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Showing posts from 2021

Massey's Landing RV Resort and Campground Review

We had a wonderful time at Massey's Landing in Millsboro, Delaware. It is definitely a resort-style campground and that's exactly what we were looking for during this trip.  I spent more time than I'd like to admit in the swim-up bar and I loved that there was an adult section as well as a kid-only section. It might the first time I've ever been in a campground pool and not gotten splashed, that is until I ordered a special drink that ended with me getting doused with very cold water. The way this campground was set up made it very convenient to get around. Most of the activities were located in the middle which meant you really didn't need a golf cart if you strategically picked your location. If you want to spend more time at the beach, pick a spot near the beach. If you want to spend more time in the family pool, pick a quiet spot on the other end.  There were a number of activities including movies, crafts, games and a daily kid's camp. We were very impress

We share camping hacks on WTKR's Coast Live

We had the amazing opportunity to share our favorite camping hacks on WTKR's Coast Live ahead of Memorial Day weekend. See the entire segment on WTKR .  We talked about our favorite lighting hacks, easy ways to get a fire going, keeping the bugs away, meal prep and our favorite campfire desserts! Check out the video and let us know when you give these ideas a try! 

Steak bites

We love a good steak on the grill, but when you are camping, it can be hard to cut a steak on paper plates or with dull knives. For that reason we decided to give steak bites a try and we haven’t gone back. When you cut the steak into cubes you can get that delicious caramelized flavor on every side of the steak. You can also prep it ahead and freeze which makes life even easier. Ingredients: 2 steaks (I used boneless ribeye because it was on sale, but you could use any cut) 1 tbs. steak seasoning 1 tbs. veg oil 1 tbs. worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. garlic salt 1 tsp. pepper 1 tbs. butter To prep, cut beef into 1.5 inch cubes and mix with the rest of the ingredients except for the butter. From this point, you can freeze or marinate in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook you can put everything on the grill and cook for about 5-6 minutes, flipping every minute or two. I like to finish by melting the butter on top and mixing one last time. For a side, you can add a

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park: Camp Luray Review

If I didn't know any better, I would think that Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park: Camp Luray was created by a kid who knew how to have fun. This campground is the ultimate place for children of all ages. From the giant waterpark to the zip line and putt putt course, there's something for every kid to love.  We stayed in a Mountain View Red Carpet site and loved the easy access to the playground right across the street and the open field behind it.  Many of the amenities were closed because of COVID, but we were still able to have great time watching the kids live their best lives!  If you're anything like me, you want to see what your spot looks like in real life. See our extended review that shows as many spots as we could fit. In addition to the park, we really enjoyed our time on Skyline Drive. We had a great time hiking on the Appalachian Trail and taking in the scenic views. 

Cape Hatteras KOA Campground Review

  Here's an updated review for one of our favorite campgrounds, the Cape Hatteras KOA Resort in Rodanthe, NC. If you're looking for the perfect beach campground, this is the spot.  You can't beat the beach access and even though the campground was full, it really didn't feel that crazy.  Aside from the beach and sound, there are so many amenities for families. Our kids enjoyed the pool, hot tub, arcade, camp store, playground and jumping pad. One thing we forgot to mention in the video was the nightly train ride throughout the campground. That might have been the highlight of the trip! 

Long-Weekend Meal Planner

We do a lot of long-weekend camping and while it's only a few days, we still like to mix it up with the food. This meal planner was made specifically for a beach trip with great local seafood, but if that isn't available where you are going, you could always bring frozen shrimp and make a different type of taco!  Thursday: Breakfast: bacon/pancake sticks Lunch: Ham and pimento cheese sammies Dinner:   Shrimp foil packets (corn red potatoes) Friday: Breakfast:   Egg and sausage rollups Lunch:   Shrimp salad sandwiches (from leftover shrimp) Dinner: Fish tacos Saturday:   Breakfast: Sausage and egg sammies Lunch: Hatch chile wrap s from Trader Joes Dinner: Pork BBQ (make ahead and freeze) and potato salad (from leftover shrimp boil) Sunday: Breakfast: French toast casserole (make ahead)  

French Toast Casserole

I started making this french toast for Christmas morning breakfast, but it's so easy that I now make it whenever I have leftover french bread that's about to go stale. It's inspired by a Pioneer Woman recipe, but I change things up every time. For camping, I like to make it ahead and freeze in a small tin loaf pan. If it's a bigger group, I make two.  Ingredients: 1 loaf of french bread cut into cubes (best if it's a few days old) 1 cup of heavy cream (I only had 1/2 cup so I mixed it with 1/2 cup skim milk and it was fine) 1 tsp of cinnamon 6 eggs 2 tbs. sugar 2 tbs. maple syrup Topping: 4 tbs. butter 2 tbs. flour 1 tbs. sugar 2 tbs. brown sugar One of the most important things about this recipe is to let the bread dry out before you make it. If you skip this step, it won't be exactly right. Still delicious, but it won't have the perfect consistency. I like to tear the bread into quarters and leave it out for a day. When it feels firm, I cut it into cubes. 

Fish Tacos

  Every time we go to the beach, we look forward to the fresh fish we can find at local seafood markets. And of course, if you have the skills, you can catch the fish yourself! For this trip we were in the Outer Banks, so we opted for fresh caught Mahi and Tuna. We also made a few of the toppings before the trip which really cuts down the prep work.  Ingredients: 1 tuna filet 1/2 cup pickled red onions (make ahead) 4 tortillas 1 scallion chopped 1 tbs. blackening or seafood seasoning 1 lime 1 cup of cabbage slaw - you can make your own or buy the bag and bring what you need 1/2 cup chipotle cream (make ahead: sour cream and 1 tbs. chipotle in adobo) 1 mahi filet The first order of business is cubing the fish and marinating in your preferred seasoning. I like to cook it this way because you get more flavor in every bite.  Once the fish is grilled, warm up the tortillas and plate the fish in the middle. I like to cover with the cabbage slaw, sprinkle of lime juice, scallions, pickled oni

Shrimp Salad

 I started making this shrimp salad more than a decade ago. I found a variation of it in a magazine and started adding and removing things to make it to our taste and we finally have the perfect recipe. It's cool and refreshing and perfect for a summer lunch.  Ingredients: 1 lb. of shrimp chopped 1-2 ears of corn cooked on the grill and cut off the cob (we like more because it adds a little sweetness) 1 red bell pepper diced 1/2 cup pesto (you can make your own, but when we are camping we take the jarred shortcut) 1/2 cup mayo Juice of half a lemon Dash of salt and pepper This dish couldn't be easier because you just mix all of the ingredients together! I hate doing dishes so I actually put everything together in a ziploc bag and shake it up. I do recommend letting it sit together in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to allow the pesto to penetrate the shrimp and veggies. You can serve with crackers or as a sandwich. 

Egg and Sausage Roll-ups

  This idea was so simple that I couldn't resist trying it. We love anything in a tortilla!  Ingredients: Four eggs 1 cup shredded cheese Four tortillas  Half a tube of sausage (we cooked the second half at the same time for breakfast the next day) Cook the sausage and break it up like you would with ground beef. The crispy edges are the best part! Once the sausage is done, set it to the side and scramble the eggs. When they are just about done, add the cheese to the top of the eggs and warm up the tortillas. We let ours cook a little too long. You really aren't trying to brown them, just make them pliable. Once they are warm, place each tortilla on a plate. Add the eggs and sprinkle the sausage on top and roll it up!  

Shrimp Boil Foil Packets

When we are camping on the beach we always take advantage of the local seafood! Shrimp is one of our favorites and the easiest way to make it while camping is in individual shrimp boil packages. It's easy cleanup and you don't even need a plate!  Ingredients: 2 lbs. of shrimp per four people 1/2 small bag of red potatoes 3 ears of corn 2-3 tbs. Old Bay or seafood seasoning 1 lemon quartered This dish couldn't be easier. The first thing you need to do is par-cook the potatoes. I just cut them in half and throw them in a pot and boil for a few minutes or you can throw them in the microwave with a splash of water and oil for four minutes. After that, cut foil pieces about 2 feet long for each person eating. Arrange foil on the picnic table and add equal amounts of corn, potatoes and shrimp per setting. Liberally sprinkle the old bay over each packet and add a quarter of a lemon to each one. From there, all you have to do is fold up the packet and cook for about 12 minutes. We

Pancake and Bacon Sticks

My husband loves breakfast and I'm always looking for new recipes to make. I saw this idea on pinterest and had to give it a try!  Ingredients: Pancake mix (and whatever your box recommends) Bacon Syrup First thing you have to do is cook up the bacon. We make ours on a flat top grill. When I'm camping I always try to do things the easy way so for the pancakes I mixed the ingredients up in a ziploc bag then poured what I needed into a solo cup. You need a little bit of precision for this recipe, so pouring from the bag wasn't an option.  Once the bacon was cooked, I broke each piece in half and then poured the pancakes in a strip then placed the bacon on top of the batter. After each piece was done I poured a bit more batter on top. Depending on your heat, you really only need to cook it for a minute or two and flip.  We serve ours with extra bacon and syrup. The little ones love it!   

Strawberry Daiquiri

  It's officially strawberry season and I was looking for new ways to use all of our fresh berries when the thought of a strawberry daiquiri came to mind. We are always try to plan a few fun drinks during our summer trips so I thought I would test a few recipes in my ninja bullet blender. This one ended up being the winner. Super easy and so much better than the pre-made mix from the store. Recipe: 1/2 cp ice 1/4 cp sugar 1 tbs lime juice 1/2 cp lemon/lime soda 1/4 fresh strawberries 1/2 cp frozen sliced strawberries 1/4 cp rum Mix everything together until smooth. Keep a little extra soda on hand in case the ice gets stuck. 

Beautiful views and exciting adventures at Douthat State Park

Nothing will ever compare to our perfect trip to Douthat State Park in April. The weather was perfect, the people were perfect and the Lakeside Campground provided a picturesque backdrop for our vacation. We had a waterfront spot with the most unbelievable views and the sites were pretty spread out. Some were closer than others, but there was a lot more room around the sites as compared to resort-style campgrounds that look like parking lots.  The Lakeside campground was recently renovated and each site now has water and electric. The bathhouse was also renovated and included individual shower rooms, which are a plus On our first day we took a family walk around the entire lake. It was a great way to see all the park has to offer. It took about two hours, but it wasn't too hard. We were able to see the children's fishing hole, the beach and boat rentals, waterfalls and the playgrounds.  Seriously, playgrounds across America, you really need to up your game. One playground at th

Camping Meal Planner #1

When we go camping on longer trips we like to make a meal plan. If we don’t, we inevitably forget something or eat out more than we should. I’m all about efficiency, so I try to choose meals that we can have leftovers for lunch or that can be turned into a new meal. I also try to prep and freeze as much as possible. I do them all the weekend before we leave and freeze them in a Ziploc bag to save space in the fridge. The most important thing about this tip is to freeze it flat so it saves space in the freezer and defrosts quickly. Monday Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese hash brown scramble Lunch: Italian pasta salad – delicious hard salami mixed with made-ahead penne, mozzarella and Italian dressing Dinner: Cheese-stuffed burgers – beef burgers stuffed with a square of white cheddar are frozen Tuesday: Breakfast: Pancakes and sausage Lunch: Leftover burgers Dinner: Fajitas – chopped bell peppers, onions and slicked chicken are mixed with taco seasoning and frozen flat. Wednesd

Quesadillas

I love leftover meals and this is one of the best. Ingredients: 6 flour tortillas Fajita leftovers (chicken strips, red and green bell peppers, onions 1 ½ cup shredded cheese Start by reheating your leftover fajitas on the grill. You don’t want to put them in the tortilla cold because they won’t get warmed up all the way without burning the tortilla. One they are warmed through, put the tortillas on the grill, top with cheese, then fajita mixture and top with a second tortilla. Flip after about 30 seconds. The tortillas will brown quickly. As soon as it is starting to get crispy on the bottom, pull it out and cut into sections. You can top with leftover fajita condiments.

Chicken Fajitas

Nothing smells better at a campsite than fajitas on a flat-top grill. The smell is intoxicating and I promise at least one person will come by and ask what you’re cooking. To make it even easier, I prep all of the ingredients ahead of time and freeze flat in a Ziploc. I can’t stress how much space this saves in the freezer and the fridge. Ingredients: 2 chicken breasts 1 green pepper 1 red pepper 1 yellow onion 1 pack of taco seasoning 1 cup of shredded cheese ½ cup salsa The prep for this couldn’t be easier. Slice up all of the veggies and chicken into strips and place in a Ziploc bag. Mix with 1 tbs. of vegetable oil and taco seasoning pack. Get all of the air out of the bag, press it flat and seal. When it’s time to cook, just throw everything on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Serve on flour tortillas with shredded cheese and salsa.

Stromboli & Pizza

Pizza is a fun camping meal for the entire family. We make them on the flat-top grill, but you could also use a cast iron pan. We buy pre-made crusts and create a topping bar for everyone to add their favorites. You could also use a frozen pizza and do the same. Recently, we had pizza on our menu plan, but decided to change it up and make stromboli. The ingredients are the same for both. Ingredients: Pizza dough 1/2 cup pizza sauce 2 cups mozzarella cheese Mini pepperoni Stromboli: Lay the pizza crust flat and put 1/4 cup of pizza sauce on half of the dough. Add the cheese and mini pepperoni then fold over and roll the edges to keep everything inside. I like to cut a few slices/holes in the top to let the steam out. Cook on the grill or flat top for about 10-12 minutes. If you can, keep the lid on.  The key to pizza on the flat top is to cook the crust first. Just for a few minutes on each side. From there, add the sauce, cheese and topping then cook until everything is melted. It’s n

Italian pasta salad

  This easy pasta salad is perfect for a party or a picnic. I pre-cook the pasta for this salad the day before we leave. I hate doing dishes in the camper and I can give the kids butter pasta on the days they don’t want to eat what we’re eating. Ingredients: Penne pasta ½ cup Italian dressing ½ cup chopped hard salami ½ cup mozzarella balls ½ cup cherry tomatoes 1 tbsp basil leaves chopped All you have to do is mix all of the ingredients and go. I do recommend doing it a few hours ahead so that the dressing mixes with all of the ingredients.

Cinnamon bun pancakes

  We are always looking for new breakfast ideas and this one came courtesy of my husband. He saw a similar idea and wanted to give it a try. They came out great and now they are in the regular rotation. Ingredients: 1 tube of cinnamon rolls This really couldn’t be easier. Pop the tube of cinnamon rolls and place each roll on a plate. You can flatten before adding to the grill or flatten with your spatula on the pan or flat top grill. It really only takes 3-4 minutes per side. Once you pull them off, spoon that delicious topping on top and you’re done!

Sugar-Cinnamon donuts

I generally don’t deep fry anything, but all the rules are off when camping and these donuts are the perfect treat!  Ingredients:  1 can of biscuits  3 tbs. sugar  1 tbs. cinnamon (I use the Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus)  3-4 cups of vegetable or canola oil  Heat the oil to 350 in a cast iron pan or dutch oven. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil with a piece of the biscuit dough. It really only takes 10 minutes over med-high heat. Pop the can of biscuits and cute a hole out of the middle of each biscuit. I used my biscuit cutter, but you could also use a paring knife. Don’t throw the middle out, they make perfect donut holes. Cook for about thirty seconds and flip. Pull them out when they are golden brown. They cook quickly. As soon as they come out, mix the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on top.

Peel and stick backsplash hacks

From the day we purchased our new Passport 267bh, I have been dreaming about updating the backsplash. We love the camper and there are so many upgrades that come with the base model, but I have always loved the look of subway tiles. Putting them in the camper was almost a trial run for our kitchen.  I'm here today to tell you the truth about peel and stick backsplash tiles.  I kept seeing Facebook posts in every camping group saying how easy it was, but I was skeptical. It turns out, I had a reason to be skeptical. This project wasn't easy, but I didn't give up and I learned a lot along the way. I think the end product turned out great.  Here are a few hacks if you decide to give it a try: Don't be afraid to cut the tiles with sharp scissors. I tried a box cutter and it didn't work. The scissors worked just fine.  Put in the bottom row first. We initially started from bottom to top and that created many issues as the project moved along. Once you have the bottom row

They call it Sunset Beach for a reason

We visited the Cape Charles KOA , formerly known as Sunset Beach, for the first time in August of 2019. We liked it so much that we became permanent residents in 2020. We have since gone back to the traveling lifestyle, but we truly enjoyed our time at this campground.  The most attractive thing about it is its proximity to the beach. The sites are just a short walk away from the sand and shallow water of the Chesapeake Bay. It can get crowded, so you want to make sure to put down chairs early to save a spot. The campground is located right on a sandbar, so for most of the day the water is lower than waist deep. It’s a great place for kids to play and float all day long.  Right next to the beach is a fun outdoor restaurant called The Jackspot Beachside CafĂ© . The food was good, but you can’t beat the view. There’s nothing liking eating dinner or having a drink while watching the sun go down. Among our favorite meals were the steamed shrimp, coconut shrimp, fish tacos and camper’s chick

The Easter Bunny comes to the campground, but what does he bring?

We have spent many Easter celebrations at campgrounds across Virginia because the holiday usually lines up with the school spring break schedule. Despite that, the Easter Bunny always manages to find us. Traditionally, Easter baskets are filled with candy, but if you have children, you know that a sugar-filled child locked in a camper during a rain storm can wreak havoc on your rig and your sanity! For that reason, we “asked” the very generous bunny to start bringing child-friendly camping items, not just jelly beans and chocolate made in his likeness.  Here are a few of the items he has brought over the years that have helped avoid major meltdowns. When we go camping, we try not to bring the iPads, so any outdoor games are always a good idea. These yard dice are always fun and I like to think of it as math disguised as a game. Many people bring corn hole boards, but we often run out of room and the boards are heavy, so this bean bag toss is a great replacement. It’s lighter and it

Beautiful views at the Outer Banks West KOA

We recently visited the Outer Banks West - Currituck Sound KOA and it was absolutely amazing! We've never been to another campground with such great water views. Here's a full video review of our experience. From the moment we walked into what seemed like a brand new welcome center, we knew this was going to be a good trip. Everyone was so kind and check out this view from inside. It was raining at the time, but I had to snap a pic. Being close to the water wasn't the only great thing about this KOA. The playground was a massive tower and the kids spent every waking moment asking to go back.  Despite bad weather the night before, the managers blew up the bounce pad and the kids jumped out every last ounce of energy, which made for a very peaceful night of sleep!  If you don't have a camper, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy this campground. They have tent spots, RVs for rent as well as cottages. Check out the video above to take a closer look at those.  We will

COVID causes big changes for camping

Like many people across the country, when COVID hit, we had to cancel all of our travel plans. But after two months in the house with the kids, the camper started calling our name. While we wanted to get out, we wanted to do it safely. Our solution was trying out a seasonal site for the first time. We looked at a few different spots and when campgrounds started opening in May, we booked a spot for the summer at the Chesapeake Bay KOA near Cape Charles, Va.  We were having a great time, but after camping every weekend for the first month we realized that we needed more room. Our kids were getting bigger and while we loved our Viking, it was time to upgrade. With the camping boom of 2020 it was actually hard to find the right RV, but we got lucky and scored an awesome Passport 267 at TAC RV in North Carolina. The double-sized bunks, bigger bathroom, couch, and bed where nobody had to crawl over the other to get out was worth every penny. It also came with a ton of storage space, but it m