Thursday, September 18, 2014

Best Camping Hack for $1.00 - Pop-up Trash Can!

The Pop-Up Trash Can!

I was always hanging our trash bag from a tree or grounding it under a cooler... so I thought about a convenient solution. 
This little pop up hamper was only $1 from the Dollar Store! And does the trick perfectly.

So many perks:
Compact and light
Handles to pick up and move
Keeps Trash from falling out/leaking

I keep one for recycling and one for regular trash... also, before turning in for the night,  I pick them up and put them in the cab of the truck, to keep the critters away!

Happy Camping!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Few Summer Camping Recipes: Hashbrown Casserole and Grit Cakes

Our early August camping trip was fantastic...

The weather held up surprisingly well. Temperatures stayed around 80 degrees and slightly overcast... perfect conditions when camping in the summer months.

I made a few tried and true and a few new recipes, so here two I'd love to share.

Grit Cakes:
These grit cakes were a happy accident.  I made the grits a day early (didn't pay attention to my menu!) So, I saved them in a ziplock in the cooler.  The next day, I simply formed them into patties.  Then I fried them in the leftover bacon grease (yum) until golden brown on the outside and warm on the inside.  I used a pan on the campstove, to ensure I didn't loose a cake in the fire.  They had a great crust and a warm buttery center.  Delicious!

(Prepare the grits as the package says OR replace 1c of the water with milk, add tons of salt and pepper and a few tablespoons of butter... your choice:-)

Hash Brown Casserole

This is a tried and true favorite.  Could not be easier to prepare!

Prepare the Fire: Make sure there is a nice bed of coals in the fire ring.
Prepare the Dutch Oven: Spray the inside of your D.O. with non-stick cooking spray (much easier clean up)


1 bag Frozen Hash Browns (great to take camping: they will defrost in the cooler by the time you are ready to use them)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 16oz Sour Cream
2c Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1T Salt (I use Kosher, less if using iodized)
1/2T Pepper

Combine all ingredients except hash browns in a bowl. Once mixed, add the potatoes. Stir to coat the potatoes. Then pour into the dutch oven.

Make an even layer of coals to place dutch oven on.  Cover with the lid and place an even layer of coals onto the lid.
Let cook for 30mins. After 30mins, check on the progress... it will most likely need another 15mins, but at this point, you can see if the coals need to be adjusted for even cooking.  Let cook for another 10-15mins, until the center is bubbling and the sides are a nice golden brown.

Serve after it has cooled for a few minutes... these hold heat like crazy!

This serves 4.  Save leftovers to fry with eggs in the morning (if there are any!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sausage and Cheese Balls

These sausage balls turned out to be the perfect breakfast.  We had a few left over to snack on later too!

I made these in our Dutch Oven. 

1 - 1lb log of Breakfast sausage (whatever kind you like, sage, original, hot)
1 1/2c Bisquick
2c Shredded cheddar cheese
Dashes of your favorite hot sauce (Optional)
Pinch of Salt and Pepper

So easy... just mix together all of the above ingredients.  Roll into 1in balls.
Make sure you have a good bed of coals going because we're cooking with our Dutch Oven! To prepare the Dutch Oven, simply spray the inside with some Non-Stick Cooking Spray.  
Set aside a level pile and place your D.O. on them to heat up.  Once the D.O. is hot, place the sausage balls into the bottom.  Place lid on the dutch oven and put a few more coals on the lid. 
You don't need very much more on top for this recipe.  
Check Sausage Ball's cooking progress after 7 mins.  Using a spatula or tongs, flip each ball over so it browns evenly.  Replace lid and cook for another 5 minutes.  

Voila, campsite sausage balls! 

I served these over a bed of grits.  Who wouldn't love a bed of grits?  I cook the grits according to the package, except I replace the water with Milk and add a good amount of salt, pepper and butter.   

Welcome to the Camping Kitchen! (and tips)

Here are some great recipes that I have taken to the campfire.  Also, a lot of tricks to make your campsite the best it can be!

Here's my favorite mood lighting trick... 

These fun lanterns are just enough light to keep you from tripping over your tent lines, but soft enough to keep in the tent for a fun nightlight.  

All you need are assorted color glow sticks (or pick the same of your favorite color,) Ball or Mason jars and good old H20.

Fill the jars with water, throw in your glow sticks, and screw on the cap. Super easy and so fun!