Archive for Blogging by Mail

Blogging by Mail 4: Music Edition

BBM package

In this edition of Blogging by Mail, I received a foodie gift package Mary of The Plane Jane. She lives in the Asian part of San Diego, hence the package contents: Chinese alomond-chocolate wafer rolls, tempura batter mix, an issue of Everyday Food (with lots of streamlined recipes), a crabby bookmark, a cute postcard, homemade peanut butter cookies (I LOVE peanut butter), a handmade card, a variety of teas (not pictured) and a mix CD.

BBM4 contents

What? A CD’s not edible. It does have to do with BBM, as Jason of Food Ninja dubbed this round “Music Edition.” Mary passed on her favorite songs to me, including “(If I Knew You Were Coming) I’d Have Baked a Cake” by Ethel Merman and “I Want a Little Sugar in my Bowl” by Nina Simone. All were feel-good songs that would be perfect for a dinner party. Thanks, Mary!

This package definitely wins for craftiest gift. Don’t forget to check out Mary’s crafty blog for more of her creations!

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Blogging by Mail 3: Home for the Holidays

BBM 3 contents

Blogging by Mail is a care package/secret Santa-type event that Nic (of The Baking Sheet) and I created after serendipituous exchanges of homemade marshmallows and Nutella.

This month, Cathy (of My Little Kitchen) hosted a “Home for the Holidays” BBM. I received my package yesterday from Jennifer (of The Fallen Souffle) in North Carolina, complete with:

  • Five-flavor pound cake, from a secret recipe passed down through three generations
  • Lemon poppy seed pound cake
  • Cranberry biscotti
  • Hazelnut coffee
  • Homemade strawberry and hot pepper jams

She also gave me a flavor (no pun intended) of her home by packing her paper’s food section, a grocery store classified ad (it’s a miracle that I pay about the same amount for groceries as she does in the South), a handwritten letter detailing her family traditions, and recipes for her famous poppy seed pound cake and biscotti (check the comments section for the recipe). I felt like I had just received a family heirloom.

five-flavor pound cake

No offense to Jennifer, but my favorite part was her grandmother’s five-flavor pound cake. It was deliciously moist after two weeks in transit, yet the top had a crispy crust. I was so stricken by the double textures. Upon further investigation, I could see that a sugar syrup must have been poured over the top, as the top half of the loaf was moister and slightly darker than the rest. I think the sugar might have crystalized on top, which is how it got crunchy.

I wolfed down the first slice, not even bothering to analyze the five flavors. I just knew it was good. After a second slice, I definitely tasted coconut, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what the other four flavors were. I did not detect citrus, nut extract, anise extract or spices.

I can’t wait to dig into the jams, but right now I’m just trying to stretch out the five-flavor pound cake as much as I can.

Don’t forget to sign up for BBM4: Music Edition, hosted by Food Ninja, by Jan. 10!

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Blogging by Mail 2

BBM2 box

Today I received a tubload of Nutella cookies in the mail, plus loads of chocolate and other goodies that were carefully packaged. Jealous?

It was all courtesy of Blogging by Mail, an organized gift exchange between bloggers. Nicole (of The Baking Sheet) and I dreamt it up this summer. She sent me some homemade marshmallows, and then I sent her homemade Nutella. We decided it was too fun to keep to ourselves.

This time Kristin, a skateboarding mom from CA, sent me a lovely care package. She mailed out the package in September but got it returned to her because I gave out the wrong address. So she was generous enough to re-bake cookies and send it out all over again.

BBM contents

From left to right, I received a tumbler that holds milk and cookies, Ibarra Mexican chocolate (I’ve heard it’s excellent for hot chocolate), a giant mug, pens to decorate the mug with, Nutella Mexican wedding cookies, a mini pouch (I’m guessing Kristin made it), honey from avocado flowers, and Chocolove dark chocolate with raspberries.

Not to be biased, but I think I got the best package. How can you go wrong with chocolate? Thanks so much Kristin! I didn’t expect so much. My head is swimming with ideas as to how I can “repay” my next partner in the third edition of Blogging by Mail. Hurry, sign ups for BBM3: Home for the Holidays end on Oct. 23.

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Blogging by Mail: A Sweet Package

As I mentioned before, Nicole (of The Baking Sheet) and I mailed each other homemade sweets, which sprouted the idea of Blogging by Mail. It was really fun to receive her marshmallows, and she thoroughly enjoyed my Nutella. So why not spread the fun to the rest of the blogging world?

My “secret” blogging pal, Jocelyn of Brownie Points, sent me raspberry jam, mango-jalapeno preserves and (ooh, is this legal?) hemp-hazelnut chocolate. I could have sworn she snooped around on my blog, because everything matched my tastes. I love spreadable fruit but am too cheap to buy a freaking $10 jar of Sarabeth’s preserves. I also love dark chocolate and hazelnuts (can’t you tell I love Nutella?). The hempen chocolate bar had a smooth dark flavor without being bitter or acidic. The hemp tasted like sesame seeds!

Nicole, the gracious hostess, mailed all the participants goodie packages too! She sent me Eating Well’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chewy ginger candy and green tea. The cookies were thick and chewy, although I wish there were more butter flavor. But I’ll excuse that shortcoming, since tahini was the main source of (heart healthy) fat.

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Blogging by Mail

In the age of e-mail, it’s rare to receive anything special in the mail anymore. The occasional handwritten letter is a delight, but surprise packages are even better. First, there’s the convenience of having something delivered to your door: no lines, no crowds and no carrying needed. Then, there’s the anticipation and wonder at what could possibly be inside. After tearing open the package, there’s a sense of satisfaction for receiving an undeserved gift.Nicole of The Baking Sheet and I proudly introduce Blogging by Mail: a foodie exchange. All participants send a homemade treat or regional specialty to someone else, and in return, they get a package as well! The deadline to sign up is this Friday, July 1.

Nicole and I tested out this idea serendipitously, and it was loads of fun! She sent me homemade lime and chocolate marshmallows so I could critique them. In return, I gave her homemade Nutella (Keep your eyes peeled for a recipe for reduced-fat Nutella cake! Or, you can order it through Su Good Sweets).

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