Be A Happy Camper!

Be a happy camper!

With these quick and easy campfire meals

Camping season is here! After going through all the trouble of packing the car, traveling to your site, unpacking the car, and setting up your gear, why settle for a weekend of canned beans and hot dogs? Choose to feed the hunger with some delicious, quick, and easy camping meals.

9 camping meals that are sure to please

Paper Bag Bacon & Eggs

This is a great way to treat yourself to bacon and eggs for breakfast — without frying pans or plates to clean up afterwards. Simply line the bottom of a paper bag with a few strips of bacon to create a fatty “bacon nest” then crack in a couple of eggs. Fold the bag over, attach it to the end of a stick and roast over hot coals for about 7 to 10 minutes. Eat right out of the bag.

Transporting eggs from the fridge to the cooler to the car to the campsite has disaster written all over it. To prevent this—and save some cooler space—break your eggs ahead of time, scramble them, and pour into a plastic water bottle. At the campsite, simply pour them into paper bag (as directed above) and enjoy. This also works great for any old scrambled eggs made in the pan.

Camp-style Mac & Cheese

Before heading out, make a batch of your family’s favourite mac and cheese recipe. Divide into small foil pie tins prepared with butter (to prevent cheese from sticking). Wrap tightly in foil and store in resealable plastic bags in the cooler until you’re ready to eat.

When your campfire has burned down to hot coals, place the pie tins on the coals let them heat until the cheese is bubbling—approximately 8-10.

Skillet cornbread

This may seem a little daunting, but it’s well worth the prep time to have this delicious accompaniment to any campfire chili. All you need to do is pack your cast iron skillet, an oven mitt, a whisk, and premix your dry ingredients and your wet ingredients separately (see recipe below). Then, when it’s time for cornbread, all you need to do is mix the ingredients together, prep your skillet, and bake away.

When it comes to campfire baking, one secret to success is heat control. Cornbread is a quick bread that only needs a short while to fully cook. Too much heat will scorch the bottom, and not enough heat will have your tummy grumbly while you wait for days. The sweet baking spot is a section of your fire that could roughly be called medium-low on a stove-top burner. Alternately, you could use the medium-low setting on your camp stove to cook the cornbread.

The other secret is heat retention. If you have a lid that fits your cast iron pan, use it. If not, aluminum foil is what you need to cover the top. Be sure to crimp the edges to keep it in place and trap the rising steam and allow the cornbread to cook from the top down.

You’ll find a simple skillet cornbread recipe here. It’s delicious and highly addictive, so consider yourself warned.

Campfire Quesadillas

What better way to enjoy a weekend camping than with a little fiesta? Campfire quesadillas are easy to prepare and take little time to cook over the fire. The only special equipment that you need is a grill that can be placed over the fire. Oh, and oven mitts to keep your digits safe!

To build your quesadillas, spread one side of the tortillas with a little softened butter and place the buttered-side down on individual heavy-duty foil squares. Top each quesadilla with a mixture of your favourite cheeses—like white Cheddar and Monterey Jack—precooked veggies and meat of choice. Strips of seasoned chicken or steak work really well, and it’s easy to create your own fajita seasoning.

Fold each tortilla in half and seal into individual foil parcels. Cook on a hot campfire grill until warmed through and the cheese is melted—approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

Don’t forget to pack the guacamole, salsa, and sour cream!

Not your average dog on a stick

Okay, okay, hot dogs are a camping staple. But they get a little boring by day two, so add a little panache to the old hot dog routine. Instead of packing buns that end up getting squished in transit, grab a canister of crescent roll dough from the grocery store and pack it in the cooler.

When it comes time to roast your wieners, skewer one on a roasting stick, wrap with the dough, and roast away! Dip in ketchup and mustard—and whatever else you love on your dog—to keep it real.

One pot beef stroganoff

This easy to prepare meal will satisfy the hungriest campers after a long day of swimming, hiking, and biking—or whatever adventures you get up to. Pack a small yellow onion diced, 8-10 mushrooms sliced, 1-2 cubes of beef bouillon, ½ cup full fat sour cream, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, a pack of ground beef (approximately ½ lb), and a package of egg noodles.

When it’s time to cook, add the beef to the skillet and brown on both sides, cooking the meat through. Remove from skillet and tent with tinfoil to keep warm. Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté for about ten minutes. Add the beef bouillon cubes, thyme, and 1 ½ cups water, and bring liquid to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add half the package of noodles and cook according to the instructions. Stir occasionally to cook the noodles evenly.

When the noodles are tender, stir in the sour cream. Once combined, add the ground beef to the skillet and mix well. It’s time to serve—or eat straight from the skillet if that’s how you roll!

French loaf grilled cheese

This is a great lunch or dinner option that uses a few simple ingredients. All you need is to grab a loaf of French bread, cheese, butter, mustard (optional) and ham (or other meat). Cut the loaf of bread into 12 3/4-inch-thick slices to create six sandwiches, leaving 1/4 inch from the bottom of the loaf.

Spread a mixture of butter and mustard (of your choice) on every other slice of bread. Place the cheese and ham into the slots, then wrap the sandwich in foil and store in the cooler.

When you’re ready to eat, place the foil wrapped loaf on a grill or directly in the coals and turn frequently to cook evenly. Twenty minutes should be plenty of time to melt the cheese and get the loaf nice and hot. Remove foil and pull apart the sandwiches.

No-bake apple crisp

Heat your cast iron skillet over the campfire (or camp stove), while you cut apples into thin slices. Toss them into the skillet and cook until they start to get soft and release liquid into the pan. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and a shot of bourbon (if you have it). Mix together to burn off the alcohol and slightly reduce the liquid. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove from the heat and sprinkle your favourite granola on top. Top with a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice cream.

Since keeping ice cream solid is tricky business when camping, this is a great dessert for the first night. Or pack a container of ready-made whipped cream instead.

Campfire Cones

S’mores are the bomb, but prepare to have your mind blown with these chocolate and marshmallow-filled cones.

Simply stuff a waffle cone with some chocolate chunks (or chips), mini marshmallows, peanut pieces of graham cracker and whatever else strikes your fancy. Wrap the creation in foil and toss into the campfire until everything gets melted to gooey goodness. Carefully unwrap the foil and enjoy.

~

Breakfast tip: For simple morning-ready pancakes, premix the ingredients in a plastic bag and store in a cooler. When it’s time to make breakfast, snip a corner of the bag to easily dispense the batter in the pan.