Monthly Archives: August 2014

Best Breakfast “Catastrophe”

catastrophe_in_bowlFrom the time I was a young Girl Scout, this breakfast bake, and all its variations, has always been called “Catastrophe.” I’m not sure how it earned the name but it dates back to at least the 1970s if not earlier. If you know how it got its name, please post it in the comments below.

I’m always a little leery of recipes like this because I’ve had a few where the eggs didn’t get done and I just can’t eat undercooked eggs. But we were going camping and my family specifically requested a breakfast like this one for the Dutch oven so I decided to bravely give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised. The eggs were not only cooked, they were light and fluffy. The cheese melted in nicely and the Tator Tots were golden brown. I was very happy and I will gladly make this again.

The recipe calls for salt, but I didn’t think it needed any so I would recommend tasting it first and then deciding if you want to add salt. I was cooking for 6 of us so I halved the recipe and used my 12-inch Dutch oven and that worked great. Remember, when using a different sized oven, to adjust your coals for the size of Dutch oven you are using.

The next time I make this, I think I’ll add some chopped red bell pepper (½ cup ought to do) for both color and flavor.



14-inch Dutch oven

Mixing bowl



2 pounds ground sausage

1 cup crumbled bacon

1 onion, chopped

1 (32 ounce) bag of frozen Tator Tots

1 dozen eggs

8 ounces (2 cups) grated cheese (your choice)

Salt and ground black pepper to taste



Brown the meat in your Dutch oven and carefully drain excess grease. Add chopped onion and cook until they become translucent. (If your plan is to foil line your Dutch oven, this could be done in a separate skillet or you could do this at home before you go.)

Evenly lay Tator Tots over the top of the browned meat and onion mixture.

Beat eggs in a large bowl then pour over Tator Tots. You could also use Egg Beaters.

Spread grated cheese over eggs.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 21 coals on the lid and 11 coals underneath, for about 30 minutes or until egg is cooked. Refresh coals as needed.

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serves 10-12.


Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Death by Chocolate Cake

death_by_chocolate_img_0335This recipe needs to come with a warning that would read something like this: “Warning! This cake induces chocolate coma and death by chocolate. Eat at your own risk.”

We have a lot of chocoholics in the family and we love this cake. Every time I make this in camp it gets rave reviews. It’s dark and decadent, rich and fudgy, and it’s a slam dunk to make. It looks a little complicated but it’s really easy. At home, I measure my brown sugar and cocoa powder into a Ziploc bag and that’s my only prep. And I have to confess that even though the recipe calls for only one cup of chocolate chips on top, we’ve been known to, on occasion, use the whole bag!!

If you really want to live dangerously, you could swap out the semi-sweet chocolate chips on top for milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate chips. You could also add some chopped nuts. Just saying….



12-inch Dutch oven

Medium-size mixing bowl

Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Measuring cups


Ingredients for Bottom Layer

½ cup vegetable oil

1½ cups water

½ cup cocoa powder

1 cup brown sugar

1 (10½ ounce) bag mini marshmallows


Ingredients for Cake Batter

1 (18¼ ounce) box of Betty Crocker SuperMoist Chocolate Fudge cake mix

1½ cups water

½ cup vegetable oil

3 eggs


Ingredients for Top Layer

1 cup chocolate chips


Prep Work

Line your Dutch oven with foil and start 25 coals. This won’t take long to prep.

Combine ½ cup vegetable oil, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and 1½ cups water in a medium bowl. Mix well. Pour mixture into foil-lined Dutch oven. Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top of cocoa mixture

Prepare cake batter by blending cake mix, 1½ cups water, ½ cup vegetable oil, and eggs in mixing bowl. Carefully pour cake batter on top of marshmallows. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of cake batter.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 coals under the oven, for 1 hour. Refresh coals as needed. Every 15 minutes, remember to give the oven a quarter turn in one direction and the lid a quarter turn in the opposite direction to help prevent hot spots.

Serves 8, 4 if you want to avoid a riot! Serve warm with Cool Whip, ice cream or a tall glass of milk! I feel a chocolate coma coming!

Categories: Desserts, Dutch Oven, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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