Wednesday, March 28, 2012

*I Cook Barefooted!* ~ Devilish Eggs

Barefoot Love!

You know Spring is here when...

that red-checkered vinyl table cloth 
you paid fifty-cents for at that garage sale five summers ago
comes out of the closet again,
along with that fancy wicker picnic basket you always wanted
'cause you were gonna "drive into the city 
to see that FREE Shakespeare in The Park festival 
every weekend in June if it kills us..."  

And then it happens.
What happens you say?
Life happens.

And you get all...
"Remember that one time we went to that festival in the park?"

And he gets all...
"Yeah. We suck."

And you get all... 
"Well, that drive-thru is NOT gonna be our home away from home this season!"

And he gets all...
"What's for supper hon?" 

And you get all...
"I don't know. What do you want?"

And he gets all...
"I'll pick something up."

And you get all...

Happy Spring, Life! 

 My lovely friend, IK 
Sharing some Barefoot Love!
 ~ My Blog & Role Fantasy ~
Devilish Eggs ~ Barefoot Love!

Devilish Eggs

*Eggs, a dozen or so, boiled the way your gran'ma taught ya!
*Miracle Whip, approximately 2 Tbsp.
Mustard, approximately 1 Tbsp.
*Sugar, to taste ~ 1 or 2 Tbsp.
Paprika, a shake or two

Boil eggs; peel.
With a sharp knife, cut eggs lengthwise.
Remove the yolk with a small spoon; carefully place in small mixing bowl.
Mix all ingredients, 
EXCEPT the Paprika,
 with a fork into the yolks till smooth.
 Using the small spoon, 
put a nice dollop of your yolk mixture into each egg half.
Sprinkle with Paprika.
Chill till you eat 'em!

*So, here's the thing...
We see A LOT of fresh eggs here at Barefoot Acres!
On a good day, this time of year, we collect 'bout ten a day.
But... if you want your Devilish Eggs 
to turn out pretty (this means intact),
and you don't want to find yourself standing at the kitchen sink cussin' up a storm,
you'd best get yourself some store bought eggs for this dish.
(Check out these egg peeling tips on Jules Clancy's blog, Stone Soup... Awesome!)

*Miracle Whip is a wonderful drug.
 It is NOT mayonnaise!
In my humble opinion, it will always trump Mayo in Devilish Eggs.

Go slow on adding this key ingredient!
Too little... and they just won't have that Zing.
Too much... and you'll think you're eating oysters on the half shell!
(Translation: The yolk mixture turns runny and makes a mess.)

You want reviews?
How 'bout...
"Yum! Everybody says so! 
And they ain't lyin'."

Feeling Creative?  
*Check out these Awesome Deviled Eggs recipes!

How 'bout You?
Have a recipe you want to share on 
*I Cook Barefooted!*?
Show some Barefoot Love and...
Send it here: 
Want to include a photo? Fun!

What's on your table?

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 *Barefoot Love*Airbrush By, Colleen 

Monday, March 26, 2012

*Life is in the journey!* ~ A Dream Is A Wish!

Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors
~ A Dream Is A Wish! ~
Thanks for the wish come true, Babe!

Some luck lies
in not getting what you thought you wanted
but getting what you have,
which once you have got it
you may be smart enough to see
is what you would have wanted
had you known.
~ Garrison Keillor ~

When I was young I spent hours sitting in the clover. Soft, cool grass pricked the underside of my bare legs and tickled the tops of my feet, while I searched through a small green patch for four leaves, not three. A journal lay beside me; its pages opened in the shade of our maple tree to neatly pressed rows of little green wishes. Luck seemed to be just a bit too chancy for my tastes. Wishes, on the other hand, well they were perfectly attainable as long as I believed in them.

Four-leaf clovers, shooting stars, eyelashes and wishbones; a full moon, dandelion puffs or pennies in a fountain. Perhaps it's not the totem you choose, after all, that heeds your wishes and answers your prayers. I believe the magic we are searching for is of our own making, even in times of darkness and despair... Especially in times of darkness and despair. When good fortune seems to skip right over your head, without so much as a "duck, duck, goose", and your wishes leave you feeling a bit like Cinderella's ugly step-sister... perhaps it's time to get busy with a little spring cleaning. Clear out the cobwebs. Open a few windows. Sing a gay little song out loud for all of the forest animals (and the neighbors) to enjoy! After all... a dream truly is a wish your heart makes. Why not dream big!

Listen to your intuition. 
Open your eyes, and your mind, and your heart to possibility. 
ACCEPT responsibility, 
IMAGINE good fortune and...
EXPECT happiness. 
The secret to Life is no secret. 
It is simply to SHOW UP.

 Where luck is random,
and lacking ambition;
made in earnest...
is fearless,
and undeniably
of your own making.

The world is a big place, ripe with compassion, charity, and good will; as it is also with anger, greed and general discontent. And though it is, oftentimes, a very scary place to try to live and grow and prosper, our wishes be damned, it is all we have for now. Despite the capacity for resiliency and beauty residing inside each of us, we humans tend to cling desperately to those attitudes and beliefs which we've convinced ourselves to be safe havens, forgetting that it is this very determination that sets us apart from the vegetables. No offense to carrots and broccoli and Brussels sprouts! (Well, maybe to Brussels sprouts.)

It has been almost six months since my return to this blogging community ~ a world in and of itself, dedicated to searching for the answers to Life's most difficult questions in the name of Peace. In that time, I have been introduced to so many beautifully creative, funny, talented and loving spirits. It may be only a small piece of the pie, but it is abundant with fresh perspectives, clean sparkling ideas and enough optimism for us all to turn over a new leaf. And if that leaf happens to be of the four-leaf variety, then let us close our eyes and make a wish... quickly now; for as much as wishes never run out, and never expire, they do have a tendency to wilt when our imagination is out of focus. 

There are really so many of these individuals who open up a space for me, and others, to share in their dreams and wishes, and fears and insecurities ~ mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters ~ Life's students of all ages really, who want simply to be happy and to always follow a path of Peace. All of them wishing. All of them taking charge of their dreams. Stop in and say, Hi. You won't regret it.

 My Friends
Catherine@ Catherine Denton
Intricate Knot@ My Blog & Role Fantasy

*(4-leaf clover photo: Rick Stokes)

Peace My Friends!

“The best way out is always through.”
~ Robert Frost

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

*I Cook Barefooted!* ~ Lil' Cheddar Meatloaf

Barefoot Love!


This used to be the reaction my meatloaf, and I, could expect 
when we both plopped down at the supper table, exhausted.
Well, I was exhausted.
My meatloaf recipe was just plain borrr-ing!

My hands,
buried wrist deep in eggs, crackers and cold meat
saw more action with that tired old recipe
than my kid's mouths.

 As a matter of fact,
I am pretty certain it was my old meatloaf recipe
that ushered in our infamous
Green Bean Races! 

Who knew adding a little sugar and oats and cheese
would turn out to be the dinner make-over of the century
in our house!

stuffed with cheese
and topped with goodness!
That's what I crave this time of year.
It reminds me of home.

with a little sugar on top!


Lil' Cheddar Meatloaf

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. mustard
1/2 cup quick oats

Beat egg and milk. 
Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt.
Add beef and mix well.
Shape into miniature loaves.
Place on greased 13x9 baking dish.

Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard.
Spoon over top of loaves.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


You want reviews?
This one's for my little girl who turns 16 today!
"Help! I'm being held prisoner by my heredity and environment."
~ Dennis Allen

Happy Birthday, Baby!

How 'bout You?
Have a recipe you want to share on 

*I Cook Barefooted!*?

Show some Barefoot Love and...

Send it here: 

Want to include a photo? Fun!

What's on your table?

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 *Barefoot Love*Airbrush By, Colleen 

Monday, March 12, 2012

*Life is in the journey!* ~ Raise Your Voice

Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors

When our kids were little our family watched the movie, “Pay It Forward”, based on author, Catherine Ryan Hyde's best selling novel. Our oldest son Will, who was twelve years old at the time, asked afterward “Is that really possible, Mom?” I remember, distinctly, the feeling of my heart dropping in my chest. His faith in the goodness of the world was slipping at an alarming rate into adulthood, but more importantly, the belief that we ~ humanity ~ are capable of greatness... of magic really, was beginning to fade.

I told my son then, 
“Anything is possible. 
Especially changing the world. 
If you believe in something
 and work for it with integrity and love in your heart
 Anything is Absolutely Possible! 
It starts with you.” 

I drew then, my own basic sketch of a person on a chalkboard in our kitchen with three people connected to that person, and three people connected to each of those three people, and so on, and so on, to remind our kids and us every time we saw it, of one simple idea: 

What you believe has the power to change you.
 What you do about it has the power to change the world.

Empathy ~ Inspiration ~ Courage ~ Action

The question is... 
Will you act on your convictions with Empathy,
seek your own personal truth when struck with Inspiration,
  stand up and be counted with Courage,
and define your own humanity with Action?

Peace My Friends!

“The best way out is always through.”
~ Robert Frost

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

*I Cook Barefooted!* ~ Spinach Lasagna

Barefoot Love!

Years ago, 
I started searching for ways to get my kids to eat their vegetables!
The rule was always the same in our house:
Take it or Leave it.
But, if you take it...
Green always comes first!

And... No Gagging, Squalling, or *Fake Choking Allowed.
* Real Choking, of course, would earn you a one way ticket to the Heimlich...
followed by a stern lecture to use more sense when stuffing your green beans into your mouth.*

So began, the infamous Green Bean races.

My husband, I admit, did his best to play along.
His nostrils may have flared, 
(probably always will)
his eyes may even have watered... on occasion,
and he may follow anything green with his milk glass...
But, he ate them! 
He ate them because he knew little eyes and brains were watching.
 But really, he ate them because he's awesome!

At the start of supper, 
after *Thanks* and *Thoughts* were given 
for what we were about to receive,
green bean-thirsty forks hovered over our plates waiting to dig in!

Some finesse was necessary here.
I mean, the whole point of the game was, in fact, 
to get the green beans past the taste buds 
and into their stomachs 
without them catching on to our manipulation techniques. 
What can I say?
It worked.
And the kids...
Well, let's just say this was one race we Always let them win!

*For the record*
No Child or Adult was harmed in any of The Great Green Bean Races.
All were willing participants... 
Because that's just how we roll. 

Eventually, we graduated to eating "trees" (Broccoli florets)
and the occasional green salad, 
most often loaded with sugar-rich dressings for the kiddos 
(gotta start somewhere)
and a boiled egg, for good measure.

However, it was pure genius, on my part,
(Thank you, Thank you very much!)
the day I first substituted Spinach in one of our family's favorite dishes.
They never noticed the beef was gone.
And they're still coming back for more!

It doesn't get much easier than this recipe.
It's not overly loaded with sodium and sugar and preservatives, 
like most pre-prepared frozen dinners (depending on the sauce you use).
And it's Oh, so yummy...
with a loaf of French Bread and a nice Salad on the side.


Spinach Lasagna
3 cups Ricotta Cheese
3 cups shredded Mozzarella
3/4 cup Parmesan
2 Eggs
1 (48 oz.) jar Your Favorite Spaghetti Sauce
1 pkg. Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
Lasagna Noodles

Cook noodles to desired tenderness.
Mix Ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan and eggs.
Thaw Spinach and add to cheese mixture.
Layer in a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish:
Spaghetti sauce, noodles, cheese mixture, mozzarella.
Repeat layers.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
Let stand to cool and thicken.

*I sometimes use Large Curd Cottage Cheese, in place of the Ricotta, 
when I want to cut down on the fat and cost of the Ricotta. 
Not quite as rich, but still very good!*

*I also tend to use whatever form of spinach I happen to have in my fridge. 
When I have fresh Baby Leaf Spinach I just stir in, roughly 3 cups of uncooked spinach, to the cheese mixture.*


You want reviews?
    How 'bout,
"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man,
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach.
            I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!" 

 How 'bout You?
Have a recipe you want to share on 
*I Cook Barefooted!*?
Show some Barefoot Love and...

Send it here: 
Want to include a photo? Fun!

What's on your table?

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 *Barefoot Love*Airbrush By, Colleen 

Monday, March 5, 2012

*Life is in the journey!* ~ Happiness

  Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors
~ Happiness ~

I'm not sure when, exactly, it happened. Somewhere along the way reality and practicality replaced my childhood dreams and fantasies. When I was young dreaming came easy. Mine was a long list, waxing and waning with my every childish whim. There was always time for dreams. There were no preconceptions of who would hand over the rent, feed the kids, or take care of me when I grew old. Growing *that* old was never part of the dream. It was a simpler time then. I would be indefinitely frozen, most likely in a twenty-something year old's body, and never wanting for anything. 

I liked wrapping my stuffed animal's heads and legs and tails in gauze, pretending they were sick. I wanted a horse of my own to know freedom. I hurt when we had to give away our farm dog because we lived in an apartment, and when our cat grew sick with cancer. I wanted to save all animals who were sick, or lonely like me. I would be a vet.

I was entranced by what lurked beneath the waves of the ocean and what peace lay hidden in its darkest depths. I longed for adventure on the Serengeti plains. I could wear khakis, and spend my days in the dirt with a toothbrush unearthing dinosaur bones and Egyptian tombs in the desert. I wanted to save something; even if it was just our history. I would be an oceanographer or a game warden or an archeologist. 

I wished I could ease the pain of others. Those wounds that often go unnoticed on children's faces, in their eyes, on their hearts. The heartbreaking, soul-jarring pain that we all carry through life, but sometimes... just sometimes we can't seem to let go of. I wanted to save those who were having trouble saving themselves. I would be a counselor.

I wanted to share all of my dreams, my fears, and my realities through stories. Because everyone can relate to a good story, and EVERYONE knows what it means to long for adventure. Words helped to raise my voice. They became my friends. I wanted to teach others that we are limited in our dreams, only by our imagination, so... I would be a writer.

I found my way, eventually. Though my dreams took me to places, honestly, where I never thought they would. I never did make it to vet school, or to the bottom of the ocean, or to the Serengeti. And I can't say that I've ever set up my own psychiatry booth on the side of the road. But somehow, and I can't say when, I found Happiness anyway.

Charles M. Schulz

Today, I'm thinking less about my dreams and more about our kids' dreams. So much for never growing *that* old. What do *they* want to be when they grow up? And when, if it hasn't already happened, will they begin to trade in their dreams and fantasies for reality and practicalities? Our oldest child graduates from high school this spring. He's off to save the world... or conquer it. And all I can think is... I hope he knows Happiness wherever he goes. Whether he falls into it or hunts it down with every breath in his body and soul, I hope he is Happy.

I believe in Happy. 

 Be Happy My Friends!

"The best way out is always through."
~ Robert Frost