Archive for My thoughts

Meal Garden’s Healthy Eating Bundle

Hi everyone!

I’m really looking forward to the New Year! How about you? What will you be doing this New Year’s Eve?? Thankfully, this year I’ll be able to spend it with my little sister Allie! She and her boyfriend are coming up here to visit. I’m SUPER EXCITED!!!

You may like to make New Year’s resolutions but, if you’re like me, you’d rather make goals for yourself…at any time of the year. I don’t know about you, but I tend to accomplish more that way.

Whether you’re a resolution maker, a goal setter, or neither, I have an amazing opportunity for you that will help you to be a healthier you! It comes to you from Meal Garden, a GREAT web site that I’ve had the pleasure of working with that provides meal plans and hundreds of recipes that include the nutritional value. You can put the recipes you like into your cookbook to go back to them at any time. The meal plans also generate a shopping list for you (which I’m really excited about) so you save that step!

Right now, Meal Garden is offering the Healthy Eating Bundle for $19.95. It includes a one-year subscription to Meal Garden (a $45 value!) and a host of exclusive content!

So, to recap, this awesome deal includes:

  1. A one-year ($45 value) subscription to Meal Garden
  2. A huge database of recipes (including slow-cooker, vegetarian, kid-friendly, family, budget, and many more)
  3. Meal plans that you can edit to suit your needs/preferences (or create your own meal plan)
  4. An automatically generated shopping list
  5. Connection to meal experts to help you on your food/healthy eating journey

Here are just a few comments about Meal Garden:

“Someone has finally thought of everything I could possibly need to make healthy meals a reality for me and my family!  This is a life changing and sanity saving app, I’m here for life!”

– Genyne, Meal Gardener since 2016

“I have become addicted to using Meal Garden for many reasons. I love the amount of recipes that are available and the different skill levels that it offers.”

Lauren

“Meal Garden has been such a life-saver as I transition to a more whole-foods lifestyle…I am thankful for the tool but even more so – the community of support!”

Kim M

What do I, personally, like about Meal Garden?? We have friends who are vegetarian so it’s nice to be able to find so many recipes in one place that I can prepare when they come over. Also, the variety of recipes makes it super easy for me to customize my own meal plans. I love the fact that the recipes and meal plans have a health rating and include the nutritional info. Another plus for me is the automatically generated shopping list…I find that WAY cool!

All this for just $19.95! You can save money and eat healthier at the same time! 🙂

Also, if you sign up using my special link, I’ll receive a little financial benefit to help fund my coffee obsession (I should buy stock in Keurig!). Thank you SO MUCH for your support!!!

And, as always, Happy Cooking!

~Renee

Some of the yummy recipes I have contributed as a Meal Garden meal expert:

Yummy smoothie! (And, the color is only from the cherries...no red dye here!)

Cherry Almond Smoothie

Taking them out carefully!

Gorilla Waffles

Fresh out of the oven...looking delicious!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super delicious soup! :)

Chicken Taco Soup 🙂

**CONTENT AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2016

All rights reserved.

#mealgarden #mealplanning #mealprep #yummygoodness #recipes #vegetarian #kidfriendly #budgetfriendly #chicken #beef #maindish #greatvalue #newyear #newyearsresolutions #healthyeating #goals

Meal Planning With Meal Garden

Hi Everybody!

If you didn’t already know, I wanted to tell you about an awesome website I’ve just begun working with called Meal Garden. With it, you can get loads of healthy recipes, group them together into recipe collections, get the nutritional info on each recipe and plan meals ahead. You can customize your meal plans and it even puts together a shopping list for you.

They offer a trial period so you can check out and enjoy all its amazing features risk free for the first 14 days.

You can sign up and start getting the great recipes by using my unique link below:

https://www.mealgarden.com/signup/reg-create-psw/?join=46&no=l

OR

You can also follow the link to one of my recipe collections to sign up:

https://www.mealgarden.com/recipe/collection/breakfast-yummies/

Here are some of my own recipes that are in the collection. I've included some awesome recipes from other folks as well.

Here are some of my own recipes that are in the collection. I’ve included some awesome recipes from other folks as well.

When I first checked out Meal Garden, I was so excited to see all the great recipes and loved that I could customize it so much. I know you’ll love it too!

Happy Cooking!

~Renee

**CONTENT AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2016

All rights reserved.

#recipes #meals #mealplanning #shoppinglist #healthy #healthylifestyle #nutrition #nutritionalinfo #breakfast #lunch #dinner #snacks #homecooking #homemade

 

Mother’s Day/Birthday Trip To Virginia

Hi everybody!

I’ve been pretty busy lately but I haven’t forgotten you! (I could never do that!) Even though I’ve had a lot going on, I’ve still been thinking up all these food ideas. I’ll be sharing those recipes soon enough but, for now, I’m sharing some of my solo trip to see family and friends in Virginia.

This is the third year in a row that I’ve taken a solo trip to Virginia. The first time around, I joked with my youngest daughter Hannah that I was gonna make it a tradition…it seems like I did! It’s wonderful to have time with each of my sisters and with my mom, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, etc! (I miss a lot living so far away.)

I took my trip on Amtrak. Some people tell me they’re not sure about the train. To me, it’s pretty relaxing! (Every time I try to read, it lulls me to sleep!) Yes, it takes longer than driving (not too much longer) but I enjoy it more. I really like the fact that I can get up and stretch my legs, go to the bathroom, or even get something to eat while I’m still moving along towards my goal!

I’ve also met some really nice people along the way. I became friends on Facebook and still keep in touch with a sweet lady I met on my first trip. She & her son are awesome and now she has another son.

The conductors on the train have all been really nice. They do their job well but they’re also friendly and joke around too. It’s nice to see the camaraderie between them. Most of them I remember from all the train trips I’ve taken. One of them is even from a town close to my hometown in southeastern Virginia…small world, isn’t it?!

The day after I got home, Hannah got her learner’s permit. It’s an awesome accomplishment…and, at the same time, a little terrifying! It’s a milestone in her life…and mine too…I mean, my BABY can drive now! YIKES, where has the time gone??!!!! (And, no, I’m NOT OLD…even if this makes me feel like it! LOL)

Now, on with the pictures! I tried not to include too many here but it was really HARD! (I didn’t happen to get any pics on/of the train though…next time!) I did include a pic of Hannah in her prom dress though. She and her BFF attended the local homeschool prom on the 13th, which also happened to be my birthday. She’s gorgeous…and, yes, I WILL beat off the boys…with a 2×4 if necessary! 🙂

I’ll be posting an awesome recipe soon (hopefully later this week) but, til then I hope you enjoy my VA photos!

Love ya!

~Renee

At good ole TJ Maxx with my little sister. :)

At good ole TJ Maxx with my little sister. 🙂

The boardwalk heading to the beach. It was really cold that morning! (But, yes, I wanted to go anyway!)

The boardwalk heading to the beach. It was really cold that morning! (But, yes, I wanted to go anyway!)

Pretty waves...even though it was cold, it was still calming.

Pretty waves…even though it was cold, it was still calming.

I couldn't catch the biggest waves at the right time, but the surf was pretty rough!

I couldn’t catch the biggest waves at the right time, but the surf was pretty rough!

Here I am, trying not to shiver!

Here I am, trying not to shiver!

One of my great-nieces (who's 7) thought MY cup needed a little extra "flair". Nevermind that she didn't put the "i"in Bieber...I took a pic so Hannah (who's a HUGEEEE JB fan) could cherish it. Haha!

One of my great-nieces (who’s 7) thought MY cup needed a little extra “flair”. Nevermind that she didn’t put the “i”in Bieber…I took a pic so Hannah (who’s a HUGEEEE JB fan) could cherish it. Haha!

My lil sis and me at Mama's after a walk around our childhood home town.

My lil sis and me at Mama’s after a walk around our childhood home town.

Me, my older sis Lisa and my mom.

Me, my older sis Lisa, and my mom.

Watch out folks! Hannah has her learner's permit...there's no stopping her now!

Watch out folks! Hannah has her learner’s permit…there’s no stopping her now!

My gorgeous baby in her beautiful prom dress.

My gorgeous baby in her beautiful prom dress.

**CONTENT AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2016

All rights reserved.

#virginia #virginiaisforlovers #amtrak #train #family #friends #beach #virginiabeach #waves #justinbieber #prom #driving

 

Apple Picking Fun!

Hey everybody!

It’s getting to be that time of year again…the weather is cooler, the nights are crisp, the leaves are beginning to do their “magical” change, annnnd the apples are ready! I LOVE making yummy things from fresh apples! And, rest assured, I’ll be sharing some great apple recipes in the near future! (My mind’s already ticking away!)

This past Friday, my daughter Hannah, some of our friends, and I went apple picking at A & M Farm Orchard in Midland, OH. They have MANY rows of trees and so many varieties to choose from…Jonathan, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Melrose, Granny Smith to name just a few!

We enjoyed time together with friends as well as picking so many delicious apples to bring home! (I snagged a few pie pumpkins too!) The Jonathan apples we picked came off of a tree that’s over 80 years old! (They have lots more Jonathan trees, but I couldn’t resist getting ours off that wonderful old tree!) 🙂

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the pictures from our apple picking day and, if you’re ever near Midland, OH during apple picking season, you should stop by A & M Farm Orchard to get some delicious apples and have a great time!

See y’all again soon!

~Renee

The Apple House...filled with LOTS of yummy things...bags of apples (for those who don't want to pick all their apples), pie pumpkins, apple chips, snacks and all kinds of goodies.

The Apple House…filled with LOTS of yummy things…bags of apples (for those who don’t want to pick all their apples), pie pumpkins, apple chips, snacks and all kinds of goodies.

Just a few of the MANY rows of apple trees here at the farm.

Just a few of the MANY rows of apple trees here at the farm.

As you can see, they number the rows to make it easier for you to find which kind of apples you'd like to pick. We had made it to row 10 (so far).

As you can see, they number the rows to make it easier for you to find which kind of apples you’d like to pick. We had made it to row 10 (so far).

My view looking up into the 80+ year old Jonathan apple tree. This tree is HUGE.

My view looking up into the 80+ year old Jonathan apple tree. This tree is HUGE.

Our friend Cami helping me get apples. Thanks Cami!

Our friend Cami helping me get apples. Thanks Cami!

Look at the LOADS of yummy apples!

Look at the LOADS of yummy apples!

#apples #applepicking #goodfriends #orchard #Fall

**PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

 

The Miracle of Meko

Hi everybody!

I do have a good recipe I wanna share but I have a few “tweaks” I want to do to it first. I’ll share it as soon as I get a chance.

But today I’m gonna share a very heart-warming story. I don’t know whether you believe in God or not but we do and I feel like this story is truly a miracle…

First, a little background info:

My daughter Hannah has wanted a husky for a long time. She had tried on MANY occasions to talk her daddy into getting her one. The answer was always no…we don’t need a big dog in the house…they shed really bad…we have a cat and that may not work out so well…and the reasons continued.

Hannah’s “plan” (if she ever got a husky) was to name him Neko. She’d work with him, train him, brush him and keep him groomed…and her biggest idea…he would sleep in her room with her every night.

Without going into a lot of detail, suffice it to say that she tried just about EVERYTHING in the book to get her wish…all to no avail. Numerous times she became despondent. I told her not to give up hope and to keep praying about it. (I prayed it would all work out too.)

Then, one day Hannah & I were sitting at Applebee’s and out of the blue one of the servers that we knew came up and asked “Don’t y’all want a dog?” My first thought was “Oh no…here we go again.” 

Of course Hannah asked what kind of dog and was EXTREMELY excited to know that one of the two choices was a Husky. Tonja told us that he had been a rescue that they could no longer keep, that he had been neutered, he wasn’t one of the bigger Huskies, and he came with a kennel, some food, a food & water dish, AND an invisible fence. 

Just those things made it interesting but… we found out two more things that made it seem like it was “written in the stars”…he was FREE and, amazingly, his name was Meko. (Remember Hannah wanted to name him Neko??)

Even so, I tried to prepare Hannah that Daddy might still say no. Her answer was “Oh my gosh, there IS a God! It seems meant to be! I think Daddy’ll say yes.” So, we called Daddy right away, told him all the unbelievable details. (I tried to talk fast! Heehee!) Then, there was silence on the other end of the phone…

Of course, I was thinking he was shaking his head in exasperation and I didn’t know what to think. The rest of the conversation went like this:

Daddy: “I guess y’all are waiting for me to say yes, right?”

*short silence*

Me: “Umm, I just wanted to know what you think…”

Daddy: “Yes.”

Me (admittedly stunned): “Are you SERIOUS?!!!”

*Hannah BAWLING uncontrollably in the passenger seat*

Daddy: “Yes, she can get him.”

Me: “Hannah’s BAWLING over here!! OMGosh, she’s making ME cry!!!”

Daddy (laughing): “I can hear her!”

We said our goodbyes and I think Hannah cried for a good 10 minutes. When she finally stopped, we talked about what a miracle that was!

Meko is now one of the family…we wouldn’t trade him for anything! He’s a good boy, although he can be pretty stubborn too. He gets along really well with our 10 year old Dachshund Scooby (aka Uncle Scooby). Tiger Lilly (our cat) doesn’t like him…but the ONLY dog she likes is Scooby. (As for Meko, we’re not sure if he wants to play with Tiger Lilly…or eat her…so we keep Meko and her separated.) 

Hannah has definitely felt blessed to get a Husky and that he’s such a good dog. She does brush him a lot…and she voluntarily vacuums a lot! She really loves Meko…more than life, according to her. She teaches him tricks and he loves her so much too.

Oh yeah! And, Meko DOES sleep in her room every night! (He’s spoiled rotten! LOL)

I hope our story warms your heart as much as it does ours!!!

(Remember, I’ll post another recipe soon!)

I love each of you,

~Renee

OMGosh! How can that face not melt your heart?!

OMGosh! How can that face not melt your heart?!

Meko chillin' in the back seat, getting ready to go in for a check up. (Is it just me...or does anyone else notice the "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?" look on his face?) LOL!

Meko chillin’ in the back seat, getting ready to go in for a check up. (Is it just me…or does anyone else notice the “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout Willis?” look on his face?) LOL!

Pretty boy...looking like a wolf.

Pretty boy…looking like a wolf.

Meko with his little "mini me" stuffed wolf.

Meko with his little “mini me” stuffed wolf.

Sometimes I just wanna cuddle with Mommy.

Sometimes I just wanna cuddle with Mommy.

Awww! Look at Meko smile...he loves his family...especially Mommy!

Awww! Look at Meko “smile”…he loves his family…especially Mommy!

For a big boy, he sure can curl up into a tight little ball!

For a big boy, he sure can curl up into a tight little ball!

After my mommy brushes me, there's always LOTS of hair!

After my mommy brushes me, there’s always LOTS of hair!

Hmm...it seems we have two beggars at the dinner table! (Uncle Scooby is the lil Dachshund.)

Hmm…it seems we have two beggars at the dinner table! (Uncle Scooby is the lil Dachshund.)

My gorgeous Hannah with her beautiful fur baby Meko. (aka her miracle) :)

My gorgeous Hannah with her beautiful fur baby Meko. (aka her miracle) 🙂

**STORY AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Birthday/Mother’s Day Trip ’15

Hey everyone!

Long time no see, eh? Sorry for my absence lately…it’s been CRAZY BUSY around here! Among other things, I went on a solo trip to see my family in Virginia, like I did last year. I said then, “Maybe this should become a yearly tradition for me” and I’m thinking that sounds like a GREAT plan! Unless you ask my 15 year old…Hahaha! (She had to cook, clean & do all my chores.) 🙂

I went by train May 1st, went and saw my lil sis in Virginia Beach, then went to Mama’s. I was able to stay til May 10th, which was super nice! The only real “down” side was I was traveling (including a layover) ALL day on Mother’s Day. (I finally arrived home at 12:35am so technically it wasn’t Mother’s Day any more.)

I had such an AWESOME time seeing all my family again…and being able to spend special time with both my sisters while I was there!!! I had a blast seeing all my nieces, nephews and their kids too! (Aunt Nay Nay loves y’all to the moon and back!)

I’ll be posting a new recipe (or 2!) soon, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the pics from my 2015 Virginia Trip!

With much love,

~Renee

Our walk in to the beach. Such beautiful waves! There were several dudes surfing that day...in wet suits cuz it was kinda cold.

Our walk in to the beach. Such beautiful waves! There were several dudes surfing that day…in wet suits cuz it was kinda cold.

Here I am...crows' feet and all!

Here I am…crows’ feet and all!

My lil sis & me. (I love this pic of us!) The wind kept blowing our hair in our faces, but did we care? Nope, not that day! :)

My lil sis & me. (I love this pic of us!) The wind kept blowing our hair in our faces, but did we care? Nope, not that day! 🙂

Beautiful day at Johnson's Mill Pond!

Beautiful day at Johnson’s Mill Pond!

My "big" sis & me. <3

My “big” sis & me. <3

Aww...I love my sistahs so much!!!

Aww…I love my sistahs so much!!!

I love this picture too! Mama, my sisters and me clowning around.

I love this picture too! Mama, my sisters and me clowning around.

The pretty shells my lil sis Allie & I gathered this time around. (The ones from last yr are in their own place.)

The pretty shells my lil sis Allie & I gathered this time around. (The ones from last yr are in their own place.)

 

Outer Banks, Etc

Howdy folks!

I didn’t get a recipe posted last weekend and here’s why:

We had been planning a vacation for my hubby, my daughters Jenny and Hannah, and me for a couple months and it was finally getting down to the wire…almost go time.

My intention was to post a nice recipe for y’all right before we left. (I had even taken pics and everything!) But, alas, I didn’t get ALL the things on my to-do list done. Sorry…BUT I hope you enjoy my account and the pics of our vacation.

Who knows? Maybe it’ll have you wanting to go there too…We went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Such a beautiful place…with so many friendly people! (And, being at the beach is always good therapy for me!)

First, we went for an early morning (2 hour!) horse ride at Equine Adventures. They have some really beautiful horses. We had a great guide…she didn’t even seem “ruffled” in the least by my nervousness at one point (okay, maybe you could say “terror” for a few minutes when my horse wanted to keep up with the other…faster…horses and I did NOT. Hahaha!)…thank God for her patience! Their web site is equineadventures.com…you should check them out!

After our ride, the girls took a much needed nap and Mike and I headed over to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It wasn’t open (til May) so I didn’t get to climb all those steps…but really wanted to!

A little later on, we got to visit with my step-daughter Crystal and her family who live there. We hadn’t seen them in so long and it was an AWESOME visit! (We’ll have to go back some time in the near-future…hint, hint Honey!) 🙂 Regretfully, I forgot to get pics of all of us together, but next time!

After all the excitement in OBX, we headed to Mama’s house in VA. As usual, our visit was over WAYYY too quickly but it was so nice to see my family! I love and miss them so much!!!

Anyway, I’ll post another yummy recipe soon! In the meantime, here are some of the vacation pics. I hope you like them!

~Renee

 

Here we are...all happy campers. So glad the sun came out long enough for our ride!

Here we are…all happy campers. So glad the sun came out long enough for our ride!

Beautiful girl, beautiful horse, beautiful scenery

Beautiful girl, beautiful horse, beautiful scenery

What a big, beautiful smile...looks like somebody's happy her Mama planned this vacation! ;)

What a big, beautiful smile…looks like somebody’s happy her Mama planned this vacation! 😉

Lovin' the beach!

Lovin’ the beach!

My Handsome Honey walking his horse in the water's edge.

My Handsome Honey walking his horse in the water’s edge.

Running alongside our guide.

Running alongside our guide.

Jenny's pretty chill on her horse. I think everybody (except me) was a natural.

Jenny’s pretty chill on her horse. I think everybody (except me) was a natural.

Hey, I survived my eager horse! Hahaha!

Hey, I survived my eager horse! Hahaha!

My gorgeous oldest baby girl.

My oldest baby girl.

It was awesome to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse up close! I wish it'd been open already...I really wanted to climb all the way up!

It was awesome to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse up close! I wish it’d been open already…I really wanted to climb all the way up!

Hannah found a pretty conch shell.

Hannah found a pretty conch shell.

Jenny and Hannah comparing shells.

Jenny and Hannah comparing shells.

I'm reflecting...and trying not to freeze! (The wind was so cold my hands were getting numb.)

I’m reflecting…and trying not to freeze! (The wind was so cold my hands were getting numb.)

**PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

My Thoughts On Love and Loss…

Today I don’t have a recipe to share…just some thoughts on love and loss…Sunday night my mother-in-law lost the battle that she’s been fighting so long. We laid her to rest yesterday. (That’s why I haven’t posted recently.)

Mrs Jean Norris was such an amazing, strong woman! She was such a fighter and I’ve seen her go through MANY health problems and illnesses that most people would not have recovered from…but she’d always bounce back. I think that’s a part of why it comes as such a shock that she’s gone now.

In her last months, I helped take care of her so much that it’s really strange not having that responsibility any more. I continuously find myself thinking that I need to go in her room and check on her, or even thinking that I hear her.

I loved her and miss her. And, I’m forever grateful to her for bringing my husband into this world…and being such a big part of what shaped him into the wonderful man he became.

In all of this, I’m reminded once again how quickly someone we love can leave us…and how valuable they are. I’m reminded that I need to make sure that those I love know it without a shadow of a doubt. (And my 15 year old daughter thought I was “clingy” already!)

Another wonderful thing that came of this great loss is we got to spend some more time with Mike’s daughter Alison and her family. They don’t live close and we miss them so much! They made it here in time to see Grandma, but not for long. We could tell that she knew they were there though. She loved her grandchildren so much and we wish that Crystal and her other grandchildren could’ve come too.

I’m really glad that Mike’s brother Donnie, his sister Myra (aka Teeny), along with her husband Jim, and his uncle Jack (aka Uncle Sonny) could make it too. It’s always nice to see them. I just hate that it was for this sad occasion. We have to get together more often!

I have so many friends and family to thank…for food, prayers, condolences, yard work to get ready for the service, singing at the service, good thoughts and well wishes and all-around emotional support. There are too many to name but you know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I’m also really thankful for my two daughters Jennifer (Jenny) and Hannah. They’ve been a great support for their Daddy & me. Their love means the world to us and it was a comfort to have them here with us. And, after the service, they both jumped right in helping with lunch for everybody. (They don’t know just how much that helped me!) Thanks Baby Girls!!!

I guess that’s all I wanted to say at the moment. I hope I didn’t babble on too much. And, you can rest assured that the recipes will keep coming! I’ll post more soon.

In the meantime, go hug and kiss the ones that you love, hold them tight…you never know when you won’t have that chance any more.

Much love to you all,

~Renee

Firepit Fun and Lessons Learned…

Hi Everyone,

First, let me say this: Today feels like a r e l a x i n g Saturday so I’m gonna make this post and probably not do much else. LOL But, I wanted to let you know how my little “experiment” went recently. I hope this will encourage you to experiment as well!

I wanted to play around with using my cast iron dutch oven and our new firepit and cook a whole meal…main course, side dish AND dessert on the fire. (I started out with pretty basic stuff: hot dogs, Campfire Cheesy Potatoes and Campfire Apple Crisp.) I’ll be sharing some pics I took to show you how things went. But first, here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. Since an open fire is so variable, you can NOT go solely by a recipe you found online…times and temperatures WILL vary and something just may get burnt! (The recipe I’d seen said to cook the potatoes for 45 minutes…and mine were done wayyy sooner than that! They were slightly burned around the edge but thankfully were still very tasty!) 

2. Not everything has to go perfectly to be good and fun! (Yes, I already knew that but, hey, I’m a perfectionist so can you blame me for trying??)

3. Make double-sure you have all the ingredients you need ahead of time! We would’ve had homemade ice cream to go with the apple crisp if I hadn’t trusted my memory and just CHECKED to see if we had enough cream! Instead, we had to adapt and use Cool Whip. Oh well, it was still good…and we still had fun!

To make these dishes:

Campfire Cheesy Potatoes

Simply layer sliced potatoes, sliced onion, cooked & crumbled turkey bacon and shredded cheese in an oiled cast iron dutch oven. (Make sure the dutch oven has been “seasoned” beforehand.) Put the pot on the coals in the fire, making sure not to get it in very high flames. When you hear it sizzling a lot, stir them and keep cooking (& stirring occasionally) til the potatoes are tender. It only took ours 12-15 minutes! Add a little hot water if needed.

Campfire Apple Crisp

Peel and slice about 5 apples. (I used Fiji.) Take 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil (one on top of the other) and butter the center, leaving about 2 inches unbuttered. Place the apple slices on the butter. With a pasrty blender (or two knives), blend together 3/4 cup quick-cook oatmeal, 7 Tbls all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and 4 Tbls cold butter til mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping onto apples. Make another 2-layer, buttered aluminum foil piece and place it (buttered side toward the apples) on top and fold it over a couple times on all sides to make a packet. *You may want to cover the packet with even more aluminum foil, just to make sure your apples don’t burn.* Place a pan under it for stability and place it on the fire. After about 5-6 minutes, carefully flip the packet over and cook til the apples are tender, about another 5 minutes or so. (Depends on how hot the fire is.)

Assembling the ingredients for the Campfire Cheesy Potatoes

Assembling the ingredients for the Campfire Cheesy Potatoes

All you have to do is layer your sliced potatoes, sliced onion, cooked & crumbled turkey bacon and shredded cheese in the cast iron dutch oven. Then, pour in some oil, put on the top and set it on the coals in the fire. When it's sizzling good, stir them. Keep checking them, stirring occasionally, til they're tender.

All you have to do is layer your sliced potatoes, sliced onion, cooked & crumbled turkey bacon and shredded cheese in the cast iron dutch oven. Then, pour in a little more oil, put on the top and set it on the coals in the fire. When it’s sizzling good, stir them. Keep checking them, stirring occasionally, til they’re tender.

Starting my second layer. Put as many layers as you want. Just remember to leave a little room for stirring.

Starting my second layer. Put as many layers as you want. Just remember to leave a little room for stirring.

Hannah wanted to help put on the cheese.

Hannah wanted to help put on the cheese.

I'm not really sure what's so funny...

I’m not really sure what’s so funny…I think I was in the middle of talking too…

Now I'm putting the potatoes on the fire.

Now I’m putting the potatoes on the fire.

My hubby stirred the potatoes for me.

My hubby stirred the potatoes for me.

Hannah decided to be silly.

Hannah decided to be silly.

I'm getting ready to use my pastry blender on the ingredients for the topping on our apple crisp.

I’m getting ready to use my pastry blender on the ingredients for the topping for our apple crisp.

I placed peeled, sliced apples onto the buttered aluminum foil.

I placed peeled, sliced apples onto the buttered aluminum foil.

Here's the apple crisp enclosed in the foil packet.

Here’s the apple crisp enclosed in the foil packet.

My hubby putting the apple crisp packet on the fire. It's actually on a pan but the packet is so big you can't see it!

My hubby putting the apple crisp packet on the fire. It’s actually on a pan but the packet is so big you can’t see it!

The apple crisp after we took it off the fire. I would've liked the topping to be a little crispy but it was still good.

The apple crisp after we took it off the fire. I would’ve liked the topping to be a little crispy but it was still good.

Hannah decided to photo bomb her sister. Hahaha!

Hannah decided to photo bomb her sister. Hahaha!

Apple crisp with a dollop of Cool Whip.

Apple crisp with a dollop of Cool Whip.

My oldest daughter Jenny enjoying some apple crisp. Mmmmm!!!

My oldest daughter Jenny enjoying some apple crisp. Mmmmm!!!

Have a great day and Happy Cooking!

~Renee~

©Renee’s Gourmets

Sugar Free Recipes

Hey everybody!

I’ve had several people ask me if I can post some recipes that are okay for diabetics. I’ve recently discovered a liquid, flavored Stevia called Sweet Drops. I’ve ordered some and wanted to let y’all know to expect some recipes with it in the NEAR future! (Probably in the next two weeks.)

Come back (or subscribe via email) to check them out! In the meantime, I’ll still be posting other recipes too 🙂

Happy Cooking!!!

~Renee~

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