Foodie Penpal Reveal: August


For the third month in a row I participated in the most fun event on the web: Foodie Penpals. What is foodie penpals you ask? Here’s a breakdown:

  • On the 5th of the month you receive an email pairing you with information about who you’re paired with. You email that person to get information pertaining to allergies and dietary restriction.
  • By the 15th you put together a box of treats and mail them to your partner.
  • On the last day of the month you post a blog post about your box of treats


This month I received my Foodie Pen Pal box from Mary at A Small Loss. Mary’s blog and story is inspiring, as she is on a journey to lose 210 pounds. I have about 50 pounds myself and am inspired to start trying again. If Mary can lose 146 so far, I can lose 50. Anyway, Mary just moved back to Chicago recently and she got me my food really quick this month (it arrived before the 15th!) In the original email correspondence between Mary and me I told her that spices were one of my favorite flavors. I recognize “spices” isn’t exactly a flavor, but Mary seemed to get what I meant.

Mary sent me three different snack bars. Yes, yes, I know there’s only two pictured, but number three got opened and eaten by Matt before I got around to taking the pictures. I haven’t eaten the Ginger Snap bar yet (actually, I’m bringing it to school tomorrow for my evening class when I start getting hungry.) Matt and I split the carrot cake one and was very impressed with the flavor.

The missing bar was an Uber bar. It was some sort of banana flavor that I can’t remember off the top of my head. Matt devoured it. I’m surprised I even got this picture of it.

The main component in my box was 6 different spice mixes from a place in Chicago called The Spice House. I’m super jealous that Sacramento doesn’t have a place like this. I even yelped it to see if there was a shop dedicated to spices in the area, but it doesn’t appear to be so. I’m so glad Mary sent me these different spices. They’ll give me a lot of opportunities to spice up dishes in ways I haven’t done before.

The first spice there, Pilsen Latino seasoning is inspired by Chicago’s Little Mexico. Mary told me she uses this seasoning on fajitas.

Gateway to the North sounds delicious. The packaging lists several different ways to use it and Mary also suggests using it on savory oatmeal.

The Italian Sausage seasoning Mary says is delicious on roasted eggplant.

The Argyle Street Seasoning is inspired by a Chinese neighborhood in Chicago. Mary puts it on veggies and fish. I made shrimp and put this seasoning on it. It was delicious.

Bridgeport Seasoning is inspired by an Irish neighborhood in Chicago. Mary says that scrambled eggs or roasted cauliflower is a good combination with this seasoning. This is the seasoning that became my recipe for this post in fact! The seasoning is cheesey (if that’s possible!) It’s very flavorful and when gone I may need to order more. I found the recipe on the Spice House’s website. I’ll be using that site a lot to take advantage of these spice combinations.

Lastly there’s a Moroccan Spice Mixture. Mary says it’s good on chicken and dried plums. I’ll have to give it a shot!

Pick a spice mix from above and tell me how you would use it!


Bridgeport Chicken

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp Bridgeport Seasoning
1/2 cup walnuts, ground in a food processor
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil


1. Trim each breast. Pound with a mallet until thin.

2. Whisk the egg and water together.

3. Combine the Bridgeport Seasoning, walnuts, and flour in a large dish.

4. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg and then the seasoning mixture.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. When hot add the pieces of chicken and cook for 5 minutes per side.

* serves 3





7 responses

  1. Seasonings… what a great, versatile choice for the FPP box! I’ll have to remember that one. The banana larabar is actually Bananas Foster – one of my favorites! I also love the cherry pie – SO good 🙂

  2. What an exciting club!! I’ve actually had the Pilsen Latino. Except for the chili pepper, which is Mexican, it’s a Puerto Rican seasoning called adobo seco (so I wasn’t surprised that the Spice House website mentions Caribbean immigration to Pilsen). Mainly it’s used for kidney beans, yellow rice, fish, and meat. There’s a liquid version, adobo mojado, that’s used for marinades. I especially love how adobo seco tastes in rice.

  3. I LOVE sending spices. The Spice and Tea Exchange ( is based in my town, so I always send some of their spices in my boxes. The owner gets a huge kick out of my coming in every month with the likes/dislikes of my pen pal and finding some spices and teas for them!

  4. This place smells awesome! They’ve got more spices than I’ve ever seen in my life and they’ve got seasoning for every possible food or recipe you would ever want, its amazing! They’ve also got a cute section with spices named after the neighborhoods in Chicago.

  5. Pingback: Bridgeport Saltine Crusted Chicken and Kickin’ Collard Greens | lawstudentscookbook

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