Campfires, smores, friends, wine, dogs, outdoor dinners, these are a few of my favorite things (I was singing that part in my head). This past weekend my friends and I (10 of us total) took a camping trip to Brazos Bend State Park with our dogs, and it was one of the greatest weekends ever. Yes, ever. Camping, or glamping, I’m not sure which one I would call it considering we slept on air mattresses in 8 person tents, but it was a bonding experience for sure :).
For those of you who haven’t been to Brazos Bend State Park, it is right outside Houston (about 40 min. drive from town), and filled with fun stuff to do. Alligator watchin, fishing, star gazing at the observatory, cooking, hiking, and so much more. Our friends got there before us because we had some stuff to do, one of them being I had to buy up all the battery powered fans from target with a crap ton of batteries because I run hot blooded, meanwhile I could have just been smart Lizzy and checked out that the weather forecast was actually like 50 degrees at night… hence tip #1 for you campers: check the weather, and pack for the option of cooler or rainy weather.
Some of us prepared for that cold weather… some didn’t :). These girls both did, but one hadn’t had her coffee yet.
I got to be with my favorite friends all weekend, in the outdoors, cooking, drinking wine, hanging out, I really can’t think of a better weekend. I don’t think anyone really camps enough. Seriously, being without a phone for a weekend, and actually focusing on what is going on around you and being in the present, there isn’t enough to be said for that, and not enough of us do it. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t have a cell phone at all, but alas, that is not a possibility so I’ll take my weekends where I can gt them.
Camping tip #2: Bring lots of stuff to do. We brought corn hole boards, cards against humanity, dogs and their toys, fishing poles, baseballs and gloves, and some other fun stuff. This is important – you will def. have downtime during the day so keep it fun!
Tip #3: Bring lots of lounging gear – chairs, hammocks, cozy clothes, air mattresses if you are that person, and I am, whatever makes you comfortable to hang out.
Rosie is so photogenic!… Albert too :).
Don’t forget the dogs lounging gear also…
Tip #4: Check the state park rules, this maybe should be #1 but here it is none the less. We didn’t know that you weren’t allowed to drink unless you were inside a tent, which at first presented a problem, but it was resolved very quickly, and very creatively. Alcohol rules, dog rules, just read them.
Here I am, stepping into our make-shift drinking tent.
Tip #5: Plan out your meals. Enough cannot be said for this. We did a really good job and set up a spreadsheet before the trip of all the gear we were bringing, along with our meals and who was bringing what. We brought french presses, coffee already ground, eggs, bacon, wraps and all the things you need for breakfast tacos for breakfast, turkey wraps for lunch, and then campfire tin foil dinner supplies. What is that? Well, that is the recipe I am going to give you for this post! It was pretty awesome and very simple. I’ll explain more below :). I also packed snacks for us that were healthy, so we wouldn’t crash – homemade beef jerky (my recipe), and trail mix (nuts and dried fruits). We actually ended up making a shared google spreadsheet and added things in during the week as we came up with what we were each bringing.
Here is Ellen, preparing us all some sweet breakfast tacos.
This is our tin foil dinner, simmering on the fire. This was my favorite part, getting to hang out and watch it, smelling the sweet terikayi sauce simmer on the fire.
- 3-4 Zucchini, chopped
- 1-2 Onions, chopped roughly
- 2-3 Bellpeppers, chopped
- 3 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 4-5 cups Yukon gold potatoes or small potatoes, quartered
- 2 cups Carrots, chopped
- 1 bottle Stonewall Kitchen Sesame Ginger Teriyaki Sauce (or any other sauce you want to throw in, I just love this one)
- Umami powder (this is shitake mushroom powder, you can buy online it is incredible)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Grapeseed oil, a drizzle in each packet
- 4 lb. Boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 3 lb. flank steak, cubed or cut into strips
- tin foil
- Get your campfire going.
- Cut your tin foil into large squares. Drizzle a touch of grapeseed oil on the bottom, and then pile in all the toppings you desire. Season with salt, pepper, umami powder if you have it, and then about 2-3 tbsp. of whatever sauce you choose, in this case the teriyaki sauce. Fold the foil up tight, you may need to add another layer. Fold each foil into a different shape so you can tell which one is yours.
- Place the foil packets on the fire and cook for 35 minutes. Then remove from the fire, check to see all foil packets were cooked evenly, and serve!!