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Old 05-06-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
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2012 16' International
Monroe , Washington
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Unskilled, unmotivated cook needs recipes

For some reason, when we are out in the camper, we go all traditional and I do the cooking. I have no idea why; I don't like to cook or grocery shop. Our Bambi has a two-burner stove, no microwave or oven, and limited counter space. Just as well, as I'm not terribly interested in chopping, slicing, and grating. I've done as many variations of rice/potatoes/beans with chicken/beef/cheese as I can think of. I lose interest in recipes web sites after about the third recipe. I can probably go indefinitely that way, but I feel sorry for my husband. Are there any good websites or books that have simple meals that use one skillet, one pot, and limited ingredients/prep?


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Old 05-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #2
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Okay I'm going to go out on a limb here and admit I'm a Martha Stewart fan, however unpopular that may be . .... I love her Everyday Foods book, called Great Foods Fast, Very simple recipes, most with less than half a dozen ingredients and tasty. My kids, when they request meals, they are very often from this book. Everyday Food: Great Food Fast (9780307354167): Martha Stewart Living Magazine: Books

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll go take a look. Funny you should mention kids, as I'm a picky eater and almost said kid meals would probably work. Macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs.

We just won't mention the Martha Stewart part. She served her time and all.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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I have found a few good ones on this You tube channel. - YouTube
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:07 AM   #5
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For short trips (long weekends, say) bringing frozen or refrigerated items, either made at home or bought prepared is one way of spending less time in the trailer galley. We'll cook some bacon ahead of time, and take along croissants; a quick heat up in the oven makes for a nice fast breakfast.

There are a lot of prepared foods like Tasty Bite if you like Indian or Thai food, these speed food prep a lot. Costco has a large selection of prepared refrigerated items for sale.

Bringing along a small propane BBQ opens up more food choices as well;
a salad and some different BBQ'd sausages in sandwich roles w/ pepper jack make for good eating w/ minimal cleanup. BBQ;d tri-tip is pretty popular w/ most guys (and gals), esp. w/ a little Montreal steak seasoning on top. Tacos are easily done on the griddle - carnitas are a big favorite here.

For Burning Man we keep pre-made meals in a separate cooler, well iced;
we try not to cook in the trailer at all due to heat and use a large three burner propane stove outside instead. Chicken curry, Basque chicken salad, etc. are propular.

Trade cooking & cleaning off; one partner cooks - the other cleans. Switch the next day.

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Old 05-07-2013, 04:57 AM   #6
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You could get a small microwave, bring it along. Either place it on top of the stove if it has a cover, or on the table.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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It depends on what food and condiments you bring and are you cooking over the campfire or on a propane stove. The propane stove is easier. A simple dish is chicken in a tomatoe sauce. All you need are a few ingredients such as garlic, onions, peppers, italian seasoning, oil(such as vegetable oil) salt and pepper, along with a can of crushed and/or diced potatoes. I also bring a small bag of flour to coat the chicken parts. First braised the chicken in oil then set aside the chicken. Place the onions in a tablespoon of oil cook for a two or three minutes, add the garlic, cook for about 30 seconds add the pepper cook for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes and seasoning. All this to include finishing the chicken in the sauce should take about one hour. This also works well with italian sausage served on a hoagie roll.

If you want a baked potatoe wrap in tin foil and place on the campfrie, cook until you can place sker through it.

I also agree with Bart, If you have a refrigerator stove and/or microwave prepare and freeze dishes ahea of time. I prepare the dough for pies and cookies and scones ahead of time then cook them as needed. Nothing like fresh bake scones in the morning with coffee
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by quilter View Post
I can probably go indefinitely that way, but I feel sorry for my husband.
As a single guy who's also an indifferent cook, I have to ask, can't your husband cook, either?

In my case, about the only thing I cook indoors in my Airstream is omelets in the morning. Made with Egg Beaters and whatever filling suits me at the moment; blueberries are good in omelets, but you have to chop the blueberries and warm them before mixing them into the Egg Beaters.

Beyond that, if it doesn't come out of a can, box, or jar, and if it requires more than just heating on the cooktop or in the microwave, I don't have the patience for it.

But on my little Cobb Grill, outdoors, I can definitely do steaks, small roasts, burgers, etc. Maybe it's a guy thing; I don't know. I use a different marinade for each day, and use different cuts of meat each day. They all get tenderized and marinaded at home before I load up the Airstream, each one in its own gallon-sized Ziploc bag, so all I have to do at the campground is take it of the fridge to warm about the time I start the coals, take it out of the bag with a pair of tongs and lay it on the grill when the coals are ready, and I'm good to go.

For my next trip, the end of this month, I plan to take along some rabbit pieces, and cook them on the grill using a grilled chicken recipe. Rabbit may not taste like chicken, but does cook like chicken. Some mutton for one night. Pork chops for another. But definitely at least one steak, because I grew up in beef country, southwest Oklahoma, and a nice tender sirloin hot off the grill just can't be beat.

Longer trips are more problematic, however. There's a limit to how long you can leave a steak in the fridge instead of freezing it. If it has to be frozen, then I have to thaw it and marinade it at the campground, and again my lack of patience gets to me. Plus my Airstream's dorm-sized fridge has got a positively tiny freezer; once I put ice trays in there, there's no room for food. So if the trip lasts longer than I can refrigerate meat, by the end of the trip I'm back to the can/box/jar thing.

Oh, I do have a 4-quart crock pot, too, that I can use for soups, stews, etc. Deboned chicken pieces, cooked in the crock pot in a few cans of cream of mushroom soup, simple and delicious. Start it in the morning, stir occasionally (every hour or so) until dinner, can't be beat.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #9
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Here is a quick and easy soup:
Mexican soup

2 cans chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes with chili's
beans (optional)
1 packet Purdue chopped cooked chicken breast

shredded cheese
crushed tortilla chips

Mix the first six ingredients in a pot and heat. Serve with cheese and crushed chips for topping.

Everything in this recipe can be kept in the cupboard or freezer (except maybe the cheese. I just omit if I don't have) so it's a good one if you'll be out for awhile (longer than fresh will last). I always keep the ingredients at home for those nights when I have no plan. Dinner in 10 minutes! And it's one of my family's favorites.

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Simple meals: Kraft mac and cheese with bacon bits mixed in, FrancoAmerican spaghetti with a chopped onion and a pound of hamburger (cooked first) mixed in and heated up, Indiana chili - pound of hamburger and an onion browned, add a can of tomatoes chopped up, kidney beans, heat through, add a cup or so of cooked macaroni, chili powder to taste.
On our Boundary Waters trips (very primitive canoe camping - 1 burner stove), we do spaghetti with pkt of spaghetti sauce, chopped sausage or pepparoni, tube of tomato paste and angel hair noodles (they cook the fastest). We've done pizzas in a skillet with boboli crusts, pkts of pizza sauce and fixings. Nothing is refigerated when we BW camp. You can get canned chicken and various chicken noodle dinner things which cook all in 1 pot. Bear Creek soup mixes are awesome and can be fancied up with various things like bacon bits, chicken pouches, etc. You can even do pouches of biscuits and cook them stove top: mix up, drop by big spoonfuls in frying pan with some margerine or oil, fry 1 side, flip and finish. Not traditional looking but taste just as good.

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:17 AM   #11
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Try lining your crock pot with a Reynolds Oven Bag, cook inside the bag inside the crock pot, decant your delicious food, and throw away the bag. The crock pot isn't dirty--less time and less water used

Somebody must have posted this else where but I just saw a very smart lady (she's in an A/S after all) do this for the first time. Now oven bags are added to my packing list!
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:27 AM   #12
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I never crock pot without the liners. not only does it make cleaning up a breeze but if you have leftovers you can simply twist tie the bag and put away.

When we camp my husband does all the cooking, well, except the crockpot. it's so great to have a break from it myself so I love to camp! however, I do all the pre camping food prep at home. everything is chopped, marinated, and portioned in ziplocs so all he has to do it through it on the grill or in a pan. that way we don't spend so much of our camping time either prepping food or cleaning up after the food, that's not relaxing.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:38 AM   #13
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We generally cook from scratch - that is, almost nothing out of a box. We make more compromises when camping. We'll stock up on some Trader Joe's items that accelerate preparation and lessen the cleanup. In the freezer section they've got a box with three pouches of brown rice -- a quick stir-fry and you're home free. Also look on the shelves -- they've got retort bags of various rice types that you merely plunk in boiling water for a few minutes. Their frozen roasted corn also goes great in numerous Southwest type recipes. Boxes of pasteurized soups are an easy jumpstart on a cool weather meal -- their tomato soup can be spiced up with a little shaved ginger & chopped basil.

We don't get into over-fancy recipes at any time. Toward the other end of simpler preparation that tastes good, our daughter got us into some quick meals -- we have a couple Rachael Ray "30 minute meal" books that are surprisingly good. Rachael Ray & Martha Stewart certainly must have some large staffs that spend a lot of time working to make fair fare approachable. [thanks reinergirl]

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:41 AM   #14
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Bay Area , California
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Well, I have the same problem. Typically my husband is the cook of the house, but when we camp he always asks me what's for dinner. ??? You tell me!! My strategy - BRING THE BBQ. It makes him nuts to watch me grill! We have a tiny little BBQ in the camper so I bring these tiny bacon-wrapped filets from Walmart to go, or in advance I take chicken breasts and dump them into a double-bagged ziploc with some bbq sauce or thai peanut sauce. worst-case scenario, I toss them in a pan and bake them so the camper heats up. Most of the time he hates to bake meat.
I also stock up on yes, the anti-Martha STAG CHILI!! Haaa! It's actually really good, I hate to admit, with a little sour cream, onions, and shredded cheddar on top.
If it makes you feel any better, we went camping once with my non-camping sister and brother-in-law. They pulled up with bins of homemade food... brownies, crispy treats, cookies, fancy cheeses, fresh berries... AS WE WERE FEEDING OUR TODDLERS WHEAT THINS AND CHEESE WHIZ STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!! LOL! To me, I work so hard during the week to provide good meals for the family, camping is about less is more and the ability to eat crap like pop tarts. Good luck!!

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