Saturday, July 26, 2014

Camping at Assateague Island National Seashore

*This post has been waiting in my drafts for a couple of weeks now. However, I haven't been able to edit it. My laptop died and we've been away from home (and our desktop computer). For some reason the iPad won't let me scroll down to edit . If there are a lot of grammar errors and mistakes, I apologize in advance. In order to let you know I'm still alive and since it is camping season I'm crossing my fingers that it's not too painful to read. Hope you're having an amazing summer! Happy camping!

We recently returned from camping at Assateague Island National Seashore Campground. It was amazing! Not only did we enjoy telling stories and chowing down food made over the camp fire (including our favorite Striped Peanut Butter S'mores), we enjoyed the whole experience. This wasn't any normal old camping trip.

For one thing instead of dirt, we were sleeping on sand. Sand is so much more comfortable to sleep on then dirt. As you can see from the picture above, the sand wasn't the only thing at our campsite. We enjoyed being visited by several wild horses that freely roam the island and campground. The kids loved seeing them graze so close by. Since they are wild, we still kept our distance, but they seemed completely comfortable wandering up right next to us.

 So, not only did we enjoy the sand and being visited by wild horses, we also loved the beach which was practically right behind our campsite. It was like we had our own private beach! It was awesome! I worried about there not being a life guard since I have four kids and an ocean enthusiastic husband, but the kids were more interested in digging up shells and making sand castles. The next day when it was warmer, we went a little further down the beach and found a spot where life guards were on duty.

The kids also enjoyed exploring at the visitor center. My oldest was excited to complete a booklet to be sworn in as a junior ranger and receive a badge. The kids also loved looking through their telescope and touching the horseshoe crab and clams among other things.

We had such a great time, I had to post about our experience. If you are ever stationed or on your way to the DC area you'll have to keep this in mind as a place to visit. It was only $20 a night and was more than worth it. You'll also want to have some cash to buy wood, but they have tons there that is so inexpensive it wouldn't be worth the hassle of bringing in your own wood. Finally, you'll also have to pay to get into the National Park ($10 for 7 days or $15-$20 for an annual pass), but if you (or your spouse) are in the military and are active duty, you get in free! We didn't have the card that gives free admittance for military so we pulled into the office and had one within five minutes.

Our kids have made us promise them that if we're still in this area next Spring/Summer, we'll be coming back.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Best S'more Recipe EVER! Striped Peanut Butter S'mores

We recently got back from an amazing camping trip. While we were there we had our version of s'mores. And let me tell you, they are WAY better then the normal old graham cracker and Hershey chocolate s'mores--which is saying something.

It all started a couple of years ago when my husband found some fudge striped cookies on sale. It was one of those impulse buys. He figured, why not buy these for our camping trip? The problem was our budget was so tight even a $2-3 dollar impulse buy seemed huge (Daniel was in grad school and only working part time)! A splurge for us on some date nights was picking up a movie for a buck from Redbox. So, I have to admit that first I was somewhat annoyed since I never ever buy store bought cookies. I figure, if we're going to eat any baked goods especially sweets, we'll have to make it ourselves.

We were also trying to be careful since we already had splurged to buy other stuff for our camping trip including Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and other chocolate candy bars for s'mores (I've always loved switching out boring chocolate for a variety). Needless to say I'd already gone overboard on other impulse buys that were also sweets. I'd been too spoiled eating only home baked cookies and couldn't help but think those store bought fudge striped cookies were not a good buy. Boy was I wrong! I didn't know it then, but that purchase of fudge striped cookies was sheer inspiration on the part of my husband.

When we laid out all our food at our camp site, I saw those cookies sitting right next to all the other s'more fixings and it hit me: Striped Peanut Butter S'mores. So, I made our first ultimate s'more with cookies, marshmallows, and peanut butter cups and there was no going back. These s'mores really hit the sweet tooth.

Here's what you'll need to make Striped Peanut Butter S'mores: Fudge striped cookies (keebler, or the cheap brand), Marshmallows, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...

After you roast your marshmallow (or two) make the ultimate s'more sandwich (cookies on the outside with the marshmallow and peanut butter cup inside) and thank Daniel for his last minute purchase.

Here the Peanut Butter Fudge Striped S'more on the left has one marshmallow, whereas, the one on the right has two. Give both a try and figure out what marshmallow ratio you enjoy most. Also, did you notice the Hershey's chocolate? We only broke those bars open after all the Reese's were gone. We've also tried twix and kit kats as a substitute for the Reese's, but we prefer the peanut buttery goodness the most.

See all that marshmallow oozing out? Yum!

Your family will be able to get through all the peanut butter cups and cookies if you let them. Best splurge and s'more recipe ever!

You're welcome!