Friday, November 20, 2015

Easy Cooking for Campers and RV Cooks

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for the Camp and RV Recipe of the Week)
Spur-of-the-Moment Pasta Salad
    The pasta can be made at home up to three days ahead. Just before serving, fold in the inspiration of the day: grilled vegetables, raw vegetables, diced ham or other deli meat, ripe olives, grated cheese, crumbled feta or blue cheese, diced fresh tomatoes,  thawed peas or whatever you have to make a showy pasta salad.
16-ounce package corkscrew pasta
1 cup Italian vinaigrette

    Cook and drain pasta and immediately stir in vinaigrette.  Put in a zip-top bag and chill until it’s needed. To proceed, put pasta in a big bowl and gently fold in additions of your choice plus more vinaigrette if needed.  Serves 16 to 20.

Shortcut of the week: heat and drain canned sweet potatoes, drizzle with butterscotch ice cream syrup and serve.

Shortcut pulled pork: Toss 3 to 4 pounds of lean  pork chunks with a package of dry onion soup mix and cook in a pressure cooker or slow cooker (with only enough water to keep it from burning)  until it’s easily shredded with two forks. Mix in a can of whole berry cranberry sauce until it melts. Serve in buns. 

See Janet Groene's Pantry Recipe of the Week, made with foods you can stow on board for emergencies.

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Flat-Out Easy Flatbread
    Vary the toppings from here ‘til Sunday while enjoying an easy bread you can make on a griddle or directly on the grill over glowing coals.

13-ounce tube of pizza dough
Vegetable oil
Suggested spread:
8-ounce package cream cheese
1 tablespoon freeze-dried chives
3 to 4 plum tomatoes, finely diced and drained
Few grinds of pepper
    Unroll the dough and separate into six portions. Using oiled hands,  stretch and pat and slap it into thin portions. Grill or cook on a griddle until browned on both sides. Mash remaining ingredients and spread over flatbreads. Eat now or return briefly to the heat for a warm-up.
    Cook’s note: To serve it for breakfast, spread with applesauce and peanut butter or cream cheese mashed with crushed pineapple. To serve for dessert, make bread portions smaller. Spread with marshmallow Fluff, top with sliced bananas and drizzle with chocolate syrup. 

Janet Groene's book Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition, now available in paperback

 Get fit by eating all your camping desserts while taking a brisk walk. See pocket sweets recipes at

Bonus Recipe
Cobblers on Command
    The crumbly mixture can be made at home and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Individual cobblers can be made as needed in the toaster oven or oven.  They’re ideal for breakfast or dessert. More topping? More fruit? Large portion or small? It’s up to you.

2 sticks butter
2 cups minute oats
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon apple pie spice
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins
    Use a pastry blender to cut butter into oats and sugar. Fold in spice, nuts and raisins. Seal in a zip-top bag and keep cold. To make cobbler, put a generous layer of fresh, frozen or canned fruit in an individual size foil pie dish. Sprinkle with crumble mixture and bake at 350 degrees until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden and crispy. 
    Campfire method: lay out a square of foil and raise corner slightly to form a bowl. Add 1 to 2 cups fruit and top with crumble. Bring four corners together and twist to form a handle. Place on the grate over hot coals until heated through. (Careful! Steam will be hot!)  Eat out of the foil.
    I like to bring my own, portable grate to use over any campfire. Screw-on legs make it compact; serious construction makes it large enough for steaks and burgers and  strong enough to hold a Dutch oven. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Coping with Camping and RV Menus

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Camp And RV Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)
Coffee Creams
     Pass a rainy day in the RV by making these no-cook candies. They’re delicious for yourself and an easy gift to take to campground neighbors.

1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon very hot water
½ of an 8-ounce brick of cream cheese
1/4 stick butter
1 tablespoon unsweet cocoa powder
1 to 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
    Mix coffee and hot water and set aside. Let cream cheese and butter come to “room” temperature or nuke for a few seconds just until they are easy to mix.  Beat in coffee and cocoa powder. Cool,  then start mixing in powdered sugar until it won’t hold any more. It should be  thick enough to form into ropes about one inch in diameter.
    Cut in bite-size pieces, twist in squares of waxed paper or roll into balls and place in mini-cups. Keep in the refrigerator or cool place for up to two weeks.
    Inexpensive waxed paper twists for candy are available from . Mini cups for candy are available from  
Camp Cook Tip of the Week: When time and fuel are short and you’re traveling too light to take canned beans,  rely on dried lentils or split peas rather than dried beans. Beans require soaking and/or long cook times; lentils and split peas cook quickly. .

“Green” bags are a boon to boondockers. I use them for all produce, stretching it to last two and three weeks. For a shorter trip of a week or 10 days, I chop and dice vegetables for soups and stews. Wash and dry, wrap in paper towels and  keep them in these bags in the fridge. See them at

See Janet’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, made with shelf-stable foods, at

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Pick-a-Bob Sandwiches
    You’ll need long, party-style toothpicks to hold these delicious finger foods. When you use a vegetable peeler it’s s snap to make paper-thin vegetable slices. 

2  loaves unsliced Italian  bread
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
Spreadable butter  
2 pounds thin-sliced deli turkey or other deli lunch meat
2 pounds thin-sliced deli cheese such as provolone
Large cucumber(s), peeled and sliced paper thin lengthwise
1 or 2 Daikon radishes, peeled and sliced paper thin lengthwise

    Cut tops off loaves.  Whisk mayo and mustard. “Butter” cut sides of the bread with butter and the mayo mixture. Arrange meat, cheese, cucumber and radish slices. Close loaf.    Secure toothpicks about every 2 inches, then slice. Makes 12 to 16 mini-wiches. 

Bonus Recipe

Vegetarian Jerky Gorp

See Janet's weekly snack recipe for a pocket gorp you can eat anywhere at (Great for lunchboxes too). Some recipes are for snacks or dessert; this one makes a whole meal. Just bring plenty of water.

6 ounces teriyaki flavor vegetarian jerky
4 cups bite-size shredded wheat
1 teaspoon powdered vegetable bouillon
4 cups square corn cereal
2 cups broken cashews, unsalted
2 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, pineapple bits, etc.) 

    Snip jerky into small bites and combine in a big bag with remaining ingredients. Close bag and shake gently to mix thoroughly. Package by the cupful in individual, sealed bags. Makes 12 one-cup servings.