April Foodie Pen Pals

This month was my first time participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program. I loved my first experience. It was so much fun. It was like having Christmas in April. And, I love presents, so I was supper giddy when I received my foodie package in the mail. I was like a little kid, jumping up and down saying “It’s here, it’s here. My foodie package has arrived.”

Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean came up with the Foodie Pen Pal program. It’s a program that pairs food bloggers and foodies together to send delicious packages to each other. It’s so much fun!

I really enjoyed shopping for my foodie, Laura. I created an Italian themed package for her. I loaded the box with whole wheat pasta, puttanesca sauce, roasted red pepper and eggplant spread, pesto, sweet and spicy mustard, and chocolate biscotti. I secretly wanted to keep the box for myself, but I stayed strong and mailed it to Laura. She emailed me after she received her package with lovely comments on how much she enjoyed all of the products.

Here’s what I received from my Foodie Pen Pal, Lee.

Lee lives in Atlanta, Georgia, so everything in the package was from the Atlanta area. Her friend owns The Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta. Everything was delicious. The puffy meringue in the front was so light and fluffy. Oh my, it just melted in my mouth. I started chowing down on it (as you can see from the large chunk missing) as soon I took it out of the box. In the package was also a really moist almond cake, and a lovely crumbly shortbread. I ate it all.

Then there was this. What? caramel popcorn, you say. Yes, but not just any old caramel popcorn. This caramel popcorn was made with bacon fat. It. Blew. My. Mind! I didn’t know popcorn could be that good. I ate the entire bag. Did you expect anything less?

She also gifted me some toffee dipped in chocolate and pecans. It was beyond good. And, yes, I ate it all. Thank you, Lee. I really enjoyed my Foodie Pen Pal package. I’ll be participating in the May Foodie Pen Pal program, and I’m super excited.

Love and sweet treats,



Awards Make Me Happy

I received the versatile blogger award from two lovely ladies in March, Jessica from A Kitchen Addiction and Shelley from Piggy In Polka Dots. Thank you so much for the award, ladies. I truly appreciate the honor. Since I’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award, there are a couple of rules. First, I must tell you 7 things about myself. Here they are:

1. I’m addicted to nail polish. It has gotten pretty serious. Like, I own the entire line of O.P.I serious!

2. My favorite song is Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-lot. I can’t help it. Every time I hear the song my booty starts to involuntarily shake. I even sang karaoke to this song- it wasn’t good. Actually, there’s a video floating around of me singing it. I believe my mom is in possession of the video and is holding it hostage for future black mailing purposes.

3. I name inanimate objects. Meet Lola, my Kitchen-Aid mixer. It’s weird.

4. I love shoes! Pink, blue, flats, pumps, boots. I love ’em all. I own about 50 pairs of shoes. It’s a sickness.

5. My nickname is JPhanny. When I got married, no one could pronounce my last name, so they all started calling me JPhanny.

6. I can take down a large amount of tacos in one sitting. I once won a taco eating bet with some friends. It’s no joke!

7. I have an obsession with pigs. I love them. I mean, what’s not to love. They’re adorable and pink. My grandfather has promised to buy me a pig once my husband and I move to a house with a bigger yard. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Now, to nominate 15 other bloggers with the Versatile Blogger award. I wish I could nominate all of my favorites because I seriously love you all, but I’m only allowed to pick 15. Here they are (in no particular order):

Movita Beaucoup

Home Skillet Cook

The Cooking Actress

Go Bake Yourself

Griffin’s Grub




Love Food Cook Food

The Comfort of Cooking

A Periodic Table

Must Come Hungry

Oh Cake


Rosie’s Country Baking

The Liebster Award

A huge thank you to Ingrid from thecozyapron and Kristina from whippedbaking for enjoying my blog enough to nominate me for the Liebster award. I am truly grateful for your support and kindness. The word “liebster” is of German origin and means “favorite, beloved, dearest”.

The honor of accepting the award is traditionally done in the following way:

1. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded you by linking back to their blog.
2. Pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know about your nomination by leaving a comment on their blog
3. Post the award on your blog!

I am happy to announce that the Liebster award goes to the following blogs:

Movita Beaucoup– I love this blog. Her recipes are amazing and her photos are beautiful. I’m always drooling over the food on her site.

Juanita’s Cocina– Juanita really knows a way to this girl’s heart. I love Tex-Mex, and Juanita dishes out some scrumptious Tex-Mex cuisine.

Coupon Clipping Cook– I love Nancy’s blog. Her food looks amazing, and she can teach you how to save on your groceries. There’s nothing I like more than saving some ca-ching on my food.

The Purple Spoon– I love the creative food featured on Linda’s blog. I want to eat it all. Seriously, all of it.

Mamas’ Blissful Bites– I love this blog. It’s real food for real people. Amber cooks up delicious family style meals that are creative and original.

Burrito Bliss

Today, my girlfriend and I decided to take a ride down to Hamden to enjoy a leisurely stroll along 36th street, also known as the strip or the avenue to us Baltimoreans. I love the atmosphere in Hamden; it’s eclectic, original, and exciting. You’ll always find something new and unusual in one of the shops. Today, my girlfriend and I came across several funky hats in The Hon Store. Of course, we had to try them all on.

The blonde “Hon” wig was my favorite; although, I’m not quite sure why I’m posing like one of the Bangles in the “Walk like an Egyptian” music video. I suppose I thought it befitting. During our stroll along the strip, we decided to eat at the Golden West Cafe. Boy, did we make a wise choice. The cafe’s atmosphere was funky and colorful, and it smelled of delicious coffee and fried potatoes. Both of us ordered a burrito. And, oh, my was it delicious. I ordered their Aztec burrito. It was filled with black beans, fried plantains, and grilled squash, and the entire burrito was topped with salsa fresco, crema, and a red and green chile sauce. The contrast of the sweet plantains with the spicy chile sauce blew my mind, so much that I ate the entire thing. To top it all off, I enjoyed a spicy bloody Mary with my meal. It was perfect burrito/bloody Mary bliss. Sorry about the half eaten picture of my burrito, but by the time I decided I should take a picture, it was half gone. Apparently, I couldn’t wait to start piling this delicious stuffed dream boat into my mouth.

Love and sweet treats,

The Messy Baker


Hi. Welcome to my blog, The Messy Baker. I’m Jennie. I bake delicious sweet treats. Stay tuned, because soon I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes with all of you.

Love and sweet treats,

The Messy Baker