Hello smart shoppers. Gone camping yet? With the economy the way it is, you lucky people who have campers are just about the only ones who can take a vacation.
I've come up with a few recipes that are a cinch to make while camping. You can get pretty tired of the usual fare: burgers, hot dogs, chicken and steak. Kids love to be able to eat their dinner with a spoon.
What's for dessert? How about whoopie pies? Years ago, when we lived in Connecticut, we had them while visiting friends.
Whoopie pies are the best tasting cake/cookie on the planet. I got the recipe and it became a family favorite. I've seen different recipes in magazines, but none compare with the original. This is a great dessert; just make the cookies and filling at home, then assemble them at the camp site.
MEXICAN FIESTA (NIB)
This recipe is an original; and great for camping. Serve it as is, or topped with grated cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes and lettuce and sour cream, if you choose. Roll it in a burrito or tuck it in taco shells.
1 pound ground beef (preferably fresh ground fat-free), or ground turkey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can (14-1/2 to 16-ounce) tomatoes, smashed
1 can (14-1/2 to 16-ounce) corn with liquid
1 can (14-1/2 to 16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1-1/2 cups beef or chicken stock or bouillon
1 small green pepper, seeded, cut in thin strips
1/2-cup uncooked rice
Brown meat in oil in skillet, leaving in coarse chunks. Add onion, cook until translucent. Add seasonings, tomatoes, corn, beans and stock; bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes. Add rice; cook 10 minutes more. Add green pepper and cook 10 minutes or until rice is tender, adding more stock or water if necessary.
HOBO STEW (NIB)
1 pound virtually fat-free fresh ground beef or ground turkey
1/2-pound hot dogs* (sliced)
1 envelope (1-ounce) onion gravy mix
1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce
1 can (14-1/2 to 16-ounce) mixed vegetables or peas and carrots, drained, or 1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup broth, either beef or chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
*Note: Use low-fat beef or turkey hotdogs.
If using frozen vegetables, cook until tender in part of the water; then add water to skillet. If using canned peas and carrots or frozen vegetables, add one 14-1/2 to 16-ounce can of potatoes, rinsed, drained and cubed. (NOTE: canned mixed vegetables contain potatoes.)
In a large skillet, brown meat while breaking up; brown hotdog slices. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat until hot and bubbly.
Serve in bowls with biscuits or bread and a butter substitute.
GIRL SCOUT'S CAMPFIRE STEW (NIB)
When my daughter was in Girl Scouts, this dinner in a bowl was everyone's favorite.
Brown 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey, stir in 1 can condensed vegetable alphabet soup, undiluted. You can also add canned potatoes, rinsed, drained and cubed.
Simmer for about 10 minutes.
HOT ONIONS (NIB)
Enough for a crowd and freezes great. Top your hot dogs or hamburgers with New York-style hot onions.
3 pounds onions, peeled, quartered and sliced thin
2 tablespoons Canola oil
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon catsup
1/2-teaspoon black pepper
Few shakes of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper (optional)
Sauté onions in oil, adding a little water if necessary, until transparent. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook over low heat until onions are tender.
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2-cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4-teaspoon cream of tartar
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoon vanilla
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until well blended, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drop heaping teaspoons onto cookie sheet, spoon into circles. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool. Sandwich two cookies together stuffed with filling.
3 heaping tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4-cup solid shortening (such as Crisco)
Combine all ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer at medium speed. Fill cookies.
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