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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Foodie Penpal - March 2013

blogbadgeSTAMP Foodie Penpals

Another month of Foodie Penpals, and I was paired with Denise Evans who has the blog Eat, Laugh, Love.

She sent me a box of goodies that are produced locally in St Louis/Missouri.  My husbands company has just been taken over by a company based out of St Louis so it is a place that I may get to visit in the future as my husband travels there more often for work.

I was surprised by some of the locally produced produce.  Who would guess that rice was grown in Missouri!  I was sent a bag of brown rice that is supposed to have a nutty flavour.  In answer to Denise, yes I love Indian food and cook it all the time so this will come in very useful.

I need to be excused for not having tried the goodies yet but I am currently in the United Kingdom having travelled here a few days after receiving my parcel.  I will definitely try everything out on my return.

What else did I get?

Hendrickson's salad dressing, which was served at a cafeteria in St Louis from the 1930's through the late '60's.  It is pretty healthy and Denise recommended trying it as a Shish Kabob marinade.

Blues Hog dry rub seasoning.  Which I will probably try with some shrimp or salmon when we dust of the BBQ for some outdoor grilling once Spring finally settles in.

Poppy's Gourmet raspberry jalapeno sauce which sounds very interesting and hopefully will have a good kick to it.

Cookies from a local bakery.  Which I started munching on as I was opening the rest of the parcel.  Not too sweet for me and these were finished in no time.

And Lastly, some no sugar jam which was homemade out of handpicked peaches.  I need to find the recipe for this as I had a tonne of peaches last year to get rid of and all I knew how to make was peach and blackberry pie.

So a great box this month and the first time I have received some homemade goodies, so very pleased about that.

I will be taking a break from Aprils scheme as I don't get back to the US for some time and it will be a tight deadline to put a box together for the posting date.  Shame, as I do really look forward to sending and received these each month.

If you are interested the details can be found Here.

Denise also included a great recipe for Fragrant Red Lentils with rice.  I am always looking for Veggie recipes so this will be tried on my return as I have all the spices already sitting in my pantry.  Here is the recipe:

Fragrant Red Lentils with Rice Recipeenlarge
Becky Luigart-Stayner

This red lentils and rice recipe calls for a fragrant blend of seasonings and herbs. Garam masala is anIndian blend of dry-roasted, ground spices that includes up to a dozen different flavors ranging from cinnamon to fennel to black pepper; it can be found with other spices in many large supermarkets or speciality food shops.

Yield: 5 servings


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil $
  • 1 cup diced onion $
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • bay leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried small red lentils
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine $
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon seeded minced jalapeño pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 1/2 cups hot cooked brown basmati or brown rice
  • 5 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt $

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, and sauté 6 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add the ginger and next 5 ingredients (ginger though bay leaves), and sauté for 1 minute. Add 3 cups water, lentils, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves.
  2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and jalapeño; sauté 5 minutes. Add to the lentil mixture; stir in juice, cilantro, and garam masala.
  3. Place 1/2 cup rice into each of 5 shallow bowls; spoon 3/4 cup lentil mixture over rice. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt.
  4. Note: Because jalapeño peppers can vary in heat intensity, you may wish to adjust the amount used based on your own preference for hot and spicy foods.

Happy Eating Xx

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