August Foodie Penpals Reveal

Well what do you know?  Another month has come and gone. Meaning another installment of treats and wonders via the Foodie Penpals Program. For August it I received the following amazing box of goodies from Marcia of Travel, Run, Eat. I knew with that title I was not going to be disappointed. Marcia was amazingly sweet and paid very close attention to all my various food allergies, intolerances and preferences. In exchange I have a great box of new food to explore! No wonder people love this exchange.

The packaging reminded me of Christmas, which is just around the corner, believe it or not! Yikes. It also made me laugh because it’s re-purposed from a giveaway of protein bars, which I know since I was sent the same bars and the package was still sitting on my table. Way to be green Marcia! Nicely done!

I was a little nervous about the two waters, normally they have sugar substitute, but these really were simply water and flavoring! Very cool and such a nice treat while working a long day, but not wanting to grab a soda. The tea is a flavor I actually have bought myself, so it was nice to get a refill and the cookies were VERY exciting. Not just because they’re Disney and unique to the area she sent them from, but because they were prepackaged cookies I could actually eat!! Woo-hoo!

Under those items we had even more! The crispy apples, which are again simply dried apples. I think Heidi and I ate something similar on our road trip to Dirty Girl. A few snack bars of various flavoring and a close up of the tea I mentioned earlier.

I love various drinks and sweet treats so these were quite the pleasant surprise. Thanks again Marcia you were a trooper and a great penpal!

Want to check it out next month?

The Lean Green Bean

Here are the details:

  • 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 Lindsay an email (theleangreenbean@gmail.com) and she will see if we get enough interest!

Friday Food : Butterscotch Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Friday isn’t until tomorrow, but tomorrow is Foodie Penpal day! And Saturday is a day where blog posts go to die, right? I do NOT want this post to die! This was a very fun and dedicated creation and I’m more than pleased I did not take the “easy” way out and simply dump pudding into a pre-made crust.

Today is my Intern’s last day. ) ; Of course he honestly isn’t my personal intern, but shhhh details, details. As is my tradition, I bake or create something for someone when they leave or when they have a birthday. Jeremy requested either Butterscotch Pie or German Chocolate Cake. I thought making a cake could be fun, until I noticed the outside is made from nuts and coconut. I’ve had reactions to coconut body products before, so I decided baking with it was out of the question.  Step right up to Butterscotch Pie of happiness! The final creation is a mix of a few recipes I found online. Partially due to self interest, partially due to the conversation where a lot of my coworkers were apprehensive about meringue. Credit to Jolean’s Butterscotch Pie of Food.com and Gingersnaps/Gingersnap crust from MarthaStewart.com.

Butterscotch Pie with Gingersnap Crust

What you will need:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 9inch pie crust (see directions below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F
  2. Stir in a sauce pan, brown sugar and butter until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Then cook for 2-3 minutes longer on low-medium heat. Remove from heat
  3. Beat egg yolk and set aside
  4. In a large bowl mix flour and 1/2 of the milk until smooth. Add the beaten egg and salt, mixing well. Now add in the final portion of milk.
  5. Add flour mixture to saucepan with butter and sugar and stir constantly on low-medium heat for 30-45 minutes, until thickened
  6. Removed from heat, add vanilla and stir and well blended and slightly warm
  7. Pour into pie crust, allow to cool and top as desired. I topped with butterscotch ice cream topping and chocolate syrup as well as some Redi-Whip (Can’t have Cool Whip, it has coconut in it)

Comments and Photos:

If you want to make the gingersnaps and crust here is the 411 on that deal.

Gingersnaps

What you will need:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup Demerara sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together granulated sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, molasses, and ginger until combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated.
  4. Form dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place Demerara sugar in a shallow dish and roll each ball of dough in sugar to coat. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly.
  5. Bake, until dark golden brown, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Gingersnap Crust

What you will need:

  • 1 3/4 cups gingersnap crumbs, from about 1/2 batch Gingersnaps
  • 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together gingersnap crumbs, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Add butter and stir until mixture is well combined. Press some of the mixture against the side of the bowl with your fingers. If the crumbs do not hold together, add cold water, a little at a time, up to 1 tablespoon, and stir to combine.
  3. Press crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, evenly covering the bottom and sides. Transfer to freezer and chill for 10 minutes. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until crust is fragrant and set, about 10 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Was it preventable?

For those who read my report, you know I had a tad bit of trouble with my leg Saturday. And sadly all the frozen yogurt in the world couldn’t help. Believe me, I tried. Thank you Mom and Ian. I barely slept all weekend I was in pain and I couldn’t walk at all. I managed to somehow get myself into the office yesterday morning and took the afternoon off for a doctor’s visit.

Turns out I strained my hamstring, with a partial tear. The good news is I did not do anything to my bones! I go to Sports Medicine on Friday for additional evaluation and to establish physical therapy or whatever else rehab. I’m supposed to be on crutches, but I have never used them before and I can’t get it to work. Besides I woke up feeling a little better. I’m also supposed to be taking ibuprofen for the pain, but pills makes me sick. Sigh.

I’m happy he was wrong about not walking for 1-2 weeks. Well, apparently wrong since I’m more mobile today than yesterday, but let’s see what tomorrow brings, right? However the fact I will be out 4-6 weeks means my ultra season is over. There will be no going to Michigan for Run Woodstock, certainly no hill of YUT-C and without all the training over the next month or more I don’t see how I will ever safely accomplish Oil Creek. So, goodbye to the 100K dream this year.

Hoping with proper healing I can still pull off some races in November, but not holding my breath. My job is to listen and get better. My job is to support my friends in their events. It’ll be OK.

I can’t help but wonder though, could I have prevented this? Was it avoidable? Did I do more damage finishing? Or once it popped was I screwed regardless? All the months I’ve worried about my IT band and what I couldn’t figure out as pain in my tush, was it my weak hamstrings? If I worked MORE on my core, would I have been OK? This happened on a flat course too, so how bad off was I? Questions maybe I’ll never know the answers, or perhaps I will from Sports Medicine and time back on my feet.