Sunday, July 14, 2013

Camp Cooking with Dutch Oven

We really enjoyed our camping trip to the U.P.
When I say camping I don't want to give anyone the impression of roughing it! The kind of camping I like to do comes with electricity and showers.
We choose to camp in Michigan State Parks which have both!

One of my favorite things to do when camping is pull out the cast iron Dutch oven!
Last year we broke down and finally bought one, I had been wanting one for years. It is great to take camping and I love using it! How else can you have lasagna and cake on a camping trip?

I am not an expert, and I am sure there are people that could cook circles around me and have amazing dishes that  they serve. But we all have to start somewhere, sometime.  One of the books that got me started was Camp Cooking. It is a fun cook book with a lot of ideas and recipes for
the camping trip. An added bonus is the vintage pictures. I especially like the one of a woman ironing at the camp site! I don't even iron at home.... :)




I don't like to spend a lot of time cooking while we are vacationing, I would rather spend it on the beach but I do manage a few dishes each trip. One of the girls favorites is a breakfast casserole.

Sausage/Egg Breakfast Casserole

12 slices bread, cubed
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
18 eggs
1/3 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound cooked sausage

Place liner in Dutch oven (you could skip this step and just grease the Dutch oven) Spray with canola oil. Add bread cubes and pour butter over bread and then add shredded cheese.  Beat eggs and milk.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour eggs over the bread and cheese. Place cooked sausage on top.

Cover.
Bake for 30-45 minutes,  using 6-8 briquettes on bottom and 12-14 briquettes on top.

For Dinner the favorite, hands down is Lasagna.

You could really change this recipe around to use what you like such as sausage instead of hamburger, different kinds of cheese or add spinach etc...

This is the recipe I use




Lasagna 
1 pound hamburger
1 jar spaghetti sauce with vegetables
3/4 cup water
1 pound box lasagna noodles (I use oven ready)
1- 24 oz. cottage cheese
1- 12 oz. package shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese






Brown hamburger, add water and spaghetti sauce. Layer ingredients in your Dutch oven.

1) 1 cup Sauce mixture
2) Uncooked noodles
3) Cottage Cheese
4) Mozzarella cheese
5)Parmesan Cheese

Repeat Layers. Bake for one hour.
9 briquettes on bottom and 12 briquettes on top


Last, but not least: dessert. The first time I made this I used homemade, canned, apple pie filling. I didn't have any on hand this time, so I used apple pie filling from the store. I didn't like it nearly as much as I did the first time I made it. I am not a big fan of store bought apple pie filling. If I could do over, I would have bought cherry pie filling instead.


Easy Apple Cobbler

1 package cake mix (can use cinnamon, regular, yellow or caramel.
3 cans of apple pie filling (I used 2 quarts when using homemade)
1-12 oz. can Sprite (or other lemon lime soda)

Line oven with liner or foil. Pour in cans of pie filling. Cover with dry cake mix. Pour 3/4 can of soda over cake mix. Place lid on Dutch oven.

8 briquettes on bottom and 15 on top. Cook 35-40 minutes.



Some basic Dutch Oven tips:
When cooking, rotate the Dutch oven about every 10 minutes to help distribute the heat more evenly.
The lid can also be rotated in the opposite direction about 1/3 turn  every ten minutes.

One briquette adds between 10-20 degrees of heat. The briquettes should be place in circular pattern on bottom and checkerboard pattern on top.
I love using liners, it makes clean up a breeze. There is some added cost but to me it is well worth it!

One other camp tip that I wanted to share is Mike's Fire Starter.
He places about 12-15 cotton balls loosely in a baby food jar and adds a couple of ounces of clear lamp oil. He adds just enough oil for the cotton balls to be saturated.  Inexpensive, simple, and they work great!






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17 comments:

  1. Go you! We have a couple of old dutch ovens which haven't been used in ages.

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    Replies
    1. :) I am like a kid with a new toy!

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  2. Great recipes! I love cast iron cook wear!

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  3. This sounds delicious. We did some camping in the Michigan state parks a few summers ago - it was really fun!

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  4. Welcome home! I hope you had a nice time. Love the new background.

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  5. Oooh that cobbler looks good! I took a class at the nature center a couple years ago on cooking with cast iron over a fire and it was so neat. I don't like "roughing it" either so your kind of camping sounds great to me :)

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    Replies
    1. I would love to take some classes like that.

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  6. I almost sold my cast iron dutch oven at our moving sale. Then I read your post and put it away before anyone grabbed it up! Great recipes!

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    Replies
    1. HaHa :) too funny Liz!
      I hope your moving sale is going well!

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  7. Us girl scouts have been using dutch ovens forever...love it! WHat a great fire starter idea- shared it with my hubby :)

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    Replies
    1. I was a girl scout, once upon a time... :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. Oh, my goodness your meals look good enough to eat(as my husband always says) lol I've always wanted to learn how to use a dutch oven, but first I need to buy one! Your idea of camping is pretty close to mine except I think mine would include AC and a hotel room. ;-)

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  9. I love camping! I've never tried cooking with a dutch oven before. You've inspired me to give it a try!

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  10. I have a flat bottom Dutch oven that I use on top of my woodstove, and to bake in inside my oven. It makes the best no-knead sourdough bread in the world. - Margy

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