Posts Tagged With: recipe

Oatmeal Breakfast for Backpacking

Oatmeal is an excellent breakfast when backpacking. It’s loaded with nutrition and is a warm, flavorful meal to get you going on a cool morning. The store-bought instant oatmeal packets are great for a breakfast on the trail; however, your flavors are limited and they contain high sodium, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives.

If you make your own at home, you can radically improve the nutritional value and the flavor possibilities are only limited by your imagination and your taste buds.

Kick Your Oatmeal Up a Nutritional Notch

Whole grain rolled oats (instant or quick) are well-known for their heart-healthy benefits. They are a good source of carbs and fiber, and are loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant plant compounds. They are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, which is exactly what we want on the trail. Oats are also naturally gluten-free, but if you are particularly sensitive, choose oat products that are certified as gluten-free.

Chia seeds are a superfood, delivering a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories. A one-ounce serving contains 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat (5 of which are omega-3s), as well as calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus, and a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and vitamin B2. Yet, while they deliver a solid punch of nutrients, they bring very little in the way of flavor and virtually disappear into the mix. They are the ninjas of superfoods. You don’t know they are there!

Oat bran boosts the oatmeal mix with more heart-healthy fiber and will add a nutrient-rich creaminess to the oatmeal.

Sweetener can be customized to your personal preference. Use your favorite dry sweetener, including brown sugar, natural cane sugar, coconut sugar, dried honey, etc. Sweeten to your liking.

Non-fat powdered milk adds protein & calcium along with creaminess to the texture and taste of the oatmeal, and dissolves better than whole powdered milk. If you need to be dairy-free, you can omit the powdered milk or use powdered coconut milk or powdered soy milk.

Ingredients for a Single Serving Packet
1/3 cup rolled oats (instant or quick)
1 teaspoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed (optional)
2 teaspoons oat bran (or wheat germ/bran)
2 teaspoons powdered milk
1 to 3 teaspoons of your preferred sweetener
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/16 teaspoon salt (use less or omit all together)

Directions
Combine ingredients in individual ziploc freezer bags (not storage).

To Prepare 1 Serving of Hot Oatmeal
Add 1 oatmeal packet to mug or bowl. Pour in 2/3 cups boiling water and stir (amount of water may vary depending on dryness of ingredients). Let instant oats stand for 3-4 minutes to soften and thicken; stir, and they are ready to eat. Quick oats may need to soften an additional minute or two. I like to use an insulated bowl with a cover so my oats stay warm while they sit.

Adding Variety
For variety, I also add 2 tablespoons of dried fruit and 1 tablespoon chopped nuts. Average weight, including the bag, and additions of freeze-dried fruit and nuts, is 88 grams. Weight will vary slightly depending on how you customize.

Below are ideas to add variety. Feel free to mix and match and create your own flavors. Add the following recommended amounts to the above basic recipe.

Apple Cinnamon Maple: 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 cup freeze-dried chopped apples, additional 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, use maple sugar for sweetener.

Apricot Ginger: 2 tablespoons chopped dried apricots, 1 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger.

Blueberry: 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 cup freeze-dried blueberries.

Cherry Almond: 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 tablespoons freeze-dried cherries, 1 tablespoon sliced or slivered almonds.

Cocoa Banana: 1/4 cup chopped freeze-dried bananas (dried banana chips not recommended), 2 teaspoons cocoa powder.

Cranberry Apple Walnut: 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 cup freeze-dried chopped apples, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.

Cranberry Orange Pecan: 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 1 teaspoon dried orange peel bits, 1 tablespoon chopped pecans.

Mango Macadamia: 2 tablespoons chopped dried mangos, 1 tablespoon chopped macadamia nuts.

Peach Pecan: 2 tablespoons chopped dried peaches, 1 tablespoon chopped pecans.

Peanut Butter Banana: 1/4 cup chopped freeze-dried bananas (dried banana chips not recommended), 1 tablespoon PB2 peanut butter powder.

Pineapple Coconut Macadamia: 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 cup freeze-dried chopped dried pineapple, 1 tablespoon freeze-dried coconut, 1 tablespoon macadamia nuts.

Raspberry Almond Vanilla: 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 cup freeze-dried raspberries, 1 tablespoon almonds1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla powder.

Shelf Life

These bags may be made, tightly sealed, and stored for several months, depending on the shelf life of the ingredients used. These may also be stored in the freezer to extend their life further.

These are also great for taking to school or work for a quick, hot breakfast or mid-morning snack. Make your own at home and make it exactly to your liking. Be creative and invent your own favorite flavors.

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Categories: Backpacking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cheese Spread! Don’t Forget the Crackers!

We tend to burn a lot of calories on campouts. We’re playing and/or working hard. In addition to our 3 squares a day, at the end of the day, we’re looking for that bedtime snack to tide us over until breakfast. We call it a cracker barrel. It’s also a place to gather and talk about the day and share stories around the campfire.

For cracker barrel, we like to keep things simple. No cooking and no cleanup because who wants to be doing dishes late at night? Finger foods are the way to go and this make-ahead cheese spread is perfect. It’s simple to make (about 15 minutes) and brings an element of fanciness to a campfire cracker barrel. Folks just don’t expect it and that makes it fun to serve.

To learn more about the tradition of the cracker barrel or for more cracker barrel ideas, please read my blog post: “Evening Cracker Barrel and the Art of Snacking.”

This cheese spread can be made at home before you go. It can be kept chilled up to two days, so I would make it no earlier than Thursday night for a Saturday night cracker barrel. Serve it with crackers, sliced bread or crudités, which is a fancy French word for sliced or whole raw vegetables. I like to serve it with crackers because, growing up, cheese and crackers was one of my dad’s favorite snacks, and that’s a fond memory for me.

We’ve spread it on Wheat Thins, Ritz, buttery club crackers, and plain old saltines. There really isn’t a cracker this cheese spread doesn’t go with. My favorite is the Wheat Thin or some kind of whole wheat or whole grain cracker.

For serving, you can shape it into a ball or a log, or smush it into a shallow plastic container. A shallow container will give the spread more surface area for the chives, parsley, and peppers you’re going to sprinkle on top. You want folks to be able to get a nice combination of everything on their vessel.

I use a 25-ounce shallow Glad container that holds half a batch nicely and allows plenty of room to sprinkle on the toppings (pictured above). If I need to serve a whole batch or more, I use multiple containers. I transport the toppings separately and sprinkle on when I’m ready to serve.

If you’re making this at home for a holiday party or a family gathering, you can line a small, 6-cup Bundt pan with plastic wrap and press the mixture into that and chill for 1 to 48 hours. Unmold it onto a serving platter and cover it with the chives, parsley, and peppers for a festive looking wreath. Crackers, bread, and crudités can be arranged around the wreath or served in baskets, bowls or platters on the side.

This recipe calls for pickled piquanté peppers, such as Peppadew, which is a trademarked brand. Peppadews are hot, very sweet peppers that have been pickled. The heat is similar to a jalapeño and they are bright red, which gives the cheese spread a very festive look. Peppadew peppers are hard to find, depending on where you live. I have to order them from Amazon. In a pinch, we’ve used Mezzetta sweet cherry peppers, but they’re not quite the same. Whichever you use, I recommend removing the seeds because they are very hard. Leftover peppers can be added to the crudités or you can save them and add them to other dishes. They are great on a pizza.

Ingredients
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups shredded firm cheese, such as Cheddar, Pepper Jack or Colby
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup pickled piquanté peppers, such as Peppadew, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, finely chopped
Crackers, sliced bread or crudités, for serving

Directions
In a food processor or a medium mixing bowl, if you’re mixing it by hand, combine the cream cheese, shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. If you’re using a food processor, transfer the mixture into a medium bowl. Fold in all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped peppers.

Form the mixture into a ball or log and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Or, smush it into a shallow plastic container or a 6-cup Bundt pan lined with plastic wrap and cover. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

At home, if you’re using the Bundt mold, uncover and invert the cheese mold onto a serving platter. If you formed it into a ball or log, unwrap and transfer to a serving platter (in camp, you could use a large paper plate).

In camp, if you’re using a shallow plastic container, you can serve directly out of the container. Sprinkle with the chives and parsley to completely coat the cheese mixture, and garnish with the reserved 2 tablespoons peppers.

Serve with crackers, sliced bread or crudités and you’ll need a knife or spreader.

Serves 16 to 20.

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Simple Swedish Meatballs

When we roll into camp on a Friday night, it’s all about getting our kitchen set up, getting our tents pitched, and getting our gear unloaded. Our Friday night dinners need to be quick and easy to get onto the picnic table with minimal clean up.

Meatballs and rice is an easy meal that we can get onto the picnic table in less than 30 minutes and we only dirty two pots. It’s a hot, hearty, and flavorful meal. This is also a super simple meal for young and/or inexperienced camp chefs. You can buy a bag of frozen meatballs or you can make your own at home before you go. For meatball ideas, please read my blog post: “Make Your Own Meatballs.”

So, this is our take on simply made Swedish meatballs. You can serve them over rice, like we do, or over noodles. To serve, just lay down a bed of rice or noodles, pile on some meatballs, and spoon on some sauce. Serve with a nice salad and you have a quick and easy meal guaranteed to fill your tummy.

Equipment
Pot for the rice and a pot or skillet for the meatballs.

Ingredients
26 ounce bag of frozen meatballs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef consommé
2 cups rice, uncooked
4 cups water
½ teaspoon salt

Prep the Rice
In a 2-quart pot, on medium high heat, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the rice, turn the heat down to low, and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until rice is done.

Prep the Meatballs
In a large skillet, on medium heat, add the meatballs, cream of mushroom soup, and consommé. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until meatballs are heated through. In the time it takes for the rice to cook, the meatballs should be done.

Serves 6

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Categories: Main Dishes, Meals in 30 Min., Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make Your Own Meatballs

Meatballs are fun and always seem a little fancy. Whether they are classing up a simple meat sauce, serving as a tasty appetizer, or floating in a savory soup like the Miso Noodle Soup I posted last week, meatballs simultaneously add a bit of playfulness and elegance to a dish.

Making your own meatballs is easy and fun, and the flavor possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Here is a mix and match guide to making your own meatballs. And, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you don’t have to miss out on the fun. You, too, can enjoy a little meatball madness.

You could omit or substitute the egg and/or breadcrumbs. They help hold the meatballs together, but they are not required. It will depend on your combination of ingredients. For example, the meatballs for the Miso Noodle Soup are made with ground pork, honey, sriracha, salt, and pepper, and they hold together very well.

Ingredients for a Basic Meatball
1 pound protein of your choice, ground
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs

Proteins
Choose a single protein or a combination like beef and lamb or beef and pork (1 pound total): beef, turkey, pork, chicken, lamb, or 2 (15-ounce) cans beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed.

Seasonings
Add at least 2 (1 tablespoon total): oregano, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, honey, sriracha, chili powder, taco seasoning, grated parmesan, or grated cheddar.

Vegetables and Herbs
Add at least 2 (3/4 cup total): grated onion, grated carrot, minced garlic, citrus zest, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley, chopped rosemary, or chopped thyme.

Prep
In a bowl, mash all the ingredients together. I like to glove up and use my hands, which are the two best tools in the kitchen. (For the beans, if you use a food processor to mash them, be careful not to over process or they will fall apart).

Divide the meatball mix into 16 blobs (technical term) and form/roll each blob into a round little ball.

Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, or they can be (gently) dropped directly into a simmering soup or sauce and cooked 5-10 minutes or until done.

Makes 16, nicely sized, meatballs.

Now it’s time to experiment and try different combinations. Have some fun and make some magic, I mean, meatballs!

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Categories: Main Dishes, Snacks, Under the Lid | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Miso Noodle Soup with Meatballs

Want to wow your campers? Serve this savory miso noodle soup with meatballs. This soup is perfect for a cool or cold evening when you are wanting a hot meal, but on the lighter side. It brings a mild, subtle heat and folks can add more or less heat by how they garnish with the red chiles. Both my son and daughter like this soup and they are on opposite ends of the heat scale.

While this soup isn’t difficult to make, it might not be suitable for young chefs. This soup is a bit more sophisticated. It’s a far cry from chili and macaroni and cheese. This is also not a good soup for a large group because you need at least a quart of volume per person. We make this for the 4 of us and I use a 6-quart Dutch oven. I might be able to make this in a 4-quart, but I like having the extra room for stirring and to prevent boiling over.

You could double this recipe in a 12-quart stock pot to serve 8 and even triple it in an 18-quart stock pot to serve 12, but serving might become challenging trying to evenly divide all the noodles between 8-12 bowls. We use tongs to grab the meatballs and noodles and, when you get down to the last few noodles, you’re kinda fishing for them.

Be careful when you’re ladling the broth into the bowls because this soup is hot (boiling) and, if you’re holding the bowl while you are ladling, the bowls heat up really fast and get really hot. Even the heavy ceramic bowls we use at home quickly get too hot to hold.

For photographing, I sliced the red chiles to make it look pretty, but we actually prefer to dice them so we get a little heat with every bite. I also removed the seeds, which is where a lot of the heat is.

We did not use the sambal oelek (ground chili paste) because it contains seafood oils and we have allergies in the household. Instead we used sriracha, which is a straight across 1:1 substitution. So, if you can’t find the sambal oelek or, like us, have allergies, sriracha is a safe alternative without sacrificing flavor.

We find our soba noodles in the refrigerated section. The package has 3 6-ounce pouches and we use all three pouches because we love noodles. We find the fresh mung bean sprouts in the produce section. The bean sprouts add a bit of crunch and freshness to the soup.

Our chop stick skills are not the greatest so we serve this soup with forks, for the meatballs and noodles, and large spoons, for slurping the delicious broth, but you could forego the spoons and just drink straight from the bowl. It’s good to the last drop!

So, if you’re wanting something different or cooking to impress, this makes a great lunch or dinner soup for a small group.  Serve this with an Asian salad and you have a perfect soup and salad combo!

Equipment
6-quart Dutch oven or stock pot, medium bowl, measuring cups and spoons, and tongs and ladle for serving.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup green onions, sliced diagonally, and divided in half
9 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
64 ounces chicken stock
18 ounces soba noodles
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) or Sriracha
16 ounces lean ground pork
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons miso paste (fermented soy bean paste)
2 cups fresh mung bean sprouts
3-4 red Fresno chiles or red jalapeño chiles, sliced or diced

Prep
Slice the green onions and red chiles, and mince your garlic if you’re using whole fresh cloves. In a medium bowl, combine honey, sambal oelek (or sriracha), ground pork, salt, and pepper. I gloved up and dove in with my hands to mix it all really well. Shape pork mixture into 16 meatballs. Assemble all your ingredients. Now it’s time to put flame to your pot.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the sesame oil. Add ½ cup green onions, garlic, and ginger, and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add chicken stock, increase your heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 8 minutes.

To the stock mixture, stir in miso. By hand, one at a time, carefully drop in the meatballs and cook 6 minutes or until done. Add noodles and cook 2-3 minutes more (depending on your noodles). Divide soup between 4 deep soup bowls (minimum 18-ounce bowls) and sprinkle with remaining green onion, mung bean sprouts, and red chiles.

Serves 4 perfectly. Each person gets 4 meatballs and 4-5 ounces of noodles, and lots of yummy broth.

For more ideas, check out these blog posts: Ramen Remakes, Add an Egg to Your Ramen Bowl, and Make Your Own Meatballs.

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Categories: Main Dishes, One Pot, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch Oven Nachos

On our last scout campout, Scoutmaster Murray was cooking for the scoutmasters. For lunch on Saturday, he made two Dutch ovens of nachos with turkey chorizo, diced white onion, cilantro, diced tomatoes, and lots of cheese. They were a yummy lunch, filling but not too heavy, which was perfect going into a busy afternoon of teaching outdoor skills.

Nachos make a great meal or an appetizer. They are easy, fun, and completely customizable. You can build them any way you want to. They are great for an evening cracker barrel because they are finger food so there are no dishes to wash late at night.

If you line the Dutch oven with foil, when the nachos are done, you can carefully lift them out of the oven using the foil. Set the foil “bowl” directly on the picnic table and spread out the foil. Campers can just dive right in and start pulling off clumps of loaded tortillas.

The recipe below is for fully loaded nachos. While the list of ingredients is by no means comprehensive, it includes a lot of options. Use some or all of them. Use more or less of something. Treat this as just a guide for helping you decide what you want on your nachos. And I’ve included all the classics to serve with your nachos. Have fun!

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven, large skillet.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef, turkey, chicken, or pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package taco seasoning, or your own mix
12 ounces tortilla chips
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4-ounce) can black olives, sliced
¼ cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces salsa
8 ounces guacamole
1 (15-ounce) can refried beans, heated

Prep
Line a 12-Dutch oven with foil and start 25 coals.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add ground meat and garlic. Cook until meat is browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the meat as it cooks. Stir in taco seasoning. Drain any excess fat.

Place about half of the tortilla chips in the Dutch oven, spreading evenly. Sprinkle on 1 cup of cheese and add the remaining tortilla chips. Top with 1 cup of cheese, ground meat mixture, black beans, corn, tomatoes, black olives, and remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately, topped with onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Serve with refried beans, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

Serves 8

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Categories: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Meals in 30 Min., Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buttermilk Pancakes

 

Buttermilk pancakes are simply the best. We love them. Buttermilk brings a subtle tanginess to the pancakes, which balances nicely with the sweet maple syrup. Buttermilk makes a slightly thicker batter and supports the baking soda and baking powder for fluffier pancakes.

These buttermilk pancakes go together easy. Both the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients can be prepped at home and then combined in camp on the morning that you are going to make them. When making pancakes in camp, always prep a little more batter than what you think you’ll need. Hungry campers always seem to gobble down more in camp.

Serve with warmed maple syrup or flavored syrups, fresh fruit, and nuts. And, of course, bacon or sausage always pair nicely with pancakes.

Equipment
Griddle, small mixing bowl, large mixing bowl, whisk, pancake flipper, measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients
1 egg
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Extra vegetable oil for greasing the griddle
Butter and maple syrup for serving

Prep
In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg. Whisk in buttermilk and vegetable oil. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the dry mix and add the wet ingredients. Stir mixture until just combined but still slightly lumpy. Do not over mix. Set aside to rest 5-15 minutes.

While the batter rests, heat a griddle to about 375°F and lightly grease it with vegetable oil. Using a ¼-cup measuring cup, pour pancake batter onto the griddle. When pancakes have a bubbly surface and slightly dry edges, flip to cook the other side.

Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

Makes 8-10 pancakes

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Banana Brown Sugar Caramel Strata

Layers of fluffy French toast cubes, warm gooey bananas, covered in brown sugar caramel sauce, topped with a brown sugar crumble, and drizzled with maple syrup. Do I have your attention?

This strata is breakfast comfort food and, while it is a bit challenging to make (i.e., multiple steps), it’s so worth it. It’s great for camp in a Dutch oven or at home in a casserole dish for a holiday or weekend breakfast or brunch. We’ve made this a couple times at home and in camp and, each time, it’s received rave reviews.

A strata is a great way to make French toast for a crowd without having to stand at the griddle flipping slices of bread. It can be sweet or savory. This one is most certainly sweet. With a few substitutions, this could also be dairy and/or gluten-free.

A strata is also perfect for making in camp in a Dutch oven. A lot of this can be prepped at home so, in camp, it’s just some assembly required. Just allow enough time in the morning to assemble and let it rest while the bread soaks up the egg mixture before baking. About 20 minutes of rest ought to do it. If you want that occasional big hit of banana, slice your bananas thicker. I prefer to dice my bananas so there is a little bit of banana in every bite. Either way is yummy. It’s just personal preference.

If you’re making at home, this French toast casserole can be assembled the night before, placed in the refrigerator overnight, and baked in the morning. In the morning, all you have to do is add the topping and bake. Again, great for a holiday or weekend brunch.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or casserole dish, medium sauce pan or skillet, large bowl, whisk, cutting board, knife, small bowl, measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients for Brown Sugar Banana Filling
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 ripe-firm bananas peeled, sliced and quartered

Ingredients for French toast
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 15-ounce loaf French bread cut into large cubes (preferably a day or two old)

Ingredients for Topping
1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Ingredients for Serving (Mix & Match)
Maple syrup, caramel sauce, sliced bananas, chopped nuts, and whipped cream.

Prep Brown Sugar Banana Filling
At home or in camp, in a medium skillet or sauce pan on medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the bananas. Set aside and cool to room temperature while you prepare the French toast. If prepping at home, load the sauce into a container and add the bananas in camp so they are fresh.

Prep FrenchToast
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, half and half, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. This can be poured into a bottle that has a tight seal for the ride to camp in the cooler.

Prep Topping
In a small sealable container or resealable bag, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter and, using a spoon or your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture resembles wet, clumpy sand. Seal and refrigerate (cooler) until you are ready to bake the French toast.

Assembly if Making at Home
Grease a 2 1/2 or 3 quart casserole dish. Place half the bread cubes in the bottom. Spoon half of the banana-brown sugar mixture over the bread. Top with the remaining bread cubes. Pour the custard (egg mixture) evenly over the bread cubes. Lightly press down on the top of the bread to allow the top layer of bread to absorb some of the custard mixture. Spoon the remaining banana-brown sugar mixture over the top of the French toast. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until bread has soaked up all liquid.

Assembly if Making in Camp
Line a 12-inch Dutch oven with foil and grease with butter or non-sticking cooking spray. Place half the bread cubes in the bottom. Spoon half of the banana-brown sugar mixture over the bread. Top with the remaining bread cubes. Pour the custard (egg mixture) evenly over the bread cubes. Lightly press down on the top of the bread to allow the top layer of bread to absorb some of the custard mixture. Spoon the remaining banana-brown sugar mixture over the top of the French toast. Cover and rest 20-30 minutes or until bread has soaked up all liquid.

Baking
When you’re ready to bake, crumble the topping over the French toast.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 40-55 minutes until puffy and golden brown, and set (check that the center is not too wet). Baking time will depend on how deep your casserole dish is and whether you prefer your French toast more well done. Refresh coals as needed.

Serve immediately with syrup, caramel sauce, whipped cream and/or chopped nuts.

Serves 6-10

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

Pizza Pasta One Pot

Our family loves pasta and we love pizza so this was a lot of fun to make. And, just like pizzeria pizza, this pasta dish could be customized to your personal taste. Make it like your favorite pizza. You could use gluten-free pasta or a whole wheat pasta. You could change up the meats, add some vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, or make vegetarian pizza pasta.

This pasta dish really did taste just like a pizza and everyone loved it. Another great thing about this dish is that it is a one pot recipe. One-pots are great for camp because you’re only using one pot and one burner, making for less mess and less cleanup. And, this meal goes together fast. We were able to get dinner onto the picnic table in less than 30 minutes, which makes this recipe great for a roll-into-camp night or an evening meal after a busy day of outdoor activities.

Serve this with a salad and some bread sticks and you’ll feel like you’re sitting down to eat at your favorite pizza place.

Equipment
Large skillet with lid or 12-inch Dutch oven, cutting board, knife, measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients
2 tablespoon olive oil
16 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed, mild or spicy
1 cup mini pepperoni or regular pepperoni quartered
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
16 ounces rotini pasta
12 ounces water
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Red pepper flakes for serving
Parmesan, grated, for serving

Prep
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat. Stir in half of the pepperoni and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Stir in tomato sauce, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, pasta, and 12 ounces water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 12-14 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure pasta is absorbing the liquid.

Reduce heat; top with mozzarella and remaining pepperoni, and cover until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley. Serve with red pepper flakes and Parmesan just for fun.

Serves 10-12

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Categories: Main Dishes, Meals in 30 Min., One Pot, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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