Christmas Cranberry Bread


Cold weather and Hallmark Christmas movies have me in the mood to make holiday dishes, so this Christmas Cranberry Bread recipe caught my eye. It’s from Magnolia Journal, of course.  Hope you aren’t tired of me sharing!

The combination of cranberries, lemon zest and walnuts had my mouth watering, and when you bite into this delicious quick bread you will be in holiday heaven.

I used freeze-dried sweetened cranberries that I already had in my pantry, so the bread was probably a little sweeter than using frozen or fresh, but it wasn’t overly sweet to me.

Christmas Cranberry Bread
A tasty holiday quick bread full of fruity, nutty goodness.
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  1. 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  4. 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. Dash of nutmeg
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1 cup vegetable oil
  9. 1/2 cup milk
  10. 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  11. 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
  12. 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of 2 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch loaf pans.
  2. In a very large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the oil, milk and maple syrup. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine (this is a stiff batter). Stir in cranberries and walnuts.
  4. Divide batter between the two prepared loaf pans and spread evenly.
  5. Bake about 60 minutes or until a cake tester placed in the center comes out clean. Let stand in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on rack.
  7. Wrap loaves in plastic wrap or foil and store overnight before slicing, Really. It will crumble like crazy if you don’t.
Adapted from Magnolia Journal
Adapted from Magnolia Journal
Mormon Mavens

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

How often do you use apple butter?  Yeah, I didn’t used to use it that much. Maybe I would buy some at a country store up in the mountains, but it was not a staple in my kitchen.

And then I found this great recipe for bran muffins–moist and sweet and healthy and delicious.  And one of the ingredients is apple butter.  Now, they have some pretty good options at the grocery store but I didn’t see a jar small enough for just a portion for the recipe.  Enter Magnolia Journal and all the tastes.

This is a slow cooker apple butter and it is so good.  Not too sweet, just the right amount of spice.

Go ahead and slather some on a piece of buttered toast–yeah, that good.  We will be eating it more often around here–and it freezes well, so that’s a plus.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter
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  1. 12 medium cooking apples (I used McIntosh and a few Galas) peeled, cored, and sliced.
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Place apples in a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Uncover and stir. Leave uncovered and cook on high 2-2 1/2 hours more or until apples are very tender and most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cool mixture at least 1 hour or cover and chill overnight. Process with an immersion blender.
  4. Spoon apple butter into half-pint freezer containers, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.
  5. Seal and label. Store for 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 1 year in the freezer.
  1. Note: You can also process this in a blender or food processor, half a batch at a time. It will be slightly lighter in color and have a thinner consistency.
Adapted from Magnolia Journal
Adapted from Magnolia Journal
Mormon Mavens

September Favorite Things




Netzero Reusable Produce Bags 

How many times have you been to the grocery store and caught yourself licking your fingers to get those pesky little plastic bags open for your fruits and veggies?  Ooh gross! Do you know where those bags have been?  I saw these on a Facebook ad and ordered 2 sets–one for my daughter and one for me.  These have so many benefits.  Easy to wash and air dry; you can actually wash your produce while it’s in the bag, go out your back door and swing the bag above your head to get the extra water out–because it’s just more fun that way–and store the food in the bag or not. Oh, and they’re not just for food–multiple uses like for collecting seashells at the beach!


Magnolia Journal

I have decided to purge my magazine collection and will soon have it down to one Church magazine,  Consumer Reports, my BYU Alumni magazine and this gem…Magnolia Journal. I love the food  photography and the articles.  And Joanna’s articles are a breath of fresh air compared to some of the stuff I have seen in another family magazine that I have been getting for years.  I won’t mention the name, but their format, articles, etc. just aren’t relevant to me anymore.  And the ads–oy vey!


 Insulated Water Bottle

Have you seen the 4Ocean commercials?  These two surfer guys have started a non-profit to help clean up the plastic/trash from the oceans and beaches, etc.  They sell handmade beaded bracelets that you can purchase and you will help clean up 1 pound of trash.  Well, I just don’t really wear bracelets that much and sometimes they get in my way.  So I found this great insulated water bottle on their site and purchased that instead.  It keeps my water really cold and the ice doesn’t melt for a couple of days, even in a hot car!  Check out their site and learn about what they are doing to take better care of our earth and what you can do to help.


Tomato Paste in a Tube

How many cans of tomato paste have you thrown out because you only need a tablespoon or two for a recipe?  Yeah, me too.  A recent trip to the grocery store snagged me this awesome Cento Tomato Paste in a tube!  Yes!  They finally get it.  So now, no more wasted paste and no more little tomato paste cans to deal with.  You’re welcome!