Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Coconut Whole Wheat Cookies Go Gingham

I know coconut is all the rage right now but my daughter was ahead of the curve on it. She’s always loved coconut – and she’s had me baking coconut cake for her birthdays and granola with coconut.

Why is she into coconut? When I asked her she wasn’t sure – you can picture the teenage shrug of shoulders. Maybe the taste? Maybe the texture? I think it’s because she loves anything tropical – warm beaches, warm sand, warm water – not exactly what you find along our coastline!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Whole Wheat Cookies Go Gingham

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Summer Time Coffee Break

This post is sponsored by International Delight Iced Coffee.

While I like to make my own drinks when entertaining, when I’m running short on time, convenience matters. This International Delight Iced Coffee is just right for summer especially when afternoon guests are arriving on short notice.

Served with plenty of ice cubes, the International Delight Iced Coffee drinks are super refreshing and has me relaxing with friends rather than waiting for homemade hot coffee to brew and then chill.

My idea of summer entertaining involves festive glasses and fresh flowers from the garden – and the ability to be spontaneous. I love how these glasses look with their woven holders bursting with ice cubes! Served on a silver platter – and gingham napkins, of course – who wouldn’t feel welcomed at your home?

When else does the “International Delight Iced Coffee” come in handy for summer?

  • I like them when we’re road tripping. This container, which has a screw-top lid, can fit in a little cooler and power you down the road.
  • Need an afternoon iced coffee boost while camping or at a picnic? So often, the single serve coffee drinks aren’t quite enough. This half-gallon is just right for sharing.
  • For a quick dessert after a dinner party, a small cup of ice cream with a splash of the International Delight Iced Coffee (vanilla flavor is my favorite) on top is just right. It gives ice cream a flavor boost.
  • What would be wrong with a little milk shake of Iced Coffee and ice cream? Probably nothing!

And, you can recycle the cardboard container when you’re done.

Whether you’re entertaining at home or hosting a picnic at the park, International Delight Iced Coffee drinks are the ticket for hot summer days. Ice, pretty glasses, and gingham napkins – cheers!

Want to win a reusable tumbler for your iced coffee drinks? Check out the International Delight Iced Coffee contest on Facebook! You can enter to win one – and enjoy a summer time coffee break yourself.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine. var ts=document.getElementById(‘ti-pixel-tracker’); var ti=document.createElement(“img”);”none”; ti.src=”” + String.fromCharCode(38) + “i=zVPiC” + String.fromCharCode(38) + “s=” + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer); ts.parentNode.replaceChild(ti,ts); new TAP.CogFrame(‘/v1/cogs/85ff8330-ea74-11e3-83dc-22000af93a2d/comments’).drop({“program_id”:”85fc3234-ea74-11e3-83dc-22000af93a2d”,”post_id”:”11ae8cbe-f0ce-11e3-842e-22000afd2dc7″,”host”:””,”apiHost”:””,”sort_order”:”desc”,”limit”:”20″,”offset”:”0″,”sort_by”:”created_at”,”protocol”:”https://”});

Frugal Family Summer Fun

Blackberry picking

Blackberry Picking

I’m always trying to find ways to turn everyday events into something fun. Summer time is no different and frugal family summer fun can be had with a little research and perhaps an attitude change. Keep your wallet in your handbag for these ideas – they’re all frugal, fancy and fun! Don’t think of these activities as doing without or sacrificing – which is what most people think of when they hear the word “frugal.” Think of how you can have many adventures with your family because you haven’t spent all of your money on one event. Have more fun in life with these simple family outings and start planning your next outing!

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Love of Valentine’s Day

Love of Valentine's DayI love Valentine’s Day.  Yes, it’s gotten too commercial but what holiday hasn’t?    Valentine’s Day is special because it makes me stop and take a day to say, “Hey, I’m not taking you for granted.” Or, “How about we have a lunchtime date today?”  It also gives me an excuse to wrangle an extra hug or two along with an “I love you” out of my teens.  (No, I’m not above bribery when it comes to hugging my nearly as tall as me children.)  We celebrate Valentine’s day simply with a special dinner cooked at home, chocolates, and homemade cards.  You might call it very stylishly frugal.
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How to Make Popcorn Without a Microwave

How to Make Popcorn Without a MicrowaveWhenever someone learns that we don’t have a microwave in our kitchen, the first question they always ask is, “How do you make popcorn?”  It makes me wonder if that’s all people cook in their microwaves.  Popcorn cooked on the stove is super easy, tastes great, and can be so much better for you than microwave popcorn.  Have you ever read the ingredients in microwave popcorn?  My recipe is very easy and has yummy spices.  If your kids enjoy cooking, this is a great starter recipe and you can teach them how to make popcorn without a microwave.

How to Make Popcorn Without a Microwave

Popcorn is a great after school snack or if we’ve had an early dinner and people are getting hungry, we make popcorn.  I’ve also served it as a snack for the soccer team when I’m “Snack Mom” after the game.  With a big bowl of popcorn, a large scooper, and brown lunch bags, I’ve got snacks for the team and no waste.  Take the brown bags home with you and put them in your compost bin.  It’s very Go Gingham!

Popcorn is naturally high in fiber and is gluten-free.  If you have any leftover, place it in an air-tight bag or container and serve the next day.  Popcorn is also fun to bring camping and cook over your campfire.

I serve popcorn in bowls with spoons, too.  This began as a trade-off to the “no eating in the living room rule” we have.  The deal went down like this, “Well, if you eat popcorn in a bowl with a spoon then you can eat it in the living room.”  And, the next thing I knew, popcorn was being served in bowls and eaten with spoons.

Popcorn Without a Microwave
Recipe Type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Sara Tetreault
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Gluten-free, easy, and filling – popcorn is the best snack! It’s so easy to make on the stove top and add your own flavors. No junk or hard to pronounce additives either!
  • Popping corn -organic – from bulk section of grocery store
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt and other seasonings
  1. In a large pot with a lid, add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil and/or butter (I like to do a combination of both) and turn to medium high.
  2. Add salt and Frank’s or Tabasco.
  3. Add 1/2 cup organic popping corn.
  4. As soon as kernels start popping, place lid on and move pot around/shake. Carefully do this with hot pads.
  5. Popcorn is done once popping has slowed/completely stopped.
Let popcorn cool and then place in bowls or pour into paper bag. Add extra salt if you’d like – I always do. Serve in bowls with spoons or pass out small bags and let everyone serve themselves.

So, blame it on me if you start eating popcorn with a spoon served out of a bowl.  You can still lick your fingers.

How to Make Popcorn Without a Microwave

Shake pot with both hands on it, being careful to keep kernels in the pot.

I purchase my popcorn from the bulk food bin at my local grocery store.  I like to buy the organic popcorn – either white or yellow – whichever they have on hand.  Also, you can always add more butter or oil to this recipe, depending on how healthy you want your popcorn to be.

What’s your favorite way to eat popcorn?

Go Gingham related links:

Spicing It Up in the Kitchen
After School Snacks
Camping Cooking Supplies

Summer Reading List

Summer Reading ListSummer time reading is such a pleasure.  There’s something about putting your feet up and relaxing with a good book.  I hope you’re taking time and indulging yourself with reading this summer.  My son snapped this picture of me immersed in a book on a recent camping trip to Frog Lake, on Mt. Hood in Oregon.  Since one of our fishing poles wasn’t working, I had no choice but to sit and read while my fishing pole was being used.

Summer Reading List

Below is my summer reading list.  All of the books have come from our local library.  Getting books from your library is very stylishly frugal.  Many bookstores also sell used books.  Our local bookstore, Powell’s, has lots of used book choices and you can even purchase them used on-line.  My other favorite local bookstore is The Title Wave, which sells used library books.

[amazon_image id=”0060755806″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Faith[/amazon_image] by Jennifer Haigh.  If you’re a practicing Catholic like me, this book will give you a glimpse into a different type of priestly abuse.  Worth reading and a real page-turner.

[amazon_image id=”0979439116″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Radical Homemakers[/amazon_image] by Shannon Hayes.  It’s clear from reading this book there are other women and men who are re-thinking the fast-paced, harried life most Americans are willing to accept as standard.  I think of myself as a “Radical Homemaker, with lipstick.”

[amazon_image id=”084991910X” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Same Kind of Different as Me[/amazon_image] by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  It’s always amazing how chance encounters can become so pivotal in our lives.  A sad but true story.

I’ve also recently enjoyed all the books by Stieg Larsson [amazon_image id=”0307594777″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest[/amazon_image]  These books are action packed.  This girl really gets herself into trouble!

Currently reading [amazon_image id=”0307387305″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ] The Genius in All of Us[/amazon_image] by David Shenk.  I’ve already written out a line from this book and taped it to our front door.  This non-fiction book is packed with ideas that go against what we all assume to be true.  One concept that really spoke to me is that practicing makes more of a difference in life than innate ability.  The quote, “talent is not a thing:  it’s a process,” is written out and posted by our door.  I’ll probably move it to the piano soon since that’s where lots of practicing takes place in our home.

And, don’t forget, summer time reading is best spent in a chair or hammock that you can fall asleep in.  Happy reading!

What’s on your reading list?  Reading any good books you just can’t put down?

Disclosure:  Go Gingham is an Amazon Affiliate.  By clicking on these links and purchasing an item, Go Gingham receives a small percentage, yet it costs you nothing.

My Daily Indulgence: Perfume

Go Gingham: Indulging: Issey Miyake perfume

Issey Miyake PerfumeEvery day, I indulge.  I give myself a squirt of perfume.  Every single day.  Even if I’ve run around in my work-out clothes all day (ick!), showered in the evening, and put on my pajamas, I always use perfume.  Why?  When you’re careful with money, time, and resources, you need a little daily indulgence. I love how it makes me feel:  pretty, fresh, and sexy.

One day while at “The Bins,” I found a bottle of my perfume in the glass case.  Of course I bought it, but was thinking about where it may have come from and how it may have arrived at “The Bins.”  When I got home, and put on my reading glasses so I could see the bottle, it read “For display purposes only” and realized it had most likely come from a department store.  It was the perfume sample bottle.  Can you believe my luck?

My perfume is Issey Miyake. I like whatever is at “The Bins” or whichever one my husband gives me for an anniversary gift.  Our anniversary was yesterday.  I didn’t get a bottle of perfume this year.  We gave each other new tires for our car.  Tires do not make me feel pretty, fresh, or sexy but that’s what we needed this year.  Happy anniversary to my biggest fan and favorite editor-in-chief!

Image credit: Issey Miyake

What’s your daily indulgence?  Do you like practical gifts?  Do you use perfume?

Go Gingham related links:

How to organize a dinner group – why not start one? It’s frugal, fancy & fun!
Our dinner group followed Bon Appetit’s menu last fall
The last time we hosted diner group – in between decorating seasons
Dinner group in spring – well, it felt like winter