Monday, December 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa

(serves 1)

when the mercury drops below freezing, pack some extra flavor (and calories) into your hot cocoa

4 Tbs cocoa powder
2 Tbs powdered milk
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs peanut butter
1 1/2 cups hot water

*combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Baked Potato Soup

(serves 2)

this soup has all the fixings of your favorite baked potato

4 cups water
1/2 cup powdered milk
2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. dried onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp oil
1/2 cup potato pearls
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 Tbs bacon bits

* Combine all the ingredients except potatoes and cheese in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
* Remove from heat and add the potato pearls slowly while stirring rigorously
* Add cheese and cover until melted
* Serve with bacon, salt and pepper to taste

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pro Tips: Cold Weather

On cold weather trips pack between 3500-4000 calories or roughly 2- 2 1/2 pounds of food and 1/4 a liter of fuel per person per day.

Take a Hot Water Bottle to bed with you (see the recipe for Sierra Ice Tea).

One-dish meals make clean up easer.

A 0.5 liter nalgene bottle fits well in a beer coozie to double as a thermos. This also tuck nicely inside you jacket as a hand warmer.

To melt snow for water, you need to start with a mix of snow and water in your pan so that you don't scorch anything. And be sure to boil water if you are traveling somewhere were you would normally treat your drinking water.

You'll need to make sure to drink lots of fluids, so pack drink mixes (like gatoraid or emergen-c), soup mixes, as well as coffee, tea, and cocoa. Aim for 3-4 liters a day.

Photo of the Month

Delivery or DiGiorno by Erin Gibbons

Gingerbread Pancakes

Bring some holiday cheer to your backcountry breakfast! These are great for hut trips.

(serves 4)

For Pancakes:
1 cup bisquick
1/2 gingerbread mix (you can get this at places like Trader Joe's)
a scant cup of cold water

For Brown Sugar Syrup:
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

*combine all ingredients in plastic bag
*lightly grease frybake and heat until water droplets sizzle on the surface
*pour batter onto pan and cook over medium heat until bubbles form on top surface
*flip and cook other side
*while pancakes are cooking combine ingredients for syrup
*serve with butter and brown sugar syrup

Tamale Pie

this will warm you from the inside out

(serves 3)

for crust:
2 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 tsp. backing powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs oil
1 cup water

for filling:
4 cups boiled water
2 cups instant black or refried beans
1/4 cup tomato base
2 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. pepper
cayenne and/or hotsauce to taste
1 cup sliced cheese

*mix the crust ingredients until moistened; the dough should resemble stiff bisquit dough
*flatten into frybake and cook until the top looks dry being careful not to burn the bottom
*remove from heat and poke hole in the surface
*spread butter over the surface
*put 1/2 cup cheese on top of crust

*add all the filling ingredients (expect cheese) to the boiled water
*stir until well mixed and remove from heat
*spoon mixture on to crust and spread over the melted cheese
*put remaining cheese on top of bean mixture

*cover and cook over low heat until cheese melts; rotating pan frequently to avoid burning the crust

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Salmon with Shallots and Sundried Tomatoes

(Serves 2)

This flavorful dish pairs well with couscous pilaf, rice, or pasta. It's also good on bagels for breakfast!

1 pouch smoked salmon
1 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
dash red pepper flakes
5 dehydrated sundried tomatoes
2 oz feta cheese

*Rehydrate sun dried tomatoes in warm water for 5 minutes
*Combine all ingredients except cheese in skillet and sautee until salmon is heated through (about 5 minutes)
*Add cheese and cook covered over low heat for 1 minute or until cheese is melted
*Serve atop grain of your choice!

CousCous Pilaf with Pine Nuts

(serves 2)

Pairs perfectly with some freshly caught fish, or the kind that comes out of a pouch!

1/2 cup couscous
1 cup water
1 chicken bullion cube
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 tsp parsley

*Dissolve bullion in boiling water
*Remove form heat, add couscous to pot and cover
*Heat the skillet and add oil and onoin, cook about 3 minutes or until onion becomes translucent
*Add pine nuts and sautee for an additional 2 minutes until both onion and pine nuts start to brown
*Remove from heat and add couscous and parsley, mix to combine
*Salt and Pepper to taste

Photo of the Month

Cozy Coffee by Peter Harrell

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Curry Cashew Rice

(Serves 2)
Thai food on the trail. yum.

2 cups instant rice
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp dried pineapple or mango, chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp chicken or vegetable bouillon
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
Salt to taste

top with
Chopped cashews
1/2 tsp basil

*Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
*Add Peanut butter and stir until melted
*Remove from heat and add rice and seasonings
*Cover and allow to steam inside pot for 1-2 minutes or until the rice is tender
*Add chopped cashews and a pinch of basil to each portion before serving

Rocky Road Pudding

(serves 4)
for when your sweet tooth doesn't stay at home

3 oz instant chocolate pudding
2/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup mini marshmallows

At home: Combine the pudding and powdered milk in a ziplock bag. Carry the nuts and marshmallows in a second bag.

On the trail: Add 2 cups of water to the pudding mix. Top the pudding with the marshmallows and nuts after the pudding has set up.

Pro Tips: COFFEE!

Weather its an Alpine start or not, no morning is complete without coffee. There are several options depending on your tastes, space requirements, and hard core factor. I've listed them in order from plush to bare-bones

1. Go really gourmet with fresh ground coffee and the GSI Outdoors Java Press

2. You can make drip coffee using a collapsable drip coffee maker

3. I like to mix up a concoction of instant espresso, powdered milk, and hot cocoa (2:1:1 ratio) in a zip lock baggie before the trip and add a few tablespoons to hot water in the field for camping mochas

4.Starbucks Via instant coffee isn't a bad option (especially with a coupon)

5. cowboy coffee: you can brew coffee by adding grounds to hot water right in your mug or nalgene. makes for some thick drinking so beware!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Heavenly Hashbrowns

(Serves 2)

Pair this dish with a fried egg and some coffee and you'll feel like you got the best seat in house at your favorite greasy spoon diner!

1 cup dehydrated hashbrowns (
1/3 cup cheese (shredded or diced)
2 Tablespoons "Real Bacon Pieces" from a jar
hot sauce and/or ketchup to taste

*add hashbrowns to 2 cups boiling water and allow to sit covered for 15 minutes
*oil the bottom of your Frybake and cooke hashbrowns until golden brown
*sprinkle cheese and bacon on the top of the hashbrowns, cover and cook on low heat until cheese is melted
*add salt, pepper, hot sauce and ketchup until it tastes like someone named Mac served you breakfast fresh off the grill

Quinoa Curry

(Serves 4)

The ancient Aztecs believed that quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa) was the food of the gods. It is also high in protein and other great nutrients so make it when you need god-like powers for your next outdoor adventure.

2 cups quinoa
2 carrots, sliced thinly
20 snow peas or green beans, cut in thirds
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tbs chopped ginger
1 cube vegetable bouillon
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the quinoa, bouillon cube, ginger, garlic and carrots in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the quinoa has begun to soften and the vegetables are cooked through. Stir in the snow peas or green beans and curry and cayenne and cook a few more minutes over low heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pro tip: A wise friend of mine once told me that quinoa is hard to overcook, you will know that it is done when the little tails detach from the heads...

fajitas montanas

(Serves 4)

This dish will make you wish you had packed margaritas.

*1 large yellow onion
*2 large red bell peppers
*2 zucchini squash
*1 portabello mushroom
*2 avocados
*1 tsp dried basil
*1 tsp cayenne pepper
*1 tsp salt
*1 tsp pepper
*Olive oil
*1 lime (optional)
*1 cup dehydrated black beans
*1 cup cheese (shredded or diced)
*8 flour tortillas

Prepare the black beans by adding to 1-1/2 cups of boiling water and allowing to simmer for 5 minutes

Split the avocado in half and remove the peel and pit. Cut the halves into thick wedges.

Dice the remaining veggies using the side of your metal spatula as a knife and the (clean) bottom of your frybake as a cutting board
Toss all of the veggies (except avocado) into the frybake and coat with olive oil and seasonings.
Sautee the vegetables in a pan for about 5 minutes or until tender.

For each Fajita take a tortilla and layer with black beans and the grilled vegetables, and top with slices of avocado.

Serve immediately.

(You may substitute or add other vegetables — such as different squashes or sliced carrots — depending on season and personal tastes.)

Photo of the Month

Labor Day Trout by Amy Suhoza

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Campstove Pizza

(serves 2)

you really can make pizza in the backcountry instead of waiting for your return to civilization

Pizza dough:
1 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup flour

Pizza Sauce:
2 Tbs. tomato base
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbs. water

1/2 thinly sliced cheese
dehydrated mushrooms and/or peppers
salami, summer sausage, or bacon bits
get creative, you can put whatever you like on pizza
(cashews and olives are one of my favorite combos)

To make the dough:
*combine the yeast, sugar and water until disolved
*add to the salt and flour in a plastic bag and mix until dough forms a moist but not sticky ball
*set aside and allow to rise (ideally 30 minutes) while you enjoy some of the cheese that you are thinly slicing ;)
*combine the ingredients for the sauce and stir well
*to roll out the dough, use the bottom side of the frybake as a table, and your water bottle as a rolling pin (make sure they are clean first)
*oil the inside of the frybake and sprinkle a little cornmeal on the surface before spreading the dough into the pan and slightly up the edges
*spread the sauce onto the crust and sprinkle on cheese and toppings
*cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted
*the secret to good campstove baking is rotating the pan in such a way that it is rarely centered over the flame*

Approximate nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 750
Carbs (g): 75
Protein (g): 40
Fat (g): 35
Fiber (g): 7

Breakfast Couscous

(serves 2)

Something easy when you need a break from oatmeal.

*1 cup couscous (I really like the whole wheat variety)
*1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 Tbs butter

*divide couscous into two bowls
*add half the bowling water and butter to each of the two bowls
*stir couscous and cover for 5 minutes
*remove cover and fluff the couscous before adding your choice of toppings. I've include some ideas below, but really the possibilities are endless

cheese and bacon bits
brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins
trail mix and butter
peanut butter and banana chips

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kickin' Mac n' Cheese

(serves 4)
So good, you might make it at home.

2 cups twirly pasta
1 cup diced pepper jack cheese
4 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
4 Tbs powdered milk
1/4 cup dried sun dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

*bring 4 cups of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente ~ 10 minutes
*while pasta is cooking rehydrate the sun dried tomatoes in a little bit of the pasta water
*add 1/4 cup water to the powdered milk
*when the pasta is done cooking remove from heat and stain the water (you can save it in a thermos for Hot Drinks or soup)
*melt the butter in the frybake over medium heat and slowly add the flour, stirring continuosly, add the milk to make a roux (tell your friends this is what you are doing and they will be really impressed)
*after the milk mixture has a chance to get warm slowly add the cheese allowing it to melt while stirring vigourously
*once all the cheese has been added, throw the pasta and sun dried tomatoes in and mix to combine the cheesey goodness
*cover and cook for two more minutes

Approximate nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 475
Carb (g): 50
Protein (g):15
Fat (g): 25
Fiber (g):2

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sierra Iced Tea

(serves 1)

Great for spring and fall in the Sierras, when the days are sunny and warm and the nights are pretty chilly.

1 liter boiling water
2 tea bags with strings detached
2 tsp honey (optional)

*add tea bags to Hot Water in nalgene bottle at night before bed
*make sure the cap is closed tightly
*snuggle with you nalgene for added warmth in your sleeping bag
*on the trial the next morning you have a refreshing treat to wet your whistle!

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes

(serves 4)

This is a warm and cozy breakfast for mornings when you have a little time to spend basking in breakfast mode.

For Pancakes:
2 cups pancake mix
1/2 cup instant oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped dried apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For Brown Sugar Syrup:
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

*reconstitute dried apples by soaking in 1/2 cup hot water for 10 minutes
*combine dry ingredients in a plastic bag and add enough COLD water to make the mixture a pourable consistency
*add the apples and mix well
*lightly grease frybake and heat until water droplets sizzle on the surface
*pour batter onto pan and cook over medium heat until bubbles form on top surface
*flip and cook other side
*while pancakes are cooking combine ingredients for syrup
*serve with butter and brown sugar syrup

Approximate nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 400
Carb (g): 50
Protein (g):10
Fat (g):