Friday, January 15, 2021

Cooking, Caring Recipes for Camping & RV

Blog copyright janet groene 2021. 



    If you’re camping at this time, these recipes are ready for roughin’ it easy. If you’re stuck inside because of cold or snow, audition these recipes for next summer’s camping.


Cowboy Style Fry Pan Chili

    Out on the range, where fresh salad ingredients aren't always easy to come by,  the tang of pickle relish is a welcome addition to chuckwagon meals. 

1 1/2 TO 2  cups thawed, reconstituted or shredded fresh hash brown potatoes
1 pound lean ground beef, preferably chili grind  
2 cups water or broth
Medium onion, chopped

Medium ll green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
Small can sliced mushrooms, drained
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon your choice of chili powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 to 4  tablespoons pickle relish

    In a large skillet, fry out ground beef, gradually adding potatoes, onion, pepper and mushrooms to coat with pan-fried flavor.  Add water and chili powder, cover and cook until meat is well done and vegetables tender. Stir in tomato sauce and soy sauce. Heat through and stir in  relish. Serves 4 to 6.

 Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week

Camp Cook’s Deviled “Crab”
    Economical imitation crabmeat looks and tastes great and stretches your food dollar.

3 cups milk
3 cups soft bread crumbs
2 pounds flaked imitation crabmeat
10 hard-cooked eggs, mashed
2 sticks butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard


Spray one or two casseroles with nonstick coating and set oven to 425 degrees . Mix well. Bake until heated through. Provide crackers or scoopers and serve as a hot dip. Serves 14 to 16. 



Tips for the Camp Cook

* Chop 2 slices pre-cooked bacon and 2 scallions. Cut corn from one fresh cob. Toss together. Add crunch when you sprinkle it on soup, salad, omelets, hot vegetables. 

    * Bubble wrap is inexpensive to buy by the roll. Cut it in small pieces and tuck tufts of it between glass jars in RV cupboards for a quieter ride, less breakage. 

    * Get more than 200 shortcut recipes in one book. Janet Groene’s Cooking Aboard Your RV saves time, space, mess and waste while providing delicious eating.  PS. It's a great gift idea for a camping newbie.

    * Do you use rubberized shelf lining? A similar material is sold in large pieces for anti-slip use under throw rugs. Get much more for the money and cut it to fit. An 8-inch square of this material is also a good gripper for opening jars. Line drawers, shelves and the toolbox and tackle box too. Change it once a year.

    * Are you a beach comber? Scallop or tellin shells make attractive  servers for soft butter. 


    Make a big batch of a recipe  when you have time and break it into individual packages to suit the size of your camping crew, even if you’re a crew of only one or two. 

Your Own Lemonade Concentrate

    Whether you use it as a refreshing drink,  cocktail mixer or an ingredient, this homemade mix from fresh citrus beats the other stuff hands down. When you customize with one of the "secret” ingredients it becomes your signature recipe.

5 each lemons, limes and oranges
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)
Optional additions:
1 packet raspberry gelatin dessert mix OR
1 to 2  teaspoons culinary lavender OR
2 to 3  tablespoons pomegranate molasses

    Juice the citrus and zest the peel it if you wish. Boil sugar (and gelatin mix if using)  and water to make a syrup. Stir in juices, zest, vanilla and any optional ingredients. Freeze in small batches and stir into cold water to taste. The entire batch makes 4 to 6  quarts lemonade. . 

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE WHAT YOU MISSED IN PREVIOUS POSTS and come back next week for more recipes and tips

Friday, January 08, 2021

Camping, RV,. Motorhome Eats for Winter or Summer

Blog copyright janet groene 2021. All rights reserved. To donate $5 a year as a voluntary subscription, use Paypal to janetgroene at Thank you.



Campground Eating Can't Be Beat 

    Are you camping the Sunbelt, winter camping in a snowy setting or are you just hunkered down until springtime? Whether you’re camp cooking now or rehearsing recipes for next season, give these recipes a try.

Sin-a-Minute Cinnamon Rolls
    See below for instructions on baking these sinfully sweet, buttery, saucy, soupy  rolls with or without an oven. If you’re good with solar cooking, it’s ideal for these rolls too.


10-count can  refrigerator cinnamon rolls
5-count can   refrigerator cinnamon rolls
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups light cream
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oven method:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange cinnamon rolls in a heavily buttered pan, touching but not overlapping. . (You may need two pans.) Bring remaining ingredients to a boil to dissolve sugar, then pour over rolls. Bake about 40 minutes until rolls are golden brown. Serve rolls with sauce. Makes 15. 

No oven method: Arrange rolls in a single layer in a greased heavy skillet(s) or dutch oven.  Cover and cook 5 minutes nestled in well-started coals or over medium camp stove heat. Pour hot sauce over rolls, cover and cook until rolls are puffy, firm and no longer doughy in the middle. The sauce turns golden but probably won't get brown. Remove rolls. Smother with  sauce.
Cook’s note: If rolls come with frosting packs reserve them for another use.  They're good on plain cookies or graham crackers.  

Tips for the Camp Cook

    * Make “stained glass” pancakes. Cut small gum drops in half and stir into pancake batter at the rate of 1 cup gumdrops for 3 to 4 cups batter.

    * Is full-time RV travel on your bucket list? Based on my ten happily homeless years on the go, here’s Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, with tips on how to get started, how to love life on the go how to ease out when and if the time comes. Kindle or paperback.

    * Serve stew or chili under a blanket. When it’s done, whisk a cup of milk,  a cup of mayonnaise and cup of self-rising flour and pour slowly over hot, simmering stew. Cover and cook until “blanket" is firm.

    * Dip chicken tenders in a saucer of hot sauce, then in crushed and finely chopped French-fried onion rings. Bake at 450 degrees.

Breakfast Bombshells

   Serve these nutrition-packed  breakfast muffins with a mug of hot coffee or cocoa and eat by the campfire, in the RV, in a tent, on the trail. Make these sturdy muffins by the dozens. They keep and carry  well. This recipe makes one dozen and is easily multiplied.


In a bowl, mash with a potato masher or electric mixer:

2 ripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup any pureed  or fine-mashed fruit or vegetable such as applesauce, pumpkin or baby food
1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond flavoring
1 egg

In a clean bag, mix:
1 cup each flour and rolled oats
1 teaspoon each salt, baking soda and pumpkin spice or apple pie spice
2 teaspoon baking powder

Fold in:
1 cup diced, drained blueberries, guava, peach, strawberries, pineapple or mango

1 cup broken nuts (optional)

    Mash wet ingredients thoroughly and dump in dry ingredients. Mix well and fold in fruit and nuts. Spoon into prepared muffin cups and bake about 18 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from pans to cool completely and wrap individually, then bag and freeze.
    Cook’s note: if you bake these muffins in disposable foil tins, it’s still a good idea to remove them for cooling,.  Then, if you like,  return to the tin to wrap and freeze.

See more of Janet Groene’s galley-tested recipes at

Black Forest Streu
sel Pies

3 store-bought graham cracker or vanilla wafer crusts

8-serving package instant chocolate pudding mix
3 1/2 cups whole milk or light cream
1 can cherry pie filling
About ½ cup sliced almonds

    Chill two of the pie crusts. Chop or crumble the third crust. Set crumbs aside.

      Whisk milk or cream with pudding mix and put in the two pie crusts. Let set, then carefully spoon  cherry pie filling over pies. Sprinkle with reserved crust crumbs to taste (you may not need them all)  and scatter with sliced almonds. Chill. Serves 12 to 16.  This is good alone, or spritz it with whipped cream.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Cooking for Camping and RV Adventures

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2021. All rights reserved. Start the New Year  with a voluntary subscription at $5 per year, paid via PayPal to janetgroene at  Thank you.

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Skillet Sausage Puff

    It’s a simple skillet meal, yet it sizzles with flavor and stick-to-the-ribs staying power. This meaty skillet dish is  delicious with regular or vegetarian sausage or a specialty flavor such as Italian, maple or venison sausage.  


1 pound bulk sausage
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon each salt, pepper

    Fry out the sausage in a large oiled skillet, breaking it up.  Spoon off excess fat but do leave some for flavor and to grease the skillet.
    Whisk eggs, milk, flour and seasonings until smooth and pour carefully over hot sausage. Cover tightly and cook over low-medium flame until batter is golden brown around the edges and set in the middle. Cut in four to six wedges and serve for breakfast, lunch or supper.  

Tips for the Camp Cook

     * Unroll thawed puff pastry, cut in squares to fit your waffle maker and cook until toasty.  Coleman makes nonstick waffle irons for camping. They can be used on the camp stove,  campfire or propane burner.  No electricity needed.

    * See more of Janet Groene’s galley-tested recipes including a weekly Pantry Recipe made only with shelf-stable, emergency ingredients at

    * Use  creamy mac and cheese as a hot dog topping, then drizzle with ketchup or mustard.

  * Travel vicariously.  Meet Farley Halladay, a gutsy, 50-ish  widow who once lived on a boat and now operates a worldwide boat charter business online.  Throughout the books she shares shortcut galley recipes for boating and camping. 

Laugh and cry with a zany cast of crime solvers in the Yacht Yenta mysteries for Kindle.  The five (so far) books are January Justice through May Misfire. You’ll want to read them all. Start anywhere in the series or order all five for the New Year.

    * Bring 4 cups broth to a boil. Add  2 1/2 cups diced sweet potato. Bring back to a boil and stir in 1 cup rice, quinoa, orzo or quick barley. Cook until tender and fold in 1 can apple pie filling. For extra oomph fold in a can of rinsed, drained white red or black beans.  Heat gently. Serves 6 to 8  as a side dish or 4 to 6 as a vegan main dish.  

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Spanglish Rice

    America is a melting pot, so discover this international mix of  Polish kielbasa with  Spanish olives and Asian rice. It throws together in a few minutes and serves right out of the pan, casserole or slow cooker. 

24-ounce package kielbasa or other cooked sausage
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
12-ounce package frozen onion and pepper mix, thawed and drained
2 or 3 small yellow summer squash, diced
2 to 3 small green zucchini, diced
4 1/2 cups water

28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained OR

2 cups ripe yellow grape tomatoes, halved

2 ½ cups long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
Small can sliced ripe olives, drained

    Cut kielbasa into small bites and stir-fry it in hot oil over high heat, gradually stirring in vegetables and garlic. Add water and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and paprika, cover, reduce heat and cook over  low flame 25 to 30 minutes without stirring or peeking.  Rice will be tender and liquids absorbed.     Stir in olives and serve warm. Serves 10.
Cook’s note:. If you use brown rice, increase cooking time to 40 minutes. 

    Slow cooker method: Put everything in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir and cook 6-7 hours on Low or 3-4 hours on High. Stir in olives and serve.


    Make this homemade soup mix  by the carload and package in right-size portions for the size of  your camping crew (even if you're a crew of one).

Janet Groene’s Backpacker  Soup
    Turn a small packet of dried ingredients into a fragrant batch of hearty soup.
We use lentils and dried peas, not dried beans,   for quicker cooking without pre-soaking.
    Like dried beans, however, lentils and dried peas should be rinsed and picked over just before cooking, so they are packed separately.
    Set up an assembly line and make enough of this master soup mix for weeks of camp-outs. This is a good project for the whole family. 



Shopping list:
16-ounce bag each dried yellow peas, dried green peas, lentils, brown rice
I pound any tiny pasta such as alphabet, orzo, small shells, fine noodles
Large box each chicken, beef and tomato bouillon cubes
Large jar each dried parsley, dried onion bits

    Cook’s note: after you’ve made your first batch of soups you’ll have a better idea of what ingredients to buy in what sizes. Vary the mixture to taste by cooking the mix with bits of meat or fresh vegetables or add to the dry mix hot pepper flakes or dried mushrooms. Too, there are many types of rice, lentils and dried peas. The sky’s the limit!

To assemble dried soup packets:

For each 4-servings of soup, place in snack-size zip-top bag:
2 tablespoons dried yellow peas
2 tablespoons dried green peas
4 tablespoons lentils
3 tablespoons brown rice

In zip-top sandwich bags bags place:
1 each wrapped beef, chicken and tomato bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons dried onion bits
1 teaspoon celery seed

Pack snack size bags inside sandwich bags. Seal well and keep in a dry place out of extreme heat.

To make soup:
1. Rinse and pick over dried lentils and peas.  
2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Unwrap bouillon cubes. Stir bouillon mixture and lentil mixture into boiling water. Cover, lower heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. Stir well and ladle into soup bowls.

Pressure cooker method: proceed as above. Raise to full pressure for five minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure return to normal on its own. Adjust seasonings. Serves 4.               

Cook’s notes:  If soup is thicker than you like, thin it with water, broth or tomato juice.  If it’s too thin stir in a tablespoon of dried potato flakes. To make a vegan/vegetarian soup, substitute vegetable bouillon for the beef and chicken cubes.

To each batch of soup add one or two of the following ingredients:

1 fresh carrot, potato  or parsnip, peeled and chopped
½ cup thawed green peas
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 rib celery, trimmed and chopped
Small can chunk chicken, turkey or ham



Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas, Camping, RV Travel and Food

 blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. Start the New Year by donating $5 as a  one-year voluntary subscription. Use your Paypal account to janetgroene at




Gambits with Ham Bits


Leftover Christmas ham? Delicious ways to use that ham right down to the bone and marrow

 * Arrange ham slices in a pan or on a heat-able platter and spoon over them a can of whole cranberry sauce mashed with ½ cup honey and ½ teaspoon ground cloves. Nuke, bake or heat on the stove-top, covered, just until warmed through.

* Dice ham and stir into boxed mac and cheese, made according to package directions. Add a cup of thawed peas for color.

* Cut slices off the bone and arrange in a baking pan. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of dry mustard mixed with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add just enough milk to cover and bake at 325 degrees to reduce milk to a glaze. 

 Cut ham scraps in fine dice and stir into a large packet of ready-to-serve Spanish Rice with drained, diced chilies to taste. Heat gently just until it’s warmed through.

* Drain a 28-ounce can of sweet potatoes and mash them. Add ham bits,  2 eggs, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon  and ½ cup flour. Cook as for pancakes and serve as a light main dish.

* Buy a tub of macaroni salad in the deli and stir in ham bits plus chopped sweet pickle to make it a cold main dish. Running short of ham? Use ham plus some shredded Swiss cheese.     

* Lastly, don’t trim too close to the bone. Stew the ham bone with beans or dried peas. The last of the meat will fall away. Discard the bone where animals can’t get it. It’s illegal to feed campground animals. Besides, bones can be fatal to domestic pets too.

 Start the New Year with a Kindle library featuring all five Yacht Yenta mysteries. Women who love travel and also love cozy mysteries  laugh and cry with this widow who cooks, copes with caregiving and solves crimes with her dog, Scuppers at her side.  

Get all five books, January Justice through May Misfire ($4.99 for Book One, then $3.99 each). Once you meet spunky, salty widow Farley Halladay you'll want to see what she is up to next.


Celery Appe-Teasers

    A tiny sprinkling of black caviar goes a long way in impressing campground neighbors yet you have spend little time and money to make this fabulous treat.

Large bunch celery
1 pint deli egg salad (or make your own)
Small jar  caviar

    Wash and trim celery. Cut large inner ribs into two slices.  Dry well. They serve as “boats” for the egg salad. Arrange them on a platter. Carefully fill celery with egg salad. At this time the platter can be covered and chilled.  Just before serving, carefully spoon a tiny crown of caviar atop each “boat”.
    Why not add caviar sooner? It may bleed unsightly black streaks into the egg salad. Makes about 20 appetizers.

Sweet Potato Sunspots

Here’s a way to use that leftover sweet potato casserole. Mash it, adding more butter, sugar and/or cinnamon if needed. Fill a large baking pan, skillet or griddle with a single layer of drained pineapple rings and put a mound of mashed sweet potato in the center of each. Heat through.

Golden Glow Seafood Chowder


    Use leftover poached fish, canned tuna or  clams, bits of grilled salmon, mussels to make this compact condensed soup. 

2 cups mashed butternut squash OR
1 can pumpkin puree
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch celery, trimmed and diced
Medium onion, diced
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 teaspoon dried, crumbled thyme
3 cups water
3 fish flavor bouillon cubes
3 cups cooked or canned seafood
2 cans, 12 ounces each, evaporated milk

    Have pureed squash or pumpkin ready. Fry out bacon and drain pieces on paper toweling, leaving as much fat in the pan as you choose to. Sizzle celery, onion and potatoes in fat. Add thyme, water and bouillon cubes. Cover and simmer over reduced heat until vegetables are tender. Stir in squash, bacon  and seafood. Heat, then remove from heat and stir in evaporated milk.
    Cool and package for the freezer, allowing ½ to 2/3 cup per portion.  In camp, thaw concentrate and heat with an equal amount of water or milk. Season to taste.
    Drizzle each bowl with a teaspoon of sherry if you wish. 


Friday, December 18, 2020

Campground, Christmas and Easy RV Recipes

Blog copyright janetgroene 2020, all rights reserved. To donate $5  as a voluntary one-year subscription, use Paypal to janetgroene at Thank you.


It’s Christmas in the campground, where many campers are warming up their turkey fryers for a big, outdoor barbecue and others are sheltering indoors, still keeping our distance.

 If you want a traditional indoor Christmas dinner and don’t have room for a turkey, stuff and roast Cornish game hens. Merry Christmas! 


One Pot Jasmine Chicken
    Add an exotic taste to an ordinary chicken recipe by using flavorful jasmine rice in this easy, stove-top recipe.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup jasmine rice
1 can ready-to-serve chicken broth plus water
Medium red sweet pepper, seeded and diced
Large onion, peeled and diced
15-ounce can garbanzo peas, drained and rinsed

    Cut chicken in bite size pieces and put in a bag with the soy sauce and garlic. Chill  several hours or overnight.  Add water to broth to make 2 cups, bring to a boil in a roomy pot. Drain chicken and discard marinade. Add chicken to boiling broth, bring back to a boil for 5 minutes, then stir in rice, curry and vegetables.  Cover, reduce heat and cook over low flame 20 minutes. Check to see if rice is tender and liquid absorbed.
    Stir and serve. Makes 4 to 6 portions. To serve up to 8 people, increase rice to 1 ½ cups, liquid measure to 3 cups and add a second can of drained garbanzos.

Cook's note: To add green to the dish stir in 1 to 2 cups thawed peas and heat through. 

Pantry recipes for emergency meals from your cupboards, NO FRESH INGREDIENTS NEEDED, go to Janet Groene’s BoatCook.

Tips for the Camp Chef

    * To strip parsley stems so leaves can be chopped, pull through a fork, stem first.

    * Make an easy wing sauce with 3 ingredients. 1 cup bottled plum sauce, 1/4 stick butter, 1 teaspoon 5-spice powder. Heat, stir to dissolve, glaze wings.

    * For dessert, make bread pudding with sweetened almond milk.

   * Make quick chocolate sauce. Gently heat 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1/4 cup each unsweetcocoa powder, brown sugar and  strong coffee plus 2 tablespoons Kahlua.  Stir until cocoa powder and sugar dissolve. Keep heat low to avoid scorching. Serve over pound cake, bread pudding, ice cream. 


There is still time to have Amazon send a last minute gift to your favorite RV-ers. Janet Groene’s  Cooking Aboard Your RV is filled with practical, portable recipes, tips and shortcuts for the small camp kitchen indoors and out.




Campground Potluck
Recipe of the Week

Tuscan Bread Pudding
    This is a main dish or a side dish, a nice change from potatoes. 

1 loaf crusty Italian bread, cut in bite size
Small jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage
Green sweet pepper, seeded and diced
Red sweet pepper, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons mixed Italian seasoning
6 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
8-ounce package grated mozzarella cheese

Small can sliced black olives, drained


    Spray a casserole and put in bread and dried tomatoes. Fry out sausage in a nonstick skillet, discard excess fat and spoon crumbled sausage over bread. Add sweet peppers. Whisk seasoning, eggs and milk and pour over bread mixture. Dot with black olives.

Cover with nonstick foil and chill several hours or all night. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese . Bake 10-20 more minutes or until set, as for custard. Cooking time can vary depending on how cold the dish is before it goes in the oven.     Makes 8 to 10 potluck servings.

If you love the RV lifestyle, see Janet Groene’s weekly tips at SoloWomanRV



Christmas Trifle
    Gingerbread is good any time of the year. A trifle is easy to assemble ahead, chill and carry. It looks best if you have a large, clear glass bowl but any bowl will do.

2 packets vanilla pudding mix (8 servings)
3 cups whole milk

Large package gingerbread cookies
Large  carton whipped topping, thawed
2 cups butter brickle bits or cut-up Heath candy bars

    Line a large bowl with cookies, saving some whole gingerbread men for trim.Coarsely crumble the remaining cookies.
   Make pudding and fold it into thawed topping. Start with a layer of this mixture in the bottom of a large bowl, make layers of gingerbread crumbs,  and the pudding mixture, sprinkling in butter brickle bits as you go. The last layer should be the pudding mixture.
    Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly. Makes 15 dessert servings.

Cook's note: I've found clear plastic bowls for such a low price they can be considered disposable in camping.  


Friday, December 04, 2020

Easy Recipes for Camping, RV and Travel

 Blog copyright Janet Groene 2020. To donate $5 once a year as a voluntary subscription use Paypal to janetgroene at Thank you.




Quick Shrimp Stir-Fry

    Buy ready-to-eat rice in a pouch, use leftover rice or cook regular or instant rice.  Once the cabbage is crisp-tender, all you do is make sure the rest is heated through and plop it on plates.

4 cups ready-to-eat rice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 package of shredded cabbage for coleslaw, 12 to 16 ounces
1 tablespoon each cooking sherry and soy sauce OR
2 tablespoons soy sauce
12 to 16 ounces of cooked tail-off, de-veined shrimp, thawed and drained
1 teaspoon sugar or equivalent
Water or broth

    Have rice ready. Heat  oil in a roomy wok or skillet and stir-fry cabbage over high heat until it’s crisp-tender, gradually stirring in sherry, soy sauce and shrimp. Stir in rice to heat through. Sprinkle with sugar and stir in a little water or broth if needed to moisten. Serves 4 to 6.

Tips for the Camp Cook

    * Make a quick sandwich spread. Cut up a jar of dried chipped beef and fold into two bricks of softened cream cheese. Add flavor with chopped scallions, capers and/or a little Dijon mustard.

    *  Make curry butter. Melt 2 sticks butter with 1 tablespoon curry powder. Put in a bowl or other mold and chill. Melt it over vegetables, steaks, grilled fish, fried chicken.

    * The easiest gift to give an RV camper is to have books sent to them by Amazon.  Living Aboard Your RV is a guide to the full-time life on wheels and Cooking Aboard Your RV provides more than 200 simple recipes to save time and resources when you’re on the go. LARV


    * Tired of potatoes? Make a savory bread pudding
and serve it as a starch dish with meat from the grill. Use the usual recipe with eggs, bread and milk but without sugar. Instead, season with herbs and garlic


Butternut Barley Casserole

    This is a hearty side dish that can be a vegetarian main dish.  It serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.

10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach
1 stick butter
2 to 3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
2 large onions, diced
32-ounce carton chicken or vegetable broth OR
4 cups water and 4 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes
1  cup pearled barley
1 cup roasted sunflower seeds or chopped pecans
1 ½ cups shredded Parmesan cheese


    Thaw spinach and press out excess moisture with paper toweling. Melt butter in large stove-to-table pot and sizzle spinach, squash and onions. When they are golden, add the broth or water+ bouillon, bring it to a boil and stir to dissolve bouillon. Stir in the barley, cover, reduce heat and cook 20 minutes or until barley and vegetables are soft.
    To serve at once: fold in sunflower seeds and shredded cheese. Serve hot.
    To serve later: Cool, cover and refrigerate the cooked mixture. To proceed, fold in half the cheese and half the seeds and put in a greased casserole. Put remaining seeds and cheese on top. Cover and refrigerate. To heat through, microwave it or put it in a 350-degree oven.  


Get the Kindle app free from and read e-books on your PC,  phone, laptop or tablet. Discover Janet Groene’s new fiction series for Kindle, ideal for reading in your bunk after lights out. She  takes readers from below decks and to the top of the mast with salty widow Farley Halladay and a cast of characters you can follow from book to book. Start anywhere in the series. January Justice, then February Felony, March Malice, April Avenger and May Misfire. 

Citrus Pudding Poke Cake

    No electric mixer is needed to make this sunny dessert. This recipe is easily doubled

3/4 cup each water and vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 box of yellow cake
I packet of instant lemon pudding mix
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons each water and vegetable oil
½ cup orange juice

    Spray a 9 X 13-inc baking pan or 10 to 12 single serving pans.  In a large bowl whisk the whisk  oil, water and eggs.  Keep stirring while adding cake and pudding mixes. Mix well.  Pour batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake according to cake directions. Cool about 10 minutes. Using the round handle of a wooden spoon, make holes all over the top of the cake.
    Whisk powdered sugar, water, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and orange juice until sugar dissolves. Drizzle carefully over the cake, allowing mixture to soak in. Let cool completely.  Chilll before cutting. Wrap and freeze. When thawed this is a delicious, pudding-like cake.  
    Stove-top method: Grease a heavy cast aluminum skillet and proceed as above. Put batter in the skillet, cover tightly and place it over low/medium heat. Don’t peek for 20 minutes, then look every 5 minutes until cake is firm, springy and pulls slightly away from edges of the pan. Top of the cake will not brown.  Cool 10 to 15 minutes, poke, drizzle. Cool completely. Cut and serve or wrap for the freezer.  

Why cast aluminum and not cast iron?  Cast iron is  ideal over a campfire, grate, oven or other large heating surface but it doesn’t spread heat quickly and evenly over a small  burner. Questions? Ask me.