Cobbler Gobbler

Just add Blue Bell ice cream

I’ll go ahead and confess that I have a pretty intense sweet tooth, and it seems to get more and more demanding the longer I am outdoors. Luckily, you can make a lot of good desserts in the Dutch oven, and peach cobbler is one of my favorites. Here is the recipe my family used last week at Colorado Bend.  Another confession: this was a mediocre cobbler. But I’m sharing it anyways because it was simple and could be improved with some minor adjustments. Continue reading

Beef and Bell Pepper Stir Fry

This recipe follows the two cardinal rules for successful camp cooking: few supplies and little on-site work required.

Another successful camping trip with lots of good food!  My family took advantage of the long Easter weekend by camping in Colorado Bend State Park.  I made a Carter campout classic, beef and bell pepper stir fry.  This recipe is from Nancy Chih Ma’s Cook Chinese Cookbook.  My grandmother learned the recipe from one of Nancy Chih’s assistant chefs in Tokyo, and has passed it down the generations to me.  This is traditionally cooked indoors, but it works great on a propane camping stove, especially if you do some prep beforehand. Continue reading

The Famous Mountain Man Breakfast

Much better adventure fuel than oatmeal

Who would have thought that 3 people could eat a dozen eggs, 1 pound of sausage, a bag of hash browns, and gobs of cheese in just 16 minutes?  Seasoned campers know that appetites can get pretty aggressive after you’ve spent a few days in the elements, and eventually oatmeal and granola bars just don’t cut it.  Over spring break, I went to Lost Maples with some friends, and by Day 3 we were more than ready to tackle the Mountain Man Breakfast.  We camped in a primitive site so most meals we prepared on a lightweight one-burner backpacking stove (more on this great product later), but my Dutch oven was waiting for us in the car.

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Homemade Granola

Pumpkin Granola

My favorite variation so far: pumpkin spice granola

My eyes have been open to the world of homemade granola; safe to say I will never buy a box of the stuff again.  My mom introduced me to Tom Browkaw’s recipe last week and we are currently in a fierce granola showdown to see who can create the best rendition of the adaptable recipe.  I have made 3 batches so far, using different combinations of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.  All the basic recipe calls for is wheat germ, old-fashioned oats, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, your choice of nuts, vegetable oil, honey, and dried fruit.  I like this recipe because it is simple and very flexible. Continue reading

Going Dutch

Dutch Oven

Photo from Campfire Cooking

This is the secret to eating well in the woods.  Go ahead and buy one, you’ll thank me later. A couple of meals out of this sucker and you will begin to scorn indoor kitchens.  The Dutch oven is a humble apparatus; just a simple cast iron kettle with 3 little legs, a lid and a handle that is basically the outdoor counterpart (and superior) to a crock-pot.  The oven cooks things any way you can imagine (steamed, fried, simmered, roasted, baked…) with heat from gray coals. Continue reading

The Perfect Mix

Dried cranberries, candied walnuts, almonds, and M&M’s

Everybody knows trail mix is essential on a camping trip.  You need fuel on those long hikes and appetizers while you’re waiting (forever) for the fire to get going for dinner.  You’re gonna go through a lot of trail mix and if you buy the packaged variety, suddenly your low-budget camping getaway can become a financial burden.  Luckily, there’s no secret to making your own trail mix in bulk Continue reading