Happy long weekend everyone!
We’re off to the island this weekend for some camping, atv’ing and boating! I am so excited – I haven’t been ‘real’ camping for a while, and I’m really excited to go with some friends of ours who we haven’t seen for a while. They live on the island, we live on the mainland, so we only get together every now and then. And, they’ve made the trip over here the last couple times so I figure it was our time to take the ferry across. I also haven’t been on a ferry for a long time, after living on the island for school one semester I had my fair share of ferries. However, BC has a beautiful coastline and the ferry ride is gorgeous. I’m hoping the clouds part and we have a sunny, smooth sailing.
Camping was always our summer family vacation. We weren’t the cross country, road trip family. The first time I went on a plane with my mom, dad and brother for a family vacation, I was almost 16 years old. We went to San Francisco and then cruised home on a 3 day cruise back to Vancouver. So, when I grew up every summer I looked forward to our family camping trip.
Without fail we went to Cultas Lake with my dad’s cousin, his wife and their kids (my cousins.) Every year it was a crazy fun family adventure, and every year we got rained out. Like, every year. We never left, however, we just had to put up with the pools of water inside the tents and the makeshift tarp rain cover, giving us a good reason to laugh about it. Although my parents might have had less than perfect camping experience, as kids, we absolutely loved it. There are so many stories we tell over and over from those camping trips. One year my dad and uncle dropped off the wives and kids a week before the ‘men’ could come, and it rained the entire time. Mom never told dad, but we went into town and ate every. single. night. because it was such horrible weather. When my dad and uncle joined us after, they said “let’s go into town for dinner,” thinking that we had a rough week in the rain and it would be a nice treat. Little did they know we had actually already been into town, at the same restaurant just the night before.
It’s nice to be able to reminisce about them now, and I’m thankful that we had those experiences with my dad while he was here. Family holiday’s don’t have to be glamourous, and I think camping is the perfect family vacation to get away from all our technology and unplug, and reconnect with each other.
However, now, camping is simply an excuse to get a tan, hang out with friends, go boating, and have a good time. When we have our own little family, I look forward to planning family camping trips, come rain or shine.
I have done a TON of pre-baking, cooking and packing before we leave. I think it’s the teacher in me – I have to be organized. Adam thinks we have too much food, but I say it’s better to have too much than too little. Plus, we can always bring non-perishable stuff back with us. I’ve pre cut, pre-washed and prepped all of our veggies and fruit to make it easier once we’re there.
Also, I can’t believe how much we’ve packed for the two of us. Every time we go on vacation I ask Adam “how the heck did our parents do it, with kids!?” I feel that the car is packed full for just us, and can’t imagine doing it with a full family! I laugh now, because my dad would always load our full sized BBQ into the back of our van to take camping. It was huge, and heavy! I have no idea how we packed so much stuff each year with coolers full of food (let alone, thinking about what to cook and make sure it doesn’t go bad), the tent stuff, bikes, and clothes for everyone. I guess I’ll learn how to some day!
So far I’ve prepped/made:
- Chicken, sliced, marinated and frozen for Fajitas (thaw during the day for dinner + keeps cooler colder)
- Peppers and onions sliced, for fajitas
- Guacamole, for fajitas and chips
- Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free banana berry protein breakfast muffins
- Hard boiled eggs for lunch or a quick breakfast if we go out boating/fishing early
- Steaks, marinated for dinner
- Marinated Quinoa Salad for lunches/dinner made + stored in large ziploc
- Kale and grated carrots and red onion, and nuts + dressing to make marinated kale salad
- Homemade trail mix for the car
- Dark chocolate and cranberry sugar free oatmeal breakfast/snack cookies sort of like my cowboy cookies
- Caramelized onions, pre-cooked to reheat for Smokies
- Washed and cut strawberries
- Washed blueberries
- Washed apples
- 2 jars of sliced carrots and celery with water to keep them crisp
Phew! I was up until 10 last night prepping. And so far we have made 3 trips to Wal Mart to get things we forget. Needless to say, Adam and I are both excited to go camping! And, we are now fully stocked for any future camping/picnic adventure.
I also made these no-bake peanut butter cookies. They’re sort of like the protein pods I make, but without the protein (though I also added it to a second batch.) They’re delicious, and a quick healthy cookie on the go if you’re craving something sweet.
**** And – I’ve discovered a secret to making smooth, round cookie dough balls! You need to puree the dates FIRST, and then add the oats etc. For my protein pods I always throw in the dates after I grind the oats/almonds, but If you puree the dates separately, and then add the oats after it will give you super smooth, super chewy smooth cookie dough!! ****
No Bake Raw Peanut Butter Cookies + the secret to smooth dough balls 😉
- 10 Medjool Dates
- 1/4 cup all natural peanut butter
- 1 cup rolled oats, not quick oats
- 1/2 – 1 cup almonds
- 1-2 Tbs. Water
First, in processor grind oatmeal and almonds until form a powder. Transfer to separate bowl and set aside.
Next, add dates and water in small dish and microwave for 30 seconds. This makes the dates softer, and the water helps when pureeing to make a paste. Add to food processor and process about 1 minute, scraping down sides when needed. If it’s still thick, add a little more water, you want it a paste, but not ‘watery.’
Then, add your oat/almond mixture back to the food processor, along with 1/4 cup of all natural peanut butter. If you want to make these with protein, add your protein powder now too. Process for another minute or two, scraping down sides when needed.
When dough starts to form, remove and roll into 1” balls. Use a fork to mark the tops like regular peanut butter cookies. Store in container in the fridge.
They taste even better after they’ve been in the fridge, like most baked goods.
Have a great long weekend, Canada!