Monthly Archives: June 2013

Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole

Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole

My dad absolutely loves cooking outdoors, be it on a grill, over a fire, using charcoal with the dutch oven, you name it, he does it.  One of his signature dishes is his breakfast casserole.  He makes it on holidays and every time we go camping.  I LOVE breakfast foods, and this casserole combines potatoes, eggs, bacon (a necessity for any breakfast if you ask me), and cheese, it’s pretty delicious!

in dutch oven

First line your dutch oven with a liner (or parchment paper), line the bottom with bacon, then cut up some potatoes, peppers, and onions.  Throw some more bacon on top for good measure.  The picture below is from about halfway through the cooking process (I was asleep when my dad started this…)

potatoes and bacon

Put the lid on and sit the dutch oven over some coals, making sure the coals aren’t actually touching the bottom (this causes hot spots and uneven cooking), then add more on top.  You’ll need to rotate the dutch oven 90 º and the lid 90 º in the opposite direction every 10-15 minutes.

dutch oven and coals

After about an hour and a half add in some eggs.

add eggsLet the eggs set.

eggs set

Sprinkle on some cheese and cover again for a few minutes until the cheese is melty and delicious.


Look at the gooey goodness!

in dutch oven

Serve it up on a plate along with some sour cream and salsa.

Mountain Man Breakfast


Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole

Serves 8


8 slices bacon – cut into quarters

4 potatoes – cut into 1″ cubes

2 bell pepper – cut into 1″ cubes

1 large onion – cut into 1″ cubes

salt & pepper

8 eggs

1 cup shredded cheese

salsa (for serving)

sour cream (for serving)
– Prepare coals/embers (you can also make this in the oven, in which case you’ll need to preheat the oven to 325 ºF).

– Place a dutch oven liner in the dutch oven (we use a 12″ dutch oven) and cover the bottom with bacon

– Add in the potatoes, peppers, and onions, and sprinkle with salt and pepper (if you have left over bacon you can put it on top)

 Place the lid on the dutch oven

– Place the dutch oven over coals/embers, making sure the coals are not actually touching the bottom of the dutch oven (this causes hot spots and uneven cooking).  Place more coals/embers on the lid

– Rotate the dutch oven 90º every 10-15 minutes, and then rotate the lid 90º in the opposite direction

– After the potatoes are soft (about 90 minutes depending on your heat) beat the eggs and stir in salt and pepper, then pour them even over top of the potatoes

Cook for about 20 more minutes until the eggs are set

Sprinkle cheese over top and cook for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted

Serve, topping with salsa and sour cream as desired


Mountain Pies

Mountain Pies

During my camping trip last weekend I made mountain pies for dinner.  For those of you horribly deprived people who don’t know what a mountain pie is, they’re sandwiches you make in a pie iron.  In my case we always make pizza grilled cheese so we load sandwich up with mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, and pepperoni, this time I threw in some extra pickled jalapenos we had laying around because, well, why not?  While these are especially delicious made in the pie iron over the fire, the good news is you can just as easily make them in the comfort of your kitchen just like you would a regular grilled cheese.

Mountain Pies in Pie Iron

First gather your ingredients.

Mountain Pie Ingredients

Spoon some tomato sauce over one slice of bread per sandwich.

Pizza Sauce

Sprinkle some mozzarella on top (or used sliced cheese if you have that on hand).


Top with pepperoni slices.


And jalapenos if you want some spice.


Then top with the other slice of bread and the outside of the sandwich with butter.

Butter Bread

Heat the pie iron over the fire for a few minutes, wipe with canola oil to prevent sticking, and then place the sandwiches inside.  Put the pie iron over the fire, flipping every few minutes.

Pie Iron on Fire

When the sandwiches are nice and golden brown, carefully take them out of the pie iron.

Mountain Pies in Pie Iron

Serve them up and enjoy the gooey deliciousness that is a mountain pie.

Mountain Pies



Mountain Pies

Serves 2


4 slices of bread

2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or 2 slices)

8 slices pepperoni

jalapeno peppers


canola oil

– Coat a double pie iron with canola oil and heat over the fire

– Spread 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce a piece onto 2 slices of bread

– Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese per sandwich over the pizza sauce

– Arrange 4 slices of pepperoni per sandwich over the pizza sauce

– Add jalapenos if desired

– Top with remaining slices of bread, and spread both sides of the sandwich with butter

– Place the sandwiches in the pie iron and close

Cook over the fire, turning every few minutes until the sandwiches are golden brown (about 8 minutes depending on heat of the fire and placement of pie iron)

Carefully remove the sandwiches from the pie iron and serve

Campfire Bananas

Campfire Bananas

Every year for pretty much as long as I can remember my dad, brother, and I have gone camping in the summer (my mom is definitely not a camping fan).  The tradition continues this year, I’ll be spending the weekend sleeping in a tent, playing in a creek, and most importantly, eating delicious food cooked over a camp fire!  In honor of this weekend’s camping excursion I decided to post this recipe for Campfire Bananas (I’ve had the pictures since last year’s camping trip and just never got around to posting them… oops).


They’re super gooey, chocolatey, and delicious!  Plus they’re really easy to make.  Take some brown bananas (I won’t eat a banana until it had brown spots on it, green bananas are yucky). and cut a slit across them about 3/4 of the way down in depth.  Then fill said slit with lots and lots of chocolate chips.

cc in banana

Then cover the chocolate chips with pieces of marshmallow, or use mini marshmallows.

marshmallow banana

Wrap the bananas in foil and put them over the fire coals/embers for a few minutes, turning once or twice.  Open up the foil very carefully so you don’t burn yourself (I always get too excited about what’s inside and inevitably burn my fingers, do as I say, not as I do).


Finally, dig in and enjoy.

campfire banana

cfb bite



Campfire Bananas

Serves: 1


1 ripe banana

marshmallows (2 marshmallows cut in pieces if you’re using large marshmallows)

chocolate chips

– Cut a slit the whole way across the banana, cutting about 3/4 of the way down in depth

– Fill the slit with chocolate chips

– Cover the chocolate chips with the marshmallow pieces

– Wrap the bananas in foil

– Place the foil pack over the coal or embers of a fire (or put them in the oven at 400 °F if you aren’t camping)

– If cooking on a fire turn every 1-2 minutes

– After 4-5 min remove from the fire, carefully open the packs, and serve





Blueberry Sugar Cookies

Blueberry Sugar Cookies

A few weeks ago my mom bought some blueberry sugar cookies from a local farm stand, they were pretty delicious and I loved the idea of putting fruit inside of sugar cookies.  This weekend I decided to make cookies, and since we had blueberries in the fridge I figured it was the perfect time to try making blueberry sugar cookies.  As usually happens when I bake cookies I couldn’t find a recipe that I really liked so I combined a bunch of different recipes and just kind of made it up as I went along, it worked really well, these cookies were AMAZING.  We ate them all in less than one day.

blueberry sugar cookies

Cream some butter, cream cheese, and sugar, then beat in an egg and some vanilla.


In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.

add dry ingredients

Gently stir in some blueberries.

blueberry dough

Eat a few spoonfuls of dough (this is a key step in the cookie making process), then drop the dough onto a greased baking sheet.

dough on tray

Sprinkle some sugar over the top.

sprinkle sugar


sugar on dough

Put them in the oven and bake.

baked cookies

Serve them up.

blueberry sugar cookies

Try not to eat them all at once (this is far more difficult than it may seem).

blueberry sugar cookie bite



Blueberry Sugar Cookies

Yields 2 dozen cookies


1 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling)

1 stick butter

4 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups blueberries

– Preheat oven to 350°

– Cream together the sugar, butter, and cream cheese, then beat in an egg and vanilla

– In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt

– Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the sugar/butter/egg mixture

– Gently stir in the blueberries

– Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheets

– Sprinkle sugar over top of the dough blobs

– Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes

New Apartment Mates and Chicken Tacos with Black Beans and Corn

New Apartment Mates and Chicken Tacos with Black Beans and Corn

First thing’s first, we now have 2 new apartment mates, meet Bruce and Sunshine (I know the picture isn’t very good, but they weren’t being very cooperative)!  Our friend Andrew is moving to South Carolina and couldn’t take his fish with him, so we volunteered to take care of them, I think they’ll be a great addition to the apartment, so thanks again Andrew!

Fish tank

Now, onto the matter of the delicious and easy recipe I have for you.  I love love love love love Mexican food.  It is by far my favorite genre of food (can you describe food in genres???).  I could absolutely eat it every day and never get sick of it.  We’ve had Mexican food at least once a week since we moved into the apartment and these chicken tacos have made several appearances, they’re one of my favorites.  This week I decided to jazz them up a bit by adding black beans and corn, they were pretty delicious if I do say so myself.

chicken tacos

First sprinkle some spices (cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper) on the chicken.  Then bake it in the oven.

raw chicken for tacos

While the chicken bakes make the beans and corn.  Drain and rinse the beans and combine them in a pan with some frozen corn.  Add some lime zest, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, and salt & pepper.  Let them cook for a few minutes, then stir in some fresh copped cilantro.

black beans and corn

When the chicken is done let it cool for a few minutes and shred it, add some lime zest and the squeeze some fresh lime juice over top and stir it around.

lime and chicken

Serve the chicken and beans and corn on warmed tortillas topped with salsa, cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro as desired.

finished chicken tacos

Leftovers also make delicious salads for lunch the next day.  I layer lettuce, red belle peppers, chicken, black beans and corn, salsa, and shredded cheese in a container, and bring along tortilla chips and of course, sour cream.

chicken taco salad


Chicken Tacos  with Black Beans and Corn

Serves 4


For the chicken:

     2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

     2 teaspoons ground cumin

     1 teaspoon paprika

     1 teaspoon chili powder

     1 teaspoon garlic powder

     salt & pepper to taste

     1 lime – juice and zest

For the black beans and corn:

     1-15 oz can black beans

     8 oz frozen corn

     1 lime – juice and zest

     2 teaspoons cumin

     1 teaspoon garlic powder

     salt & pepper to taste

     3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

8-12 tortillas

salsa (for serving)

sour cream (for serving)

shredded cheese (for serving)

cilantro (for serving)


For the chicken: 

     – Preheat the oven to 400 ºF

     – Sprinkle each side of the chicken breasts with the spices

     – Bake for 25-30 minutes

     – Allow the chicken to cool for a few minutes, then shred it

     – Zest the lime and squeeze the juice over top of the chicken and stir


For the black beans and corn:

     – Drain and rinse the black beans and combine them with the corn in a pot

     – Add the spices and lime, and stir

     – Cook for a few minutes until the corn and beans are cooked

     Then stir in the cilantro and cook for a few more minutes


Serve the chicken with the black beans and corn on tortillas, topping with salsa, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro as desired




Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Greek Yogurt-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Greek Yogurt-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

My roommate Alyssa made some really delicious Sweet Potato Fries with an amazing Greek Yogurt-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce.  If you like sweet potato fries (and let’s be honest, if you don’t like sweet potato fries you probably don’t have taste buds) you should definitely make these, they’re really easy, and about 1000 times better than the fast food version.


Naturally any form of fry needs a dipping sauce.  Now, I’m not the biggest fan of ketchup, especially with sweet potatoes, so we made this yogurt-sour cream sauce that Alyssa’s family makes.  Alyssa and I both have a borderline unhealthy obsession with sour cream.  One more than one occasion we’ve based our dinner choices on what would allow us to eat sour cream and have been known to questionably eat it with foods that really don’t call for sour cream (eggs, burgers, chips, the list goes on), or in some cases, by the spoonful (don’t judge, it’s delicious)… anyway, naturally, this dipping sauce is perfect for us, and I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it too!

sweet potato fries and sauce

Cut your french fries up, cover them in olive oil, salt & pepper (which Alyssa insists are the 3 key ingredients to making anything), and some garlic powder.  Bake them in the oven until they’ve reached whatever fry consistency you like best.


For the sauce you just mix up equal parts sour cream and plain Greek yogurt (the first time we made this we accidentally bought vanilla yogurt, and it actually turned out surprisingly well, however I would recommend sticking with the plain yogurt) with some salt and pepper (we used black pepper but her dad uses white paper, however, Alyssa insists “white pepper is just confused about its identity,”  you can use whatever you have on hand).

Serve up the fries and the sauce, they’re AMAZING!




Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Greek Yogurt-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Serves: 2



     2 sweet potatoes

     extra virgin olive oil

     salt & pepper

     garlic powder


     1/8 cup plain Greek yogurt

     1/8 cup sour cream

     salt & pepper


– Preheat oven to 350 °F

– Cut the potatoes into roughly 1/2″ thick fries

– Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, and garlic powder, toss to combine

– Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your fries

– For the sauce mix the yogurt and sour cream together, seasoning with salt & pepper to taste

– Serve fries with sauce on the side

Parmesan Pasta and Veggies

Parmesan Pasta and Veggies

Need a simple dinner after a busy work week?  May I suggest Parmesan Pasta with Veggies.  It’s super easy and super delicious!

bite of pasta

First saute some garlic in olive oil with Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, parsley).

saute garlic

Meanwhile cook some penne (or any other pasta you have on hand) according to the box directions, reserving one cup of the pasta water before draining.  To the garlic skillet add some veggies of your choice, I used frozen broccoli and bell peppers, but you can use any combination of fresh or frozen veggies you like.


After the veggies are cooked, stir in the pasta.

veggies and pasta

Add Parmesan cheese, the reserved cooking water, lemon zest and juice, and salt & pepper.

add parmesan

Finally, stir in some frozen peas and let the pasta cook until the cheese is melted and the peas and warm.

add frozen peas

Serve it up, and enjoy!

Parmesan Pasta with Veggies




Parmesan Pasta and Veggies

Serves 4-6


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic – minced

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, parsley)

1 pound penne pasta

2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)

2 cups bell pepper strips (fresh or frozen)

1 cup frozen peas

1 lemon – zest and juice

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

– Saute the garlic in the olive oil with with the Italian seasoning

– Meanwhile cook the pasta according to box directions, reserving one cup of cooking water before draining

– After the garlic is tender add in the broccoli and bell peppers

– When the veggies are cooked through stir in the pasta

– Add the Parmesan cheese, reserved cooking water, lemon juice & zest, and salt & pepper

– Stir in the frozen peas

– Cook for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted, the peas are warm, and everything is combined

– Serve the pasta, topping with extra cheese if desired