Sunday, November 23, 2014

Outdoor Inspired Thanksgiving: Menu, Decor & More

Holiday season greets us again...


As much as Thanksgiving is about tradition, it feels like deja vu every year when you get the same plate of food, as delicious as it is. This Thanksgiving why not change up some things! Surprise your guests with new and creative recipes. Were talking bold flavor and different cooking styles. And not just food, make your house flourish inside and out with fall festive decor. Let the kids help decorate with fun crafty projects leading up to the day! We are here to help make your Thanksgiving stand out from the rest.


Thanksgiving Menu



Replace those same mashed potatoes with something full of flavor and exciting: Maxwell Roasted Potatoes  The secret is to use already cooked potatoes to start. Tossing the cubed potatoes with a hefty dose of olive oil and sea salt creates the crisp coating. Cook up extra baked potatoes one evening and make Maxwell potatoes the following.   
                                


How about a tasty side dish to compete with green bean casserole... Cauliflower and Potato Gratin
Creamy, comfy and divine are the only ways to describe this dish. Potatoes and cauliflower make a perfect match especially when paired with a gooey, cheesy sauce. Topped off with Panko breadcrumbs and the result is a crispy crust that forms.



Boring Creamed Corn.... Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob with Rosemary Butter!      
This holiday classic can be elevated to sophistication with the addition of exotic herbs and spices.
                       
                
                                                              
                                 Ever Tried Deep Fried Turkey?                                        Brined Deep Fried Turkey
Cooking a turkey outside over an open propane flame means only one thing, the plump juiciness that only a fried turkey brings while brining the turkey infuses it with tremendous flavor (although this step can be made optional). Deep frying is easy outdoors and yields a crisp and irresistibly tender turkey dinner.





Still need a green? Mix it up with brussels sprouts
rather than the traditional green beans.
Even though some people turn their nose at these little green morsels, we think they need a second chance.  For us, it’s all in the prep. We bet even the most skeptic will find this preparation irresistible. 



 This soup will amaze even the biggest skeptic of vegan dishes. What is so remarkable about this soup is that everyone swears it is made with cream or some sort of dairy product. Curiously, there is no dairy and that’s where the magic comes in. 


                    

Make your Home Flourish in Thanksgiving Decor


Thanksgiving festive decor for your home can be as simple as putting vegetables in a vase. You're going to have to stock up on onions anyway, might as well buy some extras to add to the natural decorations that they provide. Using a variety of colors and sizes keeps it diverse, whereas using all of the same color will give you a more crisp look. Colors and texture are what bring together the thanksgiving theme. Think oranges, reds, soft purples, and light browns or creams. As for texture, leafy, crinkled, and natural substances create the feel for the festive holiday. 

Onions work well because of their leafy surface and their stringy roots. Gourds, squash, chilis, and shallots also double as natural decoration for your holiday adorned home. Other naturals substances you can use are dry split peas, red beans, and corn kernels. These arrange beautifully in contrast with each other. Fill a mason jar or vase and insert a candle in the middle. Tie some twine around the outside and voilĂ ! So many simple ways ways to brighten up your home with the colors of the season. 


Another great indoor or outdoor decoration for the season is a pumpkin vase! Simple and fun, can even be a craft for the kids to join in on. Cut out the top and clean out just as you would for carving. Place a short vase inside the pumpkin filled with water and add a bouquet of festive flowers! This decorative craft will sure surprise and delight your guests.




Thanksgiving Craft 


Now how about letting the kids get in on the crafts? Another simple but fun project to keep the kids busy and decorate the house. For this one all you need is a few pinecones, construction paper, glue, scissors, and any additions such as leaves and markers. Simply cut out "hand turkeys" in a variety of colors and glue them to the back of the pine cone, you can also include leaves here. Cut out a turkey head shape and glue it to the front of the pine cone and add on a gobble and an eye. For the feet, you can use construction paper or pipe cleaner. Decorate your porch with these fun little gobblers or above the fireplace. Any way you display, these are sure to get attention!

For more crafty tips and recipes go to grasshavenoutdoor.com

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Decor For The Outdoors

Pumpkins, Colors, Leaves and More Pumpkins!


Fall is a time when the colors change and the outdoors become even more beautiful, but that doesn't mean you have to leave it for nature to do all the work. There are many things that you can do around your outdoor setting to glamorize it.



Pumpkin Tablecloth Weights


A subtle and unique way to bring the natural accessories of autumn into your dining space. Simply find 4 Jack be Little or Baby Boo pumpkins with curved stems (a necessity). Tie the stems to a foot long piece of ribbon, twine, or string, and tie opposite ends to each corner of the tablecloth. VoilĂ , a beautiful and simple addition to your fall decor. You can use this fun accessory for any fall outdoor occasion whether your camping, tailgating, or having a backyard party. Glam up your outdoor space! 




Greens: Center Pieces, Dinnerware, and Food


Since the trees outside are colorful, bring back the green with your dinnerware and accessories. These beautiful pumpkins are Blue Maxes or Jarrahdales. Bring in vegetables for your centerpieces as well, eggplant and artichokes are good for this. And for the dinnerware, have fun with colors and styles. For more dinnerware inspiration click here







Whites, Lights and Clears


Let the natural colors of fall stand alone for a nice clean look with white and clear dinnerware. Simple designs and patters can go a long way though. Shop for these styles and more. For a fun and classy centerpiece, use a casper pumpkin (white) or another, cut out stem, gut, and fill with flowers. Any easy and unique way to incorporate pumpkins into stunning decor pieces.  








Vibrant and Festive Reds and Oranges


The colors of Thanksgiving come alive with these bold Cinderella and Red Warty (yes, it's real name) Pumpkins. You can even add pinecones and fallen leaves to your decor to give it a beautiful and festive feel. For Vibrant dinnerware think patterns, and eye catching designs. Visit our site for more options and inspirations.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Winner of GH Outdoor Kitchen

And the Winner is....


Sherrill Rigney

Thank you Sherrill Rigney for entering to win our annual GH Outdoor Kitchen Giveaway!

Here is a picture to show the features of this collapsible kitchen!


If you want to have one too you can purchase here 





Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cocktail Photo & Recipe Contest!


Get Your Party On! 


In collaboration with Quench Products, we will be hosting a contest looking for the best outdoor cocktail photo and recipe! The prize will be one these incredible, one of a kind, 10 in 1 bar-tending tools to help make all of your favorite cocktails and mocktails with ease. Your recipe and photo will also be published on our blog and website! 

All you have to do to enter is post a picture of the cocktail, preferably being made outdoors, along with a quick recipe. You can post on any of our social media pages or as a comment on this blog to be entered. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Just make sure you tag Grasshaven if you are using Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and hashtag #cocktailcontest! 



Get Ready to Mumble!!!...? 


This contest is accepting entries until October 22 at Midnight (so you can use for your Halloween party) Winner will be notified on the 23th and will have their Bar10der tool in their mailbox by Halloween Eve! 




About the Bar10der:


price: $39.99

If you don't want to wait to win the bar10der, you can purchase here 








































To learn more about Quench Products and their awesome bar tools click here!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More than Chocolate in Hershey, PA

America's Largest RV Show put on by PRVCA (Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association) in Hershey, Pennsylvania (yes, that is where they make the chocolate!). This magical  event occurs once a year in September and draws people in from all over the country. We had the pleasure of attending as vendors for the first time this year and could not be happier with our experience! We definitely hope to be back next year. Here is a bit about our experience in Hershey, in the show and in town.

Hershey Chocolate Factory! 


Hershey factory is a must! A bit centered toward children, but also brings out the child in all of us. So much to do here including a free historical tour, create your own candy bar, chocolate tasting lessons, and much more! You will not have any shortage of chocolate by the time you leave here.


Hershey Amusement Park

Yes! An amusement park! We had no idea either. Generously, PRVCA had a vendor party here before the show began. All the vendors got to eat, drink, and be merry at the hershey amusement park for the last three hours of being open. After eating and socializing we decided it was time to go on some rides. Looking for the most thrilling ride there, we came upon Fahrenheit, a ride that drops at a 97 degree angle! There was no line, so we went on it three times, didn't even bother getting off. I definitely recommend stopping by the park if you visit Hershey! 


America's Largest RV Show!!

So well arranged and organized, and what a blast everyone is! The employers of PRVCA are great, so considerate and excited for each and every vendor there. They truly try and satisfy each and every person there, vendors and attendees. We were very lucky to receive a prime location after there was a no show. We had a big long space that allowed us to showcase all of our products and displays in a very clean and organized manner. 


We had so much fun meeting everyone that helps put this magic together, as well as all of our customers! Everyone that came by the booth was so gracious and pleasant; you could see there was real support behind every person that we were able to talk to. Thank you for that, it is very appreciative and we love having you all as not just customers, but members of the grasshaven community! Getting outdoors is difficult for a lot of people, and we try to make it easier. We also want to make your RV homes feel more like home, so please give us your feedback and let us know how we are doing and how you think we could improve. 
























Friday, July 18, 2014

Backyard Camping: A Convenient Alternative to the Real Thing

Camping is a great escape from the media and technology consumed lives we live, but sometimes we just don't have the time to get all packed up and plan a full camping trip...

Introducing Backyard Camping!


Maybe it's the kids first time camping and you want to have a trial run in the backyard? Or perhaps you only have one free day and night to camp and you want to take advantage of what little time you have by doing it in the backyard? Or it could be that you just want to spend some time outdoors without having to drive somewhere? Whatever your reasons are, backyard camping is a great alternative because camping is really just about being in nature and having fun outside, and we can do that in our backyards!




Here are four steps to have a successful backyard camping experience!




1. Turn your Backyard into a Campsite


  First you have to gather the gear and actually make your backyard feel like a campsite! This includes setting up the tent, building a fire(or makeshift fire), preparing your outdoor meals etc. You can use your regular camping tent, or get creative and create your own outdoor tent with rope and tarps! Or if you have a trampoline, you can set-up a tent on top of it and save time filling up the air mattress! For the campfire, if you can't have a real one, go ahead and set up LED candles or lanterns in an area where you can sit around them and tell stories, really getting the feel for a true campsite. As far as outdoor cooking goes, set up an outdoor camp kitchen! Use an outdoor grill or a portable one and cook up some great camping foods outside! Some never-fail meals include shish kabobs, rib-eye, stuffed cheeseburgers, meatballs, corn on the cob, and pasta salads. Visit our recipe blog for more. Bring out the camping chairs and any other camp gear you may have, and once everything is outside, stay there! Unless of course for the need of restroom trips.


 2. Get in the Camping Mindset


Even though you are outside, you should still do a bit of exploring rather than just going straight to the backyard. After setting up camp, pack a backpack, take some water, and go on a hike, even if its just around the neighborhood. Don't forget the sunscreen! Explore areas you have never seen before and make games of it! Put together a hobo scavenger hunt, and get the kids amerced in nature and learning new things. This step is very important to backyard camping because you get to leave your property and work up a bit of a sweat. Going on a little walk and exploring the nature that surrounds you will give you and the kids a new appreciation for the outdoors, and maybe even provide some new locations to play or walk around at in the future!



3. Keep the Kids Busy with Campsite Projects


 After the hike, you still might have some time before dinner for some fun campsite activities! Bug catching is always a fun and educational classic that will work just about anywhere outdoors. Let the kids create their own camping journal and have them write about their hike and draw pictures of the bugs, birds, or plants that they saw. Practice your bird calls, on your own or with a real bird call. Collect pinecones on your nature walk and make a bird feeder. There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy right in your backyard, all it takes is a little creativity and an open mind.

More creative outdoor activities here.



4. S'mores and S'more Pre-bedtime Activities


 Dinner's over, but it's not bedtime yet. Camping tradition of s'mores is in action, and even if you can't have a real fire, there are plenty of ways to improvise. One way is to have a do-it-yourself s'mores bar or cone station with all the fixings. Ever had salted carmel monkey s'mores? If you really want to roast marshmallows, just do it over a charcoal grill, you may not have the flames, but it still gets the job done. Another after dinner activity, if you don't mind a bit of technology, is screening a movie in your backyard. Set up a picnic area with blankets and pillows and watch it right on your laptop. Popcorn anyone?



To hear founder Dawn Bitz talk about making summer memories in your backyard, click here

Monday, July 14, 2014

Photo of the Weekend!

We all love weekends, and hopefully we all try to have some fun during them! 

Photo of the weekend is all about trying to encourage fun and spontaneity during our short vacation every week. Getting outdoors is important to our wellbeing and we want to see how you spend your time outside over the weekend. So every week we will post one person's photo onto our blog and share it with the rest of the world. We want to see funny, beautiful, exciting photos, just as long as they represent the outdoors! Send us your picture entry every Sunday or Monday morning and you may just see it again on our page! Send to grasshavenoutdoor@gmail.com

September 28, 2014

Thank you Chris Sommese of Denver, Colorado! Vail is only a little over an hour away and the beautiful scenery at Piney River Ranch is worth the traffic on 70! Hiking with his girlfriend, Chris saw three moose and reached a breathtaking waterfall which is the destination of the hike.

September 21, 2014
Thank you Camilla Meyer of Evergreen, Colorado! What a fun weekend camping with the family at Rainbow Lakes near Nederland, Colorado and hiking around the 7 small lakes. Very family friendly hiking with mild grades to reach the 7 beautiful lakes with views of glaciers up above. 


August 18, 2014
Thank you Jesse Wiley of Clintonville, Wisconsin! This picture is priceless! Paddle boarding with the dog on Hasbrook Lake in Northern Wisconsin. 


August 11, 2014
Thank you Olivia Charlier of Green Bay, Wisconsin! This fabulous picture was taken on a family outing to the DeYoung Family Zoo in the Upper Peninsula, a place where the animals are pets, not exhibits.


August 4, 2014
Thank you Martin Myers of Oregon!! This picture is stunning! Showing Mt. Thielson at Umpqua 
National Forest in Oregon.

July 28
Thank you Buddy Suttle of Laguna Beach, CA! His dog Izzy LOVES hanging out in the tent while camping. Tent with a porch is perfect for her. Anyone else have furry friends who think the tent is their doghouse? 


July 21
Thank you Kevin Long of Boulder, CO! This is beautiful camp site for a family camping trip, which Kevin and his family had the pleasure of taking. Near Fort Collins, CO on the Poudre River is where you too can camp here!


July 14, 2013
Thank you Joe Selvick of Minnesota! Exploring Colorado at it's best, Joe and friends went camping in Winter Park at Vasquez Wilderness area this weekend and got to see a free concert in town! Many resorts hold free summer concert series' to keep people coming around year long, check it out!

August 20, 2013
Thank you Alex Lee from Los Angeles for sharing your photo of the double arches in Bryce Canyon. While camping and hiking around Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Alex came across the beautiful sight, thank goodness for Iphones!

July 29, 2013
Thank you Rob Guenther of Fort collins. While hiking along in Crested Butte he came across an old abandoned cabin that resembled one on a picture he had boughten... turns out it's the same cabin!

July 2, 2013
Thank you Michele Nevills, from Northern California. Her and her family go up to Lake Tahoe every summer and go camping. This year they got to experience the new water sport of paddle boarding! Thanks for sharing, definitely going to have to try that out.

June 10, 2013
Thanks Will Collins, for sharing your photo of Canoeing in the Northwoods! Always in for a good time when you gather friends and family in the outdoors!

May 28, 2013
Thank you Riley Walker for sharing your photo of hiking Bear Peak in Boulder, Colorado. Bear Peak is the highest point of the front rage in Boulder. From there, they were able to watch the end of the Bolder Boulder.

May 13, 2013

Natalina Rasonsky from Northern California camping in Yosemite. The mountains are big, but we challenge ourselves to reach the top to experience the natural beauty in our world. Never stop exploring.

April 29, 2013

Taken in Yorkville, Illinois, by Megan Moran on her families annual camp out, which has been a tradition for over thirty years. Traditions like these are great for getting families together, especially if they do not see each other often.
Do you have any family fun outdoor traditions? If not, start one!



April 22, 2013

Beach day with the family in Northern California. Spending the day at at the beach can be a tradition in some families, like this one, who only live 30 min from the coast, or it can be a new and exciting adventure. Finding jellyfish on the shore, digging holes with the kids(and making couches made of sand like Patrick from Spongebob) and bringing a picnic for the whole family to enjoy, even the dog, is an easy way to create lifelong memories. Picture taken by Chelsea Scherer of Petaluma, CA of her parents walking along the shore.

March 18, 2013

Blake taking a break to play in the snow on a hike up the backside of the Flat Irons. Taken by Ashley in Boulder, Colorado.