Friday, July 18, 2014

Keep it Simple in Camping Cuisine, RV Meals

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No matter how simple your camping set-up, these recipes will work for you. 

 Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week 
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
    Have you noticed how many camp cooks,  including tenters,  now bring slow cookers to the campsite? In Grandmother’s time it was the electric skillet. Now it’s the slow cooker. This recipe is a gem because it does not require pre-browning.
Boneless pork shoulder, 3 to 4 pounds
1-ounce packet dry onion soup mix
10-ounce bottle ketchup (1 ½ cups)
12-ounce can of cola
    Trim excess fat from pork, cut it in chunks and place in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with soup mix. Pour ketchup and cola over all. Cover and cook on Low 8 hours, stirring only once or twice. Using two large forks, pull strands apart. Stir and spoon into buns or baked potatoes.
    Cooks’ note: Add 30 minutes of cooking time each time you take off the lid of a slow cooker. Heat escapes. These cookers are designed for slow, even cooking that does not require frequent stirring. I recommend a slow cooker with a metalinsert rather than crockery. It’s lighter to carry, stow and wash and you don’t have to brown meat
in a separate pan.

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Rave Review
    If you live in or travel in rural America you know about Grit, the down-home newspaper with its roots in Americana. Now the Grit team has published the Comfort Food Cookbook, a
collection of everyone’s favorite comfort foods. Whether you keep it at home or put it on your RV book shelf, this is a book you’ll turn to time and again for that perfect, comfort food recipe.
It’s also an ideal gift for any occasion from a bridal shower to birthdays.

See Janet Groene’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, using only canned and packaged foods. Click here.

Make your own snacks to save money, fine-tune ingredients to your own needs and package for portion control. Idea for camping, road trips, hiking, boating, the fishing boat, lunchboxes. For recipes click here.

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Scalloped Eggplant
    This is a vegetarian main dish for two or a side dish for four.
Medium eggplant
Medium onion, finely diced
½ cup panko (divided)
Half of an 8-ounce package of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 or 2 eggs
½ cup half and half
Liquid margarine
    Set the oven to 350 degrees and spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Peel the
eggplant and cut it in cubes. You should have 4 cups. Cook with the onion in boiling water just until it’s crisp-tender. Drain. At this point you can bag and chill the eggplant to use later.
    To proceed, layer eggplant-onion mixture with bread crumbs and cheese in the casserole, ending with bread crumbs. Whisk the egg and half and half, pour over the eggplant and drizzle with liquid margarine. Bake 30 minutes until the top is toasty.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Camping and RV Travel: Way to GO, Way to EAT

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 Can you believe the size of the Living Room in this Durango RV?

Hello campers and RV-ers. It doesn’t get much better than this: benign summer weather, a campfire and nice folks to share the scene. Below find this week’s potluck recipe and one for everyday.  Let’s get together and EAT.

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
                      Beer ‘n Brats Burgoo
16-ounce package bratwursts, sliced into “coins”
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 packages, 14-16 ounces each, matchstick carrots
Large onion, peeled and diced
Large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cans, 15 ounces each, German potato salad
2 cans, 12 ounces each,  flat beer
3 to 5 slices caraway rye bread, diced small
Salt, pepper to taste
    In a large pot, sizzle brats in hot oil until browned. Stir in carrots, onion and pepper,
scraping up brown bits from the pan to flavor vegetables. Open cans of potato salad and run a knife down through several times to break up potatoes.
    Stir potato salad and beer into the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  Simmer
10 to 15 until vegetables are tender. Stir in diced bread, simmer and stir to break up bread and thicken the burgoo. Adjust seasonings and serve. Makes 12 potluck servings.
    Cook’s note: Breads vary. Start by adding three slices of bread, diced, then add more if you wish a thicker burgoo.  

Healthy snacks are those you make yourself because you know what’s in them! See easy recipes at Create A Gorp.

See our Pantry Recipe of the Week, made entirely from the shelf, at Boat Cook.

Janet Groene’s popular book Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition is available online or call the RV Book Store,  (800) 274-9738. While you’re at it, order Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition too.

Brown meat and them cook in the same pan when you get a slow cooker with metal, not crock, insert.  Lighter to stow and carry than a crock too. 

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Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Devilish Hash
    To save time, pick up ready-made deviled eggs in the deli. 

2 tablespoons butter
15-ounce can of corned beef or roast beef hash, chilled (for easier slicing)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
6 deviled egg halves
10-ounce jar of mild salsa
    Melt butter in an 8-inch skillet. Remove hash from the can and slice into six rounds. Mix
flour and thyme on a plate and dip one cut end of the hash in the flour. It will brown better. Discard excess flour.
    Arrange hash in the hot butter, flour side down.  Top each slice with a deviled egg
half.  Cover and heat over medium-low heat until hash is golden on the bottom and egg is heated through. Using a pancake turner so you get all the crusty bottom of the hash, carefully remove hash and eggs to plates. Quickly stir salsa into the pan to heat through and scrape up buttery bits. Spoon over egg-topped hash slices. Makes 6 pieces. Serve one or two pieces per person.

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Friday, July 04, 2014

Creamy Potatoes, Slow Cooker Chicken for Camping, RV Feasting

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 More time for antiquing, less time in the galley with these swift and delicious camping recipes

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Creamy Potatoes for a Crowd
    Does your campground have a communal kitchen for big parties? This filling, affordable side dish takes a big pot and it serves an army. It goes well with almost any meat from the oven or grill, indoors or out.  Canned potatoes already contain salt, so this recipe doesn’t call for it. Folks can always add salt at the table.  To make 50 servings of about 2/3 cup each:

1/2 stick butter
3 jumbo onions, peeled and diced
2 #10 cans diced potatoes, drained and rinsed (24 cups)
1 pound butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon white pepper
4 quarts milk, heated

1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard

    Melt the half stick of butter and stir-fry onions until they are limp. This can be done earlier, or by another camper. Set aside. In a big pot melt the pound of butter and stir in the pepper and flour to make a paste. Stirring constantly over medium heat, gradually whisk in the hot milk to make a smooth, medium thick white sauce. Stir in mustard to add a golden glow.  Fold white sauce, onions and potatoes and heat through.
       Variations: Garnish with one or more of the following: crumbled hard-cooked eggs,
chopped chives, crumbled bacon, freshly ground pepper or minced parsley.

See Janet’s Pantry of the Week, made entirely from shelf foods, at

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Firecracker Chicken (Red, White and Blue)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried crumbled sage
3 cups chicken broth
Large onion, peeled and diced
6-ounce package dried cranberries
6 to 8 servings cooked white grits
4-ounce package crumbled blue cheese

    Cut chicken in bite-size chunks and shake in a bag with the flour and seasonings.
Place in the bottom of a greased slow cooker. Drizzle with chicken broth and top with onions and cranberries. Stir. Cook 6 to 7 hours on Low. Stir and spoon over hot grits. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Camping Meals Go Mainstream With Easy Recipes

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image copyright Gordon Groene

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Calico Pepper Rice
    This colorful side dishes will be a big hit with whatever meat comes off the grill at your next campground potluck. You'll need 6 cups of cooked rice.

3 cups raw rice (white, brown, jasmine, etc.)
6 cups water
1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, Spanish smoked paprika
1 each red, yellow and green large sweet peppers
Medium size sweet onion such as Vidalia
    Cook rice according to package directions. While rice cooks, seed peppers and cut in slivers. Cut onion in thin crescents.  Mix salt, pepper and paprika in a large plastic bag. Add peppers and onion and “work” the bag gently to coat vegetables evenly with spices. Fold into rice. Serve hot, warm or cold. Serves 8 to 10.

When emergencies happen, extra pantry food can be a lifesaver. See Janet’s weekly pantry recipes, made entirely from shelf ingredients, at

Have your snacks and eat ‘em too. Healthier, homemade snacks and trail mix are those you make yourself and fine-tune to your own dietary needs. Recipes at

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Blueberry Blaze
    It’s a dessert or a breakfast, blazing fast because it’s done in the microwave. Use ready-to-serve rice from a pouch, or cook extra rice so you’ll have an extra 3 cups for this dish. Try it each time with a different rice: brown rice, jasmine and so on. The sugar can be white or brown or some of each. The dish can be assembled the night before if you  have room in the refrigerator or ice chest.

3 cups ready to serve rice
3 cups fresh blueberries (or blackberries, thimbleberries, raspberries, strawberries)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup white or whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
½ stick butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Spray a micro-ware baking dish. Mix rice and berries in the dish and sprinkle with a mixture of the 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. In a bowl cut butter into a mixture of the flour and 3 tablespoons sugar. When it’s mealy, sprinkle over the rice mixture. Sprinkle with nuts. Nuke on High 4 to 5 minutes to heat through, rotating every minute. Berries should be bubbly and topping buttery. Serve warm, as is or with cream or vanilla yogurt. Serves 8 for dessert, 5 to 6 as a breakfast main dish.
    Oven method: Assemble in a buttered baking dish and bake at 350 degrees 20-30 minutes or until berries are bubbly and topping toasty.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Swift, Simple Recipes for RV, Camping

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Camping shortcut of the week. Orange juice concentrate packs a heap of flavor in a small container. It’s OK in a well-chilled ice chest for up to a week after it thaws. Use it to taste in cakes, breads, cookies, biscuits, pancake, sauces.

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Campground Recipe of the Week
White on White Chicken
Pan spray
4 portions boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt, white pepper
1 egg, beaten
About ½ cup panko
2  baking potatoes, scrubbed
14- to 16-ounce jar of Alfredo sauce
    Set the oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on chicken. Cut baking
potatoes in half lengthwise. Generously spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan and arrange potatoes cut side down on half the pan. Dip chicken in egg, then dredge in panko crumbs and arrange in the other half of the pan. Spray lightly.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes until potatoes are fork tender and chicken tests at least 170 degrees. Drizzle Alfredo sauce over all and return to the oven until sauce is bubbly. 

       Put chicken and potatoes on plates. Stir sauce and spoon over dishes. Serves 4.

See more of Janet Groene’s shortcut recipes at

Love to snack but wish your snacks were better for you? Make your own trail mixes and package by the cup or half cup in re-usable snack bags. Save money, save fat, save the environment. Recipes here.

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Slow Cooker Fudge
    Have fun making this candy on a rainy day. Just a touch of salt is needed. If you don’t
have lightly salted peanuts,  use one jar salted and one jar unsalted. Two pounds of roasted, lightly salted pecans or almonds can also be used. The chips and candy melts can be dark or light chocolate or some of each.

2 jars, 16 ounces each, lightly salted roasted peanuts
12- to 16-ounce box of Baker's German sweet chocolate
12-ounce bag of chocolate chips
12-ounce bag of chocolate candy melts

    Place a slow cooker liner bag in the cooker.  Put everything in the bag and cook on Low for one hour. Stir and cook one hour more on Low. Using gloves and extreme caution, remove the bag and strip the molten fudge into a buttered 9 X 13-inch dish. Cool completely and cut in squares.  Makes about 4 ½ pounds of fudge.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Camping Meals for Woods and Water

blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. For permissions or to ask about rates for sponsoring a post or placing an ad email

  image courtesy RVIA

Simple recipes mean more time to enjoy the campground, less time in the galley. 

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Shortcut Sweet ‘n Sour Cabbage
    Your secret ingredients are a jar of spiced apple rings and a jar of currant jelly. Supermarkets may carry spiced apples only during the holidays but it’s worth having them on hand all year.   

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
16-ounce package of shredded cabbage
12- to 16-ounce package of cole slaw mix with red and green cabbage
Medium red onion, cut up
12-ounce jar of spiced apple rings, cut up
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
10-ounce jar of currant jelly
Salt, pepper
    In a large pot or Dutch oven, sizzle cabbage in hot oil, gradually stirring in cole slaw mix and onion until they are crisp-tender. Run a knife through the stack of apple rings in the jar, cutting them in small wedges. Stir in apples and their juice, vinegar and jelly to the cabbage. Cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes just until tender. Season, stir and serve.  Serves 10 to 12.

Pantry Product of the Week. Rings of spiced apples are a pretty, ruby red garnish to add to any meal including a vegetarian plate. Supermarkets may carry them only during the holidays but it’s worth having them on hand all year, especially in camp, to add color and taste appeal to an ordinary meal.  

See this week’s emergency  Pantry Recipe, requiring no fresh foods, at
Healthy, homemade snacks save money, shave calories. Many of my snack recipes require no cooking. 

Are you constantly having to borrow a pigtail or pay for a deposit or rental?  Carry your own compact, high quality pigtail adapter with locking screw

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Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Campfire Lamb Curry with Biscuits
20-ounce package ( 1 ½ pounds) lean ground lamb
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon each garam masala, curry powder, cinnamon
Green, yellow or red sweet pepper, seeded and diced
1 can mixed vegetables such as Veg-All
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon beef or chicken bouillon
2 cups cold water
5 to 8 ready-to-eat baking powder biscuits (store bought or homemade)

    In a large skillet stir-fry lamb in hot oil, breaking it up into crumbles, Keep stir-frying while adding spices and sweet pepper. Stir in canned vegetables and their juice. Stir cornstarch and bouillon into cold water and stir into lamb over medium heat, stirring until it thickens.
    Split biscuits, drizzle lightly with honey and spoon on the hot lamb. Serves 5 to 8. 
Campground Tip. Need a tough scrub for a crusty iron skillet? Use salt. Rinse thoroughly,  dry well, Add a light swipe of vegetable oil if you wish. Iron rusts easily so I wrap the skillet in newspaper, then stow in a pillow case to avoid getting rust stains in the cupboard. For lighter scouring, baking soda is also a food quality abrasive. Again, a thorough rinse is important.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Campground Recipes to Light Your Fire

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To inquire about rates for sponsoring a post or placing an ad email

 Food and fireworks. It's time to order flags to fly at your campsite over 4th of July. Better get some small flags too to wave at the parade.

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Wonton Lasagna
    Only in America, the great melting pot, can a mix-up of ethnic foods make such a marvelous dish. Use homemade spaghetti sauce or open a can or jar. Just call it lasagna and let everyone guess what’s in it.

16-ounce package of egg roll wrappers
3 cups spaghetti sauce
10-ounce box of spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
6-ounce package of mushrooms, chopped (optional)
16-ounce package of firm tofu, mashed
2 eggs
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded Mozzarella

    Set the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13-inch casserole and spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom. Arrange a layer of egg roll wrappers. Arrange some of the spinach and mushrooms on top. In a bowl, mash tofu with eggs and Parmesan and spoon half over the spinach layer. Top with some spaghetti sauce. Add another layer of wrappers and another layer of spinach, mushrooms, the rest of the tofu mix plus more sauce. Finish with a layer of wrappers and top it all with remaining sauce.
    Cover the casserole and bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil, sprinkle with Mozzarella and bake 10 to 15 minutes more. Makes 8 to 10 potluck servings.

Cook’s note: At a potluck, where most campers take a little of this and a little of that, we expect more servings from each dish. If this is to be your only main dish, it will serve 6 to 8.

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Your RV deserves the right stuff, not some household cast-off. Find just the right cleaners and cleaner supplies for your RV here.  
Scroll down to see the full choice of brands, sizes and types of vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, robots, hand helds, rechargeables. 
  Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner for Six
2 cans condensed, low sodium, cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can of dry white wine
Medium onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup coarsely grated carrot (optional)
6-ounce package of sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 package of rice and wild rice mix
6 portions boneless, skinless chicken pieces
1 cup frozen thawed peas (optional)

    Spray the slow cooker container. Add soups and wine and whisk to mix. Stir in onion, carrot and dry rice mix. Let stand 1 hour. To proceed, snuggle chicken pieces and mushrooms in the rice mixture. Cook 6 hours on Low or 4 hours on High.
    Remove chicken pieces to plates and stir peas into rice mixture to heat through. Spoon rice mixture over chicken.  Makes 6 portions. 

Rave Review
    Everyone talks about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Now there’s an affordable, no-nonsense cookbook packed with recipes for authentic Mediterranean mealsin camp and at home. The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Denise Hazime is a gem. Best of all, the author provides nutritional information (carbs, calories, sodium, etc.) for those who need it.