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Life and living: Festive fireplace food

Memories made around a roaring fire are some of the best—especially when they’re made during the holiday season. Whether you cook this simple three-course meal around the fireplace, at a campground or on your backyard firepit, this meal is so easy that everyone in the family can cook with fire!

MAIN COURSE

Firepit walking tacos

Walking tacos are a real crowd-pleaser. Kids love to help prepare them; just be sure to review fire safety rules and ensure there’s an adult close by at all times.

Here’s what you’ll need for each taco (plan on at least 1 to 2 per person):

  • A snack-size bag of Fritos or Doritos

  • 2-3 ounces of cooked ground beef, ground turkey or meat substitute

  • 1 ounce of shredded cheese, cheddar or your choice

  • Chopped lettuce

  • Diced tomatoes

  • Your choice of any other toppings or spices

Line up your walking taco ingredients buffet-style on a table. Have each person (or designate taco chefs) fill a chip bag with their choice of toppings and shake with the bag closed.

IMPORTANT: Place the bags into a fire-friendly pot and allow the meal to slightly warm up over the flame. Be sure the bags are completely inside the pot...and that they don't touch the flame or become too hot. When you hand them out, make sure everyone has a fork or spoon so they can dig right into the bag!

VEGETABLE COURSE

Fireplace corn on the cob (and other veggies)

We all need to eat more veggies, right? In addition to corn on the cob, many other firm vegetables like zucchini, potatoes and cauliflower are good additions to this fireplace/pit recipe.

Wash and cut the vegetables into large pieces and add spices depending on your tastes:

  • Simple: Salt and pepper

  • Fresh: Garlic and lemon

  • Spicy: Jalapeños and hot sauce

  • Savory: An array of cheeses

Once you’ve decided on your seasonings, cover the inside of a fire-friendly pot with tinfoil. Place the vegetables into the pot, brush them with melted butter or oil, and sprinkle them with a generous amount of seasoning. Take your pot to the fire and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the veggies reach desired tenderness. 

DESSERT COURSE

Beyond the basics S’mores

Classic S’mores are delicious, but no one says you have to use the classic ingredients. Instead of melting a plain bar of chocolate to your S’mores, add your favorite candy bar—for instance, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, Milky Way, etc. Once you serve these, you may just be asked to make this dessert all year long. 

There you have it: A full—and fun—menu to help you create a festive fireplace (or campfire or firepit) meal. Try out these recipes and spark a new holiday tradition!

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