I recently made a discovery that I want all you coconut lovers to know about. It’s Trader Joes Frozen Coconut Chunks. Now, I know that coconut is one of those foods that many people either love or hate. There’s not much middle ground, so if you’re not a fan, you can stop reading now.
I love Trader Joes, but don’t have one very close to me here in southeastern Virginia. In fact, I’ve been emailing them to try to get one in Chesapeake ever since we moved here…so far, it’s a no go. Fortunately, while I was out and about last week, I found myself in Virginia Beach, where there happens to be a Trader Joes, so I stopped to do some shopping. [BTW, I was not compensated in any way for this product mention. I just love to share my discoveries.]
I have a list of favorites that I always try to buy when I’m at TJs, but since my visits are less frequent now, I hadn’t seen this product before. I’m a lover of all things coconut, so was excited to see that this is just what the package says, “JUST COCONUT CHUNKS”, nothing added. No preservatives, chemicals, sugar or salt. I LOVE THAT.
I brought it home and popped the bag in the freezer, but not before taking out 8 or 10 chunks and putting them in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. (My husband loves coconut too.) A few hours later, I took them out and gave them a try. Lo and behold, they tasted like fresh coconut, just as you would imagine. I was a little concerned that the texture might be impacted by freezing, but I didn’t notice any difference at all.
The best part for me is that the chore of cracking open a whole coconut and digging the meat out is totally eliminated. I love this too! Think of the time and mess you’ll save.
Here’s the nutritional info (below).
More good news: I found many articles, like this one, praising the benefits of eating coconut.
Raw coconut is rich in medium-chain triglycerides, a type of dietary fat that may encourage weight loss.
It’s an excellent snack option for those looking for low carbs and high fiber. The rumors about its ability to promote weight loss are not thoroughly substantiated, but would be a nice bonus. And did you notice that it contains iron and protein too?
I love that it’s a sweet and filling treat, with health benefits. Now I just need to get back to TJs and buy more to stock my freezer.
Have you tried this coconut? What do you think?
Do you have any favorite recipes that you make with it?
I’m sharing this recipe for those of you who are looking for a great easy way to roast your turkey this year.
Our family has used this one for decades and we always get rave reviews about how moist and tender it is. Never dry! Make note that the turkey needs to be started in the oven the night before you plan to eat it.
It’s great because you can put your turkey in the night before. YES, the NIGHT BEFORE you want to eat it and you wake up in the morning with the delicious aromas filling the house. Another awesome thing about this recipe is that even if you cook a large turkey, it comes out moist and tender.
I first found the recipe in a book by Emilie Barnes called “The Complete Holiday Organizer”. I was going to add a link to buy the book, but it appears to be out of print. Sorry. For those of you who haven’t heard of her, she was a homemaking guru before anyone ever heard of The Martha. I’m going to include the text from the book to give you some background. I hope you try it and enjoy it. It’s SO easy!
“Perfect Turkey Every Time”
” Trust me on this one. The white meat melts in your mouth. This is a SLOW roasting method, but once in the oven, you can forget it until it comes out.
Choose desired size turkey, wash it well, and remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity. Dry turkey with paper towels. Rub the outside well with pure olive oil. If you want to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff with dressing of your choice. This is optional. It can be cooked with or without stuffing/dressing. (Sometimes if I’m not stuffing the turkey, I’ll add a few whole pieces of celery, carrots and onion to add a bit more flavor to the bird.)
Set the turkey BREAST side downon a rack in a roasting pan (this bastes itself, making the white meat very moist).
VERY IMPORTANT: Place into a 325 degree F [preheated] oven for one hour to destroy bacteria on the surface. Then adjust the heat to 180-185 degrees for any size turkey. (note: I’ve updated the temp for the first hour of cooking to 325 merely as a precaution since many recipes now call for roasting temps to be at that level.)
This is important. The turkey can go in the oven the night before eating it!
Example: I have a 22 pound turkey. At 5:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve I put the turkey in the oven prepared at 325 degrees for one hour. I turn the temperature down to 185 degrees and leave the turkey uncovered until it’s done the NEXT day about 10 or 11 a.m.
Although the cooking times seem startling at first , the meat is amazingly delicious, juicy and tender. It slices beautifully and shrinks so little that a turkey cooked at regular temperatures no longer tastes good. It cannot burn so it needs no watching. It literally cooks itself. ” I do feel the need to baste every once in a while, but that’s probably more habit than anything, besides I like to open the oven and smell the turkey.
A good rule for timing is about 3 times longer than a standard recipe. For example: a 20 pound turkey that normally takes 15 minutes per pound to cook would take 5 hours. This slow cook method would be 3 times 5, so it equals 15 HOURS to cook the slow way. A smaller turkey cooks 20 minutes per pound, so an 11 pound turkey takes 3 hours, 40 mins standard, times 3 which equals 11 hours for the slow roast way.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Many newer ovens are set to automatically turn off after 12 hours (I guess it’s assuming that you forgot to turn it off.) You don’t want your turkey sitting in an oven for hours without any heat. It will be uncooked and dangerous to eat, plus you’ll have lots of unhappy and hungry guests come dinner time. If your turkey will be reaching the 12 hour mark while you’re sleeping, just before you go to bed, be sure to turn off the oven temperature for a few seconds, then turn it back on to 185 degrees. This will reset the oven’s internal timer so as not to automatically turn off. Be sure to make note of any time that 12 hour window ends, so you can be sure to “reset” the oven before that.
Now here’s the cool part. Once it’s done, it will NOT overcook or dry out. You can leave it in the oven an additional 3 – 6 hours and it will still be perfect! Thus your roasting can be adjusted totally to your convenience. So allow yourself plenty of time. It’s better to put it in a little early than too late though, since you want to be sure that it’s done. That’s it. That’s all you need to do. Can it be more simple?
Many standard recipes call for allowing the turkey to “rest” outside the oven for about 30 minutes before cutting. This can be done with the slow roast method as well. Besides allowing the juices to settle in the turkey, it also allows you to have your oven free to cook or warm other items for the meal just before serving.
I’ve been using this recipe for probably 25 years and have never been disappointed when I followed the directions.
One item I need to point out. If your family actually puts the whole turkey on the table as a nice presentation, then you need to know that cooking it breast side down will not be quite as pretty as what you’re accustomed to. There will still be some crispy skin on the top side, but the breast will not be crisp since it was on the bottom of the pan. If you’re like our family and you just take it out of the oven and slice it up on platters, no one will even know that you cooked it upside-down, except that it will taste AMAZING!
Have fun and let me know how your dinner turns out.
Today my sister reminded me of my mom’s button tin.
Some of my earliest memories are of my fingers sifting through this smorgasbord of buttons when I was too small to even get the lid open by myself.
As I grew older, on many occasions, I’m sure I dumped the contents all over the floor and watched the discs roll in every direction. Then I painstakingly searched all the nooks and crannies until they were safely recovered.
My mom wasn’t really what you would call a seamstress. She didn’t make our day-to-day clothes, but as someone who grew up during the depression she could handle any utilitarian task.
For years she created our Halloween costumes from scratch with lots of hand sewing involved.
She taught me how to sew on a button. I replaced missing buttons on my clothes, but also used them to make eyes for my sock puppets.
Mom also taught me how to mend the holes in my socks, which wasn’t so easy. I really didn’t like wearing socks that had been mended, because the repaired spot was always lumpy and felt strange. Sometimes it rubbed the wrong way on my feet and just bugged me. When I got older I decided that socks were cheap enough that I could get new ones instead of having to mend them. Now I use them for cleaning rags when they wear out. It’s much easier on my feet and my mending pile.
My Barbie doll wardrobe was created with a running stitch at the edge of a piece of fabric, carefully gathered into the shape of a flowing skirt.
I can still sew a mean blind stitch to hem my pants and dresses. I’m not sure if I learned that from her or in my 7th grade Home Economics class. Every person in the 7th grade, boys and girls included, were required to take Home Economics and Wood Shop. I loved them both! Home Ec was the class where I learned how to sew on a machine. We practiced curves and corners on paper without thread to begin with, then graduated to thread and eventually to fabric. I still remember the gold pin-wale corduroy jumper that I made in that class.
I don’t remember my mom having a sewing machine. Everything she did was by hand.
Mom’ll be 90 years old in January and she’s still proficient at hand sewing. She hems her own pants, shortens and hems her shirt sleeves – they need to be 3/4 length, otherwise they get in her way. She also adds darts to the shoulder area of her blouses because her shoulders are rounded and she needs them to fit better.
Between my mom’s hand sewing lessons as a child, a hand quilting class that I took as a young wife and my Home Economics classes in Jr. High, I feel fairly comfortable with sewing.
I made several outfits for our kids when they were toddlers, sewed a red and blue baby quilt for my sister’s oldest son, Jason (I wonder what happened to it), made a fabric baby doll from scratch for my daughter, various crafts and some nice quilt squares that are still laying around somewhere. Someday maybe one of my kids or grandkids will make them into pillows or wall hangings or something.
Now, I’ve become the proud guardian of Mom’s lovely vintage tin filled with all sorts of buttons. When she was moving a year or so ago she was trying to simplify and decided that she didn’t need them all. She let me have the whole spectacular tin.
It’s more than just a button tin though. It’s filled with so many precious memories. Do you have a button box? Did your mom teach you to sew?
If you’re thinking of making Quiche for an Easter Brunch, here’s an easy recipe that I’ve been using for decades. The secret to keeping your quiche from coming out soupy or runny is to toss the grated cheese in a little bit of flour before baking (see recipe).
I also love the fact that you can use a variety of cheeses and a variety of fillings. I’ve used Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cheddar – most any semi-soft cheese. For fillings I’ve used ham, bacon, broccoli, crab and more. Just choose your favorites.
This link also takes you to a couple of other tasty brunch recipes.
Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our risen Lord with family and friends.
You may remember when I posted about the upcycled gift bag that I made for a baby shower gift recently. It was actually a design that could be used for most any gift and this one is much the same.
My friend, Sharon loves all things coastal, but isn’t really keen on the traditional blue and green color schemes, so for her birthday I decided to make a sailboat gift bag with some non-traditional colors.
Once again, I pulled out one of my large bags. This time a traditional brown bag. I dug through my scrapbook papers and found some lovely plaid, starburst and print papers.
Initially I did a Google search for images of a sailboat line drawing that I thought I could trace. After looking them over, I couldn’t find what I had in mind so I just looked at a drawing for ideas and created the pieces from scratch. They’re all pretty basic shapes, so it was easy.
Just for fun I printed the name of the ship on the orange plaid paper that would be used for the hull and the mast.
I added cute brass star-shaped brads to the pennant shaped flags at the top of the mast.
And check out the words on this fun paper that I used for the waves. Rusty orange print to coordinate with the other papers, and words like surf, wave, tide and cool!
And here’s the finished product – full view of the bag. Added an orange plaid tag and bright yellow tissue paper to complete the look.
What do you think? Can you give me ideas for other gift bag designs? I may just make your suggested creation.
Hey there friends, I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.
I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations. It will be Independence Day next week, after all! Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room? Yowzah! Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.
Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon. Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post. No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.
In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece. I happen to use mine in the guest bath. Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom! As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!
I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning. It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore. Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep! I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.
For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer. Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?
Here’s a fun and easy project that you can easily do in under 30 minutes the next time you need a gift bag.
Have you visited a shop or restaurant that uses plain white or brown paper bags for their products? If you keep your eyes open you’ll find that there are some that do this instead of paying for printing on their larger size bags. Every time I get a blank bag (or even one with a smaller graphic) I save it for future upcycling.
Today I needed a bag for a baby shower for Baby Boy Bryson, a new addition to our extended family, so here’s what I did.
First I pulled a medium size white bag from my stash
Next, I looked through my supply of fabric ribbon and found this great blue & purple plaid. Perfect for a little boy. (Shop for ribbon at craft stores when it’s on clearance or you have a coupon. Also watch for ribbon attached to cards and other products that you can rescue.)
Then I searched through my scrap-book paper and found a thick striped sheet in shades of blue that coordinated with the ribbon. A nice baby print would be great too.
Open up Microsoft Word (or an appropriate program) to create a single large letter (or word of your choosing). Select your preferred font and size large enough to fill the page and/or one side of the bag.
In MS Word you can choose the option to show/print the letter as an outline only. This is the best way to show the pattern to be cut out of the printed paper.
Print the letter/word on your scrap-book paper and cut it out.
Center and attach it to the side of the bag with your favorite paper glue.
Fill the top of the bag with tissue paper (would have been more striking if I had a light shade of blue that matched the ribbon).
Tie your matching ribbon in a bow on top of the bag.
If you need a tag, cut a circle or creative shape out of the scrap-book paper too. Punch a hole in it and tie it on with a small string or matching ribbon.
That’s it! You’re ready to go.
Imagine all the possibilities…unlimited color schemes, print a word instead of a letter, trim the bag with lace for a girl. Or what about using the same idea for mini-size wedding or birthday favor bags?
Have fun and post a link to your own creations in the comments section! I’d love to see how you make it even better.