Saturday, March 9, 2013

Come Get Your Just Desserts

     Welcome to our yummy Just Desserts Hop. Glad you could make it. You are in for some sinfully delicious treats, not only in recipes but tasty excerpts to whet your appetite.
     Dulce de Leche (pronounced "DOOL-se de LE-che meaning candy of milk in Spanish) is a favorite of mine. Serve it on anything and I’m liable to eat it. (Well, maybe not brussels sprouts.) In my book, Love on Laird Avenue, Tatum Stewart is depressed about her consulting business and her 1911 Bungalow home that’s requiring more money for repairs than she can afford. She goes to bed with a box of Dulce de Leche ice cream to console herself, but her good-looking home restoration specialist, Ryan Bulldarren, shows up at her door. What will she do?

     Tatum moped upstairs to put on her flannel pajamas. She didn’t care that it was only six o’clock. She wanted to be in her pajamas and wallow in her box of Dulce de Leche ice cream. It didn’t matter that she hadn’t eaten anything else all day.
     On second thought… she rushed back down, grabbed a spoon and the ice cream, clinging to it like life support. She knew it would probably melt in the freezer anyway. She could eat while she changed.
     What was she going to do? How was she going to solicit another client quickly to help cover her debts?
     Could she use a credit card to pay her loans until she could get another client and then pay the credit cards off? She had already maxed out one credit card. Could she even get another one? She took a big scoop of ice cream. Things were getting complicated. One thing was for certain, she wasn’t going to her father with this state of affairs. She could handle it. She just had to get another client. She’d go door to door, if that’s what it took. She changed her clothes, feeling comforted by her flannel pajamas.
     Ding-dong. Ding-dong.
     She ate two big scoops of ice cream. She didn’t want to see anyone. Maybe they would go away.
     Ding-dong. Ding-dong. Ding-dong.
     She snuck a peek out the window, still eating. It was the handsome renovator.
     Darn it. Go away. Get lost. He was getting into his pocket. He was pulling something out. Oh, no! He was using the key she’d given him. How could she have been so illogical as to give him a key?
     She snuck over and down to the bottom of the stairs, wolfing down some more ice cream. He came through the front door. She had no idea what to do. She could pretend she hadn’t heard the bell. That’s what she would do.
     “What the heck is all this?” he mumbled to himself. He serpentined around the drips of ice cream leading through the dining room into the kitchen and disappeared.
     She stopped and rushed back up to the top of the stairs.
     She heard his angry footsteps as he came back. “Man. Spaghetti sauce, wet lettuce and ice cream dripping everywhere. Apple juice spilled and left out…”
     She returned to her bedroom and ravenously picked up the carton and spoon. Sitting down cross-legged on the bed, she began to eat. What was he, the food police? The neat freak? She could be untidy in her own house if she wanted. It was her house. She owned it, at least for now.
     She heard the stairs creak. He was coming. Her stomach did a flip-flop. What should she do? Should she hide the ice cream? Should she escape into the closet? Did she owe him an explanation? Her stomach tightened.
     She tried to scramble under the covers. The carton tipped over and the milky froth ran onto the sheets.
     “Tatum?” Ryan turned the corner.
     “Oh, are you here?” she questioned.
     “Didn’t you hear the bell?”
     “Did you ring? Maybe something is wrong with the bell. You better have a look at it.”
     “But I could hear it.”
     “Oh, well, I guess there’s nothing wrong then. Why are you here, anyway?” she asked, trying to change the subject.
     He looked at his watch. “Why are you in bed at six o’clock, in your pajamas and eating ice cream? Are you aware of the chaos you left downstairs? That wet ice cream and spaghetti sauce will ruin your hardwood floors. Anything liquid will ruin wood.”
     “I don’t care, all right?” She shoved in another mouthful of ice cream. She might have to go to the store in her pajamas to get another carton.

* * * *

I don’t have an ice cream recipe, but I’m sure you’ll agree this cheesecake will be just as delicious. Enjoy!

Dulce de Leche Swirl Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 can (13.4 oz) dulce de leche caramel spread

HEAT oven to 325ยบ F.
MIX crumbs, butter and 2 Tbsp. sugar; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
BEAT cream cheese and remaining sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.
REMOVE 1-1/4 cups cheesecake batter; mix with dulce de leche caramel spread. Pour remaining batter over crust. Gently drop spoonfuls of caramel mixture over batter; swirl gently with knife.
BAKE 1 hour 15 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

* * * *

     So are you ready to win something? How about an ebook copy of Love on Laird Avenue (or your choice of any one of my books) plus my new sweet romance western ebook novella – Stolen Horses, Stolen Hearts?
     Just go to the contest page on my website and help me name the Bull Terrier for my next release, Worth the Wait: A Merchant Street Mystery. Anyone leaving a name on the days of the blog hop will be entered to win the two ebooks above. PLUS if I pick a name that you enter, you will also receive the prize mentioned in the contest! What are you waiting for? Enter now!

     Thanks for stopping by. Please visit all of the other authors’ blogs for more delicious treats. Stop by the Secret Cravings site for the links:

My books are available through:

Sweet Cravings Publishing:
Barnes and Noble:
All Romance ebooks:

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense…and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at:


  1. I am going to put on so much weight, and I've only visited three sites so far :-( I love the sound of your cheesecake. And your excerpt had my laughing :-)
    sherrygloag@ gmail dot ocm

  2. Ohhh. The except leaves me hanging to what happens next! I love that. These recipes all sound so good!!

  3. Great excerpt Cindy! And I'm going to have to try that cheesecake:)

  4. Hi! Glad everyone is enjoying the hop. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Okay, so much to like about this.

    )))Corset Hug(((
    Ginny Lynn
    Wench Writer

  6. What a yummy recipe! Sounds like it would be hubby's favorite recipe?

  7. great dessert- I adore cheesecake.

    Love, love the excerpt.

  8. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone.

  9. Finally something not chocolate :P I can eat! Nice excerpt

  10. I don't know which I love more- the excerpt or the recipe

  11. All these delicious recipes. Homemade cheesecake has always been a biggy for my family.

  12. Oh my goodness do I love dulce de leche, I love the ice cream she was eating too! I visited your site and left two name choices one for a girl and one for a boy, wasn't sure what gender the dog was ;)


  13. Thanks for the entries, everyone. It's been a wonderful contest. This cheesecake is delicious! Of course, anything with cream cheese is wonderful.

  14. I love cheesecake! What a wonderful recipe. I can't wait to try it!

  15. Loved the excerpt! I would love to try the cheesecake receipe sounds delics.

  16. A Yummy treat and a good book. What more could a person ask for :)

    MinDaf @

  17. Great excerpt, cute cover too...
    Pleading the 5th on how many calories I have indulged in so far just looking over all recipes so...


  18. Tamara Hoffa is the winner of my Just Desserts Hop. Congrats, Tamara.


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