Friday, May 25, 2018

Camping and RV Recipes are Always in Season

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Camping and RV 
Recipe of the Week

Any Time Crust

2 squares, one ounce each, semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1 ½ cups mini marshmallows
2 cups crisp rice cereal

Microwave chocolate and butter until melted then stir in marshmallows and nuke a few more seconds until it’s all mixed and melted. This can also be done in a double boiler. Fold in cereal.

Press into the bottom of a buttered 9 X 13-inch pan, using the back of a wet spoon to smooth it flat. Or press into bottom and sides of a pie plate using wet fingers or the back of a wet spoon.

Or use wet hands to form into 10 balls. Press them into lightly sprayed muffin pans to form cups. Cool crust completely and fill with pudding,  applesauce, fruit, pie filling, what have you. Serve at once or chill.

Campground Potluck 
Recipe of the Week

Apple Peanut Salad

2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 to 8 large apples, seeded and diced
6 medium ribs celery, diced
1 cup unsalted peanuts
½ cup creamy peanut butter
8-ounce carton of lemon flavor yogurt
8-ounce carton of orange flavor yogurt
Salt to taste
Salted peanuts (optional)

Put the lemon juice in a bowl and toss with diced apples as you add them. This keeps apples from turning brown.
Fold in celery and peanuts. In a small bowl whisk peanut butter and yogurt together and fold into apple mixture. Serve as is or on a bed of lettuce.  If you wish, sprinkle with salted peanuts. Serves 4 as a luncheon main dish or six as a side salad.

Tips for the Camp Cook

* For thorough, even cool-down of an RV fridge, turn it on the night before. To prepare an ice chest, bring it in out of the hot attic or garage to normalize. Then pre-chill for several hours with sacrificial ice. Drain, then fill with cold food and new ice.

* You need to know at once if your power hookup is interrupted.  An inexpensive night light plugged into any electric outlet in the RV is an easy, cheap sentinel. Do you know what happens to your digital appliances if the power blinks? Some lose their program. Some resume where they left off. Some start all over again. Some go off and stay off. Whether you're on shore power, inverter or generator power, glitches can occur. 

* Slicing and serving meatloaf is easier if you bake it in a pie pan. Simply cut in wedges.

* Don’t put bones in the campfire. Even if they are charred they are tempting to wildlife.

* The new instant read thermometers are easy to use, compact to carry and a must for campground food safety. Just stick the probe into food and get an immediate readout. 

 I also like this point-and-shoot laser thermometer for checking the temperature of everything from the fridge and ice chest to the oven and grill. (Great Father’s Day gift too. It’s handy all around Dad's home, garage, patio, workbench and camp.)

The One and Only Recipe You’ll Ever Need For...
Master Recipe

    I keep disposable plastic gloves on hand for mixing and shaping meatloaf. Raw ground meat is a health hazard. Keep it cold. Keep it away from other foods and keep work surfaces clean.
Another way to mix it is in a large plastic freezer bag. Put  ingredients in the bag but don’t seal it. Grasp the bag top in one hand and “work” and squeeze the bag with the other hand.Strip meatloaf out of the bag and discard the bag in a place where wild animals can’t get at it. 

2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or a mixture of ground beef, veal, turkey, chicken and/or pork

3 beaten eggs, 2/3 cup liquid egg OR equivalent in egg substitute or reconstituted powdered egg

1 can condensed cream of tomato soup,  8-ounce can of tomato sauce OR 2 tablespoons tomato paste plus 1/3 cup water (or no tomato at all)

1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

½ cup minute oats, cornflake crumbs, bread crumbs OR panko

Optional: 1/2 cup grated carrots and/or finely diced onion OR small can evaporated milk OR  ½ cup grated cheese
Optional herbs: 1 tablespoon dried parsley or mixed Italian herbs OR 1 teaspoon dried sage, thyme, chervil or lemon pepper.
Optional Topping:
Ketchup, gravy, tomato sauce, tomato soup, cheese sauce, steak sauce or mushroom sauce

Mix ingredients well. Put in a loaf pan or form into patties, muffins, or individual loaves.
Bake at 350 degrees until meat reads 175 degrees F.

Stove top method: Form a loaf and place in a cold, heavy skillet with a heavy, domed lid. Place over medium heat and cook until it’s crusty on the bottom and reads 175 degrees in the center. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Shortcut Recipes for Camping and Motorhome Cooking

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Camping and RV Recipe of the Week

Breakfast Oat Bites
These nutrition-packed poppers are an entire meal. Have them on hand for breakfast on days when you want to get an early start for the campground. 

4 cups one-minute or “quick”  oats (NOT old-fashioned, steel cut or instant oats)
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped, unsalted nuts
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Grease or spray a deep 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Set the oven for 350 degrees. Put dry ingredients in a large, clean bag and shake gently to mix. In a large bowl whisk wet ingredients.  Dump in dry ingredients and mix until everything is evenly moistened. Fold in nuts, fruit and chocolate chips. Spread in pan, using the back of a wet spoon to make an even layer.
      Bake 30-40  minutes until firm, springy and pulling slightly away from edges of the pan. Cool 15 minutes and use a serrated knife to cut in  portions. Then let them cool in the pan. 
Wrap individually for a quick getaway tomorrow morning. Bars can also be frozen for up to one month.
Serving suggestion: Cut up, put in bowl, smother with fruited yogurt. 

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Make interesting butter pats to melt over vegetables, fish, steaks, chops. Soften a stick of butter and mix in 1/3 cup pepper jelly OR 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs OR 1 ounce caviar OR 3 tablespoons fruit jam. Chill. Makes 8 pats.

* Slice hot dogs in half lengthwise, curl in a coil and thread on a stick with a thawed, cooked meatball. Grill to heat through. Place coil on a round bun with the meatball in the center. Add your favorite toppings. 

* To remove stains from melamine dishes, try 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. 

     * Know the temperature of the skillet, coals, grill, camper oven with this point-and-shoot laser temperature sensor.

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

* Make an easy Florentine sauce for grilled or fried chicken, pork chops  or fish. Chop two handfuls of baby spinach. Heat a can of condensed cream of chicken soup with half a soup can of light cream and ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg. Stir in spinach and cook two minutes or until spinach is tender. 

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

A Prepper Cookbook for 
Camping and RV Travel

This cookbook is a guide to provisioning your camper with ordinary, affordable supermarket foods. Every delicious recipe in the book can be made with ingredients from the pantry shelf. You’ll use it at home and away, for convenience or emergencies. Order here for yourself and gifts.

Campground Potluck 
Recipe of the Week
Chunky Crab Dip
Adding whole kernel corn makes a seafood dip more affordable and also more interesting. I like this with round tortilla chips and it’s also good with any scooper-shaped dippers such as celery, endive or Bugles.

8-ounce brick of cream cheese
½ cup ranch dressing
8-ounce package shredded cheese
16-ounce package real or imitation flaked crabmeat
Small jar diced pimentos, well drained
15-ounce whole kernel corn, well drained

If using real crabmeat, drain it and pick it over to remove any bits of shell. Soften cream cheese at “room” temperature in with a few seconds in the microwave. Mix in everything else. Put in a bowl and surround with dippers. Serve at “room” temperature or nuke just until shredded cheese melts. Makes about 3 cups. 

The One and Only Recipe 
You’ll Ever Need for

Apples add appeal to an ordinary chicken meal

Normandy Style Chicken
Master Recipe
Tired of the same ol’ chicken? Here’s a recipe that goes as well with dark meat as white, with drumsticks as with patties. In a pinch you might even make it with breaded chicken patties or chicken nuggets. 

6 portions chicken (skin on or skin off, bone in or boneless, white or dark
20-ounce package ground chicken, mixed with an egg and  made into 6 patties
2 cans, 10 ounces each, chunk chicken, drained
Medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cups sliced, peeled fresh  apples OR
1 can pie-sliced apples OR
10-ounce jar of unsweetened chunky applesauce

1 can cream of chicken, mushroom, or celery soup
1/4 cup apple brandy, applejack or apple schnapps OR
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
½ teaspoon dried, crumbled sage
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Brown chicken in hot oil, gradually adding onion. Add apples, cover and braise until chicken is done. In a bowl whisk soup, applejack and seasonings. Add to skilled and cook, uncovered until sauce is thick. Serve over rice, noodles, boiled potato, biscuits, toast, what have you. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Camping and RV Recipes Go Quick and Easy

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Camping and RV 
Recipe of the Week
Slow Cooker
Saffron Chicken 

A smart sauce on the chicken means you don’t have to brown it first.  If you prefer, this wonderful dish can be made with beef patties, turkey thighs  or boneless pork chops instead. 

6 portions skinless chicken (bone in or boneless)
1/3 cup lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Put juice and paprika in a plastic bag, then add chicken or other meat of choice. Seal bag and let stand 30-45 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

8-ounce package saffron rice mix
½ cup raw rice or broken spaghetti
2 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
16-ounce package broccoli and cauliflower florets,  thawed
2 cans condensed cream soup (chicken, mushroom and/ or celery)
½ cup white wine or water
1 teaspoon dried tarragon

In this order: 
Put rice mix, rice or pasta and turmeric in the pan and stir in water. Top with vegetables but do not stir again.

Lift chicken pieces out of the bag and arrange over vegetables in a single layer. Discard plastic bag and leftover juice.

In a bowl whisk soups with 1/2 cup water or wine and tarragon. Spoon over chicken pieces. Cook 6 hours on Low or 4 hours on High.  Put sauce-covered chicken on plates. Stir rice mixture and add to the plate. 

Campground Potluck 
Recipe of the Week
Sweet Potato Mash

Tired of the same sticky sweet, marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole? Here’s a sweet potato dish with plenty of class but without the goo. Mix it right in the big can. Now that so many stores carry commercial size foods, I keep at least one #10 can of something or other on hand in the RV for potlucks. 

#10 can sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted

Set the oven to 350 degrees or prepare a Dutch oven. 

Drain sweet potatoes and mash in the can with a potato masher. Chunky is OK. In a bowl whisk eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. Add to sweet potatoes.  Spread in a greased 9 X 13-inch casserole. Smooth top to an even layer. 

In the same bowl whisk melted butter with flour, brown sugar and nuts. Spoon over sweet potato mixture and bake 35-45 minutes or until filling is set and top glazed. Serves 10. 

Stove top: Spread sweet potato mixture in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add topping. Cover and cook over low heat until fitting sets. 

Provisioning made easy with Survival Food Handbook. It's a prepper book for campers, boaters and other travelers. How much food is enough for a weekend in the woods?  A week on the water? Use supermarket staples to create an emergency backup food system that can produce balanced meals even if you're out of fresh food. See it here.

Tips for the Camp Cook

* When instructions say to whisk liquid ingredients such as eggs and milk, shake them silly in a disposable jar instead. At home, save an empty quart or pint jar and put it through the dishwasher.  Take camping. After use in camp, swish with a little rinse if you can spare the water, then put it in the recycle bin. No bowl and whisk to wash!

* EcoLunchbox makes a full line of eco-friendly stainless steel tableware. It’s a natural for camping. Serve hot or cold foods with no fear of plastic contamination. It can go home to the dishwasher if you wish. 
Divided sections make it a plus for children and people who have difficulty feeding themselves. Buy one for everyone in the family.

* Buy cake. Chill it.  Stir a pint of cream into a packet of Hershey’s instant dark chocolate pudding mix. Frost cake. This makes enough for a tube cake or two bar cakes. Keep cold.  Amazing! 

* Nancy Moral worked with the Seminole Indians of Florida. survival secrets.  Now her Seminole Cookbook  reveals delicious ways to cook native produce and game from the Everglades. A bonus chapter teaches you some Seminole words and phrases. See the book here

Our New Weekly Feature 
The One and Only Recipe
 You’ll Ever Need For 

Dump Cake
Master Recipe
This camping favorite has been around forever. It’s still a classic dessert you can make different each time in the gas oven, toaster oven, convection oven, Dutch oven, microwave or slow cooker. When made in an oven the top gets toasty and crispy. When it cooks in a more steamy environment such as a slow cooker or Dutch oven, it’s soft and un-browned but still SO buttery good.

8-ounce can of crushed pineapple OR 1 cup applesauce or pureed fruit or mashed bananas
21-ounce can of fruit pie filling (apple, cherry, blueberry, strawberry et al.)
1 box cake mix, any flavor
1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, black walnuts OR shredded coconut or both 
1 stick butter (I don’t recommend substitutes)
Whipped topping, whipped cream, vanilla sauce, heavy cream, chocolate sauce, fruit sauce OR ice cream

Set the oven for 350 degrees. Mix fruit and pie filling in a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with cake mix, then nuts and/or coconut. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake until toasty on top. Serve as is or with a topping.

No-oven method: Assemble in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Cover and cook over low heat until fruit is bubbling. 

Suggested combinations. Use your creativity. Chocolate cake mix and cherry pie filling make a Black Forest Cake. Mashed banana and pineapple pie filling (when you can find it)  make Hummingbird Cake. Applesauce, apple pie filling and spice cake mix make apple cobbler.

Cook’s note: You might dot the top of a blueberry cake with diced bits of cream cheese or an apple cake with diced cheddar instead of butter. 

Friday, May 04, 2018

Right Recipes for Camping and RV, Motorhome

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the  Week
Is it your turn to bring a meaty main dish to the campground potluck? Here’s one that is showy, affordable and easy enough for the small galley. 

Flamenco Rice

Medium onion, diced
Medium green or red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3  cups raw white rice
2 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
5 1/2 cups water
16-ounce package of fully cooked chicken bites (not breaded) 
1 can of chunk ham, broken up
16-ounce package de-veined, tail-off, cooked salad shrimp, thawed and drained
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce (optional)

In a large pot or kettle, sizzle onion and pepper in hot oil until limp. Stir in rice to coat.  Add tomatoes, bouillon and water.  Bring  to a boil. Stir in chicken and ham. Cover, reduce heat and cook without stirring 20 minutes or until rice is tender. 
Gently fold in shrimp and heat through. Season to taste. Pass the Tabasco. Serves 10 to 12.  

Camping and RV Recipe of the Week

Sweet Sandwiches
Make ‘em by the dozen. Wrap and keep in your ice chest or refrigerator for up to a week. (Do not freeze). Pull them out for day hikes and eating on the go.  Everyone loves these sweet sandwiches. 
       They are nutritionally balanced with dairy, fruit  and healthy fat from nuts, plus the good in the bread you choose  so they are a complete meal. I like them with dark rye bread or hearty whole wheat.  I’m guessing your kids will prefer white bread with the crusts cut off.

20-ounce can of crushed pineapple in its own juice
2 bricks of cream cheese, 8 ounces each (total 1 pound)
½ cups chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or a mixture

Important: Put the pineapple in a sieve and drain it overnight in the refrigerator. Save the juice for another use.
Mix pineapple with softened cream cheese and mix in the nuts. Spread bread with softened butter or margarine, then spread with pineapple mixture. Wrap and keep cold up to a week. 

I like this BPA-free collapsible sieve for camping. It’s only an inch high when stowed and it can be used to strain hot or cold foods

Tips for the Camp Cook 

* Make an upside down cake the way you always do but use sliced apples instead of pineapple on the bottom and gingerbread mix instead of yellow cake batter on top.

* Rule of thumb: measure 1 part rice per 2 parts water. Bring water to a boil, add white rice, cover, reduce heat, cook 20 minutes without stirring. (Brown rice takes longer.) 1/4 cup rice=1/2 cup cooked rice=1 serving. 

* Brown a pound of lean sausage in a large saucepan. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Adding in a stream, stir in 1 cup stone-ground grits. Stir over low heat until thick. Add up to 6 eggs, one at a time, stirring constantly until eggs set. Grated cheese optional. 

* And here’s another easy breakfast. Crumble pre-cooked bacon into a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray. Heat it, then pour on 2 to 3 cups of your favorite pancake batter. Cover and cook until batter rises and firms up. Flip over and cut in wedges. Serve with syrup.  Here's enough pre-cooked bacon for the entire camp-out. It's equal to 4 pounds fresh bacon.  

*Bad idea: I saw this on an advice blog by an RV “expert”. Save space by hanging pots and pans on pegboard? Not me.  Picture an iron skillet flying off the peg in a panic stop, rolling off the peg in a tight corner, falling off the peg after miles of vibration and stress. RV’s move, sometimes violently. Everything including people and pets should be well secured underway.  

In Scouts we learned to Be Prepared, but how much is enough for a three-day emergency when you're camping? How much food do you need in the RV for four people over a weekend? Two people for a month in the woods? Survival Food Handbook is not an ordinary prepper book. It's a guide to stowing and using ordinary, affordable supermarket staples that keep for weeks, sometimes months. See it at

Master Recipe of the Week

The Only Recipe You’ll Ever Need for

Shepherd’s Pie

One of the world’s most popular one-dish meals, Shepherd’s Pie is simply a stew-like base with the starch ingredient (traditionally mashed potatoes)  on top instead of in the stew itself. 

How creative can you be in making this master recipe into a different dish each time? 

Bottom Layer:
1 pound ground or diced beef, turkey chicken, sausage, ham or a meat substitute such as cooked beans or diced extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Medium onion, diced
2 to 3 ribs celery sliced
2 to 3 cups mixed vegetables (fresh, canned, thawed) 
1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons powdered bouillon (beef, vegetable, chicken)

Fry out the meat in hot oil if it’s raw and break it up, gradually stirring in onion and celery and scraping up brown bits. Add vegetables and a cup of water. Cover and cook until meat and vegetables are done. Stir cornstarch and powdered bouillon into the remaining half cup water and stir into the stew over medium heat until thick.

Topping Layer:
2 to 3 cups mashed potatoes OR
Enough Tater Tots to cover stew in a single layer OR
2  cups batter for cornbread OR
Enough baked biscuits to cover base in a single layer OR
1 tube of corn stick dough, shaped and laid on top of hot base OR
2 cups pancake batter mixed with 1 cup grated Cheddar OR
2 cups thawed hashed browned potatoes mixed with 2 beaten eggs and 2 tablespoons flour

Put topping over hot base, cover and cook until done. If it’s already cooked, such as mashed potatoes or baked biscuits, just heat through. If it’s a batter or dough, cook until it’s puffy and firm. Serves 4 to 8. Sprinkle with grated cheese and let it melt. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Easy Recipes for Breaking Bread, Camping and RV Style

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Camping and RV
Recipe of the Week

Cooking for Two:
Raisin Bread Mini Loaves

Bake these loaves in camp or at home ahead of time. Because they’re baked in tin cans there’s just enough for two people per canful. The rest stay fresh and protected in your fridge, freezer or ice chest, and the empty cans can go into the recycle bin at the campground.

Note that this recipe is really, REALLY full of raisins, so it’s a nutritional plus and a whole meal for breakfast.  

Start now to wash and set aside tin cans in size of the loaf you want. A 15-ounce can is about right for two medium servings. A family-size soup can makes a nice, round loaf for three or four. Bonus points if the cans open from both ends. This makes it easier to remove the bottom later and push out the loaf. Disposable foil mini-loaf pans can also be used. 

16-ounce package of raisins 
2 cups boiling water

4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

½ to 1 cup broken nuts (optional)

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs or equivalent

Pour boiling water over raisins and let stand several hours or all night. Do not drain. Put flour, salt and baking soda in a clean bag and jostle to mix well. 
Set the oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter, sugar and eggs. Add flour mixture alternately with juice from the raisins until batter is well mixed. Fold in raisins (and nuts if using). Fill well-buttered cans 2/3 full and bake about 60 minutes or until loaves test done with a toothpick. 
Cool thoroughly, wrap  and keep cool. Makes 5 mini loaves. 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week

Chunky Vegetable Tomato Sauce
When you have this homemade sauce on hand you can use it to make a side dish with pasta, rice or noodles. Or, add meat and make it a main dish.

2 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, diced
Medium green pepper, seeded and diced
1 pint sliced mushrooms
3 ribs celery, diced
Large carrot, peeled ad 
2 cans, 32-ounces each, diced tomatoes
2 cans, 6 ounces each, tomato paste
1 tablespoon each brown sugar and dried oregano
1 teaspoon each fennel seed, ground cinnamon, garlic powder, dried basil
1/3 cup dry red wine
Salt, pepper

In a large pot, cook bacon until it releases its fat. Stir in onions, green pepper and celery.  When vegetables go limp, add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s the desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Can be frozen in batches for up to 12 weeks. 

Tips for the Camp Cook

* To make a saucy sauce for fish, stir a tablespoon of pickle relish and two tablespoons ketchup into a cup of mayonnaise OR
* Stir zest and juice from one small lemon into a cup of mayonnaise OR

* Stir a tablespoon of prepared horseradish into a cup of ketchup

* Save candle stubs to use as campfire starters. 

* I keep a “peanut” lighter on my key chain. It's a lifesaver, candle lighter, lamp lighter, campfire starter. These are real lighters yet  tiny enough to carry in a small pack. I also give them as gifts to campers.

* Magnetic hooks can be used in so many places around the campsite. Add, move, remove as needed.

* Use a squeeze bottle to dispense batter to make funnel cakes.

Every week at See Janet’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, made  with ordinary shelf-stable ingredients from the supermarket. Furnish your RV pantry with stowable  foods, then make delicious meals in emergencies. 

The Only and Only Recipe 
You’ll Ever Need for

Master Recipe
No-Bake Fruit Cake
Forget everything you hate about fruitcake. This delicious cake is filled with good fruits and nuts and it keeps for weeks. It’s complete nutrition for everything from dessert to a trail snack to survival. It’s heavy enough to sink a battleship and it's so easy you’ll make it time and again, varying ingredients such as Craisins or snipped apricots for raisins or hazelnuts for walnuts. Add up to a half cup of brandy, rum or bourbon if you wish.

Start now to clean and save the kind of tin cans that can be opened from either end. Pack in the fruitcake as tight as possible, Later, remove the other end of can and push out the cake from the bottom.  Cakes can also be made in any size of shape mold. 

16-ounce package miniature marshmallows
16-ounce package broken walnuts
16-ounce package broken pecans
2 cups chopped, well-drained maraschino cherries
1 cup raisins
14-ounce package shredded coconut
16-ounce package graham crackers, crushed to crumbs
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Mix all dry ingredients, drizzle with condensed milk (and liquor if using) and keep stirring until well mixed and evenly moistened. Mixture will be very heavy and sticky.  Pack very VERY tightly into lightly buttered tin cans. Chill at least overnight and up to six weeks. Keep cool. To serve, remove from cans and slice with a sawtooth knife. Makes about 7 pounds of cake.
Cook’s note: One way to tamp tightly into the cans or mold is to use the flat bottom of a glass.  If cakes are difficult to remove, wring out a towel in hot water and wrap can for 1 minute. Then try again.  

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.