Okay, so I know I've been whining about this big family camping trip and I haven't been all sporty about it. Blame it on the bugs. But there are a few bright spots I'm looking forward to: the looks on my daughters' faces when we pitch the tent REI is donating to the cause, and make s'mores by the campfire; sipping adult beverages with my friends and talking smack under the stars; letting Lila fall asleep cuddled against me (I know doggone well she's not going to close her eyes in her own sleeping bag). And especially cooking on the open fire.
Now mind you, I'm nice on the grill (second only to the grill master confaster, Nick), but there's a difference between making barbeque over hot coals and burning on the flames of a campfire. I don't really get down with fire like that, so, um, this might be a little tricky. But I look forward to the challenge. Plus, my dear friend Jennifer Fox, owner of the Young Chef's Academy in Sandy Springs hooked us up with some recipes she featured in a special week-long summer class on campfire cooking. We're going light with breakfast and lunch cereal and sandwiches will get us through for those meals. But dinner is going to be communal, and each of our families will be contributing something delicious to the campfire pots. Here are a few of Jennifer's recipes that I think I'll try out:
UPSIDE DOWN NACHOS
¢ 2 cups grated cheese
¢ 1 bag tortilla chips
¢ 1 jar salsa
¢ 1 chopped onion
¢ 1 can chopped jalapenos
¢ 1 small container of sour cream
¢ On a square of aluminum foil place a layer of cheese, then onions, jalapenos, salsa, and finally a mound of chips.
¢ Make a pouch with foil and place it on the campfire. Cook for three to five minutes, or until you hear the cheese sizzling.
¢ Remove from the fire and open the pouch. Place a plate upside down on the chips and flip the whole thing over, so that the chips and cheese are on the plate; top with sour cream.
¢ 1 package flour tortillas (8)
¢ 1 jar spaghetti sauce
¢ Shredded mozzarella cheese
¢ Place tortilla on griddle then top with sauce, cheese, and toppings.
¢ Turn an aluminum pan over the top of the pizza to trap heat. Cook until cheese is melted.
¢ Bananas with peels on
¢ Mini chocolate chips
¢ Mini marshmallows
¢ Slice a small trough along the length of the banana.
¢ Peel back the flap, being careful to leave one end still attached to the banana. Remove the fruit that was cut out.
¢ Sprinkle mini-chocolate chips into the length of the trough, then top with mini-marshmallows.
¢ Fold the flap over the trough and wrap in aluminum foil.
¢ Place your banana on the fire for a few minutes, long enough for the chocolate chips to melt.
¢ Remove from the fire, pull back the flap, and enjoy with a spoon
These recipes are a part of the MyBrownBaby series, “Home Made Love: From The Chiles Girls’ Kitchen To Yours,” the cookbook in which Mari and Lila share special memories behind the beloved dishes they create in our house. The girls and I will try these recipes during our camping trip, and then include them in the book.
This Home Made Love series is sponsored by The Young Chef’s Academy of Sandy Springs, GA, a cooking school for children. Learning food preparation skills is the main ingredient at YCA, and each class adds a heap of kitchen safety, a scoop of etiquette, a handful of table setting, a pinch of menu planning, and laughter to taste. To find out about classes, summer camps, and more at The Young Chef’s Academy of Sandy Springs, click HERE.