Foodie penpals – July 2013

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.





9 Replies to “Foodie penpals – July 2013”

  1. […] Tracy is quite new to Foodie Penpals, and I was really thrilled to be matched with her – it was great fun shopping for her.  I got a good idea of what to send from our email chats and reading her blog (check out some of my favourite recipes – Salmon and Leek Parcels and Apple Samosas, and Slow Roasted Lamb).  Pop on over to Tracy’s blog to see what I sent her. […]

  2. What lovely looking parcels- both the one you received and the one sent! That chocolate sounds so good!

    1. I am scared to find where that chocolate is sold as I think I could easily become addicted 🙂

  3. Mm the pasta looks so great! I have salmon fillets at home (not smoked though!) and can’t wait to try out that recipe, looks scrummy!

    1. Thanks for your feedback. Actually normal smoked salmon would work as you could just stir that in. For unsmoked fillets I would oven-bake them until just cooked and then flake them in, or check out my recipe for salmon baked with tomatoes and salsa verde instead, as you could easily scale that down to a couple of fillets 🙂

  4. Aww Tracy that’s really lovely! I’m so pleased you liked it after an unusually poor month last month. That pasta looks as good cooked as it does in the packet (I wondered if the colours might have bled out). The chocolate is divine – just don’t look at the back of the packet (it’s definitely NOT WW or SW friendly!!).

    I love the idea of a sushi kit – that’s a really thoughtful parcel to send too.

    And finally – congrats on your run!! It’s such a good feeling to finish something like that isn’t it!

  5. Deborah Ronsdale says: Reply

    Loving the blog Tracey!
    The wasabi peanuts remind me of York x

    1. More tittivation needed though maybe Deborah?!

  6. […] be a tiny bit addicted to – I have been experimenting with other smoked fishy dishes, like hot smoked salmon pasta. However, the cured salmon was on a flash sale on Ocado’s website the other week when I did […]

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