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

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new favorite recipes? Original Ranch Cheeseburgers.


Original Ranch Cheeseburger



The burger meat is mixed with Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix and shredded cheddar cheese. The result? A delicious, juicy burger with a twist. Plus, they are so easy to make! Read below…


Original Ranch Cheeseburger2



  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • Lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions

Preheat the grill or broiler.
In a large bowl, combine seasoning mix with the beef and cheese and mix with clean hands until incorporated. Shape the meat into four ÂĽ pound burgers about 1-inch thick. Grill the burgers about 5 minutes on each side for medium doneness.
Serve immediately on the hamburger buns.

Recipe from HiddenValley.com.

Enjoy! Oh, and make sure to check out Hidden Valley’s new recipe hub, which features other bloggers’ recipes and their Ranch Remix Recipes! Plus, enter the Remix with Ranch Sweepstakes, which features new prizes every month! April’s prize is a $1,500 Visa Gift Card!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch Remix. The opinions and text are all mine.

Flatout Hungry Girl Foldit Flatbread Recipes #FlatoutHot

I recently got the opportunity to try out Flatout Hungry Girl Foldit Flatbread and I am OBSESSED with them. These are so delicious and best of all – they are HEALTHY.

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 3.29.22 PM


They come in several varieties:

100% Whole Wheat with Flax
Traditional White
Rosemary & Olive Oil
SLIDERS Classic White

All have 100 calories or LESS. They are chock full of fiber and even though they are low-cal – they are full of flavor and very filling. These are now available at your local Walgreens, which is where I bought them…


photo 1



photo 4


I bought the Rosemary & Olive Oil and have been using them to make lots of different cold and hot sandwiches. Some of my faves:

Flatout Veggie Pizza


Flatout Pizza





  • 1 Flatout Foldit Rosemary Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 thinly sliced tomatoes
  • Fresh or dried herbs like basil

Preheat oven to 350.
Bake Foldit for 4 minutes. Remove and top with tomato sauce, tomatoes, herbs, and cheese. Bake for 4 more minutes.

Foldit Hummus, Ham & Cheese


Ham Cheese Hummus Flatout




  • 1 Hungry Girl Foldit Flatbread
  • Couple of slices of thinly sliced ham
  • 1 slice deli cheese of your choice
  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • 2 slices tomato
  • Hummus

Spread a layer of hummus on both sides of the HG Foldit. Layer lettuce and tomato on one half of HG Foldit; add ham and cheese.  Fold in half and enjoy!

Check out more recipes at FlatOutBread.com!

*This is part of a compensated campaign with The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Healthier Comfort Food: Baked Fried Chicken #KelloggsChamps

One of our favorite things to eat is breakfast for dinner – or brinner – as many like to call it. We LOVE breakfast foods – everything from homemade waffles to sweet pastries to cereal with cold milk. Another cool thing to do is to incorporate traditional breakfast items like cereal into your dinner. One of our favorites is Baked Fried Chicken, which uses to Kellogg’s Corn Flakes to give you that delicious crunch you expect from fried chicken with the added benefit of WAY LESS fat and calories.




Baked Fried Chicken


  • 7 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®
  • OR
  • 1 3/4 cups Kellogg’s® Corn Flake Crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, (without skin) rinsed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Whisk together buttermilk, mustard, salt and pepper, and cayenne in a bowl, and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours.

2. When you’re ready to cook, place crushed KELLOGG’S CORN FLAKES cereal or KELLOGG’S Corn Flake Crumbs in shallow dish or pan. Set aside.

3. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg and milk slightly. Add flour. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with cereal. Place in single layer, in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray or foil lined. Drizzle with margarine.

4. Bake at 375° F about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. For food safety, internal temperature of the chicken should reach at least 165ºF. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot.





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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.

Savory Pumpkin Dish: Pumpkin-Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells (Recipe)

It’s October, which means that it’s officially time to bake and cook with pumpkin! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring pumpkin-based recipes to enjoy this Fall and holiday season. Honestly, I usually bake with pumpkin, but this year – I wanted to incorporate pumpkin into savory dishes as well. Our first dish of the series is exactly that – Pumpkin-Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells. Oh.Em.Gee. This dish is comforting and rich and absolutely divine. Surprisingly, it is also relatively quick to make – even on a busy weeknight!

Pumpkin-Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells


  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (and a little extra for topping)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (26 oz) jar store-bought or premade tomato sauce

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Cook pasta shells according to al dente package instructions. Transfer to a baking sheet in a sinlge layer and allow to cool to room temperature. 3. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, cheeses, and all remaining ingredients except the tomato sauce. 4.Spread sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish or other shallow baking dish. I like to use my favorite cast iron pan. 5. Fill each pasta shell with 2-3 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture and arrange in the pan.

5. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown OR place under the broiler for a few minutes (watch closely or it will burn).

Family Tailgating with KING’S HAWAIIAN® (Recipe) #KingsHawaiian

Every year about this time – I write a post or several about how excited I am that the Fall is near and this year is no different! I LOVE the Fall! It means cool, crisp air (no more HOTlanta humidity), cozy sweaters and jeans, baking with pumpkin, and of course – Mike’s and Lucas’ favorite – FOOTBALL! I’ll admit – I’m not a huge football fan, but what I do love about the season is the excuse to have a party and cook (and EAT) yummy food! One thing I look for when cooking for football parties or tailgating party is that the food can be prepared in advance, which is why I love Country Fried Steak Sandwiches on King’s Hawaiian Mini Sub Rolls.

These are DELICIOUS, easy to make, and best of

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



    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!

    KING’S HAWAIIAN has an

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    all-star line-up of sandwich products which includes: Mini Sub Rolls, Sandwich Buns, and Hamburger Buns and Hotdog buns.

    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.