Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trying something new- Camping Foods

I haven't been up to a whole lot of blogging lately because my husband gets a whole month break during the summer and we end up packing in as much as we possibly can during that month. This last week was the first full week and we fit in a visit to in-laws, a camping trip, a trip to an amusement park, a beach trip, and had friends from out of town come to visit. Whew! On Monday, our family went camping for two nights in Yosemite National Park. SO gorgeous!! We got lucky and scored a reservation a friend had bought and wasn't able to use. I guess the reservations are in high demand and literally sell out in a minute or two of becoming avaiable online at the beginning of the year. If you haven't been there and live relatively close, I HIGHLY recommend going. It truly is amazing. We had a wonderful time and the kids LOVE to camp. My husband and I like it too, but it is a lot of work for the amount of time we actually spend there. I remind myself that the kids are making amazing memories and that makes it all worth it. When we go camping, we usually do the same old thing. Hot dogs. Cold cereal. Sandwiches. Smores. Not terribly exciting. Hot dogs get old after a while. So- I went online last week in search of some fun, new ideas. Unfortunately I forgot to save the links to a couple of blogs that I found but here are a few ideas that I really liked and ended up trying... (unfortunately I was too busy during the actual cooking of the meals to take any pics).
(Bridal Veil Falls)
We still ended up doing cold cereal (granola) and bagels with cream cheese for breakfast. And hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows for dessert--- Some things go with camping. :)
(My sweet daughter at breakfast-hence the very sleepy eyes still)
1. Keilbasa and Red Potatoes, Corn on the Cob
I bought a turkey keilbasa and sliced it up ahead of time. I put it in a ziploc bag in the cooler and reheated it in the pan over the fire when the potatoes were cooked. For the potatoes, I just washed them, poked them, wrapped them in foil, and set them in the coals. SO easy and they tasted great. They cooked up pretty fast. I'd say maybe in 15-20 minutes or so. For the cord, I left them in the husks, soaked them in water for a couple of minutes, then wrapped them in foil and put them in the coals as well. I turned them once. Then we unwrapped them, put them on corn-on-the-cob holders and served them with butter, salt, and pepper. (we'd done something similar at Girls camp as a youth but wrapped them in soaked newspaper instead. I like the foil a bit better, I think).
2. Walking Tacos
I knew my kids would love even just the name of these. I came across this idea on line and modified it a bit to fit our family. I started by browning ground turkey ahead of time and seasoning it with taco seasoning and storing it in a ziploc bag. I also brought a can of sliced olives, shredded cheese, a few tomatoes, chopped lettuce, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, a small jar of salsa, and a small container of fat-free sour cream, mixed with a packet of taco seasoning. I gave each family member a gallon-size ziploc bag to mix their ingredients in. The kids' favorite part was shaking up the bags to mix it all up. They were all giggling and saying they were going to "shake it crazy". The original idea is to eat it straight from the bag but we ended up dumping it onto paper plates. Maybe next time quart sized bags to make it a little easier.
3. Pita Pizzas
This is probably my favorite of the three cooked meals we made during the trip. And the easiest. I bought a couple of packs of whole wheat pita pockets. I brought a jar of Ragu Chunky style spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese, as well as pepperoni and sliced olives. I assembled the pizzas by putting everything into the halved pita pockets and wrapping them individually in foil. Then I set them in the coals for a few minutes and turned them once. They ended up gooey, and the bread actually hardened up to taste a lot like a pizza crust. Mmmm. They were awesome. The one thing I will do differently is remember to bring tongs. Duh. Can't believe I forgot that. We were able to improvise and use our marshmallow sticks but it wasn't nearly as easy.
Trying new meals and having success makes me that much more excited for the next trip and seeing what other creative ideas we can try out. (Bridal Veil Falls-at the bottom) For an eerily-similar post, click HERE. I swear my sister and I are living parallel lives. Too crazy! :)

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