Our Summer Yurt Camping Trip & Campfire Hot Dogs Recipe

We love camping because it gives us the perfect opportunity to truly disconnect and spend quality time with each other as a family and with nature. It’s a moment to breathe and find some stillness in a world that has gotten way too fast paced. This past month, we packed up the car and headed only 30 minutes away to Fort Yargo State Park in Georgia to do some yurt camping. This is our third time camping in a yurt and let me tell you…it’s a much easier way to camp with young kids.


We had a great time! We did lots of goofing off…


and hiking…


and canoeing…


and crafts…


and reading…


and sleeping…


and swinging in the hammock…


and eating, of course! No camping trip is complete without s’mores which we packed into a container. Unwrapping all of the chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers and placing them in a big container makes the whole process of making s’mores much easier so you can just enjoy each other’s company around the fire.



Oh and eating them is nice too! 🙂

We also made Campfire Dogs, which are a twist on the boring hot dog and so much fun to make! Here’s how you make them.


Campfire Crescent Hot Dogs


  • 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls (8 count)
  • 8 hot dogs
  • Condiments (mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish, etc)

1. Unroll the crescent rolls into separate triangles along the perforations. 2. Place the hot dog on the edge of the widest part of the triangle and roll the hotdog.

Campfire Dogs


3. Skewer your crescent dog and roast it over the fire until golden brown. We like to roast over indirect heat (not directly over the fire) so the crescent can completely bake through and then at the end we place it over the fire to get it a little crispy. 4. Serve immediately with mayo, ketchup, mustard or other condiments.

If you want to read more camping with kids tips activity ideas, make sure to read my Camping with Preschoolers post too!


Celebrate the Great American Campout

The summer is a great time to take the family camping. Plus, the Great American Campout Day is in a few days on June 27th! Below are some fabulous ways to celebrate Great American Campout Day in Georgia or make sure to visit National Wildlife Federation for additional ideas throughout the country.

Amicalola Falls State Park- The Hike Inn

A five-mile hike from the top of Amicolola Falls will bring visitors to the 20-guest room Hike Inn. Guests have access to hot showers, but there are no outlets at this backcountry getaway. The Hike Inn serves breakfast and dinner every day in a family-style setting and is perfect for Appalachian Trail hikers or families looking for a wilder kind of vacation. gastateparks.org/AmicalolaFalls

Smithgall Woods State Park- Luxury Cottage Camping

If you have never seen a chandelier in the middle of the woods, stay a night at Smithgall Woods State Park’s Smithgall Cottage. Rustically opulent and built of smooth Montana lodge pole pines, the cottage features immaculately decorated rooms, including a great room with a large stone fireplace, an exercise room, a kitchen, a dining room and four bedrooms (2 Kings; 1 Queen; 1 Double/Double) with private baths. Nestled at the heart of the park, the cottage’s large decks overlook the surrounding bubbling brooks and gorgeous forest scenery. gastateparks.org/SmithgallWoods

Stephen C. Foster State Park- Suwanee River Eco-Lodge

Run by Stephen C. Foster State Park, the Suwanee River Eco-Lodge in Fargo, Ga., consists of 10 cottages and a conference room that can seat up to 100 people. Perfect for hunting or paddling vacations, business meetings, retreats, reunions and weddings, the eco-lodge sits just 18 miles from the beautiful Okefenokee Swamp. gastateparks.org/StephenCFoster

Yurt “Glamping”

There’s no need to pitch a tent when High Falls, Tugaloo, Red Top Mountain, Fort Yargo and Cloudland Canyon State Parks offer the glamorous camping (“glamping”) option of yurts. Made of wood and canvas, yurts sleep up to six people and come with beds, futons, screened windows and locking doors, as well as an outside deck, picnic table and grill/fire ring. Yurts will also soon be added to Sweetwater Creek State Park. http://gastateparks.org/Yurts

First-Time Camper Program

For those who have never ventured into the woods, 13 state parks offer loaner gear through the First-Time Camper program. The program’s equipment was donated to the parks by Coleman, REI and The North Face, and, for just $50, first-time adventure seekers can spend two nights in a modern campground with a tent, sleeping pads, chairs, a camp stove, lantern and marshmallow-roasting sticks. Park staff and volunteers can help set up the tents and provide “Camping 101” instructions. http://gastateparks.org/FirstTimeCamper


Easy Weeknight Dinner: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos Recipe

Now that school has started back up, my life has turned into a whole new level of crazy. I’m sure that you can relate! My days are spent carpooling, working, taking care of baby Amelia, sports practice, housework, and making dinner. Seriously…it’s total chaos. That’s why one of our favorite meals is Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos. It’s a favorite for many reasons – primarily because these tacos are an explosion of flavor in your mouth – but also because they are easy and quick. They are perfect for busy weeknights, but trust me – you’ll also want to make them on the weekends and even when you have a large crowd coming over for dinner (think big football crowd!).

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos


Chicken Filling

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 3 cups salsa verde, divided
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

For the Tacos

  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese or crumbled cotija cheese
  • lime, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • avocado, diced
  • 1 cup salsa verde to use as sauce

Directions: Mix together 2 cups salsa verde, chicken broth, garlic, and salt in crockpot. Add chicken breasts and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Remove chicken from slow cooker, discard liquid, and shred chicken using two forks. Add remaining salsa verde (1 cup) and mix to combine.

Fill tortillas with shredded chicken, cheese, red onion, cilantro, avocado, drizzle of salsa verde and a squeeze of lime juice.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos4

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos


Homemade Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe #CerealChef

This is part of a compensated campaign with Kellogg’s.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.

Meatballs 1a

When Kellogg’s put me to the Cereal Chef Challenge – I couldn’t just leave it at Homemade Granola Bars. I had to make something else. I mean, it’s a challenge, right?! So, I decided to also make meatballs made with Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal. These meatballs are delish and pack a mighty punch of fiber from the cereal. This is a great way to sneak in fiber and healthful ingredients for everyone in your family!

Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe


  • 3/4  cup Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Flour for coating the meatballs
  • Olive oil for pan

Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 cans chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • Additional shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired


(Meatballs) In large bowl, combine cereal and milk and allow cereal to soak for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the meatball ingredients and using your hands, toss to combine. Shape into 16 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs. Roll meatballs in flour. Lucas did this part!




Add olive oil to pan and cook meatballs over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned. Drain if necessary.

(Spaghetti Sauce) Saute onions and garlic in a large, heavy-bottomed pan (Dutch oven) until translucent. Add tomatoes, parsley, and all spices to the pan. Bring to a boil, add meatballs to the pan. Turn down heat to low and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

While meatballs and sauce are simmering, cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Serve meatballs over pasta. Top freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Meatballs 2

This is part of a compensated campaign with Kellogg’s.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.

The Classic Cheeseburger – Remixed! (Recipe) #RanchRemix

I love scouring the web for new recipes. Looking for a new twist on an old classic. One of our

all can be made in advance so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the game!


  • 4 – Thinly sliced steaks
  • Bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper and fresh or dried herbs of your


  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Canola Oil
  • King’s Hawaiian Mini Sub Rolls
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce, washed
  • Tomato, thinly sliced
  • Mayo


    Season meat with salt and pepper; set aside. Add breadcrumbs to a shallow dish and dredge each steak in the bread crumbs. Dip in beaten egg, then dredge in bread crumbs again.

    Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry steaks 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

    Assemble sandwiches onto King’s Hawaiian Mini Sub Rolls with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and any other toppings you like. Enjoy!

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    Whether you are at your kid’s game or the stadium, KING’S HAWAIIAN is a great choice for a family tailgate.

    What is your family’s favorite part of game day? Comment below and be entered for a chance to win $200 to put towards your next game day event.

    RO*TEL Party Recap & Best Burger Recipe EVER #FiestaROTEL

    I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We had a great time spent both relaxing and celebrating! On Saturday night, we had family over for a cookout sponsored by RO*TEL.

    The kids immediately headed for the yard to play with the water toys and playground…

    The adults headed to the deck for some good conversation and cold drinks…

    …while Mike manned the grill…

    On the menu? Fiesta 7-Layer Dip and chips for the appetizer…

    RO*TEL Burgers, pasta salad, and corn salad for dinner.

    Both the burgers and the dip are made with RO*TEL and were very simple and quick to make. Check out the recipe for the Fiesta 7-Layer Dip from last week HERE and keep reading below for instructions on how to make RO*TEL Burgers.

    RO*TEL Hamburgers

    1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
    1 pound ground sirloin beef (90% lean)
    1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
    4 slices American cheese
    4 hamburger buns
    Green leaf lettuce, washed
    Tomatoes, sliced thin
    Condiments (mayo, ketchup, mustard)

    Combine ground beef, drained RO*TEL tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Shape into four patties, about a 1/2 inch thick.

    Grill patties 3-4 minutes minutes on each side.

    Top each patty with 1 slice cheese; melt slightly. Place patties on bottom halves of buns. Top each patty with lettuce and tomato and any desired condiments (I like mayo). Close with tops of buns. Serve immediately.

    The Fiesta 7-Layer Dip was a huge hit, as always! The RO*TEL Hamburgers were honestly some of the best burgers I have ever had in my life and everyone at the party agreed. Everyone raved about how the burgers were juicy and bursting with flavor from the RO*TEL. Several of the guys even ate two burgers! These are now permanently a part of our go-to Summer grilling recipes! Please try them — you will not be disappointed!
    After a little dessert and goodies…we called it a night, but it was the perfect way to spend a holiday weekend!

    Thank you, RO*TEL!

    Visit www.ro-tel.com for more recipes, join ROTEL Nation at www.facebook.com/roteltomatoes, and make sure to check out ROTEL on Pinterest!

    This is part of a compensated campaign with RO*TEL.  However, all opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

    Eat a Meal, Give a Meal: Tomato Baked Chicken (Recipe) #ChildHunger

    We always have a pantry stocked full of diced, whole, and crushed tomatoes. They are so versatile and can be the basis to a quick, healthy, and delicious meal. One of our favorites is Tomato Baked Chicken — it’s easy to make and so good! Recipe below…



    Tomato Baked Chicken

    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
    • 2-3 Tbsp green onions or scallions, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in quarters lengthwise
    • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Hunt’s petite diced tomatoes
    • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste



    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place into baking sheet or pan. 



    Combine the diced tomatoes, parsley, onion, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste into a bowl and mix. 



    Spread the tomato mixture over the chicken.



    Top with parmesan cheese and green onions. 



    Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly. If needed, place under the broiler for a minute or two.


    You know what else is great about this meal? While you are eating, you can feel good that YOUR meal helped a hungry child in the US. Yep, if you buy the Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes that have the Child Hunger Ends Here red pushpin on the can (pictured below) and you enter the code at ChildHungerEndsHere.com — ConAgra will donate a meal to a child in need in the US!



    For more information, visit www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com, on Facebook, or tweet along by following @ConAgraFoods and using the hashtag #ChildHunger.




    This post is part of a compensated campaign. All opinions expressed in this article are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.