Penpal program that Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean started and coordinates. This month marks the one year anniversary of Foodie Pen Pals! When it started back in September of 2011, there were only 30 participants. This month there are 1,250 pen pals! And that’s just in the U.S. and Canada!!
The program is pretty simple. Each month, you are assigned a penpal and you send that person a few food items (and a hand written note! Love this) in the mail, in addition you receive a few food items and a hand written note from another penpal. It’s a fun and great way to connect with people, foodies and bloggers from all over the country.
I was paired up with Carrie Steinweg from Chicago. We were both new to Foodie Pen Pals and thought it would be fun to have her send me food items that one could only get in Chicago! Check out what Carrie sent me! She doesn’t know me but sent me the PERFECT foodie pan pal box. Snacks, tea and chocolate. We must be long lost sisters re-united. And she has pretty stationary with her name on it. Love that.
If you’re from Chicago or lived there for a while, some of these items should look familiar.
Carrie went to this awesome chocolate and ice cream shop that originated in Chicago in 1920 called Gayety’s. One of their specialties is the “muddle,” which is kind of like a turtle. This muddle thing was AMAZE-BALLS. OMG, seriously, I wish the entire box was filled with these. Delicious.
I also received a bag of Jay’s Potato Chips! Carrie tells me these used to be made in Chicago . . when she was in 2nd grade, they went on a field trip to the Jay’s Potato Chip factory in Chicago and she got to see how they make them. Pretty cool for 2nd grade I must say.
There was also a bag of Mix and Match popcorn, which is made in Dolton, Illinois, the town Carrie grew up in, also just outside of Chicago. Me and the girls devoured this bag in under 5 minutes.
Just look at this amazing box of chocolates! LOVE. I ate every single one of these suckers (after I took a bite out of each one first; this is what I do. I know, I have a problem.) So good. Mmmmmmm chocolate.
Hope you enjoyed! If you’re ever in Chicago, you need to hit up Gayety’s!
And if you’re curious, I sent my Foodie Pen Pal (who does not have a blog but is a foodie and sweet treats lover) what I think are the two key, essential ingredients to making these Salted Caramel brownies: some damn good organic dark chocolate and very good sea salt. I also threw in some organic peanut butter cups because they are awesome! So, to my other Foodie Pen Pal, if you’re reading. . I hope you liked it and tried baking the brownies!