Almond Cookies & Gratitude

I love getting mail....

....not just the e-kind. The snail kind. On actual paper.

Especially when it's not someone asking for money. (Visa never writes just to say hello)

But MOST especially when its a box full of foodie treats.

I don`t even remember how I came across her website. I often sit down to post or edit and suddenly two hours later, I am pinning recipes from a food blogger in Berlin. Regardless of how it happened, I stumbled upon Lindsay and her blog called the Lean Green Bean.  She has taken on this incredible project of initiating a foodie pen pal program.

Its basically exactly what it sounds like. She matches you up with another foodie (blogger or blog reader) and you send them a little foodie package. A different person has your name and does the same.  There are lots of other details, that she has meticulously thought of and communicated. Bottom line is she kept it cheap and easy.  I can only imagine the amount of effort and organization this type of undertaking requires so my first extension of gratitude is to Lindsay. Thank you Lindsay. Awesome idea. Brilliant execution.

I was also very grateful for being introduced to such a pleasant foodie pen pal match. I was matched to Lesley from By the Porchlight. It was fun getting to ask my foodie penpal questions and learn what she liked and didn`t liked. She lives on the opposite coast from me so that was cool. She has a fun blog that I got to add to my `find time to read these fun blogs`list.  Thank you Lesley!

Finally, a big THANK YOU to MY foodie pen pal sender! Terri has a blog called Will Run for Peas. Given I will barely run for a cookie, I was already inspired that she would run for peas! She was so thoughtful and asked me some great (thought provoking) questions on my food preferences. (which I in turn asked some to my recipient as well!) She sent me two yummy finds - both of which I had never tried before.

One was some delicious sweet nuts.  We actually didn't open them until we had some people over because I knew Mr. and I would end up eating the whole bag. **Full disclosure. I kept both packages of the treats Terri sent me so I could reference them here today. I am currently on vacation and completely forgot to bring the nut package with me so I cannot for the life of me, remember the details of the package. A total Foodie Pen Pal faux pas. When I get home I will update with their name, but seriously my bad.

I DID however, remember to bring the Snakaroons package because I knew they would be my inspiration to recreate something similar. There were Vanilla Almond and make by a company called Laughing Giraffe Organics. I will definitely look for their products in the future. Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free and only six ingredients. I loved the simplicity and richness. I was skeptical when the package says just a small amount will be enough, but they were right. (that is, if you are a rational person with no self control issues)

So THANK YOU Terri. I so greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and efforts to send such interesting and unique treats! I really wanted to try and make them but upon arrival at my remote cabin in the woods I had to improvise. (no organic coconut oil) But I did make a cookie with just six real and clean ingredients similar to the Snakaroons. Although not vegan, I thought it was a tasty substitute for my now empty bag of Laughing Giraffe Organic Vanilla Almond Snakaroons!

Italian Almond Cookies

A high protein, low sugar cookie recipe my mom had scrawled on a piece of notebook paper. I will be sure to ask my Italian ma-in-law her thoughts. Either way, I will be making these again!

4 egg whites pinch of salt 2 cups of whole almonds, ground fine. 1/2 cup coconut, ground. 3/4 cup sugar (although I would even use a bit less next time) 1 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 2.  Beat egg whites until frothy. Then add salt and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. 3.  Gently fold in the almonds, coconut, sugar and vanilla. 4.  Bake 30 minutes on a greased baking sheet or silpat.