Monthly Archives: July 2016

Cran-Apple Coleslaw


I grew up on a cranberry farm and, every once in a while, I get a craving for cranberries. I also like to find excuses to add cranberries wherever I can, so I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to enjoy them with apples.

This non-traditional coleslaw is perfect for when you’re looking for something a little different. The apples and cranberries are a classic pairing of sweetness and tartness. The almonds add just a bit of crunch along with the cabbage and carrots. And the dressing is both sweet and tangy, and brings it all together.

As the base for the dressing, I used Fage Greek yogurt for its richness and thickness. Whatever brand you choose, be sure it is Greek; otherwise, the yogurt will be too thin and your dressing will be too sloppy.

I’d recommend assembling and serving immediately to keep everything as crisp as possible. The dressing could be made ahead and brought to camp for when you’re ready to assemble.

As always, tweak it to your liking. If you’re not a fan of dried cranberries, you could substitute raisins. You could use a different variety of apple. We like gala apples.

I love the fruity freshness of this salad. You could easily pair it with most anything. Last weekend, we served it with our chipotle pulled pork and it was fantastic. Look for the chipotle pulled pork recipe soon!

Large mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, whisk, knife, cutting board, measuring cups and spoons..

¾ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
6-7 cups cabbage, shredded (about 1 small cabbage)
1½ cups carrots, sliced into matchsticks
3 cups gala apples, sliced into matchsticks (about 2 apples)
½ cup green onions, sliced (about 4 stalks)
1 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
1 cup dried cranberries

At home or in camp, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, apples, green onions, almonds and cranberries. Add the dressing and toss to evenly coat.

Serves about 8.

This post has been shared at Homestead Bloggers Network. If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, subscribe to Chuck Wagoneer by clicking on the Follow Us button in the upper right corner and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest updates and more stuff!

Categories: Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Creatures of Habit


During the weekdays, I make my morning coffee in my travel mug so I can take it with me on my way to work. On the weekends, I have a favorite coffee mug that I use. You know the kind. It’s a little over-sized. The handle fits perfectly in my hand. It’s so comfortable. It has one of my favorite childhood cartoon characters on it. I always hand wash it, not because it needs to be, but so it’s ready for the next time I need it. It’s my go-to mug and everyone in the household knows that it’s Mommy’s mug.

Last Sunday, I was in the kitchen making my coffee and I went to the cupboard to get my mug and it wasn’t there, and, honest to God, the first thought that popped into my head was, “Snap! I can’t have coffee!”


And then it occurred to me to look in the dishwasher and, sure enough, it had been accidently loaded into the dishwasher. Coffee was saved. All was right in the world.

We are Such Creatures of Habit

When we’re planning our camp menus, how many times do we rule out certain dishes because we won’t have that go-to appliance in our camp kitchen?

Oh, I can’t make that, I won’t have an oven? I can’t make that, I won’t have a microwave? I can’t make that, I won’t have a food processor? And so on until, finally, all we’re left with is the same old, same old.

Where’s the fun in that?!

Kick those habits. Get outside your comfort zone. Think outside the box.

Don’t be limited by your home cooking habits! Just about anything you can make in your home kitchen, can be made in your camp kitchen. You might have to get a little creative. You might have to use a little elbow grease instead of using that food processor. You might have to use more traditional methods. But the finished dish will taste just as good, maybe even better.

Foods can be chopped by hand. I find there is something almost zen like when I’m cutting up vegetables, fruits or meats. Have a good board, a sharp knife, maybe some music, and get into a groove.

Butter can be cubed and then cut into flour using a pastry cutter or a fork or two knives. Recently, I started freezing my butter and then grating it. Wow! Wish I had learned that trick 30 years ago!

Instead of using a microwave, vegetables can be steamed or grilled or wrapped in foil and placed on coals or near the fire. Drizzle on a little olive oil and some seasonings and cook until tender.

Anything you would bake in your oven at home, you can bake in a Dutch oven or a box oven so don’t dismiss casseroles, muffins, biscuits, etc. And nothing beats a warm, fresh from the “oven” muffin.

Take Stock of Your Resources

What do you have in your camp kitchen? You probably have a propane stove with a couple of burners. Do you have a griddle/grill? Do you have any Dutch ovens? Just adding one Dutch oven will open a world of culinary possibilities. Can’t afford a Dutch oven right now? You could build a box oven for pennies.

For instructions on how to build a box oven, please see my blog post: “DIY: How to Build a Box Oven.”

You also can make foil wraps. You probably have more options than you realize.

So, when planning your camp menu, just think about what you want to eat and then figure out how you could make it in your camp kitchen. It’s easier than you think. And it will taste that much better!

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Categories: Cooking Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beef Stroganoff on a Camp Stove


This beef stroganoff recipe is a nod to my grandmother’s eastern European roots. This is one of my son’s favorite dishes and was the first recipe he asked me to teach him how to make. It is fast and easy, and I can usually have it on the table in less than 30 minutes. This would make a great Friday night dinner after rolling into camp because it is so quick.

It’s a 2 pot dish so you’ll need a 2 burner camp stove. Traditionally, the pasta for this would be egg noodles, but I like to use rotini. You could also use bow tie, penne or whatever you like. You could even swap out the pasta and serve it over rice. Whatever floats your boat.

You could also jazz this up by adding mushrooms and/or a diced bell pepper. Just chop them and sauté them with the onion. I really want to try that but my son keeps refusing because he loves it just the way it is!

Serve this with a nice green salad or some grilled green vegetables like green beans, zucchini, or asparagus and you have a great meal.

2 burner camp stove, 6 quart pot for cooking the pasta, 2 quart pot for the sauce, 2 stirring spoons, measuring spoons.

1 pound ground beef or cut of your choice cubed
1 pound (16 ounces) pasta of choice
1 (10.5 oz) can beef consommé
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 medium onion, diced, or 2 tablespoons minced onion
8 ounces sour cream

In 6 quart pot, start water for pasta. Salt the water. When the water comes to a boil, stir in the pasta, reduce heat and cook until al dente. While you are prepping the pasta, start the beef sauce. In 2 quart pot, on medium heat, brown beef and onion. Add dry ingredients and stir until paste is smooth. Add beef consommé. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until pasta is ready, stirring occasionally. When the pasta is ready, drain it. Stir sour cream into the sauce. Return pasta to the large pot, add sauce and stir to combine.

Serves 6-8 hungry campers.

This post has been shared at Homestead Bloggers Network. If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, subscribe to Chuck Wagoneer by clicking on the Follow Us button in the upper right corner and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest updates and more stuff!

Categories: Main Dishes, Meals in 30 Min., Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Santa Checks His Twice


Our Boy Scout troop was camping a few weeks ago and a couple of our younger scouts had each forgotten a few important items. They were very frustrated with themselves and really beating themselves up and the Scoutmaster and I offered some kind words of advice. They didn’t need to be thumped on, they were doing a good enough job of that on their own.

One of the things I suggested was to use a checklist. I explained to them how, over the years, whenever I went camping and I had forgotten something or needed something I didn’t have, when I got home after the trip, I modified my checklist. It didn’t take long before I had some comprehensive checklists.

I’ve always been a firm believer in checklists. I use them at work, at home, in scouting, and for this blog. There is something very satisfying about being able to check a box that a task is done or an item has been packed. It makes packing for a camping trip go much smoother and faster because I don’t have to think about what I need. I just work from my list and my decisions are quick and efficient as to what I need to pack.

Checklists also provide comfort and take away a lot of worry. In the car ride, I don’t have to second guess myself as to whether or not I packed something. My camping trips are more enjoyable because I have everything I need. And, I’m better prepared for what Mother Nature throws at me because a Scout is Prepared.

So, after that camping trip, I came home and looked at my camping checklists with the intent of sharing them with my Boy Scouts and here on my blog. I fine tuned them once more and I gave them a face lift. I originally created them for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop many, many years ago and they were looking a little outdated and girlie!


Personal_Gear_Checklist_smPersonal Gear List

My personal gear checklist is geared for scouts and includes things like a handbook, uniform, etc., but I actually use this list myself when I’m packing for a camping trip. It’s not so much a checklist of everything I always take with me, but serves as a reminder for when I’m packing. I treat it like the Pirate’s Code, which “is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.”  I tell my scouts to consider the weekend’s planned activities and the weather forecast, and use common sense when deciding what to bring.


Cooking_Gear_Checklist_smOutdoor Cooking Gear List

My outdoor cooking gear checklist is also not so much a checklist of everything I always take with me when I’m cooking, but serves as a reminder for when I’m packing for a trip. And, some of the items on the list are there for when I’m cooking for a crowd and need things like chafing dishes to hot-hold foods. When people are relying on me to feed them, I hate getting to camp and discovering I’ve forgotten to bring an essential item that will compromise a meal or the whole menu!


Menu_Planning_Worksheet_smCamping Menu Planning Worksheet

This is a fun form to help you plan your camping menu and I actually use this form myself. I start in the left column and plan my meals and note in my Supply List and Prep List (right column) what special supplies I will need (like which Dutch oven I’ll be using) and what I will want to prep at home before I go (like dry mixes, chopping vegetables, etc.). I use the middle column to build my shopping list. I reference this form when I’m packing to ensure I don’t forget anything, which is easy to do when some of the food is in the freezer, some of it is in the pantry, and the rest is crammed into an already crowded refrigerator.


10_Essentials_System_sm10 Essentials System

Packing these items whenever you step into the backcountry, even on day hikes, is a good habit to acquire. True, on a routine trip you may use only a few of them. You’ll probably never fully appreciate the value of the Ten Essentials (or the wisdom that went into building the list) until you really need one of them.


How_to_Sleep_Warm_smHow to Sleep Warm

Whether you’re at home or out in the wilds, a good night’s rest is important. Here are some tips to help you sleep snug as a bug in a rug! This one isn’t a checklist, just some good tips to help you get a better night’s sleep when camping.


So, these are some of my favorite checklists and they are posted on the Resource Page. Feel free to print them and use them when planning and packing for a camping trip. Or use them as a base to make your own, personalized, checklists. And, if you think I’ve left off something important, let me know and I just might have to modify my list…again!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, subscribe to Chuck Wagoneer by clicking on the Follow Us button in the upper right corner and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest updates and more stuff!

Categories: Cooking Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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