Something tasty this way comes.

But first . . . thanks to everyone for sticking with me during a slow blog month while my personal life was anything but.  All our junk has officially been moved from the old house to the new one and my happy little blog (one too many Bob Ross posts on Facebook lately) can finally return for you to put your foots, er, eyes on.

In other words . . . I’M BACK!

Now then, let’s get to it.

It’s that time, my favorite time, it’s Foodie Pen Pals time!

We’ll get the business out of the way first.

Click here to check out my previous posts where I use my entire Foodie Pen Pals box to wage culinary war against myself, Chopped style.

Click here to check out The Lean Green Bean who founded this whole program and keeps us all in line.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you must be new here and hopefully you catch on quickly.

I sent a box of “regional foods” to Vicente of Vittle Monster who blogs daily eats out of sunny California.

I received a box of food from Robin of Red Robin’s Nest, blogging out of Texas.

Newbies, you see how this all works right?  Good.

Here’s my loot for the month, straight out of the mailbox!

Good thing The Pete was napping when the mailman came or he’d have snagged all the goods for himself.

Clearly Robin really wanted to see a challenge this month because the box she sent was jam packed full of random tasty stuff.  Apple chips. Crackers.  A praline.  Trail mix.  Tea.  Honey.  A Larabar.  A Think Thin bar.  Nut butters.  Oh, and a recipe!  All wrapped in a Whole Foods Grocery Bag and sealed with the prettiest tape you ever did see.  Whew.

Now for the challenging part . . . to put all this together into one rocking meal.

Wait.  The “rocking” meal was my AC/DC Big Balls post.  How bout I just make breakfast instead.

Honestly, I didn’t think two thinks about my monthly self imposed challenge till yesterday, Tuesday morning, three days after we threw a huge party at our new pad . . .  and only one day after we finished clearing out and cleaning the old place.

I’m either an excellent multitasker or a glutton for punishment.

It’s a good thing I waited though, because our abundance of leftovers (aka GOBS of hamburger buns) sparked a creative flicker that quickly became foodie pen pal fire.  It’s late.  Excuse the tired recycled imagery.

I’d like to present to you . . .

Foodie French Toast, Pen Pal Style

Here’s the haps.

Grease a loaf pan with butter.

Start with a base of crackers.

Add two hamburger bun bottoms.  Hee hee hee.

One sliced Larabar.

Some apple chips.

More bun, the tops this time.

Chocolate nut butter.

One sliced peanut butter Think Thin bar.  Slice it evenly, be fair.

More bun.  A top and a bottom this time.  Otherwise you’ll have two tops leftover.  Or bottoms.  Hee hee hee.

Fill in the cracks and corners with more bun.

Pour egg and milk mixture over the top.

What’s this?  Oh yeah.
3 eggs
¾ to 1 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour slowly or the egg will run all over the counter before soaking in.  Not that I did this.  A challenger would never make that rookie mistake.  Ever.  Never ever.  Cough.  Ahem.  Cough.  Side glance.  More subtle coughing and aheming.

Spoon on your topping.

What’s this?  Oh yeah.
½ chopped praline
¼ cup trail mix
¼ cup oats
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt

Dot with butter, approximately 3 to 4 tablespoons.  Live a little here people, Foodie Pen Pals is only once a month after all.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  I used the convection oven in my new house so a regular oven might take a bit longer.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Cold and rainy days make quick work of this.

Run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen.

Plate up.

Drizzle with more honey.

Serve with tea.

Yeah, I used the tea, just not in the meal.  Next to the meal.

Dig In.  Top with maple syrup if your heart desires.  Mine did.  Try to come up with words to describe your creation.  Toppinglicious.  Sweetaplatamus.  Ingeniousness.  Tummywarming.  Forkpleasing.  Pillowy.  The Bestest Ever.


Win again.  Against yourself.  Because everybody expects it of you and you need the confidence boost after a month of packing and realizing you are this close to being a hoarder.  We have three weedwackers.  Three.  I blame the Father-In-Law.

Also, do not collect books and rocks (yeah, I do) . . . collect pillows instead.  They are much lighter and easier to move.

Oh, and when putting cleaning supplies into a cabinet in the garage, do not stand up directly under the open door and smash a corner into your skull.  It will hurt and bleed.  Yeah, I did.  Although it got me out of the final unload of the Jeep so maybe it wasn’t all bad.

See ya back soon as we continue our regularly scheduled blogging here on Midwestern Bite.

– Joanna

P.S.  Hi Mavis.  You still out there?

P.P.S.  Seriously though, if nothing else you have to make the topping and put it over something….anything.  It was THE BEST!

Question of the Day:  Who’s still around?  Share some love with me today.


  1.!! I LOVED this! I just discovered your blog from the FPP link up and I practically jumped up and down when I saw your thumbnail said “chopped challenge”! I haven’t had cable television in years now since I rarely ever watched it when I payed beaucoups of money for, but if there is ONE show I miss, it’s Chopped! I would always picture myself on the set and wonder what odd concoction I could come up with on the spot like that! Your French toast bake is nothing short of amazing! You are so creative…and I your sense of humor is incredible! I’m not a fan of Think Thin bars, but other than that I would willingly dive head first (or well, fork first…yeah, that would be a lot less messy) into that loaf pan! No need to plate…just hand over the pan! Lol

    And the pictures are GREAT! Love the honey drizzles!

    • We cancelled our cable close to two years ago as well and other than Chopped and a few HGTV shows I haven’t missed it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Think Thin bar either but when it was cooked with the chocolate PB it pretty much just tasted like chocolate PB. It was better than the bean granola bar I got last month in my FPP box. That bar was BAD. For some reason I always feel guilty saying I didn’t like something that came in my box since it was a gift.

  2. You never cease to amaze me. LOVE your posts 🙂

    ps: my husband totally did steal my treats…true story!

    • My husband dove into the trail mix as soon as I opened the box . . . and then realized there was no chocolate . . . and abruptly stopped eating it. Ha! I guess I know how to keep him out of my food from now on.

  3. That sounds so weird, but I love the idea! So fun!

    • Yeah, my Foodie Pen Pals Chopped Challenge does create some weird recipes but that’s what makes it fun. At least October was better than the date and salsa combo from last month . . . yikes!

  4. How fun to use all that in a pie! I would have never thought of that.

  5. YUM!

    Best challenge recipe yet!

    • Thank you, thank you. Can you believe the Husband forgot to eat his portion I saved for him last night? He remedied that this morning with a slice. I told him he could take the leftovers to work but he didn’t want to share and has claimed the rest for his dinner tonight.

  6. Wow, this is another amazing FPP post from you. I’m sure my favorite; very creative indeed!

  7. Just have to say these things were incredible. That is all.

  8. Glad to hear you are all moved! Love the use of the mailbox. And this looks delicious. Curious if it tasted as good. You’re super creative.

  9. You surprised me with this one. did it actually taste good? I mean it sounds good but man were you creative on this one. way to go!

    • Honestly, the strongest flavor was the chocolate peanut butter, so yeah, it was good. A little too sweet perhaps to have on a regular basis, but I thought it was tasty. The topping was the best part by far!!!

  10. I’m so impressed that you had time to make that after your busy move that I’m going out right now and buy you a weed whacker!

    • Wait. Didn’t you just buy us a gas powered weed whacker? So we actually have four then. So, this new one would be the fifth. Sigh.

  11. First off, so happy to see a post from you! Second, it definitely looks like a winner (love all of the layers). And finally, is it bread pudding day or something? I posted one, too! Hehe. How are you liking your house? Everything you wanted? I’m dreading our next move even though it will hopefully be into a bigger house with a yard and more stuff I want.

    • Ahhh, sorry, this comment was stuck in the Spam folder. I will dock The Husband’s pay, don’t worry. I was getting something like 60 spam comments a day for awhile there so he added some new filter / plugin / thingy and it’s working a little too well I guess.

      Bread pudding day would be awesome.

      I am mostly liking the new house. I love the area, but the house has a few things to adjust to. Nothing major, really. I don’t care much for the kitchen (minus the fridge of course – I LOVE the fridge). Most of it is little stuff like the water pressure for showers is lower and there are less outlets on the walls. Small stuff. My only recommendation for moving is get rid of all your junk BEFORE moving, not after. Which is what I have been doing and really, really, really stupid.

  12. Such a great idea to create a recipe & meal from the FPP goodies! I may have to seed that idea with next month’s sender…

  13. Julia "ratchett" James

    Have missed your blogs!!! Glad a bit of normalcy has emerged and you are able to get settled a bit before the big holiday rush hits. Tasty morsel will need to try…

    • Holiday rush??? There’s going to be a holiday rush??? My dad makes a blueberry baked french toast I will blog about one of these days. It totally rocks and uses way less odd ingredients.

  14. This one looks awesome! One day I hope to be your Foodie Pen Pal but then I would have a hard deciding whether to give you a serious challenge or to be nice and give you stuff that can easily go together. I always check your Foodie Pen Pal reveal first.

    • I pick challenge . . . unless it’s another month like last month where I get dates and salsa. Then the post office might conveniently damage the jar of salsa. It happens right, right???

  15. This looks absoloutely scrumptious!! How on earth did you let your husband have a slice?

  16. I kinda love bleeding if it gets me out of unloading. I need to figure out how to make that happen the next time we move….you know into our real house. One of these days. But not today so I guess it doesnt really matter. I’m gonna sign back up for FPP this month. Its been too long. What are the odds you and I would ever get each other? Probably like 800:1?

    • I’d say use ketchup and fake an accident, but your Husband probably has mad survival skills and would patch you up with his emergency med kit. Ummm… you are the luckiest person I know, if you decide you want to be pen pals with me, I am guessing somehow it will happen. Why do you not play the lottery?????? Mind boggling.

  17. Quite the creationist! Who would have thought you could make that out of what you.were sent!

    Tea? Never had the stuff. I thought they dumped that all in the harbor! 🙂

  18. You’re Welcome, I’m glad you liked the box. The Think Thin bar is more of an acquired taste and probably not as yummy as the {Butterfinger Pumpkin} I recieved {Sorry}. Your “chopped” creation is rather impressive though 🙂

    • I’m so glad we were paired up! It was fun. LOVED that praline by the way. I almost didn’t use it in the recipe just so I could eat the whole thing, but I’m glad I did as it added such a great flavor to the topping.

  19. This is such a great idea! Looks delicious!

  20. What an awesome idea! The FPP Chopped Challenge. I’m so going to have to read up on what you did with past packages. Thanks for sharing your creations with all of us 🙂

    • Thanks! The Big Balls and Mini Meals posts are my favorite for humor, but the peanut butter cookies and pancake bread have been the tastiest.

  21. Clearly people missed your posts, lady! Nice job. Seeing the components of your concoction one by one going into the loaf pan kind of scared me but the end product looked pretty good!

    I’m glad you are into the new house and have been able to spend some time focusing on unpacking!

    • Thanks much. It was good, though I could have done without the Think Thin bar. I had hoped it would melt in a little more than it did. Instead of unpacking, I have stacked all the excess boxes into the spare bedrooms. Ya know, for later. It’s working so far. Of course I am solely wearing my large collection of Target tank tops and it’s now cold out, but I’ll just bump up the heat till I finish unpacking 😉

  22. Wow that looks amazing! I love tea forte, it is so soothing and I’m sure helps a tummy after a delicious foodie french toast….

  23. Oooo I LOVE this! Big love from the UK, think I’ll try this next time I get my foodie penpals box 🙂

  24. OMG! I can’t believe I missed this post! I’ve followed your other Chopped Challenges! And yes, I’m still here!