Hello April...April?!

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Can you believe it's already April... EASTER WEEKEND! It's insane... time really is flying! I remember when I was younger, people used to always tell me, "Enjoy it, because you'll blink and it'll be 10 years from now before you know it!" I have to admit... they were right! Time flies when you're having fun, and I really have had fun the past few weeks! Spending time with Ty, seeing my family, eating great food, drinking delicious drinks, taking fun pictures, there's not much anyone could complaint about any of it, except that it feels like every time I blink another month is over! I can't believe it's already SPRING! Although, with this winter, I thought spring would NEVER get here. For the last 2 months Tyler and I would look at the calendar anxiously to see just how cold the it would be that weekend, and we'd have to decide... how cold is just too cold to sleep under the stars? I decided 20 degrees and snowing was just not my idea of fun... so, for the last 4-5 months, we haven't done a lot of camping, hiking or really anything outdoors. We really have been chomping at the bit to get away, and about two weekends ago we both reached our breaking points and just said, "Whatever, let's just go and freeze, we've got to get outside!" It really ended up being a beautiful weekend with blue skies for days, an amazing hike, a rushing waterfall, great food and S'MORES. What more could a girl ask for than that, but seriously, what's better than (quite a few) s'mores? 

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People always ask why I love being outside as much as I do... HELLO, how could you not? It's worth the frostbitten toes... believe me! On top of all that, I was really excited to try the new dutch oven Tyler's mom gave him for Christmas! You know me... I love a good present, especially one that I can use for a new recipe! 

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I have to be honest, I was a little intimidated using the dutch oven with the hot coals, but honestly it's just as easy as using a stove top, which is why this recipe is so great! You can use it during your next camping trip or if you're not outdoorsy, fix it up for a great weeknight meal.

I searched high and low for some great recipes for camping, and I couldn't find any that really spoke to me, which is why I insisted on taking this recipe for Bon Appetit's Moroccan Beef Stew, making it my own and adding it to my camping cook book. I know there's some foodies out there who are sick and tired of looking for great camping recipes only to find Hobo Dinners... am I right?

I also went a head and tested if you could cook some killer baked french toast in a dutch oven with hot coals for a great campfire breakfast, and you totally can! I was thrilled it worked so well!

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All you have to do is line the dutch with foil, make the recipe as listed here, set the oven on a double ring of hot coals, add the lid and cover the lid with more hot coals. Let it cook until the eggs are cooked through and the mixture seems more firm than jiggly. Also, I didn't let the mixture sit overnight, I just made it, worked on heating up my coals and then let it bake. The clean up is a breeze, so this is great for your last morning when you're packing everything up! 

But... back to dinner. Give it a try either in the comfort of your kitchen at home or your camp kitchen on your next outdoor adventure. 

Moroccan Beef Stew - Campfire Edition

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Step-By-Step

The most important thing when you're campfire cooking is STAY ORGANIZED. Don't bring more than you need, but also make sure you have a checklist while you're packing so you don't forget anything essential... like olive oil or salt.

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Prep the veggies, since you're cooking over coals, it's better to try to keep all of your bites the same size, that way they cook evenly.

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Also, keep yourself a "trash" bowl. You don't want bears/raccoons entering your site at night.. do you?

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I always, always, always bring a little container of spices and seasonings, I can't live without the Montreal steak seasoning.

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Cover the beef in salt and Montreal. A great way to do this is keep the beef in the ziploc bag, dump the seasonings and shake, shake, shake.

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Next, place the dutch oven on top of the hot, hot coals, cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil, and start browning your meat.

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While that's browning, get the couscous water ready. Couscous is great for camping since all you do is boil the water and then let it do its thing. I think it's going to be my new go to. Also, I totally buy the ones with the seasonings in the box. You're camping, take it from me, you do want to keep it simple where you can! 

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Once all the meat is brown, remove it and set it aside. Don't forget to cover it with some tin foil to keep it hot/keep the bugs out! Check to make sure your coals are still good and hot, change them out for some new ones if you need to, you want to make sure the pan stays good and hot for the next several steps.

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Add some oil to the hot dutch, and add the onions, carrots, garlic and a good sprinkle of salt. Cover and let all of that cook until it's nice and tender, stirring occasionally. 

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Add the spices, give it a good stir and let all of that come together for 2-3 minutes.

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Add raisins and garbanzo beans...

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Cover with the broth, let it come to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, then add the beef and balsamic, letting the beef heat back up until it's hot through and through. Take a taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. 

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Serve over couscous, baked potatoes, or with pita. Personally, I love how the couscous soaks up all the juices.

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I hope you enjoy! 

 

MOROCCAN BEEF STEW

 

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 lbs. beef tenderloin (cubed)

1 large onion

3 medium carrots

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon smoke paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon ginger

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tablespoon montreal seasoning

2 cups beef broth

1 can garbanzo beans

3/4 cups golden raisins

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

chop and dice all the onion, carrots and garlic

season the cubed beef with salt and montreal seasoning

heat oil in the dutch oven and brown the meat

set aside the beef and add some more oil to the pan - if you're cooking over coals, change out the coals at this point in time

add the chopped and diced veggies, garlic and a generous sprinkle of salt

let cook until tender

add all the spices, stir together, and let meld together for 2-3 minutes

add the golden raisin and garbanzo beans

cover with beef broth, cover and bring to a boil

let cook for 10 minutes or so then add the beef and balsamic

let the meat heat all the way through, give it a taste and add salt and pepper if necessary

serve over couscous, rice, potatoes or with pita

 

notes:

If you are using this as a campfire recipe, make sure you keep the coals hot the whole time

Don't forget to check your seasoning level throughout the cooking process, don't be afraid to taste and add as you feel necessary

Adapted from Bon Appetit