Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bento #157... and foodie penpal reveal!

The Lean Green Bean

Katie from The Eight Hour Project was my foodie penpal this month.

She sent some amazing things.  It's hard to keep them under wraps until the official reveal day, and to not completely consume them before I can work them into my bentos...

From left to right... a little box of sesame crackers.  They have great flavor, strong enough, I think, to not be overpowered by whatever I want to put on them, but good all by themselves as well.

The Karai Fusion Peanuts... I have to admit, I was a bit worried when I saw 'wasabi' in the description.  I'm a wimp when it comes to wasabi.  I mix the smallest bit into my soy sauce when I'm having sushi, but I could never handle wasabi peas and the like.  However.  These are amazing.  And surprising.  Imagine, if you will, honey roasted peanuts, and then mix in just a bit of wasabi.  Just enough to give them some heat.  They are fabulous!

And last, but my favorite, a head of smoked garlic.  The smell alone is enough to make a garlic lover like myself swoon.  I'm trying to ration it out, but let's be honest.  I totally ate a clove plain as soon as I opened the package.  (It was a good day to not have someone to kiss...)  I've been using it in recipes that will just let the flavor shine...

Katie was also thoughtful enough to send me some information about DC's Union Market, where she went to shop for my box.  You can look them up Here.  It's something I wish could be found in Utah...

Anywho.  Bento.

You saw the smoked garlic in the pasta and greens yesterday...  Today I've used it to up the flavor in my mashed sweet potatoes.  I also added rosemary, salt, pepper, and plain greek yogurt.  I made the face by cutting a stencil in a piece of paper, putting it on the potatoes, and then pressing poppy seeds into the surface.  The potatoes are packed with collards and grilled chicken.

The other layer has strawberries (with a little dead guy pick to eat them with), a muenster cheese pumpkin cutout (the scraps are underneath), baby orange tomatoes and jicama with hummus (which is hiding under the cheese).  I've also included a small container of the awesome peanuts Katie sent to me. :)

Don't forget to enter the last of my blogmark giveaways!  Click HERE!

Here’s a detailed explanation of the Foodie Pen Pals program:
-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 treatsThe spending limit is $15The 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.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK 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. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!


  1. Those peanuts sound delicious!!! I think I would've been a bit skeptical at first as well if I saw "wasabi" haha!

  2. What a cute bento! I would love to bento, but have no reason to. =(

  3. Those nuts sound good! The smoked garlic is interesting, but smoked things sometimes turn me off, so I would have to try it first.