Monthly Archives: April 2018

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes


These pancakes are simply amazing. One of my fellow scouters, Stephanie, was our grubmaster on the last campout and she made these for breakfast Saturday morning. They were awesome! They taste just like a cinnamon roll. You can top them with cream cheese glaze or maple syrup or both if you want to double down on the sugar! Everyone opted for the cream cheese glaze. Toward the end of breakfast, I saw Scoutmasters coming back to the table and just picking up a pancake with their hands and walking away. Folks just couldn’t stop eating them. It was great!

These are a bit labor intensive, but a lot of the prep could be done at home before you go with just some assembly required in camp.

For the cinnamon filling, you could use a plastic condiment squeeze bottle or a resealable bag. The condiment bottle will provide more control when swirling onto the pancakes; however, it will take a little longer to clean out. Same is true for the cream cheese glaze. If you opt for condiment bottles, pack a bottle brush and clean up should be easy.

You’ll need to manage the temperature of your griddle closely as too hot of a griddle can lead to burning cinnamon glaze, also making for more challenging cleanup.

I also recommend warming the cream cheese glaze so that you’re not putting cold glaze on hot pancakes.

When I made these for my family, I made ¼-cup sized pancakes and the recipe made 9 pancakes. My son ate three pancakes and my daughter and I both thought two was enough. You could serve these with bacon or sausage and fruit to round out the meal.

My daughter called these decadent and said she wouldn’t need any sugar for the rest of the day!

Again, these pancakes are a little high maintenance, but well worth the effort. They are a fun variation from the regular pancakes and will surprise and delight your campers of all ages. Definitely a winner, killer breakfast.

Ingredients for Pancake Batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Ingredients for Cinnamon Filling
½ cup butter, melted
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Glaze
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 ounces cream cheese, melted
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Prep at Home
Prepare cinnamon filling: In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small resealable plastic bag or into a condiment squeeze bottle for the ride to camp in the cooler. If you’re making these for cooking at home, allow the cinnamon filling to rest and set for at least 20-30 minutes. You want it thick; not runny. This is an important step. It takes 20-30 minutes for the butter and brown sugar to completely emulsify.

Prepare dry ingredients for pancake batter: In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and load into a resealable plastic bag or hard-sided container. (If you choose a large enough container, it can also serve as the mixing bowl in camp.) This will ride to camp in your food tote.

Prepare wet ingredients for pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, oil, and egg and pour into a plastic or glass jar with a tight seal for the ride to camp in the cooler.

Prepare cream cheese glaze: In a medium glass or microwave-safe bowl, or in a pan on the stove on low heat, warm the butter and cream cheese until melted. Remove from heat and whisk together until smooth, then whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into a condiment squeeze bottle or a plastic container for the ride to camp in your cooler. After arriving at camp, if the glaze feels a little too thick, you can thin it with a little milk.

Prep in Camp
Pull your cinnamon filling and cream cheese glaze out of the cooler and allow them to come up to the ambient temperature. If you want a warm cream cheese glaze, you could warm it in a bowl of hot water.

Prepare pancake batter: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until batter is moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX; a few small lumps are okay. Add a little milk to thin it if you need to.

For the cinnamon filling, if you are using a resealable plastic bag, squeeze all of it down to a corner of the bag and snip off a tiny (and I mean tiny) corner of the baggie. You’ll pipe the filling onto the pancakes like piping on cake frosting.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Grease with canola oil. Scoop ¼-cup to ½-cup of pancake batter onto the griddle, depending on the size of pancakes you want. Squeeze a spiral of the cinnamon filling onto the top of the pancake (work quickly because you want the pancake to poof up around the filling). When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, and the outer edge of the pancake starts to look dry, flip carefully with a spatula and cook until lightly browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer pancakes to a foil packet or a heated Dutch oven and keep warm while you make the rest of the pancakes.

When ready to serve, drizzle warmed cream cheese glaze on top of each pancake. No syrup required; however, you could have some available for folks who want it either in place of or in addition to the cream cheese glaze.

Makes 8-9 ¼-cup pancakes or 4-5 ½-cup pancakes.

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Planning Your Camping Menu

I don’t know about your households, but the dreaded question in my household is always: “What shall we make for dinner?” It’s almost always answered with, “I don’t know” or “I don’t care” or plenty of shrugs. Eventually, we figure it out, but sometimes I feel as if pulling teeth would be easier.

Creating a camping menu can be just as challenging at times. Here are 12 things that will help you plan a great camping menu and influence what you make.

Food Pyramid
First and foremost, you always want to plan a menu that is healthy and nutritious. When we’re camping, we’re working and playing hard. Our bodies need good fuel to keep us going; fuel like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Check the 10 day forecast for the area you are going to be camping in. Is it going to be warm, sunny, cold, rainy, snowy? Weather can help you decide if you’re going to go with a hot and hearty menu or a fresh and cold menu.

Activity Level
What kinds of activities will you be doing while camping? Will you be working on a service project, playing hard, or just lounging around the campsite? Will you be hiking during the day, and need a portable lunch and snacks?

Food Restrictions
Does anyone you are cooking for have any food allergies or food restrictions? You’ll want to accommodate them as best you can. For some folks, it might simply be an intolerance and a small amount of their restricted food is okay. For others, even a little could be life threatening.

What equipment do you have in your camp kitchen to cook with? You probably have a propane stove. Do you have a box oven or a Dutch oven? Can you cook or heat anything in foil packets? What can you cook with besides your propane stove? More resources means more menu options.

Age/Ability of Cooks
Who’s going to be cooking? Adults and/or youth? Are they experienced or not so much? Plan a menu that fits their level of cooking skills and experience.

What is your budget for the weekend? Do you have a hot dog kinda budget or a steak and shrimp kinda budget? Even if your budget is on the tight side, you can still do a lot and feed your campers well with a good menu plan.

Minimizing Food Waste
Plan your menu so that you’ll have minimal leftovers, which are difficult to manage in a camp setting and are often just thrown away.

Minimizing Packaging Waste
Be mindful of your packaging waste. Plan your menu and prep your ingredients so that you’re filling bellies and not filling garbage cans.

Minimizing Clean Up
Plan your menu and prep your ingredients so that you’re not having to do a lot of clean up after each meal. Too much prep in camp means more dirty bowls and utensils.

Balance Easy Meals With Challenging Meals
Plan an easy dinner on your first night because you’ll also be needing to set up camp. Likewise, plan an easy breakfast on your last day because you’ll be needing to break down camp and head home. In between, choose a couple of meals where you go big. We like to do a big breakfast Saturday morning and a big dinner Saturday night. This is where we challenge ourselves with more complicated meals because we’ve got more time to execute. At the very least, plan at least one meal that will blow the doors off your campers! They will love you for it!

Finally, for my scouts, are you cooking to meet a requirement for rank or for a badge? If so, be sure to review those requirements and plan your menu to ensure you fulfill them.

All this may seem like a lot to think about, but when you actually sit down to plan your menu, you’ll be surprised how quickly menu planning can go and you can rest assured that you and your fellow campers will eat well.

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