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

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