Archive for November, 2016

Camp Fire Recipe: Tortellini Stew

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

I am always looking for ways of sneaking in more vegetables into my family’s diet.  While my husband is not fond of soup or stew, he can tolerate this dish especially if I had a secret ingredient.  What is that ingredient?  Well, you may have noticed that there is no meat in this recipe. It is essentially a vegetable stew with cheese filled pasta.  To make this dish more rib sticking, you can add shredded chicken or turkey.  If you do not have either one of these, consider adding chicken sausage with sun-dried tomatoes.

Camp Fire Recipe:  Tortellini Stew


Liquid or spray oil

1 small onion

1 red bell pepper

2 medium zucchinis

2 14.5 ounces of chicken broth

28 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes

15.5 ounce can of white beans

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 Tablespoon of dried basil

8 to 12 ounces of dried, cheese filled tortellini



  1. Start the fire to prepare the coals.
  2. Lightly grease a 10 inch Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  3. Finely chop the small onion and place in the Dutch oven.
  4. Cut the red bell pepper in half and place one half in a bag.  Finely chop the other half and place in the 10 inch Dutch oven.
  5. Cut each zucchini in half and slice into 1 inch pieces.  Place in Dutch oven.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth.
  7. Add tomatoes to the Dutch oven.
  8. Drain and rinse the white beans.  Pour into the 10 inch Dutch oven.
  9. Add the spices.
  10. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and move to a heat resistant surface.
  11. On that surface, arrange 12 prepared coals in a circle.
  12. Put the Dutch oven on top of these coals.
  13. Top the lid with 28 prepared coals.
  14. Cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid comes to a boil.
  15. Add tortellini to the stew and cook for another 25 minutes.
  16. Serve with crusty bread. 

As everyone knows, I am a cheese lover.  Yes, this dish is wonderful the way it is but if you really want to take it up a notch, consider adding some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the top of the soup. Or, take a loaf of crusty bread, cut it in half, and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Grill to melt the cheese and serve.

Camp Fire Recipe: Apple and Raspberry Cookie Cobbler

Monday, November 28th, 2016

My grandmother always said the best part of every meal is dessert.  While I do agree, I do tend to only have sweets for special occasions. I also ensure that I include sweets in all Easter gift baskets.   Having said that I limit my sweets, this dish does give me some justification when it comes to camp meal planning.  Yes, I know it is full of sugar but the raspberries do add an element of fiber due to the seeds.  Well, at least that is what I tell myself as I sit down and enjoy a piping hot bowl of cobbler.

Below is a simple recipe that utilizes a unique ingredient and that is cookie dough.  If you do not like apples and/or raspberries, do not hesitate to substitute other fruits.  The key is to use one canned and one fresh fruit. 

Camp Fire Recipe:  Apple and Raspberry Cookie Cobbler


Spray or liquid oil

2 21 ounce cans of apple pie filling

12 to 14 ounce bag of unsweetened frozen raspberries or 3 cups of fresh raspberries

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

16.5 ounce roll of refrigerator sugar cookie dough that is at room temperature

1 cup of quick cooking oats



  1. Prepare the coals by first building a fire.
  2. Grease the inside of a 12 inch Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the apple pie filling, raspberries, and ¼ cup of granulated sugar. 
  4. Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom of the 12 inch Dutch oven.
  5. In a medium bowl, take the thawed sugar cookie dough and break up into small pieces.
  6. Add the quick cooking oats to the cookie dough and mix.
  7. Sprinkle the oat and cookie dough mixture on top of the fruit layer.
  8. Top this layer with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  9. Place the lid on the 12 inch Dutch oven and move to a heat resistant surface.
  10. On the heat resistant surface, arrange 12 prepared coals in a circle.
  11. Put the 12 inch Dutch oven on top of these coals.
  12. Position 24 prepared coals on the lid of the Dutch oven.
  13. Cook for 55 minutes.
  14. Serve.

Yes, this dish is wonderful just the way it is but why not get the kids involved.  What I mean by this is why not top this dish with some ice cream.  While you may not want to try to keep ice cream cold while at camp, consider having the kids make “kick the can or throw the bag” ice cream.  It will not only keep them occupied while the cobbler is cooking but it will also teach them the art of ice cream making.

Camp Fire Recipe: 3 Ways to Upgrade your Ramen Noodles

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Ok, yes I lived on ramen noodles when I was in college but frankly I cannot bring myself to eat them when I am camping.  After seeing another camper “fancy up” his ramen, I decided to give them one more try.  Below are some of my ideas.  If you are concerned with weight, choose to use dehydrated ingredients such as meat and vegetables.  On the other hand, if packing weight is not a problem, consider using canned or fresh.  The last approach is to use a combination of both.  The option you choose simply depends on your time and required pack weight.

The keys to upgrading your ramen noodles are planning and preparation.  To save space in your pack, first break up the ramen noodles and store them in a resealable plastic bag.  Then, organize your dehydrated meats and vegetables in another bag.  Finally, if you have a sauce packet in your ramen noodle or you want to use powdered cheese, arrange these items in another resealable bag. 

Once you get to camp, the simple recipe for the upgraded ramen noodles is simple.  Bring two cups of water to a boil and add meat and vegetables.  Take the pot off the fire and add the noodles along with sauce.  Cover and insulate the pot to keep it hot and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before eating.

If you want some easy recipes to follow, check out these recipes below. 

Savory Vegetables and Ramen Noodles


1 package of ramen noodles

½ cup of dehydrated black beans

½ cup of dehydrated vegetables

3 packets of soy sauce or sauce to taste

Follow general directions described previously.

Noodles Raminara


1 package of ramen noodles

½ cup of dehydrated ground beef

½ cup of dehydrated peppers, onions, and mushrooms

½ cup of dehydrated tomato sauce

1 Tablespoon of dried Parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to taste

Hints:  add tomato sauce to the meat and vegetable step describe previously.  Sprinkle the parmesan cheese right before serving.


Cheesy Ramen


1 package of ramen noodles

½ cup of dehydrated ham, chopped

½ cup of dehydrated green peas

3 Tablespoons of cheddar cheese powder

2 Tablespoons powdered milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Hint:  add the milk and cheddar cheese powder the same time you add the ramen noodles.

While the recipes above showcase an upgrade to the plain old ramen noodles, do not stop there.  It is very easy to customize your own ramen dish.  Just add a meat of your choice, combine that with some vegetables, and add a sauce.