Friday, July 01, 2016

Camp Kitchen Meals on the Go

blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. To ask about advertising on one or more Groene blogs please email

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Everyone is a prepper with my newest cookbook. Fill the pantry with shelf foods from the supermarket to use now or hold for emergencies, boondocking, power outage. Every recipe, breakfast to dessert, can be made with canned and packaged foods from the  supermarket. No high-priced survival foods needed.    
 Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down to see the camp and RV recipe of the week.)
Cranberry Waldorf Salad
    Quick and colorful, this make-ahead salad can be made ahead and brought out at the potluck with a tah-DAH.
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 can pie-sliced apples (not apple pie filling)
1 ½ cups diced celery
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans  (optional)
Large (8-serving) package red gelatin dessert mix
1 cup boiling water
2 cups cold water

    In a 10 X 14-inch dish,  mash cranberry sauce. Mix in apples, celery and nuts. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water then stir into cranberry mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly. Provide a spoon for serving.  Makes 10 to 12 potluck servings. Optional: just before serving, “frost” the salad with sour cream.

Healthier, homemade trail mix recipes. Fine-tune my recipes to your own dietary needs such as low sugar, no salt, gluten free, etc. New recipe each week at Create A Gorp. 

Thinking of going full-timing? Why wait to retire?  My book,  Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, starts with making the decision and choosing the right rig, then living the life from A to Z including earning a living or raising kids on the go.    

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week

Shortcut Apple Crisp
     Spoon this healthful dessert into  disposable cups and serve. Choose any cereal you wish as long as it’s crushable.  I like frosted flakes but gluten-free or sugar-free are OK too.  The applesauce can be sugary, unsweetened or flavored, homemade or store-bought, fine or chunky. Your choice.

1 cup crushed crisp flake cereal (about 3 cups before crushing)
2 tablespoons white or brown sugar or equivalent
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups applesauce

    Crush cereal in a plastic bag.  Add sugar and cinnamon and “work” the bag gently to mix. Spoon applesauce into serving dishes and sprinkle with topping. Serve at once. Makes 4 to 6 portions.
    Cook’s note: Optional: finish off with a squirt of whipped cream. Option #2:put ingredients in a microware dish, drizzle top with melted butter and nuke or bake. Serve warm.

Camp Cook Tips

    * Keep a supply of colorful, single-serve  drink mix “sleeves” and stir into applesauce at the rate of one “sleeve” per two to four cups applesauce. Add a berry flavor, lemon or lime, or peach tea for an exotic taste. 

    * Just before serving a chopped salad, fold in a handful of Fritos for a pop of salty flavor and crunch. 

    * Pop-up trash containers are a boon to campers. They are disposable, or you can use liners. They store flat until needed, then  flick open, stand upright and can be labeled for recycling.

    * Self-releasing ice cream scoops come in many sizes. Use a small one for meatballs or drop cookies, larger ones to serve mashed potatoes or cottage cheese. 

    * Use a hamburger press to make uniform patties and also homemade tortillas. Separate with inexpensive patty papers. 

    * You can’t have too many cowboy style  red bandanas so I buy 'em by the dozen. They are inexpensive, washable and usable as napkin, place mat, gift wrap, neckerchief  or head band. To play hobo for the day, tie up each lunch in a red bandana and head for the trail.

    * A sudden surge in campground water pressure could damage delicate RV plumbing. Simply screw an inexpensive water pressure regulator on your hose. 

Bonus Recipe
Confetti Corn Salad
    This marinated salad starts with canned corn and gets better every day. Serve it as a side dish or condiment. Or, make it a main dish salad by adding diced chicken, ham, tuna, tofu, etc.

4 cans, 15 or 16 ounces each, whole kernel corn (about 8 cups)
Small jar (4 ounces) diced pimento
1 green bell pepper, cut in small dice
1 red sweet pepper, cut in small dice
3 ribs celery, cut in small dice
I bunch scallions, white and light green only, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Italian dressing (or to taste)
Optional: add a handful of finely chopped parsley or cilantro

    Drain  corn and pimento well and put in a large plastic freezer bag or other container. Add all remaining ingredients, close and tip it around gently to mix well. Keep cold up to 5 days. Makes about 12 servings of ½ cup each.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fast, Fabulous Camping and RV Meals

blog copyright  janet groene, all rights reserved. To ask about rates to place an ad or sponsor a post email

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Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down to see the Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)
Shortcut “Cannelloni”
 There is no need to cook pasta when you substitute wheat tortillas. And the result is delicious. 

1 egg
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
8 wheat tortillas, 6 inch size
8 thin slices deli ham
1 jar  Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup dry grated cheese (e.g. Parmesan)

    Whisk egg well. Mix in ricotta,  mozzarella and seasoning. Set aside. Grease a 9 X 13-inch baking dish. Making one “cannelloni” at a time, put a tortilla on a flat surface, top with a slice of ham and spread with ricotta mixture.  Roll up. Place in baking dish seam side down.
    Spoon Alfredo sauce over rolls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes or until it reaches at least 160 degrees internal temperature. Makes 8 rolls to serve 4.
    Skillet method: Arrange filled tortillas in a lightly greased skillet, seam side down. Cover with sauce and Parm. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until bubbly.     

Camp Cook Tips
    * Don’t  risk food poisoning in camping. An instant-reading thermometer tells you when food is cooked to safe temperatures such as 160F for eggs or 180F for whole poultry. I like this one because of its large, easy-to-read window.

    *Save clean socks that have holes. They’re disposable dirt magnets. Pull on two socks and dance your way around the camper floor,  gathering crumbs and dust bunnies, squiggling your toes in corners. Trash the socks and the dirt goes with them. 

    * Wash outer leaves from lettuce cabbage. Shake off excess water but leave them moist. Use leaves to wrap seasoned fish.  Cook over the grate or grill until fish is flaky. Discard leaves. 

    * Are flies a problem in your outdoor galley? Use a sandwich bag as a disposable spoon rest. Spoons slip easily in and out of the bag. The spoon stays clean top and bottom.

    * Why wash sticky pans in camp? When time allows, cook up large batches of sticky, starchy foods such as hot cereals or rice. Measure portions for your family,  bag in boilable bags and freeze. In camp, just warm up in hot water and throw the bag away. 

    * Instead of using a pastry blender, freez butter and grate it into biscuits, cobbler topping and such. Remember that one stick butter is ½ cup). 

     * Make French toast  in your microwave. Melt  a pat of butter in a micro-safe mug. Dice a slice of cinnamon swirl bread into the mug. Drizzle with 1/3 cup liquid egg substitute and a splash of milk or cream. Nuke one minute. Serves one.

See this week’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, requiring no fresh foods when you’re boondocking, at Boat Cook. 

For an entire book of recipes and tips on emergency foods from the supermarket, see my newest book, Survival Food Handbook. 
Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Polish-American Spanish Rice
    Celebrate America, the melting pot, with an economical casserole that combines Polish kielbasa with Spanish rice, Italian olives and homegrown fresh vegetables. It comes together in a few minutes and serves right out of the pot.
    To save time, you might dice the kielbasa, onion, peppers, squash and zucchini ahead of time. Bag ‘em, chill up to three days, then just dump ‘em in the pot. 

2 pounds kielbasa (a smoked, fully cooked sausage) diced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 or 3 small yellow summer squash, diced
2 to 3 small green zucchini, diced
Large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 cups water
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 ½ cups long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 cup sliced, pimento-stuffed olives, drained

1. Start with a big  pot, skillet or Dutch oven. Cut kielbasa into small bites and stir-fry it in hot oil over high heat, gradually stirring in vegetables, garlic and rice.
2. Add water and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in paprika, cover, reduce heat and cook over  low flame 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
3. Stir in olives and keep warm. Serves 8 to 10. Pass the hot sauce.

Always have a nutritious trail mix in a pocket for quick energy on the trail, at the wheel  or in the middle seat. See homemade recipes at Create A Gorp.
Bonus Recipe
Brats, Beer 'n Brussels Skillet
    Wisconsin folks love sprouts almost as much as their beer and cheese. Here’s a one-dish recipe that sings with flavor.
4 portions bratwursts
1 tablespoon canola oil
Medium onion, diced
12 ounces beer
8 small, red potatoes, scrubbed
12-16 fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
Large onion, peeled and quartered

    In a skillet, sizzle brats in hot oil until browned on all sides. Stir in onion to pick up brown bits. Add beer and bring to a boil. Add quartered potatoes and whole sprouts. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Serves 4.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Camping Recipes are Smokin' Hot

Blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. To ask about advertising on one or more Groene sites email

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Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Corned Beef Strombolis
    Corned beef is salty,  so buy other ingredients in low-sodium versions if possible. Called “bully beef” by sailors, it’s been the traveler’s most  faithful companion for centuries.  It’s inexpensive, a little goes a long way, and it keeps forever in your grub box.
    Fill the cooler with these sandwiches ahead of time if you wish. Heat them when you’re hungry.

8  good quality bakery hot dog buns, lightly buttered
12-ounce can corned beef
4-ounce package (1 cup)  grated Cheddar cheese
½ cup ketchup
1/4 cup relish
Small sweet onion, finely chopped

    Scrape off and discard excess fat from corned beef. Break up beef with a fork, gradually mixing in cheese, ketchup and relish.  Fill buns and wrap them in foil. Grill over medium heat, turning often, until buns are toasty and filling is gooey. Unwrap carefully (steam is hot!)  and eat out of the foil.
    Foil-wrapped strombolis can also be heated in an oven or  covered skillet . If you’ll be heating them in the microwave, wrap in waxed paper. Makes 8 strombolis.

Camp Cook Tips
    * Just for fun, serve hot dogs on hamburger buns. Cut the hot dog partway through  every half inch, leaving skin attached. Form into a circle with a strip of bacon as a girdle and fasten with a toothpick. Grill or broil,  remove toothpick and place on a hamburger bun.

    * Don’t throw away those old CD’s. Hang them around the campsite to discourage aggressive birds. 

    * Keep white glue (such as Elmer’s) on hand in camp for easy fixes such as a button thread that begins to pull out. Squeeze a small dot of glue over the threads and let it dry.

    * Popsicle sticks come in handy in camping as, say, a shim under a wobbly table and as a scraper or disposable spreader.  They are also safer for making children’s kababs than sharply pointed skewers. Arrange four in a line or in a square to make a trivet under hot pots.

    * Make a faux liver pate by mixing one or two tablespoons of sherry and some freshly ground pepper into an 8-ounce tube of liverwurst. Pack into a bowl or crock,  chill and spread on crackers. 

    * Put a couple of inches of water in a pan that’s wide enough to dip an ear of corn. Melt a stick of butter in the water. It will float to the top. Using tongs, quickly dip the cooked  ear in the pan. It will emerge coated with butter.

Each week see a new pantry recipe that requires no fresh foods at Janet Groene’s

 Be prepared for road emergencies with an ample pantry. Every recipe in my book book Survival Food Handbook, can be made with ordinary pantry foods from the supermarket. 
Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Calypso Chicken Casserole
20-ounce can pineapple tidbits
2 packages 12 ounces each, fully cooked chicken  bites (not breaded)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup snipped dried mango
1/2 cup snipped dried apricots
2 or 3 bananas
½ stick butter
    Butter a two-quart casserole. Drain the pineapple, heat the juice and pour it over the dried fruit. Let stand at least 10 minutes. In the casserole, lightly fold together chicken, pineapple tidbits and sliced bananas. Stir spices together and sprinkle over casserole. Fold in dried fruits.  Dot with bits of butter and bake or nuke to heat through. Stir and serve. Makes 10 potluck servings.
    Slow cooker method: Assemble as above and cook 2 hours on Low or 1 hour on High.
    Optional: garnish with shredded coconut.

Have you seen the latest homemade snack recipe at Create A Gorp? Always have pocket fuel on hand for hiking, driving, camping, coping.

Bonus Recipe

Heavenly Hazelnut Dessert
    This offbeat dessert is quick to make and serve if you have room for it in the icebox or fridge.

1 box graham crackers (you won’t need them all)
Hazelnut spread (e.g. Nutella)
Large box (8 servings) instant vanilla pudding
3 cups cold milk
8-ounce carton whipped topping
Chocolate fudge ice cream topping
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
    Spread graham crackers and arrange them in a single layer, spread side up, in the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch pan. Whisk together pudding and milk.  Put half of the pudding mixture over the crackers, drizzle with fudge topping and add another layer of  spread graham crackers. Top with the remaining pudding mixture and another layer of spread crackers, this time with the spread  side down.
    Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Drizzle top with fudge topping and sprinkle topping with nuts. Cut in squares and provide a pancake turner for serving. Serves 12 to 16.