Our New Favorite Campfire Pizza With a Twist

Tired of the same old hot dogs? We are too. These scrumptious pizza rolls are a perfect way to switch things up on your next adventure! Made with store-bought pizza dough, they are easy, but you can customize them to your own taste.  Best of all, kids LOVE to eat these, so there will be no leftovers to worry about when dinner is done.

CampfirePizza

Ingredients

-canned pizza dough (found in the refrigerated section)

-pizza sauce

-mozzarella cheese

-your favorite toppings

-italian seasoning, salt, and pepper

Instructions:

Roll out your pizza dough to form a rectangle. Spread pizza sauce over the rectangle of dough. Cover with cheese followed by any additional toppings you would like. Sprinkle seasonings lightly, then roll pizza to form a log. Tuck the edges in and wrap in thick foil. Place in the freezer until your adventure. Store in your cooler and set out until almost thawed. To cook, place foil log on fire pit. Cook for about 15 minutes then flip over and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Slice up and enjoy!

It’s that simple, and that easy!  After that, all you have to do is enjoy every bite.

For more great camping ideas, camping gear for the whole family, and camping fun, visit www.jmcremps.com

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The Best Camping Potatoes You’ll Ever Have

Potatoes. They’re easy to roast over a campfire and taste delicious. They can turn any makeshift camping meal into a real gourmet treat. There is nothing like a warm hearty meal after a long day of adventuring, especially when you’re camping.

CampfirePotatoes

Ingredients:

-1 gallon Ziplock bag
-Kabob or marshmallow skewers
-2 cans whole potatoes ‐ (2 large cans or 4 smaller cans)
-1 c grated Parmesan Cheese
-1 c softened butter
-1 Tbsp garlic powder
-1 tsp oregano or Italian blend
-Salt & pepper to taste
-Bacon bits (optional)

Instructions:

Drain potatoes. Place potatoes and rest of ingredients in a
gallon sized zip lock bag. Gently shake bag to coat potatoes
with mixture. Skewer the potatoes and place over a medium
heat grill/fire till browned on all sides. Slide off skewers & top
with bacon bits.

It’s that simple, and that easy!  After that, all you have to do is enjoy every mouthful!

For more great camping ideas, camping gear for the whole family, and camping fun, visit www.jmcremps.com

The Ultimate Camping Dinner – a Hobo Dinner!

Admit it – one of the first things you think of when planning a camping getaway is the food.  You envision the moment when the sun is getting low in the sky and everyone’s belly is rumbling. But what to make?  Don’t worry, we’ve got the most tried-and-true, I’ll-never-be-hungry-again camping meal you’ll ever eat.  Be warned though, because it smells so good while cooking, you may end up feeding a few of the neighbors.  Best of all, it’s extremely easy.

When the sun is getting low in the sky and everyone is getting hungry, what are you going to make for dinner?
When the sun is getting low in the sky and everyone is getting hungry, what are you going to make for dinner?

What you’ll need:

Tinfoil
Cooking Spray
Ground Beef (or turkey)
Diced Potatoes
Shredded Carrots
Diced Onions
Salt & Pepper & Garlic (or your favorite seasoned salt)
Butter
Optional Vegetables of your choice (sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini)
Ketchup (optional)
This recipe is such a favorite in our family, that it’s been cooked around the campfire (and on the grill) for five generations now!  Best of all it is easy, nutritious, and fun to make.  Each person can make their own dinner just the way the want it, and just the size they want it too.  Plus, it’s the perfect way for little brothers and sisters to get involved in the fun.

Cut a 12-inch section of tin foil and spray one side with cooking spray.  Place about a handful of potatoes, a ½ handful of onions, and a ½ handful of shredded carrots.  If you want to, you can add another handful of any type of vegetable you’d like.  Some of our favorites are mushrooms and sweet potatoes. (Yes Sweet Potatoes!)  Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, and a little garlic (Or use seasoned salt.)  Top with a tablespoon of butter.

On top of the vegetables place a hand-sized portion of ground beef.  Season the ground beef with additional salt, pepper, garlic OR seasoned salt.    Lift the ends of the tinfoil up until the meet in the middle.  Roll up the ends to form a pouch and seal the contents inside. (It kind of looks like a pastry.) Cut another piece of tinfoil slightly larger than the first one, and double wrap your dinner.  This will prevent it from being punctured.

Place your Hobo Dinner on a grate over the campfire or place it in an empty coffee can in the embers.  Cook it for 30 to 60 minutes or until the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tender.  To see if your dinner is ready, carefully remove your tinfoil pouch from the fire using tongs or spatulas.  VERY carefully open the sealed tinfoil using a fork so that you can allow the steam to escape without burning your fingers.  Test the softness of the potatoes and carrots.  When they are nice and soft, you’re ready to dig in!

If only you could smell how good this dinner is!
If only you could smell how good this dinner is!

Serve with ketchup for the most satisfying and hearty campfire meal there is!  For the latest in camp cooking utensils and gear, visit jmcremps.com/camp-cooking.

 

Christmas Party Scavenger Hunt

Christmas season means parties, get-togethers, family and friends. If you are hosting a Christmas party with kids in attendance, here’s a great way to keep them occupied – at least for a little while!  Download your printable Christmas Party Scavenger Hunt here.

Candy Cane
Have fun at your next Christmas party and keep the kids entertained at the same time.

____  Candy Cane

____  Santa Hat

____  Gumdrop

____  Snowman

____  Flower

____  Christmas Ornament

____  Hot Chocolate Mix Packet

____  Marshmallow

____  Cranberry

____  Pine Needle

____  Tinsel

____  Gingerbread Man

____  Bell

____  Sleigh

____  Popcorn

____  Wrapped Package

____  Stocking

____  Christmas Cookie

____  Christmas Plate

____  Star

____  Christmas Carol 
(cd, sheet music, ipod song)

____  Scarf

____  Partridge in a Pear Tree 
(double points for this one!)

____  Reindeer

____  Christmas-Themed Book

____  Christmas Card

If you can’t find any of these items, look in a book for a picture – that will work too!

November is National Aviation History Month

Children the world over seem captivated by flight.  Whether it is hot air balloons, paper airplanes, rockets, jumbo jets, or space craft, the concept of flight has sparked the imagination.  In honor of National Aviation History Month, here are some interesting flight facts you may not have known!

1783 First Hot Air Balloon Flight in France.

797 First parachute jump.  André-Jacques Garnerin dropped from about 6,500 ft over Monceau Park in Paris in a 23-foot-diameter parachute made of white canvas with a basket attached

This is the first known aerial photo ever taken. It was taken over Boston, Massachusetts.
This is the first known aerial photo ever taken. It was taken over Boston, Massachusetts.

1860 First Aerial Photographs.  Samuel Archer King and William Black made took two photos of Boston.

1903 First successful airplane flight.  Orville and Wright successfully flew a homemade airplane 120 feet in 12 seconds.  Later in the day, Wilbur Wright stayed in up for 59 seconds and covered 852 feet.

1910 First licensed female pilot.  Baroness Raymonde de la Roche of France, who learned to fly in 1909, received ticket No. 36 on March 8, making her the first licensed female pilot.

1919 First transatlantic flight.  Lt. Comander Albert C. Read reached Lisbon, Portugal after hops from Trepassy Bay, Newfoundland, to Horta, Azores to Ponta Delgada.

1924 First Around-the-World Flight. Four Douglas Cruiser biplanes of the U.S. Army Air Corps took off from Seattle under command of Maj. Frederick Martin (April 6). 175 days later, two of the planes (Lt. Lowell Smith’s and Lt. Erik Nelson’s) landed in Seattle after a circuitous route—one source saying 26,345 mi, another saying 27,553 mi.

1932 First woman’s transatlantic solo. Amelia Earhart, flying a Pratt & Whitney Wasp-powered Lockheed Vega, flew alone from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland in approximately 15 hours.

1937 First successful helicopter flight.  Hanna Reitsch, a German pilot, flew Dr. Heinrich Focke’s FW-61 in a free, fully controlled flight.

 1944 First production stage rocket-engine fighter plane. The German Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet (test flown 1941) became operational in June 1944. Some 350 of these delta-wing fighters were built before WWII in Europe ended.

1949 First round-the-world nonstop flight.  Capt. James Gallagher and USAF crew of 13 flew a Boeing B-50A Superfortress around the world nonstop from Ft. Worth, returning to same point covering 23,452 miles in 94 hours and 1 minute.  There were four aerial refuelings en route.

1958 First domestic airline jet passenger service. National Airlines began service between New York and Miami.

1978 First successful transatlantic ballon flight. Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman, and Maxie Anderson, completed the crossing in their helium-filled balloon, known as the Double Eagle II.

1986 First nonstop flight around the world without refueling. From Edwards AFB, Calif., Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager flew their Voyager around the world (24,986.727 miles), returning to Edwards AFB in 216 hours, 3 minutes, 44 seconds.

2002 First solo nonstop round-the-world balloon flight. Steve Fossett flew from Northam, West Australia, to Lake Yamma Yamma, Queensland, Australia, landing after 14 days, 19 hrs. He broke three balloon records along the way: fastest time around the world, longest distance flown solo, and longest time flown solo.

To learn more fascinating facts on flight, check out the book: Eyewitness:  Flight.

Make Applesauce with Your Kids in 4 Easy Steps

What do you do on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the fall when the kids are bored and stuck in the house?  That’s the question I’m faced with today, and my roadside fruit stand provided the inspiration in the form of an abundance of apples.  I’ve decided to forgo the pie and opt for a healthier option that allows the kids to be more involved.  So today is applesauce making day!

Homemade applesauce is easy so easy to make, you’ll find yourself wondering why you haven’t done it earlier!

First, gather your ingredients:

  • 8 medium apples
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Step 1. Wash and peel the apples.

Step 1 how to make applesauce with kids

Step 2.  Core and slice the apple.  Chop the apple into 1/2 inch to 1 inch chunks.

Step 2 How to Make Applesauce

Step 3. Transfer the apples to a crockpot and pour 2 tsp of lemon juice over the sliced apples. Stir the apples to coat them with the juice.

Step 3 How to Make Applesauce

Step 4. Sprinkle the apples with the sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add water. Cover and cook on low for approximately 6 hours. If the applesauce is too runny, remove the lid and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 4 How to Make Applesauce

It’s really that easy!  Check out more ideas for easy projects with kids on our website at jmcremps.com.

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Applesauce.  Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Test Your Young Farmer’s Farm Knowledge with Our Farm Facts Quiz

It’s harvest season, and for your junior farmer, that means a lot of miles on their favorite tractor.  For as long as there have been farms, there have been young boys and girls playing farmer and getting dirt on their britches.  The thrill of plowing fields, mowing hay and rounding up cattle is a strong temptation for many a would-be farmer, and a shiny red or green tractor can make both young and old farmers alike get a little short of breath.

Whether you're a big farm kid or a small farm kid, there's always work to be done on your favorite tractor.
Whether you’re a big farm kid or a small farm kid, there’s always work to be done on your favorite tractor.

JM Cremps has a full selection of the best farm toys, tractors, and farm tools you’ll find outside of a tractor store.  If your young John Deere has a barn full of tractors already and seems to know more about farming than you do, then why not test your little farmer’s knowledge with this fun Farm Facts Quiz.  Download and print your copy of the Farm Facts Quiz here.

  1.  What percentage of all apples grown in the US are grown in the state of Washington?
    1. 40%
    2. 50%
    3. 60%
  2. How many glasses of milk does the average milk cow produce in one year?
    1. 28,000
    2. 46,000
    3. 67,000
  3. How many honeybees does it take to produce a Tablespoon of honey?
    1. 12
    2. 18
    3. 26
  4. How many flowers are collected from to produce a Tablespoon of honey?
    1. 1,000
    2. 2,000
    3. 3,000
  5. Which state produces the most cranberries?
    1. Maine
    2. Minnesota
    3. Wisconsin
  6. How much broccoli does the average American eat each year?
    1. 1 pound
    2. 4 pounds
    3. 7 pounds
  7. How many pounds of tomatoes does the average American eat each year?  (Don’t forget to include ketchup and spaghetti sauce!)
    1. 22 pounds
    2. 44 pounds
    3. 66 pounds
  8. Approximately how many farms are there in the United States?
    1. 1.6 million
    2. 1.9 million
    3. 2.2 million
  9. How much water does the average dairy cow drink in one day?
    1. 15 gallons
    2. 20 gallons
    3. 25 gallons
  10. The average hen lays how many eggs per year?
    1. 243
    2. 299
    3. 325

Get your Farm Facts Quiz Answer Sheet HERE.

*Facts provided by the American Farm Bureau, National Farm-City Council, and the Ontario Farm Council.

Don’t Forget to Relax This Summer – National Relaxation Day is August 15

Let’s face it, summer is crazy busy.  We all look forward to “lazy” summer days, but it seems that those lazy days are few and far between.  As we transition from the summer mind-set to a back-to-school frenzy, it’s important that the whole family takes some time to relax.  We all need to recharge our batteries between these busy seasons!

National Relaxation Day
Next time someone tells you to “Go jump in the lake”, go for it. You may find it to be quite fun and ultimately a great way to unwind.

National Relaxation Day is officially on August 15, and yes, it is a real holiday!  It is also the perfect excuse to grab a book, take a nap in a hammock, or chill by the campfire.   As adults, we all know how to relax, but do we do it enough?  Sometimes we need a little reminder, and National Relaxation Day is a good one.  Incase you forgot just how to do it, here are some of our favorite family-friendly ways to unwind.

  • Read a good book
  • Take a walk
  • Take a nap in the shade (or better yet, a hammock!)
  • Take the family swimming
  • Have a backyard campfire
  • Go to the beach
  • Visit someone you’ve been missing
  • Have a picnic lunch in the park
  • Go fishing
  • Go for a family bike ride
  • Go for ice cream
  • Order pizza for dinner and play a family game
  • Play an instrument

Whatever your choice, just remember to keep it simple.  The more work involved, the less relaxing you’ll do!

Have Fun After Dark with Our Favorite Night Time Activities

Summer is in full swing.  The days are warm, the evenings are pleasant, and the kiddos probably want to stay out “all night”.  Well an outside, all-nighter may be a bit much, but that doesn’t mean that some after-dark fun can’t be had.  As a matter of fact, night-time games can be fun for the whole family.  Here’s some of our favorites:

Glow in the Dark Book Planets & Supernova
Have some fun in the dark this summer with games, activities, and even glow-in-the-dark books.
  • Flashlight Tag – Catch your opponents with a beam of light from a flashlight.
  • Hide-n-Seek Glowsticks – Parents, hide glowsticks throughout the yard and let the kids find them.
  • Shadow Puppet Theater – Encourage your kids to be creative by putting on a shadow puppet show.  Use a wall or other flat surface to shine a beam of light onto.
  • Star Gazing and Constellation Hunting – Use a star chart or star finder, your own knowledge, or even an app on your phone to find and name various constellations.
  • Have a Backyard Fire – Roast marshmallows or hot dogs, sing songs, and tell stories.  You don’t have to go camping to have an evening campfire!
  • Tell Ghost Stories – Better yet, let the kids tell them to you.
  • Catch Lightening Bugs – See how many beautiful lightening bugs the whole family can catch.
  • Read a Glow in the Dark Book – Yes, there are such things as glow-in-the-dark books, and they sure are fun to read on a warm summer night.

 

How to Write Your Own Secret Code

Have you ever written a secret message in code?  If not, this is a great place to start.  Codes are a fun way to send messages to your friends in a way that ensures that the wrong person won’t read it.  But did you know that in real life, secret code writing, or cryptography, has given both rise and fall to nations for thousands of years?

The first examples we have of cryptography (the art of writing messages in code) dates back to 1500 BCE.  The Greeks used a clever form of cryptography to send a message to the Spartan General Lysander to warn him that the Persians were mounting another attack.  Thanks to this clever warning, Lysander readied his troops and held off the invading Persians.

Encoded messages have been used by by armies, kings, queens, emperors, treasure hunters, bandits, and normal people with a secret that they don’t want to be revealed.  Did you know that one of the most commonly used ciphers of all time was created by Julius Caesar and is known as a Caesar Cipher?  Julius Caesar was the emperor of Rome from the years 100 BCE to 44 BCE.  He was known as a great leader, an exceptional public speaker, and brilliant military strategist.  His military conquests of neighboring nations turned the Roman Republic into the powerful Roman Empire.  Caesar’s cipher gave the Romans a military advantage that their enemies lacked.  In today’s age of computer systems, Caesars code may seem simple, but it is a great way to get your code-writing skills up to speed.

How to Write a Secret Code
Step 1. Write the standard alphabet in a line on your paper.

To create your own Caesar Cipher:

  • Write down the alphabet in a line on your paper.  This is known as the Standard Alphabet.
  • Select a number that will be used as your key.  (We chose the number 7 in our example.)
  • Starting with the letter A in your Standard Alphabet line, count 7 letters.  (In our example, the 7th letter is the letter G.)

    How to Write a Secret Code for Kids
    Step 2. Choose your Key. Our Key is 7. Count over 7 letters from the letter A, and begin your Substitution Alphabet below the 7th letter.
  • Now write the letter A directly beneath the letter G.  This will be known as your Substitution Alphabet line.
  • Continue writing the remaining letters of the alphabet until you get to the end of the Standard Alphabet.  (In our example, the letter is written directly underneath the letter Z.)
  • Now go back to the beginning of the alphabet and write the next letter in your Substitution Alphabet directly under the letter A in the Standard alphabet.  Continue filling out the rest of the alphabet.
  • Now you are ready to begin encrypting your message!
How to Write a Secret Code for Kids
Step 3. Finish filling in your Substitution Alphabet and you can now use your secret code!

To encrypt your message, simply locate the real letters of your word on the Standard Alphabet line and substitute the letter directly below it from your Substitution Alphabet Line.  Continue working through your message substituting the real letters with the letters from your cipher.