Dark Chocolate & Candied Ginger Cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

It’s that time of year again, cookie swap time! I was so thrilled to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap last year, so of course I hustled to sign up again this year. There is nothing I love more than seeing what other bloggers create and also hearing if they’ve enjoyed my creations!

It was my absolute pleasure to send a batch of these to Gastronomical Sovereignty (soon to be She Eats)Peanut Butter and Onion, and the Savour Sisters. Check out these lovely blogs and help support incredible Canadian Food Bloggers! Of course, food bloggers from around the world participated, and I will post a link to the full list when it is posted on Monday!

Sadly, I have only received two of my three swap batches, but that’s alright because those I did receive we FANTASTIC! Further to this sadness though is that I promptly lost both the cards from both the batches that I did receive so I am going to keep an eagle out for their recipes so I can properly link to them and thank them here. I figured one out!

First, from Sweet Twist of Baking, I received delicious espresso short bread with dried cherries and almonds, which I ate with tea and coffee. They were so buttery and just lightly sweet that they felt appropriate for first thing in the morning… and in the afternoon… and before I went to bed. The other batch were sugar cookies (I believe… I am terrible at naming cookie types). They were thin but sturdy with a good bite. The icing on top was PERFECT, with little silver dragees for sparkle and crunch. These also got promptly gobbled up with tea and coffee. So, thanks to those two wonderful bloggers who I promise I will name when I a) hear from you; b) hunt down your recipe; c)find your cards.

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Family Classic: Cherry Surprizes

Oh goodness, it has been a long time since I’ve posted! Not for lack of baking, it’s been a busy baking season, so I have loads of posts coming up. I love the Christmas season, I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, including going to the Stuart McLean Christmas show last weekend, which was absolutely lovely. At work we’ve implemented an awesome Christmas Calendar of fun. Last week I was responsible for Cookie Wednesday, my offerings are pictured below the recipe (the other cookies and bars picture will come up later this week) and on friday, Kat and Kathryn brought in hot chocolate and Baileys which made for an indulgent morning. To add to my Christmas joy, we had a Christmas/winter-themed trivia night with the NFB-Bads at Teri and Brian’s apartment which was incredibly fun. And finally, to make the week full of joy, Karen, Kat and myself lunched at the Vancouver Christmas Market, which is a German market. Awesome!

Also, I rearranged our tiny little living room to accommodate the Christmas tree, and it makes the space look huge! Huzzah!

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Magic Bars… Double Brown Sugar Cookie Bars

Honestly, I am in a bit of a state. I cannot believe that we are a week away from December and just over a month from Christmas. Oy, this fall has flown by. I need to finish getting Christmas presents. I need to tell people what I want for Christmas. I need to make stacks and stacks of gingerbread houses for my gingerbread house party. I need to make my Food Blogger Cookie Exchange cookies and send those out. I need to do SO MANY THINGS.

At least it is sunny, my paper is coming along nicely, and I live in a city I love. Mom gets here for a visit in less than a month, and I am going to do some awesome tub renoing (redoing the caulking) next weekend, which I am strangely excited for. So things are moving quickly, but stuff is happening and that is great. Also, I had my contract extend at the NFB for another session, so that’s great news as well, and I am happy to get to stick around.

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Surprize Tea Cookies

I still haven’t gotten around to correcting the issues with my site, so I am sorry about the smaller images crunched over to the side. I am looking at new style, and may do some testing with it tomorrow. We’ll see.

I can’t believe that we are half-way through November and well on our way to Christmas. I am really looking forward to visiting with my mom when she comes down to visit. It will be just a week but she is going to stay with us for another week in January, which will also be great. Holidays are wonderful and while I look forward to another year when our whole family can get together, having my mom stay with us will be special (sorry you have to sleep on the couch!).

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Chewy Rich Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Oh fall bring such wonderful things. The leaves all got together and decided that yesterday was the day to start their mass-drop. As I walked home, I kicked through piles of gold and red. The scene right now from my window is autumnal perfection, a rainbow of trees from green to fiery red.

Another great thing brought about by fall, was a wonderful visit from one of my favourite people, Lauren P.! Lauren was in town for her graduation and she brought her mom! Lots of beers, smiles, and good times were had. The weather cooperated, a conspirator in our plot to woo Lauren back to the West (best) coast. Her mom felt the lure of the better half of Canada, but ultimately they hopped their plane back to Toronto yesterday afternoon.

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Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies — Toffee Apple option!

What a strange start to summer. I am having a hard time believing that my birthday is in just three days and that Canada Day is in just over a week. This summer has already started to fly by. Last week as I was climbing the stairs to my office I scoffed at the grocery store’s Canada Day window paintings. I thought to myself, “Fools! Canada Day is months away! There are holidays between now and then, what a strange thing to do!” It was only when I reached the second floor that I realized that we were already deep into June. Ooph that hit like a ton of bricks.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

I am certain I drove my colleagues crazy on Friday as I tirelessly watched and relayed the details of the Calgary/Southern Alberta floods. I watched as my old apartment building was surrounded, feeling relieved to know that our dear friends had finally evacuated. I saw the river waters swallow up some of my favourite areas of the city that I called home for 6 years and I thought of the incredible loss those communities are suffering. I hope that Calgary is able to recover quickly, together. I truly hope that they are able to host Stampede, in whatever form, to combat the already overwhelming loss of spirit and money resulting from this tragedy.

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Chocolate Kitchen Sink Cookies

One thing I love about coming home from trips is seeing what kind of organizational innovations Gen has achieved in my absence. This trip I came back to my knives standing on-end inside a pitcher, the cutlery mixed in the holder (rather than divided), and all the pots stacked on the stove, clean but not put away. He did buy a Costco pack of new tupperware, which I am thrilled about, so that’s good! And really, the kitchen took just a few minutes to straighten out, I really kind of like my kitchen roulette.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Toasted Coconut Cookies, whew

Well we’ve had summery, lovely weather for the past few weeks. Yesterday afternoon the weather broke and we are slated for a rather drizzly week to come, but I am alright with that. The intermittent rain is just one thing I love about Vancouver; cool days to break up the hot ones is my favourite kind of summer!

Lots has happened in this last week. First, I found out that I’ve been chosen for a wonderful graduate award (that I am not sure if I am allowed to formally announce yet). They are flying myself and the other recipients to Toronto in the middle of June to attend a Board of Director’s dinner. I need to write a 5-minute speech to say at the dinner and a bio about myself in case my story is picked up by media, crazy! Anyway, I have been so fortunate to have such wonderful references for opportunities like this, as well as the job opportunities that have come about, so I definitely have to thank my wonderful former-boss and friend, Johanne, my internship supervisor, Lindsay, and my lovely and talented best friend, Caelin!

Also, I’ve been in straight-panic mode lately about our impending move from our amazing apartment. When I sent in our second year’s worth of cheques last year sometime, our landlord had told us that they’d like to retake the place in September of 2013. We were sad about the date but were so thankful to get to live in this wonderful spot for two whole years. Anyway, this whole week I’ve been determined to find us a great place so that we can move this summer instead of having to hustle out of here last minute in the fall. On a whim, a whim that my mother suggested, I emailed Marta (our wonderful landlady) to confirm that they were still needing the place for the fall. WELL, I’ll be damned if she didn’t email me back to say that we could stay for another year. HUZZAH! We are so love this location, the apartment, and now we are getting to know our neighbours. And, to make things better, she mentioned that they’d like to swap out the carpet for laminate (this carpet is terrible!). So, things are great. My husband said, when I called him about the apartment, “We are so lucky, well no(thinking of my dad), but this is one great thing.”

These are bribery cookies. No, donation-solicitation cookies. No, donation-encouraging cookies. Okay, so they are cookies that will sit beside a sign that tells the story of my dad, his battle, our loss, and the Spring Sprint that is yet to come. We are in the last leg of our fundraising campaign and I’d love to top out our fundraising at $5000 (we are at $3,500). So, I am bringing cookies into work and into trivia to encourage people to either donate-to or join our cause.

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Chocolate Chipotle Cookies- kicky treats

I am knocking on wood while I type this, but it looks like summer has arrived in Vancouver! It has been gorgeous all week and is slated to be in the mid-twenties for the weekend and into next week. I will take all the doses of summer that I can! Gen and I have even planned a picnic for today at the beach and we are really looking forward to getting outside and getting some well-deserved sunshine.

I can’t believe it’s already been a week since my mom was here, actually it feels much longer, like her visit hadn’t even happened! I keep thinking how excited I am for her to get here, even though she just left. BUT she is coming back, hence my continued excitement. Kellie, the girls, and mom arrive on the 23rd of May. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone, including all of our other friends and family who are flying in/boating in for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s Spring Sprint on the 26th. I can’t believe how quickly the event has come, and I am so looking forward to being part of this important event. Again, if you are interested in donating or knowing more you can click here now, or click the image to the right of my posts.

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