Friday, December 02, 2022

Cook Up a Winter Camp-Out or RV Trip

 Blog copyright Janet Groene 2022. To ask about placing your product ad on all Groene travel-related sites covering RV, camping, boating and food for one year, one low rate, email janetgroene at

There is no better camping than a snug RV in a hushed campground, sparkling with  fresh snow

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Cherry Rice Pudding

1 can unsweetened,  pitted pie cherries
1 ½ cups instant rice
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped topping, thawed

    Drain the cherries and add water to the juice to make 1 ½ cups liquid. Bring to a boil, stir in sugar until it dissolves. Then stir in rice. Cover and turn off heat. Let stand 7 to 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Let cool to lukewarm. Stir in cherries and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping to taste. Serve now or chill. It’s good as is, or top with additional whipped topping.. Serves 6 to 8.
Cook’s note: For an even creamier pudding fold in a cup of cherry yogurt with the whipped topping.

Before You Go Camping Again


    The old Boy Scout motto makes special sense in this time supply chain problems, inflation, delays and emergencies.   Survival Food Handbook is a guide to shopping the supermarket for stowable foods to bring out if the fridge fails, or you’re stranded somewhere, or you can find stove fuel, or......   Kindle or paperback for yourself and gifts.



Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Scalloped Chicken

    A quart of gravy transforms this unusual  dish. It can be homemade gravy, canned or from a mix. If you’ve using leftover chicken or cooked  (unbreaded) chicken bites from the supermarket, you’ll need about 3 cups. Canned chicken is handy for camping.

4 cups chicken gravy (see below)
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 cups soft bread crumbs, divided
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk or cream

    Set the oven for 350 degrees and spray a 9 X 13-inch casserole. Scatter half the chicken in the casserole in an even layer. Sprinkle lightly with 1 cup bread crumbs. Add the remaining chicken and another cup of bread crumbs. Sprinkle with peas.
    In a bowl beat eggs with milk or cream and fold in remaining bread crumbs. Spread evenly over casserole and bake about 30 minutes or until it’s “set” and has a golden finish on top. Serves 8. 


Homemade Chicken Gravy:
1 quart chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
1 beef bouillon cube
Salt, pepper to taste
1/4 stick real butter (optional)

    Put flour, sage and ginger in a saucepan and whisk in cold broth until mixture is smooth. Add remaining broth and the bouillon over medium heat, stirring until bouillon dissolves and gravy thickens. Adjust seasonings. Turn off heat and stir in butter.

No Oven? No Problem: Assemble the dish as described above in a greased heavy skillet. Cover tightly and cook over medium heat until egg topping sets.  Serve with a spoon.

If you love RV life, especially if you are a woman who travels alone, see Janet’s new posts each week at Note that it it is RVWOMAN, not women.

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Bagged frozen meatballs are a boon to camping.  Slice a hot dog in half lengthwise, curl each half in a coil and thread on a stick around a small, thawed (cooked) meatball. Grill to heat through. Place on a round bun with your favorite toppings.

    * To remove stains from melamine porcelain make a paste made from 1/4 cup baking soda or cream of tartar and 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide. Smear on stains. Let dry. Wash as usual.

    * Mash a little French vanilla or hazelnut coffee creamer into boiled sweet potatoes.

    * Peel, quarter and freeze onions. Use a sharp knife and cutting board and they can be chopped while frozen. No tears.



A gift for yourself or someone who  is ready to retire

We “retired” in our 30's to a life of full-time travel and found we could earn a living as a travelwriter and photographer team. Today there are even more ways for RV travelers of all ages to earn as they go.  Our book Living Aboard Your RV, now in its 4th Edition, tells how you have get in, stay in and get out if and when that time comes.


Tofu Pepper Pot

8 to 10 ounces extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut in crescents
2 green bell peppers, ditto
Large onion, peeled and cut in crescents
1 pint sliced mushrooms
½ teaspoon dried pepper flakes

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 2/3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
Toasted sesame oil to taste

    Dice tofu. Heat oil in a large wok or pot over high heat and toss tofu to brown it, gradually stirring in vegetables and pepper flakes. When vegetables are crisp-tender whisk cornstarch into some of the vegetable broth and stir into the mixture with remaining broth and the soy sauce. When it thickens, add toasted sesame oil sparingly to taste. Serve over rice. Makes 6 to 8 portions.
Lacto-Ovo Option: Omit tofu. Stir-fry vegetables in hot oil and proceed through the step when the hot sauce is thickened. Fold in 6 diced, hard-cooked eggs and heat through.


Friday, November 25, 2022


Blog copyright Janet Groene 2022. to ask about placing your ad on all Groene sites for one year, one low rate, email janetgroene at

 You autumn be camping at this beautiful time of the year

  Let's EAT! In recognition of today's runaway inflation, we now offer a budget alternative in each recipe.


Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Asian Chicken (Or Leftover Turkey)  Salad


 Canned mixed Chinese vegetables are a boon to the RV cook. This is a shelf ingredient to keep on hand for many uses.  The mix is colorful, tasty and has a lot of different textures. Add it to hot  casseroles or stir-fries.
    It’s ideal  for this no-cook recipe.  Optional: add an extra can of sliced water chestnuts
or a can of baby corn for more crunch Fully cooked, un-breaded chicken bites  are available in vac pacs in most supermarkets.

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, shredded or diced fine
15-ounce can mixed Chinese vegetables, well drained
2 or 3 ribs celery, diced
Optional: Shredded lettuce
Optional garnish: sliced, toasted almonds

    In a bowl whisk mayo and soy sauce. Fold in chicken and vegetables and serve on beds of shredded lettuce. Serves 4. 


Budget alternative: For more servings, pile the salad into tortillas, taco shells or pitas and top with shredded lettuce. Drizzle with a little extra mayo.




 Tips for the Camp Cook

    *Coarsely crush about 3 cups shoestring potato sticks. Beat 4-6 eggs until frothy with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix  with the potato rubble. Spread in a sprayed, nonstick skillet. Cover and cook over low flame until potato layer is solid and golden brown on the bottom. Cut in wedges.

    *  To make an easy glaze for grilled meat or fish,  combine one part honey with one part sherry. Brush on during last few minutes.

    * Add a golden glow to your rice pilaf by adding a pinch of turmeric.

    * Bake a brownie mix in a pan twice as large as called for on the package. Cut in bite size squares and bag them to take camping. When you get to camp, whisk cold milk into a  packet of instant chocolate or vanilla  pudding and fold in brownie squares for a moist, yummy dessert.


   Let Amazon wrap and send it with your gift message for any occasion, any season, any RV campers. Cooking Aboard Your RV has more than 200 swift and shortcut recipes plus tips that save space, mess and hassle when you’re on the go.


Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week


A Feast of Finger Sandwiches

    Potluck guests love dainty sandwiches that are easy to make, serve and eat. For a change, make your next campground potluck a feast of finger sandwiches. Then see how far your imagination can go.
    Suggested sandwich fillings:

    * Empty a can of deviled ham into a small bowl. Fill the same can with peanut butter. Mix well.
    * To each cup of ground ham add 1/3 cup raisins, 1 teaspoon drained capers and mayonnaise to moisten.
    * Mix deli coleslaw and deli chicken salad half and half.
    * Mash hard-cooked eggs with ketchup instead of mayonnaise. Add finely chopped sweet onion.
    * Let cream cheese warm to “room” temperature and mash in chopped dried chipped beef and bits of pitted dates. 


      * Instead of cream cheese and olive sandwich filling, drain chopped olives well and mix with nonfat cottage cheese and a little minced pepperoni.
    * Chop roasted, salted almonds, pecans or walnuts and toss with grated Cheddar and chopped, fresh chives. Moisten to taste with mayonnaise.
    Vary breads too. These fillings go well with any breads from white and rye to ciabatta, sub rolls or baking powder biscuits. 


Shortcut Ras Es Hanout


   Save space by making your own spice blends. The all-purpose “top shelf” seasoning of Algeria and Morocco is easy to make and keep on hand for camping. The exact formula  varies from kitchen to kitchen. Purists start by grinding their own spices. Some cooks like it mild, some hotter.  

Here is my shortcut version. Salt is optional. You can always add it to the finished dish later. Cayenne is optional depending on your appetite for heat. The recipe makes about 1/2 cup and is easily doubled.

1 tablespoon each salt and ground cumin, ginger and turmeric
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon each ground pepper and coriander
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix well and keep cool and dry in a tightly closed container. Use by the teaspoon to taste or at the rate of about 1 teaspoon ras es hanout per three cups soup, stew, casserole,  batter, dough, etc. 

   The price of truck fuel is zooming and strikes are looming, threatening America’s supply chain. Campgrounds are often at the end of the road. Be prepared for shortages and emergencies with at least a three-day back-up food supply. Freezers fail. Propane runs out. Water pipes freeze. Shelter-in-place orders can come quick and hard. 

 Survival Food Handbook is a guide to choosing, stowing and using supermarket staples to stock an emergency food supply in the camper and at home.


Chicken ‘n ‘Chokes

    This recipe  makes a large batch of a colorful  chicken and vegetable stew to serve over rice, pasta, baked potato, biscuits, toast or whatever is on hand when the time comes. 


 4 pounds ground chicken or turkey
Salt, pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or chicken fat
Large onion, diced
1 pound carrots, diced fine
1 pound green beans, trimmed and sliced in 1/4-inch pieces

1 tablespoon mixed Italian seasoning OR

2 teaspoons ras el hanout

14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

    In a large pan, brown poultry in hot oil. Break up into crumbles while sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper. Continue stirring over high heat while adding onion, carrots,  green beans and seasoning to brown lightly and coat with flavor.
    Drain tomatoes and add water to the juice to make 1 cup liquid. Add tomatoes and liquid to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in bouillon to dissolve. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat, fold in drained artichokes. Cool completely and package for the freezer, allowing 1 to 1 ½ cups per portion when served over a starch. 



Friday, November 18, 2022

Campground Menus and Less Mess Motorhome Meals

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2022, all rights protected. Do you sell a product or service for travelers including RV-ers, boaters or campers? See your ad on all Janet Groene sites for one year, one low rate. Contact janetgroene at

Do you want a reminder each time a new post goes up here? We publish every Friday. Email janetgroene at and put RV in the subject line. This list is not sold nor shared.  If you signed up and do not receive an email from me every Friday, check you spam folder or unblock janetgroene. 



Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Hamcake Flapjacks


15-ounce can sweet potato puree
Small can chunk ham
1 egg or equivalent
½ cup milk
2 1/2 cups "complete" style pancake mix
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground ginger
Water or milk
Oil for the griddle
Applesauce for serving

Optional: butter pats

    Mix sweet potatoes, milk and egg in a bowl with the ham, breaking up the ham as you go. Stir in pancake mix and spices. Add water or milk if needed to  make a thick batter.
    Lightly oil a griddle. Drop sweet potato mixture on the griddle and cook like pancakes.  Fry on both sides until crisp and golden. Serve with applesauce and a pat of butter. Serves 4 to 5.

Budget alternative: Instead of canned sweet potatoes, use fresh.  You'll need about 1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potato. Scrub, micro-wave or roast them on the fire, scoop out of the shell and mash.  

See Janet Groene’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, made with emergency supplies from your pantry or grub box. No fresh foods needed. Go to



 One gift fits all sizes, ages and genders and every camper and RV-er who eats. Cooking Aboard Your RV is a handsome, affordable, illustrated paperback that Amazon will gift wrap and ship to all the RV-ers on your gift list.




Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Lemon Herb Scones

    No potluck meal is complete without bread or rolls. These tasty scones  will fly off the table. Your secret shortcut is biscuit mix, which is available in regular or gluten-free.  


1 lemon
4 cups biscuit mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dried, crumbled savory herb such as basil, oregano, tarragon, chervil, sage
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
    Zest and juice the lemon,. Set aside.
    Set the oven for 425 degrees. Grease one or two baking sheets. In a bowl mix sugar, baking soda, herb and biscuit mix. Add lemon juice to milk to form curds,  then stir it into the dry ingredients with the zest.  Add a little more milk or water if needed to make dough come together.

Turn out dough on a paper towel sprinkled with flour or biscuit mix. Knead only about six turns. Do not over-knead.  Divide dough in two and pat into two circles on baking sheets,  each an inch high.  Using a long knife, mark each circle in six or eight portions but don’t cut through to the bottom. Bake 15 minutes or until golden, watching carefully. If your RV oven has hot spots, you may need to turn pan(s) halfway through the baking time. Break up scones into wedges and put in a napkin-lined basket to stay warm.


    * Buy ground meats and poultry for one-dish meals. They cook faster in camp and they go farther when you’re stretching a little meat to go a long way. Ground meats don’t keep as well as whole, so watch temperatures and use-by dates, and cook thoroughly.

* As much as possible, opt for canned vegetables without salt and canned fruits in their own juices for your grub box.  You can always add salt or sugar later.  

    * When making dishes for the freezer, minimize spices, salt and highly flavored vegetables like green peppers. Their essence seems to increase during storage.

* A collapsible steamer takes up little room and is ideal for making a meal for one, such as a mound of thin-sliced vegetables topped with a plump chunk of firm fish and a pat of butter and/or a drizzle of lemon juice.

Ham ‘n Hula

    This one-dish meal is also good when made with ground or cut up chicken or turkey.  It’s easy to double the recipe. 


2 tablespoons butter, lard, chicken fat or vegetable oil
1 pound ground or very finely cut up deli ham or other canned or cooked ham
Medium onion, cut up fine
Large carrot, peeled and cut up fine
Medium mango  peeled and diced small
½ cup dried, sweetened papaya bits OR
½ cup golden raisins
2 cups long-grain  rice
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, molasses or honey
Small can pineapple tidbits with juice
1 cup water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
32-ounce carton chicken broth

    In a large kettle, heat fat and stir-fry meat, gradually stirring in onion, carrot, fruit and rice. When all are nicely coated add pineapple, water, bouillon, sweetener and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat until rice is tender (20-30 minutes.)  Stir several times while it cools, then measure into containers for the freezer, allowing 1 ½ to 2 cups per portion. 

Thaw, heat and eat with cornbread and honey. Sliced scallions make a nice garnish if you have some at serving time.

Budget alternative: Instead of ham, chill a can of Spam and grate it on the large holes of a grater. Proceed as above.



Friday, November 04, 2022

Quick Meals for the Campground and RV Park

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2022. To ask about placing your ad on all Groene sites for one year, one low rate,  email janetgroene at

If you opted receive a reminder when new posts go up here, and you do not get my email (usually every Friday), check your spam folder and/or unblock my sender addresses, janetgroene at and janetgroene at


Hear the call of the open road

Fish in a Mex-Italian Blanket

    Adding corn to this colorful, juicy dish adds a starch to turn it into a complete main dish. 


Vary your vegetables ad lib

 Medium size lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 6  meaty portions of a firm white fish such as mahi-mahi
Medium eggplant, peeled and diced
Medium onion, red pepper and green pepper, trimmed and diced
Medium zucchini, diced
14.5-ounce can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder
8-ounce can tomato sauce
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

Zest the lemon, then trim off ends and slice very thin. Discard seeds. Set aside.

In a large, heavy skillet or dutch oven, spread olive oil and arrange fish in an even layer. Top with  vegetables in the order given. Mix salt pepper, thyme, lemon zest and garlic powder in a small container, then sprinkle over vegetables.  Drizzle with tomato sauce , then the diced tomatoes. Cover the top with lemon slices.

Cover the pot and cook until vegetables are done to taste. Discard lemon slices. Serve fish portions in rimmed plates and pile them with vegetables.  Serves 4 to 6.
Budget option: substitute thawed breaded veal patties for the fish. Brown them on both sides before adding vegetables and proceed as above. 


    Survival Food Handbook is a guide to getting the most nutrition per ounce, per dollar and per inch into a small storage space where you stash some emergency foods. This book is about affordable, shelf-stable foods to make balanced meals if you have an emergency on the road.  Equipment fails. Delays happen. Supply chains fail. Be ready to feed your family on the road for at least 3-4 more days than you planned to be away.

The book also covers emergencies such as fridge breakdown, water shortage, cleanup after a fire or flood. Kindle or paperback


Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Strawberry Cookie Cake

    Bake it in camp or ahead of time at home. This cake carries well in an ice chest or refrigerator. No frosting needed. Your mystery ingredient is cut up “newtons”. 


7-8 strawberry newton cookies, cut up
1 strawberry-flavor cake mix
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
10-ounce jar strawberry jam
1 cup whipping cream
1. Grease a  9 X 13-inch baking pan and cover the bottom with cut-up strawberry newtons.
2. Make the cake mix batter using the water, oil and eggs.  Carefully pour batter evenly over the strawberry cookies. Bake the cake at 350 degrees until it’s springy to the touch and pulling slightly away from sides of the pan.
3. Cool cake 10-15 minutes, then use the round handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the top.
4. In a small saucepan over low heat, mix the cream and jam over low heat until they melt together. Pour gently and evenly over warm cake, taking your time so it soaks into the holes. Cool and chill. Cut in squares and bring a pancake turner for serving. Serve as is or bring a squirt can of whipped cream.
Budget Stretcher Option: substitute evaporated milk for the whipping cream. 



Did you know you can get a free Kindle app that lets you to read e-books on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC?  Go to and put Free Kindle App in the search window.

  Then discover Farley Halladay, a 50-ish widow. She’s on shore now, coping with an online boating business, caregiving,  cooking and crime solving after her husband was killed on board the ketch that was their home in the Virgin Islands.  In each chapter she shares shortcut recipes from the days when she had a small galley in her boat. For Kindle, Google Play, Nook et al. Book #4 in the 6-book (so far) series is April Avenger


*No broiler to put a crusty topping on a casserole? Melt half a stick of butter in a medium skillet and add a cup of bread crumbs. Keep stirring over medium heat until bread crumbs are toasty and crisp.  Sprinkle over hot casserole just before serving.

    *  In a roomy saucepan, stir 2 cups apple juice into a can of apple pie filling. Bring to a low boil. Stir milk into 1 ½ cups biscuit mix and ½ t. cinnamon to make a thick batter. Drop by tablespoons on simmering liquid. Cook 10 minutes uncovered, then 10 minutes covered.  minutes, over pot and cook 10 minutes more. Serve warm with cream, ice cream, whipped cream.

* Use cola in chocolate cake mix instead of milk. Bonus points for cherry cola.

    * Fill a greased skillet with thin-sliced, seasoned potatoes and onions. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender and crusty on the bottom.  Whisk 4-6 eggs and pour on. Dot with chunk salmon from a pouch.  Cover and cook just until eggs set. Serve 4-6. Pass tartar sauce, shrimp sauce or hot sauce.

Spanish Rice Basquaise

    This Spanish classic from the Basque region is easily doubled. Cook a  big batch, then divide and freeze in right-size portions for your next camp-out. It's a tasty one-dish meal to warm up in the campground or picnic site.  


2 ounces serrano ham OR
1/3 cup dried chipped beef
2 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
½ pound ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey
Large onion, peeled and cut in crescents
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 each small red and green peppers, seeded and diced
2 or 3 plum tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/3 cups raw rice
3 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup dry Spanish red or white wine

    Mince the dried beef or serrano ham very fine and sizzle in hot olive oil, gradually stirring in ground meat, garlic, onion, peppers and tomato. When ground meat is broken up and browned, stir in rice and thyme to coat with flavor. Add water and wine.
    Bring to a boil and dissolve bouillon. Reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat 20-30 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender. Stir, cool and package for the freezer, allowing 1 ½ to 2 cups per portion.
Budget Stretcher Option: For more servings, package mixture in smaller ½  or 3/4 cup servings  and serve in warm tortillas.




Friday, October 21, 2022

Real Camping Recipes for RV, Campers, Glampers

blog copyright janet groene. To ask about placing your ad on all Groene sites for one year, one low rate, email janetgroene at



In this week’s post:
* Recipes galore for the camp cook to save space, mess, energy and money .
* See each recipe's optional, budget-stretching ideas to get you through the upcoming depression.
* See our new feature, Homemade Trail Mix of the Week. Make big-batch gorp recipes at home, then package in snack-size or meal-size for your backpack,  pocket, purse, back seat, carry-on or fanny pack.
* Janet’s honest field test of the new Zavor Crunch Air Fryer Oven
* Tips for the camp chef
* Don’t forget to keep scrolling to see samples of past posts


This is opinion, not a paid ad


    When I heard about a new, counter-top kitchen appliance that does five (5!) things, my fingers went right to the  keyboard to order one. Campers love multi-use tools and this one is loaded.


      The Zavor Crunch is an air fryer, toaster, oven, dehydrator AND a rotisserie. It’s worth having one at home to prepare a slew of rotisserie roasts and chickens to take camping. It’s also a good add-on choice for larger RV’s that have room for it but even car campers and glampers can easily bring in out as needed.

    The Crunch won’t replace your microwave-convection oven. It does other things. 

    What I learned: Using an air fryer is a new skill so there is a learning period, even if you have used other air fryers. The Zavor's programs are easy. Push the French fries button and they’re ready in 20 minutes. It can also be used manually when you choose the time and temperature. (An air fryer cookbook is recommended to help know what times and temperatures are needed.


    Where I struggled: The rotisserie can be used open, or with a basket attachment for small things like shrimp or chicken nuggets. It took me some time to get the hang of loading the rotisserie with a whole chicken and getting the right balance. PS: It’s worth the struggle  
    What I like: Pushbutton convenience. Easy cleaning. The shelves, drip pan and other accessories are nonstick and go into the dishwasher.

    What I dislike: the oven cavity is smaller and a different shape from my other toaster oven.  I need different pans to use the Zavor as an oven. However, it is a gem for baking a one-layer cake or half a dozen muffins.  It can take only a 9-inch pizza on each shelf.  

    The trade-off: It has a motor, so it'’s heavier than a regular toaster oven but it’s not too heavy to lift  in and out of the RV, van or car for indoor-outdoor use.

    What surprises me: The easy dehydrator feature. The capacity is small, but just right for dying apple or lemon slices and herbs. I want to try making my own mushroom jerky. Can anyone send me a recipe?
    Where? I found the Zavor Crunch at multiple sites online such as Wayfair and Amazon.  


Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Lima and Meatball Stew

    It’s important to use very lean ground beef (or turkey or chicken) in this stew. The meat is not pre-browned but is cooked right in the stew itself.  This saves the step of browning, then pouring off excess fat.


Medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans, 14.5 ounces each, diced tomatoes with green pepper and celery
1 bay leaf
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cans, about 15 ounces each, butter beans (cooked dried limas)

    In a roomy saucepan, sizzle onion and carrot in hot oil until they get limp. Add tomatoes and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil. With a fork, mash Worcestershire sauce into ground beef.  Using two teaspoons, shape small meatballs and drop them into the boiling stew over high heat. When all meat is added, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 to 20 minutes until meatballs are firm and done through.
    Stir in butter beans and heat through. Remove bay leaf and ladle into soup plates. Serves six. 


Cook’s note: to shape meatballs, I use a small size, spring-operated scoop.
Budget stretcher: thoroughly  work ½ cup rolled oats, cooked rice or bread crumbs + 1 tablespoon milk into the ground meat.  Shape as usual. 


Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
    Colorful and economical, this side dish is hearty enough for a vegetarian/vegan main dish

Applebean Salad
 3 large red apples
4 large ribs celery, sliced
Small red onion, cut in thin crescents
3 cans, 15 ounces each, kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Bottled cilantro- citrus vinaigrette

    Cut apples and celery in bites about the same size as kidney beans. Combine in a large bowl with onion and beans and add vinaigrette to taste. Serve at once or chill and stir again before serving. Serves 12.
Budget stretcher: use sale apples that may need trimming. You’re going to cut them up anyway. 





    Cuddle with your Kindle in the campground tonight to meet spunky widow Farley Halladay and her gang of wacky crime solvers. Salt-cured Farley is tough as a turnbuckle as she mourns her husband and their life at sea while operating her online boat business that takes her (and you) virtually all over the world.  


In her six e-books, January Justice through June Jeopardy, Farley shares shortcut recipes she developed as a boat cook. Start anywhere in this cozy series. You’ll want to read them all.



These recipes are made in a big batch so you can measure and bag them for camping and travel.  (Save money and packaging, and you won't binge when you have a pre-measured portion.) 

Texas Two-Step  Gorp

6 cups corn chips (e.g. Fritos)
4  microwave bags of “lite” or plain  popcorn (each makes 4 cups)
4 cups roasted, unsalted giant Texas pecans

2 sticks butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese from a jar
1 envelope taco seasoning
    Put chips and pecans in a large tub. In a skillet, melt the butter and stir in cheese and taco seasoning. Keep tossing lightly as you drizzle hot mixture over the chips mixture. Makes about 25 cups. Put in big bowls for a party or package by the cupful for the trail. Keep cool and dry.

* Spread the bottom half of a burrito size tortilla with peanut butter and the top half with strawberry jam. leaving 1/2 inch borders. Add a whole or split banana. Roll up. Raise to mouth for a meal, snack or dessert.

    * Make a kicky salad sprinkle. Combine 2 cups small croutons with 1 cup wasabi peas, 1 cup cheddar Goldfish, 1 cup sunflower “nuts”. Use in 2 T. portions. Mix, keep cool and dry.

* Packets of inexpensive, unsweetened fruit drink mixes (e.g. KoolAid) are light as a feather and highly concentrated. Add a pinch to almost any recipe for color or flavor. Or,  make your own fruit drinks using the sweetener of your choice.

    * Make cornbread batter, your own or from a box. Fold in a can of macaroni and cheese and some chopped hot dogs. Bake, cut in squares. It’s a meal for four to six. 

    Each week we provide a recipe to make ahead, then freeze in portions of one to whopper, depending on your camping crew size. This one freezes well in freezer containers that can later be nuked, or warmed in boilable bags.

Italian Sausage and Eggplant Ragout
    If you have a really large kettle, this recipe can be doubled. A quick heat-up in camp and you'll have a meaty, home-cooked comfort food.

16-ounce package mild or medium Italian bulk sausage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 each green pepper and onion, diced
2 medium eggplants, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
    Fry out sausage, breaking it up and gradually stirring in onion, pepper and garlic. When sausage is no longer pink, add seasoning, eggplant and tomatoes. Cover, reduced heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Cool and freeze, allowing 1 ½ cups per serving.

Cook’s note: bring a shaker of Parmesan to sprinkle on just before serving. Or, sour cream makes a nice topknot.
Budget stretcher: Serve more folks by spooning this hot ragout over rice or pasta. Or add canned, rinsed cannellini or kidney beans in addition to, or instead of,  the sausage.

                              SCROLL DOWN. THERE’S MORE

Friday, October 14, 2022

Easy Meals for Campfires, Camp Stoves

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2022. 


Campground Recipe of the Week
    This economical meal can be served warm or chilled.
Warm ‘n Weenie Potato Salad


3-pound bag of baby potatoes
1 pound hot dogs, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Large onion, diced
1 can condensed cream of potato or cream or cream of celery soup
1/4 cup your favorite gourmet mustard
1/4 cup milk
½ cup pickle relish (or more to taste)
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar (more or less to taste)
Ketchup (optional)


Wash potatoes, cut in quarters and boil just until tender. Drain and stir in hot dog mixture.  (Recipe follows.)  Serve warm. Feeds 6. Pass the ketchup.
    Hot Dog mixture: Sizzle hot dogs in hot oil with the onion until the onion is crisp-tender and weenies are lightly browned. Stir in soup, mustard and milk. Fold in relish and vinegar. Fold with potatoes and serve warm.  


See the Trail Mix Recipe of the Week



   From sweet to savory, from snacks to full trail meals, these recipes are homemade in a big batch,  then packaged by the portion to carry in pocket or pack. They are ideal for campfire munching, beach combing, star gazing, backpacking, hiking, fishing, sailing, road trips  or those dreaded airline delays. 


Banquet-in-a-Bag Trail Mix

    This mixture plus plenty of drinking water makes a complete meal. Many types of jerky are available including meatless varieties.

4 cups white cheese  snack crackers
2 cups round oat cereal
2 cups square rice cereal
3 cups snipped jerky (your choice)
2 cups natural, unsalted, roasted almonds
1 cup snipped dried apricots
1 cup golden raisins

    Put everything in a clean bag, seal and jostle gently to mix well. Measure by the portion into re-usable snack bags and keep in a cool, dry place.  Makes 15 cups. Measure 1 to 1 ½ cups per portion.
Bonus points: To each bag add a wrapped handi-wipe and small bag with 1/4 cup M&M’s for dessert.

Do you keep a few emergency food supplies on board?  See free pantry recipes requiring no fresh food at  



 Janet Groene’s Survival Food Handbook is a guide to shopping the supermarket for shelf foods that are used and rotated regularly, always on hand for that sudden power outage, fridge failure or evacuation.  Storage space in campers and boats is limited, so this book’s focus is on packing the most nutrition for the least space, ounce and cost. This is about everyday  staples, NOT about those high-priced doomsday foods that you put away and forget.


Campground Potluck RV Recipe of the Week
Lazy Days Tomato Pie

    This recipe is ideal to bake and take, or to bake in your camp oven. It’s good warm or at “room” temperature.   It’s a substantial main dish for vegetarians or a hearty side dish go to with meat or fish from the grill.


28--ounce can sliced or diced tomatoes
9-inch pastry crust, your own or store-bought
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon freeze-dried chives
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons flour, preferably self-rising
2 cups grated Cheddar   

    Set the oven to 350 degrees. Drain tomatoes very well in a sieve. You need about 2 ½ cups.  Discard juice or save it to use in soup or stew. Line a pie pan with the pastry and flute the edges. Prick all over with a fork and bake 10 minutes. If crust has sagged, carefully press it back into place with the back of a fork while it’s hot.
    In a bowl whisk mayonnaise and flour, fold in cheese and spread a little into the pie shell. Put drained tomatoes in the pie shell and sprinkle with basil and chives. Spread remaining cheese mixture over the tomatoes. Bake 30 minutes on the bottom shelf of the oven until the pie crust is golden and the cheese layer is lightly browned. Let cool 5-10 minutes before cutting. Cut in wedges and provide a spatula for serving.

To make a single pie crust in a hurry, melt a stick of butter in the pie pan. Stir in a cup of flour. Use floured fingers, and more flour as needed, to form an even crust on the bottom and up the sides of the pie place. Flute edges and bake.  


This is opinion,  not an ad nor a paid testimonial 


    After seeing them on Shark Tank, I just HAD to get a supply of these reusable storage bags for camping and RV trips. They range in size from 2 X 2 inches for spices and pills to the BIG 24 X 30-inch size for dirty laundry. They keep scents in and oxygen out, so foods stay fresh longer.
    Living in the close quarters of a van, camper or tent, we can get grossed out on strong scents such as fish, bait, bananas, coffee, dirty socks, diapers. These incredible bags keep things dry, separate and stink-proof. They are tough, washable for re-use and recyclable.  They come in a number of styles and finishes (black, clear, heavy duty), in a child resistant model and in foil for the ultimate barrier. All have the unique SmellGuard Barrier Technology. They are not for cooking use and should not be boiled or heated above 190 degrees. 
    I order mine at (866) 515-9622. 

See tips for women who RV at

Tips for the Camp Chef

    *Why waste space by carrying chicken bones? Oven-roast three or four birds at a time. Cool. Dice meat. Use bones and skin to make a wonderful broth, then discard. Package diced chicken in batches, figuring ½ cupful per  portion. Freeze for future camp-outs. Use in dozens of ways, from chicken salad to chicken soup, chili, stir-fry, stew.

* Place a boneless chicken breast on an oiled square of foil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs. Top with a scoop of cooked sticky rice and a slice of shaved deli ham. Drizzle with 1/4 cup white wine. Bring up corners of foil and twist to seal. Grill, chicken side down, until chicken tests done at 170 degrees.

    * Mix ½ cup each crumbled blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream with 1 T. white wine vinegar and 1 t. sriracha. Chill.  Serve as a dip for chips, veggies, bread sticks, Tater Tots, chicken nuggets.

Chicken ‘n Rice Pasties


    This recipe is easily doubled. Set up an assembly line at home and make pasties (pass-ties) in all shapes and sizes to warm up in camp.  Fillings can be varied with meat,  seafood or vegetable mixtures. Just don’t over-fill pasties or they’ll leak.  Unlike yeast dough and tortillas, pastry (pay-stry) crusts require careful handling. 


2 pastry pie crusts, your own or store-bought

1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons flour
Pinch salt, pepper, dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
Small can chunk chicken, drained well and finely chopped
½ cup each chopped, cooked or canned mushrooms and cooked rice
Small can deviled ham
2 teaspoons minced garlic
     Set the oven to 375 degrees.. Prepare baking sheets. Whisk egg with flour and seasonings. Stir in chicken, ham, mushrooms, rice and garlic. Mix well. Roll out pie crusts to thin them slightly. Cut each in half.
    Place a mound of chicken mixture on half a piece of crust, allowing space at the edge for sealing .Use a wet finger to moisten edges of dough. Fold over and seal with a fork. This may take some practice to produce a leak-proof pasty. Cut three tiny slits in the top to allow steam to escape and bake until pasty is golden brown.
    Cool completely, then wrap in heavy duty foil. This protects the pasty and allows you to warm it later over the campfire. Place each wrapped pasty on a cheap paper plate for further protection against breakage. Outer wrapping can be plastic, foil or freezer wrap. Handling carefully, stack and freeze. Makes 4 meal-size pasties.