Monday, August 22, 2011


     In my house one of our favorite things to eat are potatoes. Potatoes are good for you, cheap, and best of all, filling! I love making baked potatoes for dinner, they are a great thing to have when you are busy doing lots of other things and don't have the time(or energy!) to cook. Even though they are a great thing to have for dinner, they take an hour to cook in the oven. Yes, I know they can be cooked in the microwave, but I'm just against microwave cooking (It doesn't taste as good to me). The crock pot is a great way to "bake" your potatoes!

Here's how to make Crockpot Baked Potatoes:

1. Wash and dry your potatoes. ( After I do this, I also like to rub just a little bit of olive oil on them and sprinkle them with sea salt)

2. Cover each potato in aluminum foil and place in the crockpot.

3. Cook on Low for about 8hrs (This is great if your out running errands, or have to work during the day! You can get things done and then dinner is ready when you get home!Which means you can spend time with your family and not slaving in the kitchen!)

4. Load up with your favorite toppings!
I like my potato with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. (I know how Plain Jane of me!) Some fun toppings to add could be: bacon bits, chives, cheese (pepper jack is yummy!), bell peppers, chili, broccoli, cauliflower,or mushrooms. The possibilities are endless!

We hope you enjoy crock pot baked potatoes as much as we do! We would love to hear how you load up your potatoes!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Campers!

With the summer starting to wind down, I thought it would be great to take my daughter camping; after all, what is summer without a camp out! (hint: it's not summer without camping! ha ha!) To make it an official summer I had to plan a trip, so last weekend we got away to the great outdoors of Grammies Wilderness (OK, OK, it was Grammies Yard, but it was still a great escape!) This was an awesome alternative to packing up and heading out somewhere, not only did it not cost me anything (besides food), it was so low stress (compared to real camping where you have to pack up food, and clothes, and equipment, etc)! My daughter and I experienced just the right amount of the "wilderness"(I like camping but I also like running water, flushing toilets and a comfy place to lay my head)! This idea of a backyard camp out is great for any age kid, from toddler to teenager, it's always fun to camp out!

First we had to set up camp! I set up the tent all by myself (the kiddo "supervised" ha ha!), and I only had to look at the directions one time! We set up our tent on the deck because I was paranoid about bugs getting in (I'm sure I really had nothing to worry about though)! We didn't have sleeping mats so we laid down the cushions from the patio furniture inside, it was actually pretty comfy!
After all the hard work of setting up the tent, there was a rumbly in our tummies! Camping makes you hungry! We built a fire so we could cook some dinner! (FYI the insides of old washing machines make fantastic fire pits!)
Though I didn't catch my own dinner, I did buy it at the grocery store. We cooked up some pork chops and fresh grown veggies from the garden in true camping fashion. We wrapped them up in foil and let the campfire do the rest.
After Dinner comes...Dessert! There is no other dessert to have while camping other than S'mores! So of course we had some and then S'more! ( I don't know if you can tell by the picture but we got the extra large marshmallows. They were gianormous!!

(If you don't have access to a fire pit or fireplace to roast your marshmallows, set up some candles and create a makeshift camp fire, it's still great fun and works good for s'mores!)

While we were sitting there watching the fire, my daughter says,"Hey Mom, shouldn't we sing a song, or tell a story or something?!" I told her I didn't have any stories so we could sing a song if she wanted. She then stated that she didn't know what song to sing, so I busted out with a bad rendition of KumBaYah ( I thought it was a great campfire song), but she looked at me like I was a weirdo! After a few more s'mores we decided to go to bed, lets face it we were both pretty excited to sleep in the tent!!

We got all snuggled in and then giggled and chatted for a while about the happenings of the day. We drifted off to sleep underneath the stars (they're really Christmas lights that are in the tree above us, we're in the city so there really aren't too many stars to see!) It was a great camp out and we both enjoyed our time together! There is something about camping that is magical and mysterious, no matter if you're in the middle of the woods, your backyard, or even in your living room!

(Even if your kids have started school, it's still technically summer! Take advantage of the great weather and do a weekend backyard campout!)