I start with the first recipe on this blog. My daughter actually invented this and I painted it while we were at camp. It was such a lovely time.

The rest of the recipes can all be found on their own posts on this blog. Click the titles to take you to their original pages!


Heirloom Gingerbread Cookies

6 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 & 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks butter
1 Cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Cup unsulfured molasses

Mix together all dry ingredients with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together, butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients and molasses altering cups of each until done and a dough forms.

Divide dough into 4 balls and flatten. This dough works best if you use it right away but can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated. Allow to come to room temp. before baking with it.

When ready to bake, roll out dough onto Silpat. First cover dough with a sheet of plastic wrap, then roll out with the rolling pin. Cut out cookies and gently remove negative or extra dough from around them. You can do this by rolling up the extra dough with your finger once you pull up a piece. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 Farenheit oven. Let cool on the Silpat on the cookie sheet while another batch bakes. Then transfer carefully with a metal spatula to your storage container. This way your very large cookies won’t break. Put layers of wax paper between cookies so they won’t stick together in storage.



No Knead, Quick Bread for a Dutch Oven

3 Cups flour
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cups HOT water

Mix ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, let rise in bowl for 3 hours. Turn dough out, scrape together and flour surface. Do not knead. Put parchment paper into bowl and dough on top. Let rise again for 30 minutes while oven and Le Creuset Dutch oven BOTH pre-heat to 450 degrees F. After preheating place parchment paper with dough on top into Dutch oven and cover with lid. Bake for 30 minutes. For a crisper crust take out parchment after baking, leave lid off and return to oven for 10 more minutes. Ta-Da!


Ocean inside and out.

With my new saucepan I warmed up some of a wonderful French seafood dish called Mussels Bernaise. Along with my love of ocean colors comes my equal love of seafood. I would eat it every day if I could. (Although not this recipe- I would get so fat!)

Mussels Bernaise
(Healthier Version and Unhealthy Options LOL)

1 package 1-3 lbs frozen or cleaned fresh mussels
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter (unhealthy? use 4 Tablespoons here)
1 Cup white wine
1 Cup milk (unhealthy? then use heavy cream here)
1-2 Tablespoons Tarragon depending on taste
Kosher salt to taste

Melt butter in large pan, such as a dutch oven. Add garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant- just a minute or two. Add the other ingredients and stir before adding the mussels. Simmer, covered, for 5-7 minutes for frozen mussels, 3 minutes for fresh. When done discard any that do not open and serve warm. This is excellent with the easy bread recipe here.


Ghost in the Graveyard

Pour your favorite root beer into a glass. Add drops of black food dye until the root beer is black as well. Plop in a scoop of vanilla ice cream and watch it swirl and whirl around!

For the adult version, fill a smaller glass with Blavod (black vodka) and add the vanilla ice-cream for a spooky effect!




Eclair pastries:

1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup milk
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon regular sugar
1 Cup regular flour
4 large eggs

Pre-heat your oven to 425- do this first! It takes about 30 minutes for most ovens to get this hot.

This is your choux dough. Put the water, milk, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and heat until butter is melted and the mixture is simmering. Take off the heat and quickly mix in the cup of flour. Keep stirring with a spoon while heating the pan on medium, until the dough comes together in a loose ball and it leaves a film on the bottom of the pan. It might take a little longer than you think.

Put the mixture in a bowl and use a hand or stand mixer to mix it for a couple of minutes until it cools off. It has to be cool enough for when you add the eggs. You don’t want scrambled eggs in your choux! Next, mix in one egg at a time. Then put your mixture into a ziplock bag and snip a bit off the end.

Now pipe, onto a silicone or parchment covered cookie sheet, eclairs about 3/4″ wide and about 5″ long. You will get about 18-20 eclairs from this recipe. They will not be big like the long-johns in your local doughnut shop. Think more like skinny twinkies.

The eclairs are a three-part recipe. After you pastries are baked, you can take a break and store them until the next day, covered, but not in an airtight container, then fill and top them.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then, without opening your oven (you want that lovely steam build-up), turn it down to 325 and continue to bake for 30 more minutes. When done, the eclairs will be golden brown.  When you break them open they are hollow inside. This is where the custard will be.  Work on your custard as soon as you put your pastries in the oven because you want it to be cooled off.

Easy Custard

1/2 Cup sugar
8 teaspoons cornstarch
2 Cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Then, while mixing, pour in the milk slowly so the cornstarch doesn’t get lumpy. Add the 2 eggs yolks and the vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. Cook about a minute. Then pour custard into a wide bowl (so it will cool off), cover, and put in the fridge. Resist the urge to eat all of it!

Easy Chocolate Dip

2/3 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup heavy cream

Put chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Boil heavy cream in a small pan. Pour cream into bowl with chips. Let stand about 2 minutes. Stir from the middle until a lovely dark sauce is formed.

Now to put everything together! Poke 3 spaced holes in the bottom of every eclair with a pastry tip. I use the same tip that I’m going to fill them with the custard. When done put your custard in a ziplock or pastry bag with the tip and pipe the custard into the holes at the bottom. It will be messy. I just used the cookie sheet as a work space. Leave them face-down with the holes up. When done dip the top of the eclair into the chocolate dip and put bottom down on to the cookie sheet. Let them rest until the chocolate is kind of set up.

My family ate most of them before the chocolate set up! Store covered, but not airtight in the fridge. You want them to stay crisp! Enjoy them with a cup of tea, or just guilty-like hiding from your kids!

I almost didn’t get a picture! This bread went fast!

Easiest Wood-Fired Artisan Bread

3 Cups regular flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (use the fastest rise kind, like for bread machines)
1 & 1/2 Cups hot water (about 120 degrees Fahrenheit)

This recipe uses a cast-iron dutch oven to achieve the bread texture. I have not tried this with a Le Creuset type enameled oven, just in a regular Lodge one. I have not been able to find much information about Le Creuset being used on a campfire so I played it safe.

Before you leave for camp measure out the dry ingredients into a zip-lock bag and mix. Seal the bag and take it with you. When you are ready to bake the bread put your kettle on to warm (but not boil) your water. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the hot water and mix. Cover and put in the area of your fire to stay warm while it rises an hour.

After an hour (and this is a very loose timeline- it can be way longer) put a piece of foil out and drop the dough onto it. (At home I use parchment, but foil is better over a fire and less likely to burn.) Transfer the dough on top of the foil back to the bowl. Do not knead the bread. Cover again and let rise 1/2 hour longer. Put your empty dutch oven in a bed of embers and put embers on top of the lid. Let it get warm for 1/2 hour while your bread is rising that second time.

Then, bring your bowl to the dutch oven and transfer the foil with the dough on top to the dutch oven. Cover, Return any embers that fell off the top and cook for 35 minutes, turning the whole dutch oven 1/4 the way around and then the lid 1/4 the way around about every 8 minutes. Doing this keeps any hot spots from developing and burning your bread.

Here is the best secret about this recipe. Even if you burn the bread, it is still absolutely delicious! Especially dipped in soup or tea!


Campfire Recipes

I start here because this lovely drink is the best thing in the world for when you are tired or down. It cheers everyone up and nourishes the soul. It makes you slow down and savor your time and it blesses others when you make it for them. You can use any metal container to boil water in for tea. Make sure it has some sort of spout so you don’t burn yourself pouring it. We used an old granite-ware coffee pot for years until we finally bought an old copper simplex kettle on ebay. You need a grate and a smallish fire (see previous entry on fire building). If your pot doesn’t whistle, just keep an eye on it. When it boils pour the water into a container you can steep the tea in. We use an old coffee carafe form Thermos. Put 4 teabags in for a full pot of tea. Let steep less than 5 minutes. Fish out bags and serve with honey and milk or my DD’s recipe for a London Fog Tea Latte‘. Biscotti go really well with tea!

Civilization at last!

Life is short… well you know the rest. Cupcakes are really hard to do in a dutch oven, so make these before you leave. They will be a welcome snack treat with tea after your crew is done setting up camp. Travel with the icing in a bag and delight your kids with letting them decorate their treats. Make sure to squeeze as much juice out of the peaches as possible. The juice can throw off the balance of the recipes.

Peach Pie Cupcakes with Sweet Cream Peach Icing

For the Cupcakes:
Use a regular white cake box cake mix to make this quickly while you are packing for camp. Reserve 1/2 Cup of the mix. Then, peel and cut two fresh and ripe peaches into small pieces. squeeze the pieces gently with paper towels until a lot of the juice is gone. Alternately, use 1 can of peach pieces, dry with the paper towels and go to the next step. Dredge the pieces in 1/2 cup of the cake mix that you reserved.
Make the cake mix. When done stirring, gently fold in the dredged peaches and any leftover mix in the bowl. Bake according to package directions. Cool and then frost with the icing.
For the Icing:
Beat 1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) of softened butter in a mixer until smooth. Add 2 Tablespoons of milk, 1/4 Cup of diced and dried off peach pieces, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Then add in 1 & 1/2 cups more of powdered sugar and whip. Put into an icing bag and chill until ready to use.

Breakfast is the meal to get your troop on their feet in the morning! Keep it simple!
Fried Eggs and Toast
Heat a skillet on a grate over a medium-high small campfire while you get out 2 eggs per person, butter, salt, and bread. Toast a piece of bread for each egg while frying the eggs. (You can put the bread directly on the grate, or on foil on the grate to toast.) Put 1 Tsp butter in skillet and swish it all around. Break eggs and pour straight from the shell into the pan. Dust with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, then flip over. For runny yolks cook about 30 seconds-1 minute more. For cooked yolks pierce the yolk, cook 2 more minutes, flip and cook about another 30 seconds. Watch the eggs closely, as there will be more hot spots on a campfire than on your stove top at home. Be prepared to move and or turn the skillet to keep the eggs from burning.  When done, serve either on top of toast or with toast.

After a morning hike or other pursuits, make an easy lunch that your family can relax with and have fun.
Cheese Fondue
1/2 clove cut garlic
1& 1/2 Cups white wine
4 Cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1 loaf French bread or baguette for dipping
Rub the cut half of a garlic clove all over the inside of a small saucepan. Cook on your camp stove or over a small fire on a grate.
Bring 1 & 1/2 cups of white wine to boil in the saucepan and add
4 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese, just 1/2 Cup at a time, stirring and melting completely before adding the next 1/2 Cup of cheese.
When it is all melted, set the pot on a thin bed of coals while dipping and eating, making sure to turn and stir so no hot spots develop.

Me with my toddler boy (in a sling on my back) hiking in a wildlife refuge.

Pull out the stops here with something delicious, yet easy. Steak Brochettes (kebobs) and Chimichurri sauce. Then side it with grilled corn on the cob and Bernaise butter for flavor. Make the Chimichurri  and butter before you leave home and it will be ready to eat quick as a cricket.

3 Cups packed fresh parsley
1 Cup packed fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
Chop in food processor or dice with a knife until finely chopped. Then whisk in:
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bernaise Butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 Tablespoon dried
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsely, or 2 teasppons dried
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, omit; we like pink salt)
1 stick, or 8 Tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces
In a small saucepan on medium heat cook the garlic until fragrant; about 1 minute. Then turn down to low and melt, but do not cook the butter. Add the spices and salt and stir. Let the mixture cool down enough to thicken, but not completely solidify and turn out into a container to store it in.

Cut the steaks into chunks, salt it and skewer to roast either over a grate or in a pan. If you cook it to medium or medium-rare it will have a wonderful taste! Dip the hot steak into the cold chimichurri. Pull the husk down from the corn, but do not remove. Instead use it as a handle while you roast the corn on your grate. Turn until done, then slather with the special butter. YUM.


Dump Cake
I know! Another dessert! But hey, it’s a great one and not everyone knows how to fix it. You really can’t mess it up as long as you line your dutch oven with foil, spray it with cooking spray and keep turning it and checking it. You will use a box of cake mix and a can of pie filling (you can pick whatever flavor combination you like- our favorites are: cherry & chocolate and apple & vanilla). Here we used cherry and vanilla.  Mix them together and pour into the dutch oven. Cut a few pieces of regular butter up and sprinkle it over the top. Cook over coals and with coals on the lid for about 30-45 minutes, turning the bottom and lid every 10 minutes. Check periodically and when it’s done, let it cool a bit before digging in! The crusty outside is my favorite part.





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