Friday, November 28, 2014

Chic, Shortcut Camping Meals Go Italian

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That's me, Janet Groene, in the red hat lower left. I'm checking out the Zero Mile Post marker on the Alaska Highway

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
    This recipe makes 8 potluck servings and it’s easily doubled or quadrupled.

Ham and Cheese Manicotti
    No pasta to cook! No big pots of boiling water to wrestle in the campground!
    This basic idea has endless variations. Serve it with white or red sauce. Make it with deli ham, turkey, roast beef or a spicy salami. Add a vegetable to the roll, such as a spear of lightly steamed  asparagus or some cooked, whole green beans. Try it with Swiss cheese instead of mozzarella, blue cheese instead of Parmesan, dry cottage cheese instead of ricotta.
8 slices good deli baked ham
8 egg roll wrappers
1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1 ½ to 2 cups sauce*
Grated Parmesan
* Homemade mornay sauce or store-bought spaghetti or Alfredo sauce

    Set the oven for 400 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13-inch baking dish or 4 individual baking
dishes. Lay a slice of ham on each egg roll wrapper. Whisk ricotta, mozzarella and egg and place strip of this mixture on each slice of ham. Roll up and place in baking dish seam side down.
    Spoon on sauce to taste and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and browned,
about 20-23  minutes. Serves 4 as an entree, up to 8 at a potluck.

See more of Janet Groene’s galley shortcuts at Boat Cook.

Eat healthier when you make your own snacks using only the ingredients that suit your family best. Start with basic recipes at Create A Gorp, then customize if needed to omit salt, allergens, sugar. Just keep proportions the same.
Where to go next in your RV? See Janet's travel teasers.

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
    You may not need the entire container of each ingredient.  Load this pizza to your own taste.

Black and White Pizza
1 baked pizza shell
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1 can or jar sliced mushrooms, well drained
1 can sliced black olives, well drained
Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Black sesame seeds
    Set the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the pizza shell with Alfred sauce. Arrange
mushrooms and black olives on top. Sprinkle with feta, then mozzarella. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Bake just enough to heat through and melt mozzarella. Serves 4.  

    Stove top pizza: Assemble the pizza as directed in a sprayed, nonstick skillet. Cover and cook over low/medium heat until it's heated through.  

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Camping Recipes Win Praises and Prizes

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Skillet Spiced Nuts
    No need to light the oven to make this potluck appetizer. Sizzle nuts in a skillet and put ‘em in a bowl.  Bonus: these nuts also make great party favors or  hostess gifts. If you double the recipe, make two batches. Don’t overcrowd the skillet with more than 3 cups at a time.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnut or a mixture)
2 teaspoons each salt, cinnamon, smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons coarse brown sugar such as Sugar in the Raw
    Heat the oil and stir-fry nuts. Sprinkle with spices and keep stirring over medium-high heat  until nuts turn toasty brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and stir until sugar melts. Serve in a big bowl or in small paper cups. Makes 3 cups. To store, cool completely and seal in a lidded container at room temperature for up to one week.

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Ideal for emergencies or boondocking. See Janet Groene's weekly Pantry Recipe, requiring no fresh ingredients, at Boat Cook. 
Campground shortcut: need a birthday cake? Fill a round plate with one or more layers of chocolate-covered miniature donuts. Stick birthday candles in donut holes in the top layer. No frosting, no slicing. Serve with tongs. 

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Taste of India Camper’s Stew
    Cook it in a slow cooker, open fire, camp stove, solar cooker. Use a variety of diced, mild vegetables for color but don’t let them overwhelm traditional Indian flavors. As you become more familiar with Indian flavors, you may want to increase the garam masala in this recipe.

3 vegetable bouillon cubes
3 cups water
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 cups finely diced vegetables (celery, carrot, turnip, potato, parsnip, onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon garam masala
15-ounce bag baby spinach
15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Yogurt or sour cream for garnish
    Ladle it into soup plates and serve with chunks of a hearty bread or naan. Serves 4 to 6.

    Slow cooker: spray the cooker and combine bouillon, water, tomatoes, lentils, vegetables, garlic and garam masala. Cook 5 hours on High. Stir in spinach and garbanzos and cook 30 minutes more.
    Pressure cooker: proceed as above, bring to full pressure and let cook 12 minutes for
whole lentils, 6 minutes for split lentils. Let pressure return to normal. Over medium heat, stir in spinach and garbanzos until spinach is limp and garbanzos heated through.
    Solar cooker: spray the cooker and proceed as above, using boiling water if possible.
Cook until lentils are tender. Be sure to stir in and heat spinach and garbanzos before sun gets too low.
    Saucepan or Dutch oven: Combine bouillon, water, tomatoes, lentils, vegetables, garlic and garam masala. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in spinach and garbanzos over medium heat until spinach wilts and beans are heated through. 

Find healthful, handy trail mix recipes at Create A Gorp. Make them for hiking, camping, the lunchbox. Save money. Use re-usable snack bags and reduce trash. Customize recipes to your own diet or allergies.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chicken Recipes are Just Right for Camping, RV Trips

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Scroll down for the Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week 

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 Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Chicken Stuffing Salad
    Use leftover chicken or turkey, or just grab a deli roasted chicken on your way to the campground and cut it in bite size.

4 cups diced, cooked chicken
3 to 4 ribs celery, sliced
Small sweet onion, cut in thin crescents
1 tart green apple, cored and diced
1 tart red apple, cored and diced
Vinaigrette dressing to taste
2 cups diced, seasoned bread stuffing mix (such as Pepperidge Farm)

    Combine chicken vegetables and apples and fold in vinaigrette to taste. Just before
serving (not before!), fold in stuffing mix. Serves 6. 

    Cook’s note: if you won’t serve the entire recipe at once, refrigerate the chicken mix and add stuffing mix just before serving each portion.

Bonus Recipe: It’s that time of year for hot toddies. Make mulled cider by the gallon in your slow cooker and invite the campground neighbors. To each gallon of apple juice add:

1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon each ground cloves, ground allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange extract
    Stir, cook 2 hours or more, stir and ladle into mugs. Hot buttered rum? Put a pat of butter and a shot of rum in the mug before adding the hot toddy.

See Janet Groene's Pantry Recipe of the Week at Boat Cook. No fresh foods required, so it's ideal for emergencies on camping trips. Delays happen.
Each week at Boat Cook, Janet Groene presents a pantry recipe and an everyday galley recipe that's also ideal for the RV and camp cook. 

Camping tip of the week: to save the nonstick surfaces on your camping cookware, simply save a plastic knife from your next visit to a fast food place.  Use it to loosen a bread or cake before turning it out of the pan or slice a quiche or pizza cooked in a nonstick skillet.  

Guilt-free snacking is yours when you make your own trail mixes using healthful ingredients and recycle-able snack bags. Make in big batches, package in small batches for the trail, tenting, hiking, commuting.  Great too for kids' lunchbox or after school. See Create A Gorp.

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week Chili Cheese Dip
    Does your supermarket carry fully cooked beef or sausage crumbles? They may also be available in meat-free  vegetarian versions. Instead of making a greasy mess by frying out raw hamburger, use ready-to-go crumbles. 

12- to 16-ounce package of fully cooked beef crumbles OR
12- to 16-ounce package fully cooked sausage crumbles
2 packages, 2 pounds each, process cheese such as Velveeta
2 small cans diced chilies, well drained
15-ounce can tomatoes with garlic and green pepper
1 tablespoon each chili powder, Worcestershire sauce

    Dice the cheese and put everything in a slow cooker. Cook 1 hour on High or 2 hours or
more on Low. Stir and surround with dippers of your choice. Makes about 2 quarts of dip.
    Stove-top or campfire method: Proceed as above and cook over low heat in a heavy pot until mixture melts.