Friday, August 07, 2020

Glamping, Tent Camping and Motorhome Meals

Blog copyright janetgroene 2020, all rights reserved. To pay $5 a year as a voluntary subscription, use your PayPal account to janetgroene. Thank you!

Are you stocking up for hurricane season? See Janet’s pantry recipes that require no fresh foods. Go to   

A good reference book on emergency food supplies is Survival Food Handbook, a guide to choosing, stowing and using shelf-stable foods. Also tips on nutrition values, portions, cleanup after fire or flood, what to do if the fridge fails, alternative stoves and much more.

NOT Your Mama's

Cornbread Dressing
    “Dressing” is the ultimate side dish and one of the easiest to make in camping. Depending on where you grew up, dressing MUST be made with crumbled  cornbread or MUST be made with diced, day-old white bread. Here is a compromise with the texture  of bread stuffing and the sweetness of corn.

5 to 6 slices bacon, cut up
Large onion, diced
3 cups water (may include liquid drained from corn)
1 or 2 cans whole kernel corn
12-ounce package seasoned stuffing mix such as Pepperidge Farm

    In a roomy saucepan, fry out bacon and spoon off excess fat. Stir fry onion to soften. Add water and bring to a boil.
    Add corn and bring back to a boil. Turn off heat, stir in stuffing mix, cover and let steep until stuffing mix is moist. If it’s too dry add hot water, broth or gravy. Serves 10-12.
Cook’s note: Add a beaten egg to leftover dressing, form into patties and fry in butter until crisp. 

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix


Many versions of this recipe have been around for years. This one is creamier, richer than most because of the pudding mix. And you can make it with your own favorite brand of cocoa powder. 

13 cups powdered milk
1 packet instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups French vanilla powdered creamer
1 cup powdered sugar
    Mix everything well and keep sealed in a cool place. Makes 18 cups of mix to turn into five to six dozen cups of hot chocolate.  To make cocoa, put 1/4 cup of mix in a mug, add very hot water, stir. 

Tips for the Camp Cook

    * Make  New England style chowder and place a few pieces of diced cream cheese in the soup bowl Add hot chowder and stir.

    * Don’t waste leftover hot coals. Brush cut vegetables with vegetable oil and let them brown  to use tomorrow in soups, casseroles and salads. Examples: leeks cut lengthwise, zucchini, yellow squash,  halved beets, chayote, eggplant. 


    * Add a shot of bourbon or rum to each two cups maple syrup for Sunday morning camp  breakfast with pancakes, smoky bacon and a sprinkling of chopped pecans.

    * Add protein and eye appeal to soup or stew. Sprinkle with mashed, crumbled, hard-cooked egg. 


Cheesy, Crummy  Casserole

    It’s substantial enough for a vegetarian main dish and it's also a delicious side dish with meat from the grill.  Many campgrounds today have a community kitchen with oven in the club house for parties. Make this ahead to bake in camp, or bring it to the potluck table, hot and bubbling from your own campsite.

2 medium yellow squash, diced
2 medium zucchinis, diced
4 large Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cans, 15 ounces each, whole kernel corn with juice
Small can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons flour, divided 
4-ounce package (about 1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4-ounce package (about 1 cup) shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup cracker crumbs made from buttery crackers

    Butter or spray a deep 9 X 13-inch casserole. Put diced squash in a large, clean bag with 1 tablespoon of the flour and shake to coat. Spread squash in a buttered casserole. Drain corn and add juice to canned milk to make 1 ½ cups liquid. Set aside.
    Cover squash with an even layer of corn and tomatoes.  Sprinkle with cheddar.

Whisk milk/liquid, eggs and the second tablespoon of flour and pour over the casserole. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil, sprinkle with cracker crumbs and jack cheese and bake uncovered 10 minutes more until topping is toasty and filling is set as for custard.  Serve at once. Makes 8 to 10 potluck servings.

Cook’s note: To make this ahead, prepare casserole except for final topping of crumbs and cheese. Cover and keep cold. Allow extra baking time if it's been chilled. 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Smart Recipes for Camping, Glamping and RV

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2020, all rights reserved. Blog is free but most followers choose a voluntary subscription at $5 a year.  Use your PayPal account to janetgroene at    Thank you!

Lox Mayonnaise

    Need a sumptuous sauce to perk up tonight’s fish fry? Want to dress up a simple  meal of fish cakes, fish sticks?   Wow ‘em with this easy gourmet touch. Make it ahead at home if you wish. It keeps in the chiller up to four days. 

1 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon smoked paprika, aka pimenton
½ cup finely chopped smoked salmon (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped capers, drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
Lemon juice to taste (optional)

    Stir everything together and chill several hours while flavors blend. Spoon over hot, cooked seafood such as grilled fish steaks, planked salmon, beer-battered fried fish or crispy fish cakes or fish sticks. Makes 2 ½ cups.

See more of Janet’s recipes for the small kitchen or galley at

Janet Groene’s Cooking Aboard Your RV in paperback makes a good gift for RV newbies and you’ll also enjoy the 200+ shortcut recipes in your own camping.

Tips for the Camp Cook

    * Make a quick dessert of caramel rice cakes with a dip of caramel ice cream syrup.

      * Skip the messy step of rolling out and cutting biscuits. Drop by the big blob and make large, Cat Head biscuits, a southern, favorite.

* Make dessert "nachos". Toss apple slices with lemon juice, arrange on a plate, drizzle with any flavor syrup and sprinkle with salted sesame "nuts" 

* For more even baking and braising on the campfire, choose a cookpot with a flat, not domed, lid. Hot coals can surround the pot bottom, sides and top. 




Secret Ingredient Beef Stew


    Here’s a one-pot meal with a flavor secret, just the thing to simmer over a campfire in a big black pot. It can also be made atop any stove in a pressure cooker, InstaPot, lidded pan or cook all day i a solar oven.

2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 pound beef for stew cut in bite size
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut up
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
Medium onion, diced
Medium zucchini, diced
2 cups beef or chicken broth
3 to 4 plum tomatoes, diced

Secret ingredients:
 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon each vinegar and  Worcestershire sauce
1  teaspoon instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Water if needed

    Put the flour in a bag and shake the meat to coat it. Brown it in hot oil. Discard bag and excess flour.  Add vegetables and broth. Cover and cook over slow heat until beef is tender, adding water if needed. During last 20-30 minutes, add secret ingredients

Stove-top, solar  and campfire timing depend on your heat source, the day's temperatures and  wind speed.  In a pressure cooker this needs 20 minutes iand in a slow cooker,  8 hours on High or 6 hours on Low. 

Herbed Italian Bread


1-pound loaf of unsliced Italian bread
1/4 cup grated dry cheese such as Parmesan
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried mixed Italian seasoning

1/4 cup olive oil
½ stick butter, melted

    Slice bread in 12 pieces but don’t slice through the bottom crust. Set loaf on a large square of foil and spread slices open like a fan. Mix cheese, garlic powder and seasoning and sprinkle between slices, tucking it in well. Drizzle with olive oil, then melted butter.
    Push loaf back together and wrap tightly in foil. Freeze up two months. To serve, thaw and roast, turning often,  over medium temperatures on the grate or in the oven until it’s heated through.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Quick Cookig for RV, Motorhome and Tent Camping

Kindle for camping? Read Janet Groene’s Yacht Yenta mystery e-book series under the covers after lights out.  Widow Farley Halladay grieves, copes, cooks and generates plenty of laughs too. There are five books so far. Start with March Malice, then go back to January and February and ahead to April and May.


Tipsy  Pizza for Dessert
    If you have a way of cooking pizza in your campsite, you can make this dessert. It can also be made without alcohol or using another flavor liquor or liqueur.  

Leave overhang to fold back over filling
1 pasty pie crust, store-bought or homemade
1 ½ cups chunk applesauce,  fruit jam or preserves
1 egg
2 tablespoons applejack, apple liqueur or schnapps  (or other fruit flavor)
1 1/4 cups each broken nuts and chocolate chips

    On a pizza pan or in a skillet lined with nonstick foil,  spread pie crust allowing about 1 ½ inches to hang over pizza pan or go up the sides of the skillet.   In a bowl whisk preserves, egg and liqueur. Spread on pie crust. Sprinkle with chocolate bits and nuts. Fold extra crust partially over the filling, forming an open face tart. 

    This is very rich so keep portions small. Good alone or with ice cream, whipped cream or whipped topping.
Oven or grill: Cook at 375 degrees  in an oven or covered grill until crust is browned.
Skillet method: Cover tightly and bake over moderate heat until crust is golden. Cool about 10-20 minutes in the pan while filling firms up. Then cut in wedges.

Tips for the Camp Cook

* If you can’t afford pecans ($12 a pound and up) make Pecan Pie with coconut or oatmeal flakes instead. If you don’t have corn syrup use pancake syrup.

Crepes can be rolled or simply folded

* Tired of the same ‘ol creamed something over biscuits or toast? Serve in easy, homemade crepes instead.

*Don’t discard pickle juice. Heat to boil, boiling, por over carrot sticks and chill overnight.

* Add a few well-drained, cut-up pickled beets to potato salad.


Shrimp Pick-a-Bobs

    Go for a mixture of fresh herbs, at least three different ones.

1 pound cooked, tail-off,  medium shrimp, thawed and drained
½ cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup packed, minced fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, cilantro, chives
Medium zucchini in large dice
Medium yellow squash in large dice
Grape tomatoes
Large toothpicks or small skewers

Start with cooked, frozen shrimp

    Put everything in a large bag and chill several hours, turning several times. Make colorful kebabs using one shrimp each, one tomato and one piece of each squash. Keep cold. 


Shake ‘n Bake Meatballs

    Make meatball subs, kebabs, spaghetti and meatballs and much more with these pre-cooked beauties. The secret blends in packets do all the seasoning work for you. Sizes are up to you. Use a total of four pounds ground meats, your choice.

2 eggs, beaten
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground pork
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
1 packet coating mix for chicken
1 packet coating mix for pork
Medium onion, chopped fine

    Whisk eggs, Worestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Thoroughly mix in remaining ingredients. (I put o disposable plastic gloves and mix by hand.)  Using your hands or a ice cream scoop, make meatballs and  place on a greased baking pan(s).  Bake until they test done at 170 degrees.
    Cool completely and freeze in batches suitable for your camping crew.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Camping and RV Cooking Indoors or Outdoors

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2020, all rights reserved. To place your ad for one year, one low rate on all six Groene sites, contact janetgroene at

If you have DIY skills, a good work ethic and a self-contained RV, and seek a free stay in a 30-amp  hook-up campsite at a private home in the scenic Olympic Peninsular of Washington, contact Judith Ashley,

Fajita  Stew

    Make it in a pot over the campfire, camp stove or in a slow cooker. Spoon it over any starch such as fire-baked potatoes,  rice, chow mein noodles, pasta, grits, toast, biscuits. 

Fajita cuts  cook quickly

2 strips bacon, cut  in small pieces
4 to 5 medium onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds beef or chicken strips for fajitas
1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, dried oregano
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup   
2 cups (16-ounce carton) sour cream

Stove-top or campfire method:
    Cook bacon until it releases fat. Cut onions in crescents and put half in the pot with garlic. Sprinkle with seasonings. Add meat and remaining onions and pour white wine over all. Cover and simmer over low heat about 1 hour until everything is very tender. Whisk soup and sour cream and stir in to heat through. Serve over starch of choice. Serves 8.

Slow cooker method:
    Start cooker on high and add bacon pieces. While they begin to cook, peel onions and cut  in crescents. Place half in the slow cooker. Stir Add beef or chicken and sprinkle lightly with seasonings. Top with remaining onions. Add garlic and pour white wine over all. Cook 6 hours on Low. Whisk soup and sour cream until smooth and fold into meat mixture. Cook on Low another 30 minutes Stir and serve over a starch such as rice, noodles, mashed or baked potatoes, Texas toast, etc. Serves  8.

Key Lime Salad Dressing

    Key limes are small and often yellow more than green. They are bursting with juice and different in taste from Persian limes.

Key limes are small, juicy and yellow

Key Limes
Mild vegetable oil such as canola
Salt, pepper, freshly minced cilantro
Sugar (optional)

    Juice key limes and measure juice. Whisk with an equal measure of oil. Add salt, pepper and cilantro to taste. If desired add tiny touch of sweetener, sugar or honey. Good on fruit salad or greens. 

 Read a cozy Kindle book in your bunk tonight. Widow Farley Halladay is a caregiver, cook and crime solver while also operating an online boat booking business. May Misfire is Book 5 in Janet Groene's new series.


Tips for the Camp Chef
    * Put 1 or  2 tablespoons peanut butter in the bowl before adding ramen and trimmings such as shredded  cooked chicken, slivered peppers, thinly sliced scallions. Add boiling water, cover, wait, stir, eat. 

    * Cut large, ripe but firm bananas in half. Stick a popsicle stick in the end, dip in honey or syrup and roll in granola, chopped nuts, chocolate jimmies or sunflower nuts. Serve at once. 

    * Watermelon season is here. Use diced watermelon to make your favorite salsa recipe.

    * Try rice paper sheets for wraps. Just soak 5 seconds or so just, until pliable, fill and roll up.

    More delicious, more nutritious than the frozen flapjacks from the supermarket are these eggy cottage cheese pancakes to freeze in small batches from two to a tall stack. Heat in the toaster, microwave or freeze in boil bags and just dunk them. Cottage cheese is salty, so don’t add salt.


32-ounce carton cottage cheese
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon each lemon and vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups flour
2  teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup white or brown sugar

Oil for frying

    Whisk cottage cheese, milk, eggs and extracts. Add dry ingredients until well mixed.  Do not over-beat. Fry as for pancakes. Cool completely. Separate with waxed paper, wrap  and freeze. Thaw, heat, serve your favorite way.

Friday, July 10, 2020

RV Travel and Easy RV Meals

Blog copyright janet groene 2020. To pay $5 a year as a voluntary subscription to this weekly blog, use PayPal to janetgroene at

Whether you cook on a fire or in an RV shortcuts rule

 Janet Groene is the author of Cooking Aboard Your RV, a paperback with more than 200 recipes and tips for the RV cook. Her first book, Cooking on the Go, now out of print, was for campers and sailors who have no oven or refrigeration.

Tijuana Tequila Chicken

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bite-size cooked chicken (such as meat cut from a rotisserie chicken)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons chili powder
15-ounce can stewed tomatoes
½ cup tequila
Your choice of a “serve over” starch  base such as crisp chow mein noodles, rice noodles, grilled polenta, instant grits, ramen, mashed potato, ad inf.

    Saute chicken and  garlic in hot olive oil. Drain tomatoes into a cup and add water to make one cup.   Stir into chicken with bouillon, chili powder and tomatoes. Let simmer 5 minutes. Stir tequila and cornstarch and add to pan. Stir over medium heat until sauce thickens. Spoon over base of choice.  Serves 4 to 6. 
    Cook’s notes: No salt is needed. Bouillon is quite salty and the canned tomatoes also contain salt. Pass the pepper mill, salt shaker and hot sauce for individual fine-tuning. .

    Combine just two or three ingredients to turn a so-so campground dish into something tastier. Keep it your own secret and nobody will guess you took shortcuts.

    Consider these simple combos.

    * Rinse and drain a can of chopped sauerkraut and mash it with a can of whole berry cranberry sauce. Serve as a hot dog relish.

    * Chop ½ cup candied cherries and mix them and a shot of bourbon into a can of coconut- pecan frosting. Frost any plain white or yellow cake. This may remind you of a holiday classic called Lane Cake.
    * Mash a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with a packet of dry onion soup mix. Mix into 2 pounds ground turkey to make turkeyburgers. No other seasoning is needed.

    * Unwind Twizzles and let the children string sweetened Cheerios on the strands to make bracelets. Then serve “friendship bands” for dessert.

    * Stir raisins into chunky peanut butter and use the mixture to stuff celery for snacks or a light lunch. Or, mash drained salsa into softened cream cheese with a fork and stuff celery.

    * Fold miniature marshmallows into crushed pineapple and serve immediately as dessert.

    * Stir 2 to 4 cut-up, hard-boiled eggs into a can of sausage gravy. Heat gently and spoon over toast or instant grits.

. See more of Janet Groene’s camping, boating and picnic recipes at  and


Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Chicken Salad to Serve 25

    Did you ever puzzle over amounts to feed a lot of people? This recipe does the math for you. The chicken can be from cans, torn from two or three deli-roasted birds, or just cook and dice your own chicken. The supermarket also sells cooked, bite-size chicken bites. Pack cups generously as you measure. 

8 cups cold, cooked, bite-size chicken pieces
1/3 cup bottled French dressing
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pickle relish
6 hard-cooked eggs, diced
6 cups diced celery OR
6 cups halved seedless grapes
½ cup toasted sliced almonds

    In a large plastic freezer bag, put chicken and French dressing. Seal bag, mix well and chill. Whisk together mayo and relish. Add eggs and celery or grapes to the bag, reseal and toss lightly. Then add mayo mixture, re-seal bag and “work” gently to mix well. Keep cold. Cut the bottom off bag and strip salad into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with almonds just before serving.
Cook’s note: this chicken salad will serve more people if made into sandwiches or plated on beds of shredded lettuce. 

      Have you read the latest cozy mystery e-book by Janet Groene's pen name, Farley Halladay? It's May Misfire.
     Widowed and missing her former life on a sailboat, Farley goes back to St. Thomas to see the place where her husband died. Armchair travelers love Farley's sassy spirit, her crime solving and her friends as she takes readers on virtual tours of the seven seas.

Tex Mex Sauce

    A change-off from your everyday spaghetti sauce is this colorful sauce with corn kernels and Southwest seasonings. Go for a mixture of two or three ground meats such as beef, pork, venison, turkey, bison. Serve over pasta, rice, biscuits, toast, etc.


3 pounds mixed lean ground meats
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 large green bell peppers, diced
1 bunch celery, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon each cumin, sugar and dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cloves
16-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn

    In a large pot, brown meats in hot oil, working in batches if necessary. Gradually stir in onions, peppers and garlic. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Cover and cook over low heat until meats are tender and flavors well blended. Turn heat back to high, bring back to a boil, add corn and cook two minutes. Remove from heat, cool and package.
    Allow 1 to 1 ½ cups per serving. Makes about 14 cups. Thaw, heat, serve over starch  of your choice.  Pass the salt and pepper.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Cooking, Coping with Campground Meals

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Campfire Milk ‘n Honey Chicken

    Serve this creamy chicken over biscuits, toast, crisp or cooked noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, etc. Don’t peek or stir often. This relies on long, low, moist heat. 

1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon each poultry seasoning, salt, white pepper
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Small red sweet pepper, diced
1 bag crisp chow mein noodles or other base of choice

    Butter a Dutch oven generously. Cut chicken in bite size. Put chicken, flour and seasonings in a large bag and shake to coat chicken. Discard bag.
    Whisk soup, milk and honey and mix in the greased pot with the chicken and remaining ingredients.  Cover pot tightly. Nestle pot in well-started coals or a 325 degree oven and cook 1 to 3 hours or until chicken is very tender and a creamy sauce has formed. This can also be cooked in a slow cooker on Low for 6 to 8 hours.  Stir and serve. Serves 8 to 10. 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Green Bean Toss-up

    Make this as a side dish for a fish fry or as a vegetarian main dish for the potluck table.  Fresh, frozen or well drained green beans can be used. It’s an easy way to up-fix ordinary canned green beans. 


#10 can (about 8 cups) cut green beans
10-ounce can sliced mushrooms
Large white onion, in small dice (optional)
6 thick bacon slices, cut up
6-ounce box cornbread stuffing mix

    Drain green beans and mushrooms well. In a large skillet or wok, fry bacon pieces until crisp. Push aside bacon and stir-fry green beans, onion and mushrooms in hot fat. Toss with stuffing mix and serve at once.Serves 10.
    Vegetarian version: Omit bacon. Stir-fry mushrooms, onion and green beans in 1/4 cup hot olive oil. Just before serving, toss with stuffing mix and 4 ounces crumbled feta or blue cheese. For vegans, choose a non-dairy cheese. 

More RV-ready recipes that take shortcuts, save water, save space, save mess? See 200 recipes plus tips in  Cooking Aboard Your RV, and get an extra copy to give to an RV newbie.


Freeze-Ahead Recipe of the Week
Cook ‘n Carry Stuffed Shells

    Everyone loves this vegetarian Italian classic. It’s so easy to serve in camping when you just have to warm it up. If you  allot two shells per portion, this makes 16 servings. If you use  store-bought spaghetti sauce you’ll need three jars of 24 ounces each.


30- to 32-ounce package chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry.
6 large eggs
3 tubs, 15 ounces each, ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs.
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Few grinds of black pepper
8-ounce bar mozzarella cheese, shredded
10 to 12-ounce tub of grated dry cheese such as Parmesan
32 jumbo shells
9 cups spaghetti sauce

    While spinach thaws and drains, bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil jumbo shells until they are barely al dente. You may have to work in batches. Fish the shells out out of the pot  carefully (a spaghetti claw works well)  and cool separately on a clean kitchen towel.
    In a large bowl whisk eggs until light, then fold in cheeses and seasonings. When shells are cool enough to handle, fill with ricotta mixture and arrange in ightly sprayed foil  containers for freezing, allowing two jumbo shells per serving.
    When all shells are filled and arranged, spoon spaghetti sauce over them. Cover and freeze up to three months. To serve, thaw and heat in the oven, stove-top oven or Dutch oven.  

Cook's note: If you're going to use shells at once, refrigerate at 38 degrees up to two days

Take a good book to bed with you. Kindles are ideal for camping and with a free Kindle app, you can also read ebooks on your tablet or phone. New in the mysteries by widow Farley Halladay is May Misfire,which takes you from a Florida retirement community to the Virgin Islands for mystery, merriment and a bit of pathos as Farley visits the place where her husband died.

Free Kindle app for PC

for mac

Friday, June 26, 2020

Road Food for Camping and Motorhome Trips

Blog copyright janet groene 2020, all rights reserved. To pay $5 a year as a voluntary subscription use your PayPal account to janetgroene at Thank you

 Camping and RV Recipe of the Week

Secret Ingredient Sweet Potato  Chili

    Chocolate in chili? You betcha! This flavorful vegetarian/vegan chili is a snap for the camp stove, solar cooker, pressure cooker, Dutch oven or a kettle hung over the campfire.  No salt is listed because the canned beans and tomatoes probably contain all you need. Add pepper if you like and/or pass the hot sauce. Serves 6. 

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Large onion, peeled and diced
4 to 6 cups peeled, sliced  sweet potatoes
Large red sweet pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
30-to 32-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup water or broth
2 cans red beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup uncooked rice
Optional garnish: minced cilantro or parsley

    Mix cocoa powder, chili powder and cumin, then toss lightly with dry vegetables before  adding wet ingredients.

    Slow cooker method: Spray or grease the upper sides of the cooker. Add ingredients except rice and beans. Cook on High one hour. Stir in rice, turn heat to Low and cook 5 to 6 hours more, adding more water if needed. Stir in beans to heat through.
    Solar cooker method: Follow instructions above, adding rice after mixture is hot. Continue cooking until rice and vegetables are tender.
    Pressure Cooker method: Assemble ingredients as above and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and raise to full pressure. For white rice, cook 2 minutes and brown rice 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let pressure return to normal. Stir and serve.
    Dutch oven method: Spray sides of Dutch oven with nonstick spray. Then proceed as above, adding rice after mixture is hot. Top and surround with well-started coals for an hour until rice is tender.
    Stove Top Method: In a roomy skillet or kettle over high heat, sizzle diced onion and pepper in 2 tablespoons hot vegetable oil, gradually stirring in spices, garlic and sweet potatoes to coat. Add tomatoes, water and beans. Bring to a boil, stir in rice, cover and reduce heat. Cook 20 to 30 minutes without stirring until rice and vegetables are tender. Stir and serve. 


Book Five in Janet Groene's cozy mystery Yacht Yenta series is now out, packed with humor, pathos, galley recipes and a little bit of murder. It's May Misfire, which takes widow Farley Hallday back to St. Thomas and leaves Cap at home with a man who claims to be his illegitimate son.

Tips for the Camp Chef

    * Learn to use a wand blender. Make smoothies, sauces, purees, mashed potatoes. A “stick” blender stows in little space, uses little electricity and is easy to clean.

    * Know your galley materials. A plastic of fiberglass galley sink will be etched by acids and scratched by abrasives such as kitchen cleanser. 

    * Instead of pot pie, make Tot pie. Warm canned stew or chili in a skillet. Top with Tater Tots in an even layer. Cover and heat through.

    * Make a light supper with a mug of hot cream soup and your fill of the Whirlagigs shown below.

Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition,  a Guide to the Full-time Life on Wheels,  starts with making the decision and takes you through the process every step of the way including easing out when and if that time comes. It's based on my ten years as a happily homeless full-timer.

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week 

    Everyone loves finger foods for camping. Here’s one to make ahead. Use regular or flavored tortillas such as tomato basil or spinach.

2 bricks cream cheese, 8 ounces each
1-ounce envelope dry ranch seasoning mix
½ cup each finely chopped green onion, green pepper, celery, well-drained black olives and red sweet pepper
1 tablespoon drained capers (optional)
5 12-inch flour tortillas


    Soften cream cheese at room temperature and stir in seasoning mix well. Then fold in remaining ingredients. Spread on tortillas, roll up and wrap tightly. Chill. Slice one inch thick.  Makes about 30.

Condensed Tuscan White Bean Stew

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces deli baked ham or pancetta, chopped fine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 large onions, diced
Large carrot, diced
1 cup diced fennel bulb
1 cup diced celery
4 cups water
6 bouillon cubes (chicken or vegetable)
1 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns
1 pound washed and chopped kale (about 6 cups)
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cans drained and rinsed white beans such as Great Northern or cannellini

    In a large kettle heat oil and stir-fry meat  over high heat while gradually adding garlic,  onion, carrot, fennel and celery. Add water and dissolve bouillon. Add kale and keep pressing down into boiling water until it wilts, then add remaining ingredients except beans. Cover and simmer over very low heat until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in beans. Do not add salt.  Mixture will be very thick and salty. Cool and freeze, allowing 1 ½ cups per portion.
    To serve: Thaw and heat with ½ cup water per portion. This makes a two-cup serving. Top each with 1 teaspoon dry white wine and a generous sprinkling of grated dry cheese.