Well...it's officially starting to feel like Fall (and then it feels like the middle of Summer, and then it rains, and then there's a tropical storm...oh wait, is that just Atlanta?). Fall is probably my favorite season but I always get lots of anxiety because I know what's coming next...winter. And no I am in no way a fan of winter, maybe I would be if I lived somewhere with lots of snow where I could go skiing etc but in the winter Atlanta is just kind of damp and cold. But! Right now it's fall and I'm going to embrace and enjoy it while I still can (and wear all of the cute fall clothes). One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go camping! The weather is so perfect, you can snuggle by a fire at night and hike during the day, and the woods are so pretty with all the changing leaves. One of my favorite parts of camping is the food (well, let's be honest, that's my favorite part of most things). I grew up in Girl Scouts and while the boy scouts were learning knots and such we were learning how to bake a cake using a box and some tinfoil. That's some real sexist stuff right there haha but I'm perfectly happy making and eating gourmet meals fireside while the Boy Scouts trudge off into the woods with their knots and nasty oatmeal packets. Maybe you're a veteran camper/backpacker and you get really hardcore with your camp meals, but in case you're looking to step it up a bit, I'm going to go over some of my favorite camping recipes (most of these are gluten and dairy free just as a bonus, except the dessert ones, go figure)
Sweet Potato Breakfast Scramble (for two)
Dice two sweet potatoes, an onion and a red pepper. Season with a few pinches of salt, and cumin. Cook in a cast iron skillet over campfire until tender and potatoes are slightly browned on edges. Add a few handfuls of spinach or kale and let wilt. divide into two bowls or plates then cook two eggs over easy in skillet and serve on top of potato mixture with half of an avocado.
Salmon Foil Packets (for two)
Let your fire cook down to coals or pull out some coals on the side of the fire. Mince two cloves of garlic. Place salmon filets on top of two large pieces of aluminum foil. Season salmon filets with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard on top of each. Add 2 lemon slices and some garlic to the top of each filet. Top with a generous splash of olive oil (or 2tbsp of butter each) and wrap each salmon filet individually in foil, folding along the top to trap in steam. Place on top of hot coals. Let cook for 6-8 minutes or until salmon is flaky and cooked. You can serve with some roasted Brussels sprouts (made in your cast iron skillet) or some roasted corn (I keep husks on, dunk them in water and place right on the grill over the fire, turning now and then)
Chicken Foil Packets (for two)
Create two sheets of double layered tinfoil. Grease with olive oil. Add 1/2 can of black beans (drained) 1/2 cup of frozen corn and a few pinches of taco seasoning. Add two chicken tenders or a chicken breast to each tinfoil "packet". Top with some salsa and shredded cheese. Fold the sides together and over to create a secure packet. Cook over hot coals for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is done, turning 2-3 times. Top with sour cream or guacamole before serving.
Basically get creative, add a banana slice or some nutella to your smore; use an Oreo instead of graham crackers or subsitute a Reese's cup for the chocolate. My favorite is to toast the marshmallow until its gold on the outside then to stick the chocolate into the gooey middle and eat it just like that sans graham cracker. The possibilities of sugar overload are literally endless.
Cherry Pie Rolls
Buy a can of crescent rolls in the grocery store and a can of cherry pie filling. Wrap the crescent roll around a wooden dowel to create a kind of pocket and toast it over the fire. Slow is better so that you don't end up with a doughy inside and burnt outside. Then remove the crescent roll from the wooden dowel and stuff it with the cherry pie filling. SO GOOD.
This combination is meant to travel but packs a punch so as always drink responsibly ladies, we don't want anyone falling into the fire. You could try lots of different fruit combinations but I normally use: 2 peaches, 10 strawberries, and cup of green grapes. Slice fruit and put in a large mason jar. Fill jar 1/4 of the way with vodka. Fill the remainder with white wine (I prefer a drier Pinot Grigio so it's not too sweet). Refrigerate jar overnight then when you get to campsite combine fruit mixture with the remaining wine and a liter of Tonic Water in a large pitcher and enjoy!
And if you need some cute camping style, check out Shop Fourth Ward's new fall arrivals.