January 2012

Foodie Pen Pals

January 31, 2012

January was my first month participating in Foodie Pen Pals and it was so much fun! What’s not to love about getting a fun package of food in the mail from a blog friend? I received my package in mid January and it was the perfect timing. Filled with fun snacks like Cliff Bars, Luna Bars, Peanut Butter and my favorite item, Flax Pizza Snacks.

My box came from Julie in Chicago and she writes Girls with a Stethoscope, all about her adventures of being a new nurse in the Chicago area. Thanks for all the fun snacks Julie. I loved them!




Want to join Foodie Pen Pals? Email theleangreenbean@gmail.com and get on the list for next month. Curious about how it works? 

1) On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact each other and a  mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

2) You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. This will ensure everyone receives their goodies in time to post about them. There is a $15 spending limit for the contents of the box.

3) As the end of the month you post about your goodies


Foodie Pen Pals

January 31, 2012

I love getting food related packages in the mail, a chance to try someone’s favorite local item or their snack of choice. Yes please! Lindsey from The Lean Green Bean runs Foodie Penpals. Each month you are matched up with a person to send a $15 box full of goodies to as well as receiving a box. This was my first month and I received a box from Julia who writes A Girl With A Stethoscope, she details her life as a nurse, meals and workouts.





The items:


Newmas Own Alphabet Cookies

Cliff Bars

Luna Bars

Peanut Butter

Flax Snax


My favorite? The cookies. Very tasty, organic and they were the perfect snack in between trying on dresses a few weeks ago. Thanks for all the great snacks Julia! I loved them :)


How does it work?


-On the 5th of the 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 can choose 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.


Want to join? Email Lindsey: theleangreenbean@gmail.com


Pineapple Salsa Chicken

January 30, 2012

Plain boring chicken? No thanks. Give me something with a little flavor and that is easy to prepare on a weeknight. Enter pineapple salsa chicken, very easy! 3 steps. That’s it. 3 steps, 3 ingredients and you have one dish to clean.


Pineapple Chicken (1 of 2)



Pineapple Salsa Chicken
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Jar Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa
  • 1½ cups frozen pineapple pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place chicken in a baking dish, top with jar of salsa and pineapple pieces
  3. Cover with foil
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through



January 29, 2012

I am a Midwestern girl, from growing up in Wisconsin to moving to the land of 10,000 lakes for college; the Midwest is so much of who I am. One of the things that most Minnesotans and Wisconsinites do is snowmobile. Somehow I have managed to go 30+ years without sitting my behind on one.

That changed yesterday. I went on a vintage snowmobile (3 sleds from the 1970’s that have been restored) ride. Scott, his dad, a friend and myself. We headed out to drive around on a chain of lakes. Since this winter has had a teeny tiny amount of snow, we went to drastic measures to drive these snowmobiles.

At least the lakes has a few inches of snow and we could drive around for a few hours. A stop for beer and bloody marys and an afternoon spent driven around the lakes. I was bundled up as I possibly could be and even got turn at driving.

I can’t wait for more snow to take these out on an actual trail!




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Steak Sandwich Wrap

January 28, 2012

Steak since steak seems to come in such huge portions we usually end up having leftovers. Best thing to do with those leftovers? Make a wrap. Flatout is my preferred brand, they have a whole grain version and its large enough to actually wrap it up properly.   Sometimes you just really want a nice […]

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Girls Big Night: Swirl Wine Bar

January 27, 2012

Every month the ladies of the Minnesota Food Bloggers have a chance to get together for a few hours. Usually the 3rd week of the month a group of 10-20 lady food bloggers meet up.   This month’s event came at the perfect time. A day after my bad news I headed out to meet […]

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Chipotle Turkey Chili

January 26, 2012

Sunday afternoon it was cold, windy with a mixture of rain/snow. The perfect day to curl up on the couch together.  After a busy morning that included breakfast with my Dad and Grandparents, a quick stop at the Health and Wellness expo, a grocery store trip and some cleaning.   Chili was exactly what I […]

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More Lemons

January 25, 2012

That feeling when you get comfortable and things are going really well. Sometimes you just know that feeling won’t last forever. And I was spot on that feeling. I didn’t know what but I had this little knot that something might happen. It did.   I lost my job on Monday. Scary and unexpected but […]

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Wine Wednesday: Chateau de Domazan Cotes Du Rhone

January 25, 2012

A few weeks ago Scott and I were hanging out at Swirl Wine Bar a few weeks ago and one of the wines of the week was a $12.99  Cotes du Rhone. A spicy French red that perfect to sit inside near a roaring fire place and slowly sip a glass.   Cotes du Rhone […]

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Lentil and Tomato Salad

January 24, 2012

Precooked refrigerated lentils from Trader Joe’s are a bit time saving. Yes, you pay for convenience but sometimes it is worth it! I have at least 2 days worth of lunches for Scott and I prepped in 5 minutes.   A no-cook, vegan, filled with protein, fiber and nutrients kind of salad. A great side […]

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