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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summertime Camping

I've neglected my blog a bit since Summer has hit the Great Basin; Kevin and I have been camping and kayaking every spare minute we can! Our little Aljo trailer has been getting quite the workout!

The reason we switched to a trailer from tent-camping,honestly, was comfort. I was tired of sleeping on an air mattress that usually was flat, and on top of ROCKS, by morning. I also love the fact that I have my own bathroom available in the middle of the night. I am not a big fan of going out in the dark in bear country in search of a restroom! Just ask all the folks camping in Zion 10 years ago....yes, I pretty much woke the entire campground with my screams when I ran into a giant deer unexpectedly....

We didn't change our cooking techniques, though. Well, not much. I have to admit the microwave has come in very handy on a couple of rainy nights!

This year we 'upgraded' to a Camp Chef 2 burner propane camp stove. It has amazing control on the burners, which has resulted in much less torched food. The ol' Coleman just didn't have the control I like to prepare meals!

I also made a cool chalkboard menu for the's a nice touch to remind myself in the morning what needs to be defrosted- and it helps me to remember what I made when I take a photo of the chalkboard!
Here are a couple of examples from the last trip...

These two dinners were awesome. Kevin loves the fact that camping dinners can rival home dinners! All it takes is some menu planning, strategic use of the refrigerator/freezer in the trailer and a combination of a charcoal BBQ and the propane stove.

Santa Maria style steak is very easy to prepare. I always have a batch of Santa Maria seasoning made up...equal parts of table salt, ground black pepper and granulated garlic. Be sure you DON'T use kosher salt or freshly cracked pepper or it won't be the right consistency! Sprinkle your meat with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and smoosh it all around in a gallon size plastic baggie. I also added 1/2 cup of red wine to the baggie and let it marinate all day. (I added a couple of lamb chops to this batch since I LOVE lamb and Kevin hates it- it's a good opportunity for me to have lamb while he's happy with a steak)

Hobo-pack au gratin potatoes are easy to prepare, too. I sprayed a little cooking spray on a large piece of foil and layered thin sliced potatoes and onions, flour, cheese and about 1 tablespoon of butter, chopped into bits. Wrap well in the foil and add to the BBQ. I usually put the potatoes on as soon as the coals are ready since the meat doesn't take as long. We hobo-pack a lot of veggies while camping; might as well use the heat from the BBQ!

The potatoes take about 30 minutes to get lovely golden brown and tender.
I added a green salad with tomatoes from the garden and corn on the cob for a complete and lovely dinner.

I also made a delicious spaghetti dinner on another night- I found that if I pre-cook the spaghetti at home and store it in a gallon plastic baggie in the fridge, I can portion it out with some homemade sauce and cheese into hobo packs and toss it on the BBQ also. 12 minutes later, we had a hot, cheesy pasta dinner!
The cheesy biscuits were biscuits in a can that I baked in our little toaster oven.

I hope this gives your some good ideas for easy meals that taste wonderful while camping!
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