2013 has been the year of the new pop culture lingo, right? I mean there’s always new lingo. And pop culture is always happening way too quickly for me to keep up. But this year it seemed to explode. First there were selfies [side note: we were taking self portraits on our disposable cameras back in 2001, so why it took til 2013 to have a name is beyond me]. Then twerking became a thing and I seemed to be the last to know [why do I keep mentioning twerking on my food blog??–I’m so sorry]. How bout all summer long, people have been glamping.
That’s the one we’re going to be talking about today: Glamping. Glamorous + Camping. The only kind of camping I do.
We’re talking about a six person cabin with beds, a kitchen, and indoor plumbing on a family campground in New Jersey. Total glamping. And totally my style of ‘roughin’ it.’
My friends and I booked the cabin about a month ago, and when I agreed to go I didn’t give much thought to just how busy a month September was shaping up to be. If I’m being totally honest here, when Friday afternoon rolled around, I was absolutely exhausted and the last thing I felt like doing was packing up half my apartment to go camping for a day and a half. I hate dipping out on things once I’ve committed though, so I reluctantly loaded up my little car with everything from blankets to a coffee maker (glamping alert!) and drove the hour into the New Jersey countryside for The Great Glamping Trip of 2013.
And boy am I glad I went!
Honestly, the weekend away was just what I needed. It was literally (and figuratively) a breath of fresh air. I’m always go-go-going and rarely give myself the opportunity to enjoy a quiet morning. Saturday I woke up early and sat out on the porch with Pat and Kate sipping coffee and chatting, while our other 3 friends slept in. I went for an hour long run on back country roads [see the collection of iPhone photos below]. I took my time and savored the last few moments of summer and soaked up the sweet memories with friends.
Although there was a TV in the cabin, we didn’t turn it on once. Instead we played board games [cards against humanity], BINGO, and made up games [guess that snack!]. When it rained Saturday night, the six of us squeezed onto the tiny screened in porch and played some of those throw-back-to-college-you-guessed-the-wrong-card-now-take-a-sip-of-your-drink-games. The boys played guitar while the girls sang off key. We made s’mores over the fire, we grilled hot dogs and sausage for lunch. We fired the grill back up for dinner and made steak, chicken, corn, potatoes, peppers, and onions. We ate cake for breakfast, we drank seasonal beers, and we snacked pretty much all day long. I mean, really… what would a glamping trip be without snacks?
I don’t even want to tell you how many bags of chips we ate, but I totally do want to tell you about Rosemary Parmesan Pretzels. They are my new addiction and my absolute go-to recipe when a snack is required. These pretzels are super crunchy and packed with flavor. I’m pretty much obsessed with anything rosemary, but this recipe definitely leads the charge. And they are easy (did I mention that… ridicuously easy!) to make. Seriously, just melt some butter, mince some herbs, and toss them in the oven for a half an hour. That’s it. Everyone goes nuts when I bring these along so I recommend adding this to your recipe box ASAP.
- 1 lb bag of sourdough pretzel bites (Herr’s are my favorite)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1/4 c fresh rosemary, minced (.75 oz package)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the minced rosemary and butter in a small saucepan and heat on a low temperature on the stove top, just until melted. Transfer the rosemary butter to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Dump the contents of an entire bag of pretzels (salt included) into the butter and toss gently with a wooden spoon. Add the 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan and continue mixing until the pretzels are well coated.
Transfer everything to a 9×13 baking dish and bake in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. When done, the pretzels should be nearly dry and no longer sitting in a pool of butter The Parmesan and rosemary bits at the bottom of the baking dish will just be starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow pretzels to cool in the baking dish before transferring them to an airtight container.
These are inspired by a recipe that my mom gave me called Irene’s Pretzels (her friend from college). In that recipe the pretzels are tossed with melted butter and a package of onion soup which is another winning flavor combo in my book!
Camping… Glamping… whatever you call it, just get out there and enjoy these last few days of beautiful sunshine! [and eat some awesome snacks while you’re at it!]