Swap-O-Rama {Chicago Food Swap}

A few weekends back I attended the first food swap in my area put on by the Chicagoland Food Swap.  It was held at a favorite local store of mine.  I have read about food swaps in other cities the past year and have been anxiously awaiting one to start around Chicago.  What is a food swap?  In a nutshell you bring your homemade goodies to trade with other people’s homemade goodies.

There was a good variety of goodies to swap.  I swapped with Chris for some ginger martini syrup.  Is it wrong I had one after dinner that evening?  I was just being proactive fighting any potential stomach issues.  What?  Ginger is good for stomach issues, you can never be too safe.  Besides shaking it in a shaker practically counts as exercise.  This is like a health drink. I loved the syrup and I think it would make great gifts.  The labels were great too.

Swapping for baked goods is a bonus for me.  I am not a huge fan of baking so getting some items I could freeze and pull out when I need it over the holidays.  I went home with pumpkin bread that was incredibly moist from Theresa .  We loved it for breakfast.  Pecan bars and gingerbread cookies from Angie.  The pecan bars will a great dessert for friends we are having over this weekend.  There was no saving the gingerbread men the kids did a number on those.  My daughter joined me and she swapped for Rice Krispie reindeer from from Bella.

I also went home with jams and jelly.  Grape jelly that is so smooth from Chris !  Lucky for me Emily, one of our hosts, traded me twice for strawberry balsamic and apricot Habanero jam.  I have not tried either of them yet but hope to soon.  The other host of the evening traded blueberry balsamic with me and I am looking forward to using this on a cheese dessert tray at a progressive dinner we are taking part in this weekend.

A late arrival to the swap was welcomed by the with open arms as her basket was filled to the rim with fresh-baked bread.  I was out of items to swap but my secret weapon saved the day.  Salted caramel bars that I brought to share!  This was perfect with the soup my husband had waiting for us when we got home.

Oh so what did I bring to swap?  Hot buttered rum batter…

hot buttered rum batter

Hot Buttered Rum Batter
Recipe Type: Beverage
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 C. light brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. powered sugar
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cardamom
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • large pinch of ground clove
  • pinch of salt
  1. This recipe filled 2-4 oz. jars. Recipe scales up or down easily.
  2. Hot Buttered Rum drink is best enjoyed piping hot. These portion are the best to keep it hot — Mix 1 T. batter, 1/2 shot of rum, and 8 oz. of boiling water. Stir to combine.


I actually tweaked the recipe a bit since the swap, I preferred this particular batch of it. Mix and match the spices to your liking, you can’t really go wrong.  Traditionally hot buttered rum is made with dark rum, but I prefer light rum.  This is an excellent nightcap.

For a kid friendly drink I think this would work well in hot cider.  Alternatively, spread it on toast for the kids or even pancakes or waffles.  It was delicious on pumpkin waffles.

It was fun to meet all the ladies, have my daughter join me, and come home with delicious ideas and good eats to enjoy.  Thanks to our wonderful hosts Emily and Chefdruck!


  1. Kiri W. says:

    Oh wow, I’d *love* an event like this! My very first swap was the great food blogger cookie swap, and now I’ve tasted blood 🙂 All the goods at this event look gorgeous!

  2. Biz says:

    Alright, I am definitely going next year Jacky – remind me, okay? Now I need to find a recipe to make apricot Habanero jam!

    Glad it turned out great!

  3. Jilly says:

    Wow, that looks and sounds like SO much fun! We had our cookie exchange this past weekend, for the first time in 7 years, I bought my cookies. From a really good bakery, but yes, I bought them. I HATE to bake. I will say, I think it made me a much more pleasant person to be around!

    I am going to give that recipe a shot this weekend!

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