Friday, May 27, 2016

Easy Does It! Camp and RV Cooking

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What is so rare as a day in June for camping and RV travel? Campfires, camp stoves and RV galleys let you have home cooking no matter where you are. Here’s our idea of fast food.
Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down to see the Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)

Have It Your Way Rice
    Make it on the spot or cook it ahead . Eat it hot as a side dish or cold as a salad. This recipe goes  with meat or fish from the grill or, served cold on a bed of lettuce, it’s a refreshing, vegetarian lunch.

1 2/3 cups water
1/3 cup ketchup
1 cup long-grain white  rice
1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil, dried parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, well drained
7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
2-ounce can sliced ripe olives,, well drained

    Bring ketchup and water to a boil and stir in rice and seasonings. Cover, reduce heat and cook 20 minutes (or until rice is tender) without stirring. Fold in remaining ingredients. Serve warm now or chill for later. Serves 4 to 6.

Camp and RV Cook Tips   
    * Although recipe instructions often tell us to rinse and drain canned beans, some other canned foods are also better (and less salty) after a rinse. They include artichoke hearts and baby corn.     

    * These tiny, color coded reusable tags are i
deal for closing bread and bagel bags and  can also color code anything you store in stuff  bags. Blue for his, red for Sis, etc. 

    * When athletic socks wear out at the toe or heel, wash them and then cut off the ribbed tops. They stretch to fit over bottles of many sizes to protect from breaking. Things also stay quieter in your cupboards.     

    * When you clean out the refrigerator or ice chest to lay up the camper during the week, rinse with a solution of water and baking soda. Then dry and  fill  with crumpled newspaper, kitty litter or dried coffee grounds.  It will smell better next time. 

    * No safety pins on board?  If you don’t already have safety pins in your camping supplies I promise you’ll find uses for a safety pin assortment like this.I also carry some of these kilt-size giant safety pins for all kinds of emergencies such as repairing a sleeping bag, closing a stuff bag  or making a key ring. 

    * Remember the old-fashioned ring toss game? It’s lighter than horseshoes, more compact to carry than corn hole and it’s fun for all ages in any campsite, anywhere. This travel ring toss game comes with its own bag.

See my Pantry Recipe of the Week, made with shelf ingredients from the supermarket, at Boat Cook. 

Why buy expensive survival foods for emergencies and boondocking? My book of pantry recipes, all made with supermarket foods, is the Survival Food Handbook. Pre-order now and your account won’t be charged until the book ships.

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Mexi-Mac Skillet
    This easy, one-dish meal cooks over one burner and serves a crowd. It’s also good for impromptu parties or  emergencies because everything but the grated cheese can be carried in the pantry.

3 cups water *
3 cups instant rice
15-ounce can of macaroni and cheese
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon each chili powder, cumin, oregano
1 or 2 cans, 10 to 12 ounces each, chunk chicken
10-ounce can corn with bits of green and red pepper, drained
Small can diced chilies, drained

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Mexican Blend cheese

    Bring water to a boil in a large, deep  skillet. Add rice. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 7 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in macaroni and cheese, diced tomatoes, herbs, chicken, corn and chilies. Cover and heat gently over low burner. Sprinkle with grated cheese and cover 2-3 minutes to melt cheese.  Sprinkle with snipped cilantro if you have some. Serves 10.

*Including liquid drained from tomatoes and canned chicken

See Janet’s latest recipe for homemade trail mix. These recipes are always easy, always portable in your pocket for hiking, biking, camping or air travel. See Create A Gorp.

Camp and RV Cook Bonus Recipe
Apple Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
    Plunge your fork into the sweet goodness of tender sweet potato and apple slices. When you’re finished, simply throw away the skin and foil. No dishes to wash.

4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
4 pats butter
2 medium apples
½ cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon    

    Lay out four pieces of aluminum foil. Scrub sweet potatoes. Slice apples in wedges.  Place a sweet potato on each square of foil and make a deep slice lengthwise. Do not cut all the way through. Pry open the potato and put butter in each slit. Bring up edges of the foil to form a bowl to hold the potato.
    Mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle some of it  in the potatoes. Press apple wedges into slits and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar.  Bake 40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender,  at 325 degrees in the oven or in a covered grill. Serves 4.
     Stove-top method: Arrange sweet potato bowls in an ungreased skillet. Cover and cook over low/medium heat until apples are tender.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Camp Cooks Get the Gravy

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved.

Subscribe to this blog and Amazon will send it automatically each week to your Kindle, phone or PC. Free trial.   

Galley Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for the Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)
 EZ Gravy
    This basic  recipe makes two cups of a tasty gravy that can be varied  to make different sauce every day. 

½ stick of butter
1/4 cup biscuit mix
2 cups water or milk
Salt, pepper to taste
    Melt the butter, stir in biscuit mix and gradually stir in water or milk until thick and smooth. Season to taste. Serve over spaghetti, meat, pancakes, mashed potatoes, vegetables, eggs, etc. 
    1. Saute vegetables such as onion, peppers, celery and/or shallots with the butter. Then add biscuit mix and proceed.
    2. After gravy thickens, stir in 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1 teaspoon sugar
    3. Just before serving, stir in a cup of grated Cheddar cheese or 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.
    4.  When gravy comes to a boil, stir in an 8-ounce package of fully cooked sausage, finely chopped. Heat. Serve over biscuits.
    5. Choose herbs such as thyme, parsley, chives or sage, or fold some chopped scallions into the hot gravy.

See our Pantry Recipe of the Week, made entirely with pantry ingredients, at

Be the first kid in the campground to see my newest cookbook. Survival Food Handbook is about provisioning with and using shelf-stable foods from the supermarket, not those high-priced storage foods. Every recipe can be pulled out of the pantry in emergencies, boondocking or for unexpected guests.  Pre-order now. You won't be charged until the book ships in July. 

Spend less on snacks an eat healthier when you make your own trail mix, fine-tune it to your own diet needs and package by the cupful for portion control. See easy recipes at Create A Gorp.
Camp Cook Tips
    * Is your family tired of the tomato-based one-dish meals that are so common in camp cooking? Instead of a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, make the same dish with a can of condensed cream of celery, chicken or mushroom soup, whisked with 2/3 cup of water or milk. 

    * Too hot to cook? This lantern has a built-in ceiling fan. Hang it under the awning. See it at

    * To skim excess fat from soup, grasp a piece of bread in tongs and pass over the surface.

    * It’s OK to assemble most dishes ahead in the slow cooker container and refrigerate for future cooking, but be sure to allow extra cooking time. 

    * To re-crisp stale potato chips or crackers, put them in an uncovered slow cooker on Low for a couple of hours. 

    * Bowls are the new dinner plates. I like Corelle soup bowls because they are  sturdy, stackable and OK for the oven or microwave. I cook a double batch of steel cut oatmeal and nuke leftovers the second day.

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Skillet Swiss Crab Casserole
    You’ll need 3 cups of cooked rice, either your own or ready-to-eat rice from pouches. It’s the unique flavor and melt of Swiss cheese that gives this its special appeal. If you’re using real crabmeat, pick it over to remove bits of shell.

1/2 stick butter
1  cup diced celery
1 cup diced sweet onion
½ cup diced sweet green or red pepper
8-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
16- to 24-ounce package of flaked real or imitation crabmeat
3 cups cooked rice
½ cup sliced, stuffed olives, drained
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 cup slivered almonds
    Melt butter in a large skillet and gradually stir in vegetables to soften them. Keep stirring over high-medium heat while adding mushrooms , olives and rice. When everything is heated through, turn off heat and fold in Swiss cheese. Cover and keep hot. Just before serving, sprinkle with slivered almonds. Serves 8 to 10.

Bonus Recipe
Fisherman’s Fondue
    It’s quick, filling and fun. Gather the gang around with forks and cubes of a hearty peasant bread to plunge into this creamy dish. Seafood should be cut fine so it clings to the bread.

2 cans ready-to-serve New England style clam chowder
2 cups cooked, drained seafood such as shrimp, canned tuna, poached fish, cut-up scallops.
6-ounce package grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
1-pound loaf artisan bread, cut in cubes
    Heat everything but the bread in a pan or small slow cooker. . Stir and serve as a fondue dip with bread cubes. Makes about 1 ½ quarts.



Friday, May 13, 2016

Here's a Toast to Better, Easier Camping Meals

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

This blog is available for your device, phone or PC by subscription from Amazon. For a free trial click here. 

Campground Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for the Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)
Your Own Shake Bake
    Put more crunch in your lunch! Dip chicken, fish, shrimp, turkey medallions, veal scallops or fish fillets in flour, melted butter or beaten egg, then in this crunchy mixture and bake. Or,  fry pieces in hot oil or butter until  golden brown and toasty crisp. This makes enough for many meals. 

Large box  of cornflakes, made into crumbs (about 6 cups crumbs)
1 cup of sesame seeds
½ cup dried parsley leaves
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons each celery seed, onion powder, garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
    Mix everything well. Pack in batches of one to two cups each. Keep it cool and dry for up to 8 weeks. 

My book Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition makes a nice gift for yourself or a friend. I keep on copy at home for planning, another on board. Order at book stores or get the paperback or Kindle from Amazon at

See this week's Pantry Recipe, made with shalf-stable ingredients you can carry in your RV for emergencies, at

Tips for the RV Cook
    * My favorite camping foods to make with a home dehydrator are low-fat jerky,healthful fruit leather (no chemicals, no added sugar) and instant rice (for specialty rices such as jasmine.) Simply cook  your favorite rice,  dry it according to manufacturer directions, re-hydrate it in camp. 

    * Make baked apples in the skillet or Dutch oven. When they are tender fill the hot core with a mixture of raspberry jam and chocolate chips. Give it a few minutes to melt, then serve. 

    * Make an R-rated dessert. Buy an angel food cake, poke holes all over it and drizzle slowly with a mixture of 1 cup chocolate syrup and ½ cup Tia Maria, letting it soak in. 

    * Carry cartons of liquid eggs and you won’t have to wash a bowl and beaters when recipes call for beaten eggs. 

    * To make “half-and half” for recipes such as quiche or custard, mix one part reconstituted nonfat dry milk with one part evaporated milk. 

    * Never again struggle with trussing a chicken or closing a stuffed pork chop. These silicone baking bands hold food like a rubber band yet they are heat tolerant up to 600 degrees (but I wouldn’t use them over an open fire.). And they are reusable. 

    * Round coffee filters are the perfect size for serving a hot dog, taco or sub

    * I found a reflector oven that is really sturdy, really works, really lasts. Works on campfire or grate. Folds into a small pack, weighs only 1 ½ lbs. Biscuits, anyone?

Make your own healthful trail mix and always have a pocket pack with you on the trail. Easy recipes at 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Sizzled Potatoes
    This popular recipe is sinfully easy but the secret is to bring it to the table sizzling hot and crisp. It can be assembled hours ahead, but bake it at the last minute.

32-ounce package French fries, thawed
1 stick butter
1 packet onion soup mix
1 can French’s French-fried onions (large or small, your choice) 

    Arrange potatoes in a large, greased baking pan and sprinkle with onion soup mix. Drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with French-fried onions. Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees, stir and return to the oven for another 5 to 15 minutes until fries are golden. Provide tongs for serving. Serves 10 to 12. 

Bonus Recipe
White Peanut Fudge
16-ounce package white candy making confection
½ cup peanut butter
2 cups (or more to taste) roasted peanuts
    Melt confection in the microwave or a double boiler. Stir in peanut butter and peanuts. Spread in a buttered 8 X 8-inch pan and cool completely. Makes 36 pieces.