Dutch oven cobbler over a campfire

Jul 17, 2013 by

Camping food just tastes better.  It’s a fact.

Some of my best and favorite recipes are camping food recipes.  On the heels of our yearly camping adventure where all my friends from all over get together and go camping I am relishing in the great times and awesome food we ate.

We may be getting a little overboard with the food though.  Our camping meals are getting to the beyond epic proportions and we may need to dial it back, but I’ve never dined on such amazing food as this last trip.  We had crepes, we had amazing breakfast sandwiches grilled over the fire, we had amazing street tacos, and chicken and dumplings in the dutch oven.  It got a little nuts for camping, but this year’s camping was a bit more luxurious as we actually camped in an RV as my wife is 8 months pregnant.

We had planned to hike through Zion in Utah, but for some reason my wife didn’t want to hike through 115 degree canyons.  Go figure.  So we went the other way and rented an RV so she would be comfortable and headed back to one of our favorite spots, Pismo Beach.

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In addition to all the aforementioned food I set out to make a cobbler for dessert one night and it was awesome.  And if you’ve read any of this site, or even just the name of the site you know I like to keep it simple and it doesn’t get much more simple than this.

For this recipe, all you’ll need is fruit, sprite, a cake mix and a little butter.

I cooked this in our dutch oven over a fire, but you can do this in the oven at home too if you’d like.


I threw a couple pats of butter in the crock pot and rubbed it around to get it all good and buttery


Throw in your fruit of choice.  Peaches and blueberries are in season and were available at the local fruit stand.  You can use any fruit you like.


For the cobbler part all you need is a cake mix and a sprite.  I made a huge batch so I used the whole cake mix and a 12 fl oz sprite.  You may want to use half of each if you are making a normal amount.  We had 11 hungry campers so I made a big batch.


Add the sprite to the cake mix.  Stir, stir, stir, and spoon over the fruit.  Add a few pats of butter on top.


Throw the dutch oven on the fire and put the coals on top of the lid.  Ideally You’d like more coals on top than on bottom at a 2:1 ratio.


Cook the cobbler in the dutch oven until the top is cooked through and smells awesome.  The time to cook will depend on your fire, but its about 10-15 minutes.  Keep checking it as you go.

As usual I don’t have a good picture of the final product out of the dutch oven as it was devoured by the hungry campers around the fire.




But here’s a picture of the gang with the dogs enjoying running around the sand dunes.  And yes my wife kicks ass and hiked the very steep sand dunes at 8 months pregnant.

As always, we had a great time camping and can’t wait to do it again next year with our kid.

If you haven’t planned a camping trip in a while, take a minute and plan one now.  Find a weekend, or even a day and get out and go have fun.

Plus nothing tastes as good as camping food.  Here are some other great camping recipes for you:

Happy camping


P.S. if you’ve got a favorite camping recipe, let me know in the comments.  I’m always looking for some good new ones.


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Jun 18, 2013 by

It doesn’t get any more simple than this.

Go for a walk.

That is this weeks advice.  That is your Truly Simple Action number 25.

Just walk.

Get outside.  Go for a walk.

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere very walkable, then skip the car next time you need to run to the store and walk there.  You’ll get some exercise and buy less stuff because you have to carry it back.

If not, just walk around your neighborhood.  Take the dog around the block if you have a dog.

I walk my dog around the neighborhood each day and rarely run into other people out walking.  Everyone is stuck inside their home.  It’s beautiful outside.  Go outside.  Go for a walk.

So get up, and get outside.  The fresh air will do you good.


Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time. Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:

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Take a Day Off

May 27, 2013 by

Today is memorial day and I hope you have the day off.  I have just finished a 2 month remodel on our rental house.  I love remodeling.  I love fixing and building, but 2 months of nights and weekends has taken its toll and I am ready for a day off.

So I am taking a well deserved day off.

I am going to relax.  I am going to do fun projects around the house.  I am going to tend to the garden.  I am going to take a day off of the things that I call work and I recommend you do the same as well.

If you live in the US, then you live in the only developed country on earth without a mandated vacation policy.  We have a strange work ethic here, and I admit that I subscribe to it.  I often work way too long and hard to the determent of health or quality time with my family.  This is something I’m trying to keep and eye on and curb to the betterment of my physical and mental well being as well as those around me.

I actually got to spend a weekend with my wife this past weekend and it was wonderful.

So on this Memorial day, I hope you take the opportunity to not only remember those who have served for our country, but use this day off to actually take a day off from the things that you call work.  Put the phone down.  Stop checking email.  Relax and spend some time with those you love to spend time with.  Do the fun things you’ve been wanting to do.

Your Truly Simple Action is to enjoy a day off.

And for those interested in how the remodel came out, here is a before and after of the kitchen.



 and after…



Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:


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It’s a new year, let’s get going

Jan 1, 2013 by

It’s a new year.  It’s a new opportunity to try again.  It’s time to start fixing what’s wrong and making this life a little better.

Does that sound daunting to you?  It shouldn’t.

This is simple.  Come with me.  This is going to be fun.

Starting TODAY, yes, TODAY, we are going to start fixing  our problems.  Starting today, we are going to fix our world, and its going to be simple and dare I say a little fun even.

Every day we have a choice.  We can go left or right.  We can get up and go for a walk or run or we can sit down and watch the latest reality TV show.  This year we will choose to improve.  This year we will choose to make our lives and the lives of those around us better.   This year we will take simple steps toward that goal each day and will see dramatic results.

Imagine a place where everyone around you took that extra step to make your life just a little bit easier.  Neighbors brought up your trash cans for you when you forgot.  Friends cooked a nice homemade meal for you.  Strangers handed  you coupons for the items you were buying at the grocery store.  Everywhere you went, people were going just slightly out of their way to make the world a better place for all those around them.  Does that sound like some place you’d like to live?

Good, lets go there together.

This is simple.  Here’s how it works.

I have created a list of 52 simple things to make you and the world around you better.  Each week, on Mondays, I will post one simple action that you need to take that week.

I see countless magazines and ads for making yourself look better.  “How to drop 10 pounds before the holidays” or “Top 10 muscle building exercises you can do at home” etc.

I also see countless self help books on how to feel better.  Whether it be on how to escape depression or how to cope with stress, there are thousands of titles available.  And while there are several books on how to be a better person I don’t hear people talking about this as much.  In fact I don’t hear many people talking about this much at all.  I want to talk about it.

I don’t just want to be a better person for the sake of being a better person.  I want to make my life and the life of those around me measurably better.  And I want others to aspire to that goal as well.  I want to live in that place where we look out for one another.  I want to be around people who are trying to make life a little better for everyone they encounter.

Now you may say that I’m a dreamer, but I am not the only one.

It really all comes down to a choice.  Do I want to merely exist in this world and scrape by doing the bare minimum or do I want to suck every drop of life out of every minute and make this world a much better place in doing so?

Join me on this simple adventure.  Choose more than just existing.  Let’s change the world together.

Let’s get started right now.

Here is the Truly Simple Action #1


TSA = Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing.

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What if the world doesn’t end in 16 days

Dec 5, 2012 by

The countdown is on.  No, not until you can open presents on Christmas, that may not happen this year.

According to the ol’ Mayans and their calendar the world will end on December 21st, 2012 (not sure exactly what time).

But what if it doesn’t?

Now I don’t expect the world to end on December 21st as evident by all the Christmas presents I’ve already bought, but as life has no pauses or stopping points, it’s kind of nice to use events like this to think ahead.

Much like January 1st being the start of a new year with all its new year’s resolutions, we can pause for a second and think about what the world could look like if it doesn’t end.

What do you want from the future?

What changes would you like to see or make?

What plans and dreams can you bring to fruition?What simple ways could you make your life and the life of those around you a little bit better?

If you are interested in these questions and interested in some simple things that can make your life better I hope you will join me on this journey.

Starting around Christmas and going though the new year I will be posting one simple thing each week that you can do to make your life better.

Please sign up for the email newsletter and follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook to stay connected with TrulySimple and receive each simple, but life changing, thing each week.

These will be simple little things that will be easy to accomplish and easy to see positive results from (hopefully!).

I hope the world doesn’t end on December 21st.  I have so many great things yet to do and I hope you’ll join me in making this world a better place.


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