Raise your hand if you love camping?
I love camping. I really do.
But let's be honest - it's a LOT of work!
Not to mention that we are very spoiled with dishwashers and appliances that speed the process of cooking and prep work for meals! For some reason, while camping it seems that meals just run into each other and just as you finish breakfast clean-up that it's already time to prep for lunch. I am not a fan of all prep it takes to prepare for camping nor the work it takes to unpack from camping.
This year I took a new approach to my pre-camp preparations.
I tried to prep and pre-cook as many meals as possible to cut down on the actual time while communing with nature.
Just returning from a camping trip with friends, I am sharing our Camping Meal Plan to inspire others for ideas beyond roasting hot dogs for days on end while camping.
But nothing compares to an evening spent around the fire amongst family and friends, laughing, roasting marshmallows and telling scary stories with the stars sparkling above. I love the time spent with family, unplugged and without distractions from the the outside world. I love the fact that the kids find enjoyment building fires, discovering the natural world and challenging each other to endless games of checkers or Mancala.
I reassured the kids that we could expect a few flops from our recipe testing, especially since while cooking over a fire or coals, you have less control over the heat and without knowing initial times, we may blacken an item or two. Sure enough, we experienced a few burnt items but all in all, we had fun with the process.
We loved using Pie Irons this trip and experimented with fillings and creations. If you have not tried these while camping before, I highly recommend. I remembered having these while growing up filled with jam and they are so delicious. It's also fun for individuals to cook your own meals over the open flame of a campfire.
Available Daily: Hot Cocoa Packets/Orange Juice
1. Connor’s Famous Potatoes – pre-cooked/diced potatoes, precooked bacon, grated cheese, green onion/salsa
3. Wildtree Crepes or Pancakes with filling options:
Sweet - Blueberry Sauce
Savory -Diced Ham and Cheese
4. Apple or Berry Fruit Crisp
5. Breakfast Burritos (meats, potatoes, cheese and salsa wrapped in tortilla)
6. Pie Iron Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Muffins baked in oranges - I "cheated" and used a store-purchased box of Jiffy blueberry muffin mix and mixed with milk and eggs. After scooping out the inside of the orange, we wrapped them in foil (with room to rise while baking) and set them on the coals. They were a huge hit and a welcome treat.
Available Daily: Lemonade
Fresh veggies and dip
2. Walking Tacos – We had fun using individual chip bags of Fritos or Doritos topped with ground turkey taco meat, grated cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa for a "walking taco salad". Zero mess to clean up unless you used a fork like the Hubs.
3. Grilled Cheese in the Pie Irons – bread, butter, sliced cheese
4. Make your own sandwich bar:
Crusty Bread with Salami and Cheese
Rye Bread with Pastrami and Cheese
Prosciutto and Crackers and Cheese
Turkey and Cheese
Peanut Butter and Jelly
5. Chili and Cornbread
6. Leftovers from dinners
Available Daily: Vegetables
1. Spaghetti and Meatballs - (make sauce and brown sausage prior to camp)
Grilled Garlic Bread
2. Ham/Pepper/Onion/Pineapple Kabobs
3. Pulled Pork Sandwiches with buns
Camp-roasted Hot Dogs or Brats/Oktoberfest Sausages with buns
Baked Beans made special with a few extra ingredients (molasses, onion, brown sugar, bacon)
6. Chicken or Shrimp Scampi
Basil Citrus Turkey Jerky
Vegetables for Snacking: Carrots, Cukes, Celery, Broccoli
Fresh Fruit: Watermelon, Grapes, Cherries, Mangoes, Bananas, Nectarines, Cantelope
Dried Fruit/Trail Mix or Granola
Cliff Z Fruit Bars - my kids LOVE these
Pie Iron Filled Dessert – dough and fruit filling
Popcorn on the Grill popped in foil satchels
Strawberries dipped in marshmallow then roasted on fire - these are amazing!
S-Mores Fixings - Graham Crackers/Marshmallows/Hershey Chocolate Bars
Roasted Starbursts - these were surprisingly good!
Rolo-filled marshmallows or S'M-Oreo's
Water bottles – fill and freeze before trip
Juice flavor packets to add to water
What are your favorite camping meals?