Monthly Archives: December 2014

Looking Back on the Dusty Trail of 2014


More than 268 followers. 54 posts. 61 comments. More than 6,000 page views. 5 new recipe sub categories.

Wow! What a year!

I want to thank all my guinea pigs, I mean, family, friends, and scouts who taste tested every recipe I blogged about, and for all your comments and suggestions for blog ideas.

Let’s celebrate 2014 and look back at the 10 posts you gave the most “hits” to this year.


10. Cast Iron Cooking Colonized and Settled America

That’s a pretty bold statement, I know, but colonizing, exploring, pioneering, and trailblazing is hard work and the men and women who did that needed to be well-fed and cast iron cooking played a huge part in nourishing their bodies and souls. Read the post.


9. Perfect Peach Cobbler

Sunday was National Peach Cobbler Day so I made this one. It’s a great recipe. The peaches on the bottom are spiced with just a little cinnamon and the biscuit topping is light and fluffy. The peach filling and the topping integrate nicely. It tastes very much like pie. We decided serving it with ice cream is best, but it is also good all by itself. Read the post.


8. Think Inside the Box Part 2-Your Camp Pantry

Hard sided totes are a good choice for your camp kitchen pantry. Totes protect delicate foods from getting smashed and bruised, and keep foods organized and gathered in one place. Totes keep most critters out. I say most because we all know nothing can stop a bear determined to have that last jelly donut! Read the post.


7. I Got a Dutch Oven! Now What?!

Adding a Dutch oven to your camp cooking equipment opens up a world of possibilities. No longer are you limited to what you can boil in a pot or fry on a griddle on your propane stove. You are also no longer limited to two burners, which is the number of burners on the average camp stove. Just like in your home kitchen, you can have multiple dishes going in your camp kitchen. Read the post.


6. The Right Tool for the Right Job

The day I decided to fill a tote with everything I would need for Dutch oven cooking was a Red Letter Day* It was also a day when I kicked myself and asked, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!” Read the post.


5. What Kind of Dutch Oven Should I Buy?

Recently, a friend said her husband had come back from a camping trip where he’d seen a couple of Dutch ovens in action and he wanted to get one. She wanted to know what I would recommend. Of course, my answer was, “Well, it depends.” Read the post.


4. Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

I made this for the first time in March on our first Boy Scout campout of the season. It is my friend Susan’s recipe and she usually bakes it in the oven at home or in her RV. We thought it would be perfect for a Dutch oven and it most certainly was. We made this on Saturday morning for the Scoutmasters and it was a cold, crisp morning. This really hit the spot. It was warm, creamy, and filling. It was good all by itself, but when some of us plopped over easy fried eggs on top of it; it suddenly jumped to a whole new level of yumminess. Read the post.


3. DIY: Making Your Own Fire Starters

In my camp kitchen, when I need coals for Dutch oven or foil cooking, I start them in 1 or 2 chimneys, depending on how many I need. To get them going, I simply toss a couple of fire starters into the bottom of the chimney, load in the coals and light the fire starters. In a matter of minutes, I have fire blazing up through the chimney and igniting my coals. Coals are ready in about 15-20 minutes. Read the post.


2. Think Inside the Box Part 1-Your Camp Kitchen

Usually I’m encouraging you to think outside the box, but just this once, I want you to think inside the box, specifically your chuck box—the box (or boxes) that serve as your camp kitchen. Read the post.


And the most-popular post of 2014 was …


1. Cast Iron Seasoning

The weather is turning cold, windy and rainy. We’re not doing as much camping. Now is a good time to inspect the seasoning on your cast iron. Are there any gouges or thin spots in the seasoning? Is there any rust? Does it smell funky? Read the post.


Keep those comments and suggestions coming! Now, let’s make 2015 even better and let’s get outside and get cooking!

Categories: Fan Favorites | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Perfect Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

pumpkin_pancakes_stack_with_syrup_IMG_0702I’ve been on a bit of a pancake kick lately and I’m adding another to my go-to list.

Back in October, I ran across a recipe for pumpkin spice pancakes and I tried them and, well, they were less than spectacular and my sincere apologies go out to my Girl Scouts, who were my guinea pigs. After that epic fail, I was determined to create my own and after a few batches of trial and errors, I have, at last, reached perfection!

I started with two already awesome recipes, my pancake recipe and my pumpkin pie filling recipe, and set about merging the two together. It took about 5 batches to get the chemistry, spices, and taste just right. This morning’s batch was a winner. We were very happy campers.

Just like the Snoqualmie Falls Oatmeal Pancakes recipe I posted last month, these pancakes would be perfect on a crisp, autumn morning. It brings all the warm, fall flavors of a homemade pumpkin pie.

I used a ¼ cup to portion out my pancakes and I was able to make 14 pancakes. My son and daughter each had two and loved them while my son’s buddy, who slept over, came back for two more! Gotta love that kid. He’s one of my best guinea pigs! Always game for whatever I’m making.

If you wanted to prep these at home, you could prep your dry and load into a resealable bag and then prep your wet and load into a container that goes in your cooler. When you are ready to make the pancakes, combine the wet and dry.

2-burner propane stove; griddle, preferably cast-iron; 2 medium bowls; sifter; whisk; pancake flipper; and measuring cups and spoons.

1 cup flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just enough to combine. Don’t over mix.

Heat your griddle on medium heat and lightly grease the surface. I used a ¼ cup measuring cup to portion out my pancakes. When the pancakes have bubbles on top, the edges start to look dry, and the bottoms are a golden brown, flip them over and cook until they are a golden brown on both sides. Serve with butter and syrup and whatever else you like on your pancakes.

Makes about 14-15 ¼-cup pancakes.


This post has been shared at Homestead Blog Hop.

Categories: Breakfasts, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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