Tuesday Treats: Bite-Size Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

Salted caramel is a favorite flavor, especially this time of year. These seem like they’re complicated to make but in actuality, it’s a fairly easy receipe. I betcha can’t eat just one! 😊

Total Time: 3 Hr. 5 Min.
Prep Time: 20 Min.
Cook Time: 2 Hr. 45 Min.
24 servings
Prepare these Bite-Size Salted Caramel Cheesecakes for some teeny, tiny and tasty treats. Find out more about these delicious cheesecake bites today!

What You Need
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1-1/2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese (12 oz.), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
12 KRAFT Caramels
1 Tbsp. milk

Let’s Make It
1 – Heat oven to 325°F.
2 = Combine graham crumbs, brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt and butter; press onto bottoms of 24 paper-lined mini muffin cups.
3 – Beat cream cheese and granulated sugar in medium bowl with mixer until blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Spoon into muffin cups, adding about 1 Tbsp. cream cheese batter to each.
4 – Bake 15 min. or until centers of cheesecakes are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 1 hour.
5 = Place caramels in small heatproof bowl. Add milk and 1/4 tsp. of the remaining salt. Place over pan of boiling water, making sure boiling water does not touch bottom of bowl. Cook until caramels are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.
6 – Drizzle about 1 tsp. caramel sauce over each cheesecake; sprinkle with remaining salt. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Kitchen Tips
Tip 1 – Size Wise: Balance out your food choices throughout the day so you can enjoy a taste of cheesecake in one of these portion-controlled desserts.

Tip 2 – Note: These creamy cheesecakes can be refrigerated up to 24 hours before drizzling with caramel sauce and sprinkling with remaining salt. Refrigerate 1 hour as directed.

Tip 3 – How to Customize the Caramel Sauce: Spicy Caramel Sauce: Stir 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne) into the prepared sauce before drizzling over cheesecakes. Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce: Stir 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice into the prepared sauce before drizzling over cheesecakes. Smoky Sweet Caramel Sauce: Stir 1/4 tsp. smoked chili powder into the prepared sauce before drizzling over cheesecakes. Chocolate-Caramel Sauce: Add 2 Tbsp. milk chocolate chips to the caramels and milk before microwaving as directed. White Chocolate-Caramel Sauce: Add 2 Tbsp. white chocolate chips to the caramels and milk before microwaving as directed.

Tip 4 – Substitute: Prepare using coarse sea salt. (I’m all about the sea salt! Just sayin’…)

Y’all know the drill. CLICK HERE for all the nutrional details over at My Food & Family. Amy Rouse-Harjo is a good friend, a herder of cats (and alpha men), lover of cheese cake–AND salted caramel. She makes these treats whenever there’s a boys’ night out and the Moonstruck wives get together for RomCom movies and gabbing. Married to Colonel Joshua Harjo, she’s still something of a den mother. First introduced in HUNTER’S MOON, you can read Amy and Harjo’s love story in BRIDE’S MOON. Just click on the title or the cover to head over to Amazon. You can read for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

What about y’all? Are you a fan of salted caramel? Cheesecake? This time of year? My Moonstruck books? 😉

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Falling into Monday

There was a weekend. The problem with ignoring the weekend is that when I wake up Monday morning feeling guilty about all the stuff I needed to do and didn’t, I feel quilty. Which sort of negates the whole “take the weekend off” thing. Anyway, there was a weekend. I ignored things–mostly–and now I’m getting a late start on Monday. I do have reasons though.

Friday afternoon, Stormageddon arrived. We hit baseballs. We watched cartoons. We hit baseballs. We had dinner. We watched cartoons (Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego). Only and Baseball Boy got caught up in the stuff they were doing and Only didn’t arrive until almost 11:00 p.m. Lawyer Guy had to be up early Saturday for a day trip for the American Legion. I had OKRWA.

My RWA chapter meeting was Saturday. After a bit of a SNAFU at the Legion Post where we normally meet (it got double-booked with a wedding and the wedding party needed the whole place for two days), we ended up meeting in a nearby church fellowship hall. We held our annual monster story contest, which I managed to enter this year. I didn’t win but I thought it was a cute story, it might evolve into at least a novella, and it meant I actually wrote something. That was followed by our program–appropriately on haunted places and legends in Oklahoma. It was fun.

Then I met Only halfway between her house and ours because BB was still doing his tourguide thing with a group of Catholic educators (he teaches at a private Catholic high school) and Only had her girl posse birthday party planned. I’d been notified that LG was back early and he’d relieved her of Stormy duty. Which was probably a good thing. The kid was on a tear. I got home. We hit baseballs to give Big Daddy a rest. Then we read for 35 minutes. He has to read X number of hours a week. Even in kindergarden. I think this is awesome! Then we decided on a dinner, and we watched baseball until time for bed. He was up and dressed by 7:30 on Sunday morning. He dug a fire pit in the back yard and lined it with old brick so the fire couldn’t get out. Then he used a stick and a pit of clay pot as his iron and flint to “start” the fire. The kid definitely has an imagination. His parents finally arrived around 11:30, admired the fire pit, listened to the funny stories, and skedaddled. LG and I napped. All that excitement wore us out! 🤣

iPhone updated. It now has “Memojis”–emojis that can be customized to look like “me.” I did that because…procrastination. I’ve since discovered that I can use my memoji as an emoji. Me with my head exploding is a favorite!!!!

NaNoWriMo is about 2 weeks away. I have the book I’m going to write–HAVE to write–more or less ready to start. It releases in February as part of a six-book miniseries set in one of Susan Stoker’s worlds. It HAS to get written no, ifs, ands or buts because it’s the first book in the series. Yikes! My brain has to get in gear. Speaking of, that’s a big mental push this week. To get unstuck.

I’m not talking about my OSU Cowboys. It’s too sad. OU is doin’ good though so there’s that. Scary moment, though, when the Sooner Schooner overturned on the field after a touchdown! Ponies and people are all fine. I will watch the World Series. Nationals and Astros. While I’m a National League girl, I gotta root for the Astros.

I finished my re-listen of Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series. KA is one of my catnip authors. I think I’ll jump ino her Rock Chicks next.

And that’s my life. Time for more coffee. A whole pot of it! What’s up in your life?

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Friday Sinema: Bell, Book & Candle

Halloween is coming. And Lawyer Guy noticed that one of my all-time favorite movies was on so he DVRd it for me. When I was searching for something to post today, I decided to plug the title into Youtube search bar and this is one of the videos that popped up. Not only are these some great scenes, but they’re set to a favorite Sinatra song, and the title of the first book in my Penumbra Papers series. So settle in for some of THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC and enjoy. Do you have a favorite classic movie? Share! And have a great weekend.

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Release

Waaaay back in the day, we used to put inspirational posters up on our walls. Or posters of a hot rock star (looking at you Mark Lindsey of Paul Revere and the Raiders). Farrah Fawcett in that tank suit…(the guys anyway…) In college, the one I remember had a butterfly perched on a femimine hand and this message: If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was. Lord but that poser got the lot of us through a bunch of break ups. When I read today’s message from the Universe, that’s the first thing I thought of.

Honor them, love them, help them, heal them, but above all else, Silver, free them.

Everyone, of course –
The Universe
© http://www.tut.com ®

They’ll return, Silver, one day, somewhere, over the rainbow or in times without space. And then they’ll show you all the “pictures” they took, play some weird music, and finally… they’ll thank you. Crazy love.

My second thought? This is what if feels like to write a book, send it out into the world, and worry that no one will love it as much as you do. Yeah. I feel like this each and every time. Every once in awhile, I’ll get a surprise from “my babies.” A fan email. A good review. A “Oh! I’ve read one of your books!” I’m still waiting for the pictures. (I once mentioned that I’d love to a Goodreads review with gifs and fan art and photos of fan picks of the main characters.) Anyway. I need to work on getting a few books ready to fly. I’ll get right on that.

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Wednesday Words: A Touch of Frost

The FROST is on the pumpkin and the FROSTing is on the cake. I hope it isn’t a pumpkin cake. Not that I have anything against pumpkin. Except maybe pumpkin spice hummus. Don’t ask. Anyway. It’s Wednesday and the #1lineWed theme is **FROST**. In all the WIPs and published books that I have, I only found a touch of FROST. Here’s a scene from NIGHT FALL. The heroine, Shy, is at breakfast with the old ladies when they’re supposed to be on lock down. Something’s wrong and nothing will keep Shy from riding to Gravedigger’s rescue.
THE SOUND OF Harley pipes saved me. We all craned our necks to look out the window to see who was coming. It was one of the guys from the gate and two older bikers I didn’t recognize. The old ladies exchanged worried looks.

“That’s Hoss and Deadhead with Booker,” Ginger said. “If the Topeka prez is here, something big is going down and the guys were serious about us being on lock down.” Her gaze fell back on me, and the others followed suit.

“Gotta be the Hell Dogs.” Sam’s blue eyes were coated in frost. “I hope they find those bastards and wipe them off the face of the earth.”

Something twisted in my gut and I wanted to vomit. Hate. So much hate. And anger. I looked up, sweat beading on my upper lip as I fought back nausea. The old ladies weren’t paying me any attention now, their eyes glued to the front door. Not them. This feeling wasn’t coming from them.

I gagged, drawing their attention again. I managed to choke out, “Bathroom?”

Lainey pointed toward a dark hallway. “I’ll come with—”

I slapped my hand over my mouth and bolted, disappearing into the shadows as the two big bikers walked through the entrance. I saw the illuminated exit sign and didn’t even slow down. It wasn’t alarmed—thank God—and I was out in the sunshine before I stopped to think.

Gravedigger. I had to get to him. Whatever was cramping my stomach had to do with him. His injury maybe? I wasn’t sure. I was sure of only one thing—he was hurt and I had to get to him. I looked around for a car to steal. Nothing. Creeping to the front corner of the diner, I checked the parking lot. The prospect called Booker stood next to his bike, his eyes glued to the door of Momma’s. I noticed two things: he had a pistol and the keys to his bike were still in the ignition.

I came in hard and fast. The kid never had a chance. Taking him by surprise, I put him on the ground, disarmed him, and was straddling his Harley before he could roll over. I was halfway down the block before the others erupted from the front door. Part of me felt bad for Booker. He’d be disciplined, but if he wanted to be an outlaw biker, he’d take it.

Me? If I survived this insanity, I’d probably be in the same cell with him. I didn’t care. My old man needed me, and there wasn’t a damn thing anyone could do to stop me from getting to him.

Somehow, I knew exactly where he was. Not the address or anything, just the direction. It was like a pulse in my head—turn here, drive fast, turn left, drive faster. I sensed that the Hummer and the Nightriders from the diner were on my tail. Didn’t matter. Nothing mattered except getting to Gravedigger.
And since this book is now available almost everywhere, I’m posting a link to NIGHT FALL here, and the cover because I love Digger’s eyes. Just sayin’… Click title or cover for the universal buy link. Have any frosty words to share?

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Tuesday Treats: Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

Days are getting shorter. Fall harvest goods are hitting the stores. Want to make your house smell amazing? And have something totally ooey-gooey yummy to eat at the same time? And something that’s as easy as slicing apples? This is the dessert for you!

Total Time: 1 Hr. 40 Min.
Prep Time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 1 Hr. 25 Min.
8 Servings

Stop trying to decide what’s for dessert and combine two crowd-pleasing favorites: make a Cinnamon Roll-Apple Pie. The joy of Cinnamon Roll-Apple Pie is simple: premade cinnamon rolls become the crust for a delicious mix of granny smiths and pudding mix—yum!

What You Need

2 cans (17.5 oz. each) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing, divided
3 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Let’s Make It
1 – Heat oven to 350°F.
2 – Separate Cinnamon Rolls. Place 6 rolls in single layer on bottom of 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray; press to flatten and completely cover bottom and side of pie plate. Reserve remaining cinnamon rolls and Icing for later use. Bake crust 10 min.; cool slightly.
3 – Toss apples with dry pudding mix and cinnamon; spoon into cinnamon roll crust.
4 – Press remaining cinnamon rolls into 5-inch rounds. Place around outer rim of pie plate, leaving opening in center to allow steam to escape. Press edges of rolls together to cover filling and to seal to edge of bottom crust as shown in photo.
5 – Bake 40 to 45 min. or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cool slightly.
6 – Drizzle with reserved icing as desired before serving.

Kitchen Tips
Tip 1 – Special Extra: Sprinkle lightly with additional ground cinnamon before serving.
My Tip – Extra Special Extra: Serve with a scoop of cinnamon vanilla ice cream.

Y’all know the drill by now. CLICK HERE to head over to My Food & Family for all the nutritional details. Sometimes, a body wants something different. Something easy. Something…fallish when the crisp days of Indian Summer fade into cool fall nights And everyone knows that cinnamon rolls are a turn-on for guys. And girls. Just ask Celie Monaghan, mate of alpha Wolf Rhys Kendric. When the blackjacks start to turn in the Hill Country of Texas, Celie’s thoughts turn to comfort food that’s easy to make, yummy to eat and will keep her Wolf happy. If you’d like to read BLOOD & FIRE, a fated mate story of mistaken identity, you can grab it for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or buy it to keep for $2.99. Just click on the title or the cover. This is a stand-alone novel set in the Moonstruck world.

What about y’all? Does the scent of apples and cinnamon rolls baking in the oven make your mouths water?

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Monday Through Dark Colored Glasses

So. There was a last week. And a weekend. There were books to be read. Words to be written. Baseball and football to be watched. There was “The Masked Singer” (a not-so-secret indulgence). There was Stormageddon, cheeseballs, and stink bugs under the magnifying glass.

But when viewed through the filter of depression, all the good comes in shades of gray. It sucks. Depression. Life goes on around you and good things happen but all you see are the downs. Never the ups. You make lists of what needs to be doen and the you stare at the lists and get overwhelmed because you’ve been drown in the gray for so long that the list is huge and incomprehensible and because it is huge and incomprehsible every item on the list blurs into shades of gray and overwhelmed, you itnore it.

Yes. There are things to do. I’m doing them. The good news is, the last time it was this bad, I was up all night, sleeping all day, and basically doing only the basics to keep people from finding out and this went on for a couple of years until my brain righted itself and things got good again. It’s been a year but I sleep at night–mostly. I’ve gotten some things done. Not enough, but some things. I try every day at least. I haven’t given up. The voice in the dark says this is good, that I haven’t succumbed to the dark. As frustrating as it is, I am–in very minute increments–fighting back.

And y’all are helping. The cards. The emails. The smiles you send my way. Thank you. It’s hard not to sink back, thinking I’ve disappointed you, or betrayed you, or let you down in some way. That’s the dark voice in my head, the one that triggers all this bullshit. I know I’m not doing those things on one level and y’all remind me of that. Thank you.

One thing a day. That’s my goal. Check one thing on my list each day. It may take me another year but I’ll whittle it down. One daqy at a time.

May your week be filled with light and love and laughter and to my Canadian friends, Happy Thanksgiving!

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