Not So Secret Santa!

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 19, 2008

It’s easy for me to pick out the highlight of my Thursday. It occurred when I picked up the mail this afternoon and found a package – with my name on it!


I ripped open the box and suddenly, my Secret Santa was not-so-secret anymore! The amazing and lovely Sarah from Our Kitchen Adventures was the girl behind the white beard (well not literally, of course)!


Sarah definitely knows how to brighten my day. This package was filled with deliciousness and thoughtfulness. First, there was an adorable card.


Then came the goodies, which included an assortment of chocolates from Sarris Candies, a famous chocolate store in Pittsburgh.


A cookie magazine that I fully intend to put to use this weekend!


Hanukkah gelt so that I can savor Sarah’s holiday, too!


A Starbucks holiday travel mug – I love the red cups!!


And last but certainly not least – HOMEMADE BROWNIES!


Of course I had to try one…


All I can say is – these aren’t going to last very long! The green in the center are those mint chocolate chip nonpareils – I think they look like this – which are actually one of my favorites! It’s so funny that they are my favorite but I’ve never actually had them on the blog – it’s like she’s a mind reader 😉 Anyway, I couldn’t be happier – THANK YOU SO MUCH, SARAH!


Phew! That was a lot of excitement – my fingers were typing a mile a minute. Whenever I get really happy or excited about something, my heart rate shoots up and I talk/type/move like a crazy person! Another thing to be excited about – all of your wonderful proposal stories from my last post. Thanks to everyone who shared – it was so fun to read them all. And for those who asked – I found the barbecue rice chips at Costco.

During the other, much less exciting parts of my day, there were moments where I had meals – would you like to see those now?

I woke up late again so I brought the usual mug of Coffee Cocoa in the car with me while I took my brother to school.


Once I got home, I settled into a nice breakfast. I started out with something “old” – a cup of Kashi Go Lean topped with pomegranate seeds and unsweetened original almond milk.


And I finished with something “new” that I used to eat ALL the time when I was little – CINNAMON TOAST! I toasted a piece of the Arnold Double Oat Bread and topped it with some light butter and a lot of cinnamon. Mm Mm Mm!


The rest of the morning was spent reading and helping my mom with some house stuff. Eventually, I decided to make both of us some French Onion Soup for lunch out of this box.


It was another Costco find. Looking at the soup once you pull it out of the box – it keeps in the freezer  – you can see that CLEARLY it will look just like the picture on the box.


Hahaha – ok, so you are probably grossed out an understandably so. But the ingredient list is decent, so I suppose it’s not that much different from freezing your own soup – except it lacks the homemade touch. And it turned out quite tasty.


The melted cheese was good, and not too globby and overpowering. It was a reasonable amount – and if you like French Onion Soup, this has pretty good flavor for being a box find. On the side, I had a Chobani topped with 1/2 of a Cinnamon Raisin Gnu Bar. Tasty!


I also finished a carton of raspberries – these are so fresh and juicy!


After lunch, I went out and ran some errands for my mom and picked up my brother from school. When we got back, I received my amazing Secret Santa package, so I had Sarah’s homemade brownie for a snack. Then I worked out – I was running short on time so I just did the same elliptical workout I did on Tuesday.

Dinner tonight was relatively simple – my mom and I had chicken lettuce wraps.


I had three that were this size. These wraps come from a kit that includes all the ingredients – lettuce, chicken and sauce for flavoring. It takes about 10 minutes to make, tops – and it’s good! We make a big plate of chicken and then pull out small spoonfuls for each wrap.


The lettuce serves as the perfect “shell” and the little rice crisps add a fun crunch.


After dinner, my mom, brother and I split another one of Sarah’s delicious brownies. Everyone loves them, Sarah! You can cook and bake for me anytime :) If only we weren’t 1,000+ miles apart!

I am suddenly very tired, so I’m going to take my book to bed and read until my eyelids get heavy. It’s Friday tomorrow, everyone! Just in case ya didn’t know – ha! I’m sure for many this means the official start of a “break” of some kind – whether for school or perhaps even for work. Enjoy it!

1 Sharon December 19, 2008 at 12:16 am

Oh wow, what a lovely gift!!! Baked goods!!

2 Pearl December 19, 2008 at 12:24 am

what a lovely gift! how thoughtful and sweet of her :) yaay!

3 Marianne December 19, 2008 at 1:12 am

OMG penguin card! I love penguins!

4 Jenny December 19, 2008 at 1:47 am

Oh fun day! Lovely Secret Santa gift, those brownies look divine!!! :)

5 coco December 19, 2008 at 2:20 am

horay for bloggers gifts!!!!!!! It’s the best surprise you can ever get, isn’t it??
Have a great beginning of the break 😀

6 limberkimbers December 19, 2008 at 5:32 am

That penguin card id adorable! And such a great gift, yay!

7 Erica December 19, 2008 at 5:58 am

What a wonderful gift! I have to get in on this secret santa next year- tooooo much fun 😉 Love lettuce wraps! Lots of yummy filling without all the carbs of a tortilla! I can’t believe that onion soup turned out looking so nice! Genius!

8 caitlin December 19, 2008 at 7:00 am

hahah i love that card :) what a sweet and fun exchange!

9 VeggieGirl December 19, 2008 at 7:11 am

SO EXCITING THAT SARAH ENDED UP BEING YOUR SECRET SANTA!!!! And wowza, what a package!! Hanukkah gelt, homemade brownies; lots of OTHER “holy yum” treats… niiice!!


10 Sarah December 19, 2008 at 7:28 am

YAY! I’m so glad that you liked the brownies and the gift : ) I can’t wait to see what you make from the cooke magazine, everything in it looked so good!

11 Melissa S. December 19, 2008 at 8:11 am

what a great secret santa!!! yay Sarah!!!!

12 allijag December 19, 2008 at 8:17 am

Oh my goodness – what a very fun treat! You got so many awesome things in that package! The card is adorable, I’m super jealous of that Starbucks mug, and those brownies look TDF!!! :)

13 eatingbirdfood December 19, 2008 at 8:21 am

Sarah was such a sweet Secret Santa.. I wish I found out about the Blogger Secret Santa earlier. I was 1 day too late :( Oh well.

Enjoy being at home for the holidays!!

btw. Those raspberries look so good.

14 ErinE December 19, 2008 at 8:29 am

the penguin card is so cute!
My dad used to always make me cinnamon toast when i was little, except he added loads of sugar to it too. I might have to make myself some :)

15 ksgoodeats December 19, 2008 at 8:32 am

Aw – Sarah’s gift is so sweet! Hah – that soup tower cracks me up!

16 Danielle December 19, 2008 at 8:35 am

What great gifts! You sleuth, Sarah ;). Enjoy them Jenn, especially those brownies… yum!

17 marafaye December 19, 2008 at 8:42 am

Great gifts!!! Wish I was around when the secret santa thing was set up…

18 Hangry Pants December 19, 2008 at 8:47 am

I love everything in that box. Is that penguin card fuzzy? I love fuzzy cards!!! Sad I missed the S.S. sign up. :(

Have a great Fridat Jenn!!!!!

19 Meghann December 19, 2008 at 8:56 am

Wow what a GREAT Secret Santa gift! :)

The French Onion soup looks itneresting. I think if I saw it in the sotre I would pick it up just to give it a try.

20 Heather Eats Almond Butter December 19, 2008 at 9:16 am

I love all your Costco purchases. That is where we buy most of groceries. Love Costco. You totally scored with your Secret Santa package. Chocolate mint brownies look delicious – good job Sarah!

21 HeatherBakes December 19, 2008 at 10:26 am

Yea for secret santa gifts! Those brownies look amazing. I love Christmas goodies.

I’m intrigued by the frozen french onion soup… it actually looks really good once it’s thawed.

Have a great Friday!

22 Mel December 19, 2008 at 10:56 am

Lucky you with all of those beautiful gifts! I especially love the card!

Lucky you with the Costco, the closest one is like an hour and half away. I want to try that French Onion soup! :)

23 seecourteat December 19, 2008 at 11:08 am

What a fun secret santa package! I love all of those mugs with the sayings. They are too cute! Hope you are havin’ a good day!

24 Kelly Turner December 19, 2008 at 11:08 am

aw! that card is adorable!

what great gifts!

I love that onion soup- the same brand makes amazing spinach and artichoke dip!

Kelly Turner

25 runjess December 19, 2008 at 11:45 am

I love the looks of that lettuce wrap kit. It actually comes with the lettuce?

26 Angela December 19, 2008 at 11:55 am

Oh my gosh!!! fabulous gift!!! So lovely of Sarah :)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE mint chocolate chip nonpareils (thanks for lettign me know what they are called! lol). Ive been obsessed with them since I was young.


27 Melissa (MISSY MAINTAINS) December 19, 2008 at 11:58 am

Such a cute card!! Those brownies look amazing!! Love the Chanukah gelt as well :)

28 julie December 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm

those brownies look soooo good.. i love making xmas cookies too.. they are soo fun!

29 Halie December 19, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Gee wilikers! Those brownies look so delicious! I love the color of the nonpareils.

mmm… those raspberries look so good. I don’t think there is a good crop of them in my area right now :(

30 caitlin December 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm

eating bender –

i hope i dont erupt a firestorm of controversy here… but…

i do not believe in flu shots. i also do not believe in vaccinations (i think the autism link is real, i know you have a brother with autism, what do you think?). i think flu shots might be valid for really old people or people who work in the health field, but in general i think its very bad to inject yourself with anything like a vaccination! horrible, horrible idea.

i don’t do something just because a doctor tells me to!!! they are human, too, and they make mistakes. so i like to educate myself on my options and normally i prefer to “take my chances” with my own natural immune system.

your thoughts??

31 Lara December 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm

That french onion soup looks surprisingly appetizing! And what a cute mug!!

32 caitlin December 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm

jenn – yea, i just have a lot of distrust for the wonderful world of western medicine. not that it doesnt do good things (like cure cancer!!) but i think they are too willing to shove drugs and vaccinations down our throats. some people FREAK OUT when they hear we wont be vaccinating our children, but i just throw up my hands and say that we’re all entitled to our opinion!!

33 Erin December 19, 2008 at 3:25 pm

WOW! That’s such a cool pkg! Sarah is the sweetest pudding pop in the blog world!!!!!

34 seecourteat December 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Ooooh..and thanks for adding me to your blogroll!

35 Sophia December 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm

whoa, terrific gift! lucky you! does that french onion soup come with crouton on the bottom too? your eats all look so delicious!

36 Caroline December 19, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Sarah’s gift is so thoughtful!! I hope you enjoy it:)

Aren’t lettuce wraps awesome? I just made some yesterday and have been thinking that I should make them more often.

37 eatingbender December 20, 2008 at 12:37 am

runjess ~ Yes, it actually does come with lettuce!

Sophia ~ Yes, it does come with croutons on the bottom – it’s really a great frozen food :)

Caroline ~ Lettuce wraps are great – so easy and so good!

38 bobbi December 20, 2008 at 3:07 pm

AWWWW I so wish I would have been in the blogger secret santa, maybe next year:) I LOVE ALL THE treats and those brownies!

39 Rose December 23, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Very cool secret santa gift – and I’ve had that chocolate before; it’s definitely some of the best!!

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