Roughing It

Hiking, camping and other outdoor adventures are part and parcel of every summer. However, tackling the great outdoors doesn't mean you have to do it on an empty stomach. In fact, certain specialties take on a certain flair when enjoyed amid mother nature's glory. For instance, what trail mix doesn't take on a special importance when munched as you hike along a breath-taking canyon? And isn't the side of a campfire the most appropriate setting for enjoying S'mores?

So, for this last great splash of summer, we're going camping! And here are some great things to enjoy while you're out enjoying the great outdoors:

As always, I'd love to hear about how your cooking adventures turn out. Feel free to share your own recipes, stories and comments with me!

Glorified GORP

This fun trail mix takes good old raisins and peanuts and gives them a special twist. Carry a bag along with you on long hikes and enjoy when you stop for a rest.
  • 2/3 c. lightly salted peanuts
  • 3/4 c. lightly salted soynuts
  • 1 c. yogurt-coated raisins
  • 3/4 c. dried cranberries

Combine all of the ingredients in an air-tight container. Use within 2 weeks.

  • Yields: about 3 cups
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is a rather easy sandwich to make over a fire. Why not make it special with some of your favorite gourmet ingredients?
  • 2 slices 12-grain bread
  • 1 tsp. gourmet honey mustard
  • 3-4 slices Monterey jack cheese
  • 2-3 slices portabella mushrooms
  • 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, drained of excess oil

Spread the honey mustard evenly over the slices of bread. Layer the cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes over one slice of bread and top with the other.

Using a tripod and grilling rack positioned over an open fire, lightly grill the sandwich until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted -- about 6 minutes -- turning once. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 1 serving
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Chicken Packets

Make sure you use heavy duty aluminum foil or a double thickness of regular aluminum foil to avoid scorching.
  • 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, halved
  • 1/2 c. julienned carrots
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1/4 c. sliced green onions
  • 1 small red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 T. honey mustard dressing

Prepare 2 squares of heavy duty aluminum foil (about 10" X 10") and lightly spray them with cooking spray. Place one chicken breast half in the center of one of the foil squares. Arrange half of the prepared vegetables around the chicken. Pour 2 tablespoons of the dressing over the chicken breast and seal the foil packet tightly around the chicken and vegetables. Repeat the procedure with the other foil square.

Using a tripod and grilling rack positioned over an open fire, grill the packets for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is done and the vegetables are tender. Make sure that you use grilling tongs and oven mits when handling the packets as they get very hot.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes


No camping trip would be complete without this traditional campfire treat. I like to spruce mine up with cinnamon graham crackers and the best dark chocolate I can find!
  • Marshmallows
  • Cinnamon graham crackers
  • Dark chocolate squares

Toast your marshmallows to your liking. I prefer a lightly toasted marshmallow, but I have met some who insist on actually burning them! So, go with what makes you smile.

Place one large square of chocolate on a cinnamon graham cracker square. Top the chocolate with a hot toasted marshmallow and, using another cinnamon graham cracker square to hold the marshmallow and chocolate in place, remove the marshmallow roasting stick. Allow the marshmallow to melt the chocolate and enjoy! Repeat until satisfaction has been reached!

  • Yields: As many as you want
  • Preparation Time: As long as you want

Happy Camping!