Foodie Pen-Pals: Cait Plus Ate

Hello, friends!

It’s so hard to believe this month flew by so fast, and it’s time for Foodie Pen-Pals yet again!

This month I shipped a package down to Florida to Heidi of Young Grasshopper.  Since she’s never been to Chicago before, she asked for a taste of the local flavor.  There is so much more to Chicago than pizza and hot-dogs, so step on over to her blog to see what I sent!

As for the package I received, I knew it would be incredible when I found out that I was paired with Caitlin of Cait Plus Ate.  We actually became friends on Twitter months ago and I’ve been admiring her drool-worthy meals all along, so I couldn’t wait to see what she’d pick out for me!  She really treated me well and sent me a box overflowing with TEN tasty items, several of which were locally made!  And check out the cute card which features the “Doors of Glastonbury” from her Connecticut town’s Historic Main St. 

I was most excited about the coffee from Daybreak Coffee Roasters.  Caitlin is always tweeting about her frequent visits to this local cafe, and recently featured it on her blog.  Check out how cute this place is, and they roast their own coffee too (that’s actually a coffee roaster in the photo below on the right).

 

The coffee truly was fantastic.  Caitlin picked out the Mocha Butter Crunch flavor for me and it was soooo smooth and the perfect way to start a weekend morning.  Bonus: Our apartment smelled like a coffee shop all day long each time I brewed a pot!

And what’s one thing that goes perfectly with coffee? Nutella!  I confess, I am actually such a Nutella-holic that I can’t keep a jar in the house or I’d eat heaping spoonfuls of it every day.  The mini pack of Nutella she sent was the perfect amount to serve as a sweet treat!

 

And whenever I have Nutella Toast – I of course have to eat it upside down! (I swear, it really tastes SO much better this way! Try it!)

Another local treat she sent me was this bag of Red, White, & Blue corn chips, made in Hartford, CT.  I loved that these are truly natural – the red and blue colors come from Beet Powder and Organic Blue Corn.

 

It just so happened that I had planned Nachos for dinner the night the box arrived, so I tore into these right away!

 

One of my favorite goodies were the Vegan Heart Thrives.  Caitlin had read on a number of blogs that they make excellent workout fuel.  Unfortunately, mine did not get put up to the test of a workout, but I do say they make an excellent snack! Clocking in at 156 calories each, one heart mid-afternoon was enough to hold me over to dinner, thanks to the protein & fiber in these babies.

 

Two other treats she sent, however, DID get put up to the workout test.  Caitlin thought it might be a fun idea to try the Peanut Butter with one of the bars she sent.  She sure was right about that!  I had half the Chocolate Chip Clif Bar with half of the PB& Co Peanut Butter, and a very energetic 5 mile run/walk followed.  Even better was the taste.  I sometimes find Clif bars to be a little too sweet, but with the peanut butter on top, the flavors were perfectly balanced.

 

As for the other bar she sent? This teeny-tiny Wild Blueberry Pure bar made the perfect mid-morning snack at work. Although I’m a huge Larabar fan, I liked the flavor of the Blueberry Pure Bar more than the Blueberry Muffin Larabar. (If you’ve had both, what do YOU think?)

 Next up, my all time favorite evening snack: Popcorn!  I seriously make a bag of brown-bag Popcorn every night and have come very very close multiple times to impulse-buying a mini corn-cob to pop.  Thankfully, I found one of these Farmer’s Popcorn Cob’s in my package because I am SO glad I tried it!  This was the fluffiest, most flavorful popcorn I’ve had in ages – fresh off the cob!

 

I drizzled a little melted Earth Balance over it, and It was so good, I had to eat it with my eyes closed (does anyone else do that when something tastes really, really good?).  My favorite part was finding the leftover cob in the bottom of the bag, with a few extra pieces for nibbling.

Last but not least, Caitlin sent me Mulled Cider Spices and a bag of Organic Roasted Buckwheat (a.k.a. Kasha).  A fun fact about Buckwheat, even though it has wheat in the name, it’s actually not related to wheat and is gluten-free!  I’ve had buckwheat pancakes and crepes before (yum!), but I’d never cooked with the whole grain before.

 

I decided to make a big batch of Breakfast Bowls to pack for work all week.  I cooked the buckwheat with the spices plus apples and currants.  I sprinkled some pecans on top – and voila! An easy, hearty breakfast! The Buckwheat had a very warm and toasty flavor which made for a very comforting meal.

Thank you so much, Caitlin! You really spoiled me :-)

Want to see what everyone else got this month? There were hundreds of participants in Foodie Pen Pals this month, and you can check out all of their posts here.

Want to become a Foodie Pen-Pal? Foodie Pen-Pals is open to both bloggers and readers in the US and Canada. If you’d like to participate next month, more information and instructions for signing up can be found here .  Registration for this month closes at the end of the day on May 4th, so don’t delay!

Unfortunately, I’ll be sitting out for next month’s Foodie Pen-Pals due to a busy month ahead, but I’m hoping to participate again in June!

I’d love to hear from you!

Have you tried any of these foods before?

Which of these foods would you most like to try?