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Baby Goats, Winter Sunshine, and Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Knowing I had a busy week ahead of me, I set aside this weekend for much-needed naps, reading, watching new-to-me episodes of Poirot, Miss Marple, and New Tricks, working in my garden, and spending time with good friends.

It was just what I needed and I’m ready to face this crazy week of finishing manuscripts, doing Australian and American taxes, and scurrying around collecting paperwork, fingerprints, police checks and character references for Phase Two of my Australian Immigration.

It was such a good weekend, cold but beautiful. Our friends, Shaun and Stacey, drove in from out of town to spend the day with us and we had so much fun.

Bear and Shaun hauled out their medieval swords, shields, and armor and had a marvelous time bashing each other, later regaling Stacey and I with animated play-by-plays of their best moves.

Stacey and I talked about planting tea gardens with real tea bushes and other plants that make wonderful additions to tea such as jasmine, bergamot, and hibiscus. Bear was on the phone to the nursery the very next day to order Camellia sinensis bushes – the plant that produces all of the world’s commercial teas, including white, green, oolong and black teas. We are so excited to grow and harvest our own tea!!

When we weren’t swapping stories and touring gardens and chook pens, we were out in the goat pen laughing and sighing happily over our 15 Kalahari kids.

They are so soft and cuddly at this age, and so adorable it hurts. I love watching their curious selves toddle bravely towards us for a sniff and an inspection before galloping off to join their mates in playing king of the castle on a fallen log.

Their cute little faces just kill me and their antics had us laughing so hard. Stacey warned us that she’d purposely left the car window open in hopes of one or two of our babies leaping in to go home with them.

Alas, none of them fell prey to her scheme, so she had to content herself with cuddles.

On cold winter days you have to take lots of breaks for cuppas and treats. The guys moved a table out into the sunshine and we clustered round, chatting up a storm as we warmed our hands around hot mugs of tea and coffee and noshed on Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls slathered with salted butter.

Cinnamon Rolls are pure Canadian comfort food to me. The smell of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar makes me think of sunny Saturday mornings with everyone still in their pjs. Traditionally they’re stuffed with raisins and brown sugar, but I wanted to jazz mine up a bit so I used Dark Muscovado sugar mixed with tart dried cranberries and crunchy toasted pecans. I may never go back to the original.

What is your favorite comfort food for a Saturday morning breakfast with good friends?

Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 12

1 batch bread dough of your choice (I add 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp allspice, and 1/2 cup dried cranberries to my favorite bread dough recipe)
1 cup Dark Muscovado Sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (200 C).
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper, set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, mix together Muscovado sugar, cranberries, pecans, cinnamon, and melted butter until crumbly. Set aside.
  4. On lightly floured surface, press or roll dough into rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Cover surface with cranberry and nut mixture. Spread to edges.
  6. At long end, carefully ease edge of dough off the counter and roll into a log, tucking in bits of fruit and nuts that escape. Seal log along long side.
  7. Using a sharp knife or piece of string, cut off rounds and place in baking tray, each round just touching the one next to it.
  8. Cover cinnamon rolls with dish cloth and leave in warm place 30-40 minutes until risen.
  9. Place in hot oven and bake 12-15 minutes until tops are golden brown.
  10. Serve warm (or room temperature) with plenty of salted butter.


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Books, Creativity, and Late Summer Salad » Rambling Tart - […] Things today: new winter boots from Germany, a homemade fruit mince tart, the impending arrival of baby goats, great visits with friends over the weekend, leftovers to eat, and the healing power of […]

Tracy A. - Such marvelous photos! Time spent in sunshine with friends. It doesn’t get better than that!

Anna Johnston - Those kids are so dang adoreable. 🙂 I so wish I could give one a big cuddle.
Big fan of poached eggs with avocado and goats feta. I could go a plate now.

Turkey's For Life - Those kids are just too cute. We love to photograph them in the villages around here. 🙂 And your cinnamon rolls look so tempting – will reserve the recipe for colder more wintery days…which in this heat, we just can’t imagine arriving at the moment. But they will come. 🙂

Joanne (eats well with others) - Oh my gosh, these cuties!! My heart can hardly take it!

AlchemyInTheKitchen - You just cannot beat a cinnamon roll – delighted to have one for breakfast or any time of the day really. I like your combo of cranberry and pecan.

mlle paradis - You might start a new fashion for Kalahari cuties! We all might have to trade in our cats and chickens for baby goats! Looking forward to your tea plantation too…v. intriguing……


Jackie Smith - Oh what a lovely – and perfectly paced – weekend you had. My mouth is watering. . .

Tandy Sinclair - These cinnamon rolls look so scrummy!I love croissants for breakfast with scrambled eggs and smoked trout 🙂

Jeanne Horak - Oh we certainly breed ’em cute in South Africa – just look at those velvety ears and cute expressions! Love the rolls to – I have always loved cinnamon rolls and adding cranberries can only be a good thing 🙂

Gourmet Getaways - I’d love one or two to take home, too! Why, they look so cheery and playful! The kids would love ’em. But aren’t they called kids, too? LOL

Gourmet Getaways

Krista - Thanks so much, Hotly Spiced. 🙂 It did my heart much good to see our friends this weekend. 🙂

Hotly Spiced - Your cinnamon scrolls look wonderful. How lovely to spend time with friends. The goats are so gorgeous xx

Krista - That sounds SO fantastic!! 🙂 I love dates. I love scones. How can that go wrong? 🙂

budgetjan - Krista you must remedy this situation right away. You make them like sultana scones, substituting chopped dates. You can also soak the dates in something, then drain them which makes them disintegrate rather than staying in chunks. 🙂

Krista - They were mighty good, @lizposmyk:disqus 🙂

Krista - I have never had date scones, @budgetjan:disqus , but I simply need to make and try them now. 🙂 How lovely to have warm/hot weather return. 🙂 It’s cold and stormy today, but we had so much gorgeousness last week that I don’t mind one bit. 🙂

Lizzy (Good Things) - Yummy on the cinnamon rolls… and how cute are those babies xo

budgetjan - I love date scones, warm with butter. It is warm in the sun up here now (by that I mean hot) but walking at 4 pm with a stiff breeze blowing yesterday was kinda perfect. I think winter has left the North 🙂 Your goats are strong sturdy animals with a lovely shine to their coat. My grandmothers (milking) goats had dainty legs but were still great climbers. I love when the kids play climbing and leaping games.

Krista - Aren’t they ridiculously adorable, @jenny_atasteoftravel:disqus 🙂 They put a lot of smiles on our faces, that’s for sure. 🙂

Krista - I agree completely, Velva. 🙂 XO

jenny_atasteoftravel - Your cinnamon rolls look delicious…what a perfect start to the day they would make! I’d be leaving the car door open too..maybe I’d even help one into the car, they are so cute! I be playing with them all day! Glad to hear you’re feeling better Krista

Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine - Days are perfect when shared with good friends…

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