Half the fun of camping is cooking on the campfire. Even moms who don't like to cook can appreciate the idea of not being in the kitchen to make dinner. You can prepare some of the food before you leave home. For example, sauces, chopped vegetables and cooked ground beef are easy to pack in a cooler and transport. Simple-to-make camping meals can be tasty and satisfying and will leave you more time to enjoy the outdoors.
A Dutch oven is all you need for an easy spaghetti or pasta dinner. Cooking ground beef, or ground turkey for a healthier option, and chopping onions and mushrooms at home makes the actual campfire cooking easier. The meat will be stuck together after traveling in the cooler, so crumble it into the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add 2 cups of water, uncooked pasta, a can of tomato sauce and the vegetables. Season with salt, bring to a boil, then simmer until the pasta is tender.
You do not need a Dutch oven to make a camping dinner -- foil is the camper's friend. For an easy meat-and-potatoes dinner, layer a chicken breast and sliced potatoes, carrots and onions in a large piece of foil. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Wrap the foil around the food and lay it in the campfire. Cook about 30 minutes, turning it over halfway through. This method works for just about any meat, or fish, and vegetable combination.
Sandwiches seem almost too simple, but they are an excellent choice for lunch for busy campers. They are quick to fix and fit well between camping activities. Using sandwich rolls instead of bread can make peanut butter and jelly or cold cuts and mustard a little more special and the sandwiches sturdier. Round out your lunch with cut raw vegetables and dip.
Roasted Hot Dogs
Next to toasting marshmallows, roasting hot dogs is the quintessential camping activity. Roast them on a grill, or skewer them on camping forks or sharpened sticks and hold them over the fire. Set out the hot dog fixings on the picnic table along with a pot of baked beans and a bag of chips. Use the same forks or sticks later to toast marshmallows.
The protein in eggs and sausage will give you and your family lots of energy to enjoy the great outdoors. In a skillet, fry some ground sausage and hash browns in olive oil. When the sausage is brown and the potatoes are soft, add eggs and scramble. Spoon the mixture into tortillas, sprinkle with cheese and top with salsa before folding into burritos. You can also make the egg and sausage mixture at home first, and heat it up over the camp stove or fire pit.
Pancakes are camping comfort food and especially welcome after a chilly night in the tent. Rather than make the pancakes from scratch, use a mix that requires only water to make the batter. Mix in mini chocolate chips or, if fruity flapjacks are more your style, blueberries or chopped apples. In a few minutes, you will be sipping orange juice and pouring warm maple syrup over your stack of fluffy pancakes while planning the day's adventures.
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