Don’t forget to read all the way to the end so you can enter the stellar giveaway!


A few weeks ago, I was invited by CampChef to head down to Bear Lake, Utah, with a few other bloggers and experience a couple days of glamping.

That’s right: glamping. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s basically defined in Webster’s dictionary as, “the only way Mel will ever camp from here on out.”

Basically, glamping is a little bit camping and a little bit luxury, and I loved every minute. We stayed at the Conestoga Ranch in Bear Lake, and my goodness, it was amazing.

This is what I’m talking about. Rustic tents hiding glorious accommodations (running water, soft beds – you know, that kind of stuff).


This crazy bathtub (which incidentally looks exactly like the water tank our cows at home slurp their water from) was about as rough as it got. And don’t ask who left the toilet seat up. The ghost of Conestoga Ranch, I’m sure. I think it followed me from my own house.


The venue was beyond spectacular. I can’t wait to take my family back there. I was so enamored with the tents and scenic views (plus, there’s so much to do at Bear Lake, including gorging yourself on raspberry shakes and Dole Whips, and Conestoga Ranch is only minutes away from the beach). I heard through the grapevine that Conestoga Ranch is offering 25% off any midweek stay with this code: latesummerdeal. Hurry fast! I think they close up shop in October.

And if tents aren’t your thing, check out the covered wagons. Outfitted with electricity, beds and a whole lot of cool factor, I’m thinking a little circle of wagons would be perfect for a family reunion.


While I wish I could have just lounged around for a couple days relishing in the beauty of Bear Lake (have you been there? it is so spectacularly beautiful), CampChef actually wanted us to do a little work.

And by work, I mean eating.



The food was crazy delicious. Everything we ate was made on some CampChef apparatus. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I love CampChef products (and I’m not even getting fame and fortune to say that; I legitimately only promote stuff I love but you already know that). I own their smoker, pellet grill (I love this thing more than life), artisan pizza oven, and a super old triple burner stove we’ve had long before I ever started blogging.

Plus, all of my dreams came true when I saw their van painted with ribs smoking away on the pellet grill. I’ve waited my whole life to take a picture in front of a van like this.


In just a minute I’m going to talk about my favorite new CampChef toy (and a seriously rockin’ giveaway), but first, I have to say the highlight of the retreat for me was making pizza on the beach.


Not only was the venue perfection (pizza? on the beach? that should be my forever), I was absolutely determined to use this opportunity to perfect the ol’ pizza dough toss.

I gave my full attention to Cassie, who owns a pizza restaurant in Jackson Hole and who also competes in the National Pizza Dough Throwing Championships every year (kid you not, she’s the real deal).


I learned the proper way to hold and stretch the dough. At this point, I’m like “I’ve got this” with maybe a little dose of “how hard can this be?”


And. Well. There you go. Admittedly, this one got away from me. But I can’t lie to you and say the other tosses were much better. Looks like I have a way to go before I compete in the National Championships, too.


Amidst the fun of glamping and pizza on the beach, I also ate lunch in a real, live yurt…


…perfected my cinnamon roll icing game…


…stood around while everyone worked wondering who am I and how did I get here, since it was hard to recognize myself without my five, lovable rugrats running around me…


…and had a blast hanging out with these other cutie bloggers (Erica at FavFamilyRecipes, Natasha at Natasha’s Kitchen, and Amber at Dessert Now, Dinner Later).


And yes, this is a s’mores pizza. I hardly have any words. It was one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in the history of ever.


Now for the fun stuff!

When CampChef started heating up this flat top grill for pancakes, I knew I was in trouble.


I fell in love. And not just with the pancakes. This grill is crazy awesome.

Can we have a moment of silence for this perfectly perfect Philly cheesesteak sandwich?


Perfect thanks to that stellar flat top grill.


Don’t even question whether or not I ate every last bite of that deliciousness.


CampChef was generous enough to send me a flat top grill after I got home from Bear Lake, and I have been using it nonstop (I couldn’t rest until I made Philly cheeseteaks of my own). You know what I love most about CampChef products? Even though for years they’ve been known as a “man’s shop” – seriously, Brian doesn’t even touch this stuff (except for an occasional scout camp cookout).

I cook on the pellet grill several times a week, use my burner stove for canning, smoke turkeys right and left for Thanksgiving, and I think the possibilities are endless with this flat top grill. These are household items, my friends, and not just for men. No way.

The best part? CampChef wants one of YOU to have a flat top griddle, too. Yesssssss! I’m so excited about this, I can barely stand it.

And before we freak out over that, keep in mind that CampChef is also offering a 20% discount code for ANYTHING on their website: MKC20!

I can’t even describe how much I love this flat top grill. The cast iron griddle comes off and the grill can be used as…well, a grill! It’s brilliant and so, so much fun. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter widget below and show CampChef some love for sponsoring such a great giveaway.


Ok, let’s do a quick summary:

Conestoga Ranch coupon code: latesummerdeal (for 25% off Sun-Thurs glamping accommodations at Conestoga Ranch)

CampChef coupon code: MKC20 (for 20% off ANYTHING at CampChef)

Giveaway: to enter the giveaway, use the rafflecopter widget below – winner will be chosen next week! Refresh your browser if you can’t see the widget below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

53 Responses to Glamping + CampChef + Super Awesome Giveaway

  1. Roberta Schroeder says:

    Just got my new Camp Chef smoke pro! It’s set up and ready to go! Trying wings tomorrow. Have you any recipes yet to share from your time spent with your grill? I ordered the sear box too which arrived in a week. Yay! Thanks for the reco and hope to see more yummy recipes coming our way from you! Thanks, Mel!

    • Mel says:

      I’m so excited for you, Roberta! I have made almost every single one of my grilling recipes on my CampChef pellet grill and they turn out amazingly delicious. Perfectly grilled with just a hint of smoke flavor. I’ll try to get some tutorials/recipes posted for my other favorites (smoked brisket and smoked turkey).

  2. Martha Sharp says:


  3. Holly W says:

    I was scrolling through your post when I saw Amber in the background of one of your photos. So I scrolled some more and discovered she was part of your fun glamping / camp chef experience! Amber is in my ward and so kind and gracious. I’ll be spending all morning with her tomorrow and can’t wait to find out about her experience in BL!

  4. Kim Peterson says:

    Camping is fun for a tiny vacation but is so much work. I use my camping equipment all the time for canning. Glamping is definitely more my style. Especially the great food part:)

  5. Rebecca says:

    I used to love camping, and still do, if my love can be held in abeyance. I just find it too stressful with kids who are old enough to be mobile but not mature enough to reliably follow instructions about where to stay, where not to stray, how to follow bear safety rules, etc. For me, the job of being a mom, specifically the keeping my kids alive part, is a million times harder while camping.

    Never the less, I always did love camping before and complete expect to fully embrace it again once my youngest child is a few years older.

  6. Alexis says:

    Sounds like the perfect way to camp!

  7. Andrea L. says:

    Just got back from more of a ‘glamping’ trip at Camp Wood in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Our family enjoys the beautiful surroundings at the Strickland Cabin annually with epic sunrises and sunsets, hikes, swimming, and tons of fly fishing. My dad has been a fly fishing guide for 25 years – We’ve been blessed to fish in Belize, Ireland, Glacier, Hawaii, but nothing beats the Flint Hills! We’re enjoying lots of fresh crappie. We’d love to bust out all of the old camping gear and take our kiddos on more serious camping trips now that they’re a little older – 4 and 5.

  8. Liz says:

    I have a stock tank (black poly-whatever) on my front porch that I call my Montana hot tub. I fill it out my kitchen window from my kitchen sink with a hose adapter. My little house has an incredible shower but no tub and every once in awhile I like a good soak 🙂 ! (***my only neighbor that can “see” my front porch is about 500 feet away.)

    So, was not surprised to see a stock tank tent tub – they are wonderfully deep and spacious, in my opinion.

  9. Liz says:

    I was so excited when I saw you on my friend Amber’s Instagram. I love her, but always feel bad when I have to say that you are my favorite food blogger. She’s awesome too, but you are a celebrity in my book. I’m so excited for the chance to win this too. We love camping, and Bear Lake is our home away from home when it comes to camping.

  10. Lisa says:

    We stayed at Conestoga Ranch for one night in July, and I wished we could have stayed for a week! We had a covered wagon. And you’re right, a family reunion is exactly what I want to go back for — imagine all the little wagons circled up, and cousins playing in the game room and on the lawn inbetween and roasting smores by the campfire in the middle. The bikes were a total game-changer — we road all over Garden City, and it made our stay amazing! And there was electricity in those covered wagons, which meant my husband could use his cpap machine (which also meant that the rest of us could sleep). 😉 It was an entirely charming experience. I will go back ASAP! (I hope I will be able to get a spot now that the whole world will know about it). Haha!

  11. S.P. Bowers says:

    Sounds amazing! I answered the poll about camping but you didn’t have a line that fit exactly. I love camping but can’t do it much due to chronic illness. That place looks amazing and may fix my camping problems.

  12. sherri says:

    We use to take the kids camping (tent kind.. no RV or glamping it up). Glad we have the memories, but the old bones can’t handle sleeping on hard rocks anymore! 🙂 Who doesn’t love camping food however…everything tastes better in the great outdoors1

  13. Tammy says:

    Looks like you had a great time – I’d love to go someday, it looks amazing!

  14. Cindi says:

    I think glamping is something I’d enjoy, camping is just too much work for me!!


  15. Jill F says:

    This looks so fun! We are planning a family reunion next summer at bear lake and I’m definitely looking into the ranch. Looks like both the kids and adults will love it!

  16. VickiT says:

    Sadly I had to choose an answer to liking camping or not that wasn’t really the option I would have chosen, but it was closest to what I would say. I LOVED camping and would go every chance possible. I used to take my 3 boys almost every weekend as often as possible while they were smaller and up until they moved out. Sadly now, my health won’t allow me to go, otherwise I would still be going with my husband.

    That tub was a great one for soaking I bet. Of course, who has time to lay in the tub soaking when you are camping with a family. LOL
    I used to have something exactly like that tub, but the one I had was circular and about 8 feet across. It was used for a swimming pool for my kids and the daycare kids. It was great because it was indestructible and I could do the required additives like pool chemicals, although I used a bleach option to keep it clean. I had a solar cover for it and everything. LOL It was only about 3 1/2 feet deep but I didn’t want anything deeper/larger with the daycare kids so it was perfect for what I needed.

    That camp you were at looked awesome! I bet you had a blast.

  17. Katie says:

    I have never heard of glamping before but it looks right up my alley! That place looks awesome and so does the grill I would be so excited if I won!!!

  18. Ashlee T says:

    I love it when you say “in the history of ever” ☺️ I love this idea of glamping! We love the outdoors! Thanks for sharing!!

  19. Kelly C. says:

    Thanks for this opportunity. So many possibilities!

  20. Andrea says:

    Those pancakes look delicious!!! My two boys would eat them up. Do you have a recipe? It would be great for a winter supper.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Andrea – I think the chef that made them for us used a mix from Lehi Roller Mills. They were delicious – I’ve already tried the fresh, sliced banana trick and chocolate chips in our favorite pancake recipe. So yummy!

  21. Jessica says:

    So which bloggers were there? I live in Idaho but I totally recognize the blonde lady. We have talked on many occasions. Our kids went to the same schools and we both have lotsa kids. Lol. Small world.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Jessica – the blonde lady is my friend that I took with me (each of the bloggers brought a “plus 1” and she was my buddy!). Her name is Deb and even though she came along as my pal, she also blogs at (and yes, she has lots of kids!). 🙂

  22. Kristin says:

    CampChef products truly are the best! Bear Lake is such a fun place…I will definitely be checking Conestoga out!! Looks like they dished up some delicious “grub”! I have never tried banana and choc chip pancakes. Where they good? Homemade or added to a dry mix? I think I need to try them! And who doesn’t love a good Philly??

  23. Shantala Robinson says:

    I love Bear Lake!!!! And what an amazing giveaway!!! I keep telling Wendell we need to go do this with the kids! looks super fun!! Camp chef you rock!!!

  24. Lacey says:

    What a fun camping trip full of fun and good food! I so want this! This would be so exciting right now!

  25. Lyle Cooper says:

    Mel, I love this post! I have been cooking with Camp Chef products for over 25 years. I own a smoke vault smoker, Dutch ovens, wok and cooking tables. (I would love to get a pellet stove.) I also love your blog and I have used and posted several of your recipes. At home you are #1 go to site. Thanks

  26. sblackburn says:

    Those wagons do look perfect for a family reunion. Thank you for sharing!

  27. Tanya M. says:

    How fun!! What a great little cooking getaway!
    Thanks for the giveaway! I was just canning peaches yesterday and wishing I had a camp chef! 🙂

  28. Laurel says:

    Bear lake is my utopia! ahh

  29. Workshop says:

    This past weekend my oldest (6) and I did a backyard campout. He loved it, although all the insect and owl calls kept him up far beyond his normal bed time. I told him that if he wants to, we can go camping in a real forest next year. His response was “Yeah! And then we can do archery and gun-shoot bears.”

    I have no idea where that came from. Gotta love kids.

  30. Carly Wood says:

    We have been dying to get to Conestoga Ranch!! I’m excited they have a discount code!!!

  31. Alli says:

    Oh my goodness! This would be beyond awesome to win! We used to go camping all he time before we had our first child, and just barely went with her, better than I expected it would be but involves a heck of a lot more planning than before.

  32. Carrie says:

    Love your blog, love Bear Lake, and love all things Camp Chef. Maybe you could share with us some of your favorite Camp Chef recipes? Thise cheese steaks look delicious.

  33. Jenn says:

    Love it! This is THE way to go and my idea of camping!
    Love that you have cows too…I grew up on a farm with beef and dairy cows! lol

  34. Ashlee says:

    We have gone camping at bear lake every year, and we were actually there a week after you… With 4 kids, one being 6 weeks old.. It wasn’t nearly as relaxing and dreamy as your trip!

  35. Angela says:

    If someone asked me to go glamping, I’d be in the car before you knew what happened. This looks AMAZING!

  36. Patricia says:

    You have cows too??

  37. Jocy says:

    Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway!

  38. Therese says:

    We go glamping every year with a group of friends and all our kids. It’s messy and awesome and crazy every year, and we love it!

  39. Kelsey says:

    I’m with you on “glamping” all the way, Mel!! Great giveaway!!

  40. Karen says:

    We are tent campers, but this looks incredible!!!

  41. Kristy says:

    Looks super fun!! I told my husband to put that ranch on our future vacation list 🙂

    Do you know the name of the pizza place in Jackson Hole that you referenced in your post? We are going out there in a week or so and would love to check it out 😉

    • Mel says:

      I don’t know the name, Kristy – sorry! Cassie, the executive chef who was there is apparently buying a new restaurant and I’m not sure it is up and running yet.

      • Kristy says:

        Thanks so much for letting me know! BTW, you are my very favorite blogger; EVER 🙂 You are my go-to and I send your recipes to my friends and family all the time! Thanks for all your hard work to make your recipes (and your site!) so wonderful. God bless!!

  42. Kirsten G. says:

    Wow! What a great giveaway!!
    Love all of the pictures of the glamping trip. That is my idea of camping!

  43. Chris says:

    Love camping, started when I was a child and I still do it every year.

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