Friday, April 20, 2018

Fast and Tasty Meals for Camping and RV Cooks

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Camping and RV
Recipe of the Week
Sweet Stovetop Beef Stew
Add a touch of sweetness with a mystery ingredient. Use  fresh or frozen stew vegetables ad lib according to the number of servings you want to make.

3 pounds bite-size lean beef for stew
1/4 cup olive oil
1 or 2 packages, 24 ounces each, vegetables for stew, thawed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry red wine or V-8 juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups water
1 tablespoon powdered beef bouillon
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup pitted, chopped dates
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
Salt, pepper

In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, brown beef in hot oil. Stir in vegetables, scraping up brown bits to coat vegetables. 
     In a bowl whisk balsamic vinegar with the wine, tomato paste, water,  bouillon and garlic salt. Add to the beef with the dates. Cover and cook over low heat until beef is tender. 
     Stir cornstarch into 1 cup water. Add to stew, increase heat and stir until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.
Pressure cooker or instant pot: brown meat, cook stew, thicken gravy. 
Slow cooker: brown meat, add everything up to and including dates, cook 6 hours on Low. Thicken gravy.  

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Make up a package of cornbread mix and cook it in your waffle iron. Here’s one made by Coleman for camping. It is lightweight aluminum, nonstick and can be used on a campfire, gas or electric stove, camp stove or any cooker except induction. No electric hookup needed. I keep two going at once.

* Buy a package of inexpensive packaged Pecan Swirls (e.g. Tastycake brand) and arrange in a buttered skillet. Beat 6 to 8 eggs with salt, pepper and a little milk or cream. Pour over rolls. Cover and cook over medium heat until eggs set. 

* Whisk a tablespoon of dried chives and a teaspoon of dried tarragon into a cup of sour cream. Heat a large can of small, whole potatoes in their own juice. Drain well, toss while hot with sour cream mixture. 

* The next time you whip up a graham cracker crust, substitute one cup shredded coconut for one cup of the graham cracker crumbs.  

* Add variety to pea soup. Use ½ cup lentils per cup of dried peas. 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week 
Unbeatable Beet Rolls 

This tasty, sweet, unusual red-streaked bread will be the talk of the campground potluck.

3 packages store-bought dinner rolls
1 1/2 cups bottled beet juice
1 cup light brown sugar

If rolls are not in a container, put them in one to catch run-off. Several hours before serving, use the round handle of a wooden spoon to make holes of varying depths in the rolls.  Bring juice and sugar to a boil until thick, as for pancake syrup. Carefully spoon hot syrup into and over rolls,  allowing it to soak in randomly. 
Do not over-soak or allow rolls to get soggy on the bottom. If you have excess syrup, discard or save it for another use. Set rolls aside to cool. Separate rolls and arrange them on a plate. Makes 3 dozen rolls.  

Survival Food Handbook is different from doomsday prepper books. First, it’s aimed at provisioning your camper, cabin, or vacation home for good times as well as emergencies. Second, it calls for familiar, affordable supermarket staples, not high-cost survival rations. See it here.

The One and Only Recipe 
You’ll Ever Need for.....

Pasta Primavera 
Master Recipe

The essence of Pasta Primavera is springtime freshness, using whatever the garden produces on a given day. The more color and variety the better. It works well with canned chunk chicken, turkey or ham or with no meat at all. 

(Optional) 2 to 4 cups  cooked meat, ham, or poultry. Or, use raw seafood such as shrimp

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups diced or chopped vegetables (celery, pea pods, scallions, matchstick carrots, yellow squash,  red and green sweet peppers, torn spinach or kale,  broccoli and cauliflower florets, etc. )
4 cups water
5 chicken flavor bouillon tubes 
1 ½ cups medium pasta such as macaroni, gemelli, rotini
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons dry white wine OR
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Grated dry cheese

Cut meat or seafood into bite size. Seet aside.  If using canned meat, use the juice as part of the water measurement. 
Heat oil in a large saucepan and stir-fry vegetables (except leafy greens)  until barely crisp-tender. Add  water and bouillon, bring to a boil and add pasta and cayenne.  When pasta is al dente, stir in spinach and meat or seafood. Cook gently until meat is heated through or seafood firm. Stir in wine or vinegar and serve. Pass the cheese shaker. Serves 4 to 6. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Make it Snappy: Camping, RV, Motorhome RV Meals

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Camping and RV 
Recipe of the Week

Italian Sausage and White Beans Skillet

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups water
2 teaspoons from a packet of dry Italian dressing mix
1 cup medium pasta such as dilatini
2 cups broccoli florets
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
15- to 20-ounce can white beans such as Great Northern, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Fry out sausage, breaking it up. Add mushrooms when sausage releases its fat and stir-fry over high heat.  Spoon off any excess fat. 
When everything is nicely browned, add water and dressing mix. Bring to a boil and stir in pasta. Cover, reduce heat and cook until pasta is al dente. 
Stir in broccoli and cook until it’s crisp tender. In a small bowl whisk soup and red wine vinegar.  Stir skillet over medium heat while adding soup and beans to heat through. Sprinkle with parsley flakes. Serves 4 to 6.

Just in time for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Cooking Aboard Your RV has hundreds of shortcut, delicious recipes designed for the camper to save time, space, fuel, water, mess.

Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, is a guide to the full-time life on wheels including making a living on the go.

Campground Potluck 
Recipe of the Week
What kind of campground potluck do you find most often? Some are for breakfast or Sunday brunch. Some are side dishes only, with the host committee providing a fish fry or meat from the grill. Some make assignments, such as a salad or dessert. 
What kind of campground potluck recipes do you want to see more of? Post a comment please.

Constructed Cupcakes
You don’t bake ‘em, you build ‘em. Use your creativity to make each one with a different look. A 20-ounce bar of almond bark is enough to make about 3 dozen. 

For each dozen pieces you’ll need
1 dozen small or miniature plain donuts
6 marshmallows, cut in half OR
12 pieces from KitKat bars
About 1 cup topping*
White or chocolate candy melts or almond bark

Put each donut in a cupcake paper. Stand up  a KitKat strip or half a marshmallow in the center. Using two spoons, carefully cover completely with melted chocolate.  While chocolate is still soft, sprinkle lightly with topping and let cool completely until chocolate hardens.

* Such as chopped Heath or Butterfinger bars, flaked coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate jimmies, sparkling sugar, etc.

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Toss 2 cups of cauliflower “rice” with 2 tablespoons flour and ½ t. salt. Add 1 beaten egg. Fry as for pancakes. Serves two. 

* Make a different icebox pie each time in camp. Make crumbs ahead of time at home in a food processor and carry in individual bags of 2 cups crumbs and 1/4 cup brown sugar each.  Make crumbs from vanilla wafers, graham crackers, chocolate cookies, gingersnaps, pretzels or any leftover cookies. To make crust, mix crumbs with 3/4 stick of butter, melted. Press into pie plate and chill. Add filling. Chill.  

* Whether your pizza dough is store-bought or homemade, here are ways to make it more your own. Before rolling it out, quickly knead in grated cheese, finely chopped pepperoni, finely chopped hazelnuts, minced fresh basil or shredded coconut, just until well distributed. Do not over-work dough.  Not recommended for dough that comes in a tube. 

* Make Thai-style Red Chicken. Whisk together 1 cup water, 1/4 cup each ketchup, soy sauce and Worcestershire and 1 tablespoon each sugar and Tabasco sauce. Pour over browned chicken parts. Cover, braise until chicken is tender. 

* Easy garlic: put salt on cutting board and crush garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife. Discard papery peel.  Lift out garlic clove. Use remaining salt to scrub the cutting board. 

* When you buy bakery breads for a camping trip, order some loaves sliced extra thick for making “toad in the hole” breakfast eggs.  No toaster needed.  

One and Only

Each week find a new Master Recipe here for shortcut meals in camping and RV travel. Save them all. 
      Homemade salsas can gild a plain camping meal with a flavorful glow, even if it’s just plain burgers or Spam. If you don’t have a food processor on board, get out the cutting board and sharp knife. Purists  make salsa by hand to make sure each ingredient is chopped just right. 

The Only SALSA Recipe
You’ll Ever Need

2 cups fruit (such as mango or pineapple) or vegetable (such as tomato or cucumber)
2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded
Small onion
1 handful cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon garlic salt (or more to taste) OR
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon each lemon or lime juice and olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Chop or process everything together.  Mixture should be juicy but don’t over-process into slush. Adjust seasonings and serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 2 ½ cups. 
Variations: use hotter or milder peppers to taste. I use garlic salt because raw garlic is too assertive for some tastes. However, it also has a superior flavor. 

Friday, April 06, 2018

New! Master Recipe of the Week For Camping, RV Travel

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Camping and RV 
Recipe of the Week

Slow Cooker King Ranch Casserole
This popular casserole is a southern classic, named after the giant King Ranch in Texas. It’s seen in many cookbooks in many versions. The two common ingredients are chicken and corn chips or corn tortillas. Here’s my shortcut, slow cooker version for camping or tailgating.

4-pound rotisserie chicken
1 can each cream of mushroom, cream of chicken soup
10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (such as Rotel)
Large onion, diced
Large green pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Small can diced chilies, drained
12 to 16  corn tortillas, 6-inch size

Tear meat off the chicken in bite size and mix it in a big bowl with the other ingredients except tortillas and half the cheese. Butter a 6-quart slow cooker and make three layers alternating chicken mixture and tortillas. Top with cheese. Cook 3 ½ hours on Low. Take off cover and let cook another 20 to 30 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 Texas-size servings. 

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Tips for the Camp Cook

* When you need just a few drops of lemon or lime juice, plunge an ice pick into the fruit and squeeze.

* Make sloppy joe with ground pork or ground ham for a change. 

* Cook and drain carrots and fold in a little sugar and horseradish. Butter optional. 

* If you are frying a lot of sausage links, put a skewer through four or five and you won’t have to turn them one at a time.

* When flouring chicken for frying add some powdered milk to a mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Chicken will brown faster.

* Make inexpensive  bread sticks. Buy day-old hot dog buns, cut in six long sticks, season with butter, cheese, garlic salt, etc. Bake to brown. 

* If you drop an egg, sprinkle the mess generously with salt. Wait 10 minutes and mess will be easier to sweep up.

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week 
Good as Gold Slow Cooker Side Dish
The more variety in this mixture,  the tastier it will be. 

3 to 4 pounds of peeled, diced sweet potato and carrots, optional rutabagas, parsnips
2 large yellow onions, diced
1 cup golden raisins
Salt, pepper
1/4 cup each olive oil and brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Toasted pine nuts, sunflower nuts or minced parsley

Mix vegetables and raisins in a buttered, 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a bowl mix olive oil, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over vegetables,. Cook 4 to 5 hours on High until vegetables are tender. (The smaller the dice, the faster they cook.)  Stir. Sprinkle with garnish. Serves 10 to 12. 

One and Only  Recipe of the Week
In this new weekly feature we provide a master recipe for a camping dish you will make time and again but perhaps different each time. Like other recipes for camping, boating and RV travel, they are designed to save time, fuel, water, mess, space and hassle. Come back every week and collect them all. 

Recipe You’ll Ever Need

2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
16-ounce package hashed brown potatoes, thawed
Medium onion, chopped fine
12 eggs
½ cup light cream or half and half
1 teaspoon each salt, pepper
1 cup grated cheese

Melt butter and oil in a large skillet, spread evenly and press potatoes into a single layer on bottom and sides. Cover and place over high/medium heat while you whisk the eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Pour into potato crust, cover and cook until eggs are set and crust is toasty brown. Sprinkle with cheese, turn off heat and replace cover. Let stand 5 minutes to melt cheese. Cut in wedges. Serves 4 to 6.
Variations: Before adding eggs, sprinkle cooked vegetables such as diced, cooked carrots, torn spinach or thawed peas over the potatoes.  

How much food is enough for a week-long camping trip for four people? Two weeks for two people in the outback? A weekend for two adults and four kids? Survival Food Handbook is about stocking your camper, home or boat pantry with shelf-stable supermarket foods. No high-priced freeze-dry rations needed. When emergencies happen you'll be prepared. Order from

Friday, March 30, 2018

Simple Recipes for Smart Camping, Motorhome and RV

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Camping and RV 
Recipe of the Week

Creamy Risotto Your Way
Use the whole grain of your choice in the cooking method of your choice. (This also works well in a solar cooker if you have all-day sun.)  Make it as a rich side dish or a vegetarian main dish. Serves 6.. 

2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 pint sliced fresh mushrooms
Medium onion, diced
1 cup whole grain (barley, rice, farro, oat groats)
24-ounce jar  Alfredo sauce, regular or lite
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon powdered bouillon (vegetable, chicken or beef)
1 teaspoon each dried, crumbled thyme and dried parsley flakes
½ to 1 cup frozen peas, thawed OR
½ to 1 cup lightly steamed asparagus tips
Grated cheese (optional)

Frazzle onion and mushrooms in hot oil until they begin to brown. Stir in grain, sauce, water, bouillon and herbs. 

Saucepan method: Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook until grain is tender (up to an hour or more for farro.) Stir in peas to heat through. Top with cheese. 
Pressure cooker or Instant Pot. After browning vegetables, follow directions of the cooker’s manufacturer for cooking the grain of choice. Stir in peas. Top with cheese.
Slow cooker method: Butter sides of the slow cooker. After adding water and sauce, cook 4 hours on Low or 2 ½ hours on High. Stir in peas, cover and let heat through. 

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Use a scrap of thin wall PVC pipe to stow springy plastic grocery bags compactly. Just stuff them in one end, pull them out the other end. Bag stuck in the middle? Push it out with the long handle of a wooden spoon. 

* Bring a bouquet of reflector stakes (also called driveway markers) to use around the campsite. Order from’ll. You'll  be surprised how many times you’ll welcome their wink when parking or on foot in the dark with a flashlight.  They’re easy to stick in the ground,  easy to remove when you leave.   

* Even if there are only a few inches of counter space behind the sink, you can cut slits and use these spaces to hold knives. Otherwise this is probably wasted space. 

* Enclose each chocolate-covered cherry candy in a piece of rolled-out piece of pie  pastry Seal well. Bake in the oven or a pie iron. Instant black forest tarts! 

* A  cupcake pan is a good addition to the camp kitchen, even though it’s bulky. Turn a cupcake pan upside down to use as a holder for a recipe card or taco shell. Stand up pork chops or chicken drumsticks. (If using it as a baking pan, put it on another pan to catch drips.

Right-side up, use capcake pans as a mold for individual muffins, cupcakes, meatloaf, quiche, gelatin and individual herb butter pats. On the hobby table use it for beads or small Lego parts. They nest and they don’t weigh much, so you may as well buy several.  Order from

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Green Bean Toss-up
Make this as a side dish or 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. 

4 cans, 15 ounces each, 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 (you may not use it all)

Drain green beans and mushrooms well. In a large skillet or wok, fry bacon pieces until crisp. Push aside bacon and stir-fry  onion and mushrooms in hot fat, gradually stirring in green beans. Toss with stuffing mix to taste and serve at once. Serves 10 to 12. 

Vegetarian version: Omit bacon. Stir-fry mushrooms, onion and green beans in 1/4 cup hot olive oil. Just before serving, toss with garlic flavored croutons and 4 ounces crumbled feta or blue cheese. For vegans, choose a non-dairy cheese or no cheese at all. 

New Feature  

We are replacing the Foil Recipe of the Week with a weekly feature called One and Only, or The Only Recipe You’ll Ever Need for....
Come back every week for a new master recipe that you will use forever, varying each time for the supplies at hand.

The Only COBBLER Recipe
You’ll Ever Need
Some fruits require no extra sugar at all. Some need a squirt of lemon juice or a shot of sugar or a whiff of cinnamon. Some, such as apples, should be cut in small dice. Others, such as blueberries need no cutting at all. 

2 to 3 cups fruit, sweetened and spiced to taste
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla, almond or lemon extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or prepare your Dutch oven, stove-top oven, etc Use some of the butter generously to grease a cooking pan or casserole. Add the fruit.
Melt the rest of the butter and whisk it with the self-rising flour, milks and extract. Drizzle batter over fruit and bake until fruit is bubbly and topping is toasty. Let cool 10-15 minutes, then serve warm as is or with ice cream, whipped cream or flavored coffee cream such as French Vanilla. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Snappy, Delicious Recipes for Camping, Motorhome, RV

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Camping winter or summer, seashore or mountains, we all eat. Let's make it easy. 

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week

Travelin’ Tortoni
Tortoni is not only a tony dessert. It’s ready in individual portions so you can take out one or all. 

1 packet instant pistachio pudding
1 ½ cups light cream
2 cups thawed whipped topping
½ cup chopped, drained maraschino cherries
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/4 cup golden raisins
Whisk pudding and ight cream until well blended. Stir in whipped topping, cherries, chocolate chips and raisins. Freeze in cupcake papers. After freezing the individual cops can be put in a bag and kept frozen. Makes 12 portions. 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Slow Cooker Chicken Subs

Finger foods are always popular at campground potlucks. These sandwiches  also go over big for tailgating and infield parties. For the potluck platter, make up full-size hero sandwiches and  cut in halves or thirds.

1 deli-roasted chicken 
1 tablespoon mixed Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Large onion, diced
1 or 2 cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained
Medium yellow squash, diced
Small zucchini squash, diced
Green sweet pepper, diced
Red sweet pepper, diced
20-ounce can of spaghetti sauce
8 to 12  sub rolls
Optional: 1 tub of deli coleslaw

Cut chicken into bite size bits. Toss chicken, Italian seasoning and salt together in the slow cooker. Stir in everything else and cook 4 1/2 hours on Low or 2 ½ hours on High. Make sandwiches and top with slaw if you wish. Cut sandwiches in portions and fasten with  toothpicks. Arrange on a platter and serve at once. Makes 16 to 24 portions. 

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Campers who have electrical hookup use an Instant Pot for everything from a rice steamer to a roaster.

*If you have room to carry only one bread, make it sub rolls. Cut them in half make hot dog buns. Make sandwiches, individual pizzas, lobster rolls, garlic bread and hot and cold subs. They also make great cinnamon toast in the frypan.  Slice, butter cut sides, fry and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

* Easy dessert. Make crumbs out of frosted flakes. Dip washed, dried strawberries in whipped topping, roll in crumbs, eat at once. 

* When you are lining a pan with plastic wrap to fill with a molded recipe that is to be removed after chilling (such as an icebox cake), put a little blob of butter in corners of the pan to keep the plastic in place better. 

* Hundreds of inspired recipes from Janet Groene save time, save water, save space, save hassle when you’re on the go. Great Mother’s Day gift idea. I keep one at home for planning shopping lists, one in the camper Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition

* Buy or make two dozen old-fashioned oatmeal cookies Brush each lightly with milk and “frost” with whipped topping. Form a tunnel out of aluminum foil. Stack cookies in it to form a long log. Wrap and chill. Just before serving, remove foil and frost entire log with more whipped topping. Slice and serve. 

* To peel hard-cooked eggs easier, cook older eggs. Cook, then  lightly smash shell on the wide end and cool in ice water. Peel.
* To make quick beignets, unroll a tube of crescent rolls and press seams to make a large square. Cut in small squares, deep fry in hot vegetable oil until golden and smother with powdered sugar. 

Foil Recipe of the Week
Tube Steak Crown Roast
Have fun with the name of this inelegant , cheap campfire meal.  It works best with thin,  inexpensive hotdogs. 

Per Portion:
1 corn tortilla
Ketchup or mustard
2 hot dogs
½ cup thawed or reconstituted hashed browned potatoes
1 pat butter
1/4 cup salsa or well-drained sauerkraut

Lay out a square of foil for each portion. Grease center of foil and place a tortilla on the center. Squirt a little ketchup or mustard on the tortilla. 
Slit hot dogs every inch or so they will bend easily. Put hot dogs on the tortilla to form a circle and fasten with toothpicks.  Bring up foil to hold in place. Fill center of hotdog ring with potatoes. Top potatoes with butter, then salsa or kraut. 
Keeping the bottom flat, bring up corners  of the foil and twist to seal the package.  Place over well-started coals, tortilla side down and heat over medium fire until heated through. Open foil carefully. Steam will be HOT. 

Friday, March 09, 2018

Skillet Skills for the Camping Cook

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Camping and RV 
Recipe of the Week

Pork Chop Skillet
4 lean, meaty pork chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt, pepper
2 large potatoes, scrubbed and cup up
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut up
Large onion, sliced or diced
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can condensed bean soup 
1 cup  water
2 tablespoons molasses or dark corn syrup

Brown pork chops in hot oil, adding salt and pepper. Remove chops and layer vegetables in the pan drippings, addling a little salt and pepper as you go. Brown vegetables. 
In a bowl mix water, soup and molasses or syrup. Put chops atop vegetables and spoon bean mixture on top. Cover and cook over low-medium heat 35-45 minutes or until vegetables and chops are tender. Serves 4. 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Mamacita’s Mac ‘n Cheese
     Is it your turn to bring a side dish to go with the fish fry or meat from the grill. This one has a kick to it. For added heat, use Mexican style Velveeta.

16-ounce box of pasta 
I0-ounce can Rotel tomatoes (hot, mild or medium)
8 ounces process cheese such as Velveeta
Hefty handful of grated sharp Cheddar cheese
12-ounce can evaporated milk
Minced cilantro (optional)

Cook pasta and drain off most of the water, leaving pasta in the pot. Fold in cheeses. Cover and let stand a few minutes while cheese melts. Fold in tomatoes and evaporated milk. Cover and heat well over very low flame, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serves 10. 

Do you have your copy of Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition? It’s filled with shortcut recipes for every meal of the campground day.  

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Tomatoes not up to par? It’s a common complaint at this time of year, when our homegrown tomatoes are still months away. Here’s how to revive store-bought 'maters. Mix a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar with 1/4 cup maple syrup. (Use pancake syrup if you must). Slice tomatoes. Dip both sides briefly in this mixture. Let excess drip off. Arrange on a plate and let steep at room temperature 15 to 30 minutes. 

* When I brown meat in a skillet and remove it before adding the next ingredients, I put them on the lid of the skillet. When I put the lid back on the skillet to complete the meal, any pan juices drip back into the skillet

* Make Rice-a-Roni according to package directions. Fold in a small, well drained can of crushed pineapple and spoon over fried pork chops.

* Turn canned soup into a gourmet presentation. Put a small pat of butter and a pinch or oregano in the soup bowl and ladle on the hot soup. Melted butter and herbs will float to the top.

* If you have an oven, an easy way to cook bacon is to cover a baking pan with parchment paper and arrange bacon slices on it. Bake until crispy. 

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Foil Recipe of the Week
Cook it in foil. Eat from the foil. 
Polenta Pie
1 tube of plain polenta
Olive oil
2 cans chili 
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup corn kernels
Half of an 8-ounce package of shredded cheese such as Monterey jack or cheddar

Slice polenta in 8 to 12 pieces. Lay out squares of foil and smear  olive oil in the center. Place two or three slices polenta on the oil.
In a bowl combine chili, cocoa, corn and cheese. Bring up sides of the foil to form a bowl. Spoon chili mixture over polenta. Join corners of the foil and twist to seal foil and provide a handle.
Place over a medium grill, in the oven or on a griddle and cook until polenta is browned on the bottom, chili is heated through and cheese melts. Open foil carefully because steam with be hot. Serves 4.
Cook’s note: If cooking on a grate or griddle, you might float a length of foil over these “kisses” to keep heat in. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Easy Meals for Campers and RV Travelers

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Digging out of the snow? It’s a good time of year to be at home, rehearsing recipes for next summer’s camping trips. Try these swift and simple recipes. 

Camping and RV
Recipe of the Week

One Pot  Chicken Tetrazzini
Whether it’s a saucepan or slow cooker,  it's all in one pot. Do you carry a slow cooker for camping, tailgating, RV travel? Why or why not? Leave a Comment.

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
2 cans, 10 ounces each, chunk chicken, broken up
2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoons powdered chicken soup base
½ cup dry white wine or white grape juice
8 to 12 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms

12- ounce box of spaghetti, spaghettini or linguine

In the pan whisk soup and milk until well blended. Then stir in chicken, water, bouillon, wine and mushrooms and bring to a boil.  Then stir in broken spaghetti. Cover and cook over low heat until pasta is tender.  Stir and serve. Serves 6 to 8.  
Slow cooker method: cook without spaghetti 4-6 hours on Low, then add broken spaghetti and cook 2 hours more.

Tips for the Camp Cook

* An easy way to break up canned, solid pack chicken, tuna , etc. is to open the can and  twist a fork in it. As you empty the can contents will break up further.

* Rule of thumb: plan two ounces of pasta for each adult serving.

* When a recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs try something different: chocolate cookies, vanilla wafers, shortbread, even Ritz or soda crackers. 

* Save time and space by buying canned, diced tomatoes with added flavors such as garlic, green pepper, etc. However, fFor better flavor, buy plain diced tomatoes and add fresh onion, pepper, garlic, etc.

* Use a rubber spatula to scrape dishes clean. Rinsing them with running water wastes water and also adds fatty glop to your holding tank. 

* Save a grated cheese container and fill it with baking soda. Sprinkle it liberally in the kitchen waste basket to snuff odors. Last thing at night, sprinkle some in damp sinks and shower pan to kill any bugs that dare to come in. 

* The cheapest roach killer is borax, commonly sold as 20 Mule Team Borax. Roaches just have to touch it, not eat it. Mixed with sugar and served on a damp sponge it’s also a bait for ants. 

Do you dream of taking off in a self-contained RV to travel, earn as you go, live the free life of a full-timer? It worked for me for ten wonderful years.  Here's how.  Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition. 

Campground Potluck
Recipe of the Week

Crock ‘o Baloney
Serve it as a hot meal or an appetizer dip. It’s good in buns,  super for tailgating.  Good quality bologna sausage from the deli is packed with meaty flavor and garlicky goodness.

3-pounds good quality bologna sausage
Large onion, diced
2 pounds chopped sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
Heaping tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
12-ounce can beer
1 pint sour cream

Ask the butcher to grind  the bologna or chop it in batches in your food processor. Mix sausage, onion, caraway,  paprika and beer. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30-60 minutes. In a  slow cooker give it 6 hours on Low. Stir in sour cream and serve. Serves 12 to 14. 

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Foil Recipe of the Week

Tuna Steaks Tuscany
Olive oil
4 tuna steaks
4 teaspoons  ketchup
Salt, pepper, crumbed dry thyme
4 tablespoons chopped stuffed olives OR
4 tablespoons sliced black olives or more to taste
2 cups cooked rice
4 tablespoons lemon vinaigrette or to taste

Set out four squares of foil and smear centers with olive oil. Place a tuna steak on each. Spread a teaspoon of ketchup on each steak. Sprinkle very lightly with salt, pepper and dried thyme. 

Mix olives and rice and mound over steaks. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette. 
Bring up corners of foil and twist to seal foil while also forming a handle. Place over medium coals tuna side down. Cook until tuna is done to your liking. (While sushi grade tuna can be eaten seared or raw, tuna will be firmer and meatier at 145-155 degrees.)  Beware of hot steam when opening packet. Serves 4.