I apologize about the photos, but we were actually camping. Our family went camping this past weekend at Myakka River State Park, just east of Sarasota, Fl. Packing food that will keep in a cooler for a couple days is always a little tricky, it can be brutally hot here in the afternoon. I made a large batch of chili that we made nachos, chili dogs and quesadillas out of, even considered putting it on our eggs one morning. It was perfect. I also pre baked a bunch of Mojo chicken legs and brought those ( I don’t like to bring any raw meat for fear of cross contamination) They were great for snacks, lunch and dinner, and easy to eat, no utensils needed. But like all good campers we needed to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. I always find that it is hard to keep the chocolate bars from melting in the heat, or if you put them in the cooler they get too hard and won’t melt in the s’mores, so that is where the Nutella comes in. I spread some Nutella on graham crackers and put them on a plate, then as we roasted the marshmallows we put them on top and added a top cracker and pulled the skewers out. Easy and so much less mess than traditional s’mores. I meant to bring bananas to slice and add too but I forgot. Doesn’t matter, they were still delicious. From now on I will be leaving the candy bars at home and bringing the jar of Nutella camping, besides it does double duty on sandwiches, apples and crackers for snacks.
Well here is another thing I won’t need to buy at the grocery store, I just made my first granola bars and they were easy! I am already thinking of new flavor combinations, They are perfect for on the go snacks and breakfasts.
Raspberry and Nutella Granola Bars
2 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c dried raspberries
1/2 c nutella
1/3 c brown sugar
Mix oats and raspberries in a large bowl. Melt butter over low in a saucepan, mix in nutella, sugar, and honey. Pour over oats and place in an 8×8 pan lined with tin foil, that has been sprayed with cooking spray of butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, cool and cut into bars.
Camping, I love it, especially this time of year, but all the planning and packing can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the food. Keeping everything at the right temperature, handling raw meats without hot water to wash up, making sure you have enough food and that it is cooked properly and that you have right condiments and ingredients can be a hassle. My solution is to make it ahead of time, freeze it and heat it up there. This eliminates the need for bringing raw foods that could spoil or contaminate the other stuff in the cooler, lessens the amount of ingredients you need to bring and keeps the food cold enough to last a couple of days. I try to bring foods that will feed a crowd and that can do double duty, this time I did an Asian style shredded pork, It can be eaten alone, on a sandwich (or hot dog bun) even mixed into eggs as an omelette. Even better its a dump and cook in the Crock Pot recipe which left me time to pack the day before.
Here’s how you do it:
2lb rib end pork roast
7 green onions (scallions) chopped into 2 inch pieces
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2T ginger chopped
5 T sweet chili sauce ( found in the asian section of the supermarket)
1T fish sauce
1T rice vinegar
1T soy sauce
!T lime juice
2 T fresh cilantro
Toss that all in the crock pot and cook on high 4 hours or low 6-8 hours, or until it shreds with a fork.
If you are packing it for camping, let it cool and put into a freezable storage container with enough of the juices to cover, and freeze overnight. Pack into a cooler with ice. When ready to eat, heat in a pan over your grill or camp stove. I bring a bag of shredded cabbage and asian dressing and mix that together in batches at the camp site, this keeps better than a mayo based salad. I serve it as a side or on top of the pork on sandwiches.
This tomato sauce is so easy and versatile, you don’t need to buy jarred ever again. I made a big batch with meatballs to take camping this weekend, it’s perfect for get togethers or potlucks.
Here is what you need:
1 carrot peeled diced
1 small onion diced
1/2 stalk of celery diced
3 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1T dried Italian seasoning
ground black pepper
2T Half and Half
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
In a medium sauce pan saute carrot, onion celery and garlic for 3 minutes over med heat until softened. Add tomatoes, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper to taste. simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with your spoon. (or longer if you need to, could even throw it in a crock pot on low in the am)
Your sauce should look like this and still be slightly chunky, if this is how you like it, stop here and serve over pasta. I wanted a smoother, creamier tomato sauce so I used the immersion blender to puree ( stop here if you don’t want to add the cream and it is a perfect pizza sauce) and then added the half and half and Romano cheese. This is what it looks like pureed with the cream and cheese. Serve over your favorite pasta, this amount is enough to cover one box of pasta.