Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch

This week I made my Sweet’N Low Thanksgiving Punch for the upcoming holidays as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars

Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch

it’s fall ya’ll….and almost time for Thanksgiving! i love this time of year because of the fall colors…it has to be one of my most favorite color schemes of all the seasons. plus, THE FOOD. i love all the food served at Thanksgiving time, best of all, the appetizers and desserts. believe it or not, i could skip the Turkey dinner and just eat appetizers, dips and pie. so now it’s time to start planning the holiday meals. if you are looking for a nice drink to serve with your dessert or appetizers, this Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch is a good recipe. it has all the spice and flavors of fall, and is meant to be served cold…and sipped during the meal.

to make this Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch, you will need a bunch of your holiday favorites; the main ingredients are apple cider, cranberry pomegranate juice and ginger ale.
holiday non alcoholic spiced punchthen you will add cloves, cinnamon sticks, apples, oranges, lemons, Sweet’N Low, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla to spice it up. and remember, that with this punch you can adjust the flavors to your liking. if you like more spice…add more, if you like it sweeter, add more Sweet’N Low or maple syrup, if you don’t like molasses, leave it out. Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch Ingredientsyou will be cooking the apple cider, cranberry-pomegrante juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges and lemon over medium heat. stirring until it comes to a slight boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. you will then, remove it from the heat, and strain mixture. discard the oranges, lemon, cloves and cinnamon sticks, and then return the punch to the pot. now add the maple syrup, molasses and Sweet’N Low and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. remove from heat and add vanilla. since this punch is meant to be served cold, let the punch cool down. adjust the flavors as you wish, and then refrigerate overnight. it will taste even better the next day.
Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punchwhen you are ready to serve, you will fill your glasses with fruit garnish and a cinnamon stick, and then pour the cider and ginger ale over the top. freezing your fruit will make it act like ice cubes, so i highly recommend it. 
Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch

this Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch is a great compliment to your Thanksgiving dinner as served as an appetizer or even during the meal. the colors in the drink are so festive and fun. and pssst, using the Sweet ‘N Low cuts down on the extra calories of added sugar….plus, i can’t tell the difference. you can add more or less according to your taste.

thanksgiving punch recipe

1 gallon apple cider
4 cups Ginger ale soda
2 cups 100% cranberry pomegranate juice (with no sugar added)
30 whole cloves (see note below)
2 oranges, cut up
1 lemon, cut up
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
10 – 12 packets Sweet’N Low
1 teaspoon molasses
8 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish – green apple, red apple, oranges, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon sticks

In a stock pot, add apple cider, cranberry-pomegrante juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges and lemon and stir over medium heat. Once it comes to a slight boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. remove from heat, and strain mixture. discard the oranges, lemon, cloves and cinnamon sticks, and then return the punch to the pot. now add the maple syrup, molasses and Sweet’N Low. simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. remove from heat and add vanilla. Let the punch cool down. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve:

For the garnish, add small pieces of red apples, green apples, oranges, pomegranate seeds and a cinnamon stick to each glass.

Place the garnish fruit into glasses, filling about a ¼ full. Pour the cold spiced apple cider into the glasses 1/2 full and fill the rest with ginger ale on top. (you can also add the ginger ale to the punch before serving.
Serve and enjoy!

tip: freeze your garnish fruit on a baking tray, and use them as ice cubes and keep your punch cold.

fruit spiced punch
have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday…what are you planning on cooking?

{ disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am an Ambassador for Sweet’N Low. All thoughts and opinions are my own. }

Thankful Banner Craft and Free Thanksgiving Printable


when Mod Podge asked me to do a tutorial for a holiday craft, i knew i wanted to create something for Thanksgiving. and since i love to take photos, why not make something to display my favorite instagram photos. so i created this “Thankful” Thanksgiving Banner.

to make a “Thankful” Thanksgiving Banner, i created a printable, and used Mod Podge to adhere it to wooden tiles. Mod Podge® is the number one all-in-one glue, sealer and finish and is available in a variety of formulas, i used the Glitter Mod Podge for this project because i wanted to add a little sparkle to my project, but i could have used original just the same. i use it for everything, if you’re new to decoupage or want to know more, check it out on plaid’s website.

also, i wanted to add a few Thanksgiving items to my mantel to make it more festive, so i had my little one paint the Glitter Mod Podge on our Halloween pumpkins. he really enjoyed it, and they came out great…and super glittery.


below is a tutorial on how to make your own “Thankful” banner. i have included the free Thankful Printable for you to use.

how to make a “Thankful” Thanksgiving Banner

what you need:
• (8)  2-1/2 x 3-1/2″ wood or thick cardstock rectangles
• (8) wooden clothespins
• Glitter Mod Podge or original Mod Podge
• Mod Podge applicator brush or paint brush
• twine or ribbon
• glue gun & glue sticks
• craft knife or scissors
• Thankful Printable (printed on paper or coardstock)
(8) photos


step 1 print and cut out printable to the size of your wooden rectangles.

step two generously apply Mod Podge to wooden rectangle and adhere each printable letter. let dry completely.


step 3 brush additional Mod Podge over the top of printable and let dry.


step 4 glue clothes pins to the back of each wooden rectangle using glue gun.


step 5 using a glue gun, glue each wooden rectangle to the twine (or ribbon) about 1″ down from the top of the back of the rectangle. space the letters about 6 to 7″ apart. make sure to use a big spot of glue, even covering the top of the twine. leave a couple feet of twine on each end so that you can hang you “Thankful” banner.


and there you have the finished “Thankful” banner. you can display it on your mantel, across a doorway or anywhere in your home.  hope you can make one too…i am loving seeing my family photos displayed. Happy Thanksgiving.


click here for the “Thankful” Thanksgiving Printable

{disclosure: this is a sponsored post. i received product to facilitate this tutorial. all thoughts and opinions are my own. }

Happy Thanksgiving.

it’s the season to be thankful…and i have so much to be thankful for. first off, these boys. if it weren’t for them, Sandy Toes & Popsicles would not exist. and i am thankful to all of my readers…it is all of you who encourage me to continue writing.

i am also for the beautiful area we live in…Orange County. this picture was taken this Thanksgiving morning. it was such a beautiful day, spent looking for creatures in the Corona Del Mar tidepools and running on the beach. it was quiet morning of pure happiness which exuded from my children. and it’s times like these when you reflect on all the blessings you have received. yes, i am so thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Knott’s Take Home Thanksgiving Dinner

we celebrated Thanksgiving early this year and feasted on a Mrs. Knott’s Thanksgiving Dinner.  Knott’s Berry Farm wanted us to try their Take Home Thanksgiving Feast, so the kiddies and i drove down to Knott’s and picked it up!

the Thankgiving Feast comes in a BIG box like this…

inside it was filled with a fully-cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  there was also instructions on how to finish cooking the turkey or ham. they are 90% cooked and just need to be heated up.  and the rest of the food is in microwavable containers, so you can heat them up to the perfect temperature.

we put the turkey in the oven and heated up all the sides. then we set the table up nice and put everything out on the table.  doesn’t it look delicious!

i was so surprised at how good the turkey was…so moist, not dry at all. it had a great flavor too. so much better than the turkey we got last year. unfortunately, last year at dinner, we cut into it and our turkey was still frozen. not this year! the turkey was perfect.

and we got all the traditional sides. everything was great.

my kiddies loved the stuffing.

and my favorite part….dessert! i love pumpkin pie, but it was a tough decision to pick which pie i wanted, because i also love Knott’s boysenberry pie.

you can also order a Thanksgiving themed cake from the Knott’s Bakery.

look at this turkey cake.

if cooking is not your things, or if you are looking to just relax this Thanksgiving, why spend time laboring over a hot stove cooking a Thanksgiving meal when you can have Mrs. Knott’s do the cooking? you can spend more time with your family…PLUS it is actually really good.

for $99.95+tax, Knott’s famous Take Home Thanksgiving Dinner offers a complete meal with all the fixings your family.  it serves 6-8 people, and here is the complete list of what is included:

• Complete 12-14 lb. Turkey  OR  Glazed Ham
• 1 Quart of Country Apple Stuffing
• 2 Quarts of Mashed Potatoes
• 1 Quart of Candied Yams
• 8 oz. of Cranberry Sauce
• 8 oz. of Bread and Butter Pickles
• 1 Quart of Whole Kernel Corn
• 1 Dozen Farm Baked Rolls
• Butter and Boysenberry Preserves
• Choice of Boysenberry Pie or Pumpkin Pie

order your Thanksgiving Dinner online or call (714) 220-5055.
you can pick up your Thanksgiving Feast on Thanksgiving Day, right passed the Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner and Chicken To-Go  Restaurants. you will make your first right after you drive under the roller coaster.

don’t forget the dessert!

P.S. if you’re looking to go out to dinner on Thanksgiving, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant has you covered. it’s traditional Thanksgiving Holiday Menu will make you feel right at home! it includes roasted farm raised turkey with gravy, roast prime rib of beef, glazed ham with sweet yams, mashed potatoes with gravy, Mrs. Knott’s famous fried chicken, green beans or sweet buttered corn, freshly baked biscuits and Knott’s preserves. plus, get your choice of a piece of traditional pumpkin or boysenberry pie.

Mrs. Knott’s Restaurant Thanksgiving Dinner
November 22nd, 2012
$19.95 for Adults • $11.25 for Children (3 -11)
$23.95 price for roast prime rib of beef dinner.

also, did you know that Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant will also be offering a Thanksgiving Champagne Brunch. i can tell you from experience that the Knott’s Brunch is fabulous!

Knott’s Thanksgiving Champagne Brunch
November 22nd, 2012
9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Adults: $29.95 • Seniors: $23.95 • Children: $17.95

Happy Thanksgiving….gobble, gobble!

{disclosure: this post was notcompesated. i was given a complete Knott’s Thanksgiving Dinner for review purposes. all thought and opinions are my own. we loved our Knott’s dinner….thanks Knott’s for the early Thanksgiving dinner.}

Thankgiving Turkey Donut Pops

The other day, the kiddies went grocery shopping with me and we found some of those little packages of minidonuts in the plastic tubes on sale for $1.00. These are their favorite and talked me into buying them all donuts for a treat.  When we got home, the kids wanted to do a craft. So what better ideas would their be than to combine our leftover Halloween candy with the mini donuts we bought to make Turkey Donut Pops.

Turkey Donut Pops are perfect for Thanksgiving, and a whole lot more tasty than turkey, in my vegetarian opinion. You could make them for a school class, or for fun, or as a part of the Thanksgiving Day dinner dessert course. They would be extra cute wrapped up in individual cellophane bags and ties with a bow. Give them to friends, teachers or neighbors. They are very simple and easy to make.

To make a turkey donut pop, you will need:
• small bite sized donut
• 5 candy corns
• 1 Rolo or mini peanut butter cup
• sliver of licorice or red candy
• candy for eyes
• half of a yellow or orange M & M
• frosting or peanut butter
• lollipop stick (optional)
First, insert a lollipop stick into the mini donut. Then, carefully insert candy corns into side of donut. I found this step to be the hardest because when i pushed to hard the donut split on me the first time. Using frosting, adhere a Rolo to the front of the donut pop. Finally, decorate your turkey’s face with candy pieces adhered with frosting.  I used black frosting to make the turkey’s eyes.
You can use any sort of candy pieces to make your turkey.  I literally just pulled out the leftover Halloween candy and looked for candy that i thought would work!
Isn’t this turkey donut cute! Gobble, Gobble.