I’m almost embarrassed to post this..


hiya friends.

today what I have for you I cannot really call it a recipe. at all. in fact, I don;t know what to call it other than genius.

I can do that, it’ my blog and my happy place and I make the rules and I called it.

🙂 🙂 🙂

You know when you stumble across an idea and it’s like, ” duh? self, what exactly took you soooo long to think about this?

like last summer when I made watermelon cubes.


insanely. awesome.

Ok.. let’s backtrack a little bit, I love to tell a story. Pull up a chair. grab your blankies.

When I was visiting my sister last month we had a day ( my niece’s graduation party day) that we were running 10,000 errrands and although we stopped to get tea, I a;ll of a sudden got one of those

out-of-the-blue-oh-my-God-I -need-to eat-RIGHT NOW kinda feelings.

I know you know what I’m talking about 😉

She happened to have a protein shake in her backseat ( that girl is always prepared ) and although I like to ‘eat’ my meals, it was actually pretty good and did a great job of quieting the beast that is can be my stomach.

So fast forward. It’s Thursday of last week, and I’m picking up a prescription from Target ( which has an excellent prescription rewards plan, BTW.. every 5 scripts and you get a 5% coupon for one whole day at Target!!)

and there’s a problem with the script… so after calling the doctor, we fixed it but I was going to have to sit there for 30 minutes. Bored and alone.

and guess who came to visit? That nasty hunger beast again.

remembering That it did the job when I was with my sister, I picked up a 4 pack and managed though the next 1/2 hour ( without wandering the store and loading up my cart with Target stuff…. now this I KNOW y’all know what I’m talkin’ about.

The flavor that I had at my sister’s was strawberry. Because I’m all into ‘livin’ on the edge lately’, I bought chocolate fudge.

Imageand discovered that it tastes *just* like* a * fudgscicle!

* show of hands who knows where I’m going with this *

yup! straight to the freezer!

Imagenow does this taste exactly like a full fat fudgsicle?

probably not, after all, this isn’t Oz..

but it was a pretty good replica.. and the perfect snack after a walk ( or run, bikeride, yoga..)

high protein, and cold and refreshing.

so that’s what I have for you today 🙂

If you are friends with me on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pages/barefootgirl-in-the-kitchen/247408031957513?ref=hl

then you know about the psuedo- chopped challenge that I”m doing (for fun only)

this week’s ingredients are



hot peppers

and chicken breast.

If this turns out o be as fun as I hope it will be , next week I will have anyone who wants to suggest a food give me one item each. I will but them into a hat and randomly pick 4.

let’s see how this first challenge goes…

and if you missed the details on the challenge, just search barefootigirl in the kitchen on facebook!

ciao bellas!

for more frozen treats

pina colada freezer pops

watermelon ice cubes

field trip friday

back in THIS POST I explained how I shop at many different stores for different things.  These day , most of us have options, and to make the most of your money by utilizing these options just makes plain ol’ sense.   One of my favorite stores is none other than 

none other than Trader Joe’s..   Now some of you may be thinking… really a post about Trader Joe’s?




because I happen to know that some of you who read this have the luxury of living not to far from one and still have not yet been.


in contrast, I know many of you who do not live near one and would give anything to be able to go.

so yes, folks…  On Friday I went to Trader Joe’s… and this is my story ❤

~it all started one dreary Friday morning…  Lol.. jut kidding * giggle*


Tj’s is not your typical grocery store. In fact it is hard to describe. For those of you who think it is a high-end store, such as Whole Foods, you would be wrong. Tj’s is not a big store, but what is packed into each location is soe wonderful things.

They have tons of cheeses…  a food near and dear to my heart. I actually decided this past halloween that trick or treating would be MUCH more fun if it were trick or cheesing.


I’m serious. a different cheese at every house? how brilliant would that be?

but really.. it’s true.  they have a whole wall of cheese and it is the best price that you will find around… They have cheeses for all over the world! and often times some seasonal specials…see what I mean?  If you are lucky then you will go on a day that the cheese lady is making the rounds.. ( what a great job that must be 😉  This was a lucky day for me 🙂 cheese snack while shopping?


yes. please.


Next is the NUTS..  you will not find a better price on nuts anywhere.  And next to the nuts are the dried fruits.  if you are into making your own GRANOLA then tis is your haven….


and again…  you wont beat the prices.


They have a little counter where an employee is always cooking something to sample.. and a coffe urn for coffe samples. ( the free food samples is a great way to entice kids to go with you 😉


the frozen fruits and veggies are also a great deal here ( no pic… I’m sorry)  You wont find any name brands in here.. it is all their own brand … but trust me, the quality is second to none.  On the shelves above the frozen items are all sorts of snacks…  from mini sugar cookies shaped like cats to Ryan’s favorite, chocolate covered orange candies, seasonal crackers, etc….


you will find all sorts of canned items at fabulous prices… and lots of ‘meal starters’


you will find the friendliest of employees here. .. They truly love their job… love to talk food and recipes.  If you bring your own recyclable bag ( which y’all should be..) then you can enter a ticket into a drawing for a weekly Tj’s Gc!

let’s see.. have I forgotten anything….. probably… I’ll think of it at 3am…


so here’s my haul from Friday


* please forgive the carpy pics.. I’m currently having camera issues.. hopefully it will be fixed soon…*


I wont go over everything… but will talk a bit about what I bought..  The tube of tomato paste? 99 cents.  In the regular grocery store it is around 4 bucks. I bought parsnips… beacause Ry and i had parsnip puree somewhere and it was soo good! I need to work on a solid recipe so that when he comes home for Christmas, we can have it again:)


The chocolate bar… to die for!

Dark coconut caramel! yum!  and only 1 points plus per square for those who may be following weight watchers…


I bought 2 bags of the inner peas..  and I’m so glad that I did… they are a great snack!

Tjs almond butter is the best. I love this stuff.  Banana and almond butter on toast? yuminess.


and B12.. just because 🙂



the rosemary raisin crisps are one of my favorite things here! so. dang. good.  I think they are only available this time of year.. but I could be wrong.

pomegranate Kefir? yes. please.


the cheeses? both brie rounds and goat cheese rounds… each 2 pp and perfectly portioned.  Cute little mushrooms to stuff…  snow peas to steam right in the bag..


here is something else that you will find here…  great spice blends… with built in grinders…  all 2 bucks. beat that!


*do you see what I see?*


* the sugar, coffee bean and chocolate blend is amazing on hot chocolate! *


so there you have it… I hope that if you have not been to this store yet, you will find time in your future to do so. it really is like a little field trip;)


on lastly.. on my fb page ( like much of the free world) I have been posting what I am thankful for during this month of gratitude.  Today, I am thankful not only fo the extra hour of sleep this morning, but also that my pup, Fenway, is thankful for it as well..

happy Sunday friends 🙂

simple addition


4 things~









happy birthday, Ali  I love you very much & am very proud of you!

sale- inspired cookie


Hi all.. me again.  talk about a crazy weekend. I could go into detail, but you wouldn’t believe me

~unless you knew my family~ then you would completely get it. ….

And you could pretend to understand, because that is what I do.


I think it’s working 😉


anyway… I’m sure that I have mentioned that I am a coupon queen. I just love me a bargain!

Somewhere in my shopping travels a few weeks ago, I came across a too-good to be true sale .. on extracts.

I bought a few of them one being orange.  I set out on the magical world wide web on my ‘home computer device’ and came up with these..

Orange toffee almond sandies

I ♥♥Toffee♥♥  as I pointed out



so when I found this recipe that had Orange AND toffee…. I knew it was made for me….

you will need :

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 2 cups English toffee bits

(are you wondering why the Heath bar bag is upside down? It’s because Ali decided that she should ‘taste’ them and cut the corner so that if I tried to take the picture with ‘heath’ facing upright, I would have a shower of heath bar crunchies on my countertop)



Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.


In a mixing bowl, add the butter, oil and the sugars. Using a hand-held mixer, beat until combined. Beat in the extracts. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in orange zest, almonds and toffee bits.

using a small cookie scoop, scoop cookies  2-inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.


Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven to a wire rack .

These cookies were fabulous just as is…. light & airy, sweet & tart, creamy & crunchy all at once, but I had a hankering ot take it to the next level.



I melted some chocolate with a teaspoon of the orange extract & drizzled

oh. yes. I. did.


the drizzle took these 5 star cookies OVER THE TOP!

so much in fact that I had to pull out some of my Aunt’s China for the cookie’s photo shoot.




sealed with a kiss

a Hershey’s kiss that is. Today’s recipe comes straight from chocolate-land itself…

When the kids were little we went to Hershey, Pennsylvania on a camping trip. When I saw this cookbook at the end of the tour I just HAD to have it.

It was my one big splurge of the trip. I remember reading it cover to cover for the whole 16 + hour drive home.

*disclousre* most of the family went….. we still owe a certain girl a trip to Hershey…. who’d have figured that SHE would be the biggest chocolate lover of us all?


This recipe was one of my favorites.

Peanut Blossoms

Peanut butter & chocolate. In a cookie. as they should be. forever and ever.  Amen.

HOW could you go wrong?

trick question.. you can’t 🙂

You will need

Hershey’s kisses ( and someone to unwrap them for you).. on second thought.. get 2 bags. one for the cookies.. one for the cooks;)

1/2 cup butter; softened  (recipe calls for shortening, but I always use butter)

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

granulated sugar


begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

then set your helper* ahem* Alison* to take this kisses from this form

to this form



In a large bowl, beat butter & peanut butter until well blended. Add 1/3 cup sugar & brown sugar; beat until light & fluffy. Add egg, milk & vanilla; beat well.

Stir together flour, baking soda & salt. Gradually add to to peanut butter mixture.


Shape dough into 1-inch balls & roll in the remaining sugar. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment or silpat.

Bake for about 9 minutes; remove cookies from oven

press a kiss down in the center of each cookie. ( the cookie will crack around the kiss)

Remove from baking sheet to wire rack to cool.


SWEET peanut butter & chocolate heaven….


Oh! Oh! Oh!  Lookie what I found while clipping my coupons ( um.. I’m kind of a self-procailmed coupon queen)




now maybe I’ll actually remember it?  let’s hope!

do any of you have suggestions for a particular kind of cookie that you would either like me to bake or research? I know I put the question out there awhile back, but alot has happened since then and I’m having trouble remembering…….


like the parchment paper.



ooey gooey minty bars

That’s what I’m calling them. The official recipe that I found is called midnight mints.. but once I made these & they were on the platter.. I decided hat I would re-mame them ( at least in this house 😉 )


Sunday morning, our oldest son, Jason, left  for his 6 month tour of duty in the Persian Gulf… although the emotions around here have been wildly unpredictable& unexplainable , the biggest emotion is by far pride.

We are sooo proud of him…




These are a triple layered bar-type cookie with tons of sweetness

you will need:

for layer 1:

1/2 cup butter, softened

5 tablespoons cocoa

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup coconut

for layer 1~

combine butter, cocoa & sugar in a saucepan. slowly bring to a boil. Turn of heat & whisk in egg to thicken & add coconut.

using a spatula, press into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan


Layer 2:


1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons milk

1/4  teaspoon peppermint extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 drops green food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a bowl & using a mixer, mix until have bowl full of minty-greeness. Spread over first layer.

layer 3:

2/3 cup chocolate chips ( I used mint chocolate chips)

2 tablespoons butter.

Melt butter & chips in the microwave, then spread or drizzle over lay 2.

Chill 😉


Now I had me quite the time cutting these. I suppose if I ever remember to buy parchment paper,  lining the base of the dish first might make it easier. Either way, there were no complaints about these cookies….

they do need to be refrigerated, or they will freeze, so you need to keep that in mind, they aren’t your typical ‘cookie jar’ cookie ( like cookie jars stay full anyway..)

but they were yummy. Mabye next time I’ll serve some with some grasshopper fudge brownie sundae ice cream.


or something like that 😉


oh.. and I  finally did a little decorating….



chocolate butter cookies

So remember when I tempted you yesterday with this cookies dough? I was making yet another recipe from my old stash

Again.. no clue where I got the recipe, but I will tell you that this is quite simple & very versitle

Chocolate Butter Cookies

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa

Here is what you do:

In a large mixer combine sugar& butter; beat at medium speed until creamy ( about 1-2 minutes) .

Add egg & almond extract;continue beating until well mixed.

pause to admire your dough

Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the flour & cocoa scarping the bowl often until well-mixed.

this is where the versatility comes in.

you can

A) use it as is in a cookie press

(I’m not that brave yet)

2) wrap the dough in plastic wrap & allow to chill for at least an hour, then roll out & use cookie cutters

(we may be trying that later this month)


III) dump the dough on a long piece of plastic wrap & roll into a long roll

like I did 🙂 and chill for the world’s best slice & bake cookie!

When you re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Remove dough from fridge just when you are ready to bake it.

using a serrated knife, slice into 1/4 inch rounds

place each round on a silpat or parchment paper & bake for 7-9 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven & allow to let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Now these cookies were really yummy just as they were, but since I am trying to get into a festive state of mind, I thought that it would be fun to dip them in white chocolate & put some fun sprinkles on them

sprinkles make everything more fun., dontcha think?

I saw an article in a magazine today on another way to decorate cookies, & I did try on a few cookies, but overall, I think they were a tad pathetic..

I took a square piece of paper the size of the cookie & cut a tiny snowflake *cough* snowflake looking type of shape. Put on top of the cookie & using a tiny sifter, sift powdered sugar on top.. then remove the paper.

This is what I came up with

ok.. so they don’t look exactly like the magazine, but I was kind of rushing..  so we may be giving this another try as well. I did not try it, but I am pretty darn sure that you could make this dough ahead of time, freeze it in the log-form & have slice & bake cookies within1 15 mintues whenever you want them.

I must try that.

and just for you , Kim……. one from the archives…

kinda still looks like him…..


Happy Chanukah!

To my Jewish friends out there… and Happy December to my dear sweet friend spending time in Greece 🙂

Look what Farkle brought us!!!  He is too good to us!!

Ryan ( who really likes bubble wrap ) asked me if I could make him a bubble wrap Advent calendar.

Ok.. so it is a pathetic attempt, but I tried!

For today’s recipe I went waaaay back into my old recipe cards.

wasn’t my handwriting so innocent & sweet back in the early 90s?

I do not remember where I got the recipe from. Back then (way before I had the internet) I used to love Sunday mornings because PBS had cooking shows on all morning. I would curl up on the couch with my tea & a big yellow pad of paper that Scott would have snagged from work & copy down recipe after recipe.

*my* version of today’s Food Network

I remember not know what Mandelbrot was and since we didn’t have the internet, I never actually knew. I remember thinking that I was all trendy when I had actually heard of Biscotti a few years later.. It sounded like my Mandelbrot recipe!!

Well, when I dug it out today I discovered that it is actually a Jewish cookie! How appropriate & ironic that this is the cookie that I chose for today !

The Recipe:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Cocoa  powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a baking sheet with oil ( I use a silpat liner, but still rubbed it with oil).

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, oil & vanilla for 2 mintues on low speed , stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl with a spatula.

SLowly add the flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt. Mix until incorporated. Mix in the nuts & chips just until the nuts slightly break up.

Spoon the dough onto the oil-lined cookie sheet & divide in half. Using your hands, mold each half into 2 flat logs 12×4.

Bake for 40 mintues.

Remove from oven & let cool for 5 mintues

Carefully transfer strips to a cutting board& using a serrated knife, cut the strips on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.

(when you cut them, you will have pieces crumble off, this is to be expected and welcomed)

WHY you ask?

so that you can collect it to sprinkle on ice cream or oatmeal 😉

Place slices cut side down on cookie sheet & bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove & cool.

Store in an airtight container.


or  dip & eat right away


happy december!




Happy December!


Clearly, I am a blog novice, so although I *made* a page just for cookies, I cannot get it to post as I can the main page.. so here is the link to that little page right up there which will be





♬♬♬back to school, back to school♬♬♬

As you know, Alison started school last week, but Ryan had an entire extra week of his summer. His first day back to school was yesterday. If you read my post on Traditions then you know that not only was yesterday a school day, but also

Cookie Day!!!

Ryan’s request for his first day of school cookie was a cookie that my friend , Cheryl, makes only for the holidays.

She brings them to my annual cookie exchange each year

barefootgirl cookies

and it just might be Ryan’s favorite cookie of all-time..

peanut butter balls….

:full disclosure to my weight watchers friends.. enjoy this recipe, but don’t plan on anything else for the week in your WPAs.. you won’t be able to stop at one.. trust me 😉

you will need:

*2 cups peanut butter

*2 sticks of butter

*1 pound of confectioner’s sugar

2 cups of graham crackers

chocolate, for dipping

Start by creaming the peanut butter & butter together; add confectioner’s sugar.


Stir in graham cracker crumbs.

Chill briefly ( this makes the next step easier 😉 )

Roll the mixture into bite size balls..

chill again.

melt the chocolate either in the microwave or on a double boiler. Dip each chilled ball into melted chocolate one at a time then allow to cool on wax paper or aluminum foil.

*this is where I let you down*

I can’t find the pic of the finished PB balls 😦 and as you can imagine.. they are all gone 😦 😦

I will go through past pictures, because I cam sure that I have a picture of these wonderful little treats all plated up, for for now, just imagine those peanut butter balls of goodness dipped in melted chocolate, then cooled to a nice chocolate crust.

easy & delicious!

Thanks, Cheryl!! for such a great recipe!

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