Monthly Archives: December 2016

Celebrating 2016


We now have 117 posts, more than 1,400 followers, and nearly 22,000 page views. Wow!

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 2016 and look back at the 10 posts you gave the most “hits” to this year.


  1. Best Ever Meatloaf

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Ugh! Meatloaf! Really?! I have to admit, I’ve had some really lousy meatloaves over the years. I have an aunt, who shall remain nameless, who frequently made meatloaf when we came to visit and, I swear, it was like eating sawdust! But have no fear, meatloaf phobes, this meatloaf recipe is a winner! It even won over my meatloaf-hating hubby many years ago. Read the post.


  1. Scalloped Potatoes are the Mother of All Comfort Foods

Scalloped potatoes are one of my family’s favorite winter comfort foods. They pair very nicely with my meatloaf. They both cook at the same temperature. The potatoes go into the oven first because they cook 90 minutes and then I assemble the meatloaf and it goes into the oven for an hour. I time it so they are done at the same time. I serve them together with either a green vegetable or a salad. It’s heaven on a plate! Read the post.


  1. Apple Raisin Monkey Bread

I think this just became my new favorite monkey bread! A couple weeks ago, we were going to a potluck brunch with friends and we wanted to make monkey bread. On a lark, we decided to add a diced apple and it was amazing! We loved it! Read the post.


  1. Meatball Sub Pull-Aparts

Let me just say right up front, this is crazy good! Okay, now that we have that out of the way, we can continue. This is a warm, hearty meal that tastes amazing. From the rich and flavorful Italian meatballs and marinara sauce to the velvety, gooey mozzarella cheese to the fluffy and crunchy bits of French bread, this was so yummy! Serve it with a fresh green Italian or Caesar salad and you have a winner dinner. Everyone loved this. Read the post.


  1. Chicken Mini Pies

This has to be one of our family’s top 10 favorite things to eat. We don’t make them very often because they are a bit labor intensive, but they are well worth the effort. In fact, they taste so yummy that we nearly devour them as soon as they come out of the oven, piping hot and scalding our mouths in the process. But we just can’t stop ourselves. They are that yummy. Read the post.


  1. White Bean Chicken Chili

I have to admit that I was a little concerned at first when I saw and smelled the amount of cilantro that goes in because I’m not a big cilantro fan. But after simmering 30 minutes, the cilantro really mellows out and provides the signature flavor of this dish. I’m not sure what it is about white beans, but for me, they are a comfort food. This is such a satisfying soup but it is also light so it’s perfect for a cold winter or warm summer night. When I made this a couple weekends later, I served it with my cornbread. Read the post.


  1. DIY: How to Build a Box Oven

A box oven is a cheap and easy way to add an oven to your outdoor cooking gear. They are simple to make and you can build as many as you want. If a Dutch oven is out of your budget, a box oven is definitely in your budget and they are so simple to make a Brownie or Cub Scout could build one. Even if you have one or more Dutch ovens, one or two box ovens can add that much more oven power to your camp kitchen. Here’s all you need to build a box oven: a cardboard box, heavy duty aluminum foil, 4 empty cans, and duct tape. Read the post.


  1. Best Banana Bread

In honor of National Banana Bread Day, here’s a simple banana bread recipe. You could make this in camp and bake it in a Dutch oven or in a box oven or you could make it at home and bring it to camp for a healthy snack. It works well as either muffins or a loaf. If you make a loaf, you could also slice it up and use it to make French toast for breakfast! Read the post.


  1. Best Buttermilk Biscuits

This is the best buttermilk biscuit I’ve ever tasted. It’s light and fluffy and buttery. It tastes great with gravy on it or honey or jam or just plain butter or nothing at all. Making these biscuits have become a weekend tradition. My family has declared them to be better than the ones made by the Golden Arches or the Colonel. Read the post.

And the most-popular post of 2016 was …


  1. 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. Read the post.

Keep those comments and suggestions coming! Now, let’s make 2017 even better and let’s get outside and get cooking!

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Breakfast Catastrophe Italian Style


Our Boy Scout troop’s annual pioneering weekend is typically cold and often rainy so I always plan a menu with hot and hearty meals when I’m cooking for the Scoutmasters.

For breakfast on Sunday, I wanted to make a breakfast casserole (aka catastrophe), but wanted to make something a little different than the usual ones I make. I decided to make a catastrophe with an Italian flair. I’m not Italian, but I should be. I love cooking, and eating, Italian.

I knew the Scoutmasters could handle heat so, instead of the usual country sausage, I used a hot, spicy Italian sausage. I added garlic, a red bell pepper, and I swapped out the usual shredded cheddar cheese for mozzarella.

On a chilly autumn morning, it was a hot, hearty breakfast that warmed our tummies.


12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 casserole dish

1 pound Italian sausage (I prefer hot, but mild or sweet also work)
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 (20 ounce) bag frozen hash browns, thawed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 thinly sliced green onions

Either on coals or on a propane stove, heat the Dutch oven and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes until cooked. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the sausage. Brown the sausage, crumbling with a spoon as it cooks. Remove from heat. Add the hash browns and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and black pepper until combined. Then add them to the Dutch oven, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Cover and move to coals. Bake in a 375°F oven, using 18 coals on the lid and 9 underneath, for 1 hour. Refresh coals as needed.

If making at home, combine everything in a 9×13 casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the top of the potatoes begin to slightly brown. Remove and let the casserole rest for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with green onions and serve!

Serves 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: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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