Thursday, February 28, 2013

#FoodiePenPals: February

OOPAH! This is my second month to be active with an online community known as #FoodiePenPals

What is #FoodiePenPals? I signed up at this website ---> click here to be matched with another Foodie for one month. I connected with her via email to see if she had any food allergies or preferences. By the middle of February, I mailed a box of fun food to my pen pal. But, at the same time, a different Foodie (who was matched to me) was doing the same! 

I was pal'd up with two beautiful women! Tiffany Ellman of Home Grown Families in Williamsport, Pennsylvania...oddly enough, I most likely passed by her home, last October!  She's in the midst of a move and can enjoy some of her Tennessee foods now and  later. Athena Karalekas of Fitness and Feta in Belmont, Massachusetts, received my name...again, oddly enough, I drove just south of her home into Boston on that same trip!

Today, the last day of the month, is Reveal Day, when we publicly and social networkly (I know it's not a real word) thank our fellow #FoodiePenPals for taking the time and money to gather a surprise box of fun foods they feel represents them and us!

To my joy the Goddess Athena favored me with her Greekness from Sophia's Greek Pantry: Orzo, Tzaziki Sauce Spice, Greek Salad Spice and Kalamata Olive Spread! In her honor I went to work creating a salad worthy of her name. I searched and blended ideas for my offering, which I give to you, now...

PastATHENA  Salad 

1 1/2 cups Orzo pasta, uncooked
1 can/jar Artichoke Hearts
2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 Cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 Red Onion, chopped (I'm not a big fan of raw onions.)
1 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 can Black Olives, drained (I only used half the can)
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
Juice from 1/2 of Lemon
1 tablespoon Greek Salad Seasoning
1 tablespoon Lemon Pepper
1 cup Black Walnuts, chopped (My nod toward Tennessee!)

  • Cook Orzo according to package directions to al dente. Drain. 
  • Drain Artichoke Hearts and Black Olives.
  • Seed and chop Roma Tomatoes and Cucumber. Chop Parsley.
  • In large bowl toss all ingredients with Lemon Juice, seasonings, Feta and Black Walnuts!
  • Serve warm-ish or chilled!
To our family's mini Greek Fest and using the goodies from my #FoodiePenPals box, I made: 
Quinoa Salad with Pinenuts and Blueberries with
Yogurt Vinaigrette
Tzaziki Sauce with Pita Wedges
Kalamata & Black Olive & Feta Tapenade (also, topped the baking chicken breasts)

If you're a Foodie like Tiffany, Athena and me, YOU should come forward the fare with the rest of us #FoodiePenPals! Sign up at the website listed at the top of this post by early March 4.


  1. YAY!!! I'm so glad you got my name!! I loved everything you sent me!! <3