The Most Fun $15 Ever Spent

Okay friends! It is seriously no surprise to anyone you that I consider myself to be somewhat of a "foodie". I LOVE good food, but even more than that I love local, fresh, organic, whole food, and I love using local ingredients in my cooking as much as possible. So when I heard about My Foodie Pen Pal from Beka over at Sunshine to the Square Inch, I signed up immediately.
Basically My Foodie Pen Pal is a monthly food swap. You sign up, are assigned a partner and you each send each other food items from your area. You have a $15 spending limit so you have to get creative with what you send. But it was so much fun. 

For my partner I put together 4 items all local to Starkville, MS. She loves tea, so I sent her a tin of homemade local loose leaf tea that is sold by some women that have an apothecary here (super old school). I also included some local honey, and strawberry jalapeno jam. Oh, and some chocolate covered espresso beans from a local coffee shop. It was so fun searching for these items. I am planning to participate again next month, and the biggest thing I will try to avoid this time will be heavy glass jars...it makes packaging tougher, and costs wayyyy more to ship. 

And now for what my lovely partner sent me! Lauren lives in PA and she sent some of the coolest items from her area. I told her I LOVED local foods, and really was not picky. 

I was so excited to open this box. And what I found inside was just wonderful!! 

ONE. Maple Candy "Sugar Cakes". Oh. My. Goodness. These are shaped like little Maple leaves, and they literally are just maple syrup and sugar...they melt in your mouth and are delicious. Ben and I enjoyed them after dinner several nights. Just one piece does the trick for our sweet tooth. 

TWO. Veggie Chips. These are made by a nearby Amish Community and are awesome. They have all the joy of chips with the crunch and a little salt, but are not terrible for you. I may have eaten half the bag almost immediately. 

THREE. Whole Wheat Blueberry Fig Bars. Also made by the Amish community, and perfect for another guilt free snack with a little sweetness. 

FOUR. Sanders of Berlin Cheddar Sour Cream Chips. These are also made locally and have pictures of local landmarks on the bags! How cool?! This particular flavor of chip is not my favorite, but Ben loves them, so he was happy to take them to work with him! 

FIVE. This was the crown jewel of the entire box. Cinnamon Orange Spice Tea. This is a black tea, also made by the Amish, and it is literally the most unique and best tasting tea I have ever put in my mouth. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes like Autumn and Christmas became best friends and turned themselves into a drink. It is so good, and the best thing is that it is good hot or over ice. I have tried it both ways, and man....so good. Also, I immediately googled where I could find this tea online and have found several options on Etsy...and you better believe I will be purchasing again! 



Thank you so much to my penpal Lauren! I am signing up again this month and literally cannot wait to get my next box of goodies! This month has me hooked! Want to know how to sign up? It is so easy...just click here! Be sure and sign up by the 4th though or else you will have to wait a whole long month before you can participate in the fun! 

I really love this concept, and have thought about some spin off of the idea? Like where you have a food pen pal for several months, same one. Or do it where it is food/handmade goods? Thoughts? Suggestions?