Campfire pizza log


It’s almost Labor Day -a busy camping weekend- so I wanted to share one of my new favorite camping meals.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we went camping at our favorite place to travel to and camp at, Shenandoah National Park. This time we went with a co-worker of mine and his family. We decided ahead of time to share some meals, so I started researching online different yummy meals for camping. I wanted to up my game since I was cooking for people other than my family!

One meal I came across was the campfire pizza log, but I couldn’t find a site that gave step-by-step instructions. Without instructions, we had to wing it, and we definitely have some lessons learned, which I thought I’d share.

To make the pizza logs, I used:

  • Refrigerated pizza dough (the kind you roll out from a can)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Pepperoni
  • Shredded cheese
  • Olive oil spray (okay, I didn’t actually use this, but I should have, and I will next time)
  • Nonstick foil

The logs are pretty simple to prepare. I made three large pizza logs (three cans of the refrigerated pizza dough), which is what you’ll see in my photos; HOWEVER, because the larger logs didn’t cook evenly, I recommend doing smaller pizza logs, so two logs from each can. I’ve written the directions below to reflect what I will do next time.

Directions for two small pizza logs:

    1. Cut two large pieces of nonstick foil. They should be large enough that you can completely wrap up the pizza logs. It’s better to cut them too big than too small. You can always trim off the excess with some kitchen shears or scissors!
    2. Have the nonstick side facing up off the counter (you’ll want the pizza logs on the nonstick side) and spray the nonstick with an olive oil spray or something similar. This will help keep the pizza log from sticking to the foil when you unwrap it after it’s been cooked.
    3. Before rolling out the pizza dough, cut the dough log in half. You’re going to make two smallish pizza logs from each can of dough.
    4. Place each piece of dough onto its own piece of foil.
    5. Roll out the pizza dough on the foil until each piece is in a rectangle.
    6. Spread the pizza sauce on top.
    7. Layer the pepperoni and cheese. (Obviously you can use whatever toppings you want.)
    8. Roll the pizza back up into the shape of a “log.”
    9. Fold the foil over top of the log and secure all the edges by rolling them in.

Camping Food

Camping Food
I didn’t do it, but cut this in half! Make two pizza logs from this sucker.

Camping Food

Corn and Pizza Logs
The smaller rolls to the left are pieces of corn on the cob. The three long rolls on the right are the campfire pizza logs.

That’s it! I actually froze ours in the freezer since we didn’t intend on eating them the first day of camping. Once they were frozen, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and put them in our camping cooler with ice. I was hoping that as the ice melted, the plastic wrap would help keep any water out of the logs, and it did seem to work.

Camping Food
The two longer rolls are the pizza logs. The small and medium rolls are corn on the cob.

When it was time to cook the pizza logs, we got a nice fire going, and then we placed the pizza logs on the flat griddle above the fire. As I mentioned above, the pizza logs didn’t cook evenly. The logs were getting a nice char in the center within 20 minutes, but these larger logs that I made were so long that the edges were too far away from the fire and weren’t picking up heat. That’s why I suggest making two pizza logs from each can of refrigerated pizza dough. That will get you a more evenly cooked pizza log, and they should be done around 30 minutes.

Camping Food
You can see that the center part of the pizza log is a little more cooked and charred than the edges. That’s why I recommend making smaller logs, so the edges can also reach the fire.

The cooking time is going to vary depending on how hot your fire is and the proximity of the pizza log to the fire, so keep that in mind. You’ll want to peel back the foil about every 10 minutes to check the logs. Use tongs to help you check safely, and if you wear fabric oven mitts … keep them away from the flames!

Camping Food
So tasty inside!

The three cans of refrigerated pizza dough ended up making enough pizza logs to feed 4 adults and 3 small children with leftovers. I also served up some fire-grilled corn on the cob.

Have you ever made a pizza log? What is your favorite camping food?

 

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A Family Outing: Luray Caverns

The Luray Caverns (near Luray, Virginia) were discovered in 1878, and they are a Registered Natural Landmark. The Friday before Labor Day, we visited the Luray Caverns in Virginia. We attempted to go in 2015 (the same weekend), but the caverns were packed. That time, we drove by and saw the overflow parking lots were filled. So this year we went early and arrived right when the caverns were open. There was already a tour bus there, so we didn’t make it on the first tour, but we did make it on the second! The tours leave every 20 minutes, and each tour does have a guide.

The caverns aren’t super cheap to visit. Right now, the general admission cost is $27 for adults and $14 for children (6-12). If you’re a military family, you can visit your base’s Leisure Travel Services for discounted tickets. If you don’t have tickets when you get there, you have to go through one line to buy the tickets and then a second line to actually get into the caverns, so I’d recommend buying your tickets ahead of time, so you only have to worry about one line. Tickets can be purchased online.

The walkways within the caverns are paved, which was a good thing! The tour is over a mile long (in a loop), so we brought the stroller. I figured Little J would be tired, bored and crabby after 30 minutes or so, and the tour takes about an hour. Parts of the walkway were still bumpy, and there are a lot of hills, but it really wasn’t too bad for the stroller. There are about 70 steps to get down into and then out of the caverns. We had to close up the stroller for that part and carry it.

Tips: Don’t touch anything!!!!! If you touch any of the stalactites or stalagmites, you will get yelled at. You can take as many as photos as you’d like, so that’s a plus! Also, it’s cold in the caverns, so bring a light jacket! And don’t leave your tour guide. They don’t like that.

Your ticket purchase also includes a self-guided tour of the Car and Carriage Caravan museum, and the Luray Valley Museum. I actually really enjoyed the car museum. It had old Cadillacs, Benzs, Fords, and more. I love history, so it was neat to read the plaques and see the vehicles that other generations grew up with.

Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to Luray, and we would do it again. If you’re ever in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, I recommend checking out Luray Caverns.

Have you been to Luray Caverns? If not these caverns, have you been to other caverns? Which ones?

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Kid’s DIY Dr. Who costume for Halloween

This year Little J wanted to go trick or treating as the 10th doctor from Dr. Who. I tried to persuade him to go as the 11th doctor, the Matt Smith version, but no, he wanted to be the 10 doctor, David Tennant. I don’t have anything against Tennant, but the Smith costume would have looked soooooo cute with the bowtie and boots! Tennant is still awesome though, so I was thrilled to put together this kid’s Dr. Who Halloween costume for Little J. I’ve had a few people ask where we got his costume from, so I thought I’d break down all the pieces. I bought almost everything on Amazon, and please note, I’m using affiliate links below.

The coat:

I looked around for a kid’s trench coat, but it was hard to find one that was brown and for a boy. The coats meant for girls weren’t cut the way I needed. They were shorter and flowed out like an empire waist. So on the advice of a friend, I bought a kid’s lab coat on Amazon with the plan to dye it tan. I bought the Aeromax Jr. Lab Coat in 3/4 length in the Child, 4-6 size. Little J is on the smaller size for a 4 year old, so I figured it would be a bit big for him (it was), but I needed the coat to be long since that’s part of the entire Dr. Who look.

When it arrived, the length was perfect for Dr. Who, but the sleeves were too long, and the coat was a little wide. I cut the ends of the sleeves off by a couple of inches and sewed a new hem on them to make the sleeves shorter. I also gathered in the sides of the coat a little bit under the arms and sewed a new inside seam just for a few inches under the arms. This probably didn’t need to be done though; I don’t think anyone would have noticed one way or another. I used a sewing machine for all of that, but really it was such little sewing that it could have easily been done by hand. I also replaced the white buttons on the coat with brown buttons (the fabric dye didn’t affect the white button color at all, so they had to change).

Finally, I dyed the lab coat with Rit Liquid Dye. I tried the Camel color first, and that really wasn’t dark enough, so I dyed it again with a Rit Dye Powder in Dark Brown. This was the first time I’d ever dyed fabric, but it was pretty easy. You can find the dye at Walmart, Harris Teeter and Amazon. I bought a large plastic bucket from Lowe’s to dye the coat in and just followed the directions. The end result wasn’t a perfect color match for Dr. Who, but we were happy with it. More importantly, Little J was happy!

The suit:

I spent a lot of time online looking at a brown pinstriped suit and a blue pinstriped suit. The 10th Doctor wore both. This brown pinstriped suit looked amazing, but the size we needed wasn’t available for Amazon Prime shipping. I was worried we wouldn’t get it in time, so I started focusing on a blue pinstriped 3-piece suit and a 2-piece version of the same blue suit. Because of the cost, I ended up getting the Spring Notion 2-piece version, and it worked out well. Although the 2-piece had a vest, not a suit jacket, I don’t think the overall Dr. Who look suffered because of it, especially with a coat over all of the costume.

I bought Little J this French Toast boy’s long sleeved white shirt and this French Toast adjustable tie in burgundy (size 4-7). At this point, you can probably tell this wasn’t a cheap costume, and that’s true. One of my justifications though is that he now has a nice church outfit! He’ll be wearing his “costume” minus the coat on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The shoes:

This part was easy. We had a pair of orange Chucks for him that we’d bought earlier this year at a Converse outlet store. They were still a little big as he’s meant to grow into them, but he fit them well enough that we could pull them out for this costume. Dr. Who actually wears cream or red Converse shoes, but the orange still really did the trick.

The accessories:

The 10th Doctor would not be the 10th Doctor without his sonic screwdriver, so that’s what we bought. Last of all, the Doctor needs his TARDIS, so I bought Little J a TARDIS tote bag to haul his candy in.

The hair:

For the hair, I literally just let my son grow his hair out for two months and used lots of gel in it and messed it up! If he had different color hair or it were shorter, I probably would have bought him a wig. And that was it! We had a few people who had no idea who Little J was dressed up like. We got Harry Potter, a lawyer, and vague “little gentleman.” But for the dozen or so times someone recognized him as Dr. Who? Totally worth the effort!!!

kids dr who collage

Did you make your little one’s costume this year? Did you make your own?

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