Friday, July 31, 2015

Camping Meals from Tent to Motorhome

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Scroll down to see this week’s campground recipes

New! Periodically We Do Product Reviews
Frankly, My Dear....
Janet Groene’s No-Spin
Camp and RV Product Reviews

    Berry Breeze
    Whether you boondock for weeks at a time or refresh your RV refrigerator regularly, this silent, powerful air sweetener does double duty.  First, it cleanses the air so it smells better.  Second, it prolongs the life of everything in the fridge. It makes ozone, a gas long used commercially in food storage. Ozone neutralizes microbes that contribute to food spoilage and  bad odors.

    Pro: save by reducing food spoilage and waste. Have a cleaner, better smelling refrigerator. It’s battery operated, so it works whether you’re plugged in or not. The science behind it is solid. Don’t confuse this with other products, such a “green” discs and bags that absorb ethylene gas but have limited life. Berry Breeze is small,  about the size of a pound of cheese. 
    Con: It’s pricey, so weigh the cost of Berry Breeze against the cost of tossing out spoiled food.  It eats batteries (about 4 D cells a month), so it’s wise to invest in re-chargeables and change them monthly. The unit shows a green light when started and blinking green when in standby mode. When batteries get low, it blinks red. Otherwise there is no way to know if and when it’s working. 

       Bottom line: A plus for anyone, especially for boondockers who provision for a week or more at a time. See it at

    Fasta Pasta
    I always downplay pasta for camping to avoid boiling (and wasting) so much water. I also avoid things sold in high-pressure TV demos. Then a friend told me about Fasta Pasta, the microwave pasta cooker seen on TV and I agreed to try it. It’s a keeper.

    Pro: Acceptable price. It’s a compact box to stack and stow, light to carry, easy to use. Works as stated, using a minimum of water and time. Add pasta and water, nuke it, drain it. Works even with a small microwave.
You have to refer to the instructions for each different pasta shape and amount. Follow exact instructions because times are critical depending on the type and quantity of pasta and wattage of your MW. Brief learning curve to learn this new way of cooking.
    Bottom line: a must if you love pasta and camp with a microwave. See it here

D'Eco Lunchbox
    This is sold as a lunchbox but I love it for the camping cupboard because it’s a two-compartment, tightly lidded storage container that squashes flat when not in use. Use it for  food storage including leftovers, also for craft supplies, spare parts, or to carry a lunch in your day pack.  

    Pro: it’s priced right, sized right. It comes in a smaller size but I get more use out of this one.  Sturdy, durable plastic. Light to carry. Cleans easily.
    Con: It’s not an insulated lunchbox, so it should be slipped into an insulated bag if you’re packing a lunch in hot weather.
    Bottom line: order at least two and you’ll find a lot of uses for them in your camping life. See it at
Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Piggy Figgy Meatballs
    Tiny meatballs are always a safe bet at potlucks. Just supply large toothpicks or small skewers for serving. These sweet, juicy poppers make an appetizer or meat course.

2 pounds lean sausage
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 pint fresh figs, cut up (2 cups)
10-ounce jar pepper jelly
1/4 cup white wine, fruit juice or water

    Put sausage in a plastic freezer bag and squeeze it thoroughly to work in the crumbs and figs. Form small meatballs and fry or bake them until done through (165 degrees). At this point, meatballs can be cooled and refrigerated.
    To proceed, put meatballs in a baking pan or microware dish. Heat jelly with liquid until it melts. Drizzle over meatballs. Nuke or bake to heat through. Makes about 20 appetizer servings.

See Janet’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, made with shelf-stable foods from the supermarket, at

Do you eat more snacks than are good for your belt or your budget? Make your own trail mix to save money and shave calories. Start with recipes at, then substitute where necessary to suit your personal diet.

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Redcoat Salmon Salad
    Red salmon costs much more than pink and wild caught costs more than farm raised. You decide. 
15- or 16-ounce can wild caught Alaska red salmon
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
Small red sweet pepper, diced (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
Small red onion, thinly sliced
4 to 6 cups red-tip lettuce, torn into bite size
8-ounce carton strawberry yogurt (1 cup)
2 tablespoons each olive oil and  red wine vinegar
Sunflower “nuts” (optional)

    Drain, skin and break up salmon and toss with vegetables. In a small bowl whisk yogurt, olive oil and vinegar.  Toss with salad. Arrange salad on plates and sprinkle with sunflower “nuts” . Serves 4 to 6.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fast and Easy Meals for Camping and RV Travel

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for the Camp and RV Recipe of the Week)
On the Town Tiramisu
    Make this dessert even in the most remote campsite to end dinner with a truly uptown dessert for grownups. Don’t forget to put ladyfingers on your shopping list. Limoncello is a liqueur that can be store-bought or homemade.
About 28 ladyfinger cookies
½ cup limoncello
16-ounce tub of part-skin ricotta cheese
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar ( less for sweeter berries)
Large carton whipped topping, thawed
1 quart strawberries, blackberries or raspberries, cut up
1 teaspoon dried lemon zest (I use Spice Islands) 

    Pan-spray a deep 8 X 10 or 9 X 9-inch dish and line the bottom with ladyfingers. Cut to fit if necessary. Drizzle with half the limoncello. In a bowl mix sugar and ricotta, then fold in whipped topping, zest and berries. Spread half the mixture over the ladyfingers.
    Add another layer of ladyfingers, drizzle with remaining limoncello and top with remaining ricotta mix. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least three hours and up to 24 hours. Serves 12.
    To create this dish without alcohol, combine 1/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate and 1/4 cup water and drizzle as directed.

Camp Cook Tips

* Campers beware! I  just saw a video promoting the idea of boiling spaghetti in a skillet. HUH? That’s a good way to un-season the iron skillet you carefully “seasoned” for camping. If you boil water in your cast iron skillet it can float all the seasoning out of the pores. Try re-oiling. You may have to re-season all over again.

* Old pillow cases from the house are handy in the camper galley to slip over sooty pots used over the campfire before stowing them in a clean cupboard or grub box.

* A cheap, easy way to separate stacked pans or plates is to use coffee filters. Things ride quieter and are protected from scratching. 

*Do you need to cut up a quiche or brownies you baked in a nonstick skillet? Once scratched, the nonstick finish is ruined. Cut with an inexpensive plastic lettuce knife or a wood popsicle stick.  

* Need a small strainer? Use an ice pick to poke holes in a paper or plastic cup. 

* If you love a slow cooker for camp cooking, it's a crock to haul around a heavy crock. A slow cooker with a metal pan means you can brown the meat on the camp stove first in a skillet. It weighs less and it’s an extra pan to use any time.

* If you want a quick email each time new posts go up here, email and put RV Cook in the subject line. This list is not sold nor used for any other purpose.

See our Pantry Recipe of the Week, made from shelf ingredients when you’re boondocking or unexpectedly  stuck somewhere.
Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Apple Sausage Breakfast
    Here’s a way to make a meaty, filling breakfast without eggs.
1 can apple pie filling
½ cup raisins
12-ounce package fully cooked sausage patties, thawed and cut up
1 ½ cups biscuit mix
1 individual packet instant oatmeal (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar or equivalent
Milk or water

    Set the oven to 375 degrees. Spread apple pie filling in a pie dish or casserole sprayed with nonstick coating. Scatter raisins and sausage pieces over apples. In a bowl stir biscuit mix, oatmeal,  cinnamon and sugar with enough liquid to make a thick batter. Spoon evenly over the dish and bake until it’s golden and crusty, about 25 minutes.

Serves 4.
     No-oven method: Proceed as above, using a deep, heavy 10-inch skillet. Drizzle 1/3 cup water over apples. (Added moisture helps keep dish from burning on the bottom.)  Cover tightly and cook over even, low heat until topping is puffy and firm. Keep heat moderate to prevent burning. Topping will not brown but will be delicious and dumpling-like.  You might sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar to add color..