Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Foodie Pen Pal


This month my Foodie Pen Pal was Alison and she put together a delightful package of spices and seasonings from Penzeys Spices . As you can see, she included some deliciously savory seasonings and one of my favorites, cinnamon! 

I haven't used all of them yet, since I have some open cumin and chipotle, but I'm sure they are great! I can say that the Sandwich Sprinkle is fabulous! I have used it a few times on all different things, not just sandwiches. It is super tasty mixed in ground turkey meat for a quick turkey burger. It adds flavor to anything you can think of, in no time. 



How adorable are these postcards? 
I can't wait to bake some treats for friends far away and include these sweet notes. 



I loved that Alison included the catalog, what a great idea! It is filled with lots of temping spices and seasonings. I look forward to ordering from Penzys! Thanks, Alison for introducing me to them! 


If you'd like to see what I sent my Foodie Pen Pal, head over to YummySushiPjs!



The Lean Green Bean

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-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. 
If you’re interested in participating for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Simply Roasted Autumn Vegetables



As always it is important to eat colorful foods and autumn colors are my favorite! They are bright and vibrant and so warming, even though in most parts, it is starting to get cold. There is a great comfort to me in the amber hues you find this time of year.

I love roasted veggies, I think the flavors develop so beautifully and they become so rich in color. This week in my organic buying club I got some great vegetables and thought I would put them together. I love-love-love sweet potatoes and squash, and I have become fond of beets so I knew they'd play nicely together.

If you want to leave out an ingredient you can, the quantities I listed are there because that is what I received in the pick up. You can swap items in and out as you'd like. Don't be scared of the celery root, it isn't pretty but it has good flavor. 


Ingredients:

2 Small Celery Root
2 Small or 1 Medium Squash (You could substitute Acorn Sqaush)
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
2 Large Beets
4-5 Garlic Cloves
Olive Oil
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Onion Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 350.



Peel the squash, beets and celery root. Scoop the seeds from the squash and chop the vegetables into equally sized pieces. Cut the ends off of the sweet potatoes, but leave the skin on. Cut into uniformly sized pieces. You want to be sure everything cooks evenly, so you won't end up with some uncooked bits. I try to keep them at about an inch.




Place a piece of tin foil to cover a baking sheet, then drizzle a light coat of olive oil -so that all the foil is completely coated. Go ahead and smear it around with your hands, it's fun.  Put the chopped veggies on the pan in a single layer. It might be a little crowded but try to keep it from being piled up. When cooking it is always important to keep a bit of space, and limit crowding, so that your food cooks evenly and the heat can distribute.


Place the un-peeled garlic cloves in several places throughout the pan. This will help distribute the essence of the flavor with out over powering anything.

Bonus, you'll have some roasted garlic when you are done, which you can spread on a warm baguette, or mix in to make some compound butter, or make some hummus...the possibilities are endless!





I think I found the grinder of Pink Salt with dried Onion at Home Goods, and I'm glad I picked it up! It's great. Places like Homegoods, Marshalls, TJMaxx- all usually have a food-stuff section and I've found some really great stuff there. Next time you are in one of those stores, or similar, take a look around. You'll be surprised at all the goodies you'll find. 

If you don't have any grind-able sea salt, you could always just use a light dusting of regular onion salt that you would find at your local supermarket. After the onion salt, grind some fresh pepper over the veggies. Then, with a microplane, freshly grate a light dusting of nutmeg. Be sure to get every inch of the pan! 




Roast at 350 for about 25-30 minutes and then check them, they should be turning a golden color on the bottom. Flip them over gently and place back in the oven until they are fork tender, about another 10 minutes. If you want even more color you can turn the temp up to 375.






Dish up as a side, or you can even get by with it as your meal. It is hearty and delicious all on it's own. 

The veggies can even be mixed into a salad if you have any leftovers. I love re-purposing leftovers!


What is your favorite way to prepare autumn vegetables?

Monday, October 1, 2012

September's Foodie Pen Pal


This month's foodie pen pal package came from Karen, the delightful host of Living Low Carb...One Day at a Time. It was filled with local goodies from the Charleston, SC area. I was so excited to receive this package! I lived in Charleston for a few years and miss it dearly, so this was really a treat!


Kennerty Farms Honey

The honey from Kennerty Farms was my favorite honey while living in Charleston. I frequently purchased this delicious nectar from the amazing farmers markets. Charleston is one of the most fantastic places to enjoy local goods and produce. 


Low Country Seafood Seasoning
Tiverton Farms

I have not yet had the pleasure of trying Tiverton Farms seasoning but it looks and smells delicious!  A low country seafood boil is very popular in Charleston and the Low Country areas of Georgia and South Carolina. A Low Country Boil is usually made up of shrimp, crab, sausage, potatoes, corn cooked up in a one-pot feast! If you haven't ever had one, you should definitely check it out!



Charleston Tea Plantation

This was another item I used to enjoy while living in Charleston. The Charleston Tea Plantation has some super tasty teas!! I love, love, love peach tea. I think it is delish hot or iced.

Thanks so much Karen for the great package, I really enjoyed it!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some information if you are interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals...

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-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. 
If you’re interested in participating for October, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by October 4th as pairings will be emailed on October 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!
-----------------------------------


The Lean Green Bean