>Second Foodie Exchange Parcel: Illinois, U.S.A.

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So last week, before I went to Germany with my mom, I received my second Foodie Exchange parcel.

This time the parcel was from someone I actually ‘know’: Margaret of Tea and Scones. I’ve met Margaret through TWD.

Margaret sent me some lovely goodies from Illinois that I can’t wait to try: Long Grain & Wild Rice, Cibarra Chocolate, Tabasco, Filé and a cookbook: The Basics of Creole Cooking. I can’t wait to make some Gumbo!!!

If you’re interested in participating in a food exchange, check out Foodie Exchange

>First Foodie Exchange Package: Italy!!

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Last Saturday I found a note in my mailbox: the postman had come by with a package for me and would be back the next workday, which would be Monday. I was bummed since I had to work on Monday… Monday arrived and I stayed home from work due to a massive migraine attack. After taking my medicine at 7.30 am I went back to bed to pass out (that’s how my migraine medication affects me), only to be woken up at 11.00 am by my ringing doorbell. So I opened up my front door, looking my worst possible wearing a hot pink bathrobe, only to find out that this particular day we had the cutest substitute delivery-man one could think of…. Crap, just my luck!

I put the package in the living room and went back to bed. Offcourse when I finally woke up several hours later, with only the slightest bit of headache remaining (OMG, I love my migraine medication: now I’m only losing 1 day of work instead of 2 or 3!!). The first thing that came to mind was my package…. Like me, my cat was super interested in it! It was my Foodie Exchange package from Rossella. Rossella is the same age as me and lives in Milan, Italy.

Rossella sent me so much goodies!! There was a hand-made bag and dish-cloth, some orrchiette (pasta), risotto with saffron and porcini, saffron, pesto, olive oil, Italian flat bread, double concentrated tomato paste, nutella and Italian cookies!! I can’t wait to try them all!!!

Foodie Exchange is a group for foodies from around the planet who wish to exchange their local food specialties as a care package with other foodies. The items in the care package should be limited to about $10.00 in cost, shipping is extra. Each month you can sign up on the monthly exchange thread in the forum where members match themselves up with partners. When you received the package you can share the story by adding you blog post to the Blog Posts section. Foodie Exchange currently has 112 members. Are you interested in exchanging packages? Go check out Foodie Exchange, it’s a fun way to meet foodies and try different foods from all over the world!!

>No TWD – instead a package from Minnesota

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Barely survived the weekend… Followed by a manic monday, what will the rest of this week bring me?
All the stress started last Thursday when most of the European airspace was closed and all flights cancelled due to volcanic ash-clouds from the erupted volcano Eyjafjallajökull on Iceland.
My manager was in Oslo and got stuck there… All the trains were full, cars were rented, hotels booked full, same for the restaurants. Luckily our business travel agency was smart enough to have booked some rooms for my manager and his colleagues. Eventually we managed to get them all back to The Netherlands by borrowing cars from Norwegian colleagues.

Friday I visited a friend in Meppel, we went shopping and had some hot cocoa after the shops had closed. When we returned to the parking garage at 21h50, we were unpleasantely surprised: the garage had closed at 21h30 and there was no way to get my car out!! We also managed to miss the last bus and ended up walking to my friends home, which took us about 30 minutes. She then drove me home in their car.


Saturday I got up early (7h30) to catch the bus to the train station, I managed to miss the bus by 2 minutes… When I finally arrived at the train station I bought my ticket and missed my train. Eventually I arrived in Meppel around 10h00, walked to my car and drove back home.

When I returned home I was pleasantly surprised when my neighbor told me she had accepted a parcel for me. I knew Cora from Minnesota had sent me something, but wasn’t expecting it yet as the airspace above most part of Europe was still closed.



I love how almost all the sides of the parcel had stamps on them, I’ve never seen so many different stamps in one place :). Everything arrived in perfect condition: two packages of wild rice, a bag of mini peanut butter cups and two packages of normal-sized peanut butter cups. I shared one of the normal-sized packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with my mom and she really liked them. I can’t wait to cook with the rice and bake with the mini peanut butter cups!


>TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake + Foodie Exchange

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This week the lovely Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs got to pick the recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie and she did a good job! She decided on the Swedish Visiting Cake that can be found on page 197 of Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or here at Nancy’s blog.

A Google search for Swedish Cake soon came up with Toscakaka, also spelled as Tosca Kaka, which basically is a lemon sponge topped with crunchy almonds. Sound familiar? It looks familiar too, except that the layer of crunchy almonds is thicker than Dorie’s. Could this have been Dorie’s inspiration for the Swedish Visiting Cake? I might give this recipe or this one a try one of these days as it looks really tempting!
Anyways, I baked this on Easter Monday, which is national holiday here in The Netherlands, expecting no visitors and thought this would be another great cake to bring into work with me on Tuesday. It was very easy to put together, I was done in no time and I made it exactly as written: no changes this week! I was quite surprised when the doorbell rang shortly after I put the cake into the oven: it was my mom who had decided to take her dog out on a walk and visit me because the weather was so nice.

As soon as she walked into the door, she asked me what that lovely smell was. I told her to be patient as she could have a taste of the Swedish Visiting Cake when it was done. She loved it and took two pieces home with her (for my dad and herself of course!). So I only had 3/4 of a cake left for about 20 coworkers and not enough stock in my pantry to bake another one. My colleagues were a bit disappointed that they only got slivers of cake, because they loved it, as did I!! Thanks for a wonderful choice Nancy!
On another note, I have registered at Foodie Exchange for my 101 in 1001 challenge. So I’ve started my second goal on the list, #2: Take part in 5 Foodie Exchange. Basically what Foodie Exchange is is a group for foodies from around the planet who wish to exchange their local food specialties as a care package with other foodies. The items in the care package should be limited to about $10.00 in cost, shipping is extra. Each month you can sign up on the monthly exchange thread in the forum where members match themselves up with partners. When you received the package you can share the story by adding you blog post to the Blog Posts section.
I have started several goals, such as signing up for a two-day assertivity training (#90) that will take place in August and starting a new skin care routine (#18), which I will tell you about late this week. I already completed one goal: #80 Register as an organ donor