Tag: Walmart

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!


Hispanic Heritage Month Has Got Me Making Homemade Flour Tortillas

Hispanic Heritage Month Has Got Me Making Homemade Flour Tortillas

Flour tortillas for Hispanic Heritage Month #WMTMoms

The deep creases and valleys that fold in the skin of Tommie’s hands tell me she has been rolling tortillas for most of her life. Hands against the wooden rolling pin to serve her family something warm comfort. The glutenous dough soon rolls out to a flat disk and cooks on a the blazing hot comal becoming a pillowy light flour tortilla. I remember as a child her husband (Charro) use to tell me that the flour tortilla was all you needed in order to eat, by tearing it into pieces you could shield your fingers with each piece and scoop the food right into the center. No need for a fork or spoon, we had flour tortillas.

My grandfather recounts the days of his poor mother making flour tortillas to feed her 5 children, even though she had nothing to put inside. My grandfather worked on the streets all day as a young child during the depression, just to be able to bring home a few cents to help feed the family. Having a single tortilla for dinner was a big deal, because a lot of times they just went to bed hungry. He says if they were lucky enough to have a pot of beans to go with the flour tortilla… that was considered a feast.

I listen to Mando’s mom Martha talk of how her Mom use to wake up every morning at 5 a.m. in Mexicali to make her husband fresh flour tortillas before he went to work in the morning, and how Martha adopted that same ritual once she got married. She goes over the fine details of what her husband ate in the morning, and how the left over tortillas became his burrito for lunchtime, and if his co-worker was lucky she would send him one too.

Each of these stories all hold ties to a struggling time, but are also retold as if they were the best time of their lives. I think the homemade flour tortilla has that sort of captivation over Latinos, it’s hard not to smile when you think of them. I know they certainly have a grip on me.

A few weeks ago Walmart asked me to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with them, by creating a recipe. I thought what food really identifies where I come from? Where do my food roots begin? The first thing that came to mind was the treasured flour tortilla. I bought all the ingredients for this recipe at Walmart, and am happy to share it with you. Here’s to family traditions and keeping those roots alive, even if only through a recipe.

Ingredients for flour tortillas #WMTMoms

Ingredients for flour tortillas:

  • 1 1/2 – cups all purpose flour
  • 1 – teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 – tablespoons lard
  • 1/2 – cup warm water


  1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
  2. Add in lard. Lard for flour tortillas
  3. Using your hands mix lard into flour until crumbly about 2 minutes. flour and lard worked into one to make flour tortillas
  4. Slowly pour in water and knead dough until you have a big ball of smooth dough. Flour tortilla doughsmooth flour tortilla dough
  5. Then cover dough with a cloth and let sit on countertop for 2 hours. cover
  6. Heat a comal.
  7. Then divide dough into 6 equally sized balls. tortilla balls
  8. On a floured surface roll each ball out into a thin round disk. Ready to roll rolling pin on flour tortilla #WMTMoms
  9. Place dough on hot comal and cook for 20 to 30 seconds or until brown spots form on white dough. The tortilla may puff, with the back of a spatula press it down. flour tortilla cooking on the comalPressing down on flour tortilla with a spatula #WMTMoms
  10. Cook tortilla on other side.
  11. When done, store in a cloth and eat warm. Stack of homemade flour tortillas #WMTMoms
  12. Enjoy!

Here is a quick video on how to roll them and cook them: 



Get Well Soon Mexican Chicken Soup And Other Cold Remedies

Get Well Soon Mexican Chicken Soup And Other Cold Remedies

Get Well Soon Mexican Chicken Soup #WMTMoms

It’s that time of year where every germ known to man wants to be your friend. Awww I dread the stuffy nose, and pounding headache of a cold or flu. There is nothing worse then a cold that makes it hard to breathe or sleep. As much as we have zero desire to engage in these unkind happenings…. most of us are destined to experience it anyway. Instead of avoiding the situation, I just go right ahead and face the music… even if it is to the beat of a running nose. I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I stock up before the uncomfortable illness hits.

Walmart has all the cold and flu supplies I need. I run up one aisle and grab kleenex, then look for the sign that says “cold and flu” and see what I think is the best remedy for me and Walmart cold and flu medicinesmy family. I like to have Airborne on hand in the event someone comes into the house that might be sick. Just plop it in water and this gets my defense up and helps keep the adults in the house healthy. I give my son Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic medicine the second I hear him sneeze or complain of not feeling well. If used at the first sign of a flu, it will help reduce the symptoms. I also like the Mucinex that you can drink like a hot tea, it has seriously helped me in the past, and hopefully will work wonders again now that I need it, as I am officially sick as of today. Last but not least I head to the grocery section and get a packet of chicken, dried chiles, garlic, onion, limes, and anything else I think will smash the cold right out of me. Here is a simple get well Mexican soup that is made really quickly, and yet so tasty. Drink lots of water and try and get well soon.

Ingredients for chicken soup #WMTMoms

Ingredients for get well soon Mexican chicken soup:

  • 1 – tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 – carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 – onion (sliced big)
  • 4 – garlic cloves (smashed whole)
  • 1 – dried chipotle chile (sliced)
  • 4 – cups chicken broth
  • 1 – pound chicken breasts (sliced into strips)
  • green onion (sliced)
  • lime
  • avocado (cut into chunks)
  • cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add olive oil to a pot or dutch oven. Place over a medium flame.
  2. Add in carrots and onion and sauté for 10 minutes.Carrots and onions
  3. Add in garlic and chipotle pepper slices. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.vegetables and dried chile for soup base #WMTMoms
  4. Add in chicken broth and bring to a boil. broth
  5. Once chicken broth is boiling add in chicken breasts slices. Cook chicken in broth for 6 to 7 minutes. raw chicken slices for soup #WMTMoms
  6. Ladle soup into bowl, then top with green onion, a squeeze of fresh lime, avocado, cilantro, and salt and pepper.
  7. Enjoy!


Whole Grain Apple Coffee Cake

Whole Grain Apple Coffee Cake

Whole grain apple coffee cake #WMTMoms

Fall apples: I picture the shiny apples of fairy tales, a long wind ruffling through the tree branches, crunchy leaves that break under my feet, and crisp clear night skies touched with notes of frosty bites that sting the skin. That’s my version of Fall as it weaves in and out of my memory.  I devote my hours housed in my baking kitchen atop a generous heap apples at walmartof various types of apples. I buy every color I can find at Walmart.  The tempting fruit spheres come in hues of the season: yellow, green, and red. Take your pick, my fine pretty, as they are super affordable.   What I make depends on my mood.  Once upon a time it could be a lovely apple tea, or happily ever after applesauce. If the witch’s broom touches down on the ground she might be in search for a candied apple. Perhaps if I bake an apple crisp I will attract every mouse, bear and rabbit to wait at my back door till I serve them each a scoop. I could make mountainous apple fritters that will serve as hiding places for the tiny sprites that live among the pines. Or maybe I should feed the little girl inside of me that is always chanting “apple coffee cake, apple coffee cake, apple coffee cake….” How could I ignore those precious wishes? I take whole grain flour and mix it with apples and other sweets for the most amazing tasty wholesome cake that just might wake me from my dream, because surely this is the cake of my dreams. Now just to figure out how to get the cake out of that darn tube pan.

chopped green apples #WMTMoms

Ingredients for whole grain apple coffee cake:

  • For the topping: 3/4 – cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 – cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 – cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 – cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 – teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 – teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 – tablespoons cold butter (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • For the center: 1/4 – cup brown sugar
  • 1 – cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 – teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the cake: 2 – cups sugar
  • 3 – eggs
  • 1 – tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 – cups vegetable oil
  • 1/4 – cup orange juice
  • 3 – cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 – teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 – teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 – teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 3 – cups chopped apples (peeled and cored)(about 3 to 4 apples)
  • 1 – cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • For the icing: 1 – cup powdered sugar
  • 4 – tablespoons Cacique’s crema Mexicana


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a tube pan with a non-stick baking spray. Set to the side.
  3. For the topping: In a bowl combine brown sugar, pecans, oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix with a fork to combine. Then using your fingers mash cold butter into dry mixture until it forms into little crumbs the size of peas. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. For the center: In a bowl mix brown sugar, pecan and cinnamon together. Set to the side until ready to use.
  5. For the cake: In a mixer add in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, and orange juice. Mix to combine completely.
  6. In a bowl sift whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and ground ginger together. Slowly add dry mixture to wet ingredients until combined.
  7. Add in apples and coconut. Mix until completely combined.
  8. Pour half of cake batter into greased tube pan.
  9. Sprinkle center mixture into top of batter. sprinkle center mixture into half the batter
  10. Top center mixture with remaining batter.
  11. Smooth the top of batter with a spatula, then top cake batter with topping reserved from the fridge.
  12. Bake cake for an hour and a forty minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack until completely cooled. I like to let it cool over night. coffee-cake-on-cooling-rack
  14. Remove cake from tube pan (see video below on how to remove cake from tube pan) and place on a cake stand. whole grain apple coffee cake on cake stand #WMTMoms
  15. For the icing: Whisk powdered sugar and crema Mexicana together. Drizzle over the top of the cake and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. icing top of coffee cake #WMTMoms
  16. Enjoy! Center of whole grain apple coffee cake #WMTMoms

Watch this quick video on how to remove cake from tube pan!


Fight Hunger, Spark Change With Walmart! Plus a Hunger Relief Interview With Jillian Wade.

Fight Hunger, Spark Change With Walmart! Plus a Hunger Relief Interview With Jillian Wade.

Fight Hunger Spark Change #WMTMomsIn mine and many other communities in the United States hunger is a real issue. Many children go hungry every night and sometimes their only meals are the ones they receive at school. This is both a heartbreaking and a devastating fact. How are children and adults still hungry in the richest nation? Feeding America recently released it’s Hunger in America 2014 report. As I read the report I couldn’t believe one in seven Americans, including 12 million children, turn to the Feeding America Food Bank networks for food assistance. Hunger remains a serious issue in our country… Millions of Americans don’t know where their next meal will come from.  Are you asking how you can help? It’s so easy. The Walmart Foundation recently launched Fight Hunger! Spark Change! a nation wide campaign that is calling on the public to get involved by voting online at www.walmart.com/fightinghunger for their local food bank. From now to Oct. 5th people can cast one vote per day that will help direct grants to participating Feeding America food banks and local agencies across the nation.  This campaign will provide 3.7 million in grants. Walmart is teaming up with six of the largest food companies (General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Kelloggs, Hormel, Unilever, and PepsiCo./Quaker) in the nation to support the participating food banks across the country. The 50 winning food banks will each receive a $60,000 dollar grant. The campaign also provides information on how you can donate or volunteer to take direct action in the fight against hunger. How amazing is that? Please go to this link and cast your vote today. Let’s help fight hunger, and spark change.


Last week I had the chance to chat about hunger relief with Jillian Wade, data and development coordinator from Food Share in Oxnard:  Ventura County’s Food Bank.  I was thankful she took time out of her busy day to help us understand more clearly what this campaign means to her food bank. Here is what she had to say.

  •   What sparked your interest in hunger relief?

Jillian: Serving my community was a huge pull for me. I live in a wonderfully diverse community with resources surrounding us every day. It surprised me that with food surrounding our community, access to food was difficult. Working in nonprofit is wonderful and rewarding work, and being able to be a part of the solution every day is an honor. I go home every day to a stocked fridge and prepare a healthy meal for my family, I want my neighbors to have that ability also.

  • What does hunger look like in our local community?

Jillian: Hunger doesn’t look very different from those who may be food secure. They are our neighbors, coworkers, family and friends. They work two jobs and have kids in our schools. The struggle for food security isn’t necessarily what history has told us. When a family struggles to put a healthy meal on the table it is an internal emotional struggle too.

  • What is your day like working at the food bank?

Jillian: My day starts and ends with a message. I am often on the phone with our donors and stakeholders offering thanks and invitations. As best as we can spread that message about hunger while also engaging opportunity, the better!  I often get to work with our wonderful volunteers who are the heart of FOOD Share and share stories of how far we have come.

  • Tell me about a client who inspired you.

Jillian: A few months back, I met a wonderful woman who called to ask for help. She was confined to her bed after a bad fall and was having difficulty finding help. She had been retired for many years and had previously worked and volunteered in the nonprofit industry. She lived on social security income and a small pension check from her late husband. With her recent injury, medical bills were mounting and basic needs were being ignored to pay for medication. She was afraid of utility bill notices and didn’t want to open mail. She described her past few months, terrified of judgment and a closed door. We talked for a long time on the phone and walked through the nearest pantry, which was just a few blocks from her home. We discussed resources and available assistance in the community. She was grateful and proud that the community she lived, worked and volunteered in, was the same community that would help her in her time of need. She offered to help out at FOOD Share and give a donation as soon as she was able. She didn’t see her help as payment and simply said, without “FOOD Share I wouldn’t be talking with you right now? Then where would I be?”  

  • Are you excited about the Fight Hunger. Spark Change campaign? How could the grant help your food bank?

Jillian: We are so excited about the Fight Hunger. Spark Change campaign. It is a great opportunity for our food bank to provide thousands of meals to our community, refrigeration units to our pantries who can then start distributing fresh and healthy produce to our clients. The grant actually helps our friends sleep better at night and get the help they need!

I felt so inspired by Jillian and her candid answers, and rushed to my computer to cast my vote towards helping the fight against hunger and sparking a change! Help your local community by voting today! It will only take a few minutes. 

Watch the video below and see how your vote can make a difference for a family that struggles with food security.

I am absolutely proud to be a Walmart Mom and support Walmart in spreading the word on this campaign. It warms my heart that they have taken the lead on trying to feed our nation’s hungry.



Quick BBQ Pork Sliders And Coleslaw For Those Nights When You Just Don’t Have Time

Quick BBQ Pork Sliders And Coleslaw For Those Nights When You Just Don’t Have Time

BBQ pork sliders #WMTMoms

It seems I barely have a moment to breathe these days. To call my life action packed would be a total understatement…. with work, my boy in school, after school homework, taking him to swimming lessons,  filming videos, creating recipes, traveling, making time for family and friends…. yeah, I’m swamped. In the mist of all the chaos that swirls around me, I still find it necessary to put a wholesome meal on the table every night. I enjoy having that time together as a family to discuss our day and talk about things that happened to each of us while we were apart from each other. Heaven knows sometimes I just don’t have the time it takes to spending hours in the kitchen making dinner, yet I still need to make a yummy meal. In those cases: I make what I call the cheater dinner.

farm-rich-smokehouse-pulled-pork-bbqIt all started a while ago, before my son even took one step into his new school. As you know, I’m a Walmart Mom, and do a lot of shopping, and browsing at the store. So there I was in Walmart slowing cart cruising down the frozen section when something caught my eye. “Farm Rich Smokehouse Pulled Pork BBQ.”  That seems interesting, I thought. I’m a curious one, so it went into the cart. I came home that night and made a platter of BBQ pork sliders for dinner. Since then it has been a regular meal for those nights when I just don’t have time. I make a quick cole slaw to pair it with, and it becomes and everyday feast that my whole family loves. No one even knows it took me a whole ten minutes to make, all they know is we have more time to spend together, and for that I’m grateful.

For more simple meal ideas, click here!

Ingredients for BBQ pork sliders and coleslaw:

  • dinner rolls/mini buns
  • Farm Rich Smokehouse Pulled Pork BBQ
  • cheddar cheese slices
  • red onion (sliced thin)
  • pickles
  • Marketside Tricolor cole slaw
  • 3 – tablespoons mayo
  • 1 – tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 – tablespoons italian dressing


  1. Slice rolls in half. Set to the side.
  2. Heat bbq pork according to package.
  3. Place a slice of cheese on one side of the bun/roll.
  4. Add a nice mound of pork to the top of the cheese.IMG_3895
  5. Top with sliced onions and pickle.
  6. Top with other half of bun/roll.
  7. To make coleslaw: Add cole slaw mix to a bowl. Set to the side.
  8. In a separate bowl whisk mayo, mustad, and italian dressing together until smooth.
  9. Pour dressing mixture over cole slaw, then mix to combine completely.
  10. Serve sliders and cole slaw.IMG_3915
  11. Enjoy.


Breakfast Yogurt Parfaits!

Breakfast Yogurt Parfaits!

Yogurt parfait for breakfast #WMTMoms

My son is at school for a good portion of the day, and my main concern is – Is he eating? I know he might take a bite here and there, but I can’t be sure he’s gonna eat his lunch everyday. He just turned five, and sometimes eatting isn’t at the top of his list when he knows he can be playing with his friends. I take matters into my own hands, and always make sure to fuel him up in the a.m. before he heads to school. A few months back I was in Bentonville at the Walmart headquarters where we (the Walmart Moms) learned all these great ways to get our kids eating. The nice people from Dannon and Kelloggs made a few yogurt/breakfast treats that were kid and adult friendly. I jotted down mental notes, and called them from my memory bank now that my boy is in school. Last week while I was in the refrigerator section of Walmart, I came across the yogurt selection. I remembered these incredible dippers they had  made out of yogurt, where you dipped a piece of fruit in the yogurt then dipped in a crisp cereal. Light bulb went on, and I grabbed a tub of vanilla yogurt. I came home, made a few dippers to snack on and then made a few cups of parfait filled with fruit, granola, pistachios, and a few sprinkles of poppy seeds for the following morning. I just felt the parfait was something the whole family could eat together at the table in the morning before we each step out to meet our busy days. I was so pleased when everyone dug in and asked why we don’t eat this tasty breakfast more often. Now I know how to get breakfast on the table at a lightning speed and still have time for a little bonding.

ingredients for breakfast parfaits

Ingredients for breakfast yogurt parfaits:

  • black grapes
  • Dannon vanilla yogurt
  • granola
  • strawberries (sliced)
  • poppy seeds
  • yellow raisins
  • pistachios


  1. In a tall glass or jar drop a few black grapes on the bottom of cup.
  2. Top with 2 tablespoons of yogurt.
  3. Top with 2 tablespoons granola
  4. Top with 2 tablespoons of yogurt.
  5. Top with sliced strawberries.
  6. Top with 2 tablespoons of yogurt.
  7. Sprinkle in a pinch of poppy seeds, raisins and pistachios.
  8. Top with a black grape. Yogurt parfaits for two
  9. Enjoy!

parfait breakfast dream