Monthly Archives: August 2012

Foodie Pen Pals – My Exciting First Package!

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Foodie Pen Pals is this amazing community of cooks and food lovers organized by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean.  Every month, you get to put together a $15 package of goodies and mail it off to a stranger, while you eagerly check the mail for your own package mailed to you by a different stranger.  I had the amazing good fortune to receive a package from Sara who keeps a great blog at The Milwaukee Kitchen.  A special warm thanks to her for the thoughtful and delicious treats she sent me this month!

Let’s take a look at the contents of my package:

I got a package of Butter Chicken Spice Mix which I’m going to use as the centerpiece of tonight’s dinner party – (look for a blog post tomorrow about Indian food!).  I got another mix for a delicious sounding slow cooker bean and sausage stew which is earmarked for one of the cooler nights in September and a bottle of Taco Spices that is just itching to be turned into a first week back at school pick-me-up meal.  I got a few little treats from the Wisconsin State Fair – maple syrup and dried cherries, and best of all, some whole vanilla beans.  Sara also tucked in a warm and friendly letter along with handwritten recipes for a couscous salad and homemade vanilla extract.  She even included a great A Capella CD from the university where she works.

What made this package so wonderful to me was just the way that Sara cannot have had any idea that I’m going to start cooking Turkish food (couscous!), or that I’ve traveled in India and Butter Chicken was the first real Indian dish I tasted,  or that my friend and I have been saying for months that we’d get together at her house for a change and use her slow-cooker, or that I was also at a state fair and love the local foods you can get there.  What kind of serendipity was at work here?

I highly recommend that anyone who loves food and has a little extra time get involved in Foodie Pen Pals.  It’s just as much fun putting a package together to send off as it is receiving one.  I’m already bursting with ideas for what I might put in my September partner’s box.


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Filed under Cooking and Reading, Food, Foodie Pen Pals, Recipes

Los Angeles Mexicali – Astro Diner


The huevos rancheros dish at Los Angeles’s Astro Dinner was too much food to finsh. The eggs were fried over medium, but it took cutting into them to realize that they are served over a corn tortilla that’s been toasted with melted cheese on top. The tomato sauce was freshly made with chunks of tomato unblended in it and the rice and beans were delicious.

I am really going to miss this food…

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