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Archive for February, 2013

Family Camping – Wintertime Adventures

February 18th, 2013 by ironcooker

Wintertime adventures

While camping around a campfire in one of our state parks may not be the highlight on your wintertime activity list there are several activities you should consider. Getting your skis or snowshoes might be winter skiingsomething you haven’t thought about in a few years but it’s a fun activity for your kids. And mom will like the idea of camping out in a resort with a hot tub after a day on the trails or ski slope,

Here in Michigan during the winter months there is activity such as

1 .   Skiing

2.   Snowmobiling

3.    Dog sledding

4.    Ice skating

5.    Sleigh rides


You can find much information about this at you will see this and information on upcoming events throughout the year. A few events in Mackinaw city that you may want to attend is memorial weekend events with the biggest being a walk across the Mackinaw Bridge.bridge walk

ice fishingThe frozen lakes offer some of the very finest ice fishing with many contests every year. With Walleye, Northern Pike, & pan fish being a favorite of many wither time fishermen and women. Do not forget to bring your cast iron frying pan & Dutch oven with your tripod. There are unlimited ideas that you can do if you make a plan and call ahead for the events.

Posted in Family Camping | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip

February 8th, 2013 by ironcooker

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip
Nachos are a snack of necessity at the core.

In 1943, the wives of soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan crossed the border into Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila to go shopping.  When they had finished, they were hungry and stopped at the Victory Club for refreshments.  Unfortunately, the kitchen had already closed, and so the maître d’hôtel, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, put a dish together with the ingredients he had at his disposal.  He cut tortillas into triangles, melted cheddar cheese over then and topped them with jalapeño peppers.

The soldiers’ wives were delighted with the dish, and when asked what it was called, Ignacio replied, “Nacho’s especiales.”  The term was passed around in english until it was confused as “special nachos”, forgetting that “Nacho” was the man’s nickname and not an actual dish.

One Dish, Many Different Takes

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip in BowlNachos are the type of dish that take very little thought or effort to make, but they leave room to add more and more elaborate additions.  The elemental dish is cooked down to just tortilla chips and melted cheese.  Given those two ingredients, anything else is up for negotiation.

Flavored chips like Doritos.  Different types of cheese, or substitute “nacho” cheese.  Peppers, onions, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, black beans, or ground or shredded meats all come into play.  Whatever goes on the nachos, it must ultimately remain a finger food.  And if that’s the case, you’ve still got Nachos.

A Dish of Convenience

Because nachos are so easy to eat, they’ve become a favorite of casual gatherings all over America.  Nachos can be served in all kinds of casual and quick venues.  Convenience stores, restaurants, and bars of all types offer nachos.  In fact, one of the mainstays of modern nachos, a combination of a hard tortilla chip and a cheese sauce, has become known as “ballpark nachos” for its popularity it sporting event refreshment stands.

Bring Relaxation With You

With that said, the ability to serve nachos, even in an outdoor setting, leads back to a sense of recreational Americana.  It means to say that the host and company are in for a relaxed, casual event without pretense or unnecessary pomp.  It could really only be improved with a couple of cold beers to pass around!

To facilitate your informal outdoor gatherings, we offer this dutch oven nacho dip recipe.


Dutch Oven Nacho Dip Ingredents

  • 1 Lb ground beef
  • 1 Lb hot pork sausage
  • 1 Package hot taco seasoning mix
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 1 Small can jalapeno peppers, drained
  • 1 Can refried beans
  • 8 Oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 Oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Jar salsa
  • 1 Bag tortilla chips


Dutch Oven Nacho Dip Mixing Ingredents

  1. Set your Cast Iron 4 Quart Round Dutch Oven over hot coals.
  2. Brown the ground beef, pork sausage, onions, and garlic.
  3. Drain off grease.
  4. Add taco seasoning, cumin, and 1/4 cup water.
  5. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Over the meat, layer evenly the beans, cheese, jalapenos, and salsa.
  7. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes with 3/4 of the coals on top of the dutch oven.
  8. You can scoop straight from the pot with tortilla chips,  or spoon the dip into individual bowls.

Expect to serve 4-6 people.

Have you been entertaining friends in your yard or at the campsite and used this recipe?  Let us know how it turns out in the comments below!

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Thanks to Dutch Oven Dude for his great outdoor recipes!

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Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes | 4 Comments »

Shed Hunting

February 3rd, 2013 by ironcooker

Shed Hunting

All of us avid deer hunters spend our off season thinking of ways to better improve our success for the upcoming year. The lucky ones of us that are able to get back out in the woods are able to check on signs that are an shed huntingimportant factor to help us know what is happening in our hunting area. Checking on coyote population is a growing concern in most areas now days with our predators growing to a nuisance degree. Checking trail signs & winter feeding areas are important things to look for so we know exactly what is attracting deer to our areas.  But one of the best benefits to being out there is finding sheds.

What is shed hunting some ask.  Each year male deer have a drop in testosterone level & when this happens they shed their antlers, only to start growing a new set right away. Many hunters take to woodlands every spring looking for these antlers that our elusive bucks have left on the ground.

These can be used for many things such as knife handles or lamp stands that are decorating many cabins across the country.  This is a great winter or springtime challenge as stated in this article in the
Maine Sunday Telegram or check out one of the better articles I have discovered with 21

antler lamp

antler lamp

different shed hunting tips that will help you better locate antlers in your hunting area.
For all of us we know the main thing is to enjoy our experience outdoors and remember it’s not always what you find that is important but more so the adventure you have had.

Posted in Hunting & Fishing Life | 4 Comments »

Family Camping – Wintertime Adventures

Monday February 18th, 2013 in Family Camping | No Comments »

Dutch Oven Nacho Dip

Friday February 8th, 2013 in Dutch Oven Recipes | 4 Comments »

Shed Hunting

Sunday February 3rd, 2013 in Hunting & Fishing Life | 4 Comments »

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