Foodie Pen Pals: February 2015 - Erin's Inside Job

Foodie Pen Pals: February 2015

Happy Monday! I realized I may have to start putting the years on these Foodie Pen Pal posts since I have been participating in them for over a year now! In case this is the first recap you are reading, Foodie Pen Pals is a monthly food swap where you are matched with someone in the U.S. and then send delicious foods instead of letters. My kind of swap.

Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean has been hosting it since 2011 but took a break for a couple months after the birth of her son and then I slacked on signing up and kept missing the deadline. To sign up for next month, head here.  You need to sign up before the 5th of each month to be included.

This month I was matched with Tamika and I got a whole box full of delicious treats:

IMG_1561.JPGThese are so unique and I can’t wait to try them! I suddenly have a new found love for both ginger AND mango, so I’m intrigued by this flavor combination.

IMG_1562.JPGI have seen black rice floating around but never picked any up. It cooks a little differently than white or brown rice, so I am still trying to get the timing/water ratio down. I cook all my rice in a rice cooker so I have to find the best setting for this.  It is definitely much earthier and nuttier tasting, but is a good option to mix things up.

IMG_1563.JPGI haven’t been as much into tea as I was in the past (I go through phases), so I haven’t tried these yet. I am most excited about the Hemingway tea since black tea is my favorite.  It has definitely been cold here so I may have it one of these nights when I watch Downton Abbey like a classy British lady.

IMG_1565.JPGWho doesn’t like French pastries? I like this mini pack so that I can just have a couple. I have seen them in the store in giant boxes and that is a bad idea for me.

IMG_1566.JPGI think I was most excited about this spice selection. I love different spices and although I admit I don’t use them as much as I could, I definitely like to stock pile them in the cabinet.  I made dinner the same night I received this package with the black rice and the Ras El Hanout blend: coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, spearmint, chili, ginger, all spice, long pepper, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, mace, and rose petals.




I also loved these TJs kettle popped popcorn chips. I am not a popcorn, pretzel, or chip person and prefer most of my snacks to be sweet, but I will make an exception when there is kettle corn because it is a mix of the two. I had bought these chips when we first moved to Chicago and were living in temporary housing, so it was also a nice throwback to November. I ate them all of course.

IMG_1564.JPGThanks so much Tamika and Lindsay for hosting FPP!

On the weekend front, Neil and I did manage to marathon the entire House of Cards season. Anyone else? Thoughts?

I took a break from marathoning to attend February’s #sweatworking event which was put on by aSweat Life.  The events are amazing you should go and also check out my first article as a contributing member!!

Sunday I did 4 miles on the treadmill since I am 12 weeks out from the Chicago Spring Half Marathon.  Be prepared for more running related updates in the future.

One final note: the date and time for my graduation class at Sweat has been finalized so clear your calendars and I hope to see you there! The class cap is 30, so sign up here to reserve your spot!


That’s all folks. Have a great Monday!


  • What is the best thing you did this weekend?
  • Salty or sweet snacks?
  • Are you coming to my class??

8 comments on “Foodie Pen Pals: February 2015

    1. It’s great I’m glad that she kept it up after having her son. It’s so much fun to get mail AND food.

    1. Im sure I will come to it but I think Paul (the owner) may be teaching it. Also YAY. I think you are the only one so far haha.

  1. That black rice looks so cool!! I’ve always seen the green tea mints at TJs but it never calls my name…unlike the other 99% of the store haha. NOOOO I can’t go the 14th!! I’m sure I’ll see you at Sweat sometime soon but I’m sad I won’t be there for your first teaching class 🙁 but You’re going to kick butt!!
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    1. Aw bummer. Just wake up at the crack of dawn and come while I am teaching Mon and Tues 🙂

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