Tag: Book Review

Cajeta Apple Peanut Butter Cake Inspired By Jodi Picoult’s New Book Leaving Time

Cajeta Apple Peanut Butter Cake Inspired By Jodi Picoult’s New Book Leaving Time

A cajeta peanut butter apple cake inspired by Jodi Picoult's book "Leaving Time."

I’ve been on a reading frenzy lately…. In the last couple of months I have thumbed my way through so many books, and have to admit it’s quickly becoming my favorite thing to do. It’s weird… I almost mourn the end of a book once I finish reading it, and go through this stage of what am I gonna do now? I suppose I’m saying it’s weird cuz heaven knows I have a ton of work and know exactly what I’m gonna do now.

A few weeks ago the lovely folks over at Walmart asked if I would be interested in reading an advanced copy of Jodi Picoult’s new book “Leaving Time.” I read the summary of the book and thought “that sounds interesting, yeah send it over.”

“Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife, and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment . . . or worse. Still Jenna–now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief–steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother’s desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother’s disappearance and the death of one of her mother’s co-workers. Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Leaving Time is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters”

The book arrived and I devoured it over the course of a few days. Let me tell you that description doesn’t even scratch the intensity surface of the story nor does it tell you that Jodi Picoult’s writing is near perfect. I was completely entwined in the characters and felt like I myself had become an elephant scientist. I learned so much about grief, patience, trusting your inner soul, and letting go. I highly recommend it to anybody in search of their next great read, and just wish there was more pages added to the story. I didn’t want it to end, because perhaps I wasn’t ready to let go.

In the book as the story unfolds I learned that when elephant keepers need to medicate an elephant they stick the medicine in the center of an apple and top it with peanut butter. When I was done reading the last page…. I couldn’t believe how amazing the end was. I got straight up off my couch and made this cake completely inspired by Leaving Time.

The book goes on sale tomorrow 10/14 and will be carried in all Walmart stores with a rollback that brings it to 40% off. I think you just found your new book.

A cajeta peanut butter apple cake inspired by Jodi Picoult's book "Leaving Time." It is an amazing read and the writing is near perfect. Read the book then make the cake.

Ingredients for Cajeta Apple Peanut Butter Cake:

  • 1/2 – cup cajeta or dulce de leche
  • 1 1/2 – honey crisp apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
  • 1/3 – cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 – cup butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 – cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 – cup brown sugar
  • 3 – eggs
  • 1 – teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 – cup flour
  • 1 – teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 – teaspoon salt
  • 3 – tablespoons whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9 inch glass pie dish with a non-stick baking spray.
  3. Pour cajeta into the base of the pie plate.
  4. Arrange apples in the cajeta then top with pecans. Set to the side.
  5. In a mixer cream butter, peanut butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.
  6. Add in eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  7. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
  8. Slowly add flour to peanut butter mixture. Mix until incorporated.
  9. Add in milk and mix until just combined.
  10. Pour peanut butter bater over cajeta apples.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes.
  12. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.
  13. Serve warm and enjoy!


A Four Tier Wedding Cheese Cake, A Contest For New Brides, And A Review Of “Blossom Street Brides”

A Four Tier Wedding Cheese Cake, A Contest For New Brides, And A Review Of “Blossom Street Brides”

Wedding inspired cake made of cheese and edible flowers

I relish the moments when I can spend a little me time alone with a book. It’s usually a Blossom Street Brides cover imagebig deal for me, so I try and make an event out of it.  I wait for my son to be tucked away and fast asleep, that way I could be sure there will be little to no interuptions. I put on my softest p.j.’s , make a little snack and serve myself a lovely beverage (either wine or tea….depending on my mood). Lately I have been reading an advanced copy of this book called “Blossom Street Brides” by Debbie Macomber. I’m a total sucker for a sweep me off my feet romance, especially when it’s an easy read, and this book is just that. If you love these types of books too, then you gotta read this one. I was so endeared with “Blossom Street Brides” I would make wedding cheese-cake plates at night as I read to fit in theme with the story. I couldn’t help it… I wanted to live vicariously through the characters, and the cheese-cake just made it all the more realistic! Okay, let me tell you just a little about the book without giving too much away….

It’s based in Seattle, and the story revolves around three woman and their relationships. It starts with Lauren Elliot who has been waiting for her long term boyfriend, Todd, to propose to her. When his timing isn’t working out with hers, she makes a bold choice and leaves him. Only to find herself on a new exciting adventure with a man named Rooster that she would never expect to like. Then there is Bethanne Scranton who is newly married to her second husband, Max. These two are blissfully in love, but there is one big problem…. Max’s business is in California, and Bethanne’s is in Seattle. The strain of distance is hard on their marriage, especially when Bethanne’s first husband Grant (who lives in Seattle) is trying to win her back. Lastly is Lydia Goetz,  a happily married business woman who owns a local yarn shop. Lately she worries about bringing in more business to A Good Yarn. Then without her knowing, someone hatches up a brilliant plan to drop baskets of yarn all around town with instructions to knit a scarf for charity and return it to Lydia’s shop. This is the exact boost her shop needs and the mystery starts to be the buzz on the streets, but who should  she thank for this great upturn?

As three woman’s lives intersect they realize that love heals every heart and the best surprises still lay ahead. There are lots of marriages, hearts filled with romance and an addicting story that doesn’t let you put the book down. You’ll be able to buy the book on 4.8.14 and it will be $17.97 only at Walmart (31% off list price of $26). Just for the record…. I got my cheeses at Walmart too.

Ingredients for mini wedding cheese-cake:

  • Queso fresco
  • fresh water mozzarella
  • cream cheese
  • laughing cow mini babybel
  • edible flowers


  1. Stack cheeses on a plate with the largest cheese on the bottom as a base and the smallest on top. I shaped the cream cheese into a circle with a cookie cutter.
  2. Decorate each tier with flowers.
  3. Serve with crackers.
  4. Enjoy, read, and fall in love!


ARE YOU A NEW BRIDE OR BRIDE TO BE? I GOT A CONTEST FOR YOU!!!!!             “Start your new lives together! Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Walmart gift card”  To enter the contest visit www.debbiemacomber.com ! Sweepstakes will run from now till 5/25/14! Winner will be chosen on 6/14! Enter now!