Hooray, hooray, hooray – this month I received a box of goodies! I was so excited to get an email from Steph at Tub on the Run, and I immediately indulged in my nosy nature by checking out her blog. I really enjoyed finding out more about her: she’s been getting into running, and like me (and many women!) has been on a bit of a weight loss journey. In fact the blog inspired me to go to the gym and practice for my 5.6k run I was doing the next week. Thanks Steph – you made me realise I could do it, even if I was pathetically slow!
After last month’s no-show with my parcel (sad face) I was like an excited child when my parcel from Steph was delivered. I had said I am not fussy but would love any local treats, and Steph did not disappoint. She sent me:
- A bag of coloured pasta (not local, but she said it was too pretty not to share)
- A salted peanut caramel cracker “grown up’ chocolate bar
- An apricot and almond gluten free cake
- Cornish garlic salt
- West country smugglers teabags
- Jasmine tea
- Luscombe raspberry drink
- Lime, ginger and mustard seed salad dressing
- A recipe for the dressing, pointed by Steph for Weightwatchers
- A cute cat card with a note from Steph
How cool is that? And even better, I was home alone that night so it was the perfect chance for me to eat my grown up chocolate – frankly I am relieved I don’t know where to buy it because it is possibly the most gorgeous bar of chocolate I have ever eaten. It’s dangerous.
I shared the raspberry drink with Andrew the next night, on what happened to be one of the most scorching hot days of the year. It was deliciously refreshing and I’ll be looking out for that brand.
The cake got gobbled down before the week was out – no way you would know it was gluten free – and I have been using the garlic salt to season fish before I bake it, as the flavour is more delicate than putting pureed garlic onto fish. That’s worked really well so far for haddock steaks and seabass fillets.
Finally, my mum came to dinner last week, and as I had some hot smoked salmon fillets from the fishmonger, I decided to make her a pasta dish which used these and the beautiful pasta from Steph. The recipe went a bit like this.
Hot smoked salmon pasta – serves 4
250g dried pasta (the prettier, the better!), 2 hot smoked salmon fillets, 100g reduced fat soft cheese, a couple of tablespoons of capers, basil, juice of a lemon, salt and pepper
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack. Just before draining scoop out a cupful of cooking water. Put the drained pasta back into the pan (but off the heat) and flake the salmon into the pan, along with the soft cheese and capers. Add the basil and lemon juice, then a little of the cooking water to make the sauce slightly more liquid. Season according to taste (remember the cooking liquid should have salt in it, so you won’t need much more). Serve with garlic bread and salad.
I’ve still got the salad dressing and tea to sample, but based on my foodie penpals experience so far, I don’t think I will be disappointed!
The penpal who I was to buy for this month was Anna. She shares her parcel with her hubby and son, and is a veggie though the men in her life are not. I struggled with ideas for what to get her and eventually decided on a sushi kit, as I thought it would be easy for her to tailor sushi to be veggie or not.
I bought her:
- A sushi rolling mat
- Nori seaweed
- Itsu rice cakes covered in chocolate
- Tyrells wasabi covered peanuts
- Mini sachets of ginger, soy and wasabi
- Some vegetarian Percy Pigs as a sweety treat!
I hope Anna liked her parcel – I am still yet to hear back from her to know if they safely arrived, so I am keeping my fingers crossed all is well.