Friday, August 31, 2012

August Foodie Penpal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

I participated in the Foodie Penpals program again this month.  This month I was paired with Leah, she writes a blog called MacKenzie Memories. She sent me a great box of goodies!

The box contained:
  • Thai Garden Sweet Heat Asian Blend Seasoning. This seasoning is great on meat, veggies, salads and marinades. It's sweet and spicy, I love it!!

  • Green Tea Latte Candy. This candy tastes just like a green tea latte!

  • Chai-Spiced Honey Truffles. Chocoloate truffles need I say more..lol

  • Hazelnut and Vanilla Almond ground coffees. I am a big coffee drinker, I can't wait to try these coffees.

  • Food Network magazine. This magazine is one of my favorites, I can wait to try the toasted marshmellow strawberry shortcakes recipe featured in this issue.

With the Thai Garden seasoning I made a simple shrimp, onion and green pepper stir fry that was absolutely delicious!  It's now one of my favoite seasonings. Thanks Leah!

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals

-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 September, please
CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 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, August 17, 2012

Orzo Pasta Salad

Leftovers, I have a love hate relationship with them. I don't really like eating them but they are a necessary part of life, that is if you don't want to be wasteful. I really don't like eating the same thing over and over again; it's gets boring. Also the food doesn't always taste that great. Chinese food and most fried foods make the worst leftovers.  In Chinese food, the sauce get absorbed and the food dries out when reheated (Have you ever tried to reheat general tso chicken?? I rest my case..lol) And with fried foods, they lose the fried crispiness that I love. On the flip side, I like eating leftovers when the dish tastes better the next day. There are some foods that just taste better after the flavors and sauces have had time to marinate and get absorbed. I feel that way about most pasta dishes. My orzo pasta salad is one of my favorite leftover meals. It’s a light zesty salad that gets more flavorful each day.

What is your favorite leftover meal?

Orzo Pasta Salad
Servings: 6

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lb orzo pasta, cooked
  • 1/3 cup scallions, minced**
  • 1 cup of feta cheese, crumbled**
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped**
  • salt, pepper
  • Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

  1. Sauté bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper over med-high heat until soft.
  2. Pour cooked orzo into a large serving bowl, add cooked veggies and 1/2 cup of balsamic vinaigrette. Mix well, bring to room temperature.
  3. Stir in scallions, feta and basil.
  4. Chill and add more balsamic vinaigrette to your taste. Can be served chilled or at room temperature.
**Modify quantities to your taste