Sick of s’mores? Bored with hot dogs? Camping is all about enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends, without cooking or clean-up hassles. Maybe you just don’t feel like packing an array of utensils and pans, or you haven’t been camping since you were 8 and don’t know what to cook over a fire… but a camper can’t live on trail mix alone. Pull a chair up to the fire and try our simple and creative ideas.
1. Orange Peel Omelette
Start the day with a breakfast that will impress your fellow campers. Cut an orange in half and scoop out the flesh, saving it to snack on while you’re cooking. Crack one egg into each half of the orange peel. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Place peel and egg mixture onto a camping grill over the fire. Using a grill helps keep the orange peel from burning. The egg will cook in 10-15 minutes (depending on the heat) with a fresh hint of citrus flavour. Try sprinkling a few dried cranberries on top.
2. Make-Ahead Muffins
3. Foil Packet Dinners
This campfire dinner is all about the ingredient pairings, which can be as simple or sophisticated as you want. Use either a foil loaf pan or a double layer of heavy-duty foil for each serving (lay your ingredients in the middle). Cut up your ingredients at home and bring them in bags or the foil pans. Try pieces of cooked kielbasa, bacon or sausage with potatoes, peppers and onions. To retain moisture you can add a small amount of water, stock or apple juice. Seal the pans or the edges of the foil into packets, and set them on a grill over the fire for about 40 minutes depending on the heat. Rotate the packets frequently to avoid burning. Let them cool before eating, they will be hot! Packets can be made ahead and frozen, just thaw them in the cooler over a day or so. Veggie-only packets don’t need to be kept as cold if they’re used by at least the second day.
4. Picnic Potato Salad
If you’re packing condiments like mayonnaise, relish or mustard for burgers and dogs, they can also be combined into a quick dressing for a side potato salad. Salads can also be made ahead and kept chilled in the cooler. Try Michael Smith’s Potato Salad with Dill and Mustard, or this Warm Potato Salad.
5. Vegetable Kebabs
Wash and cut up a variety of veggies such as peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, red onion and eggplant, and pack them in containers or sealed plastic bags along with wooden skewers. Soak the skewers for 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning. Everyone, including the kids, can load skewers with the veggies of their choice. Turn kebabs frequently until veggies are tender, 10-15 minutes. Bring a jar of pizza sauce or pesto for dipping, or better yet, make your own! Try our Grilled Vegetable Kebabs.
6. Catch of the Day
Freshly caught grilled fish, bursting with flavour, makes for a memorable family feast! Take the requisite photo proudly displaying your catch and then try Rob Rainford’s recipes for Grilled Lake Bass Packages and BBQ’d Stuffed Lake Trout.
7. Caramel Apple
Partially core one apple, and fill the center with a pat of butter and a few individually-wrapped caramels. Wrap the apple in foil and heat it over the fire.
8. Ants on a Log
This is a camping classic and a snack that kids can make themselves. Spread peanut butter over washed and cut celery stalks, and sprinkle with raisins.
9. Cream Puffs
All you need for these bite-sized delicacies is a container of store-bought biscuit dough and a bag of marshmallows. Flatten out a portion of biscuit dough and wrap it around a marshmallow. Pierce it on the end of a camping fork or stick and roast over the fire until the dough is golden. I dare you to stop at one.
10. Campfire Banana Splits
Spray sheets of aluminum foil, large enough to wrap around a banana, with cooking spray. Strip the peel back on a banana, leaving it attached. Slice the banana lengthwise and fill with chocolate chips. Fold the banana peel back over, wrap it in foil, and set it on a grill for about 5 minutes to let the chocolate melt. Unwrap the banana and eat with a spoon.