Friday, July 29, 2016

Easy, Lip-Smackin' Camping Meals

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Camp and RV Recipe of the Week

Dutch Sausage and Kale
    This easy, campfire main dish makes use of one of nature’s best greens. Kale is available now all trimmed, chopped and washed, or you can prepare your own.
2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 to 6 medium potatoes, scrubbed  or peeled and cut up
12-16-ounce package chopped kale
½ stick butter
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    Bring water to a boil in a large pot and stir in bouillon. When it dissolves, add potatoes and kale. Cut sausage in four pieces and add to the pot. Cover and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Remove sausage to plates and quickly smash the potato-kale mixture with the butter, nutmeg and addition water, milk or broth if needed. Serve 4.

Did you know that I wrote a cookbook especially for RV travelers and others with a downsize kitchen? See it here. 
Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week

Mung Beans and Rice

    A filling and satisfying side dish, this recipe is also a conversation starter. Most of us are familiar with mung bean sprouts, not with beans simply as beans.

1 cup mung beans, rinsed and picked over
½ stick butter
Medium onion, chopped
2 cups long-grain rice
½ teaspoon each ground ginger, ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

6 1/2 cups water

    Soak beans overnight or bring to a boil, cover and set aside for an hour. Melt butter and stir in onion until it softens. Stir in rice, seasonings and drained mung beans to coat. Add water.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook 25-30 minutes until rice and beans are tender. Serves 8.
    Pressure cooker method: Proceed as above. Cook 3-4 minutes at full pressure, then remove from heat and let pressure return to normal. 

    Do you dream of a life of full-time travel in an RV with all the comforts of home? My book, Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, says it all, from making the decision to quitting when and if that time comes.  To see the book click here.
Bonus Recipe
Fruit Fluff
    Simply made with Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice, this pudding is healthful as all heaven. By making it yourself you can sweeten or not, using honey, sugar, brown sugar, agave or a zero-calorie sugar substitute. It’s especially colorful when made with a red juice such as cranberry or pomegranate.
3 cups 100% fruit juice (not juice cocktail)
½ cup regular Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice
Sweetener of choice
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or a few drops flavoring such as vanilla extract.

Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, add cereal gradually. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until it’s thickened. Add sweetener ad lib and cool or chill. Serve as is or with whipped cream. Makes 6 portions.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Camper Recipes Rough It Easy

    Blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To ask about sponsoring a post or placing an ad email 

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Camp and RV 
Recipe of the Week
One Pan Pasta
    No need to boil a big kettle of water first. This creamy pasta main dish goes together over the campfire or one burner.

12- to 16-ounce package grilled chicken bites (not breaded)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Small fresh lemon, sliced thin and seeded
1 quart carton low-sodium chicken broth
12-ounce package medium pasta such as penne or medium shells
Half of an 8-ounce brick of cream cheese, diced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 can peas and carrots, drained (optional)
Salt, pepper to taste

    In a large skillet or saucepan, sizzle chicken bites in hot oil, gradually stirring in lemon. When chicken and lemon begin to brown, remove and discard lemon slices. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and cook until it’s tender. Reduce heat and stir in tarragon and cheeses until they form a creamy sauce. Fold in vegetables to heat through. . Season to taste. Serves 4 to 6. 

Camp Cook Tips
    * Replace baking powder every six months. It gradually loses its oomph.
    * Best barbecue tool set yet includes grate cleaner and  heat-shielded tool from Grill Daddy, known for its ergonomic designs.

    * Food safety is crucial in camping, so read labels for processed meats such as ham and sausages. Some are fully cooked; some require thorough cooking.
    * Need a gluten-free crumb topping? Cut a stick of butter into 1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt and ½ cup white or brown sugar. When it’s crumbly, sprinkle over a casserole filled with fruit and bake.
    * Make  cold pasta salad on a stick. Thread skewers with cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese chunks, etc. PLUS pieces of large pasta, such as ziti, cooked al dente and rinsed. Drizzle with Italian dressing.
    * Try mashed peas as a colorful side dish. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons butter in a pan or skillet. Bring to a boil with 3 cups thawed peas. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mash coarsely with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper and spread on a plate to top with a cooked burger, fillet of fish or grilled pork chop.
    * You can’t have too many flashlights in camping including one that stays in the galley or grub box.
    * Fish that flake easily aren’t easy to turn over on the grill, so use a well-oiled grill basket. Fish that hold together better on the grill include swordfish, dorado, tuna and halibut.

See this week’s homemade snack recipe at CreateAGorp.blogspot.

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Beety Beefy Appetizers
    I find that finger foods are always popular at potlucks and campground Happy Hour. Here’s a mystery mix that will keep guests guessing what’s in it while they come back for seconds.

Small jar dried chipped beef
Small can beets, well drained
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (or more to taste)
Thick style bottled ranch dressing such as Marie’s

    On a cutting board or in a food processor, chop beef and beets. Stir in horseradish and enough dressing to make a thick, creamy mixture. Serve in dollops on crackers, little toasts or slabs of sliced raw vegetables such as cucumber or zucchini. Makes 20 to 30 appetizers.

Don't know how much of what foods to take on an extended camping trip? Newest Janet Groene book is Survival Food Handbook, a guide to shopping the supermarket for shelf foods to stock your camper or home pantry. 

Bonus Recipe
Indian Summer Gravy
    Corn has long been a staple in the Americas, where Native Americans in the Southwest make this sauce to serve with tortillas or boiled potatoes. It’s good over almost any starch including pancakes, sweet potatoes, toaster waffles, bread stuffing, ad inf. The corn can be fresh kernels, frozen or well drained canned corn.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, butter or bacon fat
3 cups corn kernels  
3 cups diced summer squash, yellow and/or green
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup water
Salt, pepper to taste
    Heat oil or fat and stir-fry corn and squash until they are coated with fat. Cover the pan, reduce heat and cook until squash is tender.  Turn up heat to brown vegetables. Stir flour into cold water and pour into the pan, stirring over medium-high heat until a thick sauce forms. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little water. Season to taste. Makes about a quart of gravy.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Camping Recipes for Stove, Campfire or Slow Cooker

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

Janet Groene’s new cookbook, Survival Food Handbook, is a guide to choosing and using supermarket foods that keep in the pantry for the long haul.  Prepare for emergencies, boondocking, any day. No high-priced survival foods needed. 

Camp and RV 
Recipe of the Week
Totally Tasty Turtle Soup

    The little turtles in this hearty soup-stew are tortellini. Just throw everything in one pot over the RV stove, campfire or camp stove. Ladle it out just minutes after it comes to a boil.
6 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12-ounce box three-cheese tortellini (not the refrigerated kind)
10-ounce can chunk chicken white meat, broken up
14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
7-ounce bag fresh spinach, tough stems removed and leaves cut into bite size

    Bring water to a boil. Add oregano and stir in bouillon to dissolve it.  Add  tortellini and cook 5-6 minutes. Keep the pot boiling while gradually adding chicken and artichokes. When tortellini is tender stir in spinach just until it's limp. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with bread sticks.  Serves 6.

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Camp Cooking Tips

    * Check campground fire regs every day. In some areas they change often depending on wind and rain conditions.

    * To quick chill beer,  put the can or bottle it in a sock and soak the sock in rubbing alcohol. As it evaporates it cools the beer. 

    * Headed for the mountains? Note label instructions  for high altitude cooking for baked products such as cake mix. If you bake from scratch, get the best high altitude cookbook.

    * Before Cool Whip there was 
Dream Whip, a dry mix that weighs almost nothing. It’s still available and so easy to use. Order a sixpack at

    * Save Tic-Tac containers to use as salt and pepper shakers in camping. 

    * When you’re camping on short water rations but want to rinse canned beans for a recipe, put them in a sieve. Then add canned corn, tomatoes and other canned foods you want to drain. Their juices will rinse away much of the sludge.

See this week’s homemade trail mix recipe at Create A Gorp. Save money, control ingredients, package in sensible portions for the pocket, lunchbox, backpack.

If you’re a woman who travels in an RV, join us at     

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Black Bean ‘n Rice Salad
    Here’s a new take on  black beans and rice. It’s made ahead to serve cold.  Kick it up as hot as you like, or supply a bottle of hot sauce so diners can choose their own scorch rate
4 to 6  cups cooked rice
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch scallions, white and light green only, thinly sliced
Small can chopped chiles, well drained
8-ounce brick of Monterey jack cheese, cut in small dice
½ cup Italian dressing (or more to taste)
Handful of chopped cilantro
2 cans, 15 ounces each, black beans, rinsed and drained
    Toss ingredients together lightly, adding black beans last and saving some of the tomatoes and cilantro for a garnish. Chill. Serves 10.

Bonus Recipe
Cici Cassoulet (say cah-soo-LAY)
    How about lamb for a change? This one-dish gourmet classic can be made atop the stove or in the oven, solar cooker, crock pot or campfire.
2 pounds cubed, boneless lamb for stew
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon each salt, pepper

Pat meat dry with paper towels. Put dry ingredients in a disposable bag and shake to mix, then add lamb and shake again to coat. Discard bag. Put lamb in a cooking pot with:

Large onion, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup white grape juice or white wine

Add last:
2 cans, 15 ounces each, cici peas (also known as garbanzo beans or chickpeas), drained and rinsed.

Stovetop method: Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until lamb is tender. Add cici beans and heat through.
Slow cooker method: Put everything in a slow cooker and cook 6 to 8 hours on Low. Stir in  cici beans and heat through.
Dutch oven method: Put lamb and vegetables in a Dutch oven and put in the campfire. Surround with well-started coals and keep at a low simmer 1 hour or until lamb in tender. Stir in cici beans and heat through. Dutch oven can also be placed in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour.
Solar method: Put everything in the solar cooker. (If possible, give it a jump start by heating the wine or grape juice first). When lamb is tender stir in cici’s and heat for another 30 to 60 minutes.
Pressure cooker method: Bring lamb, onion and wine to full pressure for 10 minutes. Let pressure normalize on its own or by quick-cooling (see your cooker’s instruction manual), then stir in cici’s to heat through.

Cook’s note:  If you can manage minced fresh parsley, it really complements this dish.  Add it just before serving. If you don’t have fresh parsley, forget it. Serve in shallow soup plates alone or over rice.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Camping and RV Travel Call for Easy Cuisine

Blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. For permissions or to inquire about advertising on one or more Groene blogs email  

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Galley Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down to see the Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)

    Too hot to cook your camping supper? Bring out this cold salad. If the evening suddenly turns chilly, accompany the salad with mugs of hot bouillon. 

     I always have a packet or two of this comforting, tasty, salt-free broth in a backpack, airline carry-on, even a wallet.

Dilly Salmon Salad
2 cans, 15 ounces each,  diced potatoes
10-ounce can chunk salmon
Medium red onion
1 cup sliced celery, or more to taste
1/3 cup ranch dressing, or to taste
½ teaspoon dried dillweed
    Drain and rinse potatoes. Break up salmon. Slice onion in half, north pole to south pole, then slice to make thin  crescents. Toss everything together and chill or serve at once. Serves 3.
    Variation: Make your own boiled, diced potatoes or substitute diced, seeded cucumber for some or all the potatoes.

Women who love the RV travel life get together at Solo Woman RV.
Camp Cook Tips

    * Before filling your RV pantry, know the actual yield you will get from canned whole or fillet salmon,  which includes juice, skin and bones,  versus “chunk” salmon, which has little juice and no skin and bones. 

    * For easier cleanup, use nonstick spray on the grater or blade. 

    * A complete measuring cup set that folds flat! Can’t be beat for camping and RV cooks.

    * When you grate cheese yourself, you have any cheese, not just the limited choice of packaged shreds. Grate, toss lightly with 1 tablespoon cornstarch per pound of grated cheese to keep it from clumping, then freeze in portions you use. 

    * A lightweight, durable, foldable trunk organizer is ideal for organizing stowed items in the RV.

    * Add a grapefruit spoon to the galley, even if you don’t eat grapefruit. It’s the ideal scraper to remove cucumber, jalapeno or melon seeds. 

    * Save old pillow cases. Use as slip cases for the iron skillet and to protect nonstick pans. Laundering is easy.

      * This is the best over-sink cutting board and space extender yet because it actually expands work space. 

    * Use a spaghetti claw to serve tossed salad and as a draining spoon to handle larger hot items such as boiled potatoes or hard-cooked eggs.

See this week's trail mix recipe at Create a Gorp.  When you make your own snacks, you control ingredients and portions. 
Find this week’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, using shelf-stable  ingredients from the supermarket, at Boat Cook.  

My new cookbook, Survival Food Handbook is all about emergency meals on the go and at home. No high-priced survival foods required. Learn more about shelf-stable buys from the supermarket, then see recipes for using them for every meal.
Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Orange Julius Trifle
    Throw this together at the last minute and everyone will ask what’s in it. 

10-ounce angel food cake
4-serving packet orange gelatin dessert
1 cup boiling water
Large carton whipped topping, thawed but cold
    Cut or tear the cake into bite size and place in a large bowl. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and drizzle slowly over cake bits, tossing lightly to mottle cake bits with orange. Fold in whipped topping and serve at once or chill. Serves 10. 

Bonus Recipe
Polish Hunter Stew
This easy campfire or camp stove one-pot supper is traditionally served with boiled potatoes or crusty bread. In Poland iy may be made with half sausage, half stew beed. On Christmas eve it's made with mushrooms instead of meat. Add salt only to taste. The sausage and kraut are already salty. 
16-ounce link Kielbasa sausage, cut up 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
Large onion, diced
16-ounce package or can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained 
16-ounce package shredded cabbage for cole slaw

3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon each pepper, ground cloves and sweet paprika 
     Brown sausage in hot oil, gradually stirring in onion over high heat. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Long, slow simmering develops the flavor even more. Remove bay leaf. Serves 4 to 5.