Friday, February 05, 2016

Mealtime for Campers and RV Travelers

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Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)
Valentine Breakfast Bread
    Use regular or sugar-free gelatin dessert mix. Either way, it adds sweetness and a blush of festive color to this bread. Serve hot with scrambled eggs or cut in squares and sauce with fruited yogurt.

Small can crushed pineapple
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Juice drained from a small can of crushed pineapple
1 cup each white and whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1 packet cherry (or other red color) gelatin dessert mix

    Drain pineapple, saving juice. Combine dry ingredients in a clean bag to mix. In a bowl, whisk juice, egg and oil until well blended. Dump dry ingredients into the bowl with the pineapple and mix until no dry spots remain. Put in a greased 8 X 8-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees about 20-30 minutes or until bread is firm and pulling slightly away from edges of the pan.
    Stove-top method: Grease a heavy 10-inch skillet and add batter. Cover tightly and cook over low-medium heat until it’s firm and pulls slightly away from edges of the pan.  Makes 9 pieces.

Product Report 

    Paper towels used to be one of my most important standby cleaning tools in the camper. Now my loyalty is to new bamboo perforated towels because they are washable many times over. They perform any chore as well as any paper towel brand I’ve ever used and there’s no contest when it comes to economics. These un-paper towels come in rolls that fit my standard size paper towel holder. One or two towels may last a entire week or more.  One roll of 25 should last me six months or more. 
    They’re also good as table napkins indoors and out. The company also makes re-usable bamboo floor wipes that fit in standard “Swiffer” type mops.

    1. When I’m camping on short water rations, I can't always spare the water to  rinse out towels for re-use.  There are times in camping when disposables, from paper plates to foil baking pans,  make  sense. 2. I don’t have a lot of room in my camper for drying towels, so I keep only a few in circulation at a time. They are. however, small and easy to hang up and they dry quickly.    
Conclusion: Highly recommended for most campers, most of the time.

Camp and RV Tips of the Week
    * Thanks to my friend Patty for this tip. Canned beans really are better when rinsed but that isn’t easy when you’re camping with limited water rations.  Put beans in a sieve and pour in vegetables you were going to drain anyway such as diced tomatoes and other vegetables. Their liquids help rinse the beans.
    * Break the “can of mushroom soup” habit. In a large bag combine 3 cups nonfat dry milk, 1 ½ cups flour and 2 teaspoons salt. Seal and keep in a cool place out of direct sun. To make medium white sauce, whisk ½ cup of the mix into 1 cup cold water. Stir over low/medium heat until it’s smooth and thick. Add a pat of butter or a tablespoon of olive oil if you like. From here you can make cheese sauce, mushroom sauce, gravy,
    * If you can’t find disposable, stove-top popcorn (Jiffy Pop), put 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in an aluminum foil pie plate with a little vegetable oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Make a dome by putting a stainless steel mixing bowl over the pan. Strap tightly with foil.  Pop over a hot fire,  pan side down. Use tongs to shake the pan. When popping slows, remove from the fire before it burns.  Take care when opening foil. Steam will be hot.
     * Make casseroles at home and freeze in slow cooker liners. In camp, thaw and lower bag into simmering water to re-heat.   

See Janet Groene's Pantry Recipe of the Week, an emergency recipe made from stowed foods, at Boat Cook.
Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Beefy Bacon Rice
    The beefy taste of this rich rice makes it an ideal side dish when burgers are cooking on the grill. This is also a good dish for a slow cooker, especially if your cooker has a metal pan that can be used over the stove for frying the bacon. Crock cookers are a crock for camping.  See this cooker, which has a metal pan  for browning plus a base that can also be used as a griddle.   

4 to 6 thick slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup bacon drippings
4 cups long-grain rice
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
Large onion, diced
2 quarts beef broth
½ cup dry red wine
    Fry out bacon in a large pot.  Remove bacon and excess fat from the pan and sizzle rice and mushrooms in hot bacon drippings. Stir in onion to coat.  Return bacon to the pot. Over high heat, slowly add beef stock and wine. When it boils, cover, reduce heat and cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir and serve.  Makes 10 to 12 potluck servings.
    Slow cooker method: fry out bacon, assemble ingredients in cooker and cook 3 hours on High or 4 ½ hours on Low.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Camping and RV Cooks Rough It Right

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Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for the Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week)
Pronto Pea Soup for Two
    Condensed pea soup comes in regular green pea or split pea with ham. Your choice.
This simple bowlful makes a quick,  filling supper on a cold night.

1 can condensed pea soup
1 soup can ready-to-eat chicken broth
½ soup can cream or evaporated milk
1 cup garlic croutons
    Heat soup with broth and milk. Spoon into bowls and shower with croutons just before serving. Serves 2. 

Cook's note: to bulk up this soup further add a small can of chunk ham and/or up to a cup of canned or thawed green peas. 

See Janet Groene’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, made entirely with shelf-stowed ingredients at Boat Cook. Ideal for boondocking, emergencies. 

Love a great snack that saves money, fills the tummy and is a snap to make yourself from healthful ingredients? See trail mix recipes at Create A Gorp.

Hot Dog! Camp Cook Tips of the Week
    * To make an easy dessert, “butter” the inside of  hot dog buns with Nutella.  Lay in half a banana cut in half lengthwise.  Stuff with miniature marshmallows. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Wrap tightly in foil and heat over the grate or in a covered skillet. Take care when opening foil. Steam will be hot.
    * For tastier weenies, cook them in sauce. Sizzle a chopped onion in a little oil, add a 14-ounce bottle of ketchup, heat with 1/4 cup pickle relish, a blob of mustard and some shakes of hot sauce. Simmer, add hot dogs and heat through. Remove hot dogs with tongs, place in buns and spoon on sauce to taste.
    * Make a one-dish meal by adding sliced hot dogs to canned beans, packaged scalloped potatoes, pouches of Spanish rice, etc.
    * Combine three cans of condensed soup in a kettle with 2 soup cans of water and a 12-ounce can of whole kernel corn with juice. Heat through, spoon into bowls and garnish with 2 sliced hot dogs. Serves 4.
    * Turn a simple meal festive. Thaw and heat corn dogs according to package directions Then set out dips  “shooters” in individual cups. Crew can dip to their heart’s content in  mixtures they like best. (Such as honey mustard, ketchup, salsa, ranch dressing, Buffalo wing sauce, ad inf.)
    * Make hot dog Sloppy Joe. Finely chop hot dogs and cook with a can of condensed tomato-rice soup, 1 tablespoon each steak sauce and mustard and 1/4 cup water. Serve in buns over spoon over split biscuits. 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Candied Ginger Dip
    This dip has an Asian tang to go with a platter of raw veggies such as trimmed scallions, carrot and celery sticks, baby corn from a can, daikon radish bits, Japanese eggplant morsels,  etc. To save time in camping, buy mayo and yogurt in one-pint containers. Use all, then throw the containers away.

2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups Greek style plain yogurt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
    Whisk mayo, yogurt, soy sauce and spices. Fold in candied ginger and serve at once or chill. Surround with raw vegetables. Makes 1 quart of dip.

Bonus Recipe
Hobo Banquet
4 baking potatoes
1 can sausage gravy
1 can baked beans

    Scrub potatoes, wrap in generous squares of heavy duty foil  (this will be your dinner plate) and throw  them into a portion of the campfire where they’ll bake but not burn. They can also be put on a grate and turned often over high heat, in a covered grill or in the oven. Heat gravy and beans in a pan. 
    When potatoes are tender, open carefully and beware hot steam. Slit potatoes and spoon on the gravy mixture. Eat out of the foil. Serves 4.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cooking the Books for Camping, RV Travel

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Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
(Scroll down for everyday Camping Recipe)

Loaves and Fishes Casserole
    This is one for you fishing folks on days when you need to feed a crowd but the catch was a bit skimpy. Supplement your fresh fish with canned or frozen seafood of all kinds. The more varieties,  the tastier it becomes.The casserole can be refrigerated today, baked tomorrow, but do serve it at once when it comes from the oven.

1 can cream of mushroom, shrimp, chicken or celery soup
1 soup can milk
12 slices white sandwich bread, diced
2 sticks butter
4 cups (2 pounds) cooked or canned seafood or imitation crab, lobster, etc.
6 hard-cooked eggs, diced and divided
½ cup dry bread crumbs

    Whisk soup and milk. Fold into a mixture of the seafood and diced bread. Add one stick butter, melted, and half the diced eggs. Put in well-buttered pan(s).  Mix remaining diced eggs with bread crumbs. Scatter over the casserole(s) and drizzle with remaining stick of butter, melted. Bake at 350 degrees until it’s hot and crusty. Allow more baking time if casserole has been refrigerated.  Serves 8 to 10.

Camp Cook Tips of the Week

    * For big,  messy mixing jobs use a clean dishpan. When finished, wipe out excess goop with paper towels. The rest will come clean when you add hot, soapy water to do the dishes. 
    * It's smart to replace the old, rubber and plastic spatulas and scrapers in the camper with silicone spatulas. They are flexible yet can take the heat.
    * Season iron pots with fats, not nonstick spray. 
    * When making biscuit topping on a casserole, heat it first to bubbling or biscuits will be soggy on the bottom. Small blobs of dough, or quartered refrigerator biscuits, are quicker to bake and easier to serve than large rounds. 
    * Slip onions in an old sock or cut-off pantyhose. They're easily removed one at a time, leaving the papery peels behind. Onion skins are a dye, so you don't want them staining the fridge or ice chest. 

See Janet Groene’s Pantry Recipe of the Week, made entirely with stowed foods from your pantry shelf at Boat Cook.

Are you a snacker at the wheel, on the trail or by the campfire? Save money, shave calories by making your own trail mix. Start with recipes from CreateAGorp, then keep proportions the same but substitute ingredients as necessary to eliminate your dietary no-nos. 

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Tuna Rice Dish for Two
    Instant rice is the key to this quickie. You could also use ready-to-eat rice, now sold in pouches on the supermarket shelf.  It’s the refreshing cucumber that makes this simple dish sit up and sing. 

5- to 6-ounce can tuna in water
1 cup instant rice
1 cup water including liquid drained from tuna
½ teaspoon garlic salt
Small pinch dried thyme
Small cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cupful)
Lemon wedges (optional)

    Drain tuna and add water to make 1 cup. Bring to a boil, stir in instant rice, cover and set aside for 5 to 7 minutes. Over very low heat, fold in tuna, garlic salt and dried thyme. When it’s heated through, cover and set aside off heat for flavors to blend for a few minutes. Fold in cucumber and serve at once with lemon wedges. Serves 2. 

Bonus Recipe
Pine Forest Pork Pie
    Cook’s note: I carry a compact,  round style potato masher that is small enough to mash sweet potatoes right in the can. Other models don’t fit except in the largest cans.

1 pound lean ground pork
Salt, pepper
17- or 18-ounce can sweet potatoes, drained
2 tablespoons liquid margarine
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

    Start with a cold, 10-inch skillet. Press the ground pork into the skillet bottom and a little up the sides to form the pie “crust”.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. After draining sweet potatoes, mash them coarsely right in the can. Using two spoons, dot them evenly over the sausage. Drizzle with margarine. (I like the kind in a squirt bottle).
    Cover skillet and cook over high-medium heat to cook the sausage. Dot with cranberry sauce,  cover and cook a few minutes more to heat through.
    Cut in wedges. Serves 4 to 6.