The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

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I am SO excited to let you know that I will be participating once again in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! When I was blogging as The Bold Baker I had participated in this swap for 3 years prior to this one! If i’m being totally honest with you, I look forward to this all year. All the more reason to start my very own website, so I am happy to participate this year as liveloveBAKE!

In case you were wondering what this is all about, bloggers from all over the the world can participate! But you only swap with other bloggers in your country. You receive the names and addresses of 3 other active food bloggers and have until early December to ship your cookies! I’ve mainly sent my cookies to Ontario, but a couple times to Quebec, Alberta, and even within my province of British Columbia! I’ve received all sorts of different cookies, and what’s great is on December 16th all the bloggers post their cookie recipe! So if you had received a cookie that was outstanding or super creative you can snag that recipe and add it to your own collection. I have also found that many bloggers post photos of the cookies they received too, so i’ll be sure to do that this year!

For more information on this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap go to http://www.fbcookieswap.com/.

MEGS xO

Blueberry Scones

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People think i’m crazy because I don’t like summer, that I prefer fall and winter. Growing up in Vancouver I have been exposed to extreme weather conditions, lets face it our weather is bi-polar. I’ve worn shorts in February and boots in July, makes total sense right? I prefer the colder months because I enjoy layers upon layers. Socks, scarves, boots, cardigans, you name it I own it. The only thing I can say that I enjoy about summer is the fact that it brings us local fruit you can’t grow in the winter out this way. Like BLUEBERRIES!

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I’ll be the first person to admit that I actually don’t care for blueberries, I’d much prefer to grab a handful of cherries. BUT these blueberry scones even have me wanting more. These scones remind me of the ones my mom used to buy from Costco when I was little, where I used to pick the blueberries out because I only wanted the flavour from the berry.

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MEGS xO

Knowing Your Flours!

I still remember the day walking into baking class and our teacher said POP QUIZ! Pop quiz? What on earth is she able to quiz us on? Baking something? Well not exactly, what she should have said was Taste Test! She brought out a tray of different ingredients and we had to correctly identify each one. Easy right? Well maybe for a skilled baker but we were just learning! 6 or 7 different types of flour that all looked similar, 4 different types of sugar, chocolate, and even oils (those I left to my eye to figure out)! It was a great exercise because I can now look back and think if I were to take that pop quiz again that I would ace it!

So here I’m going to focus on the 4 main types of flour when it comes to baking, as a lot of people are still in the dark about them. In baking, flour can definitely be one of your most important ingredients, especially since its usually the base of whatever you’re making!

All-Purpose Flour

If you’re going to only have one type of flour in your household, then it better be All-Purpose. The name says its all. The average shelf life for AP Flour is around 18 months from the date it was produced. So with that being said it’s best to keep it dry and in a clean area. I keep all my ingredients in air-tight containers to help them last longer! One thing that I had to do quite a bit when we would forget to place an order for AP flour was make it! You can do that by simply taking equal parts Bread & Pastry flour and thoroughly mixing them together. It’s a quick fix if you keep both flours handy!

This type of flour is best for : baked goods such as cookies, and bread.

Bread Flour

This type of flour has more protein content than AP Flour, this helps with the gluten development. Generally, this type of flour is going to give you a heavier/denser loaf than if you were to use AP Flour. This type of flour is also ideal when you’re trying to reach and chewy texture. So if you’re making a cake, stay away from this flour!

This type of flour is best for: anything you would like a chewy/heavier texture for – pretzels, bread, etc.

Cake Flour

This type of flour is just as obvious as the name states, its great for making cakes! Its going to give you a very tender result because it has such a low protein content. Although I wouldn’t consider cake & all-purpose flour to be interchangeable, you can use AP flour if you’re in a pinch as a substitute for cake flour.

This type of flour is best for: tender cakes. 

Pastry Flour

This type of flour is similar to cake flour as their protein levels are about the same. This is a go-to flour for many people who are used to using different flours to produce different products.

This type of flour is best for: pie/tart dough, and muffins.

MEGS xO

Key Lime Pie

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If anyone knows me, they know my favourite thing to bake is pie. Whether it be classic apple pie, coconut cream pie, or key lime pie, its all one love to me. And with making the perfect pie, you need the perfect crust. When it comes to a graham cracker crust, its hard to go wrong. Graham is such a recognizable flavour and personally one of my favourites, and you can add pretty much anything to it and it will still taste fabulous. And on a side note, adding graham crust to any basic cookie recipe brings a completely new level to a classic recipe.Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 10.13.40 PMpie

MEGS xO