Monday, June 28, 2010

And now... an actual plan.

School's over, camping trip's over -- no excuses left for the seat-of-our-pants dining of the past month. We made a plan this week, and we're quite proud of it!

Broiled sole (bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, sprinkle some capers, broil until tiny edges start to get brown and crispy, then a drizzle of lemon juice right at the end)
Salad -- the lettuce in the garden is still going strong! With a bit of roasted red pepper (just opened my last jar from last fall's canning extravaganza), feta and balsamic
Green beans -- first ones of the year from the garden! Hot olive oil in a hot pan, toss the beans in, give them a toss every few minutes. They get lovely little brown spots on them. Salt and pepper.

Pasta with zucchini (first of the year from the garden! It's quite a week.), scallops, basil, and Parmesan cheese

Chicken -- we'll grill one on the rotisserie, if the weather cooperates.
Random veggies for sides

Chicken salad -- the reason we made that chicken yesterday. Here's what we put in:
Chop chicken, celery, red onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms. Grate some carrot. Add some capers and frozen peas. Add some whole wheat penne pasta. Flavor it all up with some white wine Worcestershire and mayo. Mix and chill.

Lamb burgers
Cole slaw
sliced cucumber

Sunday, June 27, 2010

True Confessions of a Road Trip Eater

So we came out of the woods on a grueling, rainy Friday. Checked into a hotel, showered and warmed up, then headed out for a lovely dinner. All was fine.


I woke up Saturday morning VERY early and VERY hungry. Something about the first recovery day after lots and lots of exertion. And just as my co-paddlers insisted I post our camping meals (see below), they also requested that I post my food exploits of Saturday.

7 a.m.: Free breakfast at the hotel. We planned to meet for real breakfast at 9:00, so I just snuck down for coffee and a lovely local donut. Not a big donut girl, but this was GOOD.

8:45 am: Back for second breakfast. Figured we'd get there a bit early to save seats for Alan and Rachel. Donuts were gone, but I had yogurt, an orange, bagel with cream cheese, and more coffee. And a sausage.

11:30 am: Found the donut store where the really good donuts came from. Had a sugared cake donut. Others were able to save theirs for later. Me -- not so much.

Phil and Rachel liked the donut place too.

1:00 pm: Stopped at a gas station. Stocked up on bottled water, diet coke, and Doritos. In the car over the next two hours, grazed on Doritos, pita chips, artichoke dip (from a really good organic co-op in Grand Marais) and cherries (from the co-op as well).

3:30 pm: Onion rings from Burger King.

7:30 pm: Culver's for dinner. Never been before, so I just copied Alan, who seemed to be quite familiar with the place: Bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a peanut butter cup blizzard (or whatever they call them there). I know. It pains me to type it.

Does it count for anything that I couldn't finish my ice cream?

Camping Dinners

So, I don't usually post about meals AFTER a week of eating, but we've been canoeing in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota for the last week, and my co-paddlers (Phil, Rachel and Alan) insisted I share our meals.

Our limitations: no perishables, no cooler, and limited dishes (we each had a bowl, a cup, and a spork. We also had a bigger frying pan, and some tinfoil.) We did have a grill grate bolted into each campsite, so we could cook on that. And of course, our trusty JetBoil -- hot water in 90 seconds!

This is me cooking beef stroganoff -- heating the water in the little JetBoil, then pouring it into the bag. Love my kitchen facilities!

Our meals:
Sunday: Lasagna in a bag, from Backpacker's Pantry. Tasted like lasagna, but pourable. Rachel couldn't watch the pouring part. We had to deal with lots of little cheese bits -- tough to wash.

Monday: Quesadillas! This is becoming a backpacking favorite:
Pack tortillas and Babybel cheeses (they're wrapped in wax, so they were basically fine after 2 days on the trail). Mix up some seasonings in a ziploc baggie before heading out as well.
Dehydrate a bag of frozen peppers and onions.
Purchase some dehydrated mushrooms.
Purchase a 7 ounce foil pack of chicken (the kind that is by the tuna fish in the grocery store).

1. Rehydrate the veggies by pouring boiling water over them, letting them sit in a bowl for an hour or two. Cover with frying pan or another bowl.
2. When rehydrated, mix veggies, chicken, and spices in pan and simmer over fire.
3. Slice cheese into thin pieces.
4. Put tin foil on grill grate, big enough to fold over and over both sides of quesadilla.
5. Lay one tortilla on foil, then spread 1/4 of veggies and chicken and several pieces of cheese. Cook over fire for a minute, then put other tortilla on top. Wrap other half of foil over top of top tortilla (note: clean wool socks make GREAT oven mitts here). When it's time to flip, just grab the foil and flip the whole thing. When both tortillas are crispy and cheese is melted, remove from heat and cut up. Make another one.

Thai night! Vegetarian pad thai and Beef Satay with rice (both are just-add-boiling-water-and-wait-fifteen-minutes meals). Same as lasagna -- the flavors were there, but it just looked a little different. But peppery.

Beef stroganoff and Jamaican jerk chicken -- bagged meals, again.
Blueberry cheesecake for dessert -- from a bag, but Alan found 4 ripe wild blueberries growing at our campsite (most were still green) so we had some fresh flavor too!

BIG dinner...
Dehydrated ground venison, dehydrated mixed veggies (a frozen bag of carrots/peas/corn)
Powdered mashed potatoes mixed with a little powdered milk, garlic powder, parsley, and Bacos
Powdered gravy packet

Rehydrate the meat and veggies (see quesadillas, above)
Simmer over the fire.
Portion potato mixture out into bowls, add a little hot water to each and mix.
Put meat and veggies on top, then top it all off with gravy.

This meal was huge. It's huge every time we've made it... I always feel stuffed for hours afterwards. We think maybe the potatoes continue to expand in our stomachs.

And a breakfast note...
Rachel and Alan made awesome breakfast burritos when Phil and I were out fishing one morning. They used leftover tortillas and cheese from the quesadillas, and some packs of powdered eggs. They were grilled and lovely. So so good!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What are we having for dinner?

Not much this week at all. Last week of school, you know...

Looking forward to summer cooking, though. So so so much.


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