It’s Barefoot Blogger time again! This time the recipe was chosen by the amazing Anne Strawberry. She chose Ina’s Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart recipe and I have to tell you, I almost sat it out. I don’t like tomatoes or onions, two of the main ingredients, but Anne is one of my favorite food bloggers so I couldn’t skip her week!

I did cheat a little. I used the precut circles of puff pastry which worked just fine. I also used diced roma tomatoes instead of big slices because I can handle roma’s most of the time.

Ya’ll… I cannot even tell you how good these were. My husband and I literally fought over the last one! The crispy puff pastry made me totally forget about my dislike of tomatoes and onions. And the goat cheese… yum!

I cannot wait to make these again. I think they’re perfect for a dinner party or anytime you want to impress someone. I wish I had some now!

Go visit Anne Strawberry to get the recipe!


I love couscous.  I mean, really love it. And what’s not to love? It’s pasta, it’s quick, and there are millions of things you can do to it. But you know what?

Neither of my boys will eat it.

I know! They’re nuts.

But that means that I can fill it with whatever veggies I want and use spices that they wouldn’t normally touch. This dish is pretty much just that. It has carrots, peas, and zucchini as well as saffron and cilantro. It’s amazing, ya’ll.

Saffron Couscous with Zucchini Ribbons

from Cooking Light


4 zucchini (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1 small)
1/2 cup finely diced carrot (about 1 small)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/4 cups uncooked couscous
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave zucchini into ribbons; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and carrot; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, saffron, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous and peas. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini ribbons, and sauté 1 minute or until tender. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve over couscous mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro.


…because sometimes a man just needs man food.

I initially put this patty melt on my meal plan because I thought it would be quick and simple. I mean, how hard is it to grill up a burger and some onions? And it was easy but holy cow, did I spent forever in the kitchen!

First I had to grill the onions. Which by the way, if you don’t have a grill pan, go to your local sporting goods store. I got mine for $8 at Academy! Anyway, then I had to grill the burger. THEN I had to grill the whole sandwich which I did on the George Foreman because I always look for the easy way out.

Anyway, it was well worth it. The look on my husband’s face when he walked through the door and smelled burgers was worth it all by itself. Even my meat-hating child ate half a sandwich. This are definitely becoming a regular in our rotation but next time I want to figure out how to make the Steak n Shake sauce. Mmm!

Patty Melts with Grilled Onions

from Cooking Light


8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Cooking spray
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons creamy mustard blend (such as Dijonnaise)
8 (1-ounce) slices rye bread
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Jarlsberg cheese


  1. Arrange onion slices on a plate. Drizzle vinegar over onion slices. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; cover and keep warm.
  2. 2. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Divide beef into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Sprinkle patties evenly with salt and pepper. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.
  3. 3. Spread about 1 teaspoon mustard blend over 4 bread slices; layer each slice with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 patty, 2 onion slices, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Spread about 1 teaspoon mustard blend over remaining bread slices; place, mustard side down, on top of sandwiches.
  4. 4. Heat pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).


About a month ago I bought a big bag of rye flour to make a sourdough starter. I also bought an airtight plastic container to store it in because I like all my flours to have cute containers. My sourdough starter went to hell quickly and the rye container moved to the back of my cabinet.

Forward to yesterday. I’m all gung ho to make these rolls, open the rye flour, and see a nasty in my flour. And what appeared to be the nasty’s babies in a little nest. I don’t even know what it was, when I described it to Spencer he said it sounded like a moth. I was so disgusted. Luckily, the container only held so much of the flour and I had thrown the rest in the freezer. I had just enough for this recipe.

So hey, you guys, hide your rye flour from critters. Learn from my stupidity!

PS. The rolls are fabulous! I’m an onion hater but they work in here.

Rye Pecan Rolls

from Gourmet


1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-oz package)
1/4 cup warm water (105F)
1 tablespoon mild honey or sugar
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and dusting
1 cup rye flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
1/4 cup nigella or poppy seeds


  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. 3Cook onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain onions in a sieve set over a bowl, reserving onions. Stir milk into onion oil in bowl.
  2. Stir together yeast, warm water, and honey in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, start over with new yeast.)
  3. Mix flours, pepper, milk mixture, and remaining 2 3/4 teaspoons salt into yeast mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, dusting surface and your hands with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is elastic and smooth, about 6 minutes.
  4. Pat dough into a 9-inch square and sprinkle with onions and pecans. Fold dough over to enclose filling and pinch edges to seal. Knead to distribute onion and nuts throughout dough, dusting with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, about 2 minutes. (Dough will be lumpy; if any nuts or pieces of onion pop out, just push them back in.)
  5. Put dough in an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft- free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  6. Punch down dough (do not knead), then halve. Roll half of dough on a lightly floured surface with lightly floured hands into a 12-inch-long log (keep remaining half covered with plastic wrap). Cut log into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball by cupping your hand and pushing dough against work surface as you roll in a circular motion. Arrange rolls 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Cover rolls with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Make more rolls with remaining dough, arranging and covering them on second sheet. Let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
  8. Brush rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with nigella seeds. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer rolls to a rack and cool at least 20 minutes.


I don’t use chicken thighs often. I’m not big on dark meat unless it’s in a casserole but it seems like you need 20 thighs to get enough meat for a big dish. They’re always on sale though, so I want to use and I want to love them. You wouldn’t believe how excited I was to find a decent sounding recipe!

It turned out to be a really good recipe. My husband, who looked into the pot while it was cooking and called it “monkey brains”,  loved it and he’s typically not a fan things like this. He also wanted me to say that the sauce was really good on rice.

Chicken Thighs with Olives in Tomato Sauce

from Cooking Light


12 chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), skinned
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place chicken in an electric slow cooker. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 30 seconds. Place wine mixture in cooker. Add tomato paste, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes to cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, olives, and parsley.