Camping Menu Plan

My husband is quite the outdoorsy guy. However, I never have been that much into the outdoors … that is until about 5 years ago. He finally talked me into trying out tent camping. I truly thought that I was going to hate it and that then we would never have to do it again. I was totally wrong. The exact opposite happened. I LOVED it! Our first trip was only for one night. The next trip was 2 nights, then I got brave and we went for 4 nights. After that, I was totally hooked!

In April of 2011, we went took my bravery to a new level. We went further away and to a place that had lots of hiking trails. Once again, I did not expect to enjoy something. Big surprise … I was completely wrong. I couldn’t wait to go camping there again so we could try out even more of the hiking trails. So we decided to go back again for a week in the Fall of 2011. We went on long hikes and had such an amazing time. Before we came home from the Fall trip, we reserved our campsite for this Spring. Our Spring trip is now only a few days away. Excited does not begin to explain our feelings. We can’t wait to observe all of the beauty of spring in bloom and enjoy some quality family time together.

Tonight my husband and I sat down to plan our menu for the trip. Sure, we could easily just have burgers, hot dogs and brats all of the time. But that would get boring for us pretty fast. We also do some dutch oven cooking while we are camping. It varies up our options for cooking so much. You can use the dutch oven for breakfasts, soups, casseroles, and even desserts! I am so excited about our menu that I felt like sharing it with all of you out there reading my blog. Maybe it will inspire some of you to try out something new! Oh and we don’t really do anything special or fancy for lunch each day. It is pretty much sandwiches each day for lunch since we usually are out on hikes and activities during the day. So, I won’t be including our lunch plans in the blog post.

We will arrive on a Friday afternoon. So we chose an easy meal since we will have to set up camp once we get there. Bratwurst, and chips … plus the kids will want to have smores too. So that will be it for the first night.

Saturday morning we will have buttermilk pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee. Got to have the coffee after all! Ha ha! Saturday night, we are going to have pork chops and stuffing in the dutch oven. This is such a simple recipe but it tastes so wonderful with so many levels of flavor.

Sunday – We opted for a simple breakfast of cereal for this day. We don’t want to get burnt out on cooking every meal. Dinner will be one of our faves at home. Tacos! It is just as easy in the middle of the woods as it is at home, I promise!

Monday – Breakfast: Biscuits, sausage and gravy. The biscuits will be cooked in the dutch oven by my awesome hubby. He is the biscuit maker in our house. 🙂 I don’t have his recipe, but if any of you want it, I may be able to persuade him to give it to me for you all. 😉 Dinner: Chicken Kebabs. We will add some red onion, pineapple, sweet potatoes and green peppers in with the chicken to round out the meal. Then we will have Chocolate Cherry Surprise Cake in the dutch oven for dessert. Oh my rich, chocolatey goodness!

Tuesday – Breakfast: Pancakes, bacon and juice. Dinner: Chili Cornbread bake in the dutch oven. This is another simple recipe. Pour canned chili into the dutch oven. Top with cornbread mix that has been mixed according to package directions. Then you cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until done.  We will use 2-3 cans of chili to feed all 5 of us.

Wednesday – Breakfast: Another easy breakfast day, just cereal or poptarts. Dinner: Burgers and chips. Then for dessert a pineapple upside down cake in the dutch oven. Fruity, cakey … who could ask for anything more?

Thursday – Pancakes, breakfast meat, juice. Dinner: Grilled Chicken with a side of bacon spuds in the dutch oven.

Friday is the day we leave to head back home. Breakfast will be biscuits and whatever breakfast meat is leftover. Then lunch will depend on if we still have sandwich stuff left or not. If not, we will just stop at a fast food place for lunch on the way home. Below you will find most of the dutch oven recipes the we will be preparing on this trip. I hope you guys are inspired to try some of this out on your next camping trip or even in your own back yard!

Bacon Spuds

Ingredients: 1 large potato per person

1/3 onion per person

2 or 3 slices bacon per person

salt and pepper

Instructions: Set the dutch oven on coals to heat. Slice the bacon into small pieces. Peel and cut onions into 1/8ths and break them apart. Peel spuds and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Dump the bacon in the D.O. and stir until about half-cooked. Spread the bacon evenly over the bottom of the D.O. Spread the onions on the bacon. Pour the spuds on the onions. Shake quite a bit of salt and pepper on top. Set the D.O. over a solid bed of coals. Place the lid on and cover with coals.
Cook for about 45 minutes, turning the D.O. and lid in opposite directions every 10 minutes or so. The bacon grease in the bottom should keep things from burning, but it’s fine to check after 20 minutes if you’re getting antsy. The spuds are done when they are tender to a fork.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Topping Cake Batter
4 Tbs. butter 1 yellow cake mix
1 cup brown sugar 1 cup pineapple juice
8 pineapple rings 1/3 cup water
8 maraschino cherries 3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
Prepare Cake Topping: Melt butter in bottom of a 12″ Dutch         oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter being careful not to touch         the sugar once it has begun to dissolve into the butter. Carefully place         pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar, 7 around the outside and 1         in the center. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple         ring.

Prepare Cake Batter: In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, pineapple juice, water, eggs and oil; mix well. Spoon cake batter carefully over the top of pineapple rings. Spread batter evenly to edges.

Bake: Cover Dutch oven and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 45 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes or so in the oven with the lid cracked. Next run a rubber spatula around the inside edge of the oven to loosen the cake. To turn the cake out, first lay a piece of parchment paper across the top of the oven so it lays flat and replace the lid so that it holds         the paper in place. Make sure you have an available lid stand resting on your table for the next step. Using gloved hands place one hand on the lid and the other hand under the oven and carefully lift and flip the oven over so the cake falls onto the lid. Rest the oven upside down on the lid stand         and tap the bottom and sides of the oven lightly with your hand to make sure the cake didn’t stick. Then lift the oven off the lid. The cake will be resting on the parchment lined lid and can be cooled this way or slid off the lid using the parchment paper. Allow cake to cool slightly before service.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream as topping.

Serves: 8-10

Chocolate Cherry Surprise Cake

1 chocolate cake mix; prepared as directed 1 egg
1 (20 oz.) can cherry pie filling 3 Tbs. sugar
1 (8 oz.) brick cream cheese 1 tsp. vanilla
Pour prepared cake batter into a greased 12″ Dutch oven. Spoon cherry pie filling into clumps over cake batter. In a small mixing bowl cream together cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Drop by tablespoons over top of cake.

Place lid on oven. Bake using 8-10 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 1 hour or until top center of cake springs back when touched.

Serve warm with whip cream as topping.

Serves: 10-12

Dutch Oven Pork Chops

6 pork chops; center cut, bone in 1 (20 oz.) can sliced peaches
salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 box stove top stuffing for pork 1 Tbs. dijon mustard
4 Tbs. butter; melted 1 Tbs. dry minced onion
1 1/4 cups hot water
To a 12″ Dutch oven add stuffing mix (including seasoning packet), butter, hot water and juice from canned peaches; stir to mix then spread evenly. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and arrange over top of stuffing. In a small bowl mix together preserves, mustard and minced onion. Spoon preserve mixture over top of chops and spread to coat. Arrange sliced peaches over the top.

Cover oven and bake using 8-10 briquettes bottom and 16-18 briquettes top for 60 minutes.

Serves: 6


1 Comment

  1. Ohio Jazz said,

    April 8, 2012 at 3:05 am

    It looks like you are well informed regarding this.

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