Been camping!

Summer has been difficult for me to come up with creative things to cook. There have been a lot of repeats: barbecue sauce, ketchup, tuna noodle salad, and plain old grilled hamburgers and Italian sausages. Baking is rare since I do not have air conditioning in the house and turning on the oven heats up everything. But now that fall is around the corner I will want to bake bread and cakes, even though I don’t have enough people around to eat the cakes!

We got a new camper trailer! Yea! This one we designed specifically for us. This means we chose the options and the layout that we wanted. The big trip to Niagara Falls has come and gone. It was fabulous! If you’ve never been, go!

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I thought I would share a few of the meals we cooked while camping. This is just camp fare, nothing to write home about!

20160821_130315585_iOSI baked muffins (from a mix) in the camp oven. They did not rise high and I think that is because the oven runs cooler than the temperature on the dial.

Camp goulash used up the leftover elbow noodles (the first half went into tuna noodle salad for our picnic earlier that week), a can of tomatoes, a can of mushrooms, diced onion, pesto, oregano, salt and pepper. And shredded cheese. This is served along side grilled Italian sausages and bakery bread.

And then there is The Last Supper: farmer’s market new potatoes, sliced and diced onion, cut up breakfast sausage patties, cheese, herbed butter, and ground pepper. Packet those up and cook on the grill for about 15 minutes. Yum!

 

 

Poultry Pepper Pesto Pasta

This dish is somewhat inspired by the cover of the April food network magazine. Also by Hubby! When I picked up the magazine at the checkout line I showed him the picture and we both thought that looked good. But Hubby is allergic to shrimp, so it would just be pesto and pasta or trade out the shrimp for chicken.

 

pesto pasta 001I did not even bother to read the recipe. Hubby suggests angel hair pasta. We have some leftover grilled chicken and away we go! I want to add roasted red peppers since I have an almost full jar open in the fridge. I have 3 quarter cup chunks of homemade pesto in the freezer. So Hubby starts naming the dish and it’s a “P” tongue twister so eventually we settle on the title. Hubby wants to add the mushrooms but I don’t want to. I have no way of knowing if the type of mushrooms name starts with a “P”!

  • 2 pieces of poultry thighs, already cooked, meat cut off the bone and diced
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers, sliced and diced, save the juice/oil from the jar
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 4 nests of angel hair pasta nests
  • Pecorino Romano cheese for serving

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Chop the peppers and poultry. Put in skillet with a little bit of cooking oil or cooking spray. Stir in the pesto and juice from the pepper jar. Heat through. Cook the pasta according to the package.

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When pasta is done divide into two bowls. Top with the pesto-poultry mixture. Sprinkle on the grated cheese. Eat up.

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The aroma was wonderful as was the taste. The mushrooms would have fit in perfectly. Hubby thought it needed a bit of sauce. We put a dollop of sour cream in each bowl and that did the trick. Next time making a bit of a butter cream sauce should be made. This would be done by adding a bit of butter to the skillet and a bit of cream/milk/or half-and-half to get the consistency desired.

 

Harvest…or cheese and crackers for supper!

It was time to harvest the basil. The plant had grown well for us but was looking a little limp. We bought the basil this summer at the end of July since we were camping most of the summer weekends before then. Last year’s basil plant was prolific; the year before…I killed three plants in one summer! No green thumb on these hands!

Hubby brought up the idea that it was time. Okay. Last year I had made walnut pesto. This year I have a small batch of pine nuts languishing in the freezer leftover from some recipe that I made. I have no memory of what it was. We gather what we want to put in the pesto. Looking at recipes gives you this information: basil, olive oil, garlic, nuts, and Parmesan cheese. I pull out the food processor and pluck all the leaves from the plant. They fill about a third of my processor (9 cup capacity) loosely. The recipe I glanced at called for 1/2 cup olive oil so I pour that into the measuring cup. Hubby toasts the pine nuts. And then he chops the garlic. I throw all this into the processor bowl and slowly pour in the oil. I only use 1/2 the oil not wanting it to be too oily. In hind sight I should have used it all. But live and learn. I can always add oil to it when I take pieces out of the freezer. So this is pretty cool, homemade pesto sitting in the freezer just waiting to be used.harvest meal 002

We thought it might be nice to have a little right then. But what do we put it on? We don’t have any crackers and it would be weird on tortilla chips. So we take the stale french baguette and slice it into crostini. I have been trying not to throw out food and was not sure what to do with this stale baguette. I don’t use a lot of bread crumbs which would have been the other idea. So hubby toasts the bread and then we start gathering cheese and bits and pieces from the fridge and pantry. I had just bought a piece of expensive English Stilton Cheese from a fancy cheese shop from my Maine girls’ weekend and we found an unopened package of smoked salmon. Here’s what we made.

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We have Stilton cheese, pepperoni, cheddar, pesto, jalapeno poppers, smoked salmon, apples and grapes.  It was a feast for the taste buds.

harvest meal 004And we finish the evening with pie!

Now what am I supposed to do with all the mint leaves from the prolific mint plant?