Friday, January 3, 2014

Love Recipes by Camp Chef for Camp Recipes

Love Recipes!
"I call these recipes my grandmother's Love Recipes because when she made these tasty candies, we knew she made them with love. These are mostly classic candies that every homemaker made way back when the shortening was in every pantry in American kitchens. Substitute butter or a vegan butter for the shortening below... have fun with these old recipes!"

Chocolate Turtles

2 cups walnuts
36 caramels
3 Tblsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup semisweet or milk chocolate
1-1/2 tsp shortening

Cover baking sheet with waxed paper and arrange walnut halves in 28 to 30 clusters.
Keep separated by at least 1-inch apart.

Unwrap caramels and butter and place in top of double boiler set over boiling water.
Heat until caramels are completely melted stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir until butter and vanilla are thoroughly mixed.
Drop caramel onto center of each walnut cluster making sure that caramel touches all the walnut pieces to hold them together.
Melt chocolate with shortening over hot but not boiling water.
Spread over caramels and candies.
Allow to set before cutting into squares.
Makes 28 to 30 Turtles.

Wrap your Turtles in groups of twos or threes in clear paper.
Tie a red and pink ribbon around the package and give them away as a gift!
Makes a perfect Love gift in the next few weeks for Valentine's Day!

More Love Recipes coming... stay tuned.

Update: just saw the new "Whitewater Cooks" books! A cool book of favorite recipes!

Thanks to all the holiday cooks that submitted recipes!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Table Settings

Beautiful antique dishes and Japanese maple leaves decorate the table... Practicing for Christmas!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Betty's Breakfast Banana Bread

Warm sunshine filled my kitchen windows this morning. We are finally out of that incredible cold spell each morning! No more frost on the lawn. No more freezing digits. Sun is finally shining...  I spotted (3) over ripe bananas in the fruit basket. Time for Banana Bread! This recipe came from a dear friend's grandmother. Her Nonni also shared with us her Biscotti recipe, too! (more on that later...) Try this recipe in your camp dutch oven. Here comes the campers for breakfast!

Betty's Breakfast Banana Bread

1 bowl (or 2 bowls if you prefer keeping the wet & dry ingredients separate until the end)
3 ripe bananas (crushed)
3 eggs
2 cups of flour
1 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1/8 cup of white sugar (omit if you don't want the edges to be crispy crunchy)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup walnuts (if whole, break them up)

Carefully stir with a large spoon until mixed. Butter the bread pan and place a strip of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. Pour dough into the bread pan. Tap the bread pan against the counter and watch the bubbles rise to the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Notes: great for breakfast w/ a smear of butter; makes great toast, too!

Thanks to Nonni & Deb for providing this very best recipe!
Much thanks to for their photo!

Monday, January 30, 2012

California Kiwi = Chinese Gooseberry

California is in the glorious California kiwi harvest time! Those brown little balls of fuzz hide the lime-green color of their sweet fruit. A bit like a strawberry and lemon combined, the fruits are delectable in salads, desserts, hors d'ouvres, salsas and straight out-of-hand.

The majority of the world's kiwis are produced right here in California. Approximately 90% of the world's fruit production is right here in the Great Valley. And, in fact, the California Kiwi Commission is based right in the state capitol of Sacramento, California.

Actinidia deliciosa is the botanical name for this popular fruit that was originally called the Chinese Gooseberry. When New Zealand named the fruit Kiwi, after their native bird, the name has stuck ever since.

Kiwis can be incorporated into many of your favorite dishes. I personally love them right out-of-hand! Recently, I have been making salsas with them as I have so many from the Farmer's Market. Kiwis are rich in vitamin C, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids and have a significant source of dietary fiber.

Here's a salsa dish that I invented this morning. Enjoy!
Here is another recipe using California Kiwis.

Kiwi Salsa - WET

large bowl
1 garlic head
5 medium-sized ripe kiwis
3 large tomatoes
1 small white onion
1 small habanero pepper
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lime
salt, pepper to taste

This recipe has no real measurements. Adjust based on your own personal taste. If you like spicy, add more habanero pepper or substitute an even hotter pepper. I like to add sweet diced carrots to the mix. My best friend likes to add diced cucumbers into her kiwi salsa. 

Cut garlic in half. Smear the garlic juice and spread liberally into the dry bowl. Remove garlic. Cut all ingredients into a uniform small dice. Place all cut ingredients into the bowl. Mix well. Let stand in the refrigerator for up to two hours before serving. This salsa is very tasty with grilled steak, pork or chicken on any river trip!

This post belongs to W.E.T. River Trips and our Camp Chef FOOD! blog.
Thanks to Google images and for their Kiwi photos!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2012

"Marni! I can smell the cake! It's ready," I yelled out while smelling that sweet chocolate through the house.

Thanksgiving preparations have already begun. Marni was making a cake base for her glorious extravaganza of a dessert for that special day. I was sitting at the kitchen table dicing onions, peppers and bread for the stuffing. I like to do this ahead of time, and I put each ingredient in a small ziplock baggie. After labeling the bags, I toss them into the refrigerator ready for the stuffing.

I made pies early this morning after getting up at 6 AM. Five pies of our family favorites; pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin, pecan and a savory. (3) pumpkin pies, (1) pecan and the special hors d'ouevres of savory pie. After they all cooled, I wrapped and sealed the pies and dated them, and then tossed them into the freezer.

The house is semi-clean. I did run through the entire house last week and start cleaning the old bungalow. But, I'll do the final cleaning the day before and add flowers to all the vases in the house on the morning of Thanksgiving Day.

check back to this blog for more recipes and tips on cooking at home or on the river
Special Thanks to HGVTV for their photo used in this Camp Chef blog

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Herbs in the Garden - Cook's Best Friends

Camp Chef by WET River Trips

Tendrils of lemon thyme, or Thymus Citriodorus peeked out of the mulch. The little herb garden was coming alive after what seems to be a very long winter. Early May and California is unpredictable with 90 degrees in the valley a couple days ago and today, we are cloaked in storm clouds on Mother's Day.

I pulled weeds today. Mother's Day. I wanted to care for the garden, as the children are older now with their own busy lives. Cool weather is perfect for pulling the weeds from the still soft and moist soil.

A small herb garden with a few tomato plants is all I need. Chives, thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, sage and Italian parsley are the essentials. I stopped growing the giant Beefsteak and Early Girl tomatoes a few years ago after I discovered the Super Sweet cherry tomatoes and the little orange heirlooms. The small German-variety orange heirloom, mellower in acid and also very sweet, are given an honorable spot at the corner of the partitioned garden. The plants are beautiful in full fruit and very decorative.

Chefs and home cooks that have an access to a true herb and/or eating garden bring the freshest flavors to their kitchen. The ingredients are the highlight; the herbs enhance everything. If you are a serious foodie, you will want your kitchen ingredients to reflect your passion about food. Adding a simple bit of lemon thyme to your eggs at breakfast will elevate those scramble eggs to another level. Adding a bit of fresh cherry tomato will turn the egg dish into a lunch omelette with an added salad. (Don't forget to add fresh chives and basil to that salad, too!)


large seasoned frying pan or omelette pan
chopped fresh herbs (lemon thyme, chives, parsley &/or your favs from your garden)
olive oil to cover bottom of pan
pat of butter
1/4 cup of finely diced onion (or less; to your liking)
10 cherry tomatoes cut in halves (approx 20 sliced halves)
clean glass or ceramic bowl
6 - 8 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
whisk or fork

Heat pan to medium high heat. Add olive oil w/ a small pat of butter. (The butter is for flavor only; use less if you can.) Add onion and caramelize until onion is translucent and the edges are browned. Add tomatoes, cut side down. Turn heat down to medium or less. Mix eggs in a clean glass or ceramic bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon thyme and chives. Mix well with a small whisk or fork. Check the tomatoes in pan. They should be limp and the skins should be wrinkled. Stir until a loose tomato sauce forms. Cook until sauce is the consistency of a thick tomato sauce. (You can pull out the tomato skins if you want, but I just keep them in for added roughage. Besides, this is home cooking and rustic.) Add eggs. Stir once. Let eggs set. Stir again. Let eggs set. Stir again. Repeat this process slowly until the eggs are a soft, tender consistency. Sprinkle the eggs with your favorite grated cheese. I add freshly grated parmigiano cheese and a bit of fresh chopped basil and Italian parsley. Fold over carefully into a large omelette. Cut into four servings.

  • Add breakfast potatoes on the side for a hearty breakfast.
  • Or, add a side salad of fresh greens, tomatoes and herbs for a light lunch or dinner.

  • add sliced fresh mushrooms and cook along with the tomatoes.
  • add cooked crumble bacon and mix in with the eggs or just sprinkle over the eggs.
  • place one portion of the omelette on top an English muffin along w/ cheese; grill lightly until melted.
  • add flaked cooked leftover salmon to the omelette before you fold over.

Use your imagination and use those fresh herbs. If you don't have much room in the yard or you are an urban dweller, you can still grow a small pot of herbs near a bright window. You will be surprised at how many little herbs will grow in such a small container. And, look at garden centers and foodie markets; you will find many vendors are now selling potted herb gardens ready for your kitchen use.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Burp! The Day After Turkey Day

So, how is everyone feeling this morning? Groan...

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and the refrigerator is full of leftovers. What are you going to do with all the leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetable medleys and other side dishes? (easiest? sandwich! see left image)

Most of us share the bounty by giving away the goodies to everyone who came over for Thanksgiving dinner, but there is still a lot leftover. Here's a couple of super quick meals that are sure to please!

Breakfast Turkey Hash

1/4 cup of diced onion
olive oil
1 cup of diced turkey
1-1/2 cup of stuffing
2 cups of mashed potatoes
gravy (to taste)
chopped chives (to taste)

In a large fry pan, add olive oil to coat the pan. Add onions. Caramelize onions until onions are translucent and brown on edges. Add turkey and mix until warmed through. Add stuffing and potatoes and mix. Add gravy and heat through. When thoroughly heated, add chives. Stir and mix. Add a side of fruit to compliment this quick meal or one of the leftover vegetable side dishes. Serves 2-4

Variation: add an over-easy or scrambled egg on top to serve.

Turkey and Waffles

4 Belgian-style waffles (store bought or homemade)
8 slices turkey
gravy (to taste)

Toast waffles and set aside. Warm turkey slices using a frying pan or microwave oven. Warm gravy in a saucepan or microwave oven. Assemble: waffle; top w/ 2 slices of turkey and top with gravy. Serve with fruit on the side. Serves 4

Turkey Potato Patty

olive oil
1 cup of diced turkey
1 cup of mashed potatoes
1/4 cup of stuffing
1/4 cup of diced scallions
1/4 flour (or less)
1 large egg mixed in a small bowl with salt and pepper

In a bowl, add turkey, potatoes, stuffing, scallions and mix well. Dust your hands with flour. Form patties with your hand. Set patties aside. Heat frying pan to medium heat. Add oil to coat pan. Dip patties in egg and add to heated pan. Heat through and flip patties over and brown. Serve with a dollop of warm gravy. Add a side of fruit or one of the vegetable side dishes.

Turkey Wraps

1/4 olive oil
1/2 cup onions (reserve 1/4 raw onion)
1/4 cup of diced green pepper
1 cup diced turkey
tortillas (flour or corn)
chopped cilantro
corn chips

In a large frying pan at medium high heat, add olive oil. Add only 1/4 cup onions and brown. Add green peppers and cook until thoroughly wilted. Add turkey and cook through. Warm tortillas over the pan. Assemble: tortilla; top with turkey mix and dress with salsa, cilantro and left-over raw onions. Serve with corn chips on the side or fruit. Add a vegetable side dish from the leftovers for a complete meal. Serves 2-4

Turkey Salad Version 1

1 cup chopped turkey
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced onion
diced scallions (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup diced apple
mayonnaise (to taste)
1 tsp mustard
1 Tbsp finely diced sweet pickle

Mix everything together in a clean bowl. Add mayonnaise to your liking. Spread onto whole wheat bread and top with another slice of bread. Cut into quarters. Add one of the vegetable side dishes to complete this lunch. Serves 2-4 generously.

Turkey Salad Version 2

Leftover cooked vegetables:
broccoli, asparagus, green beans, carrots, red onions, beets, etc
Leftover crudites
Romaine lettuce
2 cups of diced turkey
your favorite salad dressing

Chop all vegetables and lettuce in a uniform sizes. Toss into bowl (do not add beets until the end or everything will be pink). Add turkey. Serve on a generous sized platter. Add beets on side or on top. Use your favorite salad dressing. (I like a black cherry salad dressing) Add a bowl of turkey soup to complete this meal. Serves 4-6

Desserts (there were leftovers?!?)

As far as the leftover pies, tarts, and other goodies... a great suggestion is to freeze it and bring it out again at a tea party, brunch or dessert after dinner. If you freeze the goodies, make sure you label the package with a date. But, it's only a few more weeks to Christmas dinner... dare I serve them again? Hee Hee...

Tips and Resources for Safe Food Handling of Leftovers: