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Monday, July 6, 2015

Family-Friendly Backyard Camping Menu

This Family-Friendly Backyard Camping Menu has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OutshineSnacks #CollectiveBias

To me {and so many others}, camping is an essential part of the summertime. This was our first year taking all four of our kiddos to the great outdoors {ages 2-6} and it was quite the learning experience! The kids had a fantastic time and got an absolute kick out of sleeping under the stars, in a tent, out in the wilderness. And while my husband and I got had a great time watching our kids playing and enjoying our campground under the trees, it was a lot of work. Just being honest here; between setting up campsite, teaching the kids campground etiquette and basics and preparing food - it was far from relaxing. So, we decided to make our next camping "trip" a little easier on ourselves and create a little campground in the comfort of our own backyard. We pitched a tent, filled the patio fire-pit with wood and busted out the fold-up outdoor chairs to set-up "camp". Since we were at home I didn't need to pack an ice chest {score!} and was able to pick up some special snacks that we wouldn't normally be able to enjoy while camping without a freezer.

I made a little Family-Friendly Backyard Camping Menu, complete with an appetizer, main course and after dinner snack. We enjoyed Skewered Petite Potatoes with several dipping sauces as a starter then Honey-Mustard Chicken Campfire Sandwiches with Foil Packet Green Beans for dinner. I also grabbed a box of new Outshine Simply Yogurt Bars to snack on after our meal. Summertime camping with a delicious frozen snack? Now that is what I am talking about!

Honey-Mustard Chicken Campfire Sandwiches

These Honey-Mustard Chicken Campfire Sandwiches are a quick and delicious lunch that can be enjoyed  while camping or in the comfort of your own home! The sandwiches are prepared and then wrapped in foil before being warmed up over a campfire, bbq or home oven. They are packed with deli-sliced chicken, provolone cheese, tangy honey-mustard and crunchy fried onions - a flavor combination sure to please the crowds. These Honey-Mustard Chicken Campfire Sandwiches can be made in advance, whether you are taking them up to the woods or just preparing an at-home meal in advance. These were a hit at our house for some recent Backyard Camping!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Inside Out Upside Down Pineapple Cupcakes

These Inside Out Upside Down Pineapple Cupcakes have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias

After first watching the preview to Disney's new movie, Inside Out, I was instantly hooked! Such a fun and cute movie about something so real - emotions. After seeing the movie I was totally inspired to make these Inside Out Upside Down Pineapple Cupcakes. Oh, I totally remember being a kid and sometimes just not feeling like myself {feeling inside out + upside down!}, but having no explanation for it. It's hard being young and trying to understand why you feel the way you do - but simply not having the knowledge or experience to figure it out. It's those memories of mine that have made it the utmost importance to me that I be in tune with my kiddo's emotions. Not only is it essential for me to teach them to identify their emotions, but also be able to cope and learn from them. One of my favorite ways to connect with my kiddos is in the kitchen, whipping up something delicious while spending special one-on-one time with each other. It's a no-holds-barred time for us, we can be candid with each other - so I like to use this time to discuss how the kids may be feeling about things going on in life. To make our most recent baking adventure Inside Out-themed, I picked up these absolutely adorable Inside Out plush toys from Walmart and brought them into the kitchen for a little baking action!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cedar Plank BBQ Western Bacon Meatloaf

This Cedar Plank BBQ Western Bacon Meatloaf has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KingsfordFlavor #CollectiveBias

Every year we have a 4th of July party to celebrate Independence Day with fun, food and fireworks. This year we have a new addition to our get-together - a charcoal grill! Although we've had a gas grill for years {and it works great}, I'm ok with leaving it to the side this holiday weekend. There is just something special about starting up the charcoals in a chimney starter, smelling the smoke in the air and tasting the flavor in our food that only charcoal-cooking can create. Of course I have to show off our new charcoal grill to friends and family on the 4th of July, so I created this Cedar Plank BBQ Western Bacon Meatloaf. This recipe is sure to wow a crowd and I can't wait to serve it at our party! It's a 2lb meatloaf loaded with tangy bbq sauce, crispy bacon, fried onions and sharp cheddar cheese - cooked on a cedar plank over fiery hot charcoal briquets. It can be sliced and easily served to a crowd, making it a perfect addition to our potluck-style celebration. {and the perfect opportunity to cook with charcoal on my new grill!}