Let the fun begin!

KOA Shelby/Mansfield

Yay! We have waited patiently, and it has arrived… our first camping trip of the season.

This trip was different then any trip thus far because of the length of stay, totaling 4 nights & 5 days. It was worth it!!! I love our weekend trips, but staying the extra few days (which is rarely possible), we were really able to unwind and relax to the max.

I have already written and raved about the Shelby/Mansfield KOA so I won’t bore you with the details. But…as I have mentioned before, it really is a beautiful camping “resort”. The only down fall is the amount of additional activities that are available for additional cash. From laser tag, candy bar bingo, zip lining, golf cart rentals, water boat rentals, gift shop, cafe, mini golf… you get the point, it can get a little pricey. Since we stayed an extra two days than normal, we did get sucked into all these “extras”. All said, when you are riding the 4 person peddle bike and your 3 year old turns around and says, ” dis perfect day guys” and later in the night while resting by the fire your 6 year old says “this is an amazing camping trip”, you suck up the $$ and realize how awesome the time is together.  t

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My parents came with us for our first trip out this season. They have not invested in a camper as of yet (it is just a matter of time and maybe retirement). But… they did invest in a tent that fits to their truck bed. Minus the serious wind storm the last night of the trip, they enjoyed it. Tent camping is not for everyone, but they had a great time and we, of course, loved having them with us.

I forget to mention, Levi turned 6 years old while we were out. I can’t believe it, I still haven’t come to accept it. My first born, my blue-eyed baby, my cuddle bug, …is 6 years old… wow! I am still coming to terms with the fact that he will be a kindergartener this year. He loved celebrating his birthday at the campsite. The facility even made a special ‘Happy Birthday Levi’ sign on their television announcement board in their cafe. He felt pretty special.

(Even Benny was spoiled by Nana and Pa… they bought him a half-birthday birthday gift)

Birthday Man! Levi 6 years old!

….Ok, on to the food!

Pancakes

I can’t say I was overly adventurous this trip out. My mom brought an amazing recipe for pancakes. Even Levi got in on the prepping and making of these delicious treats.

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The recipe comes from an amazing cafe located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio called the Blue Door Cafe & Bakery. I don’t get the privilege to go very often (it is usually busy and my children aren’t at that “I don’t mind waiting because the food is so good” stage). Everything they serve is from scratch and they use a lot of local ingredients in their food.

http://bluedoorcafebakery.com

Campfire Pizza

Last year I made these with my homemade pizza dough… I decided I would just buy store-bought crust, which ended up being very mediocre. Brian actually had purchased a ‘Boboli’ pizza crust that I turned my nose up to, but in all honesty it was better then this ‘Stonefire authentic flatbread crust’ pictured below.

I toasted the side I would be putting all the toppings on first. Then removed it from the fire, flipped it over and added the toppings. I enclosed the entire pizza with foil to help the cheese melt.

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(We used these beautiful left over kabobs from Fridays Dinner for pizza toppings)

Dessert Time! 

I made these last year, but in cookie form. I prepped the cookie dough a couple days before we left and kept it in a gallon sized plastic bag in my fridge. I used a foil pie pan with cooking spray and spread the dough evenly. I wanted to cook this “cookie pie” over the fire. I added foil over the pie pan to lock in the heat to help the cookie bake evenly. It took a total of about 15 to 20 minutes to make. About half way through I sprinkled marshmallows over the top. But to be honest I could of just mixed them in from the start, I don’t think  they would of burned.

 

(Not pictured our the mini marshmallows you add at the last five minutes).

http://www.wholebiteblog.com/new-blog/2016/5/28/smores-oatmeal-cookies

| Ingredients |

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (or milk chocolate if you want a more legit s’more flavor)
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows

| Instructions |

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until almost, but not fully, combined.
  • Add the oats and graham crumbs and mix until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
  • Chill dough at least 30 minutes. Once dough has chilled, scoop onto prepared baking sheets using a 2 tbsp. scoop and bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown around the edges and slightly pale in the center. In the last 5 minutes of baking, place mini marshmallows on top of each cookie, pressing them into the dough a little bit to make sure they don’t roll off.
  • Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Lots of fun and great memories! Till next time…

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