31 May 2008

Watermelon Milkshake

Easy and awesome for a warm evening cool off.

2 C. watermelon [substitute with fruit of choice]
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. ice cubes
3 T. instant pudding powder

30 May 2008

Dutch Oven Vegetables

This recipe is dead-simple and easy to modify to your liking. We simply throw a couple of steaks on the BBQ and dinner is done.

8 cups of vegetables, cut into bite size pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, mushrooms, onions, squash, green beans, red pepper)
1/4 lb. butter
1 envelope Dry onion soup mix
8 oz grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Add vegetables to Dutch Oven and replace lid. Put 24 coals under Dutch oven until steaming and then pull away half the coals. When veggies are tender but no overcooked remove most of the excess liquid and sprinkle on the cheese.

The cheese combined with the onion soup mix and veggie water make a very tasty sauce.

We also tried this recipe in foil packs, directly on the fire and it worked beautifully.

25 May 2008

Dutch Oven Pie

Our camping buddies brought a yummy, pre-made cherry pie that needed to be baked. To turn our Dutch oven into a simple 350° oven, we put 8 glowing briquettes underneath the oven and 12 on the lid. Like magic, baked pie for dessert, around an open fire.

24 May 2008

Mountain Babe Camping Brunch


OK. So it started to sprinkle on our last day of camping. I planned on having this breakfast before we left on that day but it turned out to be more prudent to pack up and head into town for the nearest Tim Hortons instead. So, we made this recipe using our Dutch oven inside our regular oven (350°) at home, the following night for dinner. We followed all the below instructions except the whole briquette-thingy part. You can try almost any Dutch oven recipe at home this way. Here is the recipe in its traditional form:

1 – 1 C. bacon or sausage pieces leftover from previous meals
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 C. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C. red peeper, diced
1 C. potatoes/yam/cauliflower combination leftovers, cut into bite-sized pieces
S + P
8 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Combine the meat and vegetable ingredients in Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake using 6 briquettes bottom and 10–12 briquettes top for 30 minutes.

Pour eggs on top. Cover for another 20 minutes until eggs are done. Sprinkle cheese on top and replace lid until melted.

23 May 2008

Dutch Oven Pull Apart Bread


I found this gem on Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes. This is a labour intensive endeavor. It couldn't be more of a contrast to the Pineapple Dump Cake posted earlier in terms of the effort required. But if you like the idea of hanging around the campsite, chilling at the picnic table while kneading dough and making individual bread balls ... it's all worth it in its delicious end.

5 C. bread flour
3 granny smith apples; peeled and chopped
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. raisins
2 T. active dry yeast
3/4 C. walnuts, chopped
2 t. salt
1 1/2 T. ground cinnamon
1 3/4 C. warm milk
1/2 T. ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted
3 T. butter, melted

1/2 C. butter, melted
2 C. powdered sugar
3/4 C. sugar
2 T. hot water
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract

DOUGH Combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add milk, eggs, and butter, beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour, 1 cup at a time. Knead dough for 5-7 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Place dough in greased bowl, cover and place in a warm area until dough has doubled in size.

FILLING Combine apples, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir until brown sugar has coated fruit.

COATING Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

IT ALL COMES TOGETHER Punch dough down and cut into thirds. Cut each third into 16 pieces. Make a small 2-3" circle. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center and wrap dough around pinching edges together to form a ball. Dip in melted butter and roll in cinnamon/sugar coating. Place in 10" Dutch oven starting around the outside working towards the middle until bottom of oven is covered. Spoon 3/4 cup filling over top of balls. Repeat. Cover and let raise for 30 minutes.

Bake using 8-10 briquettes bottom and 18-20 briquettes top for 30-40 minutes rotating oven and lid every 5-10 minutes until bread is golden. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes with the lid on before flipping onto a serving platter. Drizzle frosting over top and sides of bread.

Good luck. Have fun. Happy kneading.

22 May 2008

Dutch Oven Dump Cake

We found this recipe on one of my new fave sites The Pioneer Woman via our buddy J-Mc. It goes through an extensive step by step on how to make this easy-peezy dessert in your oven at home. Here we modified the recipe for our Dutch oven.

1 can Pineapple with juice, rings or crushed
1 can Cherry pie filling
1 box Cake mix [yellow or white]
1 stick Butter
1 Whipped cream [optional]

Combine Pineapple and cherries in the bottom of 10-inch Dutch oven. Sprinkle cake mix on top breaking up cake chunks, if desired. Cut up butter and place on top. That's right, no need to stir up the cake mix or add any additional liquid. I had my doubts too. But it works.

Replace lid and put about 6 hot briquettes under and 14 on top. Bake until the cake is done in the centre, checking after around 20-30 minutes. The cake shrinks from the sides a little when it's done. Remove the lid and serve warm.

21 May 2008

Lovin' the Oven: Camping with a Dutch Oven

This is our Dutch oven. [Note: it doesn't have anything to do with you and your husband under a blanket]. You can also see the handy dandy lid lifter that doubles as a fire poker and tongs which we use to move the coals around.

Key features of our dutch oven are:
· 3 feet on the bottom so we can put coals underneath it
· lip on the lid so the coals won't roll off
· 10" across. It seems that most recipes assume a 12 inch and so we modify the number of briquettes required appropriately.

In this photo, you can also see our briquette lighting tower. Put a handful of paper in the bottom, the number of briquettes you need for your recipe in the top, light the paper, wait about 10 – 15 minutes and your briquettes are ready to go.

This is what it looks like in action. The cast iron gets very, very hot, which is why we like lid lifter. We also have a pair of welding gloves that come in handy.

We've been testing all kinds of Dutch Oven recipes and I can't wait to document them here, such as Pineapple Dump Cake and Mountain Babe Brunch. So much fun!

You can see all the recipes and activities we do camping here.

Check out Back Woods Home for the Seven Secrets of Dutch Oven Cooking.

20 May 2008

The Ziploc Love Continues

After a long and smokey camping weekend my extra large Ziplocs became a little, well, smelly, frankly. So I decided to run them through the wash, on the gentle cycle and with a smidge of soap. And it worked! And now they are as fresh as plastic daisies. Time to pack away the freshly washed linens for our next camping trip. Ahhhhh. My love goes on.

16 May 2008

Hearting Ziplocs

We're almost finished packing up for our first camping of the season. And nothing makes me happier than three bundles of Spud's outfits for the weekend, tidily packaged in Ziplocs. It's a little unnatural how happy it makes me. But there you have it.

15 May 2008

Time Capsule

Spud noticed this on the shelf the other day. I explained to him that we sealed it after his first birthday and it's not to be opened until he's 18 years old. "Is that a long time?" he asked, and "What's in there?". I tried my best to explain but it's definitely time to tuck it away.

So, what's in there? Shhh. It's a secret. And actually, I've tried to forget so it will be a little bit of a surprise for me too. But, among other things, I know that we had some baby keepsakes from the hospital, his first pair of shoes, and a guest book from his first birthday party where each guest wrote in a little message to his future self.

Only 14 years to go.

14 May 2008

Saving Birthday Cards

Simple. Oh so simple. And tidy. If it were any more complicated I just might not get around to it year after year. So it suits me fine. After each of Spud's birthdays, I collect his cards, punch a hole in the same corner of each one, and tie a ribbon. It holds them all together. And each one is still accessible. Done.

13 May 2008

Learning Lowercase Letters


This site has 4 levels of fun for learning to read. Spud is really enjoying the first level called ABCs. After choosing a letter in the alphabet he is treated to a little interactive feature of that letter ending in a simple game highlighting the difference between upper and lower case.

10 May 2008

Maritime Museum


For the boat buffs. Climb aboard the RCMP's St. Roch, the first boat to completely circumnavigate North America. It's housed inside this triangular building, the Maritime Museum, near the Space Centre.

And there are loads of models to admire.

And interactive displays.

Spud's favourite part was playing captain of a container ship.

Check out this post for some links and details on lunching at nearby Granville Island.

07 May 2008

Friday Night Short: Tubby the Tuba

Well, the Tubby the Tuba book/CD from the library was enough for my son to declare that he wanted to play violin, 'trahbone' and saxophone. This was a year ago and he still talks about owning and playing these instruments. Our dear friend Kim found this gem on YouTube. It's the original animation from the 70s based on the original song from the 40s. It's 10 minutes long ... perfect amount to get some laundry in the washing machine.

It appears the YouTube link is broken but you can find it here.

06 May 2008

Camping Orange Muffins

We're gearing up for camping season. Our first trip is in 2 weeks and it's time start the meal planning. This one's a fave from last year.

· Oranges [bigger is better in this case and thick skins will serve you well]
· Muffin Mix [store bought or from your kitchen at home]
· Foil wrap [The foil helps keep it all together and gives you a handle for rotating around the coals]

1. Slice off the top of each orange.

2. Scoop out the orange flesh [you can add to a fruit salad later]. Keep the skin as intact as possible.

3. Spoon in muffin batter into each orange. Allow room for rising; about 3/4". Replace the orange lid.

4. Wrap in tin foil in such a way that you can make a handle at the top of each orange.

5. Place in the coals of your campfire for 20 minutes or so.

6. When done, peel open your moist and delicately orange-flavoured muffin and enjoy.

05 May 2008

Protecting Kids Online

Well, with my little guy being a new proud owner of his own wee computer, I have to say that I've been thinking about what we should do to protect him from accidentally stumbling across something that needs an overly complicated explanation, if you know what I mean. And as I think about it, I get closer to the reality of him getting older and even actively lookin' for trouble.

My husband found the results to a recent review on the relationship between children and new technology. It's called the Byron Review — Children and New Technology [2008]. In a nutshell, the report suggests that both technology and government need to step up and do their part in keeping children safe [i.e. reforming the classification system etc]. But ultimately parents can't be overly reliant on those efforts alone.

So do we simply forbid him from using the internet at all? Well, not that his daddy would ever agree to that, but it also seems impractical ... and a shame really. Like tossing the wee one out with the bath water, so to speak.

The report's lead, Dr Tanya Byron, Clinical Psychologist, says it like this: "Children and young people need to be empowered to keep themselves safe – this isn’t just about a top-down approach. Children will be children – pushing boundaries and taking risks. At a public swimming pool we have gates, put up signs, have lifeguards and shallow ends, but we also teach children how to swim".

Nicely said.

· Byron Review urges Government, Industry and Parents to Work Together to Help Make Children Safer in

· The Best Way to Protect Kids Online is to Educate Parents

· Key To Protecting Kids Online? Talk!

· Protecting Kids Online is a Family Affair

04 May 2008

Fort Langley


Less than an hour away from downtown Vancouver, Fort Langley is a 150 year old fur trade post and ultimately where the province of British Columbia officially became a colony.

We enjoyed running about the grounds and exploring the insides of the various buildings, each one sporting all kinds of period items.

The staff, dressed in period attire, love to answer questions. The blacksmith was most entertaining, as he demonstrated his craft using 150 year old technology. He also has plenty to say about the politics of the time.

And then a little panning for gold.


We packed a simple picnic of crudité and PB+J sannies. There are picnic tables outside with a view of the train tracks. We counted 118 cars in one of the trains going by. If the weather isn't cooperating then there are several eateries in the little nearby town.

02 May 2008

Free Online Kids Books

A list of great places to find great books. Some you download, in various forms. And some you 'flip' through online. All free.

1. Children's Books Forever
2. Manybooks
3. Google Book Search
4. Project Gutenberg
5. Magic Keys
6. Planet PDF
7. Wowio

01 May 2008

A Store of Crafty Bits


It's called Urban Source and it's fabulous. I hope every town has one of these or something like it. It's at 3126 Main Street in Vancouver and has pretty regular hours. They receive new reclaimed arty materials regularly so it's really never the same store twice.

There are things you can buy by the piece or you can fill a fixed price grab bag with the bits to create your own cards, decorations, costumes, crafts, props or jewelery. It's also a good place to find cool containers and wrapping paper.

This time we were really focussed and left with a sheet of mylar, some strong magnets, a metallic pen, some sticky back foam, and a plastic stencil. The last time we went with Spud and we gave him a $5 brown bag to fill with all the random bits he wanted. Most of it ended up in my "art junk" shoe box for future crafty projects. And some of it incorporated itself into his toy box; like the 2 dozen foamy little black marshmallows, as he calls them. They make great cargo for his various vehicles to move about.

Related Posts with Thumbnails