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I realized over the weekend that my last post made it sound like I used all the items from my Foodie Pen Pal box to make rice pudding.  Yes, that would include Kelp Granules.  That’s not entirely true.  I actually made two recipes from the box of goodies.  It was a necessity because it turns out Kelp Granules don’t taste very good in rice pudding.

I’m going to focus on the rice pudding today so the second recipe will have to wait till later on in the week.

Sorry to be a blog tease.

Back to the pudding.

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If you recall, I received the following box of goodies from Sonya in the Foodie Pen Pals exchange.

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I seem to have overestimated the amount of time I had to blog this week.  Or underestimated the amount of sleep I needed.  Yeah, I went to bed early last night instead of writing this fabulous blog post.  I admit it.

So the rest of the cupcake saga plus a quick look into my nephews birthday party will have to wait till next week.

As will the details of my Foodie Pen Pals CHOPPED Challenge.  I mistakenly assumed reveal day would be Monday and it turns out it’s today.  Whoops.  

Here’s a quick peek though.

I’ll be making Rice Pudding.

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And I’ll be making it with these foodie gifts from Sonya.

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Hello internet friends!

If you’re new here, let me fill you in on a not-so-secret secret,  The last day of the month on Midwestern Bite pretty much always means Foodie Pen Pals and the Chopped Challenge.  It’s my blogging claim to fame.  I love it.  My readers love it (at least Aly seems to like it anyway.)  The Husband who gets to eat what I concoct loves it.  He was especially fond of the brownie challenge.  The ice cream challenge ranked pretty high on his list too (even despite the giant plastic rat I posed it with.)  Oh, and Big Balls . . . cause it was funny and he got to pose for some hilarious pictures.  Wait.  No.  The really funny pictures of him, blindfolded, were in the caramel apple butter challenge.

I’ve clearly been doing this awhile.  In fact, you could even say I’m an expert.  The fact I’m the only one who does the Chopped Challenge at all is irrelevant to my expert status.

Here’s the Haps.  The Lean Green Bean organizes a cool program called Foodie Pen Pals.  You sign up and get matched with two other pen pals, one who you sends you a fifteen dollar foodie box… and one that will receive a foodie box you send.  That way you meet two new foodie friends per month.  My twist since I started the program over a year ago has been to take the entire box of random goodies I receive and create a recipe from it.

Yes, the entire box.

Yes, last month I totally combined dried mushrooms, chocolate, mint and coconut.  And it was totally tasty.

This month’s Chopped Challenge is actually from a box I received late a few months back.  I sorta forgot to sign up for the program in May.  Whooops.  I won’t make that mistake in June.  Luckily I had the late box from February to fall back on so I didn’t disappoint you all today.

Here’s what I received:

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Happy May.  Thanks for stopping back in to catch up on the rest of yesterday’s Foodie Pen Pals post.

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In case you missed it, yesterday was technically reveal day.  Normally I would share with you what my Foodie Pen Pal sent me, what I did with it and how.  I always turn the entire box into a foodie creation, Chopped style.  I managed to get the first two knocked out but time escaped me and I signed off before I could share the how.

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You all know what Foodie Pen Pals is right?  That fun program through The Lean Green Bean where I send a box of edible goodies to a new friend and a new friend sends one to me.  Then I create a recipe out of the entire contents, CHOPPED style.

Well, today is Foodie Pen Pals reveal day.  Actually, so is tomorrow because sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.  So stop back tomorrow (UPDATE: Read Here!) to see how this

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and this

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Last month around this time I was pining away for a Foodie Pen Pals box that hadn’t shown up yet.  Hoping to do what I do best which is create a recipe from a random box of goodies.  Well, my friends, it showed up.  Two weeks later, more than three weeks after it was sent, completely open and looking like (according to the postal worker) it had been around the block a few times.

Like I said last month, people are such variables.  In this case it was the post office who had no reasonable explanation for the box’s condition and tardiness.

It is what it is.  I haven’t done anything with that box yet (other than munch on some fruit snacks and test out a tasty seasoning mix) so I’m actually not here to talk about it.

Technically I’m not even here today to talk about Foodie Pen Pals.  At least not the official Foodie Pen Pals hosted by the ever fabulous Lean Green Bean.  I plan on hopping back on that bandwagon next month, but this month an opportunity presented itself that I just couldn’t turn down.  The opportunity to pick my own Foodie Pen Pal.

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If you are stopping by for my monthly Foodie Pen Pals Chopped Challenge, it’s not here.

And not for lack of effort.  I dragged my wiggly toddler to the post office more than a handful of times to check the PO Box, but alas the box never arrived.  My FPP Laurel mailed it on the 15th, but without tracking, so it’s anyone’s guess where the box is right now.  All I know for sure is, it’s not here.

If you are jonesing for a challenge post, feel free to check out my FPP page.  The Husband prettied it up for me a few weeks back, adding pictures for each post and everything.

FPP PageHe’s swell.

Big Balls still remains my favorite post.  I had a big ball yesterday for a snack in fact.  I make a version of the peanut butter cookies every few months as well.

At the risk of being kicked out of the program, I’d like to spend today having a brief but frank discussion about Foodie Pen Pals, a program I really really enjoy and highly recommend you all give a shot at least once.

The haps is this:

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In the words of yesterday’s post, ba domp bom.  Wait, that’s not right.

It should be ba da ba da ba da ba da ba da.  Did that sound like a drum roll or more like a baseball heckler badly enunciating swing batter batter batter?  No matter either way, I’m totally going to knock this post out of the park.

Ba domp bom.

Okay, now that was right.

Today marks the culmination of three feats here on Midwestern Bite.  One, since it’s the last day of January, it’s my final January Blog a Day post.  The last day of the month also always means Foodie Pen Pals and the Chopped Challenge.  That’s number Two.  Three, it’s giant plastic rat day.

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I promised you a giant plastic rat and I am a woman of my word.

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In what may be the most anti-climactic post ever, I’m finally around to reveal the results of last months Foodie Pen Pals Chopped Challenge.

We had it for dinner last Sunday night and dun dun . . . . dun.  It was tasty.

Big whoop.  I always say my challenges are tasty.  Cause they are.

But, yes there’s a but here, that’s not to say I wouldn’t have made some changes.

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Hey-O.  It’s Foodie Pen Pals reveal day where I show you all what masterpiece I created with my entire FPP box.

After reading through Foodie Pen Pals reveal posts last month I realized everybody says “It’s that time again.”  So I vow never to say that.  Or type it.  Or even think it.

Actually, I kinda wish it wasn’t that time again.  Time always always always gets away from me and while I have my posts all planned out in my head weeks in advance, sometimes I don’t execute them till the last second.  Take this month.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make using the contents of my FPP box, but waited till Thursday morning at 5:00 a.m. to do it.  That’s the morning before reveal day. This little fact will be important later.

My box this month came from Jessica, a fellow Midwesterner!!!!  Thanks Jessica, you are awesome and I was SO excited when I opened it.  I’ve loved all my FPP boxes but this one was particularly great.

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