Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals

I don't remember exactly how I found the Lean Green Bean blog, but I'm sure glad I did! I've found countless recipes, tips for cooking in bulk for the week, and most importantly- I found Foodie Pen Pals! Similar to Birchbox, but totally different. You basically create and send boxes of food to the person you are paired with. Most of the participants are bloggers, but it's certainly not a requirement. The person I sent food to was, and the person who sent me food was not.

After the initial pairing email was sent, I was contacted by Scott who would be sending me my box. He asked about any diet restrictions or dislikes that I had, and then sent me such a fun box!

Scott is from Ocracoke Island, NC and included several local items in my box. Not having any idea where Ocracoke was, I looked it up and found out that it was close to Rodanthe. If you're a fan of chick  lit, then you might remember the Nicholas Sparks' book "Nights in Rodanthe". Not that it has anything to do with my box, but there you go. It looks like it's part of a string of islands that surround the Pamlico Sound, and I imagine it's a very beautiful place.

Scott included the perfect mix new and familiar, and even something that is a favorite- Fig Preserves from Zillie's Island Pantry. I'm saving a few of the items to do a "Chopped" like challenge for dinner, including black eyed peas, pecans and Carolina Treet BBQ sauce. I was amazed at how much he was able to add to my box, and enjoyed some of the snacks he included too. The Zesty Cheese crackers and Lime Cooler cookies were awesome, and I even tried something new- Seaweed Crisps. Thank you so much Scott for putting so much thought into my Foodie box. It made this first experience so much fun!!

I put together an "Austin-themed" box that hopefully included some of the best, and weirdest, that our city has to offer.  Known for keeping thing weird, but also being a really healthy city, I tried to include a good mix including Sweet Leaf Tea, Kerby Lane Pancake Mix, and a Perfect Fit Protein Cookie from Boundless Nutrition (sponsor to many local triathletes). My box went to Erin of the Serendipity and the Sailor blog. She lives just north of Albany, NY and girl has got some serious style. I love reading her blog! I knew that she liked stationary, so I sent some cute cards that I found at Target, and she sent one of the Thank You cards back with the sweetest note. Thank You cards are a dying art, and I so enjoyed that she took the time to send one to me.

I've already signed up for the next month's round of Foodie Pen Pals, and if you're interested in it, I've included the details below. It's always fun receiving mail that doesn't include bills, and I had a great time choosing items to send to someone else. Thank you Lindsay for creating this exchange!

The Lean Green Bean

-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 & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. 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 from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE (www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/) to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by May 4th as pairings will be emailed on May 5th!


  1. Yum! I got seaweed snacks in one of my FPP boxes and I was quite surprised that I liked it! Enjoy your food, you got some great stuff!

    1. Fun! Have you participated in Foodie Pen Pals before? I'm not sure what I liked more....receiving the box, or getting to pick out things for someone else. Looking forward to the next month!

  2. This may sound strange, but I never imagined getting a box from a guy! Obviously, there is nothing about FPP that would limit men from taking part, but it just never occured to me. lol.

    This was my first month doing it too. So much fun :)

    1. I thought the same thing at first when I saw who I was paired with- but I must say he did a really great job!

  3. such a lovely box! I love the huge variety that can be found in our local shops. Doing Foodie penpals has shown me how much variety even London has (compared to the rest of the more farm-like UK)!