Posts Tagged With: Box Oven

Gourmet Camp Cooking

Throughout the year, our Boy Scout troop holds fundraisers. The more fundraising we can do, the fewer out-of-pocket expenses there are for our scouts and our scout families, and we never want money to be the reason why a boy doesn’t scout.

One of the events we do is an auction and one of the live auction items every year is what we call the Scoutmaster Dinner. The dinner is hosted at the home of one of our volunteers and the dinner is completely prepared and served to guests by our troop’s scoutmasters. Over the years, we have had some pretty amazing dinners because some of our scoutmasters, including yours truly, are darned good cooks.

This year, we decided to make it an entirely camp-cooked meal. We wanted to show that you can make a gourmet meal in camp so we pulled out all the stops. Our menu was filet mignon, lobster mac and cheese, grilled vegetables, garden salad, fresh baked breads, and for dessert Scoutmaster Murray made an orange soda orange liquor dump cake and I made death by chocolate. For beverages, we had a peach sangria and lemonade.

I was very busy so I didn’t get all the pictures I had hoped to. I believe at one point we had six Dutch ovens going! You could make this meal using a griddle or a grill, Dutch ovens, box ovens, and foil packets. It’s very doable in camp. Everything tasted amazing.

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon

Fresh Baked Bread

Lobster Mac & Cheese

Orange Soda & Orange Liquor Dump Cake

Death by Chocolate

Peach Sangria and Lemonade

It was a great evening with good friends, good conversation, lots of laughter and an amazing meal. So, don’t be afraid to cook something fancy in camp. It might take a little more effort, but you won’t regret it.

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

Frittatas, Stratas, and Quiche, Oh My

Frittatas, stratas, and quiche are all egg dishes typically served for breakfast or brunch, although you could also serve them for dinner. They are very similar and often get confused with one another. They all include eggs and usually cheese. They may also include meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. They are all savory dishes; however, a strata could go sweet. They are great for feeding groups, large or small.

Frittata

You could describe a frittata as a crustless quiche. You could also describe it as a baked omelet. Either way, it is easy to make at home and in camp. Because it has no crust, a frittata is naturally gluten free. If you leave out the cheese or substitute a non dairy cheese then it becomes dairy free. If you leave out meat, now it’s vegetarian. Frittatas are very versatile.

To make at home, you’ll need a cast iron skillet or an oven safe skillet. In camp, you’ll need a Dutch oven. Start by browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables. If you want your vegetables to be crisp, you could skip that step. Whisk together the eggs, cheese and any seasonings, and pour over the top of the meats and vegetables. And then you bake it. If you wanted, you could sprinkle a little more cheese on top during the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve warm. It makes a great breakfast any time of year. Here are a couple of our favorite frittatas.

Denver Frittata

Zucchini and Onion Frittata

Ham and Cheese and Broccoli Frittata

Strata

Literally meaning layers, a strata is a layered breakfast casserole made from a mixture of bread, eggs, milk, and cheese. A savory version may also include meat or vegetables. A sweet version may include fruit. The usual preparation requires the bread to be layered with the filling; however, depending on the recipe, you could also toss everything together like a salad before pouring the egg mixture over the top. The dish requires a rest of anywhere between one hour and overnight before it is baked. This allows the bread to soak up the egg mixture. A strata could also be described as a French toast casserole or a bread pudding. Stratas can be prepped the night before and then placed in the refrigerator to rest. In the morning, you just pull it out and pop it into the oven.

To make at home, you’ll need a casserole dish. In camp, you’ll need a Dutch oven or you could make it in a casserole dish and bake it in a box oven. Meats will need to be browned and vegetables could be sautéed to soften them. Bread will need to be cubed or torn into chunks. To increase the bread’s ability to absorb the egg mixture, some recipes recommend using stale or dried bread. Serve warm. Here are a couple of our favorite stratas.

Sausage Croissant Strata

Fruity French Toast Casserole

Blueberry French Toast Cobbler

Quiche

Quiche has an open-faced pastry crust and a filling of eggs and milk or cream which, when baked, becomes a custard. It can be made with cheese, vegetables, meat and seafood. A quiche is a frittata in a pie crust. You wouldn’t think the pie crust would add much in the way of flavor, but it actually brings a lot to the party and really gives the dish its signature flavor. Quiche can be served hot or cold although I prefer mine served hot. In the late ‘70s, quiche became extremely popular and they were featured everywhere, including television and movies. By the early ‘80s, the fad seemed to fade; however, quiche has remained steady brunch and party food since.

At home, you’ll need a pie or tart pan. In camp, I would also use a pie or tart pan and bake it in a box oven. You can use a store-bought crust or make your own. Just like the others, meats would need to be browned first and vegetables could be sautéed to soften them. I haven’t actually made a quiche in camp yet, but I might have to now.

Again, these are all great dishes for serving to groups, large and small. They are simple to throw together and, for camping, a lot of prep work could be done ahead of time at home. You can serve them with potato dishes, breads, fruits, or just about anything.

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Categories: Under the Lid | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating 2016

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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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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 …

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

Chicken Mini Pies

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1977_690pxThis 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.

The cream cheese chicken mixture is well seasoned, but not spicy. It goes so well with the paprika seasoned pie crust. It’s comfort food you can hold in your hand.

To make assembly in camp easier, both the pie crust and the filling could be made ahead of time at home and ride to camp in a cooler. Here are a few more tricks we’ve learned along the way.

We chop all the vegetables really fine so every pie gets a nice variety of goodies. Dicing the veggies extra small also makes sure the filling is not too lumpy, which makes assembling the pies harder. When making the filling, we add the celery at the very last so it’s still a little crisp, but don’t forget to add it (like I’ve never done that before).

For the poultry seasoning, we prefer Johnny’s but you could also use Lawry’s or whatever poultry seasoning happens to be your favorite.

We make our own pie dough from scratch in 2 batches. I’ve tried to make one big batch, but it’s too hard to handle. For a flakier pie crust, make sure to refrigerate the dough before rolling out. So, making ahead actually works better for the pie crust.

If you choose to use store-bought pie dough, just give it a light, even, dusting of paprika as you roll it out. Use about a teaspoon of paprika and evenly distribute across your pie crusts. The pies won’t taste the same without the paprika pie dough. And you’ll need the equivalent of about 4-5 pie crusts.

To cut out the pastry rounds, we use Pampered Chef’s 4-inch round cut-n-seal or you can use a 4-inch biscuit cutter and then crimp the edges with a fork. I can bake 4 at a time in a 12-inch Dutch oven.

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I can bake 7 at a time in my 16-inch Dutch oven.

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1973_690pxI can bake 8 on a 17¼ x 11¼ baking sheet in a box oven (apple box) or a regular home oven.

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1968_690pxFor instructions on how to make a box oven, see my blog post, “DIY How to Build a Box Oven.”

Any way you bake them, they will disappear as fast as you can make them. Make sure you get one before they are gone!

Equipment
Dutch oven or 17¼ x 11¼ baking sheet, skillet, mixing bowl, pastry cutter, measuring cups and spoons, 4-inch round cut-n-seal or 4-inch biscuit cutter, and a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop.

Filling Ingredients
¼ cup celery, finely diced
¼ cup onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups chicken, cooked and finely shredded, fresh or 2 13-ounce cans
3 tablespoons chicken broth
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup cream cheese

Pastry Ingredients (make 2 batches)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
1 cup cold butter, grated or diced
8-10 tablespoons cold water

Prep Work for the Filling

In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter. Stir in chicken, broth, seasonings, and cream cheese. To the chicken mixture, add the celery and just heat it through.

Prep Work for the Pastry

Sift together flour, salt and paprika. Cut in butter until it resembles small peas. Gradually add water until ball forms. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled. Roll out pastry to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut rounds.

Assembly of the Meat Pies

Mound 2 tablespoons of filling on half of the rounds you cut (we use a small 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop).

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1964_690pxMoisten edges with water; place another round on top and seal the edges either with the cut-n-seal or with a fork.

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1965_690pxPlace in ungreased Dutch oven or on ungreased cooking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. Bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For a box oven, you’ll need about 15 coals.

For a 12-inch Dutch oven, you’ll need 27 coals, 9 underneath and 18 on the lid.

For a 16-inch Dutch oven, you’ll use 38 coals, 13 underneath and 25 on the lid.

Makes about 20 pies, which will feed 10 if everyone has 2 pies or 6 if everyone has 3 pies (it’s been known to happen). If there are leftovers, at home, they reheat very nicely in the microwave. In camp, we just wrap them in foil and warm them by the fire.

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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: Box Oven, Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bakin’ Bacon in a Box Oven

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Saturday was International Bacon Day! Did you fry some bacon while you were camping? I know, silly question. Of course, you did!

Making bacon in camp can be hard to manage because of all the bacon grease. Your griddle or flat-top grill just gets overrun with it. But did you know you can bake bacon in a box oven? Not only does this manage the grease a little better, but also frees up your griddle or flat-top for other fun, like pancakes, hashbrowns or eggs.

We knew bacon could be baked in the oven at home and we had baked bacon in the big camp kitchens, which is a great way to do it if you’re feeding a bunch of hungry campers; so why wouldn’t it work in a box oven at camp? We decided to try it on one of our Girl Scout campouts and it worked! Here’s how we did it:

We lined a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. The pan must be rimmed or you’re going to have bacon grease everywhere! The parchment paper will help manage the grease. Lay your bacon out on the pan in a single layer. They can touch but not overlap.

Bacon03_IMG_1006_690pxIn a regular oven, you would bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of crispness. There is no need to flip it. Just let it do its thing. When it’s done, use tongs to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.

In camp, in the box oven, we found we needed a little hotter oven. We bumped it up to 425° using 17 coals. I’d also recommend soup or juice cans to elevate your baking sheet, which are shorter and will place your baking sheet closer to the coals.

Our box oven was an apple box, my favorite. For instructions on how to make a box oven, see my blog post, “DIY Box Oven.” An apple box will accommodate a standard 17¼ x 11¼ baking sheet, which will hold about 10 slices of bacon, depending on the size of your bacon. If you are feeding a crowd, you may want a second box oven or you may need to make a couple of batches. If making multiple batches, you can always wrap the bacon in foil and place it near the fire to keep it warm, although I don’t mind cold bacon. I mean, bacon is bacon, right?

Bacon03_IMG_1008_690pxSo, the next time you camp, try baking bacon in a box oven. You may need to experiment a little to find the temperature and time combination that will give you bacon to your desired doneness, but it’s worth every bake, because you’re making bacon! Don’t be so distracted by the magic in your box oven you forget you can have hashbrowns and eggs going on the griddle, while the bacon is baking.

Get out outside and cook something amazing!

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

Creatures of Habit

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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!”

Really?!

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!

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: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DIY: How to Build a Box Oven

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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.

For the cardboard box, all you need is a box that is large enough to fit a cookie sheet, muffin pan, casserole or baking dish, and is about a foot high. Go to your local grocery store and ask for an empty produce box. I prefer apple boxes, banana boxes, and pineapple boxes. You can also use the bottom portion of a box that held reams of paper or you can use any other regular box and just cut the top flaps off. Whatever you use, it will probably be free! The 2 best things about apple boxes are: they are virtually the perfect size for any kind of baking, and you can use the lid and bottom to make 2 box ovens or you can nest the bottom inside the lid for a double layer, making for a better insulated oven!

Use Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil. I prefer Reynolds Wrap 18-inch.

Your cans can be empty soda pop cans, soup cans or juice cans. You just need something that will elevate your baking dish above the coals. I have a little wire rack for cooking over a small campfire that just happens to be the perfect size. But if you don’t have one of those, cans will work perfectly. Keep in mind that the smaller juice cans will place your dish closer to the coals. Conversely, the taller soda pop will place your dish farther away from the coals. To keep your cans more stable, before you bake, fill them with sand.

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How to Build the Box Oven

Using the aluminum foil in large pieces, cover the inside of the box completely with foil, placing the shiny side out. I find that using the backs of my hands to press the aluminum foil to the inside of the box results in fewer tears as I’m working. It may take a couple of layers to get all the cardboard covered but it’s important that no cardboard is exposed. Otherwise, you risk it catching fire and going up in a blaze along with your blueberry muffins! Wrap the aluminum foil over the edge and secure it to the outside using the duct tape.

That’s it! You’re done! You now have a box oven. Let’s bake something!

How to Use a Box Oven

Find a non burnable patch of ground or concrete and lay down a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side up, that is larger than your box. In the middle, arrange your rack or your four cans so they can support your baking dish and elevate it on top of the coals.

Prepare your baked dish and prep your coals. Control the baking temperature of the oven by the number of charcoal briquettes used. The average briquette will supply about 35 degrees of heat (a 350°F temperature will take 10 briquettes). If you have to round, I would round up rather than down. If it’s cold outside, you may want to add a couple extra briquettes.

Arrange the briquettes on the aluminum foil under your rack or between your cans. Set your baking dish on the rack or on the cans and carefully lower the box so that it covers everything. Important Note: Use a small rock (about an inch in diameter) to prop up one end of the box to allow in the air that the charcoal needs to burn.

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Try not to peak at what you are baking, but if you absolutely must peak, lift the box straight up, peak, and go straight back down. You’ll lose the smallest amount of heat doing it this way.

Optional Extras

Add a window by cutting a hole in your box that is smaller than a Reynolds Oven Bag or take advantage of the hole in the top that is on most banana or pineapple boxes. Cover the box with foil as directed above, making sure to wrap foil over the edges of the hole. On the outside of the box, stretch the Reynolds oven bag across the hole and secure it with duct tape. Now you have a window for peaking.

Add an oven thermometer by punching a candy thermometer into the box so the probe is inside and the dial is on the outside.

As noted above, for added durability and insulation, use both parts of the apple box and tuck the bottom inside the lid for an extra layer of cardboard.

So, if you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can still bake in camp and, even if you do have a Dutch oven, this will add yet another baking option to your camp kitchen. Imagine the looks on your camper’s faces when you serve them amazing fresh baked muffins or biscuits for breakfast out of a discarded cardboard box!

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Categories: Box Oven, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baking in the New Year

cheese_scone_IMG_1302_690pxWhat are your plans for upping your cooking game in 2016? Is there a specific dish you’d like to perfect? A technique you’d like to master? A culinary style you’d like to try?

This year, my cooking resolution is to master the art of scones or biscuits. For me, the terms are interchangeable. Because of our genealogy, our family is heavily influenced by England, Scotland, and Ireland. For my husband, that’s nearly all of his genetic makeup. For me, that’s nearly half with my other half being Scandinavian. So, we tend to call them scones.

There are two possible pronunciations of the word scone: the first rhymes with gone and the second rhymes with tone. In US English, the pronunciation rhyming with tone is more common. In British English, the two pronunciations traditionally have different regional and class associations, with the first pronunciation associated with the north of England and the northern working class, while the second is associated with the south and the middle class.

However you pronounce it, I feel a strong genetic tug to make scones, which I have ignored for far too long.

You have to admit that there’s just nothing like a fresh baked biscuit with breakfast or dinner, and what would biscuits and gravy be without biscuits? So, in the coming months, you can expect some scone recipes to appear in the blog. I hope that excites you as much as it excites me.

Scones or biscuits are a great way to get fresh bread into your camp menu. They are relatively easy to make without all the fuss of yeast bread. They can easily be made by hand, requiring no fancy equipment.

And, everyone loves a good biscuit. While a plain biscuit is hugely popular, you can also pack them with all kinds of goodies from cheeses to meats to fruits. Depending on what else you are serving, your scone can be savory or sweet.

I decided to start with a savory, cheese scone. This is a great recipe and you can subtly alter the flavor of the scone by the type of cheese you choose to use. From sharp Cheddar to Parmesan to Swiss to Gorgonzola, choose your favorite cheese and try making a scone with it. This would be a great scone to serve with breakfast or dinner. Can you imagine serving a hot and hearty stew with a warm, cheesy scone? Yum!

Equipment
Mixing bowl, clean work surface (cutting board, tabletop), pastry cutter, a fork for mixing, measuring cups and spoons, a Dutch oven or a box oven.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
⅓ cup unsalted butter, chilled
⅓ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water for glaze (optional)

Prep
Preheat your oven or start your coals. Lightly butter the center of a baking sheet or the Dutch oven.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the cheese. Cut the butter into little cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

cheese_scone_IMG_1300_690px

In a small bowl, stir together the milk and 2 eggs. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined (a fork works well for this). At some point, the fork will become useless, so you might as well just pick it up with your hands and mush it together into a ball, sponging up all the little dry bits with the dough ball.

Shape into a disc with your hands, then spread the dough into an 8-inch diameter circle in the center of the prepared baking sheet or Dutch oven. (The first time I made them, I actually got a ruler and measured; now I just eyeball it using my hand.) If desired, brush the egg mixture over the top of the dough. Cut into 8 wedges.

Using a home oven, Dutch oven, or box oven, bake at 400°F for 15-17 minutes or until the top is lightly brown (emphasis on lightly), and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Try not to overcook it. If you overcook a scone, it dries out and starts to become a brick.

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

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