Camping Food

July 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Beef, Breakfast, Camping Food, Chicken | 34 Comments
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I must admit that I truly believe the four of us deserve some sort of  culinary award for this camping trip. Perhaps the coveted James Beard Award For Camp Grub??  😉     


Award winning cast and crew, Dan, camp photographer, Teri, French Toast Genius, Rusty and Daisy camp dogs, myself slider/salad queen, Zia and Chili, our camp dogs and Bob, Camp Somellier.     

Food for camping trips need not be boring, need not be all hotdogs or bologna sandwiches and granola bars. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but with a little preplanning and prep before you head out, you can enjoy some pretty delicious no-fuss meals at the campsite.      

I mean afterall, doesn’t everything taste better outdoors in a lawn chair around a camp fire??     


Before we get to the food, pull up your chair, grab the beverage of your choice, take a deep breath and take in this photo. Doesn’t your blood pressure instantly drop to about 26 over 12?     

This last camping trip took us to Northern Colorado to beautiful Pearl Lake about 25 miles North of Steamboat Springs and almost to the Wyoming border. A beautiful little spot.     

So let’s eat. Since this shot is of early morning fog rising off  the lake, let’s start with breakfast fare.     


Breakfast:  Ina’s Chicken Sausage Breakfast Hotdogs which I recently made at home and have already blogged about. Easy for a camping trip with the mayonnaise sauce premixed at home. While the grill is heating up, on the griddle start some of those packaged Southwestern flavored hash brown potatoes that you find refrigerated at your market. When they’re about half cooked, throw on the sausages, add some eggs along side the potatoes. Intermittent drizzles with olive oil cooked the eggs and potatoes perfectly.      

The propane griddle is really handy but this could be done on a camp stove in a good-sized fry pan. Needless to say we were stuffed little piggies. A hike around the lake was mandatory and of course no need for lunch. Dan took these photos, love the empty plate shot.     



Teri hit a home run on day two with her delicious French Toast recipe. I am telling you this is a WONderful recipe, whether made at home or at the campsite.     

Orange French Toast

8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup grand mariner
1/8 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp orange zest     

Mix well, dip Texas toast or French toast bread in (I let it soak a few seconds), then cook.     


1 bottle pure maple syrup
1 stick butter
Grand Mariner to taste (I used about 1/4 cup or more)     

Heat to boil then simmer while French Toast cooks.     

This made about 16 pieces, or so. You can halve it or double for large groups.     

Topped with Mandarin oranges and powdered sugar, served with some fresh fruit and bacon……unbelievable breakfast.     


A breakfast fly over by an immature Bald Eagle.     


A hike around the lake and throw in a day trip to nearby Steamboat Lake…and we’re ready for dinner.     

I love this series of photos.     

Seems innocent

Little bit of a flare up?

Forest Fire???

Heck no...Perfectly cooked chicken, Teri's Cole Slaw and Corn on the Cob

Grilled chicken is always an easy campsite meal. Partially cook your chicken pieces at home and you’re enjoying dinner at the campsite in no time. At the campsite throw chicken pieces on the grill and baste with your favorite grilling sauce. 

While the chicken is cooking mix up some cole slaw using a pre-packaged mix from produce section, toss with the dressing that you made and brought from home,  throw in one of those small boxes of raisins and you’ve got a delicious side dish in no time. And how easy is it to boil some water for corn on the cob. Dan grilled the chicken using his Mom’s basting sauce.  Gotta get that recipe.  Anyway, voila, you’re dining like a camping king.     

Steaks or burgers are also an easy meal, especially if you have a camping grill. Cooking on a grate, on tin foil, over a campfire can be risky business. Too hot…too windy…embers too cold. Camp grills are the ticket.     


For day two dinner I made This Orange Salad that I found in West Virginia over at  Larry’s Blog, which had traveled from North Carolina from Sam’s Blog and now has made its way to the Rocky Mountains to my blog and a delicious camp site salad.     

I threw in three large navel oranges and just peeled and sliced them on site. Had picked some fresh rosemary and parsley from the garden and transported them in a small baggie. Pre-mixed the dressing of 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil that traveled in a small mason jar, slice some rings of red onion, sprinkle with Kalamata olives and voila. Easy peasy and a fresh and delish side dish for the sliders.     

I brought those darn delicious Smoky Chipotle Sliders that I found over at Cookin Canuck. I swear this is the recipe find of the century and very easy to take on the road.     


Just make the little patties at home, transfer to a large zip-loc baggie, and lay the bag flat in the top of the ice chest. Pack a small can of pineapple rings, whip up the Chipotle Mayonnaise at home and transfer to a small Mason jar. Fire up the camp grill at the campsite and you’ve got a delicious meal in about 15 minutes.     

Camping wouldn’t be complete without some easy appetizers while you’re waiting on the grub to cook.     


Sliced pears and some fabulous Gorgonzola Dolce cheese paired beautifully with this delicious shiraz from Mollydooker.     


Some guacamole for your tortilla chips…     

So there you have it, delicious food with little fuss.      

It’s What’s for Camping The Rocky Mountains.     

Stick around for some scenery photos.       


Pearl Lake is about 4 1/2 hours northwest of Denver.  We stopped halfway to enjoy a picnic lunch at Red Desert Overlook at Wolford Mountain Reservoir.     


Watching swallows nab bugs on the lake.     


A day trip to Hahns Peak Historic Cemetery, the oldest public cemetary in Routt County, Colorado.     


Plenty of time to watch the grass grow.        


Another day trip took us to Hahns Peak Lake.    


Dan picked wildflowers for the table.     


After dinner we headed down to the lake to watch the full moon rise over the ridge.     


And some up and close views of bats swooping all around us (not pictured, but trust me, they were there).



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  1. If you had only shown the food, I would have had no idea that you were camping and not in the middle of your kitchen cooking some delicious grub! Amazing!

    • Dan took alot of good food shots didn’t he.

  2. Looks like the perfect day (and a delicious one) seized!

  3. Looks like you all had a great time. Beautiful pictures. Hope all is going well.

  4. We are planning a trip. Truck, trailer, National Parks, outdoor, mosquitoes (??), …..So would you be so nice and come along to do the cooking? I am a a little nervous. Still would like to eat well.
    I will take your recipe advice with me. Great pictures, Love Colorado!

    • We’re heading to Rocky Mountain Natl. Park for our next trip. There wasn’t a notable mosquito population up North…hope that holds for your trip and ours. I wanted to rent an RV this year and head to Utah parks, Mesa Verde, etc. Just didn’t materialize.

  5. How did you know that eagle was immature. Did it make fart noises and laugh or something?

    Great camping scene, the fog rising was mesmerizing. You cook camp food like my mother, better than most people do with a kitchen.

    • Too funny Chris…actually he put our pigtails in ink.

  6. That is some seriously good camping food!

  7. Oh MY!!!

  8. Looks like a great trip to the high country Lea Ann and the scenery is spectacular (I’ve said before I’ve only seen Colorado white or brown, but never green). All of your food looks super good and I agree that camp food should be more in the direction of gourmet than bologna sandwiches. Nothing like the smell of breakfast cooking in the early morning out in the open – especially bacon. As a breakfast kinda guy my mouth is watering. I’ve been planning to try the breakfast dog since you posted it and that French toast looks off the chart. I love to sit on the dock in the evening and watch the bats do their thing – looks like you’re all dogged up. Great post.

    • Thanks Larry. Colorado in the summer months is spectacular. The wildflowers were blooming like crazy. Alot of Colorado winter months are lost on me…I don’t ski, snowshoe, make snow angels, snowmen…I just watch it pile up and cook soup. hmmm sounds like a good opening for a blog post. 🙂

      Bats are fascinating. I get so excited when I have one in the yard. There was a good population out that night over the lake and with the full moon…we could almost see the red of their eyes. 🙂

  9. You certainly deserve some sort of award for camping fare that inventive and scrumptious! That orange salad looks amazing. Love the nature photos, too. I’m not a camper, but the photos almost tempt me. Almost.

    • You couldn’t pay me to go back packing…but a couple of nights in the high country at a civilized campsite is always a treat.

  10. Looks like a great trip. The scenery is amazing. You cooked some good looking food – pretty fancy for a camping trip.

  11. Wow – what an entertaining post! I love all the shots of food and scenery, my favorites were the bat watching, the very cool old cemetary, and the wine & cheese. I completely related to the comment about dropping blood pressure as the mountains (even the ones I see from the deck) do that to me every day. That orange French toast does look fabulous. I want to go camping with you guys – looks pretty top shelf. 🙂

    • Thanks Vickie. It was an entertaining trip. As you can imagine I left out alot of the high jinx.

  12. That orange salad…I almost got in my car and waved goodbye, you’re not supposed to serve oranges with olives and onions. Or, wait…maybe you are. Because it was Amazing.

  13. Dan, thanks for taking such amazing photos of the trip. That orange salad was a killer.

  14. I don’t know why but that shot of the Bald Eagle took my breath away; that has always been a wish of min (to see one!); other than that, the cuisine over that camp fire looked more like a four-star meal to me! Loved that chicken sausage you brought! Sure beats hot dogs in a can!
    (and that cheese and salad!)

    • I’ve seen hundreds of Bald Eagles and every time I see one it taked my breath away. Majestic birds. As always, thanks for stopping by and the comment

  15. What a gorgeous place you live. James Beard would be jealous and so am I. I love your orange salad and it sure is making the rounds. I believe it looks an awfully lot like my salad that I took to Larry’s at Almost Heaven South. Have a wonderful 4th of July y’all.

    • Sam, it is your salad. You must have missed the paragraph where I gave you credit.

  16. Wow Lea Ann, that’s amazing camping food! I’d say that’s a feast! I want to join your camping group. Love all your pictures. They are making me homesick for Colorado.

  17. Fantastic food, camping or not! Beautiful part of the world you were in…

  18. yall look pretty healthy for Colorado folks. Great pictures and looks like fun.

    You know the gladiators of the NFL are geating ready for battle. I feel confident. That is all I have to say!

  19. What a spectacular trip! It looks like you found a beautiful spot and created some seriously delicious camping food!

  20. What a fun post, Lea Ann!
    I loved the food…and I mean I nearly could smell the smoke in a couple of those photos. We went on a lot of camping trips, but while the food was good, it could never compare with yours.
    I love it that you had a camp somellier! Now that’s MY kind of camping trip.
    Really lovely photos. Such fun and how lovely to have such good friends to join you on your adventures.

  21. Such a beautiful camping spot. I *love* to cook breakfasts while camping… and lunches and dinners, too, but breakfast is SO good cooked and eaten outside!

  22. Colorado has some great outdoors, and I am looking forward to our annual visit in a few weeks. I’m not sure if camping is in our cards, but your meals are surely inspirational. I also have think that a bottle of Blue Eyed Boy is quite good, and thank goodness for the screw cap!

  23. Thanks for stopping by! I love the photos and even though I dont camp anymore, I would make an exception for that food, YUM!

  24. Wow, you certainly hit some beautiful spots on your camping trip! I’m so glad you enjoyed the chipotle sliders. We do a lot of camping, but have never taken the sliders with us. Good to know that they travel so well!

  25. Wow, delicious food, great site. You won’t ask for anything more! I really fell in love with your last picture. Those pet dogs are really cute! Makes me wanna go camping again.

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