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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Exciting News and Sweet Saturday!

Happy Saturday, my dear friends! :o) Although I haven't had any crafty time, I do have some exciting news and a tasty (and pretty!) treat to share! :o)

I am SO honored that my friend Cindy from Cindy's Scraptastic Designs has invited me to join her new Design Team! This is truly a privilege... she is such a sweetheart and so talented, as many of you know. I am ecstatic to share in this new journey with her. She is going to be FABULOUS and I couldn't be more proud of her. The fun begins soon! :o) I've used two of her adorable images so far (HERE and HERE)... and I am bursting to use more! :o)

We should celebrate with a treat! :o) I was feeling fruity... and ice creamy. At long last, fresh cranberries arrived in my local grocery store this week. Perfect timing since I didn't have a long baking window. I've seriously waited all year for their return, just for this one recipe. It's gorgeous, delicious, and versatile... it is the BEST Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce I have ever made or enjoyed.

(Over vanilla ice cream)
(Such a gorgeous color!)

And you know what else? It is easy peasy to make. I first made this last year for Thanksgiving.. and it immediately was demanded for Christmas. And several evenings in between those two holidays. The apples add another layer of seasonal flavor, plus delicious texture. The cinnamon is a perfect accent. While the cranberries are clearly the star, the cinnamon and apple additions make it a harmonious blend of sweet and tart. For the first time EVER, the cranberry sauce quickly disappeared at Thanksgiving. My mom has a passionate distaste for cranberry sauce... yet she gobbled this right up. It is magical.

The beauty in this recipe (aside from the taste I craved all year) is its versatility. For the holiday meals I enjoyed it on its own, while the meat-lovers in my family topped their (gasp) meat with it. But it goes well beyond that! This is AMAZING on top of ice cream, which is what I did last night (and this morning). It also serves as a great topping for French toast, waffles, crepes, etc. Plus, the incredible scent lingers for hours in the kitchen... don't you just love that? I love this recipe and hope you will give it a whirl, too! :o)

A couple of notes:
 * The longer this sits, the better it tastes! If possible, I recommend making this the day before serving. It is delicious as soon as it sets, but if you give the flavors time to meld, the taste deepens so beautifully. (This proves especially helpful during the busy holidays, anyway!)
 * Some reviewers of this recipe used Cranberry Juice Cocktail.. this is not the same thing! Use 100% Cranberry Juice if you can. Otherwise, alter the recipe to accommodate the added sugar in the cocktail.
 * This makes a medium-bowl portion. If you know you'll need a fairly large amount, be sure to double it.

Thank you for swinging by today! I'm happy to say I have some crafty time available this weekend, so hopefully I'll be back in a day or two with a card. I feel so rusty after so many days away. Have a beautiful weekend, my super sweet friends. :o)

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half (OR ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 cup sugar
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 teaspoons corn starch

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberry juice, cranberries, cinnamon, and sugar. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have softened and apples are tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove 8 ounces of the liquid to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly add the cornstarch-juice mixture (slurry) to the cranberry mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until thickened, at least 30 minutes (but preferably longer). Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve.

Source: Slightly adapted from Food Network



  1. Congrats!! I know you will be awesome!! Cindy designs the most adorable images!! Cant wait to see what you create!

  2. Congratulations Karen!!!! So excited for you and Cindy! Melanie

  3. Thank you so much for sharing are exciting news!I am so happy to have you be part of it,Have a SUPER weekend my friend!!:)

  4. Many congratulations you will serve them proud! and thank you for these lovely recipes:) Sandra H

  5. Congratulations, Karen! I can't wait to see what you make with her adorable images! You will do great! :)


  6. SQUEEE!!! It's everyone's favourite day of the week, know why? Cause it's Happy Happy Sweet Saturday!!!!!!!!!!! WHEEEEEEEEE!!!

    *dances into my Sunshine's blog armed with ten tubs of ice cream and one giant spoon so I can get straight to business* TEE HEE!

    OMJ! You just had to go and make this for today, didn't you?! You sneaky little thing you! You know perfectly well how much me lurves this recipe you make and now all I can do is sit here and drool while staring at my screen imagining how amazing that heavenly yummness must be. Total torture! TEE HEE HEE!!!

    Did you have a blast making it Sunshine? I can honestly smell the gorgeously delish apply and cranberry scent all the way from here. Did you make extra for me sis? What do you mean no? GASP! Unacceptable! *giggles*

    And did you know that your festive serving dishes are equally as squishable as their owner? Tee hee! Soooooooooooooo beautiful!!!

    I couldn't be more proud of you Sunshine as you begin a brand new journey in your new design team! I know I speak for all your sweetest followers here when I say that we simply cannot wait to be witnesses to all the amazing things you will create and share with us. *hugglers you madly* GOOOOOOOOOOOOO SUNSHINE!!!!!!!

    P.S. I love how your new design team logo is a happy sunflower. It reminds me of sunshine, which of course couldn't be more fitting, right sis?

    I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUU!!! *leaves you endless happy sweet Saturday huggles*

    ~~~ Christina :)

  7. Congratulations Karen!! I am sure you will do a remarkable job:) I look forward to seeing your fabulous work.Cindy's digi's are the cutest. How fun for you!!

    Sherrie K

  8. I had this urge to come see my dear friend and I'm so happy I stopped by today! Congrats! I'm sure your amazing work will be a wonderful addition to the team!! I can't wait to see and this recipe is to die for!! I must go to the store today to see if they have cranberries yet...mmmmmmm!!! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  9. I am so excited for you Karen, but I am not surprised that you were asked to be on the DT.. you are one amazing talented lady.. I can't wait to see what you create. (and your cranberry sauce looks soooo yummy).. hugs from ukiah

  10. OF COURSE Cindy asked you to be on her DT! Because you, my friend, are bursting with talent. I am SO excited to see the new creations that emerge from your beautiful heart. So EXCITING!!!!(And soon you will have other designers constantly hounding you to join them as well. You may have get yourself an agent just to field the requests. :) )

    Ah cranberry sauce. I'm going to be honest here and say that I have never tried homemade cranberry sauce. My mom never made it, and my husband grew up eating that horrible canned, jellied stuff. And that's all he ever wants. Isn't that awful. Blech.

    HOWEVER, I suggested that we try YOUR recipe out (it looks SOOOOO YUMMY!), and because it's from YOU (his "food crush"), he is willing to give up the wretched jelly of his youth and try a more grown-up version. For this, I am eternally grateful. :)

    Doesn't it make you feel good to know that Sweet Saturday is changing lives like this? :)


    Nita :)

    P.S. THANK YOU for being my cheerleader yesterday. You are so fabulous. :)

  11. CONGRATULATIONS, Karen!! I am soooo excited for you!! Cindy's images are so absolutely fantastic and you will do a FABULOUS job my super-talented friend!! I can't wait to see the projects you create with them!! YAY!!

    And, woo-hoo Sweet Saturday! I love cranberries, so this looks so delicious! Mix cinnamon and apples and oh my gosh, yummy!! I'm printing this out to try at Thanksgiving...if not sooner!!

    I hope you are having a great weekend, Karen!! Hugs,


  12. Congratulations Karen. I am thrilled to be designing with you my sweet friend.I too wondered if it was you!
    How spooky,I was about to leave you a message when my son called me away from my laptop and when I came back I had a message waiting from you!
    Jayne x

  13. YAY!!!! I'm so excited to hear the news!! I just love Cindy and her amazing designs! I can't wait to see your projects you make with her sweet designs, I KNOW they will be FABULOUS!!!!

    Ok, now on to your sweet Saturday...This looks so delicious I actually think I can smell it, YUMMY! We are definitely a fruit and french toast family and I just told the fam. that we have a great recipe to try!!! I know I always say this, but I mean this... Thank you for sharing your creativity and talents with us, you are such a JOY to me! Shelly

  14. Congratulations Karen, how exciting! I will have to hop over to Cindy's blog and check it out. And thank you for the yummy recipe, looks delicious!


Thank you for leaving some love! Have a beautifully blessed day. :o)

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